My mid-summer daydreams

Where the mind is full of fear and frustration and the head is bowed in shameful impotence, where knoweledge is irrational and words issue forth from the depths of untruth, into that hell let’s all awake!

To twist thus Tagore’s immortal poetry and script it to suit current polity is a heady temptation. But those who know the original poem by heart from their school days and even the ones who skipped the English class owing to a grandmother’s death, must read it afresh to realise that Tagore was only day-dreaming. Clear streams of reason … ever-widening thought and action…how off the mark, the bearded oracle was! Lofty verses gone adverse! But none can deny that the great man touched bliss! So, why not we too, the not-so-great common folk of India that is Barath emulate him to reach cloud nine, wherever it is? By day-dreaming, that is, with our eyes wide open and yet shutting out reality? Here we go:

President Kalam, who often exhorts Indians to dream and dream really big, today rejected the clemency petition of Afzal Guru, after sitting and squatting over it for nearly nine months. The mastermind behind the murderous attack on Parliament will now hang to death, provided the rope does not snap! And lo, human rights activists of every hue and the secular media welcomed the move en masse and even hailed the Prez for his tough stand on terrorism as also for upholding law and justice!

PM Manmohan Singh, who has been holding the ‘office of pain’ at the pleasure of the President, the Congress president, that is, today decided enough is enough and quit. The pain has been localised to the area around the spine and backbone, which according to doctors, have been stretched and strained no end owing to three years of constant bending and bowing, often to the point of breaking. To suggestions that he become President, lest he loses touch, Manmohan said a hurried ‘no’ and added that he would write an autobiographical memoir instead, titled ‘Confessions of a puppet’.

Sonia Antonio Maino , and, aah yes, Gandhi, resigned from Parliament, after listening to the true inner voice alias conscience, prompted by self-respecting ‘indians’, not the usual dubbed voice dictated by passions of power. According to sources close and not so close to 10, Janpath, this time around the sacrifice is for real and she would not become an MP again unlike the earlier episodes of ‘renounce first, relent later’! The media that turned up at her doorstep for the now familiar drama were dismayed to find not a single Congman sprawled or spread-eagled on Janpath. They walked back silently without footages and bytes. And no ‘news’ to break!

Q of Bofors fame, slipped into India last night the same way he slipped out some years ago. The CBI, was in the dark this time too, but to the nation’s surprise, Q walked into the nearest police station at 9 AM sharp to surrender and even offered to put the alleged kickback money along with interest @ 18% p.a from 1986 onwards in an escrow account till the case is settled. With the re-freezing of that money, the Bofors case has come out of the deep-freezer and it is learnt that with Q willing to spill the beans, carrots and all that he had swallowed, men, and women, in high places are likely to be interrogated and even nailed.

Human Resource Demolition minister Arjun Singh made a ‘U’ turn and announced that henceforth reservations, if any, would be based on true inadequacy and not merely on caste lines. Ruling out quotas for minorities, he reasoned that in India, every group is a minority in one way or another. Asked about his sudden change of heart, A.Singh said that the wisdom dawned on him suddenly when he met a family of six. One parent was FC and the other BC. One son remained Hindu, but did not know what ‘C’ he was, while the other three had converted to Islam, Christianity and Buddhism respectively. A confused Singh said he failed to figure out how quotas would work here. FM PC, after being stranded in a remote village in Orissa, starving without a square meal for more than two days and stepping around dead farmers en route to North Block, announced that his ministry would shift, lock, stock, barrel and files to the countryside to see and serve the real India.

Good news flowed from all sides. Parliament conducted its business for a full hour with nary a walkout or an adjournment. The MPs behaved and even debated issues, without soiling their opponents’ clothes or hurling abuses and mikes. Even the usually battered Leftist, Speaker Somnath Chatterjee was seen engrossed in lively chatter with BJP members to his ‘right’. DMK and AIADMK MPs, away from their leaders’ sights, smiled at one another in the Parli canteen. For a week now, not a single MP or a minister has been caught on a candid camera. No bomb blasts, either!

The dream run continued on several other fronts too. The Government and PSU staff decided never to strike work, thus putting union leaders out of work.The SC banned bandhs and no party called a bandh to protest the judgment. The Income Tax department unearthed black money several times the GDP in the course of routine searches in the premises of, not actors or small time businessmen, but politicos who were in power for at least one year during the last two decades. Super-liberal painter M.F.Hussein, for whom art is all about truth, whole truth, nothing but truth and naked truth, decided to stretch his artistic freedom to all religions. Team India defeated Burkina Faso in Cricket. And, incidentally, the Indian army crossed the LoC.

Down here in Dravidian dreamland, it was all milk and honey. With the Cauvery flowing and just enough rains in Chennai, water was no longer a pipe dream. Honest cops, polite auto drivers, smooth roads, clean walls, no posters, no cutouts, no statues, no surveys, no meetings, no felicitations, no processions, no puratchis, no slogans, no flattery … where have all the rationalists gone? Has the Rising Sun finally set; have the two leaves truly withered .. is all this real? …Bang, Bang!’ open up, you irrational dreamer’. Now, who’s that at my door? Azhagiri in action? How did he know? Have I dared to dream a bit too aloud?

Readers, please take over. Good day and sweet dreams.

e-mail the writer at [email protected]

Jawahar T R