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HindustanTimes Sun,31 Aug 2014
It's all aloo dumb
Manas Chakravarty
April 06, 2013
First Published: 23:48 IST(6/4/2013)
Last Updated: 23:50 IST(6/4/2013)

To test the ability of some of our big shots for the top job, we invited them to debate the big question facing India today. The question, of course, is: Are potatoes good for you?

We bring you a transcript of the scholarly discussion:

RaGa: Whether potatoes are good for us is not a question that can be answered by a hero on a horse. Only a billion people can answer it, after being empowered to eat potatoes.

NaMo: I am the greatest potato grower in the country. Nobody can grow as many potatoes as I can. Nobody can eat as many potatoes as I do. Nobody can peel as many potatoes as I can.

NiKu: Potatoes grown in Bihar need to be given special status. They are poor and backward and need urgent help.

MaSi: Ummm…Hmmphhh.

Me: Did you speak, sir? That was wonderful.

MaSi: Potatoes theek hai.

RaGa: Potatoes are incredibly complex things, boss. I am… like… constantly amazed at it. I mean….it's not an elephant. It's not a dragon. And bees don't like potatoes.

NaMo: My potatoes are bigger than yours.

JaJa: Evil Sri Lankans have been sending massive amounts of potatoes to Tamil Nadu to make us obese. Ha, ha, little do they know I have foiled their dastardly plans by eating only roasted potatoes rich in potassium, vitamin C and fibres.

MamBa: Red potatoes are a vast conspiracy hatched by the Left Front in cahoots with North Korea. We all know North Korea can't grow its own food, so who's supplying potatoes to them?

NaMo: Do you know Gujarat supplies potatoes to Papua New Guinea? What India needs is a P2P strategy - potato to plate. A young and vibrant India needs minimum pot, maximum potatoes.

MulYa: But are they secular potatoes?

MamBa: We need a new strategy. Our Ma, Mati, Manush slogan has become stale, we'll change it to Pa, Party, Potatoes. We need to keep the alliteration.

Me: Why Pa?

MamBa: Pa as in father. Because Ma isn't working.

NaMo: Some folks say people eating potatoes are half full of good things. Others believe potato-eaters are half full of bad things. But I say a potato-eater is always full - half with good things and half with gas.

RaGa: We must incentivise, do smart interventions and exponential thinking about potatoes. Go down to the potato's roots to understand it.

NiKu: Only those who care about poor and backward couch potatoes will be allowed to rule in Delhi.

MaSi: Ummm….potatoes can cure the current account deficit if we can get foreign investment in them. McDonald's potatoes are the best.

JaJa: We have received heart-rending reports of Sri Lankans force-feeding half-baked potatoes to Tamils.

MamBa: We must give away potatoes to the masses. As Rabindranath Tagore said about India: "Where the mind is without fear/and the head is held high/where potatoes are free."

LaKrAd: We badly need a potato yatra.

NaMo: Ha, I will mash all your potatoes. Let's break for lunch. Do give RaGa a hot potato or two.

Manas Chakravarty is Consulting Editor, Mint
Views expressed by the author are personal


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