Looking at the way the iconic octopus, Paul, stayed true to his reputation but was treated by the German populace, I could not help thinking of how India would have treated him if only he were born in India. No doubt the Spanish football team fans revere him, but the degree of adulation, adoration and admiration in Spain would have been nothing compared to what he would have enjoyed in India.

Well, during his life time he would have been treated as a living legend which means, he would have been ‘deified’ or atleast ‘gurufied’. Stories would have been circulated, songs composed and tomes written as to how he was a ‘Brahma Rishi’ in his previous birth and how he had been cursed to be born as an octopus in this birth, though able to retain his forecasting(the results of football matches) abilities in tact. Within no time an enormous ‘ashram’ would have come up around his aquarium or pool, probably on the public arable land gifted away generously by the superstitious politicians. There would have been busy ashramites, clad in octopussy suits fixing up the time of ‘darshan’s, monitoring the crowd and collecting money contributions. ‘Dharmashalas’ would have been built (encroaching on the surrounding area). Free food and prasadam would have been doled out, all with no properly maintained records of income and expenditure. Paul’s diet and his sexual gallivantings would have of course been a secret kept closely within the coterie of a few trusted ashramites.

After his death (he is not immortal, you see), the income would not have stopped but would have multiplied exponentially. A temple would have been built. His idol would have been carved in stone by the famous South Indian sculptors and installed in the sanctum sanctorum with lot of fanfare. A priest well versed in ‘Pooja’ methods would have been recruited for the daily ritual. There would have been many vendors and artists selling Paul’s idols in stone,marble dust, Plaster of Paris, medallions and pictures in frames, calendars and T shirts with the picture of the octopus on the chest and back, all on the temple street. These would have done a roaring business on the annual car festival of Lord Paul, the octopus. His ‘murthi’ would have been taken around the town on that day in a procession creating a carnival-like atmosphere. Foreign missions would have been established in his name enabling his retinue to travel around in luxury cars and to fly around in executive class.

It is a sheer pity that Paul has been born in a country where people are out to cut him and eat him up (recent world uproar would not have allowed it though) and not in this God’s own country. He really does not know what he is missing.