Monday, April 04, 2011

In Pursuit of Poonam Pandey

Is she a model? A super woman? India’s National Asset? Gary Kirsten’s secret weapon? Friends, please put your hands together (clap, you idiot) and welcome the most popular Pandey in India today – who’s more popular than the likes of Mangal Pandey, Chunkey Pandey and Chulbul Pandey put together.

The moment Dhoni slammed a six to clinch the trophy, frantic efforts have been made to trace India’s secret damsel weapon who won the team the Cup for them. All news channels have sent out teams to hunt for Ms Poonam Pandey who has enthralled the patriotic Indian public by claiming to go Full Monty on winning the trophy.

We decided to do our own investigation and snoop around for the various people involved in the manhunt. When BCCI was contacted regarding Poonam’s intent to go nude if permitted, Vice-President K Srinivasan refused to comment citing personal conflict of interest but agreed that Lalit Modi was to blame for this mess. Meanwhile, erstwhile IPL Chairman Lalit Modi tweeted that a he had signed a contract with Set Max giving the channel full rights to broadcast the Poonam night. However, the ICC president cum Agriculture Minister cum sugar baron cum real estate baron Sharad Pawar said that equal opportunity sealed tenders would be called to stage the Poonam night and the highest bidder would be given the rights in case India Cements opts out of the race.

The IB has indicated that Interpol has been alerted to locate Poonam; the bright sleuths have confirmed that they have intensified their search on Facebook, Twitter, Google and intelligence partner Wikipedia to locate her. There was a suspicion that the Pakistanis had kidnapped her as an exchange offer for Kashmir but since the source of this news was Times Now, this angle was dropped. The Home Minister has opined that she may have been kidnapped by Maoists and said that since this is a matter regarding internal security, the army would start a search operation in this regard; typically the Defence Minister A K Antony’s opinion was not sought.

The Finance Minister opined that the Poonam night was a taxable event and 35% fun tax should be paid to the tax exchequer, once she is found. Immediately, BJP’s Chief Sting Officer Arun Jaitley questioned the Government’s intentions  to impose this fun tax in these inflationary times; he said that the law was not very clear on the actual definition of fun and that as and when there is a quorum in the House, this point should be discussed. The PM refused to be drawn into this discussion and said that keeping in light the CVC controversy, until all the facts are presented to him, he will not venture any opinion – this surprised bloggers who were ready to swear by the PMs lack of opinion on every issue.

Most Congressmen were unable to take any decision and looked to 10 Janpath to decide on the party strategy but Sonia Madam was too busy celebrating the Indian Victory to respond. The Frog, sorry, Crown Prince Rahul Gandhi was seen checking the Tata Yellow Pages for her address to spend a night with her and understand the problems of the youth better. Congress spokesman Manish Tewari immediately released a statement saying that the Government should consider declaring Poonam’s assets as national monuments to protect them from the likes of communal forces like Narendra Modi. This spurred the BJP to launch a Poonam Yathra to counter the Govt propaganda but this was cancelled at the last minute stating traffic constraints in Mumbai (insiders claim that this was abandoned due to differences in opinion between Perpetual PM In Waiting Advani and the RSS but this info could not be verified). 

All main Indian channels carried exclusive stories of a Wikileak emanating from Wikipedia which said that Poonam was photographed bathing in a canal in Venice, raising speculation of an Italian hand to this entire conspiracy. The BJP immediately demanded Sonia Gandhi’s resignation saying that Poonam was part of the Bofors kickback offered through Quattrocchi. However, reading the fine print of Wikipedia suggested that Poonam may have been part of the entourage of models who had entertained Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi, thus explaining the Italian sojourn. This led to the BJP immediately retracting from their official media recorded statement claiming that they were misquoted by the press. Silvio laughed off the accusation that he was too old to be involved in such amorous escapades but the ever forgiving Italian public was nevertheless impressed by his latest strategic foreign policy thrust.

Times Now claimed to have found a copy of the World Cup Winning Dossier created by honorary Indian citizen, Gary Kirsten with the help of unemployed IIM grads, lying in its Mumbai office. The document typed in Comic Sans Font size 12 is named as Operation Poonam Reloaded and provided incriminating evidence of the underhand (leg) means used by the team to reclaim the Cup which traditionally belonged to the Indian team but had been lent to the Aussie team on a long term lease. While the details of the report were never published, sources close to Arnab Goswami claim that it contained the minutes of the meetings of the Indian Think Tank listing the various positions that Poonam was identified to play to ensure that we won the Cup.

NDTV also indicated that they had carried out a sting on the Tatas which indicated that Ratan Tata, in cahoots with Niira Radia, may have used Poonam as bait to bring about changes in the 4G policy and buy spectrum. While no one has any idea what 4G stands for, it was universally agreed that Poonam is definitely more valuable than spectrum and the phone scripts must be exposed. While this was being debated, CNN-IBN published a photo of Barkha Dutt sharing a drink with somebody who mysteriously looked like Poonam; this was vehemently denied but the spectrum story died a sudden death immediately after this expose.

Leading feminists in India led by animal lover Celina Jaitley held a candle light demonstration in broad daylight asking to bring Poonam back home since she represented the true Indian woman, who was willing to sacrifice everything for the love of her country. However, peace loving groups like Ram Sena and Shiv Sena have demanded that Poonam be banned from entering the country since she was an insult to Indian women. The progressive MNS party however took a step further and mentioned that as a Bihari, she should also no longer be allowed to step into their sacred Maratha land.

India’s Human Rights Activists led by the redoubtable Arundhati Roy demanded that Poonam must be given full protection and the Right to Strip be made a fundamental right since there was the truest form of self-expression. Since there was a long list of groups in queue whose sentiments had been hurt by Poonam’s actions, the Government constituted a panel of self-proclaimed intellectuals which included among those Aamir Khan, Chetan Bhagat and Subramanian Swamy, to understand the true impact of this loss of sentiments.

India’s Flying Sikh the full-nonsense Sardar Navjot Singh Sidhu responded crisply on TV saying in no uncertain terms - My dear friend, adversity is the true test of one’s character. The camaraderie and bonhomie unleashed by this damsel in distress would go a long way in revitalizing, soothing and elevating the battered spirit of the poor Indian common man, who has long found himself traumatized by the multiplier effect of the hyper galloping inflation, coupled with the double whammy created by the myriad scandals of the populist Indian polity. This was reported the next day exclusively as a major headline by the Times of India followed by a detailed 24 hr panel discussion chaired on Times Now by Arnab Goswami to understand what the Sardar said.

Madhur Bhandarkar has said that he plans to direct a movie called CRICKET-The expose which would expose the soft,dark underbelly of the dealings between cricketers, models and bookies and everyone else watching the movie. There would be an item number Poonam Ki Jawani with guest appearance by the subject herself; this story has miffed Katrina Kaif who plans to sue Bhandarkar for violating her copyright on jawani. Reports say that Mallika Sherawat has been approached to play the leading character; rumours abound that she may turn down the role because she is busy laying good word for her Oscar winning performance in the movie HISS. Large hearted Pakistani cricketers were also roped in to give the movie a realistic feel but everyday infighting among the players has delayed the shooting schedule.

Not to be left out, renowned Malayalam filmmaker Paambu Vasu who has directed avante garde classics like Yavanam Oru ShaapamAvalude Thazhvarathinte Thanalil and Nabhikalkkappuram  announced that his new movie Pournami Raathrikal will be loosely based on Poonam's struggles in life. However, the movie has run into repeated hartals across the state for unknown reasons; senior hartal analyst Fijin Baby, writing in the national daily Manjadi, believes that the protests may have been triggered by Shakeela Chechi's fans upset at director Priyadarshan's reported attempt to remake her mega hit movie Kinnara Thumbikal with Akshay Kumar in double role to fill screen space.

Latest update – India’s Opposition has dismissed the existence of Poonam Pandey dubbing the entire plan as Poonamgate and has claimed that no such woman exists and this was a strategy by the Congress to deflect attention from the various scams plaguing the government. Pranab Mukherjee has said that that a PAC would look into this while the Opposition has demanded a JPC investigation but eventually all main parties walked out of the House.  In the midst of this entire conundrum, the Common Male waits with bated breath and a clenched fist...

In an unrelated story, the Malayalam newspaper Matrubhumi Malayala Manorama ran a front page cover story suggesting that the fact that there was a place called Dhoni in Palakkad indicated that Dhoni had his roots in Kerala; the report by local correspondent Minnal Babu proudly claimed to have identified the hotel where Dhoni’s parents had spent time during their honeymoon, thus firmly establishing his Kerala connection and giving the State something to cheer about in the midst of the election season and Sreesanth's sparkling bowling display in the World Cup. This story also sparked off huge celebrations leading to the Kerala State Beverage Corporation meeting its annual sales target within 2 days..


  1. The Mathrubhumi comect was kickass . Isn't it Malayala Manorama that runs "he has mallu roots" story always ?

  2. To be honest, that was a typo error; it was meant to be Malayala Manorama but I guess it didn't matter, so I left it at that..

  3. Lol!! How is this your first attempt at humour, all your writing has always had a healthy dose of irony! With this you are now qualified to own a news channel of your own! You'll beat Times Now without a doubt :D

  4. Thanks, Devika...Let's say first attempt to move from a healthy dose of irony to unhealthy dose and looks like it can work though I was real sceptical on whether I could pull of humour..

  5. The last para brought back some memories.. Chanakya, Anil Kumble, Kris Gopalakrishnan, all the Mallu IAS secys today ….. parents pointing out their malluness all the time.

  6. OMG..................... That is an awesome awesome write up... How to define our current issues in 16 Paragraphs.....
    Hats off to you Chopsy....

  7. hey pradeep !!

    thats a neat piece of writing !
    I esp liked the bits on A K Antony, navjot singh sidhu and mallika sherawat .
    Not bad for t first attempt, but to give you a more specific feedback, u cud make it shorter the next time, to retain the wit.
    And why did nt u write abt the players' thoughts on Poonam ??

    Its easy to write comments, i wudnt be able to write even 4 lines like that.
    gud !!

  8. Thanks, Sanju.Feedback of any form is highly appreciated to ensure that the writing improves..Good critics are equally important..

    Agree it could be shorter, guess there is a greed to flaunt one’s knowledge and show to the readers that I can cover all these topics; need strict editing…Did not think about the player’s perspective at that time – good point…

  9. Kalalki aliya kalaki.... it took some time for me to read it all but great attempt. I liked ur attack on times now and Arnab.. and I think we both share same feelings for this particular channel and the reader. And one change I would suggest is the name of the Malayalam news paper. Malayala manorama is the guy who has a notorious reputation in keralizing people. And you should write something on Kerala politics also. You can add Malayala manorama newspaper and Desabhimani in bibliography.... if u read these news papers, you will get both the ends of the same thread... rest u can fill.....

  10. Thanks, Priyan..Actually, I was not sure whether it was Manorama or Matrubhumi, so I took a chance and named it as Matrubhumi; have corrected it now…

    Still new to Kerala politics though much more informed than a few years back..Since we watch a bit more Malayalam now, especially after marriage, making a bit of progress on that…Will have to read much more before I can venture into that..

  11. Hi friend...Thanks for your amazing information.Particularly Kerala State Beverage Corporation content is marvelous write up.