Welcome to the match between UPA 2 Plus Allies against the Combined Opposition on this balmy spring day.
Jaitley has the ball, flicks a pass to Karat, coming in from the left. Karat has been coached by none other than the great Marx in dialectical football. Karat with the ball, Manmohan is in the way, but he’s sitting in the lotus position staring glassily into space. There should be a rule against players doing yoga during a game. Karat passes to Jaitley just outside the penalty area, but Suresh Kalmadi is right in front of him. Oh, oh, the ball hits Kalmadi on the shoulder and ricochets off it …….Gooooooaaaaal. Goalie Chidambaram hadn’t a chance. Opposition 1, UPA 0. Kalmadi is hurt, he’s being carried off the field.
Maran breaks away, passes to Raja, Raja to Karunanidhi who lobs the ball high into the air as Raja follows. Raja swoops on the ball, the Opposition goal is wide open, but terrible luck, he’s offside. Oh my god, Raja punches the linesman in the face. He’ll pay dearly for that, this is no ordinary linesman, it’s Vinod Rai, with a record of calling 1,76,000 crore offsides. Yup, Raja has been sent off the field.
Jairam Ramesh kicks the ball to Manmohan, but he’s doing the bhujangasana, and it’s cleared in the nick of time by Pranab. Pranab had a great match recently, completely destroying the Indian Economy team, using methods picked up at the Sonia School of Economic Football. Yeddyurappa, who used to be the top scorer for Mining Mafia, tackles Pranab and passes the ball back to Advani. But Advani’s reflexes aren’t what they used to be and the crowd roars at another OOoowwwwn Gooooaaal.
There’s a huge ruckus on the sidelines, with UPA coach Sonia going hammer and tongs with Bengal boxing champion Mamata. While everybody is watching the fight, Raman Singh deftly sneaks the ball into goal, because defender SM Krishna has wandered off to play for Portugal.
Now Gadkari has the ball, no the ball has Gadkari, it’s impossible to tell which is Gadkari and which is the ball, and he’s cheered lustily by chauffeurs and cooks, all directors, lining the stands. But Gadkari is going so fast he can’t see, he turns around and runs backwards this time, straight into the Opposition Goooooooaaaal. He’s carried away for bariatric surgery.
Eeeee, it’s Modi, trained at the Rashtriya Soccer School (RSS) and fresh from his triumphs over Minorities XI, charging ahead to chants of NaMo, NaMo. UPA 2 substitute Namo Narain Meena waves to the crowd, thinking they’re cheering him. Oh wait, Modi was barrelling along when teammate Nitish suddenly pulls at his shorts. Nitish’s behaviour is decidedly odd. Also, why does he hold hands with Manmohan on the field?
Pranab has been substituted by Rahul, a victim of great expectations. Sibal, who singlehandedly won UPA’s match against The Education System, kicks the ball to Manmohan, who’s doing the shavasana, ball cleared by Kamal Nath, who passes to Rahul, but he has gone off to have lunch at some tribal guy’s home, so ball trickles to Beni Prasad
Verma, but he has foot-in-mouth disease, so it passes to Karunanidhi. Karunanidhi sends a low raking shot into his own goal while screaming ‘Death to Sri Lankans’. As he is led off the field in a straitjacket, the UPA players break into their team’s swan song.
Manas Chakravarty is Consulting Editor, Mint. Views expressed by the author are personal.