Former star cricketer and captain and the current Congress MP from Moradabad, Mohammad Azharuddin joined Salman Khurshid’s press conference a few days back to defend him against allegations of corruption. However after that press conference, Azharuddin has never publicly defended Khurshid. Khurshid finally manages to track down Azhar’s number and reaches him on the phone.
The phone rings. Azhar picks it up.
Salman Khurshid: Hi Azhar.
Azhar (after a pause): Er… Hi Salman bhai. How did you get this number?
Salman Khurshid: Don’t worry. Even if you change your number every day, I will track down your latest number. After that press conference, you never came to defend me. Why?
Azhar: Salman bhai, in these corruption friendly conditions, one needs to put up a defendable target. 71 Lakhs is such a small target, difficult to defend with even the best attack in the world.
Salman Khurshid: I am in no mood for your wisecracks. Listen, now it is obvious that Robert Vadra has political ambitions. If he voices his view to contest from his home town Moradabad Lok Sabha seat, what will you do? Even I will not defend your seat if you treat me like this.
Azhar (laughing): Salman bhai, your sense of humor is better than mine. Forget Moradabad. Even if Robert Vadra asks for Farrukhabad, you will not be able to do anything.
Salman Khurshid (angrily): Azhar, mind your language.
Azhar: Relax Salman bhai, Again you are overreacting, just like in that press conference. I will offer you some advice. Don’t take the attack head on. There is no need to hit every question out of the park. Learn to use your wrists to deflect the attacks. Footwork and timing are more important than brute force. Temperament is as important as skill.
Salman Khurshid: But why are you not defending me? At least tell me the reason and I will not pester you again.
Azhar (tensely): Well, someone is blackmailing me not to defend you.
Salman Khurshid (angrily): Who is it? Just tell me and I will take care of him.
Azhar: Arvind Kejriwal.
Salman Khurshid (in a furious tone): That guttersnipe. Just expose him. You have my full support.
Azhar: No Salman bhai. It is me who will get exposed.
Salman Khurshid: But what wrong have you done?
Azhar: Er. He has evidence about my match fixing activities.
Salman Khurshid (scoffs): Even so many years after retirement, you still indulge in match fixing? Disgusting.
Azhar (annoyed): Salman bhai, now this is a case of the pot calling the kettle black.
Salman Khurshid: OK, forget it. Tell me what exactly happened.
Azhar: Well. Arvind Kejriwal called me the other day. He said a lot of mango cricketers had provided him evidence about my match fixing activities. He said he had all the evidence of the quid pro quo I was involved in. He told me “I exposed Robert Vadra. Since Salman Khurshid defended him, I went after him. If you defend him, I will come after you.”
Azhar (continues): Then he went to reassure me “Anyways, my top priority is to expose corruption in the top leadership of the country and am not really looking at going after cricketers. Also, if I expose you for match fixing, then to prove my fairness and neutrality, I will be forced to expose Modi for some other wrongdoing. They Y. P. Singh will accuse me of not exposing Pawar. Doing all this will be a distraction from my mission. So I am offering you a quid pro quo. Just stay out of the Khurshid issue and I will not expose you.”
Salman Khurshid (excitedly): Did you just say he will be forced to expose Modi? Then we must force him. Wait till I tell Soniaji about this.
Azhar: Relax Salman bhai. It’s Lalit Modi he was talking about. What were you thinking?
Salman Khurshid: Hmm. OK. So you will no longer defend me then. Bye.
Azhar: Wish you all the best for your joint venture plans with Suresh Kalmadi for the next Paralympics.
Salman Khurshid: Thanks Azhar. Goodnight.
Azhar: Good night Salman bhai.