Ever since the concept of taking ownership has arrived, some people have taken to it in a big way. ‘I really like Humpty Dumpty,’ said this lady to me. I nodded, pleased with her literary interests. ‘I want to own him.’ ‘How can you own him?’ I asked. ‘I will write about him,’ she explained. ‘From my perspective.’
‘But he’s already been written about and everyone has read it,’ I said. ‘That does not mean I cannot write about him,’ she said. ‘No one understands Humpty like I do.’ I backed off. Clearly, her love for Humpty was greater than mine.
Whatever little of Humpty Dumpty I owned as common property had shrunk considerably already. In fact, a few of her moronic followers on Twitter believed that she had invented Humpty Dumpty. Encouraged by her success with the morons, she came up with a philosophic sequel – ‘The Fall and Rise of Humpty – You Cannot Dump Humpty’. That’s when I lost Humpty forever. Now she merchandises Humpty toys.
I asked her how she took over the common property like Humpty. ‘Simple,’ she said. ‘Take ownership. Spot them, claim them and own them. But there’s a method to it. For example, I like my neighbour’s garden. This is how we go about it.’
She started admiring flowers in the neighbour’s garden first. Then she told whoever cared to listen how much she liked ‘her’ flowers. She cleared the place around the flowers and started tending to them with great love.
Then she put up a board that said ‘I love flowers. Flowers are god.’ The next day, she added a couple of rules – ‘Don’t touch these flowers – they are sensitive’ and ‘View from 5 feet away please – my babies are fragile’. She wrote a blog about her flowers and their pet names and what they meant to her.
Within a week, she was reported in the news as the ‘flower lady’ who had adopted flower babies. In the newspaper picture, she had cordoned off her area and stood by protectively in gardening overalls. Now everyone needs her permission to see the flowers including the owners!
I was aghast. ‘You cannot own others properties like that,’ I said. ‘It’s land grabbing.’ ‘Why not?’ she said. ‘You can. I have begun taking ownership of some words too. For example, I love the word ‘authentic’. I’ve told people not to use the word in my presence because it upsets my feelings.’
‘But words are common property,’ I squeaked. ‘Only as long as no one takes ownership,’ she said confidently. ‘I propose to claim ownership of certain movies, movie stars, music, ideas, religions… I have a long list of things I want to own.’ ‘But they are not yours?’ I protested.
‘How are you getting away like this?’ She laughed loudly. ‘It’s simple. If you fake ownership for a while, people give up their rights to it. Faking is taking. You can take over entire people, their money, countries and galaxies like this dude. But I have to move fast. There is a lot of competition out there.’ That’s when I noticed that she was looking at me in a funny way. I walked quickly away from her gaze. Not me, please.
By: Harimohan Paruvu