Why Dr Ram Lal Was Not Made RBI Governor
Satire

Why Dr Ram Lal Was Not Made RBI Governor

The inside dope on why Gajendra Chauhan's soul-brother got the job instead.

By Vivek Kaul

Published on :

This is a sequel to the piece that originally appeared here.

It’s late evening on Raisina Hill.

The finance minister (FM) is in a very relaxed mood. He has just finished his role as the bureau chief and headline management that comes with it, for the day.

His peon Dr Ram Lal has been offered the post of the governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Ram Lal is ecstatic. His PhD, on the history of the RBI and why RBI chiefs quit before the end of their term, will finally be put to some good use, he thinks.

The FM is just about to gobble up the famous aaloo parantha from Paranthewaali Gali, which Ram Lal has just got for him, when his phone rings.

The Great Leader is calling.

“Who is this Ram Lal you are about to appoint as RBI governor?” the Greater Leader asks.

“He is my peon Sir,” replied the FM. “Nice chap. Unlike Patel, always says yes to everything.”

“Oh.”

“Yes Sir. You will like him.”

“But I am told he has a PhD in Economics?”

“Yes Sir.”

“Then why is he a peon?”

“Well Sir,” replied the FM, “You know what is the state of PhDs in India. He had taken your advice after doing a PhD and used to sell pakodas in front of the south Block.”

“Ah a real practitioner of pakodanomics?”

“Yes Sir. One day I was passing by and my driver suggested that I sample his pakodas.”

“And?”

“They were very delicious Sir,” replied the FM. “He still gets them for me on Fridays.”

“Get to the point.”

“So, I had his pakodas. Heard his sob story. And offered him a job as a peon in my office.”

“Oh.”

“Yes Sir. Now he makes pakodas exclusively for me. The last time I had even offered them to Patel, when he had come to meet me.”

“Oh. Then?”

“Well, Patel got loose motions after eating them. After that, he didn’t attend office for a week. He thought I had knowingly fed him some stale pakodas.”

“Did you?”

“Yes Sir,” replied the FM with a chuckle, “And then on Monday he quit.”

“That was wicked.”

“Thank you, Sir.”

“What about Dr Patra? Can we appoint him?”

“He is a dentist Sir.”

“Oh. But he still has a Dr before his name.”

“Yes Sir. But we need someone to shout on news TV channels in the evening. We can’t let go of him.”

“But I am worried about this Ram Lal.”

“Dr Ram Lal Sir.”

“Yes. That only.”

“But why are you worried Sir? He just says yes to everything I ask.”

“Rajan had a spine. Patel didn’t have one initially but developed one later. These PhDs are very risky.”

“Then what shall we do Sir?” asked the FM.

“Get me a non-PhD.”

“Who Sir?”

“What about that Chauhan fellow?”

“Which one?”

Arre, that actor who was in the original Mahabharata serial.”

“That one? The one we sent to the Poona Film Institute.”

“Yes, that one.”

“But he is an actor Sir.”

“So?” asked the Great Leader. “The RBI Governor’s role needs a good actor.”

“A good actor?”

“I mean, all he has to do is a press conference every three months, where he has to smile at regular intervals, crack a few jokes and pass on the tough questions to his deputies. For the easier ones he can just keep saying, our mandate is to keep inflation low.”

“Sir talking about press conferences…”

“Let’s not go there,” said the Great Leader getting touchy.

“Okay Sir.”

“Acha, what about that Das fellow?” asked the Great Leader. “That notebandi bureaucrat?”

“But Sir he has got an MA in history…”

“Ah that’s good. Guess he will know very well the history of RBI governors who do not cooperate with the government.”

“Yes Yes,” replied the FM.

“Where is he these days?”

“Outside my office only Sir,” replied the FM. “Turns up every day asking for a job.”

“Oh. We didn’t give him one after he retired?”

“No Sir. We were keeping the seat warm for Hasmukh bhai’s retirement. But he didn’t take it.”

“Haan, he wanted to start a yoga class. Bahut samjhaya usko,” said the Great Leader.

 “Anyway get this Das fellow and the Chauhan fellow into my office in half an hour.”

*****
30 minutes later. Somewhere above the Lok Kalyan Marg Metro station.

Das walks into the Great Leader’s office and sees someone looking exactly like him sitting there already.

He is bewildered at what was happening.

The Great Leader and the FM start to laugh.

“Who’s he?” asks Das.

“He is Chauhan,” the FM replies.

“But why does he look just like me?”

“Oh, he has put on your get up,” the Great Leader replies. “He is an actor.”

“I am just channelizing all my energy into playing you,” says Chauhan. “This is the role of my life. I feel all my life I have been working towards just this.”

“But why?” asks Das.

“Why don’t you explain,” says the Great Leader, looking towards the FM.

“This is the master plan. We want to appoint you as the governor of the RBI.”

“Oh really” asks a very excited Das.

“Yes. But we will always have Chauhan ready in your get up.”

“Why?”

“Oh. Simply because if you threaten to quit at any point of time or do your own thing, we will simply install him as you.”

Das faints.

******

30 minutes later. Somewhere above the Lok Kalyan Marg Metro station.

Everyone has gone home for the day. The Great Leader is watching his favourite movie Don.

The movie has just started to play, and a police inspector is replacing the real Don who is dead, with a fake one in the gang.

The Great Leader is watching the scene and rubbing his white beard in great admiration. If it weren’t for these movies, where would he get his ideas from.

kyunki Don ka pakdana mushkil hi nahi namumkin hai”.

 *****

Next morning. Outside South Block.

Ram Lal is back to his original business.

Pakode le pakode. Garam garam pakode.”

(Vivek Kaul is the author of the Easy Money trilogy. On most days he makes a living writing on finance and economics. Occasionally, when he doesn’t he understand what is happening in the world around him, he writes satire.)

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