Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Cosmetic Changes

(Published in The Bengal Post, 18th Jan 2011)

I absolutely love the beginning of a new year because there’s so much hope in the air. Not just for us personally, but for the country’s future as well. I’m sure politicians make New Year resolutions as well – some of them do reveal human traits, after all. I mean, look at all the lovely things they steal from us to give to their beloved children – that’s solid proof that at least they care deeply for a few citizens!

We’re still in January and I’m delighted to report that changes have already started happening. Take a look at just a few:

The RSS has virtuously declared that it will give up leather belts for synthetic ones to hold up their baggy khaki shorts. Sources say that the change follows reservations expressed by members of a certain community about the use of leather as it is made from animal skin. I, however, have always been suspicious of the fundamentalist RSS and its dubious motives. No matter what they may say, I firmly believe that the real reason for the belt switchover is to accommodate a loyal foot soldier’s expanding girth. BJP President Nitin Gadkari makes Santa Claus look pathetically under-nourished - only super-resilient elastic belts will do for him.

And while on the subject of weight, Bollywood star Kareena Kapoor may not be India’s Size Zero poster girl anymore. Rumour has it that Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee is running for the West Bengal assembly elections on a treadmill! All that huffing and puffing may well blow the ruling party away. I don’t blame her for wanting to look her best when she finally wrests power from the Left – so many wonderful photo opportunities as cover girl! I do have a few words of caution, though: I urge her to give up that strict diet she’s on or else she’ll be scowling furiously in all her photographs – hey, I know I would if I had to give up delicious mishti doi and fish. Now, if only she’d give the Indian Railways (a portfolio she aggressively fought to acquire in her capacity as union minister and thereafter studiously ignored) a badly needed makeover as well. For starters she could consult the same numerologist who advised her to add an extra alphabet to her name – yes, she now spells her name as Mamataa, sigh. Frankly, I don’t care if she re-names it Indiaan Railways or Indian Raailways as long as it runs without glitches! Bad spellings are more tolerable and forgivable than bad accidents.

And still on the subject of weight: India is increasingly becoming a desirable nation. Not just because it’s well on its way to becoming a heavyweight in the international political arena. With food prices shooting far north, we’re a nation of featherweights too. Indians today are as slender as wands with the freshest of fresh breath, untainted by stinky expensive onions and garlic – in short, we’re more attractive than we’ve ever been. Hollywood, here we come! And while I know that a lot of people secretly suspect that BJP president Nitin Gadkari has been hoarding our food supplies in his tummy (and who knows, they may be right), I think the ruling UPA can be equally blamed for this sorry state of affairs.

And finally, on to a ray of hope in the big bad world of politics. Political parties looking for fresh non-dynastic blood have reason to rejoice: a new talent has been recently discovered in India. A charming young man who goes by the name of Shivraj Puri swindled about 300 crore rupees from corporate houses and individuals while working as a relationship manager with Citibank. Pretty impressive, huh? He may eventually wind up in jail and I feel terribly sorry for him because the poor chap missed his true vocation in life. After he serves his sentence, I’m dead certain that the Congress, BJP and DMK will make desperate attempts to woo him. He may as well join one of them – that way he can continue to brazenly steal money from the public without fear of being banished to jail ever again. In my humble opinion, however, the BJP is his best option – they don’t even bother to sack corrupt party members. Take Karnataka Chief Minister Yeddyurappa, for example. He’s still there, smiling widely and cheerfully lining his deep pockets despite the shocking land scam expose.

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