Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Lewis Carroll take on Indo-Pak relations

Well, well. The ISI chief is not coming, after all. My jaw hasn't dropped to the floor- has yours? Ah, screw that. I've been thinking how well Carroll's hypocritical Walrus fits in with Indo-Pak relations. And with due apologies to Lewis Carroll, I've attempted an adaptation of that poem- just changed a few words, not the meaning.
Here goes:
India was shining on the sea,
Shining with all her might:
She did her very best to make
Her global image shiny and bright-
And this was odd, because it was
The middle of a blood-splattered night.

Pakistan was shining sulkily
Because she thought India’s sons
Had no business to accuse her
Of the evil that was done-
"It's very rude of them," she said,
"To try and spoil our fun!"

India’s eyes were wet as wet could be,
Pakistan’s were dry as dry.
You could not see a cloud, because
Smoke had obliterated the sky:
No birds were flying overhead-
They were too scared to fly.

A Mulla and the ISI,
Were walking close at hand;
They wept like anything to see
Such quantities of blood on India’s land:
"If terrorists were only cleared away,"
They said, "it would be grand!"

"If India and Pakistan joined hands and
Pondered over it for half a year.
Do you suppose," the Mulla said,
"That they could get it clear?"
"I hope so," said the ISI,
And shed a crocodile tear.

"O Indians, come and talk to us!"
The ISI did beseech.
"A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,
Along the briny beach:
Come one, come all-and rest assured
We’ll give a helping hand to each."

The wisest Indian looked at him,
But never a word he said:
The wisest Indian winked his eye,
And shook his heavy head-
Meaning to say he did not choose
To leave his cosy Indian-bed.

But four young Indians hurried up,
All eager for the treat:
Their coats were brushed, their faces washed,
Their shoes were clean and neat-
And this was odd, because, you know,
Terrorists had blasted off their feet.

Four other Indians followed them,
And yet another four;
And thick and fast they came at last,
And more, and more, and more-
All hopping through the frothy waves,
And scrambling to the shore.

The ISI and the Mulla
Walked on a mile or so,
And then they rested on a rock
Conveniently low:
And all the eager Indians stood
And waited in a row.

"The time has come," the ISI said,
"To talk of many things:
Of RDX-and terrorist-infected ships-and the LeT-
Of the economy-and Bollywood kings-
And why your rage is boiling hot-
And whether the captured terrorist did sing."

"But wait a bit," the Indians cried,
"Before we have our chat;
For all of us have gaping wounds,
And some of us smell a rat!"
"No hurry!" said the ISI.
They thanked them much for that.

"A couple of naans," the ISI said
,"Is what we chiefly need:
Onions in vinegar besides
Are very good indeed-
Now if you're ready, Indians dear,
We can begin to feed."

"But not on us!" the Indians cried,
Turning a little blue.
"After such reassurances, that would be
A dismal thing to do!"
"The night is fine," the ISI said.
"Do you admire the bloodied view?

It was so kind of you to come!
And you are very nice!"
The Mulla said nothing but
"Pass the salt:
I wish you were not quite so deaf-
I've had to ask you twice!"

"It seems a shame," the ISI said,
"To play them such a trick,
After we've brought them out so far,
And made them trot so quick!"
The Mulla said nothing but
"The ghee is spread too thick!"

"I weep for you," the ISI said:
"I deeply sympathize.
"With sobs and tears he sorted out
Those of the largest size,
Holding his pocket-handkerchief
Before his streaming eyes.

"O Indians," said the ISI,
"You've had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?'
But answer came there none-
And this was scarcely odd, because
They'd eaten every one.

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