Friday, January 14, 2011

Normal is Boring

The last fortnight saw Delhi grapple with one of its harshest winters. Shivering Delhites covered themselves up with tons and tons of woollies, almost looking like walking woollens stores and, er, very- very healthy. Many were spotted sporting a new fad: made-in-China earmuffs to beat the icy winds. Everyone from rickshawallas to street hawkers to students, were seen sporting a pair. But the Chinese are having a good laugh at our expense – apparently these were originally designed for their mutts. Have Delhites finally comprehended the deeper meaning of “Who let the dogs out”?

Strangely, in distant lands, a brave new breed is shedding clothes even as the mercury goes plummeting. New Yorkers are dropping their pants for the “No pants subway ride” event where the participants are expected to go pant-less as they go about their normal routine. This unusual annual happening started as a small event by New York City Prank Collective, now has over 50 cities in two dozen countries around the world, participating. As if dropping your pants was not enough, a clothing brand in Madrid had offered the first 100 customers at its store free clothes as long as they showed up in their underwear. Shoppers in their bare minimum braved the cold and waited outside the store overnight to grab their freebies. Thankfully in our country, we are not expected to turn up in our underwear until it’s for the casting couch. Instead we have to bear our film-stars, posing and preening on National Television in their Amul- Macho underwear-baniyan spouting words of wisdom like - Yeh andar ki baat hai. Thank you, but we do not want to know.

If Delhi was inadvertently sporting doggie accessories, they had another surprise, pleasant or otherwise in store for them. Every Delhite’s pain in the arse, the magnificently inept, slothy Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) made its debut on FB. Within two days of their joining the social networking site, they were swamped with over 1,278 complaints, forcing the agency to restrict itself to what it’s comfortable with – garbage. Yes, only stinky complaints will be entertained on FB. The rest of you with complaints of illegal construction, encroachments and bad roads can go to hell.

Talking of film-stars, we will soon see Aishwarya make her debut at the Sabzi Mandi. In case you’re wondering if Ms Rai has found a new vocation speculating on onion prices after her dazzling array of flops, let me put your agitated mind to rest. A star-struck horticulturist and Padmashree awardee, Haji Kaleemullah Khan, has developed a rare variety of guava and named it “Aishwarya” after the Bachhan Bahu. According to Kaleemullah, the new variety is sweeter than the common guavas available in the market, looks like an apple and has soft seeds unlike the varieties of guava available today. My only query for Mr. Khan - Will the guava also giggle like her?

But come to think of it, a lot of our celluloid stars look like fruits and veggies. Shahrukh, post his Ra-One stress looks like a philosophical raisin. The oh-so-posh Ms Zinta is like a Washington Apple - Himachal is too desi for her. Forever fiery Rakhi Sawant is red hot mirchi or rather bhut jolokia – the hottest chilli in the world at upwards of a million scoville heat units. Ms Sawant is hot for all the wrong reasons! Big B looks like Big P, a pineapple. Next time you spot a pineapple, imagine it sporting a pair of white shades, looking adoringly at its baby pineapple. The fat pineapple sulking in the corner is Amar Singh.


  1. Well, SRK was first, I guess.
    An Orchid was named after him.

  2. hahaha..yes looks liek normal is boring..humans wearing winter accessories that were not designed for humans...bina pant ke kaam pe jaana...naming a fruit after a celebrity..haha..

    Amitabh/Amar pineapple duo stole the show for me as I didnt see that coming at all...

    Like it Purba.

  3. Liked this satire piece Purba.
    Reminds me of Adnan Sami being described as a "Chila hua Anda"

  4. Now that Aishwarya is a Guava, was she a mutation if Amar Singh is a pineapple?
    Leaving that aside, I am wondering what would become of the Abhishek junior?

    Out there in Serbia, I have read that there are competitions to take a dip in the frozen rivers carved into swimming pools. Of Course they know that water is held at 4 degrees while land observes sub zeros.
    But hanging on to the hope of getting free clothes on the outlet and that too in undies? They'll get frozen balls someday.

    Blasphemous Aesthete

  5. ha ha!! :) nice! And Varun Gandhi is all too much 'saffron'! :D

    great post!
    I really enjoyed your blog here... :)

  6. yessssssssssss .. SO true .. i liked the pic of the pineapples he hehe :)

    and no pants day hmmmm wud not mind being in the carriage if beautiful ladies travelled he he ehhe

    I so agree with what you have written ...


  7. Muaahhahahhaha!! Jhalmuri Times is awesome!

    Why don't you design a header for all your Jhalmuri posts? Something that looks like the TOI header with ads on both sides! Yes yes yes!

  8. Geez. Didn't know of the 'pantless' event. Imagine that happening over here. I'd think RSS/Shiv Sena folks would reach the venue before 'em (moral policing, what else!).

    As for the rest.... lol! Guava, eh. What next?

  9. Hey Purba, I didnt read the whole thing coz jus the first few lines caught my attention.

    The air-blocking-ear-pair basically started in a delhiite and ws shocked to see that thing here in mumbai when i came here.

  10. Lol at Aishawaria's brand guavas...
    No pants at work... I'll take an off that day... :D
    A hilarious post and yes normal is really boring... :)

  11. posted 4 hours ago and i thought i should be able to beat the surging crowd ( much like the surging inflation) and get an early bird award for posting my comment at 1230 midnite. alas that wasnt be. :) lol

    very creative kichdi of events you have cooked up here. love the mismash. I got some more Mumbai pics for you by the way - do drop in at your convenience.

  12. Great info!! Had a gala time reading it. Comparing to veggies and fruits was interesting...we used to have such names for each other back in hostel days :-))

  13. Loved reading your this post..
    hehe , sometime normal also goes for paranormal activities ;)

  14. I'm totally willing to go without pants for a day. I just need a few people to join in. No fun doing it alone. I'd be arrested.

  15. LOL..was sourced from TOI but found it more interesting to read :P

  16. Vijitha...Think it's the Singapore Botanical Gardens, where they named a rare Orchid after him.

    Always Happy...Binaa pant ke kaam paar jaana is my nightmare come true

    Victor...LOL @ chheela hua Andaa...Really?

    Blasphemous - I prefer the "walking woollie store" look any day, minus the earmuffs of course.

  17. Matangi...Varun Gandhi is the blasphemous saffron and glad you enjoyed reading it:))

    Kumar Bibek...That makes my job so much simpler :)

    Bikramjeet...And all you see is a window of opportunity. Tch tch...

    Karthikay...You are the whizkid, why don't you design it for me?

  18. Vinitha...LOL so true about the unnecessary moral policing.

    Ano....They are an eyesore if you ask me.

    Tanishka...Yupp Normal is safe and yawn inducing.

    Mayank...Will be my pleasure going through your pics.

  19. Giribala...Ahh tell me about it. For years I had to suffer Gulabo (a yucky flavour of ice cream at Nirulas)

    Vivek..Normal se paranormal tak??

    Ujjwal...A dare??

    Pratul...Prateek's bro?
    Mail Today and TOI, glad you liked it.

  20. trust me .. the facebook thing is a genius move ...

    there is an illusion being offered to the public that their concerns are being noted.

    they need not actually address any problem they find there as

    "if we respond everything on the internet ... soon the playboy will run the united nations, we won't do anything ... "

    SCORE !!!

  21. Those year muffs.. Argh.. are you talking about those which run over the back of your head and normally comes with the camouflage colors? I used to see people wearing them in Chennai, and I religiously rolled my eyes each time. :|

  22. Someone's got a discerning, witty eye for detail....Ash guava giggling...God, will have to think twice before biting..And Bg B and apt..

    As usual, will read it again. That's the beauty of your writing!

  23. I am anxiously waiting for this to happen in Delhi. It'd be one helluva Metro ride.

  24. lol... Big B is quite rightly compared.

  25. Is Jalhmuri times author/editor open to receiving Press releases for more news ;)

    arrey fashion trend in winters- have you noticed a lot of ppl wear these colorful socks with floaters? it is so OTT!

  26. LOL....though I muust confess I skipped through the whole post once searching for the Bhut Jholakia :P
    And I will declare a prize money on Mr. Khan's head...if the Guava even tries to giggle.

  27. flawsophy...A mirage of well being eh? Yea, problems have an irritating trait of getting solved on their own - MCD would like to believe that

    mazing...Oh they are an eye sore. But why Chennai - isn't it pretty warm there?

    Alka...I just blushed a beetroot red :D

  28. Prateek....LOL pantless Delhi will not be a pleasant sight.

    Harish. :))

    Pallavi...Arre am always open to ideas - bring em on I say!

    Prats...What does Khan have to do with it?

  29. your closing comments had me ROFL!!!

  30. You had me LOL from "will the guava also giggle like her?"! till "The fat pineapple sulking in the corner is Amar Singh." :D

  31. magiceye...:D


    Supernova..Good I made you laugh.

  32. going wihtout pants!!!! some weird idea people have huh...
    a guava after Mrs B ... ufff nahi...

  33. Well- said.
    Surely, with marketing and PR being the strongest weapon in the current race for success and achievement many weird ways are being developed to create a hype and publicity. Loved the fruit and veggie examples!

  34. You can also find many sporting T shirts with Chinese characters. Wonder what they say :)

    I think I should start getting Jhalmuri Times. Definitely more interesting than the usual blah one gets in the morning :)

  35. Rajlakshmi...It's all about not taking yourself too seriously.

    Viraj...Apparently there is a rare variety of Mango named after Tendulkar.

    Zephyr...But JM is sourced from the usual blah that one gets in the morning :))

  36. But JT culls all the interesting stuff and presents them in a neat package which means one doesn't need to wade through all the blah.

  37. I like the American no-holds barred attitude. Apart from "No Pants Ride", they also have Nude communities walking the road in summer. Looks like they have something for every season.

  38. philosophical raisin! Raone! :))
    tickled my funny and adjacent bones!!

    enlightened on the ear-muff thing. no-offence to the-being-mentioned but my bro refuses to wear coz all B**** (region specific ppl) wear it! would tell him its meant for Dogs. not sure how he will react!

    btw am a santa claus still looking forward to shedding period.

  39. Perhaps you're right. Watching Laloo, Kalmadi or A. Raja's look alike won't be pleasing to yes. Err....

    Idea dropped.

  40. Municipal/civic authorities FB as well as their own websites are ornamental pieces which become 'antique' after some time because they are never updated and emails to them are never responded!

  41. Maitreyee...:))

    Zephyr...Say yes to Jhalmuri :D

    Joshi...Nudist beaches, every guy's fantasy.

  42. mepretentious... Please don't break his heart. Let him keep wearing it and you can enlighten him at the end of the season.

    Prateek...Do they take the Metro? Don't think so.

    SP...Delhi Traffic Police has a pretty active forum on FB. But have no idea whether they follow up the complaints.

  43. well, marvelous,beyond imagination.
    your posts really gets me thinking, and god knows where you get those decent materials for thought.

  44. Loved the pineapple bit..I like the way your articles shifts focus seamlessly from topic to topic..

  45. Pramod...Thank you so much :)

    Blue Lotus...Glad you like the concept.

  46. I've seen their duplicates from my Naked eyes. They were going to Badarpur. Mazdoori karne. :P

  47. cool!I had never herad of this!good write up..:)


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