Flexi-loyalty

Thanks to ubiquitous flexi boards, my general knowledge is improving. I did not know that ‘walker uncle’ Siddaramaiah is younger to me. Also, that BSY’s favourite in the party Somanna is 60 years old. Looking at his pictures in newspapers and in TV grabs I thought Somanna was 40 plus. He looks so healthy. But if he is 60 then I must find out the secret of his health. Similarly, I also came to know how young are our netas like cap-dhari Katta S Naidu, CM's son and others from the same medium - flexi board. On their respective birthdays their well wishers, friends and followers - are these categories different? - vie with one another in publicly greeting their netas. Their pictures also twinkle with their mentors but I can recognise none; but in one I could spot my milkwala who is a staunch ‘Kattaiate.’

Flexi board greeting is not restricted to the VIPs. Prospective VIPs are also being greeted - at bus stops, parks, from tree branches and transformers. If a Giri, or a Zamil or an Anjaneya - future corporators or MLAs -  attain the age of 40 or so huge bill boards tom tom this important news for all and sundry to know. One flexi board proudly heralded the truth that one such prospective MLA or a corporator was a rare commodity - so rare that people like him were one in a crore. Now, how they arrived at this truth - through census or survey or exit poll? -  was not revealed. I am dying to meet this rare man in flesh and blood. One in a crore means India has a little over hundred persons like him. A microscopic minority!

Flexi boards throw up questions, too. Like why should so many chota-mota netas jostle for space on a flexi board? Some 20 or 30 join hands to greet their neta, just like a mass marriage. May be they want to split the cost or show their collective spirit. But why should these Amars, Akbars and Anthonis tell Tom, Hari or Dick like me that they are greeting their mentor? Perhaps to remind the master that they are still with him. Or, is it that the master has paid them to do this to remind the aam janta that he is (still?) a leader with followers?

With this roadside display of a private milestone of a public leader, the flexi board makers are laughing all the way to bank. But sometimes it is useful. The other day I came to know that my ex-barber had died - a flexi board with his garlanded picture hung outside his shop said he had passed away. There was no way the news could have reached me. But when Rajkumar, Vishnuvardhan, Maj Sandeep Unnikrishnan and the like leave us the flexiboards help people to proclaim their genuine love and affection for them spontaneously. Otherwise, the flexi board loyalty is a flexible commodity. By the way, do you know these flexi boards can also be used to dry ‘happala’ and ‘sandige?’

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