Scotland, here they come

by Roopinder Singh

IN an exclusive off-the-record briefing in which he demanded anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the subject, a senior official of the Punjab government stridently sought to put to rest all speculation regarding the visit of the state’s legislators to the country known for all things scotch. “It is not only desirable but also necessary that state legislators continually educate themselves,” he said.

He strongly refuted the allegation that the honourable legislators had gone on a pleasure trip. “This is a serious attempt to examine and understand the process with which scotch whiskey is manufactured”, he said, adding that the team would visit various facilities with a view to drawing lessons which would be of immense help to such endeavours in the state.”

When asked if it was desirable that the public exchequer’s money be used for such trips, the official came back with the following argument: “Look at all the liquor shops in Punjab. Even in Chandigarh you have many shops in a single location, like the Sector 9 market. We need quality products for such up-scale showrooms.”

In response to a pointed question about the honourable members’ dietary excursions, he said that scotch egg was a staple with many members in the morning and scotch pancake’s at tea time. Some members had even tried the scotch pie. He pleaded ignorance about whether the members imbibed the more potent drinks that Scotland is also associated with worldwide.

His PA, who had been hovering unobtrusively in the background, taking notes and doing the things PAs do, however, pointed out that it would be rude to refuse traditional scottish hospitality and the members would be expected to do all they can to further the strong fraternal bonds between the scotch and Indians.

The issue of whether the ground water around Punjabi distilleries was polluted (as claimed initially) or not (as the state pollution control board later said), was dismissed off-hand. “How does it matter? We must be prepared for all challenges, extant or anticipated. Pollution is a global phenomenon and we must go globe-trotting to study it,” the official, who is a figment of this writer’s imagination, said.

Talking of global ramifications, a request has just been received for a high-powered committee to study the designs of the scottish kilt. “There is a remarkable similarity between the tartan design and the Madras check. “It is also not a coincidence that the kilt and the lungi are used to cover the lower part of the male torso. “We must examine if there is any patent violation involved in this, and while doing so we can also explore the possibility of manufacturing scottish kilts in Ludhiana,” said the official.

“Brilliant Sir”, said the PA, “other honourable members who have been complaining of being left out. We can take care of them now”. Scotland, here they come.

This middle was published on the Editorial page of The Tribune on July 21, 2010

Here are links to middles that I wrote, one in 1992 and another in 1994, which you may also find interesting. Please click on the headings given below to read them.

Civil action in uniform

What will we do without TADA?

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