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A Drunken Teetotaler! Allegory. Fantasy. Comedy. Satire. And Farce.

There are all forms of literature. Each form has produced its own masters. Like Jonathan Swift was a master of allegory; H.G. Wells of fantasy, Woodhouse of comedy, and Sheridan of satire. I am not mentioning any master of farce in this context, as I happen to know that there have been too many to allow me to single out any one of them.
Let me first, for the benefit of general readers, explain what farce means or stands for.
One meaning is boisterous comedy. And the other, ludicrous situation. The readers would understand here the subtle difference between ‘ridiculous’ and ‘ludicrous’, though both the terns essentially have the same roots.
To understand the meanings of farce more clearly and comprehensively, the readers are advised to look at ‘the power-availability’ and ‘power-supply’ situation in the country. And then to read the latest statement of Mr Liaqat Jatoi, the very very learned and sagacious federal minister for Water and Power.
“Who says there is any power crisis in the country?” said he talking to Geo’s team after N.A session on the 9th of May. “I can’t see any such crisis any where. The air conditioners are running in abundance. There is peace and tranquility every where. If at all there is a crisis, it is in the thoughts and the minds of those who often see a mountain in a mole.”
Mr Liaqat Jatoi is one of those rare teetotalers who manage always to carry a drunken look. His statement should not be regarded, therefore, as an outcome of a state of drunkenness. It is an indication of his natural capacity for authoring a farce and looking (and sounding) farcical. Infact ‘farce’ has found so much favour in Islamabad —specially in ministerial ranks — that it is hard to declare one more farcical than the other.
Regarding Mr Jatoi’s ‘all is well’ statement, you may recall the events of the French Revolution. When the Queen of France learnt about the revolt in the streets, she asked:
“Why this unrest.?”
“They are short of bread, and are hungry,” was the reply.
“If bread is in short supply”, the Queen observed wisely, “Why don’t they eat cake?”
12-05-2007

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