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Over the last few days, a lot of my friends, all pseudo, some secular, had been telling me that they would leave the country if Narendra Modi became the prime minister. That moment is here. But where can they go? Not to the United States as that country has this draconian law that you have to pay your household help. Besides, look how they have treated one of our luminaries, Rajat Gupta, who was once such an insider. Not to Russia either because their leader is already stronger, more autocratic and annexation-happy. And no one gets to see Pussy Riot. Great Britain is out as well because DNA testing has now proved that Prince William’s great, great, great, great, great grandmother Eliza Kewark was from Surat. Ireland is out of the question as abortion is illegal there—though I wonder how many of my friends will face this turmoil.
Germany is no option because what it was once is exactly what they fear India will become now. Italy? Its marines just might shoot at them. In Switzerland, you can’t go laughing all the way to the bank. China has to be ruled out because Times Now there is in Mandarin. How will they keep up with how Modi is ravaging their motherland? Also, they won’t get gobi Manchurian there. Japan could have been a possibility but then Shinzo Abe is Modi’s idol. Greece is tragic, Spain is a lot of bull now, Holland is stoned, Sweden suicidal, Iceland freezing. In Greenland, the blizzards may kill them, in Canada, boredom will.
America is out, as you have to pay your help. Russia already has a stronger leader and no pussy riot.
There is no point in going to Pakistan as it will soon be part of India. Ditto for many SAARC countries, as they are headed for Akhand Bharat. Nepal is out as it’s already a Hindu nation. No point rowing across to Sri Lanka—you might land in jail—and Sethusamudram is off anyway. Malaysia is tricky as its planes take off but don’t land. Bhutan’s happiness may prove too much after so much despair here. Istanbul may make their hearts stone-cold because Orhan Pamuk says there’s too much ‘huzun’ there. Australians are racist, New Zealanders sheepish. Kyrgyzstan always comes below India on any parameter. They can’t go to Israel because it’s going to bomb Iran and they can’t go to Iran because the Makhmalbafs have stopped making wise, heartwarming, beguiling films. Brazil may have been THE place, but they don’t have IPL there. Argentina has 700 per cent inflation. Also, Paulo Coelho is compulsory reading there.
Somalia has only pirated CDs, Kenya is dangerous for mall-hopping. In Nigeria, you can’t send your girls to school. Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Congo, Tunisia, Botswana, Angola, Cameroon, Gambia, Zambia, Namibia, Liberia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Senegal, Ghana, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Sudan, Morocco, Lesotho are also no-nos, for obvious reasons.
So, to maul Dorothy Parker’s immortal Resume:
Planes crash, ships sink; Foreign shores? Keep away.
Who knows, Modi may blink; You might as well stay.
Satish Padmanabhan is features editor, Outlook; E-mail your columnist: satish [AT] outlookindia [DOT] com