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The Harappa conspiracy

In our culture, we don’t know the meaning of intimate. If the skeletons you found were of a couple, as you say, where is their marriage certificate, huh?   | Photo Credit: Sreejith R Kumar

Not too long ago, there was this fake news about the ancient, holy, swachh Bharat, pure swadeshi civilisation of Harappa. Archaeologists claimed that they had found a grave in which a man and a woman were buried together.

“The man and the woman were facing each other in a very intimate way,” was the utterly baseless claim put forth by the team. “We believe they were a couple. And they seemed to have died at the same time. How they died, however, remains a mystery.”

Deeply disturbed by this profoundly sentiment-injuring statement, after performing a short puja, I shot off a letter to the researchers.

An excerpt of my letter:

Dear Archaeologists,

Kindly desist from this nonsense. What do you mean intimate way? In our culture, we don’t know the meaning of intimate. If the skeletons you found were of a couple, as you say, where is their marriage certificate, huh? Tell me!

This, sirs, is nothing but a conspiracy funded by the tukde-tukde fellows to besmirch the good name of our great nation.

Please note, sir, in ancient times, our men and women would never have been caught dead in this position. It is against our culture. Had one of the skeletons belonged to a woman (the ardhangi), wouldn’t she have been at the feet of her swami, instead of facing him in some vulgar Lutyensian manner?

Let me tell you who they really are, sirs.

These are the skeletons of two young men, brothers-in-arms, patriots, who were caught unawares on their way to a satsang, and bumped off by ancient Nehru supporters.

Now stop this nonsense. Jai Hind.

I thought my letter would have taught these people to leave Harappa well alone. Not, apparently. Now comes news that the National Museum has announced an exhibition on the culinary history of this region, what they have mischievously dubbed ‘the Indus Dining Experience’ with a menu offering (gasp!) meat fat soup, fish in turmeric stew, lamb liver with chickpea and dried fish! Dried fish, how could they?

Sacrilegious, I say. What cheap thrills do these archaeologists, historians, researchers, scientists and scholars get by continually insulting our country?

The ancient Harappans were pure vegetarians.

How do we know that? We don’t need years of useless study or unnecessary degrees from reputed universities, tireless research, incontrovertible evidence or common sense. We KNOW. That’s all.

What does the ‘har’ in Harappa stand for? Hariyali, of course. Hariyali, for all the Hindi-challenged desh drohis, is greenery. Green, as in vegetable.

And the ‘appa’? It is short for appam, a pancake made with fermented rice flour.

So, Harappa, in short, means green appam. Not Ceylon egg parota or kozhi varutha kari, okay? What more evidence do you need to prove the Harappans were vegetarian?

Okay, even if I don’t need to give you anymore proof, here it is. I remember distinctly, in my younger days, when I used to go to Hindi Prachar Sabha for my prathmik classes, I would occasionally stop at Udipi Harappa Vilas for my onion-free rava dosai to be relished with sanskarically ground coconut chutney. Ha!

Do any of you know of a Harappa Military Hotel, Harappa Dhaba, McHarappa or Talapakatti Harappa? No.

Anyway, I’m glad the authorities have come to their senses and made the menu pure vegetarian. Otherwise, this could have easily become a matter for Rangoli Chandel.

Now all the guests can enjoy genuine Indus valley cuisine like aitihasika aloo mutter, puraatana pakora, sampradayika samosa, pracheena peas pulao, bhutapurva basundhi, and wash it down with treta yugic thandai with mantrik mushrooms.

Krishna Shastri Devulapalli is a satirist. He has written four books and edited an anthology.

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Printable version | Oct 27, 2021 12:43:55 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/internet/the-harappa-conspiracy/article30941722.ece

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