I know much more about Indrani Mukerjea than I know about any of my first cousin’s life. For almost two weeks, the attractive, stylish Mrs Mukerjea (wife of Peter Mukerjea, former television honcho) consumed my attention. (For those of you who don’t know, Indrani Mukerjea allegedly murdered her daughter Sheena Bora in 2012. The case is under investigation now).
Indrani Mukerjea brought back The Telegraph (a newspaper published from Kolkata) into my life for couple of days. After decades, I started reading the newspaper, thanks to the Kolkata connection of the murder case. I got confused with all the information floating in the virtual world. Like a dedicated researcher, I tried my best to put things together, filter the information, somehow finding a thread. Indrani Mukerjea and her elaborate khandaan entered into my living room every morning and every night. I don’t know whether the nation wanted to know or not but I definitely wanted to know the details. For almost 300 days in a year, my television at home doesn’t even get turned on (pun intended). But the TV was put to best use even as senior officials at Khar police station were busy in interrogating the three accused and others.
Indrani Mukerjea figured in my conversations with my sister, my mother-in-law, my friends across the globe (my close friend’s Australian husband termed her ‘mad’ because she was hooked to online reading on the murder case).
Friend’s G chat message: deepika yeh indrani mukerjea ne paagal kar diya.. i keep reading all the websites for more news. more better than soap opera.. and hubby finds me reading, he goes, again murder story. Some report said indrani got her second husband to kill. i cant get my present husband to pick up a towel from the floor.
Me:: i still can’t understand why Indrani brought sheena to Mumbai?she could have made her study anywhere… delhi, blr, new york. what was that need/compulsion? (Can you see a potential CBI chief in me)
Friend: I think both of us must go to khar and take over the interrogation.
The fiery anchors on television news channels made sure that I get an almost 3D feel of AK 47 shooting spree in my living room. Sometimes, I thought my television might need a fire extinguisher (thanks to the hyperbole). In the midst of screaming, counter-screaming, I sat with a monk like concentration in front of the television. Night after night. To consume the juicy info. Ekta Kapoor’s frothy family soaps looked like a watery cup of tea in front of this alleged murder case.. Indrani Mukherjea’s case was like champagne material. Bubbly waiting to spill from all sides.
Every day brought out some new details. I don’t remember half of the names of members of our union council of ministers. But I know the names of the Mukerjea clan, extended clan and further extended clan (stretching from Guwahati to Bristol in between stopping over Dehra Dun). I feel just by the sheer wealth of my knowledge about this Mukerjea clan, they should embrace me as their newest member. Yes, I know, it’s politically incorrect even to harbour such a figment of imagination. But you know, I am a Cancerian (known for wild imagination). May be, I will get a long distance view of the vast family wealth.
After couple of days of constant reading and watching the news involving the Sheena Bora murder case, I got into an introspective mood. Am I becoming a vulture? My mind said, “No, you are a journalist.” My heart said, “Look beyond cheap thrills, concentrate on real issues.” Somewhere in the cacophony, fake has become real and real has become fake. The talks of her marriage, lack of talent, great skills of moving up in the social ladder are there all over. I personally feel, greed for wealth knows no gender.
I don’t have it in me to be Indrani Mukerjea. I don’t have that X factor. Almost all my friends are middle class working people. Aspiring at best to do budget travelling around the world.Yet I find Indrani Mukerjea fascinating. Yes, eons ago I found the story of Charles Sobhraj quite fascinating.
It’s interesting to understand the times we are living in through the eyes of children. They offer us the best mirrors. My friend in Mumbai has a seven year old daughter. She asked her daughter to do remote swapping as my friend wanted to watch the news. After 7-8 minutes of watching the news, she told her daughter, “You can now watch your cartoon shows. My news is not coming.” The bright little girl told her, “What’s your news, Mama? You mean Indrani Mukerjea-Sheena Bora murder news.”
I am trying to make a sense of the times we are living in.