The lead players in this soap-operatic show
are a mother, a son, and their mortal foe.
That there is bad blood between them is not new.
It goes back to what occurred in 2002.
Since then, it was clear as ice
that Momma and Rival were not ready to make nice.
In the polls that followed this animus gave voice
to ‘merchant of death’ as the slander of choice.
Rival held firm even as his party lost steam
to a competing alliance where la famiglia ruled supreme.
In the decade that Momma held fort,
every effort was made to drag the pretender to court.
With the challenger entangled in cases galore,
son found little need to mind the store.
His yen for vacations gave him wings
while Momma deftly worked the puppeteer strings.
In last year’s elections, the tables were turned
as Rival came up tops while Mom and son were spurned.
With the poison of power a chalice too far,
son fled the arena for some much-needed R&R.
Momma, meanwhile, clung to her chair,
stalling all counsel to offload the heir.
Sabbatical over, unsullied by blame,
son left Destination Unknown his legacy to claim.
“It’s time,” he told Momma, “that you move away.
This is now my team, my game, my style of play.
‘Yes, perhaps, maybe,’ is no way to go.
Now every request will get a ‘No! No! No!’
“We will showcase this trait
as they begin to legislate.
Our ranks may be depleted, no states have been won.
Still, in sheer cussedness, we will be second to none.
If the gridlock causes the GDP numbers to tank,
you taught us this gag, we have you to thank.
If the public frowns at us folk—
you cannot make an omelette without spilling some yolk.
“They stormed the well, we will collar the floor.
They wasted two sessions, we will double the score.
The Land Bill is ravaged, GST is toast.
Want more proof, bhaiyya, whose writ runs the most?”
Son’s speechwriter was tasked with the Herculean chore
to draft a speech that is read with ease but appears extempore.
Since Devanagari was Greek,
Roman was chosen as sleek.
A volley of jibes was held as reserve
to counter the digs his foes would serve.
Parliament is done.
Legislation is frozen courtesy an unyielding son.
He spells it out lo, “For movement to show:
three scalps must go.
Borrowing a line from a Broadway revue—
You put in your papers for Mama, Mama will put out your Bills for you.”
Sacrifices, there will be none.
An immovable challenger stares down an inflexible son.
Meanwhile, the nation wonders what it will take
for the clear stream of reason to bypass Obstinacy Lake.