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

<%-- Volume Number --%> Vol 1 Num 142 <%-- End Volume Number --%>

February 21 2004

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Shopping for


Although three weeks have passed since I made my intentions known, I will admit to you that till date I have note yet been offered any portfolio. That is primarily because I have not yet been offered any ministership. Nor is there any rumour that I am being considered, but I have taken this thought to a level of art: I think of what I would do, what I could do as a Minister only as a past time. If per chance I would come into contention I would fizzle out as a candidate because who wants a person in the cabinet who is forever trembling? I tremble not in fear but in excitement (don't believe any husband when he says that) of the prospects that lie ahead.

As a Minister I could continue to say befaash things and yet claim to be in full control of my Home. That in itself would be untenable, but as Minister I would be flying high, as high as an Air Vice Marshall.

Think of it! As minister I could make money in deals involving Communications' New Gadget (CNG), and yet successfully weave out of trouble and stay afloat like a seasoned Barrister. As Minister, I could hand out government developed plots to professionals related to me, to politicians related to me, to members of the learned community related to me, to film stars related to me, to sportsmen and women related to me, to business people related to me and to my relations related to me. Frankly, I do not know who they are but once I am appointed, they will find me out.

As Minister, I would not have to pay my telephone bills, or my electricity bills, or my gas bills, or for my car's petrol, or municipality taxes, or income tax, or for travelling on Biman, or train, or bus, or launch, or for that matter any bill whatsoever. That is because whatever ministry I am assigned to, I shall be personally in-charge of one of them bills. All I have to do is ring the other ministers' in-charge of the other bills and tell them that it's all kata-kati. You don't send me any bill and I do likewise. As minister I could go and open a new restaurant and not have to wait in a queue for forty-five ministers to get in. Also at opening ceremonies the food is free. How people can come and gobble up free food without doing any work is beyond my dignity! I would at least be cutting a ribbon while being pushed from behind by two dozen people and smiling for the camera. It has also baffled me how a photographer can be inside even before a Minister has opened it. There should be some law about such ill manners. But I hope I don't get law, for then I may have to constantly lie. There is perhaps no worse a moral crime than concealing truths by judicial jargon.

With so many options, the task of becoming a Minister is daunting because not only do you have to get the right portfolio, you have to ensure the others get the wrong one. In politics, you trust no one, not even if you are locked in the same cabinet.

Despite all the enthusiasm, each time I think of it I am put off by the prospects that lie ahead when I shall be an ex-Minister.

As ex-Minister I will not have to pay my telephone bills because I will not have one. I shall have to stand in a queue in order to get into the main queue. I can stop shaving because there will not be any photographer around. Come to think of it, I will also not have any relatives. In case you are wondering why this week's write-up is so brief, you should remember Ministers are not in the habit of writing, not for the obvious reason but because they talk more.



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