Friday, February 24, 2006

How I saved Indo-Pak relations by finding a shoe!

The day before yesterday, we had an outrageously hilarious experience, something that I wouldn't forget for a while to come.

We had invited two singers and a troupe from Lahore on a cultural visit to the campus, and who had come to enthrall us with some Qawallis and other classical music. We had planned this as part of a campaign to showcase third world friendship against imperialism. Funnily the entire programme was planned in a day and the singers were invited the very next day!The problem was that despite the quick arrangements, we couldnt' get a proper auditorium in the campus booked and hence, we went in for an outdoor show in front of the Students' Union Office.

The singers were rather upset with the arrangements when they landed, but they brushed their disappointment after glancing at the healthy crowd to listen to the performance, and after a bit of mollification that we provided them. Soon the performance started and the audience were quite enthralled. What however happened suddenly was something super-funny!

(Aside: There is a rule in our campus that says that any kind of violence against dogs is a punishable offence. This perhaps has given leeway for dogs to trespass their supposed environs. ) Coming to the story again. When the singers had embarked upon the stage, they had left their traditional expensive footwear at the base of the open audi-stage. While we were engrossed with the show, in the meantime, suddenly one of my friends sitting beside me ran frantically behind the stage chasing two slightly grown up puppies. I was surprised seeing him do it when he called for me to join him. I ran ahead, followed by another friend and when we met him, asked him what was the fuss all about? My pal tells me that one mongrel dog had picked up an expensive shoe and had ran away!.

Behind the stage, there is a wilderness full of untrammeled bushes and woods and the dogs had seemingly ventured this way. While unable to control our laughter, we went on a frantic search for the missing shoe and the bloody dog. The show was going on of course in the meantime, with the singers least aware of what was happening back stage. In a while, the entire organizing committee, myself and other student union representatives were searching the woods with flashlights for the errant dog and the missing shoe. Half the time, we were trying hard to control the laughter, while at the same time, greatly worried about the fallout of this incident. There was even no backup pair of shoes that we could have brought.

After about half an hour of futile search, I decided to apply a "scientific approach" to the process. I thought that puppies generally go along in groups and stay together. So we went off to a particular place where we had seen hordes of dog families before. As we reached that point (KC Complex), we realized that the dogs we were searching for, didn't belong to that particular family. Off we came back through the wilderness looking for another "family". This eventually led us to a spot where a group of dogs were resting.. Backing up a hunch that the shoe was somewhere over there, we went on searching and at last, serendipitously, found the missing shoe, just about the time the show was getting over:)

I guess, in a way, I contributed to Indo-Pak relations continuing on the Confidence Building path:), or else it could have withered away to a point reaching dog's death! Lesson learnt: No more shows organized on "Shoe-string" budgets!

6 comments:

vjanand said...

Haha hilarious...

Your narration sort of reminds me of the cecri hinderlands..remember the assorted fruit trees behind our hostel. Then there was this compound wall jumping which would take us to the railway tracks and the ecualyptus forest....we almost lit the entire forest on fire once.

Srini said...

Yes, I do remember the trip:). We could see rabbit traps..remember? You know what, the road to the forest started from one Dr. Raju's house. And after the "TP cup", I was so angry with Raju that whenever I used to go through that road, I felt like throwing a stone at his house:-). When I think of it now, I see shades of a "petty bourgeois anarchist". Glad that I have grown up and have become much mature now:).

Btw.. as I think of dogs and incidents, I remember the horde of dogs that were outside your room, waiting to have a bite of your well made "fish curry"!:-). Ha ha...I remember the aroma (or is it stink) reaching us till the CECRI gates!!. What a day that was!!! Proxy attendance for Vijay Anand.. Dogs outside his room..."Fishy" Affair.:-)...Ha ha ha.. Can't resist a laugh even now.

arvindh said...

A hilarious account! BTW, I find most of your posts very interesting.

Dust-Biter said...

Quite funny. Is it yet another instance of JNU's misplaced sympathies :-)

Srini said...

If you thought JNU was a place filled only with students wishing highly of a socialist utopia, supporting the legacies of Lenin, Stalin and Mao, and of a "Welfarist" socialist kind (I could put myself there), you are actually wrong:-). JNU has all shades of opinion, actually. Its a microcosm of India, albeit it offers a political space that is contested in the right and correct manner (no money power, muscle power here), which is probably the reason why, "we" win the battle of ideas.

There are elements which represent the feudal, communal order in JNU too, represented by the ABVP and other myriad rightist groups. There are also groups which connect to sympathies of a different kind (but for them a higher priority), like for example, the Animal Lovers' Association. It's indeed a motley crowd, where politics and civil action is played out in a miniature version of that played in the larger arena of the "Polis".

The numbers of people who oppose us ideologically is pretty large. You can check this report out to get a statistical picture. http://pd.cpim.org/2005/1113/11132005_jnusu%20election.htm
and
http://www.himalmag.com/2003/december/perspective.htm

vjanand said...

Haha.. the fish(y) affair! That is one more blog-entry to think about.