Monday, June 29, 2015

Death by Fashion

Image courtesy - Google images


Recently a Melbourne based woman collapsed in her skinnies because it had cut off the blood supply to her calf muscles. What took me by surprise was the flurry of headlines decrying the fad of skinny jeans being bad for health. It’s pretty obvious these ignorant fools haven’t had the pleasure of wriggling themselves in jeans two sizes too small and experienced its health benefits. It’s only after you’ve spent 20 minutes huffing and puffing, trying to stuff your curves inside these drainpipes designed for women sans a butt and thighs, that you experience its cardio benefits. Not only do you burn calories, you also get to spend the rest of the day standing because you feel stiff as a stick. Since your jeans have also managed the commendable feat of bringing your stomach closer to your heart, you also end up eating almost nothing.

Breathlessness is but a small price for looking breathtaking.

Most of us would rather die than be seen in loose and comfortable clothing. Just the other day when I draped myself in a sack and tied my hair in a tight bun for an Iftaar foodwalk at Jama Masjid, I refused to get myself clicked. And when someone did manage some candid clicks, I promptly disowned myself.

We are willing to brave back problems, bunions, fall flat on our faces as we totter on impossibly high heels. We’ll gladly walk half step at a time in pencil skirts, give up breathing in corset dresses, all for the sake of looking fabulous. So, when a woman lies sprawled on the floor, unable to move her legs because her skinnies sucked the life out of them, she has rightfully earned herself the label of a martyr and definitely not ‘aww, poor thing’!

If people can give up their lives fighting for justice and freedom, why can’t we give up comfort, maybe a limb or two, carbs, sugary treats, peace of mind for the sake of looking hip and fashionable? People die all the time, don’t they? Rather die trying to look gorgeous.

Women, who dress in skin-tight jeans in the searing heat and wear the skimpiest of outfits in freezing temperature, while ordinary mortals choose to shiver in layers of woollies, are the ones who have truly achieved Nirvana. It is they who have understood the concept of Maya and have readily discarded bodily comforts for the greater good of mankind.

Only an evolved soul will go through unimaginable pain getting rid of hair, layers of fat, frown lines and all that they have deemed ugly only because their beauty makes others happy. Yet, we choose to call them fashion victims!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Yoga-to Be Flexible To Salute The Sun

Image Courtesy - Google


Ever since Narendra Modi took oath as PM, he’s been jet-setting, trying to convince the world that India and selfies is the best thing to have happened since sliced bread. In an attempt to promote India’s ancient cultural heritage, Modi persuaded United Nations to embrace Yoga, India's biggest contribution to mankind since zero. 21st June will now be observed as International Baba Ramdev Day thanks to his initiative.

While BJP and its sibling outfits are vigorously practising ‘hasahasana’ and rubbing their palms in glee, celebrating this as yet another assertion of Hindu superiority, minority religious groups have planted their feet firmly on the ground in Tadasana, opposing its compulsory imposition in schools.

Some Muslim Groups have expressed anxiety that saluting the sun (one of the asanas to be included in the mass drill) will turn them into beef-hating Hindus. Their fears were further fuelled by BJP veteran Murli Manohar Joshi, who declared that Muslims do yoga five times a day and that the Prophet had been a great yogi.

These Muslim Groups have now renamed themselves as Ray Ban and can be spotted wearing burqas to protect themselves from the un-Islamic rays of the sun.

This has sent ripples of fear in the US, one of the first countries to adopt Bikram and his hot variant of Yoga. They are now attributing their new-found love for vegetarianism to Yoga and its ghar wapasi after-effects. The beef lobby is urging New Yorkers to boycott Yoga guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s session to be held at Times Square. They are afraid that the asanas will trigger a craving for paneer and make the participants shun beef.

Jersey Cows association has welcomed International Yoga Day with much enthusiasm and are hoping that Mother’s Day will now be observed as a day to honour their valuable contribution to increasing American girths. India TV in its 65th breaking news of the day has reported that a Texan farmer refused to butcher his cow, insisting he could hear his dead Mom’s voice in her mooing.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Celebrities are as liable for endorsing anti-health products as healthy

Courtesy - Google images

Also published on Huffington Post, India

Even as Maggi’s credibility sank faster than the Titanic, complete with sound effects of outrage and anguish of millions of tastebuds hooked on to this gooey mishmash of maida and garam-masala, its ambassador in leotards, Madhuri found herself unceremoniously thrown in freezing waters.

While Maggi was crucified for having MSG and lead above permissible limits (many of us are still convinced it’s a rival-engineered conspiracy to dislodge it from its cult status), an FIR was also filed against Amitabh Bachchan, Madhuri Dixit and Preity Zinta who appeared in the Maggi ads, for misleading their fans. Madhuri has been served a notice where she has to explain how Maggi is good for our health.

In India filmstars, unlike their Western counterparts, are not merely actors who get paid to do their job. The ones who attain superstardom are regarded as deities meant to be worshipped. They make our fantasies of fighting corruption, beating up crooked cops, wooing unattainable women, dancing and singing while looking like a glamorous diva, come true on the silver screen. They make us sing, dance and laugh and provide respite from the mundane. We revere them, blindly follow them and express our adulation by getting our local darzi to stitch the same Anarkali that Deepika wore at an awards night, hoping that some of her stardust will rub off on us.

The bigger the superstardom, the brighter the halo and the firmer our belief that they can do no wrong.

When Madhuri, the dhak-dhak of millions, trapezes all over her kitchen while she serves new Maggi Oats to her hungry family, insisting it’s healthy, we promptly add it to our shopping basket. Corporate giants pay crores to celebrities because they add brand equity to their products. When Cabdury’s credibility saw a downward spiral when live worms were discovered in their milk chocolate, they promptly hired Amitabh Bachchan to restore their lost glory (Cadbury’s, not theworms’) and it worked!

Is it right to hold Madhuri responsible after it was discovered that Maggi is not only unhealthy but also a health risk?

Monday, June 1, 2015

Oh Golgappa, its Shit!

Also published on Huffington Post, India 

Indian culture has always prided itself on its openness about bodily functions. We are firm believers of doing it all in the open while closing our minds to uncomfortable truths that pose a threat to our delusions of grandiosity.We spit, shit, pee, dump garbage in the open because we believe in keeping our houses clean and surroundings dirty.

We are a proud nation of closed minds and open defecation.

All you need to do is crane your neck out of the window of your train to see rows of behinds showcasing our potty culture. Now before you lunge at my throat for being insensitive to an India for whom even a toilet is a luxury, let me tell you that the scores of newly built toilets that followed Modi’s clarion call of Swachh Bharat have very few takers.

Why be confined to airless, waterless structures masquerading as toilets, when you can fertilize vast fields with your refuse!

Of late, India has been witnessing a potty revolution. Why else would scores of people throng to theatres to watch a thespian actor talk non-stop about his blocked bowel movements for over two hours and make the film a blockbuster? With our new found gut feeling, we can denounce politics and piles in the same breath.

It has now emerged that even our much loved chaatwalas are at the forefront of this revolution. Recently, a series of studies conducted on samples of Delhi’s street food has revealed that the secret ingredient that makes it so legendary lies not in the combination of spices but deep within us. It’s the presence of faeces that makes it extra yummy and makes us swoon with ecstasy, later with food poisoning.

No 
wonder ganda-nallahwala chat corner’s gol-gappa tastes so yummy! 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

A Selfie Made PM

Also published on Huffington Post, India

India’s greatness lies in its great leaders. As history will testify, leaders are not born great. They are either born with great last names or achieve greatness through the eternal cycle of scams and clean-chits and the many yojanas named after them. Our leaders of yore did not have the luxury of appropriating public money for private gains, they had to mostly rely on good deeds, years of struggle, and policies that shaped our today for everlasting greatness. But when you’re long gone and become a statue at a busy traffic intersection, silently collecting bird poop of all hues, you need that extra something that sets you apart from the also-rans. Nehru appropriated the high necked sleeveless jacket, the rose and made that his own. Gandhi immortalized the dhoti, charkha and left behind great quotes for world leaders and Hollywood stars to borrow. Netaji’s monocles are as much a part of his legacy as his mysterious disappearance that gave rise to generations of Kakus and Jethus who insisted they had spotted him on Elgin road just last week. 

Just like political parties have symbols, our elected also need a style statement to claim their space in fickle public memory. Since corruption charges, insensitive comments and lunging at each other’s’ throats while the assembly is still in progress is de-rigueur for our netas, they are constantly looking for a USP that will set them apart from the cattle class. Not everyone is blessed with lush Amazonian growth sprouting out of their ears like Laloo, so they have to resort to capes, mufflers, rath rides and pee on plants to claim their rightful place in the electorate’s heart.

Which is why I don’t understand why some of you find Modi’s penchant for taking selfies at every given opportunity so funny. Don’t we all do the same – fish out our phones, pose and preen, the moment we sense company?

It requires a great leader like NaMo to adopt our selfie addiction as his own and use it to his advantage. How many nations can claim to have a PM who not only forges ties with world leaders but also their doting Mom and adoring bhakts by clicking selfies with them?

And when you are leading a nation with the world’s youngest population, you can no longer rely on tight churidars and bandh-galas to worm your way into their hearts. Especially after you have promised them acche din and then let your colleagues go on a banning spree depriving them of their little joys!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

You Don’t Mess With The Metro-wali Aunty.

Image courtesy - Colors Channel

If you Google ‘aunty’, your search results will throw up astounding findings about her sexual appetite for neighbourhood boys on her charpai. The real life aunty is as different from the virtual as mathri is from crostini. She bears no resemblance to the hormone-fuelled fantasy of the Indian male searching furiously for her underarm pics in sleeveless blouses.

In India more so in Delhi, the term aunty is more a state of mind of the one who bequeaths her with this title and less of a relation. She’s the thirty kilos later version of the Behenjee who’ll elbow you out of her way and try her best to throw you into the ‘mind the gap’ as you try to board the Metro.

Being an Aunty is a lot like stupidity – everybody other than you is aware of it. No Aunty even in her wildest dream thinks of herself as one until she gets auntyzoned by Sunny whose backyard she uses to dump the remnants of chholey and chawal that she cooked lovingly for her family. When he dares to protest, she anoints him and his ancestors dating back to the days when they still hung around on trees, with choicest expletives. As he beats a hasty retreat, his face a beetroot red, he spits ‘aunty’ once he’s out of her hearing range. The last time, his best friend, Bunny, dared call her Aunty on her face, he was felled like an emaciated tree by her ‘dhai kilo kaa haath’

If you still don’t have any idea about what I am talking about, I suggest you board the Delhi Metro. You are most likely to spot her in the ladies coach. If you are unfortunate enough to find an empty seat for yourself, you’ll find her hovering over you like a pollen thirsty bee, ordering you to ‘thoda adjust kar lo’ as if it’s her birthright. 'Thoda adjust' simply means, you better seat yourself on one butt-cheek so that I can seat me, my big ass handbag and many shopping bags comfortably. God forbid if you’re seated between two such specimens, your pelvis will get pulverised by their bump and grind routine.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Why Plants Are Greener on Gadkari Jee’s Side of Fence




Goumutra - the elixir of youth and all things good, is under threat from another serious contender for its yellowed halo, Gadkari’s bladder. Union Minister, Nitin Gadkari, while addressing a gathering in Nagpur said that instead of wasting their precious pee on public walls, people should use it to water plants for their healthy growth. ‘Daily, I collect urine in a 50 ltr can, it is then used to water plants in my Delhi residence.’

Gadkari now has the unique distinction of being the proud owner of rows and rows of pissed off plants. Once he reveals what he uses as manure for his garden, he can stake his claim as BJP’s number 1 and number 2 minister.

This comes a huge relief to farmers in Maharashtra who have been waiting for over two years for Ajit Pawar’s urine to fill their dams. They can now rely on Gadkari’s brand new farming technology to irrigate their crops.

Gadkari further claimed that plants that got urine therapy showed better growth than those nurtured on plain water. Thanks to Gadkari’s revelation, women who were previously condemned as vindictive for pissing in their guests’ and MIL’s tea are now being hailed as ‘peelanthropists’. They are now being urged to mix pee in their family’s tea as well.

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