Z zings ZINDAGI
And as we bring down the curtains on A to Z April Challenge 2013, the finale had to be spectacular. What better way than a guest post from the high and mighty Rickie Khosla who thankfully is not related to me. He eats, drinks and breathes Bollywood and has a secret crush on Mallika Sherawat. Jane Eyre hated his guts and Darcy’s characterization was actually based on him. This NRI has something against the English and native English speakers. The lone competition to Salman Khan, he has threatened to rip his shirt in the sweltering heat of Gurgaon. This, provided his gym does not extend his free membership. Till then, he moonlights as a struggling author and stalks blogs that can do with some Coleslaw diet.
Blogwati G was sitting on a ridiculously mighty tricoloured leather chair in her new office. Though plush, the office looked straight out of the 1950s, with its ornate wood wall paneling, old fashioned colour schemes and Linoleum flooring. There were photos of all kinds of Gandhis, a few Singhs, and a stray Shastri and Vajpayee benignly mocking at no one in particular. She looked at her cluttered desk and made a face. It was strewn with dozens of bedraggled paper files bearing millions of documents of dubious significance. “IT revolution…hello?” she muttered angrily to herself. Clearly, this room had been left untouched by the Digital Age since most of its past inhabitants had been on the wrong side of 70 or worse – the only Apple they knew of came from Himachal and sold in Indian supermarket for 250 rupees a kilo.
The news team from Doordarshan was expected bright and early at 7 am for a live special breakfast edition of Krishi Darshan. Blogwati G was to be the special guest for the show, where she was expected to sing paeans to Jai Jawaans and Jai Kisaans. She looked at the giant antique wall clock, possibly gifted by Nehru himself – not Jawahar but Moti. It was almost 3 am and she had already been hard at work fixing the nation for 36 straight hours. And she still needed to take at least ten more momentous decisions before she could even contemplate retiring to bed tonight. She silently cursed her 3-am-Friend, the one she squarely blamed for putting her in this tiresome position.
But, before persisting on with burning yet more of the exorbitant midnight oil, Blogwati G decided to take a quick break. She pushed away the file she had been working on, picked up the phone and dialed a Gurgaon number on the speed dial. The phone was picked up on about the 25thring.
Blogwati G : (displaying faux anger) Thank you, you bloody idiot, for ruining my life!
Reeky Coleslaw : (extremely groggy, seemingly unrecovered from a typical Gurgaon evening where death-inducing amounts of alcohol, food and alcohol may or may not have been involved) Wha…wha…what happened?
Blogwati G : Yaar, running this country is like watching a non-stop marathon of Sajid Khan’s movies while simultaneously getting a root canal done by a dentist who has body odour! Why the hell did I listen to you and stand for elections? I could have been sipping a Cosmo at a swanky Singapore restaurant right now!
Reeky Coleslaw : Arrey, calm down!
Blogwati G : What calm down! I knew this was going to be a disaster the moment Pranab-da made me take the oath of office at the swearing-in ceremony. “I…” was the only word of his that I understood! After that, I wasn’t even sure whether he was speaking English or Bangla. And I was expected to repeat the words after him!
Reeky Coleslaw : Why don’t you look at it this way – You are now the Prime Minister. So, in the next Presidential election, you can replace him with anyone you want!
Blogwati G : (animatedly) Yes, yes, I have already shortlisted Sunanda, my dear maid, for that! I want someone who gets the job done! Unflinchingly, efficiently and smilingly. She would be perfect as President! Plus, she hates traveling, so imagine the amount of money the exchequer will save by not having to plan any more foreign trips!
Reeky Coleslaw : There you go! See, you are already getting a hang of it! And to think that it has only been 2 days since you took over as PM!
Blogwati G : But, by God, this is hard work. For example, take this issue I am working on now. I need a new Railway Minister but I can’t seem to find the right person for the job!
Reeky Coleslaw : Why, what’s the Job Description?
Blogwati G : Well, let me see…(starts reading from the listing already posted by Government of India on Naukri.com)…blah, blah, blah…ok, here are the important bits – ‘In keeping with tradition, only Bengali candidates will be considered. Candidate must not be Delhi/NCR based and must be willing to operate ministry via remote control from a location at least 1000 kms away from Delhi. Candidates who have never travelled by train in their lifetime will be preferred’. Ab batao, where do I find such a person?
Reeky Coleslaw : (thoughtfully) Well, there is one person who fits that Job Description…
Blogwati G : Arrey nahi re, I thought about her, too. But how can I choose a Railway Minister who doesn’t even live in India?
Reeky Coleslaw : Why not? If past ministers can run the Railway Ministry sitting in Kolkata, Patna and Bangalore, why can’t it be done from Brisbane?
Blogwati G : Hmm, you have a point. Ok, I will call Purba in the morning. In fact, she can start with a major revamp of that awful in-house Railway magazine! By God, passengers need to be distracted from the smells of the loo in whichever way possible – her brilliant magazine articles will do the trick!
Reeky Coleslaw : Yes, and if she declines the offer, urge her to do it for Haryana’s sake. Tell her she can launch 10 new express trains from Rohtak, her favourite town.
Blogwati G : (excitedly) Done!
Reeky Coleslaw : How is Shardul doing?
Blogwati G : Oh, magnificent! What a brilliant choice for Party General Secretary. Snow Leopard walks around the hallways with his I-am-going-to-eat-you angry scowl and a low growl, and everyone pees their pants! Productivity in Raisina Hills has gone through the roof!
Reeky Coleslaw : Bravo! Humen apne Big Cat se yahi ummeed thi!
Blogwati G : What about you? When are you joining my cabinet?
Reeky Coleslaw : (mockingly) Hein? Me? Poof! I am an American citizen…I would rather join Obama’s cabinet!
Blogwati G : (mockingly as well) And how is that project coming along, my dear? Listen, forget Amreeka, you work for Swadesh instead.
Reeky Coleslaw : But don’t I need to hold Indian citizenship to be eligible to work in the government?
Blogwati G : Why worry your little head about that, Chikni Soorat? Mein hoon na Prime Minister! You just tell me when you can start.
Reeky Coleslaw : Hmm…
Blogwati G : Achcha, bhaav mat kha! Imagine your life as the Information and Broadcasting Minister! You will get invited to all the fanciest Bollywood parties and meet your favourite stars! Front row seats at Filmfare awards….they will even request you to present a couple of trophies to SRK. ‘May I call upon Honorable Information and Broadcasting Minister, Shri Coleslaw on stage to do the honours..’ Think about it!
Reeky Coleslaw : You do make a convincing argument. I will think about it! What about the other portfolios? Are those in place?
Blogwati G : Yes, Corrine will fix Human Resources Development and Education ministries, Sharmila has Health, Janu is taking Art and Culture. The best people for the right jobs!
Reeky Coleslaw : Absolutely! Smart choices, all!
Blogwati G : You bet…I am a super-efficient Prime Minister!
Reeky Coleslaw : With you and such remarkable people in your cabinet, it is just a matter of time before all the promises in your manifesto are met! Remember how you set the blogosphere on fire when you decided to run for Prime Minister?
Blogwati G : Oh, I remember my manifesto word for word! It said – ‘As Prime Minister, Blogwati G promises to work each and every day to eradicate the nation of its serial ills – serial corruption, serial crimes against women, serial injustices towards the poor, serial incompetence, serial boorishness, serial obstinacy, serial insanitation and the decadent Hindi TV serial. As Prime Minister, Blogwati G promises to make the nation forward-thinking yet introspective, resolute yet kind, progressive yet rooted, educated yet humble, solemn yet playful. Blogwati G unshakably follows the fundamental belief that the Prime Minister is not just of the people, but also by the people and for the people. And so, Blogwati G will not just say what she wants to say, but also listen to what everyone has to say. Blogwati G will strive to be a better person each day because only a person investing in herself to be a better human being will invest in her nation to make it better, too. Vote for Blogwati G : Because we all deserve to claim – Zindagi Mil Hi Gayi Dobara’.
Reeky Coleslaw : Amen to that! Finally, a Prime Minister we deserve!
Blogwati G : But, like I said before, it is hard work! The journey has just begun.
Reeky Coleslaw : So what was your first executive decision? Did you take one already?
Blogwati G : Of course! I just signed an ordinance banning Indian Bloggers League! I saw an email this morning about the launch of IBL-2. Are you kidding me?! The country can’t afford that kind of melodrama! And the serial destruction of English language! No, sir! So I have just put a total ban on IBL for good!
Reeky Coleslaw : (laughing) Wise move! Get set to receive a lot of hate mail – with spelling mistakes, Hinglish words, SMS talk and bad grammar!
Blogwati G : I remain resolute!
Reeky Coleslaw : What plan for tomorrow?
Blogwati G : Sigh! It’s going to be a looong day. The Bhutan King is swinging by for a state visit tomorrow. So I have decided to do up my office and the executive meeting area in a Bhutanese theme with lots of big, colourful paper dragons and decorated empty bottles of Druk jam and ketchup. Plus, we will have momos for lunch for all the staff!
Reeky Coleslaw : He is coming again tomorrow? Didn’t he just come 2 days ago as Chief Guest for your swearing-in?
Blogwati G : Yes! Apparently, Jigme-ji pays 75-100 state visits to India each year. In fact, when we can’t find an international Chief Guest for a government event, we just call him.
Reeky Coleslaw : (sighing) Sounds like another hectic day!
Blogwati G : Tabhi toh, I am so mad at you for convincing me to do this kind of good for the nation! Anyway, chal, ab so ja. I will call you at 3 am again tomorrow.
Reeky Coleslaw : Oh, drat!
Blogwati G : Jai Hind!
Reeky Coleslaw : Yes, yes, same to you!