Wednesday, August 17th, 2022 13:07:19

Secret of sagacity

Updated: July 9, 2011 11:03 am

India That Is Bharat

The other day Satiricus heaved a tremendous sigh of relief. Now that senior Congress leader Vasant Sathe has given—rather, repeated—the clarion call for Priyanka Gandhi (-Vadra) to join the family business of saving the country, Satiricus is sure that India that is blessed Bharat is as good as saved. For who else but a Gandhi in name can save India? So Gandhis may go and Gandhis may come but perceptive Congressmen like Vasant Sathe go on for ever.

            Actually they were there from the olden golden democratic days of Indira that was India, as a government publication had once printed. In those days Congressmen (that is, men in the Congress) had the penetrating insight to call Indira the only man in her cabinet. Later, when son Sanjay became the uncrowned king of India, there were enlightened Congressmen who wrote books on him comparing him with Buddha the Enlightened. Then came the other son Rajiv, and fast-forward Congressmen hailed him as the harbinger of the twenty-first century.

            After Rajiv, during Sonia Gandhi’s rāj-sanyās, teenage daughter Priyanka publically said she was thinking of joining politics—and what happened? Instantly ecstatic leader after Congress leader wisely proclaimed that Priyanka Gandhi, then in her early twenties, was a treasure house of all wisdom in the world. Unfortunately, apparently, the time had come but the hour had not. So when Sonia Gandhi came to power riding on the magic mantra “Sonia lao, desh bachao”, patriotic Congressmen devoutly hailed her as the deity of deliverance. And what one Gandhi can do, two Gandhis can do better, no? So, as the BJP president rather crudely put it the other day, the Congress became a ma-beta party and beta Rahul was happily hailed by no less a personality than Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as the future of the country. But if this future can be singularly secured by ma and doubly secured with ma and beta, why not add beti for a happy hat-trick?

            So Satiricus says, the more Gandhis, the merrier. Why? Because the secret of sycophancy—sorry, sagacity—is in the name Gandhi. It was “luck by chance” that Nehru’s daughter Indira married a Parsi by name Feroz Gandhi, because there was not even a “nominal” link between him and the Mahatma. But, by the great good fortune of this country, the secular gods blessed it with salvation through a surname.

            Ironically enough, Satiricus discovered to his dismay that for the Parsi it was just another borrowed name, and so inconsequential that in the early days of the Raj prominent Parsis of Mumbai used to spell it “Ghandy”. What was worse, and all the more painful for Satiricus’s secular sensibilities, not long ago a female Parsi journalist, making fun of Sonia’s claim to “family heritage”, remarked with her tongue in her cheek that instead of Sonia becoming Sonia Gandhi she could well have become Sonia Soda-water-bottle-opener-wala !

            Fortunately for all men, women and Congressmen, Sonia became a Gandhi, son Rahul became a Gandhi, and daughter Priyanka is prominently a Gandhi and only incidentally a Vadra. So all’s well. India is saved—at least Sathe is saved from drowning his sorrow in a sodawater bottle.


Beware of bitter half

Husbands of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose except your wives—who want to hire you. Satiricus is not joking. A couple of years ago he had read a press report headlined “Muslim husbands on hire”. It said many divorced women in Saudi Arabia are preferring unemployed men as husbands. Such husbands are actually paid a salary by their wives, who retain the right to divorce their hired husbands whenever they want. The report went on to say that some women who made such marriages liked the idea, because “they get a legal guardian who is, in fact, a subordinate, not a master”. In some cases the hired husbands are much younger than their wives, and are promised marriage with a younger woman after a few years.

            Well, now, what did Satiricus think about that? He was certainly taken aback, but he had to admit that if a peon could be hired, so could a husband. Still he thought the idea was too weird to spread out of imaginative Arabia. He was wrong. He now finds that it is spreading from the Muslim Middle-East to the modern West. For news comes that a business company in Georgia is “renting” out “husbands” by the hour to single women who need household help.

            Now, normally Satiricus would have found this hilarious and laughably ludicrous. But this is no laughing matter. Satiricus has come to know that this is actually an anti-husband conspiracy. For a study by scientists at the Pittsburgh University School of Medicine in the US has recently revealed to him that running the home is more stressful for the heart than office work. The study goes on to warn that household chores like cooking, cleaning utensils and sweeping the floor may be even worse and can give a much higher blood pressure. See? When Satiricus read about this serious occupational health hazard for husbands he recalled a certain wit’s words—”My advice to all those who are about to marry is—don’t !” Well, for those who don’t heed this witty wisdom Satiricus has a wittier warning—Beware of the bitter half!

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