News Karnataka
Sunday, July 14 2024
Brian's Subtle Humour

The wisdom of an Old Monk cannot be denied!

An Old Monk in a bottle
Photo Credit : By Author

Much like the courts do during summer, I sat on my vacation bench (hence this column’s long hiatus!), chatting with an Old Monk, watching the pitter-patter of raindrops turn into a deluge, creating reservoirs where there were none! But that’s a story for another rainy day.

The Old Monk shared his warmth and wisdom, telling me I was doing a good deed for society! A strange public-spirited and spiritual thought all at once you might think and rightly so! But indeed, I was doing exactly that, a reading of this year’s Karnataka state budget confirmed According to it, I was a part guarantor of the guarantees being offered to my fellow beings in the state for their livelihood, Food, Travel, and Electricity. These were money-back guarantees! Guaranteed by an Old Monk. The Old Monk said I’ve contributed more than double since 2013 toward the welfare of my fellow men, and I believed him.

I am lucky in that I prefer Rum to cocktails. A Bloody Mary would have left me bloodied after tomatoes blushed at their own price tags. Vodka cried too, but then there were many to wipe away its tears! Naturally. But none for the tomato farmers.

Both tomatoes and Alcohol, at least in Karnataka, are now prized possessions of the unaffluent and beware, are subject to theft. Gold and Cash are no longer the target of thieves. Tomatoes are being stolen, loans are being provided, and Bouncers are being hired for protection. And all the while, the debate is whether it is a vegetable or a fruit. Because it is a vegetable at Fruit Prices. And it is when we hear its prices from the vendor, we become, at least for a moment, a vegetable; but then awake and side with those who believe it’s a fruit!

At the Wine shop though, the spirit still soars. And it is on the back of this resourcefulness that lies the expectation of Rs: 36000 Cr in excise revenue this year. Imagine, this expectation has doubled and yet been met over the last 10 years. Even Charles Dickens who wrote The Great Expectations may be surprised. This year will be no different, especially when it’s for a social cause! Over the next 10 years… well, you can anticipate the blow! that’s why I say it’s best to sip your rum nice and slow!

While there is much to fear, from prices to floods, there is also much to cheer about. Zomato will be able to deliver your menu faster (without Tomato of course; McDonald’s has stopped using the vegetable in its menus after it became a fruit!), as they need not worry about the oncoming traffic, or traffic rules, given that their “gig workers” now have enhanced insurance of upto 4 Lakhs! Enhance yours though… on your own.

Even as the Young Monks of Karnataka were grappling with their newfound status as social workers, others were enjoying guarantees, without a warranty – the next government may not honour them, or this government may modify them, if the guarantor, the Young Monk, reneges on his tri-partite agreement to fund the guarantee! Even though India is currently touring the West Indies, Karnataka’s Residents emulating Gary Sobers would not add value, just reduce it!

Even as the Government is expecting 36000 crores from its young Monks without anything in return, but the satisfaction of playing a significant part in the well-being of their fellow beings, the Young Monks believe they have been taken for granted. They have begun to petition the government for something small in return! A scheme in which they get a free 90 ml in the morning and evening, and somebody else pays for it! Perhaps, the areca growers doing their own good deed? Then the Circle of Life would be complete!

But what is more disheartening perhaps, is that the price of Old Monk and XXX (Rum, not the other one) went up just as the Monsoon unleashed its cold fury! Grumbled at for long it remained scrambled in the clouds, but hell hath no fury, more than a cloud scorned and scorned it was, cursed it was, until the deluge. And still, it is cursed for the lives lost, property destroyed and the corruption in civic work exposed. And the last is not the least! It’s the elephant in the room that few see! After all, it’s a grey area (the colour of the elephant is what I am referring to BTW). We are the ants. But if an ant bites the ear of the elephant, well, experience cannot say whether it will make a difference, and that’s saying a lot!

Northwest India seems to be bearing the brunt with a one-in-10-year event or, so we are told. What it means is that there is enough time between events to prepare for them, just like we get revision holidays before the exams. And still, we blame the question paper. Maybe the questions are from beyond the syllabus. Quite likely.

And amid the heaviest monsoon the western coast has seen in a long time, in Maharastra, a threesome! Three CMs I meant. But only one office, one chair, and one Peon! What was interesting was the first two were partners before breaking up, then the latter two were partners before breaking up, and those that broke up, stood up for all that THEY believed was right and got back together again. Unfortunately, those that tried to put Humpty Dumpty together again after his great fall didn’t have their motivation, expertise, or fear! But to come to the party, they had to split their Party, but breaking up, uniting, and re-uniting is all in a day’s work, and yet worth 10 days of News headlines!

Of course, they did all this, split, spill, mop in the interest of the citizen, of the voter. But a voter cannot change his vote after the election, can he, given that it is anonymous? But the Old Monk asks, if the voter cannot pull the switch when the person he voted for switches, then is it within the bounds of equality before the law that you are told you enjoy? The Old Monk is warm and wise!

But it is justified they say, due to Ideological Differences or Dissatisfaction with their party leaders on account of Personal ambitions and/or Electoral Calculations. But can those also not be Voters’ arguments after a person they voted for switches or splits? Yet he cannot split or switch! Would it then amount to a breach of contract? And if that is the case then the voter must be allowed to change his vote too, through an automatic resignation that triggers a fresh election, wherein at least half the additional cost must be personally borne by the Switch hitter! The rest of course will be borne by the voter willingly! Else the voter is out, stumped just like Johnny Bairstow in the 2nd test of the ongoing Ashes Test Series in England as he left his crease to cross over! And that according to the pundits, is within the law even if it’s not in the spirit of cricket. Upholding the spirit of the law is more important than the letter of the Law. It’s when you drop the L from Law, that it becomes an Aw Moment!

Ah, there it is again, the spirit of that Old Monk providing solutions to complex issues! On that note, given that Young Monks can not only save the Old monk but also provide relief to a multitude, isn’t it best we go slow on it? Reminds me of a poem – Nice and Slow – I saw on WhatsApp, our omnipresent companion! I read it Nice and Slow – because that was its title, and then modified it a wee bit! Read it Nice & Slow!

Sip your Rum,

nice and slow.

No one knows,

when it’s time to go.

There’ll be no time

to enjoy the glow,

So, sip your Rum

nice and slow.

If you can do that

you’ll provide a family

with rice and a ride,

and light up a life

with money that can turn their tide!

You’ll feel satisfied,

and can’t hide your glow!

So sip your Rum

Nice and slow

Life is too short but

feels pretty long.

There’s too much to do

and so much going wrong,

So, most of the time

you struggle to be strong.

But, your chance is now,

so, until it’s time to go,

Sip your Rum

nice and slow.

In the end,

no one really knows how things will go,

So sip your Rum

nice and slow.

Cheers Guys!

Pic: Bigwire


This Article is written in a lighter vein. It hopes to bring a smile to your face, and you must not ascribe motives to its contents. There is no connection to events and characters in real life and if perchance you find, or make a connection with any such real-life event or character, rest assured it’s purely coincidental.

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Brian Fernandes

Brian is an alumnus of Roshni Nilaya’s Post Graduate School of Social Work, HR Department and has 30 years of local and international HR and General Management experience. Journalism, poetry, and feature writing is a passion which he is now able to pursue at will. Additionally, he loves compering and hosting talk shows. He loves learning and imparting it; so, when time permits, he provides leadership facilitation and soft skills training to Postgraduate students and Corporates in Mangaluru and Bengaluru. Besides, he is an accomplished Toastmaster under the aegis of and a designated Distinguished Toast Master.

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