Telegraph Calcutta

Aye Mere Watan ke Logon

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Ah, the juices. The juices when they begin to flow. From the fount itself, pure, undiluted, no artificial colours or sugar added (*Conditions apply). Those can often be tough conditions when they apply them, mind you. No artificial colours. No sugar. No sugar, please note. Those conditions they warned about being applied can be bitter. But the juices. And when it is Walrus rus it is special rus. It’s like no other. It’s the Walrus, after all; the rus is written in, intrinsic. Some folks also call him NarangiRus. The native folks, folks who belong here, as distinct from the folks who do not belong and are to be categorised alien, or invader, or infiltrator, or, as has now been spelt out in the latest edition of the Revised Boxford Dickshunary, termites.

Termites are tough to tackle. They get into spaces few other living things get into. And once there, they dig in, dig, dig, dig, deep and settle. And when settled, bite. They get under the skin and give themselves a treat from inside that cushioning. Chomp. Chomp. Chomp. And when it’s the Walrus they get into, the treat turns special. It becomes a treat, dripping with rus. They suck and suck until they can suck no more. Imagine a bagful of rus the size of a Walrus, and imagine the puny termite; how much can the poor fellow take in? But take away and take in the termite does, to capacity. In teenie-weenie bits with its teenie-weenie teeth. Small bites that turn into big burning blisters: TERBITE!!! Ouch! Kaanta lagaaaa! That’s why termites are nothing to tolerate.

But don’t tell that to the Walrus, not in the mood he is currently in. Gentle. Genial. Shedding rus. NarangiRus from NarangiPur, where he is native to. NarangiPur-Upon-NarangiSea. Where everything is Narangi. Which is how they want all of the Brahmaand to be: Narangi. There’s time yet, but they are trying. Trying hard. Very hard. So hard that NarangiRus, or Walrus, has himself waddled out and decided to woo a constituency far wider than he or his TeamNarangi would ever have imagined, or even bothered with. There he is, beached, having hauled himself out of the NarangiSea, and prepared to be face-to-face with a congregation he does not often present his Narangi eminence to — before whosoever might be interested. Walrus, dripping on the beach. Dripping the juice of kindness. Almost the kindness that drips off Mahadeb’s bhaanrs of tea, but they haven’t dripped such a long while it is no longer possible to imagine the sweetness they dripped.

But forget Mahadeb; Walrus is here. Surveying the field on the beach. Brooding, Yoda-like, picking his people to comment on and commend. Oh you lot, yes, you did some good work chasing out those gora charlatans and setting up a fence and giving some sort of shape to this geography of ours while we waddled in our NarangiSea, wondering what to do, which way to go. You know about the time, we were in a bit of a look-London-see-Berlin phase. You know that Bunch of Boughts kind of phase. We bought into a few of those things, yes, but we are thinking whether we bought right. We are not entirely convinced we did, but let’s not talk about it at the moment.

For the moment, just come closer, let me have a look at you. Be not afraid. I have tusks, but I have whiskers too. Soft whiskers. Look. And I am vegetarian, plain Narangi. I know I may have left you menaced. But that was then. That was when I needed to. I no longer may.

Come, take a closer look, don’t be conditioned by what you thought of me, judge me for what I am today. No harm shall come to you. As long as you behave as I wish you to. Conduct yourselves the way we would have you conduct yourselves. You shall have nothing to fear. My tusks, ah, but they are nothing I can do anything about. I was born with them. But as I said. I have whiskers too. And I drip sweet rus, the whole of me drips it. Come, let me examine you close, let me see if you belong, let me convince myself. Or you convince me. Tell me you’ll behave, and do as I tell you. Then I shall have no problems. How can we be bigger if we do not have amidst us the smaller or the lesser, after all? Come my dears, you serve a purpose.

Come under my shade now
Even though you aren’t my own
Else, I do so solemnly vow
’Neath my tusk I’ll have you thrown.

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