The problem is that it is she who is going to be both the investigator and the judge. I am terribly worried over the impending conviction. Before I proceed further, I should give the lowdown of the scenario till this minute. If I tell you that I am in my forties my married brethren will immediately recognize who the ‘she’ could be to me. However for the sake of my lucky bachelor readers let me tell who the ‘she’ is. Who could it be other than the lady to whom I made a promise – not realizing the consequences that lay ahead in the years to come - at the altar not to be separated ‘till death do us apart’.
I managed all these years and I was comfy with my inseparable partner till she saw a program in the telly on the hazards of smoking. It had a great visual impact on her. That program spelt the death knell to my carefree smoking days. She had started showing her true colors after all these years. She came down on me heavily as a ‘benevolent dictator’ with all her 90 kg weight. Many things were banned. The days of coffee-at-will and a puff-after-every-cup were all over. The great blow was the cut in the pocket money and the fatal blow was strictures even for the outings during my evening hours. Instead I was made in charge of my kids’ home works. Things were becoming far worse than you could imagine. Fellow who was smoking carelessly 3 packs a day, if suddenly pushed into smokeless void – well, you could understand only if you happen to be a free smoker as I was. Even then I managed a few drags everyday. What else the office canteens were meant for? But that again got a big jolt. One of my colleagues was living in the next street whom we used to call, of course behind his back, as ‘gnani’ or ‘rishi’ since he never joined us in our canteen-gossip-groups and always minded his business. My ‘she’ befriended his wife and made our ‘gnani’ as her personal detective. She got even the exact times that I visited canteen during office hours. So I had to either sneak out shedding my shadow now or cut altogether my visits to canteen. Thus the ‘forbidden fruits’ were becoming more and more tastier but less and less available, thanks to the dictatorship of my ‘she’.
Somehow things were moving smokeless thus for a month. Recently things became so hard for me I made up my mind to quit smoking – not of course completely. I chose specific timings for my rendezvous with the white-robed beauties. Evening serial times were quite handy for my escapade from home. On Sundays also the movie-times came handy. Things were going without any hitch for some time. But yester evening I inadvertently and foolishly dared to bring a pack of the remaining cigarettes to home. To escape from the smelling and searching investigator I planned to get the help of my daughter. I pleaded my daughter to keep the pack in her shelf along with her school books. She mercilessly turned down and declined to do even this daughterly duty to a suffering father. Then I made some ‘arrangement’ with her and made a double-cross promise that it would be only for a night and next morning I would smuggle it out without her mother’s knowledge. Events followed dramatically on that fateful evening.
Accidentally the cigarette pack was unearthed. And to make things worse a fresh 10 rupee note was also found in the same location along with the pack. Then came the commission of enquiry. My daughter first stoutly denied any knowledge of the pack of cigarettes. But she confessed under duress and turned approver. I could not but accept that it was I who brought the cigarette pack and hid them there with the help of my daughter. But we, I and my accomplice, stoutly denied any knowledge of the currency. But my daughter could not give any satisfactory explanation for the source of that unaccounted and unaccountable money. Then I had to confess. But I insisted that I gave it only as a sort of ‘winding up charges’ for the ‘service’ rendered. But my ‘she’ accuses that it is an outright ‘commission’ and said that she would go deep into this and pass her judgment tomorrow evening.
I am waiting...
p.s. Rajiv Gandhi flatly denied in Parliament that no commission was paid to anybody in the Bofors deal. But when the cat came out, at least partially, he accepted that there was some money being exchanged sides. And his famous statement then was: (The crores of rupees that was received by some) “….was not commission for the deal but only winding up charges!”. Anyway the above write up does not have any connection with that!