About N Madhavan

Narayanan Madhavan is a columnist and editor with HT Business, who has covered everything from economic reform, technology, politics and the Kargil war to Bollywood and cricket in a long journalistic career.

One goes to Paris, Berlin and Toronto sans doubt
The other goes to Bangkok, or roughly thereabouts
One talks to global leaders, makes NRIs go ga-ga
The other returns to his cadres, and they all go ra-ra!

One is the bearded PM, the world is his canvas
The other’s a baby-doll contender, returning from his vanvas
One talks big, thinks big and gives speeches galore
The other still has his lisp, and sometimes appears unsure

Both you see netas, of the Blessed Land of the Ganges
If one’s a basket of apples, the other is full of oranges
The one sells big dreams and big schemes, well beyond a cup of tea
The other meditates in silence, to make sense of reality

Now which of the two is a dreamer, and which one is practical?
The one who “makes in India” or the one back from a sabbatical?
Is the coal auction the way to go from scams to shining glory?
Or is the Land Bill a big thorn in the much-touted India story?

Such strange sojourners we find in the self-same parliament
Like two contrasting planets in a commonly shared firmament
They both are globe-trotting, this much we can truly see
They both claim to make history, but they teach us some geography!

(Response to Deepika Padukone’s video)

You are the snowflake, the snowfall, you say?
But Snow White is what you seem that way
Looking for seven male dwarfs in your enchanted queen-dom
In your strange new video coming-clean-dom

[Read more]

So we lost the World Cup, be that as it may:
a game is just a sport, and play is only play
But the wise old Lewis, said so rightly
There’s more to cricket than cricket only [Read more]

It’s a pity athletics is not mathematics
You know, it helps us Indians find a better fix
This wretched thing called higher education
is creating strange problems in corners of the nation

You have to pass this thing called the examination
This gives you sarkari naukri, raises your station
Long-term income and job security to boot
–and this gets some dowry with your wedding suit.

If there is a problem in getting the post on merit
You can try a quota for your community if you fit
There is lot to gain from pleading for reservations
Be sure that can end your jobless frustration!

But there’s still the small matter of getting a degree
Before you can go and flaunt your caste pedigree
You have to do some jugaad to get the needed marks
when burning the midnight oil seems like a farce!

Why? You get yourself bits, notes and chits
You write the answers for questions –that’s your kit
Come the exam day, you sit pretty in your hall
Presto! There’s some help climbing over the wall

They now serve you answers, like meals in an a flight
Your chits and bits come like cookies for a bite
You copy the answers and submit your sheets
You are ready to be “qualified” – isn’t that sweet?

Your invigilators be damned, there’s a whole crowd doing this
So what if the TV crews shoot the story they can’t miss?
Wait till they introduce the “Right to Cheat”
After PIL and RTI, this could be a big political feat!

He may model for Fair & Lovely
But he’s more than cute, our Kohli
With a magnificent name – truly Virat
He’s half a gentleman, and half a brat! [Read more]