03 February 2014 National The Secret Diary of

Mani Shankar Aiyar

I will do my little bit, organising a Modi tea club at my own coffee drinking constituency, Mayiladuthurai!
Mani Shankar Aiyar
Illustration by Sorit
Mani Shankar Aiyar

I wanted to do something good to someone and I am misunderstood. Take the most recent case, Narendra Modi and his teaboy background where I offered generous tips to him to serve tea at the Congress office. Mind you, I had in mind not Sri Lankan, Darjeeling or Chinese tea but brands closer to his heart, from his own ‘developed state’, like Especial, Masala, Badshah, Ukalo and so on. The Congress office will be generous with supplies of crockery, two or three saucers with each cuppa, six or seven with every large cup of Badshah tea. When I made that statement, I was thinking of Marlon Brando playing a Japanese servant-cum-teaboy in the famous book-cum-play-cum-movie Tea House of the August Moon. Didn’t I put Modi in such elevated company like Brando? Why should BJP stalwarts like Rajnath Singh or Arun Jaitley get upset?

Advertisement opens in new window

In fact, I should have broadened my statement and added that Modi should serve tea in the BJP and aam aadmi offices too. Can you visualise delicate tea drinking ceremonies at the BJP office hosted by charming, kim­ono-clad Meenakshi, Nirmala, Smriti, Kiron with some help from Shaina N.C. who is yet to decide if she belongs to fashion shows, five-star parties or the TV shows where she screams “Rajdeep, Rajdeep!”, getting her throat dry in the process. Shaina could also design extra large kimonos for Meena­kshi. NaMo’s Especial tea would help her. After all, it will be “Tea! Thou soft, thou sober, sage and venerable liquid...from female tongue-running, smile- soothing, heart-opening, wink-tippling cordial....”

NaMo’s tea will be different in other ways. It will not be ‘tea and sympathy’ but will be substituted by ‘tea and anger’, ‘tea and contempt’, ‘tea and abuse’ and the incomparable Sardar tea, enriched with development. The NaMo chai will tickle the palate....

Advertisement opens in new window

Our galaxy of stars would enjoy such tea. The new recruit Salman Khan would remove his shirt and snarl famous Hindi film dialogues (“Don’t angry me”) at those who hold Modi responsible for the Godhra riots. In another corner, Kiran Bedi will announce that if NaMo continued to serve such heavenly tea, she would do a rethink on whether she would vote only for Modi but not the BJP. While promoting ‘NaMo tea’ at the Fat Cat jamboree at Davos, columnist Tavleen Singh would predict such a tea would boost the Indian economy and make Modi an international figure. With so much at stake, why should the BJP stalwarts be upset with me for my suggestion? I will do my little bit, organising a Modi tea club at my own coffee drinking constituency, Mayiladuthurai!

The Mumbai-based satirist is the creator of ‘Trishanku’; E-mail your secret diarist: vgangadhar70 AT gmail.com

  • Comments (3)

Post a Comment

You are not logged in, To comment please / Register
or use
Next Story : Bombay Diary
Download the Outlook ​Magazines App. Six magazines, wherever you go! Play Store and App Store


A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

or just type initial letters