Saturday, October 25, 2014

He Saves The World - 2

The other planet and the being repair shops

Far away in another galaxy hangs a planet occupied by a crazy race (‘race’ because they are always racing against each other).  Their survival depends on ‘greed’ - the life force, something like our sun.  Their power and status comes from the amount of ‘greed’ they can inhale and snatch from others.  The more ‘greed’ one has, the more control on the system one gets.  That makes the ‘greed-y wannabes’ and the ‘greed have-nots’ the subjugated, lesser beings who must work under the greed-rich and also stay at a distant from greed through the morality idea passed down by the saints and high priests who live and preach in these specially designed, awe inspiring, peaceful structures.

The only greed-free places on that planet are the ‘repair-shops’ (somewhat like our hospitals).  This is where the beings are sent when they breakdown either because of the greed of others (somewhat like malnutrition) or because of excessive greed that they can’t digest (something like overeating or food poisoning).  Until recently, the master repairers (kind of doctors) were a respected and trusted lot by all beings because they worked hard to repair the beings before sending them back into the system - the lesser ones to work and the better ones to continue to rule.  The repair shops are kept highly sanitized by a ‘morality spray’ that deactivates the greedvirus and prevents it from causing corruption.  Both, the greed filled and the greed wannabe beings, ensure that the repair shop system works smoothly so they can have an ample supply of fit workers.  The have-nots anyway have neither the means nor any say that can influence any change.

One day however the greedvirus gets force-mutated to resist the morality spray and infects a repair master who is working on a being with a very high quotient of greed.  This being requires an urgent organ transplant but there are no donors.  The infected repair master, under the influence of the greed virus infection, steals the organ from a have-not in the general ward of the repair shop and installs it into the greed-rich being.  The ensuing rewards satisfy the deadly greedy-itch that the virus triggers in any infected soul.  Ever since, the repairer continues to find his release in stealing organs and passing them to the haves to ease his itch.  By the time the press gets the wind, years have passed.  The repairer has turned into a powerful, evil villain supported by the greed-rich beings at the highest echelons of power and politics.  Some have-nots are scared of repair shops while some are still ignorant.  A few good Samaritans (there are always a few of those on  every planet) file police complaints, hold protests and even try to argue on the greed-e TV channels, but nothing works.  Most of the important (read greed-rich) beings are working for ‘development’ (a very important word on that planet) and have no time to waste on the have-nots.
The laboratory of organs
At this point our hero walks in – a street smart, dance heavy, macho man who likes this cutie-pie girl from another slum, whose father is one of the victims of the organ stealing racket.  Now this girl does some sleazy cabaret stuff at a local bar but she is a pious soul who prays to god everyday.  She has taken to cabaret because she wants to extract revenge from the cruel repairer who still visits this gaudy bar.  The hero is anyway born with a mission to kill one evil villain and save the planet so that development (whatever that means) can take place while the have-nots continue to remain as they were so that the haves inch ahead or atleast remain the same.

And we inch towards the climax when the girl begins to dance seductively around the villain with two knives in her hands but doesn’t stab him.  The hero meanwhile enters the repair shop, ofcourse after killing a few guards and discovers all kinds of organs pickled in jars waiting for rich recipients.  He orders his friends (they have been there since the beginning and provide some funny moments of stupidity and comraderie) to deliver the organs back to their original owners and even stitch them back.  Then he heads to the farmhouse where the villain is about to force himself upon the girl while she begs him to spare her for god’s sake.  That is when the hero lands in like batman through the glass window.  A fight ensues where the villain almost kills the hero after about fifteen minutes of kicking and fighting.  The victorious villain lets out an evil laugh and throws the girl on the bed.  This is when the hero comes back to life again.  Barely able to open his eyes and stand properly he manages to pull out the spear from the life size idol of god and nails the villain with it.  The police enters in full force with guns and arrests the dead villain.  The girl kisses the hero.  Everything is sorted and life continues as it was.

Text and Pics - Parvez Imam  (Copyright 2014) 
(Un-edited version of the article published in my column in Financial Chronicle on 17th  Oct, 2014)

(All material on this blog is copyrighted! Sharing of complete articles or their links, without editing, and with due credit, is allowed for non-commercial purposes only. For publication or any other use, please contact the author.)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

He saves the world - 1

It is a highly convoluted world
It begins with an existence in a highly convoluted world.  Infact it is quite corrupt, discriminatory, fascist, bigot and much more.  Thank god it is nothing serious.  The social structure rests primarily on creating insecurities while talking about security.  Some say it is because of greed.  An inbuilt discriminatory mechanism ensures that only a few benefit from the system and then become the representatives who keep suggesting that all is well.  They aren't lying - all is surely well for them.  Their children aren't starving in a slum.  The upper caste people haven’t taken over their land and pushed them into subjugation unlike some nondescript lower status people.  By the powers vested in them by the system, these beneficiaries also control and dominate spaces where concerns can be voiced.  They have serious concerns about the rising costs of fancy cars, fashion statement, hoi-poloi events etc. etc.  Beside that the good people also drench themselves in ice cold water and apparently that somehow helps the lesser people.  Doesn't matter if a huge population has neither electricity nor a fridge that runs on it nor even enough clean water to drink.

It’s a very sensitive world.  Thousands die of hunger every moment.  The good people hold music concerts to raise awareness and funds (most of which go into staff salaries and half payments to the benevolent artists).  By the way, this is just a film script about a faraway planet ruled by a cruel species of blood sucking aliens.  It has nothing to do with you and me.

Among the rest of the population, some feel too small to understand it all.  Others focus on career and growth, even if that means joining the wheel of discrimination and stepping on another in a race towards another race.  A few mavericks try to take on the system and fail miserably.  They are crushed, confined and punished.  If their thoughts continue to persist, the system turns them into religions, heroes, saints etc. etc.  If this reminds you of Jesus, the man who stood up against a cruel system of his times or Socrates or maybe Galileo or thousands of others through the centuries, it is purely coincidental.  And this is where the quintessential popcorn and cola break comes.

The second part begins with our hero promptly taking off his shirt to display a much advertised x-pack abdomen while the heroin displays her cleavage.  The cleavage immediately offends some of us.  Maybe we should only cast flat breasted women, or even better, force all women to have breast castration.  Then even women will be allowed to bare their chest, like our heroes.  It may become the next big fashion statement and solve all the issues on the planet.  Coming back to the script, our hero learns that the heroin’s father is not only the killer of his father but is also plotting to wipe out two noble souls on the planet - the PM and the CM.  He immediately shares the truth with the heroin.  She breaks down, locks herself in her room and cries on her velvety pink bed.  The hero meanwhile starts destroying all the Casinos and Godowns (filled with drugs) owned by the villain.  The PM and the CM, are about to make a public appearance on an open stage.  The villain has planted dynamites beneath the stage and kidnaps his daughter - the heroin (who turns out to be someone else’s daughter now) - to blackmail the hero into blowing the dynamites to kill the PM and the CM.  For a hero with a loaded pack of abdominal muscles, nothing is a problem.  After a barehanded fight through an army of men guarding the villain, he finally kills all the bad people, including the villain, and releases the girl.  After a long kiss, he rushes to save the very nice, honest and people loving PM and CM and pushes them off stage just when the bombs explode and cars are tossed up on flames.  Thus He saves the entire world.  The heroin comes running to kiss him again.  All is well.

(Un-edited version of the article published in my column in Financial Chronicle on Oct. 10, 2014)
Text and Photographs: Parvez Imam (Copyright-2014)

(All material on this blog is copyrighted! Sharing of complete articles or their links, without editing, and with due credit, is allowed for non-commercial purposes only. For publication or any other use, please contact the author.)

Friday, October 3, 2014

Clean the farm. Pluck the weed.

Clean we must what must be cleaned.  And also the cobwebs in the dingy attics that seem so far away - as if in a remote abandoned house in some fairy-tale or a painting.  There is something so immediate and so within about these seemingly hidden spaces that makes them come alive like the bizarre events in a painting by Bosch.  The slithery, not fully formed yet complete in an evil way thoughts, lying beneath the cobwebs are always ready to devour another - as if the only purpose of their existence is wiping away the existence of every other thought, both within and outside one’s head.  We certainly have a lot to clean.

Every little weed needs to be weeded out.  Weed, the unwanted and dissimilar plant that sprouts amid a planned crop in a farm.  For humans it is something like a lower caste / class person hanging around in an upper caste / class revelry or we trying to claim our existence in the midst of another culture or ethnic and lingual congregation.  The weed is usually plucked away, so the farm can maintain its manicured, mono-cultural look and provide only what the master desires.  The forest however has no weeds.  Everything co-exists.  It may not look as planned as a farm sprinkled with pesticides, but that is where life flows and grows.

Our love for clean and nicely laid out things is evident in our human farms as well.  For example let’s look at the high-rise farms and tightly packed slum farms where different grades of humans are planted within spaces that define their worth.  Each breed has a separate space with every member subscribing more or less to the same thought. It won’t be long before all behavior gets mechanized into well-practiced drills that will follow what has been injected into each head.  What a peaceful society it will be then.  No conflict at all because there won’t be another thought to fight with.  Just one clean thought, one structure, one caste, one class, one people in one space and one master to rule and think for everyone.  He will decide how to live and you live like that.  You will be told when, what, where and how to eat.  Follow the drill and you will be allowed to exist.  There will be no dissent for there will be no space for it.  In other words, no weed shall ever grow in the human farm.  The clones will be peaceful and tolerant to their brethren with no need for interacting with another breed of clones.

A journalist was recently manhandled in New York by an educated, progress and development loving, tolerant crowd.  The world knows that tolerance has been our virtue for long.  It is there in our books.  It is there in our history.  Just look at the partition of India.  The reports of a few hundred thousand murdered, raped, maimed and missing, and the ensuing hatred till date, is a minor collateral damage that some journalists took fancy to because they love creating stories.

Our tolerance towards crime against women is also well known.  Recently when a teenaged Dalit girl was raped by some upper caste boys in a village (place it wherever you like and it is likely to turn out true) the tolerant village authorities, the important upper caste gentry and even the police tried to convince the Dalits to be tolerant.  But they decided against that and have been protesting for last two years, even when the boys involved have been granted bail.  They must learn to tolerant and accept a peaceful way of life.  One should not stand out like a sore thumb or a weed amid the cleanliness-loving people.  We know a weed must be plucked out and if that requires force, then so be it.  The nation must be kept clean at any expense.  How else will we march towards a super-power status otherwise?  Poverty, hunger, homelessness, discrimination etc. etc. can be dealt with once the cleaning and weeding is done.  Meanwhile, those who clean the toilets and gutters must continue to do their task quietly.  Ofcourse, they need to stay away from the clean and tolerant people, in their own separate quarters - the slum and ghetto farms.

Text and Photographs: Parvez Imam (Copyright-2014)
(Un-edited Version - Published in my column in Financial Chronicle on Oct 03, 2014)

(All material on this blog is copyrighted! Sharing of complete articles or their links, without editing, and with due credit, is allowed for non-commercial purposes only. For publication or any other use, please contact the author.)