Till sometime back, i went with joy and without any hesitation. The only question that was on the tip of my tongue was ‘Whats for dinner?” These days, that is the last question. If at all we get there. For many a time, i don’t get to go beyond the gate !
For,every apartment worth its home loan balance, leakage and squabbling association, has a string of notices that hang by a thick string at the gate. You just cant miss those signboards.
The following are the most common in the area where i live, in the order of occurrences.(Yes. Sure. I did a research).
1. No Parking In Front Of Gate
2. No Entry For Outside Vehicles
3. No Entry Without Valid Permission
These signs, to put it mildly, amuse me no end. Although, i must confess, sometimes they are downright intimidating. Sample this workplace gate at a workplace near ours.
You cant go if you drove an ‘outside’ vehicle. Nor can you park your ‘outside’ vehicle, somewhere close to the gate. And if you are enraged with the entire arrangement, you cant stick a complaint on their face. And if you plan to enter through the side…well, beware of dogs !
I really think we need to start a mass movement to have more ‘welcoming’ signboards on apartment gates. I really think it is time we did that.
Signboards that will not make visitors feel like hunted aliens driving a single door UFO with blinking lights and hissing gas. And of course, visitors must feel better than creeps who killed an army of people with twin antennae and a slithering tongue.
I know. I know. You think i am taking all of this too far. But, sample this gate that i spotted on LBS Marg.
So, in true form, i seethed about ‘positive vibes’ & made random noises about ancient Indian hospitality. And the missus listened.
Used to such rants by now, she crossed her arms, tilted her head and said, ” so wise man, what do you want to write instead of whats written over there. These boards come with a purpose. Now tell me, how will you say that, with a positive vibe?” ( Married folks understand that sentence. Yet to be married folks will understand it in time)
Now, that set me thinking. The challenge thrown, and the gauntlet picked, i stood like a gladiator with ten unchained lions attacking me, with strings from an iron gate. So, working furiously, i thought of these…
No Parking In Front Of Gate
Reserved Parking for the mentally disabled or Reserved parking for people with severe body odour / Reserved Parking for Stolen Cars.
Now, how cool would that be !?! ‘Reserved Parking’ sounds cool. Much cooler than ‘No Parking In Front Of Gate’
hmm… or perhaps, ‘Please keep the engine on. We dry clothes on the bonnet’ !
Or, even better. ‘Smile. You are now on Police CCTV’ !
No Entry For Outside Vehicles
Exclusive Entry for Red Mercedes 280 SL with Retreaded MRF Tyres.
And folks who write ‘Beware of dogs’ can consider writing something common, but specific enough. Something like ‘ We are a quiet neighbourhood. Dogs that bite, seldom bark.’. That would be neat. What say !
And so i continued. But stumbled when i came to the blokes who have a ‘members and relatives only’ signboard….
‘Vampires Live Here’, i said. But that was promptly shot down with a shove by the missus. I am still wondering. In the interest of the MMWS (Mass Movement Towards Welcoming Signboards), can you shake your brains a little please ?!?
If you are plain lazy like i usually am, just wanted to let you know that i have made a transition. Whenever a dinner invitation reaches me, the question no longer is, ‘Whats on the plate”…but…
“whats on your gate?”