We didn't start the fire (You've just stoked our ire)

Dear Reader,

I hope all is well this Sunday morning.

I’m happy that the Bengalis, the Malayalis and the Punjabis were able to celebrate Shubho Nobo Borsho, Vishu, and Baisakhi respectively without any incidents of violence.

Illustration/Amit Bandre
Illustration/Amit Bandre

Sorry, just being cynical.
But in the new India, secularism seems to have devolved into ‘wreck-ularism’.
Okay, confession time — I’ve always wanted to be a songwriter.
So am engaging in some plagiarising.
Only and only to seek your verdict on whether I can cut it as a songster.
Remember Billy Joel? For all you young Turks, he was one of those 80’s funky musicians, who merged protest and prose with equal aplomb.
You’ve heard of a song called ‘We Didn’t Start the Fire,?
Yes, I know all you oldies who frequent The Ghetto groove to it.
And you Jazz By The Bay karaoke addicts, sing it every Friday night,
All you netizens, now that Net Neutrality is in place, download the song for free.
Am so happy with the state of the nation, my heart is
bursting with hope and optimism.
Enough for me to write my first ‘gaana’.
Please be kind in your judgement.
Not for my views, but my verse
Remember, read these words to the tune of the Billy Joel anthem.
Here goes.

Rahul Gandhi was AWOL
Dr Singh’s embroiled in coal
Congress messed, Sonia stressed
Vadra in the dock

Scandals, scams, crores been burnt
Now the son and heir’s returned
Will he lead? Or finally pack?
The nation wants to know

Then we got the BJP
So much hope that we’ll be free
‘Acche din’, massive win
NaMo in the house

(Chorus)
We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world’s been turning
But you’ve stoked our ire
Inflamed passions higher
‘Make in India’ ‘Chai ke charcha’
‘Ghar wapasi’ is the mantra
Beef bans, Land plans
PM’s in another land

Beijing, to Montreal,
Seoul onto Tokyo
Get your visa to Vancouver
Modi says go-go

Churches ransacked, Mosques attacked
Hindu might. Voting rights,
‘Free the Net’, shows we can fight

(Chorus)
We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world’s been turning
But you’ve stoked our ire
Inflamed passions higher

Muscles flexed, Muslims vexed,
Police state, Conversiongate
What we read, what we eat
What we study, who we meet,
You decide

Vandalise
Defranchise,
Sterilise
Traumatise

(Chorus)
We didn’t start the fire
It’s always burning, since the world’s been turning
But you’ve stoked our ire
Inflamed passions higher
The consequences will be dire.

So yeah, that’s my song. I sense your judgement.
Not bad for a first attempt, huh?
Okay, maybe its not worthy of a Grammy.
But I am sending in my entry to hopefully win two awards: The Sakshi Maharaj award for Best Song in a foreign language and the Sadvi Deva Thakur award for Most Vitriolic Lyrics.
Wish me, dear reader, in advance.

Rahul da Cunha is an adman, theatre director/playwright, photographer and traveller. Reach him at rahuldacunha62 @gmail.com. The views expressed in this column are the individual’s and don’t represent those of the paper.

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