THE HUMOROUS SIDES OF WAR

If it hadn’t been for people dying and getting seriously injured, War would be really very funny. I mean, just think, dropping bombs, firing missiles, and chucking grenades at someone or at other people just because they feel differently.

Bringing 'democracy' to people through Arab Spring; but with tanks, bombs and guns (Pic courtesy: www.theguardian.com)
Bringing ‘democracy’ to people through Arab Spring; but with tanks, bombs and guns (Pic courtesy: www.theguardian.com)

“Wait a sec guys” you say with aplomb (since you are the mighty one), “Whilst we slam the daylights out of you for not recognizing that democracy is the best form of government. Next time be sure to vote for democracy so that you guys will be safe.”

The most ludicrous thing is that both the parties feel that they are fighting the Just War. In any case, each one of them knows, or at least used to know before social-media came in, that history can be re-written by the victorious.

Happy, smiling faces at Hiroshima in Oct 1945 after 'good sense' has been driven into them (Pic courtesy: www.mctv.ne.jp)
Happy, smiling faces at Hiroshima in Oct 1945 after ‘good sense’ has been driven into them (Pic courtesy: www.mctv.ne.jp)

I also feel that when two grownups fight the others call them loco. However, when countries fight, and spend money, resources, time, and lives plotting against each other, it is called stratagem or grand strategy or some equally high-sounding names. This is so that when Life goes on, the business of ending others’ lives should also flourish; a kind of ‘Live-and-Let-Die’.

In peacetime, people are busy doing or not doing what they feel like. However, as soon as War starts, everyone is busy doing War; soldiers with shooting down erstwhile friends-turned-enemies, doctors in stitching up mutilated bodies, industrialists (especially defence industrialists) making themselves richer than they normally do, undertakers in burying and cremating and writers in having enough to write about; eg, stories with a ‘human (ha, ha) angle’, tales of heroism, love, romance and intrigue; singers, movie-makers, actors, lyricists, music makers in churning out films and songs on how the soldiers stood between us and annihilation. Indeed, that’s the time you realize that War keeps more people busy than the bally peace!

We always remember the origin of such wars and its unique vocabulary. Thus, however advanced the means of war may become, in our folklore we shall always keep using the expression ‘chucking stones at each other’. However, newer expressions originate and Oxford and Webster and hordes of other dictionary wallahs run up to the printing presses to bring out the latest vocabulary unleashed by War.

Indians have convinced themselves that they were never war-minded. It is because we decided not to do so in the battlefield with the enemies of the country (even Mahabharata was between brothers, cousins and uncles); but on the roads (traffic wars of gaining just a few inches more than the ones to your right or left), streets and other public arena. Wars may have been important to people abroad, but, we manage to kill more people on the roads than they do with their war machinery, nerve gas, and even nuclear bombs. We too are capitalists and we too know how to remain in business.

An everyday scene in India (Pic courtesy: www.instablogs.com)
An everyday scene in India
(Pic courtesy: www.instablogs.com)

We are the most self-sufficient nation in the world; we have our own enemy within and are never dependent upon nefarious forces outside (or as Indira Gandhi used to call: “Foreign Hand”) to do it to us what we can do to ourselves.

Patton’s famous quote ‘The more you sweat in peace; the less you bleed in war’ has been taken by us rather seriously. So, we sweat and bleed in peacetime in our country, so that there will be nothing left to do in War.

Lastly, most of us in my group Humour In And Out Of Uniform (HIAOOU for short) are eternally grateful to War or its Fear since that’s the raison d’être for us as soldiers, airmen and sailors; in short, people in uniform. No War or its Fear, No ‘R, K, and Makaan’ for us and our families.

‘No War, No Uniform’ also means that HIAOOU ceases to be a greeting between us all; one of the stupidest collateral damages!

So, lets keep our powder dry,
And preserve our platitudes;
In uniform, we fight, we sail, we fly,
To correct the enemies’ attitudes.

There is glory and there is honour,
In rubbing their noses to ground;
It also gives HIAOOU its humour,
That couldn’t otherwise be found.

War, we love you and adore you,
Avoiding you, we call as ‘deterrence’,
Thankfully there is nothing new,
No other meaning or inference.

Than to advance the concept,
Of Poly Ticks by other means,
And, in fighting-for-peace become adept,
With bombs, missiles, bullets and magazines.

Charlie Chaplin in 'The Great Dictator'
Charlie Chaplin in ‘The Great Dictator’

HIAOUU there! Lets hear your views.

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