There is nobody in India today more unfortunate than s/he who doesn’t have a chamcha ! From the neta to the abhineta (turned neta!), everyone has a follower or a pet-chamcha!
We, being a part of the ‘Humans of Calcutta’ team while making an entry to the The Great Indian Blogging Contest, as a part of the Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival 2015, couldn’t possibly be in a better position to realize that while a teaspoon cannot deliver what a tablespoon can, a chamcha of the correct denomination CAN move mountains in the country! We are not saying this. You are. Yes, we interacted with individuals in the city and the response was… well, let the response speak for themselves.
The first person whom we spoke to, said something which even his chamchas wouldn’t dare to deny. “Chamcha may seek favour for anything from a parliamentary ticket to a metro ticket – when the line is too long, there are chamchas who challenge the usual ‘givens’ in socio-cultural paradigms. Even the most strict meshomoshai of the para pays obeisance to his unlettered durwan to let him have a puff of a forbidden cig-twig, reciprocating his pledge of secrecy with a few currency-leaves! After all, he ‘guards’ him. And so meshomoshai overlooks durwan‘s small indiscretions or lapses and ensures that the show goes on!”
“Meshomoshai‘s uppity son – an IT honcho, who swears by his I-Phone and I-zones, is a chamcha no less! He is the Yes-man of his boss, the typical US-returned phoren-lisping, high-flying guy, and looks every inch the Raja of techno-crowdy Rajarhat! Yes-man is every inch the Superman, except when the thought of a pink slip takes the oomph out of him! He has become the Man Friday to his boss, and faces board-meetings with equal èlan as he shops online for perfumes; for his super-busy boss who needs to pamper a miffed wifey !” was what a lady residing in Tollygunj had to say.
(Photograph taken at Swabhumi)
She was almost simultaneously attacked (verbally) by a senior citizen passing by. “And no need to think that men have monopolised chamcha-dom! Mashima and her Laughing Club members are a unique community of mutual chamchas, pampering each other while bitching about each behind their backs. So is mashima’s obese bouma who teaches in a school and obviously needs to keep her headmistress well-lubricated with dollops of praises and sundry gifts for occasional favours! Families of chamchas contribute to the Gross Domestic Product of Indian chamcha-hood! Parents training kids to become teacher’s pet in school and boss’s pet in offices, eventually ensure that the System runs well without any hitches!”
(Photo Source : http://www.weirdasianews.com)
In a month when all the chaa-er dokaan addas are incomplete without Feluda, one of the students whom we met at Gariahat also had his share. He said, “As an every-inch rational detective such as Feluda cannot be imagined without a Lalmohan babu, every spoke of the bureaucratic wheel of Indian administration also cannot be imagined without a throng of chamchas! Be it assembly houses or friendly-neighbourhood corporation to municipality offices, a chamcha is an integral part of our lives!”
( Photo taken at Southern Avenue)
That just sums it up, doesn’t it?
We rest our case.
Neta – Politician
Abhineta – Actor
Durwan – Security guard
Meshomoshai – Uncle
Phoren – Foreign
Raja – King
Mashima – Aunty
Bouma – Daughter-in-law
Chaa-er dokan – Tea shop
Adda – Light conversation