Hello and belated Happy Ra.One to everybody. I trust everyone here had a good time inviting Laxmi to their homes and then gambling her gifts away five minutes after she showed up. I, for one feel fat, well-fed, lazy, and rich with unearned money. Speaking of which, I've been thinking of politicians all week.
And so for the well-being of the country, I present to you a list of things I think politicians need to stop doing (#1: Existing) Putting up hoardings: Many of my friends have birthdays. And on those days, I offer them good wishes. But at no point have I ever thought, "You know what my friend Suresh would like? A string of posters on the highway with his face, my face, and Sonia Gandhi's face, wishing him a happy birthday."
Hoardings are like Facebook walls for politicians. It's the profile of the person being wished. Anyone else who has a big photo on it (usually the PM and Sonia Gandhi) is an important "common friend", and the twenty other people who get postage-stamp sized pictures in the corner are the people offering their wishes, i.e the people who really want Sonia Gandhi (and the person being wished) to accept their friend request. I don't even care about governance anymore. Next election, I'm just voting for whoever's campaign platform is "I will never put up a poster. Ever."
Writing on the wall! Voters are not enthused by the sight of unseemly, gigantic posters
Bandhs: We have over 150 festivals in this country. A lot of them warrant holidays. In fact, it's a minor miracle that we get any work done at all. The last thing we need is politicians threatening to upset the four normal workdays of the year that we do get. If you need a legitimate excuse to burn cars, bring the city to a halt, and beat people up for no good reason, at least do the civilised thing and support an English football team.
Convoys that hold everyone up: The argument for political convoys is that they're more secure, and the less time a high-risk target spends on the road, the safer it is. But I have no idea why I should have to endure a traffic snarl just so some inept so-and-so with a red light on his car can get to work before I do. In fact I'd argue that all the people stuck in the traffic jam with me are more important than the VIP in question, because the difference is, unlike a politician, when we go to the office, we actually do our jobs.
Getting "chest pains": So you swindled nine trillion crores and put it in a bank in one of those countries that feature so prominently in Tom Clancy novels. And then, to celebrate, you swindled us out of another eight zillion crores and a telecom licence or four. So when the cops show outside your door asking you to pay the piper, take your medicine like a man and go to jail, instead of demanding medical attention for what sounds like something that happens to you after too many batata vadas.
You've just been told your assets are being frozen and every single one of your dealings will now be investigated with a tooth-comb. A little heart-burn is par for the course. Or here's a new idea. Maximum-security hospitals with bars at the windows. It'll be full in four days, I promise.
Stealing money; Stop. Desist. It's not yours, you don't deserve it, you didn't earn it, it's not fair, you're a thief. So stop. Because it's wrong, and because unlike some of the best thieves in the world, you don't even make it look good. I mean, come on Mr Raja, with a couple of hundred crores in the bank, the least you could do is get a better haircut.
Aren't you worried about how you'll look on your hoarding?
Rohan Joshi is a writer and stand-up comedian who likes reading, films and people who do not use the SMS lingo