Pongal offering in front of a supermarket. Jaffna, 2010.
So, the Gods are in the break room. Indra (the CEO) and this other God, let’s call him Demi. Indra is like, “so how long you been doing weather?” Demi stops to think about it. “Aeons?” he said. Indra nods and takes a banana. Demi looks down at his coconut. Seems like he’s been eating the same thing for aeons as well. Indra chews and looks strategic. “They’ve got this traffic thing now, you want to take a shot at that?” Demi shrugs. He pokes around for something sweet. Looks like Ganesh took all the laddu again.
So Demi calls Vishnu and checks in on Colombo. He thought weather was bad. This is madness. The cops have set down cones to keep people in their lanes, but the moment the cones end, the people are back to the madness. Demi sees a Land Cruiser pop out of lane and barrel towards a family on the way to school. He shoots a bolt of lightning in front of the Jeep. That works, but also stops traffic completely. Perhaps something more subtle.
Demi hangs around with the street cows for a while, chews the cud, mentions the traffic thing. The next day the cows are on traffic duty, minding the lanes and taking officious dumps in front of offenders. A few temple dogs get into the scene, chasing down cars. Every time somebody cuts a driver off or swerves menacingly in the rear view, the dogs are there to bark them into line. At the same time, people driving slow or parking in the middle of the road find cows wiping snot on their windows, telling them to move on.
It’s a good day for Demi. Met his targets with nothing especially supernatural to expense. He goes back to the break room for tea. He opens the icebox and wonders whose modaka that is, and how long it’s been there. There’s a sweet spot in between where he can eat the thing, but you don’t want to be caught on either side. Looking around the offering table, he sees something extremely curious. Vegetarian sushi, a bag of chips, and a Coke. For the first time in aeons, Demi really smiles.