Follow the leader

The first thing I learnt as I entered the portals of National Defence Academy was that I must follow my leader even at the cost of my life. There was not to reason why, there was but to do and die. Unless, of course, you wanted to be court martialled or cashiered with your epaulettes and medals ripped off in full public view.

I followed this dictum even when I entered Civvy Street, although, I must admit, often it was difficult to follow the course set by my honourable leaders or my worshipful mayors. The latest in my attempt to follow them, beyond the call of duty, is that I have learnt and I am still learning the symptoms of all possible diseases. For example, I know that the symptoms of depression are low energy and anger and those of high BP is waviness in the head and disorientation. Rheumatism causes stiff joints and aches. Since I have a prostrate issue, I know exactly the kind of problems I deal with. Recently, I have found that our honourable leaders have used all these ailments to stay out of captivity. I said to myself: What an idea sirji.

Now if a teetotaler host invites me for dinner and I am sure I don’t want to go to spend an entire evening sipping nimboo pani, I tell him that I am experiencing waviness in my head. He suggests that I get my BP checked and rest; I say hurray and open my bar, pour a drink, lie down on my bed and watch some naughty TV serial.

Or when a long lost friend who has not been in touch for a whole year but wants attendance for his wedding anniversary and I know I am an optional extra, I tell him that my prostrate is playing up. He books me for his next anniversary and quickly says bye. I celebrate the success of my follow-the-leader policy of inventing the disease of my preference at my will. Stiff joints do come in handy.

One Sunday morning when I came back from my endurance run, my wife confronted me with this question: ”How come, she asked, ”when it suits you, you feign aches to get out of an uncomfortable situation and then launch yourself for a half-marathon run.”


I told her that she ought to know that I follow the follow-the-leader policy. Much the same way as they show energy when they campaign for their candidates or bash their opponents, they are overflowing with energy and when they are held captive, they have heart problems. Got it? I asked.
Her silence said it all and I knew that she had got it. Sometimes, she does get it.

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