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Friday, February 17, 2012

(Published in Sify.com on 18 February 2012, retrieved from http://www.sify.com/news/of-bomb-blasts-and-shooting-blanks-news-columns-mcsiwhihhfa)




(Picture Courtesy: Sify.com. Unauthorised reproduction of this picture is prohibited.)



“It’s been a strange week, huh?”
“Yeah, the kind of week where it seems like everyone has been shoving their hands in their pockets and sauntering about, whistling a tune while thinking of something new to say about the weather.”
“I think it all began with the car bombing in Delhi. Where did they get the Iran connection from?!”
“No clue. I’m not sure what to think. But I do have a feeling Netanyahu, Ahmadinejad, Baba Ramdev and Prince Philip could have been BFFs under different circumstances.”
“Oh, how I’d love to listen in on the conversations those four would have!”
“And read the RTI applications and FIRs they would file!”
“Who do you think did it?”
“Who knows? Anyway, I get the feeling no one cares. You know, the sauntering and whistling and shoving hands in pockets? The day after the bombing, India and Israel were going on about the camaraderie between their leaders, and how cooperative everyone had been.”
“Then what was all that about the National Bomb Data Centre not being allowed to examine the SUV for diplomatic reasons?”
“Probably just as well. Did you hear about the Delhi Police Commissioner’s press conference?”
“I read something about sticky bombs, and how B K Gupta had spent hours researching them.”
“Looks like the research was done on Wikipedia. Actually, Terraria Wiki. And the police proudly distributed pamphlets about how sticky bombs are made from 1 bomb and 5 gel, and how they can damage mobs and players.”
“All I can say is thank God gaming has moved on from Contra.”
“Do you think that earthquake drill in Delhi was to distract from the police’s faux pas, then?”
“If it was, it doesn’t seem to have worked too well. Everyone’s torn the Traffic Police apart. Apparently, only the ambulances and fire tenders were held up. Well, okay, not really, but there was a whole lot of confusion about which intersections should be closed.”
“I don’t understand the criticism about signboards not being in place in high-rises, though. I mean, if there was actually a 7.9-magnitude earthquake, the signboards and diagrams would probably head downstairs first, huh?”
“Did you see the pictures of the volunteers lying about? I thought they looked more like they’d been attacked by chloroform than a 7.9-magnitude quake.”
“I thought they looked like a heroine from a Karan Johar song sequence had felled them with a rose.”
“So maybe the Delhi Police refused permission to hold drills in their ITO headquarters on principle.”
“You’re allowed to refuse permission to an earthquake to hit you?”
“I suppose it would be more convenient for everyone concerned if it hit the income tax office instead.”
“That sounds like a conspiracy theory.”
“Maybe you should join that elite foursome we were speaking of.”
“No, I’ve a way to go. I’m not quite as paranoid or imaginative as I’d like to be.”
“Then you should try and join the Delhi government. They said it had turned out to be a farce because it was on such a large scale. Not very imaginative or paranoid.”
“As in, they thought maybe they should have gone with a lesser magnitude of earthquake?”
“Not sure. I don’t get why they decided to prepare for an earthquake of all things, though.”
“What are the other options?”
“Maybe a nuclear disaster?”
“How would you even go about dealing with that?”
“I don’t know. But it seems more relevant somehow, given that Iran’s loading fuel roads into its reactors.”
“That’s not one of the imports we’re paying for in rupees, is it?”
“No, I think we’re sticking to other fuels for now.”
“Anyway, at least this is more exciting than election news.”
“Yeah, it’s almost like no one cares that an election is on. Even people in UP don’t seem to be particularly concerned.”
“Rahul made a symbolic gesture. That was the big news.”
“Was it a rude gesture?”
“No, he tore up some paper.”
“The one with Shiv Sena’s ad?”
“No, just a list of promises.”
“So, he’s saying he has nothing to offer?”
“You’d think, but I believe he was gunning for something along the lines of ‘Promises are not enough’.”
“What I’d really like to see, though, is Sonia Gandhi’s papers fly off when she makes an election speech. I’ve always wondered what language they’re written in.”
“I’d be more interested in what language she runs with once they do fly off.”
“In her place, I’d just sing the national anthem. That would stop people from running off after the papers.”
“By the way, do you know whether you need to know the national anthem to take up Indian citizenship?”
“Ah.”

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