It all began with Mantriji donning the 'topi' a few years back. At that time, he had been in the pink of health and the parliamentarian attire dignified his authoritative persona. With passing time, his hairline had shrunk by what his waistline had gained. The Bills lay beneath the pills in his table drawer. But what happened when Mantriji had to be taken to a dentist one day? It is a tale of two T's: the 'topi' and the tooth.
Now Mantriji's sweet tooth had always been an open secret and boxes of sweets poured in wherever he went. His physician had tried to admonish him, but could never himself catch Mantriji "sweet-handed". Only empty boxes lay strewn everywhere and Mantriji could not find place to put his feet on the ground!
But, all the sweetness that Mantriji showered on his ardent followers, in return for the boxes, could not save him from getting a bad tooth. And the dentist was rung up in the middle of the night.
The dentist, after making repute in his field, had decided to start his own practice recently and had sought Mantriji's blessings a few days back only. As a token of appreciation for his special box of sweets, Mantriji himself had come down to inaugurate the clinic yesterday.
The dentist was already awake, sitting right next to his phone when it rang and readily opened his doors to Mantriji's car waiting outside. The dentist bowed down to greet the first patient of his private practice, and Mantriji acknowledged by setting his pious feet down in the clinic. Once Mantriji had settled down in the dental chair, the dentist found a big cavity in his tooth, draining right into the roots.
"Ah, this is where all the sweets have been going down the drain. Dont worry Mantriji, we will fix the tooth for you."
"But if you fill the cavity, where will I keep the sweets then?"
The dentist thought for a moment. This was certainly something they had not taught him at the dental school. He could not let his first patient walk out with a cavity and without a cavity. But then the idea struck him.
"Mantriji, what about your topi?!"
"Oh no no. All my disciples bow down before the topi every morning. I cannot put sweets in the topi. It will spoil their health"
"Ok, then, how about I put a cap, er, I mean a topi on your tooth! And if you want, we can make it in ceramic instead of khadi. The shine of ceramic will bring back your youthful persona!"
Mantriji wasn't convinced. But, the dentist was not one to give up so easily.
"Mantriji you will have two topis then - one on the tooth 'khaane ke liye' and one at the top 'dikhane ke liye' "
Mantriji was mightily pleased with this suggestion and the dentist set off to work immediately. After a few hours of drills and frills, Mantriji walked out of the clinic with a smile wider than his girth. The dentist too retired for the night, thanking the 'halwai' of the special sweets box. After all, Mantriji wasn't the only one who had mastered the art of "topi pehnana"!