The lure of the Monorail is so enticing that some of us wish to transcend mere ridership and become one with Monorailularity. Such was the case this morning on the Blue Train track of the Seattle Monorail, as reported in the Seattle P.I.:
Seattle's monorail was temporarily shut down Monday after a man was seen walking, and at times lying, on the track near Westlake Center, police reported.
Police negotiators were called to the scene. The man first was reported walking on the tracks about 10 a.m., police spokeswoman Renee Witt. And at about 10:19 a.m., the man apparently surrendered to police and firefighters who walked onto the rails to negotiate with him.
Witnesses said the man, who is deaf, took off chasing the train as it left Westlake Center. Police were able to coax him back to Westlake Center by negotiating him through sign language.
The man was unhurt, but transported to Harborview Medical Center for evaluation.
According to local television station King 5, it was "not immediately clear why the man jumped onto the tracks." Well, perhaps it was not clear to the banal minds of the MSM -- the Monorail Sabotaging Media, who were instrumental in the downfall of the Seattle Monorail Project through their treasonous campaign of disinformation against the Seattle Popular Monorail Authority -- but to those of us with the clarity of vision and basic Humanity to understand our species' Monorail Destiny, the man's motive was heart-achingly clear: he wanted to be a monorail train.
Much like when Primitive Man first looked up at the birds and wished that he too had wings, Sophisticated Man -- that is to say, Monorail Man (Homo unilongurius) -- now looks monorailward in longing. A desire for pure monorailism, unfettered by the locomotive limitations of the primordial meat-sticks that we call our limbs, is the defining dream of those who have obtained Monorail Consciousness; a dream to not just move with the Monorail -- seated passively, however luxurious the ride may be -- but to move as the Monorail, to be fully engaged in the motive will of monorailular movement. It is, in short, a dream to become the Monorail Train itself.
Often, I too dream of being a monorail train: to glide along that singular rail in the same whooshing efficiency; to know intimately the feeling of pulling into the loving embrace of a monorail station; to experience wholly the singularity of purpose, the surety of direction, that the Monorail embodies. I know that I am not alone in these yearnings; if you are capable of honest self-evaluation, you will gladly admit to them too. This desire is so powerful, so primal, that it even manifests in some subsentient species:
Man seems almost hopelessly imperfect when measured against the sublime perfection of the Monorail. It is therefore no wonder that we should strive against all reason to attain even the smallest modicum of that perfection, however beyond our reach it may seem. This is, ultimately, the true nature of the Monorail: it beckons us to go beyond our assumed limits, and then to go even further, and after that, yet further still! The Monorail takes us along a never-ending, never-diverting track forever accelerating toward transcension; our next stop: Eternity. Could God Himself be Monorailular? I think this is a Truth without serious objection. How else does one explain the truism: to lie naked on a monorail track is to experience a touch of the Divine?
So, I say to the unnamed man who today walked where monorail trains glide and laid down there dreaming of taking his place among them: Keep the dream alive! (Just please don't interrupt the monorail service again. I depend on it for all my travel.)
Last year I wrote an open letter to Iranian president and doctor of Transport Engineering Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, urging him to abandon the fruitless, non-monorail-related direction he was taking his nation and to return to his roots as a monorail engineer and advocate for Monorailism: "Expand the Tehran Monorail," I challenged him, "engage the Monorailist Revolution!"
Today, Tehran responded to my letter -- and what a bold response it is!
Dr. Ahmadinejad has begun the process to build a maglev monorail line between the capital of Tehran and the holy city of Mashhad, home of the shrine to Imam Ali Reza (PBUH). Much like with the planned Hajj monorail in Saudi Arabia, the line's secondary purpose -- after that most primary of all purposes: the Elevationment of Mankind -- will be the transportation of pilgrims. Upwards of 15 million faithful visitors a year from around the Shiah world will be exposed to the singular perfection of monorail transportation and will take back with them a new found Faith in Humanity's shared Monorailular Future.
When built (and I have every confidence that Dr. Ahmadinejad's pro-monorail administration will see this through) the 800 kilometer track will be the longest maglev monorail line in the world; a gleaming beam stretching through the cultural heart of Iran, humming with potential -- both human and electric; a technological marvel that will usher in a Renaissance of Monorail Culture!
MORE BREAKING NEWS: This wondrous development in the spread of maglev monorail technology comes on the heels of disturbing reports out of China. Claims were being made in the media that the planned Shanghai-Hangzhou maglev monorail, also to be built by Transrapid, was canceled following protests from those fearful of radiation from the magnetized track. It now turns out that these reports were false and that both government officials in Shanghai and Transrapid were unaware of any halt to the plans.
I suspect that the initial report was agitprop placed in the media by Anti-Monorail Activists -- those bitter, petty Luddites who fear Monorail excellence and despise those who strive for it. These agitators have infiltrated the Chinese Central Government and seek to use the mechanisms of intra-party politics to spread doubt about Monorailism's rightful place as Humanity's central guiding principle. And they're doing this by playing on people's irrational fear of electromagnets! What's next? Wearing tinfoil hats like a paranoid pneumatic tubeist?
Rubbish, I say! Let us not cower from electrical phantoms, boogeymen from the timid minds of those who would rather creep along the ground on wheels than soar through the sky on a cushion of energy. Now is not the time for timidity -- not now, on the cusp of Global Monorail Consciousness! If the circumambient electromagnetic fields of our bustling Monorailtopias should set our hairs to stand on end and put a tingle in our skin, then so be it! Such is the physiological state we should be in when standing in awe before the ethereal spectacle of our manifested Monorail Destiny!
News from the East: The Hajj to be Monorailized!
A study prepared by the International Transport Projects Company for a monorail system that will transport pilgrims to and from the holy sites of Mecca, Mina, Muzdalifah, and Arafat has been joyously welcomed by agencies of the Saudi Arabian government. The $1.86 billion, four-line project could be completed in a mere four years and will be able to carry nearly 800,000 pilgrims during the Hajj in the sort of dignified efficiency that only monorails can offer.
As explained by monorailologist Dr. Muhammad Naji Kurdi, a Mecca monorail system will have wider social benefits beyond easing the pilgrimage: "It will also create new job opportunities for young Saudi graduates, especially in operating monorails and manufacturing carriages and their spare parts."
With the coming of the Monorail, disaffected Saudi youth will turn away from anti-social avenues of expression to embrace the uplifting of mankind through monorailular knowledge. This will lead Saudi Arabia inexorably away from their destructive oil-based economy toward a sustainable monorail-parts-and-services-based one -- a positive transformation that we must all go through in this new century, the Century of the Monorail!
Although the current plan only encompasses transporting pilgrims between the holy sites, my contacts in the International Monorailist Community assure me that Phase Two will present a bolder vision: Once the four separate lines are connected into a single, continuous one -- complete with spiraling track around the Kaaba, switchback tracks between Safa and Marwah, and the ability to cast stones from the monorail's window as it passes by the jamarat in Mina -- and a high-speed line from Mecca to Medina is added, pilgrims will one day be able to make the Umrah and the Greater Hajj without ever disembarking the Monorail.
Some in the Muslim world may be leery of such modernity coming to this, their most holy of places. But let me allay these fears: This choice to submit to the Monorail -- if such an irrefragable inevitability can be called a choice -- is the right one for Mecca and for Islam.
There is a natural concinnity between Monotheism and Monorailism -- a shared purity of Singularity that speaks to Unity and Transnational Brotherhood. While the Monorail is the epitome of Ultramodernity, it is also a timeless invocation of Oneness, uniting the Future and the Past in a continuously looping track with a station conveniently located at Now. How fitting then that the Five Pillars of Islam should be joined by the Concrete Pillars of the Monorail. In fact, I would dare suggest that it would not be theologically unreasonable to proclaim: "There is no God but Allah, and Monorail is His public transportation!"
I say unto the people of Saudi Arabia: Welcome! Welcome into the fold of Monorailfaring Nations! While Dubai may have gotten here ahead of you by creating the first monorail in your region, your contribution to the Monorailist Cause will be no less important, as you will be poised to introduce the profound spiritually transformative power of the Monorail to pilgrims from all over the World.
So, to the minarets, you muezzin of Monorailism, and let this be your adhan: A Mecca for Monorailists! a Monorail for Mecca!
The Footlight Theater in Orlando, Florida is restaging Michael Wanzie's 1986 musical Monorail Inferno, a story of monorail passengers having their trip to Disney World interrupted by a mysterious malfunction that causes the monorail to burst into flames.
While I support the use of the Monorail as the singular unifying theme for all the arts, I must strongly rebuke the anti-monorail sensationalism and, ultimately, nihilism that this musical represents! Yes, it is true that the story was inspired by an actual monorail combustion event at Disney World in 1985, but why must the musical theater industry choose to focus on such rare, certainly-sabotage-related monorail combustions instead of portraying the Monorail in a positive light? -- the light of hope that radiates from the Monorail to all who have the eyes and soul to perceive it.
Where are the taut, character-driven plays about simple folk embracing Monorailism and transcending the mundanity of their work-a-day world? Where are the operatic sagas of bold City Leaders vanquishing the Foes of Monorailular Progress and ushering in a New Age of the Monorail? Where are the light romantic comedies of love found, love lost, love regained, and lives lived all aboard the Monorail? It's bad enough with all the anti-monorail propaganda coming out of Hollywood, must we find nothing to uplift the minds and bodies of the masses through pro-monorail theatrical arts?
All that being said, I do have to commend the Footlight Theater for having a two-for-one Monorail Pilots night tomorrow:
MONORAIL PILOTS get TWO 4 ONE admission! Saturday March 17th ONLY.: Buy one - ONLY if you arrive at the theater wearing your Monorail Costume, or bring along a photo of you in your monorail costume - or some other sort of documentation which proves you have at some point in your life, piloted a Walt Disney World Monorail.
But is this really enough to honor our brave Monorail Pilots? Have we as a society lost our ability to show proper gratitude to those with the fearless audacity to pilot our destiny?
There was a time when a Monorail Pilot wouldn't be able to walk among the surface-dwelling populace in his uniform without drawing the attention of all who passed by: Women would alternately swoon and giggle. Men would be so overcome with pride in Humanity's accomplishments that they would forget their envy. Children would point and squeal in wide-eyed amazement: "Look Mommy! Could that really be a Monorail Pilot?" Monorail Pilots were constantly being stopped and asked for autographs, or to have their pictures taken with the kids, or to officiate at weddings or store openings or beauty pageants, or to settle disputes both civil and philosophical. Such was the respect, the awe, with which people held those who commanded the vehicles that commanded our dreams. In those times, giving Monorail Pilots free tickets to the theater was more a moral obligation than a one-day promotion.
Like most young boys, it was always my dream to some day become a Monorail Pilot -- to soar along the track with my hand on the throttle and my gaze set stalwartly toward the infinite reaches of Mankind's potential. But, alas, it shames me to confess that I was found ineligible for the Monorail Pilot Corps due to a congenital strabismic condition that causes me, when I look out the cockpit window, to see two rails instead of one.
Although I cannot enjoy the privilege of being a Monorail Pilot, I will do my part, without bitterness or self-pity, for the cause of Humanity's Elevationment; I will continue to press for the adoption of the Monorail throughout the world and to rebuke those who spread lies about this most singular marvel of Mankind's ingenuity. The jaded anti-monorail views of the musical theater community will find no quarter with me!
Dear Dr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,
It was with great interest that I read your recent reaffirmation of your stirring call for Iran to join the elite group of nations who embrace that most significant and world-changing invention wrought by Man's ingenuity: the Monorail.
When you became Mayor of Tehran you championed Monorailism over various polyrailistic heresies and the perniciousness of Arailism. While timid Luddites like Ali-Asghar Ardakanian of the Transport Engineering Society -- that sad little nest of errant orthodoxy! -- were disparaging the Iranian people by saying that they did not have the advanced knowledge necessary to operate and maintain a system of Monorails, you proudly proclaimed that Iran had within her the strength of will to gain that knowledge. If you, born to a family of lowly blacksmiths mindlessly hammering away at the wheel-hubs of paleotransportation, could uplift yourself to Monorail Consciousness by becoming a doctor of Transport Engineering, then surely the Iranian people could similarly be uplifted into the Ultramodern World of the Monorail!
Unlike your mayoral predecessor Shahrestani, who 30 years ago succumbed to the cramped negativity of the so-called "experts" and gave up his dream of a monorailed Tehran, you boldly denounced those who opposed that dream as being engaged in "political and press games" and vowed to "continue to implement this modern project in cooperation with the private sector". And implement it you did!
This singular boldness that is the defining trait of we Monorailists was undoubtedly the key to your winning the Presidency of Iran, and with it a popular mandate to expand the Iranian Monorail System from its humble beginnings running between the Mehrabad International Airport and Sadeghieh Square to an all-encompassing railwork binding together Iran in the concrete embrace of the Future.
But your lack of focus on the crucial monorail issue in your term as President has clearly hurt you, leading to the embarrassing rebuke in the polls that you suffered on Friday. Your administration has gone off the rail, squandering its mandate to Monorailize on unfruitful confrontations with the West. A change is unavoidable if there is any hope of seeing Iran's Monorail Destiny fulfilled.
The reaffirmation of your core principle was a good start, but you need to do more than just talk -- you need to take decisive action: Work to free the Tehran Monorail from the malaise of the current mayorship, which has seen it fall into a state of disuse. Nationalize it if you must, but by all means the monorail must run! Divert research efforts from mere nuclear energy to nuclear-powered maglev monorails. Take the cause of Monorailism to the streets and let those poor ground-traveling souls know that there is a higher form of transport that they could be experiencing. All these things and more are within your power if only you would will them.
Finally, tilt less at the windmills of Zionism and instead rally your people against the real shared threat to our world today: The Global Automobilist Conspiracy. I am certain that they are the ones behind the recent suspicious maglev accidents as well as the troubles with my own beloved Seattle Monorail. (FACT: nearly all of those responsible for tabulating the ballot measure in 2005 that doomed the Seattle Monorail Project were known Automotorists. As brutal dictator and automobile manufacturer Joseph Stalin once said: "It's not the people who vote that count. It's the people who count the votes.") Don't let Iran come under their smoggy sway.
It shames me to admit that we in the West have been embarrassingly slow to adopt the Monorail as our native mode of transportation. This is your chance to put Iran in the forefront of the Monorailist Revolution, and thereby spur a global race to monorailize all nations. Let us not bicker away our energies on zero-sum confrontations, but instead unite ourselves in mutually embettering competition to see who can build the fastest, the longest, the most transcendent monorails that have ever graced our planet. We welcome the challenge with all the good sportsmanship that befits this most civilized form of transport.
However, beyond mere rivalry, I firmly believe that the Monorail will bring Humanity closer together. Whether Western or Eastern, Muslim or Jew, Palestinian or Israeli, Electromagneticist or Permanent-Magneticist, when we ride on the monorail we are all of us on the same track heading together toward Unity.
With sincerest regards,
UPDATE: Ahmadinejad Boldly Responds
"I want to talk to him about getting rid of our freeways, because they're no good. We have to have monorail systems," Bradbury said, adding that he'd be happy to have a station named after him.
While the City of Angels lives up to its name with Citizen Seraphim such as Bradbury boldly asserting an Empyreal Vision of Monorailtopia, we in Seattle have devilish traitors seeking to undo our Great Works: Peter Sherwin and Patrick Kylen, once supporters of monorail sanity, have gone off their rail and are now campaigning for a Streetcar named Disaster. They actually want to shut down the Seattle Monorail -- that Beacon of Hope glinting chromatic above a dourly gray sea of asphalt and exhaust fumes -- and replace it with mere cable-cars like the ones with which our forefathers suffered!
To go from a Monorailfaring People to debased cablecar jockeys is an unacceptable de-evolution. Should we not just leave our cities en masse and crawl back into the sea from whence we came? I, for one, adamantly reject a return to our benthic roots that this "streetcar" talk represents! Why should we meander the streets like the common whelk, insentient to our fate as we creep along on our own effluence, when we can soar transcendent through the skyline like the Angelic Beings we are destined to be?
Fortunately, their misbegotten plan to scrap our only Salvation to save a few bucks is already a non-starter. Even as you read this, the diligent leaders of the Seattle Monorail Services are burning the midnight oil to select recognized Monorail Experts from the finest of the Technical Class, who will look into the entirely abnormal and not-a-little-bit-suspicious problems that have lately been befalling the Seattle Monorail to find a solution -- or culprit -- before the commencement of the Bumpershoot Festival.
What caused the stalls? Why wasn't power being drawn by the Blue Train? Could some surreptitiously placed metallic debris have shorted the circuit before power reached the train? Electro-sabotage by metal shoe, as it were? I think arch-antimonorailist and pneumatic blowhard, Mr. Zapato, with his stockpiles of crumpled up tinfoil, has some explaining to do -- and since I currently have no means to go anywhere, I'll be sitting at my computer awaiting his response.
Little Lulu can once again ride the Monorail!
I am sorry to be a day late in delivering the wondrous news of the Seattle Monorail's reopening, but I spent all day yesterday traversing the line from the Seattle Center to Westlake Mall and back again, and again, and yet again.
Oh, the thrill of whooshing high above the din of Seattle's streets! Oh, the romance, the luxury, the civility of Monorail travel! Oh, to at last be able to leave my apartment! The day I have longed for since November had finally arrived and I was determined to absorb every transcendent moment of it!
I was, of course, not alone. One is never alone on the Monorail, even if the train is empty of passengers; for you see, the Monorail carries the hopes and dreams of all of Humanity, rested comfortably in her cushioned vinyl bench seats. But yesterday in particular I was joined by throngs of tourists, Seattleites, and dignitaries from near and far. Even that twisted, Grinch-like scoundrel Mayor Nickels, who opposed the Monorail Project with dirty tricks, could not help but pay homage -- perhaps his heart even grew a size or two during his ride.
One passenger in particular warmed the hearts of all who met her. Little monorail enthusiast Lulu Schoef, aged 3, has been waiting anxiously ever since that suspicious accident stole from her the gift of Monorail Ridership. Every day she would ask her father, "Daddy, when will I see the Monorail again?" -- her large, plaintive eyes yet filled with hope. To which her father could only patiently assure her, "Soon, little Lulu. Soon."
After nine long months, which must have seemed like eons to little Lulu, her day -- our day -- finally arrived, and as we boarded, like me she basked in the exuberant joy that is the Monorail. "We're back in business!" declared triumphal Monorail Pilot Tuan Le, once again at the helm, as he guided our glistening monorail coach out of the station and down its singular rail toward our -- and Humanity's -- future.
As I mentioned many times to my fellow monorail travelers that day: I believe that Monorails are our future, and that the children have an important role to play in bringing that future to fruition. It is vital that we instill in the next generation a love of Monorailism and a yearning to extend the Monorail's reach over the horizon, literally and metaphorically. While I myself do not yet have children in which to instill these values -- although that could soon change if the Singles Monorail Cruise I am organizing proves a success -- seeing the glimmer of monorail-wonder in the eyes of little Lulu brings me hope that our future -- our destiny -- is assured.
Enough of these vacuous tubes and flying hypertriangles! These are not the stuff of transportation dreams, but of nightmares. Let us awaken ourselves from this fitful slumber to once again face the Sunrise of the Future, whose singular beam is the Monorail!
To help this awakening -- and as prelude to the imminent reawakening of the Seattle Monorail, which will finally allow me to leave this cursed apartment! -- I am introducing a new educational series, much needed on this woefully monorail-ignorant blog, wherein I will highlight the most notable, the most innovative, the most transcendental, monorails mankind has yet produced. I call it:
Oh, majestic monorails! To what heights you send the souls of mankind soaring! But there is one among you which soars souls beyond all others -- physically and spiritually.
Floating above a sea of clouds on Emei Shan -- one of the four sacred Buddhist mountains of China -- a tranquil monorail line ferries Buddhist pilgrims and tourists of assorted creeds from the monastery at Jin Ding (Golden Summit) to the temple at Wànfó Ding (Ten-Thousand-Buddhas Summit) and back. For a meager 50 yuan, visitors partake in a perfect Union of Enlightenment and Elevationment as the monorail makes its 20-minute round-trip through ancient forests shrouded in mist and mysticism.
While a modest monorail by most measures -- the track is a mere 2100m long by 40cm wide, and the total length of the train is less than 15m -- one statistic causes it to stand proud among the Global Host of Monorailkind: its elevation as it pulls into the Ten-Thousand-Buddhas station is 3099m above the sea, making the Mt. Emei line the World's Highest Monorail!
The Chinese government opened the line in 1998 as a replacement for the now-off-limits footpath to Wànfó Ding. At first, those sensitive to the ways of chi were skeptical of the monorail: would this mechanical contrivance interrupt Nature's balance? But where once careless pilgrims tread, monorail pillars were planted... and the trail rebounded in plant life!
In fact, environmental impact monitoring missions conducted by the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) and the World Conservation Union (IUCN) have shown how the Monorail is at One with Nature -- a positive environmental impact so pronounced that a monorail solution was recommended to the Peruvian authorities for use at Machu Picchu. Soon all World Heritage sites will be reachable only by the environmentally friendly comforts of our World's most important Heritage: Monorails!
Alas, all is not Monorail Nirvana on Emei Shan. One must still reach the Jin Ding station via archaic cable-cars. And for those who choose to forego those dangly debased modes of transport and hike to the station, packs of wild macaques terrorize the mountain trails, mugging passers-by under threat of tooth and claw! If only the monorail line stretched all the way to Mt. Emei's base her visitors would avoid this simian predation.
But is this brazen monkey malevolence the product of reinforcement through centuries of hand-outs or something more? Perhaps these armies of marauding macaques are messengers guided by the spirit of Nala, chief architect to the monkey king Hanuman (known in China as Sun Wukong), to encourage the further adoption of his greatest engineering triumph.
To the Chinese Government, I can only say: listen to the fierce wisdom of the monkeys and extend the Emei Shan monorail!
In a Los Angeles Times editorial, Ray Bradbury -- author, futurist -- calls for an end to the City of Angel's disastrous love affair with freeways, subways, and other misbegotten ways. His solution to all of L.A.'s traffic woes: The Monorail!
Ever since he was thrown out of a 1963 L.A. County Board of Supervisors meeting for daring to voice the dream of Elevationment aloud in the presence of benighted automotorists and boring subwaymen, Bradbury has championed the singular vision of a singular rail that will lift Angelenos above the smog of decadence that has sooted their souls for so long.
At that 1963 meeting, M wasn't for Monorail, but Missed Opportunity. Alweg Monorail Company offered to build a monorail system at no charge. A free monorail! And yet the Board rejected the offer, choosing instead to side with the special interests of car peddlers and third-rail salesmen. Oh, what could have been! Oh, what could still be! While the Monorail was cravenly spurned in the past, Bradbury predicts that something monorailular this way comes:
The freeway is the past, the monorail is our future, above and beyond.
Above and beyond indeed! Society must rise above future-disrupting traffic and replace its thunderous din with a sound of woosh. In a previous interview, Bradbury sings a city elevated, comprised of not one, but ten monorail systems that will engirth L.A. in machineries of joy, bringing about the downfall of automotive tyranny: "We're talking about eliminating cars here." But will Los Angeles join in Bradbury's vision? When the Monorail Chronicles are written, will the current generation of Angelenos be counted among those who dared embraced Humanity's Monorailular Progress?
EXTRA! More exciting monorail news from India:
According to the Ramayana, around 1.75 million years ago a bridge was built from mainland India across the sea to Sri Lanka. This feat of engineering was accomplished by the vanara architect Nala with the help of an army of monkeys, chief among them Hanuman, so that Lord Rama, prince of Ayodhya and avatar of Krishna, could save his wife, Sita, from the clutches of the island's dastardly, ten-mustachioed demon-ruler, Ravana.
While conventional Indologists theorize that this bridge was merely a walking path, I am certain that careful reading of the epic shows that the bridge was in fact India's first monorail line -- perhaps the grandest the world has ever witnessed.
NASA satellites have documented the bridge's remains: a chain of shoals of unnatural formation -- variably called Rama's Bridge, Nala's Bridge, or, in the West, Adam's Bridge. However, there is an interesting discrepancy; while these limestone shoals sit securely on the sea floor, tradition describes the bridge being made of "floating stones". Some scholars wildly infer that the shoals must have been formed later with the sinking of the presumably buoyant stones, but offer no mechanism for this transformation. They are like blind men unable to identify an elephant by its dissimilar parts. A true synthesis comes only with the realization that the shoals and the "floating stones" represent two different aspects of the same structure -- pillar footings and an elevated monorail track.
Consider the Monorail, with its track gliding through the air like a gentle breeze solidified, held aloft on slender pillars that hardly inconvenience the ground below. Is there any better description for this graceful, elevated state than to say the track is floating? I think not. Clearly, the chroniclers of India's history, faced with the awe-inspiring splendor of that majestic monorail stretching insouciantly Ceylonward, could not have described the rock that made up its track any other way than as "floating stones".
Read the epic with eyes open to the monorailistic possibilities and more details come into focus. Behold Nala's Monorail floating over the sea on pillars made of whole trees, some of them still bearing blossoms, uprooted by the monkey army and planted on shoals newly formed with elephant-sized boulders torn from the mountains by the most powerful of the vanara and plunged into waters tumulted with their alacritous monkey business. Five days! Five days was all it took the army of monkeys -- heroes all -- to build 30 miles of monorail track. Oh! If only Seattle had such a bold visionary as Nala!
(Some skeptics -- no doubt fearful of the coming Monorail Awakening and the massive social transformation it will bring -- will desperately protest that the bridge, described as being 10 yojanas or 80 miles wide, could not have been a monorail. But the same sources claim it was 100 yojanas or 800 miles long when we know the crossing to be only 30 miles. Obviously, exuberance for such an exalted structure has led to an exaggeration of the measurements over time. Do not attempt to explain away the reality of ancient Indian monorail technology with these untrustworthy figures!)
After the monorail line was built, Rama and his younger brother Lakshmana are said to have rode across it on the backs of Hanuman and Angada. As Sugriva, King of the Vanara, tells Rama: "These monkeys can hold both of you while flying in the sky." A clear reference to the elevated nature of the bridge, to be sure, but what are we to make of this? Was this a monorail track without monorail cars? Was it merely an elevated path for monkey porters? No.
We know from the epic that the vanara employed "mechanical contrivances" or "engines" to transport the largest boulders to the sea, so they had the technology to produce a monorail car. As Hanuman and Angada were instrumental in the endeavor to reach Ravana, what better tribute than to name the newly crafted monorail cars in their honor. Thus Rama rode in the foremost monorail car Hanuman, not on its monkey namesake -- a distinction that become understandably confused over time. Mind you, this doesn't lessen Hanuman's bhakti, for he did much in the service of Rama, but I think Rama would find traveling in the sublime, transcendental luxury that only a monorail can provide more befitting of him than riding on the back of a monkey, no matter how loyal and noble the monkey may be.
Having established the antiquity of monorail technology in India, I say: Let Mr. Zapato continue his tired tirades against the Monorail! Let him try to lead the good people of India away from their deserved place among the Monorailized Nations of the World! He will fail -- he already has failed! For you see, the Monorail is the warp woven through the very fabric of Indian culture; an intrinsic part of her national heritage, though today only dimly remembered. India is the homeland of Monorailism and the cycle of history shall be completed with the Monorail's rebirth in Chennai.
Lastly, an interesting note: Lava, the name of the Malaysian consulting firm behind the Chennai monorail deal, is also the name of one of Rama's two sons, both reunited with Rama after being born to Sita in monastic banishment. How fitting that a company bearing the name of one who would not have been conceived had it not been for Nala's monorailular ingenuity should be helping to return the Monorail to her ancestral home, reuniting the Past with the Future.
Copyright © 2004-2014 Lyle Zapato & ZPi
unless otherwise noted or implied.
Monomaniacal monorail proponent. He just goes on and on and on about monorails. Lives near Seattle monorail station. Refuses to travel anywhere unless it is connected by monorail. Has not been beyond downtown Seattle since early 1990s.