Stomach Vision !

Metaphors occupy my thoughts these days. Its almost becoming an obsession. Looking at any object and thinking up a connection is having a soothing impact. (Well, in the silence of my own self, affording a laugh at best and a smirk at worst ! )

Strange things are happening to the world you see and there are first steps to everything. My approaching delirium included. ( Read more about delirium here. Incase any of you wants to check…No. Not a self check. Of course not..! Someone you know…!)

Anyway, in this current state of mind, I looked at this picture and recall a Bangalore evening. And methinks of sharing my thought & checking out my delirium quotient !!

Just outside the Cosmopolitan Mall in Bangalore, they had this giant ‘puppet’ that walked the entrances when we were there, a couple of years back. I am told that they did this to sustain interest from shoppers and increase foot falls !

Entertaining children and therefore relieving parents! The young impressionable minds saw this ‘larger than life’ colorful & powerful object that moved around and resembled a human form, with, to put it mildly, a certain degree of large awe and some joy.

So, they clapped aloud. Smiled. Laughed aloud. And kept standing wide eyed at the sight of this large wooden lady that went from one end to another.

Some children ventured near ‘her’ and ‘she’ would come close or go farther away, and children obviously would go ga-ga, that this huge figure was after all responding to them and their moves !

It was an interesting exchange of sorts! Between children of all hue and the puppet.

Parents stood by the side. Fully aware that the puppet was moved around by a small man with stilt legs standing inside ! Moved around, powered by the eyes in the tummy

Yes..those peep holes in the tummy of the puppet which were the see-holes through which the small man inside was using to move around with.

Seeing the world & those children. Their laughter and their moves et al. And making his moves, while we stood there and let the children have all the fun !!

So there was a

a. Wooden but very colourful structure
b. Seemed larger than life
c. Was actually a small, ordinary person inside
d. Attracted and plays with / to impressionable minds
e. Had stomach vision..( saw all activities through an eye in the stomach…)

Without a tilt of a head or a shake of a finger i shout : politicians of the world !!

But as i said, i concede, mine is a mind that is beginning to indicate onset of progressive delirium. At least that’s what i make of the look people give me these days. So, do let me know, how close or how far away i am.

From delirium that is !

Straight from the floor

So there is this gent who hurled a slipper at you know who. At first i thought of this to be one whole publicity stunt.

The cynical skeptic in me thought so. It could have been the Iraqis angling for some publicity, i thought. Or perhaps Al Jazeera. Or perhaps GWB himself to showcase how deft he was in ducking at anything and everything thrown at him.

I wasnt aware of other implications of this until i read that the demand for such shoes had shot up ! And that Col. Gaddafi’s daughter awarded this bloke with a medal of courage. And there was another dude who gave this shoe hurler a Merc. And there was another who gave, yes you heard it right, his daughter in marriage !

I cant believe this. People all around me spend a lifetime, studying, earning and trying to be someone. And here comes a chap, who gets a medal, a Merc and a lady…and all has to do is get his shoes off. Come on, there has to be justice in the world.

This act has created new jobs in the country i am told. I don’t know what it has done to GWB. But it sure has done one thing to me.

I look more keenly at shoes ! You know…generally at the floor. So, now, i know who polishes footwear. Who doesn’t. How shoes are worn. And those holes in the socks. And those slippers that were worn by the dinosaurs’ first cousin…all of which meet my eye.

And when i see a size 10 shoe, i give the wearer a second look. And usually stay a good 5 feet away, and practice imaginary ducking. At other times i think that for a 10 door Merc, 10 million dollars in hard cash, a beautiful girl in marriage, and a medal of courage….i wonder if i should start practicing shoe hurling.

Perhaps just practice it…You know..practice..!

But…(Sigh)! Something stops me. I wonder where this inertia hails from. I am just not able to do this. And i have repeatedly given up. And each time i give up, i know that my best chance of strutting around in a Merc is gone !!

Never mind. Now that i cannot drive that 10 door Merc, here are other images from the floor. That i present to you, my esteemed reader.

One, a mop, that i presume was used to mop the reception bay at office. I would vote it as one of the most functional spellings of English language.

And the other, that i spotted at a temple. SMS language seeps all through. Right up to the foot too.

2 much ! eh !

And for other readers who still have a certain tentativeness about my intentions, have no fear. I wear size 9.

Dreams of my teacher !

After a long tired day, the bed was inviting enough for a short nap. The TV with some news was on.

But, I went in for a ‘power nap’. Where i tend to sleep like a log. For 15 minutes. Today, i have a dream. Perhaps it would be far more stately to say, ‘I too have a dream’.

And in it, is Ms. Rozario. A Nursery school teacher from my school days. There she is. Bright. Beautiful. And very much the ‘Anglo Indian Miss’ of the olden days. With a gown, cut hair and an Anglo-Indian accent. She waltzes as she sings nursery rhymes.

But surprise. Surprise. In front of her, today are Television reporters. Each with microphone, camera, OB vans and a placard saying ‘Breaking News’ held aloft. Permanently.

Today, all reporters like dutiful children sucking a TRP laden lollipop, sing rhymes. In good chorus.

They all sing.

Little Jack Horner sat in a corner,
Eating a Christmas pie;
He put in his thumb and pulled out a plum,
And said, “What a good boy am I!”


They stop. And the natural instinct for the reporters emerges. And out come the questions : “Who are you referring to ? Is it this the new Chief Minister ? What was this Christmas Pie ? Which corner was he sitting in ? Why do you call him ‘little’ ? Is Jack Horner his operative name… ?

Ms. Rozario, with all dismissive earnestness begins another nursery rhyme. All reporters with cameras rolling, are in tow. As she leads the group, they all sing.

I’m a little teapot
Short and stout
Here is my handle
Here is my spout

When I get all steamed up
Hear me shout:
Tip me over
and pour me out!

[Laughter]. [Applause].

‘Ma’am, ma’am’ they all shout, ‘is this Mr..’ I cant hear the name, for Ms. Rozario has already begun the next rhyme.

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again

‘Ma’am, is this about the other chap who quit blaming his conscience ? Or was it the chap who sent in his resignation, just in case….?’

The brave bold woman she is, she keeps on with it. ‘Quiet. Quiet’. She says.

With a wave of a hand and a dance of an expert, she continues with her rhyme ! Almost immediately, all reporters start singing rhymes into their microphone. Mesmarisingly easy. [She beats the Director General of the National Security Guard, hands down…]

They sing.

Baa, baa black sheep
Have you any wool
Yes sir, yes sir
Three bags full.

One for my master
And one for my dame
And one for the little boy
Who lives down the lane.

She stops. And commotion reigns supreme. Each reporter climbs over one another. Almost immediately i realise all channels are running ‘Breaking News’ scrolls !

“Ma’am, whats in those bags ? And three of them ? Who is the master ? And that little boy..and the dame…in that lane…? You surely are not referring to..?

I woke up at that exact moment. So. Who the reporters had in mind, i leave to my conjecture. I will have to leave it at that.

Customary Disclaimer : All characters in this dream are fictitious. Any resemblance to any character, alive or dead, in power or otherwise, are purely imaginary and coincidental.

Save, Ms. Rozario. And of course, the nursery rhymes.

Enough is Enough ?

These are new days. Of customary security checks, animated conversation and bristling anger at almost every thing / person in sight. The flavour of the season, that India has for breakfast, lunch and dinner goes by the name of ‘Politician’.

Unexposed to such groundswell animosity before, two kinds of responses from this clan, reach the eye. Complete silence ( I haven’t seen a Raj Thackeray sound byte). Or lunatic expressions. Like this. And this. And this. And this.

And the Naval Chief demurred about height.

And ah. The media. Much has been seen, said and written. Especially so about the brazenness of coverage and repeated visuals of blood and people dying replete with ‘ you saw it first in this channel’ sound bytes ! And i cringe.

Today there is a bloke who gets interviewed on TV. And he proclaims, ‘I want war with Pakistan’. The camera hovers around that large rimmed face. And continues to hover. And continues to hover. The gent continues his tirade. I have to take action and i switch channels.

Another channel shows how the Pakistani media is reporting all of this as a Zionist game plan. I am not sure of any other point in time where Pakistani newspapers like this one have been read with such fervour.

Yet another TV channel has four gents in four squares of the screen. ‘New Delhi ‘says one box. ‘Islamabad’. ‘Mumbai’. ‘London’. Say the other three. And three gentlemen who make noise with the same frequency for as long as you care to watch, adorn each of the boxes.

It is apparent that in sheer anger and disbelief, a whole lot got said. But, its time to take stock. Control speed. And chart course. Enough is Enough has been repeated enough number of times, that you really think its all enough !

Its time to build bridges. Its time to put sense into peoples heads. Its time to spread reason. Campaign for change in policy. Spread awareness. Keep the restive anger and disappointment alive through thought provoking programing and engaging discussion. And , of course, realise that the best TRPs are not a function of non stop, high octane chatter !

At a personal level, messages urging you to light candles, keep a vigil, donate blood, pay homage to Maharashtrians / Keralites et al suddenly appear in your inbox. Urging you to prove your patriotism by forwarding it to as many people as your contact book would allow. Others quietly replace Maa Da Laadla Bigad Gaya with Vande Mataram as ring tones.

And the astrologers at work too. ‘Ratan Tata’s fortunes would turn next year.’ ‘Mumbai is going through a bad patch because numerologically…’Bombay’ is better than ‘Mumbai.” They say. And we read.

Elsewhere, at every hotel and office complex every cars under carriage, boot and the bonnet get inspected. Today, as i drive into a hotel, the security guard asks me to open the bonnet. I obey !

But curiosity gets the better of me. And i step outside the car and walk up to the guard and ask him what he is looking for. He smiles at me. And says ‘any suspicious looking object’. ‘And you expect it to find under the hood, amidst all those wires, oil spills and engine heat ?’, i ask. He has already moved on to the next car.

I wonder how many bonnets he would open and close today. And think if he manages to attach weights to the bonnet, he would have biceps to match Arnold Schwarzenegger!

Just then, someone else thrusts a mirror under the car, with the ostensible reasoning of examining the under carriage. And so, i ask him what he is looking for. A strange shrug escapes his shoulder. I think so. But, he doesn’t answer. With a mechanical sweep that would put an assembly line assembler to shame, he moves on.

I get back into the car and drive on. These are strange times.

….When mirrors get under the car more frequently than i would get myself in front of one.

….When you look at give a college kid with a Versace T Shirt a second glance. A suspicious second glance.

….And of course, when i and many others take the effort to clean the insides of the boot and the bonnet too.

And every time i do so, i seem to be saying to myself with the emphatic emphasis of the average TV news anchor : Enough is Enough !

I would more than gladly comply with the law and security checks. I just have a problem with doing something for the sake of doing it. We need security cover. Real cover. Not the symbolic variety. We need real journalists. Not the mike thrusting symbolic types.

And oh yes. Amidst all the blogs, interviews and other stuff crying for action, its time to go beyond this symbolic, loud murmur, and get real.

Enough is enough. Of armchair activism and keyboard rattle. Of random TV interviews and jingoistic jumble. Of hate blogs and rumor tweets.

Some where between all of these, lurks reason, pragmatism and constructive action.
And of that, enough can never be enough.