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April 2019 Vol. 15 No. 1

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Gautam Nadkarni


I once knew a magician who owed me some money. A tidy sum. All his efforts to pull the moolah from his hat failed. That explained why he hadn’t retired early. Faced with defeat he did a cowardly thing. Yes, he did the disappearing act. Without leaving a mailing address. But in the process I had learnt a few spells.

Goodness knows how but my little sister came to know about the sordid event. And threatened me with dire consequences if I didn’t turn her into a ravishing beauty. Well, I figured there was no harm in trying.

I made her sit by the dining table and chanted the appropriate mantra. There was a puff of smoke and sis was transformed into an orange. I wasn’t unduly bothered of course. Obviously a syllable mispronounced. I pursed my lips and gave it another go. This time she became an egg. One of those hardboiled varieties done over ten minutes. Now I was a trifle worried. I ransacked my memory and clearly enunciated the spell. I watched in despair as she turned into a bottle of Veuve Cliquot. Complete with ice bucket.

Not one to cry over spilt milk, or champagne, I poured myself a glass and relaxed as I thought it over. What with one thing and another just as I swallowed the very last drop from the bottle Mother came along to ask me my sister’s whereabouts. Of course she didn’t believe a word I said. She said I was drunk. Now a year has passed and Mom has given up all hopes. She presumes that sis must have eloped with the chauffeur. I can’t argue with the logic.

The fact is that today I am one sister short.

poll promises –
another egg whizzes past
the politico