यूँ तो मैं हिंदी में कुछ खास लिखता नहीं, बचपन से वही मिडिल क्लास वाली अंग्रेजी की कवायद. लेकिन आज़ ज़रा देशी मामला है, और ये ब्लोग-स्लोग में तो क्या गोरे और क्या पाकिस्तानी? कोई भी मुँह उठा के लाइक करने आ जाता है. धर्मपत्नी जी भी परेशान, कि ये किन लड़कियों के कमेंट्स पढ़ मुस्कुराते रहते हो? मैने कहा ऐसा नहीं है. आधा वामपंथी, आधा गाँधीवीदी है ये वामगाँधी. निर्मोही. निर्विकार.
तो प्वाइंट पे आता हूँ.
ये किसी छिटपुट बात के बतंगड़ पे किसी गाँव में कोई हादसा हो गया. कुछ खाने पीने का मामला था. छुटपन में हॉस्टल के मेस में मैनें भी काफी तोड़-फोड़ मचाई थी. खानसामें मेघलाल की लुंगी खींच चड्डी में दौड़ाया था. साले ने तूर दाल ऐसी बनाई की चार गोताखोर डाले फिर भी दाल का दाना नहीं. जीभ मत लपलपाओ अब तूर दाल के नाम पे. मेरा ब्लोग तो सस्ते में पढ़ रहे हो ना? और जकरबर्ग मियाँ अमरीका वाले ने चाहा तो बिल्कुल मुफ्त.
हाँ जी तो हम कहाँ थे? वो कुछ वही बजरंग बली के भक्तों ने मोहम्मद साब के चेले को…. फिर कान खड़े हो गये? अबे सिनेमाखोरों, ‘बजरंगी भाईजान’ की कहानी नहीं सुना रहा मैं! ये तो ग्लैमर-स्लैमर से कोसों दूर गाँव-साँव का मामला है.
खैर. तसल्ली है. भुखमरी से न मरा कोई. बढिया माँस-मुँस खा के डकार के मरा. मेरे अस्पताल में तो वो खडूँस डाइटिसीयन है. आधे तो वो गीली खिचड़ी और उबले कद्दू खा के सिधार गये.
सुनते हैं, बड़ी तादाद में लोग बाग आये. मरने से पहले भी. मरने के बाद भी. अजी गाँधीजी को एक गोडसे ने निपटा दिया था. पर ये लॉजिक बेकार है. वो ठहरे गोमूत्र पीने वाले शाकाहारी जब तब भूख हड़ताल वाले कंकालनुमा व्यकतित्व. और इधर तो गोमाँस वाला हट्टा कट्टा. खैर ये गाय वाय से दूर ही रहना ठीक. आदर करो या निरादर. मारे दोनों सूरतों में जाओगे. न गाँधी बचे न वो बचा.
अखबार में ये पुरष्कार वापसी का दौर आया तो मैंनें भी बचपन के क्विज डिबेट वाले अवार्ड ढूँढे. ये चिंदीचोर लेखक. अवार्ड वापस करने गये तब लोगों को पता लगा कि ये है कौन जनाब. इनसे ज्यादा तो मेरे ब्लोग के फौलोवर निकलें. मेरे क्या आपके भी. देशी कोई पढता कहाँ है? हाँ पीते बहोत है.
अब जो हुआ वो तो हो गया. मैं नहीं करता कुछ वापिस. मेरे जैसे बिरले ही मिलेंगे. आज भी स्याही वाली कलम से लिखता हूँ. अजी दवात से वो कलम में स्याही डालने का मज़ा ही कुछ और है. अब स्याही पोतने का तो तजुर्बा नहीं. हा हा हा हा.
One of the prominent politician thinks mobile phones are reason behind child abuse since people are getting easy access to child porn. Quite a funny thought. No smart phones. No child abuse. What an Idea sirjee? Though I laughed at thought, it took me back to the days when porn was limited to some smuggled Hustler magazine or a revolutionary writer called Mastram. Soft porn stuff could be found in some hindi mags like Manohar Kahaniyan or Saras Salil.
As I remember from medschool days, child becomes aware of its own sex by 3 years. In most part of rural India, naked children with the dangling male thingy could be seen running around. When asked, show your mama (maternal uncle), they will proudly point out and run away laughing. Similar innuendos existed for female organs like maternal grandmother or anyone from mother’s family. Unaware, uncorrupt kids would bask naked in mud, pond; chase hen or a spare bicycle tyre; boys and girls alike.
Not only kids, women of Dalit or down-trodden communities would be hardly caring of their attire when they bath in public ponds or would be performing their morning rituals in barren fields. A dalit women with a big ‘ghoonghat’ upto knees was easing herself in morning with her ass facing towards people when a feudally superior one shouted, “Hey you! Turn the ghoonghat towards us, and ass on other side.”
Ignorance of sex and stigmas wasn’t restricted to the lower social strata. In our med school ragging days, we were asked how many holes a female has? Most couldn’t answer. One to pee, and one to shit, was the commonest reply. And mind you, these were chosen geniuses in biology.
From childhood, its taught that babies either come from sky or we borrow from hospital. This seemed to so deeply creep in, most adolescent males could never imagine a 3 kg baby coming out of a tiny hole. It was unheard, unseen. I have seen village kids playing with balloons made of condoms they pick from rich home’s garbage. They never learnt, since newspaper ads or the large government banners never explicitly mentioned, and TV channels are swiftly switched when a saucy condom ad begins.
For women, things probably happen a bit differently. From ages, they have been trained as a baby-making machines. In south India, arrival of menses is celebrated as a grand function while the poor girl in agonising pain wonders whats wrong with her body. In spite of feeders from elderly females, sex and childbirth remains confusing for many. They just couldn’t imagine how a tiny imperceptible hole would do everything from bleeding every month, to satisfy a man and give birth to a kid-who-looks-mammoth-now. Won’t it just rip the body apart?
Now, many kids have access to umpteen youtube videos and porn collections, even on the smartphones as netajee pointed. On whatsapp, some would send a hot video, other would bounce back, “its old dude.” They know that babies don’t come from sky and would give a naughty grin when parents would explain so. I believe they know sexuality so well, that they would not allow a stranger to grope or abuse them.
But, what about small 3-6 yrs kids who barely learnt to talk, and understand us?
Author opines-the abuses may end only by two ways-
1. The netajee way of going back to the days without phone and imposing a blanket porn ban.
2. Improve sexual education ( the good and bad touches) at earliest comprehensible age.
Chose the 2nd option. They surely love to hear they came out of mummy’s tummy.
In a typical desi pre-nuptial grand analysis, my friend had to chose among a strikingly beautiful middle-class girl, and a featureless stinking rich girl. He obviously chose the second. His idea of marriage was so flawless and vivid. Right after marriage, he went to those beauty mongers VLCC etc., and ask them to convert his wife to Katrina Kaif in 30 days. After a fortnight, they called, “Katrina toh nahin, kuchh woh Sonakshi-Sonam fusion bana dun. chalega?” [ can we make her sonakshi-sonam fusion instead?] . Whatever, not a bad deal!
Though trends are changing, scepticism about good wife persists. Inspite of all those proven-disproven Alia Bhatt’s dumbness, I believe she would win hands-down in great desi marriage bazaar.
1. A rich family: Most blatantly flouted laws of India is dowry law, which only props up in divorce cases much later after deal is already done. A celebrity social activist Mahesh bhatt may not give a penny, but still, damaad of bhatt family may atleast get a BMW in vidaai, and some chillar in post-nuptial rituals.
2. An earning wife: Its a growing trend in cosmopolis life since a lone bread-winner can’t manage all EMIs and school fee. So, both bread-maker and bread-winner are poor women (colloquially called abla naari). Even if you are fired, Alia would keep doing shaandaar or some movie to pay the pending bills.
3. A narcissist flatter-loving father-in-law: Indian damaad would love to flatter their father-in-law to get some goodies in return. Just shower praises about his good old Aashiqui days, and his bold moves, Bhatt Saab may offer you something which you would never refuse. May be a movie-contract in sex-loaded murder mystery in exotic locations? You won’t mind a itchy-scratchy dad-in-law boring you with his harangues. Would you?
4. Not-so-hot wife: Indian men drool at sexy hot women, but would pledge to break your teeth if you ogle at their wives. Maladies of having hot wife can be asked to cricketer Stuart Binny, whose wife is discussed more than his cricket. Alia somewhere fits in that bubbly charming girl who may be spared of lecherous, lewd look probably.
5. Little dumb, as they say: From ages, the right to grab the newspaper in morning, and switching news and sport channels had been a men thing. Women who do so or get into this social activism etc., end up with divorce. I won’t get into made-up Alia jokes. I am assured she can definitely order things online and get all the household plumbing work etc. I don’t know if she knows cooking a good rajma-chawal though.
6. A stray brother-in-law: Hahahaha! Enjoy! Its all yours now.
Note: Author scribbles satires on gender equality, and this blog is in similar series, and wish not to offend any one. Besides, author doesn’t think any of the male readers would ever get Alia.
So, you finally gave up, eh? I knew god will punish you and send you in oblivion; your country-men would forget, and you will get balder day-by-day; Is there anybody reading your tweet? It was me who was waiting for this day like ‘Chatura Ramalingam‘ in the movie ‘three idiots’. I knew someday you would fail Seahhhhwaggggg. Huh!
Remember when I castled you the very first day. I bet you don’t, because you never chased dreams. Never looked back. What do you think? Are you Sachin Tendulkar? You only told he is the ‘baap’ and you can never match his…….I think you said ‘bank balance’…whatever. You can only be an imposter like Chaaanchaddd. You can never match him.
A ball is there to hit, eh? Uska ghar boundary hai. Who gave you reasons to say that? A ball is there to defend, to slowly nudge, to flick a bit, and rarely to pull or hook. When a pacer with bouncing hairs comes running to you with fiery eyes, just duck yourself or pray for safety. And that too the quickest on earth. Learn to respect Viru!
I heard you only thought in 4s and 6s. Both you and Sachin were big-time duffers in school. Count 1, 2, 3…. Heard of these numbers? You Jat of Najafgadh! See, Sachin has learnt it so well. But you? So incorrigible you are!
And by the way, do you know the difference between test and one-day? Haven’t you learnt from your great ancestors? Oh! Whom am I talking to? This man gets close to Vinu Mankad-Pankaj Roy record and when asked about, he says “never heard of them”. Before even holding the bat, you should have known the history, and how to play test match. Its an upbringing problem that you played tests as ODI, and ODI as some gully-cricket. There was never a window to smash in Multan or Lords, and you kept hitting. Stupid!
Let me tell you one more thing. You are a bad singer, and on top of it, you do this cheap road-side romeo whistling in a tense situation. Why don’t you better play antakshari? I will beat you like anything. If you are Sultan of Multan, I am Begum Rawalpindy.
Will drop by in Najafgadh next time I am in Delhi. Yeah! I keep coming in shiv sena-free areas.
Some say Nehru feared Bose would return. I don’t know about that. But, I always feared you will return.
Some ten people were being trained about cliff-jumping, their legs shaking at the sight of torrential rapids of river Bhagirathi. I knew this training will scare the hell out of me, so I just jumped ignoring all instructions. Only after diving into deep water, I realised I never learnt swimming. My wife was already shouting, “help, help!!”. Life had made me so exam-oriented, that I took it as just another exam. The distance to shore, the requisite velocity and the momentum of rapid…….the genius aced it.
A peek into Indian schools of yore and present.
The rotes and the notes
Grandpa asked kid the meaning of rhyme “Humpty Dumpty…”. The fledgling convent educated kid said, “I just know the rhymes, not the meaning.”
Grandpa declared, “Convents are based on rote learning. ” (This wasn’t true but grandpa’s words were a dictum).
I never had any assignments or homeworks since I studied in a dilapidated sarkari (government) school but that came out as a boon. Books became the toys, and innovative mischieves we played in hostel got me into scientific thinking.
For many years, it remained a same syllabus and curriculum. My brother would get a brand-new book which he would embellish with plastic covers and colorful marker pens. What I would inherit is, a creased and shabby book and my younger bro would get a thing-once-called-book.
‘Wars of Panipat’ remained quintessential poser in history papers for years. Ten-year question papers and guess papers were vogue to ace any exam. Nobody cared to frame a new question.
The crouching children and sleeping teacher
Maths lessons were perfect for whooping ass and punishments (read my other blog), and literature lessons for a blissful nap. I had a hindi teacher who would ask to recite a story from textbook para-by-para in turns and sleep off. I always spoke loud, so when my turn came in lesson ‘Ibrahim Gardi’, my para began,
Ahmedshah Abdali said “Dozakh ke kutte!!”
Teacher got up from sleep, and all he heard was loud “kutte” (you dog!!) and slapped me in quick reflex.
The bliss of ignorance
One of the commonest phrase we heard when we were inquisitive, “That’s a very good question. Sit down.”
And that’s it. The answer would never come.
The aura of respect
One of the spiritual leader said, “India has the best culture in world.”
A child with gleamy eyes asked, “why?”
He retorted, “Because we respect our elders and never question back.”
His curiosity would be gagged for entire life, and he would never question.
The filmy fuchhas
The love-duets, the long chats, and emotional breakdowns. I-pills replacing candy-boxes. In my cosmopolitan practice, when I see a 12 weeks innocent fetus in a smiling teenager’s womb, it gives me goosebumps to just imagine its fate. I am not into moral policing but unwanted pregnancy must be avoided.
Schools have come a long way, and originality is creeping in. We all need to just free our mind from the rotes and rhetorics.
Few days back while I was gobbling on some delicious ‘kebabs’, I got a SMS from my wife ‘Quit Facebook’. Like old age telegrams, which usually brought bad news in rudest impathetic way, ‘FATHER DIED. MOTHER SICK’. Telegram virtually meant a death-knell or something equally sinister. A terse warning SMS from wife was no less than the telegram. With a ‘kebab’ in one hand, I somehow manoevred to ‘deactivate’ my account and ‘delete’ the facebook app. Reason seemed to be pretty obvious- my nagging verbose sunday blogs bombarded on casual respite-seeking petty humans. Devoid of facebook likes, I was virtually thrown into the world of like/comment/award-hungry blogger beasts on WordPress and blogger networks.
The world of bloggers
Blogposts seem to never end, like an incoherent rant after a marijuana puff. If you are bored at very first paragraph, you click on ‘like’ and move ahead. If you somehow sail through the entire post, you ‘reblog’ it to share your suffering with rest of world. Did wordpress really mean ‘revenge’ instead of the ‘reblog’ button? A smart blogger would just randomly click ‘like’ to all blogs with his notifications flooded with undeserved ‘thanks’ messages. Probably, one who is thanking is just reminding him that suffering is not going to end.
Shakespeare out of the grave
Recently I read a blog which said something like, “procrastination of obfuscated maladies may abrogate one of his quintessential hackneyed philosophy”.
Oh! You dared to read my blog? I will trap you in such a verbal monkey-maze, you will doubt if you ever went to school.
On the top of it, if it’s a poem written by some amateur John Keats, neither you understand the language nor the theme. Either its a blurt of some grad-school hopeful GRE-muggers or somebody working on a blogging course prompt or a ten-words-a-day practicing guys or a sadist language buff. Sadist language buffs are most dangerous of them who would drag you to read your post, and give a sleepless night of ignorance. Drowned in ignominy, I ordered a good dictionary from Amazon.
Blog or image gallery?
If your blog doesn’t have some pic like a ‘whirling balloons’, ‘back of a dusky women’, ‘weird flower species’, ‘pondering nerdy fellow’, you are doomed. I don’t know why great poets and novelists never got this genius idea. Imagine a royal bengal tiger sitting in the middle of William Blake’s blog mocking Edgar Allen Poe’s raven. Alfred Tennyson ‘like’ing them, and blasting them with long harangues in comments.
Many shy girls, married women, back-benchers, bullied school kids, repititive losers, people in mid-life crisis (oh! that’s me. read my old blog), or old men reminiscing their past lives become expressive in virtual space. Broken love and sexual starvation finds a space for forbidden and hidden emotions. Teenagers platter their secret love life, with blog titled ‘the way he touched me’. If you have a blogger girlfriend, beware with your moves! Next day it might be a blogging sensation with hundred of ‘likes’.
Why would I care in the middle of night if phone suddenly buzzes with a notification? Why would somebody reply to a comment within seconds? A conceited grin at rising list of followers. A blog homepage studded with digital ‘blogger awards’ as if they represent Nobel and Bookers. Its but natural to expect enough appreciation when you spend hours writing, rearranging and designing your blog. Everytime somebody ‘likes’, you read your entire blog again in self-appreciation. A forced positivity. And ofcourse, a ‘like’ by an opposite sex may carry a bit more weightage.
These are the people who really get a minuscule worth for their blogs. Tech-savvies or travelogues or photographers, with huge traffic. But, essentially, they can’t be categorised as blogs rather informative websites.
Three essentials of bloggers
Write for others: Something which looks interesting and awesome to you, may not appeal a bit to others.
Be original: No prompts; No premonitions; No peer pressure.
Comment and like genuinely: Read a blog, encourage with true comments, and don’t like unless you really do so.
A Toyota Camry brushed past my Maruti Alto embossing a subtle scratch; Somebody appealed, and somebody caught the Camry driver off-guard like a third umpire. Camry took the brunt of Delhi-Wallah’s enviable collection of curse-words with his entire feminine genealogy denigrated within minutes. The victim, myself, could just mumble to pardon him, and was snubbed off with a hackneyed delhi phrase,
“Aap tension na lo. Hum dekh lenge ji.”
(‘Dekh lenge‘ verbatim means ‘will look after’; it practically means a barrage of abuses and may be a slap or two)
Although, its a blasphemic topic to talk about, I was always curious about the origin of curses and abuses in India. Who was the first man on Indian soil to plant abuses on another? I look back at history in chronological order.
Pre-historical mythical era:
Ramayana and Mahabharata, the grand-epics of war with epitomic bad-men ‘Rakshasas’ and ‘Kauravas’ never mentioned about any abuse. Else, Bibhishana and Sugreeva would have been blasted black-and-blues with ugliest of abusive inventory. But, nothing! No such mention in Ramayana. Duryodhana and Karna did improvise a bit abusing Pandavas and Draupadi, when Karna called Draupadi ‘unchaste’ (dramatised by these TRP freak serial directors as ‘veshya’ and what not). Ved Vyas too would have scandalised the issue a bit. Still I believe, event was much milder in terms of curse-words as compared to ITO affair. And above all, disrobing kulvadhu‘s pride and womanhood can’t be compared with some random Alto car being brushed. If 100 curses were reason to kill Shishupal, half of delhi would have been dead by Krishna’s sudarshan.
Neither in Romila thapar nor in Satish Chandra’s medieval history, curse-words are accounted.
They might not be apt for a written history, but people like Huen-Tsang or Megasthenes could have mentioned about them. Why would the outsiders care to maintain decorum?
Pali language of those days could have had some encrypted ‘gaali’. But, why didn’t archaeologists find anything? As a natural reflex, they should have decoded all porn and banned stuff first.
May be all was burnt like Nalanda legacy. I don’t quite buy that argument either. Even if somebody nukebombs our country, atleast one curse-word would remain somewhere, on some facebook status, or some piss-sprinkled wall, or some public toilet or some chetan bhagat’s novel.
The muslim invasion and origin of ‘gaali’:
Only reasonable period attributable to earliest indian abuses, could be the period of Delhi Sultanate. In one of my childhood textbook lesson on Ibrahim Gardi, Ahmedshah Abdali called him, “Dozakh ke kutte“. And, that stays first documented abuse of Indian history in my memory. As most of these invaders belonged to land of unrest in middle-east, probably those war-cries and angry exhanges had permanently scarred their vocal cords. Words like ‘Dozakh‘, ‘Haraam‘, and ‘sahabzaade‘ crept over the people of India who were already tired of Sanskrit tongue-twisters like ‘kimkartavyavimudh‘. Soon, mutations and combinations gave rise to ‘apbhransha‘. How ‘Haraam‘ would have mixed with ‘Sahabzaade‘, and when ‘Matri‘, the revered maternal term, became ‘madar‘ and later to ‘Mother’, is pretty comprehensible.
Did Mughals really invent abuses?
Mughals or earlier muslim invaders are not to be blamed for curse-words for present day. Arabic language or present day Urdu are one of the most disciplined and respectful lingos, which has a certain ‘adab‘ and ‘lihaaz’, and distinct place for elderly and women. A sharp contrast still prevails between Delhi and Lucknow day-to-day usages. In Lucknow, some would ask, “Aur zanaab, kaise mizaaz hain aapke?“. In a Paharganj hotel in Delhi, my friend was welcomed by morning chai-wallah, “Aur bhai! neend aayee ya machhadon ne maar lee?”
Its pretty natural British would have pounded umpteen of abuses during their rule. But, only accounted and popularised abuse is ‘bloody Indian’. British and most of europeans even till date, aren’t much into sex-linked abuses, rather they are into scatological abuses like- bloody, scum, shit, faeces, dirt…and so on. That would have barely hurt Indians who never used a toilet-paper and loved to shit in open.
North-Indian origin: The aryan legacy or something else?
Coming back to counter muslim origin, my other contention is muslims of those days (and some even in present day) had consanguinous marriages, i.e. marrying within the family with some sister or cousin. North-indian Hindus stayed away from such traditions (rather its blasphemic to even think about such relations). Recently, one of the high-class polygamous woman is accused of murdering her daughter on this behest. Abuses based on such incestual innuendos are most prevalent today, and I believe they must have been brain-child of north-indian orthodox hindus for whom an incest could be the worst abuse.
Its not like south-indians would be less abusive, but their inventory must be much smaller than average delhi guy. Sweet-tongued bengalis probably have only one curse-word based on bengali word for stupid- ‘boka‘. In our college ragging days, we were told to utter abuses to the ceiling fan till it stops whirring. People from all states ranging from Bengal, Bihar, Madhya pradesh, Rajasthan tried their best but could not utter little more than filmy abuses like ‘saala‘, ‘kutta‘, ‘kameena‘ etc. But, when a punjabi began his ‘O teri ……’ , ceiling fan was almost shaking and about to fall at his toes.
Award winning scene from Movie ‘Omkara’.
While traditional crime hinterlands of Bihar and UP improvised on double-meaning Bhojpuri songs with roadside romeos uttering some cheap innuendos chewing paan, Sardaars (sikhs) and Jats of north innovated some hard-core abuses. A simple reason I could think is Punjab witnessed gory days of partition and terrorism which made the funniest and most gayful community burn in anger. Abuses may have emanated since Jaalianwalla Bagh and flourised till golden temple incident of 80’s. On the other hand, feudal lands of Bihar-UP witnessed suppression of dalits and lower caste by landlords in a derogatory way. So, the abuses were invented to laugh and scorn at them- subtle and punishing ones.
The days are over, and India progresses towards egalitarianism. From Dr. Dre to Honey Singh; Vishal bharadwaj flicks to Chetan Bhagat’s novels; MTV roadies to AIB Knockout; Rave parties to casual facebook posts. Abuses are a universal vogue entity. Some days back government was contemplating whatsapp monitoring. All they would have had is – porn and abuse collection for next decade. The beeps in movies prompt you to say it aloud, and the **** studded words appeal us the most.
Even if great Subhash Chandra Bose rises back from his grave, he would go back to sleep if he hears, “Bhaag bhaag DK Bose…….D K Bose.” and wonder if his land of ‘dharma’ has become land of ‘curses’.
If you are searching for some funky abuses for Nehru and Gandhi in his letters, remember it wasn’t us. It was the great orator and visionary Bose. Abuses are created by us, and hope next generation doesn’t get hold of them.
Lunch-box- a quintessential mystery in our life. A uniform dangling structure forced into our fist every morning, or shoved into our school bags in our childhood. As I tune into FM while driving to office, the box lies wobbling in bangalore roadbumps, untended in the backseat of car. My junior staffs would smile when a well dressed doctor often in his dashing suit tries to sneak this shabby box behind his ass; hides it in the closet as soon as he reaches desk. As the security guard smiles at me, I feel like he is asking, “Kya sir? Aaj fir lauki?” How did he know its ‘Lauki’? Is it an uniform content irrespective of caste and social status, a security guard to a suave doctor, all would have ‘lauki’ in lunchbox? Well, he never asked, but I could sense the aromalessness of lunchbox. If it was anything else, there must have been some whiff, some aroma, except the blandest thing in world- Lauki. Curious and worried, I nosedive into the closet. No…Nothing….Not an iota of smell. Must be ‘Lauki’. Dejected, I get lost into my work. “Karmanye va dhikaraste; Maa faleshu kadhachanah……..” Did Draupadi cook Lauki for all pandavas? Did Lord Krishna convince Arjuna like, “Better you go fighting, there is nothing good for lunch anyway.” As Sahadeva sneakingly opened, “Its lauki!!!!!” ; they all went charging, rampaging, killing all over Kurukshetra.
But, as I search into wikipedia, ‘Lauki’ isn’t that old, and its no mention in Mahabharata supports the hypothesis. How would Ved Vyas, who almost detailed upto Duryodhana’s banana undergarments, miss ‘lauki’? I recently read about Mughal king’s culinary habits, and ‘lauki’ was conspicuously missing. Aurangzeb never had Lauki. But, I am sure vegetarian Abdul Kalam would have gobbled on plenty of Laukis. Was that the key for conversion from ‘Bad Muslim’ to ‘Good Muslim’? If Lauki is that magical formula, why doesn’t the US forces bombard ‘lauki’ on IS militants to convert them for good. One of the cheapest vegetable on planet can save millions spent on drones and missiles. Incidently, it has a gifted shape of ‘missile’- designed to kill. An american name of ‘Calabash’ has more deadly flavour in it….NYT HEADLINES- “Four IS militants bombed by Calabash have turned Sufi and dervishing Rumi. Indian premier Modi have promied to supply a million more Laukis in war against terror” .
My grandfather never liked Lauki and he once confessed he never had much of Lauki in his childhood. Those golden days were ruled by ‘savarna’ and upmarket vegetables like ‘cauliflower’ and ‘okra (bhindi)’. Potatoes, and brinjal followed and so were many. Laukis were ‘shudras’ among vegetables who would never dare step into any affordable platter. But, then the ‘rulers of kitchen’ realised if they uplift these ‘shudras’, they would be able to rule the patriarch India. First time it was served, it was thrown right away. But, soon ‘moderates’ and ‘wife-loving husbands’ gave in, and lauki’s upliftment was discussed. Demand for reservation grew, and Lauki finally got ‘reserved’ status. It would be served once a week, no matter what. Some northern state rulers of kitchen made it twice or thrice a day. Later, Lauki took shape of convenience, threatening and sometimes revenge to the husbands. “Buy me a jewellery, else have Lauki everyday!”
But, reservation wasn’t enough in a gastronomical country. Many would conveniently throw it out of the window covertly. Many laukis would have flown down ‘naala‘ beside my childhood home. It needed a societal status, an edge over upmarket vegetables. Many social activists poured in ideas from their ever useless brains. One of the famous Baba came up with a brilliant concept that ‘Lauki juice can cure diabetes’. Lauki juice- a potion of poisonous bitterness unnaturally swallowed by sweet-deprived suffering diabetics. In the name of Lord Shiva, they swallowed like ‘Neelkanth‘. Lauki got what it never deserved, and flooded the sabzi-mandis more than ever. Once the reservation and status was achieved, rifts followed within the Lauki community. Baba helped in categorising the reservation- better upliftable shudras and untouchable shudras. He proclaimed, “If oblong Laukis are nectar, round laukis are poison.” So, the oblong Laukis made their way upto elite societies, tribal round laukis were barred and left to rot in hidden corners of land. Society was divided for good.
As Lauki became cynosure of other vegetable’s eyes, conspiracies began too. Old upmarket ‘savarnas’ got into their dirty tricks to denounce Lauki. One of the quintessential ‘savarna’-favored highest medical institution in country came up with a research paper which claimed, “Lauki juice can cause inadvertent deaths”. Some three people died after having Lauki juice (I doubt numbers must be much more!). It actually never needed a research paper to prove that. Many people are dying this death every day, when they try to push it somehow down the neck diluting it with ‘achaar‘ and spices. The gurgling and throwing up follows often.
Whatever disgruntlement and facebook posts say against Lauki, reservation stays and Lauki stands vindicated. Afterall, it has a huge votebank for kitchen kings. Even if I try to shop vegetable myself, and come smiling with all those beautiful cauliflowers, I would see a kingsize Lauki already well seated in kitchen corner. It was ordered online. So convenient to scrap, cut and cook it. Add salt, oil, spices anything, wouldn’t make any difference; serve it raw or cooked, its all the same. An epitome of convenience.
All said and done, we all have right to gobble on tasty ‘seekh-kebabs‘ and culinary delights, but denying lauki of its hard-gained status and abolishing its reservation from platter isn’t the solution. Baba couldn’t be so wrong and so wouldn’t be our moms and wives who kept serving it. The kebabs could give a hard-time in morning rituals but Lauki- never! As I struggle hard in morning after the ass-burning guntur chicken I had yesterday, I wished I better had Lauki. (P.S. Hope the wish doesn’t get fulfilled atleast on a pleasant sunday)
Years back, when I was studying in Pune, I had a friend who never travelled beyond Bombay, forget out of state. A proud marathi fellow, who loved his state and his culture, and never dreamt of foraying anywhere beyond Maharashtra. Its altogether a different story, today I see him hopping from one continent to another. He wasn’t a born immigrant and neither are a lot of Maharashtrian, who are proud to be grounded to their origin and their culture. But, country do have set of born immigrants, who are born to wander, some erasing their footprints and some carrying their old soil wherever they go.
#5 The wealth creators: Gujratis and Marwaris
A herbivore species, with an accented speech and a basic degree in commerce or sometimes just a matriculation, knows to mint money out of scraps. Birlas or Ambanis, or owners of any small Baskin Robbins outlet in US, they are everywhere. Given a choice, all gold and diamond of world would love to be kept in their custody. They know their value, every bit of them. The sweetness haunts you when they try to sell, or when you are employed by them. Most difficult employer to quit in my life, was one of them, as I could never have enough arguments with him in spite of disagreements. No wonder, we have a prime-minister with wide acceptance in spite of plenty of dissents.
#4 The intellects: Bengalis and Tamils
Exactly opposite of Gujratis, Bengalis are fish-gobbling, sophisticated (oily-haired bhadramanush is past!), and highly educated individuals who barely care for money. May be ten years from now, only people you would find doing a PhD would be Bengalis. The protectors of Classical music, Rabindra Sangeet, and wearied old literature from Shakespeare to Sharatchandra, all would have a thick spectacle if they get their eyes checked properly. Similar description goes for Tamils, who too would reach the heights in science, have penchant for music, and yes, spectacles are equally universal. Yet, both of the groups would have their own coterie who would chit-chat in their language, bengalis with their rolling tongues and rounding lips, and tamils with their vibrating vocal cords and cluttering teeths. When I spent some unsuccessful years in PhD course in US, university was studded with Bengali research grads, and sight of some eminent Tamil faculties.
#3 The paramedics and gulf stormers: Malayalis
Not a corner this country would have a hospital without a Malayali nurse. How this crept in the culture is not well understood by me, but they are the best in healthcare industry, be it my field of radiology or any discipline. An incomprehensible one of the most complex south indian language, an even more complex cast and religion mix-up, and most butchery culinary habits from minced beef to chips-and-pickle made out of fish, yet they have wide presence in nation. Well, sea route could serve an access to gulf, but India has a huge coastline, yet migrations happen most from the ‘god’s own land’. If you throw a stone in Arab lands, chances are more of hitting a malayali than an Arab.
#2 The honest hippies: North-easterns
Inherting a covert culture hidden in ‘chicken-leg’ of Indian map, they are true outsiders with different physique, face contours and a non-native accent. They could never hide their identity, never could gel completely within the mainland. Delicious chinese cuisine cooks, a trusted security person, or a smiling masseur, they choose such professions where nobody could ever contend them. Vogue hairstyles and dresses, some junkies, some musicians, some boxers, some just plain dumb humans, they are the inherent nomadic hippies of India.
#1 The ambitious commoners: Biharis and Punjabis
This may sound weird to club two contrasting cultures, but in essence, their reasons to immigrate are similar, and have similar earthly roots. Years back, when we had some squabble in college days, one of our seniors pointed, “Both of you are equally rustic (“ganwaar” was the actual word). One says ‘ishkool’ and other ‘askool’, none of you can pronounce ‘school’ correctly.” While Punjabis began moving from the days of partition, or when became terror-capital state, or after ’84 riots, Biharis ran out of suffocation in undeveloped corrupt state. In punjab, many people still carry two dreams- one, to go to Canada, and another, to release their music CD. Biharis who could dream became IAS, one who couldn’t dream, opened a Paan-shop. When I moved from one city to another, I changed my accent or learn the local language, trying to gel myself with the culture. I got dissolved in local culture like a ‘dispirin’ tablet. Punjabis love to keep their accent, sing bhangra, and drive the cab with pride.
One erases the footprints left behind, and other carries the soil with them.
While scrolling through facebook posts, I come across umpteen of innuendos about Dalits, Muslims, ‘We upper class’, Sardars, the Hindus, Brahmins, Biharis, We Indians, Those Pakistanis, and so on. The fight for claiming one as better race never ends. And we condemn Hitler? Anyway, back to Bahubali.
Baahubali of my story wasn’t anybody close to the muscle-men of movie, rather a disproportionate figure sledged once as ‘overweight fat cunt’. On top of it, he was heading a crew beaten and bruised since its inception for last fourteen years.
He belonged to a strife-torn kingdom fighting war of races since years. A country debt-ridden. A country so small mimicking almost a ‘tear-drop’ on world map. A country infamously called Lanka, the land of demons. The ugly ones.
Entire Baahubali’s kingdom denounced the minorities, suppressing them, burning their houses, decimating them. Mutthu’s house too was burnt when he was a kid. While many Dalits turned Naxals, Mutthu rose beyond the ashes believing in the place he belonged. His skills were unique when he could spin the ball beyond human imagination almost like the leper ‘Kachda’ from Lagaan movie.
While many would have resisted, but Baahubali must had spoken like Aamir Khan, “Kachda khelegaaaaa!”. And so he played.
Baahubali took his newly shuffled bunch alongwith ‘Kachda’ to the land of whites down in a southern island of world. They were thrashed and booed. Kachda’s bowling action was made fun of, when he was asked to bowl seven times on the ‘Boxing day’. This wasn’t a dalit being made fun of, but a Lankan. All the majority upper class in their own country have been reduced to ‘dark uncouth race’ in the land of ‘whites’. This all caste and race thing is so relative. A brahmin in India would be a ‘brown indian’ somewhere else. All the barriers vanished, and Baahubali’s crew stood firmly with Mutthu.
A calm determined Baahubali took up the task to organise himself and take the revenge. He just looked at the bunch, their playing order, and shuffled it. Man at the top goes down, and men idle at bottom comes up. Lying at bottom for many years, when somebody get a special privilege, he thrives to do his best. To prove himself. Like first dalits who were renamed ‘harijans’ or uplifted by ‘reservation’, didn’t dance with joy but had tear in their eyes and thrived to sustain themselves. Sanath and Kaluwitharna proved giant killers.
Baahubali wasn’t alone. Another land of Moslems were too blamed for ‘fixing’ by the southern-islanders. And the prosperous land of Gandhi joined them naturally.
The supreme south-islanders had reason to laugh and scorn when an embarassing ‘bomb blast’ happened in Lanka right before the world cup. They refused to even step into the land of demons. What the world saw in return was unprecedented. The ever-fighting people of two lands- The Pakis and Indians joined to form a single team, and played an exhibition game with Baahubali in that very ‘blast-struck’ land. When Waseem Akram couldn’t find his T-shirt, he accidently wore the Indian captain Azhar’s T-shirt. Quintessential enemies were joyous together every time they took a wicket. The borders were broken as if they never existed.
Bahubali’s top men fired from the first ball. No defense. No pause. No adapting to situation. It was just blasting the bowler from the word ‘go’. This kind of cricket was never played before, and the same kind would be played now onwards. They changed the pattern of game forever. Sanath Jayasuriya rose from nowhere to ‘Man of series’, and ‘Most valuable player’ . Mutthiah Murlidharan shined with his swerving, dancing, mysterious balls, and what more? (Oh yes! Coach was Dave Whatmore).
Top batsmen of world cried at the pitches; Pace bowlers flummoxed by attack resorted to spin bowling; Spectators couldn’t bear the brutal thrashing of Baahubali’s team and vandalised the Eden Garden.
The murderous lankans reached to coveted finals with Australia. The Baahubali’s revenge to South-islanders.
For the first time, entire Lahore of Moslem was roaring for somebody from other land, flagging Lankan flags. A nation so neglected and deprived was getting a full-house crowd of supporters, that too in a jingoist Islamic country.
Baahubali knew he had arrived. He achieved the pride he never had.
Top order collapsed, but Baahubali was calm, assured. A Kumbhakaran look-alike Gurusinghe and Bibhishan look-alike De Silva have joined together for Lankan pride, and Bahubali kicked the final shot to glory. The world was conquered.