Trust me, I am feeling really guilty, sheepish vaghera today. I haven’t picked up a jhadoo this morning, and got to work. Not even in my own home, forget the filthy streets of Mumbai. No wonder, I didn’t make it to Narendra Modi’s elite Dirt Squad of eminent citizens who have taken the Jhadoo Pledge.
Thank God I had the good sense to keep my mouth shut and not greet the second most important man in the country (a position that was held for years by Dileep Padgaonkar when he was the editor of a major newspaper with a cheery, “Kem Chho, Amit Bhai?”
Narendra Modi’s report card right now is looking pretty theek thaak — even impressive — compelling critics to concede the Prime Minister has passed his crucial 100 days in office with straight “As”. Nationwide polls have endorsed most of his initiatives and the overall mood in the country is as upbeat as the Sensex.
As the old saying goes, “Can you say ‘boo’ to a goose?” Well, in India, we don’t waste our precious time booing geese. We reserve our boos for chief ministers. Each time the Prime Minister steps out to attend important functions in states that are still hanging on to their own non-BJP leaders (with time bombs ticking away), the crowds make sure nobody but Narendra Modi is heard.
A pushy, young politician once asked me in all seriousness whether I would like a Padma Shri. Of course, he misread the disbelief written all over my face for some other emotion. Perhaps, he expected me to faint or keel over with joy. I did one better and asked straight up if he could “arrange” it for me. My voice and expression were deadpan.
Let’s be super generous! Let’s be fair to Shiv Sena MP Rajan Vichare and give him the benefit of the doubt. He claims he didn’t know the name or religious identity of the man into whose protesting mouth he shoved a chapatti. Does that matter?
Relax folks. Arun Jaitley’s Budget (it’s best described as a seven-month itch), is not transformational. Nor is it radical. Thank God! It is… it is “theek thaak” and reflects a level of sobriety and sober thinking that euphoric India can do with right now.
Certain “dastardly deeds” (how our netas love these two words!) are just more “dastardly” than others. The cold-blooded, pre-meditated daylight murder of a legend called Narendra Dabholkar was one of them.
Surely, it can’t get any funnier! It’s a good thing Indians have a sense of humour or else by now we’d have gone through several bloody revolutions. We laugh at ourselves, we laugh at our leaders, we laugh at our fate. We laugh for no reason. This amazing ability to keep laughing saves us from going insane.