Monday, May 2, 2011

So, masa? What is the moral of the story?

It is uncanny that last night we decided to watch Tere Bin Laden out of sheer lack of other activities to do. It is a nice film. Intelligently funny. I particularly loved some odd bits like the inability of the Khabri’s assistant to close the umbrella. So there is nothing uncanny in the film itself.

What is however is super uncanny is the fact that I got woken up, early in the morning, by my friends’ daughter with whom we watched the movie last night, to be told that Osama Bin Laden is dead. At first I thought they were joking. I mean the television people were joking. (My friends won’t wake me up to joke, I am sure about that). The friends daughter and I were convinced it is some another hoax and I decided to go back to sleep.

My disbelief however turned soon into annoyance as I opened my facebook page few hours later. Why are all these people reacting to Osama’s death? There is a non-muslim Indian, living somewhere in Africa who is saying Allh-hu-Akbar – Allah is Great. Americans are celebrating his death. Someone is saying this day will become an annual festival for them. Someone is asking what it would mean not to have Osama any more. Yet another is saying it is Twitter which first reported Osama’s death or some such like.

What amuses me is this frivolous social concern that so many people can quickly display through convenient social media. It is also reminding me of a facebook conversation that happened few days back. A popular Bangladeshi singer was organizing a protest against the insult and torture of the Bauls/Phakirs in the hands of the fundamentalist Muslims. They (the Mullahs) cut off the hair and beard of the Bauls saying they (the Balus) are dirty. Now this is not just a classic case of pot calling kettle black but also a classical picture of what organized religion can turn people into. Your own enemy. Soon they will have to cut off their own beard too. Because of lice and chemical reaction from bad hina dye. Anyway, the funny part of the story is that the singer who organized the protest had put out an invitation on facebook asking people to join in the protest. One guy wrote – I am busy and will not be able to come. Can we not instead do something on facebook? ! No, I wanted to write, you cannot organize a protest on facebook. That would not help the Bauls who do not speak English, are poor, have no access to internet and who are right now traumatized from the incident. Your government I am sure does not give a damn about what you are saying on facebook too much either. Besides Bangladesh is not Egypt.

So facebook is increasingly becoming as irritating as making small conversations at all parties in general and ex-pat parties in particular. How much of superficial, forced, frivolous, political awareness and social concern bullshit can you take? However, on a lighter note, Darjee Khandu, the Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh, our beautiful neighbourhood stat,e has been missing since Saturday. He set off on a helicopter from somewhere to somewhere and has been untraceable till today (today is Monday on earth, for the information of non-earthlings). The weather has been rough, very enjoyable on your open terrace but bad for search and rescue operations. In the meantime in Imphal, capital city of Manipur, another one of our neighbours, there has been no electricity for last four days. So when I called up a friend to talk shop, he promptly wanted to know news. When I told him they found Osama and killed him, he fell off the seat. He thought they found Osama, in the North-East, while looking for Darjee Khandu.

There is much I wanted to say about this. I mean about Darjee Khandu’s vanishing act. But already so many people are saying so many things about Osama that I have lost complete interest. However, to take full opportunity of this opportunity that Osama’s brother Obama (or are they the same? I hear when he won the elections couple of years back, people in Kolkata city buses were overheard saying – Osama jiteche!Osama Jiteche! – Osama has won, Osama has won!) has presented to us. How did Osama bother us? The difficulty in getting U.S visa after 9/11 is America’s doing. Not Osama’s. To suspect every South Asian and Middle Eastern as a terrorist is Amrica’s stupidity not Osama’s. And how does his death matter to us? Whether he was Pakistan’s presidential guest or hiding in the kitchen chimney all these years, we still had hundreds killed by Indian military in our own land. And will continue to do so. My only concern with America will be, are they coming for us too? After all we do have some oil and natural gas reserves here on my back yard.

On a serious political note, to rest all of those frenzied with Osama’s death, this is a hoax. Some idiot Pakistani (could be Indian) along with some not-so-bright American (isn’t that all of them?) has made this fake video. They have in the meantime made a lot of money and is still minting it out, while you stay glued to the TV for important details like whether it was a man or a woman who killed it (I hear, the Hijra population in Pakistand is sizable as well).

On our Darjee Khandu part, jokes are flying about cruelly as his family awaits his safe return with flower bouquets in their hands at the airport (they must change the flowers, otherwise they will smell). According to my brother who is a science fiction and supernaturals enthusiast – the Chinese have abducted Darjee Khandu. They will open his skull and insert some chips. This will be a simplistic procedure since there isn’t anything previously existing inside the skull. He then will be sent back to announce to India that Arunachal belongs to China. There will be no outwardly sign of this tiny insertion except that his eyes will flash brightly for a faction of second every second. Now that should not be much worry for any of us either unless you are of course one of those power company people who are planning to make those hundred and something dams in the North-East. In which case, better look out for bright flashing of the eye or in the sky. May all of you die in Pawan Hans (the helicopter service running in the North-East, famous for crashing people to death) helicopter crash while flying to or from the dam sites.