Monday, August 16, 2010

Article in the Indian Express - August 14, 2010

This article appeared in my column Un Intended in the New Indian Express on August 14, 2010.
Converting the Toilet Paper Users Of The World
The Commonwealth Games is in the news for all the wrong reasons. The administrators are running helter skelter from daily exposes into their alleged wrong doings. But on closer look, one realizes that one section of administrators of the CWG are indeed true patriots, striving fearlessly to make India a superpower and to save the world. I had the honour of meeting one member of this secret band of patriots under a half constructed stadium.
“How are you doing it?” I asked curiously shielding myself from water leaking from the roof. He spoke through a scarf covering his face. “If you notice carefully, among the many highly priced items bought by the CWG as reported on television were toilet rolls, bought at Rs. 4000 a roll. We can get them for Rs. 40,” he revealed. “Then?” I asked. “We used toilet paper to attract global attention,” he whispered. “Attention to what? I asked. “To the fact that we Indians have been cheated,” he answered. “You see, ever since the world told us to use less paper to save the environment, we in India stopped all paperwork. And the rest of the world is merrily using paper for all sorts of things. Isn’t it unfair?” he asked. I nodded slowly.
“It is time to reveal the toilet roll conspiracy,” he declared. My heart was pounding.
He continued. “We in India have always been against flushing paper down the drain. And the rest of the world, holds all these climate talks and chops down millions of trees behind our backs to flush them down, ‘ he hissed. ‘The toilet carbon footprint will show up on our backsides soon, if we do not do something about it.’ I listened angrily. My banks have stopped sending me credit card statements to save paper and I am paying late payment fees, while their top management is probably using up all the paper they saved.
So what next, I asked. “We have a charter of demands that we’ll put up before the toilets are erected at the CWG,’ he revealed. “First, phased removal of toilet paper from the world. This is non-negotiable. Second, big users of toilet paper (the USA) must compensate other countries, especially those countries not using toilet paper”. “This will make India a rich superpower overnight!” I jumped up in excitement. “Precisely,” he continued. “Thirdly, toilet paper to carry pictures of people dying due to environmental degradation so people get frightened to use toilet paper. Then, a deadline to train these toilet-paper-environment-degraders to non-toilet paper ways”. “This provides India a great opportunity to start several BPOs involved in training,” I cried out. “Everyone would be employed!”
 “But will your demands be met?” I asked doubtfully. “If they’re not,” he replied ominously. “We’ll make sure that it hurts to visit the toilet.”
 I winced. ‘Bravo. If this brave step was not taken by you, no one would have known of this dirty toilet paper business,’ He smiled.
“Even if this scenario does not happen,” he said. “It will make foreign athletes careful about using toilet paper during the CWG. With their minds on the prices of toilet papers, air conditioners, lifts, tiles and leaks they will not be able to perform. And India will win many medals since we are used to all this anyway.”
My humble suggestion to the concerned Ministry is that a couple of medals be kept aside for these wonderful environmentalists and patriots. Not for corruption and stuff. For bravery!

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