INTO THE PAST WITH PAIN..LVIII
Prof Dr Colonel K Prabhakar Rao (Retired)
( The elections in Andhra Pradesh are over and Congress has formed the government. It emerged as the single largest party in the assembly. Oath taking ceremony is over and the ministers and MsLA go to the assembly gate where Gandhi’s statue is there. The statue has been washed recently and the statue is not the usual Gandhi statue in standing pose. It is in sitting pose doing meditation. There are many police men around and security is very tight. Some light machine guns are also seen mounted at important places over the building.)
Inspector. (Addressing members of public). Look, You. Please stay way from here. You are not allowed to get in
Ashok. I am not hey. My name is Ashok. I have to see the function. Please know that these people come to power because of us. We must be allowed to see the things
Inspector. Yeah. I agree to what you say. But how many can we allow? There is security problem. Please understand our limitations.
Ashok. OK Inspector. I shall co operate. I see from a distance.
( In the mean time a batch of MsLA reach the premises. All are clad in spotless whites. Some are chewing pan. Every one has a cell phone with him. Many have gold bracelets around their wrists)
MLA 1. It is nice the elections are over and we have won. It was hectic time for the last few months. Yar, how much time this function is going to take?
MLA 2. I do not know. It could be at least an hour. Many are still to come.
MLA3. I have been seeing this statue since long. Now it is looking clean. Otherwise it used to be very shabby.
MLA2. As it is the statue is black. I do not know who made and approved this one. Some times I get scared when I look at it.
MLA1. I do not know why the statue is made to look down. Some how it is not appealing
MLA3. Most of the times, I have seen crows sitting on the head. At times I saw four to five crows sitting and fighting too.
( Suddenly Gandhi opens eyes and looks at the MsLA. He laughs.heee..heee)
MLA.1 Look, I see the statue opening the eyes
MLA2. I heard it laughing too
MLA3. Are you mad? How can it be?
MLA1. Let us go from here. I am scared.
( At the gate there is commotion. Gandhi, Patel and Nehru are seen at the gate and they are stopped by the Police.
Gandhi. Look Inspector, I am Bapu, Your Bapu, Nation's Bapu, Father of nation. Have to go inside.
Patel. We are Nehru and Patel. We have come to see the proceedings.
Inspector. We can not allow you inside. This is a high security area. You have names of past leaders. That is OK. But that does not make you eligible to get inside.
Gandhi. We are real Gandhi, Nehru and Patel. These are our real names and we are real.( Sings)
Look Oh the police man
We are in fact real men
You may doubt us as imposters
Our deeds were already written by pen
We are really they
And they are no doubt we
Please harbor no doubt about us
Gandhi is none other than me
Inspector. Ohfo. What a guy! I already told you that you can be allowed inside.
Patel. Inspector . This is not fair. We may have to do Dharna now.
( In the mean time many people gather at the gate and watch the arguments. Inspector speaks to security. Soon the LMG posts become active and they aim the weapons at Gandhi and Nehru and Patel… There is great commotion)
Patel. Down with police .. down with high handedness.. Look Bapu ! They are aiming LMG at us
Nehru.. Mahatma Gandhi ki Jai… Bolo.. Gandhiji jai…
Patel. Nothing will happen to us. But I am worried about other common men here.
Patel. We can not trust the guys manning the LMG. They are shaky guys with some obsolete old weapons. I know some cases when the moving parts in the gun suddenly slipped from cocking position and fire was opened resulting in deaths. The police men have no proper training.
Gandhi. Patel Your knowledge about weapons is good.
Patel. I am known for that.
( Listening to the commotion, some MLA reach the gate to enquire)
MLA1. Inspector. What is happening?
MLA2. Who are these guys dressed like Nehru, Gandhi and Patel?
MLA 3. They may have dressed up like this. Must be daily begging in these areas
Gandhi. Come on sir. You can not talk like this. You have just now become MLA. You must learn to respect elders and your past leaders. Please do not insult others.
MLA3. So do you claim yourself as real Gandhi?
Gandhi. Yes I am real Gandhi.
MLA2. But you were shot dead long ago. You were also cremated to ashes too. How can you be alive?
Patel. That is the mystery. Great men do not die. They are eternal. You shall not understand.
MLA 2. Do we also become like that when we are no more?
Patel. I am sure you will not. Most of you may turn to bhoots ( ghosts). How can you compare yourself to Gandhi and his friends? Just look into your own hearts and your lives. You will know the answer.
( Inspector closes the gates and gives dirty look at the crowd)
Inspector. Ohfo. It is a great headache to be on Badobust duty.
( A constable approaches Inspector and salutes)
Constable. Sir . Look that side. Those three guys are within the gate.
Inspector. Did you open the Gate?..
Constable. Sir! The keys are with you. How can I open?
Inspector. How it is possible? They were outside when I closed the gate. Let me see outside.
(He goes to the gate and sees that Gandhi and his two friends are outside)
Inspector. Ohfo. Some illusion must be. Thank God the guys are outside.
( He returns to the MsLA and finds Gandhi and Nehru and Patel along with MsLA. He pulls his hair puzzled. He rubs eyes. In the mean time all the legislators assemble, queue up and one by one go to the statue to offer flowers)
MLA1. ( Offers flowers and sees that the statue is scratching his bald head and winking at him. He gets upset. He goes back quickly)
MLA2. ( offers flowers) He bows to the statue and Gandhi comes alive and gives a strong nudge on his head. ( MLA looks up and sees Gandhi alive)
Gandhi. Look son. Behave in the assembly hall. Conduct with decorum. Do not shriek and shout. Do not use abusive words, tear papers although you are experts at the art.)
( Gandhi ( Black) now gets up from the sitting position while the Gandhi who came from outside in white clothes merges with the black Gandhi. Nehru and Patel are standing next to Gandhi. Gandhi addresses the legislators. He keeps his arms over Nehru and Patel).
Gandhi. Look! Oh, the newly elected members of legislature. I congratulate you on your success. Is this the real success? You will know yourself. I know you guys spent crores of rupees to win this election. . You may deny this. But fact every one knows. I also learnt that Police guys caught lot of money while checking vehicles. But that is only a smallest fraction. Yet every one knows how money changed hands. It is ok; now a days in war , love and politics everything is fair. To win is the main thing. How you win is immaterial. This is life’s ambition.
MSLA.heee..heeee..haa…haaa… Well said sir.
Gandhi. But having spent so much money I also know that you will try to make up at the earliest. There will not be selfless service. I learnt about previous assembly proceedings. I also know that many legislators were experts in abusive language and also in shouting. They run to the well and disrupt speaker. They make gestures at the speaker and wave hands threateningly. One senior minister also shouted, “ Why are you waiving your hand. I shall remove your hand”.haa…haaa. I sat in the gallery and saw proceedings. What a shabby scenes I watched. They were telecast alive. It was mockery of legislature. Many members were behaving like street dadas. I felt ashamed and left the hall never to return. My statue has been fixed here. But some one correctly decided on the type of statue. They wanted my statue to look down and close eyes. True. I am not supposed to look up. In shame at the way you guys conduct I look down never to look up. My statue is painted dark jet black. Why not? Looking at the dark conduct and deeds my statue naturally has to be black. So guys at least try to learn some thing better and conduct yourself. Serve people with dedication and selflessness. You may go down well with people. This is my advice. Coming here and offering flowers to me has no meaning. I also know that you will never come here again except on my death day or birth day.Plesae make sure that my statue is removed from here and dump in Hussein sagar lake that is close by. I do not want to be here. It is shameful to be here. Good bye friends. Learn to live and serve. History shall not spare you. Bye..
(Gandhi again sits down and becomes a statue. The other Gandhi emerges out and walks with Nehru and Patel)
Inspector. You guys . Where were you hiding? I shall teach you a lesson. You are tricksters, may be even terrorists.. Constables catch these guys.
( Constables fall on the trio and can not catch them. They all fall one another. He sees Patel standing near the black statue. Inspector runs to him and falls flat on Patel. But he falls on the statue and breaks his nose and arm too. He shrieks loudly.aa..aaa…margaya…oh. Gandhi , Nehru and Patel hold hands and slowly walk off singing Ramdhun)
Dr K Prabhakar Rao