Question put to Aishwarya Sahi,
16 years old: What was the structure that was brought down on December 6, 1992?
Aishwarya: Some bridge.
Mumbai Mirror, Sept 28, 2010
I caught up with a friend of Aishwarya after the verdict. Here’s the gist of our intellectual discussion:
Q: Do you know where
A: Should I know? I’ve heard people talking about it, so maybe I should check it out. Is it as good as Blue Frog?
Q: No, it isn’t a lounge. It’s a place up north.
A: I’ve been up north all the way to Trilogy a couple of times, you know the happening nightclub in Juhu.
Q: Ayodhya is in Uttar Pradesh.
A: Ugh. Isn’t that the place where the chief minister has all those handbags? Does she have Louis Vuitton?
Q: I don’t know. Do you know what happened on December 6, 1992?
A: Sure I do. But you’ve got the date wrong. It’s actually November 6, 1992.
Q: It wasn’t November 6. But I’m glad you know what happened.
A: I was born on November 6, 1992, silly. You think you know my birthday better than I do? Just a few days left and I’ll be 18. I’m almost two years older than Justin Bieber, you know, the teen rock guy. He’s too cute, na? God, I feel so old.
Q: Oh…ah. But how come you don’t know about Ayodhya, don’t you watch TV?
A: Of course I do, I watch Gossip Girl regularly. It’s no big deal not knowing this place, I can always Google it on my iPhone.
Q: But you must have heard the court verdict on Thursday?
A: Somebody tweeted about it. We had a big scare, everyone thought the weekend would be dry. They’ll divide the place into three, handing one piece to the Hindus, another to the Muslims and a third to the…um….Buddhists? Or is it Christians?
Q: What place?
A: The disputed place….the bridge, I guess. Saw it on Facebook, I think.
Q: It’s not a bridge.
A: Well, I’m ok with it being a monument or something, like the Taj.
Q: The Taj Mahal?
A: The Taj hotel. But it should be equally shared by all communities. This is the new India, you know. Does doing my hair like this suit me?
Q: Yes. It’s not a hotel. It’s either a mosque or a temple.
A: Cool. I love spirituality. I’m into hot yoga myself. All of them could do it together there. They could do it at different times — the Hindus in the early morning, the Muslims a bit later, the Christians at noon, the Sikhs in the early evening, the Jains soon after and the atheists at midnight.
Q: What is it you want them to do?
A: Bikram Hot Yoga, of course. You have to heat the room to 40 degrees while doing it and you feel great. But I’m open about it. I mean if somebody wants to do the zumba, or any other dance fitness thing, they’re welcome.
Q: One last question — how will this verdict affect your life?
A: Should it? You’re right, we must have a funky Ayodhya party. It’ll be absolutely awesome.
Manas Chakravarty is Consulting Editor, Mint. The views expressed by the author are personal