Stray thoughts that stay

Updated: Feb 23, 2020, 08:04 IST | Rahul da Cunha | Mumbai

Thoughts flit into one's head, then disappear and re-emerge—temporary answers are found… there are other questions that are rhetorical.

Illustration/Uday Mohite
Illustration/Uday Mohite

Rahul da CunhaIt's been one of those weeks. Thoughts flit into one's head, then disappear and re-emerge—temporary answers are found… there are other questions that are rhetorical.

Nirbhaya… a fast track case that's taken eight years to come to fruition and even then, what fresh 'delay tactics' will be sought by the lawyers of the accused before the March 3 hanging? And, if it's taken this long for this most terrible of rape cases, what chances do other victims have of gettting justice?

The Oscars… Parasite. Was it great enough to win both Best Film and Best Foreign Film? Or, are South East Asians directors now flavour of the year, like the Mexicans, del Toro, Cuaron, Inarritu were for the last few?

And us, will we have a system like Bong Joon-ho, unfettered, to tell his stories without having to cast stars in them?

Totally appreciate what Shri Khurranna is doing, finding and fostering scripts with 'issues'—Article 15 was wonderful. As was Gully Boy, both deserving of Filmfare recogniton, but without messrs Ranveer and Ayushmann, would those two movies have found financial backers?

There was a time when Oscar winners ascended the podium and spoke only about celluloid. Now, they're converting those podiums into soap boxes and spending their valuable 45 seconds to talk about everything but films—searing diatribes about global warming, climate change and veganism and Prezzie Trump, and everyone attacks him. And you wonder if Ranveer would ever get up onto the podium and convert his Filmfare best actor speech into a social one, dedicate his statuette to the struggling Have-nots. And Alia, her Saifeena best actress award, dedicated to all the Shaheen Bagh protesters. And then you think, 'are you kidding me?' How can they? Not in this nation, plus, they're actors, not activists, with so much to lose. Hollywood can take on their leaders and issues in ways we wouldn't dream of.

Talking about their leader, he wings his way into Gujarat tomorrow, and he's boasting that he's No 1 on Facebook in terms of followers, and I'm thinking boy, you got that wrong, our world leader has 44 million and you're a distant second at 26 million. And anyway, how do you have so much time to spend on social media?

I thought being the Prezzie of the US was the toughest job in the world and scandal could ruin you. One sex scandal almost obliterated all Clinton's good work, and you have your own Monica Lewinsky scandals every day, skeletons tumbling out of your closet, and your approval ratings are fine—without even the remotest possibility of leaving behind huge legacies like Ronald's 'Reagenomics' and Barack's 'Obamacare', you're heading for a second term.

(Apparently Shri Trump is going to speak to Shri Modi about religious freedom and CAA. Wonder how that chat will go). Then I thought about the ladies Ivanaka and Melania who are coming with him. And who will be by Modiji's side? Amitbhai, Smriti, Kangana?

For some days, the Trump family will be eating our USA—Undhiyu (from the) state of Ahmedabad.

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

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