All the right moves!
Good evening ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for joining us. On behalf of I-Spy TV, welcome to another episode of ‘Behind the Scenes. The Real Truth!’
I am your host, Askam Avery Dey, along with my cameraperson Kamerame Ray-Jebme.
Today, I have found my way into a secret meeting of the Kong Rest party for a discussion about their strategy to take on their biggest opposition the Vee Zay Fee
I arrive at the scene undercover, and the first person I meet is the chess grandmaster Wishy Washy.
“What are you doing here?” I ask him.
He turns with a start and slowly begins to smile, as he recognizes me. (I was doing a sting on the appalling conditions for sportsmen in this country when I’d met him… but that’s another story)
“I could ask the same of you!” he says.
Almost panicking, I say, “Listen, competing with reality TV is tough. I need this scoop to keep up the viewership. Don’t give me away!”
He smiles and nods his approval to keep my identity concealed.
“Planning to get into politics?” I ask, relaxing a little.
“No. No.” he says rolling his eyes “I am helping them form their strategy.”
“Oh I see… you’re here as a part of the ‘think tank’, that will help to understand the huge issues that the country faces, like inflation, poverty, lack of education and infrastructure?”
“No. I’m here to give advice on Chess.”
“Chess?” I ask him unbelievingly. “Chess? What’s that got to do with the future of our country?”
“Everything!” he says.
He then proceeds to give me the low down.
“Every person here represents a piece on the chessboard. Take a look around you and you will understand!”
“Firstly, there’s the king. He can move in any direction but only one square at a time. A little slow, but when you are as senior as him (in every way) you can hardly expect Usain Bolt! He is perceived to be the most important piece in the game. Lose him and the game is over.
There’s a catch though. He’s only a showpiece. And he’s useful only when you can use him in conjunction with other pieces. By himself, he’s pretty much running to save his life. A sitting duck!”
I nod with understanding.
“Then you see this piece here? It’s called the Bishop. You can make his type out anytime. He’s usually the tall, lanky chap, who announces the presence of the party in a forum. His demeanor ensures that he is usually among the first to make an aggressive move on behalf of the party.
To start with, he looks like the quiet amicable sort of fellow, standing quietly to the side of the king, behind other pieces. Very easy to miss in the crowd. Don’t be fooled by his sweet looks though. He can move diagonally up and down the board with impunity… as many squares as he wants. This makes him extremely tough to pin down. He usually functions as the spokesperson of the party. You press guys should know about this type. Ask him a question and watch him take the conversation off on a ‘diagonal’ tangent!
These pieces often suffer from ‘a change of clothes for every briefing’ disease or ‘foot in the mouth’ disease though, shooting off their views without the approval of the king. In such cases they are sacrificed and the other bishop comes into play.”
I know this type, I think to myself.
“Now we come to the Knight. These are the guys who are pretty much from the last (or is it lost) generation. They start off with the right intentions, but over six decades of ingraining our country’s way of life, ensures that they get waylaid into doing what they do best. Making money!
So, for every few steps that they take forward, they ‘take some’ on the side. They often walk into a trap in doing so and are sacrificed for the overall good (read ‘saving face’) of the party.”
“Next we have this short, squat piece. The Rook. This piece gives you the ability to approach anything sideways. They can also move up and down the board, but in a straight line. They are usually used for making direct upfront threats to the opposition and sidestepping issues of great importance with ease. Often, their sideways move (especially when used in conjunction with another Rook – where one defends, while the other attacks) has caught many an opponent off guard, especially when it comes to forming coalitions.
They are also used for a special move called the ‘Castle’ where they exchange places (well almost) with the king, to step upfront and bear the brunt of the attack from the opposition. These pieces are usually trusted with key portfolios like ‘Railways’ or ‘Finance’ or ‘Leader of the House’. They are usually looked upon as the last bastion of the king. Lose these guys and you’re pretty much headed for defeat in the game.”
“These little pieces are called the pawns. Trust me you don’t want to be one, though if you want to rise up to being one of the better pieces, one of the ways is the ability to survive being a pawn. (The other ways being a. Born with Blue Blood, b. Born with Khandani Wealth – so you can buy your place there, or c. Being excellent at the fine art of sucking up)
The pawns are the pieces that can move only one square at a time, that too straight down the board. Once they’re committed, they can’t even step back. These poor souls are expendable in the game and are, pretty much, treated with disdain.
Their moment of glory – setting up an opposition piece for destruction by sacrificing themselves. Their dying prayer – ‘Lord, next time please don’t let me be born a pawn. Any other piece is fine, but not a pawn I beg you!’
The typical pawn would be seen at rallies bearing the brunt of the lathi charge while the other ‘better’ pieces watch and shake their heads saying ‘This should not have happened’ or the typical media quip by the Bishop ‘He was a brave man. A dedicated party worker. Our hearts go out to his bereaved family tonight… Off the record, there’s a party tonight. My place. The Who’s Who will be there. Please come. Need the publicity.’”
“What about this piece?” I ask, noticing that he’s explained all the other pieces but one.
“Ah.” He says with a gleam in his eye “This one. This is the Queen. The Crowning Glory. The Jewel in the Crown. She plays second fiddle to the king, but every one knows who holds the real power!”
I suddenly feel enlightened. Quite a bit of this is making sense to me. But there are still some unanswered questions.
“Ok. So how do these pieces manage to run the country?” I ask with genuine curiosity.
He looks at me like I’m from outer space. He says, “Watch your mouth old man. You want to get thrown out of this room?”
He adds in a whisper “This part of the world has many Gods. They run the country! You think anyone here would be foolish enough to think that we, as mere mortals, could do anything to shape our destiny? It is written above and played out on earth. It is all your Karma.”
Realization dawns upon me.
To think, that the government was really in control of things?
To think, that issues of national importance would be taken seriously by them?
To think, that the progress and well-being of the nation was something close to their hearts?
To think they even had a clue!
What a fool I was!
I have got all the answers I need. What a scoop! I decide to head out to the studio and build my scathing, questioning, half-fact, half-conjecture, mostly fiction capsule, to air on prime time tonight!
But before I go, a thought strikes me (It happens! Rarely… but it happens!)
“Tell me…” I ask, as I approach Wishy Washy again, “If the Kong Rest Party uses your services to plan their strategy, wouldn’t the Vee Zay Fee also do the same?
I mean, if they use someone who beat you in the past, wouldn’t that mean that they could defeat the Kong Rest Party?”
Wishy Washy turns to me and says with a condescending smile “Abey, Budwak! Don’t talk about the impossible… the Vee Zay Fee is under the impression that we’re playing Kabaddi!”
Rook G6 to G8. Checkmate!
Kong Rest 1 – Vee Zay Fee – 0