Me: Congratulations on your fantastic victory. How does it feel to be crowned the country’s hottest supermodel?
Gujarat Model: Thank you, thank you, I’m so excited. I would like to thank the people of India for making my dreams come true. A big thank you to all those economists who supported me, the publicists who toiled night and day, the statisticians who boosted my figures, the twitter trolls who defended me valiantly, TV guests who sang my praises, editors and columnists who spread the word. And of course, a warm hug to Mr Modi, without whom I wouldn’t be here.
Me: What about Dr Bhagwati and Dr Bhagwati ?
GM: How could I forget them, they are my most ardent admirers.
Me: This must be the first time an economic model has grabbed so much attention?
GM: Oh, people have gone gaga about many of us. Take the Chinese growth model, for instance, she’s a stunner. The Japanese model was a diva, although she uses anti-aging cream these days. And remember the lovely Scandinavian model?
Me: Ah, social democratic eye-candy.
GM: Yes. But I believe I’m the first ever economic model in the world to actually win an election. It’s like a fairytale, you know. I mean, a couple of years back, who on earth had heard of me, I was just a small-time provincial model. I used to look with awe in glossy foreign economics textbooks at the amazingly beautiful Harrod-Domar model, or the neoclassically glamorous Solow model and I used to wonder whether a simple model like me, with no mathematics to speak of, would ever make it big.
Me: Who were your earliest backers?
GM: Mr Ambani, Mr Adani, Mr Tata were some my first fans.
Me: How come you’re so attractive to folks? Any…um… artificial enhancements?
GM: There’s no harm in cutting flab, you know, or giving a little boost to assets.
Me: Totally. Look at those Venezuelan beauties. How was the competition?
GM: The Bihar model tried to put up a fight, but it didn’t stand much of a chance.
Me: Yeah, it was a bit like trying to put lipstick on a pig. There was some malicious talk about you being under-developed compared to other models, that your social development was stunted.
GM: I ignore the barbs and concentrate on my vital statistics.
Me: You have absolutely gorgeous figures.
GM: You don’t think my fiscal deficit bulges a bit? A slight pudginess there?
Me: No, no, it’s just the right size. And your gross domestic product is awesome.
GM: Cool. And what do you think of my incremental capital-output ratio? Too skinny?
Me: No, it’s rather slick. But how do you manage to keep in such good shape? What advice do you have for aspiring models?
GM: Use liberal doses of algebra for make-up.
Me: Ah. Now that you’re India’s sexiest economic model, what’s next in line?
GM: Bollywood, of course. I’ve already been asked to star in a couple of movies.
Me: ‘Growth ki Rani’?
GM: Yes. And ‘Jai GDP’.
Me: Great. Hope they do very well.
Manas Chakravarty is Consulting Editor, Mint
The views expressed by the author are personal