E R RAMACHANDRAN writes: The BCCI selection committee met in the house of Union Agriculture Minister to select the Indian Team for the South Africa Test Series.
‘Col’ Dilip Vengasarkar, the new Chairman of Selection Committee, who took his nickname seriously, had come in Army fatigues.
“You are still here! I thought you were already in South Africa cheering up our boys,” said Sharad Pawar greeting the Chairman.
“Before going, I wanted to make sure you would not cut my TA-DA if our boys lose a match,” said the ‘Col’.
Just then, Pawar’s mobile phone broke in to a wail.
“Hello! Pawarji! I wanted to tell you about my serious concern about the farmers’ suicides in Vidharbha belt. It’s a burning issue and we must do something about it quickly…. So is Ganguly’s inclusion in the Indian Team.. I am waiting for the ‘Breaking News’ on the ‘ National Bangla NBTV’. That was Brinda Karat.
As he finished talking, the Lawani tune meant the Maharashtra CM Vilas Rao Deshmukh was calling.
“Kaay, Pawar Saahib! The onion prices have stabilized in Yeotmal and Simhagad. There’s nothing to worry. I have personally instructed the drug inspectors to remove poisonous drugs from the medical shops. Ab Paashan bhi nahin milega! By the way, I understand Chappell’s experiments are over and you want ‘old wine in old bottle’ policy. Since Laxman and Ganguly are back, I want you to pick apna original Little Master Sunil Gavaskar. Sunil keeps himself fit with Television Commentary and by giving tips to Sachin.”
As Pawar was wiping beads of sweat off his forehead, the next call from Amrinder Singh.
“Pawarji! Suniye.I will come straight to the point. The Centre cannot ignore Punjab. Madam had told she would reduce the diesel prices by Rs. 5 and you people have reduced by only Re 1. No Punjab-da-farmer can tolerate this. Aur ek bath sunlijiye! Just include our Navjot Singh Sidhu in the team. Our Puttar is now an all-rounder! He can bat, talk his head off on any subject and break in to fits of uncontrollable laughter! He will be an asset to the team as we lose more often. Yes. He is convicted of murder. But so are many of your cabinet colleagues and MPs in Parliament!”
As the selectors started their deliberations, the next call came from the former Prime Minister.
“Because, I haven’t raised my voice, don’t think we are Nikammas! I don’t know what is your policy on giving farmers’ lands to IT/BT Industry. Large scale Hera-Pheri is going on here with the result, major projects like Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor are getting delayed…. I am told you are the President of BCCI and a meeting is going on in your house right now. Kindly include our great spinners Chandra and Prasanna in the Indian team! Leave Rahul Dravid alone and don’t mess around with his captaincy. Otherwise I will go on an indefinite fast for 24 hours!”
Likewise, Haryana CM wanted Kapil Dev; Delhi CM wanted Mohinder Amarnath and Karunanidhi wanted Srikkanth in the Indian Team.
Pawar felt he might faint any time when a call from the Lok Sabha Speaker.
“Mr. Pawar! The Leftists are unhappy with the measly subsidy you are giving to the farmers for onions and are planning a ‘No confidence’ motion. Don’t worry, I will not allow that. O.K.? I will also drop the motion planned against what’s-his-name, the Indian team Coach. Brinda told me that Dada would be back in the team. Pranab, Mamta Didi and Buddhadeb are here in my office.We have already briefed Madam Sonia about our common minimum agenda! It is not Dadagiri. Just make sure Sourav is captain of Team India again!!”