Mumbaikars, like most Indian urban elite, have a habit of bad mouthing their political representatives. No matter what the issue, residents place the blame on the elected officials they’re forced to live with, because a Zara sale versus getting an ink stain on a finger after standing in line with poor people is a no contest. Borivali residents complain about animal rights violations because their national park is named after Sanjay Gandhi. Those in Kurla wonder why can’t their leader change the area’s perception as the city’s rectum. People in Colaba ask, what is an MLA?
This changed forever on 21st July when India came together to salute an MLA from Bandra with an MA in Sad Face on Technicolour Political Hoardings — Mr Baba Siddique. Mr Siddique got Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan to hug at his annual iftar party, leading to millions of Indian computer screens being inadvertently squirted with human genome. The event is being hailed as the best thing to happen to Bandra, a magical land stuck between cupcake and frozen yogurt shops, since the departure of Sanjay Dutt.
Before one dwells on the significance of this hug, let me take a minute to say how jealous I am of Mr Siddique for having a name with such gravitas. If I was named Baba Siddique, I would have never been able to become anything except a Bollywood villain. My living room would have a giant shag carpet and a picture of three white horses running against the backdrop of a black canvas.
Dalip Tahil and Ashish Vidyarthi would be my shady sidekicks and just for fun, I would drive around on a tractor covered by the body of a large peacock. Instead, Mr. Siddique continued the tradition of successful individuals named Baba —like Sehgal and Black Sheep — and orchestrated the kiss-and-make-up of the century. No wonder people say the Congress is great at minority appeasement.
The sad part about the event is that even if the Khan’s ignored each other at the party, the media would have carried headlines like, “Khan ignores Khan at party full of Khans! Kebabs disappointed”. What we have instead is a collective dream of a Karan Arjun sequel because two adults were being polite. Why wouldn’t a man, whose motto is ‘Being Human’, be polite to someone he dislikes? He’s got all the training in the world living in the same house as Sohail.
(Editor’s note: It turns out that this “patch up” was about as fictitious as Karan Arjun, if subsequent reports are to be believed. We at Firstpost are as deeply affected as the aforementioned kebabs.)
Shah Rukh Khan tweeted about the incident saying that it felt good to finally turn the page. (Or maybe he was reading a book. Who knows?) Now all I’m waiting for is Salman’s reaction where he tweets something insightful and heartfelt like “Ye dekho makkhi. Mazza aaya? Kbye.” I’m just hoping that this finally leads to some semblance of peace between the Shah Rukh and Salman fans in a world that, needless to say, will reignite at the release of Chennai Express. In the middle of this, while all of us mainstream sell-outs dissect the hug of the century, spare a thought for Anurag Kashyap who is still trying to promote Ship of Theseus. Here’s a paradox in honour of that film: If Salman and Shah Rukh are not fighting, are they still Shah Rukh and Salman?