Sunday, April 18, 2010

Tulips and texts

Phone rings in Room 134 in North Block, office of India’s home minister:

Omar: Hi, this is Omar. Could you put me onto Mr Chidambaram?
PA to Chidambaram: The minister is busy. In any case he is in no mood to talk to separatists.
Omar: This is Omar Abdullah, for heaven’s sake. Abdullah with an A. A for Allegiance, not Azadi.
PA: Oh, I am sorry Mr Abdullah. Transferring the call.
Omar: Mr Chidambaram. Good morning.
Chidambaram: Morning Omar, How is Srinagar?
Omar: There are tulips all over. In each lea and meadow. On CRPF bunkers outside my home.
Chidambaram: Don’t remind me of CRPF. Makes me think of Maoists, those cruel red flags.
Omar: My flag is also red.
Chidambaram [mischievously]: But you have blue eyes, Omar.

Omar smiles a shy smile. The tulips, outside his home, blush.

Omar quickly continues: Oh, I forgot, I called up to demand – no sorry, seek is the word – a ban on ‘block SMSes’ in Kashmir.
Chidambaram: Does SMSing bother you?
Omar: There are text terrorists lurking in the mountains behind the tulip garden.
Chidambaram: Grave, very grave.
Omar: Yes. Please make a call to Raja.
Chidambaram: I’ve no regard for kings and princes.
Omar: I mean A Raja, the telecom minister.
Chidambaram: oh, fret not Omar. My boys will do the needful.

Half an hour later.

Phones calls get made. There is frenetic activity in the telecom ministry. Notifications are quickly typed. Service providers in Kashmir are rung up. Text messages are banned. News is flashed on Internet. FaceBook status messages begin to get irate.

An hour later.

Omar: Hello, Can I speak with Mr Chidambaram? This is Abdullah. Omar Abdullah.
PS to Chidambaram: Right away, Sir.
Omar: Mr Chidambaram, I’d asked for a ban on ‘Group SMSes’. You got all SMS banned.
Chidambaram: Oh, I thought you said block SMS.
Omar: No, I meant ‘block’ as in group SMSes, used by the rumor mongers.
Chidambaram: Sorry I’m somewhat unhinged these days.
Omar: Can you have the order revoked? Mehbooba may gang up with Geelani on me. Already text terrorists are fuming and the FaceBook crowd is up-in-arms.
Chidambaram: A Raja is off to Nilgiris.
Omar: And Priyanka is in Srinagar.
Chidambaram: OMG, that skipped my head. Please ensure a pleasant stay.
Omar: Ofcourse I will. How about the call to Raja?
Chidambaram: I’ve winked my boys already. They are on the job.
Omar: Thank you.
Chidambaram: Happy Tuliping.

© Sameer
Filed under: Mini-blogs