All the estate employees of MGPL – collectively known as the Cabaret – had assembled at 10, Warpath, official residence of Madam G.
“Gentlemen!” Madam G started. “By the way, I am the only person in the world who still calls you gentlemen. I have called you all to make an important announcement.”
The cabaret listened silently in anticipation.
“Firstly, I must compliment all of you.” Madam G continued. “You all are top-class bunglers and have indulged in some top-class bungling. Sawan Kumar Dunce-al bungled with the estate’s trains. Lawyer Sushwini-ku-maar bungled while correcting some typos in the CBI report. Dig-my-grave Singh keeps opening his mouth every two minutes to change his feet. Our very own CoE has made files disappear and has brought the focus back on Coalgate over Echo Vadra-danti. Our farm manager Shudder Jowar has made onions disappear. CFO P Chillum Humdrum has started a “race for 100” between an onion, petrol and dollar. But alas….!”
“Alas what madam?” telephone operator Uphill Cymbal questioned.
“Think! Think!” Madam G continued with what sounded like a cruel instruction – asking the cabaret to actually think. “Have you gentlemen (argh, I did it again!) ever thought why Fundamatics has stopped featuring us? They featured us last when we launched the herbal toothpaste Vadra-danti. After that, despite a series of top class bunglings, the bees have not approached us. Not even for ads or subscriptions, leave alone a lead story. That’s because they like to focus on stories that have an ecological angle. The beehive is full of environmentalists.”
“Ma’am, you’re right!” TV repairman Menace Tawry piped in. “I called them to tell them that when I speak, I generate a lot of biogas that can fill their pages. But they somehow find my gas to be toxic.”
“But Ma’am,” CFO P Chillum Humdrum chimed in. “I heard that the next issue of Fundamatics is focused on economy. And I have bungled the estate’s economy big time with my race-for-100. So why don’t they feature me?”
“Chillum, you’re too educated to understand some rustic wisdom,” Madam G answered. “Economy is out. Ecology is in. But worry not gent….er…..men. I have a plan. A foolproof plan. No, I don’t mean a cabaret-proof plan. Foolproof does not refer to us this one time. My plan is to first change the CoE. Present CoE nods well, but he’s getting old, his nod is getting slow and the batteries on my remote are wearing out. I cannot recharge the batteries because there is no power. There is no power because we gave it away free and we do not have gas or coal to generate more power.”
“So here’s my plan” she continued. “I want to appoint Rollback Aandhi as the next CoE. I already appointed Rollback as our Vice President as you all know.”
“Ma’am”, Uphill Cymbal interjected. “We had one wise man and he’s already the President. Do we have another wise man who will become the wise president?”
Madam G was aghast. “I said vice president, not wise president. Rollback will preside over all our vices. Present CoE is a goody goody man who just knows how to nod.” CoE, blue turban and all, started nodding as Madam G pressed the remote.
“But what does Rollback have to do with ecology?” Jerry Rummage asked. “After all, he’s not world-class faculty at IITB…”
Madam G’s icy stare froze Jerry in his tracks. “Here’s the plan,” she thundered. “You all have to pass a bill in the Shok Sabha.”
“But Madam!” Shudder Jowar spoke. “We are not used to paying any bills. I do not even pay for cricket match tickets that my constituency people watch. In fact….”
Madam G turned on the ice again. “I am not asking you to pay bills. Just pass a bill. A law, for heaven’s sake. Just pass a law that all crooks will get a gold medal from now onwards. That way, you’ll all get gold medals, see?”
“What has that got to do with Rollback and ecology and Fundamatics? We all have enough gold stashed away in the bank neighbouring yours in Switzerland.” CFO P Chillum Humdrum countered.
“Listen to the whole plan,” Madam G answered icy countenance and all. “You all call me the ice maiden but Fundamatics walked away with its maiden ICE awards. They are ecologists, whatever that means. They say that by printing emails, we are wasting paper and a forest. A jungle. No wonder one of their own founded junglee.com. So, in order to make an ecological statement, we should tear up papers. First, you all pass a bill and print the bill on lots of papers. If you cannot pass the bill, pass an ordinary-sense and print the ordinary-sense on lots of papers. And then…..”
“Then what?” the entire cabaret rose up to ask while dancing a bhangra.
“Then….” Madam G continued with a sinister smile. “Then, Rollback will walk into a press conference that Ajay Makhan will convene. Rollback will convert an ordinary-sense to nonsense. He will tear up all the papers that you junglees will print. He will say “nonsense” and “tear the paper” with lot of aplomb while hiding in a beard that’s eco friendly. Get it? By the way, I’ve printed these instructions on lots of paper that you’ve all been given. I forbid you to tear up this.”
“But what happens to our dear CoE and his head nodding?” This question was from CFO P Chillum Humdrum who dreamt of being CoE.
Madam G broke into a raucous laughter. “I am sending him away across 7 seas to meet a Sharif Badmaash in Oh-mama land and nod away while Rollback tears papers and CoE’s future into a dynastic submission. I own a football team that scores self-goals. See, how I created 2 regions within my own estate. Regions named Naach-gaana and Seema Bhindra? Rollback will roll back anything the CoE says. Not that CoE says or speaks. I have programmed him to just nod.”
The cabaret broke into a cabaret dance and sang,
G-ya (G=madam G) tu, ab to aaja
Cola pee le, aag bujha jaa.
(Sonika, oh my darling, Sonika, oh my darling)
Tan ki jwaala thandi ho jaaye, aise gale laga jaa
Dil bhi kala, coal bhi kala, India buja ja, buja ja, buja ja..