Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Under Cover

Jamshedpur isn't a city that comes into news frequently.Today when I was browsing through HT,I saw an amusing (some would say alarming,but the situation is alarming not the article) piece about V-Day celebration woes.The VHP people have come up with a plan to curb the 'open' enthusiasm of the lovers by forcibly marrying those couples found wandering about in parks and other places,so the paper reports.So I rushed back to my room to check out this report in e-form and send it to my Jsr. friends who I knew would be equally bemused.I serched for Jamshedpur on the HT page and the disappointment of not having found that report was more than made up by another one:Want to meet lover? Go for a Burqa!

Sounds revolting doesn't it.Who wouldn't want to read such an article,that too about my very own hometown.It went on:

The girls, afraid of being spotted and rebuked for bunking classes to go on dates, usually rent the burqas - a cloak traditionally worn by Muslim women - from shopkeepers.

Hidden behind a veil from head to toe, they freely meet their boyfriends in parks, cinema halls and other places.

So romantic isn't it? Last time I was back home,I went to the main park named Jubilee Park,spread over some 40 odd acres,almost daily.Between playing some serious sport like getting maximum rebounds by skimming stone over the lake or jumping the maximum roadblocks without hitting the road,me and my friends noticed something alarming.There was a remarkably high number of burqa clad women (?) who took advantage of cornered spaces and tree shades to interact with their male friends.We dismissed this as the new face of liberalisation and freedom and continued with our games,not that we could have done anything else.Only today did I find the reason behind this:

"There are reports that girls bunk classes and go on dates wearing burqas. This is disturbing," said Shukla Mohanty, principal of the college.

"We have decided to rusticate girls found meeting their boyfriends wearing burqas and bunking classes. We have also appealed to parents to cooperate in the drive."

How are the parents supposed to co-operate?

Girl:Mom,today I'm gonna wear a burqa to college.
Mom:Burqa?? That's rebellious! You stick to that mini you wear everyday.

And this is not all,matters are complicated futher:

A shopkeeper in the Bishtupur area said on condition of anonymity: "If we rent out each burqa for Rs. 100, we earn anything between Rs. 300 and Rs. 1,000 a day. It's good business. But we have to be on the alert about the police!"

And people say that there aren't enough enterpreneurship ideas these days.Boy,if they start a Taliban special in restaurants where the dress code would be you- know-what to compliment this boom,we could have seats reserved in advance for the whole month.

I really feel bad that the guys don't have to do anything that shows their resolve to meet up.Agreed they have to pay for petrol and maybe food,but something is missing.I think it's time the feminist groups start demanding that guys come in turban clad fully traditional uniforms.Would be an unmissable sight at the park then.

With Jamshedpur,you always find something interesting.I missed the local newspapers with their insanely,ridiculously funny reports.All they have here is page 3 crap.Who wants that if you get to know how a mad drunken elephant named Gudru romped the Manjhi village and how a new shop was inagurated by the building incharge's wife in the locality.I bet no one.

Pieces like this one will bridge the gap though.Full version available here.


thedq said...


Nikhil said...

oh yeah,I can't wait to get back home now :))