Here at the FP Special Forces headquarters, we are acutely aware that the much-awaited monsoon is still buffering — for want of a better word.
And so, it is with a great deal of anticipation that we brave the searing heat, the withering humidity and dusty... well, dustiness to seek the comfortable confines of our air-conditioned office.
You can well imagine our shock and agony when we realised that our trusty (name withheld to protect identity) air-conditioner was on the fritz. After an incredibly requisite — not to mention, appropriate — expletive-spewing session, it was time to fix the problem at hand. Time, as our swiftly-moistening brows would bear testimony, was of the essence.
A quick call to (name withheld to protect identity) customer services resulted in that disturbingly unsettling pre-recorded message: 'Yeh number maujood nahin hai. Kripya number jaanch karke dobaara koshish kijiye. The number you have dialled does not exist. Please check the number you have dialled and try again'.
A quick rummage through the official documents drawer yielded an address for the service centre. Thirty-four uncomfortable minutes later, our special envoy — who would probably be considered an intern at other organisations; not at FP Special Forces, mind you — returned from a quick Google Maps-aided visit to said service centre. "Sir, the service centre doesn't exist," he said mournfully.
Words seemed inadequate to describe the melange of anguish, frustration, rage and trauma that consumed the team, especially FP Special Forces' director of investigation (DoI), who was bristling for a reason beyond the obvious.
He set about admonishing the aforementioned special envoy and reminding him that as per the Constitution of India — a tome we've considered a holy book long before Prime Minister Narendra Modi dubbed it so — and more specifically, Article 18(2), 'No citizen of India shall accept any title from any foreign state'.
"As you are well aware, we have turned down each and every invitation that came our way from Buckingham Palace imploring us to accept a knighthood," the DoI proclaimed, glowing with pride.
"How many invitations did you receive, S-...?" asked the special envoy hesitantly.
"That's irrelevant," the DoI fired back, "Now what about the air-conditioner?"
It was then that it was decided that the message to (name withheld to protect identity) expressing our collective disdain would have to be delivered from the pulpit of this publication. The idea was flawless. After all, putting our personal vendetta into a reputable publication would be a fantastic way to not just legitimise it, but to also get instant results. High-fives were exchanged as we recalled the precedent set by Jasleen Kaur. Yes, this idea was going to be more than bulletproof. It would be unbreakable, like a super-reinforced wall! No! It would be like a series of walls, each more impenetrable than the previous.
Off to the editor we went.
"No, man," he said and quickly looked away.
And then came a series of calls (we won't bore you with the details) to corporators, NGOs, MLAs, MPs and even the CRPF's Rapid Action Force. All of which came to naught.
The time had come to unleash India's most powerful weapon, the country's answer to the Ghostbusters, the sharpest thorn in the flesh of negligent and abusive employers the world over: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. And besides, she's been known to sort out all sorts of problems. It did cross our mind, albeit briefly, to consult Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh instead. After all, this was more of a home issue than an external one. But that thought was quickly dismissed when we saw this:
— Venkat (@M_VenkatM) June 13, 2016
This guy clearly had the right idea, we reasoned and set about
writing crafting a heartfelt tweet that would bring our external affairs minister rushing to our rescue. And that's when our special envoy pointed this out to us:
Brother I cannot help you in matters of a Refrigerator. I am very busy with human beings in distress. https://t.co/cpC5cWBPcz
— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) June 13, 2016
After that searing burn, we decided to buy a new air-conditioner.
Thanks a lot, Madam Minister(!)