Friday, March 24, 2006

An Indian blood daughter (in-law) or a true European


It was midnight in the capital and the lights at 10 Jhanpath were off when like a gentle breeze was heard the sound of starched cotton sari; a figure with a streak of gray on her head appeared in the bedroom, “Hello daughter in law!” she said.

“Mama mia!” whispered the Italian sleeping on the bed, “it is you! What are you doing here? You’ve been dead twenty two years!”

“I’ve come to congratulate you dear!”

“For what ma?”

“For carrying on the family tradition!”

“Being India’s ruler ma?”

“It’s dictator daughter in law!”

“Thank you ma! Thank you!”

“Your last move showed you’d become part of the family dear daughter in law!”

“Thank you ma! Thank you!”

“When you are in power and people try to pull you down what do you do my dear?”

“Change the law ma, change the law!”

“Very good dear daughter in law, you have learnt much.”

“From you ma, all I have learnt, I have learnt from you oh ma!”

“Very good my daughter, very good!”

“Daughter? You just called me daughter?”

“Yes my dear daughter! Only a daughter would follow her mother’s footsteps. Only a daughter would repeat what her mother did thirty years ago. You remember dear daughter?”

“Ofcourse I do dear ma,” said the Italian on the bed to the ghost with a streak of gray in her hair, “you gave it a lovely name.”

“Anything urgent my daughter…”

“Yes ma.”

“Anything immediate…”

“Yes ma.”


“An Emergency!” shouted the daughter in law and her mother in law together.

“Ah daughter, you speak like my flesh and blood!”

“Thank you dear ma!”

“I must go my dear daughter,” said the ghost as it turned round with a swish of starched sari, “I must go!”

“But ma…”

“Yes my dear daughter?”

“When you tackle the urgent, when you call for an emergency…”

“Ah emergency! Emergency! What a wonderful word..”

“The people dear ma, what do the people think?”

“Bah! Daughter, the people, they don’t know what emergency means! No amount of reasoning, no amount of jailing can get them to understand that when a Gandhi is forced to resign from a post then that, only that is a true emergency..!”


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