Thursday, November 24, 2016

How Demonetization Gave Direction To My Life

Till a fortnight back my life was as directionless and meaningless as Rahul Gandhi’s speeches. I was appalled by the lack of purpose in my life and couldn’t stop berating myself for not doing enough to stop the Polar caps from melting, bombing ISIS camps and stopping Trump from getting elected. Not anymore. My life feels like a Jan Dhan account suddenly flush from someone else’s desperation. And I have Modi jee to thank for this sudden turn of events.

I am ashamed to admit, when he dropped the D-bomb on us, it took me an inordinately long time to acknowledge his genius in smoking out black-money. Alas, my heart was busy feeling wretched for the unfair treatment being meted out to black money that chose to stay in the country instead of flying off to Honduras, Cayman or Panama and become an NRBM (nor resident black money). I cried buckets when I read reports about wads of patriotic notes that had said no whitening being abandoned near dustbins and drowned in river. This is how we treat our girl child and not ghar ki Lakshmi, dammit!

With 500 and 1000 Re notes declared invalid, I was feeling like a penniless pauper for no fault of my own. With demonetization, Modi Jee first rendered us cashless and then helpless with not enough new notes to replace the old lot. It felt like we were being dragged back to our bachhe dins when we had to last an entire month on a meagre sum because this was our parent’s fabulous idea of teaching us the value of money!

Just last week when I told the beggars at red-light ‘paise nahin hai, baba’, they nodded in sympathy. A few kind souls even offered to lend me a few notes from their booty!

I cried, yet again.

Before I could turn into Nirupe ‘Roye’ with my endless rona-dhona, one fine morning at the fitness centre I heard a dear friend (whose name I have yet to ask) whine about the terrible losses her family had to bear because of demonetization. I am telling you, my tears dried up immediately and my heart started doing bhangra!

Nothing eases your pain faster than knowing scores of others are going through a plight worse than yours.

As part of the honest 1% that pays its taxes diligently and yet manages to feel foolish because so many choose to evade taxes and get away with it, it felt good to see them get hammered and feel the same pain. And it’s all thanks to Modi jee flexing his muscles to make India’s money white again and punish the rich.

We wanted change and he gave it to us, in denominations of 50’s and 100’s.

These days when I stand in a queue for hours to withdraw cash that may or may not exist, my chest expands to 56 inches. When was the last time everyone irrespective of their riches, background, ideology, caste and Baap connections got screwed in a queue?

By God, if this is not achhe din, then what is!

ATMs with serpentine queues make me shiver with ecstasy. I have lost count of the number of times I have screamed STOP, RIGHT NOW and jumped off the car just to experience the joy of standing in a queue as long as the wall of China. It has become an addiction now. This weekend I woke up early just so that I could stand in a queue outside my bank. It was like a real life enactment of ‘kindly wait, your call is important to us.’ By the time my turn came to feel important, Mrs Sharma had returned from an inter-galactic voyage, 3 year Chintu had turned into an irritating teen and the bank had run out of cash.

But did it bother me? Naah! Nothing gives me more satisfaction than running around town looking for currency, clutching an ATM card and a cheque book. I know when I stand for hours in a line, I am doing it for a better India where the elected listen to you and not question your integrity and love for the country when you dare question them.

My life has finally found its purpose!

Now I am so stoked about standing in queues, I am even willing to do it on behalf of others. After I finish writing this post, I will immediately enrol myself at I am looking forward to stewing in queues on behalf of unpatriotic Indians unwilling to make the supreme sacrifice for their motherland. This is how I’m getting to remove corruption, terrorism and helping make black money the new untouchables. Modi Jee is even better than Surf Excel, cleaning India’s tainted money in just one wash. The least I can do is become his trusted stain remover.

A few small establishments breathing their last, vegetables rotting at mandis, farmers not having money to buy seeds and daily wagers starving because of cash crunch is but a small price to pay. Shame on those who had the temerity to die of heatstroke, heart-stroke or some flimsy excuse while standing in long queues outside banks contradicting claims made on social media that everything’s been smooth sailing. With great transformational change, comes greater pain. On the contrary, demonetisation has been saving lives. With no money to buy cartridges for revolvers, drunk Mamas and Chachas are unable to accidently shoot guests at weddings. Delhiites have stopped buying cigarettes and prefer breathing deeply to fill their lungs with toxins. Women are suddenly feeling safe since men who can’t keep it in their pants are either busy queuing up, counting their notes or sharing demonetization jokes. So much so that India now ranks among the lowest 4 nations in rape cases
. Unbelievable isn’t it?

If the current crisis continues long enough, Delhi will no longer be the most polluted city in the world. With no crops to burn what will the farmers and Punjab burn, haan? With no bribes to take, the police might end up sending criminals and not innocents to jail. With protection money drying up, politicians might favour the deserving and not the corrupt. Harassment will not be part of a tax-official’s job profile. Files at sarkari offices may brush the dust off their shoulders and start moving. Chai paani may actually mean chai paani. And maybe just maybe, the honest, law abiding citizen has 
the satisfaction of knowing that his tax-money is not used to line some greedy middleman’s pockets and finance his foreign jaunts.

I am telling you, this D-bomb is like that powerful pesticide that exterminates all the pests in just one go! So what, if it kills a few crops that it was meant to protect! Isn’t this is what patriotic crops do, die for a good cause?

Monday, November 7, 2016

Forward This At Your Own Risk

Image courtesy - Google images

Dear kids (PS - anyone younger than me qualifies), did you know when we were growing up, the only forwards we got on Diwali were Milton jugs and casseroles? If we prayed hard enough, the set of 6 melamine cups in cream and pink that Mom had gifted Mrs Ahuja 4 years back would land at our doorstep, just like a long lost forward. But Mom far from weeping like Nirupa Roy while hugging the cups close to her chest would get an eye twitch like Lalita Pawar (if you are unfamiliar with these names, just ask Siri).

As a reciprocal gesture, Mrs Ahuja was gifted a box of kaju katli that was only a month old.

In case you did not know, casseroles, thermos, tea-sets of yesteryears were the Soan Papdi of gifting. Nobody wanted them yet everybody gifted them. But those were simpler times. We would start bursting crackers weeks before Diwali without feeling guilty for fouling up the air. If we were chased by a jhadoo wielding Pammi Aunty for disturbing her afternoon siesta, we extracted revenge by bursting our stash of bombs in front of her house till Christmas. Festivities were more about stuffing our faces with sweets more colourful than Govinda’s wardrobe, and less about ‘OMG, I have put on weight! Now I will punish myself and have only lauki soup for a month.’ Phones were actually used to make calls. And one had to visit friends and family to exchange festive greetings. On the eve of Diwali, I was religiously sent off to our neighbours with a thali full of mithais, covered with a cloth napkin. And the celebrations would conclude with coughing all night from all that smoke.

You kids are lucky. You’re growing up in an age where you get more forwards than gifts on Diwali, unless you’re the son of the baap who owns the road you drive on. Nothing warms the cockles of my heart more than a forwarded forward that goes round and round like unclaimed baggage on the luggage carousel. In the age of HBD and thnx, only a moron will bother typing festive wishes. Since the flavour of the season is animated gifs, by the end of Diwali week I had collected enough to fill the Milky Way with flickering Diyas and animated Lakshmi jees showering me with blessings and teen patti winnings.

And I don’t even play cards!

Monday, October 17, 2016

After Every Durga Pujo A new Child Prodigy is Born

Image courtesy - SantaBanta

It’s that time of the yaar again when sweaty Bengalis converge under makeshift tents and try to clog their arteries with cholesterol from Moglai porotas, kobirajis, cutlets and bhaja bhuji fried in oil as old as the dinosaurs. Since it’s strictly for religious purposes, they expect Maa Durga to vanquish acidity, loose motion and clogged arteries just like that dark-skinned Mahisashura. As you daintily nibble off the meat from the kosha mangsho, you can feast your eyes on sombre looking men sashaying in panjabis embellished with smiling owls and boudis in stunning dhakais and blouses as deep as the Grand Canyon.

Durga Pujo is a Bangali’s own Woodstock. It’s a non-stop 4 day binge-fest where you sleep little, eat lots and hop from one pandal to another like a Duracell charged bunny. While evenings are a happy mishmash of hogging, ogling, lovingly pushing each other to get a closer look of the protima, soaking in calchaar as you tap your feet to latest hits by Miss Jojo and doing adda till the wee hours, mornings are serious business when you actually offer prayers to the Goddess. Also, this is when you get to observe the Bangali Maa (BAM) unleash the Durga(the warrior goddess) in her as she puts the chomchom of her eyes on the stage, where he can stun his paraa(neighbourhood) with his many talents.

We Bangalis are not content with being good at just one thing and this is firmly ingrained in us right from the time we are born. As a toddler if you loved tearing pages of the books from the shelves, you were promptly declared a Tagore in the making. Your baby gibberish was unlike anything your parents had before – it had a haunting lyrical quality to it. Your Thamma had the gut feeling that you’ll be as graceful as Ananda Shankar as she bounced you on her tummy while chanting dhei dhei nachhe nachhe. By the time you picked up the pen on your annaprashan, it was a forgone conclusion that you’ll be a world renowned scholar. Then they name you ‘Hablee’ ‘Godon’ ‘Natoo’ ‘Goga’ and you have no choice but develop a sense of humour to survive this cruel world.

How long can you hold back this child prodigy who can paint like Jamini Roy and lisps the most profound observations about life! So, he takes his first baby steps dressed as a clock for the fancy dress competition on shoshtee during Pujo. His Mom who spent days foraging for cardboard and turning into a grandfather clock is an anxious wreck as she watches her Hablee recite tic toc, aami clock that she composed especially for him. She’s always known he’s the best. It’s time the world accepted it as well. Just like her own Mom had known. She spent her growing up years proving her right, bent pensively on stage as Chandalika, reciting Nazrool’s poetry in a quivering voice and won the first prize for it.

Now here lies the catch. All BAMs are convinced that the chomchom of their eyes deserves to win a prize if not the first. After all she has been preparing him for months! By the time Hablee finally learns chronicles of Hatimatimtim by heart, the whole house including Cecelia, their hired help from Jharkhand can recite it in her sleep. If you dare deny his Mom the coveted prize, you risk having her do a surgical strike, her eyes flaming with unbridled fury, her back glistening with sweat from the exertion of having to push so many women to grab the second prize at musical chairs. The last time Rana Chatterjee, cultural secretary of Pujo committee tried to reason with her, he saw her explode like Samsung Galaxy Note 7 right before his eyes. He could sleep normally only after several visits to his therapist.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Bharat and Pak – It’s So Damn Complicated!

It’s complicated – the relationship between Bharat-Bhushan and Pak Begum. It’s been over 67 years since BaaP broke up, yet Begum Pee continues to behave like a jilted ex. Guess, Pee never forgave Bharat for getting custody of their beti, Kishmish even though it was she who chose to stay with Pitajee. You can call them the original Brangelina, all jaanu-shaanu when together and throwing bartans and belans at each after they went their separate ways.

Bharat’s ex has made it her life’s mission to raise his BP to Himalayan heights by engaging in a bitter custody battle over their love child Kishmish, each accusing the other of abuse and neglect. Interestingly when they meet they behave as if they’ll patch-up any minute, going mwah mwah, singing ‘aman ki aasha’ in dulcet tones. But the moment Bharat turns his back, Pee turns into a demented chudail, constantly orchestrating covert attacks and creating pressure in BB’s nose (naak mein dum). B Bhushan responds with lots of angry condemnations and running to Uncle Sam to complain. It’s the same story every time. Pee continues to attack Bharat and his brood grievously while he’s all kadhi ninda and no action. These days Begum has become even more daring with the backing of her new boyfriend, Mr Chin Chin. Even Kishmish has also been acting all angsty like a pimply teen and constantly throws tantrums because she wants azadi. Kids, I tell you!

Sadly for Pak, the same story decided enough is enough and refused to repeat itself. This unusual occurrence was triggered by yet another behind the back, sneaky assault that had Bharat’s brood led by Angry Goswami (his favourite son) and social media warriors baying for her blood. Fierce battles were fought on Twitter and Facebook. Cunning war strategies were formulated on Facebook walls, nuclear submarines were deployed and fighter aircrafts roared out of hangars on Twitter timelines and brutal jokes were made to shame Begum Pee once and for all.

Bharat Bhushan goaded by the bloodcurdling cries of netizens FINALLY decided to retaliate with a stinging counter-attack that’s so covert that even his bacchas are not aware of it.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

DJ wale Babu zara volume badhaa do!

We Indians love noise as much as we love our gais and demonstrate our dogged devotion to both by driving others mad. Why, we are even ready to kill if someone refuses to share our fervour for our object of affection with the same passion! Wasn’t it in Vasant Kunj where a gym owner killed his neighbour because he complained of the loud music playing at his gym?

One man’s headache maybe another man’s music but how dare he point that out and spoil the fun!

Well, I’ve often felt like killing myself at the gym instead of waiting for some irate Jaat to do the honours. Especially when I’ve heard ‘clap your hands now, you motherfucker’! at least 5 times during my workout interspersed with grunts from the hulk next to me trying to lift weights double his own. Thanks to this elevating experience, I’ve mastered my Nagin look, the same one that Sridevi gave Amrish Puri.
Google Images
But only after I’ve whined about the limited, unimaginative playlist to the management. They as usual have no clue as to what I’m talking about. I’m often brushed off as a pesky fly.

The scary bit is that the same playlist is shared by the world and its aunt. So, you get to hear Honey Singh woo his kudi namkeenaa, ambraan di queenaa, at the Pub, club, blaring from the water-park in the vicinity, neighbourhood shaadi sharing their joy via loudspeakers, and the party hosted by a dear friend. Sometimes I get so confused that I actually jiggle my hips in a drunken stupor at the gym and try to do push-ups at the hottest new brewery playing stale hits. By the end of the year, I’ve intimate knowledge of Mr Singh’s weird notion of romance that entails meeting kudi namkeena’s daddy so that his future son-in-law can tell him ‘Bas jitna aapki beti ek mahine mein udati hai, ek hafte me meri gaadi utna tel khaati hai!’ (keep your daughter away from me because I’m an asshole) Wow, how can any woman resist this charmer!

But isn’t that the beauty of music that catches the public’s fancy. It’s not a superhit till it drives you to the brink of lunacy. The first time you hear it, you nod your head with approval, much like a Kathakali dancer. The next few times you enjoy it and even try humming along with it. But when it starts stalking you wherever you go, whatever you do, you scream nahiiiin like a Bollywood Mom of yore who has lost her sons at a mela.
Google images

Friday, September 9, 2016

An Open Letter to all by a hurt Ms Baigan

Not so dear all,

Till a few days back I was just a Baigan, sitting on a rack, waiting for you to take me home, mash me, pulp me and devour me with relish. I suffered in silence even when you rubbed me with oil and put me on fire to roast in my own juices. I even put up with smelly onion and too-much-blusher-tomato because I wanted you to like me the way you like that squishy paneer. Oh, don’t you for a moment think I didn’t notice the look of tenderness when you picked her up and surveyed her lovingly, your drool moistening your lips! Yet, I looked on stoically, with a stone placed on my heart.

I know I am no superfood. I’m dark, plump and a veggie with many names – aubergine, eggplant, brinjal, baigan, begoon… But tell me, what did I do to deserve to become the butt of your merciless jokes and bad puns!

Mind it, I will never forgive Durex for besmirching my spotless reputation by announcing ‘spicy baigan’ flavoured condoms. Just as Mother Teresa’s Holy Spirit was getting canonised at the Vatican and demonised by the republic of Twitter, Durex got this brainwave to sexify me.

Durex, do you even realize that this mindless sexification of the baigan in pursuit of fame and riches has ruined my life forever! Had I been an American I would have sued you for millions of dollars for emotional distress. My besties Tinda, Tauri and Lauki have stopped talking to me after my new found notoriety. The other day when I accidently brushed against Tinds, she spat out – Who do you think you are, Sunny Leone! My sweetie pie, potato no longer responds to my loving overtures. Not even when I croon, aloo, is it me you’re looking for? *Please insert a plaintive wail here for added effect* Heartbroken, I tried line-maroing cauilflower who I had bro-zoned recently. When I whispered 'gobhi gobhi mere dil mein khayal ataa hai', he pretended to de deaf. Only that luchha lafanga Karela sent me a sext that read – aati kya Khandala! Like any sanskari baigan I proceeded to feel cheap and washed myself in Dettol twice.

 Now even Kela and Kheera won’t talk to me for stealing their limelight. Le sigh!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Wrapped or Unwrapped, Women Will be Rapped Either Way

Image Courtesy -

Till a few days back I was madly applauding the ban on Burkini imposed by France on its beaches in the Riviera. Since I fancy myself as more of a doer than a talker, I quickly started compiling a rather long list of unwearables that our junta insists on turning into beachwear that should be banned. For too long I have been traumatised by the sight of portly men flaunting their hairy selves in striped kachhas, snug boxers and demure women taking a dip in the ocean in their saris that promptly turn into parachutes. In fact, on my last visit to Hardwar which was a few decades back, I saw so many ladies bathing in just their petticoats tied over their ample bosoms that I exclaimed ‘Hey Ram’ and died. Haunted, I never went back for another pilgrimage.

Unfortunately my burkini ban euphoria did not last long. The ban was suspended by France's highest administrative court that’ll rather uphold fundamental freedoms than let the government go by its whims. Tcchh…had it been India, these men in wigs would have been charged with sedition and declared anti-nationals. Don’t they know it’s the state that gets to decide what should offend us? It’s pretty simple - what offends them should offend us and if that offends you, GO TO HELL, YOU SCUMBAGS! Oh, and the state also gets to decide what and where hell is.

After I was done with outraging, I changed sides since I prefer remaining on the right side of political correctness. The world is a stage and of what use are my acting skills if I can’t flip my emotions like an omelette on a pan. So, right now I am busy yayying for the French courts for acting in favour of liberty and equality. Why should only men get to decide that we are better off when covered up! Also, if women feel they should be free to expose without inviting judgement, they should also be free to slip into a garment that the world had no idea about till a ban was imposed on it. So, if certain femmes want to wear bikinis at hill stations, I will support their right even it means freezing to death. Don’t Delhi women dress in tiny summery dresses in biting winters and live to tell the tale? Or prefer death by sweating in black tights under a black dress in searing summers to save themselves from the ogle fest every time they step out?

Needless to say, this landmark judgement has come as a huge relief to a certain section of men who have always believed that an ideal woman should dress in a shroud to live a long uneventful life. Women who dress in flimsy, fashionable clothing deliberately provoke men into harassing them, who sometimes insert rods inside their vaginas and butcher their bodies for fun. So it is only natural that men protect themselves by banning women from their sight. Look what happened at Haji Ali. Women with breasts were deliberately bending over while praying, forcing men into having unholy thoughts and distracting them from their destined path of greatness.

What I don’t get is, if men are so fascinated by breasts, why don’t they try growing a pair of their own!

Had Dipa Karmakar attempted the death defying Produnova vault in a demure salwar-kameez and not that shameful one piece garment, she would have felt more comfortable winning a bronze. Had PV Sindhu smashed her way to the Badminton finals in a sari, and not that tiny skirt, she would have done our rich Indian culture proud. Does Sakshi know that by flaunting those amazing biceps, she has closed doors on lucrative matrimonial offers! Who will marry her now? Worse still, who will risk arguing with her? Tell tell!

So please instead of shooing off devout Muslim women in their Burkinis from beaches, let them feel comfortable covered from head to toe!


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