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The passing away of Eugene Polley, the inventor of the ubiquitous television remote on Sunday, has brought great grief to Congress President and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi. If Law Minister Salman Khurshid is to be believed, Sonia was supposed to have shed copious tears of sadness on hearing the news.
In a press statement, Gandhi said, “I’m extremely grieved to announce the sudden demise of Eugene. What he invented has served as an inspiration for my politics and the functioning of my government. If I did not possess the remote, my government wouldn’t have been able to function at all! I now realize the value of this device and each button on it – the mute button for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the channel scan button which traverses across all frequencies, meant for President Patil, Power button for Mamata Didi, Surround Bass for Diggy, Volume – for Rahul, Volume + for Sibal, the Display button for the media, which always displays us best! Sigh… I thank you from the bottom of my heart, Eugene, for this highly invaluable device, critical to the running of my party and government. May your soul rest in peace! Amen!” before observing a minute’s silence for the departed soul.
Other sections of society are also in mourning. A home-maker, Mrs Vasantha Krishnamurthy, from Chennai, lamented, “Aiyoo R. I. P. Polley da. If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t have fought with my kids so much! Now, everyday, I fight for the remote because I want to watch K-serials whereas my children want to watch Pokemon!”
A group of urban men in their late 20s thanked the man for having included the channel + and – buttons on the remote, with one of them saying, “I remember those days! We used to watch Fashion TV in the middle of the night and then suddenly when we’d hear someone approach, we’d swiftly shift channels! I just can’t imagine what would’ve become of us all, had the remote not been there and someone had caught us!”
There were also stray rumors of the government planning to honor Eugene by distributing free TV remotes to rural BPL households, under a new social welfare scheme called the Rajiv Gandhi Doorasth Niyantran (Remote Control) Yojana.
Jokes apart, my deepest respects and sincere thanks to the man who invented something as unbelievably important as this! May his soul rest in peace! Thanks Eugene Polley for this incredible device!
(Reported by special correspondent, Ashwin S Kumar)