We read it in the papers all right. Yes, all of us did, and saw it on TV too. We’ve been reading up on the developments almost everyday since Gujarat announced it will be vibrant again on the 11th and the 12th of January.
This time we met after over two weeks for a round of beer at my place. Mahesh recently got back from Ahmedabad and brought back some of the vibrancy. “I have some yummy theplas (multi-grain and pulses Indian bread) for all of you,” he said.
The effervescent Gujarati, Mukesh, thrilled with the food from his homeland, exclaimed, “In the land of Modi, we love to eat!”
“In the land of Modi? When did it become Modi’s land?,” sprang Michael from the corner.
“The day his government could not control the fight for shelf-space between the theplas and the kebabs! The stores ran out of Kebabs,” replied Nafees, gorging on the yummy theplas, which by now were a rage, taking the focus away from the beer.
“If Modi becomes the Prime Minister, theplas will be served on trains and stations along with chai (tea) in kullads (a cup made of red soil and clay),” said Mahesh.
Michael said, gulping down the last bit of beer in his mug, “Our corporate big-wigs, the likes of Tatas and Mittals, will miss out on all the fun! Poor industrialists make a 'minority' in a country of 1 billion people. Modi apparently is allergic to 'minorities'. We need to make sure the theplas reach this 'minority'.”
“Oh, he’s good at keeping the 'minorities' happy. He has a clear cut strategy. Give them land to make their own theplas and offer the villagers broadband to buy those theplas online,” said Nafees.
Added Mukesh, “He is a visionary. He sells dreams. He has made sure the farmer does not have to travel miles for his/her basic needs. He can just log on to the internet with the new, fast broadband connection and place the order.”
“But of course, the electricity to access the internet, the road for the order to reach the farmer, enabling the farmer to be able to pay for his needs, will all be the promise to fulfill in his next term. There’s so much already to do to keep the minorities happy. Old graves, after all, are not meant to be dug up!” retorted Michael. Michael observed the beer was going down slower than the theplas.
The theplas polished off completely, it was time to change the topic. But Mahesh couldn’t help making the final remark. “The 'minorities' are ready to contribute towards his pay as the CEO for the country. They have already given their thumbs-up, satisfied that their share of theplas and kebabs are now secured.”
“I hope the shareholders are watching out for the CEO, the auditors and the independent directors of this firm in the making,” Mukesh couldn’t help adding.