Humor - My Brother Runs For Office
With the elections just over, my memory was pulled back to a day some years ago….
It came as a surprise to all of us in the family when my brother Raman announced that he would run for a seat in the Indian parliamentary elections. In his late forties, Raman is an uncomplicated, straightforward, peace-loving man. He dabbles in the family business. A sedentary life, coupled with an avid and abiding interest in his wife Kamala’s culinary brilliance, has made him obese and singularly spheroid.
“You’re not serious, are you?” asked Kamala, in disbelief.
“Of course, I’m serious. And, why not?” demanded my brother.
“You’re going to be an Independent candidate, right?” I guessed.
“No, certainly not,” Raman replied.
“Ah, yes. How could you be, you are not that popular,” I laughed.
“Stop having a dig at me,” Raman countered, glaring at me, “I’m a well-known figure in our part of the city.”
“You mean you have a well-known figure.”
‘It’s politics I’m entering, not the sports arena. And, I know that I have captured the hearts of the people.”
“But don’t you think it is more important to capture booths?” asked Arun, Raman’s teenaged son.
“Well, and who do you think is going to give you a ticket?” I taunted.
“Party X, of course.”
“Party X!” my father cried, incredulously. “But only two days ago you were decrying their leader, branding him as an anti-nationalist, and as a man without vision!”
“That was two days ago. Things have changed now. He is the only man fit enough to…”
“…steer the country into a bright and prosperous future,” Kamala finished.
“How do you know all this?” Raman said, visibly pleased.
“Oh, that’s nothing. A budding MP’s wife ought to be familiar with some of the clichés.”
“How do you propose to get nominated, Appa?” asked Arun. “You have never done anything like this before!”
“I shall fall at the leader’s feet, and offer my services to the party.”
“But, who wants your services? The party wants your money and muscle, and you have neither,” I said.
“That’s a point you have to consider,” said father, smiling at me in the ‘I totally understand what you mean, son,’ way.
Raman was undeterred. “I shall offer to go on a fast.”
“You, on a fast!” cried his wife, shocked, in the midst of a chorus of “Hear, hear,” from the rest of the family.
“I must say it’s a jolly good idea so far as your looks are concerned.” I remarked, trying to mask my mirth. “But, what are you going to fast for?”
“I wish to show them that I am capable of fasting – meaning making supreme sacrifices – if the need arose.”
“Will it be an indefinite fast?” asked Kamala.
“Well…er…uh…well, to begin with, I shall make it a four-hour fast…”
“Which means, I suppose that you will begin after a hearty breakfast, and wind up in time for lunch. Capital idea!” I said.
“OK, now let’s assume that Party X rejects you,” father challenged.
“No problem, I shall seek the feet of Party Y’s leader,” Raman said, undaunted. I could see the incipient politician burgeoning in my brother.
“And go through the same strategy, I suppose?” asked father.
“Without doubt,” asserted Raman.
“Um…what are your views on the noon-meals-scheme for schoolchildren, and the Nehru Rozgar Yojana?” asked father.
“What Nehru Rozgar Yojana? Anyway, that will depend entirely on which party leader I’m talking to,” said Raman, without batting an eyelid.
“Have you ever thought about ways to tackle some of the burning problems facing our constituency – water logging in the monsoon, inefficient drinking water distribution – to name just two?”
“Why not?” all of us cried, in unison.
“Because I’ve not yet become an MP.”
“But assume that you are elected,” I said.
“Oh, then I will have so many important matters to sort out. Do you honestly believe that I shall have the time for petty issues?”
“You are elected!” the family pronounced, unanimously.
Vasanth, a Ph.D. in Zoology and a former scientist in the Zoological Survey of India, is currently a Software Developer. He has authored a book of poems titled - 'Smiles and Tears'
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