A top secret Indian defence document turns up in a Delhi peanut vendor's hands
In the Nuclear Doghouse
Top Secret Indian Defence Document in Peanut Vendor's Possession
A mysterious Indian defence document, marked 'Top Secret' and dated May-June 1998, has come to light of all places in the wrapping paper used by a peanut-vendor who operates his business near New Delhi's India Gate. Inquiries reveal that the vendor purchased eighteen kilos of waste paper from Raksha Mantralaya (the Indian Ministry of Defence) early in August 2010, and noticed this particular document only while wrapping five rupees' worth of peanuts. "The masthead on the pages was different from the usual," he explained, "so I thought it might be important, and called the newspapers!"
Titled "In the Plutonium Doghouse", the document is typed on the memo-pad of the ministry's shadowy Department of Strategic Planning and Control, and appears to be a sweeping account of global nuclear history. With defence ministry officials refusing to comment on it, the document is reproduced in its entirety below.
Delhi, May-June 1998.
Once upon a time there was a kennel, in which lived dogs of assorted size, shape, faith and hue. Oldest among the dogs were Big Yellow and Big Brown. The two were neighbours, and like most senior citizens, pretty peaceful characters; in fact, Big Brown spent most of his time sleeping. Then came Big White, Big Red and a host of smaller dogs. In the beginning things were just fine. Each dog had its very own space, with enough food supplies to last forever if managed well. But over the years some dogs got greedy and gobbled up their own supplies, and then they took to stealing other dogs' food. Naturally, a stage came when they were all fighting like cats over the supplies that remained.
One day, Big White dug up an ancient bone from somewhere and discovered that by blowing on it he could make a fearful racket; enough to reduce all the other dogs to quivering, defenseless puppies! Naturally, he put on a lot of dog after that. He strutted about the kennel, brandishing his new pipe and helping himself liberally to the others' provisions. But soon thereafter Big Red dug out a terrible bone-pipe of his own, and he was followed by two smaller white dogs; and barely had the echoes from their cacophonous pipes died down when Big Yellow nearly brought the roof down with a resounding trumpet-blast of his own.
Realizing that it was futile to aim their pipes at one another, the five dogs went into a huddle and came up with a brilliant idea: an exclusive pipe-wielder's club, from which other dogs were debarred! For a while, then, the Plutonium Club (or Pluto Club or P-5 for short, as it came to be called) ruled the kennel. But Big Yellow was hungry for variety in his diet, and soon his eyes turned towards the mountainous stores of his neighbour Big Brown (who of course had slumbered while all this was happening).
Now, there was a little brown dog - aptly called Li'l Brown - who lived right next to Big Brown. Kennel folklore had it that once, very long ago, both Big Brown and Li'l Brown had belonged to the same family; but then a bitter quarrel had taken place over property and Li'l Brown moved out to live by himself. Since then, Li'l Brown had developed a habit of filching food from Big Brown or nipping him, and whenever the old dog protested Li’l Brown would roll over and yelp, "Help! Big Brown’s bullying me!" Baffled, Big Brown would go back to sleep, but soon Li'l Brown would be badgering him again, egged on by Big White who found it all very amusing.
Big White had other reasons too for befriending Li'l Brown. Right next to Li'l Brown lived a host of small dogs with vast supplies of delicious Afghan and Mughal food, but no bone-pipes of their own. Now, both Big White and Big Red were partial to Central Asian cuisine, but being much closer, Big Red had hogged the lion's share of these goodies. So Big White made Li'l Brown his ally, promising him limitless supplies of hot dogs and cold fizzy drinks if only he harried Big Red and kept him away from the neighbourhood... such were the dog-eats-dog politics of the kennel!
But now Big Yellow turned to Li'l Brown and growled, "Here's a present for you... a little bone-pipe of your own! Now be a good fellow and wave it under Big Brown's nose. It'll distract him while I take a bite out of his Sikkimese pudding."
But even as he spoke, a deafening roar shook the ticks off the kennel walls. Big Brown had sounded his very own bone-pipe; how he had dug it up while asleep, no one knew. "Blast!" growled Big Yellow. "Dog-gone it!" howled Big White. As for poor Li'l Brown, he was inconsolable. "I can't hound him any more," he wailed. Finally Big White went over to him. "Aw, come on," he rumbled soothingly, "tootle on that little pipe of yours, chew on this nice piece of Afghan kebab, and you'll feel better. As for Big Brown, just wait till the old duffer's asleep and then take a nip out of his tail."
Editor's Note: Unfortunately the document ends at this point. Peanut vendors, balloon sellers and their clients in Delhi are requested to keep an eye open, and to inform the newspapers in case any more pages are found.