“Sssshh! Can you reduce the volume, guys? I am reading something important!” I yelled to Lil One and Hubby, who were watching some crazy TV show with great gusto.
“Mom, come join us…what are you reading anyway which is so important?” Lil One sounded hurt that Mommy wasn’t joining in the fun.
“Oh, she is reading news pertaining to the Budget,” said Hubby, in a maddening, condescending fashion. “As if she’s going to be the next FM.”
The words stuck to my mind. As if I am going to be FM. That would be a disaster of an order unknown. Econ Mom could almost see the entire circus unfolding.
A couple of days ago, the Halwa party was held at North Block. Well, that’s kinda traditional. The halwa party marks the printing of the budget documents. About a 100 officials who are involved in the printing of the budget documents stay at North Block from the halwa party upto the budget day so as to maintain complete secrecy regarding the same.
If Econ Mom were to be the FM, the first unmitigated disaster would be awaiting me at the halwa party in the format of Hubby’s Aunt, the Cook, who believes that she is the Only One who can..Cook.
“Oh no no no, is this the way to make halwa,” she would grumble, causing all the bureaucrats and budget experts, already weak from the crazy work schedule, to cower visibly before her towering persona. “And this is not halwa, to begin with. This is Sheera. Your cooks don’t even know how to make halwa.”
I would be busy trying to pretend I do not know the woman and do some intellectual talk on the fiscal consolidation path.
“Beti, next year, whether you are FM or not, and looking at your track record, I am really not sure you will be, but I am going to teach this joker to cook halwa. Tch, tch, tch…when the boss doesn’t know how to cook, how can I expect this poor man to be cooking properly!” This last bit would be probably addressed to Arvind Subramaniam, the Chief Economic Advisor, who would start to explain that he was NOT the cook. “No, no, no. Don’t give me excuses, young man. You are a very poor cook!”
Eve of the budget. The entire team would be discussing the last minute issues. “And Madam, be forceful when you make that announcement about cancelling the LPG subsidy for the richer households!”
And in the midst of the Chak De! huddle, Hubby would call, just to take stock and generally shake me up with the most stupid details. “Sweetheart, our washing machine stopped working today.”
“Ohk, look, I really can’t talk about this…we are in the midst of the LPG subsidy strategy..”
“Good you reminded me!” This, if I know him, will come in a super booming voice. “Say, sweetheart, we’ve run out of both cylinders. I know you asked me to book a refill, but I don’t have the number….errr, do you?”
“What? Gawd, how can you? Forgot to book a refill? I am really going to levy a special tax on Company Secretaries tomorrow.” That last bit would be hissed in that poisonous tone I generally reserve for him.
“Hey, cool down, honey…just joking…what are you so tense about? It’s just a budget!”That’s SO typically Hubby.
“Just a budget? JUST a budget? I have to announce it in the midst of antagonistic opposition members and later there’s a talk scheduled with Arnab Goswami…I am scared…”
“What are you saying? Scared of Arnab? Arre, don’t you worry, just imagine its me you are talking to and you’ll tear him down to pieces in that rude, impossible, toxic, inimitable fashion of yours, sweetheart. I give him 2 minutes at the most. He is going to meet his match today!”
Sigh! Was that a compliment?
Day of the budget. I reach the Parliament with the suitcase in hand…nnnnah, make that a purse, a real classy one. Hmm, I am dressed up and am walking up the steps when the cell phone rings.
“Moooooommmmy, I forgot to tell you…we had to take Geography maps to school today, else I’ll get a remark!” That was typically Lil One, who ALWAYS remembers what’s to be taken to school whilst at the doorstep or in the school bus. Grrr!
Gawd, this is so stressful! “Listen, I am going to be on TV. You can tell your friends too. And a remark or two is ok!”
“What? They finally gave you that lead role in Kabhi Bahu Kabhi Daayan? Dad was telling me! How embarrassing! I am not telling my friends. They’ll laugh at me. So now I’m getting a remark and plus everyone’s going to laugh at me….Aaaaaaaaaaarrghh!”
It’s final. Econ Mom really doesn’t want to be FM.