Wednesday, December 6, 2023
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A House Divided

A House Divided
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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?

Husband:  Sad.

Wife: I have some anti-depression pills.

Husband: No, SAD as in Serious Acronym Disorder.


Above: Illustration by Anthony Lawrence

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