The common man of India is regularly suppressed and oppressed by the piles of calamities surrounding him. There is sometimes the fear of swine flu, and sometimes a natural disaster like an earthquake or flood. Some people worry because they live in places where there is still no electricity and some cry in spite of the electricity because it seldom lights their home with the frequent power cuts. The water comes and goes and petrol price just grows.But amidst all the miseries and worries, the common man still finds ways to smile, if not on good things then the bad things surrounding his life and the latest to jerk the funny bones of the common man is none other than the Commonwealth games.
From the moment the first news of the disaster broke out about a month ago, people have let out their anger in the way they know it best- through humour. And that is why SMSes, tweets, facebook updates, magazines, newspapers and chai-time gossips have all been flooded by one liner, cartoons and joke about the games that could have been the crowning glory of India but instead have become the exhibition of general ineptitude.
While the BBC site openly displayed images of excrement stained athlete rooms and collapsing bridges, Indian cartoonist made sure that the heartaches of Indians was a bit reduced by thinking of innovative ideas to raise more money for the games. (see image)
Then there was the whisper that the Queen was being persuaded by Prince Charles to visit Delhi. Why? Because that might be his only chance to become king!
Yesterday there was ‘breaking news’ that Suresh Kalmadi was so ashamed about the CWG that he planned to hang himself. But alas! The ceiling collapsed.
While Suresh Kalmadi’s name was also twisted and turned in such a way that it spelt SIR U MADE LAKHS instead of SURESH KALMADI there were some extreme optimist who saw the dismal situation as a good thing for India. It seems the more teams and athletes pull out, the more is the chance for Indian athletes to win medals!
Even terror was not left in peace. As everything bad happening in the world today is some way or the other linked to extremists, terrorists, Osama and the Mujahideens, they appeared the easy scapegoat for the games debacle too. Here is what a particular SMS read – ‘Indian Mujahideen takes full responsibility for the Delhi rains, says suicide-bursting clouds being deployed over the city’ and another one that said “Terrorists found leaving stadium before the games begin. They do not want to die of a roof collapse.”
The Pune Mirror particularly thought the preparations for the commonwealth were going on at an excellent pace.(see image)
A R Rahman toiled in his studio pouring some life to his own stale song for the games and some crooned his popular tunes albeit with twist of words. So Oscar winning ‘Jai Ho’ became ‘na ja na ja dilli tujhe dar na lage…khele kushti aur sir pe chhat a gire sambhalo…sambhalo…sambhalo…’
Many Indians had woken up to the poor organising truths one fine day when Mani Shankar Aiyar famously remarked that he would want the games to be a failure. And while the battle of words between him and Kalmadi covered all the front pages of major newspapers, the real punch came in the inside pages where even these two warring veterans were not spared. (see image)
Less than a week is left for the CWG 2010 to begin and while all the wealth has been taken out of Commonwealth by gluttonous Indian officials, the common man is treasuring these snippets of laughter brought by the unusual turn of events at Delhi. The latest from the host city is that a slithering Cobra visited the Tennis Stadium on Sunday and the army is now building the broken bridge. If you are an Indian, assuredly more black humour is soon to invade your mobile, television, newspaper and social networking site. Like R.K. Laxman’s common man, we have all become the observers of our own plight. The world pities at our miserable conditions while we laugh at our own sordid state.
So while the hullaballoo surrounding the games lasts, if you have a latest joke to share, feel free to comment. Let’s all heal our wounds with laughter…the best medicine.