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Time to get serious, as polls near

Ranjona BanerjiAs election time gets nearer, we have to think of those extremely serious issues which will now affect our lives. Like lipstick and sunglasses.

The Trinamool Congress has issued a diktat that candidates cannot wear matching lipstick (to saris, bindis, faces and so on) and definitely cannot wear sunglasses while campaigning.

Since the Trinamool Congress has nominated more film stars as candidates than any other party ever including the whole of south India, you have to assume that having got all those film stars into the fold, they now don’t want voters to recognise them.

Parrots are vital in this whole election, with the country’s one million news channels and six newspapers running to them and asking them who’s going to win this election
Parrots are vital in this whole election, with the country’s one million news channels and six newspapers running to them and asking them who’s going to win this election

The initials AK. Now either this makes you a strong manly person (because you share one initial with the creator of the Kalashnikov rifle and the other with the first letter of the Russian word for Automatic which also starts with the first letter of the English word for Automatic) or it makes you a terrorist or perhaps it makes you a wimp.

Either way, the name your parents gave you and the surname your father’s family gave you makes you a Pakistani. Like Arvind Kejriwal or AK Anthony or something like that. The Russians completely destroy this party by calling an AK whatever a “Kalash”. You might want to put in a call to Narendra Modi at this point...

Parrots. These birds are vital in this whole election. Every day, India’s one million news channels and six newspapers run to any green bird they can find and ask him or her who’s going to win this election. The parrots are very smart and will pick whichever photo you put the birdseed on. Parrots know which side their photos are seeded.

Of course the best part of the parrot game is that you can charge your own sponsors of these opinion polls anything you want. No one knows really if you went to one parrot or six parrots or even one of those plastic parrots on a perpetual motion machine...

Little Blue Twits. No election campaign can be fought in India today without twits. Twits are everywhere but the most prominent among them are the foreign twits. Foreign twits will sometimes love you for you but sometimes they will love you and do everything for you for birdseed.

Little blue twits, egghead twits, troll twits, semi-academic twits, bot-twits, wannabe journalist twits, wannabe press adviser twits, wannabe finance minister twits the range and variety of twits is testament to how far the influence of the little blue bird of happiness can reach. No election can be fought without twits ever again. A green parrot told me that so it must be true.

Idiots in boxes. Perhaps elections were held in democracies somewhere in the world before idiots were collected and stuffed into boxes. These heads in boxes talk and talk and talk and can talk about just about anything.

Did you notice the body language of his left sleeve? What is the significance of her lipstick matching her sari and does it constitute a revolt against the party whip? Did the way the interviewee fumble and wipe his brow mean that he cannot sit in Parliament for the next term?

Sometimes the people in the boxes will enliven the proceeding by shouting at each other. And that is when you realise what a mistake I have made and that television itself is called the “idiot box”. Indeed. Biryani and beer. Actually there is no guarantee that you are getting either.

The biryani is a symbol for appeasement of Muslims which is problematic stuff whether you are for or against biryani and the beer is a symbol of what you really want to do when you spend too much time with idiots, boxes, parrots and twits but which the Election Commission will not allow you to indulge in, in case it influences you in ways that the parrots, the idiots, the boxes, the sunglasses, the twits and the lipstick have not done so already.

Tea. This is the most dangerous commodity in these elections. It can give you hyper acidity or it can solve all your problems. Depends on which parrot you picked.

Ink. Now there’s an answer. Or is it?

Ranjona Banerji is a senior journalist. You can follow her on twitter @ranjona

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