July 05, 2020
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Black Comedy

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Black Comedy
Such tehelka in our wicked megalopolis! In Delhi, where whisperings in the bazaar might have destabilised many a blustering Sultan, where nationalists might have lurked under the walls of the Red Fort, plotting to overthrow the Viceroy, political power has always been stuff of the atmosphere. Delhi is a city of Byzantine intrigue, of delicate power play, of a secret wink from behind a mask and tehelkas are uniquely attractive here. In a city of wheeler-dealers, criminal politicians, drunken beauties, witty hostesses, handsome plutocrats, brooding intellectuals and millionaire middlemen, power is a universal aphrodisiac. And now a dotcom from Nowhere with fire in its belly has the important people from Somewhere dancing around its high flames. Such chattering in our Lutyensland boulevards! Such hilarity in marzipan villas and clamorous arguments in Pindi dhaba. The Shastri Bhavan lawns are buzzing with astonishment, apartments in Patparganj are agog and under the grand old shishams of Lodi Gardens, there are hectic deliberations.

“Arre, did you see how he just grabbed the cash?” “My god, to think they dressed up as arms agents and put on a wig!” “Of all people, did you think that she would do it?” “The system is rotten, yaar.” In our city, we execute with words, we kill with images, we wipe our bleeding swords on chiffon scarves and move on to the next dinner party. Those laughing with Tehelka today might tomorrow play its executioner.

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