We deeply sympathise with Karnataka governor HR Bhardwaj. Not only does he have to put up with a volatile chief minister, he now says that Raj Bhavan is a like a prison where he is a “jailbird”.
Yes, it must be unsettling to rattle around in 60 rooms with lackeys jumping to attention every time they spot you and insisting on serving you everything on a silver salver. This is most restricting. We wish more of our public luminaries thought like Mr Bhardwaj. And if they acted on this, we would be delighted.
Imagine them shunning the salubrious and gracious confines of their bungalows to live like the rest of us in spaces where there is not enough room to swing a cat. It must also be morally unacceptable for people like the good governor to have the taxpayer take care of all his needs.
It must severely curb his sense of independence, of wanting to break free. The same brand of exasperation can be seen among some of our filmstars who never fail to tell us that they are not in the business for money or fame, in fact they shun those, but for the higher ideal of making good cinema.
So, in that cause they suffer the pains of shooting in the Caribbean, the Riviera and Switzerland.
Now we humble hacks have no such qualms. Given half the chance, we would jump at the chance to lounge around in a Raj Bhavan doing a job which is long past its sell-by date.
How hard can it be to inspect the silver on Sunday and talk to the roses in the afternoon? Then we have corporate honchos who, despite having hefty bank balances, tell us that they live a frugal life.
Why would you eat gobi-mutter when you can wolf down Beluga caviar?
We could go on about all the glorious things we could do if we had a few pennies more. Maybe Mr Bhardwaj would like to trade places with us for a day and see how it feels to be free as a bird while we get a taste of life as jailbirds.