The year was 2000.
The auditorium was filled with a sense of expectancy. The atmosphere was like that of an India-Pakistan cricket finals for the Barood Ibrahim trophy in Sharjah.
Suddenly there was a kind of hush all over the hall as his holiness Corporate Baba strode on the stage to the tunes of 'Apna, sapna, money, money'. He was wearing a Tommy Hilfiger shirt, an Armani suit and Gucci shoes. A Taguer watch, Versace sun glasses and Dolce & Gabbana perfume completed his ensemble of quiet, understated dignity. His hair was permed, his nails manicured and he had just had his fourteenth facial of the week.
On reaching centre stage he declared, "My dear nine to five comrades, at last we are together. After bestowing enlightenment on my corporate brethren in Botswana, Ethiopia and Turkmenistan, I am back in the land where I attained nirvana.
I still remember the day vividly. It was the Friday the 13th and I had been fired once again. This was the seventh job I had lost in seven months. To elevate my spirits I switched on the idiot box and zeroed in on Viagra Plus, the adult channel. A dance ballet called Monika was in progress. Imran Habshi as Bill was lying on the bed lip synching Adha Naan Swami's super hit bhajan, Lift kara de Sharon while Mallika Sherbat was doing her own cheer haran. As they moved closer for oral interaction something landed on my head and I blanked out. When I came to, I found that a framed photograph of Lord Krishna placed lovingly on the wall by my late mummyji had made contact with my cerebrum (or is it cerebellum). As I picked up the photo and looked into the eyes of the Lord, enlightenment struck me like the proverbial bolt from the blue. I lost complete touch with reality - it was silent communion between me and Giridhar..... And at that very instant Corporateism was born!"
Corporate Baba paused, allowing his profound words of wisdom to sink in.
"Can you tell me who is the first Corporate Citizen of the world?" he questioned.
There was a complete silence for a full minute and then Baar Baar Peekarmarjani, the Chairman of Do Kiya Mobiles gently queried, "Was it Todarmal?"
Corporate Baba laughed and said, "No! No! No! My dear Peekarmarjani, you are thousands of years off the mark. The first Corporate Citizen of this world was Lord Krishna. Just consider what were the three things dearest to him? The three Ms - Maakhan, Melody and Maidens. And what do the Corporate Citezens of today like - Moolah, Music and Madonna or Mallika. Whether we speak figuratively or literally, doesn't it amount to the same thing? What I am trying to emphasize is that Kittu was fond of good life. He was not like Rama roaming the jungles with a wild assortment of creatures like a benevolent ringmaster of a wandering circus. And like Rama our Kanhaiya was not a prude. While Ram went around mooning over his Sitay, Krishna merrily played the field with Radha, Rukmini, his Gopikas and his small and compact harem of sixteen thousand raanis. Even in his value system he was like the Corporate Citizens of today. To him the end justified the means. Not for Keshav idealism, duty and all that kind of bull manure. He believed in winning at all costs and if this meant asking Arjuna to kill his cousins, uncles and Gurus he didn't mince words. Today we talk about corporate mergers and takeovers. But who started it all? It was the one and only Gopal. By getting his favourite disciple to marry half a dozen times he managed to expand the kingdom of the Pandavas."
Corporate Baba's fiery eloquence and compelling logic had the desired effect. There was a thunderous applause and shouts of "Jai Jai Kittu, Jai Jai Gopal and, Om Corporate Namah," filled the air.
Corporate Baba stared at his converts for a few vital seconds and then declared, "Now all of you join me in singing the Corporate anthem :
Na bibi na bachha
Na baap bada na maiyya
Corporate baba kahte hain
Sabse bada rupaiyya."