The Knighthood Quagmire!!!
James was sitting in the guest room of Buckingham palace. During all his life as world’s most famous secret agent and being a loyal employee to MI6, this was the first time he was visiting the palace. Situation was quite strange for him. All these years when he was an employee to MI6, he was never invited to the palace. And now when he had quit MI6 , he was sitting there, in the palace, as an official invitee to her highness.
The palace was grand.
Soon her highness, the Queen, appeared. James stood up, held her hand, kissed it and greeted “Her highness, my name is Bond. James Bond”
“Oh the universe knows it. Better get it tattooed on your forehead” said the Queen with an emotionless face. James was taken aback.
“Oh that’s hilarious. Her highness, I must say. Your sense of humor is just immaculate” said Queen’s sidekick.
James smiled and laughed slowly. All his life, he had been world’s best and most famous secret agent. Asking it to get tattooed on his forehead was an insult and James had taken an offence. But as they say, when people in power take a dump – it isn’t called shitting but taking time out to provide natural fertilizer to the world for greater good, James had to smile and laugh at the Queen’s joke.
The Queen hinted her sidekick to move out of the room and off he went.
Queen sat down and asked James to sit.
James asked politely, “Her highness. Kindly allow me to thank you from the bottom of my heart for inviting me to the palace. Seriously, this is the biggest day of my life”
“Oh cut out the flattery, Mr. Bond. Let’s come straight to the point” said Queen.
“As you please her highness. May I know the reason?”
“I’ve heard that MI6 has fired you, Mr. Bond?”
“I beg to differ, her highness. They didn’t fire me. It was yours truly who resigned.”
“Whatever it is, you are out of job right now. And I have something to offer Mr. Bond” said the Queen.
“I am all ears”
“It’s the knighthood” said Queen and took a pause.
James might have been paid handsomely by MI6 in cash and he might have earned bigger rewards in kind during his tenure, but if there was one thing he always longed for, it was respect. He always wondered, even after being the most courageous servant to the British Empire in last century, he was never rewarded with the biggest honor of all – the knighthood. This was one grudge he had against his own motherland – why couldn’t it recognize his service and reward it accordingly. Why James had to live the anonymous life of world’s most famous secret agent. Why he wasn’t known as Sir James Bond. Why?
The Queen came out of her pause and restarted, “The Knighthood has been stolen Mr. Bond”
From a height of 30,000 feet, James came crashing down to the ground.
There you go. It is not happening. These thankless souls will never recognize my contribution towards the country. But what the hell is this? Knighthood has been stolen? Last I knew, it used to be a title aimed at distributing to those who kept the Royals happy. That’s been stolen? What? Ten thousand thoughts came to James’ mind in a split second.
“Her highness, have I heard it right? Knighthood has been stolen? Isn’t it a title – an intangible? How can someone steal it?”
“I know it sounds a bit weird Mr. Bond.” said Queen”Please allow me to explain. As you know, the Royal family awards knighthood to those who do exemplary service to the empire. Those who awarded with Knighthood are called as Sir”
James nodded. Queen continued “But what I have been told recently that the entire universe has started to refer someone as Sir. But I don’t remember awarding knighthood to anyone off late. That’s why I say, knighthood has been stolen. Someone has been using it without our consent, my consent. I want you to find out all those who are behind this theft and undo all the harm caused to the deemed title of Sir”
James had yet not come in terms with what had just been told. He politely asked the Queen “Her highness, may I ask who is that someone?”
“Some curly haired cricketer in India”
“Oh, the little master? Her highness, he is a fantastic cricketer. He is awesome. He had become a great batsman even before I could solve the Golden Eye case. In my humble opinion, knighthood will be richer to have him in its honor roll”
“Mr. Bond. You are not here to opine. You are here to solve a case. If it was him, I wouldn’t have needed you. He is part of the government there and I would have solved this case diplomatically. It is some other curly haired cricketer. I need you to find out who he is, how and when he was knighted, make sure that nobody calls him sir from now on.”
“Okay her highness. Now if you don’t mind, can we discuss the remuneration part” said James.
“Mr. Bond. Don’t you understand? You will be working for the empire. Everything will be taken care of. Now off you go” said Queen and walked out of the room.
James stood there for a few seconds. He had busted multiple heists, killed world’s most dangerous terrorists, saved the world from nuclear attacks but this was something he had never done. How the hell he was supposed to solve the case of a title being stolen? But he was out of job and the world was in such a big recession that companies were rumored to have been replacing toilet papers with the resumes of applicants. James had to take whatever job came his way.
He came back to his room, picked up his digital diary and started scrolling down. He had a few assets in India and decided to make them the starting point. He decided to call up his most reliable informer – codenamed Agent 300. Agent 300 had helped James in multiple cases and was James’ most trusted ally in India.
James dialed the number. “Hello. This is agent 007. Am I talking to agent 300?”
“Hey James, PuPoo here. How are you?” said 300 in reply.
“What the hell dude? Why are you calling me by my name? Have you forgotten the protocols?” wondered James.
“Oh chuck it. The world knows that you have been fired” laughed agent 300.
“Dude, I resigned. How the hell everyone knows about it? I am sure M has been spreading the rumor that I was fired. That’s why everyone knows it. BTW, what the hell is PuPoo? As far as I remember, it wasn’t your real name” said James in a surprised tone.
“Well, it is all my devotion for Sir. He owns a horse and has named it as PuP. Hence I have renamed myself as PuPoo. So what if I am not as lucky as his horse, I can hope that one day my name will reach Sir and he will bless me with his grace”
“Sir? Dude, you rock. You already seem to know about the case I am working on. I have a job for you”
“That’s hilarious. Someone who doesn’t have a job for himself is offering me a job” laughed Agent 300.
“Shut up dude. I am working for Royals now?”
“Oh that’s fantastic. Which of the two Royals you are working for? Is it Rajasthan Royals or Royal Challengers Bangalore?”
“I am working for the Queen” said James.
“Oh that reminds me, I have a job for you” said Agent 300.
This almost brought tears in James’ eyes. Agent 300 used to be a smalltime informer who was virtually a parasite for James to make a living, was offering a Job to James. How times change? It is what James thought.
“Before you refuse saying you have been paid a fortune by your current employer, let me tell you that I will pay double of what you may be getting. BTW, you are working for the Queen. You may not get anything. I know all about recession in Europe”
“Okay, go on. Let me hear it” said James.
“You would know about knighthood – something if awarded to someone, that someone is called Sir” said Agent 300.
What the hell is going on? Is he working on the same case? If yes, why the hell Queen hired me? It has to be a no. When we started talking, he referred someone as Sir. Who was he referring to? What the hell is going on? James had his head in a spin.
“So the knighthood has been stolen and you want to find out who did it. Basically you want to subcontract this work. But dude, let me tell you that the Queen herself hired me for this job. So it will be the case of thanks but no thanks from me for this” said James.
“No James. It is not the case. Maybe you don’t follow cricket but let me tell you. The god has come to this planet in form of his new avatar. He has reincarnated in form of Sir Jadeja. Sir is the new God. Sir is the savior. Sir is everything” said Agent 300 “Sir is the symbol of ultimate respect. But what you English have done has devalued the meaning of word Sir. You have made this honor too human. Look around you James – every second person is Sir in England”
“So what do you want me to do?” asked James.
“I want you to strike a deal with the Queen. We, the devotees of Sir, want to buy all the exclusive rights of this word – Sir. Once the deal is struck, this will only be used for Sir Jadeja. Once we have the rights, the title of Sir will be withdrawn from all those who were Knighted in the past. As I said, there should be and there will be only one Sir in this universe. Hail Sir”
“Are you on drugs? Do you even know what you are talking?” James was about to fall flat on the ground. He just couldn’t believe what was happening.
“Yes. I am asking you to broker a deal between us, the devotees of Sir, and the Queen – we want to buy all the rights to use the world Sir. BTW, it is SIR – all three letters are in capital”
“Dude, even if I believe you and explain the deal to the Queen, do you think she will buy it?”
“In that case, we will have to take a harsher step” said Agent 300.
“What will be that? Attack us?” said James in a sarcastic tone.
“Nope. We will simply request SIR to cancel Queen’s monarchy. Once that happens, we shall file the patent to use the world SIR” said Agent 300.
The call was disconnected. This was a weird development and James decided to update the queen about it. He got next day’s appointment to meet her.
It took immense courage for James to explain it to the Queen - whatever happened between him and Agent 300.
If James was thinking he has had a weird day, Queen’s response made it even weirder.
“I have decided to drop the case Mr. Bond. You can pick up the cheque for your dues from the finance department. The case is closed”
“Her highness?” exclaimed James.
“I happened to watch last night’s match Mr. Bond. Guys in yellow Tee were playing against some team. I saw SIR in that – clad in yellow tee, the aura, the halo. It was all there and made me believe that he is SIR, the real SIR. I have realized my mistake and I am a devotee now. I would suggest you to become his devotee too, Mr. Bond” said Queen and off she went.
James stood there and watched her go.
PS: This is a work of fiction. Resemblance to any living or dead is purely coincidental.