A Raja’s life


By T S Sudhir

It is breakfast time inside Tihar Jail. While Suresh Kalmadi and Lalit Bhanot are standing in one line, Andimuthu Raja is in another queue.

“Why there, Sir,” enquires Bhanot.

En vazhi thanee vazhi,” smiles Raja. “This is the queue for south Indian breakfast, Mr Bhanot. Idly, sambar and chutney.”

“Oh ok. I will eat roti dal subzi only. Our north Indian standards of eating are different from the south Indian standards.”

“Enough, enough, Lalit of your different standards,” scolds Kalmadi. “Finish with your breakfast quick. Then we will have a meeting on how to tender for the 1982 Asian Games.”

“Asian Games? 1982?” Bhanot and Raja ask in unison.

“Yes, yes, Asian Games. Rajiv Gandhi has told me it should be a world-class Games. Elephant Appu is the mascot of the Asiad. I will make Indira Gandhi proud of me.”

Bhanot whispers to Raja, “Ever since he has eaten that namkeen in the jailor’s room, Kalmadi keeps mixing up his Games. Sometimes, he says Olympics, sometimes he also talks of heading the BCCI. But, maanna padega, hai pucca sportsperson. He is occupying some chair or the other in some sports Federation. Never runs away from the field.”

“That means he is forgetful. Will the court also forget and forgive? In that case, I will start talking about Graham Bell and the invention of the telephone,” says Raja, chuckling at his own joke.

“Raja Sir, you remember I spoke about toilets during the CWG and everyone jumped on me. Now I am told, some film called `Delhi Belly’ which is 100 per cent about toilets and shit is a big hit. Yeh kya baat huwi? Bose DK.”

“Yes, yes, that’s a song in the film, I heard it on the way to the court the other day,” says Raja and starts humming “Bhaag DK Bose, DK Bose …”

Oye Raja, danda ghusa doonga, Tihar me gaane bajane ki mandali laga raha hai kya,” a guard shouts and Raja, Bhanot and Kalmadi scramble to their cells.

Inside the cell, Bhanot asks Raja about the trial.

“I blasted the PM, that 180 plus IQ Chidambaram and the Attorney General Vahanvati. My overenthusiastic lawyer also asked the judge why I should not get bail. Now I fear that the judge will never give me bail,” says Raja.

“It is good Sir that you know law. All my life, I only was involved with Athletics Federation of India. Tho bhaagne ke alava kuch nahin aata. And yes, athletes ka peshab leke urine test karvana. Kya saali zindagi hai. Finally, CWG karvaya Dilli me to yahan Tihar me daal diya. Bose DK. #%@^*&”

“Yaar Lalit, why are wasting your time. Have you organised the training camp for the hockey team? That Dhanraj Pillay will get angry with me that I did not arrange properly,” Kalmadi butts in.

“Yes Sir, Yes Sir. First I will send the car for MIlkha Singh. Then I will do this.”

“Why Milkha Singh,” whispers Raja.

Arrey bolna padta hai Sirji, otherwise he will next talk about P T Usha. I am asking for a change of cell. Jeena haraam kar diya hai is bhulakad Kalmadi ne.”

“Do you think he is doing a drama to escape the law?” asks Raja.

Kya pata Sir ji. We are all in shit. Deep shit. Mainu pata hai. And when I spoke about toilet hygiene, mere ko pakad ke bole, tera character dheela hai. Bose DK. #@%*^&.”

Oye Bhanot, Iss madrasi ke saath mil ke kya Idli dosa paka raha hai,” shouts a guard passing by. “Aur wo kahan hai tera Ghajini Kalmadi?

Kalmadi walks up to the guard and says, “We have to organise a World class Olympic Games. It is already 2019. We just have another six months to go. Tell your jailor I need to meet him to make arrangements.”

The guard smiles and asks, “Kyon phir Haldiram khaana hai kya, Kalmadi?” Looking at Raja he says, “Oye Bhootpurv Phunwa mantri, aap ka phone aaya hai. Ladiej prijan se. Come with me.”

Raja gets up, adjusts his veshti and follows the guard, a smile dancing on his lips. And picking up the phone, he says, “Sollungo ma Kanimozhi.”

(As imagined by T S Sudhir)

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About t s sudhir & uma sudhir

Uma Sudhir and T S Sudhir are senior journalists, based in Hyderabad. Both work for NDTV. Uma is a Tamilian, who was educated in
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One Response to A Raja’s life

  1. sivakumar says:

    all ok. But why the Bose DK. Was this necessary? Somewhat jarring..

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