Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Humpty Dumpty had a big fall!

                                                                                                                 Political satire                                                                                                       

Humpty Dumpty had a big fall!

                                              The fall has been non-stop ever since Humpty                                            Dumpty   was put on   high  pedestal by his mother.
 There is no hope that Humpty Dumpty will ever rise again.

(Photo downloaded from internet)

Since morning he was lying in bed with wounds all over the body. The bandages applied to cover the wounds had covered most of his body. He had received serious injuries at almost all the places he had visited. At one place he had fallen upside down. As a result, his head was injured badly. At another place the fall was so serious that his ribs were broken. At yet another place both his arms were twisted. At the fourth place he had received wounds on his cheeks. At the fifth place he had a miraculous escape.

That was not all. Since he had been speaking, in fact shouting, at his opponents almost for two months, his vocal cord was badly damaged. He had great difficulty speaking.

Since he had been travelling long distances to meet people, to keep the morale of his supporters high, his both the feet were stolen.

Shaking hands with thousands of people had badly damaged his right palm.

His worried mom was sitting on his bed, continuously looking at her darling son. She was looking very tense. She was cursing all those fellows who were responsible for such a pathetic condition of her only son on whose frail shoulders rested the huge responsibility of carrying on the glorious tradition of the family.

The close family friends, known in the public as family’s general secretaries were sitting around the bed.  They did not know what to say. They did not know what to do know.

The family doctors were in attendance.

However, there was no pin drop silence in the room. Sometimes mother’s sobs could be heard. Sometimes her son’s groans could be heard. Every time the mother heard some sound coming from her son’s mouth, she would  bring her ear - sometimes left, sometimes right - close to his lips but every time she was frustrated because she could not understand what he was trying to say.

He had not eaten anything since morning. He had not taken a drop of water since morning. Since the son had not eaten anything and had not taken even a drop of water, how could the mother eat or drink?

When the mother and son were in such a bad shape, there was no question of any tea or coffee or even cold water being served to the family friends and doctors. Anticipating such a situation, they had all come after heavy breakfast and were fit enough to go without food for the rest of the day. They were really worried. More importantly, they had to look very worried. Their career depended on the career of the young man.

 Suddenly that young man cried with pain. The worried mother looked at the doctors. One of them rushed to inject a concoction of painkiller and sedative. The young man fell asleep.

The mother got down from the bed. All those sitting in the chairs too got up. She signaled them to follow her and went out of the room. They all assembled in the adjoining sitting room. After their Madam had acquired the high chair, she signaled all those standing to sit down. There sat down at obediently as they had got up a few moments earlier. They were all looking at the mother. They were ready to receive any punishment, oral, physical or financial. Those were moments of high tension, moments of great suspense.

After five minutes, Madam broke the suspense. She said in a low voice, “I want a complete report from each place my son had visited. I am not blaming anyone of you. I know, all of you are his well-wishers. In fact, you have been very loyal to our great family. Whatever I have been able to do so far, it is all because of your support and good wishes. But I want to know, how my son could suffer so many injuries, from his head to his toe. My poor baby. Besides family friends like you, several other persons had also promised to help him. Some old and new supporters had come forward and promised me that they would virtually adopt him but they let us down very badly. I don’t find anyone of them here. I want complete report from you people. I had appointed each one of you in charge of at least one state where the stakes were very high. Will anyone say something that could give some comfort to me, some comfort to my son?”

They all looked at each other. They were grateful to Madam that she had not shouted at them. The question was, who should speak first. Everyone was expecting that someone else would take the lead.

Madam was waiting for the reply. At long last, she asked one of her general secretaries to say something. That general secretary, known for his confidence and presence of mind on TV screens and before the media, was perspiring. He cleared his throat and murmured, “Respected Madam, excuse me for my audacity but I have no doubt that at least at two places those who had claimed that they were adopting the Prince had actually let him down. At one place where he got maximum injuries, it was all due to only two persons. You know whom I am referring to. It is our misfortune, misfortune of this great family of which we are loyal servants that those persons I am referring to were not properly dealt with when we were in a position to do so. They took undue advantage of our leniency.”

Respected Madam nodded her head in appreciation. That encouraged another general secretary to share his thought. “Respected Madam, all of us will go back to the field to collect full report but pardon me for saying that we cannot rely on the outside friends, old or new. I had always my doubts. They were showing friendship to serve their own interest, not the interest of this great family, not the interest of the nation. At the appropriate time, you must teach them a lesson.”

Another general secretary whispered, “Respected Madam, my information is that one of the   new friends will arrive shortly to offer his own explanation, or excuses.”

He proved prophetic. There was a knock on the door. An attendant walked in to convey the message that YS, one of the new friends, wanted an audience with Madam. Remember the devil and the devil is here, someone whispered. The permission was granted.

After a minute or so YS entered the room with folded hands. Ignoring his greetings, Madam pointed to a chair which he promptly occupied. Always in great hurry, he started speaking. “Madam, you must appreciate that I did everything I could despite loud protests from my own people. My assurance that I was adopting him was not an empty assurance. I took every care of him so much so that when the fall started, I allowed myself to fall on the ground first. Your son fell on my body. Please look at me. I sustained more injuries than your son.”

“Because he is light weight.” Someone murmured. 

“Who said that? Who said that?” Madam angrily looked in the direction the voice had come from. 

The fellow who had uttered feared Madam had noticed him. To save the situation, he rapidly explained, “I mean, YS is light weight. That is why he paid a bigger price.”

Madam appreciated his explanation. She appreciated YS’ explanation too. She had to. She could not displease anyone at this critical juncture. She knew that sometime she might need YS’ support again. She told him in a sweet voice, “I know, I know. My main grievance is against the other fellow, that old man who has not bothered to enquire about my son’s condition. So ungrateful. We have done so much for him.”

“He is in the state of shock, Madam. His desire to wear the crown for the last time could not be fulfilled.” One of the general secretaries tried to reduce her anger. He was ignored.

Madam took a deep breath and murmured as if to herself. “The people of this country are so ungrateful. I left my home, my parents, my brothers and sisters, my friends, people of my own country and came here to serve poor people of this country.”

“Respected Madam, you are like Mother Teresa. Like you, she too came from a foreign country to serve the poor people here.” Said one of the general secretaries.

 “Mother Teresa got the Nobel Prize. What did I get? I sacrificed my husband for the sake of this country. I dedicated my son to the country. At my suggestion, he decided to forgo personal pleasure and devote all his time and energy to serve the poor people of this country. And look, what they have given in return! It’s all because of one man. I will never pardon him. He seems to be determined to ruin my family, to ruin the career of my son.  My child is such an affectionate boy, full of compassion for everybody. But I don’t know why, people of this country do not appreciate great services rendered by my illustrious son and his great predecessors. Ungrateful people. Sometimes I feel that I should go back to the place from where I had come but I have some commitments to this family, to my late husband, to his ancestors and to take care of my son’s career. I can’t go back. I will stay here to fight, fight to the last drop of my blood. The people here will have to understand the value my son. A wonderful gift of God." 

The cheers gave Madam fresh energy. She cried, "They don't know me. I will not let them live in peace. I will not allow Parliament to function. I will....”

She had to stop. Her mobile was ringing. She looked at the number. This was from one of those who had promised to support her son. She answered the call. In a hoarse voice, the caller said, “My apology Madam. In my home state we lost to the money bag. Whatever we had collected during the good old days proved inadequate. But we succeeded in getting a consolation prize at a smaller place. Please tell prince not to lose heart. May I give a suggestion? Please send him on a sabbatical. He always returns from sabbatical with new energy. Best wishes. Bye.”

Madam felt happy. She ordered one of her general secretaries to make arrangements for her son’s sabbatical, as soon as he shows some improvement.

“My pleasure, Madam.” The general secretary was happy to get such an important assignment.

"Meanwhile, let my child take rest. Undisturbed." Madam hinted that they should go.

"Why did the old man advise sabbatical?" Asked one general secretary.

"The old man does not want to be disturbed." YS shared his wisdom. After a pause, looking at one of the folks, better known by his nick name 'Raja', he asked, "Will surgery make any improvement?"

"I don't know. I have been suggesting surgery because there is nothing else I can do." Raja was very candid.

Will Humpty Dumpty be able to rise from the big fall? Everyone was asking the same question. Of course to himself.

Devendra Narain

May 16, 2016

(Cartoons downloaded