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Monday, Dec 06, 2021
Outlook.com
the Secret Diary of

Hassan Ali Khan

Finally let me clear all the canards dished out by the ED to the media...

Hassan Ali Khan
Illustration by Sorit
Hassan Ali Khan
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

My friend Adnan Khashoggi (who, unlike me, had the benefit of a Stanford education) is a man of sharp intellect. I recall meeting him at his Marbella estate, Spain, in the ’80s. A party was on and Chateau Margaux (I don’t recall the exact vintage) was flowing like water. The guests included Hollywood celebrities and someone who looked like Rod Stewart the singer. Anyway, that aside, when I did manage to corner Adnan, I asked him about the hullabaloo in India about black money. Well, the then richest man in the world thought for a moment and pronounced: “Hassan, as the French painter Edouard Manet once said ‘Black is not a colour. Colour is a matter of taste and sensitivity.’ So you see, calling one kind of money black and the other white is just another example of discrimination.”

I considered this over some insanely expensive Almas caviar. “And, yes Hassan, let us not forget,” the great man continued, “what they call good money and bad money is all relative. Have you ever wondered why there is white money—because there is the black stuff around. The same goes with cops. Their raison d’etre is that there are bad guys. If not they would be out of jobs.” In retrospect, I must admit that confab altered my world-view. There was one sticking point that evening. How does one develop a liking for foul-tasting caviar? Someone suggested I have to cultivate a taste for it. Promptly, one of my assistants suggested: “Hassanbhai we could buy a plot near Khandala and cultivation ho jayega. Within six months.” 

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