Updated: Nov 20
While looking through the binoculars by sitting on the plushy cushioned seats of his new chariot, he could not find any specific reason for the protests, as everything seemed very quiet and beautiful, and the countryside looked finer, brighter and greener to him than ever before. A cool breeze passed through his greyish but thick hair, consoled and isolated his thoughts from the enormous protests on the streets. Though media pages are filled with the news of suffering countrymen fuming with the protest against his spendthrift government for undermining the burning social issues and looming economic crisis, he brushed aside those reports as silly and superficial and embarked on his historical journey from the other end of his empire, along with his colleagues.
Though not very comfortable with the concept of democracy, he was very proud of the manner in which the people of the empire had elected him as their king. He was very thankful to the people of his empire for choosing him as their king but was a bit reluctant to go near them, mainly due to security issues. For a moment, he became forgetful that the entire security system was deployed only upon his specific instructions, and the same is only keeping him away from the public. So, based on the advice of the numerous experts appointed to advise him on every aspect of governance, taxes, gold imports, financial management etc, a high-quality Multi-spectral Thermal Imaging Binoculor was imported from Cuba, through which he could closely observe his mighty countrymen, that too from a far and safe distance.
He was proud of the vivid culture, political awareness, diversity, proper heritage, secularism, economic status and literacy level of his country, but it felt strange to find, while closely observing through the binoculars, that most of his countrymen were old with greyish hair and hopeless eyes. Curious, he re-tuned the lenses of the binoculars and searched, hopelessly, for young and happy faces but failed miserably in all those attempts. What happened to the young and energetic populace of the country, he worried and called an urgent cabinet, thanks to the moving chariot, which has all the most modern facilities, including a toilet built into it. The mighty cabinet analyzed the situation with all its importance, studied the data, and obtained an expert opinion but could not identify the real reason for the conspicuous disappearance of the young faces. Frustrated, he retook his binoculars and was thrilled to see numerous young faces in front of a vast building which accommodated IELTS coaching centres, passport offices, consulates of foreign countries, etc. He started becoming vocal about the advantages of exporting trained manpower to foreign countries and shamelessly highlighted the ‘brain drain’ as the most significant contribution of the country to the rest of the world. While continuing his verbal exercise on the advantages of exporting skilled manpower and the future influx of foreign income to the country, an expert appointed by him handed out a chit, which contained the facts and figures about the reasons for the massive outflow of the young populace of the country. As per the said report, most of the youngsters were leaving the country due to a lack of employment opportunities, nepotism of the king, and being frustrated with the political and economic conditions of the State. It also stated that, unlike the previous generation of expatriates to the Gulf, many of the youngsters are permanently shifting to better places having good living conditions, and none of them are not planning to come back to the Country anymore. He, without getting noticed by paid media, crushed the said report, threw it into the waste bin and quietly suspended the expert from his service with immediate effect. After some time, a press release was made to announce the enhancement of the retirement age and welfare pensions for the old people, who are the actual vote banks of the king.
Throughout the journey, he looked for industrial units, factories, farms and huge workplaces as he dreamt last night but could find only eateries, vegetable stores, consumable stores, apparel stores, beverages, petrol pumps, hospitals and car accessory stores everywhere. Though he was disappointed for a moment, on second thought, he felt proud and happy about the thoughtfulness of the people for not creating polluting industrial units, crampy factories, dirty farms and toiled workplaces, as they could only destroy the aesthetics of his tourist-friendly state, and moved on with pride.
A minister in charge of tourism had invited his attention to the greenery on the other side of the chariot, and he got amused and carried away with the beauty of it. His blissful indulgence in the beauty of the country was disturbed by a stinky, foul smell from nearby canals, which were filled with plastic bottles, filth and debris. He looked around for the expert who advised about the tourism potential of the State but could not find him as he was hiding somewhere behind.
Though the youngsters were fleeing out of the country to save their lives, there was no productivity anywhere in the vicinity and tourism potential was pathetically abysmal; he was blissfully hopeful about the well-being of the State, for which numerous licences were issued for unlimited enjoyment of secularism, pluralism, feminism, lottery, liquor and toddy shops. He then, for a while, kept aside the binoculars and waved his hands to the cheering crowd, thanks to the noise cancellation facility of Airpod Pro, which was effectively blocking their abuses and curses out of sheer agony of hopelessness.
Bijoy P Pulipra