Today, my maid did not show up. As I drown in a pile of laundry, trying to keep my face above the socks, all the television is showing are groups of politicians chasing a dry leaf with brooms. The leaf seems to be surprised – it was hanging peacefully on the tree, albeit by the proverbial thread like the Congress is hanging on to life. Suddenly it was summoned on government duty. The new role meant a new office – the beautiful path outside the sarkari office. It lay there, awaiting orders.

Just as it took its new posting, there came six important politicians bearing six spanking new brooms. Other than the brooms, they had nothing. I mean it would have been nice if they had some common sense. So, they attacked the leaf with a vengeance, slapping brooms in its face from all directions. Under normal circumstances, leaves get it. They move obediently in the direction opposite to stroke of the broom. But, confusing this onslaught left the leaf delirious like Pavlov’s dogs getting random rewards and electric shocks.

The leaf put up a brave fight for a short while. It had moments of respite when the politicians paused for the shutterbugs. But, these days good times don’t last. Not even the king of good times lasted. The leaf breathed its last amidst loud applause. At least, it gave its life for a good cause.

I continue to watch the group of cleaners with lust. Is there a number that I can call them at? I could do with some help.

The intent of the Swach Bharat Abhiyaan, which is conveyed via the usage of serious words like ‘eschew’ and ‘obfuscate’ is fine . Basically, it asks us to clean up. And, famous folks (and some others like Mohammed Kaif) are being nominated to lead by example. The only little issue is that they are have not been given clear guidelines on how to do that.

Someone tell them please. For aam junta there is Vidya Balan who talks in great detail about the hazards of defecating in the open. She does not mince her words, just falling short of giving us a graphic demo. Why not send across some ‘how-to’ videos to the Swach Bharat Abhiyaan nominees on ‘How To Leave Harmless Leaves alone and Actually Clean the Neighbourhood?’

Maybe there could be a penalty – those found chasing leaves be beaten with the same brooms they wield? I could volunteer for that.