My father often told me: “The son never sits in the British Empire.” As a result, I forced myself to work hard – getting up at 5 am and going to bed at 10 pm – and achieving a lot of things as I grew into a full-blown-up man. My father is no more, but I still don’t sit.
My world came down crashing when yesterday I realized that my father had been saying the line wrong. It is actually: “The sun never sets in the British Empire.”
This post is about the British, who treated us like slaves but left behind a nice railway system so that the likes of Laloo Prasad Yadavs and Mamta Banerjees could give their relatives free lifetime passes.
With a renewed interest in the British Empire, I looked up my contacts list and found a British friend named Rosemarie Sutherland. I called her up and here is the discussion that happened:
“Hey Rosemarie, how are you doing? Long time, eh?” I enquired.
“Blooming blighter, where have you been all these days?” She did seem excited.
“I have been good. Now….am married with a four-year-old child. So, this call isn’t about phone sex.”
“That’s great! Hope all well. Why the sudden call?” She wanted to get to the point as soon as possible.
“Well, actually…wanted to speak to you about the British Empire. My father always said ‘The sun never sets in the British Empire’….what did he mean by that?” I also didn’t want to waste any of her time.
“Your father was bloody right. God wouldn’t trust a Britisher in the dark…so he didn’t let the sun set on our Empire.”
“Seriously?” She had caught me by the balls, by her this statement.
“Yes, true. Did you think we were patriotic warriors? No! We wanted to escape the bollocks weather here in Britain…always rainy & foggy….so left the shores and enslaved countries like yours for the warm weather.”
“Very brave & intelligent move.” I was all appreciative of the Englishmen now.
“Not really. If we were intelligent, why did we give away all of our empire and keep England? We should have kept the rest of the good countries & given England.” She knew what she was talking about.
“So, besides all the wealth you guys plundered…you also got to stay in warm weather. Anything else you gained in the process?”
Rosemarie was quiet for a few seconds & then responded: “Bugger…you are missing out the Butter chicken…and…hmm…tandoori chicken.”
“Ahh! Didn’t think of that. By the way, how is your royalty? How are they adjusting to the fact that they no longer have the whole world at their feet?”
“The Royalty is gormless. More like unstained teeth in a decaying mouth.”
I had always wondered why Kate & William hadn’t come to India to start their married life with a visit to the Vaishno Devi mata temple in North India. Rosemarie’s statement explained it…they were just gormless. Whatever it meant.
“So does your royalty have any regrets?” I persisted.
“Well, that blighter queen has only one regret – that she didn’t climb over the Buckingham Palace fence to watch a movie when she could. Now she is too old for that.”
“And do you commoners have any regrets about the Royalty?” I asked an innocent question.
“Not really. We only get excited for three things – soccer matches, beating up the immigrants & discussing the royalty….so no…we don’t hate our royalty.”
I had one last question, besides my ISD bill was going up with every second, so I quickly asked Rosemarie: “Anything, you want to ask me?”
Rosemarie was quick at her feet: “Yes….I want to know if you guys benefited from us.”
“Definitely…though Great Britain was a Nosey Parker, you guys did unite us, give us the railway system and the English language.”
“Now don’t you go off your rocker and start thanking us.” She definitely hated her country.
“Sure Rosemarie. Thanks for your time. And have a good wet, foggy day!”
“Wait…wait don’t hang up as yet. I have one last question. Do you have titles such as Lord, Sir, Prince, Princess, or Dame to differentiate between the class & the cattle?
“Hmm…no we don’t have such titles. But we do have red beacons that differentiate the class from the cattle. OK then, catch you sometime later. Bye.”