I am a Gypsy
“It is hard to pronounce your name you know, never had I got it right in the first instance, do you mind, if I address you as Dan rather than Dhananjayalu?”
“Not at all, in fact I like that,” said Dhananjayalu, a medium built man, with razor thin mustache carefully trimmed in a narrow space between the upper lip and a nose that looked like a sail boat. His has a face of worldly wisdom; evidence of travel, knowledge and quick grasp. Anybody who speaks with Dan for the first time quickly learns that he is a man of immense knowledge.
“Do you know what percentage of state governors In US are of Indian origin?” asked Dan.
“Right now there is only one, governor of Louisiana,” replied Juggernaut.
“Well, you can add governorship of South Carolina, since it is a foregone conclusion.”
“Well then, two state governors are of Indian origin,” concluded Juggernaut.
“I would rather say 4 percent of state governors are of Indian origin, that sounds better than mere number 2,” concluded Dan. Right there, one can see the wisdom in Dan.
“I was brought to work for a family in their duty-free gift stores in the Caribbean; from Bahamas to Aruba. It was like a modern day indentureship. They promised one day I would have my own gift shop and have my own indenture labor from India, but after several years of labor, my equity in the business was only 5 cents on the dollar, so I quit and came to America,” Juggernaut was reflective.
“Well, you are in the right place; America is the land of opportunities.” “Here, you work hard, you make money and you keep it to yourself,” Dan, repeated the mantra. “Look how an Indian American woman about to became governor of a conservative state.” “People outside India knew very little of Indian history, you know,” “centuries back, even before the formation of the United States, Canada and all those countries that boast equal rights for women In their societies, women ruled independent kingdoms in India.”
“I read that in the history books.”
“Well, hang this sign outside our business establishment,” said Dan handing over a large sign board that read “American owned and Operated” to Juggernaut.
“Why we need to display this?”
“America is all about proclamations,” said Dan looking at Juggernaut from side of his eye. “You know emancipation proclamation by Lincoln, don’t you?” this time Dan’s left eye looked down upon Juggernaut while his right eye remained in steady state; how many people can operated their eyes independent of each other.
“Yeah, yeah, I have been reading a lot on American History for my upcoming citizenship test.”
“Here in American we have to proclaim our strength and values constantly to remind people out there who we are.” Say for example, “we are the richest and strongest nation in the world,” “there are over 50 million people are on the waiting list to get immigration to the United States,” the smartest people in the world wants to come to the United States,” “Given a choice, every doctor in the world wants to practice medicine in America.”
“So, you are proclaiming to the world out there that you are an American and running a business as an American.”
“Irrespective of how we look and speak, I want people to know that we are all Americans and come and do business with us,” Dan gave a look of Errol Flynn with his narrow mustache and greasy dark hair.
“Well, since you appears to be in good mood, let me ask you where I stand with respect to my equity in the business, it is over 10 years I have been working with you as a partner,” asked Juggernaut with both his hands gripping his chest firmly protecting his heart from any unexpected reaction from Dan.
“Well, I gave you free home, free meals, free TV, transportation and utilities and taught how to manage a business,” “ considering all this, I would say whenever I sell this business you will get 8 cents on the dollar,” Dan was tapping on the desk with his finger as he spoke as if his proclamation needs background music.
“What home, just a room with attached bath?” “What food, just donuts and Danish that everybody gets free for breakfast and I ate those leftovers for lunch and dinner,” “since I live here and work, I have no need for transportation,” “I expected my equity after 10 years would be more than 8 cents on the dollar,” Juggernaut was furious.
“With no expenses whatsoever, what you saved here would go a long way,” Dan was unapologetic.
“I am tired of living a life of a gypsy, this is the second time I got duped,” “now I would consider growing organic vegetables to sell in local farmers’ market,” cried Juggernaut and then started singing loudly while getting up to leave.
I travel from place to place
In search of solace;
I have been duped twice
By the people cold like ice;
I am a gypsy
Always feeling tipsy;
“Well as I said, America is a free country you know, you are free to do whatever it suits, that’s why we all come here,” proclaimed Dan.
Dan loves to write in cursive. When he was in grade school, he was the only student in his class that can write long paragraphs in cursive to the liking of his teacher Mr. Sharma. Dan was always called upon to write in cursive on the black board if his teachers were to make an announcement. Since then, Dan developed liking towards making pronouncements and writing them in cursive. Dan wrote neatly “Only in America,” on his company stationary, then looked at his writing in cursive with great satisfaction.