A tongue in cheek piece from GQ India about Mauritius’ attempt to give two islands away

Dear Mauritius

Oops, we almost didnt see you there. Anyway, since weve got a moment, wed quickly like to thank you for all the support youve given our country. We only recently discovered that almost 40 per cent of foreign investment to India comes via your shores thanks to a conveniently favourable tax treaty the details of which were sure will give economists the kind of hard-on reserved only for Megan Foxs inevitable sex tape.

But ever since weve indicated that wed like to change the rules of engagement (to rake in some extra moolah), youve tried almost everything to stop us, including a bizarre offer of not one but two islands on a long-term lease. On the surface, the idea has potential, though were not sure what the 300 residents of the Agalega Islands will have to say about being whored out like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. But lets look at the possibilities.

Shining sun

You recommended we convert the islands into world-class tourist destinations, a suggestion that left us scratching our heads in disbelief because then wed own a direct competitor to you a sort of Mauritius Pradesh. But after some thinking, we realized that all you really wanted was for us to divert from your beaches to ours the fat, middle-aged Indian tourists with giant paunches, thick moustaches and impossibly tiny Speedos, who were scaring away all the pretty blonde chicks in skimpy bikinis. And if saving your entire tourist-based economy is not worth a couple of useless islands, we dont know what is.

But Indian ownership also means Indian management of the islands, which means the beaches will be dirtier than a Dharavi public restroom faster than you can say Calangute, all thanks to the corporate offsites that will inevitably take place. And thats assuming the Israelis dont get there first and convert all the signage to Hebrew.

The Armada

We could use the islands as a naval base to increase our military presence in the Indian Ocean. It would give us a great location to put our spanking new indigenous aircraft carriers, submarines and destroyers and show off the might of our great nation except that by the time theyre actually constructed and commissioned, the ice caps would have melted, the Agalega Islands would have long vanished and John Cusack would be well on his way to repopulating the planet.

Still, we might just persist with the idea, if only to offer naval officers access to an exclusive clubhouse from where they can give their Air Force and Army brethren the finger. But then, can you imagine the astronomical cost of fuelling ships to move between the base and the repair dock in Cochin (where our ships spend most of their time anyway) every two weeks?

The new down-under

We could use the British model for using islands as a giant prison. The idea is simple: no walls, no restrictions and only one rule all prisoners will be forced to watch the most famous movies ever, like Titanic and Sheila Ki Jawani, except that the films will be reenacted live by a cast that includes Dolly Bindra, Kamaal Rashid Khan, Rakhi Sawant and Rahul Mahajan (we can almost hear Dolly telling Kamaal to paint her like one of his French girls). Theyll be begging for the chair in a week. We could televise the entire affair and make tons of cash. Which we would route through Mauritius. Its a foolproof plan.

As we can see, giving us the islands, which are essentially a burden on your economy, benefits you more than it does us. You know that. You also know that our leaders would likely jump on the offer without hesitation, if only to build themselves a taxpayer-funded luxury retreat. Smart, but were on to you, and just for that, weve decided to slash airfares to your capital. Say goodbye to the blonde bombshells.


GQ India