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That other BJP memoir writer

Jaswant Singh also had his fat book. It’s just that over the last week, he had sleepless nights over the ‘other fat book’, writes Indrajit Hazra.

india Updated: Apr 05, 2008 01:44 IST
Indrajit Hazra
Indrajit Hazra
Hindustan Times

Jaswant Singh has been tossing and turning since March 19 when LK Advani’s biography, My Country My Life was released. But over the last week, the former escort of IC-814 terrorists has not only having bad dreams about — what else? — IC-814, but also about the comparative low sales of his book, A Call to Honour: In Service of Emergent India. As he recuperated somewhere in New Delhi or Rajasthan, a look at his last seven days:

Saturday, March 29: It’s strange how Sindhis in this country get more bhao in this country than full-blooded Rajputs! I know that Adavaniji was the person behind the BJP’s surgence — as opposed to resurgence — but if he has to bad mouth the whole situation that happened between us and the bearded chaps in Kandahar, surely he could have kept a bit quiet. He’s such a [Adding in his baritone voice]. ‘Ra-Ra-Rasputin, lover of the publisher queen.” Damn, should have thought of visiting Sonia.

Sunday, March 30: I’m not too sure whether Advaniji knows that I was the reason why he was kept out of the loop about the hostage issue. I frankly wanted to meet Maulana Masood Azhar, who was going to tell me how I can spice up my funky opium bash — you know, the ‘riyan’ function that is so much a tradition both in my home as well as in Azhar’s, until...

Monday, March 31: It seems that Advani-ji is slightly cheesed off with me. He hasn’t been able to sell any rights of his audio version of his book, while publishers are still scurrying after the rights for mine. In fact, my book was marginally fatter, but still some person in Mowtown Records in America called me about whether I want to record an R&B album of my book. The only catch was that I had to say, ‘A Call for Honnor, Dawgs!’ at the beginning of the recording.

TUESDay, April 1: I just rewrote — via my efficient ghost writer who lives in Defence Colony — the whole of Narendra Modi’s memoirs. What could I do? I thought about last night and was uncomfortable about helping out a person who knows nothing about Kipling. But I have a niggling feeling that he’ll be our man very soon. Which is why in any case I had introduced some errors about the Bhagat Singh trial in Advani-ji’s book.

Wednesday, April 2: I trust my publishers. It turns out that during my book launch the bar was open and overflowing. During [whispered tone] the BJP president’s launch, Cho Ramaswamy and the RSS’s Mohanrao Bhagwat were there. Never mind that I was there too. The point is, have you noticed that a 5-kilometre around Advani-ji’s house is a teetotalling zone? Khushwant Singh exempted? I somehow find that eery.

Thursday, April 3: I today called Strobe [Talbott]. I simply wanted to know what he thought of Advana-ji’s book. He agreed with me! It’s full of split infinitives!

Friday, APRIL 4: Went to see Vajpayee-ji today. He looked at me, showed his knees and mumbled a bit of poetry. I think it’s best I show my next manuscript to Narendra Modi. It’s about my travels to Scottish distilleries. In the meantime, I need to talk to journalists to clear my name about my role in the nuclear deal. A ha, I see Karan Thapar outside the Pandara Road Market. Karan, how are you. Have you ever been in a riyan ceremony?