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Thursday, May 12, 2011



(Image Courtesy: Sify.com. Unauthorised reproduction is prohibited.)
 
"I'm NOT going to write a column on Osama."

"Yeah, I'm tired of him."

"Surprisingly, I’m not. It’s just that the Arabian Sea joke – which still makes me giggle, anyway – and the SEALs pun, the Obama-Osama mixup, and the farmhouse and multipurpose goats and whatever...it’s all just been done, right?”

“Haha.”

“Oh, come on, ‘done’ was not a pun. But the widows are sort of tempting.”

“Yeah, everyone wants them. Haha.”

“No, really, to write about. They’re being treated like war bounty. Have you seen the headlines? ‘US wants access to Osama's wives’, ‘Pak interrogators given custody of Osama's widows’, ‘Pak to have a go at Osama’s widows before US’, ‘2 women, 4 kids, said to be Osama’s wives’ – I mean, I got a shock at the last one, but then I saw it read ‘2 women, 4 kids, said to be Osama’s wives, children taken away’. Comma confusion.”

“It would have been a lot more dramatic if they’d been taken along on the helicopters, throwing off jewellery to help vultures trace them, kind of like the Ramayana, you know.”

“Well, maybe not jewellery. Maybe ammo. But apparently, they couldn’t take them because one of the helicopters went bust, and there was no place for the wives and cows, on tops of the SEALs and tapes and diaries and guns.”

“Oh, yeah. There’s got to be a lot of money in those diaries.”

“No, the money was sewn into his clothes.”

“I meant in Hollywood. Or publishing. In using Osama Bin Laden’s Diaries. Whom would they cast? Make Renée Zellweger do an Arab accent and get a sex change op? Or is Anthony Quinn alive? I can never remember who died, him or the guy who played the prince in Lawrence of Arabia.

“Who, Omar Sharif? Was he a prince, though?”

“No, not him. The who does ‘Oronhkhs’ with a grunt. You know, the one who...oh, come on, don’t frown...oh, never mind.”

“Oh, wait, I know whom you mean. That was Omar Mukhtar. Uh, Anthony Quinn.”

“No, Quinn played a tribal leader. The prince was...oh, how did I forget this? I have images of alcohol in my head now. Something to do with the Irish...”

“Guinness? Alec Guinness?”

“Oh, yes, that was him! Yeah, who’s alive among that lot?”

“I don’t know. How did we get started on this?”

“We were casting for Osama Bin Laden’s Diaries. You know, I wonder if Osama took his weight every day. He was pretty vain. Made videos of himself watching videos of himself. And then probably watched those! How meta!”

“Maybe he was going to pitch a reality show to Al Jazeera or something.”

“You know, you’d be surprised how many Westerners think Al Jazeera is owned by him!”

“What, really? Well, at least they don’t spend three hours broadcasting royal weddings! Or do they?”

“Do you mean in the Arab world, or...hahaha, it just occurred to me that Al Pacino’s phone lines may have been tapped for a while!”

“Plchch. By the way, which of the conspiracy theories do you subscribe to?"

"Well, all of them are equally dumb, right? Except that poor Afghan official, who spilled more beans than he intended, about Osama blowing himself to bits."

"Yeah, that's not a conspiracy theory. More like, the most likely scenario, and the explanation for why the US couldn't release the 'we nailed him' pics. Anyway, how did we get started on all of this? Wait...Al Pacino, Al Jazeera, Lawrence of Arabia, diaries, space on the helicopters, wives...yes, wives and war bounty.”

“Yeah, that whole oh-we-lost-a-helicopter-and-ran-out-of-space thing is just unbelievable. Like three SEALs couldn’t have sat three tiny women on their laps or something?”

“Hey, they weren’t belly-dancers!”

“Whatever, find space for them. I’m not sure about the regulations on standing room in helicopters, though.”

“Maybe  they were scared they were human IEDs. Their husband did specialise in that field, right?”

“Yeah, you have a point.”

“That would've made pretty headlines. ‘ SEALS die in Arabian Sea’, ‘SEALs swoop in on Osama, cannot stay afloat’, ‘Hijabis avenge death of Jihadi’, ‘Explosive end to midnight drama’. Wow, these are kind of inspiring me to write a column. Do you think PETA would have got involved if the headline read 'Tropical sea kills SEALs'?”

“I think they're involved anyway - forcing goats and cows to serve terrorists has to break a few rules. Hey, the papers keep speaking of this one youngest wife. I picture her as The Afghan Girl - you know, the famous photo.”

“She’s Yemeni.”

“I know, but I just have this image of that spirited look and...”

“Dude, are you falling in love with Osama’s wife?”

Widow. Well, no, not in love exactly, but I think of her as that girl with the brownish red hood and large green eyes, whose stare seemed to say...”

“You’re making me nauseous. Anyway, they killed the romance of that image by tracking her down to some hut and found out she’s a fat, middle-aged housewife who has to ask her husband permission to pose for a picture.”

“No, don’t look at this from a feminist perspective.”

“I am NOT a feminist!”

“Why do you say it like it’s a bad word? Oh, God, I sounded so gay there. Anyway, what did you think she’d become, a journalist? A president? A Nobel Peace Prize winner? Obama’s all of that...no, was he ever a journalist?”

“You know what I don’t get? Everyone’s making this big deal about Osama’s three wives. But he had plenty more, right? These were just the ones that he was living with in Pakistan.”

“Aren’t three enough? I can’t two-time properly, leave alone three-time.”

“I’m sure he had a few before. He’s got a grown-up non-terrorist son who married a British tourist or something.”

“The terrorist who married a tourist. Could make a nice movie. When the Tourist met the Terrorist.”

“He was not a terrorist.”

“Can we stop discussing all these ‘-ism’s and ‘-ist’s? I feel like we’re having a lover’s fight.  It’s sort of obvious that Osama wasn’t keen on waiting till he got to Heaven for his seven virgins. Or is it nine?”

 Nein, as the Germans would say. I’m sure they’re running out of them up there. Can I quickly make a politically incorrect joke about nuns before this Censorship Act or whatever it’s called comes into place?”

“Oh, man! I wonder if the Jihadi Contract has a clause about the age of the virgins!”

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