My dog, Bolshoi the Boxer, was saying: â€śIf the government is going to crib about a few crores of rupees for Mr. Rajiv Gandhiâ€™s security, I will guard him. Tell Mr. M.J. Akbar to announce my offer.â€ť
â€śWhat offer!â€ť I said. â€śYou want to makde a laughing stock of Mr. Akbar. You canâ€™t guard yourself, and you want to guard the former prime minister.
â€śI donâ€™t want to guard the former prime minister. But since the government is acting cheap about it and says it cannot afford to spend money on protecting him, I am offering to do so,â€ť Bolshoi said, â€śI consider it my duty.â€ť
â€śDuty and all that is very fine,â€ť I said. â€śI also would like to do my duty. But you have to be in a position to do so. If a black cat crosses the road, you donâ€™t pass by there for hours, and you want to replace the Black Cats.â€ť
â€śI am not scared of any cats, black, white or purple, except in the dark,â€ť Bolshoi said, â€śBesides, I am not going to protect Mr. Gandhi from cats, I am going to protect him from terrorists.â€ť
â€śYou have not seen a terrorist in your life. You will not be able to recognise one if you see him,â€ť I said. â€śPlease, understand, the job is not meant for you. If it was that simple, the government could have hired a few dogs and presented them to Mr. Gandhi.â€ť
â€śIt is not a question of a few dogs, it is the right dog,â€ť Bolshoi said. â€śI have looked after you and your family all these years, no terrorist has dared come hear you. Why should I not be able to looke after Mr. Gandhi and his family. Unless you want to be selfish and keep me here, protecting you.â€ť
â€śMy life is nothing copared to Mr. Gandhiâ€™s, I am sure,â€ť I said. â€śHowever, I donâ€™t think the government woul find you quite adequate for the job. Mr. V.P. Singh is a very practical man, you know that. He will reject you.â€ť
â€śHe will not, when he comes to know that I am not charging anything, except board and lodge at No. 10. Janpath, plus air-fare to Delhi, he will instantly agree,â€ť Bolshoi said.
â€śI still donâ€™t think so,â€ť I said. â€śHowever, if you like, you could offer your service to Mr. Buta Singh. After all, the he also requires protection, though nobody is puttting up case.â€ť
â€śVery well, then, tell Mr. Akbar to announce my offer for the protection of Mr. Buta Singh,â€ť Bolshoi said.
â€śCome, come,â€ť I said. â€śMr. Akbar may have come down in life, but not that down. He may be Rajiv Gandhiâ€™s spokesman, but not Buta Singhâ€™s.â€ť