An Open Letter To Atul Gupta

Dear Atul,

May I call you Atul? You have been in the news so frequently that you feel like an old friend. A friend who once banged my wife, but a friend, nevertheless.

I have so many questions for you that I barely know where to begin. Let me jump in with the most pressing one. When my computer starts, it sounds like a chartered jet coming in to land at Waterkloof Air Force Base. It whines and chatters worse than a roomful of Gujarati housewives. Sometimes I have to kick it to shut it up. No wonder they call it booting Windows. Do you think my hard drive is about to fail? Perhaps I should get a Mac. You already have one – Mac Maharaj. I apologise. This is no time for jokes.

I will be popping in to Sahara Computers next week. I expect you will want to give me a hefty discount when you find who I know. I can’t give specific details because, thanks to you, name-dropping now carries a life sentence. Think of a number. That’s it. You got it in One. Shall we say 75% off?

So how is He Who Shall Not Be Mentioned these days? Have you had him around for tea and a debriefing since the wedding? Our man is known to stick by his friends through thick and thin. Schabir Shaik might disagree, but then he has been downgraded to Untouchable so it doesn’t really matter what he thinks.

I hope the hostility of the bloody agents working for our counter-revolutionary media hasn’t put you off doing business in our otherwise friendly country.

Indians contribute a hell of a lot to our economy. I’m not talking about Bobby selling gold Rolexes there by Addington Beach– buy one get one free – but principled men like you who have one leg in the motherland and the other in the mother lode.

I read somewhere that when the family empire began expanding, your older boet, Ajay, was sent to China to check things out. Apparently he was only offered shares instead of full control. Was he talking about a factory or the whole country?

Good thing it didn’t work out. Chinese premiers don’t come cheap. You also wouldn’t want to try the Waterkloof stunt at Liangxiangzhen Air Base. Your entire wedding party would still be in one of their delightful laogai camps. Probably making computer parts.

You said in an interview in 2011 that setting up shop (a charming euphemism for a unique brand of imperialism) in South Africa was easy “because we didn’t find any red tape”. Don’t bluff me, Atul. You must have stumbled across the secret to one of our government’s magic tricks. Sprinkle a few drops of money on a piece of red tape, look the other way and woohoo! No more red tape.

One last thing. Next time you invite a whitey for curry, call me and not Helen Zille. I’ll do you plenty of favours, but don’t give money. One lekka mutton breyani will do me.