ANAMIKA

'(The Blog) With No Name', perhaps best described as a stream of notes and thoughts - 'remembered, recovered and (sometimes) invented'.

Monday, May 19, 2008

"In The Name of Ram...!"

"So Everybody! Watch, watch! And get ready for a mindblowing show from ... Baba Solapuri!"

I turn and watch. The place, a crowded road leading to Pune station. Mid morning. A dirty man in dirtier clothes is trying to get passers-by involved in some spectacle. On the pavement in front of him is placed a large, old, filthy and tattered teddy bear - a stave has been driven right thru its chest; twigs stick out from the ears and nose. The man is taking out stuff from a gunny bag and laying them out. First up there is a snake which turns out to be of rubber, then a scaled down croc, again of rubber; he arranges the two beasts on the pavement, locked in combat. About half a dozen people have already collected. More to come...

A stern voice rings out. "Arrey, what the hell can you do, you idiot! Thrust that stupid rubber snake down your gullet and bring a live one, then show something, if you can!" The speaker is a smarter dressed man; he appears to have decided to take on the Dirty Showman ("DS" hereafter) on rather head-on terms.

DS: You, who are YOU??

The Smart Spectator (SS): That is none of your damn business. But if you wanna show something, show something proper. This is Pune, not your stupid village!

DS: Of course, I know Pune. And I have been showing my Magic here for ages. And it is real magic. The real 'siddhi' from my Pir, my Guru, Baba Solapuri. And what the hell are *you* to challenge me?

SS: Arey, I know about magic. Real Magic is to be found in Bengal. Ever heard of PC Sarkar? He could cut a woman into three pieces and bring her back to life. THAT is real magic. And you... how would you have even heard of him, have you ever been to school, you dolt?

DS: Mind your language! Its none of your business if I went to school, and (to a small crowd which has begun to collect)here in this very bag, is the ultimate magic charm from my Master, the like of which none of you has seen, the Power which no Hindu ever prayed to in a temple, no Muslim ever bowed to in a Mosque. It is real Power! Everybody, get ready!

SS: Okay, folks! Let us see what this fellow has to show.

DS starts picking out articles from the bag. There are two three black homunculi (the kind of talismans one gets at the Sani temple at Shingnapur), then a lemon, then a piece of bone, ...

SS: Big deal! Folks, this guy is a bloody fake. He shows a piece of bone from some graveyard...

DS: Shut your trap! This is not just *some* bone. This has Power. Just see what it its gonna to do you!

SS: What the hell will it do? I stand here. Can you hang me from that tree out there like Vetal?

DS: Much more than that! You are going to be physically lifted up and stood on your head in full public view, right now. Here, Jhoo Mantar....

SS: Wait! Let us make this a proper deal. Here (picks out a fifty rupee note from his pocket) take this. If your magic works, you keep this note (steps forward and thrusts the note into DS's pocket) And if you fail, I take a hundred quid from you!
(stands to attention)

DS: Bullshit! This is no gambling den. Go elsewhere if you want to double your money. Get lost!

SS: Hey, he has admitted defeat! Give me my money back and go away. Don't waste everybody's time!

DS: Who said I lost? You are gonna be lifted up and stood on your bloody head. But I do not bet any money; am no gambler. But here, I bet something even more precious! If my Magic fails, you take this bag.

SS: Who cares for that stupid gunny bag... But, first let us see what you can show!

DS: Hey, wait! You keep bloody challenging me. Let me challenge you back. What goddam thing can *you* show?

SS: Arey, don't take panga with me! I know magic! I went to Bengal to learn magic, went to Orissa to learn it, went to Kerala, even to Arunachal... And I know the real thing. I can just set your bag alight with a single spell.

DS: Nonsense! Even if you can set this little lemon on fire, I will admit you can do magic. Can you do even that??

SS: You bloody well remember, you are gonna regret challenging me. Here...

DS: Right, Folks! Here is the lemon, I have cut it into two pieces. And I am putting one piece right here on the pavement. (To SS)You stand there and set it ablaze, with your Mantra or whatever.

SS: People, come closer. (The crowd which is now about 20-25 strong, begins to cluster around the two and I am slowly being elbowed out - at any rate, I do not press forward, fearing for my pocket); yes, that is better. And everybody, just come closer, fold your hands, whether you are Hindu or Muslim... Here, I invoke, the real power, folks,... in the name of Ram..."

The crowd has congealed into a tight knot around the two; I find myself drifting away and presently I am walking off towards the bus-stand to catch a bus back home.

3 Comments:

  • At 11:18 PM, Blogger Karthik said…

    Nanda,
    Could you give me your e-mail id. I needed to convey something to you. You could mail me at karthikcet@gmail.com

     
  • At 4:22 AM, Blogger ray said…

    Hi ,

    I was reading ur blog posts and found some of them to be wow.. u write well.. Why don't you popularize it more.. ur posts on ur blog took my particular attention as some of them are interesting topics of mine too;

    BTW I help out some ex-IIMA guys who with another batch mate run www.rambhai.com where you can post links to your most loved blog-posts. Rambhai was the chaiwala at IIMA and it is a site where users can themselves share links to blog posts etc and other can find and vote on them. The best make it to the homepage!

    This way you can reach out to rambhai readers some of whom could become your ardent fans.. who knows.. :)

    Cheers,

     
  • At 10:53 AM, Blogger Friendly nextdoor guy said…

    in the name of religion, crap is done

     

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