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Thursday, July 28, 2011

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Remember those wonderful old black and white films, where the fathers always died of shock when they:
·         Suffered a loss in business?
·         Were told (mistakenly) that their sons had died?
·         Found out their daughters were pregnant, out of wedlock?
Well, sometimes, of course, they didn’t actually die. They just had heart attacks, which complicated the plot further. Now, they could not take any more stunners. So, if they survived, no one could break it to them for the next twenty years that:
·         The business had actually turned profitable
·         Their sons had actually survived
·         Their daughters had been married secretly, and so the babies were not illegitimate
That would lead to the tragic and continued misery of their wives, sons and daughters, till the end of the movie, where the villain would let the (metaphorical) bomb drop, and the (still) ailing father would overhear it, summon up the strength to sort it all out, usually witness a wedding, and then die, so that everyone’s tears of joy would mingle with the sorrow of their bereavement.
Taking a cue from this, for decades, our arrestees suffered cardiac arrests, minutes before or after they were remanded in police custody.
But here’s where Suresh Kalmadi beats everyone. While they drew inspiration from the fathers, he turned to the mother.
Remember the Indian mother, who either lost her memory after being hit on the head or tripped on her feet by the villain and then lost her kids because she couldn’t recognise them, or lost her kids at a fair and then lost her memory from the trauma, and couldn’t recognise them for the next twenty years, while one became the villain’s henchman and the other his long-lost father’s secretary, and then she got her memory back when she hit her head again on a rock after they all met on a cliff face?
Now, given that Tihar Jail’s hosting something of a Parliamentarian alumni jamboree, there’s a good chance someone tripped or hit Suresh Kalmadi. Given the girth of the man’s thinning hair, a friendly pat on the head may have done the trick.
What one can’t figure out is why the other scam-accused – let’s say, the arguably bigger 2G scam accused – haven’t taken a leaf out of his book. Take Raja for instance.
First, he announces that Etisalat buying a stake in Swan Telecom and Telenor buying a stake in Unitech Wireless were cleared by the Finance Minister in the presence of the Prime Minister.
Then, he counters it with his lawyer saying, on his behalf, “main kisi ko phasana nahi chahta thaa” (I didn’t set out to frame anyone). Then, he wonders if there was a conspiracy involved in the Prime Minister’s decision not to constitute a GoM.
Come on Raja, it’s not too late. Suresh Kalmadi, who was recently awarded the Razzie for Worst MP, has belatedly discovered that he was suffering from dementia. In this case, ironically enough, the delay supports the contention.
You could ask someone why he didn’t state right away that he was demented.
“Um, I forgot,” he would say.
“So, are you saying you don’t remember anything?”
“Is that what I said? I’m sorry, I’m not sure.”
“Well, are you saying then, that there is a possibility that you may have embezzled funds, or cheated taxpayers?”
“Objection, Your Honour, the prosecution is leading my client!”
Sounds convincing enough, eh? We’ve seen those courtroom scenes in the movies often enough to know what happens next. Someone from the CBI may burst in at the end, with a bunch of tapes, and hurl them at the judge.
“Your Honour, all the evidence is here!”
The judge would look at it in wonder, then, and say “wow, you’re correct. All the evidence is here. I hereby sentence...”
But, if the dramatic entry were to be delayed long enough for everyone involved in the 2G scam to make a case for their case to be thrown out, the bench may well be reduced to tears, like in those family dramas.
“Your Honour, I forgot my Daddy’s eighty-eighth birthday.”
“Your Honour, I don’t even remember where I live, so I couldn’t possibly have overseen a telephone exchange from home, leading to my brother’s TV channel.”
“Your Honour, not just my Daddy’s, I forgot my son’s birthday too.”
“Your Honour, I don’t even know my own telephone number!”
The judge would mop his eyes with a wet handkerchief, and recall an incident from his own past, “I believe you. The reason I believe you is, once, long ago, when I was a little child, I forgot the door number of my house, and wandered the streets. At the time, I stumbled into a film studio, and a kindly man wrote me into his script. I did a courtroom scene, and that inspired me to become what I am today. Lady, that kindly man was your father!”
The judge would proceed to have an impromptu heart attack, and everyone in the courtroom would be wailing, as the CBI’s man rushed in with the damning evidence.
“What a damp squib,” he would mutter, and leave.


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