On Saturday, Ponty Chadha, the Vijay Mallya of North India, left us all. Sadly for him, he chose perhaps the worst possible day in 2012 to die since Bal Thackeray passed away on the same day, and every media outlet in the country (even India TV tore itself away from Doomsday predictions) instantly focused 100% of their time and energy on covering his death.
But we think Ponty's death would have made headlines on any other day, and that he was unlucky to be killed on the 17th of November. Here are just a few reasons why his death was headline material, if only he had Died Another Day:
1. He was killed by his brother
Everyone loves a good Brother vs Brother story
In normal circumstances, everyone would latch on to a good Brother vs Brother story like a shot. Every news channel would do flashbacks to Pramod and Pravin Mahajan, the more serious ones would go back all the way to Cain and Abel for their comparison and the more facetious ones would stop at Kane vs. Undertaker. The point is that brotherly feuds capture the public imagination. Or would have, if ek tiger nahin tha.
2. There were Call-of-Duty numbers of bullets involved
2 people dead. 20 bullets passed through the bodies. 12 bullets hit Ponty. 7 are still in his body. These are not normal numbers that you might see in a family shooting – no. The battle looks like it came straight from an FPS, where you keep shooting (regardless of the damage you take) until your health drops to zero. If Ponty had just kept the rechargeable health function on, he could have died another day.
3. The case is intriguing
There were eyewitnesses, but they all disagree. People say Ponty was handicapped and could not have fired first. Bodyguards are alleged to have killed his brother. There will be a second, detailed post-mortem. Ponty had a billion dollar empire. In fact, the case seems so hard to solve that it could have provided fodder for days of television (maybe years, like the Jessica case), if it hadn't run into Hurricane Thackeray. They could even have made a CID episode based on it.
4. Ponty's name is made for punny references
Ponty has a short and memorable name; had he been the top story on Saturday, this would have stood headline writers everywhere in good stead. For example, his name is Ponty and his son's is Monty. It would have taken less than a day till someone made a 'Jonty' joke, in reference to the probable name of his grandson. And from there to Ponting would have been but a small step.
5. There's a Mayawati connection
Mayawati transformed herself into a media magnet through years and years of hard work, and statue construction, and assiduous corruption. Therefore, the fact that she appointed Ponty in 2009 to be the sole liquor wholesaler for Uttar Pradesh would have been worth a few feature shows on TV, at the very least. However, the whole of Sunday was used to show a single funeral procession, while Ponty and his brother (watching from the TV room in hell) must have wished they had postponed their gunfight by a few days.
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