One very common feature at the presentation of the budget is a photo of the finance minister giving final touches to the budget papers. This is something that takes place every year and for the last many years since independence.

 “As soon as a new finance minister is sworn in he or she takes charge of the final touch kit,” said an official in the finance ministry as he sat down for a cup of tea, outside Parliament House.

“The final touch kit?” asked a curious, “What does it look like?”

“It’s basically a make up kit box that belonged to our first prime minister,” said the official with a smile. “In fact there is a tale that whenever our beloved Chacha heard that Mrs Mountbatton was coming his way, he dipped into the box and applied the magical makeup so as to look dashing and debonair for her.”

“If worked,” said the journalist.

“Of course it worked,” said the official. “When Lady Mountbatton met the prime minister after he had used the make up kit she did not see a bald old man, oh no, she saw a dashing, handsome dare devil and there are rumours that she fell for him.”

“Yes,” said the journalist, “but what has that got to do with the finishing touches given by finance ministers to the budget every year?”

“Everything,” said the official, “since the touch up kit worked so well for our beloved Chacha, he presented it to the first finance minister.”

“Whatever for?” asked the journalist.

“To make up the budget in such a way that people would get fooled year after year into believing they had a dream budget or a common man’s budget or a bold budget.”

“Yes,” said the journalist, “I have heard all those names.”

“Names made up for you by the final Touch make up kit box.”

“So,” said the journalist. “What the finance is actually doing when he is photographed giving finishing touches to the budget papers is applying heavy make up?”

“To camouflage all the wrinkles and old age signs, the same that our first prime minister was able to do. But below all that make up, the budget is the same old one we have been seeing for so many years.”

“Wrinkled and ancient.”

“Old and worn out.”

“Ancient and obsolete.”

“Ah, but accepted by the people, believing it is going to change the economy, revolutionize our industries and transform our country!”

“Looks like we’ve been fooled by this finishing touch business for years,” said the journalist.

“Just like Edwina was,” said the official, “though there might be a problem soon; the make up box I heard is running out of makeup!”

“That would be disastrous for the FM,” said the journalist.

“We are trying to get Trump’s makeup box,” said the official from the finance ministry,” he’s been able to fool the Americans quite a bit and our authorities feel it should work for India..!”

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