Kicking up a farrago of emotions

Aditya Aamir

Jocko Street cut short the overseas call. “Shashi Tharoor is in trouble, what will I tell my friends in Thiruvananthapuram? Their hearts will be broken, especially the women.” Alec Smart stabbed a finger in the air: “What happened to Tharoor? Last I heard the man was doing fine?” Jocko rose to his full height, 6’1” in his socks. “They have named him accused in Sunanda’s suicide, abetment something. They will stand him in court and ask him personal questions. How can they do this to Sunanda, such a lovely woman? Sunanda will be heartbroken!”
Alec Smart looked like he had swallowed a fish. A fat bass caught from Dubai Creek. “What the hell are you talking Jocko? Sunanda Pushkar killed herself and this fellow Shashi Tharoor must have helped her along. That’s what abetment means, to assist or to encourage, you know? Just because folks in Thiruvananthapuram dote on Tharoor, love his pretty face, especially the women, doesn’t mean he’s not to be tried if there’s evidence to say he assisted, abetted the suicide.”
It was Jocko Street’s turn to swallow a fish. A fat Salmon by the look on his face, which had gone several shades pink. “You’re joking Alec, you don’t know zilch about Shashi. Have you heard him speak? Do you know he is a walking-talking encyclopaedia? A dictionary. Thesaurus? Did you listen to the speech he gave at the Oxford Union? Why man, he was the one who told Indians what farrago means. I bet you wouldn’t know what farrago means? And that bit on cattle-class in the Indian Airlines. That was brilliant, man. Simply superb!”
Alec Smart put on his pity-you-Jocko face and in a parent-to-child voice spoke: “Pipe down Jocko. Don’t act cattle-class! Your farrago of insults does not count. Not under the circumstances. Not in this case. It’ll be either cut-and-dried or the defence will have something to prove the prosecution wrong. In that case the case will drag on. If not, he’ll be sentenced, could be up to 10 years in jail. But I think he will try bail first. If the prosecution has letters or emails to prove cruelty and abetment, your man is curdled. Jocko your pal is in all sorts of crap trouble.”
Jocko Street lowered his bulk to the chair which held stout. “I don’t believe you. Cruelty? How could anybody be cruel to such a beautiful woman? Shashi Tharoor, never. He is not a violent man. Neither in action nor in words. Shashi loved Sunanda. He bought her sarees, man. Tharoor’s voice can lull a tiger to sleep. It’s music man, pure music! I once sat listening to Tharoor for an hour. My Thiruvananthapuram friends say he’s the most gracious Malayalee on earth and you know the earth’s full of the Malayalee. Appukuttan says Shashi is the best thing that happened to Thiruvananthapuram.”
“Jocko you dolt. You’re making me angry. That lout Appukuttan is a blot on the Malayalee. He should be deported. And will you stop telling me how good and gracious Tharoor is? He could be a saint for all I care, but the point is the law has spoken. He will be tried and if there’s evidence to prove cruelty, he’ll face the music and it wouldn’t be the music you hear in his voice. If there’s even one single email Sunanda wrote in which she says Tharoor treated her cruelly, told her to get the heck out of his life or get out of the bloody room, that’s cruelty. Okay Jug-head? Just because somebody drips honey doesn’t mean he won’t face the music. Gotcha?”
Jocko sat stricken, smarting. “Alec just because you’re Smart doesn’t mean you’re smart! Delhi Police and Subramanian Swamy, they have a political agenda. The police dragged the investigation through four years, creating evidence out of nothing. Then there are sections of the media, biased media who for TRP have been hounding Shashi Tharoor, running a disgusting media trial. You say I’m emotional, that emotions do not count, what about the media trial, isn’t it based on cooked up charges and innuendo? Some of the channels even saying it was murder. I just don’t get it.”
And Jocko Street, his face red, voice shaking, went on, “Shashi Tharoor has called the action preposterous and termed the charges unbelievable. The police have filed a 3,000-page charge-sheet, 3,000 pages to prove Shashi committed cruelty on Sunanda. I mean how much cruel can one man be to his wife that it requires 3,000 pages to jot it down? Lemme tell you Smart, this case wouldn’t stand in court. Both the sections – 306 and 498A – are downright cruelty committed on a gentleman like Shashi Tharoor. The NDA government is targeting a very articulate Congressman. They want to silence him.”
Alec Smart poured two fingers of Jack Daniels each in two shot-glasses. No use getting into an altercation with an emotional person, he thought. The case was in court. The law will take its own course. Shashi Tharoor, innocent or not, if he gets a top legal team, which no doubt he will, he’ll walk. Bail shouldn’t be a problem. The Supreme Court has made it clear that bail is a right, and jail can wait. “Hey, Jocko, what do you say, we dine out? Grilled Bass and Smoked Salmon? There’s this cool place in Deira Dubai!” Jocko Street gripped Jack Daniels and smiled. (IPA)

Saturday, 9 June, 2018