Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Russian and the Princess

“I would like to stay in this country and be a part of it,” said the Russian absently throwing a stone at a passing taxi driver.
“I don’t think you are very welcome,” I said as we ran for our lives to his hired house near the beach.
“Of course I am very welcome,” he said, “I am Russian and we Russians have lots of money and we Russians pay our way.”
“Like everyone else, you are okay in small doses,” I said, throwing my weight along with his against the door that was being pushed open by a crowd of angry taxi-drivers.
“Nonsense, we are here for the long haul,” he said. “Go anywhere and you will see we are practically one with the people. They welcome us with open arms. We don’t even have to learn the local language. The locals have learned Russian.”
“That’s only because the locals want your business, but I admit, I am amazed at how they can speak Russian even in department stores in Panjim,” I said.
“In time we will turn Goa into another of our Federal Districts, who knows, next we will turn all of India into a Federal District of Russia. We have eight Federal Districts. Goa and then India will be our ninth. We have begun putting up signboards and notices all over parts of the beach belt that we would like for Russians only,” he said listening to the police sirens getting closer and closer.
“If you keep annoying the locals, by flinging stones on them, abusing them and attacking them, you will be deported,” I said.
“That will never happen, because we already have lots of martyrs here in Goa,” he said, “lots of Russians have already died in Goa.”
“Not lots, only a few,” I said.
“Well the police understand our plan and clearly they are duly respectful of it,” he said, opening the door to the sub-inspector who looked severely at him.
“What is all this nonsense,” asked the PSI. “Why did you throw a stone at these men?”
“I did not throw a stone at them. It slipped from my fingers and they began chasing me,” he told the PSI.
“Tell these Russians to get out of Goa, we don’t want them!” chorused the taxi-drivers.
“Apologize to them at once, or I’ll put you inside,” said the cop.
“Ok, I will apologize,” snapped the Russian.
“There you are then,” said the cop, “now shoo all of you. Go home.”
“See? The police understand,” said the Russian with a pleased smile. “But don’t worry, I have a plan.”
“You cannot have a plan. You can come here for your winter holidays, but you must go back to Russia,” I said.
“I shall do this legally,” he said. “I will contract a marriage of convenience.”
“That used to happen with drug peddling foreigners marrying fisher-folk daughters so that they could come and go as they pleased,” I said.
“The problem with having a Goan wife here is that my actual wife will object and Russian wives can object very strongly. My plan has my actual wife’s blessings,” he said.
“A marriage of convenience is still a marriage,” I said, “Your wife can sue you for bigamy.”
“She won’t mind this,” he said. “I propose to marry the River Princess. I see her everyday. She will soon be able to apply for citizenship and get a ration card and voter’s ID. She comes with her own patch of land on a sand bank off the beach. She is strong and not very old. And she doesn’t roam around all over the place. She sits still. She doesn’t even need any maintenance. She will make a good and convenient wife.”
“I never heard such nonsense in my life,” I said.
“Just wait and see. I am already writing out an application for her hand in marriage and giving it to Anil Salgaoncar with copies to the Chief Minister, the Governor and the Tourism Minister. They are so desperate to get her off their hands, but they want to keep her in the same spot. They will give her to me with their blessings. It’s a win-win situation. And I can begin the process for turning this place into the ninth Federal District of Russia.”

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