“They say it’s not over till the fat lady sings
That final and fatal aria
And in that moment stumbles and clings
To the neck of the lover who’ll carry her
Off the stage and into the wings
Without having promised to marry her!”
— From Showcase Mein Itna Tho Godown Mein Kitna by Bachchoo
My demented second cousin twice removed (each time by the deportation authorities), “Rusty” Immoralearningswalla, would always boast of his intention to balance history by striking back at Britain’s imperial past. He’s been reading these books by Shashi Tharoor and William Dalrymple and has become obsessive.
One of his mad schemes was to start a restaurant in London called “The Revenge of the Empire”. He would import a substance we were aware of in our short and happy childhoods in Poona (now Pune), called jamal gota, a strong horse purgative fed to the poor animals who pulled tongas before rickshaws infested the city’s streets. Russi would poison bits of the food served to the British clientele of his restaurant, inducing in them the relentless symptoms of Delhi-Belly -- or worse.
I attempted in vain to point out that no one would eat at a restaurant called Revenge of the Natives. Better to call it Memories of the Raj. He simply said that the clientele he was aiming at wouldn’t notice what it was called -- they’d just stagger in after the pubs closed, muttering “I could murder an Indian!” and wouldn’t remember where they ate that night.
Rustom’s efforts to raise capital for his restaurant came to naught. When he was deported, he left this sack of jamal gota, the horse purgative, in my study. I have advertised it on e-bay and other Internet sites but have had no buyers rushing to avail of the low asking price.
At first, I thought nothing of Rustom’s deportation. With all his activities and schemes, he was asking for it. But then one day it struck me as extremely odd that he hadn’t been deported to Mumbai but had been sent to Canada and was making a good life there in his usual trade. And when he began sending me, under cover, envelopes marked “Miss Let Up” to be delivered, unopened, by hand, to an address in the posh part of London, I became suspicious.
Who could this mysterious “Miss Let Up” be? I couldn’t resist the temptation. Though strictly a betrayal of his trust, I opened one of the missives he had sent under cover of an envelope to my address. “Step up deportations, first of criminals and when the public begins to accept these as routine, then all useful personnel of non-British vintage.” Russi does pride himself on rather stylish vocabulary.
I resealed the envelope and delivered it and waited on the opposite side of the road, sitting on a blanket, pretending to be a homeless beggar, a sight that is very common in London. Sure enough, a big black car drove up flying the Union Jack and a lady stepped out of the house and was driven away. Did I recognise the lady? Jesus, Joseph and Mary, the realisation dawned. “Let Up” spelt backwards? Putel? Yes, it was she!
Then the whole glorious scheme fell into place when I recalled that after Rustom’s plan for his revenge restaurant fell through, he didn’t seem in the least despondent. He would disappear for what he said were walks in Crystal Palace, but he’d be gone for hours and why call for an Uber to go for a walk? Then there were the phone calls he shielded from me. Only once I caught him saying “Yes, Canada would be ideal”. The next day two immigration fellows called and carried him away.
Now, gentle reader, I am not one to believe in conspiracy theories, but the evidence is overwhelming, and these are my conjectures. Russi has consolidated his attack on the Empire at the highest level. Consider the facts:
Several individuals with an ex-colonial ancestry infiltrate the Tory Party and diligently rise to high positions and begin their work of dismantling the British economy, its social fabric and work unflaggingly towards its ruin. First of all, they pretend to be ardent advocates of Brexit, knowing that it will leave Britain isolated and poorer for decades.
Then, having achieved high office, they begin the ruinous policy of “borrow and sorrow”, and then “Free ports and deports”.
Rishi Sunak has compelled the Bank of England to print, in this year, £500 billion in inflationary borrowing to pay for wild schemes -- ten times as much as a Labour government did in ten years. Now he proposes 10 “free ports” which will turn Britain into Bringapore -- the world’s leading money-laundering and tax dodging drug haven destroying what’s left of its manufacturing base.
And here, gentle reader, I must apologise for consistently calling home secretary “Pritti” Patel “Clueless”. I now realise that as part of Russi’s plan, she is grooming the great liberal British public to jail and deport the non-Brits on whom several sectors of the economy and social fabric rely. I can only speculate that the last batch of deportees will include “Miss Let up” who will thus, at the state’s expense, be given a free ride to Canada or Uganda and anyway away from a failing, flailing Britain. The Empire strikes mercilessly back!