Saturday 30 August 2014

The Blunt Truth

"Good evening and welcome once again to this week's Prime Time Debate; I'm Abhishek your host for this evening and tonight we'll discuss the case of the Sharma couple who are being tried for killing their daughter.

What has become of us? What evil has possessed this country’s men and women that they are killing their own children? Is this how we plan to build our nation? By killing in the name of honour? To discuss and debate these issues I have with me two very eminent personalities who in their own fields of work have earned great repute. To my right is seated Mr. Ashok Gupta, practising Advocate, and to my left is Mrs Anjali Priyadarshini, women right activist. 

So Mr Gupta, what do you have to say about this dastardly crime of the Sharmas? How on earth could the Sharmas kill their own child? And why are not we doing anything about it?

Gupta:  ‘I deem it to be my duty, before I say anything else, to humbly caution you and Ms Anjali. We must refrain from accusing the Sharma couple yet since it's slightly premature to declare the guilt of....'

Abhishek (almost yelling and cutting off Gupta) 'Nothing is premature here on the PTD. It's an open and shut case. The Sharmas murdered their daughter and they should be punished for their heinous act'

Gupta  (resuming carefully): 'We don't yet have facts supporting that, do we?'

Abhishek (leaning forward with bulging eyes): ' We don't have facts? Are you serious? I mean the girl was found stabbed to death in her bedroom, with no one but her parents at home that night, what more facts do you need?'

Gupta: 'That alone does not prove that her parents killed her. And by the way how are you sure that there was no one else there during the occurrence. There are Courts, there has to be evidence, there has to be proof of.........'

Abhishek : 'Oh so talking like a lawyer. You need proof, sure, a young innocent girl was killed  and you need proof.. Mrs Anjali, what say you Ma'm?'

Anjali : 'I am not surprised at all by Mr. Gupta's non chalance considering that every technical detail is always used as defence when it's a crime against a woman'

Gupta:  'What ?? When did I say that....'

Abhishek (again cutting Gupta off): 'I am in complete agreement with Mrs Anjali that we should be not be getting technical here.

Gupta : 'What do you mean 'technical'?....I'm only saying that there are Courts in which guilt of accused persons are proved, not on TV channels'

Abhishek (literally shrieking) : Let me tell our millions and millions of viewers that here at PTD we believe in being blunt and in being bluntly truthful. Perhaps Mr. Gupta here does not know that.

Gupta'What truth? We don't even know whose finger prints are there on the knife and who else were there in the house, the investigation is still going on,; why are you.....'

Anjali'Technical again'

Gupta to Anjali: 'What technical technical technical are you crying for? It is pure common sense that.....'

Abhisek (yelling again): 'It is an open and shut case Mr. Gupta. We at PTD believe in being blunt and in being bluntly truthful when it comes to crime against women'

Gupta: 'No one is denying it is a crime against a woman but the truth of the crime is yet to be.........'

Anjali'Technical technical'

Abhishek'PTD never supports crime against women'

Gupta'No one is supporting any.....'

Abhishek (interrupting again) :' At PTD we are blunt and we will find the truth...'

Gupta: 'But the truth is not...'

Abhishek: 'No no Mr. Gupta, we're not serving diplomacy tonight. We have only bluntness in our menu tonight’

Gupta‘What’s with you and bluntness anyway? Can’t you simply understand that that the truth will come out, but not here, it will come out in due process....’

Abhishek (completely rejecting Gupta's words): ‘No no Mr. Gupta...’

Anjali (sarcastic)‘Ohhh..So Mr Gupta thinks this murder to be something simple. See ?! Didn’t I tell you? Men never take us seriously’

Gupta: ‘When did this become about how seriously men take women?’

Anjali: ‘Mr. Gupta is clearly discounting my intelligence to understand what he is trying to say here’

Abhishek‘Hats off to you Mrs. Anjali for being truly blunt here on national TV. We at PTD welcome it’

Gupta: All I’m saying is that Courts will find out the guilt of the Sharmas. We are not the ones who......’

Abhishek: ‘Come’on Mr. Gupta. You can do better than that. We ask you to be blunt and truthful’

Gupta: ‘What do you think I’m doing?’

Anjali: ‘You are missing the fact that Sharmas have murdered their daughter.’

Gupta: ‘What?? Didn’t you hear anything I’ve spoken so far?’

Abhishek: ‘Excellent, Mrs Anjali, that’s more like it. So much bluntness and honesty. You truly know your facts right’

Anjali: 'This is a crime against a woman. And she must get justice'

Gupta: 'Clearly, that justice is not to be done in this debate...'

Abhishek (intervening again abruptly): 'The verdict is crystal already. The Sharmas are guilty as hell and they will be sent to the gallows'

Gupta: 'Are we to fix guilt of Sharmas here on TV?'

Anjali: 'Now Mr. Gupta has a doubt on your abilities too Abhishek. Why don't you go ahead and call us all wrong Mr. Gupta? Me, Abhishek and the rest of all, with the exception of you'

Abhishek: 'Oh so blunt that one, Mrs. Anjali. We'll take Mr. Gupta's response to that'

Gupta to Abhishek: What exactly are you anchoring? A news show?  A debate on the merits of a legal case or the guilt of Sharmas or my guilt? Surely you aren't hosting a circus, are you?'

Abhishek (nodding vigorously, interrupting) : 'No No No Mr. Gupta. I anchor only the quest for truth and a blunt one at that'

Gupta: 'Well the truth is that you are impatient, speculative and verging on absolute vanity....'

Anjali (jumping in): 'Are you saying that the Sharmas are innocent'

Gupta 'I'm not saying anything about innocence or guilt. I'm just saying that.......'

Abhishek: 'Yes say it bluntly'

Gupta : ' Do you ever let your guests speak?'

Abhishek: 'We like blunt people'

Gupta: 'Well you can go ahead and like whatever and whoever you want but I must get chance to speak whatever I want to. Ok?'

Anjali: 'Perhaps you want a ceremony of bugles and trumpets for proving that the Sharmas are guilty, Mr. Gupta'

Abhishek: Oh my God, that's as blunt as it can get. As we can see Mr. Gupta has no blunt truth to offer'

Then in a sudden inexplicable moment of frenzy and unrest which simultaneously gripped the host and the guests, beginning with Mr. Gupta losing his patience and banging the table hard with his hand, each of them began speaking and yelling at the same time. It was difficult to decipher what they spoke. The words all tossing over each other, blending in a manner so as to sometimes sound like Arabic, sometimes Hindi and partly like deafening war cries. The two gloriously suited men and the  bespectacled lady seemingly full of intellect spoke in such aggressively disregarding fashion that one grocer in a nearby ‘Hat’ who was watching the show at his shop reportedly remarked ‘Arre baba, they are shouting like they are in some ‘hat’. Abhishek, with some residual propriety of a decent host stayed quiet, but not for long. He soon resumed his race of words with the two. The picture was somewhat like this. Mrs. Anjali’s mouth had become so wide open in cut-throat oratory even the dumbest of brains could have assumed that she cawed only three words ‘Justice’, ‘Women’, ‘Technical’ . Atleast these were the words which could be faintly audible from layers and layers of thunderous eloquence from all three directions. Gupta kept banging the desk and pleaded for a couple of seconds so that for once he could speak fully. None heeded. He resumed his assault on Abhishek for being a poor host. And Abhishek kept his banner of bluntness flying high. His voice was the loudest and the others were no match for his roar. Ofcourse, the other two didn’t have his advantage of habit. Some respite was offered when Gupta furiously yanked out the microphone fitted to his shirt, slammed it on the table and walked off the show yelling ‘To hell with your blunt truth.'

Director of the show to Abhishek(on Abhishek's earpiece)'I just got a call from Legal. They are saying we should not discuss about sub judice cases till Court has not decided the case. Now go and get Gupta back'
Abhishek: 'Ladies and gentlemen we'll break for commercials and return in a moment with other debates. Stay with us’
Abhishek jumps off his chair and runs after Gupta "Mr. Gupta please listen to me. Just for a moment, please listen....."

** 'The Blunt Truth' is a work of fiction and any resemblance of any part or whole of it with any person, people, organization or any event is coincidental.


  1. Haha one of your best works ever written, combining the fairly obvious cases of the Talwars and the "Great Goswami". :D

    1. Thanks for your continued encouragement Siddharth. No points though, for guessing the inspiration for Anjali's character ;)

    2. Haha we all know these 'famous' characters

  2. A hard hit on news channels TRP stunts. A well mature write up. Anupam, I love flawlessness of the piece.

    1. Thank You Ravi. I'm delighted by the fact that you saw the blow.

  3. tragedy is that these TV debates are not even comic

    1. Well, they are tragic, except ofcourse some accidental ones.
      Thanks for reading, friend.

  4. lol.. every bit of Goswami I could feel in this.. he just keeps clamoring, not giving anybody a chance to speak...

  5. Agreed to Siddharth one of your best work ever loved it....made me remember some media flower

    1. Thank You Datta for your lovely words of appreciation. I'm happy you liked it.

  6. many TV debates have turned into a shouting match and circus.

    1. No wonder they have become episodes of glorified farce. Thanks for reading Abhijit ji

  7. I loved the satire and literally enjoyed reading this bit

    1. Thanks Chaitali. I'm glad you appreciated the satire.

  8. You nailed it... :-D ..the satirical touch has made it really an enjoyable read...that yelling AG and all those media stunts ...

    1. A satire was the only way to deliver. Delighted to know you enjoyed it Maniparna )

  9. Hats off !
    Great Post sharing it !

  10. Remarkable write up Anupam...Truly enjoyed the post.