The Albert Pintos of India

Amitabh bachhan with his calm yet strong voice and piercing angry looks, Naseeruddin Shah (the Albert Pinto) with even more thirsty grilling eyes,  Smita Patil who rarely smiled,  typified the anger of 70s and 80s. It was a reflection of society embroiled in unemployment, unrest and suppression particularly during emergency, capitalism growing in most unethical ways and reflexive frequent trade-union strikes, the abolition, the Punjab turmoil, the JP movement……..and so perished yodeleing joyous Rajesh Khannas (professional death) and Kishore Kumars (actual death).

Things have changed a lot since then, with chest-thumping Indians seem to have overcome days of anger. Some spurts of anger in activists and Kejriwals have subdued with practicality. Corruption-a world wide commodity from Vyapam to FIFA had been assimilated in all societies with some arrests, some political mileage, and virtually no consisent public outcries. Short-lived angry men Devgn and Dutt jumping around foolishly in some forgettable comedies, and anger parodies in South movies, have made us shift to a better joyous India.

Listening to some ‘baby-doll’ type ‘dhinchaak’ number, I was manoevring through busy Bangalore roads. Some half-a-mile beeline of traffic, with me sluggishly moving behind a formidable truck, finally felt victorious as I reached near KR Puram Hanging bridge, and then a screeching brake!! A car seemed to have taken wrong way, and was casually reversing. I was stuck between an obliquely placed car moving in reverse direction, blaring irritating horns from behind and a closely brushing heavy-load truck. On top of it, my kid wanted a kinder-joy that very moment. Blasted by decibels in a claustrophobic driver seat with hands bound to steering wheel, feet stuck to brake and clutch, I felt like a chained adamant Rajput King in Mughal era.

KR-Puram-traffic
KR PURAM traffic
(Note : For clueless junta, “Albert Pinto ko gussa kyun aata hai?” was some boring low-budget movie)

The anger is unavoidable but what creates Albert Pintos in present India-

1. Emotionally overtangled families: Family is little complex term for Indians. I will get referrals for somebody close from somebody’s family who needs a MRI. Well, he would be the second cousin’s brother-in-law from maternal side. Conflicts begin from home, when you don’t call somebody on his/her birthday, or may be forget to invite somebody in wedding. Anger would take myriad forms from angry arguments to silent cold-wars.

2. Culinary masalas- We love spices. Rice and chicken wouldn’t suffice in raw form, but it would need a oil-soaked biryani rice, with fried marinated chicken, cooked with raw and minced spices, over-loaded with chillies in all existing forms-the raw and powdered red fiery ones, steamed for hour, and will be served with a thick over-spicy gravy.  A dinner-table would be composed of sweating red-faced steaming individuals.

3. The workaholics- Most would work on weekends, and afterhours if it pays, or if it pleases the boss. A seething sex-starved (who would gradually become ascetic) spouse and private-tutored children may or may not welcome when people come home. Anyway, who cares?

4. Babus and sarkars- I barely remember an office clerk’s eyes meeting me. He would be busy looking at papers, mentioning the formalities in a tenor that this would be almost a ‘mission impossible’. Then, the touts and bribes, or come back again with some more papers, and then some more attestations, true copies, certified copies, search for gazetted officers, and then finally the ever-smiling tout again.

5. News and media-freaks- Sensational TV stings and exposes, the rapes, the political alignments, and ever-arguing social media freaks. You like a politician whom your father doesn’t, but your mother does, and a close friend does, but the neighbour hates him like anything. Arguments begin at morning facebook update, warms up at office lunch break, continues in the apartment lift, and reaches a compromise at dinner table, to begin back the next morning.

Abb bhala Albert Pinto gussa kyun na kare.


Do you see an an angry Albert Pinto in yourself? Whats the remedy?

Please add to the checklist-

1. Eat less spicy

2. Do Yoga

3. Don’t overwork, and spend time with family

4. …………………

One thought on “The Albert Pintos of India

  1. 4. Find a SONOLOGIST pretty soon, or else I too may die a “natural” death like some boring low-budget film! :o)
    “Jab Jab Mashaal Jalti Hai, Tab Tab SHOLAY Utthtey Hain, the problem is that we all have watched SHOLAY!!!!”

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