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6 The Politician

'Hello. Is this the Spiritual Meditation Centre in Mathura?'

'Yes.'

'Is Swami Haridas there? Bhaiyyaji wants to speak to him.'

'Bhaiyyaji? Who is Bhaiyyaji?'

'Are you new there? Don't you know that there is only one leader in Uttar Pradesh who is addressed as Bhaiyyaji and that is Home Minister Jagannath Rai.'

'Oh! Home Minister Sahib? But Guruji is in the middle of his discourse. We cannot disturb him.'

'Tell him it is urgent. He never refuses Bhaiyyaji's call.'

'OK. Please hold on. I am going to the lecture hall.' (Pause.)

'I am passing the line to Guruji. Please put Home Minister Sahib on the line.' Beep. Beep. Beep.

'Namaskar Guruji. This is Jagannath.'

'Jai Shambhu! What is the big emergency, Jagannath, that you forced me to interrupt my discourse?'

'Guruji, there has been a disturbing development. I need to consult you urgently.'

'Is it about Vicky? His case is coming up for a verdict, isn't it?'

'No, Guruji. I have managed Vicky's case. I am more worried about the case against me.'

'There are so many cases against you. Which one are you referring to?'

'It is an old murder charge, dating back to 2002.'

'Whom did you kill?'

'It was Mohammad Mustaqeem, a worthless heel who had dared to challenge me. The prosecution case was very weak, based only on circumstantial evidence. Now suddenly a new witness called Pradeep Dubey has come forward, claiming that he saw me shoot Mustaqeem. The court hearing is on the fifth of next month. If the judge convicts me of murder, it could be curtains for my political career. As you know, Guruji, the Chief Minister is already biased against me.'

'According to your horoscope, all this is the result of Saturn sitting in the fifth house. The bad period will last for another four months. After that all your troubles will disappear.'

'So what should I do during this period, Guruji?'

(Laughs.) 'You know what to do. After all, the entire police force is under you. But start wearing blue sapphire. It will counteract the influence of the malefic Saturn.'

'When I talk to you, Guruji, I feel at peace. I really believe all my troubles will disappear.'

'That is what gurus are for. Can I also trouble you over a minor matter?'

'Tell me, Guruji, and I will attend to it personally.'

'I bought a small plot in Kanpur, some twenty acres. Now I am told squatters from a nearby slum have erected their huts on part of the land. I am leaving very shortly for a world tour. If they could be evicted before I leave it would-'

'Say no more, Guruji. Tomorrow I will have the bulldozers sent in.'

'Good. Give my regards to Vicky. I hope he is wearing the coral ring I got specially made for him.'

'Of course, Guruji. Till his case is resolved, he dare not disobey your advice.'

'OK, Jagannath. I have to go now. Richard Gere is here to meet me.'

'Who is he, Guruji? Some car manufacturer?'

(Laughs.) 'No, he is an American actor. Bye now. Jai Shambhu.'

'Jai Shambhu, Guruji.'



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