The Tribune - Spectrum

Sunday, March 30, 2003
Lead Article

Mandira Bedi on the war front now
V. Gangadhar

  Mandira Bedi  AFTER intense international competition, the famous ZYX TV Channel succeeded in hiring the most famous TV personality around, Mandira Bedi of India and immediately posted her to cover the Gulf War in Iraq. And this was how the great Bedi continued from where she had left—the World Cup Cricket.

Somewhere in the Gulf: War headquarters of the ZYX channel and let us get into the action.

Hi, folks, this is Jim Bullet reporting from deep inside the war zone and as usual we have the best team on the job. Along with me are veteran war correspondent Paul Scud, 'Bomber' Mclean, who had seen action from Auckland to Zambia, Lulu Tank, who has made a name for rolling over everything, Napalm Napoleon, the veteran from the Vietnam war, Shorty Ivan, popularly known as 'Anthrax' for his deadly efficiency, but the star of the show is the incomparable Mandira Bedi, voted as the TV personality of the Decade for her coverage of the cricket World Cup. Welcome Mandira, hope you will enjoy being with us.

Mandira: Oh, thank you, Bullet, it is wonderful being here with you all, so different from the cricket in South Africa. I am sure we will do a great job. Like the Cricket World Cup, wars do not come all that often (giggles).

Scud: Our Front Correspondent informed us that the tanks had started moving despite a severe duststorm. That is a major problem with desert warfare.

Mandira: What is the weather forecast for the war? Let us have it, we had it before every cricket match.


Bullet: No, Mandira, we do not have a weather forecast before starting the war, yes, the march towards Baghdad has begun, the Americans, the British and the Aussies are taking different routes towards the Iraq capital, we don't know who will reach Baghdad first.

Anthrax: The 82nd Airborne Division, the crack unit in the war, may well take the lead. It had distinguished itself in World War II and all other subsequent wars.

Bullet: I have a message, the Marines have begun moving. How can there be a war without the Marines? The Military Command, as usual, will drive the Marines hard.

Mandira: That is wonderful, I know all about it, the Marine Drive. But that has nothing to do with the USA, it is in India, in Mumbai. Marine Drive is famous in Mumbai . Have they transported it to the desert?

Tank: There are reports of the 'Patriot' missiles being fired. Remember the havoc they caused during the 1991 Gulf War. They neutralised the 'Scuds'.

Mandira: Of course, they will. The 'Patriot' missiles are guided by patriotism and will never fail. We Indians know that, we had seen it in our films.

Bomber: I have received a message from HQ. Saddam Hussein may unleash his chemical and biological weapons. We have to put our masks and go into camouflaged clothing. Let us do it at once.

Mandira: Oh, heck. Is that necessary? I have this new see-through outfit and how can I camouflage that? And cover my face! The face that launched the great cricket matches?

Napoleon: Sorry, partner, you have to do that. And if the situation hots up, we may have to do our job from fox holes.

Mandira: Count me out, Bullet. I am not going be with any foxes in their holes. I have enough problems fighting the wolves. O, how I wish Greigy was here, he will tell me what to do. What a place to fight a war! With all these technological innovations, why can't they fight Saddam Hussein from, say, Monte Carlo or Paris or Switzerland. The summer fashions will be out in Europe now.

Tank: War is dirty, Mandira. And sweaty, and unpleasant.

Mandira: I don't think this is the right way of fighting a war. With England and Australia on the same side, they should have challenged Saddam Hussein’s men like a one-day cricket match. Bush could manage the team. I am sure the 'Ashes' rivals would win the match and throw out Saddam. Like me, Saddam cannot tell a leg break from an off break.

Bullet: Now, that is not war lingo, Mandira. Look, there are flashes al over the sky and the firing has started. That is the Iraqi anti aircraft barrage. Saddam must be having some tricks up his sleeve.

Mandira: That is doubtful. He always keeps his sleeves buttoned down. Haven't you seen his photographs.

Anthrax: The Iraqi President will fight the war from his palace which has several war-proof bunkers. He will not give up without a fight. The USA may have to use the 'nukes' to smoke him out.

Scud: They have developed a new missile which can trace the enemy, spot him and kill him

Mandira: Wow! What will they come up with, next? How can Saddam Hussein escape such missiles? It is like Brett Lee going after Sanath Jayasuriya. I wish we had some breaks in this war coverage. I am accustomed to breaks when I recharge my batteries.

Bullet: You can do it now, baby! Look, that is the famous Desert Rat columns of the British, I think they lead the British assault

Mandira: Eeeeeek, where are the rats? I hate them, I am scared of them. Gee, how can there be rats in the desert? Look, I better take a Break

Tank: Recently, the USA tested the Mother of all bombs, that 22500-pound one, off the Florida coast. Will they drop it in the desert war?

Mandira: I wish they do it. Then, our TV news readers back home will report it as a maha bum visphote.

Scud: What a bum thing to say, Okay, Mandira, we will take a break and come back for more from the war front!