Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Was it Necessary?

Czar Nikolas II, after his execution by Lenin’s men in 1918, went to the other world, netherworld, most likely.  He didn’t forget his country and would look everyday for anyone who came from Russia and demand to know the state of affairs in the vast land that stretched from the Baltic to the Pacific.
One day, on November 15, 1981 to be precise, he saw a man with distinct Russian features entering the gate.  He rushed to him and asked where in Russia the newcomer came from.  “From Moscow, from Kremlin, to be precise.  I am Leonid Brezhnev, the Supreme Leader of the great communist nation Soviet Union till the previous moment” the man replied with an air of pride.  “Ah!” exclaimed the Czar with tremendous satisfaction. “You are the right person to talk to.”  Then followed the following conversation:
“Tell me, how is my Russia these days?  It was a great power during my days.  Is it still?  Czar Nikolas wanted to know.
“It still is.  It is one of the two super powers.”  Brezhnev announced for everyone around to hear.
“Good.  You are maintaining my tradition. Thank you.  And… and… I never gave any freedom to my people.  Have you communists introduced democracy, free speech or something of that sort?”  Czar Nikolas probed further.
“Democracy!  What nonsense are you talking?  Are you out of your brain?”  Brezhnev suddenly raised his voice.  Nikolas was taken aback and there was silence for a couple of moments.  Brezhnev looked at him quizzically: “Anything else you want to know?”
“Not really.” Nikolas mumbled, “Just wondering that there seems to be no difference between your regime and mine.”  Ignoring Brezhnev’s frown he spoke slowly: “People complained of food scarcity during my days.  Have you communists solved that problem?”
“Well…” Brezhnev hesitated, “that complaint has become louder now.”  He whispered into Nikolas’ ears.
“Russians drank plenty of vodka in those days.  Hope your communist government has not banned drinking.”  Nikolas persisted.
“Why should we?  Let the people drink and get inebriated.  I mean, let them have fun and allow us to have our own fun in Kremlin.”
“You mean no difference between my regime and your communist regime!” Nikolas exclaimed with relief.  There was a twinkle in his eyes.  Brezhnev turned the other side as if looking for a friend.
            “One last question,” Nikolas drew Brezhnev’s attention.  “During my days state law restricted alcohol in vodka to thirty-eight percent.  Does it remain the same?”
“No man.  It has gone up to forty percent.”  Brezhnev revealed.
“In that case,” Czar Nikolas looked straight into comrade Brezhnev’s eyes, “just for that extra two percent of alcohol in vodka, was it necessary for you Bolsheviks to stage that big revolution in October 1917?”

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