Home / Opinion / Online Views /  Rajinikanth Rajan saves the rupee

When Rajinikanth Rajan alighted from his SUV on Mint Road, the first thing he saw was the sagging Reserve Bank of India (RBI) building. As the rupee slumped, the building too had wilted. It now drooped wearily, wearing a defeated look.

Rajan walked briskly past the officials lined up to greet him and leaned against the building, whistling a tune from Sivaji: The Boss, his hands in the pockets of his immaculately tailored trousers. And as he pushed gently, the walls straightened and the building stood erect and tall once again. Rajinikanth brushed the dust from his jacket and entered the central bank.

On the eighteenth floor, he found Subbarao sitting in a corner, sobbing. “Only God," he muttered as Rajan came in, “can save the rupee." “Then I will order him to do so," said Rajinikanth, picking up the phone.

“Hullo", said the deity at the other end. “This is Kanth, Rajni Kanth," said Rajan. Those red-hot words shot through the phone lines and melted the wax in Ben Bernanke’s ear. “Rajni saar, to what do I owe this pleasure?" gasped Ben. Rajni breathed heavily down the line, blowing away a few more hairs from Ben’s balding dome. “Should I get you a vodka martini, shaken not stirred," quavered Ben. “No Martini/Only tanni/For Rajni," roared Rajan, “Rascala, what is this nonsense you are doing to the rupee?" “I’ll correct it immediately. Right away, saar," pleaded Bernanke. “Better do it, or I will be hammering you so much you will forget your tapering," thundered Rajni, banging down the phone.

Later, as Subbarao watched the dollar index crash worldwide, he told Rajinikanth he could not leave RBI in safer hands. He then vaulted down the stairs two at a time and passers-by watched him gambolling down Mint Road, happily taking baby steps and doing flip-flops.

Rajan then turned to the RBI officials in front of him. “Why are you so sad?" he asked, “Are there other dastardly enemies wanting to destroy the rupee?" Yes, they said, there was the Non-Deliverable Forward Market in Singapore. “The traders there are dastards, bloody dastards," said a deputy governor. “Is there a phone booth nearby?" queried Rajan. The officials pointed to one down the road and Rajan lost no time in getting into it, putting on his underwear over his trousers and wearing his coat like a cape. He then leaped into the air and took off, flying at supersonic speed for Singapore.

The traders watched Rajni’s descent from the skies in awe. “To you scoundrels speculating against the rupee," he said grimly, “I have only one word." As the dealers cowered in fear, Rajan pushed back his cape, raised his hand and uttered the fearsome mantra, “FCNR(B)." The traders screamed and ran to cover their shorts, dropping non-deliverables like leaves before a storm, a storm that lifted the rupee and blew away the dollar. Rajan started for home, giving the market one parting kick, making it spin backwards. Since then, to its eternal shame, it has been called the Non-Deliverable Backward Market.

“Are you happy now?" asked Rajan to the RBI staff when he was back at the office. They looked down and shuffled their feet. But one of them spoke up. “Come with me, sir," she said, leading him to a room with a curious structure at the end. “In that corner," she pointed, “is the Yield Curve. As you can see, sir, it is inverted and despite our best efforts, nobody has been able to straighten it." “Subbarao broke his right arm trying to do it," piped up another official. “And the deputy governors say they have other, better curves to think about," complained a secretary. Rajinikanth soothed them. “Rajinikanth tells, yield curve obeys," he said. He narrowed his eyes, directed a steely gaze to the curve and uttered two deadly words, “Mind yit." The long end of the yield curve jumped up in fright, the curve straightened itself and a wild cheer swept through the bond markets.

“Only one other thing needs to be done," said the Governator, as he climbed up to the roof and launched himself in the direction of Dalal Street. As the stockbrokers of the BSE saw him shooting towards them, they asked each other, “Is it a bird? Is it a plane?" Someone said, “No, it’s Narendra Modi," and the Sensex went up a thousand points. Later on, when he alighted on the BSE roof, they recognized his halo. “It’s Rajinikanth, the dollar slayer," they whispered.

As they watched in wonder, yet another figure streaked through the sky, landed on the BSE and touched the maestro’s feet. “Why, it’s Superman," they cried. “Yes," said Rajan, “He has come to pay his respects to me and he has brought a huge sack of dollars. He will, of course, buy stocks with them." A big cheer went up from the assembled brokers and Rajan urged Superman to say something. “Ni hao," said Superman. “Oh, I forgot the Man of Steel, like almost everything else, is manufactured in China now," said Rajan. “Be that as it may," he continued, “I promise you more liberalization and reforms." The Sensex went up another thousand points. “Kkkhoool," said Rajan.

Afterwards, as Rajan signed autographs for a bevy of adoring admirers, he called M in Delhi. “This is 007, Rajinikanth Rajan. Mission accomplished," he said. “Theek hai," said M, who was more widely known by his full name, Manmohan Singh.

Manas Chakravarty looks at trends and issues in the financial markets. Your comments
are welcome at

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