Don't Rain On My Parade*

Ministhy Dileep | October 18,2013 05:52 pm IST

It is so very easy to find loopholes and pull down astonishing success stories. Why, Antonio Salieri despised Amadeus Mozart.

(And plotted his way to Mozart's murder**.) Because Mozart was a lusty young man in love, with dancing and crude jokes. Not that it made Mozart's "Marriage of Figaro" any less greater. Even the moon has its dark spot, pray. And it only adds to its luster.


But not so with Martha Stewart. The Great American Icon has come crashing down this June, as the channels crow delightedly, "She is in hot water." For cooking up a wrong concoction. Not the famous Martha Stewart brand. Which saw the rise of this ambitious lady of Polish origin. From a hamlet in New Jersey to perhaps the richest and most successful businesswoman of the era. By cooking and decorating and gardening and advising homemakers. By working her heart out.


She fell down for insider trading of Imclone stocks. And as the noose tightened around her, the charge changed to "blatantly lying about her involvement." Poor Martha. When the Wall Street scamsters walk off into gorgeous retirement benefits, she loses 700 million (when last heard) for a $ 45,000 deal. (Which she denies, of course.)


And as the talk show host asked laconically, "Who on earth will hang the Martha Stewart towels in the bathroom anymore?" The real shenanigans, may be. The ones responsible for the original crime of the Stock bust. A moot point.


A very interesting side discussion arose as the show went on. Martha's friend (a man) suggested that the witch-hunt wouldn't have been so vicious had Martha been a man. Or a very ordinary housewife. In not so subtle tones, he suggested that men cannot take too much success. Of a woman who beats them in their game. Whether in business or Science. The host coughed politely.
(Made me wonder and ponder. Rosalind Franklin never made it to the Nobel. Though in their work "Double Helix", Watts and Crick*** did acknowledge her role. Very slightly.)


Well, whatever be the reason of Martha's broth gone bad, there is one salient point. As the host put it, "Ah, we all love to say - Watch Miss Perfect come crashing down." We are all waiting to rain on someone's parade.


(Reminds me of a very humble story. Someone was interpreting my pet name to a foreigner. "Meenakshi", I crowed delightedly. Waiting for the wondrous explanation, "The fish eyed one." Lady Mac Beth muttered " Fish's eyes." The guy looked seriously at my now-dead eyes and nodded in acknowledgement.)


So when IIM A's pride, Raghuram Rajan makes it to the IMF Chief Economist position, or Fred Hassan from dear old Multan becomes the CEO of Schering Plough, let us rejoice. Instead of pointing out that the IMF is a stooge and lap dog of the omnipresent force. Or that Schering Plough is under supervision of the same force for improper marketing of its drugs. Let us not rain on their parades. There is enough monsoon as it is.


(In the background, Mozart's "Le Nozze De Figaro" triumphantly marches on. And the soup boiling on the stove is from an original Martha Stewart recipe.)


* The famous film score by Jule Styne, in " Funny Girl". This Barbara Streisand debut won her the Best Actress Oscar in 1968.
** Watch Milos Forman's award winning " Amadeus", which won for E.F. Murray his Oscar for essaying the bitterly envious Court Composer, Salieri.
*** Nobel for the discovery of the DNA Double Helix structure. Rumor has it that most of the original research on which the discovery was based was done by Rosalind Franklin. A woman. 


Ministhy S. is PG (PM&IR) from XLRI-Jamshedpur, and currently, an IAS officer working in the UP cadre. She has written five books - 'Unequal Equations', 'Learning with Tippy Tortoise: Tales for Kids', 'Happy Birthday: Poems for Kids' and a novel published by Dronequill Publishers, Bangalore....