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Smt Pratibha Patil has embarked on her final official journey from New Delhi to her retirement mansion nestled in the laps of the Sahayadris near Pune.
The ex-President will proceed to her final destination by swinging through Bali, Tahiti, Vancouver, Honolulu, St. Barts, Rome, Dubai, and a few other resorts, according to the official itinerary released by Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Lest people get outraged once again by the ex-President’s seemingly wasteful peregrinations to exotic locales at the state’s expense, her son Shri Rajendra Shekawat hastened to add that a portion of the journey would be financed from the 23,000 and odd frequent flyer miles that his mother notched up during the course of her various official trips.
“Mummy is only asking for the bare minimum she is entitled to as the former head of state to travel to Pune for retirement with some sundry lay-overs. If people have a problem with this also, what can I say? I request the media to not fan this into another needless controversy,” explained Shri Rajendra Shekawat.
Smt. Patil is extremely excited about her final quasi-official voyage, which will span 4 continents, 12 time-zones, 2 hemispheres, and 3 oceans. The ex-President was also keen to hop over to the Seychelles from Dubai before arriving in Pune but has been advised by her family members to not over-exert herself.
“Pratibha wants to push herself one last time before retiring from public life but really, this is going way beyond the call of duty, Also, once we reach Pune, we won’t have much time to recharge. There is so much trekking to do around Pune to explore new land. Sigh, she’s got such a strong wanderlust that sometimes it worries me,” pensively disclosed Devisingh, the President’s spouse, who is overseeing logistics and coordinating schedules of family members including grand-kids for the grueling expedition.
In related news, Mrs. Mukherejee, who moved into the Rashtrapati Bhavan a few hours ago, was dismayed to discover that the mansion has been stripped off its curtains, bed-sheets, pillows, bulbs, gas-cylinders, rugs, porcelain, and even upholstery.
“Madam grabbed and packed all the utensils, fitments and food-items, saying she is entitled to it as ex-President. So now the place is not fit for the President-elect and the first lady to move in, I’m afraid,” disclosed a red-faced official. “She did not even spare the tea bags so I couldn’t even make tea for them,” he gasped.
To their credit, the Mukherjees sportingly roughed it out for a night by sleeping on the floor in the main hall and drinking tea from a road-side stall the next morning. Fortunately, Dr. Manmohan Singh has invited Pranab da and his missus to move over to the guest-room in 7, Race Course Road until Rashtrapati Bhavan gets fully refurnished.