And so Sallubhai is free. Free on a Friday, what a release, yes? Rs 300 crores of the national exchequer is saved. A country’s collective prayers have been answered. My nariyal paani seller, who has views on everything from why Kings XI Punjab keeps losing, to Kejriwal’s political future, said to me, chopping some kernel, “Arrey Saab, mujhe pata tha. Bhai jail nahin jayega. Yeh India hai”. Everyone took the 5 year sentence so personally.
The man was executed and eulogized in equal measure. “He should be let off for being so charitable! So what if he serially beats women — Ms Ali, Mrs Azharuddin and Ash Bachchan Rai, he's a loveable abusive brat with a big heart!”. “The only reason Puru Raaj Kumar isn’t in jail for having mowed down eight people is he’s a failed actor. Poor Sallu is in the limelight. That too he wasn’t even driving.” Ya right, his chauffeur has had a 13 year amnesia-type ailment called ‘tyreburstophobia.’ My favourite social media meme was ‘So what, my Salman only killed one person.’
Illustration / Amit Bandre
Fair logic, we should all be allowed to kill one person. The law only kicks in after murder two. One Hill Road resident told me very cleverly, “Hey men, that road, na, the one outside American Bakery is now dug up! Today he would have had to take the straight road past St Stanislaus, he wouldn’t have had to turn so sharply.” Then there’s the sycophant-singer who chastised the pavement dwellers with his insensitive- “Kutta road pe soega, kutte ki maut marege” — And I’m thinking how is everything such a clever rhyme these days? Modiji’s creative team took six months to come up with ‘Ab ki baar, Modi sarkar.’ This genius tweeted his in minutes. Wow.
One jeweller 'celeb’ had a fabulously thoughtful suggestion about moving the pavement sleepers from the main roads to the bylanes. Love the idea, madam. Except, all the bylanes are now dug up. So the glitterati, chatterati, and the fillum-ati are thrilled with the HC verdict. The rest of the nation is a bit thunderstruck.
If you’re asking me for my view, here it is — There is only one way to truly punish Salman Khan for his ‘crime’ — I'd say strap him down to a chair, and force him to watch most of his films again and again. He has to realise, that while he is ‘Being Human’ to many charities, he is ‘being inhuman’ to us. How’s that for penance?
Then when he’s been ‘tortured’ through all his 2010-2015 films, here’s the kicker. Make him watch them again, with other superstar’s faces morphed on. Say, SRK’s face on Sallu’s body in Dabaang 1 & 2. Aamir’s face on Bhai’s torso in Kick. So if it works and one day he does go to jail, Aamir can replace him in Kick 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6. And finally I’m thinking a galaxy of the younger stars can be in Ek Tha Tiger’s sequels — Ek Tha Cheetah, Ek Tha Leopard and Ek Tha Lion. Jhakaas plan, na? Bole toh?
Rahul da Cunha is an adman, theatre director/playwright, photographer and traveller. Reach him at rahuldacunha62 @gmail.com
The views expressed in this column are the individual’s and don’t represent those of the paper.