Hindustan Times, Guwahati, June 7, 2009: “Mihir Barman, 36, better known as Jewel Garlossa, head of the dreaded Black Widow, aka Dima Halam Daogah or DHD (Jewel) group, spent a part of the crores of rupees his outfit extorted from companies and individuals in the North Cachar Hills in Assam on facials, massages and colognes every month.”
The first thing to do, if you want to become a real revolutionary, is to choose a suitable alias. You aren’t going to get far if you use a simple ordinary name. Josef Vissarionovich Dzugashvili knew this, which is why he called himself Stalin. But a name like Stalin isn’t going to take you places these days, unless of course you’re Karunanidhi’s son. Nope, what you want is a sexy moniker but also one that terrorises your opponents. Mihir Barman did it with Jewel Garlossa, you can do it with Diamond Barbarossa, or, if female, Ruby the Hun. Then you have to think up a name for your revolutionary party. It really won’t do to call it the Begusarai Butchers or Khagaria Killers, just because you’re fighting for the liberation of Begusarai or Khagaria. A better option, one calculated to strike terror in the hearts of your opponents, would be to call it something on the lines of Terrible Tarantula, or the Hooded Claw or, simply, The Dark Side.
Once the naming ceremonies are done, the next step is to consider where to start your rebellion. The north-east is ruled out because there’s too much competition. With the Kukis and Nagas and Dimasas and Karbis all having their own revolutionary outfits, business is very crowded out there. Kashmir is obviously out, you won’t stand a chance against those professional terrorists. The Maoists wouldn’t like you meddling in their territory. All things considered, I think it would be best to set up shop in Tamil Nadu. Veerappan is dead, the Tamil Tigers are in disarray and there’s a window of opportunity there. You could call your group the Gummidipundi Gang.
Once you’ve started operations, terrorised the locality and collected the protection money, you can then start to live it up. Facials and massages are all very well, but remember what happened to Prabhakaran and don’t forget to go to the gym regularly. Your hands could get rough from hurling those grenades, so gently massage a blend of lemon juice, rose water and fresh butter into them to get that glow back. Manicure those chipped nails into shape — remember, no revolutionary should be without his rifle and his cuticle cream. Also, nothing is so traumatic for a rebel as growing old. To win the fight against those wrinkles, take the white of an egg, beat it, mix in it three teaspoonfuls of oat powder, one spoonful of honey and apply on the face.
Next, every revolutionary’s feet ache like hell after a long march. The thing to do, after each day’s march, is to soak your heels in lukewarm water and use a pumice-stone to scrub off dead skin. Don’t forget the cologne — I recommend Cool Water by Davidoff International, its coriander, rosemary and sage balanced with a whisper of amber, oak moss, musk and sandalwood gives off that perfect masculine outdoorsy fragrance. Other must-haves include Harry Winston cuff links, Mont Blanc dog tags and black onyx bead necklaces.You can easily keep abreast of the latest styles by doing a Google search on ‘What the metrosexual revolutionary is wearing’.
The problem is that all this radical chic is wasted in Gummidipundi. A true revolutionary needs the bright lights of South Bombay. Unfortunately, though, it’s going to be rather tough setting up a People’s Liberation Army of SoBo.
On second thoughts, why bother with this revolutionary stuff at all? Why not just go to a big city, join the police, lord it over the locals, collect your hafta, buy your jewellery and take those sauna baths. You could even call yourself the Platinum Policeman.
Manas Chakravarty is Consulting Editor, Mint