Dance of Democracy
What deities cannot do, democracy does. Quite a few of those on Juhu beach on Friday during the predominantly Bihari festival of Chhath Puja were Marathi-speaking people. These were BJP party workers on duty as volunteers. Their party had organised the festivities under the banner ‘Chhath Puja Mahasangh’.
A party worker said, “It is true that Chhath is celebrated in north India but you can see that how much we are doing here for this puja. I am sure that ‘Chhath maiyya’ will bless us too without discriminating between north Indians and Maharashtrians.’’
The ‘Chhath Puja Mahasangh’ had brought an idol of a goddess. When this correspondent inquired about it, a party worker said it was the idol of ‘Chhath maiyya’. It was an unexpected answer because during ‘Chhath puja’ the sun is worshipped and ‘Chhath maiyya’ is a belief.
On being asked as to who gave this idea to make a idol for ‘Chatth maiya’, the party worker said, “We make an idol of every Hindu god, so why not ‘Chhath maiyya’?
Trial by Fire
Along with Gokul nursing home, some shops on the ground floor of the building were also gutted. One of the shopkeepers, a 60-year-old man who had bought the shop out of his savings when he was 45, sat staring at his shop even after the fire was doused.
“With this shop, my life’s earnings have gone up in smoke. I do not know what to do now,” said the distraught man.
His wife tried to console him but in vain. Finally, she said, “A couple has lost their son in this fire. You have only lost your material. We will get it back. There is no doubt in that.”
The husband smiled a bit and held her hands saying, “What a great and irreparable loss to the couple.”
Unity in Diversity
After reading in a newspaper that an idol had been stolen from a temple, the caretaker of a mosque claimed that these thieves would find nothing in a mosque. He started praising Islam and its simplicity. “We are simple due to which we cannot be cheated nor we can be robbed”. Three days later, the same person went to Nagpada police station to report a theft in his mosque. An electrician who had come to repair a switchboard had made off with the loudspeaker.
Duck Die Nasty
Last week a holiday court of the Bombay high court was taking up urgent matters. One by one advocates were mentioning their cases. A common man who was not an advocate appeared party-in-person to mention his matter. He told the court that one of his envious friends had inserted a live duck into his body using black magic.
“My lord from the last five years this duck is inside me. X-rays and sonography have confirmed that there is a live duck inside me. From the last two years I am mentioning my case before various benches of the high court but no court is willing to address my grievance,” he submitted.
When the court turned him down, the man started speaking like a duck,” quack, quack, quack”. Even the judges stated laughing. After a moment, the judges ordered for silence and told the man, “You are saying that a live duck is inside you for five years. It is not possible. Do you have uterus where you kept the duck? If a live duck was inserted in you, either you or the duck would have died. No court can address your grievance, you need an efficient psychiatrist.” The man moved away from the courtroom but he had an angry face.
While travelling in an overcrowded train from Churchgate to Virar, this correspondent overheard an interesting conversation between three friends.
One, who was apparently from Delhi, compared the local train of Mumbai to Delhi’s metro and it’s crowd to Delhi’s crowd.
“How do you people travel here? Commuters here are so rough and rowdy. Even in the ladies compartment the situation is the same. They abuse people and don’t let passengers alight by jamming the doors. At least in Delhi people stand in queues and let the commuters alight first,” said the Delhi girl.
The Mumbai girl meanwhile defended her point saying that it is difficult in Mumbai because of the huge population. “Your Delhi metro cannot handle such a big population. So stop cribbing.”
Suddenly, the third girl from Uttar Pradesh told all of them to shut up. “You people are still lacking one thing. We can stop the train after every two seconds whenever our stop comes. I did that myself. I pulled the chain right in front of my house and got down with my bags and reached home within 10 minutes. That’s a privilege none of you can enjoy,” said the UP girl.
Girl: Nice mobile. Where did u buy?
Boy: I won dis in a running race.
Girl: How many persons participated?
Boy: Mobile owner, police and me.
Contributed by Sadhna Kumar, Swati Jha and Zeeshan Shaikh.
Compiled by Anil Singh.