Our long-in-the-tooth head of state in Delhi, for instance, wears his (palpitating) heart on his sleeve, what with his Cabinet colleagues breathing down his neck (often getting in his hair). He turns red in the face whenever a minister puts his foot in his mouth. His gutsy effort to keep his chin up is, in fact, part of his struggle to keep his head above water.
The government itself is all fingers and thumbs, functioning through knee-jerk reactions ramming explosive issues down people's throats. Each time Chennai blows its nose, New Delhi gets chesty and the ruling elite go around with their tails between their legs.
The coalition partners, when they are not pulling each other's legs, are busy twisting the PM round their little fingers. They are after the scalps of their respective state chiefs, their demands articulated 356 times a month - almost. They brandish the 'skull and crossbones' at the government at the drop of a gandhi cap.
The opposition vents its spleen against the ruling coalition in an effort to elbow its way into the government. As the right goes about flexing its muscles and the Centre drools over the elusive spoils of office, the left racks its brains to invent a secular front ending up having two left feet. All of them use their lungpower left, right and centre. Strange bedfellows live cheek by jowl with one another necking intimately in public. Though some feel it in their bones that the fall of the government is imminent, they tear their hair as the main opposition party cold-shoulders them.
The bewildered citizens sit on their hands. While the rich - what a gall! - bury their heads in the sand, the middle class, kicked in the vitals by the inflation, are sick to their stomachs. The poor, however, pay through their nose to keep body and soul together. They sweat their guts out just for a hand-to-mouth existence.
Appendix: There is the danger that in the new millennium, the new crop of our leadership may decide that the US model of the late 'Nineties is the best to follow to get organised, concluding that the (Lewin)sky is the limit.
Clipart Coutesy: www.illustrationsof.com