WHEN I INCLUDED A WHOLE CHAPTER ON CARTOONISTS IN MY BOOK ON Journalism ‘A TOWN CALLED PENURY – the Changing Culture of Indian Journalism’, I did not even mention Mangesh Tendulkar, the cartoonist who died a few days ago.
That was because of my ignorance about many cartoonists in language publications, like Tendulkar was in Marathi periodicals. But his one cartoon on death (see above) published following on his own death — made me think deeply about our own lives and achievements, the pride and ego about a momentary ‘greatness’ soon forgotten.
That was what Tendulkar’s cartoon was about. For the uninitiated the top letter on the tomb- stone (in Marathi) is ‘Kai‘ (short for Kailaswasi – meaning ‘now in heaven’) an equivalent of ‘the late’. Under it ‘Mi‘, in Marathi means ‘myself‘. It is, therefore, about his own tombstone getting the treatment which poles and such structures usually get from dogs. Continue reading Idiot’s Tale Signifying Nothing
To The President
Residents’ Welfare Association,
False Prestige Apartments
This is to bring to your notice a serious wrong done to me, an eminent member of a prominent caste to which some kings belonged, by the security men of the apartment
You know that I am a member of the Managing Committee of the Residents’ Welfare Association, a post I condescendingly accepted though I am an eminent member of a prominent caste to which some kings belonged.
On 23rd of this month I went from my sixth-floor flat to the terrace garden on atop the 14th floor to attend a program organised by the RWA. When I reached there I found that all the front-row seats were occupied. I had to stand for full two minutes till someone in the second row vacated a seat for me.
Though I am an eminent member of a prominent caste to which some kings belonged, a nine-year-old boy sat in front of me in the first row making me sit with others like a common man. He did not get up, prostrate before me and offer me the seat.
I am a very peaceful and soft-spoken person. The 13 dogs in the apartment buildings always respect me by wagging their tails whenever I pass by. That is enough proof of my being an extremely good, mature and understanding person.
All these dogs know that I had beaten up only three security men, one plumber and two electricians in the last two years when they did not bow down to touch my feet, though I am an eminent member of a prominent caste to which kings belonged. It is known that I am a good man.
So I caught the boy who sat so disrespectfully in front me, an eminent member of a prominent caste to which some kings belonged and very courteously and peacefully thrashed him. When I wanted to throw him down from the 14th floor some people restrained me, holding my hands though they belonged to lower castes and asked the security men to remove me from the meeting.
Please tell me what wrong have I done? Should those low caste men touch me and prevent me, a member of the managing committee of the RWA and an eminent member of a prominent caste to which some kings belonged, from throwing down a boy who did not vacate the seat for me and made me sit with common people?
Now the security and other residents of the flats do not allow me to enter the lift to go to my fifth floor apartment. After being forced to take the stairs to the fifth floor seven times, I had to get some brethren from my prominent caste to install a pulley on the flat’s balcony and pull up by rope a basket in which I sit. It is risky and I shudder to think of the rope snapping midway.
Residents of the flat are totally wrong in treating me the this way knowing that I am an eminent member of a prominent caste to which some kings belonged and also a RWA managing committee member. They allege I tried to kill the boy. Is it possible, as I was not carrying any arms? I only wanted to strangle the boy and throw him down peacefully and with all respect. In fact a journalist who was writing against me was carrying a sharp, pointed, instrument with which I could have been stabbed – a fountain pen.
I feel that I have done nothing wrong. It is our culture, from anicent times, that an eminent member of a prominent caste to which some kings belonged are always greeted by people prostrating before him and touching his feet. So the residents owe me an apology.
It is very difficult to sit in a basket and be pulled up to fifth floor by a pulley, for which I have to feed and pay several concerned fellow-brethren from my prominent caste. Mid-air and feeling the discomfort of the basket on my rear, as I was being pulled up, I could relate to another person, also in mid-air (on an air plane), who was not given due respect and the right seat.
I hereby demand that security agency of the apartments be told to not only allow me to use the lift, but also ensure that no common people share it with me, an eminent member of a prominent caste to which some kings belonged.
After all I am an RWA managing committee member and not a common man.