Above: Illustration by Anthony Lawrence
~By Dilip Bobb
There are those who call Narendra Modi a polarising force, creating divisions for electoral gain. Whether true or not, one area where this is evident is in growing differences between husbands and wives on Modi’s contribution and impact. A typical conversation between a believer wife and a non-believer husband can get awkward and confusing. Here’s one.
Wife: I just love the PM, I mean look at his concern for the people; he is now asking them to stay off Pot.
Husband: Actually, he was referring to Potato, Onions and Tomatoes, but he has mastered the art of clever acronyms.
Wife: That means he was expressing concern for poor housewives and their daily budgets….
Husband: Actually he was addressing farmers and their MSP.
Wife: MSP? Like in that movie that Akshay Kumar has made? See how caring a person he is…
Husband: Actually, it means Minimum Support Price.
Wife: Like the monthly allowance you give me? Anyway, that should make farmers happy, like the rest of us…
Husband: Farmers are not exactly laughing all the way to the bank.
Wife: Talking about laughter challenge, why was that horrid woman laughing while the PM was talking in Parliament. Most disrespectful. I hate her. He was right; we haven’t heard such demonic laughter since the Ramayana was aired.
Husband: Obviously he does not watch saas bahu serials.
Wife: But he is so concerned about women and their precious ornaments. Did you hear what he said in Tripura? Women should switch to wearing hiras. He’s a real diamond in the rough. Husband: It was another of his convoluted acronyms—Highways, I-Ways, Roadway and Airways. It’s so difficult keeping up with these slogans and acronyms he comes up with. He had earlier coined ROAD.
Wife: Surely that is different from a highway.
Husband: (wearily) Not really, Modi’s ROAD stood for Responsibility, Ownership, Accountability and Discipline.
Wife: Wonderful, no wife could ask more of their husbands. Or their government. At least we have no scams.
Husband: (more wearily) He had an acronym for that as well which he used during the UP elections—it stood for Samajwadi, Congress, Akhilesh and Mayawati. It can get really confusing.
Wife: Well, there’s no denying he is a game changer
Husband: Sorry, he’s changed that as well. He says he’s not a name changer but an aim changer. Go figure.
Wife: Aim changer is wonderful, it’s called raising ambition levels. Our sons can look forward to a bright future.
Husband: Yes, selling pakodas, which is what the PM says about creating jobs.
Wife: I thought we were preparing them for the IT sector?
Husband: (gnashing his teeth): He’s changed that as well. It’s now IT+IT, Indian Talent plus India Tomorrow. How does one keep track of these things?
Wife: Let me tell you, among all my morning walk friends he’s a great hit.
Husband: What if told you that his version of HIT is Highways, Information-ways, Transmissionways. It’s a variation on HIRA and ROAD. It changes with the audience and the occasion.
Wife: You men are all the same; you refuse to see the wood for the trees. Look at the game changing reforms he has initiated—Notebandi, GST….
Husband: Do you have any idea of the real impact of GST?
Wife: Yes, I was watching TV and he called it Good, Simple Tax.
Husband: That was a year ago. Now GST has become Growing Strong Together.
Wife: That’s probably because things are changing so fast. We are no longer in the jam we were in…
Husband: (even more wearily) I just don’t have the heart to tell you, but Modi has decided JAM stands for Jan Dhan-Aadhar-Mobile.
Wife: My walker friend does say that he’s changing the vocabulary of the country.
Husband: As in ABCD? Before you say anything, ABCD in Modispeak stands for Adarsh, Bofors, CWG and Damad. It also stands for Avoid, Bypass, Confuse, Delay. It’s left me confused.
Wife: You know your blood pressure shoots up when you get stressed. Baba Ramdev has a cure for that.
Husband: Yes, I’ve tried it, It’s called Namo, the panacea for all ills.
Wife: Well, you really look unwell. What are the symptoms?
Wife: I have some anti-depression pills.
Husband: No, SAD as in Serious Acronym Disorder.
Above: Illustration by Anthony Lawrence