Son: Dad, I need some money.
Dad (not looking up from the newspaper): Why?
Son: You know I did not get through to a merit seat in engineering or medical. I need the money for capitation fees. You know none of this would not have happened if you had only managed to get a fake SC/ST certificate right? Or if our grandads had been like oppressed, depressed and suppressed like centuries ago?
Dad: Stop blaming me for everything. Its not my fault that your mother’s second cousin took our money claiming to have a jugaad in the Panchayat and ran away with all we paid him.
Son: She told me the guy who screwed you was her friend from college. I didn’t know she was her second cousin.
Dad: Well whatever. I dont have any money to give you soon. I am not Reddy uncle that gets crores a day from mining interests.
Son: What are your organs for Dad?
Dad: Sorry Son. I am saving my kidney for a Droid X. Your mother already used hers up for an iPhone. And she cannot even listen to all the calls her “second cousin” makes her as they keep getting dropped because of the position she holds the unit in. Serves her right….
Son: Well Dad what about my kidney?
Dad: Well what about it?
Son: Can’t we sell it for my education?
Dad: Oh I forgot to tell you. We sold that years ago—why exactly I cannot remember off-hand.
Son: That sucks.
Dad: Yes sorry son. We are flat broke. My dad raised money to send me to the Idiotic Institute of Pottery Management and you know how well that turned out. No job ever, just a bunch of soft skills and I have spent my life counting chickens and eggs. I am not going to make his mistake with respect to you, i.e. pay for a worthless education.
Son: But then what the hell am I going to do?
Dad: Here is an idea. Yes the more I think about it the better I think it is. Go into the jungles and become a Naxalite terrorist. Kill some cops, plant some bombs, spring some ambushes —it’s just like playing Counterstrike except in real life.
Son: You mean make money from extortion?
Dad: Well no I meant this great scheme the West Bengal government has announced for the rehabilitation of terrorists.
The West Bengal government on Wednesday announced a surrender-cum-rehabilitation policy for the Maoist guerrillas with immediate effect.
As per the package, based on guidelines formulated by the union home ministry, surrendering Maoists would get a monthly stipend of Rs.2,000 for a period of three years, while the state government would make a fixed deposit of Rs.1.5 lakh for three years for each.
Once the fixed deposit matures, the entire money would be handed over to the rebel if he shows good conduct for three years.
Son: You mean the government will pay me this amount of money for essentially promising to not be a criminal, after being one for a few years?
Dad: Absolutely son. Taxpayer’s money exists to bring “misguided” youth back into the mainstream, not for the well-guided youth who play by the rules.
Son: But why do I need to go to the jungles Dad? You know how much I hate big ants. Can’t I just do blow up a few schools here in the city and extort a few diamond merchants?
Dad: God, you are not too bright are you? Well I guess I should not have dropped you on your head when you were seven months old. The thing is that rural guerrilla warfare against corporations and the government is romantic. Doing the same thing in the cities is a law and order crisis. You won’t get any sympathy or rehab cash for that. Plus the international literati hasnt really taken up any urban violence cause yet as in they are not made out to be Robin Hoods as much as the jungle hoods are.
Son: Hey can’t I be someone like those people you once told me about, the champagne liberals who jet-set around the world, ink expensive book deals from corporate publishing houses, rail against corporations, US, Israel and India, and then try their best to get themselves to get arrested so that they ultimately get a Nobel prize? Honestly that sounds likes more fun than hiding in a bush full of ants holding a gun.
Dad: Well son, for that to happen, you need to be erudite. You however speak like a heavyweight boxer who has taken too many blows to the head. And neither would you be described in the press as “An explosion of curly black hair…showcases nearly childlike, saucer eyes and cheekbones that erupt the moment she talks or smiles“. The truth is that you look as pretty as a character from a Ram Gopal Verma creation, the kind that sits in the dark in a Sarkar film.
Son: What to do Dad? I am just a reflection of you.
Dad: Well knowing your mother, I am not too sure of that. Any case there are possibilities son if you adopt the path of violence. If after a few years you think the government stipend isnt to your liking and you would like to go for advanced study, you can go to the MIT for terrorism—Pakistan. Funding opportunities there are ample—-even if you cannot qualify for the billion-dollar Kerry-Lugar fellowships unwittingly paid for by US citizens, even the Ten-per-cent Zardari scholarships would go quite a way in a place like the Afghan border. Trust me son, there is no better place in the world for this kind of education. Once you get a training in Pakistan, you can go anywhere in the world and I have heard that if you are a top performer, they organize a boat trip to India as part of your terminal practical training (TPT).
Son: Just a question. This joining Naxals and then going to Pakistan—this does sound kind of risky. What if I like die?
Dad (Looking up from the newspaper): Dying is tough. But it happens to all of us ultimately. The best thing about dying as a terrorist is that people, trying to win a Nobel Peace Prize or appear exaltedly liberal to their friends, will mourn your death and make you out to be some kind of hero. For the rest of us, who will die in a train accident in Bengal or will have their lights extinguished while making way for a VIP’s vanity posse or will be murdered for not buying a birthday gift, there is not even the glory of a single tear drop. Better die loved and feted than cold and forgotten.
Son: I love you Dad. You are really the best.
Dad: Yes I know.