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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HD explained to Alice that nursery rhyme heroes like him had been replaced by certain people called Godse and Savarkar.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.

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  1. Wish I was Alice and can escape in to 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!

    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.

  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

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

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

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

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

  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.

    1. Yeah, unfortunately they're decimating themselves.

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

  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.

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

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

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


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