Reality Bites: Pitch it like PK

Keep popcorn handy, because PK’s campaign for PM Didi is going to be a laugh riot. Goodbye and good riddance to the Dear Leader, all hail the Dear Leaderess!

Reality Bites: Pitch it like PK

Rupa Gulab

While assembly elections in several states are round the corner, do not ignore the fact that the run up to the 2024 Lok Sabha general elections has begun. India’s master manipulator Prashant Kishor aka PK has signed up with West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee aka Didi, and his brief is to make her India’s next prime minister. Oh, he’s also supposed to entice Opposition party leaders to accept Didi as India’s PM candidate.

PK has kicked off this project by collecting a bunch of old Rajya Sabha has-beens from various parties. I hope the ugly new Parliament building has wheelchair ramps because many of them cannot stand on their own two feet—both literally and metaphorically.

Don’t shout at me, but I expect quite a few members of the Congress party’s rival faction (the G-23, or is it now G-22?) to join them sooner or later, unless a miracle happens. Not the Second Coming of the Lord, but a far bigger miracle than that: India’s crony capitalists coming to their senses and dumping bigotry.

As for the Lok Sabha, PK has been poaching rather shamelessly from the Congress party while trashing the Gandhi family who were very mean to him—rumour has it that he offered his services to them first, but they turned him down, tsk.

I’m eagerly waiting for PK to go on a no-holds-barred drinking binge, and write his second piece of sensational fiction (his first was on the Dear Leader, remember?). Ooh, I just cannot wait to get my grubby paws on his comic book on Didi the Great.

Here are some of the whopping lies I expect: We may “discover” that Didi’s father was a humble jhal-moori-wallah. Every morning before school, Daddy’s little helper would boil potatoes, cut onions, green chillies, and other ingredients for daddy’s stall. On Sundays and other school holidays, the dear little girl would lovingly tell her father to rest, and man the stall herself.

One day Mother Teresa visited her para, and Didi was so thrilled that she hastily made up a five-rupee packet of jhal moori, chased Mother Teresa and gave it to her for free! She felt a warm glow spread through her body when Mother Teresa put her hand on her head and blessed her.

After that, she always, always, always gave extra servings of jhal moori to the poor. Oh, and she also decided that when she grew up, she would only wear white saris with blue borders, just like Mother Teresa.

The jhal moori stall was where Didi learnt to be a street fighter. While she maintained a good relationship with the chai-wallahs, paanipuri-wallahs, onion pakoda-wallahs, and other snack vendors on her street corner, she detested the other jhal moori-wallah—her direct competitor. When her rival spread rumours that rats nested in her jhal moori stall, she bopped him on the head with her mixing spoon till an ambulance arrived.

When he was discharged from the hospital three months later, still pale and shaken and not quite himself, sympathy for him spread across the para, and a certain famous Bengali politician, Mr Basu, would deliberately walk past Didi’s stall, sniff contemptuously in an elitist manner, and buy jhal moori from her rival.

Didi detested communists ever since, and stopped wearing red frocks. She also took a pledge to make the rich Marwari businessmen who funded Mr Basu’s party fund her instead someday!

Of course, PK will add some guff about Didi bravely tickling the tummies of Royal Bengal tigers and other such rubbish. I doubt, however, that he will invent impressive degrees for her.

That’s a sore point because in the early 1980s, Didi had started calling herself Dr Mamata Banerjee and said she had a PhD diploma from ‘East Georgia University’ in the US—a university that does not exist! Her brazen lie was exposed amidst many cackles of laughter. Yet another doctor turned out to be a quack, sigh.

Keep popcorn handy, because PK’s campaign for PM Didi is going to be a laugh riot. Goodbye and good riddance to the Dear Leader, all hail the Dear Leaderess! But don’t cheer too enthusiastically—you can still be arrested for cartoons and criticism.

(Any resemblance to real people or events is a coincidence)

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