Wednesday, September 24, 2014

No politics, please

(Published in Business Standard on May 31, 2014)

I bet you think this is going to be another damn column on the damn elections. I bet you’re thinking that you should just turn the page, because if you read one more iteration of the same statistics about the vote share or seat conversion rate you’re going to throw up your breakfast. I bet you’re thinking that if one more stupid newspaper columnist says one more stupid thing about the stupid elections, you’re going to just go ahead and burn the stupid newspaper. Well, don’t be hasty. This column is about upma.

Upma makes everything better. Swearing also makes everything better, but upma is full of life-giving calories. It has some fat in it, but it’s also got some magic x-factor that makes you feel as if you’re sitting in your mother’s lap. If you happen to be weeping over losing a family member or a friend or a lover, upma is what you want. I have discovered, via an exhaustive Google search, that despite all these health benefits, it is not mentioned nearly enough in commencement addresses. I had upma for lunch yesterday, and I can tell you that it salvaged yesterday. That’s about everything I know about upma, and all I need to know.

So that was the upma-related part of this column. I have no idea what the rest of it is about, but I do know that I am NOT going to write about the damn elections or about the stupid cabinet-formation which includes one number crazy Hindutva lady and one number riot-accused gentleman, of whom we will speak no more, on account of this column resolutely not being about the damn government.

This column, instead, will be about the fact that it is very tired of thinking about politics and the elections and all the things that are wrong with our country and our people. Thinking about this sort of thing constantly is, as we all know, detrimental to one’s health. So it will be more about things like, I don’t know, going out for a nice drink or meal. Preferably upma.

So I went out for a nice drink and meal the other night, and I ran into a cop friend. This was in the same tony part of town where we met a few weeks ago, at a birthday party. I’d been celebrating the birthday, and he’d been shutting down the birthday celebration and throwing us out. As he escorted us down several flights of stairs, we began to chat about… well, the then upcoming Lok Sabha elections. By the time we reached the ground floor we were fast friends. I keep meeting him in the same locality, and we always have a little chat.

The other night when we met, he said that any restaurant I’d like to go to, he would fix it up so it would be free for me. That’s very kind, I said, but I don’t want a free meal. How about a discount? I’ll get you a discount, he said. How sweet, but I don’t want a discount, I said. He is a large, barrelly sort of man, and he began to beetle his brow and glower at me. You will have to eat at least one dinner on me, he said firmly.

Then said that he thought that people seem more confident about the new government, but that the Human Resources Development minister should be better educated. But I’m not telling you any more about that since I have pledged to make this column not about stupid politics.

I think I’ll get him to spring for an upma.

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