*Also on theindiasatire.com*
It’s an action-packed story. No, it is a thriller. Alright, let us not be partial, it is an action-packed suspense oriented melodramatic emotional thriller.
This is not an ordinary punar-janam script. It is the Baap of all of them.
It goes like:
Once upon a time in the urban fartlands of Dilligarh there lived a rustic and dreadful Thakur. Thakur Durgandh Singh. Durgandh? Because his presence created an atmosphere of durgandh-read toxic gases- in the village. The two sons of Thakur, Nitrate Singh and Sulphate Singh, had intoxicated the atmosphere of the village by setting up many industries, construction units and crop burning that emitted noxious gases. Particulate and construction dust lingered now on the otherwise clean air of Dilligarh. People were afraid of their presence. Where other villagers moved in cart or bicycle, Thakur and his crony family, sister BEHENzene and mother AMMAnia vroomed past on dusty roads in their motor vehicle. The naive villagers did never object to the noxious gases their vehicle emitted and consoled themselves with just covering their nose with a torn piece of cloth. Whoever raised his or her voice against Thakur khandaan polluting habits were meted a capital punishment of forever living in toilet-less slum. The ignominy and horror of openly defecating in a field ensured that no one ever attempted a dissent. The tyranny of Thakur khandan abjectly left the villagers to meekly surrender and suffer in an atmosphere of above permissible limits of Durgandh, Behenzene, AMMAnia, Nitrate and Sulphate.
In the same village lived an innocent coughing self-acclaimed Aam Aadmi's Aam Aurat-Kejriamma. To clear doubts, Kejriamma was not the elder sister of Kaveri Amma of SRK starrer Swades. Where Kaveri Amma of Swades had no child, Kejriamma had two-Yes you guessed it right- Odd Singh and Even Singh. The new avatar of Karan Singh and Arjun Singh.
Kejriamma’s honest and toiling husband was diagnosed with Aajeevan coughing due to the suspended particulates in the village atmosphere. He once braved to enter the obnoxious haveli of Thakur to resent and complain about the rising figures of venomous gases in the village. The offended Thakur inturn asphyxiated him in a gassing chamber.
Her two sons were so much traumatized by their mother’s cough, masked people around them and father's death that they concocted a devious plan to demean Thakur's ego.
Legends have it that the plan devised by the two went on to be recognized as Kejriamma's Odd-Even formulae.
On every odd date, Odd Singh deflated all Odd Number vehicles of Thakur's entourage. On the even date, Even Singh deflated all even numbered vehicles. They were kind enough to spare the vehicles of women, though. Thakur was offended by this audacity of ordinary people and before the formulae became an insurrection, he gassed and brutally killed Odd and Even on the 15th day after the plan started.
Aggrieved by the loss of her sons an enraged Kejriamma vowed the words which I was so eager to write and you were desperate for since the beginning of this teary saga " Mere Odd-Even Aayenge, Durgandh Singh Mere Odd-Even Aayenge"
Kejriamma’s prayers and belief were certainly answered . People recall that on 13th of November when the village was dark as dungeon and a cauldron of heat and dust enveloped its periphery, two figures rose like a shadow over the smoky sullen air of Dilligarh. The Odd and Even version-3.0 had returned to haunt the senses of Thakur and his family. Simple villagers who were accustomed to smoke and gas saw the rebirth of Odd and Even as the harbinger of good days. Some thought Odd-Even return is another obscure event and will die soon as their previous avatars. But the famed Odd-Even formulae definitely scared the hell out of Thakur’s family. Soon Odd-Even- as the famed Karan-Arjun- destroyed every member of Thakur Durgandh Singh’s family. They were shown the limits of propriety and dared not to cross ever the threshold set by the public at large ever after.
‘Ho! ye bandhan to pyar ka bandhan hai…’ did you just hum this song? Did you just think that this story had a happy ending like every stale Bollywood script. Then let me remind you, my friend, this is 2017 and not mid 90s. Conclusion is not the genre of today. Something in the end exists to keep nagging the frail human mind. So it is here. Remember, Thakur and his noxious family can not be shunned away in just 5 or 15 days of forced abstinence. Evil in any form refrains from dying easy. Probably the rise of Odd-Even will not suffice to give a cleaner atmosphere to denizens of Dilligarh. Probably Odd-Even may need not one, but several rebirths in many forms to quell the tyranny of many Durgandh Singhs. Probably the rise of Odd-Even every year serves as a reminder to all of us. A reminder that it is incumbent upon us to present our future generations an earth, which if may not be better than ours then it may not be worse either.
Thankyou for reading
(Earlier published in 2016. Few paragraphs have been modified in view of the present declaration of ODD-EVEN rule in Delhi from 13th to 17th November)