1st CEO: What Vijay Mallya has done is terrible, really terrible. Has he no sense of shame? Bloody anti-national. By the way, just to be on the safe side, Bharat Mata ki jai.
2nd CEO: Look at all the suffering he has caused. Bharat Mata ki jai.
Me: Yes, those poor employees.
3rd CEO: What employees? Bharat Mata ki jai.
Me: I thought you guys were talking about the Kingfisher employees losing their jobs and their dues not being paid.
2nd CEO: No, no, I meant the anguish he is causing us crony capitalists. Jai Hind.
Me: But how has he hurt you folks?
1st CEO: See, there we all were, cosying up to the powers that be. Cooking the books a bit, massaging the bottom line a little. Jai Jawan Jai Kisan.
2nd CEO: Doing a bit of insider trading, or a spot of hawala. Vande Mataram.
3rd CEO: Evading a little tax, skimming off a few crores, wangling a few concessions, all in the normal course of business and all without raising a stink. Sare jahan se achha Hindustan hamara.
2nd CEO: These things have been going on for ages without anybody batting an eyelid. And then Mallya comes and, unlike the rest of us cronies, he doesn’t have the decency to fly under the radar. Satyameva Jayate.
1st CEO: Instead, he has to be larger than life, throwing huge parties, bidding vast amounts for cricketers, cavorting with bikini-clad girls, bragging about the racehorses and yachts he owns. Imagine the effect on the deprived masses, they’re green with envy. I’m running out of patriotic slogans, Desh ki dhadkan Hero Honda.
3rd CEO: Why didn’t he float a benami company to buy those cricket teams? Lal salaam.
3rd CEO: Oops, sorry wrong slogan, got a bit carried away there. Mallya should have talked about how badly the economy is doing with a long face, about how, despite the hard times, he was promoting Booze in India with his liquor brands. Simon, go back.
Me: Who’s Simon?
2nd CEO: Simon Commission, it’s an old nationalist slogan. Mallya could easily have enjoyed all the good things of life the way we do — discreetly. But no, he had to show off. And look where that has landed us. Chak de India.
1st CEO: The bankers are recalling their loans to us, the cops are investigating money laundering, the income tax people are on our heels. They’re baying for our blood. Desh ka namak Tata Salt.
3rd CEO: No more cheap land, no more cheap funds, no more tax sops, promoters having to pay for reviving their companies — what is the world coming to? Delhi Chalo.
1st CEO: I’m moving to London. Will meet Vijay and check if I can get his yacht cheap. Quit India.
2nd CEO: I’m pushing off to the Cayman Islands. Quit India.
3rd CEO: Liechtenstein, here I come. Quit India.
(Manas Chakravarty is consulting editor, Mint . The views expressed are personal)