The inter-party meeting was about to begin shortly. Prime Minister Mehmaan Singh and United Frog-racing Alliance (UFA) Chairperson Say-no Gandhi hadn’t yet arrived at the scene. Shararat Pawar, the agriculture minister, Sassy Tharoor, the deputy foreign minister and Jai Mata Banerjee, the minister of railways (and everything else that ran on steam, smoke and Bijoli Grill) were seen discussing something quite animatedly. Cutting across party lines, the three old muskets of Indian politics, finance minister Purono Mukherjee, opposition chief Akela Advani and Shriek Sena supremo Bawal Thackray were jostling with each other to grab the seat nearest to the toilet. Since it was quite cold inside with all the ACs working like NREGA welfare schemes, proximity to the loo was rather a dire necessity. UNDY-TV honcho Piranha Roy was covering the events from the sidelines.
A bugle was presently heard, causing Jai Mata Banerjee to reach instinctively in her purse and pull out a piece of cloth, which she started waving wildly. “Cholbe naa, cholbe naa” she screamed at the top of her voice, addressing no one in particular.
“Ssshhhh!”, cautioned Purono Mukherjee. ” Ki korchhen Jai Mata di?? That’s tha PM and Misses Gandhi arribhing. Hide tha phlag I say…”
“Oww…taai! I thought it waas Roton Tata!” Jai Mata Banerjee exclaimed excitedly. She always spoke as if rushing to catch two trains at a time.
The ambassador car carrying PM Mehmaan Singh and Mrs. Say-no Gandhi arrived at the gate. Say-no Gandhi kept on sitting, thinking of something leaving Mehmaan Singh horribly undecided whether to keep sitting inside or come out.
“Madam….. er….. shall I ….. get out?” Mehmaan Singh squeaked politely, as security men opened his side of the car door and expertly hauled half his posterior outside, ostensibly in an attempt to facilitate his smooth exit.
“Not yet, I mean. Please keep sitting until Royal Gandhi arrives.” Saying this, Mrs. Say-no Gandhi leaped out and was gone in six seconds. The security guards gently reposited Mr Singh’s posterior on the car’s back seat and closed the door quietly, leaving the PM to brood over his political destiny. Piranha Roy of UNDY-TV was watching all this with profound interest. He absentmindedly scratched his pretty assistant and got lost in cooking up an appropriate headline.
As Mrs Gandhi entered the hall, Shriek Sena Chief Bawal Thackray jumped up on his chair and began waving his stick threateningly.
“What’s the meaning of all this? I demand an answer!” Bawal Thackray hollered.
“What’s the matter Bawalsaheb? Why all this bawaal?”
“What? You are asking me what’s the matter? I demand an explanation from you as to why there is no representation of the Marathi Menus here?”
“Arre! Who cares about Maratha manoos? I said Maratha Menus…!”
“Now what’s that Sassy?” Say No Gandhi was visibly disturbed by the unexpected commotion.
Sassy Tharoor whipped out his Blackberry and was about to tweet something exotic when Bawalsaheb roared “Say No Gandhi has no idea of the Maratha Menus! She comes from an Italian background!” He turned to look at Shararat Pawar, who quickly nodded approvingly.
“I ask Say No Gandhi why there is no representation of the Maratha Menus in today’s lunch? I can see pasta and spaghetti, pizza and espresso, but no varli-wangi, wada-pao or aamti! Even these Bengalis have their items here – rasogolla, ledikeni, bipasha, mishti doi…..but no pitla bhakhri or misal-pao!”
“Or puran-poli” Shararat Pawar called out loudly before quickly hiding behind a pillar to avoid Say No Gandhi’s gaze.
“Yes! Puran-poli! Well said Shararat Pawar! You are a true Maratha!” Bawalsaheb ejaculated happily.
Purono Mukherjee intervened “Boaal shaheb…this is not feyar! Eu kanot call Bipasha as phood aaitem! She is aawar belaabhed idol. Eu kan eet ledikeni and doi….bat kan eu eet Bipasha? Aaithar eu do not know tha besiks or eu habb gonn compleetely mad!”
Bawal Thackeray turned around, eyed Purono Mukherjee viciously and turned his attention to Akela Adveni, who was just about to sneak into the toilet. “Advaniji…don’t you have anything to say?”
“Advaniji, I’m asking that don’t you have anything to say in this matter?”
“Uff….that old coot is again hankering after Jinnah…Akela ji, if you do not stop taking Jinnah’s name, I’ll ask my Shriek Sainiks to lock that loo!” Bawalsaheb shrieked.
“Arre waaah! Lock that loo? Bawalsaheb…..get your house in order first. You couldn’t stop your own nephew Naraaj Thackeray from pinching taps from your loo right under your nose….lock that loo! Baap ka raaj hai! Don’t forget that my men in Mumbai can lock you in the loo too…huh!” Akela Advani thundered and ran into the toilet at break-neck speed, clutching his dhoti. People didn’t call him the I-run Man for nothing.