Monday, December 26, 2011

Even Santa Needs A Break!
A day after Christmas, Santa is back home recuperating.  Jetlagged and nursing a terrible tummy ache, he yells for an elf to get antacid in his favourite orange flavour from the nearby pharmacy.  His dietician had advised an all veggie diet to control his burgeoning weight.  So he had stuck to having just Pizzas all through his world tour.  Wasn’t it the Congressional delegation from Minnesota that had declared Pizza as a vegetable?  And who knows better than the Senate!  To force all that pepperoni down his gullet, he had swigged copious quantities of Cola which boasts of containing no traces of fruit at all.  But despite his healthy intake, Santa had managed to put on another 15 pounds, got stuck in chimneys and had to be rescued by the Fire Brigade.  So much for the surprise!

Santa was tired of being old all his life.  Imagine a life with no teen angst, no cause to rebel and no mid-life crisis!  To make it worse, his contract with “ChrissyMissy” forbade him to dye his hair black.  Nopes, he was not allowed to look young, feel young and yet he was expected to go ho-ho-ho all the time.  Stuck with the same hairstyle and delivering gifts in a horrendously red business suit, he had started feeling like a glorified courier boy.  

On top of it, he had to deal with imbeciles who thought that working one night a year and spending the rest judging whether kids have been naughty or nice – life was one big party for him!  Santa wished he could show them, how it felt to work overtime on a night, when the whole world was making merry.  Carrying a gargantuan sack full of gifts.... dealing with the pressure of a deadline... navigating reindeers with zero sense of direction...sliding down all those dirty chimneys... Try spending some time in North Pole dude, with just reindeers and elves for company!  

There were days Santa Claus wished he could run off to Hawaii, spend the rest of his endless life drinking Pina Colada and doing the hula in a grass skirt. 

Monday, December 19, 2011

An Assembly Line Product

You are walking on the road, holding your sari pleats in one hand and clutching your massive handbag in the other.  In a hurry to reach home before your maid does, your mind hovering over the stack of dirty utensils in the kitchen, you almost land inside a comfy looking pothole.  But today in your Superwoman avatar, no force can topple you.   You hop, skip and jump over the yawning crater with effortless ease and wonder if you have smashed an Olympic record.  It’s then you notice the woman staring at you intently, her eyebrows knit with concentration.  Hell yeah! I am sporty you have a problem with that?  Or is it my glowing skin?  I did switch to an insanely expensive soap with an odd fragrance.  She stops you and asks – Do I know you?  Wondering if the query has some deep philosophical meaning, your mind is now running helter-skelter trying to conjure up a smart retort.  But before you can stun her with your awesomeness, she says – You look so familiar, have we met somewhere?  You roll your eyes, sigh loudly and mumble – Welcome to the club.

When God created me, he threw away the mould and the sneaky Chinese stole it from the garbage bin only to make hundreds of copies.  Imagine being approached by strangers demanding to know why you look so familiar! You smile uncertainly and try giving helpful suggestions – mmm... school? Perhaps we went to the same college? Aren’t you the sis I pushed in the well and left to die?  

As if it’s my damn fault that I have a face that everybody claims to have seen somewhere!  By now I have heard it so many times, from so many people, across so many age groups that I’ve started doubting whether I am the genuine product or the Chinese counterfeit.  

Those of you who are unfortunate enough not to have relatives and friends, who look like me, need not despair.  You can always look up to the stars for inspiration.  I often have to bear comparisons with Moushumi Chatterjee (we have similar teeth) and few more actresses I’d rather not name.  As long as you don’t persist that I look like Shakti Kapoor or Kader Khan, I promise not to snap like Lalita Pawar!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Is There An NRI Stereotype?

Presenting K Mathur who blogs at Never Mind Yaar and has debuted as an author with a book with the same title.  She lives in New Zealand and writes passionately on two of India’s most pressing problems - violence between communities and the Environment. Her debut novel about friendship and fun between three college students from different ethnic backgrounds is set in Mumbai — a city the three girls love but know is fraught with communal tension.  On the surface the story might look like just another college love story but the writing and story telling, according to a reviewer, make it different.
According to the author, “Never Mind Yaar” is an attitude - our tendency to feel defeated by the scale and nature of certain problems, give up and move on with a sigh and a "never mind". We ordinary Indians have so many stumblers put in our path. No running water in our taps except between 4 and 6 every morning? Never mind yaar, we can take it. We are inured – such problems bring out our creative flair – water tanks, large tubs in our bathrooms connected through a series of pipes to progressively smaller ones, an alarm clock set for 4 am... “Even today,” she adds, “when my husband uses his ingenuity to sort out some problem, he crows “Aapan kaun?” and I’m supposed to holler with a high five,

In her guest post for A-Musing, she muses on the stereotypes an NRI faces.......

Recently they showed a movie on TV, here in New Zealand. In the movie some of the NZ public were against the South African Springboks being in NZ for rugby in 1981. NZ was split in two. One side said politics shouldn't enter the sporting arena, and the other, that a mostly white team from a country where the majority are overwhelmingly black was offensive. A lovely movie, denouncing South Africa's apartheid policy, recounted from the perspective of two NZ students who were against the South Africans being in NZ, and a police mole planted amidst them - a young female police officer posing as a student.

Then there was the token Indian.

He was the landlord of the two, strapped for cash, students. He was portrayed as someone who made ingenious observations that made you laugh. "We need to show that even well-dressed people are with you," he said to those students, joining them as they all got ready to march in protest with banners and placards. The students were dressed in their uniform - T-shirt, jeans and keds; and he sported a fawn coloured suit.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Two tight slaps!

I will refrain from expressing angst against Kapil Saiborg’s attempts to be a giant broom that is out to clean the filth that floats on the World Wide Web.  No, not porn, not morphed images of celebrities on nude bodies, not fundamentalist propaganda, not the step by step guide on how- to- kill- your- neighbor- in- 10 –minutes- flat… but material deemed objectionable against politicians and religious communities.  I suspect God was added as an afterthought to lend credence to his indignation. It is another matter that Saiborg ended up giving publicity to all that he wanted to hide.  Within minutes the whole world hit the Google button to search for Sonia Gandhi and MMS and what made Saiborg angry!

I will applaud the chivalry in him that wants to protect the lady and her minions from the vitriol spewed by the nameless and the faceless.  Offending images that we are quick to dismiss as juvenile attempts at humour, but our polity looses sleep on.  I am surprised.  All along I was under the impression that being thick-skinned is a must-have quality to be a politician.  

Saiborg has a dream – he dreams of a Utopian world of subjects modeled after Gandhi’s monkeys –deaf, dumb and blind to all things disagreeable.  An Indiayeah of yes-men.  It’s great that you are dying to play the strict school principal out to discipline his errant students.   Three cheers for Kapil, the self-appointed crusader for model behaviour.  Bur Sir, if you expect us to shut up and behave, we have similar expectations from you as well.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

A Pigeonholed existence

If you come to my complex and look skywards, you are most likely to spot me screaming profanities from my balcony.  Before you open your mouth in shock, I suggest you quickly close it before a messy missile lands on your well moisturized face.  In case you are wondering about the origin of the missile, let me assure you that it’s completely vegetarian and fresh from the bottom of a pigeon ass.  

Seven years back when we had shifted to Gurgaon to our own apartment, I was more than happy to have escaped the simian population that had infested our pucca Punjabi calonee in Delhi.  It was impossible to come out in the patio without having to encounter their monkeying ways – baby monkeys swinging delightedly from the washstand, their parents unwinding on a nearby ledge and picking lice off each other.   I also had the pleasure of hearing my maid scream in falsetto, only to see an alarmed looking baby monkey sitting on my daughter’s sleeping back.  Once when a bunch of them invited themselves for an impromptu feast from our refrigerator, my MIL promptly locked herself in the kitchen before pushing our cook out with a timely warning...Indar, Bandar andar.   He realized much to his relief that it was not him she was referring to.  

Gurgaon with its open spaces and greens was an antithesis.  We were now staying in a high rise complex.  The views from our seventh floor condo were stunning, the rain never looked better.  Having a cup of tea in our balcony to the sounds of birds and wind chimes, the soft breeze caressing our face was sheer bliss. 

The monkeys preferred to stay back in Delhi and I could finally sigh in relief.  And not just relieved but also jumping with joy at the sight of the exotic birds I could spot from my veranda.  Yes, the millennium city is a haunt for exotic birds.  From parakeets to Asian Koels, to Bulbuls to storks, you can spot them all.

The bird community must have sensed the warm, welcoming vibes emanating from the Ray household. Soon our AC compressors became the favoured hangout zone for pigeons.  We saw quite a few love stories unfold in our balcony.  Singles ready to mingle meet, settle, passionate coupling ensues and baby pigeons make an appearance.   My daughter even played Mother Teresa to an injured baby pigeon. She named it Cheep (from the baby sounds it made) nursed it for days and grew hopelessly attached to it.  When it died she was inconsolable.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Call of the Wild

Old habits die hard especially traits that are hammered into our kiddy frames by our persistent parents.  Even after we are done with growing up, working our arse off, paying instalments for home loans, changing diapers of our wailing progeny - we can never say NO to them.  We are hardwired to obey our parents.  So one fine evening, when you are flopped on the bed after a hard day’s work,  your Mom calls you only to announce that we are all going to Jim Corbett next weekend, you instinctively say YES to her.  Of course you have the rest of the week to repent, worry about unfinished chores, incomplete reports.  Ahh...I’ll manage, somehow!
My Mom has a special fascination for animals, the wilder the better.  In fact just a few months back, she and Baba went all the way to Kenya to see lions, zebras, hippos and their sundry cousins frolic in the Masai Mara forest reserves.   In the 90’s she had yet to acquire an international taste and was content with desi forest reserves, especially Jim Corbett.  So every time she was feeling low, high, bored, restless we would all rush off en masse to the resorts in the vicinity of the wildlife reserve.  

When my parents say they are taking a break, they do exactly the opposite.  As kids whenever we took a vacation, we would see them mutate into hyperactive kids ready to scale any peak or crawl under cobweb infested caves all in the name of sightseeing.  Since we had no choice but tag along with them, we (me and my brother) would feel like hapless prey caught in a Venus Flytrap.  Once when I refused to accompany them on a trip to Kolkata, my brother came back with a look of betrayal in his eyes.  Listening to his endless stories of torture – of being dragged around in hot and humid Calcutta (as it was then), forced to gorge on the much hated maachh and mishtee – I giggled in relief.   

Even after I had been married, the memories were still fresh in my mind; so I had enough history to support my unusually low enthusiasm about the much abused word break

Clark Kent needed a phone booth to transform into Superman and all my Mom had to do was sit in a car packed with suitcases and voila she would be ready to fly with her brood in tow.   Since she has always a great believer of conservation, five of us (my daughter was still a thought) would stuff ourselves in one car.  And just as we were getting in the mood to snooze, our limbs resting not so gently on each other, she would take out a thermos full of coffee like a rabbit from the magician’s hat.  Puhleez Maa not now!  But does she give up? Nah.  So whenever we stopped for a loo break – I am so hungry break – Wait, aren’t those guavas, they look so fresh break – Maa would triumphantly take out the thermos and threaten to pour out coffee for us.   

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Luckiest Woman Alive - Part II


Lavanya had been married for over five years when she discovered she was pregnant.  Not in a long time had she felt such joy – the kind you want to share with the rest of the world, the kind that makes you want to shout from rooftops and your heart suddenly feels inadequate to contain it.   They had been trying for years but in vain and Harsh had started getting impatient.  She had almost started dreading her monthly ritual of shedding eggs, his look of disappointment – as if it was her damn fault!  When the lab reports confirmed her worst fears, Harsh threw a massive fit.  What an irony, a man who sported his virility like a badge of honour had sperm so weak that they couldn’t even finish the race.   

Whether it was medical science, their persistence or simply a miracle, Lavanya would never know, nor did she care.  All she knew was she had a life blossoming inside her.  Someone who she could call her own... on whom she could lavish all her unspent emotions...  She wanted to fill that void in her heart with love, she wanted to heal and God knows how long she had waited for that.  

Lavanya was in the second trimester of her pregnancy, when she got that strange phone call.  First silence and then sounds of sobbing at the other end of the phone – not the soft, sniffling one but a gut wrenching one – the type that fills your heart with dread.   She was Sumita, PR officer in Vardhaman industries.  Harsh had been sexually assaulting her for months...he would call her to his office, take her out for official dinners, insist she accompany him for out-of-town tours.  First it was fear of losing her job and then shame that had stopped her from discussing it with anyone but now she’d had enough!  Could Lavanya help her out?
Strangely Lavanya took the news rather calmly – she felt neither anger nor loathing for her husband.  She had never loved him to feel let down.  

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Luckiest Woman Alive


You are such a lucky girl.  The last few months this expression had been following Lavanya like a pesky fly. That she found it annoying will be putting it mildly. Lavanya wished she had a giant roll of duct tape to seal off those mouths that were busy telling her how she should be feeling.  Fine, no one had bothered to consult her before making the biggest decision of her life but at least she had the right to be left alone to wallow in misery!  Imagine being woken up one fine morning only to be told that your life is about to change forever!  Not even being given a minute’s notice to bid adieu to dreams that you have nurtured for so long. 

 Lavanya felt cheated out of a life she could have had. 

Her face slathered with fruit pulp, body glistening with turmeric-mustard oil paste, Lavanya was getting beautified for the most eligible bachelor in town.  She felt like a marinated fowl ready to be thrown in smoking oil.   

Having just given her civil services examinations, she was waiting eagerly for the results.  A student with a brilliant academic record, Lavanya was confident of cracking the exam.  Ever since she was a child, she had wanted to be an IFS officer and travel all around the world.  “Maa! I don’t want to get married now and that too to a complete stranger.  Couldn’t we have waited a few more years?  “
“It’s not every day that a middle class girl gets a marriage proposal from one of the richest families in Delhi.  Do you realize how lucky you are! “  

Her parents had just clipped her wings and she was expected to erupt with joy. 

That evening the women of the house tired her out with the constant fussing – should she wear a Bandhej or chiffon in a wine shade? Will she look better with her wavy hair left open or should it be tied in a bun to show off her cheekbones.  Lavanya couldn’t care less!  When she finally came face to face with the man she was expected to spend the rest of her life with, she felt no emotion. When he looked her up, his eyes lingering a little longer on the curve of her breasts, she felt a shiver of revulsion run down her spine. 

Yes, Lavanya was the luckiest girl alive.  Harsh Vardhan, the multimillionaire, debonair scion of the Vardhman empire had chosen her over thousands of women ready to swoon at the mere mention of his name, women whose sole ambition was to be his soul-mate.  How ironic that he had handpicked a girl who had no interest in his stature or wealth.  

Sunday, November 13, 2011

In Pursuit of Eternal Happiness..

Google Images
The wind played a soulful symphony as it tousled his hair.  Black, wavy, it glistened furiously under the moonlight.  Suvo was surprised at how stunningly beautiful the city looked from the terrace of his building, where he had spent some of the most eventful years of his life.  The street lights that looked like gems strewn on an inky carpet, were winking mischievously at him.  The roads looked like a crazy zigzag… the sounds of lives in motion – a distant echo… the worn out mountains in the horizon – mute spectators to life and death, happiness and sorrow – it all seemed so surreal.  All he could hear was the sound of his laboured breathing, sweat trickling lazily down his forehead despite the chill.  He had to use all his will-power to curb the urge to wipe it off, but didn’t.  Tonight of all nights he should be above such frivolities. 

The last six months had been the happiest in Suvo’s life.  Not that he had been unhappy before.  At 38, he had everything a man could ever ask for – successful, rich, devilishly attractive, happily single and never short of women ready to mingle.  After a wild night of partying to celebrate his promotion as Vice President of his company, he stumbled upon a realization that took him by surprise.  Suvo Sarkar had finally achieved all that he had ever wanted and oddly that did not fill him with elation but a strange sense of emptiness.  Why? Is it because I have nothing left to pursue anymore?  

When he presented the Board of Directors his letter of resignation, they were shocked.  When he told them that he wanted to live a life as if he’s never going to die – they were convinced that he had gone bonkers.  Are you okay? I think you need counseling; do you want me to fix up an appointment for you?

Friday, November 4, 2011

I’d rather be a Bitch!

All through our lives we are confronted with mysteries that play hide and seek with us.  Some reveal themselves in boring Science chapters, while others unravel with age.  

Let’s take flirts.  I was in my early teens when I first heard the word (no, I am not kidding, I was a tad behind my times).  They commanded so much respect that my friends would speak in hushed tones while discussing the exploits of this alluring species.  Not being aware of their mysterious ways, I was intrigued.  I would look at my friends with puppy eyes and implore them to explain what one has to do to earn this elusive title.  They would hem and haw and try to fob me off with vague explanations but nothing was good enough to satiate my curiosity.  I finally got enlightened when someone tried being one with me, but I was too embarrassed to deal with it and far from being deliriously happy at the revelation.    Now, in this information fuelled era even a 12 year old can give a lucid explanation of what flirting means while the elder brother will readily part with helpful tips on sexting. 

But there are certain mysteries that prefer to remain in hiding – Do football matches have a hypnotic effect on men, does cricket induce coma among its spectators, when a baby smiles – is it gas or is it love – and why we prefer calling certain type of women a bitch!  

I actually happen to like dogs.  They don’t sulk, rarely throw tantrums, are fiercely loyal, undemanding and brimming with love.  The female of the species is no different.  Agree it can be quite a pain to keep her suitors off her trail but that’s not really her fault is it?   So when they call a woman a bitch – is it meant to be an affront to the canine species or insult women who have fine tuned meanness into an art? 

Friday, October 28, 2011

Delhi is turning modern jee

Sheila Dixit dreamt of it, our taxes paid for it and DDA in collaboration with MCD almost ruined it.  Delhites caught in the daily grind of generator fumes and traffic snarls shrugged it off as yet another gimmick.  But the megapolis with its many implants and cosmetic surgeries, courtesy fairy godmother CWG almost managed to make it.  If a few strategic implants can make Rakhi Sawant India’s hattest item garl, surely apni Dilli can become a world class city! 

Mumbaikars might try to dismiss it as yet another Behenjee-trying- to- be- modern endeavour but we know it’s a classic case of sour grapes.  Mere pass Ring Road hai, Metro hai, flyovers hai - tumhare pass kya hai Mamu? 

And to further strengthen our case, Delhi will have billionaire drivers vrooming on Budh International Circuit in nearby Noida this weekend.  I am petrified that some Dilliwasi will misconstrue it as broom...broom and reserve a seat at the grandstand for his maid as a Diwali bonus.   If Shiney, according to Spice ads, can buy a mobile for his bai, why can’t the cash-rich Delhizen book a seat for his? 

I am told they call it Formula 1 and no, it’s not another Govinda movie with Shakti Kapoor’s naadha grabbing eyeballs.  Neither does it have any correlation to Maths and Chemistry formulas which have eluded me all my life.  Formula 1 racing is actually a high adrenaline event, where one gets to race long-nosed cars at insane speeds, minus the headache of a traffic cop chasing you with a challaan.  Plus you get to crash cars just like in the movies, get an obscene pay check and carouse with the most glamorous women.

Hey! My husband drives menacingly and scares the living daylights out of people.  And all he manages is pleas for mercy and petrified looks. 

But I am not the type that goes on a fast against the unfairness of it all, especially when there is a plethora of stuff vying for my attention.   Gosh! There’s so much I can choose from.  I can do some head banging to The God of Metal- Metallica- playing in my neighbourhood, or burn a hole in my pocket watching drivers put their lives at risk on a race track.  Giddy with fun, my throat hoarse from all that screaming, I can then proceed to Arjun Rampal’s Lap.   Of course I’d love to spend the rest of my life in Rampal’s lap, but this is LAP the club, host to post-F1 parties.   And Delhi knows how to partyyy especially when drunk.  To facilitate the procedure, the club will have Champagne Sky Bars where firang apsaras will dangle from the ceiling, to top up our Champagne flutes.  Wowie...getting drunk was never this fun!  

Sunday, October 23, 2011

An obituary for the dear departed Sari

Courtesy ->

I have fond memories of the sari.  Coming home to bury my face in the softness of my grandmother’s customary white un-starched taant, keys dangling at its end, inhaling the scents – a heady mix of incense sticks, and paan and kitchen spices.   Watching my Maa wrap herself in silken splendour, the intricate motifs shimmering under the lights, the aanchal flowing over her shoulder like a cascading waterfall.  

For me it was not just a sari but a six yard fantasy.  As a young girl, I badly wanted one for myself, to feel the swish of the silk as I would glide around the room feeling like a princess.  It is in a sari that I took my first step into womanhood, ready to take flight from my cocooned existence. 

There was a time when I used to wear one everyday – not because I was a six yard fanatic, but simply because it was the dress code at work. Initially I found it a menace.  Having to get up early in the morning, spending anxious moments in front of the mirror to get the pleats right.  Walking in an ungainly manner, tripping over the pleats at the most inopportune moments.  I felt it cramped my natural athletic style of climbing three stairs at a time.  So petrified I was of my sari coming undone that I would overdose on safety pins.  Yes, I singlehandedly managed to make even the lungi look elegant.  One look at me and my friends would shove me into the cabin, bang the door shut and re-tie it for me.   Slowly I mastered the art of draping - a tuck here, a nip there, the subtle dip that brings out the essence of femininity so beautifully. 

Very few attires hold as much mystery and allure as a sari.  One can wear it a little low to show off our newly discovered washboard abs, pair it with a backless blouse to bring out the diva in us.  And on days we feel like Mother Teresa and crave for world peace, we can drape it to cover every visible inch of our body.  Now which other garment can match such versatility?  

And the mind boggling variety of patterns, weaves and hues it comes in – each with its distinctive legacy. From flirty Chanderis, to elegant Gadhwals, to the opulent Banarasis, to the gorgeous Dhakai Jamdanis, to colourful Ikkats, we are spoilt for choice.  

Monday, October 17, 2011

This is Sita Reporting Live

Concluding Episode

Mommy love,

I can safely say that today was the most miserable day of my life.  Yes, I had a head on collision with the moment that every woman dreads so much.   We try hard to avoid it with yoga, zero carbs and botox.  Yet there’s no escaping its cruel inevitability.

I believe the animal kingdom, in collaboration with foreign hand, has hatched a conspiracy against me.  First a deer pretending to be golden gets me abducted then an ape-man dressed in Super- man gear, crashes my vanity into smithereens.   

Maa you won’t believe this, that Hanu-man called ME, Matajee! Imagine a grown-up ape-man calling me that! This is even worse than Aunty.  When I heard that god damn awful word, my entire neuro-sensory system stopped responding.  My world came crashing down.  All I could hear was the sound of my sobbing heart.  “Does he think I am old?” “Have I aged overnight?” “Is this the end of my youth?” “Why me??”

Just as I was preparing to launch into a tirade against men with juvenile aspirations, Hanu-man flashed his ID as Ram’s search engine.  My heart was split in half now- one half wanted to continue crying for a lost youth and the other half wanted to go “Yahooooo!”  Imagine my Ram, actually making efforts to send a snail-male to trawl for his missing wife! 

Guess all those hours on his laptop playing mindless games did not damage his brains after all. 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sita Travels Abroad

Episode 2

Mommy dearest,

First the good news – I finally managed my first ever foreign trip and that too without a visa.  The bad news – I have been kidnapped.

Remember the golden deer I was soo excited about?  It turned out to be as fake as Aunty Sumitra's Louis Vuitton bags.  And trust Ram and Laks-man to go running after it.  Before I could scream Come back you imbeciles, I spotted that weird Abhishekh Bachhan lookalike winking wildly at me.  God! I was so mad that I had to come out of my eco friendly hut to give him one tight slap.  And you know what that moron does? Pushes me straight into his private jet.  Damn! Why did I leave my pepper spray behind?

Sometimes the universe conspires to give you hell. 

Weirdo’s private jet was kinda strange – an open topped thingy that totally messed up my hair.  Of course I was screaming and throwing a royal fit and that ass kept going hahaha.  Incidentally my dear abductor has a bizarre name – Ra-One. Bwahaha!

Monday, October 3, 2011

When Sita Clicked Write

Episode 1

Since Dusshera is round the corner, I thought I’ll give Sita a modern twist.


I am kicking myself for being so goody-goody.  I should have stayed back and gotten fat.  But no! I had to act like one those dumb belles in the saas-bahu serials and follow my husband to the forest like a loyal puppy.  What was I thinking!  Sigh… Life was so much cooler at the Palace – all those maids, the soft bed, the scented massage, the gorgeous Jacuzzi…I miss it so bad.  And guess what! I am even missing my MILs.   Yep, the same old hags I took such pains to avoid.   And it wasn’t that tough you know.  They mostly stuck to their rooms and all they did was play cards and watch TV. 

Actually it’s Paa-in-law’s fault.  He and his fetish for collecting wives!   Which dork sends his heir to the jungles just because he made a promise to his pretty young wife?  Promises are meant to be broken right? And if everything else fails you can always feign memory loss.  But no! You have to act all upright and send us packing to hell. Gawd! I am so maaaad at him! 
Maa, next time when you meet that jealous bitch Kaikeyi at one of your Kitty parties, just give her a tight slap will ya?  You know what, I often dream that I am pushing K and her ugly hunchback Manthra off a cliff.  They go down screaming as I grin widely.   I wish I could do that.  Will you ask Dad, if he can arrange someone to crush that bitch under a speeding BMW?  Please, pretty please?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

In Love With Paris

The child in me still alive and kicking and has been dreaming of Paris Hilton for years.  So imagine my excitement, when I read that Paris Hilton will be coming to Mumbai.  I couldn’t stop myself from getting into paroxysms screaming OMG OMG OMG, till my daughter came to my room and said Maa will you stop it. 

 It was a Saturday night when I crash landed at the Chhatrapati International Airport.  What else can you expect when you travel Air India.  My journey was rather eventful.  First I got stuck in the aircraft’s toilet.  Then the airhostess who reminded me of my Math teacher in school, scolded me for waking her up from her siesta. I guess I was being greedy when I asked for a second helping of Rasmalai and look how God punished me!  He sent me scurrying to the toilet.  By the time I arrived at Mumbai, I had already lost 3 kgs. 

I was weak at my knees not because of reasons diarrheal but at the prospect of finally feasting my eyes on my American Ideal –Paris Hilton. I have a feeling that Paris must have been conceived at Hilton Paris. Why else would anyone name their kid after a city?  Her parents deserve applause for their imagination.  Has anyone ever dared to name their kid Jabalpur Jain, Patna Puri or Brussels Barua?  You require a special IQ for such unfettered creativeness. 

Hilton’s Parisian progeny certainly didn’t let her illustrious parents down.  It was she who singlehandedly spearheaded the use of live accessories.  Who on earth could had thought of a Chihuahua poking out of a purse!   And it was the awesomest idea for anorexic divas.  They could now share their meal of three carrots with their pooch nuzzling right under their underarms.    

When the super duper Diva – Paris did arrive at the airport, wearing all shades of blue and a bicycle chain on her head.  I fainted right there.  But not before I screamed Parisssssssss, you are so hot.  The dumb ass next to me commented, but the weather at Paris is just perfect!  Men I tell you.  

And some confused souls wanted to check in, when they read Paris Hilton is in Mumbai. What’s wrong with you people!

I read somewhere that Paris Hilton has come to India to peddle her purses.  What can a girl do when her meanie grand dad disinherits her.  A girl has to pay her bills no?  How long can she depend on panting men on the lower side of the evolution, to pay for her extravagances!  But I wonder why she calls her accessories store PHpurse.  Isn’t PH something that shampoos build up?  Why didn’t she settle for her trademarked – That’s Hot! 

And that’s what Paris said when she stepped out....That’s hot but only after she had said I love India 297 times.  Ask me, I counted.  PH is a simple girl, who leads a Simple Life and finds everything that she sees awesome, amazing and wow.   Wow! What an amazing turnout/ Wow! Such a long day/ Just had an amazing press conference.  

Friday, September 23, 2011

Amar’s Charitra Kathaa

Amar Prem

AIIMS, India’s premier medical institute has never tired of playing the magnanimous host to dengue spreading mosquitoes and crooked men of power claiming illness and memory loss - after all Atithi Devo Bhava.  A few days back this last resort for the sick was witness to an unusual spectacle – a re-enactment of the Ram-Bharat milap. No, not Ram Gopal Varma and Manoj Kumar meeting for coffee but Amar Sing’s tearful reunion with Bade Bhaiyya B(B3).  

When B3 strode in to enquire about Chote Bhiayya’s (CB ) tantrumy kidneys, CB’s joy knew no bounds. The moment his pug shaped nose picked up the all too familiar scent of Big B he started bawling like a baby.  In fact there was so much water in him that it came out gushing not only from his eyes but his nose as well.  So choked with emotion was Amar Sing that Bade Bhaiyya B had to growl in all his earnestness Yeh haath mujhe dede Thakur.  He held weepy CB’s hand for full two hours and had the hospital staff gush about this one of a kind Amar Prem. Not the Prem Chopra wallah prem ok? 

Of late the erstwhile Thakur of Azamgarh has been through a lot of emotional turmoil.  He, the savior of vote seeking, MP purchasing, wheeling dealing specimens has been unceremoniously discarded like yesterday’s tissue by these ignoble creatures.  To add salt to his injured heart, he was dumped in jail for a crime unusual.  While his illustrious neighbours, Madhu Koda and Lalit Bhanot were enjoying Tihar’s hospitality for their money grabbing ways, Amar Sing was made to cool his heels for disbursing cash to greedy MPs.   But Azamgargh ke Thakur is not the type to take things lying down. Once inside Tihar’s hallowed precincts, he managed to get on everyone’s nerves with his persistent whining about the lack of cleanliness and hygiene.  Two undertrials who had been tried for rape and mayhem were made to go on their knees with an extra large mop for Amar’s sake.  From dreaded Bhais to bais in ten minutes flat. 

The traumatized Jail authorities even offered a western style commode to facilitate Amar’s privileged motion

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Mind Your Language
Cacofonix, my guest blogger is at it again.......
My dear Ajay Maken, I am bristling with indignation at Mani Shankar Aiyar’s suggestion that your BA(Pass) education prohibits you from using the word ‘dichotomous’.  Mani, as you now know, is of St Stephens and Cambridge lineage, or one of ‘oonche log’. The same ‘oonche log’ whose ‘oonchi pasand’ is a particular brand of pan masala.  An ad exhorts ‘mooh mein rajnigandha’ with the jingle lingering on the word ‘mooh’ or mouth, just in case somebody like Mani gets confused about which bodily aperture the comestible has to be stuffed in.  But I digress.  I want to come to your rescue with a handy guide on the English language.
Dichotomous:  This is the division between two completely opposed things.  Like coffee and mishti doi.  Like politics and honesty.  Like Obama and Osama.  Like Sheila (Dikshit) and jawani.  Like Rakhi and Ramdev.  Like Mamata didi and Buddhadev B.  Like Mamata didi and Pranab M.  Like Mamata didi and everyone else.  Almost as if her appellation ‘didi’ is dichotomous abbreviated, twice over.
Analogous:  No, this is not made up of the English word ‘anal’ and the Hindi word ‘log’, suggesting a translation to ‘asshole’. Nor does it pair ‘Anna’ and ‘log’ to mean his band of fast followers.  It is the elitist version of the word ‘similar’ which Mani finds below his class.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Freaked out about fitness

I have many pet phobias.  It’s not as if I love collecting them.  They land from nowhere and get terribly attached to me.  As I grew older and wiser, they altered in character and shape.  From tail-dropping lizards to cobwebs on walls to the fear of having nothing to do – I have been through them all.   The newest entrant to this exclusive club is my phobia of getting fat.  Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against fat people as long as I don’t have to share a seat with them.  They are usually a jolly good species and can devour bucketfuls of fried chicken minus the guilt pangs.  An extra inch on two blends in harmoniously with their wide girth. Secretly I envy them.  It is me I have a problem with.  You see, I was born with a manufacturing defect.  I have wrists so thin that bangles slide down my arms like an avalanche in a hurry.  Europe doesn’t make shoes my size.  My dainty frame allows me no concession for extra kilos.  And to make it worse that stupid gulab jamun (ok make that two) I sometimes succumb to makes its way to my cheeks!   

Imagine your embarrassment when a more than well endowed Mashi of yours sizes you up and says...Aahh P has become fat!  Secretly you are sputtering with rage and dying to bellow How dare you call me fat! When was the last time you checked yourself in the mirror... you stupid Cow!  With your appetite buried deep underground, you barely touch anything at the party, while your dear Mashi’s face is strategically hidden behind the mountain of Biryani she’s ingesting.

Monday, September 12, 2011

It’s Delhi Silly

Courtesy : CNN IBN

Last week Delhites got a sneak-peak into the much awaited Apocalypse.  A bomb blast, an earthquake and then a deluge that submerged the city – Delhi saw it all.  Thankfully I am still alive to bring you an exclusive day by day report.
It was a Wednesday when the seekers of justice were in for a rude shock.  Yet again, the aam admi - he whose life is ‘cheap’, was the reluctant participant of the hate game.  It took only a couple of minutes to snuff out a future that could have been, leaving behind bewildered family members grappling with whys, the rest of their miserable lives.  
And the reaction was predictable. Like an action replay our leaders spouted robotic statements of sympathy, the HM blamed Delhi Police, Opposition leaders blamed the HM, grim and concerned faces making false promises. We have reconciled ourselves to the fact that our Intelligence Agency will continue to fail us and our Politicians will engage in pointless debates rather than action. My point is, if you can’t save us please spare us your hypocrisy. In fact I have a better idea, why don’t you entertain us instead. Do a hurdle race to reach the blast site or hospital and the winner gets to shed copious quantities of crocodile tears.

And please, can you stop saying…I condemn the attacks and we will not surrender to the scourge of terror! Even the terrorist bhaiya is bored of hearing the same old reaction. Why can’t our Netas come up with nattier lines? Even if their imagination fails them, our ministers can always borrow lines from Hindi film dialogues. MMS can ditch his weepy expression, look at the camera menacingly and say Agar Maa ka doodh piya hai to saamne aa….Chiddy can bare his fangs and Kutte!kaminay, main tera khoon pee jaoongaa…Even Arnab Goswami will be left speechless. And when the terror mail is traced to a cyber café in J&K Boss! Maal pakda gaya.

Who knows after hearing such heartfelt statements on television the gandi naali kaa keeda of a terrorist will be so plagued with remorse that he will go back to grazing sheep. Alas this is but wishful thinking.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

India’s most desirable

The Old Boys Club (OBC) has called an emergency meeting in their Chamber of Secrets (COS) after receiving an unusual decree from their leader, the Silent Sardar.  They have been asked to declare their assets on his domain.  Now these are respectable men in their 60’s and 70’s, whose assets haven’t seen the light of the day in a very long time.  Please don’t be a presumptuous ass and assume that these bootylicious gents don’t have the balls to make it public.  They are but humble men engaged in selfless service to the nation and are averse to cheap exhibitionist tactics.  Damn Om Puri who thinks they are merely a bunch of nalayaks and ganwars.  The Congress of baboons made sure Puri ate humble pie even though he would have preferred Old Monk any day.  

Unlike the brash youngsters of today, the exalted ones do not believe in flaunting their figures.  They’d rather keep it under cover.  They are acutely sensitive to the delicate disposition of the suddenly enlightened middle class.  What if they find it too grisly to assimilate! 

And whoever said size does not matter was definitely a stickly loser. Of course it does, the bigger it is the louder the gasp.

The OBC usually meets to take pot shots at the Silent one - he who likes having long conversations with his beard.  Why, they even have his mugshot and practice throwing darts on his face and have I love you like I hate you playing in a loop.  They tolerate him for the sake of the fair Queen – she with an accent quaint.
But these are mostly fearless men who get jittery at the sight of fasting old men.  Instilling fear in others is their forte.  

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Ageing disgracefully

Courtesy - Ray Album

You know your friends fear you, when they start wishing you days ahead.   You get irritated and explain that they are a tad early and you are in no hurry to get older. So they repost the same message with the date next to it. Ok...I get are desperate not to forget!

But then someone senses your irritation and tweets about it. And before you can say bwaaah, everyone is demanding a treat.  You retort with a You feast, I will pass the bill and secretly pat yourself at the back for this smart retort. 

The husband has been asking you for weeks So what do you want, honey?  You hmm and haw and look as vague as possible because you don’t have a effing clue. Actually you expect him to surprise you.  But you have conveniently forgotten that the first thing you told him after you got married was Darling, I hate surprises!  The poor fella is hopelessly out of practise and eventually needs your assistance for that special surprise.

On D day, when your phone starts ringing the first thing in the morning and you realize you have too many elderly members in your family. But then you are up too, sipping your morning tea and passionately cussing ministers for killing the sports bill.  Now your mobile is buzzing non-stop. You are delighted that so many remember your birthday and even more delighted that so many strangers know it as well. When you signed up for FB and put up your date of birth, you certainly weren’t expecting privacy were you?    As the day warms up, you are buried under an avalanche of greetings. You now feel like a bot that spouts 18 thank yous every 30 minutes. You have clicked on the like button so many times; you are worried that the FB team might demand a facilitation fee. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

An Indecent Proposal

A bizarre photograph album filled page to page with pictures of Condoleezza Rice has been found at the compound of Colonel Gaddafi.  As citizens ransacked the sprawling lair, for the first time discovering the extent of riches enjoyed by their bloodthirsty tyrant, a number of unusual items have been looted. Perhaps the most surprising, however, was the album, filled with glossy pictures of America's former Secretary of State.

Since I happen to have contacts in low places – my friendly but stinky courier chap arranged a stopover for Gaddafi’s pet pigeon in my balcony in Gurgaon, before it flew off to distant America. Attached to its gold plated leg was a letter – not just any letter but Gaddafi’s declaration of love for his beloved. I publish it verbatim for my readers.

Salaam my lovely Leezza,

As I was fleeing in the dead of the night for my dear life, I had crocodile tears in my eyes for my Condom-leezza, I was leaving behind.  Not the real Leezza but my scrapbook of her pictures that I had lovingly collected over the years.  

Actually I needn’t have scuttled like a startled rat.  I know I am invincible, Allah has sent me to the world with a life time warranty.  But why tempt God?  To make sure I don’t leave for hell in a hurry, I took my platoon of Killer beauties to protect me.   

I need to exist for my people – I am their God who will lead them to the path to salvation. So what, if I had to torture and kill a few of them - which father does not spank his child when he goes astray? And haven’t I always said Obeying parents is more important than doing what they say.  The misguided sods were claiming to be rebels but in reality they were drugged kids.  Al-Qaeda operatives gave them pills at night, they put hallucinatory pills in their drinks, their milk, their coffee, their Nescafe.

It was a conspiracy to bring down the greatest man alive. Yet the greatest man lives just for his Condom-leezza.

Don’t lose your sleep over me, my darling black woman, I will not close my eyes till I have planted a wet kiss on your thick black lips.  But girl you have been very-very naughty – you have given your love sick admirer many a sleepless night. I have woken up in my sweat soaked clothes, screaming your name.   I have always admired my darling black woman who leaned back and gave orders to Arab leaders.  Leezza, Leezza, Leezza. ... I have always loved you so very much.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Can you handle breaking news?

Google images

I suggest you hold on to the chair and keep the door open when you read this post. When you fall off the chair, clutching your stomach and shake with laughter you might need help from your concerned family members. Cacofonix is back........

When we were kids, newspapers had 10 pages with very few ads, news on TV had 3 headlines with no  ad breaks.  We followed the News for things that were important.  Interesting.  Unusual.  A definition that has since been eliminated through a sustained conspiracy hatched by the media to propagate mediocrity and generate employment for shoals of people who think, if the plural of medium is media, then the plural of tedium is tedia.  Friends, bloggers, countrymen, with or without ears that could be loaned, let us bring News back to those good old times!  Let us save newsprint, ink, electricity, water, diesel, trucks, traffic, fresh air, paper wallah’s sprained shoulders, stray dogs, subscription fees, ground reporting fatigue, coffee and cigarettes and become carbon footprint champions so that our children can continue to enjoy Nature’s bounties the same way that we have done!  These would be “breaking news” under the new dispensation:
a)   Minister reads his own speech”:  Minister of External Affairs SM Krishna read his own speech at the United Nations session on global disharmony.  A visibly emotional Mr Krishna addressed the Press soon thereafter and thanked them for their continual support and criticism which made him adopt advanced techniques from yoga guru Ramdev and fitness guru Jane Fonda’s latest book, to revitalize him and get his many cells working again.
b)   Virender Sehwag scores runs”:  Sehwag was smiling from eardrum to eardrum on scoring 13 runs in the second one-day cricket match against Botswana.  The belligerent batsman, having scored zeroes in 13 matches on the trot, lending an altogether different meaning to the phrase “getting your ducks in a row”, suffering from impaired hearing after having a blast, literally, in front of Bose speakers at a loud nightclub, and having to hear his wife keep on shouting “you just don’t listen to me anymore”, could finally discern, faintly, the sound of the ball coming at him.  On asked if he was dissatisfied with his dismissal, he retorted “I was on 13, what else do you expect?”
c)     “Amitabh Bachchan to retire”:  Unable to keep pretending not to know ‘kaun banega crorepati?’, where evidently it was really only him, Amitabh Bachchan has chosen to leave the world of glamour and modelling and some acting, and retire to the Hills.  Pali Hills.  Where he has built a humble house with two bedrooms, one for him and one for Jaya, with Binani Cement and Jai Ambe sariya.  His bathroom has a separate closet for storing Laal Tail or ‘red oil’ which can be applied to his hair, or ingested or applied somewhere for vitality, depending on his mood or what he remembers of that ad campaign.    

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Wrath Of The Feminine
1989-90 Satellite television had still not invaded our drawing rooms.  Back then the idiot box was not that idiotic and it brought the family together rather than divide it.  I still vividly remember the kaleidoscope of images flashing on the television screen - Romanian dictator Ceaușescu being bundled into a vehicle and later sentenced to death by his own people, the Berlin wall coming down amidst jubilant cheers, pro-democracy students being slaughtered by their own government at Tiananmen Square, the mighty USSR crumbling into small countries.  It’s a period no one will forget in a hurry. 

2010 – 11 It seems as if someone has pressed the rewind button.  This time it is the Arab world shaking off decades of cowed passivity under dictatorships.  India readily succumbed to the heady fragrance of Jasmine and its simmering discontent found a vent in the proposed Jan LokPal Bill.  It was an uprising that took the elected by surprise. 

The world is in a period of transition again - a difficult time marked by impatience and disappointment of the people in rebellion.

If you have been following these upheavals closely, you will observe the pivotal role the youth has played in these movements.  In Egypt, it was not the traditional opposition groups, but tens of thousands of the youth who braved tear gas, rubber bullets.  They gathered support through social media and mobilized public opinion.  For a change the young were ready to take the reins of change they had been dreaming of. 

It is another matter that the Arab Spring has now turned to Arab hell, as dictators like Assad and Gaddafi strive to curb rebellion ruthlessly.

The young and the restless can be a volatile mix and leaders have discovered it at their own peril.  

 There have been countless debates on what could have possibly triggered these revolts. Dissatisfaction with the elected, rising expectations, impatience for progress...But what you probably did not know is that the skewed sex ratio is also touted as one of the factors behind growing social unrest.  Asian countries with severely skewed sex ratio have given rise to a generation of boys with pent up testosterone and nowhere to go.  Imagine a pack of strappy boys having to vie for the attention of 3 remaining girls in the village and one of them prefers spending her time wrestling in her Dad’s akhadaa.  In this battle for the few remaining women, it is money that wins, leaving the poorest unhappily unmarried.  Now couple it with unemployment and you have a platoon of angry young men ready to spit fire at the slightest provocation. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

It’s all about tender loving and care, stupid!

Remember Jane Fonda? In her younger days she was regarded more as an activist rather than an actress.  Now, at the age of 73, she is out to lead a revolution in the bedroom on behalf of her fellow pensioners.  About 50 pages of the actress’s new autobiography, Prime Time are devoted to explaining the joys of sex after 70.   According to Ms Fonda, it’s important for everyone to know that people in their 70’s can be sexually attractive and active. I am praying Rakhi Sawant does not get hold of this explosive piece of information.  The thought of her giving come hither looks to septuagenarians is not exactly comforting.

I can’t claim to have watched too many of Ms Fonda’s movies – for me she was the more heard rather than seen.  But I do have hazy memories of her workout videos in leotards.  But back then as a stick thin teenager, fitness was an alien concept to me.  I loved her leotards though! And now I love her for giving me hope for old age. 

I may be decades away from 70 and if the Mayan’s were right I might perish with the rest of the world in 2012.  But that does it stop me from thinking about my old age does it?   It’s surprising how our perception of “old” changes with age.  When I was seventeen, twenty eight was senile.  At twenty eight, 40’s was over the hill and now when I am treading the 40’s mill, I think this is the best phase of my life.  So who knows at 70 I might be a rockstar, smoking a beedi, singing Janis Joplin in my cabin in the mountains and proving Jane Fonda right.