Friday, April 18, 2008


Real Estate developers in the country have started eyeing Parliament House in New Delhi; their argument; that since the House is empty most of the time, since opposition members stay away and since budgets and crucial bills are no longer being debated about anymore, the country might as well earn big bucks for itself by developing this prime property.

I found a famous builder in his Mercedes car just outside Parliament, he was looking at the historic building with unabashed interest. "A mall would be good here!" he muttered gleefully.

"A mall!" I shouted furious.

"Brawl Mall!" he said, "in loving memory of the violent fights and brawls that took place inside these walls!"

"Brawl Mall!" I exclaimed looking angrily at him, "How dare you! This is a sacred place!"

"So also will be the mall!" smiled the builder as he told me to sit in the car and asked his driver to turn the air-conditioner higher. "It will have all the things Parliamentarians want today!"

"Like what?" I asked sinking into his cushioned seats.

"Long corridors and passages, which will be just like Delhi streets, where they can protest, burn effigies, hold morchas and start communal riots!"

"That would make them quite happy!" I agreed reluctantly.

"There will be a private airport on the terrace of the top floor!"


"To go on their foreign junkets whenever they feel like going or their wives feel like doing some Bangkok or London shopping! Here they can hold up a flight for however long they want!"

"You have really studied our worthy leaders!" I said.

"When one makes a business proposal one studies his customer well!" said the shrewd businessman as he got out of his limousine, walked into the building and exclaimed, "Blank walls!"

"Blank walls?" I asked.

"Thousands and thousands of square feet of blank walls in the mall, where they can put up all their pictures; they love seeing their photos gracing any blank place, and I vow to give them that privilege!" said the builder putting his hand to his chest and making an oath, "I may even give them parking place outside to park their own statues!"

"I marvel at your craftiness!" I said.

"When one makes a business proposal one studies his."

"I know, I know," I said hastily, "I heard that before, so tell me when do you start work on this mall?"

"After the next elections, " said the builder shaking his head gleefully again, "I've got the sanction of all the present opposition members, and after next year's election when the present treasury MP's sit in the opposition I will get their signatures too..!"

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