Jaalmag
 
 
 

A right royal spaghetti eastern

Mrs Gandhi's exclusive to Jaal

Mama Mia! They accuse me of being taciturn. They call me enigmatic. I will tell you why. Why I smile a la la Giaconda and never reply, never comment. Because I can never understand them. What would you do if you were surrounded by jabbering hordes, speaking in foreign tongues - Hindi, English, Tamil, Bengali? They are more difficult to figure out than spaghetti. Why can't they learn Italian? At least, even if they are too lazy to learn the language they can speak with their hands!

I must tell you at the very beginning that I did not want to write for Jaal. Actually Mani did not want to ghostwrite. But I, we, whatever, were forced into it. These Jaal people, they came over. The security personnel let them by the front gate when they claimed to be figments of the SPG's imagination. Then they asked me to write an article for them. So I wrote them three - "a'', "an'' and "the''. But were they satisfied? No, they threatened me with dire consequences if I did not, like stealing my pasta or having Robert as a live-in son-in-law!! I tell you!!

But I tell you, I like Indian politics. It is getting to be just like home. You know like those ever-changing fashions of chic old Milano, they keep changing and every season brings its own range, new Prime Ministers, new governments. Just like Azzuriland, where we keep track of our Prime Ministers by assigning them weeks. Coalitions collapse even before the crust on our pizza can harden. Yes, just like home. Rome sweet Rome.

Now they want to make me the Prime Minister of India. I tell you, I am thrilled, as my fellow countryman and Oscar-winner Roberto Benigni said, "every organ in my body is moving in a strange way.'' If I do become the Prime Minister, I shall rule by royal fiat (no, not the type that the Agnellis own).

I have great plans. You may not suspect it, but I do think. Like what to do with the country's internal problems, especially those uncivilised northern states, you know Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

I will tell you what I will do. I will hand over Uttar Pradesh to la Cosa Nostra. It will be much better that way. It will just be one group of mafiosi replacing another. At least in this case it will be organised crime.

And what about Bihar? I will lease it out to Snamprogetti. Of course, there is some problem over the Lira-fodder exchange rate, but I am sure we will be able to overcome that.

The planning process must be made to function properly. You know, have real men take charge, real men whose names end with a vowel. And, yes, we must have several roads, good roads, as part of infrastructure development. After all, you realise, all roads lead to Rome.

Now all these petty politicians, who do not want me to become the Prime Minister, they make all kinds of accusations. That I am a foreigner, that I am a Christian, that I am a housewife. Then they keep talking all that rubbish about Bofors. I tell you, I am like Venus de Milo, totally 'armless (hehehe).

But look at the time. I have to go. I have a Government to topple. Of course, that regime will not meet its end till a certain fat lady sings. We will see. Ciao for now!!

llustration by Amitabh Rout
Phonia Gandhi heads the CPP (Congress of Pizza Parlours)
[ First published: April 1, 1999   Last updated: March 30, 2011 ]

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Faaltu Fatta

The Beggar

Two college students, Akshay and Sunil, are sititng in a taxi in Mumbai when a beggar approaches them asking for spare change. Akshay adamantly rejects the man in disgust. Sunil, on the other hand, whips out his wallet, pulls out a couples of notes and gladly hands them over to the beggar with a smile. The beggar thanks him kindly and then continues to other taxis. Akshay is outraged by his friend's act of generosity. "What on earth did you do that for?" yells Akshay. "You know he's only going to use it on cigarattes and alcohol."
Sunil replies, "And we weren't?"

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