"Then we set off… about half an hour. I was desperate for the toilet. Luckily I saw a sign that said McDonald’s ten minutes ahead. So took a little pit stop, Then we went to the Taj…”
Amid tonnes of formal communication on crucial matters, this is an excerpt from a letter that recently landed at Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar’s table.
The hand-written two page letter came from “the daughter of the Maldives Speaker Yania Shahid, aged nine”. It enthusiastically describes a child’s tour to incredible India when she accompanied her father for a meeting of the SAARC Speaker’s conference last July.
The Speaker also read how H Rabbee, the little Maldivian tourist, held the hand of a monkey after she got a scare seeing a snake: “..then me and a friend went to see a cobra snake. I was totally scared to go near it. There were also monkeys. Two. One was sitting naked. The other one was wearing a dress and it could dance it was a sacred monkey. I even held its hand. The owners were Muslims.”
Kumar has specially kept the letter and is readying a personal reply to invite her once again to India where Rabbee failed to see an elephant: “not a single one”.
Rabbee also wrote that “the country is beautiful with all its sites like the Taj Mahal and the Red Fort” but she didn’t quite like the hotel’s swimming pool as there were “flies and leaf in and above the pool.”
Rabbee thanked Kumar thrice for the chance to see India and even mentioned the battery-powered tourist vehicles to Taj Mahal—a recognition of anti-pollution efforts to save the unique architecture.
In the middle of the letter Rabbee wrote: “Oh I almost forgot it is an honour to be writing to you.”
Kumar is also otherwise compelled to reply to Rabbee. For, the letter concluded: “please write to: 56 Park street, Krikham, Preston.”