Monday, August 22, 2011

The Dharmasthala Mahatme-3

Act II
The Scene I: Place: New Delhi
(A meeting of the BJP high command is in progress. The agenda - the Karnataka affairs - in the background of Yeddy’s Dharmasthala challenge)
Gadkari: Of late this Karnataka affair is taking most of my time. I am really fed up with this ‘Yedurappa’ Tamasha. What is this Dharmasthala challenge now?
Ananthakumar (AK): I agree Gadkari Sab is new to this Tamasha. But sir, to appreciate the problem, you should first learn to pronounce the names of Kannadigas properly! You are calling Yeddy (Yeddyurappa) as Yedurappa! I even saw you mispronouncing his name on the national television, sir!
(There is smile on the faces of all the members. Gadkari looks amused!)
Jaitley: I agree as an advocate it is always very important to mention the correct names of the persons. By the bye what does ‘Yedurappa’ mean in Kannada? Please tell us AK.
AK: It actually means the person representing the ‘opposite party’! I don’t know whether the President is trying to convey a message that Yeddy is as good as an opposition leader as far as the high command is concerned, by calling him with this name!
Gadkari: Perhaps you are partly right AK! Anyways let me stand corrected. In future I will call him simply as Yeddy. That saves complications for me! Let us come to the topic of discussion now.
AK: Sir, Your own (Marathi Manoos) Sachin Tendulkar had also visited Dharmasthala on his way to another famous temple at Subrahmanya!
Naidu: Dharmasthala is a famous pilgrimage centre in Karnataka. The Lord Manjunatha is known as a very powerful God. Persons who tell lies while taking oath in front of the God are sure to be cursed with some misfortune in their life. They will do so at their peril only. The curse may continue for generations!
Jaitley: Naturally it is the last place for a politician to go!
Gadkari: I agree with Jaitley. Let us admit it. You cannot run a political party by telling truth always! In fact that is why Mahatma Gandhi had advised the winding up of the Congress Party immediately after independence!
AK: Sir, the topic is getting diverted again! I do not know why Sushmaji is not interested in Karnataka affairs of late. She definitely is capable of offering some advice.
Sushma: My exposure was more to the affairs of the Bellary district. But now it is as good as a minefield! Don’t drag me there again! Anyways, my advice is let Yeddy avoid this Tamasha. Let him not play a political game with the Lord Manjunatha! It appears quite a risky proposition!
Gadkari: I think the unanimous decision now is to advise Yeddy to stop this Tamasha. Let me convey this to him. Of late he has become very arrogant and is acting quite tough even with us!
(The meeting concludes)

Scene II: Place: Dharmasthala
(There is a huge gathering of pilgrims near the temple of the Lord Manjunatha. The topic of discussion among them is naturally about the Yeddy v/s Kumaraswamy oath taking ceremony on the 26th of June. Some of the pilgrims are seeking the opinion of the temple staff in the matter)
Pilgrim A: I think Yeddy is taking a huge risk. He is mixing religion with politics.
Pilgrim B: What about Kumaraswamy? Is he not doing the same thing?
Pilgrim C: Oh! It seems you two belong to opposite camps! Let us not talk politics here. We should think of the sanctity of this great pilgrim centre and the Lord Manjunatha.
Pilgrim D: You are right. I have heard several stories in the past. In fact I have seen a family from our village suffer serious financial losses. The head of the family had lent money to a farmer and lied about the actual dues. He took a false oath in front of the Lord. That was it. His business went Kaput (bankrupt) hardly within a year thereafter! Now his family is on the roads!
Pilgrim A: That is exactly why I am against Yeddy’s challenge! Do you understand now? (Looks at Pilgrim B menacingly!)
Pilgrim B: That is exactly why I am against Kumaraswamy’s acceptance of challenge! Do you understand now? (Looks at Pilgrim A menacingly!)
Pilgrim C: It seems you two have already started the oath taking business on behalf of your leaders! Let us stop it at this stage. Let us join the queue for the Darshan of the Lord.
(The crowd disperses and joins the queue)

Scene III: Place: Yeddy’s Home Office – ‘Krishna’ in Bangalore
(Yeddy is engaged in a long conversation with a religious leader. His secretary is waiting for him to finish the call. But there is no sign of him finishing! All sorts of physical expressions of the secretary that there is some urgent matter to be discussed fail to attract the attention of the CM. His patience is running out. But he is aware of Yeddy’s short temper and the slapping incidents. He keeps his cool. At last Yeddy keeps the receiver down)
Secretary: Sir, there was an urgent call from New Delhi. The President of the Party Nitin Gadkari wanted to speak to you.
Yeddy: I don’t know what the issue is now. Hope he does not advise me to withdraw from the challenge at this stage. Already all the religious leaders are asking me to withdraw.
Secretary: Sir, may I put you on the line now?
Yeddy: Okay.  Go ahead.
(The secretary connects the line)
Gadkari: Hello! How are you Yedurappaji? I am sorry I got your name wrong again! How are you Yeddy…..ji?  
Yeddy: I am fine, sir. How are you, sir?
Gadkari: I am fine. I am referring to your Dharmasthala challenge. The high command has unanimously decided that you should desist from this oath taking business Yeddy…..ji.
Yeddy: But sir you know this Kumaraswamy who is after my blood. I want to teach him a perfect lesson to remember, sir.
Gadkari: But the party does not want you to mix politics with the religion. Please avoid this showdown. This is in the best interest of the party and you as well, Yeddy…..ji.
(The conversation comes to an abrupt end. Yeddy’s mood is off. He curses the high command. But concludes that it may not be advisable to go ahead considering the advice of the religious heads and the high command as well)
Scene IV: Place: Dharmasthala
(It is the early morning in the pilgrim town. The CM Yeddy has arrived at the town along with a group of ministers, MLAs and MLCs by a train from Bangalore. He is staying at Sri Sannidhi, a VVIP guest house. Kumaraswamy has arrived in the midnight and is staying at Shanthi Vana, another guest house. There is heavy security and no other pilgrims are allowed inside the temple till the VIP guests complete their Darshan and their agenda. The proceedings are kept a secret. By the evening the details are out)
Pilgrim A: You know what happened inside the temple today.
Pilgrim B: I have no clue. Please tell me.
Pilgrim A: It seems your Yeddy chickened out from the challenge! He merely offered prayers to the Lord and sought his blessings for the people of Karnataka.
Pilgrim B: What about Kumaraswamy?
Pilgrim A: He stated his case against Yeddy with the words – This is the truth….the truth…the truth.
Pilgrim B: Okay. But that does not prove that Yeddy did not speak the truth. Am I right?
Pilgrim C: It seems you two want to fight it out on behalf of your leaders again. Please stop it. Let us ask Pilgrim D, who appears to be an authority in the matter.
Pilgrim D: Let me tell you it is not appropriate to invite somebody for a challenge in front of the Lord and then simply withdraw. At least one has to offer some Tappu-Kanike (penalty) to the Lord. Yeddy has been successful so far in meeting various challenges to his post. But I suspect he may have to face the consequences for failing to take the oath. Have you seen the Yakshagana Prasanga called the Dharmasthala Mahatme?
Pilgrims A & B: Yes. We have seen the Prasanga even as kids. It is not for nothing that the Lord Manjunatha is known as a powerful God! Let us move in now to the temple and pray the Lord.
(The pilgrims move to the temple)

The Final Scene: Place: Mande Kolu village in Puttur
(Yeddy has tendered his resignation on 28th July in the face of indictment in the illegal mining report submitted by the Lokayukta Justice Santosh N Hegde. D V Sadananda Gowda hailing from Puttur has been chosen as his successor on 3rd August 2011. A Bhootha Kola event is being held at Mande Kolu, the village from which the new CM hails. During the offering of the Bali, the Bhootharaya appears on one of the persons. It is followed by a dialogue of the Poojari with the Bhootharaya)
Poojari: Oh! Bhootharaya! How come you have appeared all of a sudden!
Bhootharaya: I have kept my promise to the people of Puttur Taluk. I had earlier foretold that a person from this taluk will become the CM of Karnataka.
Poojari: Your prediction was 100 percent right! Our beloved DVS has become the CM of Karnataka.
Bhootharaya: My blessings are with DVS. Let me go back now.
((The person on whom the Bhootharaya had appeared collapses all of a sudden. The crowd raises slogans in the name of DVS)
A V Krishnamurthy
22nd August 2011

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Dharmasthala Mahatme-2

Scene IV: Place: Residence of KS
(Enter Deve Gowda (DG), the former CM and the father of KS. KS gets up and touches his father’s feet. The two settle down in their seats. The crowd outside the home keeps shouting slogans in honour of the former PM)
KS: Mother was here just a few minutes back, dad. I don’t understand why you two are so upset about my decision to accept the challenge of Yeddy.
DG: I am not here to play on your sentiments like your mother, son! I am only worried whether you are politically correct in taking on Yeddy in this manner.
KS: You are a seasoned politician, dad. You know the necessity of being in limelight! One has to be in the news always if he aims at the highest seat in the government. Is it not, dad?
DG: There are no two opinions on that count, son. You are trying to be smart and one step ahead of your daddy! Am I right, son?
KS: Thank you, dad. I know the PM’s Chair came in search of you on account of the circumstances prevailing at that time! There was little effort from your side. But I cannot expect it to happen in my case as well! Am I right, dad?
DG: Sure. I know that. I also know but for the revolt raised by you against me, I would not have permitted you to join hands with BJP. I agree you saw the opportunity and gripped it with both hands at the right time!
KS: You are right, dad. You know I am not satisfied with a mere cabinet minister post like my brother Revanna. I always set my sails high, dad!
DG: I appreciate your high ambition, son. But what I am worried about is the act of your taking oath in front of the Lord Manjunatha. You know our entire family is God-fearing. In fact I spend a major part of my time in conducting Homas and other religious events!
KS: I know the Lord Manjunatha is a very powerful God. But I am quite sure that I am speaking only truth in front of him. You can be rest assured, dad. Kindly go home and take rest. I promise to call on you immediately on return from Dharmasthala along with the Prasadam, dad.
(KS touches the feet of his father again. DG starts leaving the place. The slogan shouting by the crowd reaches the top as the car of DG moves out)

Scene V: Place: The Netherworld (Yama Loka)
(It is an assembly of all the ex-Chief Ministers (CMs) of Karnataka who are dead and are presently at the abode of the Lord Yama Dharma Raja. The meeting is held under the Chairmanship of Jayachamaraja Vodeyar, the former king of Mysore and the first Governor of Karnataka. The CMs present include K C Reddy, Kengal Hanumanthaiah, Kadidal Manjappa, S Nijalingappa, B D Jatti, S R Kanti, Veerendra Patil, D Devaraj Urs, R Gundu Rao, Ramakrishna Hegde, S R Bommai and J H Patel).
JC: All of you are aware under what circumstances this meeting has been called. The political situation in Karnataka has reached its nadir. We do know we are just unable to do anything that could bring back the same out of the morass to which it has shrunk of late. But we can definitely have a discussion among us and pray for the welfare of the State.
K C Reddy: I was the first CM of Karnataka (Mysore). Those were the heady times with the country having just attained independence. All of us were interested in the development of the State despite our personal differences. The State was then known for the Gold Mines of Kolar. I understand the State is now known more for the notorious Mining Scam in the district of Bellary!
Kengal: I built the Vidhana Soudha, which keeps my memory in the heart of Kannadigas till today. I ensured that every paisa spent on the project was accounted for. I understand presently all government projects are awarded only after the contractor agrees to plough back a part of the contract amount to the coffers of the minister concerned with major portion going to the CM’s family!
Kadidal: I was the CM only for a short period. I was often called the Malnad Gandhi. The word corruption was unheard of in our times!
SN: I was the CM for three different periods. Even though the Sharavathi Karma Kanda (the Linganamakki hydro project) is alleged to have taken place in my times, there was no personal allegation against me. I carried the respect of Kannadigas even after my retirement.
Jatti: Mine was a corruption-free regime. So much so that some people used to say no developmental activities took place during my times!
Kanti: My Chief Ministership was only a stopgap arrangement. I was expected to hold the post till SN got elected to the Assembly (He had been defeated in the Hosadurga constituency) through a bye-election. In fact I was called as Bharatha (SN being the Shri Rama)!
SN: Kanti is right. He handed over the post to me after I won the bye-election from Bagalkot. He played the role of Bharatha to perfection! There was more. Veerendra (Patil) and Ramakrishna (Hegde) were called Lava and Kusha by the Kannadigas! They were like my sons who rose to become CMs later.
JC: (Intervening) I like the way the discussions are being diverted to interesting topics! Please carry on. I know some of you were very flamboyant! I am referring to Gundu Rao, Hegde and Patel!
Veerendra: Sir, you are right. The three were quite flamboyant indeed! As for me, I was known as an able administrator on both the occasions that I occupied the chair. I tolerated no nonsense.
Urs: I played the role of a social reformer. I was known as the strong man of Karnataka. In fact it was during my time that the State was renamed as Karnataka.
RG: I was the youngest CM of Karnataka. As for flamboyancy, I remember I had inaugurated a swimming pool in Bangalore by jumping into the pool!
Hegde: That was nothing Gundu! You had done much more! I will disclose them on some future occasion. This may not be the right time.
RG: If both of us start speaking, the definition of flamboyancy itself may change! Let us avoid it now. But let me tell you. We two were nothing compared to (JH) Patel! Let us hear him!
Hegde: I agree there were allegations against me and my family (son-in-law). But they were like peanuts compared to the mining and other scams of the present day!
Patel: Gundu Rao is right! I agree I was the most flamboyant! The truth was that I never tried to hide it! I should admit that I got good company of Anant Nag whom I even made a Minister! Oh! Those were exciting times for me! I did enjoy the Chief Ministership! But let me tell you there was absolutely no corruption charge against me! My family members were totally kept out by me.
JC: That was great Patel! But let us conclude the meeting now. We will meet again to keep a track of the happenings in our beloved Karnataka.
(The meeting concludes with the singing of Nadageethe – Jai Bharatha Jananiya Tanu jathe……)
------- (To be continued)
A V Krishnamurthy
18th August 2011

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Dharmasthala Mahatme

The Prologue
The Chief Minister of Karnataka Yeddyurappa (Yeddy) has challenged Kumaraswamy (KS), the former CM, to take oath in front of the Lord Manjunatha in Dharmasthala that he (Yeddy) had tried to buy his silence for the graft charges against him. He has fixed June 27 as the date for taking the oath and has stated that he would take the oath that he had not made any such attempt. Kumaraswamy has accepted the challenge and has responded by stating that he would be in Dharmasthala by the evening of 26th June itself. The stage is set for a dramatic showdown at the famous pilgrim centre in the district of Dakshina Kannada.
The Scene I: Place: A Village near Puttur
A function called Bhootha Kola is being held to appease the Daivas. The yejaman of the family is offering the ‘Bali’ to the Gods, when one of the invitees suddenly starts behaving in an excited manner. The assembled crowd soon comes to know that the Bhootharaya is talking through him. The Poojari who is helping the Yejaman to offer the Bali takes upon himself the role of an interpreter. He starts the dialogue with the Bhootharaya.
Poojari: Oh! Bhootharaya! How come you have appeared all of a sudden? Are you not satisfied with the Bali being offered to you by the Yejaman?
Bhoothraya: I don’t have any complaints on that score. I am quite pleased with the Bali being offered to me.
Poojari: What then is the reason for you to appear before us? Please reveal it to us. Oh! The revered Bhootharaya!
Bhoothraya: I am here to announce some good news for the people of this Puttur taluk! Let me tell you….. (Stops talking all of a sudden!)
(The assembled crowd gets excited. The people start making guesses on what the good news could be. The crowd waits anxiously for the good news)
Poojari: We cannot wait to hear the good news anymore, Bhootharaya! Please enlighten us without any further delay.
Bhoothraya: I am here to inform all of you that a son of this soil is set to become the Chief Minister of Karnataka shortly!
Poojari: But Yeddyurappa is firmly in the seat. How is it possible?
Bhoothraya: You will come to know shortly. It is not for me to elaborate. I wish the people of Puttur all the best. I am leaving now……I will get back exactly after two months when the new CM takes charge!
(The person on whom the Bhootharaya had appeared collapses all of a sudden. The crowd is totally excited. All sorts of guesses are being made about the person who would be the new CM of the State)

Scene II: Place: Yeddy’s Home Office – ‘Krishna’ in Bangalore
(The Chief Minister’s (Yeddy’s) office at Krishna in Bangalore is as busy as a beehive. All telephone lines are engaged. People keep calling and visiting. Even the family members find it difficult to meet the CM)
CM: I am totally tired now. Hope there will be no more visitors today. (Asks the secretary not to allow any more visitors inside).
Secretary: Yes sir. But your daughters are expected here any time. They have been ringing up right from the morning to seek your appointment. I think they are here now.
CM: Okay. You let them in. I cannot refuse to meet my dear daughters.
(The three daughters – Arunadevi, Padmavati and Umadevi - rush in).
CM: What makes my darling daughters to troop in like this? What is the reason for your excitement? Tell me. Oh! My sweet ones!
Uma: We are here to offer you our moral support, dad!  We heard that you are visiting Dharmasthala to take oath in front of the Lord Manjunatha. We are sure you have always told truth and truth only, dad.
CM: Thank you dear ones. I knew my dear daughters will always stand by me. (I don’t know what happened to Raghavendra and Vijayendra! Where are they?)
Aruna: Uma is right, dad. We are here to support you. We are sure you will teach a right lesson to Kumaraswamy who had refused to handover the CM’s post to you as agreed, dad.
Padma: Having lost our dear mother, we feel you are both the mother and father to us, dad. Remember, we are always with you through thick and thin, dad!
Secretary (intervenes): Both Raghavendra and Vijayendra are here. May I let them in, sir?
CM: I knew they will be here. But they always lag behind their sisters in supporting their father! Of course, they are the first to take all sorts of favours from me! In fact most of my trouble comes from them!
Secretary: Sir, I am confused. What shall I do?
CM: Okay. You let them in. Let them also know their sisters are in the frontline to support me!
(Enter Raghavendra and Vijayendra)
Raghavendra: We have been waiting to meet you right from the morning, dad. But you were too busy. We are with you in your mission at Dharmasthala! Let us teach that ungrateful Kumaraswamy a fitting lesson, dad. (Looks at the sisters. “Oh! You three are already here! You manage to overtake us on all such occasions, as usual!”)
Vijayendra: Raghavendra is right. We are here to express our solidarity with you, dad!
CM: That is what I expect from you, sons. (I know you two have taken full advantage of my position. But then it is quite normal for the sons of all politicians in India! I cannot expect my sons to be different!)
(The family meeting ends in a cordial atmosphere)

Scene III: Place: The Residence of Kumaraswamy (KS)
(A large crowd has gathered near the residence. The telephone lines keep ringing. Inside the house KS is just having his morning coffee. The wife Anitha Kumaraswamy, the MD of Kasthuri Channel, is with him. The couple is engaged in a personal dialogue)
Anitha: I don’t know whether it was right on your part to accept the challenge from Yeddy. After all, the Dharmasthala Manjunatha is known as a very powerful God!
KS: You don’t worry. I am 100 percent sure on the allegation made by me about Yeddy that he had tried to buy my silence. I am sure even God Manjunatha will vindicate my stand!
Anitha: I do appreciate your courage. But have you taken the consent of your beloved father and mother? You are very well aware at this age they may not like any complications for their son.
KS: I can read out their minds. They have always supported me. Do you remember how dad came around when I first formed the Ministry with Yeddy as my deputy?
Anitha: Of course I remember. That was indeed a courageous revolt by you against your dad that ended amicably!
KS: Daddy always carries a soft corner for his sons! I knew that! You may announce in your Kasthuri Channel that I carry the support of my dad and mother!
Anitha: Okay I will go ahead. I have to leave now. I know it will be a very busy day for me as you can understand! (Leaves the residence in a hurry for her office).
(Enters Channamma, the mother of KS. KS gets up and touches his mother’s feet)
KS: Oh! My beloved mother! What makes you visit me in this early morning?
Mother: Don’t be naughty, my dear son! You sure know why I have rushed here!
KS: Why do you take such troubles mother? I would have called on you if only you had told me over phone.
Mother: Why are you after this Yeddy? You know he has always been a slippery customer. All your attempts to dislodge him from the CM’s chair have so far failed miserably! I don’t want you now to challenge him in front of the Lord Manjunatha.
KS: Don’t you worry, my dear mother! I can face that Yeddy anywhere in this world!
Mother: Okay. My best wishes are with you. Please take care of your health. You know you had a heart operation last year. I don’t want you to trouble my son-in-law (Dr. Manjunath, the Head of Jayadeva Hospital) again!
(Channamma leaves. Immediately afterwards the crowd near the residence starts shouting slogans. The news comes that Deve Gowda, the former PM and father of KS, is arriving shortly)
------- (To be continued)
A V Krishnamurthy
15th August 2011

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

I Don’t Know, Son!-17

The Plaintiff Turns a Defendant!
Son: The person who filed a PIL against the use of foul language in Amir Khan Production’s Delhi Belly in the Jabalpur High Court is finding himself in trouble, dad.
Father: How Come? Go on, son.
Son: The court has found that the person had submitted a pirated CD of the film as evidence, dad.
Father: Go on, son.
Son: The production company has not released the CD of the film so far and hence it was obvious that the CD submitted to the court was a pirated one, dad.
Father: Interesting. Go on, son.
Son: The court has now asked the petitioner to file an affidavit on how he acquired the CD and from where, dad!
Father: Go on, son.
Son: The production company is now thinking of initiating a piracy case against the petitioner, dad. He seems to be at the receiving end right now, dad!
Father: I don’t know, son!
Deputy Governor of RBI Talks Philosophy!
Son: “We must learn to live with (market) volatility”, said a news headline in the Deccan Herald dated 5th August 2011.
Father: Which philosopher made this statement? Go on, son.
Son: It was made by the RBY Deputy Governor K C Chakrabarty, dad!
Father: Oh! Go on, son.
Son: One would expect RBI to initiate some action as the watchdog of the Indian economy, dad. But Chakrabarty invariably puts his foot in his mouth on all such occasions as has been his practice so far, dad!
Father: Go on, son.
Son: As expected, the Governor D Subba Rao had to show him his place, dad. The RBI has since come out with a press release on 8th August 2011, dad.
Father: Go on, son.
Son: It says its immediate priority is to ensure that adequate rupee and foreign exchange liquidity are maintained in the domestic market, dad.
 Father: I don’t know, son!
S&P’s ‘Poor’ Arithmetic!
Son: Standard & Poor’s has downgraded the US credit rating to AA+ from AAA, dad.
Father: True. Go on, son.
Son: But the White House economic adviser has questioned the downgrading by the agency, dad. He says the rating agency stuck with its decision despite having made a $2 trillion mistake in its projections, dad!
Father: Go on, son.
Son: The adviser says Standard & Poor’s (S&P) has always been ‘poor’ in its arithmetic as was proved earlier in its rating of the mortgage securities that resulted in the derivatives crisis, dad!
Father: I don’t know, son!
The New Karnataka Cabinet Formula!
Son: The new Karnataka cabinet of D V Sadananda Gowda (DVS) almost appears like the old wine in a new bottle, dad.
Father: True. Go on, son.
Son:  Observers say it is based on a simple formula, dad.
Father: Like what? Go on son.
Son: The new Cabinet=The Old Yeddy Cabinet-Yeddy-Reddy+DVS, dad!
Father: I don’t know, son!
The Kodava Spirit!
Son: Datty, the wife of D V Sadananda Gowda, the new Karnataka CM, is a true Kodava (hailing from Coorg) woman, dad.
Father: Go on, son.
Son: She says she will not allow corrupt politicians/officials to come near her husband, dad! She wants him to have a clean slate, dad.
Father: Go on, son.
Son: When Yeddy was asked about her stand, he is reported to have told that it is quite OK for him, dad.
Father: Go on, son.
Son: He says he will take care of that ‘function’ as hitherto, dad!
Father: I don’t know, son!
The Real CM!
Son: Yeddy, the ex-CM of Karnataka, has ruled out the appointment of a Deputy Chief Minister as demanded by the faction headed by Jagdish Shettar, dad.
Father: Go on, son.
Son: He says there is already a Deputy CM in Karnataka, dad!
Father: How come? Go on, son.
Son: What Yeddy means is that he continues to be the real Chief Minister of Karnataka, dad!
Father: Oh! Go on, son.
Son: As per him, D V Sadananda Gowda is as good as a Deputy CM as Yeddy continues to be in the driving seat, dad!
Father: I don’t know, son!
A V Krishnamurthy
10th August 2011

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I Don’t Know, Son!-16

I Don’t Know, Son!-16
The novel Scheme!
Son: The Government of India has been choosing the Garden City of Mysore for launching its new schemes, dad. The city was the first to implement the AADHAAR scheme of Nandan Nilekhani. The city is also said to be getting ready to implement the cash subsidy scheme for the cooking gas consumers on a pilot basis, dad.
Father: True. Go on son.
Son: Not to be left behind, the Karnataka Government seems to have identified the city for the pilot project of a different kind, dad!
Father: Go on, son.
Son: The government has started issuing death certificates on a pilot basis, dad. The beauty of the scheme is that it is being delivered to the very person who is supposed to be dead, dad!
Father: Oh my God! Go on, son.
Son: The Times of India dated 29 July 2011 has published a news item stating that a gentleman called Narahari has been issued a death certificate by the KR Hospital in Mysore and the certificate was delivered to him in person, dad!
Father: Really? Go on, son.
Son: Several senior citizens of the city are now said to be thinking of using the facility and to keep their death certificate attached to their will so that the beneficiaries may claim their assets without any hassles upon their eventual death, dad!
Father: I don’t know, son!
The Joke Turns Serious!
Son: D Subba Rao, the Governor of RBI, often talks in lighter vein, dad.
Father: True. Go on, son.
Son: The other day he made a statement in a function that the ‘global financial crisis’ started immediately after he took charge, dad.
Father: Go on, son.
Son: Continuing the talk, he also said that he expected the crisis to end on completion of his term as Governor, dad!
Father: Interesting. Go on, son.
Son: The India Inc is said to have taken his statement seriously, dad! Now they say they are eagerly awaiting his term to end, dad!
Father: I don’t know, son!
The Mother’s Belief!
Son: On an earlier occasion the Governor (D Subba Rao) was getting embarrassed owing to the praises being showered on him by several dignitaries during an official function, dad.
Father: Go on, son.
Son: Finally it was the turn of Subba Rao to speak. He started the speech saying that it was good that his mother was not present on the occasion, dad.
Father: How come? Go on, son.
Son: He said that his mother had a tendency to believe all the stuff told in honour of her son, dad!
Father: I don’t know, son!
The Hierarchy Conscious Fish?
Son: The ex-CMD of ONGC, late Subir Raha, was an outstanding public sector executive, who detested sycophancy, dad.
Father: True. Go on, son.
Son:  Raha was earlier with the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) and he used to narrate an experience while he was posted at Haldia, dad.
Father: Go on, Son.
Son: The Chairman of IOC once came on an official visit to Haldia along with the General Manager and his deputy. All the three were taken on a fishing venture in the early morning, dad.
Father: Go on, Son.
Son: To their surprise, all the three got their catch within a couple of minutes, but the result was indeed curious, dad.
Father: Go on, son.
Son: The Chairman netted the biggest fish, the General Manager got the second biggest and the deputy the smallest, dad!
Father: Go on, son.
Son: Raha could not believe that the fishes were also aware of the hierarchy of their captors, dad! But he soon discovered that the administrative manager of the Haldia office had made the perfect arrangement, dad!  
Father: Go on, son.
Son: He had positioned three of his assistants in water who did their job as instructed, dad!
Father: I don’t know, son!
The Ninth Husband of Elizabeth Taylor!
Son: Professor Prasad  was addressing a conference at IIM Bangalore last year, dad.
Father: Go on, son.
Son: Prasad was the last person to come to the podium and the enlightened gathering had already heard the other distinguished speakers, dad.
Father: Go on, son.
Son: Quite understandably it was a tough call on Prasad to meet the high expectations of the audience who had heard the other famous speakers, dad.
Father: Go on, son.
Son: Prasad began by telling the audience that he was feeling like the ninth husband of Elizabeth Taylor on his first wedding night, dad!
Father: Interesting. Go on, son.
Son: He told them he knew exactly what he was supposed to do. But the question was whether he could make it different and interesting, dad!
Father: I don’t know, son!
A V Krishnamurthy
3rd August 2011