The world-renowned economist walked out of the airport, after the emergency call I’d made to him, to visit our country after the series of bank collapses. “What I recommend for your nation is to spend, spend, spend!  Don’t save. That way you have guarded yourself against your banks which are going down faster than nine pins!” he said.

“Yes,” I said, “But if I spend on real estate, I will have to sell it someday, then again I will have cash in hand to put in a bank?”

“Who’s asking you to spend on things you can sell later?” asked the world-famous economist with a sneer, “Did I?”

“No!” I admitted.

“Then refrain from putting words in my mouth, I have a reputation to safeguard! What I mean is to spend on items you use once and for all!”

“Like ice-cream?” I asked.

“Brilliant! You learn fast!” said the economist, “You should be made the Finance Minister. But instead of ordering one ice cream, order ten or twenty-five for yourself! Instead of eating in a small ice-cream outlet,sit like a king, in a five-star hotel, and at the end of the day, there won’t be a single paisa you need to bank!”

“But my diabetes may go up?” I ventured.

“Exactly,” said the economist raising his voice as he warmed up to his subject, “Then get yourself admitted in a fancy hospital, and lie relaxed seeing your money well spent!”

“I don’t know,” I murmured a little reluctantly.

“Why, you don’t like ice-cream?”

“It’s not that,” I muttered.

“Then go in for chocolates, gold covered ones that will leave you wanting another slab, and another and another!”

“And then land up in hospital again?” I asked.

“Yes,” said the economist smiling, “Maybe an even costlier one. After the ice-cream episode, you know which rooms are the most expensive! Or book two or three rooms, so your family can be with you and eat the remainder of the chocolates or ice-cream that are leftover!”

“Anything else?” Iasked wearily.

“I would have recommended travel, but now with this coronavirus, I think we’ll stick to ice-creams, chocolates and hospitals. It’s a surefire way of seeing you don’t lose money in a bank collapse!”

“Is there no other way of handling bank collapses?” I whispered.

“Well there is,” whispered the world-famous economist back to me, “start voting wisely!”

“We heard you!” shouted the intelligence officer standing nearby, “Our listening devices were trained on you! We are deporting you for your inflammatory talk against our nation, and may even book sedition charges against you!”

“Bye Bob!” said the economist as he was dragged back into the airport terminal, and booked onto a return flight. I strained my ears to hear his last words to me “Stick to ice-creams and chocolates, it’s safer for you guys!” he shouted even as they muzzled his mouth. 

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