The Red Saree and other disasters

Published: Thu, 07/01/2010 - 08:17 Updated: Thu, 07/01/2010 - 08:19

It's too hot and muggy to dwell on any subject at length. Which is why I'm merely jotting down my impressions of recent events. They may not be exactly riveting, but I can assure you that they're not as deathly dull as the book of the month: The Red Saree. 

I finally got access to a few chapters of this highly disputed book on the Internet: Javier Moro's The Red Saree. I hasten to assure Sonia Gandhi that she needn't worry - no one will take it seriously. If you don't believe me, check out the opening sentences: "Sonia Gandhi simply cannot believe that the man she loves is dead, and she will no longer feel his caresses or the warmth of his kisses. She will never again see that sweet smile that one day swept her off her feet." 

Moro then goes on to give tedious descriptions of hairstyles and clothes, down to the large sunglasses she wore to Rajiv Gandhi's funeral, and the colour of Rahul Gandhi's spectacle frames as well. Moro is meticulous, if nothing else. Even an idiot can tell that it's not a biography - it's a soppy Mills & Boon! Written by a man at that - eek! 

Naturally, I couldn't get beyond the first chapter. My heart goes out to Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi. The poor chap has been forced to re-read the entire mess for the last few months. 

I'm not astonished that Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee has effortlessly snatched votes from the Left, the Right and the Centre in West Bengal's recent municipal elections. It's only natural, considering that the Left-led West Bengal government has radically changed its mindset. After so many glorious years of letting the state fall to admirable depths of rack and ruin, they suddenly woke up and tried to do a China by aggressively promoting industrialisation and investment. Naturally, the people were shocked and disappointed. Commerce is so vulgar, right? 

Mamata won their hearts by literally driving the Nano out of the state and emptying its coffers once again. How wonderfully, reassuringly normal. And such a relief that West Bengal can continue its comfortable journey towards total annihilation. 

News flash: "A new proposal by the UK government is worrying several prospective brides in India - it attempts to introduce an English test that would be made conditional to join a spouse in Britain." Hmm.  The UK government firmly believes that this will help stem the flow of immigrants. I wonder now, do UK's lawmakers believe in Santa Claus, fairies and the Loch Ness monster as well? I hate to dash their hopes, but in Mumbai alone, many municipal corporation schools have already made the switch to English medium. It's only a matter of time before the rest will follow. All I can say is, I hope the Brits enjoy batata vada and bhel puri as much as they relish balti chicken!

Sharad Pawar is recovering from a mysterious surgery. We have been clearly informed that it's not cancer that has resurfaced, but a mouth infection. I'm not going to waste precious time tossing a coin to find out what the surgery was really for, because I firmly believe it was neither. I'm willing to bet he had a nose job done. All those lies denying his sneaky involvement in the IPL's shady goings-on must have made his cute little button nose grow to horrific proportions.  It just wouldn't do for a Marathi manoos to look like a Parsi, would it? 

How many books on the horrifying holocaust have you read? How many spine-chilling Nazi movies have you seen? And, finally, how many times can you forgive Israel for being cruel to other human beings?I'm done with feeling sorry for Israelis anymore - certainly not after they attacked ships laden with aid. Besides, I'm reading other books now - books on atrocities committed by, surprise, surprise, Israelis! Like Palestinian author Suad Amiry's delightful book (Sharon and My Mother-in-Law: Ramallah Diaries). 

What I'm questioning now is this: the notion of the promised land belonging to Jews. If it's not on a piece of papyrus signed by God (or carved on a tablet - hey, I'm willing to make allowances here), then I don't buy it. Israelis may be clever people, but I'm not stupid either!

This story is from print issue of HardNews