This has been an important week for India, what with Mamata Banerjee biting off the Railway Minister’s head for doing his job, followed by Pranab Mukherjee presenting the Union Budget in an accent that can only be described as ‘Bengali man coughing up a hairball’.
As expected, the country was assaulted by a barrage of information as news channels went into hyperdrive, beginning with speculation about the budget that showcased experts with the predictive skills of a roadside fortune-telling parrot, which was followed by a detailed analysis of how the UPA could have done better (Answer: By resigning)
As regular people, I know that you need a real expert to cut through the clutter and the jargon, and tell you in lucid terms, what the budget is all about. I believe that I fit the bill, given that I often stumble upon business channels while surfing, and even watch for a few seconds if the anchors are hot enough. You can’t go wrong with credentials like that. So let’s begin with a simple Q & A format:
Q. What is in the briefcase that the finance minister brandishes about in Parliament on Budget Day?
A. Antacids, porn films for Karnataka politicians, and a signature cologne distilled from the tears of the middle class.
Q. Ooh, porn. Tell me more.
A. The titles include ‘Fiscal Fantasy’, ‘Subsidy Studs’ and the classic, ‘Plug My Deficit’.
Q. What is the history behind the budget?
A. The practise started in 1728, when the King of England asked his financial adviser to tell him what the Crown’s money would be spent on. “Silly wigs”, said the adviser, and there was much rejoicing.
Q. I can’t watch the budget. Parliament sessions are boring as hell.
A. Not if you play the Meira Kumar Drinking Game.
Q. What’s that?
A. Do a shot every time Meira Kumar says ‘Baith Jaaiye’. Very soon, you’ll find yourself stumbling about, shouting inanities and basically making a Digvijay Singh of yourself.
Q. What are the key economic issues that India needs to focus on?
A. From an economic point of view, it is imperative to uncover the origins of that thing growing on Lord Meghnad Desai’s head.
Q. I am a 22-year-old man from a respectable family. I like to touch myself while watching Baba Sehgal videos. Will this affect my married life?
A. Dude. Wrong column.
Q. What do you make of the FDI debate?
A. It’s no surprise that Congress leaders are gung-ho about FDI. Always have been. They chose Sonia, didn’t they?
Q. What are the long-term measures taken by the Congress to protect Indian farmers?
A. The long-term idea is to let them die, and then hope they’re reborn as something whose existence is less wretched, like lepers, or the guys in charge of waxing Shekhar Suman’s chest.
Q. That’s disgusting.
A. Wait till you hear his jokes.
Q. What about the BJP? They claim to be fighting for farmers.
A. Yes, but their strongest idea involves leasing out Nitin Gadkari as a scarecrow.
Q. Is it true that Rakhi Sawant visited the Parliament on the first day of the budget session?
A. Yes, this actually happened. Next up, Poonam Pandey to strip at the Supreme Court.
Q. THIS BUDGET SUCKS! YOUR MOM IS A TRAMP! I WILL SET FIRE TO EVERY HAPPY MEMORY YOU HAVE AND TAKE A DUMP ALL OVER YOUR SOUL!
A. Go away, Mamata.
(This is my HT column dated 18th Mar, 2012. You can check out the e-paper link here.)