What a life I’ve had!
From meteoric highs to abyssal lows, I have seen it all in one lifetime.
Honestly, I ain’t bragging a bit.
My monarchical regime has had enough illustrious landmarks to keep me etched in memories of the Indian folk.
I ain’t no commoner. Enjoying close connections with the great goddess, ‘Lakshmi’, I am the most sought. Interestingly, my respect and influence surpass all differences. I am the same thread that runs in ‘Banke Bihari’s’ ensemble and also in the ‘Dargah ki chadar’. I change hands, but have no religion or faith. I am the strict taskmaster who makes you work, while you think, it is I, who is working for you.
Whether tied together as a garland around a horse-mounted Delhi groom or flicked in between the lips of his drunken dancing relative, I have shamelessly promoted a brandish display of power and wealth in Indian weddings.
My fleeting glimpse and the vexing traffic policeman would relent, ignoring your most adverse road blunders. A whiff of my pink crispness could assure you a company of loyal friends. The warmth of my carefully bundled confidence could give you the spunk to blurt out Amitabh Bachchan’s Deewar movie’s legendary dialogue, ‘Aaj mere paas bangla hai, bank balance hai!’ (Today I own a bungalow, bank balance.)
Well, I have blabbered enough about my hay days.
Now you hear the story of my fatal downslide.
8th November 2016, brought a cataclysmic end to my undisputed reign. Even before I could tune to the impassioned ‘Mitron’ (friends) by the Indian premier, my life had been upturned. In a flash, I was dethroned from an unequivocal leader to an outlawed untouchable.
That one night the power game reversed and one single news telecast made me a zero from a hero. People hated my sight and queued to get rid of me. No one wanted to touch me anymore. Unimaginable. People burnt me alive.
One announcement by the government preceded by the ubiquitous word ‘Mitron’, made me a sacrilegious commodity, sending people into a chaotic mania to wash their hands off me.
Unimaginable fate followed. I was slandered in city gutters. I was abandoned on the road. Some said I had become too black to be left floating in the economy.
I thought I was still in the pink of my health.
Alas! I never realised how I had reached some unclean hands. They soiled my image. They used me against my own country. The picture of Mahatma Gandhi on my facade had been tainted black by the violent games they used me for. I had to be banished and thrown out of power.
Alas! An ignominious end followed.
A life of glory, power, and veneration was turned upside down, as I crumbled to gooey pieces in a small factory in Lucknow.
Today, as I incarnate as harmless cardboard boxes, I smile and reflect.
What a roller coaster. What a life!
Banke Bihari: Krishna temple in Mathura city of India.
Dargah ki Chadar: scared spread on the tomb of a saint.
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