<%-- Page Title--%> Chintito <%-- End Page Title--%>

<%-- Volume Number --%> Vol 1 Num 140 <%-- End Volume Number --%>

January 30, 2004

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Lost in
Fantasy Kingdom


There comes a time in a wo/man's (inspired by s/he) life when s/he has nothing to do. S/He then has to pass her/his time by indulging in one of the few remaining free mortal luxuries -- thinking. Usually nothing comes out of such deliberate thoughts and one forgets all one's pensive feelings as soon as one gets busy with some real-life work, assignment, tittle-tattle or backbiting, or all of them. But it's a lot of fun -- the thinking, that is.

One of my favourite time-pass thoughts is what would I do if ever I was made a minister in a cabinet. Not that I fancy the prospect of being fashioned by a carpenter (often elevated to the status of architect of some city or mega project), or being holed up in a cupboard reverberating with bitching. A damaging survey has not been helpful either.

It has been calculated by the MRI (Ministerial Research International) that by the year 2020 there will be more urban wo/men above the age of 50 who would have been a minister (full, half, quarter) once in her/his lifetime or who knew one well enough to behave like one than THOSE, i.e. the 'source of power', in other words the lesser creatures, in plain Bangla 'manush', who had not been.

Obviously one section of the population has protested saying they are not 50 and at best they may succumb to the demand of being grouped in the 40. We are talking here of years and not stones. Please concentrate.

That reminds me of the husband who invited his friends over to his wife's 20th birthday bash. Impressed, the members of the pot-bellied association queried of the husband how come he has such a young wife. Said he apologetically, 'Actually it's the 20th anniversary of her 30th birthday, but please don't tell her I told you'. Not to be outdone by someone else's wife (own wife is another matter), the guys went over to the lady and wished her profusely and added: 'Bhabi! 20th birthday! You don't look it!' They meant it. She also thought they meant it and responded with a coy luto-puti smile.

The survey ignored the data that some unscrupulous men had been a minister in more than one regime, primarily because of the change in his taste of the chappal he liked to lick. It is a credit to Womankind that you will not find a single woman (or married for that matter), who has shifted from her political beliefs. Not one! Their loyalty and integrity are beyond question, but then again divorced men were ignored in that survey.

In one instance the computer hung when it detected one mortal, who had licked three different boots. If you go by the adage 'politics makes strange bedfellows', these guys have been sleeping with strangers their entire adult lives. That can be dangerous and contagious. You know how the campaign is on these days about knowing who your partner is, that it is better to have one partner, and so on.

There is now demand from the khod BNP Parliamentary Party to truncate the huge cabinet. (Prothom Alo lead, 22 January 2004) There is now more than ever a sane demand for making our ministers functional, accountable and worthy of the pataka they fly. Most ministers are again discovering butterflies in their stomach; for they only know too well the torment of being an ex-minister.

For instance, even the police that guard their houses change their perspective. When a minister, they guard his house to see that nobody gets in; when not, they want to make sure that no one goes out.

So what would Yours Truly do if ever he was made a minister in a cabinet? With the deadline nearing and my Editor's eyes curdling with blood, I think I will do some more thinking and catch up with you next week. That is, if by then I am not appointed one. For then I will have no time or taste for mere mortals.



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