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   My dog, Bolshoi the Boxer, was telling me: "I want to be a Black Cat."... (March 10, 1986)

My dog, Bolshoi the Boxer, was telling me: "I want to be a Black Cat."

"You can't be a Black Cat, you are a grey-and-white dog," I said. "In life, you have to accept what you are and be satisfied with it."

"If men can be Black Cats, why can't I!" Bolshoi said. "Besides, I can protect the prime minister much better than all these Black Cats."

"Now, that is showing off," I said. "The Black Cats are specially selected men from the Delhi police and para-military forces, they are continuously trained in the use of the latest arms and it is said that they can aim at any distance and shoot down an assailant, though once in a while they may miss a man in a bush 30 metres away."

Bolshoi said: "This is a dog's job, not a cat's Besides, one dog, especially a dog like me, is worth more than 1,500 cats. The prime minister will be totally safe in my care."

"I don't know that," said. "For one thing," Mr. Buta Singh will never agree to shifting the entire security of the prime minister from Black Cats to one old dog. Also, there is so much jealousy and back-biting among the different sections of the security services for the prime minister that they would never let an outsider stay."

"If the prime minister accepts me, where does Mr. Buta Singh come in," Bolshoi said. "Besides, once the prime minister knows of my Russian connection, he would welcome me."

"You have no Russian connections and you know that and I know that, but you will persist in this fiction." I said. "And you do not even know the kind of risks that are involved in being a Black Cat. At all times, they from a protective wall around the prime minister, so that when an assailant shoots at the prime minister, he hits a Black Cat instead, unless some Rajasthani MLA or retired judge is standing in the way."

"All that is not necessary," Bolshoi said. "The first thing I would do is examine the entire area where the in order to check out that nobody is camping about with waterbottle, biscuits, toothpaste and mosquito-repellent. Then the whole area would be safe and the prime minister and others can pray in peace."

"I am afraid that would not be enough," I said. "You have to be able to hear when shots are fired and you know you are totally deaf in your left ear and partially deaf in your right. At Black Cat, they say, can hear a strand of hair falling on the floor."

"That may be, but I hear something I would at least be able to distinguish between the rifle shot and a Delhi auto-rickshaw backfiring. You must tell the prime minister that I would like to handle his security."

"Very well, I will try and fix up an appointment for you with the prime minister during his stay in Bombay," I said. "But it and when you go to see him, try and look less like a dog and more like a Black Cat."

 
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