It was bound to happen. After gorging himself on all the GK books available in the plush jungle flora and getting some from Bangalore, Koose (“hernia” in one dialect) Muniswamy Veerappan´s call (made from the sandalwood booth) finally got through to the Kaun Banega Crorepati show. The ultimate showdown then took place: Big B meets Big B, Hero vs Villain, Icon confronts Con, and vice versa.
Amitabh Bachchan:Welcome to our show, Mr Veerappan. We´ve heard so much about you, you are a legend.
Mr B: Now to the first question. Which animal has tusks: a) Bill Clinton b) Elephant c) Tamil Tiger d) Forest Officer.
Mr V: That´s an easy one anna, it´s of course the elephant, although I have heard about Clinton anna´s tusk force.
Mr B: Are you sure about the answer? Confident?
Mr V: Completely, I swear on all the elephants that I have martyred.
Mr B: Yes, you´ve got it right. Interesting profession yours, Mr Veerappan.
Mr V: You bet anna, what´s the next question, I am in a hurry, that old man Rajkumar is waiting.
Mr B: Who among these is a bandit: a) Jayalalitha b) Phoolan Devi c) Benazir Bhutto d) Chandrika Kumaratunga
Mr V: That´s a tough one, Jaya amma most definitely is one, but she is not in my league. Who are these last two, never heard their name, I shall go for Phoolan Devi.
Mr B: Computerji lock kiya jae.
Mr V: What are you doing anna, why are you talking to that machine?
Mr B: This is called a computer and you have to talk to it otherwise it won´t work.
Mr V: Oh don´t give me that, during my routine trips to Bangalore, the Silly Valley, and sending emails to my distinguished outlaw friends in the world, I never had to talk to the computer.
Mr B (embarrassed): The STAR TV guys told me so, I shall check with them.
Mr V: Anyway, is my answer correct?
Mr B: Please excuse me, we´ll tell you that after a small break.
(Veerappan, mustachio bristling reaches out for the gun.)
Mr B: No please don´t do that, if we don´t have this break, we will not have any crore to pay you.
Mr V: Ok anna, it´s just that I get impatient.
Break-time: The Moustache is sipping tea with the Baritone.
Mr V: Anna, why don´t Hindi movie heroines like to kiss moustaches? Our Tamil girls feed daily on oiled handlebars.
Mr B: Ever thought of getting into the movies, will don´t you play the villain in my next one?
Mr V: No anna, that wouldn´t be exciting, I am hero material. Why don´t you play the villain, you are now just too old to run around with the girls. Anyway, Hindi movie heroes are all so boring, mama´s boys smooching girls who pretend to like it. But the villains are classy, and have a sense of justice. Most of the time they turn rapists just because the heroines are spending time with such useless men.
Mr B: Now we have a deal here.
Mr V: And I want Rekha as my heroine.
Mr B: The secret with Rekha is that unlike other Tamil girls, she doesn´t like moustaches.
Mr V (caressing his oiled twirls): Anything for her, anything…
End of break. Veerappan has had a shave, his first after birth (ad copy: “The blade that shaved Veerappan”). Bacchan looks taller and ever more like India´s uncle.
Mr B: Welcome back, and yes Mr Veerappan, you are absolutely correct, it´s Phoolan Devi.
Mr V: I knew, we could have been the made-for-each-other couple. But who´s Chandrika and Benazir?
Mr B: Benazir is the queen of Pakistan, while Chandrika is a Sri Lankan film actress.
Mr V: Anna you know so much.
Mr B: Now to the next question: Who is the father of India? a) Mahatma Gandhi b) Mohammed Ali Jinnah c) Lord Rama d) None of the above
Mr V: Oh this one I really don´t know. Please give me a hint anna, if you can tell me the mother´s name, maybe I shall be able to tell.
Mr B: Uh, er, that´s not possible. Do you want to use your “lifeline”?
Mr V: The gun you mean? I shall be only too happy to. Sorry anna, you are kidnapped. (Veerappan trains his gun on a sweating Bachchan) Sorry folks, end of show. Veerappan Ban Gaya Crorepati!