Rediff Logo News Banner Ads Find/Feedback/Site Index
January 5, 1998


Capital Buzz/Virendra Kapoor

Jumped, or pushed in?

So the lady did it.

It looks like that, doesn't it?

Yeah, it does. I always knew she would. These Italian women, they have great guts. And let me tell you, it takes a lot to plunge into the Great Congress Swimming Pool.

Oh, really?

Really. I don't blame the lady for standing at the edge of the pool, shivering in that itsy-bitsy swimsuit of hers, for so long. It's ruddy frightening looking down into the darned thing. I mean, it's supposed to have sharks and stuff there, right?

Perfectly. And then there is an octopus too.

Oh? I didn't know that. Anyway, the lady was really frightened of the water. And still she jumped. That's what I call true bravery..."

So you think she jumped on her own?

Of course she did! Wasn't that all over the papers on December 30. She jumped sometime on the 29th. Don't you read the papers?"

Yes, I do. About once every year. Unfortunately, December 30 was not that day. But tell me, what makes you think our lady jumped and was not pushed in?

Why, what a preposterous idea! Whoever would do such a nasty thing?

Oh, I can name quite a few.

So name them.

Well, there were some who wanted her in the pool with them. It was very mucky in there, you know. And leaky too. They felt she would be able to do a good clean-up job. One of them might have paid someone to give her a little push.

Hey, is this all true? Who did the actual pushing?

Yeah, so say my sources. Stick around for a little while more and I may even tell you who did it.

Oh, please! Now you got to tell me who it is!

Okay, I will let you into the secret. Or rather, I will give you a clue: A controversial Delhi hotelier did it. He sneaked up behind her and gave her one -- wham! And the lady was in!

But why?

Our pusher, who is a wheeler-dealer in the capital, has many a time enjoyed the pool. So he couldn't very well refuse when one of the patrons asked him to, could he?

So that was how it was, eh?

Yeah. Actually, your 'brave' lady had quit standing on the pool-edge and gone home. She came back only because somebody said the pool was leaking horribly and would have no water left very soon. And if that happened, they threatened it would be renamed the Great Bharatiya Janata Pool and none of her friends would be able to swim there again.

Oh! And I thought the lady was really brave! Anymore stuff like this before I push off? How did our lady's kids -- she has two of them, right? -- take the news?

Well, the elder one, the boy who lives in Britain now, said "Oh!" and went back to romancing his Colombian girlfriend. And the younger, the girl who married that what's-his-name character said "Ah!" My sources say she's been blessed by the stork and the doctors have adviced her not to strain herself by talking too much. Anyway, contrary to popular belief, our lady has conveyed she would swim only a couple of laps and get out as fast as possible..."

S and R

Now we have got talking about Madame S and swimming, we might discuss the consequences as well.

"Not much consequence. She might catch a cold, but that isn't going to help us any," says a senior pool patron, "Her only value will be as a crowd attraction -- you know, something for the people to stare at."

Interestingly, certain sections of the audience find similarities between Madame S and another lady who braved the waters recently: Biharian Rabri Devi.

If S went in thanks to our hotelier, Rabri Devi was helped into the pool by her husband Laloo Prasad Yadav.

"S will swim only a few well-charted-out laps," says a Bharatiya Janata Pool patron, "And, like Rabri, the speeches she makes would be all short, readouts. People will eventually get tired of her routine, the law of diminishing returns would set in."

Rome and Ram

To thwart S's forthcoming acquabatics, the BJP has come out with a slogan. This is how it goes:

Woh kahtey hain Rom, Rom mein Rome,
Hum kahtey hain Rom, Rom mein Ram.
Ab aap hi faisla kijieye!

(They say in every pore of their body there is Rome -- a reference to S's Italian origins -- while we say in every pore of our body there is Lord Rama. Now you be the judge.)

A shaky biography

Soon, very soon, in fact, as soon as ex-CBI director Joginder Singh publishes his autobiography, there's gonna be an earthquake.

Well, that's what the author believes. But people who have seen his scribblings haven't stopped running yet.

"Lousy," they say in unison, "Lamentable! There is nothing new in it."

But Singh is sure his magnum opus is going to be a hit. So sure, in fact, that he is hunting round for a publisher wealthy enough to offer him Rs 1 million for the manuscript!

And why not? Does it not have a detailed account of the row with Prime Minister I K Gujral which eventually had him kicked out from the CBI? Hasn't the author vicariously described how he was asked not to arrest fodder-ster Laloo Yadav?

And then there is that beautiful passage which goes: ''But with the courts breathing down the CBI's neck and the PM refusing to give the no-arrest directive in writing, we had no option than arrest Yadav...''

Now, wasn't that but simply excellent prose? So why shouldn't someone pay Rs 1 million for it?

Capital Buzz