Suresh Kalmadi’s lawyer is busy working on his defence. In fact, I have a feeling that he was at it even prior to the Commonwealth Games, what with all the allegations flying around so hard and fast and the government having to parry them. And then the games opened, and Kalmadi put his foot in it, or did he… by referring to Camilla as Princess Diana.
Come on now Mr. K. You couldn’t have been serious. I mean, that didn’t even qualify as a faux pas. It would be more in the realm of a colossal blunder… and that’s assuming it was an honest mistake. But then again, that’s what we lawyers term as ‘laying the groundwork’.
That politicians tend to suffer from memory lapses isn’t something new. But now the DIG of Tihar Jail says that Suresh Kalmadi has been diagnosed with dementia. All too convenient isn’t it, and rather well-timed. Two months out in the boondocks and a person can survive, imagine that they’re on safari maybe. But a month more and reality begins to hit home, especially since they’re without all their creature comforts, no iPad, not even a laptop and they can’t even use the cell phone to call in for some take out, without having to treat the whole barrack.
I suppose life in jail is hard for those living off ill-gotten wealth. Why, even a desi don like Pappu Yadav wants his air conditioning. And Pappu’s an old-fashioned, straightforward sort of man right from the heartland of Bihar, with old school values and from a time when chest pains and obesity related ailments were enough to get a guy an air-conditioned suite at AIIMS. But time isn’t being kind to Pappu who’s back in Beur, in the mother country, with the jail doctor refusing to give him a fake medical certificate even under threat of death, and to compound his woes, the authorities go and install cell-phone jammers.
Can’t a guy do an honest day’s work anymore?
He misses Tihar and Delhi and Sheila aunty.
But now even Tihar is playing tough, and post Manu Sharma’s jaunt to the pub, even Sheila’s been lying low, playing by the rule book, which recently tweaked its medical policy.
The deal is now pretty simple if you’re a big gun in the hallowed precincts of Tihar.
- Clutch your heart and they’ll give you an antacid.
- Faint and they may just take you to the spanking new in-house facility.
- Collapse and you’d better be having a heart attack, because that’s what it’s going to take you to find your way to one of those air-conditioned suites at DDU or LNJP or AIIMS.
Speaking of spanking new in-house facilities, you’d think these guys would be grateful, being spared the muggy ride out. I simply cannot understand the resistance… Perhaps there’s something about hospitals that I’m unaware of?
… And don’t tell me it’s the custard?
Whatever it is – the fact is that chest pains aren’t doing it anymore. And what was once Pappu Yadav’s heartburn has been forced to take the uncharted road towards Suresh Kalmadi’s dementia.
But I’m seriously impressed. What better way to get out of jail, and feign complete ignorance about all your transgressions, than by picking a condition that has so many facets to it, it’s still an enigma to many. And that it is in a relatively nascent stage of awareness in India is just peachy.
What really jars in my mind however is the DIG, Tihar, R.N. Sharma’s sudden justification that Kalmadi’s family had mentioned that he was suffering from dementia in the medical history submitted to the jail.
When was this medical history submitted Mr. Sharma… before or after the dementia declaration?
Meanwhile, what has emerged from the entire CWG fiasco however is that Suresh Kalmadi is and continues to be a real piece of work. But there’s a part of me that would still like to believe that he’s not the low life people say he is, as much as I’d like to believe the Sports Minister, Ajay Maken’s statement that Kalmadi can’t escape the law even if he has dementia. Well Mr. Maken… I don’t think you know too much about the law or is it more a case of throwing scraps to keep the hounds at bay. Something, anything to throw them off the scent?
Whatever it is… and more importantly, in deference to the growing number of people who are actually afflicted with this condition, I’d like to believe that Suresh Kalmadi is actually suffering from dementia. Just as much as I would like to believe that pigs can fly and that Idi Amin was a victim of prejudice when the Nobel Committee overlooked him for the Peace Prize for his role in Entebbe.