If we hear one more word about the Queen’s diamond jubilee, it is quite possible that we will go over the edge. For the last few months, we have been subjected to royal news covering every possible trivia about the royal family, glossing over the fact that many of them are quite dysfunctional. So we had the flotilla down the Thames with Lillibet, as she is fondly known to some, waving to the adoring crowds, we had breathless BBC coverage of drinks parties at home with the Queen, and the drink of gin and Dubonnet specially created for her, which was prepared with such reverence that we almost wept. The heir, if Prince Charles keeps talking to plants, and spare were on full display as also the wafer-thin Duchess of Cambridge. For royal watchers this is a treat, for us a matter of great envy.
We bow to the superior efforts of the British in marketing this monarchy in such a brilliant manner that many across the world felt it incumbent upon them to splash out big money to be present at the many functions to mark the jubilee. In case you are wondering why we can’t do that here, let us give you some good reasons. If we were to attempt a flotilla in, say, Delhi to mark some historic occasion, chances are it would not get past the Okhla barrage thanks to the choked Yamuna. As for drinks parties perish the thought, we are good Indians and not a drop of anything other than ganga jal shall pass our lips.
But we could insist that some part of the jubilee be held in India, the jewel in the erstwhile crown. We can see it now, the royal carriage carrying Liz trundling down Raisina Hill to the delight of the former natives. We could market memorabilia from the Raj in the same manner that the Brits are doing. From mugs bearing the Queen’s image to all but her toenail cuttings, it has all been packaged and sold to the gullible. Yes, a visit is in order and perhaps Pranabda as and when he becomes the next incumbent of Rashtrapati Bhavan could play host. Wonder if the Queen’s taste runs to sandesh and jhalmurri.