There was palpable excitement in the Celebrity Page 3 section of the Mumbai daily as the Celebrity Editor summoned an urgent meeting. The Celebrity reporters trooped in, ready for action.
Celebrity Editor: A great day for us. It is not every day we have someone who runs over seven people and gets a six-month jail term. A tailor-made celebrity for our section. Remember how we made a hero of Puru Raaj Kumar? And he had run over and killed only three pavement dwellers
Celebrity Reporter 1: This Alistair Pereira guy is really something — he had such a smirk on his face as he came out of the court and said he was going for an appeal. Sheer guts, yaar.
Celebrity Editor: Okay, you guys get cracking. Get in touch with Queenie Dhody, Gautam Singhania. AD Singh and the rest of the party animals. Here’s one more to join the gang. So many groups would like to own our Pereira. For instance, the ‘Clean Mumbai Footpaths’ gang, because Pereira cleaned up the Carter Road pavements in his own way.
Celebrity Reporter 2: The ad guys would love him. Very soon Pereira will be modeling for a lot of stuff. They could do an ad feature on Mumbai pavements with the slogan, ‘Pavement matlab Pereira’. And Alec could cast him as a symbolic God Yamraj in a tantric version of the Upanishads.
Celebrity Editor: I want this bloke on Page 3 every day and even on Page 1. You guys ask for his views on every single topic — reservation, Infosys’ Narayana Murthy and the national anthem, the Bangladesh team selection, UP assembly polls, the Ash-Abhishek wedding and so on. Start a rumour that Pereira has been invited to the wedding. Make him pose with Shobhaa De wearing one of those cocktail sarees.
Celebrity Reporter 3: Boss, you are really going all out.
Celebrity Editor: Of course, I am. After all, this man’s achievement has stirred Mumbai. Let us get together Pereira, Puru, Manish Khatau and Salman Khan and do a picture story on what they have done to Mumbai’s traffic culture and pavement dwellers’ safety. By the way, I wonder if the Guinness Book of World Records is aware of Pereira’s feat. Where else can a guy run over seven people and get away with it?
Celebrity Reporter 1: Boss, I have an idea. Why not get together Pereira along with the Khar policemen who investigated the case as well as the public prosecutor who handled it. Let Pereira drive them all over Carter Road and then take them to a disco. We shall headline the story, ‘The Pereira Posse’.
Celebrity Editor: Wonderful idea, you take care of it. We shall also ask that Carter Road be renamed Alistair Pereira Marg. There are so many factors of this incident which we should highlight. The police investigation of the case and the prosecution should be made into case studies to be taught in police academies and law schools. Ask Mahesh Jethmalani what he thinks about it.
Celebrity Editor: 2007 is only four months old, but we already have our Man of the Year — Alistair Pereira.