Under the Influence II

In my earlier post about the plant otherwise known as Mary Jane, I may have given the impression that it leaves you feeling senti and goofy and maudlin.

That’s not strictly accurate. It may do that to you, but its effect may be quite different. It varies from person to person. Thus while A may go about sighing wistfully that Jennifer Aniston used to look so much better than she does, B will exhibit a burst of lateral thinking and prepare a design for Hide Fruit and Seek Nut laddoos. And similarly X will stay up through the night chewing on thermocol, while Y will be violently sick down his shirt front. It all depends. It definitely does bring about a change in behaviour though. The direction and magnitude may vary, but the change is there.

The reason I bring this up is that I harbour a suspicion that India’s top political leadership is, well, under the influence. I’m not saying it’s so, but it would explain a lot. For instance, why Vajpayee’s speech has two settings: sluggish and torrential. Imagine, if you will, the following scene:


Vajpayee’s drawing room at 7, Race Course Road. Furnished with settees, divans, Rajasthani wall hangings, and lit by dim bulbs. A PC with a 4.1 speaker system is playing Pearl Jam. The PC is on a desk with a drawer.

Author’s Note: I’m assuming Jaitley likes Deep Purple and Collective Soul, but I could be wrong. If anybody is better informed about his musical tastes, please let me know.

Scene: Vajpayee seated regally on central divan. Jaitley lying on R. settee, reading Nagraj comic books. Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi sprawling on L. divan.

Vajpayee [speaking very slowly]: Advani [pause]… b*******d, [pause], rolling [pause] paper [pause] nikaal.

Advani walks over to computer table, and extracts the “stuff” from the drawer. He rolls a joint with care, lights it, and passes it around. Remains seated at

Vajpayee [now speaking at normal speed]: Aaaaahhh. Good Stuff.

Jaitley: Advani, push Like a Stone.

Murli Manohar [now very high]: Yaar, suppose we push B. Sc (Astrology) onto the university course. Too wild!

Advani giggles hysterically.

MMJ: Faaaahk. Instead of Physics practicals, it’ll be like zodiac practicals. Too trippy.

ABV: Yeah. It’d be like trusting Musharraf. Wild, man.

Jaitley: Why don’t we? Trust Musharraf and push astrology honours?

Advani giggles hysterically.

MMJ: Yeah! And you know what else? Let’s rewrite the history textbooks!

ABV: Why?

MMJ: Panga hoga, yaar!

Jaitley: You guys do what you like. You can’t think of anything really creative. Advani, push Shine by Collective Soul.

ABV: We’re all shining collectively! India Shining!

Jaitley: What you should do is go totally overboard. Have peace talks with Musharraf.

Vajpayee and Joshi look at Jaitley with new respect. Advani giggles hysterically.

MMJ: What’ll I do?

Jaitley [belligerently]: You aren’t capable of doing anything. Faak you.

MMJ [equally belligerently]: Oh yeah? I’ll destroy India’s brand value! Dekh le!

Jaitley: As if.

MMJ: Watch what I do to the IIMs. Phir bata.

Jaitley: Stop showing off.

MMJ: Dude, I can totally f*ck the IIMs.

Jaitley: they’re unfuckable. As if you can do anything to them.

MMJ: Yeah? I’ll make them drop the fees. And then I’ll get Jaswant to cut their funding. Ha!

Jaitley: Do what you like. Advani, push Highway Star.

ABV: Dude, imagine if we had, like, expressways all over the country.

MMJ: Whatever. I’m going ahead and doing what I want.

Advani throws up. Curtain.

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