Post-poll pangs

I am writing this to inform you all, loyal readers, that I won’t be writing this week. There are many reasons for me to skip my regular column, some personal but mostly political. After all, only a couple of days has passed since the TN polls and scribes like me badly need a break. And you too from me, I guess.

The primary reason why I am not writing is ennui. I have for long contrived to use this term in my column. It sounds so scholarly and profound and lends me a literary aura, literally. That apart, the word translates into boredom or tedium. You can trust me because I did not consult Thangkabalu. The point is my mind has gone blank after close to two months of hectic poll mapping. I have emptied all words and what reigns is vacuum.

The overdose of politics has numbed thought. Now, how can I write if I am not thinking though it can be argued that most of what I write is anyway thoughtless, so why shirk now? Well, pre-poll there was this self-imposed professional duty as a self-styled calumnist, pardon, columnist. With the poll-wheels having come to a grinding halt, at least in TN, at least for now, can’t I take a strategic time-out and repair to the dugout to repair my mind? That I think is the write thing to do.

The pervert, but pervasive politics has seeped through every pore of my body and body politic. It has spared no relationship, no conversation and no social occasion, suffusing and infecting every walk of life. Indeed, TN, my habitat and so my concern, was a jungle of political animals, voter and the voted included, the din and dust mingling and tingling with incoherent voices and noises as from the Tower of Babel (another literary touch, if you care to notice. Now look it up in your hand-held for enlightenment).

So, when a friend happily told me he has finalised an alliance for his daughter, I blurted: With DMDK or MDMK? He Left (I mean the act of leaving, not the Commies) in dismay but not before suggesting I see a doctor. Thankfully, he didn’t hear me asking if he meant Dr Ramadoss. And when another buddy insisted that I join a party he was throwing that night, I sternly refused, quoting my professional integrity and neutrality. I want my sanity back, and so will have to show my back to writing, sorry!

All entertainment was gone too. The last movie I saw was Oviya-starrer 90ML, way before poll fever. Not for me the raging IPL either. Now I am not boasting that I was writing all this time but I was busy brooding all the time on what to write and often ended up writing things I never brooded on. Politics had infiltrated my system, if you get the drift. So, I am not writing, in order to de-politicise myself.

Split. That is another reason. The politics-induced conflicts were everywhere, in every unit of society. The individual became a split personality. For instance, my thoda thoda Hindi was inadequate to grasp the bombastic, ear-splitting baritone of Modi. And then I had to contend with the translation tantrums of Rahul’s speech. I had to choose between one I did not understand and another I was apt to misunderstand.

Families were split on party lines. Even good fences made for suspicious neighbours. Friends were divided, relatives were divided, colleagues were divided, journalists were divided and film stars were divided. But tragedy of tragedies, vile politics had divided  even WhatsApp groups.

Hot political wind divided breezy parks and the benches in them. Streets were divided, colonies were divided, a constituency was divided and society itself was divided. The scenario was maddening, so maddening that I have decided not to write this week, lift my eyes off the keyboard and see eye to eye with all the near, dear and around to whom I had turned a blind eye and deaf ear.

Politics has split Nature, too, to our jaundiced poll eyes. So, every Sun-rise was a thumbs-up for DMK though the hills on either side needed to be replaced by high-rises. The bloom of a Lotus in response to the sun rays is a divine boon to BJP. Of course, Nature’s law apart, political reality is that the Lotus can rise only if the Sun sets. Anyway, the EC ordered that all lotus ponds be covered up. A gesture of blessing as well as a cop hailing you to stop can both be the work of God’s / law’s Hand, for Cong.

The onset of mango season is nature heralding the advent of PMK. Two leaves is nature’s green signal to Edappadi and Co. Trees, coconut, banana and many other fruits and every flower, even cauliflower, and indeed, every unit of Nature’s bounty were spread all over the pollscape. I naturally need some fresh air and so I am not writing.

For that matter, many items of daily use donned the political paint as poll symbols. Someone filched the cutting plyer and plate stand. You can’t have water without putting your fingerprint on a glass tumbler or the jug. The well-connected TV and dish antenna had to part as two candidates took one apiece. Politics was always cooking in the kitchen too, what with the gas stove and gas cylinder going their own ways. A candidate ate the cake and so another could have only the oven. The computer was hacked and the calculator ran out of battery. The window, however, remained open. Balloon, bag, broomstick, bat, bangles and basket were all best buys.

Shining star Kamal was expected to throw some light but threw the torch itself. Someone hijacked the aeroplane (no, this is not about Rafale or Augusta). The nail cutter is gone and my fingers now resemble that of Dracula or whatever the devil that has long nails. Ironically, the notorious briefcase was not taboo, as the EC itself has approved it. Wonder how it had monitored wedding functions what with the ubiquitous gift pack getting gifted to the very gifted master of the poll game and RK Nagar ‘hero’, TTV.

My vehicle was once stopped and all the paraphernalia like camera, video camera, etc., used by the flying squad, were symbols of someone or the other. I was riled a bit and decided then and there that I will not write the week after polls, in protest.

For me, the ultimate tragedy was this: The ‘symbolic’ scourge followed me to the loo too. The bucket, the basin and the bowl, were all taken. Thankfully, no one was sitting on the commode. Bloody shit. I am not writing.

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Jawahar T R