A few years ago, three former leftist student activists, now all inactive, but still broadly leftist even if petit bourgeois, went to Jaipur to spend three days on a holiday. They hired a jeep to make the climb to the Amber Fort on the outskirts of the city. The driver happened to be be a Muslim, and before long the talk turned to politics.
RK, always the one to call a spade a spade, came to the point and asked the driver:
Yahan dange hotey hain?
-Are there riots in this city (implying Hindu- Muslim riots)?
Before he even finished the sentence the driver replied, as if the response was lying on his lips, waiting to be spoken:
ab tak to nahin huye
-There haven’t been any till now
The threesome noted in good humour not only the quickness of the response but also the ab tak (till now).
What the anecdote tells is that the relative outward calmness of Jaipur and Rajasthan may be misleading. After the initial bon homie, practical considerations seem to have weighted down- correctly in my view- on Vasundhara Raje’s refusal to let Taslima Nasreen stay in Rajasthan.