Railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal has announced a lottery system for tatkal booking from December 1 this year. Travellers can start applying for tatkal ticket an year before the journey date. 3 hours before the train starts from the originating station, there will be a lucky draw to select the tickets for the tatkal quota. Announcing this at a press conference Mr Bansal said, "The ticket draw will be televised live over Doordarshan. We hope to cross the TRP ratings of IPL with this event". The programme is tentatively titled "Kaun Banega Tatkal Yatri". Mr Bansal further announced that the programme will be hosted by Amitabh Bachchan.
Explaining the rationale behind the decision the minister explained, "Booking tatkal on IRCTC is anyway like a lottery. Why not have some fun with it too?". Many heads nodded in agreement. Bivin George, a software engineer from Bangalore, says "I think we should have cheer girls cheering each time a ticket is picked. After all it's a once in a lifetime experience". Concurring with Bivin, Babhay Prabhakaran added in thick Thrissur accent, "The tickets should be carried and delivered by decked up elephants".
The additional revenue from the gameshow is expected to bring in much relief to the railways who are undergoing a financial crisis. The minister said that the much needed revenue will be promptly used for important things like frontpage ads featuring Sonia Gandhi, Mr. Rahul Gandhi and the minister himself. TV spots are also being planned.
Andrew Souza, an entirely made up software engineer who is a figment of my imagination explained, "Till now I was forced to book tickets for all my roommates and get beaten up by them when I couldn't. Now I can ask them to book the tickets themselves.". The relieved Mr. Souza has already planned to not plan his journeys 4 months in advance.
Not all is fair and rosy, dissenting voices have risen from the East. Ms. Mamata Bannerjee complained that the UPA had once again stolen an idea from her. She said, "This is all a communist conspiracy. The UPA is implementing policies I had thought of and now trying to take credit for them". Ms. Bannerjee went into a rage and promptly called up her Principal Secretary to arrest some random person on the road and charge him with a defamation suit. This reporter, meanwhile, felt it prudent to leave immediately to prevent a dangerous situation.
ps : err.. in case it's not clear, this is a satirical piece.