Doctor, I’m having bad dreams.
(Published on October 14, 2017 in Business Standard)
Doctor, I’ve been having these bad dreams.
I’m having a dinner party. My guests are Aung San Suu Kyi, celebrated leader from Myanmar; Harvey Weinstein, madly powerful Hollywood producer; Honeypreet, devoted daughter of convict Gurmeet Singh; Jay Shah, quiet Gujarati businessman; Nandan Nilekani, mastermind of Aadhaar; and government contract worker @FollowedByPM2019.
What? I like meeting new people.
8pm. Ding dong!
Me: Welcome, Suu Kyi. I visited Myanmar in the 1990s, and walked by where you lived under house arrest as a beacon of democratic dissent, political prisoner of the brutal junta. Look at your gold Nobel Peace Prize medal! Wait, is it looking like rusted tin because of the Rohi—
Suu Kyi: If you say the word ‘Rohingya’, I’m going to leave. I’m very cool and elegant and adored, and everything is very complicated, and you don’t understand anything.
Me: This is disappointing, but familiar. Our PM does that same trick if you ask him a question about 2002.
8.06pm. Ding dong!
Me: Good evening, Mr Weinstein. Please take your hand off my butt. Take your hand off her butt too, wtf is wrong with you?
H. Weinstein: When I was growing up, that was just the culture. I hope you know that I can end your dinner parties in this town. I’m off to rehab, where they will help me focus on how madly powerful Hollywood sex offenders get to go to rehab instead of jail.
8.07pm. Ding dong!
Me: May I help you? Oh, is that you, @FollowedByPM2019? I was expecting a grey egg.
@FollowedByPM2019: You %*#?@ presstitute, you’re just sore because your perks and &$%^&* gravy train have ended after 70 years of $%^& Italian paymasters, you $$&% omg is that Harvey Weinstein? Sir, you’re my hero, sir! Wanna mentally undress these two out loud?
8.08pm. Ding dong!
Me: Nice to meet you Mr Nilekani, please come in.
N. Nilekani: First link your Aadhaar to your bank account and mobile phone and hairdryer. Otherwise I’m blocking your doorway in accordance with a government directive.
9.45pm. Ding dong!
Me: You’re just in time, Mr Shah—dinner is served. Would you like some cheese?
J. Shah: Of course not! The Quint’s sources say I’m a health freak. And an obedient son. And a doting father. And I bring my parents khakra.
Me: I’m very impressed with these touching human details, much like The Quint.
J. Shah: The Quint’s sources say I’m a sanskari son who will think a 100 times before violating any rule. Okay I’ve thought about it, I’ll have 16,000 helpings.
J. Shah: Do you need anyone I know to help you pass the cheese?
Me: Here’s all the cheese.
Me: Honeypreet! I didn’t hear the doorbell, how did you—oh, don’t worry about the hole in the floor. Let me show you the washroom so you can clean off all the mud.
Suu Kyi: Does she always tunnel in to dinner parties like that?
Honeypreet: It started with a bit of PTSD in a courtroom, but now it’s just habit. Excuse me, I’m just going to look for a hiding place for my cash and weapons. Must hide. Must hide. Must—
Me: Sit down, Honeypreet, relax, have a drink. Mr Weinstein, take your hand off her butt. And his butt.
@FollowedByPM2019: I like b&%*@es who drink whisky even though I’m afraid of them. I have much to learn from Harvey sir.
N. Nilekani: Guys, let me stack the plates on your biometrics.
Me: *Throws them all down the tunnel. Muffled shouting, scuffling. Goes to bed exhausted, afraid to fall asleep and dream.*