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Well ladies and gentlemen, I invite you to a get together for biryani wearing burkinis, while carrying water from Karnataka, holding our ration cards for identification made in Delhi, avoiding lifts used by Tarun Tejpal and his ilk, giving way to all minorities, using parliamentary language, without consulting our Whats app for updates, with seating arrangements made on charpoys stolen from UP, to discuss Burhan wanis killing and the state of affairs of J&K, without mentioning the Punjab drug menace, while retaining our sense of humour by tweeting to the PM about the bribe being taken by all and sundry, catering for the delays due to pot holes on roads, adding time for diversions due to traffic jams and the stink raised by garbage dumps on our way to find a solution to govern India with special focus on Pakistan,  after the pending judicial cases are resolved, keeping China’s and American role in UN in mind, to bring to trial the French commandos who killed a keralite, after the ban of liquor in Kerala followed by Bihar, which the Patel agitation supports, while the AAP has declared to ban meat and liquor in the holy city of Amritsar when they come to power, failing which our meeting over a daawat of biryani might get cancelled.

Yes ladies and gentlemen, aren’t you fed up already reading the first paragraph. This is exactly what is happening in our country, where the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing. The states don’t want any interference from the centre, and the centre is trying to take everyone aboard to push their decisions, while missing out on what we need to focus on actually. Everyone has his own selfish agenda, leave alone the politicians, even I have my own agenda to cater for, and so have you. Every where it is I, me, myself, take it individually, collectively as a community, as a state or a society. It is “I” who is always right, baki gaye tel lene.

Let me just ask you and especially our vegetarian friends, what comes to your mind when you hear the word biryani. It is rice cooked with meat, isn’t it, it never was rice cooked with vegetables. It was later modified to mixing the rice with vegetables and calling it as pullav. Now, what type of meat is used for it, your guess is as good as mine. It was basically goat/lamb meat. Later, a variation of putting vegetables was brought about in it, then why not a variation for the type of meat being added to it, thus came in the chicken biryani. Further, another variation was introduced with B**F. It is cheap, it is tasty, it is filling, and a poor man’s source of nutrition. Cow has been banned since ages, so what is available today is of buffalo meat, so why is such a hullabaloo about it. Try banning it in Kerala, North East etc where Hindus prefer to relish delicacy’s made out of this stuff. Anyways, much has been written about it, so no point rubbing it beyond a point. Gau Hamari mata hai aur rahegi, Period!

But, I have an issue with mata ji roaming free on roads, mataji eating plastic, mataji sitting near garbage dumps, mataji relaxing in the centre of roads, mataji being tortured by street dogs, mataji being serviced by pita ji in the main market, and causing many cars and bikes to be sent to workshops. Mata ji starving and being ill treated in gaushalas. Mataji being sent to fend for herself bruised and battered, with no veterinary care for her infections and wounds. Many a mata ji are violent, so are the pita jis. I hate to say it but the cow vigilante brigade are  not doing their jobs the way they should, but are busy harassing those who used to clear carcasses for the skins. I remember as a child, there used to be places which used to stink like hell, at the end of the villages mostly, where these people used to sit and shear the hides off animals. A pack of vultures used to be hanging around, waiting for their turn to devour the remains. I also remember there used to be stinky factories on the outskirts of towns making glue out of bones called “SARESH”, which was used while doing white wash in houses. All those have evaporated in thin air. The leather industry has taken a hit, even the famous kohlapuri chappals, made of pure cow leather, are finding it difficult to make two ends meet. Sad but true.

Well ladies and gentlemen, imagine there is a country which is banning Burkinis, due to security, safety and hygienic reasons, and here we are fighting for biryani and beef. We are a country which is launching rocket after rocket with satellites aboard, but we cannot sort out our interstate water disputes. We talk about running the “Talgo” train, but can’t keep our railway stations clean. We talk of a booming economy and gareebi hatao, but are embroiled in petty issues of reservations. We talk of foreign investment of thousands of crores, but can’t treat our man on the street who picks our garbage and cleans our street with adequate dignity. We talk of preservation of our eco system for the future generations, but immerse idols made of plaster of paris into all sorts of water bodies. Well, many of us don’t think twice before chucking a polythene bag filled with filth into a river or a pond. Please run your imagination of what can comprise of filth in this polythene I mention. India needs to wake up and wake up now.

We can’t feed our poor, we can’t clothe our poor, we can’t save our people from floods, and we can’t share our water. Then what can we do. Imagine, during a cordon and search operation, when your buddy sees you taking a swig of water from your water bottle and looks at you, you just hand the bottle over to him, as you know he has taken a bullet and is bleeding. The chopper will come after the break of dawn, till then you got to keep this man alive. You don’t care if you go thirsty that night. I am talking of that kind of camaraderie amongst us dear friends. We carry our comrades in turns, even at the peril of our lives but never leave him in enemy hands. This is how we see life. We in the forces care and we share everything. We keep our cantonments clean and green. We put in a lot of effort for that without hiring people from outside. We assume that we belong to that place knowing full well we shall be transferred tomorrow. The next chap who gets posted in carries on with the legacy. That’s how it should be. Isn’t it?

I don’t expect everyone to start changing overnight, but can we do those small little things, like for example just pick up the carry bag, which a dog or cat would have pulled out of a garbage can and put it back and close the lid. Can we carry the cover of our ice cream cone home, and dispose it off in our waste basket? Rather than chucking it on the road. Can we eat our MUFALI in the train, and put the peels into another poly bag, also can we stop rubbing the mufali kernels to remove the pink skin and then blow it into the neighbours face and dirtying the floor. Can we tell our children to eat their kurkure and save the poly pack for the next stop? Rather than making them food for our gau mataji, who may munch it all right, then suffer due to severe stomach ailments and die on the road. May we become broadminded enough to let the people who make a living out of dead animal carcasses to do their job, can we please enjoy our biryani in peace. Can we just do small things we were taught in moral science in schools? So friends, are you coming for the daawat? I wonder!!!!!!!!!!!!


© Noel Ellis