I was just a child so I simply remained silent. They tried their hardest. Finally, in a hotel, I said to them, “You please keep quiet. The whole day you have wasted; let me talk to the manager.”
They said, “What can you do in this matter? It is a problem: hundreds of people are wandering about; there is no place. Ten million people have already arrived, and people are continually arriving. Hundreds of special planes are running from all over the country; thousands of special buses, planes…. Everybody is going to Allahabad. What will you do?”
I said, “Just watching you the whole day…. Give me a chance.”
They said, “Okay.”
I asked the manager, “Is there really no place?”
He said, “There is no place at all.”
I said, “If the prime minister comes to the hotel, will there be a place or not?”
He said, “For the prime minister or for the president or for the governor we have emergency rooms. Of course they are empty.”
So I said, “Give us the emergency room, and if the prime minister comes we will immediately vacate it – there is no problem in it. If nobody comes, you need not be worried.” He looked here and there, he could not find what to say.
I said, “If you need the room, we promise as you get the information…. It is not going to be that the prime minister will come directly to you, his secretary will phone. As you get the information…. And you are not the best hotel in this city. Don’t be foolish. If the prime minister comes, he will be staying in the Hilton, in the Oberoi. He is not going to come to your third-class hotel. But if he comes, we are willing – we can give it in writing – we will leave immediately.”
He said, “Your argument seems to be right. In fact in my whole life they have never come, and I don’t think they are ever going to come. You are right – they always go to the Hilton. And we are really foolish, we are keeping the most beautiful room empty. You just get into it. You are the first person who has made me aware that we are wasting our best room for years. Now I am not going to bother.”
I told my uncles, “Get in!” And I told the manager, “Because I am the first person who has given you the idea, just be courteous. Anyway your room was empty for years; you give us three days more.”
He said, “Absolutely right. You are our guests: for three days you live here.” And we became really very friendly, so friendly that he would take us in his car to the festival place which was almost ten miles away and impossible to get any taxi or any bus to: everything was overloaded. My uncles were very much impressed for the first time.