Saturday, March 27, 2010

With malice towards one and all

Such was the title of Khushwant Singh’s column in the Illustrated Weekly of India. Both the gentleman and the magazine are perhaps unfamiliar to the “teenagers”(the list now officially includes ambulisamma and Vishal) who visit this blog. But there was a time when it was the only English magazine in India and Khushwant Singh, as its editor, was the most famous journalist. Despite the title, the column was usually humorous, although he did take pot shots at all sorts of people.

This light hearted Sunday post is in similar vein, the writer having woken up today in an impish mood.

In every country there are provincial jokes, and China is no exception. This popular tale sent me rambling off.

An alien came down to earth and landed in China. It first landed in Beijing. Immediately the people decided that it was a great political victory that must be showcased to the world as proof of the supremacy of the Communist Party and the Han race. The alien then went to Shanghai. Here the people argued as to the most effective way of making money from it; how it can be traded, showcased, etc etc. Then the alien landed at Guangzhou (my place). Here the people debated on how to cook and eat it !

Now what would happen if the alien went to various other places. Here is some wild conjecture.

The alien went to Britain. It was immediately told to curtsy to the Queen, stand a round of drinks in the local pub and asked whether it was a Manchester United or Liverpool supporter. The Sun published a topless photo of the alien in Page 3 and hinted that Naomi Campbell had already had an affair with it.

In France, the alien was told to speak in French, consume 3 bottles of wine at lunch, go on strike for half a day and take a holiday for the remainder of its stay.

In Germany the alien was asked how to curb inflation, not to support Greece, pulled up for driving at less than 200mph on the autobahn and told that it was as glamorous as Frau Merkel.

The alien went to Japan. After being photographed a million times, and reprimanded that it didn’t bow properly, the alien was bribed by all the political parties and told to visit the Yasukuni shrine. Its tongue was then cut off and eaten as sushi.

Off it went to Thailand. It was promptly captured as a slave and put to work in a go-go bar in Patpong Road. When it escaped, it was given a red shirt, told to demonstrate against the government, shut down Suvarnabhumi airport and preferably egest on the floor in the arrivals hall.

In Singapore, it was told not to chew gum, enrolled in a marriage class advising how to produce more children and caned on the back 6 times for not genuflecting in front of the Minister Mentor, or whatever he is called now.

In Dubai, it was asked to speak Malayalam. Its passport was snatched away by a Shekih and it was enlisted as a labourer building Burj II. It was then taken up and down Sheikh Zayed road at 700 mph and then deposited in a gold souk.

Off it went, to the US of A. It was denied entry for 7 hours at immigration because its Alien P2FB visa was not in order. It was then promptly sued for $ 7 trillion for causing mental anguish to the immigration officer by being an alien. The Tea Party Movement announced that its arrival was proof of the failure of Obamacare and Fox News interviewed it along with Sarah Palin.

And last of all, it came to India. It could not land in Mumbai because a certain Thackeray declared that it would not be allowed to land there as it was not a Manoos. 24 PILs were filed that the alien was a terrorist and must be deported immediately. Mayawati wanted 23.4% reservation for aliens in government jobs. A despondent alien finally made its way to Chennai. Here it met Gils, wearing a red trouser and a green shirt. And what did Gils do ? He promptly took it to a movie (movie review to appear next week in Gils’ blog). The alien could bear all what was inflicted on it in all other countries, but this was too much. It promptly decided that it could stand Earth no more and fled back to where it came from.