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Dear Sania Mirza

I understand Mr K Laxman of the BJP informed you a few days ago that you cannot be the state ambassador for Telangana as you are the “daughter-in-law of Pakistan.”

Of course, he belongs to a party that still can’t accept Sonia Gandhi as a daughter-in-law of India, but one must not expect such nuance from a drooling wreck of Mr Laxman’s caliber.

I understand that his statement has hurt you, and that you have prepared a strongly-worded rejoinder.

A response to Mr K Laxman is what legitimises his statement. It gives his words a dignity and acknowledgement they do not deserve
A response to Mr K Laxman is what legitimises his statement. It gives his words a dignity and acknowledgement they do not deserve

If I may, I have some advice for you; stop. Don’t waste your breath or your time. And if you really need to blow off steam, go into your garden, find the filthiest, most moss laden rock you can, and yell at it for a while.

For starters, that rock is a close approximation of K Laxman’s brain. And secondly, the experience will, I promise, be no more or less cathartic than attempting to reason with a blithering fool like him. As far as I, and a lot of other Indians are concerned, you can be the ambassador of any state you want.

As long as you promise not to attempt any feeble, godawful rap song advertisements like the ambassadors of some of our other states. I understand you were born in Mumbai, and I know the state of Maharashtra would be glad to have you as our ambassador. Heck, you even know who Sachin Tendulkar is.

I get why you’re mad. Mr Laxman’s core message is pretty straightforward. You are the “daughter-in-law of Pakistan.” Five words and two hyphens from a heart that probably looks like a fig after you’re done eating the good bits. I have always been taught to see the good in what people say, and not the bad (the perils of a Balbharati education).

And what is impressive about Mr Laxman’s statement is the number of levels of tyranny he manages to pack into those five words. First and foremost there’s the tyranny of relegating you to the status of an outsider in your own home. This is not the first time (this week) that an Indian politician has been guilty of that, and it sure won’t be the last.

And then there’s the tyranny of patriarchy that he’s heaped upon you. You see, the problem for Mr Laxman isn’t that you married a Pakistani. It’s that you married at all. Because you’re no longer Sania Mirza, person, tennis player, human who possibly dislikes vegetables like padwal (I’m hoping).

No, to him you’re only Mrs Shoaib Malik, a mere extension of whatever he is. Don’t you know, you fool, that when you get married, you’re signed over to someone else, like a Flipkart delivery.

For Mr Laxman, you are now the property of your marital home. How dare you lay claim to the heritage and person you were before your marriage? How DARE you? What do you think this is, 2014? You could waste time and energy on this, but there’s another way to deal with it.

By giving Mr Laxman what a college-friend called “the royal ignore.” Don’t feed the troll. That never ends well. Your response to Mr Laxman is what legitimises his statement. It gives his words a dignity and acknowledgement they do not deserve.

Or you could challenge him to a tennis match, where you play with one hand tied behind your back, and still kick his butt all the way to Pakistan and back. It’d be as pointless, of course, but the views you’d get on YouTube would create such an international news sensation that our politicians would rush to claim your Indian connection.

Rohan Joshi is a writer and stand-up comedian who likes reading, films and people who do not use the SMS lingo. You can also contact him on www.facebook.com/therohanjoshi

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