Sunday, November 16, 2003

A royal study tour
Jaspal Bhatti

Prince Charles came all the way from England to meet the dabbawalas in Mumbai.He preferred to meet dabbawalas than to see Aishwarya Rai, Yash Chopra or Hrithik Roshan. Those who believe in the theory of reincarnation are wondering whether the Prince himself was a deliveryman in his last birth.

Another reason could be that the Prince prefers home made food to fast food.He thinks that if the dabba system is started in UK, the quality of the work in offices can be improved. But this reason can be ruled out as women in UK have no time to pack lunch boxes for their working husbands.

The third reason that one read in the newspapers was that the Prince was very impressed by the dabba management. The heir to the British throne wanted to study how they manage the mind boggling task of packing and delivering 1.75 lakh tiffin boxes every day.

The Prince was short of time otherwise he could have also studied the business ricacies of the begging system in India, like how hundreds of beggars in each city overpower the redlight crossings daily, how these beggars work in shifts, how they are controlled by the begging mafia and so on.

Another system which any visiting VIP can study is the organised corruption in our government offices. The same employees who consider it below their dignity to even raise their heads to listen to your problems will give you wide smiles, once you have oiled the machinery with appropriate bribes. The beauty is when you hand over the "fee" to a middleman, it is distributed fairly across all the levels of bureaucracy.

Just as there is a craze amongst Indians to study abroad there can be a craze amongst foreigners too to get educated here after all there are lots of systems which can be learnt here in India.