Telegraph Calcutta

When It’s Time It is Time

PHOTO-2018-11-07-16-23-13.jpg

I move and I stay still. I go from one place to another place, and watch the one place become another place from the place I have gone to, and nothing that I see from one place or another changes. I am at a distance. I am of distances. I have become of distances. I know of differences when close, but those differences I have come away from. It is those differences I have come away from. I like differences; they are what make one and another, and one from another, and they are what make things things of variety and vibrancy. I like differences. But I do not like differences when they are inflicted differences. Differences that wound and defile and define in the vocabulary of bigotry. You are this and I am this. I am right because I am this and you are wrong because you are that. You are wrong. You cannot go there. You are not to be allowed this. You may not wish or want this. You may not have this or even seek to have this. You are wrong. You do not belong here. You are not who you might have been. You are not who should be. You are not Us. You are You and for that reason you are now allowed. Anything. Anything. Kuchh bhi. Whatever.

I am. Perched. I am. At a vantage. I am. On a promontory. I am. Looking.

I have arrived here upon travel. By dark, by night, my trail dissolved in my wake by the inkiness that I chose to depart in. From the side of the street I inhabited so long. From the throne I sat upon and served. I was a sewak too. I served. I served piping tea in bhaanrs, and often, when expressly sought, piping coffee in the same bhaanrs. I gave out what I promised to give out. No more. No less. And that is why I had a loyalty around me. Folks who came and got served, and folks who kept returning, day after day, several times a day. They knew they would be served what little I had promised to serve them.

I was the chaiwala (not to be confused with TheChaiwala, God forbid, no) who sat upon that throne of wood and beaten tin. Upon that stove of burning coals. Upon that cart across the street. I served, and I may yet serve again. But only what I ever promise. I promise to serve piping tea, and often, when expressly sought, piping coffee. I never promised to serve the nation, nor ever will. No, Ganga maiyya ki saugandh, such lies are not for me. Not to issue, not to serve out. I do not serve out lies, I do not serve the nation. I only serve tea. Or served. Because I am now gone. I have arrived at quite another place. Who’s to tell how far or how close? But another, quite removed, place it is. Removed from all of that.

You know what I mean. Removed from the one noise and the one clamour. Removed from that tiring, overbearing monotony. Removed from the nausea of single things — One Leader, One Leader, One Leader. And none other. I am, you well know, of many. Many things. Different things. Many different things. Voices. Views. Colours. Shades. Pursuits. Persuasions. Ends. Means. Ways. Tastes. Likes. Dislikes. Isms. Prisms. Many many things, like in prisms.

I am that which comes off prisms, I am not that one and only thing staring back from lavatory mirrors. Ever looked into lavatory mirrors? No matter what you are looking at, they always make you look something good. No matter what you’re looking at, no matter if you looked at something that belonged in the lavatory, something that deserved a good flushing. And a good wiping and washing thereafter.

But I am blabbering. I may not be making sense. Folks that do no longer choose to belong — to this or to that or to the other — often do not make sense, or appear not to, or are said not to. I am, I confess, one of those. I do not belong. But well, I do not wish to belong. I have told you why, in bits and pieces over past weeks. I do not belong where I once did belong. And so I moved on, I travelled. I etched a route. And now I am here. But I am, as I keep telling you. I am missing, but not really. I am not missing to me. I am to me. And I am to those who believe I may still belong, be a being deserving of being. Amongst you. Serving what I made a vocation and a love of serving. I serve nothing now. I serve nobody. But something had begun to tell me I was no longer required to serve. Anybody, or anything. That’s what I have also come away from; from the slightness of being. But what am I saying? I am blabbering. How could that ever be? My slightness of being. I am Mahadeb. And I am time.

TTLink

Telegraph Calcutta

Long Shadows

 

The smallest geographies can often conjure large, often lingering, patterns of politics. A crossroads in Sarajevo. A beer hall in Munich. A palace called Winter. A harbour called Pearl. A line called Radcliffe. A prison house called Robben Island. An absent wall abutting Mexico. A somnolent township on the banks of the Sarayu. Or, on recent witness, a tiny pocket of south-west London called Southall. It used to be a precinct of émigré Indians; in a few ways it still is, though in many ways it no longer is. Southall is a swiftly changing plot, those changes being currently speeded by an ambitious cross-rail project that will drastically shrink the distance between London’s western and eastern suburbs and bring the centre of town cheek by jowl with its stretched-out peripheries. Southall is a small geography rippling with the patterns of a politics far away and at once uncomfortably close.

This summer, an attempt to take over the Southall Town Hall, one of the few remaining public buildings in the neighbourhood, and convert it into a temple was disallowed by Britain’s highest court on procedural grounds. An outfit called the Vishwa Hindu Kendra — it defines itself, like many such proliferating all across, as a charity — had bid for the Town Hall with the avowed intent of converting a secular public institution into a mandir. The bid did not pass legal muster.

But that has not stopped their bluster for another temple in Southall. Three exist, a fourth is being frenetically sought in the name of ‘Hindu rights’ and in the face of legal injunction and community interest and appeal. The VHK, verily the Southall chapter of the sangh parivar, probably feels encouraged and nudged by what apparatchiks of its parent umbrella have proactively resumed pushing for in Ayodhya — a ‘Ram temple’ any which way, even if that means hurrying and hustling the Supreme Court, even if that means upturning a Supreme Court order should that be unfavourable to their ends, and calling the ‘Ram temple’ project a matter of faith, a matter far above any court or mortal set to pronounce upon. What happened in December 1992? A Bharatiya Janata Party government in Uttar Pradesh furnished guarantee upon guarantee before the Supreme Court that nothing will happen to the Babri Masjid, notwithstanding the gathered siege of frenzied kar sevaks. Shortly thereupon, the top ranks of the BJP’s leadership stood and gleefully applauded as their summoned horde tore apart the structure. Two hoots to the law and three to any guarantees of lawful behaviour we may have given. Might is right. Majority is authority.

Well, in Southall, there is neither might nor majority for the VHK, no matter what it may claim in the name of ‘Hindu rights’. And yet, its will to push the law and bully the community it inhabits appear undiminished. The VHK’s unrelenting drive to somehow grab the Southall Town Hall and make a mandir of it led a little more than a week ago to a community meeting being called. Let’s settle the fuss, call out whoever might be interested in the issue, this way or that, let’s talk it out face to face. So, on the sleety evening of October 30, the Dominion Centre and Library on the Southall Green geared up for a two-hour powwow over whether the community should retain its historic Town Hall — this is where the National Front’s violent and racist assaults were fought off from in the late 1970s and early 1980s by the Southall citizenry — or whether the premises, officially designated a heritage building, be given over to the purposes of a VHK-run temple.

On the approach to the Dominion Centre in the company of a local friend, hooded against the spitting skies, I picked out policemen hovering about the entrance, and around them a bevy of placards. “Save Us Hindus”; “We want Hindu Temple!”; “Protect Hindu Rights”; “Don’t Divide the Community!”; “Speak up for Hindu Rights”. Such was the language those placards spoke. Their carriers, a dozen men and women, no more, were out to picket the meeting. They had been invited in by the organizers, but no, they were not participating, they did not want a dialogue, all they wanted was their temple in the Town Hall. “What’s going to happen inside is anti-Hindu,” one of them railed, “How would you expect us to participate?”

As it turned out, there were more Hindus inside the Dominion Centre that evening than demonstrating outside. In fact many more. Traders, lawyers, teachers, environment and anti-racism activists, householders, retired citizens who believed they had a stake and a say in what was transpiring around them. And there were more people than just Hindus, folks from varied origins and ethnicities — subcontinental and Somali Muslims, Sikhs from India and Afghanistan, Poles, Ukrainians, Latvians, a fair sprinkling of English people who have lived on in Southall disregarding its reputation as an immigrant neighbourhood. All of them bound by the common purpose of saving their singular Town Hall for the purposes of the community. Among the lead speakers of the evening was Suresh Grover, a civil rights and anti-racism activist, who has brought himself sharply in the crosshairs of outfits such as the VHK with his vociferous and unapologetic campaigns against sectarian bigotry. “All we want is to lawfully protect our Town Hall for the community and the public, all they want is to purloin it for the purposes of a single community,” Grover told the audience. “Make no mistake about it, there are larger designs behind what may seem a small fight to save the Town Hall. What is operating here is the same kind of majoritarian bullying and smash-and-grab as has come to operate under [Donald] Trump and [Narendra] Modi, it is an effort against the most fundamental human and community values such as we in Southall have come to respect and which we must now protect.”

Grover was probably not exaggerating his pitch in summoning hefty political metaphors to serve what might only have seemed a minor municipal issue. He spoke from a good sense of the ramparts the VHK had already dragged the battle to. Three high functionaries of the Labour Party, which has traditionally won the Southall seat in the House of Commons, were meant to address the Dominion Centre meeting that evening: the Bradford MP, Naz Shah, the local council leader, Julian Bell, and Claudia Webbe, member of Labour’s highest decision-making body. They excused themselves one after another, on one pretext or another. But the pretext was only one and clear to all — the VHK, working through the local Labour MP, Virendra Sharma, had successfully lobbied the Labour boss, Jeremy Corbyn, and Corbyn had given in. Calls had gone out from his office that the Dominion meeting was to be expressly forsaken. Labour, with all its professed ideology, had decided to side not with the larger Southall community but with the mandirwallahs. Guess why. Labour lay stricken by the threat and the prospect of losing the ‘Hindu vote’, it capitulated to the VHK’s dared claim that it is what represents and controls the ‘Hindu vote’. A little incredulous, but palpably true. Such too are ways in which the littlest geographies conjure larger patterns of politics.

TTLink

Telegraph Calcutta

So time Flies and Then it Also crawls

04112018-md-hr-19-411201816340184.jpg

Where’s to go? Where’s to even go? Or even be? Where’s to even be. Every place is another from anoth- er place. You are one place and there’s another. You go another and that one place has turned another. It’s what it is with places and going. It’s you who turn a tear, between one place and another, a line, jagged or curled or even straight, between one place and another. That’s who you become: a mark like a tear, or even a cut, running whole between one place and another.

When you fly you scratch the sky. When you drive you burn the road. When you train you rip the rail. When you sail you chop the seas. When you walk you sound like going. Or you sound like arriving. And in between going and arriving and in between one place and another you mark a tear. An etch and another etch and then yet another. Etch. Etch. Etch. Until it begins to look like a sketch of all your journeying, and the beginnings and the ends get all so looped and jumbled, you cannot tell one from another. In that crawl of lines, zig and zag and up and down and this way and that and many different ways in many different shapes and times of day and dates fallen from the calendar like leaves of birch in Fall, there lies the flight of time to figure.

I have been gone I know. I have been gone a while. From the incessant servings of tea and from that cart of mine upon which sits my kettle and my stove and my hunched throne of wood and beaten tin. I have been gone a while and the coals have fallen cold and the tea now dry and turned a crumble of dust. And there’s nobody I can see where I used to be. It used to be a throng all day my cart across the street, and often a throng by twilight and night, because the throng wouldn’t have me gone, the throng would only have me there and my tea. And now I have been gone.

To another place. Gone like a tear, gone like a tear one night that dissolved in the darkness behind me and became a tear that could not be traced. I left no sign of where I went. Gone another place not altogether gone. And I said this past week a bit about what sent me away and why I went. Because of the noise and the clamour which I couldn’t any longer bear because there was just one voice and that one clamour. I am one of many noises and many clamours. I am one of a hum. It had ceased to hum. It had begun to hurt. Just that one noise and just that one clamour. One clamour is no clamour. A clamour needs another, a counter-clamour, and then it is that it begins to sound like a clamour.

I came away to silences. Not the one silence because one silence is no silence because it begins to repeat itself and then it makes a sound and ceases to be silence. One silence is no silence. I came away to many silences. Many silences that fall upon each other and shut each other up and keep everything silent.

I came away, raking a tear from my throne of wood and beaten tin on the cart, all the way to where I am, but I left no trace because it was by night I began to come away and the tear and all the marking dissolved into the darkness behind me. I chose my many silences, so many they have taken me in softened layers, one upon another seamless and yet sewn, one into another and around me. And so wrapped I am in warmth I wonder how, if ever, I will shake these layers off and begin to walk and mark another trail, another tear on earth, to come back to where I was the longest time. Or whether I may even ever want to do that. To return to that single noise and single clamour. And that single claim that TheChaiwala makes that he was a chaiwala and that is how he became TheChaiwala. I was a chaiwala. Oh once I was, and may yet be again. But TheChaiwala I never was or would ever want to be. Because, you see, I am also who they call Mahadeb, and even when gone I am forever there. Here. There. Every possible where. With wings that fly the lengths of time.

TT Link

Telegraph Calcutta

Where Mahadeb Really is And is not

And so it is that I am here. The Here that I cannot spell out into a location that your maps and your GPS devices will not be able to get, no matter what. But you have to be careful. Very careful. Such are these times. I am Here. But perhaps to you I am nowhere. Which is how I wish things to be — a location called Here that is indeed nowhere. People are known to snoop you know. People who are in power and people who control the essential instruments to snoop, snoop. You know that. We know that. And snooping is not the end of it. It may well be that snooping is just the beginning. A terrible beginning to more terrible things. God forbid. I do not wish to be snooped upon. I am the Entitled one. I am the one who does the snooping. I am Mahadeb. Be you ware!

And I well know the kind of things that have come to pass these recent times that we have come upon. In fact these times did not just come to pass, let us not kid ourselves. We elected these times with humming enthusiasm and high expectation. KachchheDin! We elected KachchheDin. And KachchheDin is what we got, dear folks. Or it’s what you got. I was never part of it. I am not the voting sort. I never get into the business of validating another, nobody has my validation. I am who I am. I know I am unlettered. But I know things. I know better. I am Mahadeb.

Which is why I went. Which is why I am Here at the moment. Revealed to you, and yet unrevealed. Gone, and yet present. Not to be seen, and yet omnipresent. Nowhere, and yet Here. In a place nobody and nothing can locate. I am still there, on that cart you hung around for the tea from the chaiwala, if you can feel my presence there. I am still there, do not lose heart. But at the moment I am Here. And there are reasons for that. Reasons for why I left, unbeknownst to all, one dark and foggy night when the wind was picking up and beginning to whistle down the alley as if it were calling out for someone, and it went on and on, whistling down and down and down until many believed it would lose breath and velocity, but it went whistling on and found nobody. Nobody but me walking down all the way Here. Where nobody can be but me. I am Mahadeb, after all.

It is lonely Here, but I am better off Here than there where it is not. Where there are too many. And where those too many make a terrible noise. And where there is much worse than mere noise. That noise is not just noise, it is an infliction. It is a noise that violates you and who you are and seeks to become, by sheer force of decibel, your noise. It is a noise that seeks to consume. It is a noise that seeks to drown out your voice and make it one with itself. It is a noise that says you are either with me or against me. It is a noise that suffocates all other noises. It is a noise that says I am the right noise and the only noise and if you are not the noise that I am, you are the wrong noise and you need to be put down. Put down, as dogs are put down. To sleep. To death. It is a noise that wants to put other noises to death. And I am one of those that like noise. Not one, but many. I like a clamour and a contrary clamour. And I like a clamour contrary to the contrary clamour. One clamour is not a clamour; one clamour is a dictatorship clamouring for your throat. That is a clamour that wants to get your throat and throttle it until you can clamour no longer. That is what I have come away from. As I said, I love clamour, but many clamours, not just that one. You remember, don’t you, being around my cart on the street? Being served out tea, and often, coffee, in those bhaanrs that I keep ready at the back of where I would sit hunched all day over the stove? And you remember the contrary clamour, don’t you? One saying one thing and another another, and a third saying quite another? Well that’s begun to stall, and there was one thing said and not another, and that is when and how I decided to walk away and come Here and be all by myself. I am Mahadeb, after all.

TTLink

Telegraph Calcutta

Where Mahadeb Comes Back

image4a93c397-f0bb-4d13-b095-b7bd3a524ca7.jpg

Hmmm. That’s how. Hmmm. It is a way of saying it. You may say Om or whatever else, I prefer Hmmmm. Any problems? We all have our ways, don’t we? That’s who we are. There are no prescribed ways. You have yours. I have mine. That is how we are. Right? Hmmmm. That is how I say it. I am. I am at a place. I may not be able to, or want to, disclose where (you will all understand, I know, or should ) but I am. I am not gone. I am. Do not count me among those gone. Gone once and for all, forever, irretrievably. I am gone, yes, but I still am.

This is going to be a bit boring. I do know what has happened here before, what has filled this space. I have not the apparatus to fill it as it has been filled before. I cannot read. I cannot write. I most certainly cannot write some clever limerick in iambic pentameter (or quartameter because space will not permit a pentameter) at the bottom of this space week after week because, as I said, I cannot even write. I may not wish to call myself illiterate, but unlettered I most certainly am. I do hope you understand the difference. Most of what you see around you is like me, or a lot of it, at any rate. Unlettered but not illiterate. Not illiterate, but unlettered. There is a difference. A critical difference. Understand differences. This is not me Mahadeb writing. This is me, Mahadeb, telling. Dictating. This is oral rendition of my situation brought to you by, well no MNC or INC is prepared to sponsor it, so it is brought to you by me and my communicator, may the Lord be with him or her. I can only and merely hope that this communicator remains, even in this terrible age of misrepresentation, and wilful miscommunication, true to what I say and what is conveyed to you in this strange language that I am told some folks left behind in their rush like a sack of abandoned clothes but clothes that we chose to wear and continue to benefit from wearing. But there is more to complain about than clothes, I am of the firm belief. Aur bhi gham hain zamaane mein etcetera, etcetera. Like those who are complaining about being touched and those who should be complaining about being untouchable but can somehow figure no way to. Things such as that. Anyhow.

That is not the issue. Nor is it the news. The news is that there is BreakingNews and the BreakingNews is this: After being gone from my station inexplicably for close to a year or perhaps a little more, I am back. And I am announcing myself alive and around. I am. Somewhere. Somewhere I cannot yet disclose, but I am. This is Mahadeb speaking. To you, albeit through a communicator. I have no option but to speak through one such or some such.

Why did I leave? Hmmmm. Why suddenly? Hmmmm. Why have I been away? Hmmmmm. Why have I been silent? Hmmmmm. Questions. Fair questions. Perhaps even good questions. But why must I answer? Why should I? Am I responsible to you? Did you elect me? I am a chaiwala, yes, but did you elect me? Was I even up for election? I was not. I was there, serving you, yes, serving tea, and often when you so demanded, coffee, in cutting cut glasses or earthen bhaanrs. But I never sought your vote, or did I? No. I never did. I sat there and served you. And charged you for what I served out, no more, no less. You came perhaps, on the promise of who I am and what I may serve, but you never paid me unless I did serve you. Did I? Or did you? There are chaiwalas and chaiwalas and Chaiwalas with a capital C, I do know, but I was happy being a chaiwala. No more. Until being a chaiwala was not enough and somebody cracked a nasty joke about chaiwalas and TheChaiwala. Nasty to chaiwalas, I mean. I am thinking. I am thinking how nasty that joke was and how long I can take a joke so nasty as that. You shall hear from me again soon, oh yes, I am not gone, I am here.

TTLink

Telegraph Calcutta

Workman’s Secret Diary

c71eefecd7694c219ad620721e3b66e7.jpg

I swear on whatever book it is that you have yanked my palm onto that I shall speak the truth and the truth alone and nothing but the truth. Some folks say the moment they see me they begin to be convinced all over again that I would. I cannot vouch for 62 or so per cent of the people; they never voted for me, so they do not even count. I swear in the name of those who swore by me. Wajib?

I have this to say for a start. I work 18 hours each day, 365 days a year. No chhutti. Thirty eight per cent or so made me TheChaiwala with a capital T and a capital C, and the 62 or so, well they got what they got, who cares. These are numbers, abstract things, a bit here and a bit there does not really matter.

So those are my work hours. And you know I do not take a Sunday off; you would know, you see me on the idiot box doing some idiot thing each Sunday. Mondays you never notice what I do, but that is all your fault. Mondays I may bunk, and you never notice because you say to yourself a man who labours for us Sundays must be labouring even harder for us Mondays. Bewakoofon!

As I said, on oath to that fat book you forced my palm onto, I speak the truth, and nothing but. And here are a few things that I do while I labour for you each day. I wake up thinking: what next? What should I wear? How many times should I change what I wear today? Where should I go? What should I scream about? Who should I target and abuse? Who should I blame for what I have not been able to do? All of these and many such other things. But before I wake up, I sleep. I do sleep, don’t take me for some nishaachar raakshas, although many have told me I have a canny likeness. I do sleep. A few hours. But those are also hours slept in the service of the nation; I sleep the sleep of a Sewak. I sleep like a Chowkidar. Which means I sleep dreaming the tasks ahead, imagining what the nation requires of me. I am working at things in my sleep. Like what new poses should I strike for the next round of posters? And where should I have those posters installed? Then I have to think about which ones should be vinyl only and which ones should be backlit. And agencies have to be located and assigned to do one kind and another kind. Not everybody is able to do every job. Has anybody been able to do the kind of job I have done? Then there is the matter of content. Like what wisdom should I next download on you. You know my talent for devising acronyms. They come from hard work. Like I thought of APNA — All People’s National Agreement. APNA for me, your one and only beloved leedaah! Or then, there is AAPKA — Association of Alliances of People who Know Apna. Hai naa? You get the drift. My brain is always ticking. Then I have to decide who to follow on teetar; I like the wild ones, the ones that squawk noxious nonsense. Because if they do not do that, how will I appear better by contrast? Like Bapuji and Panditji? They looked better by contrast. Cunning fellas. I must course correct. I must think out how to disabuse you of the curse of Bapuji and Panditji. I must neutralise them. The problem is they were neutralised long ago — one by a Godsend, another by whatever, how should I care — but their memory obdurately lives on. I must terminate it. It takes time, and effort. It’s hard. And then I have to invent what next to tell you. That’s hardest, because how much can you go on telling without any doing? Takes talent. How do you live with the refusal of achchhe din to arrive? So I have to get into kachchhe din, and begin to devise what to say next about why achchhe din never came. And then,

Late night I lie and drink

A mugful of hot latte

And smirk and quietly wink

Jhooth boley kauwwa kaate.

TTLink

Telegraph Calcutta

The Windmills Of Holland

The Rascales. Where are they? Flying about? But of course, Rascales would fly; they were meant for that. But where are they? I can hear them dinning away in my ears, but I cannot see them damn Rascales. I can hear them. But why is it I can’t spot them? Perhaps their blinding jetstreams yes, one arching this way, the other that way, scarring the sky and dropping payloads of obfuscation. They are thundering through me, they are shaking me, they are shaking my foundations, I can feel them ripping through my clothing and my farce. But where are they? Oh.

Is that so? They are supersonic? You mean… Oh like our Pushpaks? You know those things, don’t you? You merely have to push and pak, pak, pak, pak they went; you could only ever hear them Pushpaks go pak pak pak pak pak, you could never see them. Or, at least, nobody has vouched, so far our collective knowledge and understanding goes, that they saw a Pushpak. They’ve heard about them, of course, but not actually seen. Like it is somewhat with these Rascales. Where are they? Bit like what Mahadeb has become. We know he’s there somewhere, but we can’t see or locate him. But at least Mahadeb isn’t zooming about and doing zinging flypasts and rattling the ATC and leaving everybody at a loss all the time. They named those things just right: Rascales. Fighters, right? Right. Look at the amount of fighting they’ve downloaded upon us on their sorties! Like a carpet bombardment of bad news. These Rascales, they’ve left us with no credible answers to offer, and they’ve carpet-bombed so merrily and profusely everybody knows. The deals. The payoffs. The cronies that were carted along and stashed with benefits. The capital that was handed away. Truly, with a name like that they never should have been trusted, these Rascales!

I should have known better. As a matter of fact I did. I knew these Rascales would be up to mischief, especially if we brought them all the way from Gaul. These Gauls, always a troublesome lot. Look at the havoc they got up to each time Goscinny and Uderzo got down to plotting such a fun and simple thing as a comic strip. I mean, they just rammed and bamboozled their way through and left each of their efforts in such a shambles, overlaid with the leftovers of their devoured pork ribs too, and a dishevelled bard forever strung upside down at the end of it, blaring a dirge to the latest round of mass pandemonium. Never folks to trust, much less strike deals with, those Gauls. But, psssssst, the thing is the deal was tempting. You all now know how tempting, it’s all out in the public domain, and no longer a thing of our denying. In fact, it has begun to appear to me the more we protest it was a fine deal, the more people get convinced it was anything but. But what is one to do, running this ship and keeping it secure isn’t easy. Once in a way you need Rascales, or a fair few of them.

But I did say fewer. The bandits before me wanted more than a hundred, I sternly said a few dozen and no more. And I also laid down the rules: just send these Rascales as they are, fly them to us and we shall find ways of dealing with them. We don’t need the knowhow to make them at home. Tauba, tauba. We don’t want to be producing Rascales on our soil, no. And not more and more of them at any rate; we have enough of them already, can’t you see? We’ll pay you well, keep the change and keep your extra Rascales. How much would you want? Here. Incentive thrown in? Well, let me see, let me ask one of my cronies at home. He may be able to arrange an incentive, he is into many things, you see, resourceful fellow. So he may be able to serve something on the side for you. But keep it under wraps, you Gauls have a terrible habit of putting everything out in the public space. I am your Rottweilers and your Gayaks; don’t you want to put a veil on such affairs? Take care with us, please. As it happens, there’s enough trouble even before a single Rascale has arrived home. Just look at them, their phantoms crashing into my plate each day like those skeletons the tiny Gaul and the fat Gaul loved to chuck about all the time. This one’s done, but no more, and remember I did it out of good faith, for country, and a needy crony.

And there was also Juli
Who needed a holding hand
So we said, even if unduly
Let’s just shake it with Holland.

TT Link