Thursday, 6 September 2012

Emerging, Submerging...De Vannu, Da Poyi

Kerala, as we all know, ‘emerged’ when Parasuraman threw his parasu (axe) from Gokarna to Kanyakumari. Why Gokarna? Why not from Ratnagiri, or Porbandar? He must have had his reasons. Some guys, however, didn’t see eye to eye with Parasuraman on his tomahawk-launch land-grab. They took their parasu to Kaliyikkavila and slashed all the way south to Kanyakumari, and then to Kasaragod and cut off all the way north to Gokarna, essentially thumbing their noses at Parasuraman. To be fair to those guys, Parasuraman, unlike Sardar Patel, didn’t have any clue of linguistic divisions. Otherwise, why would a 200-odd kilometre stretch of Tulu and Kannada speaking land be a part of Mallu-land?
The fact is that Kerala had already ‘emerged,’ though the exact date of the axe-launch is not available. At least, that is what I believed until I saw the words “Emerging Kerala” recently. This suggested that we, after all, haven’t ‘emerged’ and it is still an ongoing process.  So, what’s cooking? Were all those parasu stories, well, just stories? Are these people ridiculing the beliefs of millions?
From what I gather, this is again a new-age land grab. Like the 64 brahmin families Parasuraman brought from outside, this time around we’ll see Arabs and others being offered land and other sops to stay put. We don’t know if weapons are going to be thrown around for the sea to recede or whether existing land will be carved up. What we do know is that someone is going to take a hatchet to that green cover we have, or whatever is left of it, pretty soon. Incidentally, no one mentions about the local population, their needs, their lives; neither Parasuraman, nor our new lords. 
We often lament about the lack of do-gooders in our society. Accident victims bleeding to death in front of hundreds, people not helping others in distress, etc. Well, guess what? There are still a few of these good Samaritans around, though they only come out of the woodwork once in a while. Recently one such guy came out of nowhere. My guess is that this is the guy who always drives in front of me at 20 km/hr speed while blocking both lanes. He is the guy who follows the Kerala rule of “line driving,” which states that if there are two lanes in one direction, you drive on the dividing line so that both the left and right side mirrors (folded) of your car are equidistant from that line. He was so aghast at the thought of seeing an F1 car zooming at speeds above 40km/hr through Kawdiar that he immediately pulled a rule out of his posterior sphincter and filed a PIL against it. The government was stunned and dropped the idea. It didn’t matter that no one, not even unhealed cripples sitting on boards with wheels, traverse that stretch below 100 km/hr.  
Cabotage: A thick creamy soup made from cabbage and potage, originally developed by the Kerala government to fool, sorry, feed the public during famines (“Let them drink soup,” the government was supposed to have said when told that the people didn’t have potable water to drink).
Cabotage law: This law states that any ship arriving at a physically existing (Cochin) or never-to-exist imaginary port (Vizhinjam) is allowed to dump 10 lakh TEUs of cabotage soup into the sea as long as the ship’s captain and cook are Indians and there is a rave party in progress on the deck.
The government decided to relax that law to allow foreign captains also to join the party as long as they are not Pakistanis or Chinese, and they have a three-year relationship with a native.
Other recent events that entertained me:
- The impromptu romantic evening of candle-light dinners gifted to 600 million Indians by the government, which deliberately switched off the power grid, in a bid to increase the population.
- The dope Hazare giving up on his fast-unto-death stunts.
- Another hartal, which is essential in cleansing our air, as vehicles don’t run on that day, and kids and workers get a day off.
- Our CM declaring that his government is taking a scientific approach to garbage. I think he was talking about using gas masks to approach garbage and go around it. He will also throw in a pair of gumboots for good measure.
- And our Olympics – when are we going to see reason and import some African athletes?

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