Capital Buzz/ Virendra Kapoor
Play for Parliament
In the other world,
Uncle Shakuni had just
retired for the night when the
producer came knocking.
"Ho, ho," said Shakuni, a bit irritated (was this the way to treat
a man who single-handedly saved Mahabharata from being
another run-of-the-mill drama?), "Who goes there? What's your business?"
"Open up, uncle," came a hushed whisper from
without, "It's me, Congressman."
Shakuni knew the Congressman fairly well. He was a
new addition to his world -- a kurta-clad kindly soul
who had come in just the
"What do you want," he grumbled, as he
gathered his lungi around him and proceeded to
a man up in the middle of the night for no reason!"
"Don't be angry, Uncle," said the Congressman, "I have come with
good news -- we want you to do a script for us!"
Shakuni thought that over. And liked the idea.
After Mahabharata, and the subsequent
this world, he hadn't done any plays.
Ah, here was the chance
he had been waiting for! But
it wouldn't do to show his eagerness to this
He decided to play it cool.
"Script? Don't bother me about scripts
now," he said, "I have got
more work than I can handle."
"No, no," insisted the Congressman, "This is a script like none other.
Only a master-scriptwriter like you
can do it! That's why I came
over personally with the offer."
The master scratched his head, thought again. "Okay," he
consented finally, "Tell me about it."
"Have you been watching the TV, uncle?"
"Yes. Great entertainment they telecast from
the other world. Especially today, from Uttar Pradesh."
"Oh, so you know about the play
running there?" the Congressmen seemed
relieved, "How did
you like it?"
"Well, professionally speaking, it wasn't very good. Lousy screenplay --
the dialogues were fifth grade!
That lady -- what'shername, Mayawati? -- should never have
cast. And that hero Kalyan Singh is the worst looking chap I
have ever seen! Heroes, you know, should be
charismatic. Like Ram in our Mahabharata. Now Ram--"
"Never mind all that, uncle," interrupted the
producer, "So you think you
can better that play?'"
"Yes, yes, no problem there," the scriptwriter said, "As I said,
stank. And the action! Ram, Ram, who directed it? You know,
they should get some good stunt directors like we did for Mahabharata..."
"Don't worry, we will get one," the Congressman assured, "But what we want
is a good screenplay along the same lines. You see, there's going to
be a big mela in New Delhi
starting mid-November. The venue
is 24, Akbar Road and Parliament. And we want to stage the
"Oh, plenty of time," said Shakuni, "Give me two days
and you will have your play."
"Thank you, uncle. I knew I could count
on you," the producer said gratefully, "But the
play should have no loopholes. You see, there is another
scriptwriter working on a similar play to stage for
the mela. His name is Sitaram Kesri. Now our
play -- we will call it The Great Congress Drama -- must be better
than his. We must, must beat him!"
"Young man," said Shakuni, laying a paternal hand on
the worried Congressman's shoulders and leading him to
the door, "Have faith in me.
in two days time and you will have your play."
As soon as the Congressman left, Shakuni settled
himself down with
a large pot of black coffee and got down to the serious
business of scratching his head. And thus motivated, he started writing...
"Superb," the Congressman couldn't help exclaiming
read the outcome, "Kesri won't be able to beat this! I will fax
to the director!"
The play was promptly faxed down to a top
political-director in Delhi who,
started rehearsals. And though it is
all being done under top-top
secrecy, Rediff On The NeT did
to sneak in a reporter...
Sitaram Kesri, the despot of a kingdom called
Congress, is cruel and malevolent. His countrymen
hate him, but don't
have the guts to fight him. The hate sires rebels who
first overtly go against him and gets their legs knocked
off from under. Later, however, they learn
the ropes and go about their operations
This is the heart of the play. The rebels are now pretty strong, their
strength has gone up to 35. But still, they are not ready for an open fight.
In a little while, they
hope, their strength will grow to 45. But their main woe is
that though they
have three middle-order leaders (Sharad Pawar, Najma Heptullah and Purno Sangma) they don't have a real leader...
Meanwhile, the rebel force is roping in people left, right and
H D Deve Gowda, the former king
of United Fraud, has promised
them support. He and his
20-strong army will do this in
exchange of a small gift -- namely, the
In addition, he has made his protege Inder
Kumar Gujral, the present UF king, promise to help the rebels.
But the whole plot could come unstuck, if neighbouring
powers -- the Telugu Desam and Dravida
Munnetra Kazhagam -- pitch in with Kesri. Will they?
The final act. The rebels, with 'external' help attack
the despot in his palace. The war spills over to Parliament.
Meanwhile, a sub-plot is being hatched by
Party, another political clan.
They want their leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee as the
For this they...
Sorry folks, this is where we draw the line. November is
already here, so please see the climax
of the Great Congress Drama on stage!
What do Congressmen do when they get into trouble?
Why, they run crying to 10, Janpath! To mama Sonia Gandhi who
is only too glad to take on their woes.
The latest to go seeking Sonia's solace was Congress vice-president
Jitendra Prasada.When his followers
ditched the party in UP to help Kalyan
Singh, he went crying to mama.
"T-t-they d-d-ditched u-us," Prasada wept, "Oh, what will we do?"
"There, there, baby," came the soothing voice, "Don't cry, don't cry...
did you have anything to do with it?"
"No, no, madameji (that's what all Congressmen call her)," sniffled Prasada,
"I told them not to go, but they went.
I couldn't stop them. And now, Chacha is planning to
beat me saying I in-in-instigaged them!"
"Don't cry, baby, don't cry," came the soothing voice
again, "I will tell Chacha it wasn't you. He won't beat you,
I promise. Now go home like a good boy..."
Egg on BJP's face
Bharatiya Janata Party leaders,
sources say, are
on a shopping spree. They are looking for
masks to cover their faces -- the bigger, the better!
"Why?" we asked a middle-order leader.
"Because that man (Kalyan Singh) in UP has
gone and inducted every known and unknown
goon into his ministry!" he said, "It will take us a lot
to live it down."
The anti-Vajpayee faction in the party blames
him for the sorry
turn of events after the BJP's deal with
Congress rebel leader Naresh Aggarwal. (The deal was vetted in Vajpayee's presence.)
The Vajpayee camp, for its part, says it was
president L K Advani's attempts to tame Kalyan
Singh that led to all the trouble.
"Kalyan was known to
be opposed to the BSP alliance," they say, "And the moment he
got his chance to undo it he did."
Snooping on Khurana
Recently, a very well-off lottery dealer in
the capital had a huge bill to foot. The payment was to a
private detective agency for
shadowing -- hold your breath -- Madan Lal Khurana!
To be fair to the said dealer, he did not have anything to
do with the deed. The real culprit
was -- who else? -- Khurana's 'bosom pal',
Delhi Chief Minister Sahib Singh
And his target? Well, dig
up whatever dirt that's forthcoming on Khurana...
Unfortunately for Verma, his extracurricular activity came
to Delhi BJP leader Kedar Nath Sahni's notice. He
off an angry letter to Vajpayee and Advani protesting the
Other senior BJP leaders were
equally incensed, but Advani, for reasons beyond anyone's
comprehension, has chosen to shield Verma..!
Oh, well, who can read a politician's mind?