I heard this story from one of those bearded holy speakers who are on TV channels early in the morning, It goes thus:
A Brahmin (in all ancient Indian stories, the characters have to be gods, kings and/or Brahmins, cows and demons in that order. Cows have a place among the VIPs, but the rest of the common folk – particularly of the lower middle class – belong to the cattle class that must not be mentioned. If you mention that class, you can get into serious trouble. Notice how Shashi Tharoor is squirming even while standing on the warm carpet of a Western African nation). Ah, yes. The Brahmin. He flung a stone at a mangy street dog and broke his (the dog’s) leg. Those where the days when dogs could talk to humans (or humans woofed like dogs, whichever). So the dog went to the king and filed a complaint. The king called for the Brahmin.
“Did you throw a stone at this poor dog?”, asked the king.
“Yes, your highness. While I was eating my holy lunch, this dog stood nearby and stared greedily, desecrating the food and spoiling my appetite. So I stoned him.” This part of the story proves conclusively that the art of stoning offenders was not invented by Arabs. Like the zero, astrology and airplanes, this form of punishment too was stolen from India.
“I was very hungry. If this stingy Brahmin had thrown a ball of rice or a piece of roti in my direction, I would not have stared,” said the dog.
“I agree with the petitioner,” said the just king. “The Brahmin is guilty. Now I ask the dog to decide the punishment as well.”
“Your highness, please appoint him the manager of the temple. Better still, make him your chief minister,” said the dog, his paws folded together. “That would be punishment enough.”
The Brahmin laughed at the dog’s stupidity. Dogs don’t recite Gayatri mantra. So they remain stupid, he thought.
“Wouldn’t that be a promotion and not a punishment?” asked the surprised king.
“No, my king,” replied the dog. “You see, I was the manager of a holy temple in my last birth. I wasn’t a bad manager either, but couldn’t resist the temptation now and then and appropriated some of the offerings and sent them away to a Swiss bank through my nephew. Look what happened to me. This Punditji is much worse than what I used to be, imagine what would happen to him in his next birth.”
Now I look at the mantrijis, nation-keepers, Secretaries and other VVIPs and smile knowingly. I know what is going to happen to them after they depart with state funerals and gun salutes. Manmohan Singh and A.K. Anthony better stay away before they fall to temptation and decide to go in for another negotiation with the Bofors or their kind. Shashi Tharoor better run while his ultra-modern sense of humour is still intact. Don’t aske me why. Just look at the street dogs. I recognize at least one of them. I believe his family is now clawing each other silently for the booty kept in a Geneva bank.