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There are some names that will
always be remembered with a lot of fondness. Pappu is one of them. I grew up in
a middle-class locality in Delhi and as a young lad, I had lots of friends.
They were not just from a middle-class background, rather some were from poor
families but we all got together and played our hearts out in the evenings.
There was a pappu, a chottu, an angrez…
They were nicknames given to some of
Pappu was the kindest of the lot
and was always a helpful lad. I was particularly fond of him because he was
always ready to play with me in the hot sun, cycle with me to the market place
and even defend me when I got into a fight with the neighbouring kids. So, for
me, Pappu was my best friend. Since I stayed in a rented house with my parents,
we shifted to a new house every few years. Everywhere I went there was a Pappu
in my life.
Much later when I became an
economic journalist, I met up with several CEOs and top officials of companies.
I would get to know that some of them had the nickname “Pappu”. The moment I
used to hear that, fond memories would flood my mind and I would feel nice
about it. As years went by, I lost touch with the Pappus I knew and got
terribly busy with my job. And then out of the blue, the social media was full
of nasty jokes about “Pappu”, a name reserved for Rahul Gandhi of the Congress
People would snigger, laugh and
crack jokes at the expense of the modern-day “Pappu”. I was not amused at all.
Like any average person on earth, Rahul Gandhi too sometimes fumbles when he
speaks, loses his plot while speaking, and sounds funny at certain times…. I
feel people sometimes try to hide their own weaknesses by pointing their finger
at a decent guy. Suddenly he becomes the fall guy. That’s exactly what’s
happening with Rahul Gandhi. That’s exactly what happens to every
honest bloke around. People turn around and call them a “Pappu”, not
realising that the real messed up guy is the one pointing his finger at
I personally think that a Pappu is
a happy go lucky guy. He means no harm to anyone. He’s out to help you. In
hindsight, the person accusing Pappu had always been a Gappu. Yes, I also had a
friend by the name of “Gappu”. We used to call him Gappu because he used
to lie through his teeth. It’s usually a Gappu who points a finger at a Pappu.
At least, that’s what I recall from my childhood days!