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Just a fewer laughs

Once upon a time, Lalu would have wiped the floor with Ramdev. Today he comes up with lame quips.

india Updated: May 03, 2012 23:02 IST

After a mini break of sorts, yoga guru Baba Ramdev is back. No prizes for guessing his first target: Members of Parliament.

At a meeting in Durg, Chhattisgarh, recently, the crorepati guru said that some of the people's representatives are "dacoits and murderers". Ouch, that hurt the MPs really badly and they brought it up with Speaker Meira Kumar and several MPs, including senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha.

And then it was left to the self-appointed comedian of Indian politics, Rashtriya Janata Dal chief and former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad, to give a fitting reply to Ramdev's comment. But sadly, we soon found out that Prasad is no more the master of those acerbic, witty one-liners, he has lost that golden touch. While we waited with baited breath for a rocket from dear old Lalu, he came up with a tame reply: "Ramdev is frustrated, whoever speaks like this is frustrated. He is a mental case." Oh, what a letdown!

The Lalu we know and love was a master of funny and tart replies, so much so they were fondly called Laluisms. The man had the ability to charm people with his earthy wit and antics. When he was the chief minister, Prasad would give interviews while chewing a neem stick and sitting on a charpoy. As an add-on effect, he would also extol the virtues of fresh cow milk, while milking the cow himself in front of awestruck urban journalists.

Defending his love for comforts, he once said: "I work so much. If I don't get all the comforts, I will turn mad." Here's one on his stint as railway minister: "My mother always told me not to handle a buffalo by its tail, but always catch it by its horns. And I have used that lesson in everything in my life, including the Railways."

While we admire Lalu for his funny one-liners, the man himself thinks that these are actually not very funny. This is what he said when he was quizzed by reporters on his love for quips: "I know some people say I can be funny. But there is always a deeper meaning to what I say…" Oh, really, did we miss something?