E.R. RAMACHANDRAN writes: Through my unusually reliable sources, I heard that Governor Rameshwar Thakur was planning to get the Vidhana and Vikasa Soudha remodelled before the formation of the next government. The Governor’s adviser, who was handling the project, took me around to explain the new plans.
“The Vikasa Soudha is spanking new. Why are you already going in for a renovation so soon?” I asked.
“I will explain when we get there. Let’s start with the Vidhana Soudha.”
As we walked around I saw workers dismantling the cubicles of the ministers and secretaries.
“Why are you converting office rooms to conference rooms?” I asked.
“Nobody works here as they keep discussing the whole day over tea when the next Government will get formed. The conference rooms are of different sizes. During a BJP MLAs’ meeting if, say, 40 of them turn dissidents, at the press of this button, this screen will divide the room into two sections. Nobody outside will ever know the MLAs bashed up each other and had a separate meeting. Both the groups can come out smiling as one group. Ditto for JDS; we have similar partitions for them. Congress MLAs can see the whole thing through this one-way mirror.”
“That’s very clever of the Governor to have thought of that.”
The advisor continued, “You don’t know how much Guv Thakur is concerned about our MLAs. Some rooms have secret trap-doors with a password for each MLA. If a JDS MLA wants to have a secret meeting with the leader of the BJP, or vice versa, he can access the room without anybody’s knowledge, seal a deal or secure a loan of five crores without anybody getting a whiff of that. Nobody will ever know, unless they fight and spill it into the open. Or if their legal advisor gives television interviews.”
“Amazing! What are these hollow 2×2 square blocks doing here?”
“They are a kind of mobile homa kits for Anytime-Anywhere-Homas. Here, try this. It comes off and you can take it to next room put it on the sofa and do it all over again. It is fire-proof and ghee-proof.”
“What is this small closet?”
“It is meant for small families. It has a three-way secret door. Appa-maga, maga-appa or anna-thamma can play games without the third person getting a clue. It is like ‘I-spy’. But when played within a family, it is a thriller.”
“You have miniature temples all over this floor. You have made replicas of Tirupati, Mookambike, Srirangam and even Chamundi temples!” I exclaimed.
“They are scaled-down versions of the real thing complete with astrologers. During the discussions for the formation of a ‘popular’ government, if say, Yediyurappa feels like visiting Chamundi, he can press this button and the escalator will take him to the mini-Chamundi temple with purohits in position to do mangalarathi and have a quick calculation done by his pet astrologer. If somebody else wants to do black, white or grey magic, or magic in any other colour, we have kept lemons, some look-alike dolls and lots of pins. They can keep piercing the dolls as much as they want.”
My head was reeling. Surely, you can’t get a kinder, more understanding governor than Thakur.
As we were coming out, I remembered about Vikas Soudha.
“What are your plans for Vikas Soudha?”
“Same as in the Vidhana Soudha. We are constructing resorts inside. We have a mini-golf course, where the MLAs can sit on the lawns and crunch numbers while munching sippe kadalekai. Some places have a 24×7 bar with a tap. They can drink and take bath simultaneously. All the famous resorts have opened their stalls here and each can hold 223 people.”
“What is the long stage with steps on either side? It looks like a ramp for a fashion parade to me,” I asked as we came out.
“It is a ramp. It is for parading the MLAs. The President or governor can sit here to watch it, no doubt cursing themselves what their jobs have come to,” said the advisor.