Encounters


29
Jul 09

Modi & Modi United

There’s a politically charged atmosphere in the room. All the leading reporters of India are babbling excitedly. Two of India’s most reputed administrators have called for a press conference. Rumours abound that a new political party is to be launched.

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With Congress continuing to have congress with the public, BJP neither helping the Bharatiya Janata nor allowing anybody to Party, and thinking having left all leftist thinkers, the time seems ripe for a new formation.

In walks Narendra Modi in a spotless kurta-pajama and Lalit Modi in a spotted tie and his (only?) grey suit. There’s an eager silence as Lalit Modi unfolds a (thankfully) small piece of paper and reads from it…

I, Lalit Modi & he, Narendra Modi, have realized that we are India’s most capable administrators. We have, therefore, decided to launch a new political party – Modisattva. The party will work for peace, prosperity & high TRPs. I hereby declare the Modisattva party open. Any questions folks?

Reporter : Hi, I’m from the Pioneer, so I’ll ask the first question, heh heh. So, Mr. Modi, why have you decided to leave the BJP? And you Mr. Lalit Modi. Why are you leaving the IPL?

Narendra Modi : Well, for a party that calls itself right-wing, the BJP is getting too many things wrong. Our terrorism plank backfired. We tried Ram and got rammed. In fact, the elections results were such a joke that the party is now in splits. I believe it’s time to move on.

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8
Jan 09

Satyam Chairman on Trial

It’s a big day. The courtroom is packed. With journalists, shareholders, programmers & Barkha Dutt. After all, today’s the day when the Satyam Chairman & CEO, B Ramalinga Raju, is in the dock. The judge is looking solemn. The public prosecutor is looking smug. In the background, the national emblem adds gravity to the proceedings. In order to remove any trace of bias, the words “Satyameva Jayate” have been masked so that it reads “eva Jayate”. Ramalinga Raju has taken the oath and the crowd too has been quietly swearing at him. The public prosecutor purposefully walks up to the witness stand.

Public Prosecutor (gravely courteous) : Would you prefer to remain standing or would you rather sit down?

Ramalinga Raju : Oh, I’ll sit down. This might be a witness stand, but I am a chairman. Heehee.

PP : You have been accused of serious corporate fraud. Do you plead guilty or not guilty.

RR : Actually, I am golti. But, to answer your question, not guilty.

A startled gasp runs through the courtroom.

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3
Dec 08

Shivraj Patil versus Sardar Patel

It’s late evening. Shivraj Patil is walking down a tree-lined street in Lutyens Delhi. He has a confused expression on his usually serene face. Sonia Gandhi had earlier said to him, “Go home.” What did she mean? Was she relieving him of his porfolio? Or was she cheering his ministry? And more importantly, should he wear the dark-blue Bandhgala tomorrow or should it be the black one?

Suddenly there is a flash, and there appears in front of him a bald man with a Ferrous expression. Shivraj notices that the apparition is clad in crude, homespun clothes which are disturbingly crumpled.

Shivraj Patil (raising his eyebrows) : And who might you be oh ill-dressed man?

Vallabhai Patel (sonorously) : I am the spirit of Sardar Patel. The first home minister of independent India. I have come to rebuke you on your terrible performance in the same role.

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13
Nov 08

Manmohan calls Customer Service

The intellectual, soon-to-be U.S. president Obama (whose visiting card, in India, would have said “O  B.A., M.A.”) calls and our PM could not take the call because he was travelling. Vodafone he has!!! After 4 years as PM, he doesn’t even have roaming. What is he? A sub-prime minister? Anyway, Manmohan decides to rectify this and many other problems with his phone. He makes a call to customer service.

Tring tring.

Husky Female Voice : Thank you for calling Vodafone. If you want to continue in English press 1. Hindi mein jaankari ke liye 2 dabaeeye. Woof bow wow bark woof 3 bow-wow.

Manmohan presses 1.

HFV : If you are an existing subscriber press 1…(and so on and on and on)

After pressing more buttons than a liftman in the Empire State Building, Manmohan finally gets through to a customer service officer.

CSO (in the tone of a waiter in an Udipi restaurant rattling off the menu) : Thank-you-for-calling-Vodafone-this-is-Rakesh-here-how-may-I-help-you?

Manmohan Singh : Namaste. This is Manmohan Singh, the prime minister of India.

CSO : Yeah sure. And this is the dog from our TVC.

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5
Nov 08

Ramadoss meets Devadoss

Scene : Flower decked khota in Kolkata. Devadoss has just walked in and ordered some sharaab, shabaab and kabaab. He closes his eyes in blissful anticipation of a debauched night that will help him forget Paro. A prod to his ribs makes him open his eyes. Instead of the seductive Chandramukhi, there’s a middle-aged man with a strict moustache eyeing him critically. Devadoss is stupefied.

Devadoss : Hey, who are you? Where’s Chandramukhi?

Ramadoss (graciously) : Good evening. I am Anbumani Ramadoss. Anbu means love in Tamil. So when I heard that this place gives anbu for money, I realized it’s the right place for Anbumani. Hehehe. Incidentally I’ll be your host for the evening.

D : You???? But this is a pleasure palace. It’s a Khota.

R : Not anymore. We have changed the classification of this place from khota to quota. Therefore I have control over it. And believe me, I am going to make this a model institution. With noble AIIMS.

D : Er, how?

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