There I was all ready to do a U-turn again (I couldn’t bear the thought of my Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa MPAs voting for whomever they like, whenever they like). Nawaz Sharif also couldn’t bear his Punjab MPAs voting for whomever they like, whenever they like. So, we tried to make common cause and briefly Nawaz and Zardari became my new best friends. What exquisite relief, I thought, I won’t be doing dharnas & marnas for a while. But it was not to be. As always Nawaz and Zardari outwitted and outmaneuvered me and now here I am, with egg on my face, pretending I’ve made a principled decision.

Earlier this week when all was hunky dory, Nawaz Sharif and Asif Zardari sent me such a sweet note: “Welcome home! You are no longer The Prince of Principle; you are simply The Prince as per Machiavelli”. What high praise! I sent them a note back: “Have party. Will travel.”

So, while I may have (briefly) given up on Principles, I haven’t given up on Trees. I’m having a Tree Tsunami in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa which means that I’ll be planting millions of siblings this spring. I’m also going to take several health initiatives in KP. My health minister told me that 5 out of every 20 people suffer from diarrhea. “Does that mean the other 15 are enjoying it?” I asked. I also told the KP cabinet that there should be an amusement park in every district with a dolphin pool in the middle. “I love dolphins”, I told everyone, “because they’re so clever that within a few weeks of captivity, they can train people to stand on the edge of the pool and throw them fish.”

Meanwhile, my wife’s gone off on honeymoon on her own, like in that Indian film “Queen”. I’ll go a few weeks later. By that time, she will have returned. While away on honeymoon, the wife’s been sending me emails: “Let’s have a second honeymoon”. “Sure”, I replid, “I’d love a second honeymoon, but who with?”

Im the Dim