Rail budgets are notable for featuring the biggest numbers since A Raja did his thing with 2G, and taught us all that there was actually something such as a lakh crore. But where does all this money really go? Of course, just running the largest train network in the world will take tons of money, but there should be some improvement, right? But we haven't seen it all these years, and we think it's time, in 2013, that we did. So here's our wishlist for what should be done with the rail budget this year:
1. Good food: Most train routes in India offer you cold, unappetizing food that you eat only because of the pangs of hunger. We need to set up really good pantry cars in every train, not just the Rajdhanis and Shatabdis. And, while we're at it, we should use a part of the budget to pay for voice surgery for hawkers on the train, so that they lose the piercing quality of their voices and sound more like other people.
2. Cleaning train toilets with water: The current system of cleaning train toilets is a novel one - it involves opening the toilet door once in 20 stations, looking around, and then shutting the toilet door. 1% of the time, water is actually used. We think it might be time to make this a rule rather than an exception, even if it means paying cleaners at each station.
3. Improving the scenery from train windows: Whenever we look out of the grimy glass panes in each compartment, we see brown fields with buffaloes in them. Not all the time, though - we sometimes see green fields with buffaloes in them. We need to invest in landscaping our country a little more - maybe a view of some active volcanoes, or majestic mountains, or serene pools, or lifesize statues of Sunny Leone would make it easier to while away the long hours.
4. Hiring Usain Bolt: IRCTC must surely be the slowest major website in the world. We need to help it rather than make fun of it, and all great transformations require a coach. Luckily, we have one who's free till 2016 - the fastest man in the world, Usain Bolt. Of course, he won't come cheap, but IRCTC runs so many ads that it can hire ten of him.
5. Honesty lessons for train schedulers: Small trains all across India are scheduled to reach at Time X. They pull in to stations anywhere between 2 and 10 hours later. What we need is to put those who schedule them through an intensive 1 month training in honesty: tell us the truth, that a train will take 10 hours to travel 300 km, rather than get our hopes up, and then make us miss that important appointment because you were slower than you thought.
6. Getting new voice actors: All across India, the same monotonous voice is used to announce the next train's name. We think that they got a woman to record these 50 years ago, and have used the same sound track again and again. If they just invest in a few voice actors (Naseeruddin Shah, here's looking at you), people will be less likely to fall asleep on platforms and miss their trains.
Can you think of any other funny uses the rail budget could be put to? Tell us in the Comment Section!
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