Spruce-up time!

Once again it’s makeover time for the ‘summer’ capital
Spruce-up time!

I had been in hibernation mode so it was nearly a week afterI set foot out of my house. At first I did not notice anything. It was theshopkeeper who literally opened my eyes.After having visited not less than tenshops and having received the same answer everywhere that is 'Sorry we don'thave any bathing soap left', I asked this guy at the eleventh store, "What isthe problem? How come there are no bathing bars available anywhere?"

"Jenab," the shopkeeper said, "Bathing soap, and evenwashing soap is 'short' because every mulazim big or small, policemen, trafficcops…everyone is on a buying spree for these items."

"Why? " I asked surprised.

"Why?! Jenab are you from phoren that you are asking such aquestion?" the shopkeeper said with a smirk.

Well considering that I had been hibernating for the bestpart of a week I guessed that I had been missing something. I decided to have alook around. As I ambled along the road I could see no potholes on the roads.Now this was quite surprising because only a week back this road lookedas if ithad been through a cluster bombing! Now instead there were these neat patchesof fresh black-topping where the potholes had been.

"First Aid!" said this cheeky fellow as I almost collidedwith him my eyes peering down at the road. "That's First Aid for the roads!"

When I reached the main road I saw painters drawinginterrupted lines in the middle of the road. As I looked on a strip of painted linegot off the road and scrambled away, yelping and barking. Actually the paintersin a hurry had not noticed the dog sleeping in the middle of the road or maybeit was deliberate mischief. The painters broke into laughter pointing at thepainted dog that was barking its indignation at them. The contractor who wassitting in a chair nearby did not find this interruption amusing. He shouted atthem, "I don't pay you for wasting paint. You got to finish this today. Hurryup!"

Meanwhile another fellow came up to the contractor andstarted arguing with him pointing at the dog. By this time I had got closeenough to the duo to hear what the visibly angry guy was telling thecontractor. "Why are you adding to our work? That dog was already done. Now Iwill have to get him done once again."

As I was wondering what it was all about a pick-up truckjam-packed with dogs lumbered past. The angry fellow, whom I had recognised asthe local Jamadar, hailed the truck and pointed out the painted dog to them. Acouple of guys got down from the truck and after an interesting chase theymanaged to shove the doginside the truck.

"Good! They are taking away these stray dogs." I said to thecontractor and the Jamadar. They both scowled at me in unison.I must havewalked a couple of hundred meters when another pick-up loaded with dogs came byand the driver's companion got down and released the dogs there only.

"Hey what is all this. A truck just came to takeaway dogsand here you are releasing more of them here."I protested.

"These dogs are from this area only. The ones you saw beingtaken away will be back by evening,"the driver of the vehicle informed me.

"Why! What is all this? Taking them away and then bringingthem back!" I said as I found the whole thing pretty strange.

The driver said, "We only take them away for a bath andshampoo and manicure and pedicure and all that! Can't you see the difference?"

Well the dogs did look quite spruced up. Before I could askhim any more questions he got into the truck and left.

Looking at the coiffed and permed canines I felt prettyshabby myself so I made towards a barber shop. On reaching the place I found itover-subscribed. It was as if the whole town was out to get a haircut. I triedother saloons but the situation was same everywhere. I thought that I might aswell go to a roadside barber but on reaching the place where they wouldnormally be lined up I found none of them around. On enquiring I came to knowthat they had all been taken to a nearby playground. While going towards the placeI noticed other strange sights as well. Like there were these guys up in thetrees with vacuum cleaners trying to reach the furthest branches while somemore people were employed in painting any brown spots on the leaves green.

A strange sight greeted me as I reached the playground.Sweating officials were directing people while the roadside barbers appeared tobe pretty busy. If this one here was plucking the hairs from donkeys'andhorses' nostrils the other one there was trimming their tails. I could see anassembly of cows around which a crowd had gathered. As I got near I saw thatwhile a couple of his assistants were helping the owners to lift the legs andtails of the bovines, a guy was meticulously spraying their exposed under-limbsand hind quarters with a deodorant.

"My God! Has the whole place gone crazy? What's all thisfuss about?!" I cried out.

A guy standing nearby looked at me in surprise and said,"Why don't you know!"

"What?!"

"That it is coming?"

"What?!!"

"The Darbar move!"

(Truth is mostly unpalatable…but truth cannot be ignored! Here we serve the truth, seasoned with salt and pepper and a dash of sauce (iness!). You can record your burps, belches and indigestion, if any, at snp_ajazbaba@yahoo.com)

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