An Ear To The Wall In 10 Janpath
Priyanka: Frankly, I am a bit concerned about your son-in-law Robert.
Sonia: Why, Cara figlia?
Priyanka: Hush …mom! Don’t talk to me in Italian even lovingly even when there are only two of us. Pyaaree beytee or dear daughter would be more like it! Walls too have ears sometimes.
Sonia: You are becoming worse than my late mom-in-law by being afraid of shadows. And in my strong Eyetie accent saying Py … whatever … sounds god-awful. But why are getting concerned about Robert, Bianca … oops Priyanka?
Priyanka: He is becoming worse than Feroze.
Sonia: Forget that wasted half-Sikh quarter-Hindu phoney fundamentalist, darling!
Priyanka: I am talking about your late father-in-law Feroze Khan … er … Gandhi. Robert’s possible promiscuousness can be forgiven by me like grandma did in the case of grandpa. But, my hubby actually is more politically ambitious than your pa-in-law was! In my opinion, his crack about my entering politics full-time at the right time and adding his own intentions lost us the elections in Uttar Pradesh. And the gaffes of poor Raul … oops Rahul have got the blame, despite his having food in despicable dirty huts.
Sonia: Why do you say that?
Priyanka: The Indian masses are fools, ma! I have never said I am interested in politics or will ever enter it. Except uncle Sanjay, none in our family – neither grandma Indira nor dad Rajiv or for that matter – you yourself have expressed any interest in ruling India and have always appeared to be totally reluctant to wield power. In fact, you are the real power behind India’s throne but none can even remotely say you are either a constitutional or extra-constitutional authority! And in politics, we never explain anything we do seriously. Remember my little trip to Vellore Central Prison in 2008 – to meet that female Nalini that came in handy to forge our victory in the 2009 elections? Nobody has bothered to ask why I went to meet her even after I clearly said I have not forgiven my father’s killer and the media here is content with my saying that it was a private personal visit. They even have found a saintly trend in me … saying I am the silently sacrificing type … I am supposed to have actually forgiven and forgotten Nalini as per the publicity whispers still doing their rounds. Mine was a well-timed move coinciding with the sentencing of the LTTE’s number two Colonel Karuna for illegal entry and stay in UK in 2008 for 9 months. My statement made to that female Barkha Dutt that I had not forgiven my dad’s killer was around the same time as Karuna’s premature release from UK in four and a half months, his miraculously getting a travel document to fly to Colombo and being made an MP immediately upon return. The nickel is yet to drop on one little fact that Karuna left Lanka with government support and a diplomatic passport because he was sure he would be killed by the Tigers. And he obviously returned only after betraying every secret of that group so as to replace the Tamil terrorist menace with the Sinhalese army menace. None in India will remember that we had worked out things in such a way that dad’s being killed in cold blood by the LTTE had laid the trails of Bofors payoffs and the allegations of KGB paying various members of our family permanently cold on the one side, our using the avenging pretence from August 2008 onwards against the Tamils of Lanka that left some 80,000 Tamils dead which in turn ensured our 2009 electoral victory on the other. Further, the fools in India have not put those too many twos together … like that little signal of my meeting Nalini – ha-ha you know I actually discussed the weather with her and nothing more in that dirty prison – a move that indirectly told the LTTE that we will not betray them – our actually doing the exact opposite – to help Rajapaksa uncle win multiple times in Sri Lanka … our dillydallying the hanging of pa’s 3 male assassins to pave the way for their future eventual release … only to rekindle the separatist tendencies in Tamil Nadu with the help of Karunanidhi uncle … yet letting him also down by jailing Kanimozhi … Raja and so on … ha … ha … ha …
Sonia: Hush … Priyanka … walls too have ears! But you were something about my son-in-law Robert Vad ...
Priyanka: That bad Vad is mad after wads of cash chased by female cads of easy virtue and who hankers after power as the mad Vlad who has declared a win in Moscow after all those clashes, mom!
Sonia: That is brilliant alliteration!
Priyanka: Feed the alliteration to alligators, goddammit! The utterances of bad Vad cost us UP, mom! And Rahul has got a bad name and a worse future.
Sonia: Heard of someone called Baby Sonia, darling?
Priyanka: Is that your alias from childhood?
Sonia: No! That was the first name of actress Neetu Singh Kapoor as a child artiste. She is now the wife of Bollywood actor Rishi Kapoor and mother of a handsome star Ranbir.
Priyanka: Why bring that up in this serious discussion?
Sonia: You see, Baby Sonia a.k.a. Neetu appears in a currently television commercial playing a forgetful woman trying to buy her son a gift without having brought cash. In the end, she succeeds in buying the gift and adds ad nauseam, “I know everything”. And this achieved wins by remote-control-deposited cash. This SEAA too says, I know everything!
Priyanka: What is SEAA?
Sonia: Sonia Edvige Antonia Albina … my name … what else, darling?
Priyanka: Yeah? Sonia is your addition at the behest of Paki uncle Salman who set up your meeting with dad in the UK in 1965 and was killed in Lahore last year! Another dead end for your secrets! I must say you are indeed very clever, mom!
Sonia: Hush … hush … walls have ears … Tell me about Robert. That is what this conversation is about isn’t it?
Priyanka: You have told me many times that grandpa Feroze – actually a Muslim who had merely changed his name to that of his mother’s maiden name Ghandy and then altered the spelling to Gandhi to be declared a Parsi that he never was - had almost ended the political career of grandma by the ceaseless mental torture through philandering. Hubby Robert … with the same Christian name given to pa to facilitate his marriage to you – may end up being as much a debauch as grandpa. Significantly, Robert too has begun skirting me and chasing a political career … and in the bargain … he ruined the political career of poor Rahul. As for women … I remember that pa did something during the Chennai AICC session of the eighties…
Sonia: Hush … Hush… Walls have ears!
Priyanka: I have two lovely children like you have, mom! I look like grandma … Now that Rahul’s career is in cold storage at least for the time being … I need to enter the fray to keep the our political power lineage alive and kicking. So, we need to freeze the political ambitions of Robert before they spoil my future too just as great grandpa Nehru did for the sake Indu Granny!
Sonia: You have an excellent analytical mind, Cara! But do not go too fast like my bête noire Mamata. In recent times, she began changing too many games to our chagrin … so I fixed her this time calling her bluff on the railway budget with one smart move. Trivedi had tried to derail the Kolkata female with those comments against women being raped and children killed in Kolkata. I checkmated Mamata with the same bald pawn and now debates have begun about the raise in power tariffs in the City of the Dead vis-à-vis the rise in railway fares. Now, not only will the Railway Budget get passed, so will the national budget being presented by the other Bong. You see, no party is ready for elections. And we need a national wave to win at the hustings in 2014. Since 1984 – we have won on the sympathy wave card first after Indira’s assassination and later after that of your father in 1991 – which has made me the unofficial empress of India and has paved the way for the coronation of either you or Rahul. In 1971 your grandma had the Bangladesh victory to boost her chances. In 1980 the political instability game played up by your uncle Sanjay worked. In 2009 we had the subtly stage-managed ‘Rajiv avenged’ wave … leaving so many killed in Lanka … and none checking whether Prabhakaran was really killed as we have not demanded any clinching evidence … but are saying we are convinced about his having been killed … All that is past. Now, we really are badly in need of some wave … Cara.
Priyanka: As I see it … the easiest way to trigger a wave is the declaration of a war against Pakistan … a nation the world loves to hate because of its terrorist-fixation. We can bomb them to Old Stone Age and the world will applaud. We can get Rajapaksa uncle arrested and sent to a prison in Timbuktu for his war-crimes as his role in our scheme of things has been over a long time ago. There we have to be a bit careful because he can possibly expose our not so flattering role in the decimation of Tamil aspirations to win in 2009. Of course, we can point out that he used us to win thrice since then. Alternatively, we can annex the Maldives and make it our annexe in the Arabian Sea … but that may achieve zilch as even most Under Secretaries in the Ministry of External Affairs have not heard of that archipelago. Effectively … that leaves you and Robert to be lost to retain power in the family. Don’t get worked up mom … we already have a story about your ill-health … and we can flaunt it … at the appropriate time to keep the masses on tenterhooks … Rahul shedding copious tears about your health will look nice on television. Finally, if we have to sacrifice some stupid lamb … we has as many cads as needed … to be used and discarded like sanitary napkins … Rahul is coming now … I do not want him get any stupid ideas about Robert … think of something else … I will go powder my nose.
Sonia: Hush … Walls have ears! Remember, I know everything. Why not someone else in India itself? We have enough political enemies to sacrifice. And why not Mamata … why not Jayalalithaa … two possible claimants to Manmohan’s chair? The southern female is already on the list of the LTTE and the Z Plus category. Inserting Mamata into the same list by arranging a little diversion somewhere would be child’s play. If everything else fails … there is that old man Anna Hazare! Did I not say I know everything?
Priyanka: Hush … Walls have ears!