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   I do not know if you have noticed... (March 8, 2002)

I do not know if you have noticed, but since Mr. Gandhi has reached London he has been having break fasts and luncheons.

For instance, immediately on his arrival he had a breakfast meeting with President Kaunda of Zambia. Then another breakfast meeting with Mr. Mugabe of Zimbabwe. After that, a post-breakfast meeting with Mr. Brian Mulroney of Canda. Then a between breakfast and lunch meeting with the prime minister of Australia. Then a pre-lunch meeting with the prime minister of the Bahamas. Followed by a second pre-lunch meeting with Mrs. Thatcher. Then a luncheon meeting with all the prime ministers.

Now then, after a tiring journey from New Delhi, and with only Air India's catering (recently criticised by Mr. Tytler) to carry him thourgh, Mr. Gandhi must have had a proper English breakfast with President Kaunda. This, if you know English breakfast, would have included porridge from Scottish oats, eggs, kipper kidney, sausages, cold cuts, Devonshire cream, cheese, tea, the works.

Next, when Mr. Mugabe walked in for his breakfast meeting, Mr. Gandhi could not have told him: "I have already had my breakfast, you eat and I will talk." So he would have had a second English breakfast, at the moment saying no to the kipper, whatever that is.

By then it must have been time for the Canadian prime minister to arrive. Mr. Gandhi would walk up and down his room to digest the tow English breakfasts. For the postbreakfast meeting, Mr. Mulroney would be offered tea (or coffee, since Canadians are like Americans), biscuits, sponge cake, toast, butter, marmalade. And Mr. Gandhi being the host and well-mannered (as all DOSCOS are), must have joined him in the post-breakfast.

Then, for the between breakfast and lunch meeting with Mr. Hawke, Mr. Gandhi must have offered his Australian guest beer and had some himself, with Kerala cashewnuts that his staff would have brought along with if from India.

By then it would be time for the pre-lunch meeting with Mrs. Thatcher and Mr. Gandhi's think tank would go into conference about what to serve her. They would finally come to the agreement that Bloody Mary would be appropriate for Mrs. Thatcher Mrs. Thatcher would only sip hers, Mr. Gandhi, being a proper host would drink his and eat all the smoked almonds.

At this stage, all the prime ministers must have returned for Mr. Gandhi's lunch, the menu chosen by Mr. P.C. Alexander or Mrs. Alexander.

The newspapers are a little silent on what happened during the rest of the day, but I believe Mr. Gandhi must have arranged several tea and high tea meetings with Dundee cake etc. Followed by a dinner hosted by him.

What I am worried about is that Mr. Gandhi may fail ill, even before he goes to Mexico, eating so much. And I am much all this food is going to cost the Indian tax-payer.

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