As you all know, the whole of Tamil Nadu was devastated by severe floods accentuated by the El Nino phenomenon which caused unprecedented damage to life. But the thousands of millimeters of rainfall brought out kilometers of humanity as citizens came out in hordes to help in any and every possible way. But politicians by and far maintained their notorious reputation, making use of this situation for publicity and political agendas. One such example was the sticker controversy where some ruling party cadres were forcing NGOs and other relief workers to paste stickers of the Chief Minister, Amma Jayalalitha on relief materials. This is just one instance and it does not mean that other parties are devoid of such non-sense. I am sure this act would be bested by an even more ridiculous one.
Meanwhile, after this went viral in social media and other platforms, there was a lot of public outrage against this sticker controversy. That meant that party men could no longer do this sycophantic gesture easily or openly. But they had already printed out lots of stickers in advance and there was a lot of worry in the camp as to how they could use up all of them. One man who had heard about Cheeky Chuck (he obviously did not do his research) immediately suggested hiring him as a consultant to provide them with a solution to this sticky(er) issue.
Cheeky Chuck was on to it in a flash. He promised the Sticker team Chief that he would produce results in 48 hours. He quickly got stock of some stickers and headed out into the streets.
A man was coming out of a hotel with a packet of hot dosa, idli, sambar and some fresh chutney. He had searched far and wide to find a hotel that was open and was relieved that finally his prayer had been answered. He was in a hurry to take the food back to his family when he was interrupted by our Cheeky Chuck.
Chuck: What do you have there, my friend?
Man: Oh… I have some hot food. Finally found a hotel that is open.
Chuck: Excellent. Let us see what size you have. Here you go. Go on. Put this sticker on your food packet. And enjoy your meal with your amma and our amma!
Man: You idiot. This is not a flood relief food packet. I paid money for this, you dumbass!
Chuck: We also paid money to print this sticker. So you better put it on or else face the consequences.
No points for guessing what happened next. Cheeky Chuck tried his charm on a few more passers-by without much luck. By noon, he came back with his jaw slightly rearranged.
Chuck’s mind voice: Damn it, I haven’t been able to dispose a single sticker yet today. Come on Chuck… you are better than this. Ahaa…. I have got a brilliant idea.
He took out his cell phone and made a call to Mr. Suresh Narayanan, the newly appointed Managing Director of Nestle India.
Chuck: Good morning Sir. This is Cheeky Chuck speaking.
Mr.Narayanan: I am sorry I don’t know you.
Chuck: Not an issue. I know you very well. And I have an excellent business proposal for you. You should start a Free Maggi Sticker campaign. We have a lot of Amma stickers left from our Flood Relief effort. You see… we are very generous folks. So we are willing to give it to you for a nominal price. This initiative will make your publicity ratings soar. You can also donate some Maggi for Chennai flood relief as well to show your humanitarian side and earn more brownie points.
Mr.Narayanan: Mr.Chuck. As great as your idea is, it has just been days since I took this job. I don’t want to enter record books as the fastest fired Managing Director. And we have already had enough publicity due to our “Lead in India” Maggi campaign.
Chuck was disappointed as he heard the phone click.
Chuck’s mind voice: So close. Never mind. Over to Plan B!
He quickly picked up his phone and called up the Sticker team chief.
Chief: Mr.Chuck. I didn’t expect to hear back from you so soon. Are you done already?
Chuck: All in good time Sir. All in good time! I just had a light bulb moment. I am thinking of approaching our national leaders in this regard. I just wanted to let you know that I have plans of contacting Mr.Modi and Mr.Rahul Gandhi.
Chief: Good thought my friend. We have already taken care of Mr.Modi. When he visited our Chief Minister, we loaded his helicopter with lots of Amma stickers. I am sure he will be able to leverage those for making designer kurtas for his foreign trips.
Chuck: Bravo Sir. Okay, let me touch base with Mr.Rahul Gandhi then.
Rahul Gandhi’s phone rang as he was in the middle of some deep reflection.
Chuck: Mr.Rahul, sorry to disturb you at this ungodly hour.
Rahul looked at his watch. It was 1 in the afternoon. “It is okay. I was just finishing up a thought. By the way, who are you?”
Chuck: I am Cheeky Chuck. Big fan! I am calling you with a killer proposal to motivate your party men and to rekindle the spirits of youngsters in your party.
Rahul: Go on. I am all ears. Although I have come up with a killer speech to do exactly that!
Chuck: Trust me Sir, this is way better. We have a lot of stickers left from the Amma flood relief exercise. We are willing to offer those to you. You can do some Photoshop to replace Amma with your Maa, Soniaji and then you can make custom shirts and hand flags for all your party members. That will be a terrific gesture to pump up your folks.
Rahul: Sounds great indeed Mr.Chuck. Sign me up for 1 lakh stickers.
Chuck: Err… do you still have so many people in your party? Oops… none of my business. You will receive the stickers in a week. Thank you for your business.
Chuck’s mind voice: 1 lakh sold. 1 more lakh to go! Now it is time for the master stroke.
Chuck dialed a number and had a serious conversation for ten minutes. After he hung up, he sprinted back home with a huge smile on his face.
In the evening, as he is sipping tea lying on the couch, Chuck gets a call from the Sticker team head who is bubbling with anger.
Chuck: Mr.Chief. You don’t seem to be in a very happy mood. And that too after I made quick work of all those 2 lakh stickers! And what can I tell you about that masterstroke. Pure genius!
Chief: Is it? Do enlighten me!
Chuck: Oh… I just called the Flood Control Commission Chairman. I noticed that he had sent a letter to the Government asking if you guys had planned any precautionary measures in case such floods were to hit again in the future. But you guys had ignored that and never sent a response. You should not be so irresponsible. So I corrected that for you. I called him and told that we have extensive plans if floods were to come again. I told him we have 1 lakh Amma stickers ready and waiting for such an event. He did sound pretty impressed.
Chief: Oh, he sure was. He just called me and gave me an earful. He said he will be sending over his team to confiscate all the stickers.
Chuck: Even better. I didn’t expect him to take delivery so soon. How much is he paying? And how much is my commission?
Chief: Well, he slapped a fine of Rs.10 lakhs on us for our negligence and arrogance. As for your payment, if you just answer your door-bell, my men are waiting outside to pay in full and some more. Oh btw… don’t worry about the hospital charges. We will foot the bill as a token of our appreciation for your efforts.
P.S: A kind request to all you guys. I am pretty sure I have incurred the wrath of all our political biggies who will by now be out for my blood. I can hear a few of you mumbling "As if they don't have anything better to do". But trust me: they really don't. ;) So please save me (and Cheeky Chuck) from their wrath. :P