Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Voices in a Cafe

I have an acute horror of meeting the man who sat behind me for over an hour in a canteen . He enjoyed a leisurely meal and spoilt mine and exhausted by a long wait for a delayed flight, I never turned around to see his face or the meek companion to whom he was lecturing on India’s Great Traditions of Governance . He was sure that the concept of pseudo secularism was inspired by a certain foreign hand and supported by a handful of Delhi’s westernized and over educated elite . Together they had tried to block the Rising Majority and failed . And now the Majority would show them who was the Boss. His feral body odour wafted across from time to time as he leant back smugly in his chair after having made what to him was a particularly  indisputable point . For an entire one hour he talked in an impersonal nasal drone with his mouth full of saliva and food . I am unlikely to recognize him should we ever meet again , but I shall never forget that insufferable voice that punished the senses. I hope that someday when he lies helpless and paralysed, someone shall play back his own grating tones to him for a full hour .

First he spoke of a helpless rage all honest Indian voters like him had long felt . The anger , he said emanated first from the degradation of Age Old Indian Values of moral purity and was deepened by the sight of blatant encouragement being given under a Vote Bank Poltiks, to millions of illegal migrants . Already in several areas he said , this had diluted the numbers of Hindus and come elections, each time Appeasement of the Minority groups  became the norm . Last but not the least he added, as he slurped his way through the last bits of a large meal, he was hundred percent sure that all these defenders of minority groups and the Jhola Wallah NGOs that supported them, were together polluting the nation with the many evils of Western Culture such as feminism that gave women ideas above their station. With a burp he began to recount the relative stability of homes where old Indian virtues ruled and mothers were full time mothers and children respected the elders . Our Fathers must be real Men and have the courage, he said, to refuse to apologise to or appease any member of the family or their community . The socio political scene in the rest of the north was being suffocated , he said , because the government (whom he referred to as Delhi) and the academe had both been run for decades by left leaning soft pseudo secularists who treated any assertion of male authority and articulation of support for expanding businesses , mining ore and buying land cheap for setting up productive factories, as a sin . Fact was , the illiterate and the poor everywhere would be happy to sell their meager holdings and move away to the comfortable lives in cities , given a chance . But instead they were fed subsidized grain that made gas and petrol costlier for those who were creating wealth . Naturally they were running wild and raping women in cities . India’s upwardly mobile can not be suppressed anymore, nor the natural brilliance of upper castes so visible in our IIT and IIM graduates be denied . They it is he said, who are driving the Indian Dream along with our scientists who will one day guarantee that Army achieves its dreams for annihilating our neighbours in a bloody battle some day . Army’s victory when it comes , he said pushing back his chair , would make these candle burning secularists’ friends crawl and cringe and weep before our Generals as they had done in 1971 . It will happen soon , you’ll see , he repeated smugly and asked the waiter to remove his plates and refill his glass .

His poor fellow guest seemed a timid soul content to agree on all points made by the nasal voice . He limited his comments to yes yes ! and Is that so? Once or twice I even remember him saying True , True , as though he were listening to a religious discourse of some revered Baba in an Ashram . The terrible nasal bass went on without inflexions , dry as the dust that covers most of our Khadi Bhadars and public libraries . Tasteless as the toasts and the Ketchup served in government Dak Bungalows ,  and bone rattling like the experience of being stuck in a filled to capacity railway coach being dragged upon a medium gauge line by a heaving engine .

Will one day this sea of stupidity  be lapping up around our homes , because we did not drain it out while there was still time ? It is already roaring in western Uttar Pradesh , a bare fifty kilometers from Delhi and entering its rural hinterlands . 


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