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   My dog, Bolshoi the Boxer... (May 13, 1991)

My dog, Bolshoi the Boxer, was saying: "People are increasingly saying that the country is going to the dogs, but they don't seem to be happy about it."

"I don't know what you are trying to say and I don't want to know," I said.

"Of course, you want to know, it conserns the future of the country," Bolshoi said. "More and more people are saying, including yourself, that the country is going to the dogs. However, instead of being happy that the dogs are taking charge of the country from Mr. Chandra Shekhar and Mr. Advani, they seem to be upset."

"What do you mean dogs taking charge," I said. "There is no question of such an eventually arising. At least, I hope I do not live to see the day when dogs sit in raths and go around the country."

"Such a day is likely to come and soon," Bolshoi said. "People would not just talk about the country going to dogs unless there was some truth in it. Not everybody would be saying that."

"You have misunderstood the whole thing," I said. "The country is going to the dogs is a popular saying, it means things are going from bad to worse. It is like saying, it is raining cats and dogs, or looking like a cat that ate the cream. It does not mean dogs are India, not at all."

"You are saying that because you don't want dogs to form the government," Bolshoi said. "All you, are interested in is Rajiv Gandhi and Chimanbhai Patel and men like that sitting in government."

"I was merely referring to the usage of the English language, trying to explain to you that in English things are not as literal as they sound," I said. "I said nothing about Rajiv Gandhi, as for Chimanbhai whatever, it would be an event of I were to think of him once in 40 days."

"That is what you say," Bolshoi said. "In any case, the fact remains that a lot of people are indulging in wishful thinking when they say that dogs are taking over the country. And I think it is only fair that these people should have their wish by the dogs taking over."

"I am telling you nobody is wishing anything like that," I said. "It is only a phrase that English knowing Indians use to express their dismay. Why, in the Hindi belt, nobody would be knowing this phrase, so there is no question of their wishing that the dogs should form the next government."

"You can keep your Hindi belt," Bolshoi siad. "I hear everybody saying that the country is going to the dogs, and I think it is about time the dogs entered the electoral battle."

"Very well, do what you like," I said. "But don't expect any help from me."

"I don't want your help, I only want your vote," Bolshoi said.

 
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