Want to meet 'birthday boy' Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who turned 67 on Saturday? Well, now, you can not only meet him, you can even play with him.
Except, he is not the 56-inch chest version of himself, but a 15-inch one; he won't be his voluble self, either, and will let you do all the talking. And, he's so soft you might want to call him 'Mulayam'!
Oops, we spilled the beans, didn't we! Yes, it is a Narendra Modi soft toy, made by a company called...Tickles. Indeed, the toy -- in which Modi is clad in his trademark orange kurta, white pyjamas and white jacket -- is listed on e-commerce sites as 'Tickles Narendra Modi...' Now, just try doing that!
Oh, and by the way, Flipkart is currently offering it for Rs. 958 apiece, claiming to be giving a whopping 52% discount. Toying with the prime minister's worth, Flipkart, ummm?
And Snapdeal is offering it for Rs. 1,225, at a 39% discount, with the disclaimer: Product colour may slightly vary due to photographic lighting sources.
Hmmm...that's understandable, but why the same Modi appears differently to different e-commerce sites should tickle (pun intended) your brain?
Flipkart says the toy is for children in the age group 2-8. Snapdeal thinks only those 12 and above should cuddle up with Modi. A very Censor Board-like approach, you might say.
And Flipkart lists these skillset advantages for the toy: Attention Span Building, Object Recognition, Creativity & Imagination, Sensory Development.
But Amazon must take the cake for the most bizarre descriptor: "Delight your little ones this year by presenting them with an adorable soft toy. This soft toy into their bedroom will give them endless hours of fun-filled playtime. Crafted with perfection using the finest materials, this Modi stunning soft toy has striking features. Instill a love for wildlife and introduce your children to the world of animals with this furry little plush toy. Features Non-toxic and soft fabric Soft and Cuddly filling Recommended Age Group - 3 - 6 Years Recommended For - Unisex."
Amazon, thankfully, removed the toy from its website a few days ago but not before Huffington Post reported on the toy and took a screenshot of the descriptor. Flipkart and Snapdeal continue to sell the toy.
Philosophically speaking, perhaps, so what if he's prime minister, and one desperate to exude gravitas, Modi is just one more toy in the age of consumption! Desh badal raha hain.