An emergency meeting of Vajpayee’s think-tank was on to analyse the Gujarat elections.
“The first question is, did we win or lose?” said the chief.
The most junior member, who had been co-opted on Bal Thackeray’s recommendation looked puzzled. “Did you not see the news,” he asked, “we got a two-third’s majority”.
The spin-doctor looked at him with disgust. “Modi got a two-third majority, the question is what did we get.”
“We did not do too badly, quite well actually,” said the accountant, grinning.
“Too short-term, that’s your problem,” said the chief irritated, “can’t see beyond your nose. Remember: no Vajpayee, and you are all out of a job.”
“Is Vajpayee dying?” asked the junior member.
“In the long-term we are all dead,” said the accountant looking very pleased with himself.
“We all know it was Keynes who said that,” said the chief more irritated than ever, “Let’s see how Vajpayee did.”
“Well, according to the MARGI poll, there were huge crowds at his meetings, and people were very impressed with his poetry.”
“That’s the good news. The bad news is that people think he’s a has-been, no longer suitable as a leader. They feel that Modi is the man for the new century.”
“What’s Modi got that he hasn’t?” asked the spin-doctor loyally.
“Well, he’s younger, tougher and quicker.”
“We all know that Vajpayee’s softness is just a mask, after all its we who created that image,” said the spin-doctor.
“The problem is the people think he’s gone soft in the head and soft in the belly. A leaner, meaner Vajpayee is what they would like.”
“Let’s convince him to take up martial arts. Thackerayji practices with a sword every day,” said the junior member.
“A bit too late for that. The only thing Vajpayee can lift nowadays is the plate of ladoos.”
“Any ideas about what we should do?” asked the chief.
“I’ve got it,” said the spin-doctor, “let’s join Modi’s think-tank.