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 …
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.
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?
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.