Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Watching Bigg Boss with Gandhi

The clock reads five minutes to 9. I race to the kitchen to grab my daily dose of beer and pasta. I come back and place myself in the living room and turn the television on to see the crazy antics of Bigg boss participants. Except this time, there is already someone sitting on my sofa. He is covered in a long white cloth and has a thick stick in his hand. He is bald with thinly rimmed glasses on his face. I remove my wallet and a ten rupees note in a series of involuntary actions. I rub my eyes twice and stare at the figure before me.
"Holy Shi...zs it's Mahatma Gandhi!" I shout at the top of my voice, as I still compare the person before me with the face on the note. 
I am still not convinced and I spring towards my laptop to perform a quick search.
"Does watching a Breaking Bad Marathon give you "Methi-cal" Hallucinations??"(Shockingly, almost all the search results were positive. It is on closer inspection I realized that almost all of them were smoking something while watching the show, so does not apply.)
"Ok you are real."
The man kept smiling back at me and sat still as a loud noise woke up the participants of the reality show. What do I do? Should I explain to him what a television is? Should I turn it off?
As these thoughts raced through my mind, I took a sip of my cold Kingfisher. He started a deep frown and grunting as the beer flowed through my throat. I looked at him and smiled.
"Well, umm, the guy owns..sorry, who used to own this company is a huge admirer of yours."
The frown grew deeper. I disposed the beer into the garbage.
So the night had taken an unusual turn where I was not having alcohol and my TV mate was the Father of The Nation.  The television had the habitual drama of a fight with censors and beeps used continuously followed by crying and insane theatrics of a house member.
"These children seem very distressed. They should meditate every day. What is this noise which interrupts their speech?" he asked in Gujarati.
How do you explain it to the Father of Non-Violence that these "Children" were using the crudest forms of expletives in a race to win money and fame by demeaning themselves and their loved ones? This is not the India he fought for.
I change the channel and a music channel comes next with an item number.
"Why is this child dressed like that?"
"Well, Bapu, fashion has changed a lot since 1940's. Everyone dresses like this nowadays. And as far as her case goes, well, the producers and director have given her this dress which exposes her as much as possible without claiming nudity so that men all over the country get excited by the meaningless song and come to theatres to watch the movie where this song will not even be a part of the film. The melody is made so catchy that everyone grooves to it-man or woman, uttering garbage at the same time. So yeah that is the purpose."
Bapu closed his eyes. I remembered something.
"Bapu, you always preached,"See No Evil, Speak No Evil, Hear No Evil". Why?"
"To keep the soul pure."
"Forgive me Bapu, but I beg to differ. There is far too much evil in the world to simply numb our senses to it. It seeps into us eventually. We need to be like stones. Let it slide around us and not be affected by it. Fight it head on. Not cripple ourselves by shutting the senses down."
He gives me a look which I presume meant that he was taking my opinions under advisement. I again change the channel and a news debate appears. Three men and two women are shouting with broken throats. The topic was about the Reservation for Scheduled Castes and Tribes.
"But Ambedkar and others assured me that it will only be for a limited while. For upliftment and not division. “Exclaimed Bapu with a grave undertone.
"Leeches love division. That is all I can say."
What more do I tell the man? How religion is used like a weapon in politics, despite all his efforts. The corruption and the hypocrisy. The numb and almost rampant violence we have. The India he fought for is barely recognizable  That now there are more books written on his sex life than his teachings. There are more critics than believers.
"I think it is time for me to leave. I spent all my life fighting for her. I cannot fight her and its children. I do not have the strength to fight my own. Can you give me some fruit, son?"
I rushed and got him an apple. He ate them with the same satisfaction as I eat an expensive apple pie. He smiled and blessed me.
He began his walk towards a bright light at my front door, singing "Raghupati Raghav" (The original which is infinitesimally better than the deplorable Krissh 3 mockery)
His frail body supported by a stick reminds me that you do not need to have packed abs and perfect biceps to change the world. I guess one of the problems is that the world has forgotten that.

1 comment:

  1. Such a refreshing concept... and so aptly written:)
    Good job! :*