Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images
Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

The large legal community in India is gearing up to defend beauteous Hollywood star Angelina Jolie in her divorce suit against husband Brad Pitt. After all, India has the largest pool of unemployed lawyers in the world, points out V Gangadhar. 

The day after media announced Hollywood star Angelina Jolie’s legal firm would be hiring more lawyers in her divorce suit against ex-husband Brad Pitt, all legal work stopped in India. The courts were closed indefinitely. TV news bulletins had nothing to report by way of lead stories starting with ‘The Supreme Court announced’, several legal luminaries had nothing to say in the post-news discussions and the film industry did not know what to do with its accumulated serials saturated with legal matters. Most channels resorted to screening old Hindi films minus court scenes.

What led to the crises, no one seemed to have an answer? Where had the lawyer-mobs disappeared? Even the briefless lawyers standing near the Esplanade Court waving papers and shouting, “Sir, Sir, Affidavit, Sir. Reduced rates. Three for filing Two!” In the court canteen senior robed lawyers silently sipped tea, mumbled ‘Order’, ‘Order’ and nodded off to sleep. They were Bollywood and TV serial doctors who played judges and went off to sleep when not mumbling ‘order order’ even when they enacted their scenes.

No doubt these were unusual scenes, I mean, courts in India did not stop work suddenly. Deep inside the Mumbai High Court canteen where one or two bearers were moving around, I spotted an old familiar face, that of a friend and a young lawyer. He was engrossed in reading the newspapers and taking down notes in a piece of paper, hurriedly he waved me to a chair, “Sorry, can’t talk to you now. Have to finish this letter and mail it to a friend in the US. Matter of life and death…”

 “You look like death,” I commented. “What the hell is going on? Our courts are closed, no lawyers to be seen…”

The young lawyer cleared his throat. “Chance of a lifetime!” he exclaimed. ‘For us, Indian lawyers, we can straightaway get offers and make millions. Even beat the pants of Ram Jethmalani, Harish Salve and the rest of the old gang who would not move out and give us our due.”

“How did they come to the picture?” I wanted to know.

“The US is agog with the news that Angelina Jolie, the famous actor has advertised for divorce lawyers,” excitedly explained the Indian lawyer. You know what that means.

The competition is on international level, the other day I read that in a divorce suit in New Jersey, a rich defendant lost his office and had to cough up $18 million as alimony. You know how that much amounts to in India, even 0.5 per cent of that money would be a fortune for an Indian lawyer who can get involved in the case even at the lowest level. Ha, we don’t get such cases in India. That is why there is such a rush for getting involved in this kind of case”. Every Indian lawyer or even retired judges are tapping their contacts in the US.

“Yes, He will be a lucky guy, if he gets a small pie in such a case,” I agreed.

“The case could be a bonanza for every Indian,” said the Indian lawyer. Some enterprising film producer will plan a major movie, ‘Nyay aur Kanoon’ every single Bollywood heroine will apply for the Angelina role though at present odds favoured Katrina Kaif though I understand Rakhi Sawant volunteered to have six children and look perfect for Angelina’s role. Our number one hero, Akshay Kumar, went through the rushes, was so impressed that he was ready to postpone his current film ‘Johnny LLB II’ and give all its dates to the Jolie film Ha, there is so much talent in this country!”

(V Gangadhar writes satire, a special form of humour. Incidents and anecdotes in his column are purely imaginary)

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