May 9, 1997
May 8: Nobody but nobody was spared at this unique hearing on Wednesday in the Bandra Court where several advocates had assembled to witness the lampooning of such political leaders as Bal Thackeray, Manohar Joshi, Laloo Prasad Yadav and Mayawati, among others.
For better or for verse, none other than additional chief metropolitan magistrate of the Ninth Court K H Holambe Patil — known for having recently taken on the Shiv Sena chief and his party’s mouthpiece, Saamna — was enjoying the proceedings to the hilt.
The occasion was the second annual `Id-Holi Milan’, a kavi sammelan organised by the Bandra Bar Association in aid of national integration.
For a change, the lawyers were seen without their sombre robes. The three judges — Holambe-Patil and metropolitan magistrates U K Vidulkar and D V Kamble of the 12th and the 21st courts — couldn’t stop laughing uncontrollably. And as an indication of the sizzling satire that was to follow, Kamble even broke into an old Mukesh number from the film Yehudi — “Yeh mera deewanapan hai, ya mohabbat…”Of the 13 invited Hindi poets, many of whom were journalists, Kailash Singer of the Navbharat Times kicked off the programme of ripping apart politicians with merciless sarcasm. “With the exception of Dawood Ibrahim, Tiger Memon and Kalpnath Rai, I offer warm greetings to my fellow countrymen,” he began and went on to narrate an encounter with Chief Minister Manohar Joshi.
He said, “When I once asked Joshi how much two plus two is, quite oddly he became very panicky and tried to avoid my question. But I persisted, so Joshi finally relented and replied, "Dekho Kailashji, do aur do hote to char hi hain, par agar ek bar Balasaheb se poochh liya jaye to achchha rahega na?.”He also took a potshot at Deve Gowda and his nemesis Sitaram Kesri: “Deve Gowda’s desperate prayers to hang on to the satta during the 10-odd months of his prime ministership disturbed every known god in India. But one divine couple must now be heaving a sigh of relief Gowda will never venture inside a Sita-Ram temple again.” Naturally, Bihar, Patna and Laloo couldn’t be spared on judgment day, so to say. Time and again the chaara ghotala came in for some robust banter. A poet by the name of Vasant Arya recounted seeing a minister in Bihar teaching his son maths. When the boy said two times two is four, the minister corrected him and said in this age two times two should ideally be 100, or better still 1,000, 10,000 and so on.
Arya continued, “When the son wanted to have a biscuit, the minister advised him to eat bricks, stones and cement for a stronger digestive system; since one day he will have to eat the entire nation!”
Some of the other poets at the meet were Hridayesh Mayank of Jansatta, Suman Sareen of Femina, Suresh Mishra of Yashobhumi, Raj Suman, Anand Tripathi, Kamlesh Pandey, Jayaprakash Milind and Ramesh Shrivastava. However, well-known senior advocate Majeed Memon, who is also a poet, could not make it. After the poetry session, Holambe-Patil (sporting a fez cap) told Express Newsline: “This is for the first time I’ve attended such a hearing, and I enjoyed it thoroughly.”
The president of the Bandra Bar Association, Iqbal Patel, said though the annual event was necessary to break the monotony of the legal profession, its basic aim was to mobilise citizens against corruption through satire.
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