March 8, 2010

Alivar Twistasingham by Charles Dickenspaksha

The room in which the former child soldiers were fed was quite large. Here the cook assisted by one or two women ladled the Kola Kenda and Kurakang bread at mealtimes. The bowls never wanted washing. The former child soldiers polished them with their spoons until they shone; and when they had performed this humanitarian operation, they would sit staring at the cook. Alivar Twistasingham and his companions suffered the tortures of slow starvation for three months due to the GSP+ concession having been withdrawn.

At last they got so voracious and wild with hunger that one former child soldier hinted darkly that unless he had a two-thirds majority of Kola Kenda and Kurakang bread, he might some night decide to go over to the opposition or maybe even eat the boy who slept next to him. He had a wild hungry eye and kept screaming ‘Maathroooboomeeyaa…’ in his sleep; and they implicitly believed him.

A council was held and votes were cast to find out who would walk up to the cook after dinner and ask for more Kola Kenda and Kurakang bread. Due to a computer ‘Jilmart’ while counting the votes, the task fell upon Alivar. The evening arrived and the boys took their places. The Kola Kenda and Kurakang bread disappeared; the boys whispered ‘Maathroooboomeeyaa…’ to each other and winked at Alivar.

As he was desperate with hunger, he rose from the table and advanced towards the cook with his bowl and spoon in hand and said, “Please, sir, I want some more Kola Kenda and Kurakang bread.” The cook turned very pale, his assistants were paralysed with wonder and the boys with fear. “What!” Said the cook in a faint voice. “Please sir,” said Alivar, “I want some more Kola Kenda and Kurakang bread.”

The cook aimed a humanitarian blow at Alivar’s head with the ladle and shrieked aloud for the ‘Welfare Holiday Camp’ Commandant.

The Military Court was sitting in solemn conclave, when Commandant Bumblepaksha rushed into the room in great excitement and said, “I beg your pardon sirs! Alivar Twistasingham has asked for more Kola Kenda and Kurakang bread.” There was a general start. Horror was depicted on every countenance. Alivar was ordered into instant confinement under the ‘Prevention Of Tourism’ Act, and a reward of 5 pounds was offered to anybody who could prove that Alivar was hatching an International Conspiracy to bring the ‘Welfare Holiday Camp’ into disrepute.

(To be continued no sooner than when the fundamental rights case filed by Alivar Twistasingham, against his unlawful arrest and confinement, naming the cook and Mr, Bumblepaksha as respondents is taken up for review by the Supreme Court).

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