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“I am a socialist but” December 8, 2007

Posted by Sharath Rao in humor, media, politics.

Shobha Narayan in the MINT

Although my political leanings are socialist, I tend to get very bourgeois when it comes to spas.

And then the article limps from one account to another of her visit to spas at the Leela to ones at Singapore to other exotic ones elsewhere and how she stocks up on “spa products from Aromatherapy Associates, a UK firm I love, which, sadly, doesn’t retail in India.” Shoba, did you just say “sadly” ? Comrades ! there is treason in your ranks, purge !! . And then her desperate attempt to get multiple spa treatments by offering to pay more (incentives ??) because “her time is valuable”.

Finally she ends with her business plan that she thinks someone should take up, a plan that only brings about even more specialization and division of labor (remember what Chacha Marx had to say on that) where she goes on to give her Lutheresque “I have a dream speech” :

My dream is to get into a spa where each limb is taken charge of by a different person, my face by the fifth. Perhaps a sixth could do some abdominal chakra healing or whatever. The weird part is that I am happy to shell out bucks for all this. But there is nobody offering this six-in-one approach.

All the while as I read the article I wondered why that sentence claiming her socialist credentials ? Is this

a) satire (MINT has an audience sophisticated enough to get the joke, I am an exception)

b) typo (maybe she meant “capitalist” but can’t be – she said it twice !)

c) “I am a <enter your favorite political ideology here> until my interests are at stake” pattern.d) fashionable

e) intellectually endearing/satisfying

f) running for office sometime soon – you know our politicians and that ridiculous constitutional amendment. American politicians become unelectable as atheists, in India the cake (does not) go to non-socialists.

g) poking fun at her employer (MINT is partnering with the WSJ afterall).

h) I am wrong, after all why should socialists not visit spas ?

Well, this article would have been just alright without that one sentence.



1. Harini - December 9, 2009

You said it in the last sentence:
Shoba makes a mountain of a mole hill in her essays. She needs to get a good editor who can make her unnecessarily spicy story palatable after some crisp editing.
She can really sum up her entire plot in a few lines. Precis writing anyone?

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