The Aam Aadmi Party sweeping Delhi has come as a breath of fresh air in today’s murky politics. It is to be celebrated and cherished. But as the euphoria of the victory settles, and as you, the genteel folks of Delhi mull over it in the cold light of day, you might be left wondering what you have got yourself into.
Imagine, if there is an income tax query, you can’t just call up your CA and ask him to take care of the matter before you come back from LA but will now have to hunt for that restaurant bill of April 16, 1981when you took your family out for a dinner, as demanded by the good IT inspector. If your son jumps a red light at a lonely crossing and one of those traffic cops hiding behind the bushes pounce at him, he can’t just pay a couple of hundreds and get going but will have to leave his vehicle registration with the new honest cop and collect it from Tis Hazari courts when the case comes up for hearing four days later. You can’t send your driver with some cash to give to the tout at the passport office to add more pages to it. You can’t buy dollars on the streets of Connaught Place at unofficial rates for that trip to Cayman Islands. You will have to go yourself to the RTO, stand in the chaotic queue to renew your driving licence (remember how awful it was to go to that government school with all those aam aadmis jostling you when you went to vote?). You can’t sell that flat you have in the suburbs as the last buyer was willing to do the deal in 99% black. You can’t extend that balcony to make the extra room, usurp the public park to make your own herb garden, let out the car garage in your DDA colony to a mobile repair shop, release that container from customs, none of your connections will work to get your toddler in Delhi’s tony schools. Mercifully, the new IIC memebership drive got over just in time, or its discreet charms too may have been harmed by those anarchist topiwallahs.
That’s not all. When the grease that makes this city go round dries up, and it’s gripped by policy paralysis, when no contracts are coming through, no digging tenders are given out, you can’t even drown your sorrows in the nearest tavern. If somebody from remnants of the Anna camp in AAP finds out you are tipsy you might be tied to the Ashoka Pillar at the Qutub complex, just across Olive Bar and Kitchen, and given 40 lashes. (The party is not for shutting liqour shops but will let the women of the mohalla decide what to do with them. Where does that leave the poor autorickshaw driver? Will he have to go to a fancy shop in a mall and buy a pouch of Narangi at the price of Glenmorangie? But malls may soon be a thing of the past as AAP is against foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail. We don’t know their views on Article 370 yet.)
But staying home may be hell. If the party keeps its promise of cutting electricity bills by half, giving it free to the really needy, chances are the discoms will shut down, as many reputed economists have pointed out. So you will be left in your dark, joyless house, on a cold, wintry night, with no saas-bahu, no Bigg Boss, no Times Now. If this stifling atmosphere at home pushes you to find solace in someone else’s arms who is not your husband or wife, beware, there may be a midnight knock by one of those stern, professorial looking AAP volunteers, and you may be given some more lashings. Arvind Kejriwal has warned that having an extra-marital affair is the third most heinous crime after a jail record and corruption charge for anybody associated with his party.
So dear khaas Delhiite, your only option might be to read Dr Kumar Vishwas’ poetry (Sample: Amawas ke kaali raaton mein, Dil ka darwaza khulta hai...Jab pichwade ke kamre mein hum nipat akele hote hain.) Do go to kumarvishwas.com for more), sit with a bottle of Dasamoolarishtam bought from a Patanjali shop run by Baba Ramdev, listen to Prashanth Bhushan and Kiran Bedi on how to be a model citizen and read 28 paths to righteousness to kill the time.
Oh, those carefree, good old Commonwealth Games days! It might be best to recuse yourself from this city for six months and wait to see what happens if there is a repoll.