Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Happy Chinese Diwali Sir

“No, I will not buy any Chinese lights this Diwali”, said the Additional District magistrate (ADM)  suavely, as he signed papers brought to him by his aged office babu.

The babu nodded in affirmative. But the affirmation was not loud enough , so saaheb looked straight into the eyes of babu and repeated “NO CHINESE ITEMS!! I say”.

The automatic response system of babu was triggered, “Sir,sir, sir,sir” . Every inch of his body shook in affirmation. ADM saaheb was fond of repeated ‘sir’ in a row and the babu just gave him enough.

“Very well sir, I will shortly arrange to send 100 diyas  and 50 candles to your home . No Chinese items sir”, babu grinned. The last line pleased the officer more than the combination of 150 diyas and candle.

Himanshu, a man aged around 30 but a young boy by Provincial civil services examination standards, observed the ADM saaheb and his Babu. Having completed his training schedule  he  had reported for joining as Sub Divisional Magistrate. Thus he displayed all the more interest in the ADM saaheb’s administrative manners.

“Guptaji, a diwali without Dipak is as bad as  India without Vikas”, the officer laughed a self congratulatory laugh at his self manifested  bureaucratic joke. Devoid of any other option Himanshu too chuckled in unison.

Soon ADM saaheb put up a brooding face, leaned back in his chair, straightened his leg beneath a massive wooden table, rested his hand on side arms and looked purposefully into the eyes of babu. The Babu was unfazed by such tectonic shifts in his officer’s composure. He knew that in those purposeful gaze of his saaheb there lies no purpose. Only he will  soon be exposed to words more foreign than French, all originating from his officer’s mouth. His 33 years of experience had taught him that Saahebs suffer from  verbal diarrhea which is often spilled out as moronic monologue in form of essays. Essays, they once could not complete in PCS written examination due to paucity of time and inherent word limit.

ADM saaheb started with a misplaced discourse on  Mao revolution in China to flaunt his knowledge in history , then switched to Doklam issue to proclaim his understanding of current affairs, then tuned to give a philosophical discourse on reason behind boycott of Chinese lights and support of local earthen diyas to brandish his mastery in Philosophy. In the end as a mark of patriotic feeling and deep understanding of geography he also lauded the Army Jawans especially in Siachen.  Expecting a standing ovation, he turned towards Himanshu, who by now had adapted to the administrative atmospheric conditions and  knew just what to do.  “Sir,sir, sir,sir”, he nodded.  

In any casual discourse a bureaucrat feels hollow until he/she drops a name of a poet or a writer and mouths a few stanzas of poem or a quote that establishes his/her interest in literature too. So ADM saaheb  pitched in a name of a hindi poet Gopal Das Neeraj and few stanza of his poem that he claimed he remembers from his class 8th hindi book and not from any recent facebook post:

Diye se mitega na man ka andhera,
Dhara ko uthao, gagan ko bujhao.
Bahut baar aayi yeh Diwali,
Magar tam jahan tha wahin khada hai.

Himanshu gestured in a way to resemble that he want to clap but has only restrained his jubilation in respect of his senior. In a more dignified and bureaucratic way he settled for a smile and remarked, “Sir,Sir,Sir,Sir”  . 
Sensing the explosion of a boring jam session between the two officers and with a satisfaction of a sprinter in relay race who has just handed the baton to another , the babu  left the room in quick hurry.
ADM saaheb had discovered  a keen disciple in Himanshu and now expected inquisitiveness  in the young officer. Himanshu did not let him down.

“But sir these days  even the earthen diyas are also Chinese made”, he tried to look worried.

“Arey nahi??”, ADM saaheb was amused,  as if he was presented with a secret report on Chinese invasion and wanted more of it.

“Yes sir”, Himanshu sensed the eagerness and said “ even our native gods available in market Ganesh-Lakshmi  are Chinese made. Their eyes have shrunken to the Chinese proportions sir”

“WHAT?”, ADM saaheb was struck with a thunder bolt. The revelation of Chinese intrusion into  the Indian culture punctured his nationalistic arousal.

“Now I see”, he said in bemusement “why  Radha and Krishna  look like twins in that glittering idol I brought from Mathura. Both look so chinese..ehh” .

A mobile ringtone interrupted his chain of thought. ADM saaheb laid his hand on Xiaomi  Redmi Note 4 mobile  he recently brought from flipkart big billion day sale.

“Home Ministry, you see dear”, he smiled meekly to Himanshu as he answered his wife’s call.
The voice from the other side echoed into the suddenly created vaccum in the chamber.

“Bring those multi coloured LED lights when you come back.  Diwali is three days away, I can’t keep  supplementing oil and wick in your earthen lamps. And dear! I have bought a designer Ganesh-Lakshmi  idol this time. They are so beautiful; you will love the eyes they have. ”

ADM saaheb submissively kept the phone back on table, turned towards Himanshu and passed a sheepish smile, “ Home Ministry dear, you see!.”

Himanshu smiled back and concluded, " Happy Chinese Diwali sir".

Thankyou for reading

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...