Friday, July 26, 2013

Pyaar, and gifts

A conference room turned studio. A young girl and a coroporate-ish looking man are laughing self consciously, feeling silly and witty respectively. The set is ready, and on they go:

Girl: Mr Pyarelaal, thanks for joining us….

Pyare (interrupting): call me Pyare, please

Girl (unprepared for this intrusion, racing her mind to pick up script lines): Oh! Umm…sure…umm…Pyare ji, thanks for joining us on this show

Pyare gives her a smile that would have appeared hilariously constipated to anyone on the road, but in the corporate world, it is read as a grateful gesture.

Girl: so Pyare, you’ve been elevated to the post of Director (Pyaar). This is unprecedented in the history of any corporate. What made this possible?

Pyare: Gifts.

Girl (flabbergasted): What?

The anchor is surprised. Even she knew the truth, but didn’t expect this uncharacteristic candour from Pyarelaal. She didn’t know he was prepared.

Pyare (with the air of a sanyaasi): You see, life is a gift. Our birth and death in our mother earth and father sun are gifts. Our parents, friends, and above all, our bosses are biggest gifts. We are born of, and will be buried in, gifts!

Pyare ends with a near-thunder. He re-adjusts his sitting posture in a way that suggests he’s obliging the chair, firms up his tie, nods at the camera and looks around to survey the annihilating effect of his short gospel (he had worked for days for this interview). He imagines an apoplectic audience going berserk over him.

Girl (a little uncomprehending): umm..sure…yes, you’re right. Of course. But that still leaves a question hanging in the air. What is the connect between gifts and Director (Pyaar)? The world knows your proficiency in PR; when and how did the nomenclature change to ‘Pyaar’?

Pyare: It was my suggestion. Look, PR is all about relation building. The father of economics Sigmund Freud once said…

Girl (interrupting): You mean Adam Smith, right? (feeling confident for the first time).

Pyare (brushing aside): ya..ya...whatever…so, father of economics said that there’s no free lunch in the world. Not even the relations with public. It’s give-take. Give-take what? Gifts! Now you see how everything is connected to gifts? I didn’t change my name for nothing!

Girl (mumbling consent): So Pyare ji, what inspired you to change your name?

Pyare (reminiscent in a very Dilip Kumar way): Once, a long time back, our top boss had a problem. The flush of his latrine was not working well. He called up the Administration to sort it out. But you know me, don’t you? (winks) How could I let go of this golden opportunity?! I rushed to his room and personally checked all the nozzles of the flush. Yes yes, I did. I kept flushing and inserting my fingers in all the six nozzles till I found that two of them were not working. Then I instructed the plumber to fix the problem, who, obviously, was looking at me with fascination! In management language, this is called as getting into the root of the problem. Seeing my dedication and worship for him, he gifted me a card on my birthday. On it was written – प्यार सहित। Even though it was my certificate birthday, just to pay a tribute to that gesture, I re-named myself. He was such a kind fellow, such a my-dear-aadmi…I have learned so much from him…he gave gifts to everybody…he was such a master of PR and such a great great man (Pyare’s voice getting hoarse as he says this).

Girl (near moist eyed, consoling): Oh, I’m so sorry to hear about this loss…

Pyare (perkily): Oh! No no no no…he’s not dead. Just as good as dead. He retired, you see.

The anchor is still deciding the kind of facial expression she should use, when to her relief, Pyare starts off,

Pyaare: Actually, PR is all about Pyaar. And you young people know better than us, the only way to initiate and maintain pyaar is through gifts. All this talk of the best things in the world coming for free is nonsense.

Girl: but the people you gift – they are in any case paid for their jobs…so why give them gifts?

Pyare: Oh come on! It’s like saying, if you’re eating rice-daal, why ask for chutney and desserts? It’s human nature, we always want more. Remember Coke’s line – yeh dil maange more?

Girl: Umm…wasn’t it Pepsi, sir?

Pyare: Again you are getting into frivolous details. आप भावनाओं कों समझिए ना

Girl: Yes, yes…I agree. People want to have more. But doesn’t it set a bad precedent? I mean…doesn’t it fuel greed and corrupt..

Pyare (clearly annoyed with a pathetic grimace): Oh! Come on, seems the young don’t read the Geeta anymore-

तुम्हारा क्या गया जो तुम रोते हो
तुम क्या लाये थे जो तुमने खो दिया
तुमने ऐसा क्या पैदा किया, जो नष्ट हो गया
तुमने जो लिया, यहीं से लिया
जो दिया, यहीं पर दिया
आज जो तुम्हारा है,
कल किसी और का था
परसों किसी और का हो जाएगा
परिवर्तन संसार का नियम है

Girl (mesmerized): wow sir! You are truly great

Pyare: Haha! Thanks, I know. Now onwards, even you’ll be on my gifting list.

Girl (sycophantic): Oh! How generous of you sir..

(Off the camera) so I’ll await to be delighted by you this Diwali…

Pyare: are you mad?

Girl is shocked.

Pyare (dotingly): you think I will wait that long? There’s Holi, Eid, Labour Day, Mother Day, Friend’s Day, Dog’s Day, Valentine’s Day…so many days before Diwali. All these days are because of gifts. Gift is the soul of festival. It is the meaning of life.

Girl (obsequiously): I’m beginning to understand sir.

Pyare: see around yourself. Government, business, politics, justice, marriages – everything rests on the virtue of gifts. The sooner you understand it, the more ‘gifted’ will your life be. Gift more, receive more. Remember, from toothbrush to toilet paper, from pencil to tablet, nothing is small. Life is too short to think of saving money, whoever it belongs to. Spread PR, spread the Pyaar.

Girl (lying prostrate): ध्नय हो सर, आप महान हैं!

Pyare gets up and hands over an expensive looking packet to the girl. Off camera, of course.