My dad was cleaning out some of his old stuff, and among all the unwanted papers was a small newspaper clipping that he had kept. Here’s what the clipping said, verbatim:
Hullabaloo over H
I landed at the Los Angeles airport on June 7, 2005 on an Air India flight. I was 82, and though in good shape, I thought my request for a wheelchair would save me carrying my hand baggage to the immigration desk. My name is Jai Dev Bajaj. I discovered that Mexicans pronounce J as H like San Jose is pronounced “San Hosey”. A dark and buxom Mexican lady pushed my wheel chair and shouted at the gate: “This, Sir, is the wheelchair for Haidev Bahaha!”
To my good luck, a friend of mine from my Lahore Government College days, Jeevan Lal Ahuja, had come to meet me at the airport. He advised me: “Don’t take the Mexican twisted-tongue pronounciation seriously. They call me Heaven Lal Ahuha.”
(Courtesy: Jai Dev Bajaj, Pathankot)
I cannot ascertain when or in which newspaper this was published; no such details were there on the small clipping.
Update: New info from Dad – the above piece appeared in The Telegraph published from Kolkata, in Khushwant Singh’s column that appears every Saturday. The date still remains unknown, though!