Saturday, May 18, 2024

Do not go gentle into that ‘dark’ night

What a fabulous start to the column. Thank you for all your support. Oh, and by support, I mean, that we did not receive a single letter or text about the column, and, as Cicero suggested on his second speaking tour to India, “In this country no news is actually good”.

Dear Hindu, reader …er ok that sounded wrong, Dear Hindu newspaper reader, my team has only one humble request to ensure the success and longevity of this column, (and by team, of course, I mean just me), and that is you pretend to read the column, without actually reading it. This ‘pretence’ radiates positive energy, and it is this quality of pretending that keeps, marriages, business partnerships, and even rock bands together.

Of course, if you are following my advice, there’s no need to write anything more. I could simply write the letter ‘I’, 400 times to conclude this sermon. Then again that would make it sound like a speech from the centre, and cause more confusion. And confusion is the enemy of a community hell-bent on pushing the noble pursuit of collective pretending.

So, let me now dive into it, and pour out what’s left of my heart. (Editors, note the humble writer is writing this column in very harsh conditions, also known as Mumbai). It is come to my knowledge, after three or four minutes of research, that Indian writers, champions of social injustice, and the only writing community worldwide that insists on wearing chappals, have spent hour upon hour championing the cause of the farmer, the villager, the tribal and the generally impoverished. Yet, no one sings a song for the ‘invisible’ community of India. This community, also known as the upwardly mobile taxpaying community, is distinguishable by a few characteristics. It follows rules and regulations. They stand patiently in line, and above all, they both have knowledge and procure various assorted hair products.

By the way, I’ve just been informed that, ‘distinguishable’, may not be a word, so I request you to make the appropriate correction, if by some small act of God, you are still reading this column. Coming back to the invisible community, they are the ones who mistakenly promote and follow the twin ideals of ‘civility’, and ‘decency’. They form a very minute faction, less than two percent , of the general population.

Let me give you some examples of their innocence and naivety. These are people who believe that in a one-way street, cars and bikes shouldn’t be allowed to enter from both ways. I know, how foolish is that? They are the ones, who, when a vendor asks for ‘chai’ ‘ paani’,they actually offer him both chai and paani to drink!

These people in public transport often offer their seats to the elderly and infirm. Even though the elderly age 20 years the moment they board a bus, train, or plane. And the infirm miraculously spring into action, the moment they’ve exited the said bus, train or plane. These guys stand in queues, open doors for others, and have been heard to utter the words ‘please’ and ‘thank you’.

Obviously, they are a blot on the rest of the Indian society, and appear almost medieval in their practices and customs. Now, they may be the shame of our modern-day society, but in today’s world where serial murderers have their own O.T.T. shows, surely their voices should be heard? There is data to show that in 50 years or so, this community may not even exist, along with the English language, certain food items, and parallel parking. (Yup, that’s right. They still have not figured double parking is very much legal in this country).

Now clearly this writer’s endeavour is to shine a light on this dwindling community, and thus not allow them to disappear gently into the dark night, or all the open crevices caused by the metro work. This will be his life’s work, and pretty much will guarantee him his ‘Padma Shri’ for which you all are cordially invited.

For now, I’ll continue to pretend to write, and promise me, you will continue to pretend to read.

The writer has dedicated his life to communism. Though only on weekends.

#gentle #dark #night

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