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   This morning, I got up early and went to my back... (October 29, 1996)

This morning, I got up early and went to my back to get a ticket for the Michael Jackson show. Already, there was a long queue of people, holding Visa cards in their hands. A man came up and told me: "Ek ka teen, ek ka teen."

"I have come here to see Michael Jackson, not Jackie Shroff," I told him. "There can be no black-market in this."

"Ek ka chaar, ek ka chaar," said the man, taking out a large bundle of tickets from his pocket.

A gentleman, standing in front of me, said: "I came a minute before you, but people have been here since yesterday evening. There is a great demand for tickets. Mr. Raj Thackeray is going to be a rich man."

"You mean, the charities he heads are going to secure a decent sum of money," I said.

The man came back to me, reciting: "Ek ka paanch, ek ka paanch."

"If they charge so much for this, what would they charge for the India-South Africa finals at the Wankhede Stadium, I wonder," I said.

A young man with a guitar, and long and unwashed hair, lurched pase me, saying: "Hi, pops, if old geezers like you bag all the tickers, what's left for us folks who are tuned in to Jacko."

I waved the foul air in front of me and ignored thhe comment. Not so, the gentleman in front of me. "Some people have no respect," should be careful who they give their Visa cards to."

"I don't think they are all Visa people," I said. "I think, from today they are taking cash also."

The man walked past again: "Ek ka chaar, ek ka chaar." I noticed his bundle of tickers had grown considerably smaller, but he produced another bundle from deep in his pocket.

A lady came up to me and said: "Excuse me, gentleman, how many tickets are you buying. If you can buy two more, please buy them for me, I will give you the money."

There was some excited shouting at the entrance to the bank. People thought the doors were opening for the sale of tickets. It was a false alarm. The door had been opened for the chairman and managing director of the bank to go in.

"Ek ka saat, ek ka saat," said the man, this time showing a bundle of Visa cards.

The gentleman in front of me said: "Anybody can get a Visa cards these days. They are not so particular. Not like in the old days when Mr. Kali Modi used to check each and every applicant for his Diners Club cards."

"Yes, those wre the originals," I said.

A Michael Jackson look-alike joined the queue. He was jeered by the more rowdy elements who had been camping all night and keeping themselves warm with strange smelling cigarettes.

"Ek ka aanth, ek ka aanth," said the man.

I decided to try some other source of getting a ticket. Perhaps, I could tell Nirmal Zaveri to tell Vivek Goenka to tell Parvez Damania to tell Raj Thackeray to give me a complimentary.

 
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