INTO THE PAST WITH PAIN….LXX
Dr K Prabhakar Rao
(It is the Bapu Ghat at Langar Houz in Hyderabad where a memorial was built for Gandhi. It is not the grave of Gandhi. But is a place where all sundry leaders visit on Gandhi’s death and birth day and act as if they are praying although throughout the year they are engaged in the murky game of politics and money swindling. Most of them hurriedly pray and rush off as early as possible. Some passers stop at the gate. They are Lallu ram and Panjoo das.)
Lallu ram.. Are Panju. I am feeling very tight yar. I have to ease myself. Since half hour I am trying to find a place to piss off. Damne place. There is no place around. This pace has many bushes and appears neglected too. It looks as if no one visited this place for years. See how shitty the place is?
Panju.. Yeah. A nice place to ease off. Go ahead. I am staying near the motor cycle. Come soon.
( Lallu ram goes near the gate. It is a old and rusty gate that has twisted by neglect and some urchins have stolen some rods from the gate. There are innumerable wild bushes all over. The passage is narrow and Lallu sneaks in to have some privacy. He is about to ease himself when some one coughs from behind and lallu is scared and turns around al of a sudden. He finds an old man in Dhoti and half naked holding a stick. There are two more guys next to him. They are peeping through the bushes and come out)
Gandhi. Look boy. I am called MK Gandhi. These are my friends Nehru and Patel, in fact they are my followers. Do you conduct like this at public places?
Lallu. What to do? I am fed up. There is no public toilet around.
Gandhi. kindly button your pant or go and ease yourself. Be relaxed. This is part of game.
( Lallu eases himself and feels highly relieved. He returns and thanks Gandhi.)
Lallu. Thank you sir. Thank you so much.
Gandhi. Why thanks. This is India, a great public toilet of enormous size.
Patel.True. how well said ( sings)
Indians are happy to ease at road side
All of them have no shame and have thick hide.
We are all to be blamed for this show
The country survives like this some how
Gandhi. Well sung . patel
Nehru. What is so great in his song?
Patel. Nothing great I know. But why are getting worked up Jawaharlal. You also can song. Who stops you.
Nehru. I have refined tastes for writing poetry
Patel. That is fine. Find some. Plesae leave us to our fate.
Gandhi. Ok guys. To morrow is by birth day. I want to see how our leaders celebrate it.Have you seen this place. This is called Bapu Ghat having my memorial.
Patel. Bapu. How shitty the place is. No one takes care of this place. Looks like that. Bapu.. Look spme guys are coming here and theu appear to be some workers and sweepers
Nehru. I think they are going to clean up the area. All is not that bad as we think. People also feel responsible. I ensured it when I ruled India
Patel. Were you a king to rule. Why do you use such words. You became PM in a democracy and Bapu preferred you over me. This fact every one knows.
Nehru. Why speak all that? Fact is that I was the PM and you were only Deputy PM.
Gandhi. Come on guys . Why are you fighting now.
Patel. It is OK.
( The leader if the working party enters the garden and sees Gandhi and his friends)
Yadgiri. I am Yadgiri from Departmnet of PWD.I am responsible to take care of this place. You guys. Who are you? Why are you inside the garden? Are you some beggars or some cheats hiding here.
Patel. Come on friend. Are we looking like that? He is Bapu, Our bapu, Your Bapu, the Mahtma Gandhi for whom this place has been built.
Yadgiri. Hee.hee…hooo..haaaa. What a joke. Whom you are fooling? You will not get even one paisa for this acting
Patel. Come on yadgiri. Please do not insult us. There is no warning written here that no one should enter the garden.
( Yadgiri gets upset and his friend Narayan advises him to go ahead with the cleaning work instead of getting into arguments with the new people.
Narayan. Friends. You may go if you want or sit some where and watch. You may even help us
Gandhi. That is good. This is more human like talk.
Yadgiri.( gnawing teeth). Am I not a human?
Gandhi. Did I say that?
Narayan. Oh Bhai. Relax. We have some work to do.
( Yadgiri and Narayan orders the laborers to start cleaning the area and make it tidy for October 2 function. They complete the job in three hours and a water tanker with leaking tank throwing water on the road arrives in the mean time and sprinkles water everywhere. Then another lorry arrives with many flowering plants in big pots and the gardeners plant the trees breaking the pots. Suddenly the garden has many flowers and appears beautiful. Having finished they ask Gandhi and his friends to leave the place and when they go out, lock the gate. One guy is left there who starts painting the gate. His name is Narsimha)
Gandhi. Oh Bhai. Mr Narsimha. Why do all these things in the last minute? Is there any Chowkidar for this place?
Narsimha. Less said is better bhai. Chowkidar is there. But he is never found here. He works in the garden of a senior officer.
Patel. Oh shit. What type of administration is this.
Bapu. ( cries loud) ee…eeee. Have I given freedom for this?
Patel. Bapu. Are you thinking that you brought freedom to India.
Nehru. Then who brought it? You?
Patel. I never said. Most of the Indians do not believe it. You played some major role and there is no doubt about it. It is actually world war II that weakened UK and they left. INA was one of the major causes. Revolt of Naval rating was another reason.
Gandhi. Let it be. I am not claiming that I should be worshipped. I did my duty.
Nehru. Patel. Why unnecessarily start some discussion and Bapu gets upset about it.
Gandhi. Look boys. I am OK. I never wanted to be father of nation too. You guys have made me.
Patel. That is OK bapu. Forget the past ( sings and does jig).
Let us leave past history behind
Although ever one wants to remind
None can alter and history can not be bent
Inspite of great efforts and money that is spent
Gandhi. Yaeh.. nicely said. Hey . Look some leader appears to be coming. It is about 10 0Clock.
( A fat leader gets down froma white car and many small leaders also get down from the cars. There are many police men too with them. In the mean time many on lookers too assemble at the gate and it is found locked.)
Leader. What is this? Who has made arrangements. Is this the way?Why gate is locked. Where are the guys who are responsible to organize the show today.
Painter. Sir. The working party came here cleaned everything, locked and went away.
Leader. Where is that guy who has key. Or else break it.
( A police constable tries to open the lock with his keys and he can not do it. He brings large stone and breaks the lock and in the process injures his finger. Blood oozes out. He cries loudly)
SP Police. Constable. Well done. You sacrificed blood for the nation at a crucial hour loke this. I shall recommend you for a award.
Constable. Sir Please recommend me for Ashok Chakra award. It is the peace time highest award for gallantry. Recently Bombay police persons got it who were killed sitting in their jeep. I am no less than them.
SP. True. I shall do it. But I also must get because I supervised the ation.
Constable. Sure sir.
( He goes to the fat leader and requests)
Constables. Sir. Our SP Saheb also should get Ashok Chakra award in this operation gate opening for organiszing. Probably terrorists have spoiled the programme.
Politician. True. I shall surely do it.
( SPsalutes the leader after stiffening up. All the people along with security guys and the leaders enter the park and go to the Samadhi of Bapu. There they find some cows squatting on the stone platform. They are coolly seeing things)
Leader. Oh Shit. What is this? Why cows are here. From where they have come here?
Patel ( from the crowd) they are every where. India is the land of cows. Most scared animal of lord Krishna. No one can do any thing to them
Leader. That OK. But we have pay tributes to Gandhiji.
Patel. Why pay homage at the stones. Bapu is right here ( looking at Bapu). Bapu. Plesae come forward
( Gandhi slowly emerges from the crowd)
Ledaer. Nice show. This man is dressed like Gandhi
Gandhi. I am not dressed. I am real Gandhi. Your Bapu.
Ledaer ( Laughs) Hee…heee..haaa
SP. Haa…haa.. Hatt Buddhe, Chal . Nikal, Bhag Yahanse
Leader. There is no dearth of beggars here.
Patel. Please mind your words. We are not beggars. You have failed to see the real Gandhi, Patel and Nehruji
Leader. There is a limit to fooling us.
Patel. That means you are being fooled
Leader. I do not mean that. Any how things are getting late.Plesae drive these cows out
( Some constables arrive and beat the cows with lathis and they becomeangry. They puff loudly, stand up and give dirty look at the constables and they get scared)
Constable ram lal. Sir. The cows are angry. They may charge at us. Lathis will not do
SP. If they do not levae and try to attack fire in self defense. Weapons are with you.
Constable. Sir. To day is Gandhi Jayanthi. How can we fire?
SP. Does not matter. Arms are there to fire. Jayanthi or no Jayanthi. If Naxalites attack us to day should we keep quiet and sing ramdhun
( Gandhi gets excited at the word ramdhun and starts singing Ramdhun.. Raghupathi Raaghava Raja ram…)
Leader. Stop this drama. Get the cowscleared. I am getting late. I have to go to assembly function too.
SP. Why are you hesitating Constable Ramlal. Fire three rounds.
( Constable ram lal cocks his rifle and fires at the cows. He misses all the rounds and cows charge ferociously at the constables who drop weapons and flee for their lives. SP draws his pistol and fires at a cow. The cow ducks and escapes the bullet and in a flash the cow is on the SP who falls flat on the ground. He is badly injured. The cows trample him breaking his limbs. The Political leader and others run for their lives. The leader is very fat and is clad in Dhothi. His Topi falls down and Dhoti gets un wrapped in the melee.He runs in underpants gasping for air and drops down on the ground at the car door. Some constables lift him and put him in the car. People watching the scene laugh loudly. They clap and shout three cheers to the cows)
Laxman( On looker) This was the nicest show I ever watched at Langar houz all these years. Poor cows. What they have done.
Ram singh( on looker) True. Cows have done correct thing. They acted in self defense. Where was the requirement to fire on poor cows? Are the rifles given to fire on cows.
( In the mean time the cows collect at Samdhi and sing)
We are the brave Indian local cows
Look these leaders have taken many vows
That they would protect our people and cattle
But these men are good at their useless rattle
( Gandhi, Nehru and patel go to cows and Gandhi pacifies the cows and Gandhi sings)
Look my dear cows of India
Where has disappeared the great media?
The media guys run after the foolish leaders
Who are in the society mere germ breeders
I gave them freedom to rule well
But these clowns have made the land a hell
You cows have taught them a good lesson for all time
Now be happy and sing nursery rhymes
Nehru. Bapu . well sung. Patel How is it/
Patel. Bapu sings well
( Cows appear to be happy and they stand happily at the stone Samadhi bowing their hands as if they are praying, Gandhi feels happy)
Patel. Look Bapu.The cows are paying tributes to you
Gandhi. Appears to be. These cows are far better than these leaders and police guys. Good job done my dear cows. May god bless you.
Patel. Bapu. All is not well with these cows. They do not yield milk. Soon they will be sent to al kabeer or some local slaughter house
Gandhi. Ram. Ram.Is it true?
Pate. Absolutely true Bapu. What can we do?
Gandhi. I may have to take rebirth to prevent cow slaughter.
Patel. Bapu. Please do not do that. You will be slaughtered soon. Earlier also you were shot dead in cold blood. It was like slaughtering.
Gandhi. Plesae do not remind the old scenes. I still have pain from those bullets of Nathuram godse
Patel. Sorry Bapu. Let us go.
( Gandhi, Nehru and Patel sing ramdhun and leave the garden and vanish into distance)