It was said that if Mr. V. P. Singh went out of the Congress he would be forgotten. That seems to be correct.
I was talking to a friend this morning, who once upon a time was a keen supporter of Mr. Singh and wanted him to be a Prime Minister. "Where is your V. P. Singh now?" I told him.
"V. P. Singh," said the friend, looking a little confused. "The name does ring a bell, but for the life of me I cannot place it. Has he got something to do with cricket, in an organisation capacity, I mean."
"Surely you remember V. P. Singh," I said. "He was your great saviour, Mr. Super Clean. You were counting the days before he would become the prime minister."
"I was counting the days for him to be prime minister !" the friend said. "You must be mistaken. I did not even count the days for Mr. Rajiv Gandhi to be Prime Minister, and you tell me I would count the days for somebody I do not even know to become prime minister."
"Of course, you know him," I said. "You cannot forget a man so soon, even if he is not in the Congress any more. He was your finance minister and later your defence minister, you know that."
"I have no finance minister and no defence minister," the friend said. "Mr. Gandhi has finance ministers and defence minister and home minister. He is the prime minister, I am just an ordinary man. Perhaps, you should ask him who this Mr. Singh is."
"Mr. Gandhi, if I a not mistaken, would not want to know who Mr. Singh is or where he is now or what he is doing," I said.
"See," said the friend, "nobody know, who this Singh is, except you, who seem to have taken him out of your hat. I really do not know where you pick up these people."
"I do not pick up these people, you do," I said. "I said from the beginning he would be forgotten once he went out of the Congress, it was you who insisted he would become prime minister. And now you say I picked him. I have nothing to do with him."
"Then why are you going on an on about this V. P. Singh," the friend said. "If you do not wish to have anything to do with him, then why are you bringing up his name before people who have never heard of him."
"But you know about Bofors, the man behind the entire Bofors investigation," I said.
"You mean Amitabh Bachchan, but I thought he got a letter from Bofors saying he was not behind Bofors," the friend said. "You mean this Singh that you keeping talking about is behind Bofors and not Amitabh Bachchan as we thought all this time."
So, I left him. Later in the morning, I met another friend, who was once certain Arun Nehru would succeed Rajiv Gandhi as Prime Minister. "Where is your Arun Nehru now, the man you kept saying was the great manipulater behind the scenes?" I asked.
"Nehru, I know, but who is Arun!" the friend said.