Monday, November 16, 2009

Tables of the Universe

There they stood, beautiful statues of the deities, high up on the carpeted stage. The devout followers seated below on the ground were listening to the holy words of the preacher seated at a height between the people and the Gods. As I passed on and reached the rear side of the stage I was quite astonished at the sight. The stage was built of tables, piled one on top of the other. The kind of tables that are a familiar sight on this side of the planet (at least here in Chandigarh). These are ones that are most commonly used by tent-services. Each one has a heavy, crude cast iron frame and legs with wooden boards on top. Most of them were (probably) designed and manufactured 20-30 years ago. I’ve never seen a clean table (one of these) till date. The metals finish is rough and uneven and it has some cheap greenish paint brushed on it (most that I’ve seen have lost much of that too). The wood is…err…I don’t have a good word to describe it. It’s dirty, unfinished (I mean crude) with big nuts running through it on the vertices. It’s not a big single piece of wood either, there are two to three planks fitted to make one ugly table top. The ghastly cast iron legs are foldable and the sound that these tables make when being loaded or unloaded from a truck is something I can recognize instantly. I once attended an extravagant, outdoor wedding dinner. The set up was beautiful. I was happy to see no signs of the ugly tables anywhere. Then while taking the nth helping of the dessert, I  got curious and lifted the skirts of the table....and found the same sickening, semi-painted, rusty cast-iron legs. “YYeoww!!” I let go off the fabric immediately after my fear was confirmed.

Pathetic, these tables are just pathetic but I wonder who designed them. They’ve been so successful because of their strength, design (foldability…ha ha I just added a new word to your vocabulary), resilience to torture (oh I’ve seen them being treated like they were less than tables) and of course their ability to function in a beautiful way without actually showing up their ugliness. They’d hold your Gods, you food, your politicians……did I say politicians?

Yes that brought back something that was strolling in my mind. I think that’s the reason I started to write this article. Today’s breaking news “Laalu Prasad Yadav hurt while addressing the people as the staged caved in”

We like to place our politicians high up, alongside the gods. The problem of being so high is so aptly described in the old adage “the higher it goes, the harder it falls”; Laalu was hurt alright. They also showed some other political leaders that took the fall when the stage gave way. These were:
Uma Bharati
Amar Singh
Varun Gandhi

So while the Indian news channels were showing the memorable masala moments of all these people falling down as the stage crashed, the camera captured an interesting detail; guess what the stage was made of. That’s right, our very own Universal Table. Oh I’ve started to love these table now. They hold steady when they have to and cave in when they must. Muahh!! I love you tables.

1 comment:

Pooja said...

Your writing reminds me of P.G. Wodehouse's :)