Friday, 20 June 2014

Member-ship Issues


Let me tell you a little story first. Please don’t laugh.

Somewhere in the Sunderbans is a Netidhopani Tiger Reserve which has a tower. A very big one! It stands erect at all times, imagine, and such length it enjoys you can’t even see the spot where it ends. (Perhaps it goes up to the cloud Freud occupies, to tease his conflicts still not resting in peace) This tower in the wild is for spotting tigers if you’re lucky, and birds and bees and boars at all other times. Below the tower is a board painted in red and green, the sarkari colours for all things wild. And on the board is a very serious piece of advisory. Very serious! Hence, please don’t laugh at all.

I laughed when I read it though. And then I read it aloud and laughed out louder, loud enough to make a tiger respond with “who dares disturb my peace?” roar. Only one other out of the 20 in the group understood the word play, giggled, but gave his wife no company in her unabashed laughter. The rest 18 read the advisory like good boys, of course, and understood it well enough to have repeated the message by rote if they were told it’s good for getting plum postings. Thus, they simply stared at Mrs. 2006, thinking her mad. 

 Now, I wonder which is a bigger tragedy – only 2 on 20 understanding the unintended humour or the author of this painted master-piece not understanding it at all in the first place? But about that, later. A digression now.

Some words are born to be abused. ‘Member’ as a word is really abused. As a word. Only.

There are Members of all kinds – members sitting in committees, clubs and corporations. Powerful members sitting in the Parliament, respected members of the staff and quieter obedient ones in PTAs. Some members call themselves ‘Lions’ others ‘Masons’, some ‘Gurus’ others ‘Students’. Some members rise much higher than the others, say as Presidents or Chief Ministers, while others simply enjoy feeling bigger than they are in smaller circumstances, albeit under a little delusion. Social service members causing big causes to become bigger exist side-by-side with their lazier counterparts – those who just like to keep low, and hang in a state of sleepy wakefulness, getting up for this-and-that but never stirring beyond the garden fence. And then, every family has some members. Has to have! A single member cannot be called a family, even though may produce a family. Family members and members in the family. Same thing? Phew! I hate English language. 

They should ban this word ‘member’ from the face of the earth!

And then there is this very serious board you see, as mentioned above:



And I have nothing more to say. For I have seen enough and said enough. No more. 

You see, my dismemberment from civil society is not something I want to risk, since my dismemberment I cannot, not in this life. What you do deserve to know is that when I reached the top of this tower I instantly rushed back down. Why? Well, when I reached that high there were more than 40 excited members who had arisen atop the tower, all at the same time.

What a shame. No one reads the instructions!

But then we need to thank our dear Gods that not many understand them either!


[Written for WordPress Daily Prompts : 365 Writing Prompts. The prompt for today was - No, thank you - If you could permanently ban a word from general usage, which one would it be? Why?]

42 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. I know. I wanted to steal the board. But our over-night launch would have drowned under all the weight. :D

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  2. The author of the board has a shining career as article writer. Wicked wit Sakshi

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  3. He he he he :D :D .. I love the use of humor at the start of the post.. And as for the boards are concerned, I am quite a fan of these kinds... keep em coming ;) :)

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    Replies
    1. I have quite a collection of these boards from across the country. I will keep 'em coming till their makers keep 'em coming. :D

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  4. Good choice. For me "weave" and "woven" are fast climbing the charts. Oft used by all and sundry to describe end-results that look as far removed from Pashmina as Haiku is from wordsmith. Sorry, Wordsworth. I meant Wordsworth only.

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  5. I sometimes wonder what is it with board painters and their spelling. and such a shame that only two knew the mistake. hope the tower didn't come crashing down with 39 people still up there. :P liked the post. lol.

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    Replies
    1. The tower did not come crashing down when I was there. I did though. :D
      Thanks for reading, Leo.

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  6. been there seen that had the same thoughts which I promptly shared with others of the group to much merriment and disapproval, but then it was a sarkari conference, and such behaviour is de rigour. saw no wildlife though, except the distant possible crocks from the boat. ditto on 2 more personal trips with family when i kept such ideas to myself,

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    Replies
    1. I was a non-sarkari there, so I laughed out loud. Very loud. And for very long.
      Why keep them from family, Soumya? :O

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  7. LOL. We and our "boards" with our lovely words and misconstrued meanings. Keeps us entertained, don't they? But then again, English is a strange language.

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    1. I am actually wondering now if English is a language at all. :D

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  8. Such boards ensure that we never get 'bored', do we!!!

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  9. ROFL... we are unique when it comes to such boards, nobody can beat us at them :P

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    Replies
    1. Totally agree with you.
      Thanks for reading, Seeta.

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  10. :) he he he he I hope there were never more than 20 "MEMBERS" then ..

    but hey you said good boys .. so lot of boys in the group of 20 there then he he he he

    Now you tell me one thing apart from the BOard did you manage to see the Tiger :) for what the whole thing has been made .. or any other wild life from that places ..

    and I hope the other members behaved toooo :)

    Bikram

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    Replies
    1. I saw crocs in the wild, but no tiger. I did see a shooting star in the middle of the night if that qualifies as exotic enough. :D
      Don't ask about the 'behave'. Another day another post, maybe! :D

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  11. hahahaha. Lol that was really funny :p that board is hilarious :p

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  12. Everytime i read you I find myself wishing that I had some journalism background and that I could make my words truly reveal my emotions and inflections of my thoughts.Here you have all that compelling and seductive element in your style bringing that fanatical gleam to the eyes :-p love reading your writings. :)

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    Replies
    1. Akshra, you need NO journalism background to write well. You need to forget how you wrote like a journalist to really be able to manage creativity and fun. :D
      I am glad though that you like my style of writing. It tells me that I have a style.
      Please keep loving my writings. What a high I just got! :D

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  13. You are making me think too much.. TOOOOOOOOO MUCH. :P

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    Replies
    1. Good na. We are all becoming 'thinkers'. :D

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  14. ..don't arise on the tower more than 20 members at a time..hahahaha..
    ..no doubt..english is a phunny language..may be the author of the board saw in him a modern day Li Po..trying to plant ambiguity into the sentence..making it look like a haiku..a modern day vernacular haiku..
    ..loved this post.. :)

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    Replies
    1. Hey, good to see you here, Rigzin.
      Happy you liked this, and I really doubt if the author of the board was planting anything at all there except what his boss asked him to plant. :P
      Thanks!

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  15. Witty ! loved reading this. good wishes

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  16. This was hilarious and really witty :-P! I think the boards in most Indian cities and on the highways provide the maximum entertainment that they were not intended to.

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    Replies
    1. I agree with you, Rachna. Especially the ones which belong to institutes claiming to teach you the English language. :D

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