Humor In Corruption: The Grateful Bribe Taker!

The corrupt are the most despicable creatures infesting our Mother Earth in large numbers, particularly India. This is just not right not to be seriously critical about it. However some amount of humor in corrupt practices is always there to tickle you in the abyss of absolute darkness. And, if you are corrupt you can still laugh in a guilt-ridden introspection and maybe you give it up in the effort to enjoy. If you are honest you can laugh all the clearer and louder. Since in the present constipated situation in India you need to laugh out a lot we have decided to start a new Series ‘Humor In Corruption’ on September 8, 2013 and today this is the second installment. If you have your experience on this please leave your plot or write out the full story as a ‘comment’ below. We will publish it in your name.

Once upon a time somewhere in India I was having my warm cup of tea wrapped up cozily in woolens with the newspapers for extra company that wintry morning. I was on a family visit to one of my relatives in a lonely little town. My relative was an officer of the civil service posted there. I was to take the afternoon bus back home that day.

There was a knock on the door, and immediately the man servant came up to open it. As the door opened I could get a glimpse of two men in not so presentable attire fighting against the cold and with rather haggard looks. The servant asked them to wait and ran inside. I directed my attention back to my newspaper assuming that, as usual, they were the locals with those land related problems or issues.

My relative entered with a bovine smile as if he was expecting them, and waved them inside. Only then I noticed the loads they carried. One entered with two real big river fishes and laid them on the floor. The other entered with a maund of rice (maybe around 25 kilos), opened it a little and showed the variety. I immediately recognized it as the finest quality of rice with a sweet fragrance. The men stood aside bowing respectfully.

Aware of my quizzical looks my relative assured me, “Grateful folks, you know! How I helped them to clear their land settlement issues! No…it is not what you people want to think. They are just expressing their gratitude. This rice they have just harvested from the land they own now. And the fish…seem almost alive…no? Caught live and fresh from their ponds in their courtyards, you see!” The men remained expressionless all the while not even with faintest hint of a smile or grin.

I muttered to myself, oh really! They hardly sow and harvest this kind of export quality rice these areas. …And the fish seemed too big for their ponds. They must have spent a lot of money to be ‘grateful’. I kept on staring at the ‘gifts’ and back to the grinning officer.

Sensing my total unwillingness to believe him my relative came and sat by my side grinning ear to ear now. He called the servant who took away the loads to the kitchen. The men saluted and left. He leaned back on the sofa philosophically.
“You just cannot refuse such wonderfully simple and large hearted local folks, can you? That will break their hearts. It is only the love and joy they want to share with you. Anyway…I would suggest you stay back for the night. Have a feast! You’ll really relish the fish curry with that steaming and fragrant rice!”

I decided to take the 11 o’clock bus so that I did not have to stay even for lunch.  I refused to think about how heavenly the fish curry would taste.

“Grateful people!”
“(to myself) Grateful, huh? Try to fool me…you bloody fool!”