High society rehabilitation of Indrani Mukerjea
The infamous new author is perhaps betting on a sob story with royalties to make her society royalty again.
Unless you live in Uttar Pradesh where Yogi Adityanath is the sheriff, criminals never had it so good. In the dark, twisted, celebrity-starved society we live in, it is easy-peasy for murderers and murderesses, alleged or caged, to thrive as celebrities. Indrani Mukerjea, former society queen and media maven, once member of the Bombay beau monde and cockatoo of cocktail culture, is having a comeback moment. She has written a memoir.
Being a former PR girl, she knows photo-ops matter; outside the prison, she showed off flowing white tresses as if tragedy had removed hair dye overnight. Now her glossy Photoshopped face, framed by black tresses, gazes down liquid-eyed from billboards in major metros. Readers are vicarious criminals; everyone loves a good murder. Whether they buy Indrani’s book, or buy her story, hardly matters. A profit-pushing publisher has amorally given her a forum and a massive promotion budget. There is no such thing as bad publicity.
Unbroken: The Untold Story is a celeb mom’s attempt to whitewash the murder of her daughter, Sheena Bora. Indrani spent about seven stormy years in prison—including participating in a riot—until she got bail last year. Now she is back home with a bang, as if murder is the new normal. She is learning ballroom dancing. She does yoga. Her morning begins with martial arts classes: her Instagram account has a picture of her in a kickboxer’s stance with gloves and all, ready to lash out.
Indrani writes that the suffocation of prison (CBI says Sheena was strangled by her driver, who confessed Indrani and he killed her) “is hell of a kind I wish upon nobody”. What the hell, the plot thickens. Indrani has maintained that Sheena is alive: first in the US and now in Guwahati, where she was conveniently spotted by a friend at the airport. The cops call her a liar. There is no better proof invented by science to establish identity than a DNA test—forensic scientists told the court that the DNA from Sheena’s remains was a 100 per cent match with Indrani’s and the bones belonged to “Indrani’s biological child”.
The infamous new author is perhaps betting on a sob story with royalties to make her society royalty again. Indrani cries out for rehabilitative sympathy, confessing that her father, his “eyes filled with lust”, raped her and that Sheena is both her kid and kid-sister. She admits she was sexually frustrated as a wife both times, having fake orgasms or none at all. But for all that humiliation, she and husband Peter were a feted power couple.
“I’m the real victim here, can’t you see it?” screams the metaphorical blurb. At glitzy high-society parties, it is standard to run into criminals like a real estate swindler on bail or a bar girl’s murderer. Social hypocrisy is de rigeur in the Crazy Rich Indians world of yacht parties, Dom Perignon and backroom deals. Indrani wants that life back even if it means using pulp fiction for a gilded invitation. She has been invited to speak at a YPO event in Mumbai. Her appearance at the next Jaipur Litfest cannot be ruled out. An OTT series is for certain. “I’m almost healed,” she writes. Poor Sheena, she didn’t have a chance to heal. What was left of her was found in a forest ditch near a Maharashtra village, burned and mutilated beyond recognition.