Videotape-1: Xi Jinping, Imran Khan
“It was as simple as that?” Imran Khan asked, impressed.
“It was as simple as that,” replied Xi Jinping. “The Indians are such damned fools.”
The Pakistani prime minister said: “So the Indians fell for it hook, line and ...’
“ ... sinker,” the Chinese president completed the sentence.
Xi leaned back in his plush chair, placed both his hands behind his head and beamed at Imran. “Don’t you want to see it?”
“You can’t stop me,” Imran said with what looked like a smile on his face.
Xi rang a bell. A frail, elderly man with three white hairs, each a foot long, dangling from his chin walked in. “This is Dr Tang Wang Yang, the Chief Scientific Conspirator of the People’s Liberation Army of China,” Xi said to Imran, pointing at the man who looked like a cross between a pirate and a priest. “Show our esteemed guest what you have, Tang.”
I pressed the pause button on the remote and asked Deep Throat, my source who got the tape. “Where did this meeting happen?”
“It’s in the conference room at Xi’s residence in Jade Spring Hill, a high-security area near Beijing,” said Deep Throat. “Now watch the rest of it.”
I resumed the video.
After an elaborate bow, Dr Tang pressed a button on a device in his hand no bigger than a TV remote. A double-door, nearly 18-feet-high, slid sideways and disappeared into both ends of the wall. The scientist pushed another button.
Imran gave a start, nearly dropping the ornate cup of tea in his hand. There was a great rumbling sound as if the floor was caving in. Xi chuckled happily.
His eyes almost dropping out of sockets, Imran gaped at the open door.
A gigantic ape-like robot strode in, stomping one foot after another, each measuring 32X15 inches, on the floor before it finally rested in a corner. The Pakistani leader had to bend his head backwards awkwardly and look up to see the robot’s head which nearly brushed the ceiling. Only a close look revealed the intricate wires and tiny bulbs embedded in the imitation fur that covered the robot-ape.
Only one word escaped Khan’s quivering lips. “Y-e-t-i.”
“Yes,” Xi said, slapping his thigh with joy. “This was made by Dr Tang at a top-secret laboratory in Shenzhen. We left it in the Himalayan wilds near the Indian border. It took strategically vital pictures of the territory and the Indian Army camps before we recalled it.”
Imran was speechless, as Xi continued, “You are the only world leader let into this secret. After all, Pakistan is a Chinese colony, ain’t it?”
Imran nodded. “How did you get this idea, sir? Was something like this mentioned in Das Kapital or the Communist Manifesto?”
“No,” the Chinese leader revealed, lowering his voice to a whisper, “we got the idea from Dr No.”
I paused the video again. “Dr No?” I exclaimed. “I should have guessed!” Deep Throat winked.
Dr No is the villain in the James Bond novel of the same name by Ian Fleming. A Chinese-American, Dr No creates a buggy that spews flames and makes it look like a “dragon” to scare away tresspassers from his island. I restarted the video.
The video ended with Xi telling Imran: “We’ll keep this fake Yeti in this conference room. As we plot our conspiracies against capitalists around the world, this contraption will be a constant reminder to us about how awfully stupid the rest of the world, particularly India, is.”
“That’s not the end of the story,” said Deep Throat, fishing out another tape from a pocket.
Videotape-2: Narendra Modi, Amit Shah
When I played this new tape, the contented faces of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah filled the screen.
“It was as simple as that?” Shah asked, impressed.
“It was as simple as that,” replied Modi. “The Chinese are such damned fools.”
The BJP president said: “So the Chinese fell for it hook, line and ...’
“ ... sinker,” the Indian prime minister completed the sentence.
Modi looked hard at the photograph of the make-believe Yeti of the Chinese on the table in front of him. He explained: “When the Indian Army captured the so-called Yeti, I got an idea. I told Ajit Doval to plant every imaginable kind of bug inside the robot and put it back where it was found. Only after that, the Chinese took the Yeti away. The army is tweeting about the footprints only to keep the pretence going.”
“And the Chinese have no clue that the bugs transmit to us all the wicked, diabolical plotting they do in that conference room,” Shah said. Modi nodded.
“You have turned an Abominable Snowman into a lovable Trojan Horse, sir.”
The author wrote a weekly satire column called True Lies in The Times of India from 1996 to 2001. He tweets at @sprasadindia
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Updated Date: May 01, 2019 19:20:01 IST