Skip to main content

Humpty Dumpty’s Hats


During one of her usual aimless wanderings in the Wonderland, Alice came across Humpty Dumpty sitting under a tree looking uncharacteristically desolate. “Oh, my dear Humpty Dumpty,” Alice said, “why do you look so depressed? Are you trying to be as fashionable as today’s children who think depression is sign of being elite?”

“Look at those monkeys,” HD said pointing at the tree behind him. “They took away all my hats while I was resting here in the shade for a while.”

“Hats! What are you doing with hats?”

“Trying to eke out a living by selling them. Nursery rhyme heroes have no validity today, you know.”

HD explained to Alice that nursery rhyme heroes like him had been replaced by certain people called Godse and Savarkar. So he took to selling hats and he wasn’t doing too badly in a country where quite many people talk through their hats. Now these monkeys have taken away his hats, all of them. “What will these unevolved apes do with hats?” HD concluded his woes.

Alice put her finger to her cheek and tried to recall a story she had heard a few years ago. “You know, HD, you can get your hats back,” she said excitedly. She asked HD to throw something at the apes and then they would throw the hats back because monkeys just imitated you foolishly.

Humpty Dumpty took a stone and threw it at the tree. But the monkeys didn’t throw the hats back. Not one of them. Instead one fellow wearing an orange hat of HD on his head came forward to a branch-end and said:

Brothers and Sisters, we now stand at the crossroads of a historical moment. It is up to us now to choose a new direction. Human beings wear hats and see where they have reached. We too want to reach historical destinations, don’t we bhaiyon aur bahanon?”

“Yes, yes,” all the monkeys shouted.

These hats will help us in the process of writing and rewriting our history. Standing at this historical moment, led by me your historical leader, we begin a new journey, a nayi disha. A cultural revolution is beginning, bhaiyon aur bahanon.

All the monkeys shouted Jai to the leader. They praised the leader’s hat. Orange is the noblest colour, they said, because the leader was wearing an orange hat. That seemed to give a new idea to the leader.

The colour of the hat matters, bhaiyon aur bahanon. Orange and its shades are the colours of our own culture.

Leader looked around for applause and approval. His bête noire was sitting on a far branch wearing a sneer on his face and a green hat on his head.

Green is our enemy, bhaiyon aur bahanon. It is because of the monkeys who came from Greenland in the eleventh century that our kingdom went to ruins. These invading monkeys from Green-land plundered us, looted us, converted our ancestors from orange religion to green religion. We need to reconquer our true colour, our true history, our true heritage.

“Yes, yes,” shouted the monkeys except those wearing hats of green colour and its various shades. “We shall overcome,” they shouted fiercely throwing their fists into the air.

Alice and Humpty Dumpty looked at each other. Both looked equally baffled as if suddenly they belonged to another world, another planet.

“Show me the way,” Alice said.

“To where?” HD asked.

“Doesn’t matter to where,” Alice said.

“Then the way doesn’t matter,” HD said.

Alice started walking into the void that lay wherever she looked in the wonderland. Humpty Dumpty sat under the tree wondering what the colour of his new hat should be.


PS.
 I'm participating in #BlogchatterA2Z 

Previous Post: Good Governance

Tomorrow: Idiot

Comments

  1. Wish I was Alice and can escape in to void..love ur political satires. Apt and hard hitting
    Todya i read news of ID atta ..did u happen to read!? Anyhow it's so much now that it is getting tragically funny!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's getting increasingly dangerous to live in this country. See the latest imposition of Hindi on the entire nation. It's not a question of a lingua franca. It's about whose India this is.

      Delete
  2. Hari Om
    Oh me oh my
    Cried White Rabbit,
    what magic and why
    Made Alice so crabbit?
    Could it be that
    Rotundular lad
    who lost his hat
    to the ape with a fad?
    Who knows I don't
    but now I must run
    there's a party
    ...somewhere... that's fun!

    Lovely one, TM! YAM xx
    H=Hope

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a lovely appendix to the post.

      Delete
    2. Yamini--Bravo!! Bravo!! love this. Suddenly, I'm in the mood to read Alice in Wonderland.

      Delete
  3. Awesome. Loved the satire. You have a clever way of talking about the trivial? yet burning issues of the day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Sonia. Something is not quite ok with the current politics. I'd rather vote for the corruption of previous regimes.

      Delete
  4. Nicely written satire, sir. You may be ready for previous corruption regimes. Unfortunately, they are not interested to receive votes. Hope they will come out of their prolonged unconsciousness.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, unfortunately they're decimating themselves.

      Delete
  5. Wow! you've weaved it so well. Politics and history, nursery rhymes and books....they all blended with each other so well!

    ReplyDelete
  6. WOW!!! This should be a series. I see the longevity and connectivity of R.K. Laxman's common man in this sparkling, stirring piece Tomichan.
    Would love to read more.

    Also, wanted to let you know that I shared your 'forest eats forest' piece on my blog on G day...that's how much I'd enjoyed reading it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Arti, for the compliment as well as sharing. Glad you express your likes so loud. 😊

      Delete
  7. What an apt piece of satire this is! The saffronization has become the greatest danger of our times.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's getting worse. See how Hindi is being imposed now. Not a good sign.

      Delete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

An Aberration of Kali Yuga

Are we Indians now living in an aberrant period of history? A period that is far worse than the puranic Kali Yuga? A period in which gods decide to run away in fear of men? That’s a very provocative question, isn’t it, especially in a time when people are being arrested for raising much more innocuous questions than that? But I raise my hands in surrender because I’m not raising this question; the Malayalam movie that Maggie and I watched is. Before I go to the provocations of the movie, I am compelled to clarify a spelling problem with the title of the movie. The title is Bhramayugam [ ഭ്രമയുഗം] in Malayalam. But the movie’s records and ads write it as Bramayugam [ ബ്രമയുഗം ] which would mean the yuga of Brama. Since Brama doesn’t mean anything in Malayalam, people like me will be tempted to understand it as the yuga of Brahma . In fact, that is how I understood it until Maggie corrected me before we set off to watch the movie by drawing my attention to the Malayalam spelling

Karma in Gita

I bought a copy of annotated Bhagavad Gita a few months back with the intention of understanding the scripture better since I’m living in a country that has become a Hindu theocracy in all but the Constitution. After reading the first part [chapters 1 to 6] which is about Karma, I gave up. Shelving a book [literally and metaphorically] is not entirely strange to me. If a book fails to appeal to me after a reasonable number of pages, I abandon it. The Gita failed to make sense to me just like any other scripture. That’s not surprising since I’m not a religious kind of a person. I go by reason. I accept poetry which is not quite rational. Art is meaningful for me though I can’t detect any logic in it. Even mysticism is acceptable. But the kind of stuff that Krishna was telling Arjuna didn’t make any sense at all. To me. Just a sample. When Arjuna says he doesn’t want to fight the war because he can’t kill his own kith and kin, Krishna’s answer is: Fight. If you are killed, you win he

Kabir the Guru - 1

Kabirvad Kabirvad is a banyan tree in Gujarat. It is named after Kabir, the mystic poet and saint of the 15 th century. There is a legend behind the tree. Two brothers are in search of a guru. They have an intuitive feeling that the guru will appear when they are ready for it. They plant a dry banyan root at a central spot in their courtyard. Whenever a sadhu passes by, they wash his feet at this particular spot. Their conviction is that the root will sprout into a sapling when their guru appears. Years pass and there’s no sign of any sapling. No less than four decades later, the sapling rises. The man who had come the previous day was a beggarly figure whom the brothers didn’t treat particularly well though they gave him some water to drink out of courtesy. But the sapling rose, after 40 years! So the brothers went in search of that beggarly figure. Kabir, the great 15 th century mystic poet, had been their guest. The legend says that the brothers became Kabir’s disciples. The b

Raising Stars

Bringing up children is both an art and a science. The parents must have certain skills as well as qualities and value systems if the children are to grow up into good human beings. How do the Bollywood stars bring up their children? That is an interesting subject which probably no one studied seriously until Rashmi Uchil did. The result of her study is the book titled Raising Stars: The challenges and joys of being a Bollywood parent . The book brings us the examples of no less than 26 Bollywood personalities on how they brought up their children in spite of their hectic schedules and other demands of the profession. In each chapter, the author highlights one particular virtue or skill or quality from each of these stars to teach us about the importance of that aspect in bringing up children. Managing anger, for example, is the topic of the first chapter where Mahima Chowdhary is our example. We move on to gender equality, confidence, discipline, etc, and end with spirituality whi

Kabir the Guru – 2

Read Part 1 of thi s here . K abir lived in the 15 th century. But his poems and songs are still valued. Being illiterate, he didn’t write them. They were passed on orally until they were collected by certain enthusiasts into books. Vipul Rikhi’s book, Drunk on Love: The Life, Vision and Songs of Kabir , not only brings the songs and poems together in one volume but also seeks to impart the very spirit of Kabir to the reader. Kabir is not just a name, the book informs us somewhere in the beginning. Kabir is a tradition. He is a legend, a philosophy, poetry and music. I would add that Kabir was a mystic. Most of his songs have something to do with spirituality. They strive to convey the deep meaning of reality. They also question the ordinary person’s practice of religion. They criticise the religious leaders such as pandits and mullahs. Though a Muslim, Kabir was immensely taken up by Ram, the Hindu god, for reasons known only to him perhaps. Most of the songs are about the gr