Wah, Modi ji, wah! You really are a genius.
This morning you appeared on national television at exactly 9 o’clock and asked all of us to light candles and torches for exactly 9 minutes at 9 o’clock this Sunday (April 5). Wow! 9, 9 and another 9. Like a trail in teen patti. But, we know, nothing about you is coincidence; everything has ninetific, err, scientific logic.
Before the University of Bhakts comes up with details of the layers and layers embedded in your brilliant announcement, let me have this honour. For starters, you are a brilliant numerologist. But, it would be a shame if your genius was confined just to numerology. So, in trademark style, the latest announcement is also astronomy, biology, mathematics, literature, history and cinema in action.
You see, there are nine planets in our solar system, even if Pluto is a bit of Amit Shah during crisis (here today, gone tomorrow). So, my hunch is, by lighting up candles for exactly nine minutes at 9 o’clock, we would be sending an SOS to the nine planets for helping us get rid of the coronavirus epidemic. A candle in time, as someone said, saves nine. No?
We Indians are suckers for astrology, which, as you have figured out, is all about appeasing the nine planets. All of us know the story — someone’s losing hair at a rapid pace, someone is finding it difficult to, well, get a certain part of the anatomy up at a crucial stage. What to do, pandit ji?
In lesser times, astrologers would have told us that feeding black grass to a green cow is a sure-shot remedy for mollifying the mercurial Mars, the ruling planet of ailments. (The mangliks of the world would relate to this.) But, these aren’t lesser times. So, you have come up with a simple solution to pacify all the nine planets in just one shot: offer a spoonful of oil to an earthen lamp and place it in your courtyard or balcony, then look at the sky silently. Eureka! Rahu, Ketu, Saturn, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Moon, Sun and Venus would all be gratified.
Incidentally, Pradhan Mantri ji, on the subject of lighting up, some of my friends have a query. Since it is just the end result that matters, would it be okay if instead of a candle, or flashlight, they lit up their cigarettes? In case the answer is yes, kindly solve another delicate problem. An average cigarette lasts about six minutes. So, would it be fine to fire up two and continue the yajna for 12 minutes — you see, in the process we may end up sucking up to the 12 zodiacs in the sky too! No?
Anyway, coming back to the nines behind your decision, let me reveal the biological rationale behind it. A few days ago, the University of Bhakts had argued that if all of us could spend nine months in wombs, what’s the big deal about staying home for 21 days? I have this feeling that you are endorsing this thought in your ninetific way.
Of course, the number ‘9’ has its own mathematical message. If you were to multiply any number by 9, and then reduce the resulting digits to a single digit, it always becomes nine. (For example, 9X9=81, 8+1=9). What a brilliant way to explain the Amit Shah model of democracy!
If you hold elections for any state, count the number of winning candidates for all the parties, and then put them all in one resort, the answer is always BJP. QED?
Tell you what? This lockdown has been a godsend for you. Now that you are finally home, you’ve been catching up on lots of things you may have missed out on while you were busy doing desh-seva. Like books, like cinema.
I have a sneaking suspicion that you’ve been reading the biography of Marie Antoinette at home. So, inspired by her philosophy, you’ve been bestowing us with thaalis, candles, flashlights even as the country is seeking respite from the virus, the economy is screaming for a relief package, the medical staff for life-saving equipment, hospitals for ventilators and the millions who have been displaced are begging for shelter, food and financial assistance. So, in true Antoinette fashion, nien, nien, nien to all the questions on these subjects, even it is not French.
And, you just watched the Gladiator. Gotcha! For the average viewer, the film is a revenge saga of a betrayed general. But, only a genius would have realised that the real message of the film is this: WIN THE CROWD. In one scene, Gracchus (a senator) sums up the philosophy of all rulers when he says about his own emperor: “I think he knows what Rome is. Rome is the mob. Conjure magic for them and they’ll be distracted.”
Some carping critics would, of course, say this is a case of the proverbial cat going on a pilgrimage after devouring nine hundred mice. Others may call this mass display pointless nau-tanki (drama). But, everyone else is actually on cloud nine, perpetually indebted to the high heavens for blessing us with a prime minister who isn’t just a gem, but is equivalent to the fabled navratnas (nine gems).
So, thank you, PM, for taking unto yourself the responsibility of organising mass events to distract us from the pandemic and the lockdown. People want just two things — bread and circuses. Whatever be the status of breads, you just reminded us that a country can never run out of circuses when the masses can be easily cast as clowns.
A grateful country can only say: may you be blessed with nine lives!