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By Ambarish Ray

ambarish ray metal communicationsB21 took the call.

He was wondering if it was Dwarka Butt on the other end. That woman has panache, presence, persistence and a thick epidermis. She also has stuff to trade. His favourite show, the one that he has never watched, happens to be We the Fools. Which she hostesses. It was a daring look at contemporary donkeys, broadcast every weeknight.

It was amazing in content, scintillating in delivery and was a reality show of sorts. He who brayed the hardest and longest, won. The prize was a thunderous applause from Mme Dwarka herself and a pat on the butt. It was all about making hay while the camera shines.

The show showcased a handpicked selection of men and women, their bodies coiled like that of injured cobras. Ready to jump up and express themselves. There was an unusual belligerence in their mien, matched only by the bellicose hostess herself. Their narrow eyes lined with the commonplace craftiness of the typical middle class struggler/survivor, mouths contorted and fists balled to ensure no imaginary moment to make noise was missed. It was a delight to not watch it.

B21 took the call.

He was hoping it would not be his neighbour’s retired mother. Now emboldened with the sanction from prime time media. And from watching the mindless vocal cord flexing and dumbfuck, semi orchestrated spasms that pass for televised debate to think she can make money by threatening to release some non existent tapes of him having an ice cream when he was 7. That would be horrific. He was sure there would be a buyer if she decided to sell it.

Cruel Seth and other new age pimping gentlemen with impeccable manners and manicured accents would find her buyers. Cash paying ones at that too. What would the world think if they saw him having an ice cream. That too revealed after so many years.

B21 took the call.

He hoped it would not be the friendly neighbourhood salesman again. This time calling to elaborate on the fantastic deals currently available on scamcorders. Great products, these.

10 inch smokescreen, great memory that goes back years, superb angles and microphones. Designed to deliver great, long lasting memories of fodder, airlines, spectrum, loans, land deals, stamp paper, stock prices, roads and bridges, games, housing societies, guns and anything else one might fancy. Guaranteed durability of both the scams as well as their memories. After all, they come factory fitted with no erase button. Only record, release and resign, leaving one resigned and mildly infuriated between their 9 to 5 craftiness.

B21 took the call.

He was thinking about the strange, pre historic animal called tax. Applied without thought, paid without question by We the Fools, avoided with passion by those with more testicles and cunning than conscience and made a great deal about by Dwarka Butt and ilk. The telly screen swings seamlessly between the tell-all screen and the scamcorder screen – recording, regurgitating, releasing, realising and rendering redundant issues like tax, lies, leaks and lucky breaks. What a device, a veritable closet full of skeletons, miracles, misery and dance contests.

B21 took the call.

And said quietly to no one at the other end – Character is who we are when we don’t know our phones are being tapped.