New Friend’s Colony, New Delhi. 29 September 2010.
In a shocking, heartbreaking confession, Booker-winner and India’s top intellectual entity Arundhati Roy, today admitted to inserting random lines from Hindi movie scripts in her essays “so that they look long and intimidating”. “I learnt this trick in my history class as a kid. We had a teacher who used to mark our answers by measuring them with a metric scale. So we used to smartly insert film songs, dialogues, etc. in say, an answer to the impacts of WW-I on Indian freedom movement “, said a suitably nostalgic Ms. Roy.
The story broke when Ashok, a bored teenager in Orissa’s Koraput District, happened to stumble upon the words “Aaja shaam hone aayi, mausam ne li angdaayi…” in a passage of Ms. Roy’s latest marathon-article for a reputed National weekly. “I was bored of rediff comment-boards that day”, said Ashok, “And as luck would have it, after spotting these lines as well as the rest of the screenplay of the film in the article, I went back to rediff and posted the whole thing online. lol.”
Ms. Roy’s fellow ‘long-essayist’, Arun Shourie defended her rights to use ‘whatever it takes, to make the essay longer’ by writing a very-long essay (a 20-part series) in Indian Express.
Experts believe that this may not be a stray case and we need to go back to all our long speeches, essays, and critiques including Pandit JL Nehru’s ‘Tryst With Destiny’, to find hidden-movie references or chunks. “I remember Mughal-E-Azam scenes in an Indira Gandhi speech to the UN once”, said a Congress insider not willing to be named.
Meanwhile, soon-to-be-married BJP MP Varun Gandhi has threatened to chop the hands off of Baraatis who refuse to dance at his wedding.