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   When I returned to office this morning... (August 2, 1996)

When I returned to office this morning, after a brief break, the chief asked me where I had been. I told him I had taken a few days off him I had taken a few days off to decide how to spend Rs. 1 lakh.

I have prepared the following list of priorities: Out of the Rs. 1 lakh, I have decided to give Rs. 10,000 to the Sri Lanka Cricket Association to assist it to recover some of the losses it will suffer because of the non-playing by those Austalian wimps, cowards and sissies. And to every team that defeats thhe Austalians in the tournment, I will give Rs. 5,000.

To the world Cup champions, if they are Indians, Rs. 20,000, if not Indians, Rs. 10,000. Also, to the champion of champions, ditto if he is Indian or non-Indian. Plus, I will buy a Mahindra jeep and present it to him. Better him than one of those fashion toy-boys in their underwears that the company has been giving away its jeeps to.

Of course, I would have to spend some of the Rs. 1 lakh on the wife. I will present her with a string of the best diamonds. Never again can she say that I have given her nothing in life. And, for the family, a new house. For the first time an Indian journalist will be able to buy a house of his own, without any discounts and favours from the government.

For my sons, Darryl and Derek, I am buying a separate dish antenna, so that they may view the channels they want to see and not what the Hindujas want to show them. I wonder which Hinduja want to show them. I wonder which Hindujas brother decides we have to see ESPN and not Prime sports! Must be Mr. Ashok Hinduja.

Spending Rs. 1 lakh is a difficult job. You just cannot go to Akbarally's and buy half the store and be done with it. It is a lot more money then that. Those who are not lakhpatis have no idea of this.

I have planned to go to Raymond's and buy a dozen suits. To take on a world tour, first class. If you have got Rs. 1 lakh, travel in style, I say. And I will buy dollars with some of the money. The newspapers are full of reports of people either buying or selling dollars (backed by Reserve Bank). I do not know what, but I will do the same.

And I will spend some money on a party to my close and intimate 400 friends. They have been expecting a party from me. And, why not! If friends with Rs. 1 lakh cannot give a party, then who can! And I would like to finance a permanent comfortable hospitable room in Tihar for Mr. H.K.L. Bhagat. So that he may be popped into it everytime he has a dizzy spell, like a pregnant lady.

That, I presume, should take care of Rs. 50,000 of the Rs. 1 lakh. To decide on how to spend the remaining Rs. 50,000, I think I will have to take a few more days off.

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