12/06/2015 8:32 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

On Ground And Off Ground Shenanigans Of Our Trusted Leaders

MUNIR UZ ZAMAN via Getty Images
Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi gives a traditional greeting as he exits the plane on his arrival at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka on June 6, 2015. India's prime minister arrived in Bangladesh to seal a land pact which will finally allow tens of thousands of people living in border enclaves to choose their nationality after decades of stateless limbo. AFP PHOTO/ Munir uz ZAMAN (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Holiday season is here. Monaco beckons. Paris dazzles. But with rising ticket prices my dream of flying abroad just made a crash landing. So I sit back in my heated Gurgaon cockpit and wonder about Modi's foreign trip, RaGa's Bangkok sojourn and Kejriwal's flight of fancy.

"Well, in Modi we have an able pilot. I only hope he knows that the fuel of public patience is limited. And media gravity is universal."

It all began when Captain NaMo landed in South Korea without the tail wind of the mainstream private media. His Modiluft was cruising comfortably with sarkari media on board, until he strayed off the trajectory and went on a bragging trip. The adulation of emotional NRIs chanting NaMo, NaMo and the love for his own voice created such turbulence that his flight deviated from the assigned path. This minor deviation awakened the patriotic Indian among his detractors in such a way that everyone writing SAT and GMAT became a proud Indian on Twitter. Well, in Modi we have an able pilot. I only hope he knows that the fuel of public patience is limited. And media gravity is universal.

rahul gandhi

So while NaMo was flying high, RaGa gained groundspeed on the Amethi runway. The smartest thing RaGa's flight handlers did was to cloud his 56 day mysterious disappearance from the radar. Only a black box can tell us what he did, where he stayed and what he wore (a suit, boot? shorts?) while in Bangkok. I can't deny that there was some relief in watching RaGa sweat it out in dusty hinterland with a dozen farmers clapping even before he spoke. "Prime Minister Modi goes abroad but hasn't visited a single farmer's home," he thundered. Well, if symbolic home visits could solve the problem of agrarian crisis, we could have a bumper crop this season. Since nothing matched RaGa's high standards, he dismissed Modi's one year of flying by giving him a zero on ten. However, his own Food Park flight suffered a bird hit as soon as it took off. One gets a feeling that frequent pilot errors are likely to ground the Congress airline unless they stick to politically profitable routes.

While I sulked watching all the high fliers, I enjoyed Meri Jung Returns being played in Delhi. Trust pilot Kejriwal to entertain us with his anarchic sorties on the Delhi runway. Belted on his seat, Captain Kejriwal fought with the co-pilot, locked the cabin crew and landed at the President's doorstep. With passing time, Kejriwal resembles a disgruntled flier who creates fuss each time the air hostess takes time to respond. The penchant of flying his low cost airline far into the crash is a sign for Delhiites to trust the captain, but keep the seat belt fastened. As expected, Kejriwal blamed Modi error for his recent crash, err clash. The politically savvy Delhiite should have anticipated such turbulence with Kejriwal as the pilot and the BJP as the air traffic controller.

Anyway, since I can't visit foreign shores, I derive comfort from the fact that it is always better to be on the ground wishing you were up in the air, than being up in the air wishing you were on the ground. Right?

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