Thursday, February 12, 2009
Gandhiji In New York!
By Manuwant Choudhary
Yesterday was a big day since Pakistan admitted its soil being used by terrorists and a court in India convicted the Nithari man-eaters.
On such big days and whenever the world is in a crisis Gandhiji speaks to me.
But yesterday Gandhiji did not give me his toothless smile but told me he did not have much time.
He asked me for something unusual, "Can you arrange for a US visa?"
I replied, "Oh no, I've never been to the United States."
Gandhiji, "Cummon, you don't have to visit the US to know a nearby travel agent or visa agent or dalal who does all those things."
Me to G, "Yes, yes there are many there but they just cheat you. Every single person has to stand in a long queue outside the US Embassy at Warden Road in Bombay."
Gandhiji, "But now I hear there is a recession in the US and nobody wants to go there."
Me to G, "If I may ask you why do you want to go to the US."
G, "You don't read the newspapers. I don't know if they have a recession why should they auction the last of my few belongings?"
Me to G, "Exactly, thats why. I think they need the money to pay for the `stimulus'. But Gandhiji you're a ghost you don't need a visa."
Gandhiji, "Oh trust the Americans. After 9-11 they can detect anything. They have ghost detectors installed at every airport."
Me to G, "But you're a harmless ghost - a non-violent and truthful ghost. You won't harm them."
G: "Oh, the British were democratic. Cant say that of Americans. Look one Richard Holbrooke came to Pakistan and Pakistan threw its entire foriegn policy out of the window."
Me to G: "Yes, but he is Obama's man...you will be so happy to learn that a black man is in the white house and they say he keeps your photo in his office."
G: "All that is ok but I just dont trust the Americans..how anything and everything even such valueless things like my glasses land under a hammer."
Me: "But Gandhiji why should you be concerned after all these years. You gave your glasses away to one colonel as `inspiration' saying this helped you in your vision of India."
G: "Sure, but can you sell inspirations?"
Me: "You are being unkind to the colonel. He may really need the money for say some heart surgery. Everyone is not India's Prime Minister."
G: "Ok, ok."
Me, "Plus, I hear that watch on auction was passed on to your own family members. Even they..."
G: "But they have a right..they are my family. If they benefit in anyway why should you object. I gave more time to my country and negelcted my family so I can't complain. And look when Nehru's family members win election on my name then why not my blood relatives?"
Me: "But why then do you still want to visit NY? Only if you have Rs.20 lakhs with you can you bid at the auction."
G: "Even I have secrets."
Me: "Oh no, you don't. You told us everything there is to know in My Experiments With Truth."
G: "Well, just help me or not?
Me: "Ok, as long as I can always interview you."
G, "You journo, I've never turned down an interview request."
Me, "Ok, since you are a ghost you dont need a visa or an airticket. All you need to do is to walk into space and cling onto one of those fragments of the US-Russian sattelite that have collided, and you will land in New York!."
G, "Ah, I watched CNN and they say those fragments will never fall on the earth."
Me, "Gandhiji, just close you eyes and you will be in New York."
G: "Yes, yes I can see those nice glass buildings. They look the same, except the twin towers are missing. Who says there is a recession?"
G to a New Yorker, "Excuse me madame, which way to the auction house."
AT THE AUCTION HOUSE THE BID IS ON....
ONE FOR THE GLASSES.
TWO FOR THE GLASSES.....
THREE FOR THE GLASSES......
Gandhiji is not interested in the auction but in the man who buys it...or woman.
But auction houses are even more secretive.
They don't reveal the names of the bidder.
But Gandhiji being the clever old man he is ...knows the bidder...and all he does is whisper in his ears.
"Don't sell it again. Its my inspiration. And if you want to know what to do with the money you have. Well, I have just come from Bihar and despite me the lepers still need help."