The Happy Prince – A Desi Adaptation

A secret survey was conducted by Her Majesty’s Services, also known as the Caged Parrots Inc. (CBI), to find out how many subjects of her Kingdom wanted Clown Prince as their Clown King.

It had been over nine years since the day she handed over the reins of her kingdom to the gentle-as-a-lamb Silent one. While he kept busy with his 1300 speeches, her council of wise men turned the flying Maharaja into a sitting Pauper, improved the education system and industry to generate more unemployment, introduced legislation to make rotten foodgrain even more scarce, gave the economy a Greek makeover and bestowed upon countrymen the right to be silent. She had assigned the wisest one, Sir Foot-in-Mouth to groom the Prince to become the king of beehives and Boss of small things. He had been sent to the homes of the poorest of the poor, made to lick their runny daal clean, sleep on their charpais and swat the same mosquitoes. He was made to give fiery speeches and convince his ignorant subjects that he was the right one. He rode far and wide, to sing the greatness of his Mom’s reign. Such were his convincing powers that his subjects promptly elected other corrupt leaders to steal their own money.

What greater way to greatness than letting him fumble and bumble, make a royal fool of himself and be applauded for it! The council of wise men sang the Prince’s praise, danced around him and stuck out their tongues at the Silent one.

Heir He Is

I make my debut on The Unreal Times, to rejoice the birth of the Royal Baby. Reproducing the post here for your reading pleasure.

Hours after a terrified Salman Khan saw Taher Shah running towards him and hugged Shahrukh in panic, the Duchess of Cambridge went into the world’s most awaited labour, at St Mary’s hospital. Meanwhile, Britain saw its biggest Labour party right outside the hospital. It mostly comprised of eagerly waiting news anchors and cameramen who hadn’t shaved and bathed for days. It was reported that they raised quite a stink.

Blame the Royal Baby or rather his 0.0000000067% Indian genes. When the baby finally deigned to make an appearance, it was at Indian Standard Time, more popularly known as aap 5 minute ruko, main paanch din mein ayaa! But when the RB (Royal Baby) did arrive, it got more coverage than Uttarakhand floods, Arizona wildfires and the Egyptian revolution – aII put together. And why not! In a world plagued by constant strife and struggle, where hope is like a lone fallen branch in gushing waters, Royal Baby is our only hope for a brighter future. Even the hopeless Indian Rupee rose by 7 paise to celebrate the royal delivery!

When the exhausted but ecstatic Kate held up RB and murmured “your heir has arrived”, she did confuse the balding Prince William who briefly thought the wig he had ordered online from Tirupati has made an appearance.

Yes, Body Image Comes From Parents!

How does one introduce someone who's already so popular! I'll still give it a try for the sake of the selected few who have yet to read Rachna Says. If you like reading incisive commentary on social issues and are looking for parenting advice, I suggest you read Rachna Srivastava Parmar. A spirited woman with strong opinions and stronger principles, a young mother of two, she's also a professional content writer and a fantastic cook.  The last bit was specifically added to wrangle a dinner invite from her.

In this post, Rachna raises pertinent concerns about this generation's unhealthy obsession with physical beauty and letting it mess with their self-esteem.....

Little girls even before their teenage years are dieting these days. Ask any adolescent and chances are that she is unhappy with the way she looks. Food is a cuss word for her. It makes her fat! Fat is ugly; it is undesirable! She wants to look hot and hip just like those models that prance around on TV, adorn the cover of magazines, are arm candies of all the hot guys she loves and play out larger-than-life roles in her mind’s eyes. Young ladies are depressed, deflated fighting this battle to look a little more thin and a little more fair. The marketers whose sales are on the rise are laughing their way to banks. And no, they are not the only ones to blame. Yes, they promote an aspirational standard of beauty in society to peddle their wares – read beauty products, fairness creams, health foods etc. But, you my dear sweetie, yes YOU the parent are equally responsible. What you look at me incredulously? What did you do?

For starters, children derive their comfort, their self-esteem from their parents first and later from the society. And as a recently shared advertisement openly pointed out, children mirror their parents’ behavior as well as thinking and aspirations. In their formative years, you are the one they turn to when they are teased. You are the one they look to for affirmation for their own self-worth. And what do they get? Do they find a parent who actually teaches them to love their incredible bodies and self? Does the parent convey to them that they are accepted and loved just the way they are? Does the parent love her own self is a question worthy of asking?

Yes, we have moms who are obsessed with losing weight. They have deadlines --5 kgs. in one month for a wedding they have to attend. They are so unhappy that they are unable to appreciate the perfectly good looking bodies that they have. I have seen so many gorgeous women stressing out over that extra inch or couple of kilos that they still (imagine to) have extra. They don’t eat right, are obsessed with weight gain and get even more depressed when they don’t achieve their crazy targets. Binges and more guilt follows. All the while, your child is absorbing that only a particular size of body is good and desirable. That fat is bad, and thin is good – at any cost!

The Big Mystery Unveiled

It’s big, shapeless and ugly and is always hanging-out with her. Yet, she clings as if her life depends on it. You wonder, what she sees in that monster that refuses to leave her side. You’ve often noticed her hands caressing its soft folds. Oh, how much it disgusts you! You’ve often wondered what it holds in its dark cavernous folds. Admit it! You’ve been tempted to take a peek inside, when it’s alone, on its own. But you dare not! What if its mistress finds out and swings it like a mace and fells you flat like a dehydrated tree!

Crrunnnchhh. You can almost hear the sound of your bones cracking.

Looks can be deceptive. How can a big, wobbly, soft thing be capable of such menace? Blame the possessive mistress, who guards it “the handbag” like a lioness guards her cub.

The lady has a symbiotic relationship with her bag. Right since she was a little girl, who loved draping herself in her Mom’s dupatta, trying to balance herself on high heels, peering at her image in the mirror, her lips smeared with lipstick, adjusting her pretty little purse on her shoulder, trying to look all ladylike. From school socials, to her college days, to her first date, her first interview, through the ups and downs of her life – her shoulder bag was her constant companion.

Her handbag is her blanket of comfort that protects her from the unknown and the unseen. It’s dark, cavernous folds crammed with her most intimate possessions, stuff she might have to use if she…..

Just like my Mom

Courtesy -iStockphoto

When I was your age, phones were clunky, televisions bulky and computers hulky. Yet they occupied very little space in our heads. Our house was cluttered with knick-knacks and memories. Appliances were uncomplicated, so were our lives. Sleep was not a challenge but something we enjoyed. Happiness was free and did not come with “terms-and-conditions apply”.

News was in no hurry to break and would patiently wait until next morning. Tele soaps were meant to be watched by the entire family. When we talked, we looked into each other’s eyes rather than look up occasionally from our mobiles. Words had yet to shed their vowels and their warmth. Sentences were not hurried missives. We talked because we needed to and not because we wanted another toy.

Time was elastic not brittle. Despite entertainment that was clumsy and prehistoric, I-am-so-bored had yet to make an appearance in our lexicon. Relatives had yet to be anointed with the annoying tag, family weddings were not meant to be endured but enjoyed. Private space was not guarded like a bastion and certainly not shared with online strangers.

Gay meant happy. Hit and run was still a game we played and enjoyed. We imbued our idols with a halo and did not put them under a microscope to analyse and jeer at their flaws. Scepticism was a prerogative of the old and the wrinkled. Youth had ideals. Lampooning our leaders was the sole preserve of the likes of RK Laxman, rather than a national sport. We used to race against the wind not time. We felt free not constricted and were content with our routine-ridden existence.

We couldn’t wait to grow up and become our Mom and Dad. We were impatient to take charge of our lives.

We did. Or so we thought.

For Blogger or For Worse

She is BlogwatiG. When we met last year on Blogosphere, we had a Jab We Met moment and decided we have a sizzling chemistry. It's been over one and a half years and we haven't changed our minds or our husbands. A tigress who prowls the big bad jungles confidently and roars her disapproval every time she encounters injustice, she is never afraid to fight her own and her friends battles. A blogger of repute and founder of the immensely popular forum IndiBlogeshwaris, she is my Kohinoor.

Of course, she never tires of pulling my leg and does exactly that in this guest post......

“It’s been over a year. I think the time has come to take this relationship to the next level. You know you mean the world to me. And I would never do anything to hurt you. I’d rather hurt myself…….”

Her eyes, limpid pools gently strumming the ripples of love and admiration, bore testimony to what she’d just heard. Deep in her heart, she knew, this was meant to be. Her heart ached for she knew every word that was bespoken was true. This treasure was hers to keep.

“And hence, this is what I have for both of us. Good times or bad, this will sail us through”
Dear Lord, could this be what she thought it was? Nothing quite prepared her for what followed next. She opened the sealed envelope with trembling fingers.

“This is what I’d like to call B-NUP, a Blogger Nuptial.”
She was speechless.

“Well considering that you have been blogging for years before me, this seemed like a step in the right direction.”

She stared in disbelief at the contract that read thus.

To whomsoever it may concern. 

  1. It is agreed that the bloggers in question will visit each other’s blog and lavish praise even if they have been having a hard day. This particularly stands true when the maid has not come in to work, phir bhi Bajate raho! 
  2. It is agreed that no blogger will be allowed to be more famous than the other at any given juncture as it amounts to unpleasantness. In the event that one blogger has more fan following than the other, the lesser known blogger to be compensated with a share in the famous blogger’s social net-worth. We believe this would be Zindagi ke saath bhi, zindagi ke baad bhi.
  3. It is agreed that all comments will have to be followed with tiny hearts and 'awwwwws' to enforce the love and affection the bloggers feel (or not). PDA is encouraged and every ‘love you’ will be taken as the ultimate example of dedication, Kyunki yeh bujhaye sirf pyaas, baki sab bakwas.


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