When Cadbury 5Star and IB announced their #ConditionSeriousHai contest, my eyes naturally scanned the contest rules, as I usually do. It looked like a fun contest, but the following sentence spoiled all the fun. It said >> Entries about politics or political figures are not allowed.
Well, disappointing yes! Cos' who else was there besides the politicians, to make fun of? These notorious politicians do outrageous things most of the times, that affect us all i.e 'aam junta' *Sigh!*
Anyways, since they also have the power to make the contest organizer's #ConditionSeriousHai, and give nightmares by banning/censoring etc - it was better to play it safe, I guess.

Hmmm...okay! So they didn't allow politics/politicians, but what about those self-proclaimed politicians. The ones that were not recognized by the Constitution? The ones that ran their own politics according to their whims and fancies. Ones whom even those 'normal' politicians sitting in the Parliament were scared of. My rather restless mind kept pinging me. Will it be safe to poke fun at them? "The Constitution does not recognize them. They're illegal and its a social issue too." - my mind pricked me again.
"Ounch! I know..I know," I replied back to my mind, "Stop pricking me like this. It hurts, DUH!"

Well writing about them would be safe atleast, because they are powerful only in their 'ilakas' i.e areas, and I was far away from them too, in Bombay. Their complaints against me won't be covered by law as well, in case they try to hot pursuit me. I just needed to go, poke some fun and run as fast as I could, and I'd be safe. That seemed easy. So, bit re-assured I set off in my journey up north. Did I carry my weapon along, in case I was attacked? Yes! I did. I re-checked my bag. I was hopeful, my weapon will keep me safe in this daring mission I was setting off too. The Mission - To poke fun at the Khap!

"Bhai sahab, aur kitney time lagenge? How much time will it take?" I asked my train co-passenger Madhav, whom I befriended in this trip, as the train sped up in full speed. He was a local, so knew about the place quite well.
"Bas pahunch hi rahey hai. We are nearly reaching," he replied, "See those villages we are passing by, there's hardly any females in them. The sex ratio in these parts are badly skewed, because of decades of female foeticide and infanticide ( here ). And the bachelors donot get any girls to marry anymore. They have to buy brides from other states or remain single their whole lives." ( here ), ( here ) & ( here )
My eye-brows shot up with this bit of information. I had travelled many parts of India by train and I often used to see lovely village-belles carrying water pitchers and waving at us, but as we passed by the villages here, they indeed wore a deserted look. It was a sad state of affairs here, I sighed.

"Any new information on the Babo and Rajjo case?" I asked Madhav. He had been telling me earlier about a new incident in the village next to his. They were rather common occurrences in these parts of rural India.
"Yes, they'll be having a panchayat gathering today. You'll be lucky if you reach there on time," he replied.
Madhav would get down one stop before my destination, so I'd be all alone afterwards. It was bit scary, but I thought about the two lovers in trouble. I had to do this ~ I was determined. I just couldn't chicken out after having come so far. They needed me. Besides, I had my weapon with me. It wouldn't let me down in my mission, well hopefully, I thought bit nervous.

Babo and Rajjo were two love birds, who were now facing wrath of the Khap. They were related to each other ( of same caste/gotra ), hence they were about to face the consequences, especially since they were caught by the villagers, after having eloped just recently. The entire village was against them now, baying for their blood ( including their own parents ).
"My station is coming now. Your stop will come after ten minutes," Madhav was saying, as he got ready to leave. "Evening train will be around 7pm, so telling you in advance. Don't miss it, if you want to return. Else next train will come next week only. And remember, not to piss them off!"
Madhav's village was in one of the most remotest regions that I was visiting, where there was only a weekly train.

After Madhav alighted from the train, I suddenly felt very lonely. I wanted to bolt and run. His last words kept ringing in my mind, sending chill-waves down my spine and sweat trickling down my forehead at the same time. I clutched my weapons-bag tightly. Was I doing right? What was I thinking anyway!!
Ten minutes were up and my train finally pulled a stop at my destination. It wasn't too late to return. My mind was earlier pinging me to go ahead with this mission, and now it was backtracking like a coward. Huuuurrr!! I finally told my mind. I've had enough of it's dilly-dallying. You got me this far, now don't be chicken. With that brave thought, I finally got down the dusty old station platform.

Immediately I heard someone whistling at me. "Oye hoey," they said aloud. I glanced their way, to see some young village boys playing cards in the railway bench ( of all places! ). All of them looked at me, from top to bottom with leering eyes obviously with dirty thoughts running in their minds as well, I thought uneasily, remembering the shortage of girls in these parts. I rather be careful, I cautioned myself. And search someone elderly for directions ( not that they were safe either! ). Thankfully I was dressed modest. At a distance, I saw the station master walking inside a tiny station office, that was more like a thatched hut. I followed him. Madhav had told me, the panchayat meeting place was under the peepul tree in middle of the village. I needed directions to that peepul tree.

"Bhai sahab, yeh peepul tree kidhar hai is gaon mei? Where is the peepul tree in this village." I asked the station master. His back was turned towards me. He turned back instantly as he heard my voice, and looked at me in wonder, as though I had landed from Mars.
"Kaunsa peepul tree. Yaha to hazaron peepul tree hai. There are thousands of peepul trees here, which one." He asked me back, with a weird expression in his face, before continuing, "Did you come in the last train? Yaha kya kar rahe ho. Aap to sheher ki lagtey ho."
I nodded my head in affirmation.
"Then you must return immediately. This place is very dangerous, especially for ladies. That too sheher-walis." He said, turning a bit authoritative now.
"Yes I know. I wanted to go to the peepul tree under which the Khap gathers." I didn't need him to scare me any more than I was already.
As soon as I mentioned Khap, he looked at me narrowly. Almost suspicious. "Reporter sheporter ho kya?" He asked. He was clearly annoyed with my presence now.
"No no! I'm not reporter. I'm just a blogger," I gave him a wide innocent smile.
"Blogger? Woh kya hota hai? Jogger jaisa kuch kya?" He looked thoroughly confused now. He made a pose similar to jogging. I nearly laughed seeing his rather funny posture.

"No, no its similar to writing, but on internet mainly," I explained. "Will you tell me where the peepul tree is? I have to return this evening, so don't wanna waste anymore time."
"But what exactly do you write if you are not a reporter?" He asked, again narrowing his eyes, getting more suspicious. "Only reporters come to poke their nose in these kinda sunsan-remote places, not normal people."
Uff..I was getting irritated now. Will he ever tell me what I was asking? I didn't want to ask those boys outside. But the station master just stood there with a disapproving expression in his face, clearly not intending to tell me anything.

My weapon - I remembered. Should I use it on him first? I wondered. It was always good to use on unsuspecting victim first, to test, and see if it worked at all. With that, I took out one of my weapons ( I had a bagful of them ). I unwrapped it as I said, "Bhai sahab, bloggers jo hai na, woh stories likhtey hai. Bloggers write Life Stories, taken from real life situations. Aapke #condition itne serious kyu hai? Ye lijiye, thoda halka ho jayiye." I popped my small but powerful weapon into his open mouth.
As my weapon melted inside his mouth, he visibly became more relaxed and smiled at me ...almost ready to tell me anything.
"Ab aap bolenge bhi peepul ke tree kidhar hai? Will you tell me where the peepul tree is?" I crooned in his ears. I meant business after all.
The magic of my weapon seemed to work. Because, what he said next, thrilled me no end.

"I'm going that side. You can come with me," he replied, smiling dreamily at me, rolling my weapon inside his mouth. It was obvious that he was enjoying it, relishing it. "But there's a very urgent Khap baithak-meeting today. You must be careful since you're an outsider."
"You worry not," I said, getting bit courageous. My weapon was a success with him. I'll win this battle now. I was confident.

I sat behind his rickety old cycle, as he peddled to the main village peepul tree where the panchayat sat. From a distance, I could see the crowds had already gathered. The main Khap leaders were seated too. The meeting had already begun. As we approached near, I spotted the boy and girl ( Babo and Rajjo ) standing opposite to one another, on either side of the peepul tree where the Khap sat. They were both quite young, in their late teens perhaps. One man was slapping the boy continuously, while the girl's head was drawn down.

The station master pulled his cycle to a stop, and I got down. I went nearer to hear what was being said.
"Kyu ri kalmuhi, khandaan ki naak katwane chali," an elderly woman pulled at the girl's hair angrily, while she winced in pain. The woman turned to the village elder; knelt down and said, holding both her palms together, "Khaap ji, inko jo saja deni hai aap diwo inko. Yeh toh humare liye mar chuki hai. Dono to bhag ke naak katwa di humri. Kaun shadi karegi is bachalan se. Give them whatever punishment you want. She is already dead for us. Who will marry this characterless."

"Hmmm...Sabhi pakhsh sunne ke baad, Khaap yeh faisla karte hai, Babo ko sau jooti maari jaye aaur woh Rajjo se kisi tarha bhi milne ki na koshish kare, warna mara jayega. Rajjo ki shaadi, kal humri gaon ki Vithal bhai se tai. Woh shadi ko raazi hai, yei bohot baro baat howe. After listening to all parties, Khap decides on 100 shoe lashings on Babo and prohibits him from meeting Rajjo, else, he may lose his life. Rajjo's marriage is fixed with Vithal bhai for tomorrow."
I was wondering who Vithal was, when the station master said slowly from behind, pointing towards an old man sitting in one corner. "That's Vithal. He is seventy years old."
I looked and was shocked to see an old man fit enough to be Rajjo's grandfather. I couldn't tolerate it one bit. I had to speak out. It was injustice. That girl's life would be forever spoilt.

"Wait a minute!" I heard my voice speaking out aloud. It was me alright. "Kya ho raha hai yaha? What's going on? You are separating two young lovers, to get her married to this buddha - old man?" I don't know where I was getting the courage from, but I went on. The whole village looked at me wide-eyed. I was in its center. "Aapke gaon mei, ladkiyon ko janam mei maar daalte ho; phir shadi ke liye koyi ladki nahi bachta, aur jo bhi pyar karte hai unko zaalim ki tarha alag karwa dete ho. Chal kya raha hai yaha? In your villages girl child are killed on birth; there's no girls left for marriage and when two people love each other, you cruely separate them."

"Kaun hai yeh chokri. Kaha se aayi hai. Kya chahti hai," I could hear several questions thundering around me suddenly. Damn! I had forgotten Madhav's warning. My weapon! I remembered --- If they attacked me now. It was the only hope for me left.
And then, there was silence. I looked around. Everyone was waiting for my answer, fuming. I could almost see their ears & nostrils flaring flames at me. Where did I land myself into! Can't back out now. The show must go on - my mind pinged.

"Bhaiyo aap logon ke na #ConditionSeriousHai," I said, trying to smile at them nervously. "Thoda relax ho jayiye. Main aapki friend hu. Yeh duniya pyar ke liye bani hai, nafrat ke liye nahi. I'm your friend. This world is made for love not hatred."
"Oye chokri! Zinda garh dunga zameen ke niche, bakwas ki toh. Jaha se aayi hai, wahi chali ja. Girl, will bury you alive if you speak nonsense. Go away where you came from," someone growled. I quickly looked at his direction. It was one of the Khap leaders. Immediately, I tried to give him a coy smile. He perhaps never smiled in his life. He had stood up towering over me and everyone gathered.
What happens next looks best in slow motion ;-)

I took my weapon out. He took his rifle out. My weapon was tiny. His was huge. Everyone else had statued themselves, their mouths wide-open. Who will strike first? I advanced, so did he. I unwrapped my weapon, he got ready to shoot. We were barely a breath's distance away from one another. He fearless, me all jittery inside. I had to do it, had to do it - NOW!!! my mind pinged urgently. And I popped it inside, as he soon as he opened his mouth to say something, twitching his thick bushy eye-brows and took him by surprise totally.

Then something unbelievable happened. And for real too. I stood watching him transfixed, awed at my spot. To my relief, he had thrown his rifle away, and closed his eyes. He was lost somewhere in his own world, as my weapon melted inside his mouth weaving magic. When he opened his eyes after sometime, he looked totally different. He almost smiled at me - a very silly dreamy shy smile - cute kinda. He didn't look the monster he was, just a while ago. I took my chance and opened my weapon's bag. I looked at him for permission - he nodded his head, still looking dreamily.
"Le lo bhaiyyon," he said, in a sing-song kinda voice ( so unlike his coarse growling voice earlier ), "Pata nahi hum log itne kyu serious ho jaatey hai. Yeh ladki sahi bolti hai ~ Duniya pyar ke liye bani hai, nafrat ke liye nahi. Take it brothers. Wonder why we get so serious. This girl is right. This world is made for love not hatred."

Later that evening, as I left the village to catch my train, I couldn't forget the images that kept running before my eyes, of what happened earlier. I had opened my weapons bag and gave a piece of my weapon to each villager. Instantly they were all singing and dancing around me, as soon as they popped the weapon in. And believe it or not, all their seriousness was melted with 5Star - my weapon. And Babo and Rajjo married too, with blessings of the entire Khap!

Ah...miracles do happen :-) I left for home with some happy memories and a good story to blog about, for the contest.


Inki #ConditionSeriousHai ka sirf ek ilaaz - Cadbury 5Star :D


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  1. A great great write up!!
    You've got yourself a cheesy fan now ^_^

    1. thanks n welcome @Aditya :-)

  2. It's serious rather than humorous throughout but end was good and funny, read mine at Condition Serious Hai

    1. thanks @cifar...sure will do

  3. khap dictates are realy serious concern for socity,but thanks to you have given a happy ending to it.

  4. A very logical take with right pinch of humor.


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