Once upon a time there was an intelligent “surd” – a word that has great meaning in Mathematics.
His name was Montek Singh Ahluwalia, he worked for the International Monetary Fund in Washington DC, and his annual salary in US dollars was enormous.
But he was unhappy – not because he was so rich, but because so many in India were so poor. He gave up his job and returned home. The government appointed him Chief of the Planning Commission – which is totally dedicated to “helping the poor.” Montek was overjoyed – despite the fact that his salary now was a mere 28.62 rupees per diem. He wanted to be “equal” to the poor.
This is "surd" in Mathematics.
Luckily for Montek, the Planning Commission has an excellent canteen on its premises, famous for their parathas. He survived on these while helping the poor – but he ate too many of them, and became very fat.
Now, Montek discovered that there were no experts in the Planning Commission on weight loss. Every expert there is an expert on weight gain – that is, weight gain for the poor, who are very thin.
So, Montek had to venture out into The Market. He was surprised to find hundreds and thousands of weight loss experts selling their services on The Market. After checking out many of these, he finally decided to try out “The World’s Best Weight Loss Programme.”
"Nothing but the best for me," said Montek.
The menu offered three options. He chose the first, which was the cheapest, offering guaranteed weight loss of 10 kilos for 10,000 rupees. He paid up - with his IMF savings - and went in: into a room that was open at the other end, beyond which was open, green space.
As he looked within, he saw a very pretty girl in a bikini. On seeing him, she said, “If you catch me, you can…”
And Montek charged!
The girl, of course, was an athlete, and she led Montek a merry dance. He ran and ran after her for hours on end. Then, what had to happen happened. And Montek lost 10 kilos.
A slim Montek returned to the Planning Commission vowing never to overeat again. But he had what we addicts call a “relapse.”
After months on a strict diet, Montek ordered parathas again – and again, and again, and again. He became very fat once more.
He returned to his favourite weight loss shop in The Market – "brand loyalty" - and, this time, he opted for the second option: 20 kilos weight loss for 20,000 rupees. It was more of the same, only the girl was even sexier, and she made him run more than before. In the end, he emerged slim and trim.
But Montek could not remain slim for long – the aroma of hot parathas wafting into his office room was too much for his resistance. He gave in – and, since every “relapse” is worse than the one before it, be soon became extremely obese. He returned to The Market – to “The World’s Best Weight Loss Programme.”
Montek was so bloody fat now that he had no option left but to choose the top item on the menu: guaranteed weight loss of 30 kilos for 50,000 rupees. He was looking forward to an “ultimate” experience this time – and charged into the room.
Inside, he found a very tall, muscular MAN.
The man was over 7 feet tall, and extremely well built, with rippling muscles all over.
Montek looked around for the girl he was expecting to meet – but there was no one there expect for this very tough guy.
“What’s the deal?” Montek asked him, using Market Lingo, for once.
The big, tough guy looked down at Montek, straight into his eyes, and said, sotto voce:
“If I catch you….”