Mum: Bablu, why are you hiding under the bed?
Bablu: I’m scared, mom, very scared.
Mum: Why do you watch those horror movies? And what’s that razor for?
Bablu: It wasn’t a movie, I was watching a discussion on the Union budget on TV. They said if we don’t cut the fiscal deficit, all hell will
break loose. This razor is to slash the deficit, mom.
Mum: I’m sure Pranab Uncle will manage to fudge it.
Bablu: Does Pranab Uncle make fudge too? I thought he was just a juggler.
Bablu: They said on TV he has to juggle conflicting objectives. Is he a strong man?
Mum: He’s an old man, son.
Bablu: Then how will he kill the monster?
Mum: What monster?
Bablu: They said on TV we need to slay the inflation monster.
Mum: Relax, Bablu, your daddy is strong enough to slay any monster.
Bablu: Does daddy work in the private sector?
Mum: Yes, why?
Bablu: Then he’ll be crowded out, mom. They said if the fiscal deficit is not cut down, the private sector will be crowded out. And this time the devil is going to come out of the budget.
Bablu: They said the devil is in the details.
Mum: Bablu, when you grow up you’ll understand the budget is nothing to be afraid of.
Bablu: But will I grow up?
Mum: What do you mean?
Bablu: They said if we don’t cut the fiscal deficit and we’re crowded out of the house on a dark night, interest rates will suddenly jump up and choke my growth. You come under the bed too, mom, he might start shooting.
Bablu: The inflation monster, they said it’s shooting through the roof.
Mum: Nonsense, I’m going for a walk.
Bablu: No, don’t go out, they said a perfect storm might be brewing. We will have to battle multiple headwinds and they’re going to pour boiling oil on us.
Mum: Boiling oil?
Bablu: Yes, the TV experts said oil is on the boil. There’s a nasty kind of oil found in Arab countries called turmoil, which is used for boiling oil. Do we use turmoil for cooking?
Mum: I use olive oil.
Bablu: Mom, do you have GST? They were saying a GST can save growth. I think it’s short for Growth Stimulating Tonic. Please give me GST if those interest rates jump up and choke my growth. The other thing which will help is the Direct
Tax Code, probably something like the Da Vinci Code. Do you know the code?
Mum: Bablu, I have to go to the market.
Bablu: No, no, there are bears there.
Bablu: Yes, they said bears are crushing the market. They also said the markets are deep in the red, which means they are soaked in blood.
Mum: Don’t worry, Manmohan Uncle will drive away the bears.
Bablu: But mom, they were saying he is a lame duck. How can a duck, especially a lame one, fight a bear?
Mum: That’s enough, Bablu. Come out, I’ll give you a lollipop.
Bablu: Am I one of the masses?
Mum: Of course not. We’ve brought you up properly, son, so that you become an upright member of the bourgeoisie.
Bablu: Then I won’t get a lollipop, mom. They said on TV the budget will hand out lollipops for the masses.
Manas Chakravarty is Consulting Editor, Mint. The views expressed by the author are personal