Reality Bites: Monstrous and new nightmares in ‘New India’

Monsters are lurking in New India. Some are planting incriminating evidence in your computer; some arresting those who say cow-urine isn't cure for Covid while some can't see bodies floating in river

Photo Courtesy: Twitter/@avinashonly
Photo Courtesy: Twitter/@avinashonly

Rupa Gulab

When I was young, Frankenstein’s monster gave me nightmares. Count Dracula was more terrifying than blood-sucking mosquitoes and bed bugs in those innocent days. Now that I’m older, my monsters have changed, and the scariest monster of them all is Silverlocks.

While Silverlocks pulls children’s hair, twists their ears, and makes babies cry (video footage is available), adults are more frightened of him than children are. He doesn’t hide under beds and shout boo in the dark, perish the thought! There is no way he is going to get his expensive clothes dirty—also it’s not easy to crawl under beds with a 56-inch chest, because it gets in the way.

But (and here’s the scary part) he hides his spies in smart phones and computers to listen to every word you say and watch you 24x7. So, for the millionth time I’m warning you: Do not carry your devices to the bathroom.

I used to think nothing was more frightening than the movie ‘The Exorcist’ where an evil spirit enters a human body, till I read this: Silverlocks’s agents can plant false evidence against people on their very own devices!

A Washington Post report on the Bhima Koregaon case in February 2021 says: “An attacker used malware to infiltrate a laptop belonging to one of the activists, Rona Wilson, before his arrest and deposited at least 10 incriminating letters on the computer, according to a report from Arsenal Consulting, a Massachusetts-based digital forensics firm that examined an electronic copy of the laptop at the request of Wilson’s lawyers…”. Shudder.

Silverlocks throws people into jail under draconian laws and they can stay there forever for all he cares. You can even be arrested for stating bald facts: Two people in Manipur (a journalist and an activist) were booked under the National Security Act for Facebook posts that merely said cow urine is not a cure for Covid-19, after the Manipur BJP chief died of Covid complications. What can be more monstrous than people who urge you to swallow yucky things in the name of cures?

Oh wait—this is far more monstrous: Silverlocks’s callousness is the reason why there are more human bodies floating in the Ganga than fish these days, and dogs are eating the remains of our loved ones. None of my nightmares have been as horrifying as this reality—not even when I’ve consumed a gut-churning cheese and pickle sandwich for dinner.

Now for a little story: ‘Silverlocks and the Two Chief Ministers.’ Once upon a time, Silverlocks was shamed by international media for his incompetence at tackling Covid, and participating in super-spreader political rallies instead, sort of like a Covid warrior but on Covid’s team! His PR agencies advised him to pretend to work very hard, so he sat on his throne and phoned several chief ministers to discuss Covid. Those discussions turned out to be monologues with no one else getting a word in edgeways.

Nor were they as inspiring as anything Shakespeare has written. The bored chief minister of Jharkhand had the courage to tweet the truth. He said Silverlocks only spoke “mann ki baat”, not “kaam ki baat”. A few weeks later, the chief minister of West Bengal said the same thing and scoffed, "This was not a one-way communication... it was one way humiliation... One nation, all humiliation." The moral of the story: When megalomaniacs call, do not answer the phone.

Now his PR teams are working hard to trash those honest chief ministers, sigh. The poor things are not in the best spirits, as the “positivity” campaign they kicked off to make Silverlocks look good only made him look worse. Urging people to look for a ray of sunshine while their family members are suffering or dying reeks of insensitivity.

Finally, Silverlocks’s PR teams poured glycerine into his eyes—enough to fry pakodas for a large wedding party in the good old non-Covid days. The camera zoomed in to ensure that we saw his eyes glistening with tears. A chap who had probably directed Bollywood cry baby Nirupa Roy told him when to look solemn and when to make choking noises. Now, if only the choking noises hadn’t reminded us of our friends and relatives choking to death because Silverlocks hadn’t bothered to prepare for the devastating second wave.

(Any resemblance to real people and events is a coincidence)

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