|Durga Vahini poster|
"Well," I fumbled. What could I answer? In the pre-Modi days I would have said something like, "Can I talk to him before I give an answer? What kind of a person is he? Good enough to look after you?" But in the Modi days I stand more confounded than Ann Frank's father was when Ann's nubile sister was asked to submit herself to the Nazis.
"What well?" she demanded. This is the problem with today's generation. They want immediate answers like instant coffee. Or chai or instant conversions.
I'm old. I don't wear the bottoms of my trousers folded. I don't dye my hair. I don't shave my beard just like my Prime Minister.
"Darling," I put on the best tone I could muster. Not master, of course. Only Mr Modi is the master now.
"You have to get the permission from Durga Vahini, not me," I said candidly avoiding the ums and errs.
"What's Durga Yoni?" she asked.
"Gosh!" I said to myself. "Don't you watch the TV? The Durga Yoni, I mean Durga Vahini, has asked Kareena Kapoor to divorce her husband and return home. Ghar Vapsi, they call it."
"What the f**k does that mean?"
"I don't know, dear," I opened my palms helplessly. We now live in a country ruled by an emperor whose organs decide who will love whom and marry whom.
She spat out and walked away.
What am I to do? Old man with shrivelling veins? I want to help my daughter. But I want to be a patriot too.
PS. I have no children. Given the situation in India, I'm glad.