By Sanjay Jha
(This satirical piece is deliberate. We could do with some political humor. Injury caused is intentional ) .
Last week, in a nationally televised debate I encountered one Doctor Sammy whose real claim to fame is his formidable party strength, which is apparently 50% of BJP’s Lok Sabha composition in 1984. I trembled with fear at his astronomical numerical feat. Naturally, you can imagine my trepidation at the thought of this formidable leader with a penchant for the pungent . It is rumored that he starts every morning with “ I allege it will be a good sunshine day today”. If it rains, you are dead. When it comes to making allegations, Sammy is not charitable, and he trusts no one. I last heard that even his terrified shadow was reported missing and an FIR lodged at a local Chennai police station.
Since I was on a video link , I could not see Sammy’s face, as I was staring into a black Panasonic camera that looked back at me with a gregarious open-faced smile. The camera and I clearly clicked, but would Sammy and I be on a roll? ( Sorry for that PJ) .
At the very start, Doctor Sammy went into uncontrollable rants about Young Indians. Evidently at 93 ( give or take 20 years) , there is a two-fold generation gap. “ These Young Indians do not herald a golden era , they are a national disgrace . I don’t want to even pretend to recognize them”. Ironically, this 93 year old man has well-dyed black gelled hair that establishes that at heart he wants to be a Young Indian. Beware Ranbir Kapoor !
Anyway at this explosive point, I entered the debate, sweating so much the neighbors suspected a Tsunami from the nearby Arabian sea. Sammy sniggered with the contempt you normally reserve for that stubborn cockroach who refuses to budge when you throw water on him, and instead irreverently flies into your face: “ Where did you get this fellow from? ; he sarcastically asked the anchor. ( I think he wanted to call me something rhyming with curd, if you know what I mean).
I am neither a Young Indian nor a superannuated 93 year old suffering from Sammynesia. So I hit back; “ Mr Sammy, you are a “ serial accuser” competing with one Arvind Natwarlal , and if B Grade Hollywood films get inspired by my novel invention of a serial accuser for you , I need some dollar revenues as copyright.”
I thought Sammy would say: I am the original owner of that sobriquet, not that Natwarlal fellow. But he chose to let that pass. Modest, I say. I was impressed by this Harvard fellow who got kicked out sometime back on mass popular demand by his esteemed university.
Sammy is an Artful Dodger and can confuse even Professor Calculus. “ Section 25 of Companies Act”, he hollered. Then he produced a stale article written in a duplicitous right-wing propaganda website, full of infantile innuendos and typical jaundiced political bashing. It was an embarrassing piece of bad pointless journalism in a site appropriately called “ Not Central”.
I imagined the furious Sammy on the other side of the benign Panasonic equipment. . He reminds me of this non-stop chatterbox lady from India Against Commonsense who had recently pretended to be a military strategist just to smell the breeze of Latin America , a free foreign junket at government expense. Both Sammy and the anti-horse sense lady have a perennial frozen, plastic smile, even if they are getting suitably annihilated. Earlier I attributed that to spiritual ecstasy, thick-skinned tolerance of criticism etc , till I realized it has no such divine complexion. It is just a tutored expression ; keep smiling at the TV cameras, because at least then you look better than Arvind Natwarlal. Sammy is high-risk! You listen to him for too long and you will lose your sense of humor, but you might acquire a sense of rumor. It is trade off in skills. But I had little choice.
Sammy bats heavily for the Sunk Parivaar. The problem with the Sunk Parivaar is that they remind me of my grandmother’s crafty cousins who wanted to usurp her goat when she was busy cooking them a meal. They would have succeeded, but unfortunately the goat refused their company. And it does not help their cause to publicize photos of Nitin Gadkari sitting cross-legged in khaki shorts.
To give the devil his due Doctor Sammy does not interrupt you , but he more than makes it up by sounding like a broken record ; “ I allege, I allege, I allege…..”. To conceal his dark intentions, Sammy is usually dressed in starched, immaculate white shirt . It is a clever ruse.
He once again dismissed me sardonically ; “ Who is this crackpot fellow….”. When you cross the 90’s ( despite the gelled black dyed hair) , amnesia is a natural biological process. it helps you recover extraordinarily from past mauling. I sympathized with his diminishing memory cells.
At the time of writing, Sammy’s several petitions to Election Commission etc on the Young Indians has fallen flat, and he has a huge double fried omelet on his face. Perhaps he was under-prepared, unprepared or maybe he needs a repair. I am excitedly looking forward to my next confrontation with Doctor Sammy. Do turn on for the face-off! If not, look for a familiar face in the dustbin ( that’s where he hides his precious documents ) ! Promise you, it will still be smiling.