Goddamn you particle!

Courtesy - Manjul.com

Imagine spending over a decade in quest of a boson named Higgs. Imagine spending over 54,000 crores and 500 trillion particle collisions in a very large collider only to sheepishly announce – Err...we are 99% sure that this is the Higg one, the remaining 1% we are leaving to God.

Quite like Bata’ 999.99 prices.

Little wonder that scientists at CERN unveiled their findings using Comic Sans. They wanted to make sure that we take their declaration with a pinch of humour.

Agreed that scientists are born to doubt and counter doubt, but did Archimedes stop to wear his underwear before he ran out screaming E U R E K A? There you are popping bottles of bubbly, your bifocals brimming over with tears of joy, yet you can’t get rid of that niggling doubt that has settled comfortably at the back of your mind – What if it turns out to be a devil in disguise?

But the good news is that Bengalis are confident that this is the real thing. If boson has Bose in it, how can it claim to be otherwise! If it is half Bengali, it has no choice but to be God. Mamata Di has already booked Eden Gardens to make a song and dance about it. The function may not have a beginning but will have a grand finale with Shahrukh landing in his Ra-One costume and planting a kiss on Didi’s oily forehead. Priyanka Chopra will then present the anti chip, chip cream to make Ms Banerjee’s forehead as dry as Thar before she breaks into an excited puppy dance.

To show my solidarity with Bengal,I have booked a Tatkal ticket for Kolkata. The only problem? It has been booked for July 2013.

China is a bit stressed. What the world does, this nation of chowmein does even better. They now have only a month to discover the For-God’s-Sake particle.

Needless to say, Indians found their God long time back - in Sachin the master blaster. And like the temperamental Higgs, HE made us wait for close to a century before he parted the sea with his bat.

If you are feeling left out, you can get your own personalized version of God. And no, you don’t have to collide invisible protons and neutrons to unearth it. Its counterfeit versions are readily available in Karol Bagh for just half the price! What the world creates, India recreates in days! Ha! They don’t call us the masters of reproduction for nothing.

Bhaiyya, 2 kilo God Particle pack kar dena...

My imagination is doing cartwheels, conjuring the far reaching implications of god in a particle. The joy of saying Higgs-boson-ki-kasam, I will drink your blood with straw...having Muesli fortified with nuts, seeds, fruits and god particles. The border patrol force can now look forward to apprehending criminals trying to smuggle in kilos of GP somewhere near the Mexico border....orgasming with Oh- God- particle... the possibility of discovering the Goddess particle as thousands of women collide at the much awaited Zara sale.....

The Almighty is now just a particle away.

Funny thing is we spend a lifetime looking for god when all the time He’s inside us, waiting to be discovered. Yet,we do our best to drive him away.

Irony at it's spectacular best?
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Does Multiculturalism Breed Intolerance?

From the author: of  “Never Mind Yaar”  a thought provoking analysis on whether multiculturalism is breeding intolerance. KayEm feels "For most of us, it isn’t the desire to preserve one’s own traditions or culture that is the bigger problem. It is the use of violence to preserve it, to preserve any culture anywhere in the world that disturbs"......

Courtesy - presstv.ir
The majority of Norwegians let him know that unequivocally.

He gunned down 79 Norwegians – all helpless, all innocent, all harmless and full of LIFE and fun. To my mind his reason for doing it was warped. He only wanted people of his own kind to be in his country and no one different. So he killed people of his own kind. This is the reasoning of a terrorist if ever there was reasoning from one. Kill my own kind to save the world from the different others.

The end, that of letting the world know his point of view, justified the means. The means were his plotting for over a year and then putting his plan to kill some wonderful human beings into action. He snuffed out their young lives, destroyed their families by causing them unbearable anguish and then stood vulgarly in court facing the victims’ families trying to seek his moment of justification, fame and glory.

He said he was against the policy of multiculturalism and for letting “Muslims into Norway”. If we can force the government to break down multiculturalism by killing just 70 people that will preserve our values and prevent war in future. He felt the victims were being indoctrinated for multiculturalism by their leaders – the Labour party. Most of the victims were the youth wing of the Labour party.

What a worm; what a warped mind; what a disgraceful, sick, miserable creature to believe he had the right to kill other human beings to get his message across.

Here’s what the Huffington post had to say. When Breivik addressed the court, he lashed out at everything he finds wrong with the world, from the Labor Party's immigration policies, to non-ethnic Norwegians representing the country in the Eurovision Song Contest and the sexually liberated lifestyle of the characters "Carrie" and "Samantha" in "Sex and the City." These are the ideals that are presented to our sisters and daughters today," he said. "They should be censored and removed from our society."

Ask whoever was left to grieve over the loss of family members at his hands and they would repulse and reject his calling them his “sisters and daughters” with all their hearts. He was their killer and as one victim’s mum put it, she hoped she would never have to see his face again and that he would just disappear from Norwegian society into jail forever.

Which brings me to what Breivik didn’t like - multiculturalism. There are so many in the world who subscribe to the view that their own culture is the only one to live by. Most of them might despise others who are different but on the whole, they are peaceful and abhor violence.

Let us talk about India. We have hard core Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Tamilians, Christians, Parsis and in fact, hard core traditionalists in every community that lives in India. They feel theirs is the only culture that is truly gracious, the only religion that will give them a passage to heaven and theirs is the only language worth speaking. They might live side by side with the hateful “others”, send their children to the same schools and even work with them but only because they have to. If they do speak about these others, it is only to heap scorn on their differences.

Most of the rest of us are quite happy to live side by side with people from other cultures. We have this easy going attitude of live and let live and are comfortable with our differences. What’s more, we feel free to indulge our curiosity for and enjoyment of the huge variety of traditions and cultures we have always lived side by side with.

Here’s a strange phenomenon. We might be easy going about other cultures but we are really proud of our own. Imagine someone trying to criticise anything about our heritage, our khandaan, and see how quickly that puts our defences up. It is curious because this pride we have in our own unique culture simply cannot be explained away by reason or logic. It just is, wherever in this world we might be.

Then why blame someone trying to preserve that “uniqueness”? There are many reasons. Many of us grow up understanding that our liking for individuals is irrespective of culture. When youngsters fall in love with someone from a different culture ask them what they would give up easily – their desire to preserve their “uniqueness” or their friendship? When I watched the movie, “Bombay” I know I wanted the two young lovers to be happy together irrespective of the fact that one was a Hindu and the other, a Muslim.

For most of us, it isn’t the desire to preserve one’s own traditions or culture that is the bigger problem. It is the use of violence to preserve it, to preserve any culture anywhere in the world that disturbs. It goes against our core humanity. To witness carnage and bloodshed sickens us. The majority of Norwegians spoke out against Breivik for that very reason.

They spoke out against the violent methods he adopted to highlight the “problem” which isn’t to say they spoke out for the immigration of people who they perceived as different, into their country. That is a separate issue. It remains a problem in many countries today, including India. Why, I hear you ask, is it an issue in India? In India, we already are a multicultural society. We’ve had people of different cultures, religions and languages (say at least seventeen languages and 5 to 600 dialects?) living side by side for hundreds of years. I might even be justified in adding peaceful co-existence has been an issue with us way before it became an issue for some other countries. Their problems of trying to assimilate people of different physical appearances and from different religions and cultures started in earnest after WWII. It is fairly recent.

In India, we’ve been multicultural since centuries with a large number from every community suspicious of the “others”. And as we all know, of late, many of our hard core traditionalists have resorted to violence to uphold their own values and traditions to the exclusion of all others.

How do we, the secular minded Indians, the ones who don’t feel threatened by the presence of other cultures in our midst address this issue? On two fronts.

First, to try and understand why our traditionalists feel threatened and overwhelmed by other communities, why some of us have these nameless fears and prejudices against the others, I’ll let Bharati, a student of Gyan Shakti College tell us what she thinks.

Second, to solve the issue of violence because of racial prejudice, we have two options. First, we must denounce it. Not to do so is to condone it. To condone something that goes against our basic human values eats away at what makes us human.

Secondly, we need ongoing discussions to try and resolve this issue. It has come back to haunt and hurt us repeatedly and open discussions and debates will throw up a few more urgently needed ideas to stem its growth. Perhaps Aamir and the makers of SJ are listening?! Perhaps this is what will give our non-violent but communal minded Indians the strength to speak out against violence within their ranks too.

Forever on a Sunday

Subho's Jejune Diet is one of the most avidly read blogs on Indiblogger. It's a must read for all of you looking for gyan on parenting, photography, investment, yoga... The man is a storehouse of knowledge! Once in a blue moon, he deigns to write a hard-hitting satire or a poignant story and leaves mere mortals like me whining for more. Presenting Subhorup's musings exclusively for A-Musing....

Courtesy - Google images

There is something special about Sundays. Rather than being the proverbial day of rest for me, Sunday has been the day to get the more important things done. The quiet coolness of the morning is perfectly balanced by the bite of a hot cup of tea as I sit after watering my tiny balcony garden and review my week, refresh my task list, and rejoice in the mysticism of domesticity.

A good number of my friends have a very different kind of Sunday. They work incredible hours during the week. When I call them at what I consider start of business, they have already packed in some power yoga, a power walk, a power breakfast, and a couple of business meetings. This frenzy is repeated in the evening, and in the case of people working with partners across the globe, into the night. Come Friday, they let their hair down, and then some more the next evening. As a result, they need much of their Sunday to recover from all of this letting down of hair. The maid is asked to come late, and the day begins as close to lunch time as possible. Before one knows it, the weekend is over, and it is back to the grind. I know this because I have lived this life for a good number of years too.

A couple of years back, I suddenly realized that I had sacrificed all my waking hours at the altar of building corporate profit. I had not only lost control over what I could do with my life and my time during the week, but also lost out on the magic of Sundays. I made a decision, not an easy one, to reclaim my life and to live deliberately, doing what was important in my scheme of things. It has not been an easy journey, but one that has been immensely rewarding. One of the greatest rewards has been the re-discovery of Sundays. From an outsider’s perspective, this might seem strange, as I don’t do anything that is conventionally understood as work all week, so Sundays should theoretically be no different.

The nature of my relationship with Sundays has morphed with time and as I have grown (or degenerated, some will say) as a person. Except for the aforementioned period when my Sundays were like punctuation in a Joycean rant, they have, however, been singularly rewarding all through my time on this planet.

These days, in the place of shaking sleep out by badgering me, the missus rises and shines by herself on Sundays and gets to finishing with the chores so that she is free by the time the great Indian guilt trip starts. This is followed by ninety minutes of peace as the phone doesn’t ring, the doorbell stays quiet, and even Twitter and Facebook go into a lull. The social media freeze continues well into Monday morning, with a million keystrokes churning out cathartic posts reiterating what Aamir Khan chooses to enlighten the nation on.

Sundays have been this distinctive right from my childhood. In the missionary boarding school that I went to, this was the only day of the week when you could clap and sing about how we were all going to hell in the wonderful acoustics of the chapel. At home during the vacations, it was usually luchi and alur-dom for breakfast followed by my parents friends dropping in for tea and conversation that stretched into lunch, with more conversation while sitting at the table with unwashed hands, till mom reminded everyone that she was making tea.

All good Bengali boys and girls grow up learning to sing Rabindra sangeet, and I was no exception. Sunday morning meant I would tuck my subsidized Bongolipi notebook under my arm, mom making sure my hair was oiled and combed, and head off to Subidh kaka’s house.

Every third Bengali is either a Tagore or claims to have narrowly missed being one. Subidh kaka was a Tagore too, and had a deep and resonating voice over which he had superb control. But in addition to that, he had large round eyes that kept rolling back into the top of his head as he immersed himself in the nuances of the words and music of Rabindranath. It would be very funny, and Bubai and Laltu and I would struggle to stifle our giggles. When it came to our turn to sing, our mirth would translate to strange quivers and trills that the songwriter had never imagined, followed by a total breakdown and Subidh kaka would be very surprised. Halfway through every lesson he would deliver a stern warning that if we giggled and rolled this way, he would stop teaching us. And that would have us rolling and giggling all over again. He would roll his eyes back again in exasperation and seek solace in music.

Once I had reached an age where I could hold my breath and refuse to go for these classes, it was time for the evergreen Bengali obsession, adda. As the epics unfolded on Doordarshan, our rootless khadi and denim glad band would gather at the local tea shop, and talk about everything under the sun. From Sarte to Jatin Chakraborty, nothing was deemed insignificant. And there was really no purpose greater than honing our logos-pathos-ethos abilities to these hysterical discussions. There were no set rules as to who would play gatekeeper and who would introduce a counterpoint just for the heck of it. The sessions ended with no conclusion, yet everyone went home to their Sunday lunch with a sense of having achieved something mysteriously significant.

As I left college behind and set out to support myself and create trouble on a larger scale, the concept of the day of rest emerged. Living in Bangalore bang on Brigade Road meant that Sunday mornings were the only time you could hear the birds call and the palm leaves rustle. Yes, there used to be birds calling and palm leaves rustling on Brigade Road in those days. All four of us who shared the apartment were fond of nature. We would wake up early on Sundays, make our way up to the sloping terrace, and enjoy nature.

Mrs. Kamath, our crazy and lovable old Mangalorean landlady, would smell nature wafting through the air and come out in the yard waving her walking stick and threaten to throw us out or report us to the police. At the high points of her tirade, she would lapse into Tulu some of which sounded like Bengali curse words to me. It was as much a routine for her as it was for us, since it would invariably be followed up almost immediately with a large platter of hot and delicate neer dosas that she would send up for us.

This culinary end to our morning nature study would be followed by classic rock and beer on the steps of Pecos and then a Malabari lunch at our favorite budget eatery, Kohinoor. At the start of the month, when all our wallets were loaded, Sunday mornings would find us at Koshy’s gorging on appams and mutton stew, a delicacy that was served only on Sunday mornings on first come first served basis. However, one had to wait till 11 to be able to order beer to wash it down with.

After settling down in Hyderabad, Sundays meant going book hunting in the used book market at Abids. Though you will find more of poorly printed pirated bestsellers here, one can still find classics and rare books if one invests the time and the effort of hunting through the piles of books that the seller stacks up at the corner of the stall rather than display them alongside chart-toppers. Another favorite Sunday activity of mine in Hyderabad is to walk through the flea market in the sidewalks leading up to Charminar. You can find everything from broken gramophones to second hand spectacles in these shops. A similar flea market springs up on Sundays at Erragadda. I have found some amazing music CDs and audio cassettes at these two places, but you will be well advised to carry a walkman and/or a discman to make sure that the disc or the tape plays satisfactorily.

I have never quite been able to convince my family and friends of the wisdom of getting out and doing things on a Sunday morning. At best, they tag along like fundamentalists at an all faith meeting. The streets are deserted, parking is in plenty, and public transport is comfortable. The stores are quiet, the billing queues non-existent, and the displays picture perfect. You can invariably walk up to the box office and be sure to get tickets for a Sunday morning show. Like the screening of counter culture classic in Metro cinema in Kolkata of my youth, a good part of serious Indian cinema finds a place in Sunday morning shows. In recent times, I have seen Leaving Home, perhaps the only documentary on an Indian fusion band and one that compares with the best in the genre globally, and Stanley ka Dabba, a brilliant piece of storytelling, on Sunday mornings.

The point of this extended discourse on my Sundays is simple. In the mad rush to have more and do more, we often fail to attend to our real purpose, to be all that we were meant to be. Our greed, our willful ignorance and our insecurities keep us from listening to our hearts and choosing the path that will bring the greatest good to the greatest number. There is no best time to see if you can listen to that calling but I have found that Sunday mornings tend to have that stillness that lets you hear it a little more clearly. God rested after six days of creation. In spite of all the evils that man perpetrates in his creation, I do not think he regrets what he has done, but he did give it a rest. I rest my case. May your Sundays be as meaningful as mine.

Secret Diary of a Feminazi


t’s funny how often a woman with a mind of her own and opinions galore is dismissed as a feminist. God forbid if you don’t happen to agree with folks who think a woman is meant to be a voluptuous body sans a mind, a tethered cow, born to serve and please - you are considered an anomaly. If a woman cries foul at being treated as an object, pawed and groped at every available opportunity, she is accused of overreacting.

Ironically even women are reluctant to identify themselves as feminists for the fear of being branded as man-hating, bra-burning, whiny liberals. Even among the so called metrosexual crowd, feminism is still seen as too radical, too uncomfortable or simply unnecessary.

It seems ‘Feminist’ is the new four lettered word!

As a woman who doesn’t believe in tempering her emotions and words, I have often been at the receiving end of the F-word. Not the type of person to take things “lying down”, I have decided to mend my ways and behave the way the world expects me to.


I was all of seven when I knew something was right with me. I was on a reclining chair, waiting with my eyes closed, when I felt a man’s hands inside my mouth. I bit it so hard that my dentist needed a tetanus injection. Not one but fourteen of them.

Me, I was a born fighter. I grew up beating my brother and when I finally got married to a man foolish enough to fall in love with me, I didn’t spare him either. On every weekend and holiday, I beat him black and blue, so what if it’s only in a game of Scrabble. Weekdays I am busy, shouting slogans in front of DNA Tiwari’s residence. Why is it so difficult to accept the unwanted and the unclaimed as his progeny?

Actually every time I want to lose weight, I go on a protest fast. Right to cause earthquake by exposing my cleavage…right to be a slut….right to distribute pink chaddis to men who prefer wearing langotis. As long as the world is full of men who have mindsets that refuse to time travel from the medieval ages, I will have issues that will help me lose weight.

I almost lost three kilos when I saw a product threatening to brighten up my privates – all that raving, ranting… Phew! It was so exhausting. “A liberated woman is one who has sex irrespective of privates” It was retweeted 69 times and I almost became a Twitter celebrity! So famous that I had to hide my face behind kajal smeared eyes and shock of curly hair. Someone even mistook me for Arundhati Roy and tried to stone me.

A soap opera

An aggrieved teen uses her "dry sense of humour" to appeal to your out-of-the-bucket thinking. Tee, my guest blogger pours her heart out.

Today, I speak for a cause. I speak on behalf of millions of repressed people. I speak to protect our heritage.

I must confess that my reasons for this soliloquy are a little selfish. Why mum, why must you always treat me like a pigsty if I don’t bathe for a few hours? Whyy??? It’s not like I’ve grown festering sores and flaking scabs!!


I apologise for that outburst. I have been in the grips of such gross injustice for most of my life *sobs quietly*. But I, no WE, must hold our own. My compatriots and I are all that stand between humanity and complete destruction! Without us, the rest of the world would have already run out of water, and succumbed to some horrific disease! We shield our less-able brothers and sisters from a viral onslaught. Due to our constant efforts to save water and soap (some of us have even sacrificed the luxury of shampoo- my heart goes out to those brave heroes), there is enough for those *cough* over-zealous, neurotic *cough* individuals who have declared a life-long vendetta against those microscopic denizens of the natural world.

Ever wonder why allergies are so prevalent in the western world? Why a little mosquito bite can turn into a swelling the size and shape of Australia? Without a little bit of detritus in our lives, we become weak, diminished! Man and nature, living together- that was how God intended it. If He really wanted us to be dirt-free He would have had soap grow on trees (“And on the eighth day, there was anti-bacterial soap”). Better still, He wouldn’t have created dirt in the first place! We must not deny our natural state: we must rebel against the norms imposed on us by society!

I admit that if my kindred were to ascend to power, many bystanders would suffer. Laundromats come to mind. But that is a small price to pay for humanity’s survival. I implore you, my comrades, raise your arms (Or rather, don’t. We need our audience to be conscious)! No longer shall we be called ‘barbaric’ for our sacrifice. No longer shall we be shunned by our family and friends. We shall make them realise our great contribution to the march of civilisation. Let the world hear our roar, we are revolting! We....wait, where are you taking me? I’m not finished yet! No! How dare you try to oppress us! No keep that thing away from me! I will not bathe, I tell you. Mooooomm, noooooooooo!

Courtesy Google Images

Delhi meets its Water-loo

Courtesy -peakwater.org

Recent findings have revealed that Delhi’s drinking water has something that the rest of the country doesn’t have. As if it’s not enough that the capital is envied for a world class Metro, flyovers that zigzag all over the city, wide roads with a separate set of corridors for buses, sprawling maidans where millionaire yoga instructors practice cross-dressing, bustling markets that terrorists bomb to settle scores with the government, a Rashtrapati Bhawan with a non resident President, a towering Qutub Minar where lovelorn couples engrave their undying love on its ancient, crumbling walls.

Yet it’s Delhites who are turning green and the secret lies in the water they are drinking. Actually it’s also the secret behind Mrs Khurana’s suddenly yummy tadka daal with its pungent odours. So pungent that Ramkali, the neighbourhood bitch died after having it. The secret behind Laloo Srivastava’s toxic fumes that managed to send all the mosquitoes to their next birth cycle. Srivastava Aunty can’t stop bragging about her laadla’s gassy feat. But it’s Malini from Maharani Bagh who is the happiest. She managed to shed 6 kilos in just fifteen days thanks to her diarrheal state. The lucky girl had started her eight glasses a day regimen and has now shrunk to an enviable size four. She can now fit in her 13 year old niece’s skinnies! Yipeeeee.

Delhi’s aqua pura indeed has something the rest of the country doesn’t have - liberally laced with sewage, Delhites can finally claim they are full of shit!

Men and women above 25, lucky enough to have a liver that works have turned this around as a golden opportunity and vowed to drink only “child” beer from Haryana’s highways. But Pinky Pawar and her bunch of gym buddies who flew all the way from Amritsar have been guzzling water like it’s nobody’s business. Two weeks of drinking aqua-toxic from one end and discharging from the other, Sweety was reunited with her long lost waist. Unfortunately Harvinder didn’t take a shine to this all new aqua-discharge diet and is now on a glucose drip.

Delhizens dying to fall ill now have a bevy of sickly choices. Should they opt for water borne diseases or should they conserve and die of dehydration instead?

Meanwhile Delhi Jal Board has been hailing inclusion of sewage as yet another humble attempt towards recycling waste. If we can’t control our waste, we should consume it. Few officials on conditions of anonymity and under the influence of free alcohol were quoted as saying that for water to be contaminated, the city has to get water in the first place! And supporting their theory was our honourable CM, Ms Sheila Dikshit who proudly proclaimed that she uses just half a bucket of water to bathe. It appears Sheila jee washes just one body part a day. Ever since her cabinet heard this good news, they have stopped breathing in Ms Dik-shit’s presence.

So, Delhi has yet another first to its name - a Dirty Chief Minister.

Ironically in this teeming megapolis of 14 million, it’s easier to die than stay alive.Road accidents, road rage, rape, mayhem, mosquitoes, hospital bills, depression, suppression, inflation – Delhites are spolit for choice.And now they have two brand new options – go Ms Dikshit’s way and get killed for raising a stink or drink stinking water and die a shitty death.

This is India shining. Dying of natural causes is a luxury here.

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Ash you like it

Image courtesy entertainment.in.msn.com

I wish I had the same friends and well-wishers that Aishwarya has. It’s been over five months and the lady has yet to shed her post-natal fat. Yet all I hear is applause for letting nature take its course and bravado for choosing to spend time with her baby instead of sweating it out in the gym. When questioned about her larger than life appearance at Cannes, Ms Bachchan proclaimed that she’d rather be “healthy” and is no mood to listen to people’s recommendation when it comes to dieting.

Personally I have no problems with Ash flaunting her flab in the tents she wears. In fact I am also happy for Abhishek for getting more than he bargained for.
My problem is why weren’t you there to defend me, when I had started looking like Dolly Bindra’s distant cousin during my pregnancy. My “alleged prettiness” was referred to in the past tense and I was branded a moti for no fault of mine. By my last trimester, I couldn’t see my feet and my feet couldn’t see the sky. I was waddling like a penguin and even my Mom (after a lifetime of accusing me of being too thin) had started sniggering at my new shape. My clothes refused to accommodate me and I refused to recognize myself in the mirror. Things took a turn for worse when a heavily pregnant me was asked by sweet little girl in my school – Didi, are you married?

How dare she assume that I am this fat! I mumbled to myself as I shed copious tears for my lost vanity.

The next few weeks whenever I met strangers, I made sure that I acquainted them with my marital status before disclosing my name. Guess what! I am married. By the way, I am Purba.


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