Lining up for the alphabet soup

News Karnataka

Lining up for the alphabet soup

Lining up for the alphabet soup

Brian Fernandes   ¦    Jan 01, 2020 07:56:43 AM (IST)

Lining up for the alphabet soup-1

Brian Fernandes takes a hilarious look at the confusion surrounding the NPR, NRC, CAB, CAA

Even as Sundar Pichai took over and made the Alphabet look easy, Indians in their own country were left with no choice but to eat their alphabet soup (a soup with noodles shaped like alphabets served during the great depression) - NRC, NPR, CAB, CAA combined with PAN, AADHAAR, VOTER, etc - as appetizers!! The bottom line is - If you can swallow it you will be fine, but if you can't or don't, retention of all that you have had to eat will be tough, and you may have to survive on soup alone...

The soup is, mind you, without onions and, of all the condiments, garlic. They were, and still are too expensive. Still, some enjoyed the frugal fare - they said it is apt for the times - a time of strife and ill-treatment everywhere but here - and for a healthy living in a healthy atmosphere; while others, many others it seemed, were ready to starve, rather than sip the poisonous brew, they said would rip the soul out of their modern incarnation! But our soul is ancient, ain't it? And it seems that those who sipped the brew grew stronger, while those that starved themselves for themselves and.... others they said, lost weight rapidly - an unusual phenomenon during the festive season - for a festive person. But then many were in a restive rather than a festive mood!

Lining up for the alphabet soup-2
The problem is perhaps, how the letters in the soup connect to each other: According to the English Alphabet, A normally precedes C, as does B, but while that was a minor aberration, they even saw to it, that it followed N. New alphabets like R and P too were introduced by the Chefs, though their order of introduction was in order as will be seen in the ensuing order to be issued on the setting up of the soup kitchen! Confusing? Everyone is, it appears. It has to be. Else how can an alphabet soup be dished out, especially when it is an unbalanced mixture of the bland, the spicy and the poisonous, depending upon the constitution you have? The moment people know what it entails, tangibly and intangibly, it will be pushed away...or accepted with gusto if the hunger gnaws as it apparently does in these trying times of low GDP.

But like all other soup kitchens, you have to stand in line, even if your heart is not in it. After all, somebody else's is, because they made it... in India under the popular entrepreneurial scheme, again of their own making - make in India! And they are master Chefs too.. so why the apprehension?

But then, by now, we have gotten pretty used to standing in line! Haven’t we?

There was a time when we were eligible to and wanted to vote - we stood in line for a voter ID card; there was a time when we wanted to go abroad to visit or work - we stood in line for a passport; there was a time when we had more money than the government wanted us to have and they wanted to know how much more - we stood in line for a pan card; there was a time when we had no identity at all except our name and address and the government could not reach out to us - we stood in line for an Aadhar Card; there was a time when we had nothing to eat at home, and the stuff in the market was too costly - we stood in line for a ration card and then in the line again to collect our rations; there was a time when all the money we had at home became a liability - we stood in line to exchange it a little at a time; there was a time when they said the urban property we own by way of a Katha or an RTC, is not ours to own - we stood in line to get it on record through the Urban Property Record Scheme, which it seems, like all other items we stood in line for, have become redundant and invalid.

It is now time to stand in line again for the alphabet soup that they are dishing out. But by now, we have done it so often – standing in line that is - we have come to love it, haven’t we? It defines our existence – We are the linemen! Even if we stumble, we fall in line! It’s called, being aligned!

Lining up for the alphabet soup-3

Just worried a little that while the soup prepared by Master Chefs India, is being plated and dished out, it might just miss out on some of those important alphabets because they are not aligned properly, and leave us in a soup, not of our making!