John plans to shop there itself next time he visits Dilli to fetch money from the ”khazana”.

S S Qadri

Jan Sab, Jani, John, Jani darling, Jane Khor are some of the names given to a simpleton living in a congested mohalla of downtown Srinagar by his neighbors and acquaintances. Jani, Abdul Rehman of yore, however likes to be called as ‘Sir John’ since he returned from Delhi where he had been working at a Bus Stand with a local Chaiwala. John brags of having worked outside the state for 15 long years and believes of having earned enough money, knowledge, skills and reputation to qualify him for a new English name. John, wearing a black ankle high English baggy trouser, waist long shirt with two flapped breast pockets and pepped up shoulder buttons, never parts with his round hat given by an English tourist as a mark of gratitude when John, foolhardily, jumped into the cold turbulent waters of Dal and saved him from a capsizing boat during one of those evening wind storms. ‘Sir John’ sports heavy moustaches that extend sideways up to his sunken cheeks giving him the look of ‘preying cat’ ready to jump on anything, anywhere. His slightly bulged toad eyes screened out with green round glasses gives him the actual look of a comedian from a low budget movie. But for him, his looks are no less than those of Amir Khan in the movie ‘Fanaa’ and this feeling, nonetheless, augments his self claim to the name ‘Sir John’.
Few days back when ‘Jan sb’ heard about the visit of prime minister to the valley, he jumped with joy. He sat on the wooden plank of an old shop and gathered all his mohalla friends narrating his encounter with the Prime minister which had ended into waving at each other from a distance. The Prime minister had won the elections and greeted the crowd. John, having been in Delhi at that time had the privilege of being one amongst those at whom the Prime minister waved on the road. Now the time had come when Prime Minister is visiting the land where he lives. This tickled his conscience, he thought he ought to show his Kashmiri hospitality, be the host, welcome him with the same enthusiasm and prove to his friends his equations with the Prime Minister. John, twisting the curls of his moustaches asked his friends to follow him to the venue. John and his friends after being thoroughly frisked at the entry point made way to the closest point they could. John anticipated the Prime Minister to recognize him, wave him, ask him about his post floods condition. But to his sheer disappointment, Prime Minister did not recognize him. Still ‘John’ did not lose heart, shouted on every word of Prime Minister, ‘Zaroor’. PM said, I don’t need anybody’s advice on Kashmir, John said, ‘Zaroor’, but in the heart of hearts was disappointed that the PM would not take his advice. PM discussed Kashmiriyat, Jamuriyat and Insaniyat, John said Zaroor, then suddenly his mind caught the quote. He looked at his friends and asked, ‘Kashmir-iyat’, I understand is for Kashmir, ‘Jammu-riyat’, is for Jammu, what is this Insaniyat for. It must be ‘Ladakh-iyat’ in place of ‘Insaniyat’. With worried looks he thought, people of Ladakh will protest on this, one more agitation is on the cards. Prime Minister announced the package of Rs. 80,000 crores, John jumped out of excitement. His friends who were sitting around him, pulled his trousers to sit down. ‘Jana pathar bi-hue’. What the heck, this money is not going into your pockets. PM elaborated, ‘Dilli ka Khazana aap kay liye hai’. John again jumped and shouted, we just have to go to Dilli to fetch money for ourselves, they have opened the doors of their treasury for us. He planned to shop there itself next time he visits Dilli to fetch money from the ‘khazana’.
Source : www.greaterkashmir.com

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