Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Shashi Tharoor's Diary

Dear Diary,

I really don't know why Mani Shankar Aiyar has his knickers in a twist about my praising Modi.

He is the Prime Minister, after all, and controls much jam.

And I like jam!

Call it the single hard and fast principle that has guided me through life!

At the UN, I always went where the jam was. Ask anyone.

Well some people might tell you I was just a British toady, but that's quite the wrong way to look at it.

The Brits control the jam at the UN. Anyone who tells you the yanks are in control doesn't know what he is talking about; they're too busy flexing their Super Power muscles to take care of jam.

So right off the bat, after Kofi Annan recruited me at the UN High Commission for Refugees, I let the Brits know I was really one of them. (And that is not far from the truth, considering I was born in London.)

It worked like a charm.

The Brits like bright Indians who like jam, and as the UN is filled with people guided by the I Like Jam principle, I did quite well there.

Of course, the UN also has some odd people who claim to have high falutin ideas about integrity and such, but they are generally considered a pain in the neck.

The Brits really ask very little of us jam lovers in return. Occasionally someone would call and ask a favor. Really innocuous stuff.  Like the Godfather asking a service of the undertaker.

For instance, in my books, they like some things to be fudged. Small things really. Like the toll of the Great Bengal Famine of 1942-1943. That's the famine they created in response to the Quit India Movement. They were really pleased that I wrote "thousands died." The generally accepted death toll is between 3 and 4 million, but I'm sure no one noticed, especially in India.

I was right. No one did. (Except that frightful drip Papa Menon, who mentioned it over coffee once. I looked at him quite amazed. He is so out of it!)

But I soon realized that Indian sophistication about history didn't carry over into matters involving jam. Instead of winking at what happened with me and IPL, everyone made the most awful fuss. Really uncalled for, I thought.

Luckily, I had Sunanda by my side, and eventually things worked out well.

Or they did until that Pakistani jam -- I mean journalist -- came to see me ... and that brings me to the second reason I'm praising Modi.

He doesn't just control the jam. He controls what happens to the investigation of the unfortunate Leela episode.

Mani Shankar Aiyar should get a life!

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