Even as Kerala is slowly limping back towards normalcy, some comic relief came from Union Minister Alphons Kannanthanam. The BJP minister's page posted pictures of him at a relief camp in SB High School, Changanassery, supposedly fast asleep. He can be seen wearing a blue T-shirt and jeans, and sleeping on a bedsheet in the camp.
However, the photographs have triggered much mirth on social media where people have asked him how he'd posted the pictures if he'd fallen asleep. Over 35k people have reacted to the post, with around 29k responding with a 'laugh' emoticon. The comments mocking Alpons have only grown by the minute.
The translation of a select few below:
"Saar, when you were sleeping, without you knowing, someone took a picture of you sleeping and posted it."
"Saar, you should become the next PM. This is our plea. Please don't say you can't."
"Ji, we know you are sleeping. But since you posted, you can also reply?"
"Saar, in this third photo, one eye is not fully closed. Please delete or it's a loss of honour for us. People will say that you're looking at the camera like Modiji, so please delete the last photo."
"We will outlive this disaster also."
"When we are already in the pits, here you are showing off your antics. Get up and go, saarey!"
"We have heard of sleepwalking. Have also seen it in person during our hostel days. But it's for the first time that we're seeing someone posting pictures of themselves sleeping on Facebook when they are sleeping. Even in the midst of this flood disaster, this man will make us die of laughter."
And it's not just the comments. Social media users have also launched a â€˜Kannanthanam Sleeping Challengeâ€™ with people posting their own pictures mimicking the minister or using funny scenes and videos from Malayalam films to make their point. Remember this photography scene from Vadakku Nokki Yanthram? In this one, Mammukoya says the snoring cannot be captured on camera.
The minister, meanwhile, has clarified that the pictures were posted by his page admin and that he'd actually been asleep. But for now, nobody seems to be listening!
Much of the mocking directed at the minister also seems to be coming from his statement that Kerala does not require flood relief materials and that it's more in need of electricians, plumbers, etc. The statement echoed a viral WhatsApp message made by a man named Suresh, who'd discouraged people from contributing to the CM's relief fund and sending relief materials.