Six columns I would like to read in
Birthdays and anniversaries are occasions when people make wishes. On DNA’s sixth anniversary, I wish I get to read six columns by six rock stars before DNA’s sixtieth birthday and my eighty-fifth.
Rahul Gandhi: The column will raise the question young people are asking all over the world: when (in the name of God) will college finally get over? Reading like a philosopher-king’s manifesto, the column will address contemporary philosophical problems like what comes after postmodernism or, to put it rather crudely, how can one hope to be a successful rebel when one is part of the ruling elite without crossing the border into Uttar Pradesh? Since the column is targeted at the future of the country, the youth, it could be called ‘45 is the new 25.’
Simi Garewal: This won’t be a personal column. It will be an article, a journalistic exercise. The piece will acknowledge a woman’s need to be beautiful and sexy (and perhaps 18) till she dies. Since not everyone is blessed with natural and everlasting beauty and since everyone knows beauty lies in botox and not in the eyes of the beholder or the beast, Simi will help women by writing a piece that profiles six of the best plastic surgeons in the world. Since classy women don’t go around comparing prices and the list of past clients, most of the doctors would be identified by their code names: Optimus Prime, Cellulite Buster, and Melanin Mandrake.
Medha Patkar: The only boring piece in the album, this one will deal with all the things one is expected to make a mental note of when one seriously talks about the country and its future, economic growth and demographic dividend. This column will bore us with stuff that hasn’t changed in the last 100 years: rural poverty, infant mortality, stunted growth, malnutrition ans illiteracy. The piece will disorient the Mumbai reader by constantly invoking the image of a dam and a power plant as opposed to malls and multiplexes. The idea is to make us feel guilty because unless we feel guilty for our less fortunate brothers and sisters we cannot call ourselves citizens of a world where politically correct English is spoken.
Chetan Bhagat: The author will take a penetrating look at some of his own work. In about 600 words or so, the author will explain the deeper meaning of his prose. He would explain what he really meant when he wrote the following: ‘Sorry Shyam, she said as she put a giant brown bag on the table, ‘that ass hairdresser took so long. I told him I had to leave.’ The au- thor shall explain the fine line that exists between writers and ghost writers and how aspiring novelists should find their way in the maze of the publishing world. One hopes the column will be informal and Chetan would talk to readers directly without resorting to a ghostly device.
Nigella Lawson: I just hope Ms Lawson writes the way she cooks.
P Chidambaram: This column will have nothing to do with finance, law, governance or electoral malpractices. The writer is expected to delve into issues of personal grooming and educate the readers about the importance of wearing white and keeping their nails clean (unclean nails are symptomatic of intelligence failure). Readers can expect tips on home facials, deep skin exfoliation (using fake Indian currency) and how to deal with a chewing gum when you are sitting with a senior colleague. If one is lucky one may get some tips on how to gather actionable intelligence from one’s body and how to differentiate it from ordinary body odour.