MIDWAY: Plastic magic

Somewhere in the desert of Jordan close to Iraqi frontier, a group of European tourists take a rest. A sweating lady throws a desperate dekko towards the sweltering sun: not a single cloud between her and the giant luminous orb. However, she notices some “black blurs” in between, and announces excitedly to the fellow travelers, “Hay folks! Have a look up there! There is a huge flock of black birds in the sky!”

Upon closer scrutiny, however, it turned out the “black blurs” were not really “black birds” but a pure eyesore: those were the black plastic bags inflated by the desert wind; the ones left behind by avid admirers of Mother Nature!

Once inflated, they had soared up in the sky to soil the blue, spatial landscape. Amusingly, plastics of a colour seem to ‘flock’ together — (and they will be flocking for at least 400 years, the minimum age of this synthetic stuff!).

Forget the sky; no one walks in this heavenly firmament. After all, even the sky is already an upside-down dumping site. This is not to suggest that the great blue space should be polluted but what man sends up there is anything but an enigma. The wind merely follows suit, taking dirty plastic bags up, for instance. Thus, at least, the desert is clean — it’s plastic free.

In fact, there should be no room for panic that birds — black or otherwise — are replaced by plastic bags. If the real, fragrant flowers can be replaced by ugly, lifeless plastic flowers (well, I feel peeved to call them flowers!), then why not birds by plastic bags?

Every time I enter a Buddhist monastery, I am aghast to see colourful plastic flowers at the feet of the Buddha! What an offering! All that is artificial is the last thing the Buddha will long for. Hence, a plastic flower is not respect but an insult to him!

Look at the shining restaurants and bars trying stupidly to lure clients: they decorate tables with ugly plastic bouquets. Why not serve noodles, rice, momo, pizzas, samosas, etc. made of plastic, too?

One day, people might start falling in love with sensuous and voluptuous plastic mannequins in the vitrines of fashion and boutiques. Plastic mannequins replacing lovers! A queer idea, indeed!