Being the capital, Trivandrum attracts all kinds of people who want to air their grievances in front of the Secretariat here, the de-facto symbol of power. So, for example, if you are a group of divinely ordained people like the Brahmins who used to wield some power; but are currently facing threats from the unwashed, uncouth, un-everything nincompoops (a guy called Parur Rakesh from a lower caste was appointed as a priest recently) who are taking away the one primary job of yours – i.e. having personal conversations with imaginary beings; then you could pack your $#it and come to Trivandrum and protest. You could build a sacred fire in front of the Secretariat and invoke the gods to wreak destruction on the sacrilegious punks trying to cut in on your action. It should be a piece of cake, since you have the secret hotline to said being.
Anyway, what I am trying to say is that this is the beauty of India’s democracy. You are free to protest. Another beauty of our so-called democracy is that the state is free to send policemen to disrobe you and crush your family jewels in front of TV cameras broadcasting live to mallu living rooms, as the Marxists recently discovered to their chagrin. This is part of the government’s Bollicks Crushing Programme (BCP) modelled after the Chief Minister’s Mass Contact Programme (MCP, jana sambarkka paripadi). We’re in line for another UN recognition pretty soon. Our MP, Sasi Tha ‘Roor’ should pull some strings in the UN through his social networks to make this a reality. I dream of a day when I would be able to see huge billboards of our CM holding spherical objects in his hands, similar to the ones that showed him holding a bunch of MCP petitions. Talk of emasculating the opposition! Way to go!
(He, our CM, is back with his MCP. When the CM has to go around addressing issues that should ideally be solved by a clerk, then that means something is seriously wrong with the government machinery. Perhaps he could get rid of many of these people and save the exchequer some money.)
Well, apart from the above-mentioned political hullabaloo, Trivandrum also hosts processions and parades by a plethora of religious groupings. Especially, some processions promoted by the Hindu right appear to be part of their strategy to expand their base in Kerala. There was one in which cute little kids dressed as Krishna were forced to walk on the hot city streets. Curiously, none of the kids (pictures) I saw were dark as Krishna. They were all fair to very fair complexioned, not even wheatish. Whatever happened to kaakkakarumbans and kaarvarnans? Another was the Ganapati procession. Suddenly, we are like Bombay! Big-time immersion of Ganpati Bappa in the Arabian Sea. I don’t know whether they were singing “Ganpati bappa morya pudhchya varshi lavkar ya” (Lord Ganesha, come again soon next year) during the procession, but recently when I went to clean-up Sankhumugham beach with a group of volunteers, there were still some Styrofoam, plastic and plaster-of-Paris remains of the lord on the beach, and I almost wanted to go "pudhchya varshi yeu naka". Where are the eco-warriors when we need them?
Some good (?) things that happened in the recent past – Nilgiri’s started selling Yakult probiotics drinks, which my kids used to love back in Japan. They also have Lindt and other expensive Swiss chocolates (have resisted the temptation so far), tortillas and even miso soups on their shelves. Persimmons are back in season at my favourite vegetable vendor “Spring” in Nanthancode. There are a couple of new restaurants, which I have to try out. And, a new online lending library (letusread.in) has started functioning, for which I promptly signed up today after I read the news in The Hindu. Interesting times ahead.
PS. Couple of days ago I saw a news item where a guy from Kochi was complaining there was a Trivandrum lobby working against them. It seems Tha 'Roor' had commented about some stupid cricket game getting washed out, which didn’t go down well with the Cochin dudes and Cricket Association honchos. What is with this 'Roor' guy and cricket? Anyway, I was interested in this powerful Trivandrum lobby. So, I checked out the KCA website and lo and behold, what do I find? Of all the matches given to KCA, barring a few junior games in Perinthalmanna and Thalaserry, everything else was allotted to – no, not Trivandrum, but Kochi, which included the washed out Duleep Trophy matches, Ranji matches, ODIs, everything! Some powerful Trivandrum lobby this is! Or, it might just be that this Trivandrum lobby strived to get all the matches for Kochi so that they could sit back and enjoy the super soppers in action. Wicked, or what? I, for one, think the super soppers are more fun. I hope more and more such matches are washed out, whether in Trivandrum or Kochi, or Ranchi or Cuttack so that these match-fixing, lazy, untalented bozos do not get a chance to show off their mediocrity.
One thing we all should remember – when things like these happen, it means there is money involved and "they" would like to keep it as exclusive as possible, lest their share of the pie become smaller. "You" are there just to hold the flags, throw the stones and get kicked in the nuts. They walk all the way to the bank. OK, not walk, but go in a car. Land will be given away for free to moneybags, coal fields will be given to corporations for peanuts, and frequencies will be allocated for a pittance to telecom companies. In the meantime, you’ll be given polluted air to breathe, poisoned water to drink and intermittent power to watch the idiot box. Be thankful.