Year 2050 – Banistan has won!
Ravi woke up and yawned while stretching himself. A low, humming tone of religious chants coming from the street greeted him. He liked this noise. It drowned everything else and emptied his mind for a day of new experiences. It had become the usual routine since past few years. Ever since India had seceded to Banistan,
He rose and went to his bathroom and began brushing his teeth with the government approved and prescribed Ayurvedic paste. As he did it, he felt a sense of pride at using something which was developed indigenously. Beaming with glory, he brushed his teeth with his toothbrush exclusively developed by American scientists for better control and grip.
The state-run media had surgically removed skepticism from people’s minds and eyes. Nobody could detect their own hypocrisy and they were okay with what was given to them.
After getting ready, Ravi checked his Facebook. He was glad that in Banistan, he didn’t have to pay for his internet. The ‘Free Basics’ campaign had won and now people had access to all sorts of sites for free. Sites like Facebook pages, Facebook pages, Facebook profiles, Facebook Polls. Everything was free.
Ravi then sat down for his breakfast.
‘Hmm.. what to eat today?’ He thought to himself. ‘Let’s check the options!’
Porridge- Banned for being tasteless.
Poha- Consumption without Jalebi is banned because it hurts Indori sentiments.
Milk- Banned because it hurts calves’ sentiments.
Bread- Banned for being a foreign import.
Samosa- Origins in middle east! Of course banned!
Eggs- The chickens couldn’t revolt because they were, well, chickens! Eggs it is then!
He boiled some eggs and sat down with the newspaper. The first page was banned for offending readers’ emotions by false, deceptive advertising so, he began reading the second page. The second page had an advertise of Fair and Lovely cream for men’s penises. He knew he had to purchase it the moment he laid eyes on it. Of course the word ‘penis’ was banned from the advertisement. They had used the word ‘lingum’ which was absolutely ban-proof.
He took out his phone and ordered the product from http://www.flipkart.gov/ Yes, it was a government venture now and all purchasing had to be done via this portal only. Any new online e-commerce websites were banned. There existed certain pirate sites which operated illegally and sold items at a higher cost. People bought from them just for the kick of it. Selling things privately was a thriving crime.
The third page read the news headline- ‘Five nabbed selling Saridon tablets outside of flipkart.gov’
Ravi let out a mock smile, he was unimpressed with this sort of criminal tendency. A follower of bans, son of Lala Harbans Rai, Ravi was a pro-government, pro-bans, conformist.
After finishing his breakfast, Ravi left for his work which included sticking posters which sang praises of the government and its parent organization throughout the city walls. He smiled nonchalantly as he went around the city doing his job.
On wall, there was no room for posters as it was already full of ‘Clean Banistan, Green Banistan’ and ‘Let us tell you what to buy’ posters. These were some successful campaigns of the government. The cleanliness drive was so successful that it got nationwide media coverage. Every city in Banistan now produced tonnes of paper waste comprising only of ‘Clean Banistan’ posters- such was the success of it.
In lunch, Ravi went to a hotel which offered food that did not hurt anyone’s religious sentiments. Being a multicultural and multilingual country, it was important for everyone to take care of everyone. After much consideration, Ravi ordered a vegetarian biryani with no ginger, potato or garlic. The manager came out after a good 30 minutes explaining that there was an error on the restaurant’s part. They had published ‘biryani’ on the menu but, it was not available at their joint because the word ‘biryani’ had been banned by the 6465124th amendment of the Constitution as it was a word which carried ‘a definitive cultural burden and religious odour which could be misconstrued by a certain section of society for misplaced and or undue pride toward a sectarian ideology which could incite or instigate communal feelings.‘
Ravi thanked this certain section of society for their vigilance and ordered for himself a safe vegetarian pulao. Pulao was ban-free at least for the day. The ban on pulao for being a ‘cultural item which could imply sedition because of its foreign roots and ambiguous preparation techniques‘ was to come into effect from the next day. Ravi gobbled some pulao before the law was executed.