Later in the day when the rains stopped for a while, a small cacophony coming from outside caught my ears. I came to my 3rd floor balcony and located the source of noise when I found a group of girls playing ‘chu kit kit’ in a small dry path adjacent to our flat.
Chu kit kit is a game where when the turn comes, a girl holds her breathe and jumps single legged across large adjacent squares which they draw on the ground with pieces of charcoal or some such markers. If the girl misses her breathe or missteps on the squares, she is ‘out’ and will have to wait for her turn after the others have had theirs.
As it usually happens, quarrels ensue pretty often as to whether one is really ‘out’. This time a girl was loudly protesting her dismissal, “I told you before….told you before.” Apparently, the girl had said she was to take a break standing on one leg which others denied.
Strangely, I find the girl’s childlike protest echoing in the voice of CPM state secretary in today’s TT (June 6, 2008). It’s okay for the small girl; she is a child after all. But can one expect a childish sameness from the state secretary of CPM?
He is quoted as saying:
I am requesting Mamata Banerjee to call off her bandh. We would have supported her if she had called a bandh before we did.
He also says considerately:
We waited for 40 minutes after the oil price hike was announced for other parties to declare their protest moves.
So kind of him, but one can’t help laughing at his statements. It indicates the mindset of a senior politician who takes pride in being double quick in calling the bandh he did before the opposition parties could.
To him it perhaps means very little to have inconvenienced millions of people with his clarion call yesterday.
Mamata Banerjee of course cannot digest the slight of failing to make it first. So she calls ‘her bandh’, so termed by Biman Bose, today. This is what she said:
If the CPM calls a bandh despite being in the government, should we, the Opposition, suck on lozenges (labenchus chusbo in Bengali)?”
No prize guessing right why Bengal lags behind many states in nearly all spheres of development.
[Both images are sourced from June 6, 2008 issue of Anandabaar Patrika]