The British PM, David Cameron came and saw the Golden Temple, made chappatis, lauded the contribution of the Sikh community back home in the UK, went on to express surprise, joy, and other such appropriate to the office he represents. Phew!
But our bechara dil which does not stop mange-ing more, which says, if you give us roti, give us jam to eat with it too, said, ‘Go apologize’!
The man politely wrote of the Jallianwala massacre: "This was a deeply shameful act in British history. One that Winston Churchill rightly described at that time as monstrous..."
“What!” we said. “The cheek of him! The British! Is this why we have to take money under the table to send our kids to international schools so they can go to university in your country? And, it is not just money, it is the essays they have to write! How much we have to beg the best writers to halp. You know, just after twinkle-twinkle, our kids by-heart Byron, Keats and Shelley ? And for your kind information, we also know Shelley ji is a man. And the cold in your country? Do you consider how our kids, used to studying day and night in 40 plus degrees manage? Then we take our LTC and go to see your London. So much expensive everything, even the giant wheel we have in every mela! And everyone wants to click a picture with the red box, which is not functioning only and we’re again reminded of our watan. The younger ones insist on seeing the statues and we tell them we can see real, flesh and blood Salman and Aishwariya for no money at all and no use of spending on putlas. But we come to your country. And we keep to ourselves. Our brothers only, the Pakistanis and the Afghans. They never charge us for food or ride. And you, Whiteman! Apologize!”
“I wasn’t even born then!” PMji insisted.
“Nothing doing! Your forefathers have our blood …our forefathers’ blood on their hands.”
“What is this they are saying about your 'stiff' upper lip?" You got Botox?”
Like tantrummy kids who must get something on an outing, we google and gaggle and come upon a diamond mine. Mine, ours, we say. Return! We demand.
"I certainly don't believe in 'returnism', as it were. I don't think that's sensible." PMji clarified.
“What’s sense got to do with it, ji? We’re fine with return gifts. We do it all the time. Someone give us, we give someone else, in the end the saree we bought on the 50% discount and wouldn’t be caught cutting into pieces to give to the carwash boy, comes back to us. Perfectly fine. We believe in destiny. Ram Bharose? That which runs our country? Everything. But we are very particular about our jewellery. You have kept it in the Tower of London, that is wrong. Keep it in a bank locker. No need to show everyone.”
“We had not forgotten. It’s because it is 5,000 years old that we had to google and learn that this reduced from 186 carats to 108.93 carats ‘Mountain of Light’, the Koh-i-noor, has passed many hands – from Babur, to the Raja of Gwalior, to the Peacock Throne of the Mughals. Aurangazeb took it to the Badshahi Mosque in Lahore from where it was robbed by Nadir Shah who took it to Persia in 1739. It came back to the Punjab in 1813 when Shuja Shah Durrani, the deposed ruler of Afghanistan, exchanged it for help in winning back the Afghan throne. It was passed on to the British when they conquered the Punjab in 1849, and Queen Victoria got it in 1851.”
“Chalo bahut hua, be good now and give it back.”“No? Okay, never mind. Enjoy the chikkan tikka masala. It isn’t like we’re really wanting you to give back but we’ll bring this up from time to time, you know how it is, you are a seasoned politician, no?”