Final round contestants included a politician, corporate professional and cricketer
November 30 2012, Bangalore: The annual bootlickers meeting was held successfully in Koramangala indoor stadium today evening and attended by a record-high 10,000 sycophants with their families from varied industries across the country. Dumbfounded by the unprecedented turnout, the organisers grew sceptical as to whether the seating arrangements would be sufficient, but the bootlickers who couldn’t find a seat had no qualms in squatting on the aisles and on the floor in the space between rows of chairs.
The major highlight of the programme was the ‘Bootlicker of the year’ contest where several shortlisted entrants vividly narrated their kowtowing anecdotes on the stage. The adjudicators, comprising the winners from four previous years, then chose three top bootlickers based on their escapades and the audience were then requested to text their votes to choose the best one amongst the trio.
Sambhal Kumar Singh, a minister and one of the final-round participants, shared his story on the dais.
‘I was a school dropout and started my beginnings as a street-rowdy,’ Sambhal announced with a gush of pride. ‘I gathered some like-minded men and formed a small group. We used to go about extorting money from shopkeepers, committing random thefts and assaulting people who challenged us. One day, I bumped into a local youth-wing leader of a major political party. He gave me a job as his henchman. Consequently, I earned the license to do hooliganism with immunity; no cop had the balls to arrest me. In return I had to just serve my leader like a slave, shout slogans in praise of him, rough up and vandalise the houses of those who criticise him either through public speeches or on the internet and then rig elections in his party’s favour. There was a lot of competition in my role; I was not my leader’s only henchman and others too tried to woo him by hook or by crook. My boss, one night, slipped in his bathroom when inebriated and badly hurt his spine. He was bedridden for days. It was then I got an opportunity to prove my worth. I attended to him in the hospital and did all sorts of odd jobs right from feeding him food to bathing him, shaving him, cleaning up all the stinky mess he made around and under his bed, dancing to Bollywood songs wearing transvestite clothing and also played the role of a pimp. I think he fell in love with me because he used to amorously stare at me, hold my hand and insert his fingers between mine before sleeping. He even invited me to lie down beside him but I cleverly avoided that situation by pointing out that the hospital-bed was too small to accommodate two people and that he wouldn’t feel comfortable. Well, upon recuperating, it was no surprise that I was the first person he profoundly thanked and as a token of appreciation, he gave me an MLA ticket to contest the elections. I won that seat and then continued my bootlicking in the higher echelons of the party. And finally, here I am, as a minister in front of you.’
Sambhal heaved a sigh of relief as the crowds clapped and whistled. The next shortlisted entrant was formals-clad Samyukht Gunashekaran Nair, a young corporate employee from a leading multinational company.
‘There are three kinds of people you’ll find in my sector – the talented ones who are very ambitious and work hard to get promotions and salary hikes, and then there are these ‘take-it-easy’ folks who are not that serious about their job and just do what is given to them while trying to spend the rest of their time pursuing things they are passionate about. Finally you come across a third category of people who are desperate to quickly rise up the ladder but lack real talent; so they bootlick to achieve their goals. In my case, I badly wanted a promotion, but had to endure some tough competition from my team, especially from two really talented girls and then a nerdy guy who spent prolonged hours in front of his monitor, even on weekends, to create an impression that he was working hard. My manager was a reclusive person, his wife had walked out on him, so I took advantage of his loneliness. One evening, I requested him to drop me on the way to his home in his car and since then he frequently offered me free-rides. I began to get a bit personal with him and he too did the same. Gradually, we became unusual friends. My boss used to keep on rambling to me; it looked like he had kept a lot of things stuffed inside his head for years and like an overflowing river tearing apart the floodgates, he started to gush out all his feelings to me. And the most irritating stuff was his dumb jokes. He would utter something silly, laugh out loud and then look at me to check my reaction. And I had to deliberately laugh like a clown to hoodwink him into believing that he had a great sense of humour. My mouth pained a lot by relentlessly laughing, so I secretly swallowed painkillers and continued encouraging him to crack more such jokes. But it really got on my nerves when he started to telephone me at late in the nights and nibbled breathlessly on my ears because he wasn’t getting sleep. I had no choice but to muster up all my patience and listen to him without protesting, after all he was my boss. And I got so used to hearing his husky voice before going to bed that I myself used to call him whenever he failed to do so, ignite some random conversation, put the phone on speaker mode and then slip into a slumber. After several months of bootlicking, I finally reaped the benefits of my hard work. My boss, as a gesture of admiration for tolerating him, recommended my name for promotion. Soon he too got elevated to a higher level and flew to US on an assignment. You see, in this field, when you move up the ladder, you’d like to see people who support you and who you can really trust as your subordinates so that they accept most of your decisions. So my boss managed to squeeze me into his new team in the US where we are currently sharing the same flat. Meanwhile that nerdy guy still overstays at office hoping for his chance and the two bright girls have lost patience, left their jobs and pursuing their higher studies. So I’m the clear winner here.’
The audience gave a standing ovation to Samyukht as he concluded his story. The last short-listed entrant was Shakul Mohan Roy, a cricketer.
‘My dream was to be a T20 cricketer, play in as many leagues around the globe and amass a lot of money. As you know, there are plenty of budding cricketers out there scoring consistently in the domestic games and waiting for an opportunity to prove their mettle at the highest level. But I was just an average player and moreover, I neither possessed the patience nor the perseverance to keep playing well and wait for my turn. So I got into touch with a selector through a mutual friend. I quietly made inroads into the middle-aged selector’s house, began mingling with his family and managed to win the favour of his wife by addressing her as ‘didi’. I used to give her company while she watched those never-ending television soaps and debated about the mushy characters, gifted her pirated copies of newly-released films, escorted her to shopping malls and frequently provided her some workout tips while flattering her all along. The couple had a beautiful young daughter named Sunaina with whom I gradually fell in love. I felt I had to bootlick to her dad for not one but two laddoos. One fateful day, I chanced upon Sunaina sobbing in the terrace. When asked about the reason behind her sorrow, she replied that she just dumped her boyfriend. I was enthralled, but didn’t reveal it on my face and instead began to solace her. And then she gave me the shock of my life. Sunaina whispered that she was pregnant and had no idea how to handle it. I was shattered; imagined one laddoo getting crushed to pulp under a lorry tyre. The next day I secretly ushered her to a hospital and helped her to get an abortion. Meanwhile my relationship with the family flourished and upon recommendation from his wife, the selector offered me a chance in a state-level T20 tournament. Nine months later, I again came across Sunaina crying alone in the terrace. She didn’t give me any reply, just looked up teary-eyed at me and I instantly understood what her problem was. So I helped her yet again. Impressed with my bootlicking capabilities, the selector used all his influence and got me enrolled into a reputed T20 team. One day, he suddenly grabbed my hand and said, “Shakul, would you like to marry my daughter?” My heart stopped beating for a moment as I stared agape at him with a horrified expression. But I realised that my career was in his grip and having no other choice, I wiped out from my head all the past I’d seen of her and married Sunaina. And here I’m as successful freelance T20 player involved with major clubs around the world. But as you know, a cricketer’s career is very short, lasts only until his late thirties, and after retirement I wanted to be either a coach or commentator for which I still needed my father-in-law’s support. So I’ve got to indulge in bootlicking for life.’ Shakul ended his story with tears flowing down his cheeks and the audience clapped their heart out, some even grew emotional and fainted.
A lot of tension prevailed in the atmosphere as the spectators texted their votes. Sambhal, the politician, earned 4200 votes, Samyukht, the corporate employee was not far behind with 4300 votes. And the winner was the cricketer, Shakul, with 4500 votes. His tale had the right mix of love, sentiment and a family drama, appealing to all sections of the crowd. Shakul was conferred with the title ‘Bootlicker of the year’ amidst a thundering applause. He was presented with a golden boot coated with a thick layer of chocolate cream and a local-made bottle of champagne which he burst open and sprayed it on the front benchers like a F1 winner, who in turn starting dancing wildly as if they were aroused by a single drop of alcohol. The bootlickers caroused for the rest of the evening and then dispersed with a strong determination to continue bootlicking in their respective departments and win the coveted title next year.
Note: This article is big-time fake and the characters mentioned above don’t even exist, nor do the incidents that happened in it.