Santa, Banta & Bihar!
It’s been a horrendous year, ending with the Paris tragedy — and so, this Diwali, while firecrackers lit up the sky (ours, not Pakistan’s), I wished for the following things:
1. Being Sikhular
That Santa Singh and his buddy Banta retain their hallowed space on the Internet. No Sikh I know is happy about the possibility of this mindless ban on harmless Sardarji jokes. Petitioned by a single lawyer because her sanctimonious son felt insulted, this hilariously dim witted duo could well become extinct, if the Supreme Court so decides. Santa Singh is more popular in many parts of our world than Santa Claus. What present in a stocking can ever match this priceless gift from the Santa-Banta joke book:
Why do Sardees smile when there is lightning?
They think they’re being photographed
2. Can’t Tolerate Intolerance
I’m losing tolerance levels about intolerance. It’s this new buzzword on everyone’s lips.
My dhobi, asks me two questions this morning:
“Saab, Diwali bakshish?” and “Saab, yeh intolerance kya hota hai?”
Even Anupam Kher went on some hare-brain March for India. Enough already.
3. Media Watch It
Dear reporter/journalist/TV anchor, no more seeking soundbytes from the hardliner loudmouths — the ‘five minutes of fame’ fanatics. I don’t want to hear one more mantri call another a dog. It takes up valuable newsprint. And it’s now just getting annoying. There’s so much else to think about — farmer suicides, the additional 0.5 per cent service tax for Swacch Bharat.
4. Bihar Bashing
I’m overjoyed that the Bhajpa got hammered in Bihar. Not because I’m a foe of NaMo or a particular fan of Nitish (and the Nehru family isn’t a favourite either). I’m just done with empty talk accompanied by extreme arrogance. I’m done with the venality and vitriol that now pervades the Indian atmosphere. I’ve had it with bluster that results in a bare cupboard. Gag the clever slogans and get down to some real governance. Guys, it wasn’t a tie break or a hung Parliament in Bihar. It was a rout. And this is no Moody’s Analytics, that you can dismiss, this is the mood of a large section of the Hindi belt. Crackers may be going off in Pakistan, but right now you guys are a burnt sparkler in Patna. Bihar, is a big blow to the bastion (how’s that for alliteration?). Get off your high cow and deliver. Point is the last true dictator we had was effective. And again I wasn’t a follower. But she was decisive. Here I’m only hearing diktats and much band baaja at Wembley Stadium.
5. Terminate the Trolls
So British Airways misplaced Sachin Tendulakar’s bags. And asked for his full name and address. Predictably, the vicious gremlins appear out of virtual reality, tweeting unwarranted spleen. I wish for a special troll pesticide.
Okay, so I’m done venting. One more Santa PJ (poor joke) before I leave,
Santa’s girlfriend says to him, “When we get engaged will you give me a ring?”
“Sure”, Santa replies, “What’s your phone number?”
Rahul da Cunha is an adman, theatre director/playwright, photographer and traveller. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org