It’s that time of the evening when I am all set to mingle with friends at the society’s club house. It’s a ‘must have’ round up of the day in everyone’s life in general and happenings in and around our society in particular. The later is juicer than the farm fresh grapes. Healthier??? Hmmm, a topic of debate which I am sure that my friends will add flavours to it if taken up for discussion. Most of the times, its hot and ‘breaking news’ kind.
Before that round up, I go marshaling the globe from the comforts of sofa. I was about to settle in-front of the idiot-box, making myself entitled to crown of ‘nincompoop’ that I confer on self at the end of this exercise(some habits are immortal, they never die); next-door friend, all but 7 years, rushed in with his broken-teeth smile. Settling next to me, he started off, “You know what aunty?” He took a pause for me to react and before I could, his train of news bulletin chugged out.
“Today, I got punished at school”
I was startled, wore “what on Earth for” expression and was baffled by his contrasting dimpled smile.
“I ate popcorn for my small break”
“Aren’t they healthy?”
“Teacher thinks otherwise”
“Then that must be true”
“Mom thinks otherwise”
At this, I was speechless. Not that he wanted me to preside over the matter and pass any judgement. It was just another breaking news from his world.
He waved me a bye while rushing towards the elevator.
With popcorn thought fresh in mind, I turned the TV and reached the news section. A quotidian scene flashed on screen accompanied by cacophony of sound. The small windows within one frame of the screen, held a handful of earthlings. All were talking at the same time. Much like a class of unruly students. Some wore angry faces, some had sarcastic smiles, a few sat with poker face and just one or two with their fingers raised for their turn to speak. All were vehemently leveling allegations and counter allegations. The slug-fest in the most civilian language was on while hurling abuses on each other in politically correct manner.
I felt, I was watching the popcorn vendor popping the corn kernels. Like popcorn, these earthlings were bursting and popping out. They carried their stifling aroma with them. Aroma of arrogance, being high custodians of morality and righteousness, being one and only rational and truthful. It took me a while to know the topic of debate that was pasted to a tiny corner of the screen amidst some rolling displays and advertisements.
I surfed ahead. Except for the different faces, everything remained same; just like the popcorn from different vendors but same flavours and ones those come in different tumbler sizes!
And the likes of me buy them every time we turn to these news channels only to find that it left bad taste in the mind, robbing the precious resource of time and sanity and sickening our thinking powers. Completely aware of this predictable predicament, why do I repeat it every-day? For they have a strong pull, just like the freshly popped popcorn in the cinema hall!
Welcome to “Popcorn Republic”, I say, as I switched off the TV.