Kids Corner


Outsourcing Christmas To Mohali




In a brilliant initiative which could only come from a desperate Republican these days, a U.S. Congress aide took it upon himself to address another major problem affecting the American economy: Christmas!

It appears that a recent study shows that the True Cost of Christmas (cumulative cost of all items through all the repetitions of the folk song, The Twelve Days of Christmas), now exceeds $100,000.

Hoping to reduce the hefty annual cost to America's Christian households, the Congress aide came up with the idea of outsourcing it all to Mohali in Punjab.

Prompt that Punjabis always are, here was their quick and thoughtful reply:


A Partridge

Selling partridges in Punjab is illegal. We suggest a quail, for Rs 150. With a small potted pear tree (Rs 200), that comes to Rs 350 a set, half the US cost.

Two Turtle Doves

Turtle doves aren't indigenous to Punjab. May we recommend pretty white pigeons instead? A pair would set you back about Rs 1,000.

Three French Hens

The French didn't stay long enough to impact poultry. Except in Pondicherry. We figure hens there have enough of a French accent. Cost: Rs 450.

Four Collie Birds

Once more, not Punjabi. But could we interest you in some fine koels? Price: Rs 8,000. If you still insist, we assure you the koel has a very fine voice indeed.

Five Golden Rings

For five wedding bands, with about four grammes of gold each, and with a good deal on the making costs from our family jeweller, we would charge Rs 56,630.

Six Geese

Geese aren't too easily available in Punjab. But we know a guy who knows a guy, and can get them at Rs 1,500 each.

Seven Swans

The PNC index puts swans as the costliest on the list. Here, it's worse. It starts at Rs 125,000. Each. Source swans locally. We can provide the wading pools.

Eight Maids

Like PNC, we went with minimum wages. Unskilled dairy labour would be about Rs 80 per hour. You will be providing the cows, yes?

Nine Ladies

Bhangra dancers would be happy to get freelance work, what with the goras trying to nab their jobs. Keep the cheques for Rs 1,500 (each) ready.

Ten Lords

Our closest equivalent to lords sit in our S.G.P.C. Instead, some jathedars? Fee: Rs 1,500 per hour per person.

Eleven Pipers

You need a professional troupe? That's Rs 30,000 an hour. But if the musicians in our wedding processions work for you, its Rs 5,000 an hour.

Twelve Drummers

Our dhol-drummers are enthusiastic, and they get a lot of practice with all our wedding processions. Rs 5,000 an hour for the troupe.

Note: All rates applicable in Punjab only. No shipping (or visa charges) included.

*   *   *   *   *

Understandably, the whole matter has been shelved for "future reference", now that the Christmas season is over and the Election season is upon us - I mean, U.S.


[Courtesy: Forbes. Adapted for]

December 27, 2011



Conversation about this article

1: Sangat Singh (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), December 27, 2011, 6:06 PM.

What an absolute delightful piece. Keep going, while I work on a franchise scheme for you. Just mulling over a catchy name that would go beyond Christmas. We could call it 'Punjabi Mac'! We couldn't obviously call it 'Punjabi Fried Chicken', for God's sake! We remain open for a virile befitting Punjabi name. First prize would be a free finger licking fried masala chicken. Any takers!

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