E.R. RAMACHANDRAN writes: Ajji was reading Vijaya Karnataka.
Suddenly, she flung the paper in disgust.
Her face, a seething crimson, resembled a cross between Vidhu Vinod Chopra at the press meet over Mooru Mutthaaalaru aka 3 Idiots, and Kumara Sangakkara at the Ferozshah Kotla grounds after being hit above you know what by a round missile.
“What’s the matter? The New Year has just started. More or less everybody has resolved to be good and nice in 2010. You have already broken your resolution in 10 days!” I asked.
“Yeno anyaya idu! The price of thogari bele (tur dal) is Rs 105 a kilo. ‘Super’ togari bele, the one without rubbish, is at Rs 109 a kilo. And nobody, just nobody, neither the ‘polticiansu’ nor the TV and paper peopleusu are raising hell over this. What is the matter with our country?” Ajji demanded to know.
She was as distraught as Angelo Mathews walking back to the pavilion after getting run out at 99.
“Ajji! In spite of the recession all over the world, our economist-turned-prime minister is happy our GDP has grown at 7% in the year gone by. Next year he feels we will bounce back to our regular 9% growth rate. That is what our President Pratibha Patil also said sometime back.”
“Some years back, Vajpayee government almost got thrown out because they couldn’t control the price of onions. Earlier, whenever the price of rice or wheat went up, Mrinal Gore would descend on the streets of Bombay and bang the thali as a mark of protest. The admiring public called her ‘Thaliwali’ because she fought for them. What would our Rashtrapatiji know about the thogari bele or its price? She doesn’t buy these things and cook any more as she is busy flying Sukhois and cruising in Navy fleets.”
“Ajji! She is showing what a woman of her age can do.”
“I salute her. But who is raising a voice against price rise? ‘Polticiansu’ are busy with Telangana fasts. Where is the BJP these days? I haven’t seen them for ages except when they fight among themselves which is promptly shown on TV. Are there Leftists left in our country any more or have they all fled to China? As far as TV is concerned, all of them without exception are busy with Ruchika’s molestation as if it happened yesterday! Sure, you must catch and punish the guilty, but that is not going to happen because you show it over and over again after 19 years! Allow courts to do their job.”
“The TV networks are just making sure the issue remains in the public eye.”
“I am all for catching and punishing the guilty kano. But tell me, who is going to protect us from chain-snatchers and terrorists etc?’ Ajji suddenly changed the topic.
“As if you don’t know that? It’s the police!”
“I too thought like that! But aren’t they busy attending New Year parties thrown by underworld netas! Police are dancing to the tunes of bhai log! What is happening, Rama Rama? Beli-ne yeddu hola maithya-idiyallo!!”
“Ajji! That happened in Bombay. We don’t have to worry about it.”
“Why not? Wasn’t Bombay the place the terrorists bombed the hotels, shot people in the railway station and the pub just a year back? If the police are doing tango with the ‘bhais’ some of whom are friends with terrorists, what is our national security coming to? No wonder, nobody saw Headley come in and go all over the country, attend Bollywood parties while planning the Bombay siege. You know what that means..?”
“Namma deshana Shivane kapadbeku antha ankondidde. Eega anisutthe, avangu swalpa kashtaane!! Even God can’t save us at this rate.”