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Above: Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay

With apologies to Lewis Carol

By Dilip Bob

Malice was getting rather bored; having avoided the for four years gave him little satisfaction since speeches on the campaign trail were entirely one-sided, despite his attempts at puns, acronyms and finger-pointing. There was no give and take. Malice loved to hear himself talk but he needed a credible audience to ask him pointed and printed questions.

Just when he was wondering what his strategy should be before clearing it with Malice Aforethought, he spotted a strange sight—a white rabbit dressed in designer clothes. He followed it down a rabbit hole and suddenly, a whole new world opened up before his eyes. He found himself growing into a giant of such tremendous size that his head hit the ceiling.

From that height, he could see lots of clouds below him which seemed to hide him from the sight of those below. That gave him a brainwave. What if he ordered his fighters to attack when cloud cover was heaviest? It seemed to meet with the approval of Malice Aforethought, also referred to in literary circles as the Cheshire Cat, who was displaying a big smile which lingered long after he had left the room.

Before leaving, Malice Aforethought suggested that if May 23rd were to have heavy cloud cover, a lot of votes could also be hidden in plain sight. They agreed that among the institutions to be intimidated and bent to their point of view, the Met Department had so far been left to do mundane things like accurately predicting cyclones and it needed to do more since the cloud cover brainwave had opened up so many possibilities.

Summoning a news channel for a one-on-one interview, Malice began by saying, just imagine, no one at ISRO, which has the finest scientific minds in the country, had ever thought of this— that if the moon landing they are planning were done on a full-moon night, would not that make the landing area bigger and there would be enough light to pick the best spot!

After taking in the applause from the two anchors who had come for the interview, he expanded further, talking about the immediate threats to the country, which came mostly from the Khan Market Gang. The anchor interrupted, suggesting that the earlier narrative had blamed the tukde tukde gang for all the problems the country had faced in the last 70 years and that Khan Market was just a place which sold overpriced items and attracted the liberal elite from all over Delhi.

Malice, with Malice Aforethought grinning over his shoulder, said that the Khan Market gang had conned the country by calling themselves the liberal elite and they no longer mattered and were becoming irrelevant in the new scheme of things.

That’s when things started to fall apart. Malice, to show his technological prowess, his inherent genius and the fact that he was born before his time, started to reminisce about a Made Haters Tea Party he had attended many decades ago where he left the audience speechless with his technological inventions.

With the open-mouthed anchors hanging on to every word, he peeled a mango gifted to him by Akshay Kumar (and not the Aam Aadmi Party he was at pains to clarify) and proceeded to inform them, on live TV and with the utmost confidence, that he had taken photos with a digital camera long before Eastman Kodak had actually produced one for commercial application. Malice even dated his historic click or clicks, as being in 1987, which had the Mad Haters roaring in appro­val, despite the fact that the first digital camera came on the market in 1990!

On a roll now, Malice revealed how he had uploaded the photos and e-mailed them to LK Advani that same day, which is another miracle of mind over what does it matter—internet services were introduced in India in 1995.

Malice seemed to be enjoying his new role as inventor and raconteur, but with each passing moment, the Cheshire Cat seemed to be disappearing, till only the grin was left.

The anchors by now, had been there for most of the day, and had plenty of footage but Malice refused to let them go. He hadn’t had so much fun in the last four years, and they were ordered to reload their cameras and look again at the list of printed questions to see if any had been left out. After all, he told them, he only needed three hours of sleep a day, which gave him enough time to come up with new inventions and scientific theories, many of which would have given Albert Einstein sleepless nights.

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