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Thursday, Aug 22, 2019

It's all aloo dumb

To test the ability of some of our big shots for the top job, we invited them to debate the big question facing India today. The question, of course, is: Are potatoes good for you? Manas Chakravarty asks.

columns Updated: Apr 06, 2013 23:50 IST

To test the ability of some of our big shots for the top job, we invited them to debate the big question facing India today. The question, of course, is: Are potatoes good for you?

We bring you a transcript of the scholarly discussion:

RaGa: Whether potatoes are good for us is not a question that can be answered by a hero on a horse. Only a billion people can answer it, after being empowered to eat potatoes.

NaMo: I am the greatest potato grower in the country. Nobody can grow as many potatoes as I can. Nobody can eat as many potatoes as I do. Nobody can peel as many potatoes as I can.

NiKu: Potatoes grown in Bihar need to be given special status. They are poor and backward and need urgent help.

MaSi: Ummm…Hmmphhh.

Me: Did you speak, sir? That was wonderful.

MaSi: Potatoes theek hai.

RaGa: Potatoes are incredibly complex things, boss. I am… like… constantly amazed at it. I mean….it's not an elephant. It's not a dragon. And bees don't like potatoes.

NaMo: My potatoes are bigger than yours.

JaJa: Evil Sri Lankans have been sending massive amounts of potatoes to Tamil Nadu to make us obese. Ha, ha, little do they know I have foiled their dastardly plans by eating only roasted potatoes rich in potassium, vitamin C and fibres.

MamBa: Red potatoes are a vast conspiracy hatched by the Left Front in cahoots with North Korea. We all know North Korea can't grow its own food, so who's supplying potatoes to them?

NaMo: Do you know Gujarat supplies potatoes to Papua New Guinea? What India needs is a P2P strategy - potato to plate. A young and vibrant India needs minimum pot, maximum potatoes.

MulYa: But are they secular potatoes?

MamBa: We need a new strategy. Our Ma, Mati, Manush slogan has become stale, we'll change it to Pa, Party, Potatoes. We need to keep the alliteration.

Me: Why Pa?

MamBa: Pa as in father. Because Ma isn't working.

NaMo: Some folks say people eating potatoes are half full of good things. Others believe potato-eaters are half full of bad things. But I say a potato-eater is always full - half with good things and half with gas.

RaGa: We must incentivise, do smart interventions and exponential thinking about potatoes. Go down to the potato's roots to understand it.

NiKu: Only those who care about poor and backward couch potatoes will be allowed to rule in Delhi.

MaSi: Ummm….potatoes can cure the current account deficit if we can get foreign investment in them. McDonald's potatoes are the best.

JaJa: We have received heart-rending reports of Sri Lankans force-feeding half-baked potatoes to Tamils.

MamBa: We must give away potatoes to the masses. As Rabindranath Tagore said about India: "Where the mind is without fear/and the head is held high/where potatoes are free."

LaKrAd: We badly need a potato yatra.

NaMo: Ha, I will mash all your potatoes. Let's break for lunch. Do give RaGa a hot potato or two.

Manas Chakravarty is Consulting Editor, Mint
Views expressed by the author are personal

First Published: Apr 06, 2013 23:48 IST

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