“I wouldn’t be so sure about that,” Pierre said. “Singh is all over us at the moment.”
“He’s had helicopters hovering over the mountain for two days.”
“He’s desperate to know what’s happening.”
This was not good. The P.M. had hoped that by now Singh would have been more relaxed about everything.
“I don’t understand why he can’t just let it go,” he said. “My father was an old friend of Shard’s – this is a family matter. He should respect that and simply allow us to proceed as best we can.”
“Your father was right excluding Singh. If you’d let Singh into this he wouldn’t have been able to help himself – he’d be trying to run the show. Singh could never just sit back and quietly watch the film – he’d always demand to be the director!”
Pierre laughed at his own little joke –
“That’s just the way it is.”
The P.M. prickled a little – Singh was a sore point. If he’d had it his way, the P.M. would have let Singh in on it at the very beginning – years ago. He couldn’t understand why the sadhus would choose to add such an unnecessary complication to an already almost impossible undertaking.
“People like Singh keep the country going. Look around…”
The P.M. included thousands of people in the swoop of a hand.
“What would India be like without a strong bureaucracy?”
“I agree,” Pierre said affably. “No doubt Singh has his place. But it’s not with us – and definitely not now. Singh is the devil we know – and we like it that way.”
The P.M. glanced across at him – there was no point arguing.
It wasn’t just the thought of surprising everyone else and actually becoming a writer that thrilled Max, it was more the hope of surprising himself that made his blood quicken.
It was amazing – from the moment David Brown had suggested to him the idea of going to India to write a novel about Sadhus, it seemed to thrive within him with a momentum of its own – some innately impelling fascination. What was it