Once there was a great circus in a town, which was the sole source of entertainment for decades. But as ownership changed generations, the circus started deteriorating. Dwindling crowds not only meant reduced revenues but also falling respect in the society. But the owners were not really bothered about this state of affairs (how many actually are).
When they could not take this any longer, some performers broke away from the circus under the leadership of the Joker. Now, this Joker was actually a smart chap who knew the pulse of the people. He took his break-away troupe to an old banyan tree on the outskirts of the town & began performing there. The crowds returned & our guys were back in business. The banyan tree, with a wide girth, had an advantage over the tented circus. Multiple acts could be conducted around the tree & people had a choice to watch what they liked. Business boomed.
With booming business, the Joker was on top of his form. And gone were his egalitarian ways. No longer was there an equal sharing of the spoils. The Joker started appropriating more than his share. Obviously, this gave rise to dissatisfaction in the troupe.
One of the star performers was a shrewd Monkey. Despite being a crowd puller, he carried on his antics without any obvious airs. But he did not take kindly to this change in Joker’s style of functioning. He broke off from the Joker and, along with the Ringmaster, carried on his show from the high branch he had latched on to. The Monkey & the Ringmaster had a great time together and the crowds loved them.
The new partnership flourished. The Joker’s following began dwindling rapidly & he was soon left with just a few other performers. The Monkey was getting old now & he needed a ladder to climb his branch. But once he was on his branch, he was the master of the show & the crowds’ adulation. The Monkey-Ringmaster combination was doing well, beyond even their own expectations. To cash in on this popularity, the Ringmaster brought in a young Lion to the show.
Now, the Monkey took an instant dislike to this younger Lion. The other older Lions were with the Monkey on this one (actually there were all envious), but the Ringmaster was adamant & they fell in line. But not our Monkey. It was a take it or leave it offer that he made to the Ringmaster. Ringmaster did not take it. This enraged the Lion totally. He made a charge towards the Monkey, who quickly clambered up the ladder to his favorite branch.
The Lion threatened to break the Ladder & shake the tree, if the Monkey did not climb down on his own. Before the Lion could make his threat come true, the Monkey had help from unexpected quarters. You know what, it was our dear Joker who had returned to help out his old comrade. The Joker held on to the ladder firmly, holding it against the repeated charges of the Lion.
As this story is being currently played out in the Great Indian Political Circus, what happens next is anybody’s guess. Keep watching, it is going to be a fun show this time!!
I am not saying that Laloo Prasad Yadav is a Joker, or Nitish Kumar is a Monkey. Nor do I adore Narendra Modi as a Lion. But the electorate has always been the ladder that our netas have used in their political lives. This post is simply in response to Mehul Kala who promised me a Blue Label if I could write on a Joker, Monkey & Ladder (ab daaru ke liye to itna karna hi padta hai). Hope this will not be as long a wait as that for Achhe Din!