Municipal Commissioner Padmanabhaiah has been inviting me for some time now to visit his new subway. For instance, he has been telling me: "WE had a subway warming party. Nothing much, the mayor came and some councillors and others but you did not come. You can come now and visit our subway."
So, this morning, on way to office, I visited the subway. Both Mr. and Mrs. Padmanbhaiah were at the door to the subway, waiting to receive me. "You should have brought your Mrs. and family also along," Mrs. Padmanabhaiah said. "Never mind now, next time, you whole family must spend an evening with us at our new subway."
It was a nice subway and I could see the commissioner was very proud of it, though trying to look disinterested. Mrs. Padamanabhaiah had kept it nice and clean. "You don't have to remove your shoes," she told me. "We are not at all fussy about that, you can come in with you shoes on."
They took me inside and I must say it was quite spacious, though the ceiling was a little now. But then, as the commissioner explained, "Which modern subway has a high ceiling, they don't build them like that any more. Gone are the days when they used to have such high ceilings that you could accommodate two more subways in them."
There were also on windows, which I though was rather odd. Mr. Padamanabhaiah said: "We left it to the atchitect. He said that the latest trend, ad practised by Kudisnvalla, Hafeez Contractor and others, is no windows. So there are no windows. Instead, the doors are kept very wide, as you can see, facing each other,"
"We have cross-ventilation all the time," said Mrs. Padmanabhaiah.
I was taken around the entire subway. On two sides were two rows of rooms with shutter's down. The commissioner explianted: "These are rooms we will be letting out to paying guests. It is difficult to maintain such a large subway without some of the expense coming our from the paying guests."
"Yes," said Mrs. Padamanabhaiah. "People think the municipal commissioner gets such a big salary that he does not have to keep paying guests in his subway."
As we reached the end of the subway, I found another subway running perpendicular to it. The commissioner said: "Recognise it? This is our old subway. Over the years, it had been ruined, it was leaking all over and getting flooded in the rains and stinking the rest of the year. We got the architect to renovate it and we have linked it with the new subway. I will be using it for my study and Mrs. Padmanabhaiah will be using it to do her embrodery and other things."
All this time I had been noticing a lot of people in the subway. So, finally, I said to the commissioner: "I see, you have got a lot of visitors this morning."
"Not visitors," Mr. Padamnabhaih said, "they are just passing through."