Jan 15

2014. In 10 tweets.

1. The year began with some good, wholesome, fun-filled family entertainment – The General Election. It was an intense 3-cornered fight between Modi, Anyone-other than Modi and None-of-the-above.  The Congress however, sportingly added to the fun…

2. Attempts like the above resulted in the Congress getting wiped out. Mahatma Gandhi once said, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” From 2009, Congress did this in the reverse order.

3. Modi became PM amidst much celebration by the people who voted for him, SAARC leaders and Tamil fishermen. While Congress sharpened its claws and prepared to play its role as a responsible, destructive opposition. But the BJP completely stymied Congress’ aspirations by presenting their own budget back to them with some cosmetic changes.

4. This was followed by the traditional honeymoon period for the new PM. And like most honeymooners these days, Modi spent most of his time abroad.

5. While, at home, religion trumped development, conversions trumped the economy, scriptures trumped science, and Smriti Irani trumped herself.

6. But while politics provided unprecedented entertainment, entertainment became caught up in politics. The IPL provided solid employment for cricketers, cheerleaders, actors, police, lawyers & judges.

7. India went to outer-space and caused much joy…

8. … while outer space came to India and caused much anger.

9. The year ended finally, and so did Dhoni’s test career.

10. And throughout, we ignored the grim reality around us with an outpouring of happiness, empathy, care, trust, sympathy, advice and goodness, all in the virtual world.

Here’s to an equally fun-filled 2015. Happy New Year.

Jan 12

Sir Cawry Academy of Management

Oops. I just realized that my last post here was made even earlier than Sachin Tendulkar’s last test century. The whole of 2011 has been dry as a Gujarat. But wait. I did write something. An article that Outlook published as “The ‘Er…’ In Leader“. So what better way to pretend that this blog is alive, than a slimy repeat of the same. Here it is…

Dare to think beyond the IIMs. Now dare to think beyond institutes that you think of, when you dare to think beyond the IIMs. And you have…
SIR CAWRY ACADEMY OF MANAGEMENT – A B-school of notional importance.

Sir Cawry Academy of Management has been set up in order to create a pool of well-trained young people who will be placed in political parties.

Every aspect of the academy, from the campus to the curriculum, has been designed to equip our students with hard-core management principles, so that they can become the dealers of tomorrow.


The academy boasts of a sprawling campus near Delhi within easy access of the airport, parliament & Tihar. The entire area is a hi-security zone with numerous metal detectors, but students are trained to bypass them. Each student is assigned a personal car with a red light on top, and provided with an escort detail that clears the road for them. This of course, leads to minor problems, when more than one student is on the move at the same time. Wherever one sees, there’s a mess. But that’s only because we want to make sure that our students’ every desire is catered to; at all times.


May 10

The Alternate Press Conference of Dr. Manmohan Singh

Yawn. What a boring press conference our PM had earlier this week. Read the transcript if you want. Note : It’s partly in Hindi.

Everybody knew what the questions would be. The usual stuff – Pakistan, terrorism, inflation, Naxals, corruption, Rahul, Sonia, and so on.

And everybody knew that there would be no real answers. If it’s a problem, we will look into it. If it’s corruption, the law will take its course. If it’s violence, we are open to talks. And if it’s the Family, we will wax eloquent about them. I wish the man at least tried it to make it a bit interesting. We know he is just a puppet, but even puppets are supposed to entertain, aren’t they?

Anyway, like we do in the case of so many other things, let us try self-help. If the government staunchly refuses to answer our questions, we shall have to do it ourselves. So here are the real answers that Manmohan never gave…

On inflation & economy : Please remember that this is a UPA govt. Which is why the economy has gone UPA, not neechey. And unfortunately prices went UPA-2. However we are working very hard to bring prices down. This is a government you can count on. As well as discount on.


Aug 09

New Indian Nursery Rhymes – 2

Arun Shourie’s “Humpty Dumpty” outburst reminded me of some stuff I had written many months back and had completely forgotten to post – The second installment of new Indian nursery rhymes. You can check out the first part here.

So I dug them out and here they are. I know they are a bit dated (they pertain to stuff that happened 6-8 months back), but what the heck, it’s still better to have nursery rhymes that are drawn from India circa 2008 than Europe circa 16th century. Sing along for best results :-)…

Based on “Little Miss Muffet”.

Little Miss Jaya,
Eats some papaya,
Along with some curd and rice.
If you want a favour,
Some money you gave her,
For Miss Jaya comes at a price.

Based on “Pussy Cat Pussy Cat”.

Prakash Karat, Prakash Karat, where have you been?
I’ve been to Beijing to visit the Cheen.
Prakash Karat, Prakash Karat, what did you there?
I promised my bosses, that I’d do my share.


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.

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.


May 09

Deconstruction of Election Symbols

The polling action is over. And the appolling auction begins. All parties will now cook the fragile egg of democracy by scrambling for power and poaching rival candidates. Like any sporting contest, all parties have a common goal but distinctive styles. And one can get an inkling of what to expect from them by deconstructing their election symbols. Here is a post-modern attempt…


CongressHAND – The symbol of the Congress is the Hand. Or more precisely, the palm. Or even more precisely, an open palm. That is waiting to be greased. The five fingers represent the five guiding principles of the party – To keep entrepreneurship under its Thumb. Thus pushing up the consumer price Index after which they can announce sops. To occupy the Middle ground on all issues thereby staying clear of any principles. To Ring up Sonia before making any decision. And to pander to every Little whim of all their coalition partners. The Hand is intended to subliminally indicate that any parliament with too little Congressmen will behave in an underhand manner. Unfortunately, an excess of seats makes them high-handed. The party ran out of partners before the election and thus had no choice but to use its Hand.


Feb 09

Rationalizing Government – A Leaner, Meaner Council of Ministers

Warning : This is a long post. But then it is an ambitious task.

Manmohan Singh must be having a tough time priming so many ministers. Take a look at this. As of now there are 49 ministries & 2 departments being handled by him & 38 other ministers. Plus 40 Ministers of State (without independent charge). It’s time to trim. Here is a way to ensure that our cabinet bears less resemblance to a walk-in wardrobe…

1. The Ministry for Women & Child Development will be brought under the Home Ministry, which will then be renamed the Home & Hearth Ministry. After all, Indian Culture says that a woman’s place is in her home. The ‘food’ portfolio will also be brought under the Home & Hearth ministry, because within home, a woman’s place is specifically in the kitchen. Pramod Muthalik will run this ministry. And given his concerns about youth, the Ministry of Youth Affairs will also come in here. So will the Ministry of Environment & Forests. After all, Muthalik is well versed in jungle law.


Dec 08

100-word Election Speeches – Part 2

If you haven’t read Part 1, this might make no sense. You may want to click here and read that first.

If you have read Part 1, this will probably still make no sense. But then, when did our leaders ever make any? Read on…

Vijay Mallya – Dear guests, I’m here to promise you Rum Rajya. Eight years back, a friend of mine invited me to join a party. I completely misunderstood him and…well…so here I am. Vote for me and let the good times roll. I’ll fill government with Diplomats to deal with the Romanovs and McDowells. The army will be equipped as per the Officers’ Choice and every terrorist will be quart. The economy will thus get a boozed and you can enjoy it with just-ice. The country will fly, our flag will be high and no bad laws will be passed. Because, whenever a bill is presented in parliament, I’ll just refuse to pay it. I be PM. UB happy.


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.


Nov 08

100-word Election Speeches – Part 1

It’s a-polling time again. Elections are around the corner and they promise to drive us round the bend. Bearded newsreaders are turning into psephologists and exorcists are now calling themselves “booth capturers”. Distilleries are ramping up production and there is a buzz of anticipation everywhere. But in today’s fast-paced world of snack-sized entertainment, who has the time for long boring campaign speeches. In tune with the times, all parties are preparing short sound-bytes of under 100 words. Here are the offerings of the big three…

Advani – Namaste. I urge you to vote for the BJP so that we can create history ..er..literally. We will go back to the glory of the Vedas. During the polls, we propose to use the Rig-Veda. And after the polls, we promise to distribute idli-veda. All parliamentary proceedings will start with prayer. In fact, we will rename the parliament Shlok Sabha. Give us a chance. All of us are not communal. Our own party is split into extremists and Modirates. So, vote for us. Please lotus rule this time and I promise you Ram Rajya.