In Lighter Vein: A letter to Mr. Aiyar
by A Nameless Nonentity on 27 Jan 2014 2 Comments
Dear Mr. Mani Shankar Aiyar,

It is only with great trepidation that I am committing the audacity of addressing a letter to you. I live in a crowded suburb of western Mumbai and am fully aware that I am not fit to live within a radius of 100 km of people like you. After all, I did not go the Doon School, nor did I study at St. Stephens or Cambridge, UK. I was not in the Indian Foreign Service for 26 years and cannot count Jawaharlal Nehru’s grandson among my friends.


In fact, I studied in a Gujarati medium school whose classrooms were part of a chawl inhabited by lower middle class families in a western suburb of Mumbai. My father whom I lost at the age of 9 was an accountant in a large shop. My mother worked in a cigarette factory to bring up her three children. I am an office assistant in a small firm. In short, I belong to what you call “People Like Them”, far removed from your circle of “People Like Us”.


According to you, Narendra Modi can distribute tea at the AICC session; he can never be Prime Minister. As a Congressman, you might have heard of someone called Lal Bahadur Shastri. Hailing from a poor family in a small village in UP, he used to swim the river everyday to reach his school. I read that as the Prime Minister of the country he died with some uncleared debt. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, who became our President, also saw poverty in his childhood. Both were misfits by your standards, no doubt. Possibly you might have advised Shastri to take up supplying milk to Congress workers in and around his village, and Radhakrishnan to take up teaching in some village school in Madras Presidency rather than teaching philosophy at Oxford, UK. 


It is really unfortunate that unlike me, Narendra Modi does not understand his limits. He refuses to believe that if he sold tea in his younger days, he should have continued doing that and not ever dream of becoming Prime Minister. If he did not like that work, he could have been a vegetable vendor, newspaper boy, delivery man, roadside cobbler, street cleaner, domestic help or something like that. But Prime Minister? What an audacity!


Forgive him in your magnanimity, Mr. Aiyar. Narendra Modi did not study at Doon School or serve in the IFS. So he doesn’t know the protocol that members of only one family, that of your esteemed friend, deserve to become the Prime Minister of this country because they do not sell tea in their growing up years. They wallow in luxury and marry into families that are mysterious. And while they may not be brilliant students themselves, they have the ability to reduce Cambridge-educated men into a puppet PM or sycophantic courtier. It is so sad Mr. Modi just doesn’t get it.


What is sadder is that most people in the country do not seem to get it either. So, Mr. Aiyar, if you still drink the coffee that your forefathers drank at home, then smell it and take the first flight out to a country of your choice. Once he becomes Prime Minister, which seems likely, Mr. Modi may make tea too costly for the Congress party. If not him, some other “chai wallah” type of personality will take the post, but not the bloke who failed to make grade even as your party’s Prime Ministerial nominee. So, just get out. We have had enough of your snobbery, and your party’s corrupt and divisive ways and really enough of your friend’s family. Maybe they can sell coffee in Italy and try becoming the Premier there. Leave India to tea drinking and tea selling Indians.


Yours sincerely

A nameless nonentity

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