Six col­umns I would like to read in

DNA (Daily News & Analysis) Mumbai Edition - - FRONT PAGE - Mayank Te­wari Mayank Te­wari is a writer. mayankis@gmail.com The­jaw­jaw­pagewil­l­re­turn nextsat­ur­day

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.

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