Matt wanted to be the King’s mate so he enlisted his friends Mark and Matthew. Matt is a Velar temple priest in Tanjavuru.
“The King is a girl, in her mid 20’s.”
“She is pretty enough but dark.”
“You can do better” say his friends
“You are so handsome.”
“No, she is not the most beautiful but a very interesting person. I can fix her looks. Besides you must consider her beauty from a King’s point of view. It’s for my cousin, not me. I have 24 cousins. One of them is bound to like her and she him. “
“We have to first have access to the King. “
That’s not easy.”
“That’s why I am asking for your help. You know John, the Prince of Sweden. He knows all the Kings and Queens in the world, especially those living in America. Get in touch with him and give me access to the King.”
“Done right now”
A few minutes later.
Matthew says “Ok here is the deal. Get in touch with her granddad and grandma. John has made a call to him. They will see you. The family never says no to them.”
“I can make you a happy King Sir” says Matt to the King’s dad and grandfather. “You must make me the King’s mate as a reward. What is making you unhappy? You have 5 beautiful wives and 17 children all married except for one, all the wealth in the world and grandchildren too.”
“My 15th child is not married. She rejects every alliance I bring her.”
“Give me a video of her. I will show her to one of my cousins. We are wealthy beyond measure but looking to update our status even further in the world.”
Matt to Mark
“I just visited India on the moon as a career diplomat. Here is the account – spent about 950$ approximately. Want to take my place at the King’s party next week?”
“No, you go. We are fitting you with a device.”
“Ow! Did you have to pinch me like that?”
Mark winks at Matthew and says “No reaction ! ok !
Mark says “So?”
“Proves he is not enamoured easily? “
“The lady who pinched him is a beauty.”
“ Maybe he did not look at her. No he did. Here is a 1000, for allowing me to use your name at the King’s party. “
“ Ok ! Call me anytime you need our services. We are willing to try the true and untested. Our employees can train fast.” Said the service provider.
Matthew, “I am a man in this world. I can have many children, do as I please, love alone does not keep a couple together, they must understand and accept each other’s world.”
“Do you know there are also women who think like you.”
Lady to Mark, “I don’t understand – I can see your ling in a dhoti and underwear but not in trousers. “
“It’s the way the trousers and underwear are designed.”
“The lady is fitting the security device on Matt for the party.
“ Ah!” (ling is a polite word means a man’s private part like we say bust for women)”
“Why did the King not marry?”
“No reason! Busy running a Kingdom.”
“Are you married Lady?”
Mark says “Hey she is my sister! Her name is Olivia.”
Mark and Olivia have not yet told Matt that Olivia is the King.
“No, she is not married.”
“Why? She is beautiful and any sister of yours is I am sure is a very nice person.”
Olivia says “It’s ok Mark.”
“ Too busy and I have kids”
“ You do ?”
“ They are kids in the family, not born to me. I am known as big mom in the family, my sister is known as little mom. My brother is known as dad, my mom as grandma and dad is known as tatha. I do not want to marry so I don’t show myself to anyone, besides I can’t look beautiful all the time and familiarity breeds contempt. I have many guy friends and marriage would cramp my style. I fancy some of my friends – nothing comes of it. After all I am single because I choose to be. The feeling just comes and passes. No big deal. “
“She is ready to consider marriage. Her other name is Leonie. She is established in her career. Shall we tell him?”
Mark to Matt, “She is the King.”
“What?! I am surprised, she is so humble.”
“Consider dating Leonie ! After all it’s been 5 years since you took over as King”
“Here are my cousins’ photos, which one did you like ?”
“Olivia picks one after some consideration.”
“That’s Patrick, I will arrange for you to meet up.”
“What do you want to know about him?”
“Nothing at the moment. Is he available?”
“Yes he is single and unattached.”
No! Thinks Matt! They don’t know him like I do. It will be fun watching them.
“ Of all my cousins to pick him.” Matt explains this to the King’s grandfather. The grandfather roars with laughter !
” No worries . Take her off our hands. And keep this between us.”
“ Are you sure Sir.”
“ Yes! I am the elder in the family and have plenty of experience in life. I will recommend this alliance. Life should be interesting. A good match. I like you fellow. I appoint you as the King’s mate from now on. Let me tell you what a King’s mate is. He does nothing but all the Kingdom’s money is his to handle. He must develop many talents – easy enough if you are a practical man with common sense, a sense of humour and some sensitivity. Don’t worry about being tough. The King’s subjects adore the King and will do anything the King says. She is very versatile. I am sure she can adapt and adjust to India.”
A month later.
Olivia meets Patrick. “We didn’t get a single or king we got a queen size room at the Hotel. We have to share. Don’t touch me. I am only dating you at this stage. By the way I am a King.”
“Are you? Touching will happen, we need space when we sleep.”
“Ok I am not a prude, as long as you don’t touch me with your ling .
Patrick tells her “ I did odd jobs too while training as a pilot, email and letter service at a cost effective rate to clients in 5 star hotels, an auto taxi service to clients – a 24 hour service at meter rates with a little extra for security, good quality cars, the local experience for those who want it.”
Olivia Leonie tells him about her career and a very affectionate boss. She tells him how she advanced to a high position in the work place in a short period of time and how she trained every ordinary person. She is quite something, her boss once said about an employee,
Leonie “Excellent– no she is very ordinary, hasn’t even started on her bachelor’s degree, I have been training her and teaching her what to say, after all, why pay to have a person sit here and do nothing, give the guys who work flexibility to move and do other jobs. She comes here for a free education.”
“ Interesting! Why are you wearing a veil?
“ I don’t show my face at this stage, that’s best done through emails and file attachments. Hard to capture the person as they look and you are driving, not to distract. Here is my file photo and a video.”
“Ok, I will look at it this evening.”
Patrick to Olivia, “ By the way, I live in India.”
Olivia “I have never been in love before.”
“Ok! That doesn’t bother me.”
Next time they met, it was just a kiss on the cheek and they used love making toys. All very innocent. 3rd and 4th time it was a massage for body ache and that was his idea of what a committed couple do, he tells her. Children are born using patented methods like test tube baby etc or full on ling ling thing in his world – after choosing a date for child birth ,a preferred doctor or a hospital. Travellers have a chain of hospitals that provide the service.”
They are driving to a restaurant. Let’s have a Shelia relationship, you be the taxi driver.
“ Nothing will happen ?”
“Patrick says “ No dear we will show you how to handle the situation with anyone. To the airport in an auto –I am testing autos for the airport and security is being checked by a colleague.”
Next time they meet,
Olivia to Patrick, “ Handling a real snake ?”
“It’s a security device.” It’s a harmless water snake, someone has painted it to look like a cobra. Oh! It behaves real all right. I am a plastic surgeon.” He explains as he takes a call.
“He is your husband Mrs Nagarajan– went and changed his face at the surgery. “
“ So that’s the end of that, he does not have my address and I don’t remember his name, besides he looks different now – so the relationship has ended , I am now a married single. “
“No lady, don’t give up on your marriage, he is even more handsome now.”
“Go for counselling. Here is the number.”
“But he did not tell me ! “
“Mrs Nagarajan, he wanted to be handsome for you. He said it was a birthday gift. He only looks a little different. Come to my office and I will show you how it was done.”
“Ok! Ok! This better be true.”
After a year of dating, Patrick proposes to Olivia.
“It’s a yes, conditional to my family accepting.”
“They know about me?”
“Yes they do.”
“When do you want to marry? 18 months from now is ok?”
“Fine by me.”
A call from grandad.
“Grandma is next to me.”
“What made you choose him? He has 23 other cousins! At least look at them, some even more handsome and accomplished.”
“Grandad ! Don’t embarrass me. It was love. He is so happy go lucky and brainy too. What a hulk he is.”
“But he lives in India?!”
“I am getting bored here. The Kingdom is taking care of itself. I only need a few Mates to handle the place and Matt can help me do that from India. Matt can be prime mate.”
“Ha Ha Ha.”
Grandma to Grandad,
“She liked this cousin?? He lives in India !! Refuses to leave the place. And you are American! How will she ever adjust !”
“Oh! He likes her well enough. There is a catch. He comes with children. She doesn’t mind! She is enamoured of him. And sure he is a decent bloke. Probably his relative’s kids. “
“What of her big mom duties? Oh that!, They can visit her. Patrick may not even mind their staying with her. Don’t worry. They would have already discusses this.”
Patrick and Olivia Leonie have a modest garden wedding. The theme for the reception is Bollywood.
They fly to India.
“They are not your maids . “ Explains Patrick to Olivia. They won’t cook and clean and humour you. And no , you don’t have to train them as Kings. They are my kids. Of course they will be rude. Don’t you know anything about kids ! Learn to like them or I will kick you out. And no you can go out without my permission but you won’t make it far. What Indian currency do you have? Nothing at all! And your money is unacceptable here. You are rich here but only because of what I have given you. I am a busy person. You have to find your own entertainment.”
“I must escape – take all the kids and husband with me to my country., thinks Olivia”. “No! Giving up already? That’s not me. Patrick is just being macho”
“ I need a maid.”
“No personal maid. I can’t afford it. This fellow will do the housework. He is a caretaker for these apartments and will spend 1 hour here everyday. Play with the kids. Work on a degree if you want. Go for a walk but take someone with you.”
A month later.
“I am a King” says Olivia to taxi driver. “ I will give you this diamond necklace if you take me to the airport.”
“ No Mam! I am satisfied with my life. The taxi fare is only 2000 Rs to the airport. Mam, snakes are what are you holding. It’s not a diamond necklace. What is a diamond anyway. ! Just a stone. I need money to buy my house. We don’t do the loan system here.”
“ I will clean your house and you pay me.”
“ No! I have a wife and brother who do that.”
“ I am feeling faint. “
“Go inside Mam. They are spraying insect spray.”
“Ok. Come tomorrow, I want to see this town, Here is the apartment number”
“At least he speaks English” Olivia says to her husband.
“ Everyone speaks English here. What did you take this place for? “
Olivia “ I have decided what I want to do. Learn Indian languages. I want to be able to converse with the common man.”
“ Make sure they don’t hear you . This is a place of no Kings and Kingdom. The word does not exist in their dictionary. There is no such thing as commoner.”
“Your dad is visiting us with your kids. I am taking my children and leaving for a educational tour a few days after he arrives. Have fun. I have shown you where everything is – and have arranged a translator for you.”
Later Olivia to her dad “Strangely dad, I miss the kids. Oh! What little sleep I had when the baby was sick.”
“ How many of them.?”
“ Don’t know dad. I just keep the door open and they walk in and out.”
“ What about the babies.”
“My husband takes care of them.”
“Is he treating you well.”
“ Mm..MM!” Leonie smiles – she is not letting on but as a King her training has equipped her for a rugged life. And she was getting bored in the Kingdom. Besides her husband is all she wishes him to be – not so handsome but a winning personality.
I fell in love with him but he was already married to somebody else. I came into his life a year later. Such love came into my life. I came to know 10 years later that I was the love of his life. Life works in mysterious ways. We did the right thing – I honoured his decision to stay married and we stayed friends. Never once has he said he loves me but I can tell. Best to be friends. I would rather not give his name. I chose to remain single and am mom to 2 beautiful kids. They know who their birth mom and dad are and I am treated as a member of the family. I play aunt mom. Their mom and dad did not mind. They were busy with their careers and it gave the children a great advantage in life. All of us raise the kids. I live with the family and grandma and granddad treats me like a daughter. The kids retain their family names and as a coincidence, because I am a relative, our family names are the same. I help them connect to a completely new world. I chose a wonderful career and education. I do innocent dating and that sometimes leads to friendship. After all men are half the world’s population. I also have plenty of friends. Decided marriage was not an option for me. Not because of my love, but because I wanted to conquer the world. I could always have found somebody else to love. My travels have taken me to India. Let granddad think I are married. At this stage in my life I don’t want to marry. Anyways he moved to the USA. I don’t see him anymore. I am ready for love in my life. But I am scared. Will have to take it slowly. Matt is drawn to me to but there is no rush. However suitable Matt may be , he is not my first and only love. Wait till the kids leave home and then see what happens. I am in no rush. Matt is busy with his life and it’s not like we are moon struck teenagers. I decided to stay on in India and I have money. I have neighbourhood kids who see me as one of the moms. After all it takes a village to raise a child. I am ecstatic with my life. My kids to whom I am practically mom adore me for we as a family have taken the time to raise them well.
Leonie ‘s husband Patrick contacts me and asks me if I can teach Leonie Indian languages. I agree. Will give me something to do. Leonie tells me she felt like running away the first few years she was here and had to use all her King’s training to stay put. It has taken her 2 years to start getting used to this place. Her family has been visiting her and that has helped.
“You are American ??”
“ Yes American Indian. I applied for a Person of Indian Origin card, so I can live here as long as I like. I will teach you about Indian customs. For example sharbats quench thirst and are stored in thick bottles so they don’t evaporate in the heat of summer.”
“ Ah..! I thought it was alcohol in the movies” says Leonie and laughs.
“What’s your name ? “
“Its Mala Fong Radhika. I don’t have Chinese blood in me but was born in China. “
Ah! You don’t look Chinese.”
“ No! I take after my handsome granddad. We use a artificial snake to maintain law and order in this building. Seeing the snake means everyone as to stay indoors for 30 minutes while maintenance work goes on.”
“ How do you know this?”
“ I used to live in these apartments at one time. We lived in China, are US citizens and had permanent jobs in China. We came here on a holiday and I stayed on. In a sense yes we qualify for American laws. That is so tough - you have to know the law as a citizen and pass all the tests to qualify for that. Then you can live anywhere in the world.”
“ Yes, tough but after that life is wonderful. Easier when taught as a young kid. It is wonderfully just but very considerate and compassionate. One can learn the laws at any age.”
“China’s laws are also ok and not everyone wants American law. Its just that China law is tailored for the Chinese and some of it is in Mandarin and Cantonese.”
“Let’s get down to business. Here, we will start with the script of 3 languages. Once you learn the script , read a lot. Here are the books. After you know words we will use picture books to improve and increase your vocabulary. . This sheet of paper has a paragraph with plenty of ‘cha’. That one with ‘ga’. Here are some audio tapes for getting the pronunciation right. Choose one that is easy for you. In many ways it’s much easier than English. You will have to work on your accent though. It will take 2 years to become really good and pass exams if you work hard. I hope you have developed patience by now. “
“Oh! I have plenty of that. I was taught about countries and their cultures as part of my education. I am American true Christian Hindu. As Americans we don’t have a caste. We train to be whatever we want to be. I liked True Christianity and Hinduism , so I trained to be both. I call myself True Christian Hindu. I classify myself as a Brahmin Kshatriya.”
“ Like Ravana Brahma. Use Google translate to learn to write the script.”
“Who is that?”
“A King from Indian mythology.”
“I want to give my dad and mum money. How do I do so when they visit me next month. My husband is so so generous. He is so funny when he acts angry.”
“Before the signal lights, when you turn right, every Wednesday , near the hospital a fellow exchanges money at the exchange rate of the day. For large amounts you can take an appointment. A bank transfer of your money is done. “
“On the street ?”
“Yes. It’s totally safe. You can walk home with the money.”
“Everyone here seems very happy! “
“Yes they are. They don’t lack for anything. But you have to be Indian to get living rights here.”
“I could teach swimming and martial arts and singing and dancing once I learn the language. Plenty of money in that. I am also an excellent psychiatrist.”
“Psychiatry is used to maintain perfect health here. No one falls ill or needs to go to the Doctor. What if you leave the country?”
“That’s unlikely to happen in the near future.”
Later, Mala is at home and is thinking, “I think I should go on to a different relationship. How do I handle my sexuality ? After all I am a Scorpio. There is a man I fancied . Closure on that. I am free to love again. I have sent out data through a elite dating site and 11 persons have shown interest. I am hoping my man is one of them. Heard he got a divorce. Don’t know if it is true. His ex is happily married to another now and has achieved her wildest dreams to own a childcare business. Heard they did not have children together and she later on had kids with her new husband. By the time I got the news the divorce was almost finalised. Maybe he is not the marrying kind. And she was his cousin’s wife. I will never know. A decent man does not love outside marriage. I have a life time of memories with him.”
“With children all settled in life, I need companionship. Maybe I should take it slow. I know Matt is drawn to me but neither of us is so young anymore. Maybe I will consider friendship. And take classes again to handle my sexuality. Did not know you could feel that way even at this age. I will go to the gynaecologist and get some medication to help me through it. I have plenty of friends and family, single and married who will help me out, if I ever need help. And I believe in God.”
” I am hoping it will be my man again whom I am so compatible with who will find me through the dating site. I am prepared to wait. I will know if it’s him – he has a secure phone line to me that nobody else knows of . He is a decent man and will contact me only if he is a free man. Two days later he has contacted me but no voice facility at the other end. So I get the silent treatment. I inform the others on the dating site that I would like to be their friends. The dating site caters to all kinds of legal relationships. The relationship with her love will have to be long distance as he is in the United States. Life works in mysterious ways. Vidhi nirnayam. It has been a 8 year wait.”
Mala considers going into business with Leonie Olivia.
Tailor made flexible services and cost effective real estate is what she is considering. Identical houses project offices – come furnished – including clothing to help travellers travel light. They can shift from one identical house to another and minimise the trauma of relocation for their families.
She suggests it to Leonie Olivia. Olivia is delighted. Great! An opportunity to make money. Patrick gives her a very generous allowance and she can use that as capital. Mala tells of a lady who whould also contribute capital and expertise. Her name is Manjula Ranganathan. She is total Indian.
Mala also says Leonie should change her cooking technique. And shows her how she should change it.
“Your cooking is all very black and strong – especially your vegetarian mock meat dishes. Patrick likes his mine golden brown. I have known Patrick since I was a child.”
Leonie says” I will make you a King’s Mate. It comes with privileges. Like discounted 5 star hotel accommodation where ever you go, free breakfast part of the menu. Connection to Kings and Queens of the world. The finest clothing you can get, perfectly suited for local weather. Mala’s love travels a lot, so she has decided not to relocate but contact him through e-mails to keep him posted. They decide to keep their relationship discrete after a simple engagement party limited to close family members. Her parents for one are delighted. She explains that he was never married. That was the grapevine working overtime. Why did it take so long? He is quite a bit older than me and travels a lot. That probably weighed on his decision. Not anyone’s business when we get married. Maybe we will marry after a million years. After all there is a living for ever.” Mala is not too keen on marriage. With it comes divorce etc. A long engagement where we get re-acquainted with each other. He has promised to visit her when he is in her part of the world. She can read up on his personal achievements through the internet.
Matt visits Patrick and Leonie and says he has found a suitable partner. The wedding will be in India as he is working here at the moment. The wedding theme will be tropical Hawaiian. He assures Leonie Olivia that all is well with her Kingdom.
“ You persuade my parents to go to China and happily come here and live in this place, says Matt to Olivia.
” No no I meant China tea cups. Is that how they understood it? Maybe they like travel. “
“ Ok ok you are dumb, You and your power of suggestion. I know that. They like the idea of travelling and living in China for a while. You mentioned China and they have made plans to move there. When I asked them, they said “ We have started our nomadic journey, moving eventually to Australia “”.
Mala walks in. It’s time for another language lesson. Olivia and Mala leave the room.
Patrick grins. “Don’t worry! I will make the travel tickets and accommodation. It will all be in the USA. Virtual reality, it is called. The whole world has been replicated here. Most people tend to forget that after a long stay in one place.”
Patrick lets Matt on to his secret. “This is India in the USA, just like Sudan was once considered India. All the Indian migrants wanted a place for their parents and grandparents which was familiar to them, so that trauma of relocation was minimised, even while they were living close to them, in the same country. Leonie doesn’t know this. She is enjoying herself for the most part. As a King she needs to have novelty in her life. “
” For example, this house could be a replica of others anywhere in the world, if you can replicate a ship liner , you can replicate a street. It is very easy to change street names with technology these days. A whole city can be transformed in half a day. All of Secunderabad /Hyderabad used to be known as Melbourne , INDIA, actual location, one of the towns in the USA. I truly believe we should all be in the same country, a day journey from here to your parents place. He saved up money for it long ago. After all they are healthy. And we visit frequently. Park Hyatt Hotel was wonderful - wish I could have enjoyed it more. My mood was neutral. Nice engagement ceremony. Had the engagement been a month later, I would have enjoyed it even more. But my stay was only 5 weeks, next time hopefully I can visit my family longer. Or more frequently. Now that my Plastic surgery practice has been established and can more or less run itself. I will make more time for your wedding.”
Olivia to Mala “ I am becoming thin though I am eating more and exercising less. One’s eye changes as one moves countries and continents – I will be able to look slim like my dad. “
“That happens, your body shape will change, so will your gait.”
Mala says to Olivia “ Matts fiancé is single and a test tube baby and one of the President’s kids. She has been raised by nuns. Her name is Arin. That we are sure of . But she lost her memory recently and has been given a Indian family. It has all been explained to her. She has a wonderful sense of humour and laughs. “ I have moved families, my new family is Indian. Since I lost my memory, I have been given nieces and nephews, a mum and dad and a husband from no where which I have accepted. I do love my Matt. When you have a fiancé who is also your best friend, what more do you need. My family are Sahaj Margis and Sai Baba devotees. Ah!!! Role play changes in life. I believe I am an Aries and as a Mars sign, big on ego. At least I remember my age. Where did I live before I came here ? Blue lagoon, City of Banff, China. That’s my postal address. ‘’
Mala says “Arin has never dated but was attracted to this man at the swimming pool and it is not ok, I love my Matt too much for that, “
She laughs “ But he is a display model, something like a movie star. Everyone is drawn to him.”
Olivia “ Where is China. There is no China.” Calls up one of her King’s Mates and asks him to find it.
“Mrs Dekoning, it’s in modern day Asia , it’s called Central America now. Your lady lived in Saigon, the city is also known as Perth, and Ho chin min city. “
“That’s the news of the day. Now let’s get down to language learning.”
Manjula is busy giving last minute instructions to her secretary for a meeting. “Kankari Vikram on the line.”
“I am a little busy at the moment. Put him on hold and meanwhile get his details. You say my father has sent him, treat him well. Put him up in Park Hyatt. Our place is too expensive. Besides I am not there. You say he is engaged to be married and he doesn’t know about it yet. Check him out. What more do you know about him. I will visit him tomorrow. “
The secretary gets back to her.
“ My dad wants me to marry him ? Ask him first. He has agreed ? Yes He is your child hood mate. Ok ! When did I ever say no to my dad and mom. I am in Saigon, time zone 8.. He is going to Canberra next month. Ok. I have bought an estate here. This place is my home, this wonderful moot city. Full of bridges and rivers. I have entered the Chinese Queen competition. Email this application. It is like our Miss America. It’s a job that makes good money. That will make him Chinese King if he marries me. In return he will give me beautiful heirs.”
“Manjula tries to recall who Vikram is. She remembers he is Asian American. A very nice person , fairly good looking but can be a little grumpy at times.
The next day Manjula meets Vikram for breakfast.
“ I want to live in the same continent as my mom and dad and you say your family is happy to move with you. Great! All I ask for is you pay for a black pearl necklace as a wedding gift. My dad has already arranged for it to be bought. He lives in a US city in India. You pay for it. In return I will make you Chinese King. I am sure to win the Chinese Queen contest. Can you love me for a million years ?”
“Sure i can. That’s one thing I am sure of. But i may not stay with you always” “No! That won’t do, we travel together. As queen I want my own establishment. I won’t live with you. Not the ordinary housewife.”
“I made it to Engineer ‘SH’ in the organisation, private wing. Managed a 1000 people. My goal is to be a career diplomat. I am a modern day Queen, no harem garam for me. I am doing all the talking. But of course you can’t talk with your mouth full. My my, you have a large appetite. I like that.”
“ I am here for a conference. Have to go the whole day without food. Will stay back if you say yes. We can get to know each other. As though that is even necessary.”
“It’s a yes but I have to inform my mom and dad first.
“ Sure, no problem. Why don’t you call them now. Here is my phone.”
“I don’t want any kids. There is pain and suffering in the world.”
“I will consider that but if I say we should, you must agree. You will agree after I show you how good the world is. There are solutions to every problem in the world. We can get kids from the hospital.”
“ Yenduko antha kopam ( why such anger ?? )”
“Kopam kadu bhada - yenduko mari ?? (Not anger ...bhada. Why?)”
“No anger or bhada. Its energy.“Result of eating too much.” (Grins) “You haven’t eaten? “
“No I have a lunch box, tasty Gongura chutney and rice.”
“You get that here in China?”
“Yes you do, at the asian store. I buy the veggie and make chutney. Run by Fijjians. They sell veggies too. Do you want me to find a serviced apartment for you ?”
“Can’t I stay at yours?”
“Sure you can. I will get the guest room ready. It is spacious enough for the two of us. I won’t be able to cook though. Shall I arrange a cook or shall we manage with takeout and simple dishes? I have invitations to several get togethers, so food won’t be too much of a problem.”
“ I can cook and I have free time. Show me where the market and grocery store is. “
“No worries. I also have a car and driver . He will drive you wherever you want to go. Perks of the job.”
Manjula calls up her parents.
“So I take it, it is a yes.”
“Goes without saying. “
“ By the way your cousin Matt’s parents are coming to China. Get your secretary to find a 3 bedroom , 2 bath apartment for them, close to where you stay. “
“Ok Mom. Have to go. Sorry it’s such a short call. Have to get back to work.”
“Bye. Can’t escape relatives.”Smile. They are ever so nice. Manjula hands the phone back to Vikram.
“The house I live in is in a very quiet neighbourhood and very isolated. Most of the people live in their houses only part of the time. My neighbours house is mostly empty. If there is anyone there, I barely see them once or twice a year. I am always delighted when I see someone. Takes getting used to.”
Matt to Leonie Olivia
“Let me explain the finances of this place to you. Obviously you don’t understand a thing.”
“No I don’t. What is the tax system like?” Nobody seems to be paying any tax. Oh! Nobody does . Everyone helps everyone out and everyone is trained. Everyone does something for free for the government. After all it is a democracy.
You are joking right?
Here is a audio and video and book on taxation. It is in English, so you won’t have a problem.
I am thinking of running a King’s contest. The participants train for free and I make money through a 10% levy on the money made from sponsors. Its a win win situation for everyone.
Great! Here is a number. Call them up and they will advertise it.
I am visiting my parents. I will set a date after I come back. Can you get my mate Allen to handle it.
Fly him in.
“Where do I recycle my old stuff. How do I give it away.”
“Same thing. Go on the street and stand there at 10 am on Wednesdays. Somebody will help you give it away. The service is free for an hour. People like old stuff for the stories and the history they have. Besides it’s so hard to earn money anywhere in the world. Hand me downs are always appreciated. You may even get 50 bucks out of it.”
“Ok! I will try it.”
Olivia gets a call from her kid. Her kids are staying with her. Patrick doesn’t mind. Stay as long as you like. She is out for lunch catching up with friends.
Grandad has forgotten where the money is mom!
“It’s in a family fund.
Nobody remembers where it is or the name of the fund manager.
Patrick to Olivia “ We are visiting my dad. Everyone calls him Tatha. We can trace the money from there.
It’s going to take time and money to find it. Don’t worry. I am coming home.”
“I never worry mom!”
“Good that’s the attitude.”
Olivia has logged on to the computer and is making phone calls to trace the missing funds.
“Where is granddad?”
He has just come back from hospital.
“We have a family situation on our hands. Grandad is dying?
“No mum, he is strong as a horse.”
“No, he has been pumped up with medication. His life is not out of danger. Quick tell me, what did he go into hospital for.”
“Don’t know. Who is this boy ? “
The boy says “I am Australian. I am your son. “
“Did you bring him in with you ? “
“No he came into the room. He is sick mom.”
Patrick’s cousin clarifies. “He is my nephew.”
“Ok let’s test and see. It is something simple ,flatulence. First aid will fix it.”
“Tatha is in a foul mood, he will become a killer, if he has to fight for his life. He needs space and peace and quiet to recover. He can’t handle the odour?”
“Yes he can. Mom this is not the time for drama.”
“ My drama gives me 150$ each time. Oh! What we can do with that money in rupees. “
Granddad to Olivia “Where is the money? Find it.”
“Oh for that mom has to be in America. “
“No give me the internet for 5 minutes. Here type this in.”
“ Come on we are going home.”
“ Can’t we go tomorrow. Where is home? I thought this was home.”
“This is Uncle’s home.”
Tatha “Ah... it is. I am not taking you all. All of you are farting.”
“ Dad you are sick. Stay for one more day.”
Olivia to Patrick’s brother “Why on earth did you say that. It’s not even true.”
Patrick’s brother Arvind says “So he will stay here for a while.”
“Anyway he doesn’t believe you.
Ok Ok ,I will stay for one more day if you give me your big room. “
“Brother, I will give you 100 $”
“Ok Ok”, sighs.” I will sleep on the floor on those thick soft super cool mattress.” He grins. “100$ first!”
“Hm.. That money will feed us for a week. Find the money soon.”
“Mom persuade this boy to go home.”
“ He is really sick, here give this medication to him and leave the room immediately. He will fart big time.”
“Ok mom. Scare him. Tell him he needs his mother and hospital. Tell him is condition is serious. That will make him leave. We can’t have him farting here and releasing foul smells.”
“Hm... he will leave dad, don’t do anything. That spray is poisonous. Leave kid right now.”
“Ok, and stay downstairs. Your Aunt will chaperone you. “
“You are blocking my way Dad-in law.”
Olivia “Never mind, I will come with you.”
“His mom is waiting outside.”
“Life these days is mostly about stinks and smells.” Sigh. “But it makes nice money.”
“Mom we got rid of all the bad guys from outside Uncle’s house.”
“Stinky smells. I sprayed this. Some are sick, they all think they are dying.”
“That has nothing to do with your nephew being sick. Don’t worry.”
“Poor Uncle, he doesn’t even know what has happened.”
“For now you are grand dad’s daughter, if anyone asks. They won’t bother an Indian so much. Just in case they follow us here.”
“The truth, we don’t really know what happened. So many people and so little space. That was the problem.”
“Ok mom, that’s your point of view. Life in India is so interesting.”
“We have arrived at Tatha ‘s place. I slept all the way through. Yes , you got poisoned. Fortunately the medication for that was in the first aid box.” “Something you ate. They gave you a sedative to help with the journey.”
“Hope everyone lived.”
“Yes as long as they were in Uncle’s house they did. We fixed them.”
“After they left we don’t know what happened. They would have, don’t worry.”
“I am taking everyone to the USA. “
“Oh! No need! We are already there. In Walla Walla USA. Looks so like Hyderabad/Secunderabad of India. I recognise this place. We have more problems. Snakes in the building. They have entered our house. Tatha will take care of it.”
“Afterwards we will look back and say, life is so interesting.”
“Yes it is isn’t it. It takes courage to live life.”
“Don’t worry. Nobody cares which place we are from, in this town. All the people here have family in so called overseas “(Smile)
Arvind to Olivia
“No body remembers all their past. I get so confused after raising all the kids in the family. I am dad to all the kids in the family as I was the only American in the family at that time. My aim was to secure international travel for the family. The goal to become rich came later. My dad said do nothing. It will all be done for you. Pursue your career. As far I am concerned we are in Perth USA. I take a bit of the USA wherever I go. The Aussies live in Perth Australia as far as they are concerned. My dad in the USA. They call it Hyderabad, India. There is even a Tirumala in the USA. I am so glad. I never wanted to leave my country for ever.” Smile “Real India is called Bharat Desh.”
“Patrick. Tell me the truth. Where are we?”
“Ok Ok. Patrick grins. You have guessed right. This place is in the USA. We are white Indians.”
“Ah...! Now you tell me we are in the USA. Scumbag! I could beat you up.” Smile.” Hyderabad is virtually India. Everyone here is Indian in some way. You have to be Indian to have access to this place. It gets all so confusing. Hard to figure out which country you are in sometimes. Some countries don’t even stamp your departure and arrival. You could easily be moved to a identical city and identical street with identical people and not know the difference. That’s what makes life so interesting.”
Patrick’s sister Kimberly- Rita to Olivia
“I have a guyfriend, a partner, kids by a donor process. The kids’ dad is American. It all gets so confusing. But life is like that. My family remembered that I started a Doctorate in the US. It triggered my memory and I remember now that I have finished a Doctorate from the US. I can apply for a job here. I love my partner but I love my guy friends equally too. In the final analysis , I don’ t want to be bothered too much by anyone. My partner has many girl friends he knows from childhood. We Indians understand the Kama Sutra, sexuality and sensuality to the fullest extent. And we abstain when we want to. We can switch on and off at will. Or sequence out though that takes a little time. Smile. . I use anchors to handle my sexuality. Some of life is virtual real and ruled by our perception. Last year there was a meeting of all the people I like at the beach. So satisfying it was to meet all my friends. I have been celibate now for many years.”
“What is an anchor?”
“ A file photo computer generated. May resemble a real person but is an animated figure.”
“Ah...! Very interesting. I am a King.”
“You are ?”
“Do you want to be a King’s mate?”
“What do I have to do?”
“Nothing at all. It entitles you to privileges. Why don’t you enter this King’s contest I am organising? It will make you a real King. Imagine the status that goes with it. And I can make you American.”
“No thanks. I am ok. I am already American.”
“Think about it. You don’t have to leave Hyderabad. We are in the USA after all.”
“We have to move Uncle out of this place mom.”
“ Oh! Such a thing can happen anywhere. No need to move. Uncle did not notice any change. No more thinking about it.”
“Ok mom. “
“Time for lunch! I am starving!”
“Hm... What are all these delicacies.”
“Try them. Each and everyone one of them is tasty and nutritious. Who says healthy food can’t be tasty. It’s all Indian fare.”
“Your brother and sister did not come ? “
“No they could not make it.”
Olivia “Patrick encourage your cousins to enter the King’s competition. You will attract attention and be married within the year.”
“I will do so. Some of them have already found mates through the dating site.”
Patrick calls Matt. Matt is relieved. “All cousins settled in life.”
“And we can look forward to plenty of grandchildren soon. All 10 of them who haven’t found partners will enter the King’s contest. Those who don’t win will be made King’s mates if they enter the competition. And they will find partners, I am confident.”
“Great. We have achieved our goals. We are rich and famous.”