now! Here is the Rambler's Rhythm—Superb ! Sparkling
!! should not the Editor put in something like this?
“oh yes !—if it is superb”—you are inclined to say.
But, then, if it is superb, what need is there for the
Anyhow, here I am, with a Rhythm, which only a Rambler
The other day I had the fortune or is it the misfortune,
to meet Mr.X.—a member of the Madras State Legislature—and
after my usual grin—I asked him, "how are things",—?
"Inside or out?"—he asks, with a twinkle in
his eyes. "Of course both" - says I.
"A bit difficult to be frank—for I have not lost
all hopes. Anything may happen now-a-days—my chief surprises
many at odd moments—who knows he may come forward to
load me with laurels, one of these days. Yes, Mr.Rambler!
I have not lost all hopes!"—spoke that member —eloquently
"Be not too frank, Mr.Legislator" says I—just
a hint or two is enough for me.........
"Oh yes! I know, you chaps have a knack of putting
flesh and blood on any bony thing—and now for my, shall
I say, report. Inside the Legislature it is delightful,
and outside it is charming—and silence pays at both
places" said the Legislator and again the twinkle
in his eye!
"How fares the opposition?"
"Opposition! O Yes, indeed, the opposition!! They
are there, nice chaps, but the fact is, I have not studied
them at close quarters. Too dangerous, you know! The
chief scents out anything—in fact I always try to frown
on those poor fellows."
"The chief expects that much?"
"Who knows? Anyhow, crowning adds majesty to a
personality—don't you think so?"
"Why, sir, smiling makes one charming.."
"Not all, not all! Now, you mischief-monger, I
am not going to name any minister in support of my argument.
Engaged as we are in managing the very difficult affairs
of the State—we are expected to be serene, even stoic.
Hence the frown".
"Difficult affairs of the state, you are pleased
to state. Mr. Legislator, Why difficult?"
"Difficult, did I say? oh yes, difficult is the
word ... but not with the usual meaning."
"There is practically no difficulty—especially
for those on the Treasury Benches."
For the favoured few, may put it in that way.
For the ‘picked-ups‘—some say.
"The 'Left-overs' are not so vocal—Why?"
"The 'team' is capable of being expanded you know.
The other day, opposition also pointed out the need
for additions—additions without, added expense, if I
"That's where, these fellows err. Minister without
portfolio there can be—the present Defence Minister
was at one time like that—but where have we come across
a minister without pay?"
"Nobody can suggest that except perhaps Vinoba—
but if I remember right, the opposition suggested the
increase in the number of ministers without the corresponding
increase in expenditure! Two—two spoonfuls, when babies
are two—and one one, when babies are four, I suppose."
"It is left to us, to so improve the interesting
suggestion from the opposition side—is it not!"
"Being a member of an oppressed backward community,
you have I am sure every right to claim a share in this
"I object not to your dictum; only let me correct
you I am not a mere member—I am forgive me. Sir, a leader—you
ought to have said.."
"You are on the right track, but not at the right
spot. I am not a leader—I am the leader."
"True, true! But if I remember right, you were
giving advice in abundance, to your community men, that
they should not think and talk in terms of this or that
particular community, but should stand by and swear
by the Congress."
"Yes, indeed! That shows my political sagacity,
national aspiration and nobility in thought. But is
it not the duty of the chief, to place me on a pedestal,
so that my words will gather more weight and momentum?.
Reciprocity Mr.Rambler, reciprocity!"
"Quite understandable! Mr. Legislator, I am with
you, if that matters anything. Coming now to His Excellency
........ those on your side, I find competed with those
on the other side, in thrashing the Ads thread-bare".
"Thrashing! What for? There was nothing in it,
worth thrashing out. It was after all a sonnet on stud
bulls, and a ballad about pump sets!"
"How harsh, Mr.Legislator, how harsh....."
"I was almost, about to burst forth, Mr.Rambler,
but then there was ample space on the treasury bench,
and on affectionate smile on the face of the Chief,
and you know, what one should do under such circumstances.
I simply retired to the other wing..... and the Coffee
"Dreamy eyes, some say, are dangerous—especially
so in the case of dames!! This one—not of the fairer
sex— has such eyes, and I wonder, what lurks in his
heart. Power once tasted, creates a thirst to quench
which more and more doses of power should be supplied.
But politics is not a pleasant field, wherever the law
of supply and demand has no value."
"Me to the front! Me, that too at once! Mine is
the place by virtue of memories sweet! The demand is
dynamic— but what can the chief do, when a whole battalion
marches forth, demanding the loaves and fishes! Eight
and no more —the Edict is issued and dreamy eyes emit
danger in abundance."
"To be or not to be" these Hamlets murmur,
inside Mansion, where once, Mirth and Music, were in
attendance. From far and near came flatterers in ever
increasing numbers—a nod was enough to elate them—for
the 'Honourable's' nod was nectar for the needy! Gone
are those days, when the Roses blossomed and Jasmines
sent forth sweet odours! Dreary are these days, when
one has to sit, dummy like, and pretend to listen to
the Gubernatorial discourse! Sonnet on Stud Bulls indeed!—for
he has come to taste a different toast!!
Loaves and fishes of office, is not the end in view.
Service to the people to Motherland—is the one aim for
which all these 'Khadi cloths' are equipping themselves.
So many would have been shocked when Pandit Nehru, pounded
them all mercilessly by saying that one and all in Congressfold
hanker after some office or other! How very ennobling,
one is apt to exclaim! But those not on the treasury
benches refuse to munch this! Ha! Ha! they say, with
sarcasm, the favoured ones enjoy this luxury of offering
free advice to us—the 'left-overs'! It is easier to
preach than practise!
Those in office naturally find the outsiders, turbulent,
and offer ennobling advice—service above self—country
first and foremost etc. etc. But when 'Ordinaries' find
that the Hon'bles get all the limelight they naturally
think that to 'serve and yet be seen' one has to be
something, more than an ordinary.
There are some, who are content to remain a 'No-body'
rather than become a 'second'—or the deputy! An Assamese
Legislator having been offered a Deputy ministership
at Delhi flatly refused the job. Assam is not represented
in the Central Cabinet, and the claim was pressed.
Probably the 'pressure' was not up to the mark; hence
the offer of a mere Deputyship instead of a full-fledged
ministership. This Assamese has gained more by this
refusal —than many who have succumbed to the temptation
and are playing the 'second fiddle' .!. My friend the
Legistrator, ridicules this Assamese idea! Whole or
nothing - that's rank avarice Mr. Rambler! besides,
why not enter the owing first, before becoming the full-fledged
later on! A deputy need not be a deputy always!—says
But, Sir, there is the historic instance of Dr.Radhakrishnan—once
a Deputy always a Deputy, I reminded him. but my friend
the Legislator was not floored; he says, but that analogy
does not hold good, for the Doctor is a philosopher
not a politician!'
"By the by, have you Sir, mooted the point with
the chief?"—I asked.
"Me? No! My friends have taken upto themselves
that delicate mission. They have had consultative talks
and have arrived at certain conclusions."
"Have they met the Chief?"
"I think so—yes—I am sure they have."
"And how did they fare?"
"The chief, they say, did not hurl a 'No' at them—but
succeeded in overcoming the temptation to say, 'Yes'—in
fact my friends say, the prospects are brighter now."
"I wish you all success Sir, but please do not
mistake me when I say, that there seems to be practically
no difference between Yes—and—No—when only the lip is
active, while the mind is inactive. Besides, there are
some who use 'Yes' for sweet nothings, and 'No' to everything
concrete, precise or important. Here is this anecdote
about, Comrade Gromyko, you know. Once, in a five minutes
phone conversation with an American official he said.
No, No, No, No, No, No.
Asked afterwards what the two 'Yesses' stood for, he
said that the first 'Yes' was to the question, 'Is that
Mr. Gromyko?' and that the second 'Yes' was in answer
to the question.
"Can you still hear?"