E.R. RAMACHANDRAN writes: Ajji was doing pooje at the Tulasi katte on the last Saturday of the year.
I was sitting nearby, what with a double attack of seasonsal chill and the Thane cyclone taking Mysore’s temperature down like the famed Indian batting against Aussie pace attack.
“Ramoo, ee varsha mugeetha banthallo. Wonder what is in store for us next year.”
“Ajji, it will be just like every year. Nothing will change. Each new year only makes us all older by a year.”
“Alvo! Namma Software Savithramma was telling me that the world will end on 21 December 2012. She is planning to see all her relatives before that. She is also planning to visit Benares. I am sure she will sell all her shares before embarking on her trip.”
“Ajji! Some 5,000 years ago, the Mayan civilization had predicted that the world would end on 21 December 2012. Nobody knows how far it is true.”
“Well, 50 years ago our astrologers had predicted that the world would end in 1961 because eight major planets were all aligned in one line. They called it Ashta Graha Koota. Also, the year read the same even when it was read upside down.”
“What happened then?”
“Nothing much. It was busines as usual. We had some Chinese kaata after signing the Friendship Treaty which our prime minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru called ‘Hindi- Cheeni Bhai Bhai’. Cheeeni means sugar but it was a bitter experience like bevu. When they attacked us, our soldiers came running back. It seems they didn’t have proper bullets to shoot with. The defence ministry was apparently making lipsticks instead of bullets in its ordnance factories! I don’t know how far it was true but our soldiers did not have shoes to fight a war in ice and snow. But nothing seems to have changed 50 years later. I understand even now our policemen have bulletproof jackets as thick as happala.”
“That’s very true Ajji. By the way, how did it start Ajji, the Chinese war?”
“I don’t exactly remember. Their goats came to eat grass on our side. When our soldiers objected the Chinese shot some of our soldiers. When there was a furore in Parliament, Nehru told members that Akshay Chin was a useless piece of land as not even a blade of grass grows there. It seems Acharya Kripalani asked the PM whether he should cut his head as he had become bald.”
“Ha ha ha. Olle saraku ittddiya neenu. Paravagilla!”
“But what is it that I see in Lok Sabha now? In the name of Lokpal Bill, they are conducting a shouting match every day and night. Some MP came and tore a copy of the bill.”
“That was very shameful.”
“I thought he was going to eat the papers. There was one fellow who was shouting at the top of his voice. First I thought half a dozen members were speaking simultaneously. Then I realized it belonged to the minister, Narayanaswamy! A.R. Rahman can use him for chorus songs in Tamil films and save money.”
“Ajji, what do you think will happen in Karnataka?”
“I think they have started Yadavi kalaha. They will all kill each other. Everybody is stabbing one another in the back.”
“What will happen at the Centre, Ajji?”
“Saaku nilliso Ramoo, I am not Kodi matada swami to make predictions! Our politics will hit new low. But it does not matter at all.”
“Does not matter? Why Ajji?”
“It is far better if the world ends in December 2012. We don’t have to read about daily processions of our ministers to Parappana Agrahara jail; dynasty politics in the name of democracy; clerks and officials who become crooks to loot crores of illegal money; illegal money converted into diamond kirita for Tirupati Thimmappa. Isn’t it better the whole thing ends just like that?”
“Nija, Ajji. Noorakke nooru nija,” I agreed.