My friend Ashok and I were sitting in a roadside dhaba.
“Ramen, suppose Amitabh Chhutkan becomes the president, won’t it be great?”
“Ya! In that case, the Pakistan President would have to look up to him. That would make most Indians feel proud.”
“You know suppose our entire cabinet was made of film stars, won’t that be exciting?”
“Sure,” I replied.
“Then why don’t we shortlist their names. By the time our Tandoori Chicken turns red and hot, we’ll have our list ready.”
"Why not? Why don’t we start with the P.M.”
Ashok thought for some time and said, “Shabbo Azmi. She’ll be perfect. She is full of fire and has international presence. Moreover she’ll be the first person from the minority community to occupy the most important chair in our land and will thus find immediate acceptance. She will also have the support of the other minorities like gays and lesbians.”
“You’re right, I agree.”
“What about the Finance Minister?” it was now Ashok’s turn to quiz me.
“Mallika Sharbat will be ideal. After all no one can get a better return on assets than she can.”
“Great! Who is your choice for external affairs?”
“Obviously Shelpa Shitty. She is the only true blue global celebrity we have and she has now become an expert on racism, can speak with eloquence on international brotherhood and counts among her close friends, the likes of Tony Blare.”
“Your logic is compelling,” Ashok nodded in admiration.
“Now it’s your take. What about the minister for environment?”
“Silly Man Khan.”
“Hey, that’s too much. He’ll end up killing all the chinkaras and having them for lunch.”
“No you are mistaken. Don’t we sometimes make the naughtiest boy in class the monitor? Similarly if Sallu baba is asked to protect flora and fauna, I am sure he’ll be immensely effective. After all he knows more about poaching than anyone else. He’ll be the best person to fight poachers. And if in the process he samples a Black Buck here and a Chinkaara there, you can hardly grudge him that, can you?”
“Who’s your candidate for Minister of Youth Affairs?”
“Who else but Grave Anand, who is twenty going n twenty one for the last sixty years.”
“Ashok, any choice for Minister of Defence?”
“Yes of course. Sonny Dole. He smashed the entire Pakistan army single handedly. All we have to do is to give him a couple of hand pumps and place him on the border. We can then pack off the Indian Army for tougher jobs like managing college elections, controlling traffic in metros and maintaining peace during cricket matches.”
“Too good Ramen. Now your choice for the Lok Sabha Speaker. This guy should be really impressive with an awesome personality since he has to handle the toughest of them all- our venerable MPs.”
“Only a super hero can do it- and who better than Krissh- who can create all the Dhoom one can ask for. And with Jadoo to help him he can make the toughies dance to his tunes.”
“Wow man, that’s a super choice. And now finally who should be the Vice President?”
“This one is easy: Shah Crook Khan. Whatever Chhutkan can do Khan can imitate- whether it is Don or KBC. So if Chhutkan goes on a tour or falls ill. Khan can step into his shoes easily.”
“That’s a cool one Ramen. Our list is now perfect. What do we do with it?”
I looked towards the kitchen. The steaming Tandoori chicken was reaching our table.
“Lets e-mail the list to Chhutkan. Who knows it might inspire him to start an new game show- Kaun Banega Rashtapati,” I said.
It was Monday and the time was nine. Viewers across India and many parts of the world, switched on to Star Plus to watch their favourite show. Shah Crook Khan (SCK), came on the screen, his natty suit and dimpled smile well in place.
“Welcome viewers, to the 666th episode of K…k…kaun Banega Crorepati Trutiya. For the special episode we have a super-special guest. Before I invite him, let me ask my studio audience a question. The ‘Fastest Finger First’ will win a special prize. The question is: Who is the Real Don and the choices are -
a. Amitabh Bacchan b. Don Bradman c. Shah Crook Khan d. None of the above.”
A few seconds later, SCK announced, “50% of you have answered a. Amitabh Bacchan, 9% b. Don Bradman, 40% yours truly and only 1 person has answered d. None of the above. ‘d’ is the right answer and Mathew Jalaluddin Pillai wins a date with our special guest. He will get to drink nariyal pani with Him in Dubai.
SCK paused for effect and continued, “Now comes the time to welcome today’s special guest. The ultimate Don – Barood Ibrahim.”
A man of medium height and build with thick hair and moustache entered. SCK touched his feet and the duo sat down opposite each other.
“Friends, it is my pride, privilege and pleasure to have Barood Bhai on the hot seat. As we all know BB is the Don of Dons. Sari duniya ki police bhai ka intezaar kar rahi hai par inko pakadna mushkil hi nahi namumkin hai. Parantu hamne ya hamaare pyaar ne inhe pakad liya hai. Bhai, welcome to the show. Before I begin, let me tell you, everything about this show is ‘hat ke’ – the rules, the lifelines, the prize money and of course You.”
“Now the first question: Barood bhai, how many movies have been inspired by you? The options are: a. None b. One c. Less than 1 d. More than 100.”
BB: “Obviously‘d’. You know Shah Crook, every day in some corner of Bollywood there is at least one movie being made on my life and times.”
SCK: “Computer bhai, jawaab boil kiya jaye.”
SCK pauses and yells absolutely right. He claps and the audience joins him.
SCK: “Bhai you win 1 crore rupees for this lajawaab jawaab. Now the second and final question for 3 crores. Bhai, of all the dhandhas you indulge in, which is the most lucrative one? The answer to this question is very important since there are millions of men and women who are watching this show. Your words will inspire them to emulate you and become little ‘Dons’ and ‘Donnies’. The options are: a. Extortion b. Drugs and Arms trafficking c. Organizing bomb blasts and d. Match fixing.”
BB frowns in concentration, licks his moustache and then says, “At the present moment I am not very sure. I think I’ll use a lifeline: ‘Phone a chamcha ‘.”
“Very good. Who would you like to talk to?”
“Thoda bada Shakeel.”
“You’ve heard of Chhota Shakeel?”
“Of course! Who hasn’t?”
“Thoda bada is his twin. He was born thirteen minutes earlier.”
“Great! Computer bhai please Thoda bada Shakeel ko phone lagaiye”
A few seconds later, a gruff voice comes on line.
“Kaun hai be?”
“Thoda bada Shakeelji, this is SCK from KBC Trutiya. Aapke aur hamare bhai yahaan –“
“Abbey yede kaan ke neeche dun kya? Bheja mat kha. Bhai ko line de.”
TBS shouts as SCK turns purple.
“Hello. Haan, Thoda bol.”
“Bhai, we are in trouble.”
“As you know we had zeroed in on four players who’d help us fix matches in the World Cup. None of the four has made it to the final fifteen. We are doomed.”
“Shut up! B company can never be boomed I mean doomed. Of the short listed fifteen, we’ll pick up three or four and convince them to join our syndicate. With our old friends like Agaruddin with us, we’ll have no problem.”
SCK hears with great interest, the conversation and after it is over asks, “Bhai can you now answer the question?”
“Of course. My little chat with Thoda Bada has given me the answer: d. Matchfixing.”
“Once again you are right bhai. You win 3 crores. The highest by anyone in the history of KBC. Bhai, what will you do with the money?”
“SCK your comment that millions of youngsters are looking up to me , has actually inspired me. With these three crores, I shall set up an academy which will train the youth of Planet Earth.”
“What kind of training Barood Bhai?” SCK leans forward to ask.
“The academy will impart learning on how to orchestrate bomb blasts, trigger off riots, smuggle drugs and arms, fix matches and execute extortions.”
“Wow! That will make it the most exclusive academy in the history of the universe.”
“Bhai, who will be the faculty?”
“Members of my B company, me, Chhota Shakeel, Thoda bada Shakeel, Bhiga Adrak, Tirchha Pandu, Ubla Gurda etc. Our most important guest faculty will of course be Osama.”
“W…What you mean Osama Born Laden?”
“But nobody knows his wherebouts.”
“You are calling me a nobody, you dhakkan?”
“N…No..No bhai,” SCK gulped a few times and asked, “What will you call this academy?”
“The Bhai-Bhai academy.”
SCK looks at the audience and declares, “This is such a great moment for KBC, Indian TV, World TV, Planet Earth, in fact the entire galaxy. The seed of the greatest learning institute was sown here. My congrats to you, me and Barood Bhai.”
As the credits come on, the viewers can see SCK prostrating at the feet of Barood Bhai.
“Bhai, c…can my son get seat in your academy…?”