Witerati: Lollitas VS Lalits & Lauras in the time of Tin Pot

Unlock 1.0 has unlocked a Pandora’s Box at the RWAs, making much ado about which Bais & Bhais can into housing societies trot and things Tin Pot
But Selfie-ism is in for a rude shock in the Unlock. When post-Lockdown’s Lollitas bump into BFFs – Latikas & Co – at “Lala” ki dukaan and want to freeze the Mahakumbh-Ke-Mele-Mein-Miley moment in Selfie-ism’s frame, it just doesn’t fit.(Getty Images/iStockphoto)
But Selfie-ism is in for a rude shock in the Unlock. When post-Lockdown’s Lollitas bump into BFFs – Latikas & Co – at “Lala” ki dukaan and want to freeze the Mahakumbh-Ke-Mele-Mein-Miley moment in Selfie-ism’s frame, it just doesn’t fit.(Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Updated on Jun 06, 2020 07:26 PM IST
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ByChetna Keer

Unlock 1.0 might not have contended for competition in Primetime narratives until it beheld the Badshahs of Breaking News squeaking, left right and epicentre. To be battle ready when the cyclone came calling, that is.

Nisarga notwithstanding, Unlock 1.0 went about its business. In its ‘Houseful Returns’ narratives, the Bais – Lalitas, Lajwantis & Co – returned to work for the Lollitas, unlock, stock and apparel. The apparel of consequence, that is their ticket to gaining entry into gated societies, being New Normal’s Half Burqa – the mask.

Even as the masked life is meant to “Flatten the Curve”, Unlock 1.0 is scripting twists ‘n’ turns to the ‘Flatten the Curve’ narratives as well as certain “fatten” narratives.

Of other wars on the trot & Tin Pot

Wondered why WhatsApp groups were suddenly looking “fattened” in Unlock 1.0 or why certain email inboxes are bearing the burden of being bloated?

If you thought Unlock 1.0 overnight bestirred your Biradri, BFFs & Co to bombard your inbox with missives enquiring about your well-being, perish the thought. The mail inbox may be looking inundated and fattened because war has broken out – nah, not the #Covid19 war outside, but the RWA war inside. Inside gated housing high-rises, plush or pockmarked, whose RWAs (Resident’s Welfare Associations) have been bestowed the title “Tin Pot dictatorships” or “Little Hitlers”.

Unlock 1.0 has unlocked a Pandora’s Box.

It’s battle lines drawn at the all-desi RWAs – between the top brass and residents with the loudest “bahas” or heaviest bass. A case of Lala jis & Latas VS Lalit jis & Lollitas.

They’re warring over whether or not the Bais & Plumbing Wala Bhais are to be allowed into elevators or instead be made to navigate vertical treadmills (read “mountainous stairways”) up to the sixth or seventh floor; whether or not residents have to fill forms as wordy as Modi ji’s ‘Mann ki Baat’ for swearing on oath the Corona-freeness of their house helps; and all that.

But what takes the cake (an entire bakery, perhaps) is when the RWAs ruminate over requests such as this emanating from the neighbouring Latikas of Lockdown: “Can you all please not disclose the Covid-positive case in our building, because if the apartment is sealed, my in-laws won’t get going back in Unlock?”

It’s also free-for-all war at multi-racial RWAs in tourist states – between RWA top guns who are in-house and home owners who are away yet, with or without business visas, make it their business to plunge into policing of the RWAs. A case of Lavleens & Lalli Singhs VS Lauras & Larrys.

What the multi-racial RWAs are warring about is whether or not migrant Indian guards or garbage-wallahs need to be dipped in the holy Ganges river waters before they’re considered Covid-free or hygienic enough to return to work for the Larrys & Co; and whether or not slum-dwelling Bais – Lalitas & Lajwantis – are to be allowed to scrub at the sanitised sinks of the Lauras and Lolas. (So much for all this videshi ‘squeak’ speak on shunning so-and-so, though back home in their countries – UK, USA et al – it’s their Prime Ministers and Princes, populating palaces ‘squeaky’ clean, who’re known to be the celebrity carriers of Covid19, one hell of a leveller pandemic!)

It’s tolerable as long as the squabble and slugfest about Unlock 1.0’s dos and don’ts are directly between the warring parties.

Where the slugfest spells treble trouble is when third parties find themselves caught in the crossfire. And their inbox is inundated with hate mail – spewing #NewNormal’s new vocabulary titled “Tin Pot dictators”.

Ah, here one has to confess, (Shashi) Tharoor couldn’t accomplish that which has been done by Unlock’s lingo-ism labelled “Tin Pot” – driving one to go diving for the dictionary.

The curious case of needing nerves of “steel” to survive these times of “Tin” Pot.

Of ‘Fatten the Curve’ narratives

The social media is staging signs of Unlock 1.0 too as Selfie-ism is no longer doomed to stay single and is ready to mingle, albeit with social distancing protocols in place.

But Selfie-ism is in for a rude shock in the Unlock. When post-Lockdown’s Lollitas bump into BFFs – Latikas & Co – at “Lala” ki dukaan and want to freeze the Mahakumbh-Ke-Mele-Mein-Miley moment in Selfie-ism’s frame, it just doesn’t fit.

Firstly, social distancing stands in the way of Selfie-ism of Unlock’s Lollitas and Latikas.

But befitting here to spell the new body language of Unlock 1.0’s selfies. The new etiquette upon bumping into BFFs, Biradri & Co is to feign flinging forward your arms in the air to indicate you’re dying to hug or greet them, but just as the limbs are levitating midway, in an abrupt anatomical deactivation reminiscent of that childhood game, freeze the forearms pronto as though an invisible voice into your ears just did coo – “Statue”.

Second, standing in the way of Selfie-ism is a tweaked narrative – Fatten the Curve. For, whilst “Flatten the Curve” narrative unfolded on television screens, in front of the screens rolled out the Quarantined Couch Potatoes’ “Fatten the Curve” narrative.

The curious case of Unlock 1.0’s Selfie-ism trying to fit narratives of the unfit.

chetnakeer@yahoo.com

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Sunday, November 28, 2021