A few days ago, the newspaper DNA of Mumbai carried the following story:
“Honeymoon-bound Shayan Munshi held, freed on bail
“Model, film actor, and cookery show host Shayan Munshi, a key witness in the Jessica Lal murder … was arrested by the Kolkata police on Saturday.
“Munshi was allegedly leaving for Bangkok with his father without informing police…”
The attempt to flee, if such it was, or his turning hostile during the trial, were not the features of this news item that grabbed my attention. What did it for me was that he was taking his dad for his honeymoon – reports in other newspapers did mention that his wife was also going to the honeymoon. I can tell you that I was really relieved – a father-son honeymoon would have been too much to take in my advanced age.
What still intrigues me is why was Shayan taking his dad along for the honeymoon. I can understand that it was his dad who first explained the mysteries of the birds and the bees to the son – though, going by my experience with my son, the son would have done a better job of explaining this to the dad. But why do you need your dad on your honeymoon? Hasn’t he got to be the ultimate kabab-mein-haddi?
I can imagine the first night in the resort when the happy young couple are enjoying a romantic dinner – somewhat spoilt no doubt by the presence of the aged parent trying to become part of the décor, whenever the young swain started whispering sweet nothings into his bride’s shell-like. After the wonderful dinner, lubricated by vintage wines made from contented grapes, the young pair repairs to the bedroom. The door closes.
We cut to the bedroom scene. The wife has demurely draped herself in her sexiest nightwear; she reclines fetchingly on the bed, with a come-hither look in her smouldering eyes. The husband is torn between two desires – joining his wife on the bed and turning the lamp down low; and running to the door from time to time, and taking advice from his dad, who is dutifully crouched on the other side of the door, with a sheaf of notes in his left hand, and a ear-trumpet in his right.
One can almost overhear the conversation between father and son.
“Right, dad. We have been kissing each other and doing what you called… foreplay, right, got that word finally. So, we have been doing this foreplay thing for some time now. And now the time has come for the real thing.”
“Right, son. You have the condom with you?”
“Yes, dad. Now I have opened the pack, and I will put it on.”
“Make sure you put it on your… you know. Not on your thumb, like you did during your practise run in Kolkata. You got that?”
“Yeah, I think I got it on right? Ekbaar dekhbe naki? You wanna see it to check?”
“NO! You stupid fool! I just hope you have got it on at the right place – (stage whisper: I thought the young kids knew better than having to ask about that, and on their honeymoon too!)”
A period of silence follows, punctuated by amorous sounds from the bride. The dad has a look of relief on his face. Then, he hears a gentle knock on the door:
“Hey, dad! You there?”
“Well, I got it in all right – she seems to know quite a bit about it you know, that really helped. What do I do next?
“Whaddaya mean, what do I do next??! How many times I have told you – remember what I told you about the car engine and the piston moving in the chamber? Well, that’s what you gotta do, you idiot!”
“Yeah, right – I completely forgot!”
What follows is guaranteed to make any fond father think lovingly of the virtues of human sacrifice.
“Vroom vroom! Vroooooooooooooooom! Vroom!” – accompanied by the sounds of a car changing gears, as done by a small kid.
Let us end our eavesdropping here. Let us draw a veil on the old man sitting on one side of the door of the honeymoon suite, with his head buried in his hands, and a look of dull despair on his face. Let us also draw another veil on the young bride, who sits on the bed looking in growing desperation at this creature that runs between the bed and the door on this most special of all nights. Let us draw one more veil on the young man who sits happily on the bed emulating the sounds of a Ferrari going round Monza during a Grand Prix.
We draw the curtain on this unhappy episode in the life of Shayan Munshi. We hope that after the delirious joys of his honeymoon, he will turn to his dad for more important help – that of telling the truth which would help in bringing justice to the late Jessica Lal.
(first posted on sulekha.com on May 18 2006)