Bit of wit: The porn ultimatum | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Bit of wit: The porn ultimatum

I was bang in the middle of an erotic dream when the bell rang. Half-asleep, I dragged myself out of bed, ready to hurl the choicest abuse at the spoilsport. Barely opening the door, I snapped, “Don’t want your stuff, get lost.”

chandigarh Updated: Aug 09, 2015 13:33 IST

I was bang in the middle of an erotic dream when the bell rang. Half-asleep, I dragged myself out of bed, ready to hurl the choicest abuse at the spoilsport. Barely opening the door, I snapped, “Don’t want your stuff, get lost.”

“Who says I’m a salesman? I’m from the anti-porn bureau,” the intruder shot back, flashing his sarkari ID card.

“The what bureau?” I asked, finally opening my eyes and seeing a safari suit with a man inside it.

“My job is to dig out all kinds of pornography in people’s houses and seize it. Better cover up first,” he ordered, making me aware that I was wearing only one thing — my slippers.

Willy-nilly, I put on my Bermudas. “Officer, don’t waste your time. You won’t find any dirty material in my spiritual abode,” I lied blatantly.

Pat came his reply: “This operation is the final frontier of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. Our goal is to clean up your minds. Let’s start with your laptop.”

I switched on my computer. The desktop background showed the Looney Tunes cartoon gang. Even he found it cute. Luckily, I had changed the screensaver a day ago. Till then, it had been Sunny Leone from her XXX days.

“What all things have you been downloading?” he asked, poking his nose into my C and D drives.

“What do you expect when the Net speed is a snail-like 5 kbps?” I retorted.

“The painfully slow speed is also part of the plan. It’s a deterrent. By the way, do you prefer the porn sites blocked or unblocked?” he prodded me.

This was a tricky one, but I was equal to the task. “Either way, the government can’t control anyone’s fantasies,” I said, silencing the sleuth for once.

After a futile search online, he moved on to my study. The first book his eyes landed on was Nabokov’s Lolita. “OMG!” he shouted. “Isn’t this one about a lecherous middle-aged European who huffs and puffs after a 12-year-old American nymphet.”

“In my opinion, it’s a bizarre love story, a classic of 20th-century fiction,” I observed with a professorial air.

“It’s a stinking example of Western depravity. A solid proof of child porn. It must be confiscated to save future generations from its corrupting influence,” he said.

“This is an infringement of my Right to Privacy,” I protested. “Do appreciate the passionate writing: ‘Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue making a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta.’”

My, or rather, Nabokov’s words fell on deaf ears and he quickly put the paperback in his bag. “If you are taking that one,” I suggested wryly, “then don’t leave behind its neighbour,” pointing to a much-thumbed copy of the Kamasutra.

“No, no, I won’t seize this great Hindu treatise on lovemaking and social conduct,” he gushed, as if KS was a holy book. “In fact, we are planning to put Vatsyayana in Asaram’s august company in school textbooks.”

“But the Kamasutra is also pornographic in a way,” I said. “Especially when it explains the myriad ways of kissing, biting, coupling and whatnot.”

Flaring his nostrils, the officer thundered: “I’ll book you for blasphemy. Don’t you dare say bad words about an erotic Indian masterpiece.”

With this warning, he departed, but not before giving me a week to dry-clean my polluted mind. It was a Malala-vs-Taliban situation, and I was already dreaming of the Nobel Peace Prize.