I tried to continue after Ram’s bouncer on R.K.Laxman. I thought for a few seconds and hit on this.
‘Ram, what would R.K.Laxman do in Tamil nadu govt ? Where would he fit in? He is an artist, a cartoonist. What does a cartoonist do in a government job ? Normally government consists of cartoon characters and not the cartoonist himself’, I said triumphantly.
My reasoning was, being a cartoonist needed creativity and genius but being a cartoon character didn’t .
‘Saar, government has cartoon characters because people like Laxman are not part of it. Laxman is not part of it because he is not allowed to be part of it’, Ram said.
‘Who stops Laxman from being part of the government? Why does he need only to be a government employee? Why does he not play a role in the government itself by taking a part in the political system that creates the government?’, I said, admiring myself in the process.
‘Saar, you are being smart but not practical. When Laxman cannot even be a simple civil servant because he is excluded, how do you expect him to get elected and be in the government ?’, Ram said with logical cynicism.
‘You have a point. But if he would not join the government, he should not complain. He needs to fight in the street and dirty his hands, for he has been in his comfort zone for far too long’, I suggested, though not being convinced myself.
‘So Saar, that is why Laxman wants to go to America where they don’t scan his body to locate his thread but scan his head to see if he has a brain’, Ram said.
I wished I had said that. But I still continued.
‘Ram, your Laxman cannot escape from motherland just because he is being excluded. Should he not do his duty ?’, I said though I myself felt very feeble.
‘Saar, Laxman wants to play his role. But he is ridiculed and riled for what he is. People who are not what he is made of, rile him and reduce him to a piece of paper. So he escapes to America so that he can lead his peaceful life with curd rice and mango pickle’, said Ram in a boisterous manner.
Curd rice and mango pickle are staple diet of tambrahms. Give him the world and he would say it is not complete without the curd rice and pickle combination. True blue tambrahms love curd rice with un-ripe mango that is soaked in salted water. Salted lemon pieces could substitute mango, but that would be an exception than a rule.
I didn’t have an option but to agree with Ram. And I continued thus :
‘Ram, how does Bharat Ram’s career choice as a comic artist fit into the scheme of things here?’, I asked as a matter of fact.
Ram stared at his iPhone for a while and then started to answer.
( to be continued )