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   My dog, Bolshoi the Boxer... (December 26, 1991)

My dog, Bolshoi the Boxer, has finally been caught up by the events. He was telling me this morning: "I am a little confused do I belong to the Ukraine or Byelorussia, or am I from Lithuania?"

"You are from India pain and simple," I said. "Why don't you realise and admit that, the only think Russian about you is your name. And it is about time you changed that."

"Nyet," said Bolshoi. "Just because the Soviet Union has disintergrated into separate independent republican states it does not mean that I have to give up may Bholshvik heritage."

"Don't let Mr. Yeltsin hear you talk like that," I said. "He does not believe in perestrolka like Mr. Gorbachov and, given half a chance, he will have you put in Tribyanka or wherever it is they have their dissenters put these days 2."

"You don't wabt the great October Revolution to be brought to its logical conslusion," Bolshoi said. "I think that is the trouble with you."

"There is no trouble with me, at all whatsoever," I said. "We are very happy here in India. We may have our little difference with some states here and there, but that does not mean we allow our country to break up. So don't tell me about your Revolution. In any case why am I talking to you like this: Not only are you not a Russian, you are not even Mr. Lajpat Rai working at the Indo-Soviet Cultural Society."

"Haah," Bolshoi said, or something like that, since, not being human, he cannot say ‘haah' like human beings. "I think I will go to Moscow and see for myself what can be done."

"Forget it," I said. "Nobody goes to Moscow any more, bot even Indian prime ministers. Besides if you go to Moscow now, you will starve. You have to stand in bread and meat queues for three hours, and, at the end of it, you may get bread but not meant."

"That is Westeran propraganda," Bolshoi said. "All Russians are well fed and well looked after. I have just read that Mr. Gorbachov has been given an allowance of 4,000 roubles, an apartment in Moscow and a dacha on the Black Sea."

"Mr. Gorbachov is not Russian any more," I said.

"You are making me more and more confused," Bolshoi siad. "First you tell me that I am not a Russian now you say that Mr. Gorbachov is not a Russian."

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