There has been some talk of my being kidnapped. So, once and for all, I wish to make it clear - I was not kidnapped. It was my dog, Bolshoi the Boxer, who was kidnapped.
The rest of the facts, as reported, are more or less correct. He was having bun-maska in front of an Irani (Stadium) restaurant when he has kidnapped by the Bombay municipal corporation's dog-catching squad. They threw a net around him, put his in the van, and took him away, left over bun-maska and all.
From the dog-pound, he rang me up: "Hello, I am allowed only one call and I am making it to you. I have been kidnapped by the municipaity and they said they would release me only if you pay 15 years licence fees for me. It seems you have not once paid the municipality since you got me."
"Oh, that, " I said, "I forgot."
"You forgot!" Bolshoi said. "You forget to pay licence fees! Do you know what happens to dogs whose licence fees have not been paid? If you don't pay within three days, they will kill me."
"There is no need to panic," I said. "Three days is a long time and anything can happen in that time. The important thing is not to allow yourself to be pressurised and call that bluff. So you tell them, I am not paying. Let us see what they do then."
"They will kill me, like any other cammon dog. You want your dog to die a dog's death!" Bolshoi said.
"If you have to die, you have to die," I said. "Fifteen years' licence fees is pretty stiff. Besides, you have already lived the 15 years, they can't take that away from you. And how much more have you got to live! Another year! Should we spend 15 years' fees for one year?"
"Look, I will pay the fees when I am released, you just pay them now," Bolshoi said. "You come here and pay whatever they want, and come here immediately. We will settled the accounts later."
"Hold it, would it, don't riode a high horse. It does not suit a dog to ride a high horse," I said. "I can't come immediately, it is raining. Besides, you know I don't like to visit these places, I find them very depressing."
"I find it depressing also," Bolshoi said. "Abd I can't talk any more, they are getting suspicious. Normally, dogs are not allowed to make any contacts, I have been allowed because I am talking dog. Are you coming with the money or not?"
"I'll come, I'll come, but first let me see if there is some way of avoiding the payment," I said. "It is a pity Mr. Tinaikar is not the municipal commissioner any more, I could have used hios influence. This new commissioner, Mr. Padmanabhaiah, will not see me till Friday, and by that time you will be gone."