You and I have seen videos of snakes being pulled out of flats and bungalows, but I was pretty astounded to see an angry alligator laboriously hauled out of a Mumbai gutter. I realized it’s jaws had not been tied too tight and rushed to the cage where it was locked up, “Let me out! Let me out Bob!” it shrieked as soon as it saw me.
“Quiet Gator!” I said, “You are going to be released back into the lake, so there’s no need to scream!”
“I don’t want to go into the lake, that’s why I tried hiding in the gutter!”
“Hiding?” I asked incredulously, “From whom?”
“Your new Chandrayaan rocket! It was taking pictures of the earth and if it had captured my image and published it I would have been the ridicule of all the alligators of the world!”
“Why?” I asked puzzled.
“Because a few months back when I attended the World Alligator Meet, I told the gathering my nation had airplanes and internet thousands of years ago, and all the alligators complimented me on living in a country which was so technologically advanced!”
“Great!” I said, “So where’s the problem?”
“But yesterday the alligator chief found out there was a country where people are lynched over what they prefer to eat, thrashed if they do not shout a religious slogan and governed by rulers who change official data to suit their statistics! I am finished!”
“Oh!” I said, “now I understand!”
“Look at this!” said the alligator, trying one last attempt to get into the gutter, then shaking with horror as it showed me a newspaper picture, “Just look at this! Not only does a ruling party MLA rape a young girl, but now he arranges to try and run her over with a truck? How can I tell our Alligator chief I belong to this country? How can I also explain that even as we called ourselves a democracy, that the RTI here has now been diluted so it’s no more an RTI? How?”
“I don’t know,” I whispered.
“So,” said the alligator, crocodile tears streaming down its cheeks, “I thought when Chandrayaan took pictures of the earth..”
“You could hide in the gutter and not get found out!” I said sadly.
“But now that I’m captured, I’m finished! What are you doing Bob?” asked the alligator, as I took out a knife cut it free, then opened the cage and let it out, “What are you doing?”
“Going to hide with you!” I whispered, as the alligator and I hid in the gutter as Chandrayaan passed over and took pictures..!