BY SHASHWAT KARKARE & SAHEJ MARWAH
“Doodh si safai, corruption se mukti yehi mera vaada hai,”the candidate, Mr Goswami, said during his speech while addressing the huge crowd gathered before him commemorating the upcoming election while he made his empty promises to help the city (nothing uncommon by politicians, nothing fulfilled either); Kabir stood by the sincere façade put forth by the candidate of the Samaj Party. The crowd roared the name of the candidate. However, Kabir had enough experience in the field of journalism to know better than to believe the fibs the candidate so effortlessly gave to the naïve audience.
The candidate got off the stage with an air of superiority around him and made his way towards his car but got interrupted by Kabir’s daunting presence with a mic and camera in his hand. Kabir asked the candidate if he would like to give an interview. Seeing that the audience had their eyes on him and they seemed rather interested and inquisitive, the candidate felt an obligation towards agreeing.
Kabir asked, “What should the people expect from you this year”
The candidate simply replied I’ll be the best a man can get.”
Kabi, severely unimpressed by his nonsensical answer tried to navigate the interview towards asking more pertinent questions on pressing issues. Kabir got to the point and asked, “Running for re-lection, what do you strive to do different this time as your government hasn’t really budged in the past few years?” the candidate was flustered by this direct attack on his intentions, that it rendered him speechless as he frantically blabbered another irrelevant answer. Kabir had the foresight to cut him off this time and attempted to ask more important questions. The candidate nervously glanced at his P.A. as the later tried to buy Kabir’s silence regarding the rather embarrassing interview for the candidate. Kabir packed up and made his way back to the workplace as the candidate and the P.A. drove away. Really frustrated with how uneventful his day has been, Kabir went back home hoping for a better tomorrow. The morning sun rose and Kabir made his way back to the job he was really beginning to despise. A few minutes into his office, Kabir received an anonymous call claiming conclusive proof on the corrupt candidate, Mr Goswami. Kabir and the unknown caller then decide to meet at an abandoned godown.
At the godown, Kabir is faced with a middle aged man with greying hair who wore a khadi uniform and an innocent face, the man was identified to be the driver who drove Mr Goswami and his P.A. the previous day. Kabir tried to put the driver at ease by giving him assurances that his life was not in danger (as previously imagined by the driver), that the information was classified and he had the upper hand. He was in control, he was in the driver’s seat. Still a little apprehensive, the driver informed Kabir the trusth and said, “ I heard the P.A. and Mr. Goswami murmur about the election officers they were bribing for votes. The officers were paid to rig the machine. This is how Mr Goswami rose to fame in the past years from being a local volunteer to becoming the Prime Miniterial candidate; he bought his votes all along the way.” Kabir thought to himself how there were plentiful of allegations against Mr Goswami as he was breaking several election laws.
The driver added, “ Goswamiji kehte the na, deewaro ke bhi kan hote hain. Ab unhi baato se hi toh ghar banta hai aur har ghar khuch kehta hao.”
The story regarding the truth about Mr. Goswami spread like wild fire and soon, Kabir was in the spotlight because of his efforts and courage which he excessively displayed in his efforts in this sensational bust with fame, followed, the cruel footsteps of money and power coupled with greed. In the world where the media is conveniently manipulated, Kabir became the face of truth and courage. He gained respect in the media and advertising fraternity. He became a household name for truth. His news stories and coverages were blindly accepted by masses and his speeches became the voice of the nation. He soon became public figure and his face was found on several billboards. Like most popular public figures. Kabir was also offered various endorsement deals.
Soon after this this hype simmered low, another similar bust took place and Kabir was invited to a talk show to voice his opinion on the matter.
The interviewer questioned him, In your experience, what happens to the person who is equally involved in uncovering such matters?”
Kabir’s face was enveloped by a similar expression that had been on Mr. Goswami’s face a few months ago, his grin grew wider and his teeth flashed like his uber expressive Rolex watch that hugged his wrist. He removed a small bottle of LIFE tablets’, the brand he endorsed, and proudly proclaimed, “the police keep informants safe much like these life tablets.” He flashed the bottle in front of the camera and continued, “jo meri tandrusti ki Raksha karta hai.”