It’s quite astonishing how many misconceptions the average pappu-pinky-on-the-street has about stuff. And I count myself to be one such pappu-pinky
For example, the popular belief is that the Miss Universe and Miss World contests and the annual Kingfisher calendar exist because there are many amongst us who like to ogle at pretty women, preferably in minimal clothing.
The real reason – something that Donald Trump, Julia Morley and Vijay Mallya have known all along – is that every 10-second ogle of a woman in swimsuit saves upto 10,000 Ridley turtles, feeds one million starving children in wherever-it-is-they-are-starving and arrests the meltdown of at least one Antarctic iceberg. Also, the briefer the swimsuit (preferably a bikini), the more turtles saved, kiddies fed and icebergs re-frozen. And if the organisers would be so kind as to consider g-strings next year, it may even end the suicide bombings in Iraq, save Pakistan from blowing itself up to smithereens and smoke out Osama Bin Laden.
Which of course is the only reason why the hunt for next lot of Kingfisher calendar ladies will happen on a reality show on NDTV Goodtimes.
Similarly, like many of my fellow pappu-pinkys, I thought flood relief meant providing food, water, clothes and shelter; massive feat that first involved marshalling enough resources and then distributing them in a way to reach every one of the millions of flood victims. And that this would mean that the entire machinery of the state government would be working 24x7, under the constant, vigilant, watchful supervision of our ministers and MLA’s, the elected representatives of we the pappu-pinkies
The thing is, food packets and blankets and kanji-centres are all very well. But the most critical part of flood relief work is something else altogether, something that our ministers/MLAs have known all along. It involves one gaggle of ministers (also known as mine-isters) deciding bang in the middle of posing-next-to-the-kanji-cauldrons-for-the-cameras that this is the perfect time to settle unpaid, pending pounds of flesh with the Chief Minister. And before we can say “kanji-cauldron”, the aforementioned ministers with their faithful band of chela-MLA’s quickly rush off to temples/resorts and mutts of their choice. The government teeters and totters, everybody else drops their flood-relief photo-op kit and hotfoots back to base camp in Bengaluru and the entire state screeches to a horrified halt.
Naturally, the question that pops into the mind of the average pappu-pinky is – how will this help the flood victims?
Ah. We knew you’d ask this silly question but we understand - after all you’re just a ignorant pappu-pinky.
So, let us explain. You see, this masterstroke of flood-relief planning envisages that one of two things will happen. First that the flood victims, fed up of waiting for help to come their way, will go way and try and find their own means of staying alive, not to mention staying. Or that they will die.
Either way, the problem will be solved and the thousands of crores of money intended for this silly flood relief work will be saved and can be spent on buntings, bouquets, archways and kesari bhat for the next cabinet meeting. And we all live happily ever after.
Which leaves one more misconception that we need to cover.
And that is chastity belts.
Now, those pappu-pinkys having a smattering of knowledge of medieval history may think that chastity belts are iron er, ladies’ innerwear into which knights leaving for the crusades would strap in and lock their ladies into, to deter any infidelity that the ladies may consider indulging in during their absence.
Well, that may be so, but hundreds of years ago. Today, chastity belts are much roomier than ladies’ underwear. They are the resorts/hotels in secret locations into which politicians secrete their supporters. Not only because they, the supporters I mean, deserve a much-needed rest from posing next to flood-relief kanji cauldrons, though that too. But also so that, it will stave off any temptation to indulge in a bit of “infidelity” with politicians of the opposing camp, hoping to lure them over.
Every five years, they land up at our doorsteps, oily, obsequious and ingratiating, littering the neighbourhood with themselves and their lies.
Bent at the waist, they smile smiles that never reach their crocodile eyes, making promises that both of us know they will never fulfil. And thus, they bow and beg shamelessly for our votes.
And we, the eternal suckers, give it to them.
Shame on us.
(My Column in the Bangalore Mirror today)