May 30, 2020
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Poor Old Raj

Poor Old Raj
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Pussy cat, pussy cat

Where have you been?

I've been to London to see the great Queen.

Pussy cat, pussy cat what did you do there?

I frightened a little mouse under the chair.

WELL, I didn't have to go to London to see the great Queen. It was quite easy, really. The invitation card from the British high commissioner had already informed me that he had been commanded by HM The Queen to invite me to his reception, so there was no escape for either him or me. But as I wended my way, it was along streets which seemed curiously un-festooned with the Union Jack. After all, every visiting VVIP gets the honour of the flags of both India and his country flying side by side. Only all-forgiving Amritsar waved the flag with Punjabi gusto and had placards saying "Long Live the Queen" and "God Save the Queen", which seemed more apt in the circumstances.

This was before the Duke questioned the statistics of the killings at Jallianwala Bagh, which Dyer's son had assured him were grossly inflated. Papa Kahte Hain, straight from the second-generation horse's mouth. And as I arrived at 2 King George's Avenue...oops, 2 Rajaji Marg, I could not forget that is where I had walked with Marlon Brando by moonlight many happier moons ago. But this time, I was clutching my numbered entry card for dear life.

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