August 15, 2012

Address to the Nation by President Pranab Mukherjee

My Dear Citizens,

(I know that if you're below 18, you're doing any of the following: if you're like 2 yrs or younger, you probably are asleep, if you're six years to 10 years, you're probably playing games on the phone or the dad's laptop connected to the internet, if you're 12 to 14, you're probably busy watching or playing cricket, and if you're between 14 to 18, you're either watching porn or trying to recall and fantasize about the porn you saw a couple of days ago when you got the opportunity when no one was home. I am referring to males only of course. If you're female, how the hell do I know what you're doing anyway!)

To begin with, I want to exhort you to lose the usual habit of smallmindedness of Indians and look at the BIG picture.

The big picture is this: I'm now officially and irrevocably and for ever and ever after a member of the TRULY GREAT Bong group.


This is of course what every Bengali worth his or her hilsa and other fish dreams of: to be counted among the greats ... as an equal of Netaji Subhas Bose, Gadadhar Chattopadhyay a.k.a. Ramakrishna, Narendra Nath Datta a.k.a. Swami Vivekananda, Rabindranath Tagore, S. N. Bose, Meghnad Saha, Amartya Sen, Satyajit Ray, and the other greats.

And I've fulfilled that dream. Give me a round of applause, will you?


Many politicians (read Congressman) of course made more money than me over their careers. I haven't created enough wealth for my progeny to last them for the next seven generations.

So what !? See the reactions online to the death of Vilasrao Deshmukh today. At least my death won't be celebrated in a similar manner.

Let's look at my incomparable qualifications. I have been a steadfast, dedicated, articulate, immovable sycophant of the leader of Congress (read the Gandhi family) for four decades. Who else can rival that! Well, others have tried of course. I can think of Arjun Singh, N. D. Tiwari, Jagannath Mishra, and J. B. Patnaik. But look at where they are today and where I am! So do I need to really rub it in to them by saying 'I'm The Greatest'? No, I am not so crass. I am subtle.

"Is Kashmir burning," some Lapierre types ask. [Yeah. I read books too ... unlike those newer JMM and other history-sheeter types.] My answer to that is: how the hell is that MY fault. I mean, Kashmir is a problem that has been around since the beginning of time, or the beginning of independent India and it will be there till at least the time my birth centenary is being celebrated. [That reminds me: I wonder if it would be better if I am dead before I am 100 or if I am still alive at 100. Gotta resolve that sometime. 'Stayin' Alive' 'Stayin' Alive' ...]

Rioting going on in Assam? Well, Bongs infiltrating from Bongodesh, Tamils infiltrating from Lanka, it's all the same ... you see, India is a MAGNET. And we in India love to love our neighbors and visitors, right? And hey when you blame the 10 million odd Bongs from Bongodesh, don't forget that we Indians have achieved 'consistent' growth historically since independent. India had 320 million in 1947 and now we're 1,222 million and growing. Take that critics! All these journalist types keep harboring about slowing growth rates in the economy and what not ... why don't they learn to focus on the excellent, long-term, historical, world-leading growth rates in the population sphere? Yeah right. I know -- always focusing on the negative stuff.

People are [needless to say, in India, you can always preface 'some' to 'people'] breathlessly waiting for 2014 ... including that indefatigable busybody Swamy. People believe 2014 will see the ascendance of Narendra Modi to the prime minister-ship of India. Yeah! Like ... OVER MY DEAD BODY.

Sonia Ji did not handpick me for this post so that I will meekly appoint whoever comes to me after the next general election with whatever "numbers."

Are people stupid! Did they not see how I made Didi herself EAT HER OWN WORDS and support me! THAT is what takes cunning and chutzpah. Here's a hint to all concerned -- there's MORE left where that came from. I will use as much of it as needed to see to it that the harmless MMS continues in 7RCR or the next generation Gandhi - Rahul Ji or Priyanka Ji - ascends to their rightful throne.

People think I have been demoted by being made President after being the Finance Minister. What do they know! After all, it's me who had to deal with those permanently begging 'captains' of Indian industry. Believe me, it can be quite a challenge to keep up with Mukesh Ambani and his kid brother. First M will come to you with 10 demands - eight of which to benefit his companies and two to harm A. Next day A will be there with 10 of HIS demands - seven to benefit himself and three to harm M. Arggh!! It's dizzy to just keep up with all that! And then the cycle will repeat.

So happy to be here in splendid isolation with the Moghul Gardens nearby -- not having to hear lectures from Mr. Bajaj or Mr. Godrej. Ok. I am happy to admit that I am a common man a.k.a. aam aadmi and I use Godrej No. 1 soap. But that's about as close as I want to get to Godrej.

Believe me presidential elections aren't what they used to be. I had to offer financial 'packages' to Bengal, and Uttar Pradesh. And, predictably Bihar and Odisha cry wolf about it! Good that I was the Finance Minister -- I had the chaabi to the tijori ... not Deepak Tijori of course. LOL. Nor Deepak Chopra either.

May be better to just keep quiet about those two states as I am somewhat afraid of the 'image' of those two chief ministers. Nitish Kumar of course is cultivating such a holier-than-thou image as if he is T.N. Seshan's baap. And the blessed people of India -- God bless them -- have such short memories and they forget that a decade or two ago, Nitish was Laloo's RIGHT HAND MAN! Why nobody talks of that, eh?

But may be it's good that people of India have such short memories. On the whole, I can't complain about that. People remember things for about a week -- or till they get busy with the next Ganesh festival or Durga festival or some other festival or some big cricket match.

Oh that reminds me of Puja. May be I should schedule a visit to a pandal in Kolkata during the coming puja and do some historic stuff -- I mean I am the first Bengali President after all! And Kalam did so much fun and 'unconventional' stuff and people are still 'pining' for him. It's quite disgusting of course but anyway I WON so I don't hate Mr. Kalam so much.

Didi being in charge in Kolkata of course makes any attempt from me to do zany stuff during Durga Puja rather risky of course as she can be WAYYY more crazy than I can ever be. So there's a huge risk of her upstaging me. Should not take that risk. May be I will just make a trip to C. R. Park in New Delhi.

Oh and how I used to fear that pretend-British accent of Naveen Patnaik -- not to mention Shashi Tharoor.

But both the chaps are too nice to be real threats to ME in politics -- nowhere near as cunning as I am.

Have I covered all the states or am I forgetting some? Well, that old lady ... whatshername ... is running Delhi so efficiently and invisibly that it's no wonder that I am forgetting the capital. Which is ok.

I have to get around to planning that trip to Goa. Oh another state that I forgot! What's it with these 'honest' politician types? What are they trying to prove? Riding bicycles and going around without red lights and blaring sirens? Why be in politics then! Beats me.

Oh and BTW, if anyone in the media starts yakking about my forthcoming trip to Goa, ha!, I will just leak some 'fun' information about my illustrious predecessor's frequent foreign trips.

Of course the Goa trip is not about fun and frolic -- it's STRICTLY official. After all I am not getting any younger and don't look anywhere near as good in my shorts as Obama.

Imagine if I am in my underwear on a Goa beach and some photographer from Times Now (Arnab, you're a Bong, don't forget that!) clicks me! I have got GRANDCHILDREN for crying out loud! We Indians are not like those shameless Americans with those old ladies wearing bikinis! Puke!

I don't know if I should be excited or weary of going on state visits abroad! You see I'm not sure if I get to choose what countries I visit or if I have to meekly accept whatever the dumb Ministry of Foreign Affairs comes up with.

What if the MEA suggests that I go on a 2 week visit to five African nations -- say Zimbawe, Congo, Namibia, Uganda, Zaire -- to start things off? Should I accept that? But the only "result" of a trip to Africa as I see it might be a severe bout of presidential loose motions! I don't even know what animals those Africans eat! May be I will go vegetarian ('pretend' *wink* **wink**) while on tour. Ya that will be safer. Wait -- here's an even better idea. Didn't those Aussie cricketers bring their own beans and water on their trips to India? May be I can take my food with me ... I got my own plane, ha!

Oh yes, OF COURSE! I am SOOOOO obligated to Madam Patil Ji! She took her own cook! And SO WILL I! Problem solved.

But really I am looking for a trip to the U.S., Argentia, Brazil, anywhere in Western Europe ... you know ... the 'developed' or the 'hot' world. May be I should drop some advance 'hints' to the MEA.

And why can't I go to Rio in 2016 for the Olympics opening ceremony? Michelle Obama and Dmitri Medvedev were in London, right?

What about my 'legacy' though? How will History judge me? I am lucky that my predecessor has set the bar so low. It 'll be easy to do better than her. However people still remember that pesky and frisky Kalam who is still strutting around all over India trying to be inspirational and blah blah blah ...

Why can't you just fade away away away ... Mr. Ex President? Like an Aamir Khan song or like former generals as MacArthur said?

That guy is a real pain in the you-know-where. I can't pretend to know more science than him -- people will just laugh at me. He is more austere and spartan than me too -- at least he has done a good job of GIVING that impression and 'image' is all that matters in public life.

Of course I am like 10X better than Kalam in politics but that's of no use when you want to leave a presidential legacy behind.

Oh wait! Why am I worried about the legacy stuff already anyway! I am just BEGINNING the job and I've got nearly five years to think of something. Something will come up -- they always do!

May be Indian scientists will accomplish something historic and I will get to make the phone call or something and that way I will become a permanent and irreplaceable part of history ... you know like Nixon who made that call to Armstrong and Aldrin on the Moon.

So the key is just to be in the right office at the right time.
Ok so that's that.

Thanks good citizens of India!

Now if only I could ensure that the fish supply to Rashtrapati Bhawan was as good as what those lucky fellas in Kolkata get!

May be I should send the presidential plane over to Kolkata daily to get a daily fresh supply of fish from there to Delhi.

But you know these pesky journalist types! They might 'sniff' stuff and that dreadful Arnab will get all preachy on Times Now!

Oh well ... you win some, you lose some. Something gotta give and all that.

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