By Neel Anil Panicker

All of us have our own ways to inject much needed humour into our lives, right?

Some tricks up our sleeve, so to say to blunt the rough edges of the harshness of daily life; an escape route, a life jacket that we use to eject, albeit temporarily, from the hullaballo of drab human existence, don’t we?

Well, truth be told___every one of us in this dog eat dog world needs our individual oases to break free, our own private haven that we pine to go to, to look up as a safety valves when banality of our existence threatens to take a heavy toll on our mental and spiritual well being.

And for sure almost all of these escape routes are pristine, pretty harmless escapades conducted with the sole intention to uplift the sagging human soul.

Almost all; not all!

My purpose today is to dwell on one such specimen whose pursuits though harmless were hilarious to say the least.

Meet Anand Sharma, the venerable Cabinet Minister in charge of the heavy weight portfolio Heavy Industries.

True to the physical space he occupied per square inches, there was nothing lightweight about this ten time parliamentary seat winner.

His unique way to soften the daily rigours, to mend the wear and tear to mind, body and spirit that comes with managing the gargantuan affairs of the State and its denizens was to repair to his abode___a spacious semi-darkened comfy inner chamber with a mini bar, an attached kitchen area, a secret door that allowed him to ferry in and ferry out a certain nightly species of the female variety  and a treadmill to boot___and there stay closetted for hours, working hard to alleviate the tortured human soul.

For sure, all legitimate activities that befit a nation serving, toiling hard working man, a politician to boot.

In this manner, Anand Sharma, the ever beer guzzling portly senior cabinet minister was quite different from his other equally hard working ‘humanity serving’ brethren.

He was different, albeit slightly.

His brand of survival kit comprised training his guns inwards. Of using or rather abusing his spartan English to chortle at his own execrable puns.

There he would be, ensconced in his airconditioned comfy abode,holding fort as all around him, like tape worms in concentric circles, wormed a bevy of eager beavers, all servile to the hilt, obsequious yes men, all sucking up to power in the vain hope that some of the pelf drops into their avarice driven laps.

A master of double speak, he would rabble about, rousing his sycophantic brigade to listen avidly and clap and laugh and applaud uproariously as he cracked one self deprecating crass joke after another, all even as he chortled at hos own execrable puns.

All this while constantly feeding the steel spittoon by his side with the reddish remnants that sprang fro his orifice, and other open ended pathways.

Mind you, all this while not hurling one word of derision against his legion of opponents, which grew by the hour.

No wonder, come election times, the innocent cattle class that comprised the bulk of his electorate. kept reposing their faith in their ‘Anand Babu’.

As one of his detractors said, the junta must feel that electing a harmless jokester is any day better than putting in the hot seat who is a deranged megalomaniac with Hitleresque ambitions.

#neelanilpanicker #flash #fiction #satire #politics #modi #india

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