Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Yemeni Connection

Aden, Yemen. The government has now waded in to the KG gas controversy by sending an unusually clear message to the Ambani brothers. “The most important thing is that this gas belongs to the government”, said Milind Deora to Faking News.

As the reverberations of this gas problem is felt everywhere from the Ministry of Petroleum & Gas to the Ambanis’ bedrooms, this special correspondent decided to try a different angle, to give this story a better slant, like all reporters at this fabulous news outlet whose coverage of 26/11 was unparalleled, on more than one level. Our story now moves to Aden, the financial capital of Yemen.

It's 6:15 in the evening and the stream of trucks are just starting to dissipate. The setting sun gives the dust an orange tinge, like that Minute-maid pulpy orange ad (where the orange is flying around - same colour... yeah, that one!). At the corner of Al- A’am Ba Ni gas station sits Ahmed on a rusty chair, reminiscing over a life of rusted relationships. He was born in 1965 to a Yemeni mother and an Indian father, his father abandoning him soon after.

“My mother used to tell me of my father, he went back to India and started a textile company, then got into oil refining and made lot of money.” Of course, Ahmed got no share of that fortune, being the child his father never acknowledged.

“My father is dead now but his name lives on the feuds of his greedy children”, he says caustically. “My father took the hard way out, and made it big thanks to his hard work and determination. He gave his children a life he never had and never spared them the finest of anything. They inherited his fortune. But look at the petty squabbling those two indulge in. It’s greed at its ugliest.”

Sitting at the dusty petrol bunk, the lack of bitterness in Ahmed’s voice was conspicuous. In the distance, he points out to his two children playing football, kicking up dust as they scream wildly. The dust has an orange tinge, a minute maid-ish sort of orange (Feel the Orange. Feel the Pulp).

“You know, my father left them a lot of money, big houses and fancy cars. He also left them strife, jealousy and a life full of death threats. My father left me all the valuable things- stability, peace of mind, a good night’s sleep. In many ways, my father gave those two his curse and he left me with the good fortune of a simple life.”

The sun had now set and the large “Reliance” neon sign above his petrol station came alive. Ahmed noticed me staring at the sign and smiled at me, the irony had not been lost on him.

This article was made possible by the generous contribution of Choke-a-Cola. Choke-a-Cola has always encouraged the finest journalists (like fine Kinley water) to cover nuanced stories from all over the world. Choke has as much a “non-profit intention” as Diet Choke has calories.

(Submitted through email by Evil Twin. To submit your own stories on this site, please visit this link)


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