I’m anti-women’s Bill, anti-Indian politicians and, after this past week, anti-parliamentary debates. Since I am not one of Lalu Prasad’s seven daughters, it’s unlikely that I’ll participate in what passes for national debate any time soon. But as a long-suffering citizen who continues to believe (albeit wearily sometimes) in the idea of India, I’m ready for some simple state-issued changes that would make my life easier. Here are my reservation requirements and their accompanying proposals:
Girl power: The new parliamentary game. Mustafa Quraishi/AP
Reservations for people who want to buy a house with their legal, hard-earned, fully taxed savings. Recently I found out that you shouldn’t even think of buying a property in south Delhi unless you can pay 70% of its cost in cash. And if you don’t have the cash, you can launder it through your friendly neighbourhood commodities trader who, for a small fee, will give you cash and produce “proof” of your sudden “loss” in turbulent commodities markets (and so what if copper actually touched a new high after the recent earthquake in Chile). Proposal: 33% reservation in prime urban sea- and park-facing apartments.
Reservations for people who thought ‘Avatar’ should have won a few more Oscars.Director James Cameron worked for more than a decade to create a magical world and forever changed the way we will watch movies. And we still thought Spock’s ears were more award-worthy? Proposal: 33% reservation for first-day, first-show tickets in any city.
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Reservations for people who know how to behave in a multiplex.Growing up, my traumatic cinema encounters at Mumbai’s iconic single screens included people who spit on the floor in front of their seat. As an adult, I’m forced to sit behind people who think the theatre is a place you go to when you want to have a long discussion with your stockbroker and where the Rs200 you paid allows you to show off your porcine self. Proposal: 100% reservation in Gold Class (at regular prices).
Reservations for south Mumbai, of course. C’mon, we don’t vote. We don’t have a voice in Parliament. We live alongside the Marathi manoos. We pay taxes. We need serious help. Proposal: 33% reservation at all five-star restaurants across the country (this will encourage us to sally forth and explore the real India).
Reservations for those who still dislike Narendra Modi. Now that big daddys Ratan Tata and Amitabh Bachchan have been taken in by Modi’s grand makeover, we know we’re clearly an endangered minority. We’ll only be able to call India our home until he becomes prime minister. Proposal: 33% reservation of all Tata Nanos manufactured in Gujarat (at a special price of Rs99,999).
Reservations for people who don’t watch regressive television serials. Even though I did send a colleague to watch the Balika Vadhu episode of Anandi’s near-death encounter with her off screen, Mumbai-based family earlier this week (read about it on Page 7). And even though I watched open-mouthed as Rahul Mahajan wed Dimpy Ganguly live and exclusive on NDTV Imagine. Proposal: 33% reservation of all TRP homes metered so that we can influence the list of most-watched television shows (and so that Lost finally has a shot at No. 1).
Also, I’m proposing we consider reservations for curly-haired women (we really do have a tougher life). Reservations for actors who don’t endorse baniyans and fairness creams. Reservations for left-handed people. Reservations for the husband. You get the point.
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