I was reading an obit of veteran journalist Dharam Shourie just now, written by a correspondent who knew him well — and stumbled on this gem.

Shourie, who per the writer was a brilliant raconteur, once narrated the story of a journalist who, armed with a tape recorder, went to the office of a Cabinet minister for an interview.

The minister, much miffed, told the reporter to leave his tape recorder outside the room if he wanted the interview. When the reporter complied, and returned to the minister’s chamber, that worthy told him, ‘Why do you want to tape me? Are you trying to deny me my right to deny whatever I am about to tell you?!’