Wednesday, August 12, 2009

An open letter

My revered leader of yore,

Congratulations for your maiden entry into the Exalted House which you had only recently denounced as being unworthy of someone who followed your ideology. As I congratulate you for your latest accomplishment, I cannot help mourning the fact that the integrity and the intelligence that defined you and made you capable of vanquishing giants that earned you your famous sobriquet, have finally taken leave of you. That you have been a man of shaky convictions was never a secret. You blatantly displayed this oxymoronic trait of yours when, at least three decades ago, you first aligned with people whom you would have termed as reactionary and then pulled the rug from under your collective feet by insisting that the reactionaries part ways with their own alma mater. Your shaky convictions once again came into play when nearly a decade ago you proudly chose to convene an alliance headed by the reactionaries, who had by now acquired a new moniker, albeit keeping the umbilical cord which tied them to their alma mater, intact. However, your latest antics are baffling to us even by your own impetuous standards. I have never been able to understand your problem with your apprentice who may not have been your most loyal but, even enemies of yours and him agree, has been by far the most scrupulous. Your first brush with infamy was when you brought to a grinding halt that bustling place which took pride (in fact it still does so) in the fact that it never slept. However, you fought for a cause and many like me, who had not even come into being then, admire you for your feat. Then, during your second tryst with the reactionaries you invited censure from all corners by putting your foot in your mouth. Though I think you were right to some extent as smaller enemies often make our people lose sight of the biggest foe you were referring to. Even during the period when some over-zealous scribes came out with their contrived investigation into a sphere of life hitherto considered sacrosanct, it left you largely unblemished. This last episode exposed the corruptibility of many high and mighty and saw numerous heads rolling. But when it came to you, even the over-enthusiastice detectives too had to concede that "this man is untainted". At the same period came out your first spat with your apprentice when you insisted upon super-imposing that aged femme fatale on the very structure you and your apprentice had raised. I am no fan of your apprentice but I still fail to see merit in your choice. The aged femme fatale scarcely had the ammunition for taking on the mighty rival whom your army had been battling for long and succeeded in defeating only recently. Your unhappiness with your apprentice has, however, since been inexplicably consistent. This is despite the fact that for a brief time when your pocket borough had got caught in a wave of identity-based sentiments, wherein an outsider like you had no chance, your apprentice offered gave up his own stronghold for the sake of your honour and battled out from not-so friendly lands. Even that did not assuage you and you kept complaining that he has been sidelining and even insulting you. You gladly allowed lumpens to use your name for encumbering your apprentice at the time he needed your blessings the most. Your latest disgruntlement was even more baffling. Did your apprentice not request you to choose the Exalted House instead of the more glamorous yet grimier option then itself? At that time you felt the Exalted House was incompatible with whatever remains with you of ideology. It is altogether a different matter that you took no time in changing your opinion. Yet another display of your legendary shaky convictions. I know you have been an impatient man and must be wondering what this scribbler is driving at. I simply want one thing from you - moderation. You owe your achievements to your revolt against the path your ancestors had chosen for you. That path which you abandoned was certainly not an evil one. But your revolt will be counted on the correct side of history simply because that path was and has been fraught with obscurantism and excesses. Please do remember that excesses are possible in all walks of life. Taking extreme positions at all points of life you have time and again dissipated and floundered and embarrassed admirers like us. It is not a bad idea to learn from one's own disciples. Taking a leaf out of the book of your apprentice who has won many hearts, in a place which has for long been cynicism personified, you may learn the trick of behaving gracefully so that those who admire you may not feel ashamed of having done so. You shall not disagree with me when I say that you owe at least this much to posterity.