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     Volume 6 Issue 10 | March 16, 2007 |

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To Walk Again on Two Legs


The flower has been plucked from the bough and boxed. Looks pretty, some would say. The mother sheds a silent tear, as do the other flowers of the branch, still breathing still in the free environ. They find the liberated air venomous. The wind will change its direction. It has.

Compassion is no more reserved for the corrupt politicians, or business people and yet-to-be harnessed bureaucrats. The flowers have been thorny and poisonous for too long, most would say.

'His' character is as pobitro as the phool, so yelled the wall smeared at the dead of night. The wall gave not its consent to be so soiled, but it can only watch in silence. It gives a wry smile when the wind changes. The walls are a smiling, those that have survived the test of legality.

It is convenient to draw this flower-fool analogy in a country where 'dog' would sound too rash. But the American press addresses the world's richest man Bill Gates (Baaps!) as 'top dog' with not an eyelid being batted. That is the biting wit of cultural boundaries.

The owners of TV channels are accused of corruption, devouring millions even when their stomach was full. How much can a man eat? Araisho grams, says a dietician; a woman considerably less. Some children don't even eat.

Some big eaters are behind bars where hard drinks are not available, one presumes. Some were drunk in power when outside. Now they labour. In this dismantled garden one of the fruits of their hard labour, their A to Z channels continue to telecast programmes, including ironically the arrest of its 'top dog', a victim of advanced telecommunications, people's expectations and liberal journalism.

Fervent appeals for fund for the treatment of the ailing are made everyday in newspapers, but the eaters eat with a closed fist; the needy cannot be spared any of the booty. Pagol na ki? They might get well. To be fair to the sick, they may not even accept the poisonous money from the sick. Sick the sick are in health, not morally or in spirit.

They found a car alone on a highway. Becharaa! The car, I mean. They took the car away into jobdo, perhaps because they could not take the highway into custody. But some powers that be have gobbled up public roads, digested buildings, swallowed rivers, khals and beels.

They found a big car, another was whimpering unaccompanied in a basement-the child in the TV ad says “my dad's b-i-g car”, and the child of the real owner watching at home scoffs a laugh; they have not seen a r-e-a-l-l-y big; he is sarcastic. They took the car away because it was bought with wrong money and because it did not have the right papers and because it was on wheels. They could not take away the house for the same reasons, but then some houses do have false number plates. Thukku! False name plates. We should all consult with England-returned barristers on how not to get away with such felony. Somebody asked in Banglish, 'Ooni fellow nee?'

This should be the pertinent paragraph to drop in the wheel barrow story.

The <>mochua<> sentry at the army camp watched very carefully that everyday a man, harmless as he looked, took away some hay in a wheelbarrow that he pushed. Each time the sentry checked the hay upside down and inside out very meticulously. And found nothing. This routine, and the sentry's frustration continued for several weeks. He finally gave a twist to his b-i-g moustache and owned up to the 'innocent' man, whose character was as holy as a flower and talk as smooth as an ex-minister in charge of law.

'I am sure you are hiding something from me. It can't be only the hay you are taking away,' said the sentry with another twist to his whiskers. Ouch! 'I will not hurt you. Just tell me what you are taking away from this camp every day.'

'Wheelbarrows!' said the man without a smile.

Out of the hiding are also some animals, which were once free, then found and then hidden for the pleasure of the owner of hideouts, who now await a hiding.

Oh dear! The deer live in fear. Will they be sent to Bandarban or Khagrachari after being shown on TV? Is that a punishment posting? What a nirmom porihash! Their owners get comfort of 'division' and they are not even given a divisional outing. But then that is the destiny of the animal, whether caught from a jungle or shown off in a private sanctuary, whether denied the right of voting or waiting for the sanctified polls, whether sucked dry by well-speaking politicians and abetting bureaucrats or flooded in debt by international loan sharks.

Little wonder visitors to the Sundarbans do not see many deer or other quadrupeds. The entire country had been turned into a jungle. What a novel idea! I wonder when will they find the near extinct tigers, and in what state? I do not mean West Bengal. In the meantime, let us all work together to walk again on our two legs.

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