E.R. RAMACHANDRAN writes: When H.D. Kumaraswamy and B.S. Yediyurappa decided to do a tango, a roadshow, to promote ‘Coalition dharma’ (pronounced and practiced as ‘Collision drama’), it opened a can of worms hitherto unforeseen anywhere.
To be sure, there have been many coalition governments in the past pulling their hair in as many directions as the one seen in Delhi now. But, to see partners of the coalition eating, drinking and traveling ‘coalition’, has driven pundits scurrying to the nearest library for reference of existence of such a case in past.
In Srirampura, Hassan, the Sudugadu Siddharu were racking the brains over the menu for next day for the CM and his Deputy. Additional Chief Secretary Palguni Rajkumar was at hand to plan out the Coalition Menu.
“What will you serve for breakfast for the First Couple of the Karnataka Government,” I asked.
“It will naturally reflect the collision drama. For breakfast, we are making idli, dosa sambhar, chutney, benne muruku, puulangay unde, hurigalu and menthyada kashaya. For lunch I want to serve mavinakayi chitranna, thouvve, nuchhinaunde, majjige huli, Payasa, chopsuey, Chow Fun rice noodles, Yang Chow fried rice topped with Peking Dust dessert.”
“Aren’t you combining items gastronomically poles apart?”
“We are. When you work together despite different ideologies, so is it with menus that are 180 degrees apart. I have combined breakfast and snacks together. For lunch I have combined our traditional items with Chinese menu. There are items which may not mix at all, but I am as eager as you are to see the end result.”
“This is a request from the Deputy CM to be served till October 2. He wants this served for all his meals. He doesn’t take water at all.”
“Why for CM also?”
“The Deputy wants to remind C.M. of this date every day.”
The Home Secretary was supervising the lunch in the afternoon. He had a measuring tape in his hand. The waiters were cutting the banana leaf after HS marked off the lengths.
He explained, “The C.M. gets 18 cm X 24 cm leaf whereas the Deputy CM gets one which is 18 cm X 20 cm”. Don’t look at me like that! I am just following Lok Ayukta guidelines. I don’t want any trouble later on.”
“Can Deputy CM get the same helpings as the CM?”
“Yes, except, sweets. He will get one serving less than whatever CM takes. The waiters will keep track of the count. For lunch, they will have cotton candy and pakampoppu as coalition dessert. CM can give his share to his Deputy. That won’t be counted.”
At night Sudugadu Siddharu were making preparations for their VVIP Guests. Palguni Rajkumar was again supervising the scene.
“This is the ticklish part. I have to ensure the couple gets good sleep and at the same time follow Lok Ayukta rulebook. If I err here, it might affect the coalition.”
“That’s true. How are you tackling this?”
“Chescom have put a transformer for the night, so we have electricity. I have put an AC where the CM will sleep on an 18” thick foam bed. He will have two pillows.”
“What about the Deputy?”
“As per BJP tradition, he will sleep on the floor on deer skin over coir mattress. The prescribed thickness for his bed is 10 cm”. We will keep a cooler in his room and give him a cotton pillow. I hope they both sleep well and get recharged by morning.”
“Will they drink anything before they go to sleep?”
“Yes. Jeerige kashaya. Here Deputy CM gets two glasses, whereas the CM gets only one glass. CM reversed Lok Ayukta’s rulebook for this which is to be to be followed till October 2.”
Cross-posted on Kosambari