Reality Bites: Why the Prime Peacock sent Mr Goli Maaro to Cannes

Strange, isn’t it? The Prime Peacock could have gone himself. But wasn’t it cute of him to send the Poet Laureate too to shepherd Mr Goli Maaro?

Reality Bites: Why the Prime Peacock sent Mr Goli Maaro to Cannes

Rupa Gulab

The nation is in deep shock. We know how much the Prime Peacock loves hanging out with film stars and taking selfies with them, but he sent one of his cabinet ministers to the Cannes film festival instead. This was the first time ever that he’s made a personal sacrifice, and we don’t quite know what to make of it.

Should we give him an award or just keep our fingers crossed and hope that he makes more meaningful personal sacrifices for the nation for a change? For example, he could give up his hold on the PM Cares fund and share that money with Indians who are suffering because of his bad economic decisions. Or, if parting with money causes him extreme pain, he could turn his expensive new house at the Central Vista into a free hospital for the underprivileged. Wouldn’t that be nice?

The Prime Peacock thought deeply about whom to send from his cabinet, and after a few brainstorming sessions selected Mr Goli Maaro, because hey, goli maaro means shoot, as in film shoot. A nice private joke, heh. Mr Goli Maaro looked rather overwhelmed at the film festival and would have been at sea if it wasn’t for the posse of Bhakts (like the nation’s poet laureate) fussing over him like Mother Hen. Taking tips from the Prime Peacock, Mr Goli Maaro also showcased Indian designers and wore Big Fat Indian Wedding outfits which probably had cleverly concealed holsters. Pity the organisers didn’t know his dubious history, or they probably would have frisked him at the entrance, and that would have been memorable footage indeed.

I wish the Prime Peacock had gone to Cannes instead of Mr Goli Maaro. I could always do with a laugh, and his costumes would have got more giggles than some of the outrageous things Bollywood actresses wore. Filmmaker Veena Bakshi described their outfits as flower vases and lamp-posts!

After inaugurating the India Pavilion at the Cannes film market, Mr Goli Maaro appealed to foreign filmmakers to make films in India and offered them incentives up to Rs 2.5 crore for co-production and hiring local manpower in such ventures.

What he failed to mention was that ideally, film scripts must be sent to the Walrus in Nagpur for vetting or else there may be consequences. I was disappointed that he did not add the Prime Peacock as another incentive, because we know that the Prime Peacock will find it impossible not to swan around a film set taking selfies if Hollywood’s hottest stars are on the scene.

The poet laureate also chipped in and confidently said that global stories and global ideas will be coming out of India. He’s quite right. Hollywood can do terrific modern remakes of films like ‘Tomb Raider’, ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’, etc, as the government’s bulldozers and diggers do all the hard work destroying mosques and later, churches.

Remakes of life in Nazi Germany before World War II broke out are also possible—they won’t even have to hire trained actors as the mobs are already there. Only make up artistes are required to make the characters look fair-skinned, blonde, and blue-eyed. As for the dubbing, India’s call centre executives can do foreign accents beautifully.

Even a ‘Schindler’s List’ sort of movie is possible with a decent Hindu who helps protect minorities, but the ending, of course, will be different. The hero will be sent to jail without recourse to bail, and will be mocked as an anti-national on all Indian news channels. Bendy TV will do it differently, of course. The anchor will invite some random government stooge to do all the mocking, while he/she will pretend to be terribly concerned. Bah.

While foreign filmmakers are more than welcome to shoot here (our economy is flagging, give us money please!), I suggest they do their homework thoroughly. They absolutely must get insurance policies for hazards like the Bajrang Dal and other smaller Hindutva groups because if their fragile sentiments are hurt, film sets may be wrecked and FIRs may be filed.

The cast and crew must not tweet anything unflattering about the government or the Ministry of External Affairs will attack them on social media, and the government’s troll army will follow suit. Who can forget what they did to Rihanna and Greta Thunberg?

So, yes, let us see how many foreign filmmakers bite the bait!

(Any resemblance with real life people or events is a coincidence)

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