July 05, 2020
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Jaya Bachchan

Yes, I am angry. And why not? Somebody has to be angry in the Bachchan family now that the Angry Old Man is not...

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Jaya Bachchan
Illustration by Sorit
Jaya Bachchan

Yes, I am angry. And why not? Somebody has to be angry in the Bachchan family now that the Angry Old Man has to keep flashing his pearlies marketing Kalyan Jewellery. Poor Abhishek, with one flop after another, has anyway got to grin and bear it and, of course, Aishwarya was born to smile. But I will not be thwarted, and this time I let it all out because my rights were being violated. That Congress Rajya Sabha MP from Jharkhand, Pradeep Kumar Balmuchu (ugh, what a name!), kept on taking pictures of me on his mobile phone. How could he? So sneaky, so typical of the Congress. Madam Ambika Soni tried to mollify me, but I am not one to be mollycoddled. She asked Balmuchu to apologise which he did but I would not accept his apology. I also warned him in filmi style, “You will pay for this.” Thereafter I acted. So there will be no festival discount from Kalyan Jewellers for Jharkhand customers. And no representatives from the state in the 2013 KBC. Why was I so upset over this incident? Because when he clicked pictures, I had a slight smile on my lips, and these days I don’t smile at all. For what is there to smile about? Whenever we go out, I take a lime with me and bite into it so that I always have a sour expression on my face. After all, I have a carefully cultivated image to protect. And that Balmuchu almost destroyed it.

Every day so many things happen to support my sourpuss image. No one else pointed out in Parliament that the much-hyped Anti- Rape Bill was in fact Anti-Male. Take stalking. It was the done thing to do even during my Jawani Diwani days. But zamaana badal gaya. Today, women are stalking men (not Balmuchu, I hope). How many times have I heard women say openly, “That man is hot!”...and they did not mean the outside temperature. It was only intelligent, progressive MPs like Sharad Yadav from the JD(U) who understood the genuine meaning and importance of stalking.

I supported the bill only because of pressure from my party. Otherwise, I have many problems with it. Everything in it is so patronising to women. Hah, if anyone came to patronise me, I would sock him. The whole thing is an eyewash as it does not protect women from the bigwigs.

A minister’s son rapes a girl in Mumbai but she would not even tell her parents for fear. Now UP’s politicians are different, especially ones from my Samajwadi Party like Raja Bhaiyya, for whom every woman is a Sita Devi. Occasionally, he may down a DySP or give special feed to the crocs in his pond, but that’s a minor quibble compared to the greater cause of women’s safety and dignity.

The Mumbai-based satirist is the creator of ‘Trishanku’; E-mail your secret diarist: vgangadhar70 AT gmail.com

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