How Indrani and Peter Mukerjea are robbing Indian elite of sleep

A part of my brain is still refusing to believe the Sheena Bora murder is true. I need to go on a holiday to Disneyland.

 |  7-minute read |   28-08-2015
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Woke up in a sweat last night twice. First because I dreamt that Indrani Mukerjea was standing on my veranda and letting poison gas through my AC vents. I woke up choking on the acrid stench and rushed to Kaveri's room to check if the AC was working fine and all was well. At about 3am I managed to fall asleep again, only waking up an hour-and-a-half later, again in panic. It was Peter Mukerjea's incessant knocks on the door that woke me up this time - his face contorted and bulging at me through the convex lens. "I know you're there Suchitra. Open the door. Opeeenn the door!! Hee hee haw haw haw haw haw!!!"

Gotta stop following this Indrani-Peter #SheenaMurderMystery (even started thinking about it in hashtags! Yesterday, when a friend asked me to send her my postal address I typed #ArnabspeaksToPeter into the phone. Luckily, I noticed it before I hit send - uff).

A part of my brain is still refusing to believe it's true. I need to go on a holiday to Disneyland. With my whole family - mummy, daddy, sister, brother, daughter and EVERYONE. And thank them again and again. For not killing me!!!

This is how news affects us. Whether we are aware of it or not. To the extra sensitive and drama queens especially. But not just the social air kissers and storytellers. Everybody I meet/talk to has a theory on the Peter-Indrani story. Especially the mothers. Nobody believes a mother can do something like this. Fathers can, apparently - poor guys. But mothers? No way.

Many think the police is leaking out false information to the press - I mean the ex-husband Sanjeev Khanna couldn't possibly have said he was sleeping in the car during the murder? BWAHAHAHAHA. Can anything get more ludicrous? Even those who usually refrain from comment on people's lives have been sucked into it. It's unavoidable. Too many holes in the story everyone is rushing to fill. How do the police now claim they found the totally decomposed body of Sheena in May 2012 - just a month after the murder? Can a body decompose so entirely in a month even if doused in petrol? Has the driver been put through a polygraph test? Who tipped off the police about the driver possessing the firearm and why?

That Peter Mukherjea a day before yesterday said he never understood what his wife and sister-in-law were speaking because they spoke in Assamese. So he didn't know they had problems. Then yesterday, he said he knew that his wife and sister-in-law had a LOT of problems; so he never asked his wife about it because otherwise, she gave him a WHOLE LOT of problems.

In fact, Indrani had come down from Bristol to India in April 2012 to sort out her problems with Sheena, but then Sheena disappeared and that is the problem. Peter said it himself on TV ya. Of course, the biggest problem that Peter never asked any questions about this problem is now everybody's problem. Especially the media's. But for some reason the police doesn't seem to think that Peter saying he never believed there was a problem, and therefore kept silent about the problem, is a problem. Problem is, that his son didn't have a job, you see, when he was dating Sheena - at least that was Indrani's problem. So it became Peter's problem. Family members not speaking to one another or Peter saying he has never met his wife's parents, to him, is not a problem - so does Mikhail have a problem? That's his problem. Let Mikhail produce proof - no problem. My wife is in problem. That's Peter's problem, apparently. After the initial reports of some hundreds of crore being siphoned off and put in Sheena's name, nobody mentions it again. It's the latest theory of rocket science hitting the airwaves and dominating media. That's the problem. Besides what to say about money - money talks for itself, no? Everybody's statement to the police is on police records and public domain. Especially the driver's - full and clear. Nobody is asking for Indrani's statements or reporting - that's the problem.

In 2010, I wrote and released a book called the Good News Reporter - the fact that no one has heard about it or read it other than my editor at Penguin/Puffin and my father and sister is not the reason I'm mentioning it. Promoting the book is not the agenda here. The Good News Reporter is the story of a small town woman who seduces a television media tycoon and uses him ruthlessly to climb up the career ladder and fulfil her own ambitions. It is about a father who's blinded by his infatuation of a beautiful, much younger go-getting, conniving schemer, refusing to see through her games. My main protagonist was, of course, the 12-year-old daughter of the television tycoon, who not only manages to free her father from the crutches of his greedy girlfriend, but embarks on the mission of saving the world by starting her own kiddie televison show - one good news story at a time. I'm idealistic you know, I like happy stories and happy endings and the diabolical is way beyond my imagination. Even for writers of horror and raunch - I mean even the bravest writer will not have the guts to plot and twist a story the way the Sheena murder mystery is unfolding. It is beyond merely diabolical. Its satanic.

Oh, I forgot to mention my third dream last night - the final one. So coming back to that - the doorbell rang again. Only this time, it was Nishikant Kamat - the director of Drishyam. Looking to bounce off some ideas to make its sequel - never mind that Drishyam itself is a remake of a Jeethu Joseph's original Paapanasam, which is a remake of the Malayam original Drishyam. Dreams are not coherent creatures. Nightmares are even worse.

“So what if we start Drishyam 2 with a scene between the protagonist Ajay Devgan and Tabu," says Nishikanth to me. In the Malayalam and Tamil original, it is apparently the wife who kills the villain and not the daughter as in the Hindi version.

So yes we start Drishyam 2 (Hindi) with a scene between Ajay and Tabu.

Ajay tells Tabu that he will lead her to the body of her murdered son buried under the police station, so that Tabu can cremate her son and get closure and also her job and honour back. But first, Ajay tells Tabu she must help him find the money his wife and his wife's lover had stolen and hidden from him. Ajay's wife's lover. Tabu's son's classmate.

Tabu: *looking stern* Who killed my son?

Ajay: *twisting his mouth cynically* Isn’t it your job to find out?

Tabu: *looking down sadly* I lost my job thanks to you, remember? And why are you telling me all this now?

Ajay: Because my wife killed your son, who is my daughter's classmate, because he was threatening to expose my wife if she didn't give him the money.

Tabu: *head bouncing in confusion* What money?

Ajay: *squinting heroically* Rs 600 crore.

Tabu: *staring quizzically, scratching her brow* But you're a cablewala. TV wala. How do you have so much money? Chori?

Ajay: *scorning menacingly* You don't need to know that. Find my wife. Half the money is yours. On the way to this money you'll find many graveyards. Be careful not to trip into one in your high heels.

Tabu: *hands on hips defiantly* Abbey aee shaaniye. Ek toh help maangta hai, aur phir misogyny dikhata hai?

So what is the genre, I ask, even as I'm force my eyes to open and break my dream. All these digging up dead body visuals are making me sick. Love story? Drama? Feminist? Horror?

Oh, never mind. Dreams are not coherent creatures. "You better go back to sleep Suchitra; you've been having a nightmare. All of elite India has."

"What do you mean by elite India?"

"Yeah, this stuff is very common in rural and small town India, apparently. Haven't you watched those Saavdhaan India and Crime Patrol shows? You must ya. They are fantastic.

"Jeez no. Thanks, but no thanks. I'm off to Disneyland. Weeeeeeeeeee."

Writer

Suchitra Krishnamoorthi Suchitra Krishnamoorthi @suchitrak

Drama Queen. Actor. Singer. Painter. Writer. Mother. Traveler. Clueless Believer in the happily ever after.

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