The Lonely Planet says, “India will sideswipe you with its size, clamour and diversity”. Absolutely true! India is a land of stunning contrasts, many moods & diverse cultures. This blog is an attempt to capture India in all its varied hues. It will have a bit of everything: interesting anecdotes from history, political & social slugfests, perennially underperforming sportspersons, good food & hopefully a travelogue. Hop on & I promise you an interesting ride.
In the ancient land of Erg If Knish lived the ageing but age-defying ruler Fresh King I nicknamed Yo Tarmac Doll. The nickname; it was whispered, was due to his two passions in life, flying and … er… dolls. With his old friend, the god Bacchus, in his corner Yo Tarmac Doll conquered the whole wide world of Hic Hic land. Hic Hic Land was the world of fabulous wealth, and having conquered it he was the lord and master of its bottom less riches. The richer he grew the more good times he had… in fact Erg If Knish began to be called the Land of Good Times and Yo Tarmac Doll the King of Good Times. He encouraged art and crafts much like later, lesser rulers like Samudragupta and Akbar and Shahjahan. He encouraged paintings, especially of ethereal beauties, which were so craftily done that one could not realize where the skin ended and the outfit began. Such was his greatness and the power to give the masses what they wanted. And year on year it went on. Yo Tarmac Doll was a generous monarch. Not only did he encourage art and crafts he also encouraged sports; such as it was in those ancient times. He was the first in Erg If Knish to have a chariot that raced against the best in the world. It never won, but the objective was not to win but to give the others a chance to win. He even had 11 kids, in coloured clothing; fool around with sticks and balls in his playground. And he would pay them handsomely for doing so. Such a kind hearted man…. Not just the arts and sports, he brought back the sword of the ancient Sultan that had been robbed from his land as a tribute to the glory of Erg If Knish. And for this act he was put on a higher pedestal. If, such a thing were possible. But with success came arrogance. He began to think big. He began to think he could challenge the gods. He began to think he could fly… and be one with the gods. And that is when the gods spat at him. He did not realize that conquering Hic Hic land with Bacchus in his corner was one thing and flying too close to the sun was quite another. It is never a good idea to fly too high or too close to the sun. Ask Icarus. Ask Hanuman. They flew too close and suffered. So did Yo Tarmac Doll. He tried to re-create the good times in the air and came a cropper. So much so that his flights of fancy stopped taking off and the King of Good Times was grounded. So what did he do? Well, he did what everyone who has their hubris shattered would do. He went up to his Mai Baap – The Sarkar and prayed for help. He of the arrogant past went with a begging bowl so that he could continue to fly. All the while he was seething with indignation. How dare the population treat him, Yo Tarmac Doll, the King of Good Times like this? Life was indeed unfair. But his problems did not end there. If he felt that he could quietly go to the Mai-Baap and ask and receive moolah, he had another thing coming because, suddenly, there was another problem. While Mai-Baap was willing to give him the moolah, some ungrateful people began to question why Mai-Baap’s money should be used to help Yo Tarmac Doll. After all did he not conquer Hic Hic Land all on his own? Did he not plunder the land when he conquered it? And did he share this moolah with others? Nope. Not one paisa. Then why should Mai-Baap help him? Where was the moolah that he plundered? Surely all was not spent in his pursuits of art and crafts? Or was it that his young prince, Hard Shit, spent it all when out with princess Pea Dike. At any rate the pressure on Mai-Baap not to help him increased. And when that happened, Mai-Baap very intelligently pushed it onto the Banks that had lent him money. After all how did it matter if a few friends helped a few others? It was all part of the divine game plan of which Yo Tarmac Doll was an indispensable part. But the Banks were smarter this time, smarting as they were under the fact that Yo Tarmac Doll had in the past too said a whole bunch of things but had failed to honour the commitment. If they helped him in his flight of fancy then they would surely sink to oblivion. And there they left Yo Tarmac Doll to think about what might have been had he not flown too high. So this, children, is the sad story of the King Yo Tarmac Doll. Of how one man could rise to the top and then topple from that perch because of his arrogance and also because of his incompetence perhaps. I know a few of the older children are whispering at the back that this is all legend and myth and stories. But I would like to differ. These things really did happen in the distant past. These people did exist then. Learn the lessons children and never try to fly too close to the sun.