HOW PARANOID have we become in these corona times can be well gauged from a report about what the sighting of a green coloured balloon can do to us.
We seek him here, We seek him there,
Those Frenchies seek him everywhere.
Is he in heaven?—is he in hell?
That damned, elusive Pimpernel?
Not many Punjabis would be familiar with the tale
of the Scarlet Pimpernel, but these days, a few kilometres away from where a land called Pakistan starts, the iron in the soul of the brave Punjabis can be punctured with a balloon.
The brave jawans and officers of the Punjab Police and the dedicated to their duty bureaucrats can be struck by the fear of the devil at the mere discovery of a piece of paper that has a message ostensibly much more dangerous than the Covid-19: a prayer that God save the Hindus and the Muslims and the Sikhs and the Christians.
Ominously, this message was addressed by name to Allah.
"Pakistan!" goes the shout, and India is ready to protect itself from the enemy that could seemingly have acquired new dual use aerial-terrestrial weaponry — a green balloon and a piece of paper attached to it.
The land of the brave and the martial, struck with fear of communal and vector virus, now dutifully reports what nefarious designs the hidden enemy could be up to: sending precisely-directed messages to Allah to save all.
In a Tablighi-news fed India, you only have to utter the word Pakistan while seeking a second helping of potatoes for the entire range of tuber-based cuisine to become poisonous and go viral on the social media. With careful construction of the enemy that has repeatedly fought wars with India in 1948, 1965, 1971 and the Kargil War, Indians have now accepted as normal any news with a Pakistan angle to portend towards apocalypse, or at least the possibility of a couple of air strikes.
But for a completely original and proportionate understanding of the significance of discovery of the hazardous objects just a few kilometres from the international border with Pakistan, here is the exact literal translation of the news that appeared in mass circulation newspapers.
You can also click this link and read the story
on the website of the newspaper.
UNAUTHORISED BUT EXACT TRANSLATION BY PUNJAB TODAY (In blue; we are avoiding green for obvious reasons. That would be yellow journalism, and we draw a red line because we don’t want to be painted black.)
AMRITSAR, 25 APRIL: IN THIS AREA of Chheharta, a green coloured balloon and a message written in Urdu on it have become the talk of the town with debate raging on whether it could have come from Pakistan and contains some kind of a warning.
An ACP of Punjab Police, one Devdutt, has confirmed the fact that the green coloured balloon has been found from the local Bhalla Colony. He said this balloon could not have come from Pakistan since the international border is about 30 kilometres from here.
Also, there is a message scribbled in Urdu on a piece of paper tied to the balloon. As per information, the message contains a prayer to Allah that he keeps all Hindus, Musalmans, Sikhs and Christians in safe and in good health.
In the June of 2017, then Gurdaspur SSP Bhupinderjeet Singh Virk made the startling discovery that when hydrogen gas leaks out of a balloon, it falls to the earth. He briefed the media about his deduction after a local resident caught hold of a balloon outside the Kalanaur bus stand
, 25 km from Gurdaspur, and found the words ‘Jashn-e-Azadi’ written on it in Urdu. SSP Virk said the balloon was filled with hydrogen and came down as the gas leaked out. He also shared his discovery that the balloon would have entered the Indian territory because the wind blew in this direction. Worried about the mental well being of fellow Punjabis on this side of the border, he also assured that the flying object "caused no breach of security."
A couple of years back, India had raised the balloon issue with Pakistan after a Sukhoi-30 fighter aircraft shot down a US-made helium-filled balloon over Rajasthan
that was emblazoned with the words "Happy Birthday". It was flying at a height of about 25,000 feet in Jaisalmer district when it was picked up by the air force radars which were on high alert in view of Republic Day celebration.
For some reason, scheming Pakistanis have been choosing the colour green for sending their jihadi hot air this side of the border, but it is our capacity to see red that can turn anyone green with envy, of course only till we don’t shoot ‘em down with our Sukhois or beat them black and blue. (Have we covered all the colours in those beautiful pictures of Covid-19 virus?)
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