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The Great Indian Circus in Verse ft. Karnataka’s Worst 

Revati Laul spins an ‘Alice in Wonderland’ out of the madness of Karnataka elections & the democracy (that isn’t).

4 min read
The Great Indian Circus in Verse ft. Karnataka’s Worst 
Hindi Female

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Our farmers in heaven
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done…

…Said Farmer One to Farmer Two
“They have their prayer all wrong!
It’s father, not farmer – idiots,
Whatever have they become?


Said One to Two, looking surprised,
“Oh fiddle dee dee, boo hoo!
What OS have you downloaded?
In what century are you?
It’s election time you know
To talk of many things
When the dead are alive,
And fathers farmers
Cabbages and kings.

Farmers participate in a long march organised by All Indian Kisan Sabha (AIKS) at Azad Maidan in Mumbai on 12 March. 
(Photo: PTI)

Can our suicides make it, you think
To the headlines, the front page?
Where’s the dead baby, get her to cry
Upload a pic to the sage.
“Wah haaan! wah haaan!” we go
Crying in full rhyme.
That should get the Lingayat plus one
Votes in just fine.”


Farmer Two was in overdrive
Full election-speak
Watching on Heaven TV
The hell on earth so cheap.

Farmers participate in a long march organised by All Indian Kisan Sabha (AIKS) at Azad Maidan in Mumbai on 12 March.
(Photo: PTI)

WiFi was free, the speed was good
The transmission was so clear.
“Oh I’m Lingayat, did I vote wrong?
Oh dear! Oh dear! Oh dear!
On TV they say, my tribe voted
For this and not for that
It’s just as well that I am dead
My vote duly sent back.”

Now Farmer One had his turn
And quickly he shot back,
“You tell me ‘update software’
But miss the basic fact
One can be two
And two, twenty-two
This can be that.”


There go more farmers
Bless their pious souls
In an AC bus at that.
“Oh dear, the bus is now a plane!”
“Is it heaven-bound, ol’ chap?”

“If it is,
We’ve got friends coming,
Bring out the cognac!
Shhhh! This is holy business
Don’t you ever say that!
Hide your bottle
Where is it pray?
Did you down the whole vat?
Or give it to the Chief you did –
As taxes, GST and VAT.”


Farmer Two was bored by now,
And said, “Just look at that!”
Hell’s on TV, everywhere
‘Breaking Now’, ‘Live chat’.

“It’s breaking all over the place,”
Said One,
“Our deaths are Live News.”
Do a jig, won’t you please?
It’s good to (finally) be of use.

Farmer One and Two
Tuned in now
To channel one-twenty-one.
And suddenly they were sad to see
The lonely chastised one.
The man in white stood high so high
And swore on a bouquet –
And suddenly TV Talkers hissed
And his flowers were taken away.


“The farmers, the farmers, the farmers!”
He had repeatedly said.
Which was funny, thought One and Two,
Since they were directly overhead.

“It does seem strange,” said Farmer Two,
“To do a big roll call”.
“Maybe we should suggest quite nicely
A complete overhaul?”

“But, but, but! How will they hear us?
Since you know we are quite dead.”
F 2 said to 1 smiling
“Oh! That is easily said.
They don’t, they don’t hear you, you know.
And please don’t start to mind.
Just say ‘Amen’ and ‘Ohm Namo’
And it will be divined.”


And so it was,
Just as they spoke
Their words became hotels
And whooshed around in parking lots
And bathroom sleeper cells.

Is democracy dead? 
(Photo: Lijumol Joseph/ The Quint)

Then everyone called it murder
Democracy is dead!
Said Farmer One to Two
“Why are we dead instead?”

Then he saw
How odd it was
That he was talking at all.
Since Farmer Two
Could never hear
A single word at all.

Karnataka drama ft. Yeddyurappa and HD Kumaraswamy in the lead roles.
(Photo: Harsh Sahani/The Quint)

“Are we alive now,” said Farmer Two,
“Is there finally some bread?”
But Farmer One wasn’t listening
Because you don’t dialogue with the dead.

(With apologies to Lewis Carroll)

(Revati Laul is an independent journalist and film maker based in Delhi. She tweets @revatilaul. This is a satire. The views expressed above are the author’s own. The Quint neither endorses nor is responsible for them.)

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