I was telling my dog, Bolshoi the Boxer: "If the income-tax people raid our house, you lie low."
"Why should I lie low!" said Bolshoi. "I have nothing to hide, I don't earn any money and I possess no wealth."
"It is not you, it is myself," I said. "These income- tax people have some foolish idea that people have some foolish idea that people who own dogs must be rich. So I don't want them to get any false ideas about me."
"I don't at all believe income-tax people think like that," Bolshoi said. "Do you know a single Marwari who owns a dog, and they are all rich! And did your Mr. Goenka own a dog that they thought he was rich and raided him."
"Let us not start an argument on this point, Mr. Goenka was raided because he owns, a paper which believes that truth must be told. The question of his owning dogs does not arise," I said. "All I am requesting is, and only as a precaution, that if ever there is a raid by the income tax, you lie low."
"Just how exactly would you like me to lie low?" Bolshoi asked. "Do you want me to be in disguise and pass off as your uncle or something. I will need make-up for that."
"Now you are overdoing it," I said. "All that you require to do, when these people come, is to slip out of the house and sit o the road. They will think you are a stray dog and not bother."
"They will not think I am a stray dog. How can anybody ever think I am a stray dog? I am a Boxer and a Russian Hound, the income-tax officers will spot me a mile away and that will be that, they will accuse you of hiding me and arrest you," Bolshoi said. "And you will deserve it."
"Look, I do not want to offend your feelings, but you can easily pass off for a stray dog," I said. "And it is necessary that we be honest with ourselves and not fool ourselves by thinking that we are what we are not. Take my example: I have never claimed I am a Russian Hound or anthing of that sort."
"You can't be a Russian Hound, you can't even be a Russian," Bolshoi said. "So you do not have to give me your example. And there is not the slightest chance of anybody thinking I am stray dog. And if even one of your income tax officers thinks I am, I will absolutely deny it."
"Now that would be a very foolish thing to do," I said. "We are not Arun Shourie or Mahesh Jethmalani that we go about challenging the authority of income-tax officers and correcting them. It is in our interests that you do what I tell you."
"Never," said Bolshoi. "I will never allow myself to be passed off as an ordinary stray, I have to be true to my Russian blood."
"Very well, then, you leave me no alternative but to include you I my income-tax returns," I said.