25 Jan 2010, 0637 hrs IST, ET Bureau
Next time you wish for the moon, beware. It may just come true. In
fact, it may happen even if you don't wish for it, apparently. With
for all things earthly — preferably hewn in stone — it is not
surprising that UP chief minister Mayawati was not amused to learn
that some over-zealous partyman has actually attempted to buy her a
birthday gift that would eclipse all others: a plot on the moon.
The poshest bits of Lucknow or New Delhi hold no candle to a piece of
the Moon. But Ms Mayawati was hardly likely to fall for the lure of
moondust when there're plenty of earthly places up for grabs,
especially those that can be reached by her official cavalcade.
Who wants to wait for a traipse to the moon till Richard Branson comes
up with the next stop for Virgin Galactic anyway? So, while the
partyman Narendra Singh Sengar was expelled from the BSP for his deal
with a US-based company for a moon plot for his leader, Ms Mayawati
has ordered an inquiry into the murkier plot that may lie hidden
behind the package that arrived from the US with the 'relevant'
Dismissing the reports of her newest acquisition as 'baseless' , the
UP government has asked the ministry of external affairs — it can't
get more external than the moon — to investigate the origin of the
documents that arrived from an address in California. People have been
sold the London Bridge and the Statue of Liberty . Trust Ms Mayawati
to not succumb to such moonshine .
Especially since it seems a pretty cheap venture : a cursory search on
the internet for plots on the moon shows that the going 'rate' is a
measly $20 per acre. Maybe because there's no credible source of water
there yet. At least Noida has an assured supply — and better land
appreciation . But as an exotic location for elevating statues, the
moon does have something going for it.
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