Thursday, January 22, 2009

The ALP

The following's a slightly rewritten version of the only article of mine that's ever been printed. Not that its "published" status is any indication of quality. It was my school magazine, and they also published an article named "My Cat" by an eight-year-old. But still, that I grasped, at a fairly young age, the simple fact that the easiest way to the top lies in the politics of hate, probably heralds a promising future in the corridors of power. There's still a long way to go, of course. To that end, I'm studying, with keen interest, the Israeli propaganda machine, which is currently engaged in getting away with murder. Citing "self defense", for instance, seems to work miracles in the PR world - even if you deny that very right to the people whose lands you're illegally occupying, and whom you're starving through an economic blockade that's lasted 18 months so far. Meanwhile, here's my own little political manifesto...



The ALP

I gripped the seat tightly to prevent myself from running up and down the bus, screaming with rage. Here I was, with barely fifteen minutes left to reach the theatre in time for the opening scene, and my fellow passengers and the bus driver were actively plotting against me. First of all, there was the number of bus stops on that route, that seemed to be one less than infinity, as the joke goes... I'm not sure that's quite all of the joke, but the thing is, I don't really remember the... I digress. Sorry.

Secondly, there was the speed at which some of the passengers were exiting the bus. A dying snail crawling to its death, would be a good description for one man's walk to the door, in particular. It was all I could do to restrain myself from aiming a carefully-timed kick at his rear to expedite his departure.

After one second less than eternity (I still cannot remember the punchline of that joke), my stop came. Elbowing all co-passengers out of the way, I was at the door, and even as the bus was slowing down, I was out of it and running alongside it with my face turned towards it, carrying an expression that said, "Look here fools. This is the way to get out of a bus." Obviously it wasn't. For, in the very next minute, I was lying on my back, clutching what was left of my face. A bloody lamppost.

I'm sure I have company here. It needn't necessarily have happened while jumping out of a bus. It might just as easily have been while cheerfully walking down the road, with a cool breeze ruffling your hair, and with the sunset behind your back, and you closing your eyes and smiling and thinking, "What a beautiful world this is!" Subsequent events, chiefly formulated by a solid object in your path, would convince you that this isn't such a beautiful world, after all. It isn't just the physical pain. Here you are, running alongside a bus with a contemptuous look on your face, or walking down the road with closed eyes and a blissfully happy face, and WHAM...

A recent survey by a leading magazine has shown that 58.65% of all road accidents are caused by vehicles colliding with lampposts. That they would have gone on to hit the wall beyond the lamppost had the lamppost not been there is besides the point. We're discussing cold, hard facts here and not hypothetical cases.

So the question is, all this death and destruction aside, do lampposts have anything that redeems them? Apart from population control, that is - which isn't an issue that earns too many votes, anyway. In everything that can be called art there is a quality of redemption, wrote Raymond Chandler. Lampposts aren't exactly art, and anyway the quote has nothing whatsoever to do with... why did I... well... ah yes... quality of redemption. Let's look at that, shall we?

Having done a lot of research on the matter, I gather that lampposts are primarily used as a means to guide at night idiots who haven't brought their torches. There's no redemption there; just aggravation. Is humouring them enough justification for the continued existence of this threat to life and property? Besides, even they require these monstrosities only at night. Ghosts and other assorted vampires and things disappear at the crack of dawn when their services are no longer required. But lampposts remain! Just today, as I was climbing out of bed to get ready for work, I counted three lampposts from my window... and this was at 11:30 in the morning.

So here I come to the crux of the issue. I'd like to invite all sensible people who have grasped the gravity of the situation, and also leading lights of the torch industry (heh heh; get it? leading lights of the torch... ahem... never mind), to join the newly-formed ALP (the Anti Lamppost Party) of which I am Founding (and so far, Only) Member and President. The broken lamppost is our symbol. My first official act, on becoming Prime Minister, will be to banish all lampposts from the street sides of India. Any lamppost found loitering near streets will be subjected to ten years of rigorous imprisonment and/or a fine of Rs. 50,000/-. On repeated loitering, the offending lamppost will be executed by the removal of its fuse. The time has come to draw a line on the pavement. Across this line, you do not illuminate!

I sincerely hope that the message has got through to you all. As I'm sure it has, please do consider a small donation to this noble cause. Social activism has its costs. I will leave you now to ponder over the views that I have just expressed. Thank you for your time.