Union railway minister Lalu Prasad has now become a “Bhai”. No, not the dreaded Mumbai or Dubai version of the Big Brother. But a brother, sisters here in Patna dote upon.
That is if one goes by the mad rush of sisters at the many stalls here that have stocked up on rakhis that have a miniature photograph of the Bihar strongman’s smiling face in glorious technicolour embedded bang in their middles.
Lalu rakhis are the latest in the line of products that have, all these years, used the former Bihar chief minister’s smiling visage to boost their sale figures. There have been Lalu Chalisas in the distant past and couple of films in which Lalu made a cameo appearance.
There have been Lalu dolls and Lalu lemunchoos, a runaway hit in the villages of North Bihar. There is even a Lalu endorsed sattu doing the rounds of the city these days that promise to turn you as strong and content as Lalu, the railway minister. But the Lalu rakhis take the cake.
Even spouse and former chief minister Rabri Devi is said to favour these rakhis. “I don’t see any harm if an entrepreneur uses Laluji’s name or face for promoting his product. After all, it is a strong indication of his popularity remaining intact though Nitishji would, I am sure, beg to differ. I have already purchased a few of these Lalu rakhis that I will tie around the wrists of my brothers on Rakhi day. My daughters plan to buy only these rakhis for this day.,” she said.
Come Christmas and one wonders whether Lalu Santas will flood the markets this year!