Aaj ki taaza khabar

Rahul da Cunha It’s been an eventful fortnight. Much celebration, some tragedy, plenty of violence, masses of hypocrisy — the usual goodies in a day in the life of India — but for four days in a row, my newspaper guy disappeared. His explanation was simple. “Saab Bhau Bheej, Bombay Bandh…aapko pata hai,” his voice trailed off, like most errant newspaper vendors.

I realised in those days, how much I missed my daily Indian news. The truth is, I’m addicted to our tabloids. I’m old fashioned — no reading off Kindles, I want to hold those large sheets in my hands, with black newsprint rubbing off on my fingers.

I want to plough through full-page ads selling housing development in Vashi before I can get to the headlines. Those juicy headlines — Kasab is finally six feet under, exactly one day before the winter session of Parliament. Planned justice. Didi’s no-confidence motion, no takers, is she scarred or sulking ?

Two young girls in Palghar take on the might of the law and utter lawlessness. Terrorised, and terrified, they apologise only on their own terms. And only after two hours of negotiation, with 5,000 bullies and a few uniformed cowards.

Illustration/ Amit Bandre

The Ponty /Monty Chadha shootout in a South Delhi farmhouse. Will it emerge that the other siblings Lucky, Sweety, Smalley and Bulbul are also involved? And who decides their pet names? In between reports of festivals, Facebook clampdowns, funerals and ‘phansi’ killing, what are our usual attention seekers doing?

Who is Ashok Kejriwal planning to go after this week, before he loses interest by next weekend, now that Adarsh, 2G, Vadra, Coalgate are all ancient history? Will his next ‘victim’ be a national, regional or wannabe national political icon?

Is the Gandhi scion planning his next verbal faux pas and about which Indian community?  Who is left to demand the BJP chief’s resignation — either his past misdeeds are being exposed, or Sharon Stone-like, he’s been photographed, exposing his thunder thighs. 

Whose personal life will the Gujarat Chief Minister pick on next, now that he has discovered the joys of Twitter, and the dazzling world of Holograms?

The King of Good Times is off the radar for a bit, so the next Kingfisher calendar can be shot without the loan sharks on his back. (By the way who designed the PM’s Cambodian shirt?)

Better not criticise anyone today, I maybe be arrested under Section 80cc or gg or ff for hurting someone’s feelings or religious sentiments or instigating a riot.

More importantly, let me check if the papers have arrived.

Rahul da Cunha is an adman, theatre director/playwright, photographer and traveller. Reach him at rahuldacunha62

The views expressed in this column are the individual’s and don’t represent those of the paper. 

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