The wife was saying this morning: "Eveybody is involed in the Bofors case, even Mr. Arun Nehru is involved, but not you. How bad it looks."
"Sometimes I don't understand you at all," I said. "Why should it took bad if I am not involved in Bofors, in fact, it should look good. I am proud that I can be counted among the few people in this country who are not corrupt."
"That is being very negative," the wife said. "You are trying to justfy your incompetence to be involved. If everybody were to be like you, then there would have been no Bofors."
"And that would have been the best thing to have happened to the country. Mr. Rajiv Gandhi would have still been the prime minister and activerly solving the Middle-East crisis, and there would have been no censoring of Khula Manch on TV, because there would have been no time for such programes."
The wife said: "If not of yourself, think of others. Think of me. How do you think I feel when all our neighbours say that husband talks big but nowhere have we seen his name in connection with Bofors. What do I tell them on such occasions-that when others were collecting commissions from Bofors, my husband was sleeping!"
"You don't have to tell them I was sleeping," I said. "Tell them the truth: that your husband wasn't interested in getting crores of rupees in commission, because he is neither a middle-man nor Arun Nehru. Then will appreciate that."
"If you are with Bofors, they appreciate that, if you are not, then you are a nobody," the wife said. "Tell me, why are all your newspapers writing only about those who are connected with Bofors and not a word about those who are not. Because those who are not do not matter."
I said: "Just to get into the paper and be in the limelight, I am not going to do anything illegal. You can forget that. I refuse to gamble with the nation's defence and the lives of our jawans in return for some cheap publicity and to line my pockets with a few crores of rupees."
"You don't put this kind of money in your pockets, you put it in Swiss bank accounts. That just goes to show how little you know about Bofors," the wife said. "And if you take my advice, you will get involved in Bofors right away, it is still not too late. After all, Arun Nehru has just got himself involved."
"Very well," I said, "but who will I get to break the story of my involvement Ė Coomi Kapoor and Pritish Nandy, or Chitra Subramaniam and N. Ram?"