24, Akbar Road, the headquarters of the Indian National Congress today had a surprise visitor, who claimed to be the ghost of the Father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi. Special polaroid CCTV cameras installed in the office recorded the spooky encounter, the transcripts of which are reproduced below:
The man claiming to be the ghost of Mahatma Gandhi walks in, clad in a dhoti and holding a stick.
Sibal: Excuse me, who are you & what do you want? Guards, don’t you pre-screen visitors?I want zero intrusion!
Suresh Kalmadi: Hey wait, I know this guy! His photo is on all the notes I earned while running CWG! I’m just not getting his name! Damn my dementia!
Renuka Chowdhary: Hey, he’s bald ! I think he’s the villain from Agneepath ! Why don’t you teach him to grow some hair, Shashi?
(Everyone laughs; Shashi Tharoor flicks his hair after his name is mentioned and then gets back to tweeting)
Gandhi (finally breaking his silence): Good morning, O brothers & sisters! My name is Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.
Sibal (sarcastically): Sorry, we know only 3 Gandhis – Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi & Priyanka Gandhi.
Gandhi (points to a stationary figure): Whose statue is this?
Sibal: What do you mean? This is not a statue! He is our Prime Minister, Dr.Manmohan Singh!
Gandhi: Oh! I beg your pardon. Why is he a silent spectator?
Sibal: His motto is hear all mischief, see all mischief, but speak no mischief. Anyway who are you?
Gandhi: Alright. Well, I was a freedom fighter back in the 1930s-1940s.
Sibal: Oh! Let me google you up. (Googles on his 35$ Akash tablet). Sorry sir, it shows only the 3 names I just mentioned.
Gandhi: That is because you have censored the internet, Mr.Sibal ! Try going through a proxy.
Sibal: Proxy? Over to you, Dr.Manmohan Singh!
Gandhi: No no, I meant a proxy server.
Sibal’s aide (in a whispering tone): Sir, he might be related to Rahul ji from his dad’s side. Let’s just humour him, shall we.
Sibal: Hmm..you may be right (turning to Gandhi ji) What can we do for you?
Gandhi: I’m good, thank you! Sorry for creeping into your busy schedules, but I assure you, I will not take much of your time. I just needed to talk to you about changing my story in the History text books for future generations. I have already filed a plea in the Delhi High Court regarding the same. I was surprised at the speed of execution, I guess the name “Gandhi” did help.
Sibal: Well, I apologize, Gandhiji. We have already decided on the content. The syllabus comprises chapters on Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi with all of us making guest appearances here & there. But yes, I think I can add a small chapter about you, if madam allows me. Please tell me.
Gandhi: That would be very kind of you. Thank you, Mr.Sibal. You see, no one remembers me these days. In spite of Sagarika Ghose broadcasting live interviews with my before-death form in a sepia tone, which, by the way, she calls orange, every other night, my purpose isn’t being served. I have come to realize that what I had done during those years doesn’t quite stick in the minds of people. So, I’m going against my principle of truth for the first time in my, well, posthumous life.
P. Chidambaram: Now you’re talking! Welcome to the club, buddy! What’s the money like?
Gandhi: No, Mr.Chidambaram, this isn’t about any money. This is about people not remembering me. I have this piece of paper with me, which has a list of changes which I want in the History chapter about me.
1. Please rename me Mohandas Karamchand Bachchan, & my parents Abhishek Bachchan & Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. That way, I will always be talked about, right from 9 months before my birth, for eternity.
2. Please mention that I died due to a fatal slap from Nathuram Godse, because people remember slaps more than assassinations these days. Consider today, for example, people are talking more about Shah Rukh Khan’s slap to Shirish Kunder than remembering my assassination!
3. Please include a video of me crooning “Why this kolaveri?”. Let it be my official anthem for non-violence. There is no way people are going to forget me after that.
4. Please include a Katrina Kaif item number in the Oscar-winning movie about me, “Gandhi”. I will haunt Sir Ben Kingsley and ask him to shake a leg with Kat. That way, more & more people will watch the movie.
5. Please describe my attire as a long-term wardrobe malfunction. That way, my dhothi would make a fashion statement, thanks to some newspapers. Another way in which people would easily remember me.
6. Please rename all my letters to the British officials as “Open letter to the British by M.K.Gandhi”. That way, it would be shared by everyone on Facebook & would surely trend on Twitter. I will be remembered.
7. Please change my birthday from Oct 2nd to April 24th. You see, the thing is, everyone likes Oct 2nd mainly because it is a holiday. No one really remembers me that day. Whereas April 24th, despite not being a holiday, is celebrated with full passion by every Indian all over the world. I really think I deserve that kind of remembrance for all my services to this great nation.
8. Lastly, please mention that Rakhi Sawant had a crush on me & Poonam Pandey offered to strip for me. There cannot be any greater way of publicity for me than this.
9. That is it about me. As an additional favor, I request that another nice person like me, by name Lal Bahadur Shastri, who has been completely forgotten, be mentioned as the father of Ravi Shastri. Please describe him as a cool customer, with loads of experience, whose margin of error was minimum.
10. Please rename the MNREGA program which is apparently named after me to MAREGA because that’s what labourers say it really is. Moreover, the program doesn’t really seem to exist on the ground.
Gandhi: Thank you for your valuable time, ladies & gentlemen.
Sibal: Hmmm. Hold on, Mr.Gandhi. Let me ask madam whether we can implement these changes.
(calls Sonia Gandhi & explains the situation to her ). Which state do you originally hail from, Mr.Gandhi?
Sibal: Gujarat, madamji. Okay, I’ll tell him. (turns to Gandhi ).
Sorry sir, our madam has said these changes can only be considered after Congress returns to power in Gujarat. But she is willing to officially change your name to ‘Ghandi’ since that is the real family name of her husband and if it is of any consolation, she will announce a new scheme, Rajiv Ghandi Garibi Hatao Yojana, indirectly in your honour
Gandhi: Oh dear, I thought I would make April Fools out of these people, but they made a fool out of me. Let me go and play a prank on Sunju baba instead.
(‘Gandhiji’ trudges wearily out of 24, Akbar Road, crestfallen that his April Fool’s joke was lost on them)
(Reported by special correspondent, Ashwin S Kumar)