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Who is he or she?

Who is he  or she?
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One lives and learns; some learn the hard way. My only friend of whom I have written in this column off and on and I belong to the second category. We...

One lives and learns; some learn the hard way. My only friend of whom I have written in this column off and on and I belong to the second category. We learnt two lessons last week. First, even the worm turns. Second, those who imagine that they know all that there is to know are the greatest ignoramuses. I had gone to my friend's house after finding out that he was free. We had hardly settled down when the boy, the college-going grandson of my friend of whom too I have written occasionally, barged into the drawing-room and plumped in a sofa. Somehow he did not seem to be in a good mood. He did wish me, but perfunctorily. And it looked as though he was in a mood to grill us. "Since both of you are journalists, or have at least been journalists ( once a thief always a thief, and once a journalist always a journalist) who tend to look down on my generation and on the education we receive, prepare yourself to answer just one question from me," he said apropos of nothing. My friend and I looked at each other blankly, and then returned to our passive postures. The boy started: " I know that neither of you is a TV buff. Both of you watch only news channels for a while, and then discuss the news of the day. But that does not matter. My question has nothing to do with TV. It is a question of common sense." As he paused for breath, my friend and I again exchanged glances because neither could get the drift of the question. Then began the question; "All cricket-lovers must have noticed the swagger that characterizes MS Dhoni. Even when he goes out to bat when his team is in a precarious situation, the swagger accompanies him. It abides him even when he leads his team to the ground for fielding." The boy paused again and looked at the two of us oldies. "Now here is my question. In one TV ad, a car stops suddenly close to Dhoni. A hand from inside beckons him. The hand is not shown, much less its owner. And Dhoni responds to the invitation with servility. That is rather out of character, if you know what I mean. Now tell me who is in that car and how does he/she dominate him." Characteristically, I opened my mouth. "It must be his wife. After all, which man does not dread his wife, though no man would admit to it?" With that I thought I had the boy where I wanted him. But the sardonic smile that appeared on his face provoked my friend more than me. "Who else could it be?" my friend demanded with asperity. " If it was his wife, whatever could have prevented her from coming out of the car and taking him away?" "Then who on earth could it be?" that was my friend again. " It could be none other than Srinivasan who first saved Dhoni's captaincy, then appointed him as a director of his company; and now maybe, based on his IPL performances, he has decided to promote him vice-chairman of his company." � M V
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