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Popularity Contest

-after Rowdy Rathore 

I know social media shouldn’t be a popularity 
contest, but some days, I can’t help but think 
that if only I could trade in my simile generator
and the app I use to break and scan lines 
for an Instagram Meme Making Machine
(or at least a cracked copy of Photoshop),
then you would all like and clap and share 
my posts, even more than you already do!

I’d have to have a strong debut. Perhaps 
a long line of youngsters and parents,
all standing two metres apart, in masks,
waiting to get into Children’s Park.
At the entrance, they’d be greeted by 
our smiling chief minister, who would 
gesture to a newly painted sign board:
‘Please show proof of residence’.

But things move pretty quickly here,
and that meme would already be dated;
maybe it would be best to start at the top.
It would take some doing, but I could try 
a split screen effect on Press Enclave Marg;
on one side of the road, in Hauz Rani, 
we’d see ‘closed’ sign hanging on a police 
barricade near the corner of  Gandhi Park 
that once housed a lovely little protest library;
 on the other side, the PM would be greeting 
throngs of shoppers to the remodeled, rebranded, 
DLF Avenue mall. I’d have to script Modi ji’s speech
bubble; no doubt it would include something  
about the economy, ‘green shoots’ 
and the Mahabharata.
But in the end, friends, it would probably
be best to go with something timeless
and simple. How about Amit Shah, 
in front of the Delhi High Court?
He would be smiling a smile that could 
be read in more than one way as he 
leaned in to whisper in a judge’s ear:

Jo main nahi bolta,  
woh main definitely karta hoon!
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