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The Star's Biggest Friday Release

Published: 10th May 2015 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th May 2015 07:48 AM   |  A+A-

“Phew. Salman is not going to jail.”

“Yes, unfortunately. It’s his biggest Friday release. And no one can ever again say, ‘All are equal before law’. Salman, convicted, gets bail in hours. Undertrials, in thousands, languish in prison for years.”

“Hey, it’s not as if he didn’t have to pay. He had to furnish a fresh bail bond of Rs 30,000.”

“Haha. His liquor bill on the night of the accident must have been more than that. You do know that he was drunk, don’t you? And driving without a licence, to boot?”

“You can’t be sure, Bhaiya. You weren’t there.”

“No, but a police constable was. The one who, unfortunately, is dead. He had the guts to tell the truth, despite being there as Salman’s bodyguard. Maybe Salman wasn’t that ‘human’ back then.”

“But now he is. His Being Human has done so much good work that he should be forgiven just for that.”

“What’s the good work exactly?”

“I know when we buy ‘Being Human’ clothes, the money goes to charity, helping people, like.”

“Do you also know that the actor humanely took only Rs 1.5 crore from Mandhana Industries, the company that makes the clothes, for the licence?”

“Don’t be sarcy, Bhaiya. Salman’s not inhuman. It’s not easy to steer a Toyota Land Cruiser on Mumbai’s narrow streets. Plus, what can  he do if people choose to sleep on the streets?”

“You do know they’re not there by choice, don’t you?”

“Well, they can always go back home to their village.”

“And do what exactly? They’re here because they’re unable to make a living back home. Who would want to leave home and family and come to a strange place otherwise?”

“People do. I left my home and family and went to college. ”

“You nincompoop, do you see no difference between the two cases?”

“No, I know. I went abroad. These are just moving to cities in their own country.”

“I give up. Just tell me how you justify Salman’s running away from the scene? You can hit someone by accident; but how do you then run away from it? Especially when you’re a ‘macho man with a caring heart’. Is it because you know that you have the money and power to manage the system and get off?”

“It wasn’t like that. You’re making him sound uncaring and weak.”

“And of course he isn’t. Preity Zinta says he’s the kindest man she knows; I’ve read. But no one’s explained the running away and hiding bit. Or the killing of the blackbuck and chinkaras.”

“As if anyone cares. People may pretend they do but no one in India gives a damn about wildlife.”

“I think many do, but you may have a point there. But I hope you know that both are protected species because there are only not too many left in the world. So bumping off even one makes a significant difference.”

“Well, if you put it like that. Still, it’s not as if it’s a tiger, or a lion. It’s not our national animal… Anyway, thank God, Salman was released. People love him so much. And however much you scoff, they are justified. Salman may have done some unconventional things but he is a good chap. He even lives with his parents. If you had seen him on Koffee with Karan, you would have known how respectful he is towards his father… And one last thing, Bhaiya. You’re always scolding me for not taking an interest in politics. Salman does. Not only did he fly kites with Modi, he attended his swearing-in too. You have to appreciate that.”

“Believe me, sweetie, I do. I’m sure the judiciary does too.”

 shampa@newindianexpress.com

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