On air today, Dhan Ki Baat

We have arrived at that propitious day again. It is that day we collectively, and so patiently, await each month that passes under the blessed benevolence of TheBossOfAllThings who, thanks be to the lords or whoever it is that brought him on, makes it a point to cast a daily shadow upon us. It is perhaps because he wishes to put all else in the shade, but shades are welcome in a hot country such as ours, and as you'd have already sensed, it's beginning to get hotter by the minute. It's at times such as this that you feel it is just as well Mahadeb is gone, absent without explanation. It's getting far too hot to be hunched all day atop a stove jammed with burning coals. And then to be serving out chai, another hot thing which there isn't any use serving out cold. Chaiwalas know that. The Chaiwala knows that to a fullness. That's why he's out serving each day. Not serving chai anymore, but serving the nation. And serving to the nation, his own heated self.

By Lazy Eye-Sankarshan Thakur
  • Published 25.02.18
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We have arrived at that propitious day again. It is that day we collectively, and so patiently, await each month that passes under the blessed benevolence of TheBossOfAllThings who, thanks be to the lords or whoever it is that brought him on, makes it a point to cast a daily shadow upon us. It is perhaps because he wishes to put all else in the shade, but shades are welcome in a hot country such as ours, and as you'd have already sensed, it's beginning to get hotter by the minute. It's at times such as this that you feel it is just as well Mahadeb is gone, absent without explanation. It's getting far too hot to be hunched all day atop a stove jammed with burning coals. And then to be serving out chai, another hot thing which there isn't any use serving out cold. Chaiwalas know that. The Chaiwala knows that to a fullness. That's why he's out serving each day. Not serving chai anymore, but serving the nation. And serving to the nation, his own heated self.

And once in a way, he offers us a special serving. Today is to be that day when he shall take the trouble, yet again, of traversing far distances to arrive in each of our homes at the throw of a button. It is the last Sunday of the month, bhaaiyon aur behnon, stir up and out of your beds, be done with your constitutionals, whip up the batter, heat up the oil, launch your pakodas into your cauldrons and be ready to relaunch them into your mouths because a far more luscious delicacy is about to seduce you - TheBossOfAllThings himself.

At the stroke of the penultimate morning hour, we must redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. So make sure your pakodas are substantial. Not merely whole or of full measure, but substantial. Badka wala, big ones, like solitaires. Solitaire diamonds, you know. No? Never heard of diamonds? Hmm. Ever heard of UjaratModel, sustained by an altogether new and singular blood-group that's neither O nor A nor B but C? C for Commerce - " Hamare khoon mein Commerce hai!" Never heard that? No? Poor BPL you. Ever heard of just model? No? Dhutt tere ki, yaheen to maat khaa gaya Hindusthan! Jaago Mohan pyaare, bano Bhagwat. The best ones are out there wearing solitaires as big as your pakodas. Never seen them? Hmm. All the more reason you need to hurry up and tune in. We are actually fortunate enough to have been granted an exclusive preview, courtesy The Chaiwala's kind kinship with Mahadeb, a chaiwala.

Excerpts: "... I wish to talk today about DhanKiBaat, while you eat and sell your pakodas and have turned well-fed and employed heeding my appeal, about this unnecessary noise enemies of our great nation are making. Someone has run away with diamonds, someone has decamped with barrels of, what are those things called? Beer and whiskey? Right, beer and whiskey. It does not behove me even to bring such words to my lips, much less to lump them on you while you eat pakodas. HeeravToady and TheDingOfHoodTimes, those sort of people. Look at their names. Are those the kind of names that even befit our mahaan pracheen samskruti? What sort of people are these? It is our fortune someone has taken away the shoddy trade of sinful intoxicants from our shores, good luck to them and the cultures they are now feeding. It is also our great privilege to be rid of such greed as diamonds can induce. Greed is the gateway to many other sins that I shall refrain from mentioning here... children must be tuned in, it is mid-morning, tauba, tauba. But to speak openly about something I can, we are the soney ki chidiya wala desh, land of the golden bird, why must we be bothered about a diamond here, a solitaire there? And beyond all of this, how much wealth can they take away from us? I am told that all told it would be about Rs 150 per citizen? Less than the minimum daily wage! Forget it, rest easy, pandrah lakh waale. achchhe din aane waale hain!" The mantra today I give youForget Marx and forget MaoEmbrace the many, forget the fewAmir bhagao, desh bachao.