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Sweety Kapoor-Khanna at Anna rally: A satire


April 7, 2011 - New Delhi

"For heavens sake Mom! You won't blend with the crowd at Jantar Mantar with your Dior bag and diamonds." I decided to ignore junior. It is not everyday that a demonstration that touches my heart, comes along.

Sweety Kapoor-Khanna is committed to causes, and let nobody tell you otherwise. I used perfumed candles during the Jessica watch demonstrations and Aarushi rallies at India Gate. I won't take my Dior bag, I know that much. I will be subtle.... I will take a Burberry. And, diamonds are subtle; I wont wear the teardrop ones, just the 3-carat solitaires. I think they make a statement that I may be rich, but I am as worried about corruption as this new Mahatma, Anna Hazare.

See Mallika Sarabhai also wore jewellery sitting next to Annaji. Large chunky silver jewellery. Wonder who decided that it is okay to wear silver and not diamonds at rallies?

But isn't Anna a woman's name. Like Anna Karenina or that very thin Hollywood actress Anne Hathaway? Anna Hazare is thin too. And now he is fasting. Uff! Anyway Sweety Kapoor-Khanna is going to the rally, yes she is.

This is serious. I want to be able to tell my grandchildren that I was part of the 21st century Mahatma's movement, just like my grandfather told me such interesting anecdotes about Chauri Chaura...or was it Champaran. Can't seem to recollect. So, I started hunting for the right outfit. A white salwar kameez with delicate silver embroidery. I won't wear those Cottage Emporium ones that I keep for funerals and prayer ceremonies, can't risk it you know, Nafisa Ali might turn up wearing the same. Or Arundhati Roy. I will wear Patiala Juttis, have to keep feet covered, so much dust at these rallies.

High heels are out of question, it makes one look frivolous. But it is possible that some Bollywood celeb might land up wearing six-inch heels, they make such asses of themselves in Delhi, they just don't know what to wear at political rallies.

So, I landed up at Janter Mantar in my Land Cruiser all ready to yell at the top of my lungs "Anna tum aagey badho, hum tumhare sath hain." One hour is how much I have planned to spend, and then meet up with my Kitty group at the Imperial Hotel for a soup and salad lunch. But as soon as I squatted on the dirty dhurrie, next to some sweaty East Delhi kind of shopkeepers, a feisty reporter came up to me asking if I could give her a sound bite. I said yes, thinking it was NDTV or CNN-IBN, you know the kind I watch. English. But when I reached the OyeBee Van (that is what they call it), I realized it was for a Hindi channel. I couldn't back away. I am too polite you know.

She asked me questions as to why I was there because I looked the kind who had benefited from the 'system'. I was so livid.

Imagine, doubting my integrity, just because I didn't smell of sweat and dirt! So I, Sweety, let her have it. I said, "Enough is enough. We Indians are sick to our swan like necks with all this corruption.

Politicians must know that they have had it good for so long now, it is our turn to join politics and get a share of the public money. They should know, that we back Anna Hazare completely. Such a simpleton, god forsaken man who is now our hero, just like Misbah-ul-Haq."

I don't think she quite understood what I was saying, because I caught her giving an amused look to the cameraman who was shaking with laughter! Now what did I say wrong? I guess I can't really understand the humour of these West Delhi types, you know. We South ones are subtler, we watch 'Friends' and they watch 'Saas Bahu' and that makes all the difference in our outlook to life. I went back to the dhurrie and craned my neck to see if I could spot some of my type, you know, like say a Shabana Azmi or Madhu Trehan. But there were just some ordinary looking women in crushed cotton salwar kameez. I decided to pay attention to the speakers. There was a Swami in orange coloured attire speaking about the Lok Pal Bill and comparing it to another Lok Pal Bill. I couldn't understand what that was all about. By the look of it, not many understood anyway.

Then came Shiv Khera. Now, he got a lot of applause because he didn't speak in chaste Hindi like Swami Agnivesh (the orange attired swami, wonder if he teaches yoga?).

There were posters of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar that I recognized. The other posters looked very tacky, not at all like during the Jessica Lal and Aarushi rallies, of you know, pretty people. I think this rally looks more like the Mandal agitation and the Mandir movement. It has a distinctively desi look to it still. It needs a bit of 'class' for me to get involved, you know. Time to head to my kitty party, I will return when Arundhati Roy and Aamir Khan come here. But I wonder what will happen to poor Anna Hazare by then. He is looking quite frail, resting against over sized cushions with just one pedestal fan and these sloganeering crowds. Wish they would just let the man nap peacefully. Oh, I am late for my luncheon. Bye sweets. By Smita Prakash

ANI

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