Sex and power, religion and politics, an old quenk and a young temptress, a misled school girl and an irresponsible teacher, faith-based healing versus medical diagnosis, violence and counter-violence, a mall built too close to the highway, another MP gone wild and, of course, a poor Brahmin boboolee.
Mr Live Wire read the police report filed by Sacha Singh against Tourism Minister Chandresh Sharma, gasped at the perfect alignment of what is surely the most important yet inconsequential story in local politics and passed out.
From sheer force of habit, Live Wire promptly sued Opposition Leader Keith Rowley as soon as he regained his senses. It is what Pundit Sharma would have done. But I am getting ahead of myself.
The Sharma story started ten years ago with a storm and a teacup. Literally.
In September 2004, Hurricane Ivan hit Grenada and, along with over a dozen fatalities, cost the island an estimate US$900 million in damages and prompted nations and well-wishers all over the world to dip into their pockets. The Trinidad and Tobago government, then led by the PNM, was among the contributors.
In the Parliamentary tea room on 15 September 2004, Sharma, no doubt as versed on Caribbean affairs as his current colleagues, allegedly told Rowley that the PNM’s assistance to Grenada was racially motivated; and all hell broke loose. Well, at least a teacup was smashed.
Sharma spent another two hours debating in Parliament before he decided to file a police report in which he claimed that Rowley hit him with his hand, a teacup, two remotes and everything in the room but the television. The West Indies cricket team was beating Bangladesh at the time and, presumably, Rowley was not about to cut off his coverage to spite Sharma’s face.
Sharma was represented by present Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar in the matter.
The case from the MP and the PM SC was so unconvincing that it was thrown out by the Parliamentary Privileges Committee and the DPP Geoffrey Henderson while UNC MP Gillian Lucky broke ranks with her party in disgust at the whole episode and Sharma himself did not appear before the High Court to give evidence. The matter cost taxpayers $5 million in legal fees.
Had Rowley been driving a firetruck at the time of their spat, the local economy might have collapsed.
Fast forward to 12 March 2014, when Sacha Singh supposedly regained consciousness at the Grand Bazaar Mall in Valsayn after Sharma allegedly shoved her to the ground. She claimed that the Minister sapped water on her face and told her to take a shower and she would be fine.
Live Wire was not sure if Sharma’s faith-based diagnosis was meant to cure a concussion or perspiration. And this from a man who went under drips at the Port of Spain General Hospital because a teacup broke in a room that he was in.
Singh, incidentally, is in her late 20s; Sharma, her “former boyfriend” who started his ministerial term as a husband and father of four, is 60.
So what prompted Sharma and Singh to get physical at Ansa McAl’s highway mall which, prior to the overpass, prompted more illegal driving than the Highway Roti Shop that the State closed two years ago?
Well, Singh claimed to have invited Sharma to join her in the car and discreetly positioned another supposedly ex-lover of the Fyzabad MP in the back seat. So far, so kinky.
But there was a 12-year-old girl there too who was supposedly fathered by Sharma. Good feeling? Gone.
(Future Mercedes Benz ad: Our vehicle offers so much cabin space that you wouldn’t notice your ex-lover and child in the back seat).
Apparently Singh, who is less “Generation X” and more “Generation Jerry Springer”, decided to lure Sharma into a confrontation with his former lover and young child at 7.45 pm on a Wednesday night when she might have been finishing home work instead. The child’s mother, coincidentally, is a school teacher.
Sharma caught a look at the child and bolted; which, in this case, did not mean that he tried some overly aggressive dance steps on the nearest unsuspecting female. The school teacher caught Sharma and the MP allegedly begged her not to hit him since he was “a Brahmin boy.”
Unperturbed, Singh, by her own account, joined her new friend outside and grabbed the MP by his tie. Sadly, this unfortunate episode happened right in front of a 12-year-old girl.
Worse, this might be the missing verse that could have won Brian London $1 million dollars for “When last you see your MP?”
And then, allegedly, came Sharma’s shove and bizarre diagnosis.
Since then, Sharma and his former attorney, Persad-Bissessar, have been incommunicado. Live Wire cannot confirm that young women all over the country are dying to put the sweetman minister in a caste anytime they get their hands on him; and an increasingly large number of voters are demanding a new caste-away from the Cabinet.
Meanwhile, Diana Mahabir-Wyatt and other domestic violence crusaders have a live issue on their hands. Sharma tried to walk away from a heated verbal exchange but was physically prevented from doing so by two angry women.
So, who is guilty of assaulting who?
It might be a landmark case that could split domestic violence into two eras: Before Sharma and post-Before Sharma. The latter term, of course, is pure BS. But can’t you say the same for everything about local politics these days?
Editor’s Note: Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar advised the President to revoke Chandresh Sharma’s Cabinet post on 31 March 2014 after stating that: “Each member of my administration must be mindful that we are held to different, higher standards than ever before, even by those who are our most bitter critics.
“There is no privileged escape, no allowance for arrogance, no forgiveness for indiscretion.”
Click HERE for an archived news story from when the PM was more lax with her Cabinet.
Or click HERE for our satirical take on when the PM first tried, unsuccessfully, to sack Jack Warner.