After the recent humiliations in the UK, I feel it’s time we moved to India. It’s the sort of place where my media empire News Corp can thrive. Why, no questions are ever raised about hosting a (political) soiree. Or for that matter extending a helping hand to police officers. In fact, traditional Indian wisdom understands the ‘you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours’ philosophy. More importantly, no one stabs you in the back, unlike the Poms who hate us Aussies.
Anyway, Rebekah (Brooks, disgraced editor of my now-defunct News of The World) suggested I should seriously think of launching NoTW from New Delhi. “Rupa (that’s what she calls me affectionately!), we can rename the paper so it will be a brand-new product.” Now, I must admit I was fairly impressed by her idea but had she thought of a new title? She had. “Rupa,” she said animatedly, almost spilling her Darjeeling, “we can call it Muse of The World,” Well, well, I thought, she’s hit the nail on the head. But when I checked with my News Corp lawyers in Delhi, I discovered that the name had already been registered by a publisher in Madurai who plans to launch a crime magazine written in iambic pentameter. With Muse out, my son James, Rebekah and I had a brainstorming session and came up with another name (Noose Of The World) which I’m sure will work. Incidentally, at this meeting my son (with his Harvard ways) launched into a convoluted, jargon-laced presentation about the prospects of the Noose that made me yawn. Finally, I had to remind sonny boy that he was with friends and family and not appearing before a Parliamentary Committee.
Now to get down to business, we would have to organise a bank of stories for the new paper. Thankfully, Rebs had sounded out Jasoos & Jasoos, a detective agency which has been tapping phones of VIPs for the last few years. “Rupa, we have enough stories. What you need are some sleeping partners for the business to take off since, as foreigners, under Indian laws we can own no more than 26 per cent stake in the new company.” I pointed out that this was not a problem and I could activate two gentlemen in Delhi—Riv Ivgnas and Liahos Htes—who had helped us in the past. But I still felt that we’ll need an ‘exclusive’ for our inaugural issue. Rebs said that too had been organised. Apparently J&J had a recording of Sonia Gandhi’s political secretary, Ahmed Patel, on the phone to Riv Ivgnas (also a foodie) discussing whether pasta can be made with sambar as the basic sauce. I heard the CD carefully and was impressed although I must point out that I was privy to Riv discussing the same recipe with chef Alfonso Iaccarnos of the No Pyaza restaurant in Florence. (If Riv is to believed, it serves excellent Italian fare without using onions, garlic or ginger. What’s more, the eatery swears by desi ghee!) Finally, I am happy to report that with several scoops in hand (one on Rahul Gandhi’s favourite ice cream), we are ready to roll. Bahadurshah Zafar Marg, watch out for the Noose!
(As imagined by Ajith Pillai)