So the world (well, one-sixth of its inhabitants maybe) on Monday saw BJP party president Nitin Gadkari bending down to touch the feet of yoga guru-turned-nemesis-of-the-corrupt-and-sinful Baba Ramdev. Those who hold gurus in great reverence must have been overcome with justified awe, and it would be safe to assume that Mr Gadkari had stooped to conquer their hearts and thoughts. The cynical and the misled may have baulked at the sight, or may even have been shocked, that Mr Gadkari was actually willing to bend so low to extend political support for the Baba's renewed campaign against corruption, and show how pliant he is willing to be.
Well, from the vantage position of better information and superior insight, we are being forced to discredit both points of view. Mr Gadkari, as some of us may recall, had undergone bariatric surgery — a procedure recommended for the severely obese — barely a year ago. So when he stooped, all he meant to convey was that not only was he fit enough now to touch his own toes, but that he could jolly well touch the toes of anybody else he wanted to. And if you recall all the sneers and jeers about his dietary habits that were thrown his way by a ruthless media, you cannot really fault him for embarking on that toe-touching spree.
So next time you hear Mr Gadkari rambling on about how his mark of respect for those in saffron robes was in perfect harmony with our culture and tradition, do remember that something within him is dying to flaunt that slimmer waistline, in much the same way a spoilt child wants to flaunt a new toy. For one who has suffered the ignominy of having a stage collapse (under his watch, not his weight), there can be few better paybacks than to display the malleability of his muscles. We say there is fat chance that any political mileage will be sought from this humble gesture. Keep looking out for more displays of agility from those quarters though.