New Delhi. Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, often accused of being a puppet of UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, had a conference call with Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri this afternoon where Dr. Singh is reported to have asked for tips from both the ex-cricketers on how to sound independent and confident even while following someone else’s line.
Prime Minister decided to call the cricketing legends after newspaper reports suggested that both of them, in capacity of television commentators, were speaking what BCCI wanted people to hear.
“Look dude,” Prime Minister is reported to have told Ravi Shastri, “My job is no different from a commentator. But whenever I say something, people accuse me of reading from a script Soniaji had prepared. Now people say that you too read from a script prepared by BCCI, but good lord, you appear so confident and independent! What’s the secret boss?”
“You just have to make it look easy and mix it up nicely,” Shastri is believed to have advised Dr. Singh, who was reminded of the lassi making lesson his uncle gave him during his childhood.
“But how do I do that?” a confused Prime Minister asked Shastri to explain, even as he scribbled a few notes on the backside of the Lokpal Bill copy Kapil Sibal had presented him yesterday.
“Words have to come from your mouth like a tracer bullet and you should know where exactly the camera is,” Shastri gave a few tips to Dr. Singh who noted them down in shape of bullet points.
Not sure he understood what was being talked about, Manmohan Singh then asked Sunil Gavaskar for a few more tips.
“Mr. Prime Minister, let me tell you the secret,” Gavaskar said, “It’s actually us who have learnt a few tips from your colleagues. I mean, I like your Kapil Sibal guy. Look at him, he toes the party line, speaks what Party high command would like people to hear, and yet appears as if he is speaking after lot of analysis. I don’t know about Ravi, but I like Sibal.”
“Oh yeah, that will do the trick; just what the doctor ordered,” Shastri agreed, as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh went into a thoughtful mood.
“You are more educated and qualified than Sibal. I guess all you have to do is to smile more, speak a bit louder, open your mouth to show your teeth, and have eye contact with people while speaking,” Gavaskar suggested.
“Hmmm…” Manmohan Singh said, as he tried to look into the eyes of Gavaskar and Shastri during the video call.
Manmohan Singh is then believed to have given a thumbs-up to the two commentators for their time and suggestions, in a manner similar to what he did before the trust vote in July 2008.
“Up goes the finger,” Shastri said, as the conference call came to an end.