Arup Chakraborty

Is it UP + Bihar?

A few hoardings and a small number of graffiti prepared by different political parties linger on the public mind for a long time. One such hoarding has been put outside the office of the Samajwadi Party in Lucknow. The display board contains the photograph of former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Akhilesh Yadav and that of the present Chief Minister of Bihar Nitish Kumar. A slogan in the hoarding reads: UP + Bihar Gayee Modi Sarkar (Uttar Pradesh with Bihar is set to limit the days of the Modi Sarkar). This reminds people of another poster in the late 1980s. Its catchword was: Uttar Bharat ki Taiyari Desh Ka Neta Atal Bihari (Northern India is getting ready to make Atal Bihari Vajpayee the Prime Minister of India). Still, few can forget a wall writing outside the Patna railway station in the late 1970s. The Emergency days had just been over, and all the opposition parties united under Jai Prakash Narayan to fight the Congress. There was a wall writing containing a sketch of a tree and that of Sanjay Gandhi on one of its branches. The buzzword was: barbād gulistāñ karneko bas ek hī ullū kaafī thā (Only one owl was enough to destroy the garden…). The Congress responded with another doodle in which they sketched a tree and the caricatures of all opposition leaders on each of its branches. And they wrote: har shāḳh pe ullū baithā hai anjām-e-gulistāñ kyā hogā(Now that owls have occupied each branch of the tree, what will happen to the garden)?”  The burlesque evoked a lot of sniggers among those who used to pass by the area.

Read also: Jack the Rippers

Royal guests arriving

Royal guest arriving
Illustration By Hasan Zaidi

Every living being wants comfort. Tigers are no exception. Madhya Pradesh is importing Cheetahs from Namibia, which will arrive at Kuno Palpur National Park on September 17, the birthday of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The state is set to give them a royal treatment. At the park, a massive enclosure has been set up for the guests that they may get all the comforts. Why not? Cheetahs have disappeared from India since 1948.  So say the wildlife experts. Thus, the guests deserve a rousing welcome. As the enclosure at the park is very comfortable, a few leopards had entered there and begun to lead a happy life, but the forest officials did not allow them to do that and shooed away those poor creatures from the compound. After all, the leopards are the residents of Madhya Pradesh. They should not disturb the guests. A forest official says the leopards were driven away from the enclosure to provide an opportunity to the newcomers, that they may get attuned to the new environment and, if the leopards are admitted into the enclosure, there will be fights between the Cheetahs and the leopards. Now, the residents of Madhya Pradesh are eagerly waiting for the guests’ arrival. Twenty retired army men will guard the enclosure.

Celebrating divorce!

Celebrating divorce
Illustration By Hasan Zaidi

A voluntary organisation is holding a function in Bhopal for 18 men whose marriages have been dissolved by various courts across the country. There are many stories about marriage and divorce. Yet, holding such a function is of course something new to a city like Bhopal where people still hide divorce – it does not matter whether it is related to a man or a woman. Many still feel divorce means the end of life. Ergo, the voluntary body, Bhai Welfare Society, says the purpose is to tell men that life exists even after the marital bonds end. Many lose their mental balance after divorce, because they pass through a lot of stress, including court cases, social stigma attached to divorce and parting with a huge amount of dough for settlement. The function is small and private, but the invitation card went viral. Still, there is a condition that an invitee should not disclose the name of his ex-wife.  The state women’s commission has, however, kept away from commenting on the issue.  

Read also: Lake Princess


Tail piece
Illustration By Hasan Zaidi

A resident of Lucknow was preparing for the wedding of his son. As he was averse to taking dowries, he advised his son to buy everything on his own.

One day, the man said to his father, “Dad, how much does it cost to get married?”

The man said, “I don’t know. I’m still paying.”

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