Confided in Man Friday that I’m terribly depressed. Here I am all dressed up with so many matching scarves to cover my handsome face with, but I have nowhere to go! Even worse, I cannot travel abroad for ages now even though I bought two fancy planes to improve India’s image (and mine too, heh) in the world.
Man Friday thought a bit, scratching his back with one of those precious iron rods he hands out to our supporters—he rarely leaves home without them. Then he said that since military talks with China were going nowhere, perhaps that would help me go somewhere.
“Where?” I asked him despondently.
“Wuhan of course,” he said. “We will get our chaps to secretly beg China to invite you, but we will lie to Indians that China begged to meet you because their economy crashed after we banned 59 apps.”
That cheered me up considerably. I called my Bollywood designer immediately and ordered him to make Chinese-style red and gold scarves for my trip. We had an animated discussion over which Indian animal motif we should replace those Chinese dragons with.
“Rats would suit you perfectly, Surenderji,” he said.
“You want to put rats on my scarves? How dare you—what are you insinuating!” I shouted.
Man Friday’s ears perked up instantly—by god, his devotion to me is charmingly doglike. “Want me to set the CBI on him, Boss?” he growled. I shook my head because my designer hurriedly explained that 2020 was the Year of the Rat. “I don’t care,” I told him coldly. “I want only large animals on my scarves!”
Then I hung up and felt gloomy again. I do hope Xi Ji agrees to invite me. After all, as my media pets gloated excitedly, I did a courageous digital strike on China by banning apps, and then an even more courageous personal strike by making the Indian Embassy in Beijing instruct Weibo to delete my account (after trying and failing to delete all my posts manually). I just hope I haven’t burnt my boats with Xi Ji.
“It’s all Rahul Gandhi’s fault,” I moaned to Man Friday.” If he hadn’t called me Surender, I would quietly have let Xi Ji take whatever he wanted to, and we could still have been best friends forever. And so what if I cannot give a fitting reply to Xi Ji—I want to give a fitting reply to Rahul Gandhi!”
Man Friday growled menacingly again. His response to the name Rahul is positively Pavlovian.
“Done already. I pulled out my favourite file on alleged scams of all Opposition party leaders. Didn’t you hear Mayawati stridently say once again that she supported you, and Pawar followed hot on her heels saying that Rahul Gandhi should not politicise the issue. Almost the entire opposition is united against the Congress, what more do you want?”
“I want much more!” I shouted. “Forget the Opposition, all those mean liberals are laughing at me on social media and asking why I’m not returning the 30 Cr that TikTok donated to my PM Cares fund. Make them shut up. Scare them!”
Man Friday tried to placate me by saying all the jails were packed with anti-CAA protestors these days, so there’s no room for any more mean liberals. He also patted himself on the back and said that since we cannot evict the Chinese from our territory, he’s done even better by evicting Priyanka Gandhi from her Lodhi Road accommodation.
I was rather impressed at that but more has to be done. Much more. Things are getting so bad that even the Shiv Sena has started asking questions and making cheeky statements like, “Pandit Nehru may have made a mistake. But why are you still crawling in 1962? This is 2020.”
Man Friday snarled. He’s been straining at the leash like a starving Rottweiler ever since the Shiv Sena dumped us in Maharashtra. He mumbled something about setting the CBI on the Shiv Sena, but I stopped him short.
“Rahul! Concentrate on Rahul. If Xi Ji invites me to Wuhan, Rahul may call me Surender again and ask me why I’m not brave enough to jeer at China by putting bat motifs on my scarves. Heck, he may even insist that I go dressed as Batman!”
(Any resemblance to characters in real life is a coincidence. This is a piece of fiction.)