The power of Khaki!

You can really go places with a uniform
The power of Khaki!

What is it in a uniform that makes it so important? Thereare some people who really get attached to their uniforms and this sort of'attachment' happens to be especially true of army fatigues or more so of thekhaki – the colour associated with the police. It shouldn't be difficult toguess why it is so. For years altogether these colours have been the colours ofmight, and as they say, might is always right and so it naturally follows thatthe colour of might is the right colour! In this regard the khaki is definitelysuperior to even the army fatigues, because it holds more sway over thecivilian population.

Now a uniform, and by association, a colour becomessomething as characteristic as say a costume. And costumes have always had thisalmost magical property! A rather dumb-looking, bespectacled, mild fellow likeClark Kent dons a blue costume and is instantly transformed into a Supermanthat leaps across the skies and holds up falling giant meteorites! Ditto is thecase with the guys who don specific costumes and emerge as a Spiderman or aBatman, as the case may be, and acquire these amazing powers.

No these metamorphoses are not something confined to theimagination of a comic-strip creator. One witnesses an equal, if not a greatertransformation in real life when an ordinary guy dons a policeman's uniform! Nosooner is the khaki costume donned that this hitherto ordinary guy undergoes apalpable change and gains rather awesome powers! Granted that he doesn't leapacross the skies or like Spiderman, shoot some sticky contraption to haulhimself up sheer-faced buildings. He doesn't need to do all that! His uniformis a season ticket, more of an all-season ticket I would say, and the onlygesture required is a snapping of fingers and name any cab and it is there justa gesture away. The khaki 'costume' entitles the wearer to a free ride on any'auto rickshaw', taxi, bus or whatever and it does not stop at public transporteither! A cop drumming peremptorily on the wind-screen and asking, ratherdemanding, a lift in your car is a common phenomenon and something that youlearn to take in your stride. So as you see, a khaki 'costume' ensures a farmore comfortable and dignified, not to say safer, mode of transportation thansay Superman's leaps or Spiderman's swinging from buildings and lamp posts andthis is just one example of the superiority of this 'costume' over all therest!

Talking of uniforms and costumes and the transformation theywork, I am reminded of a classmate of mine who used to be a gentle, absent-mindedsort of guy, the sort who forgets to ask the shopkeepers for the change and allthat. Destiny decided that this fellow was to become a policeman. Now it is theshopkeepers who 'forget' to ask him for money when he buys something from them.When this fellow needs a hair-cut the barber is willing to leave a shop full ofwaiting customers to provide him with 'home service' and the butcher digs outthe best leg-of-mutton as soon as this fellow stops his vehicle by his shop!Even the elders of the locality are all praise for this fellow now and admirehim for his being a 'tough' man. His neighbours are tickled pink if he so muchas nods in response to their greetings. Needless to say his prestige increasedby leaps and bounds shortly after he assumed the khaki attire and even if he isrude at times that only adds to the awe that he inspires!

I always say it is not the man but the uniform! Strip anypoliceman, or a PSO or an SPO or any other specimen of the species, of theirauthoritative attire and there is usually a very ordinary man, someone almosthuman, someone quite similar to you, me or any other ordinary mortal beneaththe Khaki! Put it on again and you won't recognize the fellow that is if youdare look at him in the first place!

It is against this background that one can understand theexcitement of this fellow who lives in our mohalla. The young fellow is quite aperky chap even as such, full of enthusiasm and all that but lately he has goteven perkier. When I asked him about his visibly effervescent spirits he toldme that the change was all because of his new job or rather the uniform that hehas started wearing because of this new job – a Khaki uniform! You see thisfellow is a rolling-stone sort of guy and keeps changing his jobs frequently,his latest job being that of a private security guard for an ATM. Thehappy-go-lucky fellow confided in me that he had already begun to have a tasteof the power of Khaki! What happened is that the young mothers who live in hisvicinity have started to pay him an 'honorarium' for parading outside theirhouses for say half an hour in the mornings!

"What for?!" I asked when he told me about it.

"So that they can feed their young ones without the usualtantrums on their part and also persuade their older children to leave forschool without any fuss! All I have to do is stand outside their windows withthis stern expression on my face so that they can point at me and quell anyresistance or rebellion from the kids. The Khaki uniform you see!"

This was quite enterprising as you will agree and I am surethat gradually he will become fully aware of the potential of his Khakiuniform. I have a feeling that this fellow will stick to this job longer thanany other job that he has had!

(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, atsnp_ajazbaba@yahoo.com)

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