Vibhuti Dabral vs. Akash Soam (FTC '14)

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Vibhuti Dabral vs. Akash Soam (FTC '14)

Post by Admin on Fri Jan 16, 2015 7:20 am

The Smiths' Horror Show
By
VIBHUTI DABRAL


In the Royal Aztec Saloon, rumoured to be run by the local Mexican
mafia, an old man called Dirty Harry sat with a few friends in a
corner, enjoying his beer. All of his friends were recollecting
their past, and Dirty Harry too told a story, on being prodded by
them, based on the events that happened many years ago.
In the early 1870s, in the Wild Wild West of California, the
notorious Smith couple, a dreaded husband-wife duo of bandits get
an anonymous tip that a rail-load of gold is being transported in
a wagon of Trans-western rail. They immediate decide that's its
destiny is to be looted by them to fund their sinful and
extravagant lifestyle. The husband was known as Jonah “Triggerhappy”
Smith and his wife Britney “Goldilocks” Smith. Both had a
reputation of mercilessly killing their unfortunate victims with a
single shot in forehead, which was usually done by Britney, while
the husband left his mark by engraving the letter “S” on the
victims’ chest with a butcher's knife. The Smiths owned a fierce
hunting dog, a burly Labrador which went by the moniker of
“Jeremiah”, and it was apparently named after their first victim,
who owned the dog as a little pup. The duo was both detested and
admired for their exploits, and their adventures were the stuff of
local folklore. It was said that those who saw them once did not
live to tell the tale.

The legend grew. Everyday.
Both of them had a peculiar history. Jonah's had many illustrious
ancestors, but the most prominent among them was William “Billy”
Smith, who was an infamous pirate who operated off the Scottish
coast, and later shifted his base to the Eastern US coast when the
noose of law tightened. But his later descendants gave up the path
of crime, and lead normal lives. Jonah's father, Jonah “Hillbilly”
Smith reared sheep for a living, and his mother died early of
consumption. His father had a sadistic personality, and would
often beat him up for no fault of his own, but just to get his
sick kicks. One day, in a fit of anger, Jonah shot dead his
father, and all of his sheep. He ran away to escape the law. The
local press called him “Trigger-happy”, and the name stuck. In his
brilliant career spanning over a decade, he would go on to shoot
many men, and quite a few sheep.

Britney was the daughter of a farmer, and to earn a living worked
at a seedy bar called the Royal Aztec Saloon (mentioned earlier)
in the small town of Horsefall, and also as a part time hooker.
She was endowed with good looks, and was a favourite with the
customers. Once, a patron tried to molest her in an inebriated
state. Jonah, who was present there couldn't stop himself and
thrashed him to pulp. He then carried her off with him, and the
two later on got married, but never had any children. This incident became the talk of the town. Britney proved to be even
more cruel and vicious than her husband, and took over the job of
putting in bullets in their victims' bodies, which he would carve
the “S” sign on them.

The gold was to be transported from the mining town of Stockton to
Fairfield, where the federal treasury was located. As the train
neared the provincial junction of Waynestown, the Smiths, appeared
out of nowhere, riding like demons fleeing a holy man on wellbred
mustangs. Accompanying them was their faithful canine
accomplice, Jeremiah. They opened fire without provocation and the
hapless train driver was dead before he could say “Help!”. The dog
gleefully shredded to pieces the flesh of the victim, and ate some
of it with great relish. The security crew was conspicuous by its
absence, which the Smiths thought was rather odd. The loot was
accomplished without trouble and the Smiths took a cartload of
gleaming gold in a carriage. However, in all this, they didn't
forget to stamp their trademark “S” on the victim's bosom. It
always has to be perfect with them.

The Smiths made haste, riding like hell on the dirt road leading
to their secret lair in a place nobody knew of. On their way they
were accosted by two figures in tattered clothes with no shoes on
their feet. On being provoked, they introduced themselves as
runaway fugitives from the Fairfield County Prison, with
despicable names such as Frank “Butcher” O'Connor, a small time
thug, and the other as Jesus “Ratface” Rodriguez, who claimed to
have carried on impressive heists in his native Mexico, but got
short of luck in the land of milk and honey of the United States
of America, and was apprehended shortly after he crossed the
border up north. Both were consigned to the filthy dungeons of the
prison in Fairfield. The Smiths, always on the lookout for petty
criminals to fulfil their nefarious aims, admitted them into their
service.

As the sun went down, the Smiths made a halt in a dusty town. They
barged into a dilapidated inn,
and such was their reputation that the inn-keeper gave them a free
room, and swore that he'd never tell the authorities about their
whereabouts. The criminals they picked along the way were allotted
the best rooms available. Meanwhile, outside the inn, Jeremiah the
dog was made to stand guard by the carriage. The Smiths left him
there presumably to make sure there was no one following them.
After they retired to bed, taking the gold with them, Jeremiah
heard some strange sounds and growled. Within a second, a sharp
knife made an incision into his neck, and he was dead in a few
seconds, lying into a pool of his blood.

The next morning was a sunny one, but it brought the Smiths no
joy. Upon discovering that their beloved Jeremiah has ascended to
canine heaven, they swore on his blood that they shall revenge
him. In a fit of righteous anger, Britney pulled her revolver, and
shot the apologetic inn-keeper point blank. Their newly acquired henchmen too tried to do their bit of investigation, but to no
use. The dog was as dead as dodo. The after-murder ritual was not
followed.

Angered, exasperated, and sad, they left the place in their
carriage, carrying the booty. Soon after, they reached a ghost
town, made so by their own doing, many moons ago. There they
decided to give Jeremiah a final farewell. Jesus dug up his grave,
a shallow hole in the ground, and poor Jeremiah of the Smiths was
laid to his final resting place. Thereafter, they drank to his
memory, while Jesus was made to guard their carriage while they
took a siesta in it.

Frank was dispatched to buy provisions to the marketplace in
nearby town. While the bandits were snoring peacefully, Jesus was
strangulated from behind by an unknown figure, and dragged to the
bushes nearby. After an hour when Frank came back, he found Jesus
hanging on a branch of a sycamore tree, like a cloth left out in
the lazy afternoon to dry. It was a most ghastly sight. Blood was
dripping from his mutilated body, his bones were dangling out of
his bag of flesh, and his ugly face was made even more grotesque
by the application of a sharp object. He almost looked like his
namesake of the scriptures, but without the divine aura. Frank
screamed like a lady, and the Smiths came out to see what the
commotion was all about, and saw Frank throwing up first like a
sick child, and then Jesus, who looked more like a battered
scarecrow rather than a being of flesh and blood. Jesus was
eventually not given the honour of a Christian burial because
Frank was too still too preoccupied with vomiting and soiling the
ground, and the Smiths didn't saw it fit to get their hands their
hands dirty.

The Smiths didn't wanted to stay anymore in that lord-forsaken
place, and decided to leave post haste. Frank, in a state of
delirium and paranoia, declined to join them. The Smiths took it
as insult over injury. He was ordered to turn around, and Britney
shot him in the temple. He was thus spared the horrendous death
which Jesus had to embrace. The Smiths rode on.

The band of bandits, minus their merry men, reached their lair in
the desert safely. Shaken by the flurry of recent events, they had
an inkling that someone is going to target them now, and that made
them realise that if they do not be on their toes, they might not
live to see another day. Britney, too tired after using her
revolver, was coaxed into going to sleep by her ever doting
husband, Mr Jonah “Trigger-happy” Smith. While she succumbed to
the pleasures of sleep, Jonah, ventured to stand guard outside her
bedroom. Silently, a noose comes around his neck, and he's pulled
up, and his pleas for help and forgiveness to the unknown assassin
never fully materialise into coherent sounds. The killer, with a
swift swoop of an axe slices off the bottom half of his body,
making his guts and entrails come out with a rush of fresh, warm
blood. After the bloody execution, the murderer silently crept into the
Britney's bedroom, and found her blabbering words which didn't
made sense. He puts the blunt edge of the blood-stained axe on her
neck, and she wakes up with a start. She, at first looks dazed and
confused, but soon enough gets hold of the reality.

The killers narrates to her how he carried off the executions in a chilling
manner, and how her husband was the second last to die, because
she's going to be the final victim. She meanwhile has recognised
the assassin as the Sheriff Walters, and it was rumoured that it
was the Smiths who killed his wife a few months ago, because the
Sheriff was on their hunt, and they wanted to send him a message.
Britney was distraught to realise the fact that her husband is no
more, and asks the sheriff why he did that. The Sheriff replies
that he killed him because his wife was killed by the Smiths.
Britney replies that her husband never killed her, and they were
as surprised as anybody to hear the rumour. Apparently, the rumour
had spread because the sheriff's wife was killed while he wasn't
home, and she was shot in the forehead, with the letter “S” on her
body. Everybody reached the natural conclusion that the Smiths
killed her to settle their score with Sheriff Walters.

Just then, another player entered the arena, in a dramatic manner,
carrying a shotgun. He was an old man, with a wizened face with
scars and pockmarks, and eyes which reeked of pain and revenge. He
announced himself as Dirty Harry, and established the innocence of
Jonah Smith and his wife by telling them that it was he who
carried out the murder of sheriff's wife, when he couldn't find
him home. He said he did that because the Sheriff shot his younger
brother, who was an up-and-coming enterprising and talented
conman. The Smiths got into this mess because he had a score to
settle with them too. His younger brother had once approached the
Smiths, posing as a law enforcement officer, and asked them for
money to let them go. The Smiths found out his bluff, and punished
him. The Smiths put religion first, and that being a Sunday, just
blinded him in one eye, and didn't kill him, saying they didn't
wanted to do any “real work”.

Harry ordered the Sheriff to turn around, and blew his head off.
Then he apologised to Britney for the misunderstanding which
brought about the tragedy, but said he will have to kill her too,
because she knew his identity. But before he could kill her,
Britney pulls out her revolver, which she always carried with her,
and saying no one will ever get her, shoved the revolver in her
mouth and pulls the trigger, and dies. Her dead body falls over
the corpse of her husband. Dirty Harry lowers his hat to show
respect to the recently dead, lights a cigarette, smiles, and
walks off.

By then, a small crowd has gathered around Dirty Harry. Someone
from the crowd asks him who the man was who tried to molest
Britney. He replies that it was him.

Rating - 68/100


महंगाई वाली मंदी ( एक व्यंग्य )

(Akash Soam)

   
ज्यादा समय नहीं बीता है, जब बड़ी-बड़ी कंपनियों की जन्नत जैसी चमचमाती, गगनचुंबी इमारतों में अचानक से शोर मचने लगा था कि रिसेशन आ गया - रिसेशन आ गया | यह देश में "रिसेशन अर्थात मंदी" नामक एक आर्थिक समस्या के आगमन का शोर था | उन इमारतों से निकलकर रिसेशन का यह शोर तेज़ी से चारों ओर फैलने लगा, लेकिन यह शोर सिर्फ़ चमक-धमक वाले India तक ही सीमित नहीं रहा, बल्कि शांत और सादगी प्रिय भारत को भी इसने अपनी चपेट में ले लिया | प्राइवेट नौकरियाँ तलाशते युवाओं के लिए तो "रिसेशन" मानो आसमान से टपका एक दानव था, जो उनके सपनों को निगलने के लिए धरती पर उतारा गया था |

उसी शोर-शराबे के माहौल में किसी कारणवश जब गाँव जाना हुआ तो एक भैया ने मुझसे पूछ लिया – भाई!अख़बार में रोज़ पढ़ते हैं कि बाज़ारों में मंदी आ गयी - मंदी आ गयी | मंदी के कारण लोगों को नौकरियाँ नहीं मिल रही हैं, कुछ लोगों को नौकरियों से निकाला भी जा रहा है, पर ये गाँव के बनिये तो मंदी के नाम पर किसी भी चीज़ को मंदी( सस्ती ) नहीं कर रहे हैं, बल्कि रोज़ महँगी कर देते हैं, आख़िर ये कैसी मंदी है?

सवाल सुनते ही मैं समझ गया कि अपने आप को पढ़ा-लिखा दिखानें में जितनी मेहनत आज तक की है, आज उस सारी मेहनत पर पानी फिरने वाला है  क्योंकि मेरे लिए भी इस तरह की मंदी एकदम नयी घटना थी | अर्थशास्त्र का थोड़ा भी ज्ञान ना होने के कारण यह और भी बड़ी समस्या बन गयी थी मेरे लिए | काफ़ी मशक्कत के बाद भी इतना ही समझ पाया था की इम्पोर्ट करने की प्रथा के मुताबिक ही यह भी एक इंपोर्टेड समस्या थी | जिसकी उपज सात समंदर पार एक बड़े देश में हुई | उस देश में बहुत ज़्यादा पढ़े-लिखे लोगों ने कुछ ऐसे काम किए जिससे वहाँ के बाज़ारो में रिसेशन नाम की घटना घटित हुई......और फिर वही रिसेशन...मंदी बनकर भारत भी पहुँच गया | और चूँकि हमारे देश में इंपोर्टेड चीज़ों को विशेष दर्जा दिया जाता है, उसी तर्ज़ पर रिसेशन को भी स्वभाविक रूप से विशेष दर्जा प्राप्त हो गया; जिसके फलस्वरूप यहाँ लोगों को प्राइवेट नौकरियाँ मिलनी बंद हो गयी, जिनके पास नौकरी थी उनमें से भी बहुत से लोगों को कंपनियों ने रिसेशन के नाम पर निकालना शुरू कर दिया |

मंदी के बारे में कई सवालों का जवाब मुझे भी नहीं मिल पाया था | उनमे से एक था कि क्या अमेरिका का रिसेशन हवाई जहाज़ से भारत आया या पानी के जहाज़ से या फिर पानी में तैर कर भारत पहुंचा ? खैर, अपनी मनोदशा से बाहर निकलकर मैं भी फैशन के मुताबिक जवाब में अमेरिका को घसीटने ही वाला था, लेकिन पता नहीं क्या सोच कर रुक गया और भैया से पूछा - आप ये बताइए की इस मंदी से आपको क्या परेशानी हो रही है ?

भैया ने कहा – भाई, हम तो किसान है, नौकरी से हमें कुछ लेना देना नही, पर हमारी तकलीफ़ यही है कि जब चारों ओर मंदी के आने का शोर मचा हुआ है कि मंदी आ गयी-मंदी आ गयी, तो यह मंदी का यह शोर भी बनिये की दुकान की दहलीज पार करते ही महँगाई में कैसे बदल जाता है ?

भैया की इस मंदी और महँगाई वाली बात के बहाने एक मध्यम वर्गीय किसान की, महँगाई के कारण पैदा हुई आर्थिक विवशता को महसूस करते हुए मुझे लगा कि भैया के सामने अमेरिका को बदनाम करना बेकार है, क्योंकिजो अमेरिका मैनें, भैया ने और गाँव के बनिये - तीनों ने ही नहीं देखा, उसको दोषी सिद्द कर पाना मुश्किल है | इसलिए मैनें कहा – भैया, असलियत में तो ये महँगाई का ही दौर है, पर जो आपके और मेरे लिए महँगाई है वो ज़्यादा अमीर लोगों के लिए कभी-कभी मंदी बन जाती है |

भैया ने पूछा - वो कैसे ?

मैनें कहा - जब बनिये की दुकान पर मिलने वाला सभी सामान महँगा होगा, तो आप कम सामान खरीदोगे, मतलब बनिए की बिक्री कम होगी | पर बनिए की दुकान का सामान भी शहरों में बनी अमीरों की फेक्ट्रियों से आता है,इसका मतलब अमीरो की फेक्ट्रियों का सामान कम बिकेगा | इसलिए उनकी कंपनियो का मुनाफ़ा कम होगा | इससे उनके मालिकों की परेशानी बढ़ेगी, तो रात को नींद कम आएगी,...फिर डॉक्टर उन्हे नींद आने के लिए "मंदी" नाम की एक दवाई देते हैं | जिससे वह दवाई बाज़ारों में खूब बिकती है | अब महँगाई तो सभी अखबारों के लिए बहुत पुरानी, अजर और अमर खबर है, तो इसलिए वो महँगाई वाली खबर छोड़ कर बाज़ारो में मंदी आ गयी-मंदी आ गयी वाली खबर ही छापते हैं |

इतना सब सुनने के बाद भैया बिना कुछ बोले ही वहाँ से चले गये |

मैनें भी थोड़ी राहत की साँस ली और अपने आप को उसी मंझे हुए राजनेता की तरह शाबाशी दी जो किसी विषय का थोडा भी ज्ञान न होने पर भी उस विषय पर हर सवाल का जवाब पूरे आत्मविश्वास के साथ देता है.......|

आकाश सोम

Rating - 60/100

Result - Mr. Vibhuti Dabral wins the exhibition match against Mr. Akash Soam.

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