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Friday, June 03, 2005

THE PERFORMING FLEA CONTEST

The Scripps/National Geographic gang holds an annual jamboree, much on the lines of the Camel Fair at Pushkar, elephant race near Guruvayoor, or the donkey parade at Vautha. Of course, since America appears to have less feathered and furred friends than India ( Ed: But, more animal instincts !) , they use preternatural and precocious brats instead.

Unlike our f.and f. f., who are prodded and cajoled into putting their best feet forward (sic)only on D-Day, these pestilential kids-,professed nerds, are painfully aware of expectations upon their slumped shoulders throughout the year, and strain every sinew to win the coveted Bee contest ( Ed-where those who lose are peremptorily asked to buzz off !). Dictionaries, verbal Vernier Calipers, wordy treadmills form the diverse arsenal that these children employ for training. They are also helped by local and mofussil pageants, which accord further opportunities to hone their skills (sic).

Children of PIOs tend to do well in these events, aided by insufferable parents who endeavour to shape their own thwarted dreams by foisting laundry loads of ambition on their progeny, who acquire an eerie verisimilitude to the star attractions of Vautha. Expectedly, most of these children wear ponderous glasses, a sulky mien, a podgy appearance and live their lives vicariously.

Why the media madmen of India behave as if they have a bee in their bonnets, on encountering these “successes” abroad is beyond me. I refuse to believe that there is anybody who can be an Indian American; either one is Indian, or one is American. I find it difficult to bask in any reflected glory “earned” by those who have willfully chosen to live elsewhere.

So Anurag, Samir, Aliya and all you drones, Scat or I’ll sting you !

Bhanvara badaa naadaan hai

Bagiyan ka mehmaan hai

Phir bhi jaane naa jaane naa jaane naa….


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