Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Peace Times

I loathe myself sometimes for not knowing too much Urdu. Every time I see people bartering couplets in Urdu, especially in Roman script on FaceBook, my envy is rekindled. Heck Geelani Sahib’s autobiography too is in Urdu. The boss of Indian army’s 15 Corps in Srinagar, Lt Gen Hasnain is currently going through the tome. The army PRO confirmed to journalists that Gen sahib is a voracious reader and likes Geelani sahib’s wolfish Urdu. He is reading page 144 at the moment. There are no sections in the book. Any pun is incidental.

Since this is the season of schemes, local journalists will soon get their share of the melon. Land is being finalized in Srinagar to be handed over to the press corps for housing. There will be separate zones for TV and Print guys. However it has been decided (perhaps at Devender’s insisting) that there be only one main entrance to the press mohalla. Sometimes when it becomes imperative to teach the natives a lesson or two in democracy, the gates can be bolted from outside. Simple.

Mufti Sahib has been appearing in papers oflate. That is always a bad omen. He starts off by saying innocuous little things (oh-you-see-I've-never-been-hungry-for-power-types) but soon blurts out something quite unexpected. A more seasoned and battle scarred player than Messrs Abdullahs' II and III, who are more prone to ad-libbing, Mufti is in his element when nothing untoward happens in Kashmir for more than a dozen weeks. A rival mainstream bloke in grey hair with a mic in hand talking in Kashmiri-accented Urdu. He completes the peace picture.

An Asiatic bear attacked someone in Srinagar the other day. The bear is reported to be in a fine shape and was seen making tracks close to the Zabarwan forest range on its back to the wilderness. It is said that in the wild one is more likely to be struck by lightning than to be attacked by a bear but these are strange times. Following an unusually big year for bear attacks, a seminar on how to meet a black, brown or polar bear and come out alive is being conducted in Tagore Hall.

Yes, you guessed it right. Doctor Sahib will make the keynote address.