Since the name Kejriwal might get this blog banned without reason, let me start by saying this post is not about politics. It is about imagination.
As an exercise to improve the characters I write about, I have been looking at various people when walking on the road, or in news and creating their stories. See that old woman, in khaki? She just condoled someone who heard about a death in her family. See that little boy with her granny? He hates how the granny calls him by his nickname and he doesn’t like his granny’s spidery, wrinkled hands when she feeds him. In my stories, these people flower (or wither) so to say, becoming something more dramatic, sometimes sinister, sometimes vulnerable. it’s like a flash of an idea, a storyline attached to a face and I encourage it.
I got a flash of a character when I saw Arvind Kejriwal’s interview in one of the media channels (weren’t all of them interviewing him?). It’s not the real him of course, just a figment of my imagination. So hear it out.
Kejriwal is a puppeteer of people. He gets hold of strings which can suffocate those who are corrupt, and then uses those strings to make them jump to his calls or crash down. He enjoys it, just like a cat enjoys playing with mice. Hit with one claw, wait and smile. His smile is not open, but a simple stretch of lips, as if he’s amused by a hen ruffling her feathers (in this case, Karan Thapar was the hen who was interviewing him). The opposite doesn’t matter, it has to crumble in front of the power that the character exudes. Some call him an anarchist. Maybe he’s one. The character certainly looks like he wants feathers and skin ruffled.
As he cuts a wire in a middle class household, Kejriwal’s eyes shine with a strange kind of light – you might think it’s the light of righteousness, of conviction that he’s leading the society to a better place. There’s a Pied Piper in him, who will happily play a tune, hypnotise the masses and lead them, well anywhere. And every sheep will follow.
He has the charisma of a leader and he has the self-righteousness. Most of the parties are peeing in their pants looking at him right now and shivering as they wonder what will pop out next from his kittybag—will it be their corrupt name or their son-in-law’s? His power is unexpected and he knows it. His power is not of honesty, it is a power over people who feel dishonest. He’s the one-eyed king in a nation of blind men. He knows it. He will keep his feet on the table and tell you that he knows it and will see you sweat. All the while smiling that closed-lip smile. Can you trust him? I don’t know that yet.
That’s Kejriwal the character who will figure in one of my stories some day. I wonder how similar it is to Arvind Kejriwal the man. What do you think?