Judging by the size and grandeur of his official residence and his workload, one would imagine that the President of India has the best job in the country. There are others, of course: the Prime Minister’s food taster, for one, or those who spend their day tasting wine or playing golf for a living. There are, however, better jobs, even though many of them may not be advertised. Some examples:
Governors: Qualifications: none, except political clout or connections. Those over 70 may get preference. Perks: unlimited free travel in a private aircraft all over the country, including frequent visits to their hometown. A sprawling official mansion, also referred to as ‘Luxurious Old Age Homes’, with staff and security, free food and board for self and family and the use of a Mercedes or a similar class of limousine. Has power to make or break some official state appointments. Also gets a salary. All this is paid for by the taxpayers, including free medical treatment for life, along with secretarial staff. Tenure: five years, unless one travels a bit too frequently and closer to home, or the government changes, in which case, they could join the sack race.
PSU bank head: Again, qualifications governed by political connections. Bank heads are able to grant loans to people who can never pay them back, earn a commission in the process and also have the power to appoint members to the board who have no background in banking; except having a bank account as owners of petrol pumps, relatives of petrol pump owners, and of course, politicians belonging to whichever party is in power, as well as relatives of politicians from the party in power. In financial terminology, it is referred to as ‘Accrued Interest’.
IOA officials: The best job in the world when there’s an international event taking place. Talk about Common-wealth games. You get free travel, free five-star stay and transport for yourself and anyone else you choose — not necessarily connected to sport. It could even be the principal of the school your daughter attends. No need to bother about the sportsmen and women, your real job is to attend parties, create scandals and show the world that IOA officials suffer from arrested development.
Authors: Natwar Singh may have made the front pages of newspapers for his revelations on India’s first family, but he was upstaged by another author who didn’t just make the front page, he bought it! Or his e-tailers did. The book isn’t out, but we now know the title — Half Girlfriend — which sounds very Indian, like ‘co-brother’, ‘cousin brother’ and ‘Rakhi sister’. Half Girlfriend boggles the imagination — does it mean friends with benefits or something less sinister? We only know half the story, courtesy a Chetan Bhagat promo, but we do know who will fully benefit.
Talking heads: You see them here, you see them there, you see them everywhere. It’s called teleporting, when talking heads appear on multiple television channels seemingly at the same time. Now it’s tele-reporting, with the more prominent talking heads virtually gaining permanent jobs now that the Modi government has decided to keep the media at arm’s length, thereby giving talking heads more talk time and viewers more of a headache.
English bowlers: With Indian batsmen substituting for ninepins, being an English bowler this series has to be the most rewarding job in the world. Bowling averages, wickets tally are all reaching record highs even as Indian cricket reaches new lows, converting heroes to zeroes, or ducks as it says on the official scoresheet. There’s also the similar sounding word uttered by James Anderson.