Photo courtesy of Tribune India

The fourth wall has crashed and the audience

is now on stage making tea and frying omelets

in the kitchen, lounging on the guest beds, diving

into the swimming pool. Unheard of, unimaginable


until now these scenes, what Town & Country magazine

would have commissioned for an inside look at how

the rich president lives, exposed to ordinary, starving

people with a sense of fun, taking selfies, recording


on Facebook Live. But nobody is beating up anybody

except for the dozens hurt, two critically, in the initial breach.

This has been largely a pacific encounter with the buildings

of the reviled dictator and the hapless prime minister


who took on the thankless task of leading with nothing

and promising hardship and pain and is now in hiding

while his home blazes. Very sorry that a few miscreants

in the great people’s movement have tarnished the image


of the uprising. At least the p.m. and family are safe.

At least the president has agreed finally to resign. At least

the country can start to get off the front pages. But millions

of people have cut meals to one a day. Millions have no petrol.


Millions have no paper to write their sums at school. Nobody

is going to wake up tomorrow to a miraculous new world,

But it will be brave. and their revolt is right. Foreign aid

will come no matter who takes over administration of


the suffering–and native resourcefulness, wily adaptation,

just like victims of the uncivil war who improvised light

in the darkness, we—I mean of all us with a part in the play—

will find the way out of the maze, will go ahead riding bicycles.