City Sighting – Arundhati Roy, Hauz Khas Village
Delhi’s most notorious seditionist.
[Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi]
One evening, The Delhi Walla sighted his most beloved Delhiite – author Arundhati Roy. She was walking down an alley in Hauz Khas Village, south Delhi. Ms Roy was wearing camel-coloured leather slip-on shoes. Her hair – a flamboyant mix of gray and black – was knotted with an orange scrunchie into a neat pull-back. She was carrying a floral-patterned red tote bag with leather handles; the other arm had a brown velvety handbag, and a bright-red plexiglas bangle. Like everything about Ms Roy, her corduroy trouser too had a twist. It wasn’t harem pant; nor did it look like dhoti pant. But it had wide legs; the buttons were on the side rather than on the front.
Snuggled in a turtle-necked ribbed mustard-green sweater, Ms Roy was strolling as if she had no care in the world. A few days ago, the essayist on Kashmir’s freedom was charged by the Delhi Police under sections 124A (sedition), 153A (promoting enmity between classes), 153B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration), 504 (insult intended to provoke breach of peace) and 505 (false statement, rumour circulated with intent to cause mutiny or offence against public peace) of the Indian Penal Code. The charges are non-bailable. Not showing any anxiousness, the seditionist’s leisurely amble in the city’s bohemian neighbourhood was an eloquent contempt of the ‘honourable’ court. The recklessness, however, could be self-controlled. The pamphleteer’s sweater was midriff-baring but it was cold and she was wearing a black full-sleeved Tee underneath.
While walking, Ms Roy was talking on the cell phone and, at the same time, she was looking around as if trying to trace an address. I was standing by a second-hand bookstore. Soon, the author of The God of Small Things came very close to me. Then, she abruptly turned into an opposite lane and vanished, like a daydream.
“Assertions prejudicial to national integration”
“Rumour circulated with intent to cause mutiny or offence against public peace”
“Insult intended to provoke breach of peace”
In support of Arundhati Roy