(Inspired from Sandesham, the movie and anti communist sentiments)
Ramesan unfolded his lungi and sat on the bench;it made a squeaky noise to acknowledge the burden.There was an overdose of red around him.Recently,some of the broken chairs gave way for red plastic chairs.He could see the silhouette of the framed photographs of AKG,EMS,Karl Marx behind the entangled web;seemed more like the leaders were trapped in ugliness of a system they envisioned.
Once in a year each,these photographs get some respite from the two inch dust that makes them look prehistoric.The red paper garlands looked themselves ashamed to be adoring the frames;they were just waiting to free themselves from the mess.Party flags were propped up against the wall in a corner.Old posters took most of the whitewashed wall.
The past week’s Deshabhimani newspaper was strewn on the desks.Not a day passed without dissecting every single word published in it.
Tea,vada and Dinesh Beedi added spice to the discussions.Ramesan had registered for Kannur University’s BCom,he never completed it.He managed to get a job in the cooperative bank which the party controlled.He rarely went to work,party office was his (second) home.
He did not know the actual meaning of the word bourgeois;like most of the other words he peppered his conversations with.
Not knowing the meaning of words like bourgeois or mafia(or Mafia) did not dissuade him from using them in his conversations.For him,like many of his fellow comrades,these words were to be used to things and people he loathed.He had never heard of the Sicilian criminal societies,but used the term to refer to any groups,from the real estate companies building land banks to the ones involved in liquor business,from investors to money lenders(blade mafia).A term he used in this context interchangeably was lobby.
For him bourgeois or boorshua (sic) as he called them were the ones he hated.For him Philip Achaayan who returned from Gulf a year back and started his new shop in the mukk(junction) and newspapers like Malayala Manorama,and everything in between were boorshuas.
In spite of knowing that it was Gorbachev who placed the last straw on communism in the USSR,Ramesan respected him.He even had dreams of him having the Port-wine stain on his bald head like Gorbachev’s.Deshabhimani’s report on the lockout in a factory in Calicut was the topic of his discussion that day.The party supported labour union‘s demands were never going to be heeded by the management. Decibels went up and down. A dozen tea glasses kept moving on the desk like products on an assembly line.”We can not be mute spectators to this”,said Satheesan, a fellow comrade.The glow on his face was that of accomplishment.His friends from the party youth wing had recently started farming in a land owned by Sreedharan Nair, a retired school head master.The land was in disuse;farming was no longer economically feasible.The party’s youth wing was hated by most of people in the village;they would get into anyone’s problem creating nuisance to one(either) of the sides.Some of these men would go as quotation teams,this is what the grapevine said;no one could say this out in the open though.Quotation teams were simply gundas called so because they were given “quotations” to “solve” issues.
“It has been almost a year since we heard of any sex scandal”,quipped Satheesan.”May be the media is bored to dig up such stories”,replied Ramesan.”We are getting enough issues to create trouble,continued Ramesan.Yesterday,a group of students gheroaed the university VC for debarring some our our student leaders…. for malpractice during exams”.”We could make his life miserable for 3-4 hours.Hope the issue gets bigger,been a month since we had a hartal“.The smirk on his face took time to die down.
Sukumarettan entered the scene;he was respected by all at the party office.He was known to have connections even in the Polit Bureau,the center of the party’s power.No one would bat an eye lid if the Polit Bureau asks not to.He had lead hundreds of pickets to the collectorate and was once injured and hospitalised for over a month.
He could go on and on about the party and its ideology to an extent that even Ramesan and Satheesan would doze off.He still remembered when Che Guvera’s death anniversary was.The name Che could bring in a rush of adrenalin in all these men.The local vayanasaala had a huge section on Che,another one on Marx,among others.Through the Latin American literature,he knew more about the Amazonian forests and Sao Paolo than what he knew about Maharashtra or Kuchipudi.
Someone shouted from outside, Sukuetta, aren’t you coming for the dharna at the Municipal stand?Sukumarettan was totally against selling the nation to capitalist powers.”The recent rise in prices is due to the new age retail boom.The MNC retailers set up shops with the help of Indian partners, what will happen to people like our Kesavan?This is a huge conspiracy against our people,these Americans want to eat from our plates too.Look at the name, Spencer’s! It is an American name”, continued Sukumarettan.He took Ramesan and Satheesan along to the dharna.They started their brisk walk towards the stand.He started fuming,not because of this issue,but Ramesan mentioned the atrocities against Palestinian people.Israel more or less acted as a mood spolier,”for how long will they continue their American sycophancy”,he said.We should start a fund to collect money to march to the Israeli Embassy in Delhi, at least we should send them a million protest letters.
He had to rush back home early.He took the 8pm Volvo to Cochin.Only two days were left for Sukumarettan’s son to apply for his UK student visa.
May 16, 2009 15 Comments