Bored with all the serious, economy-altering, political talks and scams around you? Take a break and read this. Politics is serious business for politicians, but how would it be if they had a lighter take on it?
I was tempted to ask Howzzit’s in-house crystal ball reader to give us an insight into the mind of the country’s heir apparent, Rahul Gandhi, and this is what I got — his unsent letters to his mother.
Now, before I get drowned under brickbats, let me hasten to add here that it does not in any way try to demean the efforts or the views of our next-in-line Prime Minister. The idea was simple — if we ordinary Indians feel so much disgruntled with politics and the way things are shaping up in the country, how would Rahul, who was actually in the heat of things, be feeling? After all, isn’t it true that uneasy lies the head that wears the crown, or one that is going to wear the crown, or better still, one that is wearing it but still not wearing it. (Read: Rahul Gandhi and the Case of Mismatched Frequencies)
Oh forget it! You get the meaning; that’s important.
Coming back to the issue at hand, what surprised our in-house crystal ball reader was Rahul’s deep thoughts on various issues and the anguish of a person trying to live up to the expectations of a billion people, which were stored in the form of unsent letters to his mother, and the frankness and openness with which they were written. What also made the crystal ball reader and myself so joyous was how Rahul’s Indianness showed up when it came to ‘Maa’ — that heady, age-old ‘mere pass maa hai’ feeling.
So here we go. Read with an extra dash of salt.
In January 2012, on anti-corruption and UP
Mi sei mancato molto! Come state (I missed you so much, how are you?).
All is not well here Mamma. The villagers here pronounce it as “aaall izz naat bhell“. I just can’t get this English. So many problems here; but of course they are all Economics Uncle’s headache, so no worries Mamma.
There is an agitation against corruption by this old gentleman who wears what Signor Gandhi used to wear on his head. The whole of Delhi is in a mess because of him, but you don’t worry Mamma. I’m out of Delhi, I’m in UP, with the Dalits. Non capisco (I don’t understand) what they are going to get by all this fasting? Mamma, I’m missing the pasta and the pesto you make, am bored of eating roti and sabzi. About the gentleman in the cap, most people in UP villages also seem to know him. It seems he wants something called Jan Lokpal. For a moment I thought he wanted 10 Janpath, our house. This is the guy we got arrested last year in Delhi for fasting and rallying when you were in the US. Oh, what problems after that! But you can’t be a ‘Gandhi’ with just the cap, right? You got the cap, but we got the surname. But people seem to forget that, we had to release him from jail after a few days. Public anger, the uncles said.
As of now Lawyer Uncle and No. 1 Fan Uncle are taking care of all media briefings.
The other day someone asked “Why is Rahul not there in Delhi?” What all am I supposed to do? Be with the Dalits, go to the villages, work in UP, then make responsible statements about anything and everything and then be in Delhi too? Mamma, those PR agents want to write all my speeches and tell me I’m saying the wrong things. But I’m not listening, I can speak good Hindi. I’m going to speak in Parliament, that too during zero hour. Why do they call it zero hour by the way? It seems you only ask questions during that one hour, but everyone told me since I was the biggest question mark, it’s ok if I speak at that time. Well isn’t the big question is whether I am the next PM or not?
I’m also going with the flow — I’m going to say that we need to fight corruption and we need firm political will. In fact I’m going to throw, now, what’s that they call in cricket — a “googly”. Mio Dio (my God) what words they have in this game. I tell you calcio (football) is better any day. Well I’m going to say “what if Lokpal becomes corrupt itself?”
I’m going to tell everyone that no one wants corruption and since no one wants corruption, everyone should fight against it. We are also agitating against corruption, but also agitating against the agitation against corruption, because this doesn’t seem to be an agitation against corruption alone, but an agitation against those who are agitating against those agitating against corruption. I’m also going to talk of the poor and disillusioned people — everyone is telling me that we should always talk about people and I’m taking this forward Mamma. After all our family has never moved backwards whether it’s the freedom struggle or the division of Pakistan!
Come state (How are you)?
Bisnonno (great-grandfather) wrote the Discovery of India, and to prove to everyone that I am his worthy great-grandson, I too am on a path to discovering India in Uttar Pradesh since 2009.
Mamma, I am campaigning sinistra, destra, centro (left, right and centre). Oops! I did not mean CPM, BJP and us, I meant day and night.
Phewww! it’s so tiring to be careful of every word you speak. I mean, I only asked people in UP how long they will go to Maharashtra to beg? There was such a hue and cry about it. I was only trying to talk about how the elephant party was not doing enough for them and they had to beg. But now I am being blamed for being insensitive to people and calling them beggars. It’s just wrong to say anything good for anyone now a days.
I have brought in an “international issue” angle to the campaigning and said that when people of UP come out on their own, the US and UK and other western nations who are already threatened by India’s rising economic status will actually start trembling. Hope the West sees how I have got international issues like the global meltdown, international labour issues etc as part of the campaigning in simple language. Well, their leaders can talk only about their country and be considered international leaders, but we have to talk about all international issues to be considered national leaders. Whoever said our lives were easy!
I have told very clearly in my speeches that I’m not scared of black flags or shoes or even bullets. In fact, I’m not afraid of anything and I won’t run away and that I learnt it from Nonna (grandmother). I have shown everyone I have got Nonna’s leadership qualities. Nonna would have been so proud of me.
I’m even growing a beard, nothing like a beard to add to the serious look. At least that way people don’t always think only of the dimples and call me “Amul Baby”. Just imagine how my serious image took a beating, appearing next to that chubby Amul kid on their hoardings — we both looked so similar.
Mamma, six-pack bro-in-law was there on the bike to campaign for me. Why does he need a bike for that now! Anyway, he was there with a big group on bikes, and now the electoral officer has some problems with that. It seems we broke some rule. Six pack bro-in-law has told reporters that he is here to take my message to the villages and every corner — now what am I doing here in the villages then? Bro-in-law was talking of getting into politics but Sweet Sis was saying he doesn’t want to. Oh what confusion amidst all this tension!!!!
I think most people are just jealous that most people are supporting me. Sweet Sis was there too. She told the press guys that she would do whatever was required to help me. Soo sweet na Mamma? She even called herself a “barsaati mendhak” and said that “we are not here for votes but to bring change“.
Now I am waiting for you to come here to campaign. Daddy used to say “jeetenge ya losenge“, and I believe in that Mamma, this time in UP “jeetenge ya losenge“.
Your dear son
Post UP results
Still here in UP. I think the villagers took my and Sweet Sis’s words about our campaign “not being for votes, but to bring change” so seriously that they didn’t vote for us and brought about a change in govt too.
Inspite of going to all those Dalit houses and all those visits to the villages, where I had no fan, no mineral water, everyone has voted for this Akhilesh guy (come to think of it, they did like my dimples though). He is one dark cavallo (horse), I tell you.
I have said that I am taking responsibility for the poor show in UP, but No. 1 Fan Uncle and other uncles are so eager to take on the responsibility for it. I mean, let me take credit for something!!
To add to the confusion, people were saying Rahul is retiring. For a second I was wondering who gave such news about me. I was so damn sure this was definitely a ploy by “jaadu ka haathi” party (my sarcasm at its best) or “umeed ki cycle” party (my sarcasm once again) or our pet hates the lotus party. I even suspected a saffron terror link to it. Then someone got the newspaper and I realised the fuss was about Rahul Dravid. Ohhhhh!!!
I was watching Terminator movie the other day and I’ve got a nice sentence to quote from there — “I will be back”. Nice na Mamma? I’m also going to say “I think, it is a very good lesson for me. I think it will make me think in detailed ways which I like to do” to all the channels when they ask me for my opinion about the results. It will give people an idea of the analytical bent of mind I have. Or should I go statistical and say that 99% of the time we may win, but 1% of the time we may not?
Il Caro Figlio (your dear son)
In March, on Rail Budget and other issues
Cara Mamma (Dear mom),
I heard about the Rail Budget problem. Was Kolkata aunty against her own partyman or was she against us? She said she is talking for and about poor people. We are also talking for and about poor people, aren’t we? Then who is not talking about the poor people? Mio Dio (My God) such confusion!!
The gentleman with Signor Gandhi’s cap is fasting again, I heard. This time to protect some whistleblowers. I was wondering why he wants to support people who blow whistles! So much noise due to all that whistling, disturbs the peace, especially in the mornings. Then one of our partymen told me he wants to protect people who blow the lid on some scam or irregularity or corrupt working.
Now Mamma, going by that logic, we are the whistleblowers aren’t we? We try to blow the lid on what problems the Opposition has, the scams they have done, we try to blow the lid on how govts of parties other than our party function. We are so prompt when it comes to showing everyone how ONLY and ONLY the members of lotus party (especially in Gujarat) watch porn in the whole of India. Why would we not protect ourselves? How does this gentleman with Signor Gandhi’s cap then say that we are deaf and dumb?
Mamma’s sonny boy.