INTO THE PAST WITH PAIN…. XL
Prof Dr Colonel K Prabhakar Rao ( retired)
( The election fever has started. The roads in Hyderabad are full of flags , banners, and there are scores of guys driving Motor cycles with flags tied to it and they are going here and there. In some places the driver rides the bike while pillion rider holds the flag. All are appearing bright. Gandhi, Nehru and Patel are seen crossing road at LB Nagar in Hyderabad.)
Gnadhi. Jawahar lal. I find the roads are very busy. How we are going to cross?
Nehru. Please do not get panicky Bapu. We are there the help you. You just relax.
( In the mean time a group of motor cyclists swarm the area and they drive at breakneck speed and stop in front of Gandhi with flags while one guy named Shiva is almost about to hit Bapu)
Gandhi. Eee..eee..eee.. Bach gaya ( Saved) Bhai. Is this way you drive on the road?
Shiva. How should I drive? This is the only way to drive in Hyderabad.
Nehru. Look friend. It looks you do not have any concern for others safety.
Shiva. Kya bolta hai? (What are you saying?) You fool! Old man. Behave your self
Nehru (taken back) Oh Bhai! Why are you so rude? Is this the way you treat your elders? I am like your grandfather.
Shiva. But you are not my Grand father. You are only like that.
Patel. But Look! Driving on road does not mean you can climb over others.
Shiva. Look! Today we are all busy in canvassing. We have no time; We have to cover so many places. You will not understand.
Gandhi. Look son! Do you know for whom you are canvassing?
Shiva ( A bit confused). Please do not call me son. I have my own father. That does not matter. We have been asked to go around with these flags of party for full day covering at least 150 KM in city
Patel. Can you do?
Shiva. We shall try.
( There is a traffic jam and all vehicles are blocked. Gandhi and trio are unable to cross over. Shiva and others are relaxed now and park the vehicles on the road and sit on their parked bikes. Shiva picks up a small bottle of liquor and gulps few sips and hands over it to his friend.)
Gandhi. Ram…ram… What a state? Look Patel they are drinking on the road in public place.
Patel What is new in this Bapu. Be happy they are not forcing you to drink.
Gandhi. If that is so let us move from this place
Nehru. Bapu, We just can not move. It is jammed.
Patel. Look Mr Shiva. You said you do not know for whom you are convassing? Why are you doing this then in this hot sun
Shiva. Oh Bhai! It is for money. Money makes you do all things. At least we are thieving.
Nehru. How you are benefitted by this
Shiva. The party agent contacts us and we have our own bikes. The deal is struck. Daily we get Rs 250 for canvassing. They would provide flag, cap, arm band and some time T shirt with party colors. They give us four liters of Petrol for our mobikes. We also get full plate Mutton Biryani in lunch.
Patel. So good. That keeps you happy
Shiva. Yeah. What else we want? We also get some recognition. Our name is alos registered as active participant who has worked for the party. Ho knows in future we stand some chance in party. We slowly become Galli leaders.
Gandhi. What is this Galli leaders?
Shiva. We become street leaders, We play leading role in small functions such as organizing some bandhs, hunger strikes, Ganesh pooja mandals and erect flags at street corners. We also collect some donations on occasions for party and some functions. Some of us also help people in getting building plans sanctioned from Municipality offices and settling water bills and arrears, We also get them water connections Oh! So many things we do. We also erect photographs at street centers whenever a leader dies. A black flag is also erected by us. We display leadership qualities thus.
Gandhi. So you become popular in your locality in your own way.
Shiva. Some of us slowly turn into dadas ( Bullies) and get Hafta also
Gandhi. What is this Hafta?
Shiva. It is mamool ( Illegal money) given weekly once for allowing peace in the locality. ( Sings doing break dance)
I am a street leader and also a goon
These elections come as a great boon
Slowly we turn into leader
Although we can not read a primary reader
People in colonies fear our presence
We thus become a source of nuisance
This is the trait of leadership to day
While sun shines we make hay
Gandhi. Good poems indeed. What a way to become popular and build base for oneself!
Patel. That is the way things work in India.
Gandhi. What a change from our times!
Patel. Forget your times Bapu. Live in present. (Within himself.. I do not know when he would learn)
( In the mean time the traffic jam is cleared and vehicles start moving)
Patel. Look Shiva. Who would ensure that you really covered 150 KM by end of day
Shiva. No one. Some times we just vanish after some hours. Only thing we miss is Biryani. That is given in the evening.
Patel. Look Bapu! I see many educated men getting into this business.
Nehru,. Why not? It is lucrative.
Gandhi. Better we also get into this. We can make some money.
Nehru. We must have mo bikes and know to drive in this crowd
Patel. Better we practice bike driving soon
( The trio slowly cross over and vanish)
Dr K Prabhakar Rao