In the heart of Chennai, a fake police station and court. NDTV, July 20
The first thing I did this morning after faking up, sorry waking up, was to make a cup of tea, adulterated as usual with cashew husks. I like a lot of fake milk with my fake tea, the detergents in the milk give it a unique flavour. Next, I brushed my false teeth with what I thought was a well-known brand of toothpaste, but was actually a fake. While taking my bath, I reflected that the counterfeit shampoo I was using would probably lead to hair loss, but they do a good job of weaving in false hair these days. A friend of mine was so enchanted by fake hair that he tried to create a phoney bald patch so that he could grow some of it.
I always have bread for breakfast, I’ve become used to the alum and chalk they add to the flour. I also like butter, the kind adulterated with oleomargarine. I then faked my enjoyment of the spurious bread and bogus butter, fried with a rotten egg in adulterated oil.
I decided to feign a stomach ache, so that I wouldn’t have to go to office. I put on my fake Levis, grabbed my counterfeit Ray Ban and my imitation Rolex, slipped on my false Nike trainers and walked jauntily to the quack down the street, who immediately wrote out a false medical certificate and prescribed some fake pills.
I’ve been trying to sleep, but I keep worrying whether the office at which I work is a real one or just a fake, like Satyam. I know it has a bogus profile and doesn’t do half the things it claims to do. I’m never sure, though, whether I’m really worrying or pretending to worry. The consolation is that my CV too is completely make-believe. I also got the job on false pretences, on the strength of a fictitious degree obtained from a fake university. Those cheats charged me a bomb for it, but I too was smart. I paid them in fake currency notes, ha ha.
Settling down for a lazy day at home, I switched on the TV. I was so overwhelmed by the bogus emotions on display in the soaps being aired that a fake tear rolled down my cheek. To steady myself I turned to the business channels, soothing my nerves with the inflated profit numbers put out by companies. The good news was that a terrorist bomb had failed to explode, thanks to the spurious chemicals in it.
I wish I was really rich, so I could buy some real stuff instead of all these fakes. A godman once told me I had a pot of gold waiting for me in Chennai, though I always thought he was a fraud. Besides, what if the pot was fool’s gold?
Wait a bit, though. Couldn’t I make a lot of real money by getting into a partnership with these impostors who are running an extortion racket in Chennai by posing as policemen and judges, complete with fake police stations and courts? Sure, it might be risky — Chief Minister Karunanidhi says he’s set up a committee to investigate the case.
But are we sure the committee isn’t fake? Is that chap really Karunanidhi? Is this the real me? Ah, in this country what is real and what is fake? We’ve always known everything is an illusion. All is Maya.
email@example.com Manas Chakravarty is Consulting Editor, Mint The views expressed by the author are personal