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   The wife was saying: "Every time Mr. Chandra Shekhar comes to town... (December 4, 1991)

The wife was saying: "Every time Mr. Chandra Shekhar comes to town, he has dinner at some friend's house. One evening he had dinner with Pritish Nandy, another evening with Barota Malhotra; the next time he comes here, why can't we invite him to our house for dinner!"

"Forget it. Just because the prime minister goes to the houses of some personal friends, it does not mean he will come to our house," I said. "He has no time to have dinner with every single citizen of Bombay, he still has to run the government, even if it is for only a few days more."

"We are not just any citizen of Bombay," the wife said. "You love to run yourself down. You can at least try. Just send him an invitation, then we will see whether he accepts or not."

"I do not know how to send him an invitation," I said. "If it was to Rajiv Gandhi, it would be easy. All you have to do is to send the invitation to Murli Deora or Mani Shankar Aiyar and they will see to it that it is passed on to him. But Mr. Chandra Shekhar, I do not know. The only mutual friends I know of are Pritish Nandy and Barota Malhotra, and you don't expect them to pass it on to him."

"If everybody though like you did, the prime minister would have been starved to death by now," the wife said. "I have never heard of anything like that…you do not know how to invite. Just invite like you do all your other drinking friends."

"Please, let us forget the whole thing," I said. "I do not mind inviting the prime minister for dinner, but he will bring with him all his other friends, including that Chandraswamy and Subramaniam Swamy and others. And I do not want them in my house, especially not Chandraswamy."

"If you don't want the prime minister to be accompanied by anybody, you can tell his so," the wife said. "You can tell him that he is welcome, and his security staff, but not his friends. And if they still come with his, we can put them in the servants' room and serve them dinner there."

"You know we don't have servants, nor any servants' room," I said. "Our house is not meant to entertain a prime minister, even a caretaker prime minister of a minority government of defectors."

"Very well," said the wife. "Then can we call Mr. Chandra Shekhar in June, when he is not prime minister any more."

"Why should we do a stupid thing like that," I said. "After June, even Pritish Nandy amd Barota Malhotra will not call Mr. Shekhar for dinner.

 
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