Once upon a time, in the enchanted kingdom of LaLaLand, the god-king Amandi Derron ruled with an iron (deficient) fists. He didn't eat, he didn’t let anyone eat either, hence the magnanimous (d)eficiency. What? A missing letter? Oh, it got auctioned off to Antigua Adam, the dwarven lord of the western realms.

One day his majesty's elvish priest Hamasith had a nightmare, he saw a highland Uar usurping the throne. Surely a terrible portent it was, for the Uars were a savage race who practiced evil customs like democracy and whatnot. Hurriedly the council of wizards gathered, and lo! They divined a magical solution! A 108-foot-long incense stick must be crafted from the purest dung of Agatamu, the fairy goddess of bonds.

Thusly Agatamu's bowels were dredged, all necessary bonds collected, and finally the incense was lit. But the smell! Oh the sweet, sweet farmer-loathing jumla-loving smell! It is said that as the frankincense smoke slowly drifted across the starving sky, king Derron himself danced with Antigua and Hamasith. Well, perhaps the omen was averted, perhaps not, who can say? All we know is that LaLaLand lived happily (n)ever after.

Listen to Joshua recite the limericks

Long live the king!

What rhymes with kām and ends with a kick?
An ode? A dirge? Or a fun limerick?
It's made of dung,
On an EVM hung,
A hundred and eight foot incense stick.

With a billion aye-s and a handful nay-s
It'll burn and burn for forty-five days
For a god unsure,
With a faith so pure
That Shambuka stays beheaded always.

In Babri's tomb an empire grows
With WhatsApp, cows and bajrang bros,
But, what is that smell?
Is it heaven, or hell?
Hark, oh hark! The nation wants to know!

Hundred and eight foot saffron rod —
We vote for a king, not a washed-up fraud.
He had a croc as a pet,
Cameras, get set!
Hundred and eight foot beefed-up bod.

Starving farmers, fatwas and
Riots are a hoot in great LaLaLand,
Agar and a batti
Bulldoze the basti
Commies and congs, they ne'er understand.

Poems and Text : Joshua Bodhinetra

Joshua Bodhinetra has an MPhil in Comparative Literature from Jadavpur University, Kolkata. He is a translator for PARI, and a poet, art-writer, art-critic and social activist.

Other stories by Joshua Bodhinetra
Editor : Pratishtha Pandya

Pratishtha Pandya is a Senior Editor at PARI where she leads PARI's creative writing section. She is also a member of the PARIBhasha team and translates and edits stories in Gujarati. Pratishtha is a published poet working in Gujarati and English.

Other stories by Pratishtha Pandya
Illustration : Atharva Vankundre

Atharva Vankundre is a storyteller and illustrator from Mumbai. He has been an intern with PARI from July to August 2023.

Other stories by Atharva Vankundre