How not to write an obituary?*
So, a person dies under unfortunate circumstances. He was not known much, so a ready-made obituary is not available. So, the news editor calls up five people who are in office and asks them to find out factoids which can be strung together quickly. The factoids have been strung together here (which means you have to read it before the following makes sense).
In fifteen minutes, the boys (in the figurative sense, as there's a woman known Sheela in there) show up.
Cheeku starts, "His known weakness was for good food, which made him overweight and diabetic..."
"That was the way he flourished in Mahajan's inner circle" said the editor.
"So, you are saying that in his small way he looked at the world of politics defiantly and differently", said Meeku, trying to synthesise.
Motu pointed to Maitra's penthouse in Surya Apartment at the tony Breach Candy area, through the window.
"Although media reports say he was not married, he cast a firm veil of secrecy over his life. This allowed him to be right behind his boss, extending a napkin if he sweated, and be seen running behind him with a water bottle."
"Let's just write that he was a fixer and knew before hand what his boss would ask for" said Meeku, again trying to synthesise.
"Let's write both," said the editor. "By the way, did he know something, most possibly about Pramod's investments, that made the plotter of his deadly tragedy uncomfortable?"
"Well, I don't know about that, but reportedly, he always delighted reporters with jokes on Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi."
"If the forensic report establishes that Maitra's death was not because of food poisoning or because of a lethal combination of champagne and cocaine as is currently suspected, then the most important question to ask, and answer, would be, would someone try to eliminate him?" was the next question asked by Shaitan Lomri. It was too long-winded so the reporters moved on without even trying to answer.
The editor made a mental note to write that down as a question in the article.
"Didn't he claim that he was a journalist before he joined the BJP?", asked the editor again.
"Yes, he wanted to write a column for rediff.com on how to empower Indian youth. Maitra took to running an amateur magazine for youngsters" said Cheeku.
"So, you are saying yes. Well, write that also."
"No, I don't believe that he wanted to be a journalist. All his views were original." said Meeku.
"You want more proof. His e-mail was firstname.lastname@example.org (which will be defunct from today). He always asked his friends to forward him e-mails. What more can be more proof than this for someone who wants to be a journalist?", responded Cheeku with a conclusive air to himself.
"What about his personal life? We need something nice and evocative" asked the editor.
"Well, he loved taking his young friends to the Zodiac Grill, the expensive restaurant at the Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai...It is a matter of time when any other unknown weaknesses emerge." said Shaitan Lomri.
"Yes, evocative enough. Write that."
"Hey guys, isn't this too evocative also? Need some dumb and totally inane unconnected statements. Why don't we play the farthest away game**. Meeku, you start" said the editor.
"The New Delhi police has released three telephone numbers from where Moitra received calls just before his death on his mobile phone (9811068282)" ventured Meeku.
"His wit apart, he was quite brash and ruthless when he commented on Mahajan's critics in politics" said Cheeku
"Current BJP president Rajnath Singh was an interim arrangement" said Cheeku
"Bibek Biman Maitra, Bharatiya Janata Party leader Pramod Mahajan's secretary, is dead" said Shaitan, thus losing the game.
The editor looked displeased that only four random sentences were generated. However, he said that he can come up with others himself.
"In the end, what was his name again?"
"Well, Maitra wanted everyone to pronouce his name as Bibek, but journalists never learnt and stuck to Vivek" said Sheela (who was quiet till now), bringing the meeting to an end.
* I am assuming that an article capturing a man's achievements after his death can be broadly categorised as an obituary.
** The objective of the game is to speak totally unrelated sentences one after the other in double quick time. You can't repeat themes, proper nouns etc.
Update: More on the same (1) and (2) by two Bongs.