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Taking Stock
Reshuffling of shelves
By Rizwan Ullah

Rizwan UllahThe poor must thank the media for recently showing and proving without an iota of doubt that laddoos are abundantly available in the country to be tossed about and to be pushed into any willing mouth yawning childishly. Now those who cannot afford chapatis may opt for laddoos. It reminds me of that ominous event in French history when people had plenty of cakes but no breads to eat so they were advised to do with what was available. It led to a chain of violent events which changed the history of the country. Here the only pity is that the unfortunate ones who did not have the patience to wait till the time the abundance of laddoos arrived and to the hasty action of committing suicide all alone or collecting with the whole family for the simple reason that they could no longer bear the harshness of hunger. The more I think the more puzzled I am about why ominous thoughts storm at while auspicious events happen. For instance the present description of laddoo tossing. Incidentally, it is not confirmed whether they were sugar free and sweetener sweetened and also free from cholesterol like sticking contents, It also reminds me that the jubilant company was made up of more or less the same people, men and women, piling upon one another unhesitatingly to celebrate the demolition of an old mosque and the vile history did not fail to preserve the event in its archives for all time to come.

However, the event was sober and it had kept many eagerly waiting for a considerably long time. It was the occasion when old wines were changed from one bottle into another. Some of the effervescing bottles were recapped to save and secure the bubbling sprit to be used later at places other than Gujarat. Labels of some bottles were simply changed. Some bottles were emptied as their unconsumable contents were stale and stinking and also unnecessarily occupying already shrinking space at the shelf. There were some empty bottles as well at the shelf waiting for the suitable content to be filled into. There were some bottles already filled waiting for the bartender to affix suitable labels but he was busy preparing cocktails of somewhat hard mixing ingredients. Of course, media had a mega show of scintillating Bollywood presentations placed aptly and promptly.

In fact there was nothing unusual about the rehearsing or rearranging or even discarding some of the expendable households. What was unusual was the hurry in doing this exercise while the Dipawali is for Delhites just a few probable showers away. The whole exercise could have been side tracked until the monsoon gibberish, the ideal time for exchanging great experiences in the course of free summer vacationing in cooler climes, was over.

Even otherwise it would have been a great time of jubilation for successful rocket launchings. But there were certain matters hanging fire for quite some time, the most urgent the infrequent democratic rituals also in the state of Jammu and Kashmir followed by similar exercises in some other states and also providing some relief and relaxation for the forces in a state of perpetual alert occupying miles and miles of farmland depriving the farmers of the rabi prospects.

However, the real problems are those of the Kashmiri people known for their piquant traits and fussiness who take ages and generations to utter yes or no in answering the simplest question of to be or not to be. They already had a lot of heckling over accommodating on central shelf a hefty bottle of soft drinks offered by Kashmir for the benefit of those who prefer to avoid hard drinks in public. Even otherwise it was seen an auspicious time for successions from Srinagar to Delhi. Incidentally, even the queen of the oldest democratic country took this opportune time to celebrate the golden jubilee of her crowning by riding in hundred percent gold chariot.

In Kashmir it seems that the Dal of their patience is drying up with slowing trickle of seasonal tourists scared away by the mindless travel guidelines issued by their governments advisory agencies. Some of them say that Dipawali is meaningless for them as the evergreen thalis of kanwal with rosy glow of the flame was in eternal wait for offering arti to whosoever comes but only to wither at last and the glow dead. They also argue that crackers that are indispensable part of Dipawali, were cracking incessantly though at times in an unbearably high decible even causing causalities. The women folk say that they were observing Dipawali perpetually and lit up thousands of candles every evening in rememberance of their loved ones who had lost their lives for undefined causes or at the hands of unidentified assassins.

As I said, there is some sort of irony in the nature of things. Almost at the time of the reshuffling of the shelves celebration the election commission threw the spanner in the works. In accordance with the courts orders it issued the instructions that all future aspirants for riding a political buggy must have thoroughly washed their hands and no spot of earlier splashes should be visible on their sleeves. Thus the launders of all description must have good time and the number of genuine hopefuls may increase. Anyway, there is still enough time for present incumbents to mould the situation to their likings.

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