Hard-Nosed But Sensitive Reporter Meets Reluctant Leader

| Updated: 07 August, 2022 12:22 pm IST

Q: So, where are we going?

A: Where are we going?


Q: Where are you going?

A: I? Me?


Q: The Opposition.

A: That. We will wear black. We will walk all over Delhi in protest.


Q: Walking is good for health, and consumes no fossil fuel.

A: It is, isn’t it?


Q; This is the strategy, then? Wearing black and walking around?

A: It could be. It has been proven good for health. Maybe we should change from black to white, though.


Q: The sun?

A: You could say that. But black is the sign of protest.


Q: Against global warming as well?

A: We are not satisfied with the weather for sure. The general climate is not healthy.


Q: How long are you guys planning to walk for?

A: Can’t say. It’s anybody’s guess just now. We got to lose them ED guys, that’s for sure.


Q: The ED!

A: It’s my business to know who’s sitting on my head and eating my ears.


Q: Who’s doing that?

A: No comments.


Q: The same guys who are sealing …?

A: Guys. Let’s put it that way. Guys.


Q: It has to be men. Well, these guys are going to be around for a while. What are you going to do?

A: How long, you think?


Q: Till 2050?

A: That’s fine. I will still be around.


Q: You will be what, 80?

A: I don’t want the ED to know that.


Q: That’s the strategy then.

A: One of the strategies. One got to play to one’s strengths.


Q: What about 2024?

A: What about it?


Q: What about the 2024 elections?

A: We will fight them. We will wear black and …


Q: Walk?

A: You are smart.


Q: I was trained by great Editors.

A: You have great Editors when there were no ED guys hanging around the newsroom pretending to be proofreaders.


Q: That’s an offensive remark, and I could hash-tag you to destruction. You cast aspersion on the entire media.

A: I am sorry, I apologize.


Q: For a politician, you apologize a lot though.

A: You are a snarky, young man.


A: You are further offending me. How do you know my gender?

A: I am sorry again. Jesus. I thought you were a man. The last time I met, you were…


Q: When you wore black and walked to the Rashtrapati Bhavan?

A: Yes…for another apology of sorts. I lost count. Wait a minute, weren’t you then a man, or have I got it all wrong?


Q: I could be transitioning now.

A: Now you know why I can’t be sure of one damn thing.


Q: That’s why I insisted on this interview. What’s your strategy?

A: Well, let me be frank, we do have a strategy. We will probably walk from Kashmir to Kanyakumari.


Q: Why?

A: Why?


Q: Why?

A: Because ED is not going to keep up with us. India is a big country. We could lose them around some corner.


Q: So that’s your strategy.

A: We are going to be on the move. Just now the ED is our main enemy.


Q: My Ed would be pleased to know.

A: Your ED….!


Q: You are going to offend me again?

A: No!


Q: You thought surely of something that could have offended me…

A: No, I swear.


Q: Please don’t swear.

A: I am sorry.


Q: If a thought crossed your mind I could well be offended. It’s as good as, you know…

A: I apologized.


Q: This interview is not going well for me, or for my ED.

A: Jesus, the ED is on your back as well? They sealed your paper, too?


Q: I meant my Editor.

A: I think it was a good interview while it lasted. I got to go now.


Q: Where are you off to?

A: I don’t know. It’s all a bit like walking in circles. What are we going to do?


Q: That’s what I was interviewing you for. You have no idea?

A: Just now? No. None. I am wondering how they can say anything and no one is offended.


Q: Who’s they? The party in power?

A: Never mind.


Q: I am about to be offended at the implication of your words: it could mean I am too dumb to understand your fancy theories.

A: No, I did not mean that. I am sorry.


Q: Hmm. I will go to my ED and see if this copy works.

A: If it doesn’t, come back. You know I am somewhere around, taking a walk, trying to lose the ED.


CP Surendran is a poet, novelist, screenplay writer, and columnist. He lives in Delhi.

Disclaimer: Views expressed above are the author’s own.

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