Unthonee Muni was sitting in his chamber and dialling Lord Inder's number.
'Good evening, Lord Inder, Tony here.'
'I know, I know, which other fool will disturb me at this unheavenly hour? I was waiting for your call. The special supplement of 'Swarag Samachar' devoted to the election in Ulta Pradesh is ready. We are only waiting for your report.'
'Boss, I have the most sensational scoop imaginable. Here everything has gone topsy-turvy. Boss, I hope you remember me telling you about Makhmal Malini's Press Conference. Well, yesterday the Press Conference was conducted on schedule and everything was turned upside down.'
'What do you mean upside down? Like you had hinted, Makhmal must have named Samaj Sewak, as the villain in the whole drama.'
'No boss, absolutely not. For once you are mistaken. She did not blame Samaj Sewak, she named Garam Singh.'
'What? Garam Singh? She has flipped her lid or what?'
'That is what is puzzling the whole world. And you know boss, the election results have started pouring in.'
'Congress Alpha's position must be quiet shaky.'
'What shaky, boss? It has been completely wiped out. Out of the total 540 seats the results of 490 are out. Janata Khichidi has bagged 472 seats and the rest have gone to Independents and other splinter groups. Congress Alpha has not bagged a single seat.'
'And Garam Singh?'
'His situation is really pathetic, sir. Not only has he lost his deposit, he has not got even a single vote. He now has the dubious distinction of figuring in the Guinness Book Records for becoming the only person, since democracy was invented, to score a blob in any election, anywhere in the World.'
'My Rambha! This is a absolutely sensational news. But to convert this to a truly sensational scoop we need the views of Makhmal Malini. Somehow you try to get her interview. It is an absolute must.'
'Sir, after spending four months in Mera Bharat Mahaan I have become real street-smart. I have already lined up an exclusive interview with Makhmal. In exactly half an hour from now Makhamal and I will be enjoying a tete-a-tete. Boss it was very difficult getting this interview. She has even refused to grant interviews to Fashion TV, BBC, CNN and Pee TV.'
'Then how did you manage? You must have mentioned my name and she must have been bowled over.'
'Well, not exactly that, sir. Knowing fully well how important that interview would turn out to be, I took certain liberties. I . . . I . . . hope you won't mind, boss?'
'Don't blabber, just tell me what you have on what you call your mind.'
'Boss, recently you have purchased four summer resorts in the best area of heaven. Out of the four, three have been allotted to Rambha Bhabhi, Urvashi Aunty and Menaka Didi. I took the liberty of promising the fourth one to Makhmal.'
'You bloody fool! How dare you? That resort I had reserved for Diva darl . . . I mean Diva Bharati.'
'I am sorry, boss I had no idea whatsoever. And moreover there was no choice. She wouldn't have agreed to anything eise. And, boss, after all it is a question of only three months every year. You can adjust Diva darl . . . sorry, Diva Bharati, somewhere else. And boss, you have to first convince Mrs Inder and bring Diva back to heaven before you can even think of gifting her the resort.'
'All right, all right, all right. But in future before taking such liberties check with me or else I'll transfer you to Kashmir. There, caught among the militants, the army, the police and the politicians, your goose will be cooked real nice and tender.'
Lord Inder banged down the phone. Unthonee replaced the receiver muttering to himself, 'Sala, henpecked wimp, he doesn't have the guts to say boo to his wife and tries to act macho with me. I have half a mind to teach him a lesson. I'll make a few copies of the interview and pass them on to Time, Newsweak and India yesterday. I'll ask them to publish it without a by-line. Boss will not even know and I'll make a tidy sum on the side.'
Twenty minutes later Unthonee knocked on the door of Mkhamal's mansion. A chowkidar appeared and led him to Makhmala's room. Makhmal was dressed in a red saree and was looking gorgeous.
'Makhmal, congrats! What a sensational victory! Congress Alpha hasn't even opened its account. Just imagine - cleaned bowled for a duck and all because of your googly.'
'Thank you, Unthonee, thank you very much,' Makhmal said blushing coyly.
'But, Makhmal, we are all puzzed. Why did you suddenly switch sides? We are expecting you to take the name of Samaj Sewak. But you hit all our predicitions for a six by naming Garam Singh.'
'It was quite simple really. Congress Alpha had made two offers to me. The first one was that it would exempt three of my forthcoming films from entertainment tax in the state of Ulta Pradesh. Well, a day before the Press Conference the High Command himself rang me up from Dilli. We had a long chat. It seems he has been my fan for the last so many years. He liked my performances in 'Jawaaani Ki bhookh' and 'Pyaasa Man Bheega Tan' very much. He saw the former 14 times and the latter 17 times. I felt so proud that day.'
'But, Makhmal, you were telling me about . . .'
'Relax, Unthonee, have some patience. So, as I was telling you, we talked for a very long time. He even suggested that we should hold a retrospective of my films in Zaire and Rwanda. He said he would personally talk to the High Commissioners of these two countries. He then promised me that he would get my films exempted from income tax in the entire country. Secondly, that clown Garam Singh and his stupid cronies were offering me some iddl-piddly cabinet post. And you know what the respected and honourable High Command offered me?
'The Ministry of Industries?'
'No, no. he offered me the Chief Ministership of Ulta Pradesh.'
'Ch..ch chief Ministership of Ulta Pradesh? Bu'.. but what about Samaj Sewak?'
'Don't you know? He has being made the Home Minister of Mera Bharat Mahaan.'
Just then the phone rang and Makhmal picked up the receiver.
'Namaste, sir, thank you, sir, thank you very much. It is all due to your blessings and good wishes, sir. You have to come, sir. We will be waiting for you. Yes, sir, you very much sir.'
Makhmal replaced the receiver and looked at Unthonee. 'That was the High Command himself on the line. How wise, how great he is. I feel like keeping his portrait in my puja room and worshipping it. He rang me up to congratulate me.'
'He was congratulating you on becoming the Chief Minister designate?'
'No, silly. Why would he do that? He has himself bestowed on me that honour. He was congratulating me on my marriage.'
'M. . . Marriage when and with whom?'
'This evening, with the Deputy Chief Minister designate of Ulta Pradesh.'
'Who is he? Do I know him?'
'Of course you do, idiot. In fact, it was he who introduced you to me.' She paused for a moment enjoying the look of on Unthonee's face.
'You couldn't guess. I must say you are quite dumb. Dushyant Deleep, alias Dude, is my husband. The simple ceremony was performed a few hours back. The reception is tomorrow evening at Hotel Kafila. You should definitely come.'
Just then Dude entered. He was clad in a khadi kurta pajama and was wearing a Gadhi topi.
'Congrats, Dude,' Unthonee said, rushing up to him and shaking his hand, 'I must say you are a very lucky man.'
'Thanks, Tony,' Dude replied and turning to Makhmal said, 'Sweetheart, I have finalized all the arrangements for the honeymoon. Immediately after the receiption we'll fly to Zurich. We'll stay there for a week. There is an international conference of women politicians. You will be leading the delegation from Mera Bharat Mahaan.'
'I will not attend any conference. These intellectual melas bore me.'
'Darling, don't be silly. You don't have to sit there throughout the day. Just go for an hour, speak for ten minutes, pose for photographs and come back. I'll write down the speech for you. You'll only have to read it. This way our honeymoon will be sponsored by the government. We'll also make some money on the TA and DA. From Zurich we'll fly to London, from there to Paris and finally to California. That too will be official. We'll be talking to the NRIs there and exploring the possibilities of joint ventures in Ulta Pradesh.'
'But these meetings will be so boring.'
'You don't have to worry about all that. I'll take care of everything. You just go around shopping. The NRI wives will guide you.'
'Dudesy, let us go to Germany. I always wanted to see Rome and the Eiffel Tower.'
'Darling, Rome is in Italy and the Eiffel Tower we will anyway be seeing in Paris. Anyway, if you are very keen we can visit some NRI's in Rome too.'
'Dude, Makhmal, if you don't mind can I take some photographs of the two of you?'
'Why not?' Dude said and pulling Makhmal close struck a romantic pose. Unthonee started clicking.
Lord Inder was resting in his private chamber. To his left was Menaka and to his right Urvashi. Rambha, the favored one, was sitting on his lap feeding him grapes.
Unthonee Muni entered and said 'Good evening, Lord Inder.'
'Come, come, Unthonee, how are you?'
'I am fine, boss. How are you?'
'On top of world, Tony.'
'Boss, apart from the presence of these divine beauties is there any other reason for your exalted position? Has Diva been transferred?'
'Ha, ha. No, stupid, I have accepted the Chairmanship of United Hell Undivided.'
'Congrats, boss. Have you informed Lord Brahma?'
'I wrote the resignation letter in triplicate and threw all the copies in his face.'
'How did he take it, boss?'
'He got thoroughly bugged. You should have seen his face. He could only open his mouth and stutter.'
'Boss, when will you be leaving?'
'By the end of this month. I have already sent Vishwakarma to construct a state-of-the-art office there. I want all the latest stuff ' cellular phones, plasma TVs, laptops, nineteenth generation computer etc.'
'Boss, when did you decide to accept?'
'Just two days back. The day I got your report on Mera Bharat Mahaan, I had a stroke of luck. Brahma had to go on official tour to Pataal. I grabbed the opportunity and airdashed to Hell in my private Pushpak Viman. I spent two whole days there. Tony, let me tell you one thing. When compared to MBK Hell is Heaven. Of course it has its share of scandals, murders, dacoities, rapes etc. but nothing when compared to good ol' Bharat. The problem in hell is one of discipline. Nobody is scared of anyone or anything. No punishment works. People who come there are hardened criminals. They are not scared of anything. On earth if you tell a chap, however tough he may be, that if he doesn't reform he will be sent to Hell, nine times out of ten he will tremble like a jelly and turn over a new leaf. But in Hell you can't tell a chap that you'll send him to Hell, you'.' Lord Inder paused and suddenly jumped up clapping his hands and sending Rambha tumbling.
'Hey, Tony, I have an idea of a lifetime,' exclaimed Inder, 'I know how I can enforce discipline in Hell. And remember Tony, once I discipline Hell, I'll have the strongest fighting force in the entire universe. No one has the kind of toughies Hell has. Now I have the magic mantra to scare the shit out of the toughies in hell and build a tight, cohesive and disciplined force.'
'Simple, I'll tell them,' Lord Inder raised his voice and declared, 'You illegitimate sons of Brahma, if you don't obey my instructions, totally, absolutely and completely, I'll send you to Mera Bharat Mahaan, for the next five years, as a common man.' He looked at his select audience of four for response.
Rambha, Urvashi, Menaka and Uthonee jumped up.
'What a brilliant idea!' shouted Menaka.
'Bravo boss, bravo,' screeched Urvashi.
'Fantastic, darling,' squealed Rambha.
'Terrific, boss, terrific,' screamed Uthonee.
Lord Inder took an elaborate bow and picking up Rambha placed her on his lap and continued munching grapes.
Garam Singh was sitting alone in his chamber staring into space. He was sporting a week-long beard. He looked dishevelled and haggard. He got up suddenly and started pacing the floor muttering to himself. 'I won't spare anyone. I'll finish all of them. Traitors, dirty, double crossing swines!
He slapped his fist against his palm.
'And that bastard Dude. I'll kill him. No, no, that will end his suffering too quickly. First I'll tear his limbs, gouge his eyes out and then castrate him. That filthy dog deserves to be whipped in public. And that bitch Makhmal should be raped a million times. I should have really done to her what she accused me of doing.'
He began punching the air and beating his chest. He suddenly sat down on his haunches. 'But what can I do? Everyone has deserted me. I am all alone. All my money is gone. I spent every paisa on the elections. That bitch and that bastard have completely ruined me. I am totally finished. I can't even go out. People are baying for my blood. I'll get lynched. My effigies are being burnt in every street corner.'
Just then cries of 'Garam Singh murdabad! Garam Singh hai hai!' rent the air.
Garam Singh collapsed on the floor holding his head in his hands.
In the background, over World Space radio, this song could be heard:
'Dost dost na raha
Pyaar pyaar na raha,
Zindagi hame tera
Aitbaar na raha
Aitbaar na raha'
Just then the phone rang. Garam Singh let it ring muttering to himself, 'Must be some stupid press reporter wanting to know my reaction.'
After around 20 rings he picked up the phone.
'Hello!' he croaked.
'Hello, GS, Lala here.'
'Yes, Lala,' Garam Singh sighed.
And for the next one hour they got busy describing to each other what they would like to do to Dude and Makhmal Malini.
Finally, Lala said, 'Listen, Garam, I have had a brilliant idea. I have decided to launch four parties at a time ' Congress Allah, Congress Rama, Congress Jesus and Congress Vaahe Guru. Do you want to know the details?'
'Yes, yes,' Garam Singh said, his face lighting up.
On the radio, the following song could now be heard:
'Woh subah kabhi to aayegi
Woh subah kabhi to aayegi'.'
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