News Karnataka
Friday, December 08 2023
Brian's Subtle Humour

Craving: A Roadshow that shows us the Road!

BSH - Roadshow
Photo Credit : Unsplash

I was intrigued by the word Roadshow. Is it a shorter form of the question show me the road? Or what’s left of it? Or what’s right with it? It’s a much bandied-about word these days by all and sundry. Is it because the roads require a band-aid – waterproof band-aid?

Is there a connection? That’s what I wanted to find out and maybe I did! Bad roads and good Roadshows go together! One is repaired for the other, and there is a specific moment in time perhaps when they both have a positive outlook – with lookouts everywhere – Election time.

But the debate never ends: Roadshows versus the actual roads themselves. It’s a topic that has divided the masses (and the classes) for years, with passionate arguments on both sides. The masses use the roads every day, and do they mind if every 5 years they are blocked, repaired, or strewn with flowers to cover the potholes as the road show struts by on many, many, wheels, and more than a few legs walking or running on it?  Was it designed for such heavy traffic?

Only after the roadshow passes by, do they tend to wake up and ask, “Show me the road”. But they don’t get an answer, as they didn’t before! But are they surprised? not really! But as soon as the elections are over, road repair starts in right earnest! Earnestness that may surprise but is a surge-prize of a kind!

But what of the flowers that covered the dents in the road? What happens to them as they wilt in the withering sun or rot in the torrential rain? With Landfills having their fill every day and the discourse about the disposal of garbage actually being a lot of garbage adding to the quantum, will the wilted flowers adorn the garlands of the losers?

To understand this paradox, we must compare roadshows to the roads on which they are carried out. As someone who has experienced both, I must say that the comparison reminds me of the hare and tortoise story with a twist! In our story, the roadshow is the Hare, and the road is the Tortoise.  How will the story end?

You have to have a skin as thick as the Tortoiseshell to understand why a roadshow to endorse a platform of good roads for the masses, must be carried out on roads that are not good enough for the masses. Well, that’s a conundrum, that’s cylindrical in its ability to find an answer! Much like the potholes on the roads!

Thick skin or not, let’s do the comparison!

Let’s start with roadshows. These are the events where companies, organizations, and politicians go on a tour to showcase their products, services, or platforms to the masses. They can be entertaining; but they often end up being a lot of noise and no substance.

Roadshows are like the used car salesmen of the marketing world. They promise you the world, but when you get down to it, they’re just trying to sell you something you probably don’t need or once you buy will reveal its fault lines! Sure, they might give you a free pen or a tote bag, or other accessories along with it, but is that really worth enduring the queues or standing in line and the jargon? Maybe, for those who love the spectacle, or for those whose spectacles are tinted!

Now, let’s talk about the actual roads. You know, those things that get you from point A to point B – the Olympic hurdle race for daily commuters! They’re not glamorous or exciting, but they’re essential. The roads are like the unsung heroes of our daily lives. They’re always there, silently doing their job, never asking for anything in return except a filling meal in their potbellies once in a while. And that we are reluctant to give!

Sure, they might have a few potholes and traffic jams here and there, but at least they’re honest about it. Unlike some roadshows I’ve been to, they don’t pretend to be something they’re not. And while they might not offer free tote bags, they do offer the freedom to go wherever you want, whenever you want.

The ancient Japanese concept of Wabi-Sabi might provide an answer to the mystery of why we MAY prefer Roads over Roadshows. May this year may be an exception to the rule though!

We have imbibed this concept of Wabi-Sabi over the years, perhaps subconsciously, because the options were limited.

Wabi-Sabi is a Japanese aesthetic concept that refers to a worldview centred on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. It is often described as an “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete beauty.”

The concept of wabi-sabi emerged in the 14th century as a reaction to the opulence and extravagance of the ruling class in Japan. It was embraced by the tea ceremony, which emphasized simplicity, humility, and the appreciation of the beauty in ordinary, everyday objects – the teacup for instance – used by many over many years, it has become an imperfect object with cracks and broken handle – and yet much appreciated by all because they find beauty in its imperfection – they call it incomplete beauty!

So, in conclusion, the choice between roadshows and the roads themselves is easy for me. May not be as easy for you though.

I’ll take the reliable, unassuming, and straightforward roads any day over the flashy, overhyped, and underwhelming roadshows. After all, who needs a free pen when you have an open well-appointed road? But is there such a thing? And then again, a free pen may come in handy if it’s not taken away before you apply it to paper to complain about the road being blocked for a roadshow.  A vicious cycle that has no place for cycles!

What should worry us though, is if we ask for a promised service after the Roadshow, will we be shown the road?

Over to the Road Repair Crew! The winner takes it all!

Photo by Ryoji Iwata on Unsplash


This Article is written in a lighter vein. It hopes to bring a smile to your face, and you must not ascribe motives to its contents. There is no connection to events and characters in real life and if perchance you find, or make a connection with any such real-life event or character, rest assured it’s purely coincidental.

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Brian Fernandes

Brian is an alumnus of Roshni Nilaya’s Post Graduate School of Social Work, HR Department and has 30 years of local and international HR and General Management experience. Journalism, poetry, and feature writing is a passion which he is now able to pursue at will. Additionally, he loves compering and hosting talk shows. He loves learning and imparting it; so, when time permits, he provides leadership facilitation and soft skills training to Postgraduate students and Corporates in Mangaluru and Bengaluru. Besides, he is an accomplished Toastmaster under the aegis of and a designated Distinguished Toast Master.

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