Pranab Mukherjee sent a joint SMS to several senior politicians. It read — ‘You are all invited to my pre-Lok Sabha Poll 2014 Karaoke party. Come with a chosen song, either Bollywood favourite or international pop hit, one that amply illustrates your election promise.’
So one evening into a SoBo karaoke club strode the most iconic and irreverent political leaders, all ready to sing their hearts out.
First up to the stage was Narendra Modi — holding the microphone like a megaphone, he belted out Main Hoon Don.
Rahul Gandhi turned to his sister Priyanka and whispered, “Someone tell the dude that he’s singing in a small pub on Marine Drive not addressing a political rally at the MMRDA Grounds.”
When Modisaab was done, the loudest applause came from LK Advani, who said cordially — “Well done Narendrabhai. Now I will sing a popular English number that best describes how I feel about you being the BJP’s PM nominee — it’s Elton John’s Sacrifice. And the genial octogenarian closed his eyes and launched into the love ballad.
Priyanka whispered back to her brother, “Why is he singing the wrong words, the lyrics are projected in front of him, someone tell him to open his eyes, karaoke means singalong, not memorise wrong.”
Then came Sonia Gandhiji’s turn to croon — “Buonasera friends, enemies and fellow party members, I will entertain you with an old favourite of mine, Besame Mucho.”
Laloo Prasad Yadav whispered to Nitish Kumar, “Woh Mexican song hai, na, Italian nahin,” Overhearing this, an irate Rahul baba rasped, “Lalooji, do you even know the difference between Italian and Spanish? And why aren’t you in jail, you scamster?”
Laloo, chewing on some cud, retorted, ‘”I’m out on parole for one night.”
Mamata Banerjee stood up and aggressively took the floor.
“I feel a single song can’t describe my beliefs and manifesto, so I have selected a medley. Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive, will be followed by Frank Sinatra’s I Did It My Way and ending with my own composition, Didi.”
DJ Pran objected passively, “Madam, I cannot play three videos simultaneously.”
“Do it, or I will have you arrested!” she screamed.
Mulayam Singh Yadav and his son Akhilesh did a rendition of Dev Anand’s Hey maine kasam li from Tere Mere Sapne, their shaking of the head a la Devsaab, seeming more like an epileptic fit.
Robert Vadra thought to himself, “Why do all Indians think they can sing?”
And finally, our PM, Dr Manmohan Sigh took the microphone.
“Aap kaunsa gaana gayega, Manmohan Singh saab?”, our Prezzie, Pranabda asked him, respectfully.
Our PM did not open his mouth, just pointed to the screen.
Everyone turned to look — the song title flashed — Sounds of Silence.
Rahul da Cunha is an adman, theatre director/playwright, photographer and traveller. Reach him at rahuldacunha62 @gmail.com
The views expressed in this column are the individual’s and don’t represent those of the paper.