Millennium Post

Laughing it loud at a golden joke

In a distant land at a time long, long time ago, an old monk had a dream. There’s gold buried in Unnao, he declared one fine day.

Unnao, half of India thought with a sense of detachment, was the new UN building in Harare and stood for UNNow, as in TimesNow.

What do we care if gold is found or not, this half of India thought. The other half of India had not even heard of Unnao, so there was no attachment to any sense of detachment. They simply did not care.

But not so the GSI, technically the Geological Survey of India but more often than not confused by most Indians with either GIS or FSI, as also ISI. This agency not only located Unnao on the political map of India and proved it has nothing to do with the UN’s top-secret mission in Gurgaon but also claimed to have seen something that closely corroborated what the seer saw: a golden dream. There could be something below the surface, the GSI proclaimed.

Sold to the gold, it is here that the ASI, technically the Archaeological Survey of India though often confused with ISI and GSI by unsuspecting Indians, entered the fray. We dig, it proclaimed.

And so it began – the digging. Both halves of India, which till the other day were not sure whether Unnao existed and where exactly it did it actually did, began seeing dreams of a step back to a golden era for India.

No, not when Manmohan Desai made blockbuster films but an era even earlier, when gold allegedly covered the country, metaphorically of course, like those moth-eaten silver foils cover, literally of course, Diwali sweets these days.

While reports that Messrs Raghuram Rajan and P Chidambaram were expecting the dreamt-up 1,000 tonnes of buried gold to take care of fiscal disfigurement and that Manmohan Singh held an emergency meeting with himself to work towards ensuring no more scam was dug up turned out to be false leads, the digging sure caught the attention of the nation.

Enough to turn the old monk into an imperious Old Monk, who commanded more eyeballs and OB vans than NaMo’s foray down south midway through the game of dig-dug.

He also forced NaMo, technically Narendra Modi but referred to as #Feku by one half of India and The Great One by the other half, to retract his statement.

While NaMo had initially laughed off the old monk’s dream, he later said he had immense respect for the Old Monk, which speculators speculated could mean the seer could even be appointed the Minister of State for Dreams if India sends him to South Block.

Eleven days, and loads of digging, later, the ASI, which technically still remains the ASI despite all the jokes going around, has said there’s no gold.

What it did not say is what the speculators are speculating: it’s another scam; that someone bought the whole dream story that might or might not have been a rip-off. But what’s for certain is Unnao’s dozen days of fame is over.

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