Rumour has it that soon a Parliamentary Committee will be appointed to quickly implement changes in jails across the country. “You see,” said the head of the delegation an ex MP, “It is inevitable that most of us will land up in jail; it is part and parcel of our profession, so we might as well make the place hospitable, live-able and enjoyable! Would you like to see our new plans for Tihar Jail, here it is!”
“This looks like the grand entrance of a five star hotel,” I gasped as he opened the first draft picture. “Indeed,” said the head of the proposed delegation for prison reforms, “Indeed it is! In fact the architect is the great- great grandson of the one who designed the Taj” “The Tajmahal, Mumbai?” I asked in awe. “No the Tajmahal, Agra,” said the politician frowning at me. “Oh!” I said apologetically, “And what is this?” I asked pointing to something on the roof of a dome. “That is a helicopter pad!”
“In prison?” “How else will they manage to do constituency work, attend Parliament, inaugurate flyovers, and even fly to Switzerland and come back before the prison roll call?” asked the leader of the delegation now frowning at me severely. I looked at other pictures; saunas in bathrooms, centrally air-conditioned rooms, even down to the uniforms of their wardens: “Bikinis!” said the head of the prison reform delegation, “The members were unanimous that all wardens wear bikinis!” “I guess they are not going to be the same wardens who are in Tihar Jail now?” I asked politely.
“No, no, we have asked Sharad Pawar to loan his pretty IPL cheerleaders to us between cricket seasons, we felt they would make good wardens; he obliged immediately; said that was the least he could do for Kalmadi; would make him feel at home!” “This looks like a huge conference room,” I said looking at the plan again, “In fact I’m certain I’ve seen the same hall somewhere?” “Shame on you! You should know the Central Hall of Parliament when you see it!” said the politician gleefully.
“What is it doing in the jail?” I asked, “So members won’t get homesick?” “No,” said the leader of the delegation for prison reforms, “we just felt that if too many members landed up in jail, we may as well allow the house to function from there, brilliant thinking isn’t it? Now have a look at our menu, that’s continental, Italian and that’s the wine list!” “You even serve Pizzas?” I asked.
“Madam was very insistent on that..!” said the head of the Prison Reforms delegation.