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Friends, Indians, countrymen, lend me your ears

columns Updated: Apr 24, 2016 01:44 IST

Age cannot wither him, nor custom stale his infinite variety

(Washington Post, 20 April: Indians, not Brits, are Shakespeare’s biggest fans, survey finds)

Since 89% of the Indians polled by the British Council survey said they liked Shakespeare, an unreliable source reported this conversation at an alleged all-party dinner held yesterday to commemorate Shakespeare’s birthday and the 400th anniversary of his death:

Modi: I must to the barber’s, monsieur; for methinks, I am marvellous hairy about the face.

Amit Shah: Self-love, my liege, is not so vile a sin, as self-neglecting.

Rajnath Singh: Why is Time such a niggard of hair, being, as it is, so plentiful an excrement?

Advani: Because it is a blessing that he bestows on beasts; and what he has scanted men in hair, he hath given them in wit.

READ: 400 years since Shakespeare: Looking beyond Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet

Rahul Gandhi: Why, but there’s many a man hath more hair than wit.

Amit Shah: He that hath a beard is more than a youth, and he that hath no beard is less than a man.

Jayalalithaa: There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.

Modi: Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety.

Jayalalithaa: There’s daggers in men’s smiles.

Chidambaram: A man cannot make him laugh — but that’s no marvel; he drinks no wine.

Mamata Banerjee: Make the doors upon a woman’s wit and it will out at the casement; shut that and ‘twill out at the key-hole; stop that, ‘twill fly with the smoke out at the chimney.

READ: How well do you know William Shakespeare? Find out with this quiz

Mulayam Singh: Though she be but little, she is fierce.

Karunanidhi: Frailty thy name is woman!

Manmohan Singh: How every fool can play upon a word! I think the best grace of wit will shortly turn into silence; and discourse grow commendable in none only but parrots.

Smriti Irani: Educated men are so impressive!

Venkaiah Naidu: What time o’ day?

Chidambaram: The hour that fools should ask.

Sonia Gandhi: The time is out of joint.

Sharad Pawar: Things sweet to taste prove in digestion sour.

Lalu Prasad: Unquiet meals make ill digestions.

Shashi Tharoor: I would give all my fame for a pot of ale.

Modi: Drink sir, is a great provoker of three things….nose painting, sleep and urine.

Arvind Kejriwal: Dost thou think because thou art virtuous, there shall be no more cakes and ale?

Rahul Gandhi: Good wine is a good familiar creature, if it be well used.

Venkaiah Naidu: More of your conversation would infect my brain.

Mamata Banerjee: You speak an infinite deal of nothing.

Sitaram Yechury: The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

Arun Jaitley: This is very midsummer madness.

Nitish Kumar: Though this be madness, yet there is method in it.

Sushma Swaraj: I will make an end of my dinner; there’s pippins and cheese to come.

Mayawati: All’s well that ends well.

Manohar Lal Khattar: But, for my own part, it was Greek to me.

Manas Chakravarty is Consulting Editor, Mint

The views expressed are personal