The Return of the Didi

Courtesy Economic Times

There’s a shiver of excitement coursing through the Trinamool cadre. Their very own Mamata Di has now achieved global notoriety. Soon after Time magazine featured her in their exclusive 100 most influential list, Washington Post went ahead and called her the biggest (note the compliment – BIGGEST!) obstacle to India’s liberalization.

It is indeed a proud moment for Poschim Bongo.

Mamata Di has always been best friends with controversy. Starting as a state level player where she put pressure in CPM’s noses (naak me dum kar diya), she soon graduated to a national phenomenon. A tireless crusader of rollbacks and a slayer of bills, Didi is now the government’s nagging migraine. After stunning the world with her victory over the rusty Reds, as commander-in-supreme of her state she has now moved on to bigger and better targets. The bhodromohila not only decides which colour to paint her city with but also decides on behalf of the PM whether he says yes to Haseena in Bangladesh.
It appears Ms Banerjee’s growing clout has world leaders shitting in their pants. It’s not only the fossil CPM and malnourished Maoists who are conspiring to send Didi heavenwards. Korea, Venezuela and Hungary are after her behind (pechhone porey achhe). These bankrupt countries are so worried that they are willing to pour money from their empty pockets into Pakistan’s much feared ISI, who have been assigned the honourable job to kill Di.

It is indeed a proud moment for Poschim Bongo. Their very own Didi is more Wanted than Don.

But Banerjee Di is always a step ahead of her enemies. While the rest of the country was busy making fun of her paranoia of cartoons, it was Mamata who unravelled a hidden message to assassinate her in the cartoon that a bored JDU professor had floated on FB. “Mamata Banerjee eez not a cartoon. A section of the mediaah called it a cartoon. But they are wrong. It contained the word 'Bhanish', which means a plan to assassinate and keel Mamata Banerjee” the Chief Minister clarified at a party meeting. She also alleged a conspiracy through Facebook, Twitter and SMS and said - I am being shown in Facebook. Now, it is my turn. I bheel show you Facebook.

Courtesy India Today

Didi is Didi. Instead of playing victim, she has ordered MP5 series submachine guns for the sake of her safety. Kolkata police is excited about this new development. After years of handling water cannons to disperse the bhodrolok populace protesting against poverty in Nicaragua, they will finally get to play with real toys.

Her fans and followers, otherwise known as Trinamool Congress have joined Didi bachao andolan, launched by their beloved leader herself. Anybody who dares to question her or laugh at her will henceforth be branded as “Ma-oh-eesht”.

In the latest unprecedented development, Ms Banerjee has stunned the world by bringing home the much coveted IPL trophy. It is under her charismatic captaincy her knights managed to overthrow Amma’s boys and staked their claim to victory. As Korea, Venezuela and Hungary watched the live telecast in helpless anger, Dids cocked a snook at them and proclaimed - Bengal is proud. The bhiktry of KKR is like bhiktry of the world. Kim smashed his Lego missile, Chavez started chewing his vuvuzela furiously and Hungary threw its cold soup down the drain. Last heard, ISI is planning to relocate to the Himalayas to promote world peace.

With tears brimming in her eyes bankrupt Didi proceeded to present her knights with gold chains that she had personally snatched from Bappi Lahiri. Ironically the actual Bengal cricket team that had lifted the Vijay Hazare trophy was given the mushroom treatment – kept in the dark and fed garbage. Here is a short quiz for Didi – please name Bengali players in the KKR team that played the finals.

It was indeed a proud moment for Poschim Bongo. From a national migraine, their beloved slayer of Red has now graduated to an international embarrassment.

Korbo naa, jeetbo naa, kintoo lodbo re.

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Confessions Of An OCD

I was in college when I discovered I was cursed. Every time I stood next to a bedside, my fingers would start twitching uncontrollably. It started with a tug here and a pull there and then it developed into a full blown obsession. One look at a crumpled bedsheet and I would be on all fours, wading through a sea of creases.

Believe me I tried my best to conceal this terrible secret of mine. Made sure no one was looking when I lunged towards the bed. But how long can you hide, how long can you cover-up your shameful deeds? My Mom was the first to notice it. That she was shocked, would be putting it mildly but later accepted it gracefully. It’s only a Mom who can say – tedhi hai par meri hai (she may be damaged but she is mine)

Unfortunately this was just the beginning. Soon I graduated to bigger things. Crouching under the table, shaking my head in disgust, arranging neat stacks and trying to bring some order in this chaotic world. It seemed I was the lone crusader, fighting a losing battle. Soon, the dusting cloth became my best friend.
Courtesy - Google Images

The exclusive club of the loonies had just acquired its newest, freshly minted OCD.

I had no idea that I had this coming. As a child I was terrible messy. My books always looked like a “mountain of knowledge”. My cupboard, as if a whirlwind had just passed through it. Each time my Dad tried to clean my study table, he would excavate hidden gems - naughty notes from my teachers, carefully hidden answer sheets, green furry green things that were once chapattis. .. A lot of drama would ensue with my parents launching into emotionally charged sermons and me blinking away tears of remorse.

The only thing I was particular about was my impeccably ironed clothes. I made sure, even my sweater had razor sharp creases.

Life was not this simple anymore. Dust had become my biggest enemy and creases a conspiracy, out to rob my peace of mind.

It became worse after I got married. Suddenly I had an entire house at my mercy. With missionary zeal I would launch myself at dusty windows, excavate ancient garbage from under the bed, and scrub the fridge with rivulets of sweat trickling down my back, till our barsati apartment started looking like the ultimate in orderliness. When relatives came visiting us, I was made to open cupboards and shelves, so that they could dissolve into orgasmic oohs and aahs!

I knew that I was doomed. Caught in a catch 22 situation, there was no way I could let my fans down. So I kept setting cleaner standards for myself.

The sad part is once you start, there is no end to it. As you lie on bed to take a breather, all you see is dust on the fan blades and window grills. While visiting your loved ones, you recoil at the sight of cobwebs hanging tantalizingly from dark corners. You can’t take your eyes off it even as you are devouring your fifth mutton chop, trying to make them vanish (the cobwebs) with your superpowers. When you are out shopping for home decor, most of them are rejected because they didn’t pass the Ray dust-detection vision! Naah...this is too white, too fragile, has too many carvings and you’ll spend most of the day trying to keep it dust free!

The terrible realization that the mess around you is capable of messing with your peace of mind...

Thankfully with realization comes revelation that everything including peace of mind has a price. All you have to do is outsource your worry to a willing, helping hand. The beauty of stumbling upon the inevitable - What you can do, your maid can do better.

It also helped that God with his twisted sense of humour, gifted me a daughter who thinks cleanliness is a state of mind. All you have to do is train yourself to think it doesn’t exist. So the mother and daughter don’t exactly see eye to eye! She hoards what I think is junk and is constantly accusing me when things go missing from her cupboard.

Like any thoughtful mother, I make sure she’s sleeping when I consign junk to its rightful place.

I can’t claim to have recovered. On the contrary, I have many more obsessions vying for my attention now. It does get tough having to juggle so many of them at the same time and I admit that I often end up ignoring my first love. But on days I get nostalgic about my OCD and find myself atop ladders or hanging from ceiling fans, I make sure I’m not home alone. After all I do need someone to rush me to the hospital, in case I have a mighty great fall.

Imagine the terrible damage to my impeccably clean image, if I am discovered under a heap of dust by some random stranger!

P.S The insanity of the protagonist is more imagined than real. Any resemblance to a living character is purely coincidental.

Cartoon is the new Porn

Google images

Extensive usage of objectionable material by NCERT books is corrupting young, innocent minds. 
When our esteemed Parliamentarians made this shocking disclosure, it took the nation by storm. Now I know why Vicky spent hours, cozying up to his Political Science textbook! - exclaimed Mrs Khurana. Mr Khurana cursed silently - All the hours I wasted downloading porn when there was a treasure trove of excitement stacked right under my nose?

The much ignored, much ridiculed NCERT books have suddenly acquired an aura of respectability. NCERT office is having a tough time shooing off miscreants trying to vandalize their property and handling an avalanche of eager enquiries about their course books. It seems everyone in India is dying to revise their history and civics.

It all started with the discovery of an indecent illustration in the Political Science textbook for class XI. The fact that it was a sixty year old cartoon reflecting prevailing political sentiments and was accepted gracefully by politicians of that time was deemed irrelevant. That the iconic figures of yesteryears had no problem getting lampooned by Shankar’s razor sharp wit time and again, was ignored completely. All that mattered was our esteemed MPs had discovered a brand new issue to outrage.

Mard Yadav (JD-U) mused - “This is not a cartoon but porn and needs mature minds to understand”

Bhalu Prasad (RJD) counter argued "How does removing objectionable material help in clearing minds that have already been corrupted?”

Justwant Sinha (BJP) shook his head in disgust and spat – I object to MPs & MLAs being made fun of. We are Gods not cartoons.

Congress MP Punjay Nirupam intervened to demand an inquiry against those behind the incorporation of “bad taste” in textbooks. “These so-called scholars (behind the textbooks) are part of a larger conspiracy to defame the political class in this country. Let’s brand them as terrorists.”

It was agreed that, since there are enough cartoons running the Parliament, all depictions of them in textbooks is completely unnecessary. And if anyone is dying for a good laugh, they can always see a live telecast of Parliament in session.

I&B minister Lambika Soni, chipped in – It will only be fair to rename Lok Sabha TV as Cartoon Network.

72 MPs climbed atop tables and threw paper planes at each to express their assent!

After taking into account all hurt and outrage over the meaningless, it was decided that a legislature should be passed making cartoon the new porn. Disregarding the stink emanating from the Upper House (a result of passing too many motions), 420 MPs of the Lower House voted in its favour.

A historic bill was passed, consigning Freedom of Expression to the dustbin of history, damning humour as indecent and accepting intolerance as the best attitude to flaunt.

When Ram Bharose (Aam Junta), raised his hand and asked in a feeble voice– But what about spiraling prices, slow economy and farmer suicides? Don’t you think these issues are more important than cartoons that fail to make you laugh? All the revered, esteemed men and women of honour sniggered and said - Nice Joke! We work only when the court orders us to. And for the rest of non-issues that ail this country, we expect Amir Khan to take care of it.

Hey Ram! Leave Sita alone

Courtesy - Google

I wonder why people refuse to let go of Sita? The lady renounced public life 7000 years back and went underground. Hopefully after years of wilderness, she found salvation there. Sita was a case of bad karma. Despite having everything – good looks, royal lineage, moolah and a prince charming, she led a life far worse than a beleaguered tele bahu.

If you can’t stop outraging about how much your life sucks and what a wimp your boss is, it’s time you knew what the lady had to go through. The loyal one, who willingly followed her banished husband, wasted her youth in the jungles. Sita has many firsts to her credit - the first recorded case of a woman who dared to cross the line.

Unfortunately she got abducted by a Sri Lankan ten headed monster with a major dandruff problem. She was also the first Indian woman to fly in a private jet and travel abroad, inspiring a New York based travel agency to name itself after her – Sita Travels.

Even though she does get reunited with Ram after a daring rescue mission that looked straight out of a James Bond novel – Sita doesn’t get to live a happily after. Constantly doubted and made to sit for various exams, a pregnant Sita finally gets thrown out by her self-righteous husband. A husband who should have stood by his loyal wife, chose to pay heed to a Dhobi trying to act like the social media. When he should have said - Shutup! My wife is my personal matter, he ended up saying Get lost wifey, my Dhobi hates your face!

Imagine Abhishekh Bachhan abandoning Aishwarya just because the media can’t stop passing mean comments about her weight gain and her colourful sartorial choice!

Ironically people are still quoting from epics without probably having read or understood the underlying message. A Congress of fools, in a rare show of camaraderie, implored PJB to commit the same mistake as Ram and dump their bearded soul mate Modi.

Now that PJB is Ram, it’s only fair to compare the Congress of fools to Ravana. Come to think of it, the party does have too many heads and not one of them sees eye to eye.

Will the Bhartiya Party of the Public now wait for the C-party scion to do a Sita haran with NaMo and keep him imprisoned in a Dalit hut? If the self-righteous PJB does dump the Gujarat CM, will Modi jump in the nearest manhole to seek salvation? And most importantly, is the C party suggesting that it’s perfectly normal to torch cities with the mere swish of your tail?

Will all these secrets be revealed break ke baad? Unlikely. We all know politics is no Ramayana but a Mahabharata.

If PJB is expected to do a Ram, then Mumbai HC judge PB Majumdar expects womankind to do a Sita. While hearing an appeal by a husband seeking divorce from his wife on the ground that she was not willing to shift with him to Port Blair where he was transferred, Judge Majumdar counselled - "A wife should be like goddess Sita who left everything and followed her husband Lord Ram to a forest and stayed there for 14 years."

Yeah, right! Try spending a night in Maoist infested jungles before dispensing such sagely advice.

When Sita heard this bullshit, she had no choice but to break her vow of silence. She sighed – Ahh, the joys of being a single mother with not a single paisa for child support! And the burn marks from the Agni Pariksha still hurt.

Port Blair residents are fuming because the Judge dared compare this idyllic town to a forest!

The modern Nari chortled – Somebody please tell the Judge, a wife is not a Hutch Puppy! The only forest we’ve heard of is, Forest Essentials. And doesn’t he know that it’s distance that makes the heart grow fonder? It’s only when our husbands leave for office, do we start missing them!

And just because your memory is shorter than Poonam Pandey’s skirt, doesn’t mean we’ll let history repeat itself.
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Bye Bai Patil Taai

Patil Taai was sunbathing on the beaches of Seychelles, nodding her head to Anup Jalota’s bhajans, her pallu firmly tucked under the sun hat, when she heard the first murmurs. They sounded human. Her head turned a 360° to investigate. All she could see was her grandkids kicking up a sandstorm in the horizon. She gave them a toothy smile and was waving at them Ms Universe style, when she heard a loud crick. Damn spondilytis! Why me? I hardly do any work!

She was gingerly petting a petrified cheetah in South Africa, when she sniffed a strong odour coming all the way from India. Is it the dal I forgot to put in the fridge, before hopping on to Air India One for my last Duniya Dekho trip?

It was stinking. It smelt like criticism. Concerned citizens were outraging about her 205 cr travel bills and her post retirement home in Pune. Pooh! Just because you travel cattle class and squeeze yourself in a 1245 sq ft flat, doesn’t mean I’ll deprive myself. What a bunch of losers!

She quickly went into a flashback mode, going back to the momentous day when Her Highness Sonia Jee had appointed her to fill long haired Kalam’s shoes. Of all the smart, dynamic, deserving candidates, it was she, the most obedient and loyal, who had been handpicked. Of course she knew she was a misfit – he wore a size 10 while she wore a size 6 ballerina, yet for the sake of her party she agreed to step in. Tai had never said No in her life, unlike her counterpart in East who has never said yes.

Being a yes-woman has it perks - Tai was appointed the Nation’s Head while Didi has appointed herself as the National headache.

Secretly, PP couldn’t stop admiring Sonia Madam’s act of bravado. Imagine replacing Kalam, one of the best Presidents the country’s ever had, with a lady whose dubious credentials make her the laughing stock of the country? But Pratibha was relieved that she had a worthy predecessor in once upon a time President, Giani Zail Singh. If Giani was willing to become a sweeper for Indira Gandhi then Tai was more than willing to clean her utensils.

Even as she was scouring dirty utensils, PP Tai had always known that she was destined for greatness. Her pet, dead Baba of Mt Babu had sent a direct message on Twitter warning her of her impending exalted status.

All my bags are packed...I’m ready to go...I’m leaving on a jet plane~~

That’s exactly what she had been doing, during her five year term as President– leaving on a jet plane, shaking hands with world leaders, posing and stunning them with her wit, attending state buffets (burp) and asking – humse trade karoge? But before anyone could say no, she would rush off to play TT.

Yet the ungrateful nation was accusing her of turning the Rashtrapati Bhawan into a retirement retreat. Which retiree in her right mind will travel all the way to Latin America, to promote her son’s business? Show me someone who has the “pratibha” to spend so much, in doing so little!

PPP (Prez Pratibha Patil) Patil Tai made no distinctions between relatives and party, party and government, merging them all into one happy family – Vasudeva Kutumbakam!

As a doting mother, she lobbied for her son to be given a Congress ticket in the 2009 assembly elections. As a loving sister she protected her brother in a murder case. An obedient wife who let her husband Devi Singh run a parallel office and poke his nose in official appointments.

A colourless, forgettable President who will be best remembered for her blind devotion to her family.

Nobody was willing to accept that she had actually saved tax payer’s money, combining family vacations with official visits. Nobody was applauding the commendable restraint she had shown as Commander-in- Chief of the Armed forces – choosing to keep mum during civilian-army strife and making feeble noises only when the crisis had blown over. Where was the applause for working so silently that her achievements during her 5 year tenure are the world’s kept secret! Ironically, all people care to know is, she plays TT with a delightful expression and beach bums in Goa in a sari.

But when PPP Tai put forth her pertinent arguments, all she could hear was laughter. When she demanded that people respect the post of the President, it was selected as the best joke for World Laughter Day! Some cad even had the temerity to suggest that she had taken out the P out of the post of President and turned it into Resident- Pratibha Patil.

Don’t forget, it is entirely due to her efforts, she had got the entire nation interested in who the next President will be. The top post of the world’s largest democracy that has been relegated to a mere figurehead, thanks to selfish political manoeuvrings... A figurehead, who has been relegated to a joke by an insecure ruling party that deliberately chooses pliant heads... Where having an opinion is considered a crime and you are rewarded for being a mere rubberstamp.... A President who has been reduced to a resident...

The Nation that should have been so proud to get its first woman President has no kind words for the lady who will be remembered for putting her self-interest above the country. The worst that followed the best.

Bye, bai Patil Tai, we will not shed a single tear for you.

Source -

Image Source - Google

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A walk in the wilds

It was supposed to be a walk in the wilderness for the nature deprived, polluted air inhaling, city bred brats. Stressed by the sights and sounds of the city and tired of spewing angst at news that reads more like an obituary, we had travelled thousands of miles to frolic in the jungles of Kerala. Lush green forests where spotted deer roam around like stray cattle, where pigeons don’t shit in your balcony but on trees, where you wake up to the sound of birds and not the barking of dogs. Away from civilization and the blare of TV, even our mobile connectivity was as temperamental as Mamata Banerjee. It was indeed a pleasant change.

Snail Male
A pleasant change to be able to sit back and stare at the stars, to look for butterflies, watch the snail painfully cross the narrow lane, to dream about the delicacies the chef would be rustling up for us and play badminton in a court shaded by a mango tree, the fallen raw mangoes making a squelchy mess under our feet.
The Serene Pookot Lake
Come mealtimes and we’d stuff ourselves to the gills. It’s not every day, one gets to eat yummy Fish Malabar curry and squid Masala with spicy raw mango chutney on the side. And when we started feeling guilty of not doing enough touristy things, we promptly hired a car to see Pookoot Lake. The lake is one the most picturesque and well kept lakes I’ve ever seen - touristy yet serene with a shaded pathway on its periphery.

Do beggars deserve our alms?

Courtesy - Google Images

For someone born and brought up in a country that accounts for 1/3rd of the world’s poor and is equally famous for the Taj Mahal as it is for its slums – I still have to get used to the sight of a bony child dragging himself on the road under the sweltering sun. I cringe at the thought that the child might not have had a decent meal in days, while I am stuffed to the gills. That for him, sheer existence is a struggle while I crib about my maid. That guilt is a luxury for him and for me, the norm.

He is now knocking at my window, his eyes pleading. From inside the car I can make out what he’s saying but shut myself off. I turn my eyes away from his outstretched palms. It requires nerves of steel not to be overcome with pity and reach for my purse. I ask him to move on.

Yes, it makes me feel like a heartless bitch. After all, how much does it take to part with some petty change? Something that means so little to me but so much for him! And yet, I refrain.

Does it mean I am a tight-fisted, mean soul who loves her money too much? I don’t think so. I just happen to believe that while benevolence may help ease my conscience, it will make that boy a beggar for life. While my intentions may be honourable its outcome may exactly be the opposite.

Imagine someone living a life where one gets to earn without having to work for it! It’s addictive, isn’t it? And thanks to your compassion, you are making sure that the beggar-boy gets caught in a vicious circle of dependency. Plus how do you make out how genuine his need is? What if it is just a ruse to fund his drug addiction? What if he’s part of a begging mafia, expected to hand over a chunk of his takings to the gang’s ring leader!

The more you pay, the more lucrative this business becomes.

I am aware that quite a bit of welfare work is directed at reducing begging but with varying degrees of success. There have been instances where people were ready to offer jobs, enrolled the homeless and the poor for vocational courses but they chose to run off. The most common problem is that beggars are so used to begging that they actually prefer not to work.

I understand that the sight of individuals in such poverty, some severely disabled, can be very confronting. But I feel it is best to ignore them. While there might be beggars who might genuinely need your help, it’s not possible to help them all. Should you give to that young girl with the wailing baby or to that gnarled looking man on a crutch? I am often amazed by the ingenuity displayed by this breed. The blind man with a patch bloodied by red ink, that girl who has hired a baby for sympathy or the man with elaborately drawn wounds on his body! The shock therapy often reaps rich dividends.

It’s not as if I am averse to helping the unfortunate – I have distributed food packets, clothes to street urchins, gone up to the frail looking man lying on the pavement and given him cash. One is often tempted to help those who are too proud or weak to beg. Definitely not the stubborn, rude ones who keep following you around on streets, ready to drive you up the wall with their whining. And certainly not children. Give them alms and their parents will make sure that this is what they end up doing the rest of their lives. Why send them to school or teach them skills, when they can make more money on the road!

We expect the government to take care of its poor, ensure education and employment for them. But it is just an idealistic dream. In reality they are a vote bank that doesn’t ask questions and complies without a murmur of protest. And even though begging is an illegal profession, authorities spring into action only if the city is hosting an important international event.

For our country to progress we need a self reliant populace and not parasites who’d rather live on handouts than stand on their feet.

If you really want to help the under-privileged, direct them to NGOs that rehabilitate the poor. Make sure you donate generously to causes you hold dear to your heart. But don’t be in a hurry to write out that cheque. Take out time to visit establishments to make sure you are donating to the right organizations. Not all NGO’s have noble intentions, in fact for a few it’s just a money making venture.

And if you are still feeling guilty about your riches, don’t worry, the government with its persistent efforts through Union Budget will make sure you will be poor eventually.
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