Time heals all. I have only just begun to get over my shock and disillusion at not finding my name in the list of Padmashri awardees. Like Santa Claus I read the list and checked it twice. If you have been wondering why you too were left out of the list, I have given the matter some thought and here are my findings.
It is really unfair, I mean come on, the Padmashris are like the runt of the litter, right at the bottom of the Awardian Barrel. They are practically giving them away. 81 of them. Surely they could have included my name. Or yours. They have people like Aishwarya Rai Bachchan cosmetics model, actress and Bachchan bahu; and Saif Ali Khan chargesheeted for slaughtering two blackbucks along with Salman Khan. The charges were dropped.
Next from the Awardian barrel comes the Padma Bushan. 43 were awarded this year. These are reserved for the big guns like Sant Singh Chatwal who has reportedly defrauded many millions of dollars from Indian and American banks, declared bankruptcy even while living a luxurious life and jet-setting with the rich and famous. They say he was even arrested by the CBI and escaped.
After that we have the Padma Vibhushan which was won by 6 people. Last, the grand-daddy of them all – the Bharat Ratna which was not awarded this year.
So how come I didn’t get the Padma Shri?
I didn’t get it because first of all I don’t know the President Mrs. Pratibha Patil. But they tell me, even if I knew her, I would not get the Padma Shri because it is the government which tells her who she should give it to. I don’t know anyone important at the Centre. I know Francisco Sardinha slightly, but he is too busy fighting for dhirio and battling one fighting bull Churchill Alemao. I know Sripad Naik slightly too, but he is too gentle and anyway no one would listen to him, even though he could speak to the President in Marathi.
I did not get the Padma Shri because quite foolishly, I am not married into the Bachchan family, neither am I a beauty queen or an actress.
It may have helped if I had the sense to be an ex-militant. The ‘ex’ is important, because if I were in counter insurgency and got my old militant buddies eliminated I may have found my name in the Padma Shri list like Ghulam Mohammed Mir of Jammu and Kashmir.
Like a fool I love animals and have nothing but admiration for the endangered black buck, but obviously I keep company with the wrong kind of friends. If I had picnicked with Salman Khan and shot and killed black bucks, right now I may have been having parties thrown in my honour for being a Padma Shri.
The worst thing I did not do was I did not lobby. Lobbying is of the essence I am told. You have to go forward and put yourself out there. You have to first tell your state government that you deserve the Padma Shri and that you want it, you need it and you have-ta, have-ta have it. If they ignore you, you have to go to the media and promote yourself and lobby again with the government. Then you have to lobby with the central government.
Ah well January 26 has come and gone. I have taken stock and have decided I shall initiate a new tradition. If you can ask for an award and then protest about not getting it despite asking for it, then why not give yourself an award. It would totally cut out the middle man.
To this end I am awarding myself an award of my own. I think I shall call it the Chakram Award. It is totally exclusive. I will be the only recipient. More exclusive than the Bharat Ratna too since there were no winners this year. No point in inviting the media because anyway they won’t come since I have no colour in my life. I will present them with a fait accompli also known as the press note. Like I said. Instead of going through all the hassle of lobbying for an award, ’twould be far simpler to give one to oneself. Chakram, here I come.