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Friday, 23 May 2014

Dear Arvind Kejriwal!

Dear Arvind Bhaiji,

Hope your erstwhile colleague Ms.Kiran Bedi was wrong about not visiting Tihar Jail during summer.
Hope the other celebrated inmates of Tihar Jail, the mosquitoes are allowing you to peacefully do a Yogendra Yadav.
And unlike your erstwhile mentor Anna Hazare, I hope you are tucking into the famed Tihar Jail cuisine with both hands. And while doing so I hope you don’t bite the hand that feeds you like you did it to the media.

Hope you are able to do a Yogendra Yadav in Tihar!

Now that we have done away with the most important, let me turn to the trivial. Candid confessions first , Arvind Bhaiji. You are a hero! Your contribution to this country is immense. And I hope you will continue your fight, hum tumhare saath haiN! From the time you resuscitated the long forgotten piece of cotton that added oodles of credibility to ones grooming standards, the ubiquitous Gandhi Topi, I have been sold to your abilities. What no amount of “Vishesh Gandhi Jayanti discount upto 50%” or the “Sirappu Aadi ainthulirundhu  aimbadhu sadavidam varai thallubadi” could not, you were able to do from the hallowed turf of Ramlila Maidan, rejuvenate the Gandhi Topi! A cursory glance into history book reveals that the last man to do so successfully was Ben Kingsley! Now add a muffler to the ensemble and you have just revived the Khadi Industry in one swift stroke just like the Queen of England does to her country’s fashion scene every year! And in keeping with the tone, you have made the Muffler ethnic chic!

Fashionista arrives!

One of your greatest contributions to India’s Ambani and Adani controlled Democracy is you have made politics mainstream. Ordinary folks who would not be seen anywhere near the cesspool are now suddenly dirtying their hands in trying to clean the muck. You deserve all the accolades coming your way for this. I don’t think Ashutosh would have chucked a well heeled job with a leading media house but for your motivational skills. Just imagine a long drawn out election campaign without him. From a member of the free media you managed to lure him sufficiently enough to cross the fence and call the same folks paid media! That he has now replaced Shahid Kapoor as the typo king on Twitter is but just a collateral benefit!

You have also set such a high standards of transparency! Allegations of your party’s source of funding were so deftly handled with a straight bat. I am sure the Election Commission would have had no trouble auditing your poll expenses. If I am right your total funding equals the total deposit lost by your candidates, your contribution to India’s floundering economy. I am also told that a lot of fellow volunteers from around the globe contributed to the party kitty too. A great blow for India’s growing forex reserves!

Great blow for India's Forex!

I also loved the way you have handled the charges of you running away from responsibilities. The critics obviously referring to your short lived 49 day Government of Delhi. The critics as usual have missed to see through your brilliant strategy viz. always look at the big picture. What is the point of restricting oneself to ruling just Delhi when you can rule from Delhi! The poor proletariat of the country like our critics too failed to understand this strategy and misled by the communal He-Man and the Secular Toffee Man didn’t vote for you. But turning defeat into victory is your old habit. They think they conquered you? NO! In a swift and deft stroke you washed away the criticism of running away from responsibility by promptly meeting the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi to reclaim your Government post Verdict 2014. But for the unholy alliance of the He Man and Toffee Man again, you would have vanquished the critics for once and for all!

Once you are released from Tihar by next week, month, year or two later, I pray you shift your gaze South of Vindhyas and to Tamil Nadu. It was one the most disappointing features of the just concluded General Elections that you did not embark on a Tamizhnadu vijayam. I am sure we Tamils would have welcomed you with open arms. After all we are world famous for giving everyone a AAPpu!


PS: Those who don’t like ‘AAPpu’ can replace it with ‘Bulbu’!

Hum Tumhare Saath Hain:  We are with you.
Vishesh : Special
Topi: Cap
Sirappu………thallubadi: Special End of season discount
Tamil Nadu Vijayam: Conquering Tamil Nadu.

AAPpu/Bulbu: Colloquial slang for showing the door. The Bengali equivalent of this is ‘Baans deva’! Followers of Cricket can understand this better if I say Virat Kohli’s famous finger!

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Dear Rahul Gandhi!

Dear Rahul,

At the outset let me congratulate you on your magnificent victory in the just concluded General Elections. I am sure the victory must taste like the honey from the best beehive that the Congress Party is!  You were able to hold back stiff competition from the serious thrust of glitz and glamour that the opposition directed towards you. I mean one of your opponents was a ‘wanted-to-become-a-filmstar-but ended-up-on-Idiot-Box’ women and the other who made a living out of cracking jokes! (I am sure you will agree that the former being the Vice President of some standing in the party which is about to form the new Federal Government or the latter a member of the party which dislodged your Government of some standing in Delhi should not be allowed to derail our narrative here) Add to it the below the belt actions of the Prime Minister elect who throwing niceties, courtesies and convention to the wind campaigned against you. Against YOU! How mean and nasty that man is! And yet, and yet you scored a wonderful goal and defeated them. (I am sure you will agree with me yet again that small matters like a reduced margin etc should not dampen our spirit. I mean if Chidambaram can become Finance Minister, Home Minister, Finance Minister despite a margin of victory in double digits or some such thing, why should it bother us? But then we digress)

Third best dimple in India!

Let me confess. I like you. Not only because you possess the third best dimples going around in India at the moment, after my son and Priety Zinta in that order, but also because you are an inspiration for my generation. Here I was on the wrong side of forty with a daughter about to enter high school and worried stiff that I am already into the second innings of my life. And ‘poof’ you appear and convince me and the multitude of fellow travelers that ‘40+ is young’! I am energized, rejuvenated, full of hope and happy that I am young after all. The only regret that I share with you is that the others in our bracket and many below and above, couldn’t grasp this simple message and in their ignorance channelized the same energy and hope to run all the way to the EVM and vote for our opponents. If only you were allowed to contest all 543 seats and if only were the whole country Amethi. Sigh!

Almost empowered! Better luck next time Rahul!
One among many of your path breaking ideas was, you guessed it, Women empowerment. Now this is a subject very close to my heart. I am also a firm believer in this dictum that women must be empowered. And I practice it in my domestic life too! My better half (see no Wife, Mrs, Biwi, Spouse and other such derogatory words, Welcome!) is completely empowered and considers you her idol. So much so that she took it upon her to put into practice your dream of women empowerment and voted for Jayalalitha! I am sure the only regret I have is that you could have empowered a women similarly but then you are still a bachelor and I would not like to make this personal.

Let me also confess that I envy you! Here I am completely enmeshed by the mundane. Of doing a job, earning money, build a secure future, take care of my family, listen to bosses, sweat over targets, fear pink slips…………..I am sure you get the drift. And here are you! I don’t think you have had to do any job ever in your life. I mean being crowned Vice President of a party practicing Sexually Transmitted Democracy is not a JOB! Then again, Boss? What Boss? I am willing to slog all my life if I were to be given, just once, an opportunity to throw the laptop containing the presentation that the Board of Directors have slogged over right on their heads with your signature “You know what I think of this? NONSENSE!”

That Smile........PRICELESS!

And finally your absolute calm and equanimity on the face of adversity is what men should be made off. I was one among the multitude who saw you make that the post election results speech on TV. What nonchalance! Nothing fazes you while the shrill over-the-top media was calling a simple “pretty poor” a decimation, a debacle and what not! And that smile of yours as you took responsibility for that piddly pin prick called losing by a landslide…….well……………….PRICELESS!


PS: Shall I stop honing my letter writing skills with this or shall I continue and put ink to paper and dash off one last salvo at Arvind Kejriwal? Please to tell!

Glossary :
Biwi : Wife

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Dear Sri Narendra Modi!

Dear Sri Narendra Modi,

At the outset I am sure you would like to join me in congratulating the electorates of India for participating in huge numbers in the recently concluded tryst with the EVM. A record 66.38% voters exercising their franchise, the best ever in our electoral history is something to be proud of; a portion of the credit must accrue to you too. Should the exit polls hold on to their batting form, it would only be fair on my part to congratulate you on your victory and the victory of your party and front.

I recollect an interview you gave at the fag end of this long drawn out election campaign wherein you had mentioned that election rhetoric is just an activity during a competition, not to be taken too seriously once the last vote is counted. It is governance which is paramount and one needs to take every section of the society to deliver good governance. “Even a one MP party is a representative of the people who have voted for him/ her and must be listened too” were your exact words. Buoyed by these words, I venture into writing this note to you expressing some of my expectations from your government.

I am sure I speak for millions of Indians who voted for you despite not being members of the sangh parivar. People who look up to you to deliver on key areas which directly affect our lives, our aspirations, our wallets. Firstly I hope your government will focus on giving the sluggish economy a leg up. Take decisions on pending policies/legislations which will help investments, growth, jobs, reduce inflation whereby putting money in my hands. Tax me please but AFTER opening avenues for me to earn enough to secure my future and pay my taxes.

Every time I travel on work or otherwise, I thank the first Prime Minister from your party, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee for giving this country one of its best infrastructure projects, the four/six lane Golden Quadrilateral colloquially known as the “Vajpayee Highways”. I wish you would take up a similar project which will be a legacy to remember you by. You have mentioned interlinking of the rivers already. I would suggest you set up a network of world class food storage and cold chain infrastructure. You are aware that the FCI warehouses are a farce. Being in a country where Goddess Annapurna is revered, wasting food due to pathetic storage is blasphemy. Food security is a mirage if the food grains are not secure. Simultaneously if you are able to help the States expand public distribution and prevent leakages as done by your colleague in Chattisgarh Dr.Raman Singh, you would have done yeoman service to this country.


I know you are smart enough to have worked out by now that building temples especially at ‘that very spot’ is not the reason most voted you in. As you rightly said, ‘shauchalayas’ are more important than adding one more temple to the land of great temples. I would like to see you go one step. If a school/college is added to the proposed ‘shauchalaya’,  sone pe suhaga.

I am quite confident that the bravado and the jingoistic chest thumping on Pakistan displayed before and during the election campaign was for the benefit of a certain section of the country who are sold to Bollywoodese. I am confident you already know that some of these rather farfetched bombastic warmongering that one sees from this section of your fandom is a zilch idea. While I would leave you to run your foreign policy based on your oft repeated principle, India First, vis-à-vis any country let alone Pakistan, I would sincerely pray that you focus attention on prevention of terror attacks on this country by tightening the security apparatus which was announced with fanfare post 26/11 and is a non-starter on the ground. Needless to add I am sure you are colour blind when it comes to threats of terrorism that India faces.

I noted your views on the Muslims of this country particularly the part where you say that Muslims don’t want to be exploited by lectures on Secularism. Instead what they want is to lead their lives like normal Indians, get equal opportunities in education, jobs and a gateway to transform their lives for the better. All this without discrimination and in an atmosphere sans fear. I am sure all right thinking people will agree with you on this diagnosis. To quote one of your interviews again, you said the only holy book for governance in India is the Constitution of India. As someone who will take oath to discharge your duties in accordance with the same holy book, I am sure you and your Government will spend your energies to uphold all its tenants including Secularism. No appeasement I agree, No discrimination either, in the spirit of Yemmadhamum Sammadhamey!

We, as in all of us, religion no bar!

There is more, a lot more to do that this letter threatens to morph into a book! And frankly I am not sure sixty months are enough to do all that needs to be done. However the Janta Janardhan of this country is a very wise one. When they see good work being done, they shower their blessings again and again on the doer. On the flip side, they are also wise enough to show the door to those who they smell are not working for them. Best of men and women have fallen victim to their displeasure just as many you including have received multiple mandates from them. I am sure as a consummate politician you know them better than I do. I wish you do well enough, and for all of us, to make India Saare Jahan Se Achcha when, as you often say, she celebrates her Amrutvarsha!

Jai Hind!


PS: Letter to Rahul Gandhi will be out next week!

Glossary :
Sangh Parivar : Hindu right wing organizations.
Shauchalaya : Toilets
Sone pe suhaga : (Simile) Icing on the cake.
Yemmadhamum Sammadhamey : (Tamil) I accept all religions.
Janta Janardhan : Equating citizen to god.
Saare Jahan Se Achcha: The best in the world.
Amrutavarsha : 75th Anniversary.