Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Article in the Indian Express - July 18, 2010

Ever since Paul the Octopus predicted the result of the soccer final correctly, all of India is abuzz. Obviously octopuses (whatever they are), can predict things that humans cannot. And thus, a great future full of opportunities beckons us Indians.
Firstly, demand for octopuses will rise sharply in India. A billion octopuses will be needed, since everyone will want to own one. Even though most of us in India have never seen an octopus (the closest we’ve been was Octopussy, the James Bond film with Roger Moore), a mega ‘Octopus farming' industry would begin. Andhra Pradesh will take the lead (as usual, in things no one knows about), by building the largest capacity octopus farms in the world with “imported technology”. New companies would go public with octopus prospectuses replacing red herring prospectuses. Not surprisingly, several million investors would sell their houses to invest in these issues, making them successful many times over. Investors will take home pictures of octopuses (which look strangely like jellyfish), along with information on their expensive eating habits.
Initially, octopus prices would be exorbitant. Only the elite would own octopuses. Page 3 parties would be held with people unveiling Peter, Polly, John, Jane and other Oracle-type octopuses caressing boxes seductively (to choose between Men, Women and Boys). Indian octopuses would be available for export only, at prices equivalent to a spaceship. The Department of Octopus Development and Organization (DODO), one of the eighty arms of the Ministry of Octopus, would dictate policy, size, octopus seller’s size etc.
The octopus industry would spawn many millionaires called the Mollusc Millionaires. Spurred by this growth MLM schemes would start selling mini octopuses, Chinese octopuses, holy octopuses and so on. There would be a mad rush to possess octopuses along with T shirts, chains and idols of octopuses. In South India there will be an octopus temple (a unisex god because we can’t make out). At least one unheard-of sect will ban eating of octopuses. A steady stream of celebrities will flood the octopus temple to get into the good books of the Octopus god as well. Octopus pujas and octopus yoga will start soon.
Octopus consultants will become a rage. Several universities will offer ‘Octopusology’, a new course, and people will rush their children to specialize in this new course, at the cost of selling their house (the other one). Flats will be built with in-built aquariums. Political parties will rush to register the octopus as their party symbol – and “spineless” their motto. Some demand that octopuses be made available at subsidized rates to weaker sections. Some parties will request a regional name for the Octopus. Some others will claim all rights to octopuses with proper documentation.
Movies will be made with eight skimpily clad women vying for the love of Raj the Octopus’s eight limbs. Heroes will grow eight limbs to supplement their six packs. Octopus games will be a hit amongst youth with octopuses carrying eight weapons of mass destruction that kill at least 5000 people per minute. Wow! Toddlers will reel of all kinds of octopus information - by name, scientific name and fingerprint.
India will be the first of the Octopus economies. And as with all our rosy schemes, we will soon come upon a scam. We will find out rather belatedly that what has been sold as Octopus to us by a foreign hand is not really an octopus but a jelly fish (thanks to a sting operation called ‘Testy tentacles’). And we will set up a CBI investigation. Which will summon Roger Moore as its prime suspect.


Rajendra said...

Hilarious scenario. If I remember correctly, the villain in Mandrake comics is an organisation called Eight. Octopus power in youth literature?

Anonymous said...

Nice one. But a octopus isn't a mollusk. Its a cephellopod(sp)

Harimohan said...

In my defence, I have already explained my total ignorance on octopuses, mollusks, cell phones or whatever they are...but thanks for educating me anonymous...there's still hope for me.
But seriously, thanks. I appreciate your writing in that you liked the articles. (I'd appreciate your writing in even if you didn't like the articles).