After the government's excellent imitation of a headless chicken last week, I was intrigued about how they actually managed it. A shady fellow claiming to be a sub-assistant-private secretary has since provided me with the minutes of the meetings of the core group of bigwigs. A sample:
Mumble: The time has come, the Walrus said, to talk of many things, of Anna and Telangana, of billings and cooings.
Grumble: I will tell Madam you called her a walrus.
Fumble: Why billings and cooings?
Mumble: When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean. Also, it rhymes. Let's order refreshments.
Bumble: You're quoting from Alice, right? I'll have an idli... a vada... no, make it a sandwich.
Jumble: Alice? I knew there was a foreign hand.
Mumble: Waiter, get me a samosa.
Fumble: I'll have an orange, no, a tomato juice, or...
Mumble: Make up your mind.
Stumble: What mind?
Grumble: This Anna is a fascist, a Maoist and a dogmatist.
Stumble: What kind of dog?
Crumble: So is Telangana.
Mumble: Telangana is a place. Change my order to pakodas.
Tumble: Places can be weird too.
Jumble: Off with their heads!
Mumble: On the one hand, that may create problems, while on the other... I forget what'll happen on the other hand.
Grumble: Put them both in jail.
Humble: The hands?
Mumble: Heavens! Sometimes I think we are an idiocracy instead of a democracy. Anna and Telangana, of course.
Humble: Immediately, sir.
Mumble: What shall we do about the Pakistan peace process?
Tumble: We blew hot last time.
Bumble: Ah, time to blow cold then.
Fumble: I don't think…
Grumble: Then you shouldn't talk.
Fumble: Who do you think you are?
Mumble: Never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others that what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them to be otherwise.
Bumble: The Duchess said that, right?
Grumble: Madam will never say a thing like that.
Tumble: Why not toss a coin to see whether we should blow hot or cold?
Humble: Noted, sir. Will toss a coin and inform the Paki bigwigs accordingly.
Stumble: What do we do about Air India?
Bumble: Procrastination should be our policy. What do you think?
Crumble: After carefully considering all sides, I find I am neither pro- nor anti-castration.
Grumble: Oh, give it another billion rupees.
Fumble: One can't throw money away like that.
Mumble: But two can.
Humble: Sirs, we're having a lot of trouble keeping Anna in jail.
Jumble: Who asked you to put that cute old guy there?
Grumble: He's such a wonderful serial faster.
Crumble: So is Telangana.
Mumble: Release them at once.
Humble: Of course, sirs.
Bumble: What about the slowing economy?
Mumble: The Invisible Hand can take care of it.
Grumble: I will tell Madam you called her a hand.
Bumble: What about the other items on the agenda?
Tumble: Let's defer them till the next meeting.
All: Bravo! Whoopee! Hip, hip, hooray!
My shady friend says these meetings have immense comic potential and the core group should think of filming them and selling the DVDs at a fat profit. Who knows, it might help reduce the fiscal deficit.
Manas Chakravarty is Consulting Editor, Mint. The views expressed by the author are personal.