Slumming it among the yokels; it’s a tough job | columns | Hindustan Times
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Slumming it among the yokels; it’s a tough job

We politicos are the most hard-working species ... The least they can do is make me a minister. Manas Chakravarty elocutes.

columns Updated: May 10, 2014 22:12 IST
Manas Chakravarty

Dear sweetie-pie,

Darling, am I glad this election campaign is coming to an end! I’m sick and tired of traipsing around the country, making inane speeches and can’t wait to come back to you.

You won’t believe how hot it is. The sun’s so bright it hurts my eyes and I’m thankful for those Ray-Ban sunglasses you gave me and for the “Fair and Handsome” cream. Forget air-conditioners, sometimes the buggers don’t even arrange for fans on the stage. I mean, don’t they know my house is fully air-conditioned? Don’t tell me they really believe all that bilge about my being some kind of a superman. I’m certain the bloody Election Commission must be chortling away at us politicos sweating it out in 40 degrees plus. First thing I’ll do when we come to power is to make sure elections are held only in winter.

See, it’s ok as long as I’m safely cocooned in an airplane or helicopter. It’s when I land the trouble starts. Sure, the cars are air-conditioned, but it’s a bone-jarring, spine-dislocating ride over a series of potholes they call a road. And the dust is suffocating. Why these folks keep hanging around in these rural hell-holes is frankly beyond me, I would have emigrated ages ago.

And then I have to go to their hovels and meet and greet these yokels. Believe me, these bumpkins don’t use deodorants, they stink like pigs. The least they could do is take a bath before they meet me, right, me being such a big shot? But then, no thought of any consequence crosses what passes for their minds. Have they ever thought, when they so eagerly shake hands with me, what kind of germs they could be passing on? Do they care? I tell you, the only thing that keeps me going is wallowing in the bathtub at the end of the day, when I go back to civilisation.

But sometimes I have to stay overnight in some godforsaken guesthouse and toss and turn throughout the night because of the mosquitoes and the bedbugs. Heck, I even spotted a rat once. I wouldn’t get any sleep at all, if it wasn’t for the crate of Glenfiddich you so thoughtfully packed for me. It really helps soothe all the aches and sores from the bone-rattling journeys, apart from the pain of mingling with the masses.

The less said about the food the better. Sometimes my party minions pack my lunch and dinner, but it’s very frugal fare. What really gets my goat is the temerity of some of these peasants, when they want me to eat with them. I have to literally force the vile stuff down. And then there’s the tea which they offer. At the very least, considering my exalted status, surely they should arrange for Darjeeling? And they yak, yak, yak about their problems and expect me to talk to them. Can’t they see I have a sore throat from all that speech-making?

I tell you, we politicos are the most hard-working species on earth. The least they can do, to compensate me for all I’ve gone through, is make me a minister.

But that’s enough about me, sweetie. The first thing I’ll do, after I manage to land that ministership, is to take you to Monte Carlo. I hear the oven-baked blue lobster at Le Louis XV is to die for.

Love and kisses,

Your darling neta

Manas Chakravarty is Consulting Editor, Mint

The views expressed by the author are personal