Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Chiddu and Chilly grenades

PC or Chidambaram Palaniappan (yes that is the correct way to say it) is 65. None of his hairs is grey. They don’t age in Sivagangai where he comes from. The hair remains charcoal black till 90, by magic. The silk shawl that he throws on his shoulders is vintage Tamil politician style. Last night India’s home minister checked in at the Bobby guest house in Pahalgam. Kashmir is the place to be this summer.

The cub, with an iPad fitted to him, hosted an appams with chemmeen curry dinner for PC. No journalists could be found in the vicinity since the grand Mufti of Bijbehara, in a political masterstroke, had already fed them a sumptuous Wazwan. No one can really run around, let alone, write a news story, after partaking in Tabak-maaz. It hits you bang in the middle of the head, like Absolut Vodka. No Vodka was served at Mufti sahib’s feast.

So it turned out to be a private affair for PC and Omar. Like lovers they looked at each other on a mild Pahalgam evening, with the June moon smooching ebony mountain silhouettes in the distance. The police chief suppressed a half yawn when PC, known for his tough-talk, suddenly took something from of his brown bag. For a moment, Omar held his breath, jumping the gun in his thought balloon: Did he get me an Android?

Hopes were instantly dashed when a chilly grenade, Delhi’s latest gift to Kashmir, was unveiled to the CM. Soon the security grid will have trays of them and the next time the unloyal subjects, bored with Panchs and Sarpanchs, feel like to hurl a naar-Kangir or two at the occupation, cops can throw these lung burning, skin needling bombs back at them. You see, the best thing about a democracy is that it knows how to bring the people to their knees.

Early this morning PC took a chopper to Gurez, high up in the Himalyas, famed for its snow leopard. Journalists, Wazwan hangover finally receding, flocked to hear the CM, over high-tea in SKICC -- that all-expenses paid government watering-hole, which locals call Santoor. Butterflies are abound in the gardens of Srinagar. Non-political tourists amble about the Dal and the hill resorts. Life’s good.

© Sameer