Mixed doubles

Two fascinations of rich elite class remained with me for long— playing golf, and having rejuvenation spa. The swinging shiny chiseled golf-stick, stroll through golf-courses donning a stylish golf-hat, and a ride on those golf carts with hot women. Ah heaven! For records, golf fascination remains. But, frequent body-aches pushed me to a rejuvenation spa situated bang opposite my hospital, which displayed a half-naked woman lying flat with some oil dripping on her nude back.
Well, I had some oil-massages from village barber, and at a local akhaada-style gym during early young days. The masochistic telmaalish (oil massage). While the barber would kick and thrash randomly on body, giving harsh spins to the neck and torso, generating cracking sounds through every joint of body, the akhaada one was soft oil massage rubbing chest and back like some gay-porn. 
My eyes searched for some pehelwaan (muscleman) figure in the spa, but all it had were the dark-haired north-eastern fair-skinned girls with accented crisp english. A shiver ran through spine as they seemed to scan my body, and guided me to a dark room. I wondered if some beastly muscle-man is lurking in dark. May be a revenge from the dark past.

Years back in med-school days, we witnessed some sadistic sessions of homosexual thrashings. A fair smooth-skinned fellow (colloquially called ‘chikna‘) would set the honeytrap in public toilet at a happening posh street in midnight. He would trap a gay with erudite suggestive gestures, bring him to hostel, and suddenly a group of sadistic fellows would thrash him brutally. The Gandhian in me would run to his rescue, only to be scorned and laughed at, as homosexual chikna. Soon I began growing my beard to never ever called chikna again.

Coming back to the spa session, there wasn’t any muscleman waiting, rather one of those chikni girls ordered me to be naked. What? A respected suave doctor and father of two daughters, stripping off in a dark room with a woman? What if a patient is lying next to me, and figures out Doctor-saab has a mole on his ass? Forget a patient, what if this girl visits my hospital next day and gives a naughty smirk in front of my colleagues? I just covered my face with palm, followed her orders, and my hindu self began muttering HanumanChalisa (a religious chant). She was indifferently massaging my body, while I was differently shrinking and giggling when she touched the sole of my feet. I don’t know if she sensed my discomfort or was surprised at my repulsive behaviour. She asked, “Are you a gay?” This was extreme insult to my sexuality, and I retorted, “Why? Are you a lesbian?” 

Woman casually said, “Yes, I am. My husband died of excessive drinking barely three years after marriage. I hate having relationship with men.” 

Her confession shed off my inhibitions, as if the woman was harmless and my humanly wiggling willy too shrunk back. So did the pride of false man-hood, the gay-beating, and the lesbian-hatred. 

The blue ice: a shit-com

For whatever reasons, birds always found my head as a coveted shitting destination. Even in a crowded environment, if a bird is flying around, I would gear up myself holding a file or book overhead. My transient breath of relief would be annuled as the raven comes back swifter dropping on me accurately like a targeted missile. I was brutally splattered with bird-droppings during my short stint in Indian Institute of Science, which boasted of highest density of nasty crows (kauwa). For the first time in my life, I wore a Govinda-style yellow shirt to camouflage the shitty polka-drops.

The fear of bird-droppings soon extended to any flying object as I would hide even at sight of aeroplane. I always wondered what happens to the shit in the air. Most convenient way would be to disperse it in vastness of atmosphere, and cruise away. The untimely rains and windy splatters. My curiousity ended recently when an elderly woman in Bhopal (city in central India) got hit by a huge chunk of ice fallen from sky. Early investigations suggested it could be ‘blue ice’, human excreta disposed from aeroplanes which gets frozen in stratosphere. My fear wasn’t completely ungrounded and some do throw the shit right up in the air, especially Indian planes devoid of sanitary space on ground.

While the aeroplane mystery took some time, Indian railways were pretty blatant and open-minded from its inception. A hole in the toilet peeps directly down on track. At a usual train velocity of 150 km/hr, a 15 minute shit of yours can make roughly 38 km trail of shit droppings. Considering ever-engaged toilets in trains, the multi-origin shitty trail would extend from origin to destination spanning some 1000 kms. One of the royal heir I heard of, always took a local 30 minute railway stretch every morning at 6 0’clock, only to shit in moving train! His habit seem to have ended at a serious note when he disregarded the statutatory warning displayed in Indian Railways – Please do not use toilets when the train stops at platform. People say, constipated Raja-Saa’b continued his rituals even when train stopped. Sanitation fellows with long brooms began cleaning the toilets, shoving through holes beneath the train, and gave a powerful thrust when they found anything obstructive. This time, it was Raja Saa’b’s ass!

I haven’t utilised public toilets much in life, since I considered them as some sacred love destination. Similar to temple walls, toilet walls too are studded with scribbled names of ‘love-couples’. I wonder how somebody can have an amorous feeling while shitting, and scribble his flame’s name. Extreme love! Isn’t it? As I recently travelled and about to position myself strategically on a shaking commode, I found it written on toilet wall – I love you Priya. I pity the love of poor girl Priya with the shitty boy.

There were days even in my life, when village toilets were reserved for women who seem to have incessant affair with bathrooms. I would be forced to stroll to bamboo-plantations and ease myself with bushy grasses rubbing my body. Umpeen times would I change my position as I would imagine somebody staring at me and breaching my privacy. At a distance, I saw a queue of villagers shitting calmly with one palm on their cheek as if in a great contemplation. Surely, those early days devoid of toilets, gave India great philosophers. Even today, at least my blogging ideas shoot off from long gruelling sessions in toilet. Doesn’t my blog stink?

[a satire on need of sanitation in developing nations; a sequel to earlier blog ‘Love is in the air’]

लविंग लाइसेंस

वो वक्त भी था जब युवतीयों को देख गुदगुदी कम सिहरन ज्यादा होती. ट्यूशन पढ़ने आती खिलखिलाती लड़कियाँ सामने से आती, तो पैर काँप जाते, साइकिल से औंधे-मुँह गिरता, लड़कियाँ मुँह दबा उपहास करती हँसती निकल जाती. कोई कलम भी माँग ले, तो छिज्जी उंगली और अंगूठे के बीच आखिरी कोना पकड़ता; सर झुका कलम ऐसे बढ़ाता जैसे हाथ में साँप की पूँछ आ गयी हो; छोड़ भाग आता. 

ये सिलसिला कब तक चला, याद नहीं. पर हाँ, कई गुलाब कोसते रहे,  “हाथ में ही रखोगे लल्लू, या उसे दोगे भी? मज़े में गुलदस्ते में था. खामख्वाह तेरे भी बीस रूपये गये, और मैं भी इंतजार में मुरझा गया.” 

मैं क्या? बड़े बड़े शूरमा हिल जायें. भगवान राम को भी जनक से छुप-छुपा, शानू के गाने गा, सीता को इम्प्रेस करना होता, तो रामायण की कथा कुछ और होती. धनुष तोड़ने से मिल जाए तो भैया! हॉस्टल में हमने भी बहोत तोड़-फोड़ मचाई. 

खैर! त्रेतायुग से कलियुग के ट्रांजीशन में परिवर्तन तो लाज़मी था. मैंने भी आखिर इस क्षेत्र में कई प्रयोग किये, ‘ट्रायल-एरर’ से लेकर ‘व्हाट वूमन वांट्स्’ की तह तक. हाथ में मर्दाना अकड़ और गूफ्तगू का सहज़ अंदाज़. जैसी युवती, वैसी अदाकारी. पढ़ाकू को ज्ञान, फिल्मी-चक्कर वालों को रोमाँस-डोज़, और कन्फ्यूज्ड मंदबुद्धि सुंदरियों को झूठी तारीफ. बस सिक्का जम गया. ज्ञान बाँटने का शौकीन था. लवगुरू बन गया.

गुरू गुड़ रह गया, चेले चीनी खाने लगे. समय बदल रहा था. मेरे फॉर्मूले आउट-डेटेड होने लगे. न वो रिझाना. न वो मनाना. न वो घंटों प्यार की गूफ्तगू. अजी! कौन बैंक जाये, पासबुक-इंट्री करे? ATM स्वाइप का ज़माना आ गया. पहले ऊबड़-खाबड़ रोड पे ऑटोरिक्शा में क्षणिक श्पर्श में ही शरीर तप्त-कंपित हो जाते, अब तो पब्लिक-पार्क में लिपटे पड़े मिलते हैं. क्षुब्ध, मैंने भी सन्यास ले लिया. कोई खास शारिरीक संबंधों से शिकायत नहीं थी, परंतु इस प्रेम में उचाटपन और अस्थिरता दिखी. वो कहते हैं ना, आज पूजा, कल कोई दूजा. फिर मेरे जैसे पुजारी की क्या आवश्यकता?

अरसों बीत गये. कल फ्लाइट की सीट पे अनमना सा था. सफ़र में सोने की पुरानी आदत, और सामने वाली सीट पे कुलबुलाहट. सीट के बीच से पड़ी एक अनचाही नज़र ने ही कह दिया, नवविवाहिता जोड़ा है. चूड़ियों से सुसज्जित आधी से अधिक बाँह, जो बारम्बार पति के हाथ को झटकती. पति भी कहाँ मानने वाला? कभी कमर, कभी वक्ष की ओर, और मैं मुँह छुपाता बैठे-बैठे आधी-तिरछी करवट लेता. तभी कुछ अप्रत्याशित हुआ और मैं काँप गया. पीली साड़ी, माँग में मोटी सिन्दूरी रेखा और स्वर्ण गहनों में लदी युवती ने पति का हाथ मरोड़ा और अंग्रेजी में कहा, “What do you think you fool? You got a license to love me or what? Stay away.” चार दिन की शादी में वस्त्रहरण का लाइसेंस तो नहीं मिल जाता.

नारी-सम्मान और प्रेम के पुजारी को इस वीरांगना में असुर नहीं, साक्षात् दुर्गा दिखी. इस लविंग लाइसेंस के कई इम्तिहान हैं. प्रेम-शास्त्र कल भी था, आज भी है, अज़र-अमर, Evergreen. सिलेबस ही तो बदला है, विषय तो वही है. सोचता हूँ, पाठशाला फिर जैसे-तैसे चालू कर ही दूँ, ईमानदारी से लाइसेंस की. 


A fellow passenger once dissected my genealogy and told me I belong to an ultra-purified Brahmin community. Not sure, if the semens of forefathers have been rigorously pasteurized and purified by reverse osmosis, but whatever, the outcome is right here, scribbling an yet-again-nasty blog.

Time-and-again, the racial superiority was validated by hook or by crook. My priest in Bangalore was surprised when I finished a 6 hour-long Vaastu-puja in 2 hours as most of the complex Sanskrit Shlokas seem to emanate from me as vedic hymns. As he got up in praise, we figured out his guide-book was actually written by my long-dead grandpa who died 9 months before my birth. Many believe I am his incarnate. Re-birth, an incarnate of a Sanskrit scholar. Why me?? I feel like a walking ghost everytime I see a smiling ‘daadu’s portrait’ in my village courtyard.

My neck-to-neck competitor in school was a Muslim friend, who defeated me in ‘Battle of Social Studies’ to the ‘Gory battle of Mathematics’. I doubted if he was Aurangzeb incarnate, born to denigrate a Brahmin pride. 

With great power, some fool said, comes great responsibilities.

With the sacred thread running from shoulder-to-waist, I rechristened myself as ‘Janeu-man‘. (janeu is colloquial term for sacred brahmin thread). While my hindu friends cheered and sneered, I cozied up with my destined enemy. I would enjoy having ‘Iftaar-party’ with him and he would learn sanskrit shlokas to garnish his achilles-heel ‘hindi’ papersThe last decisive ‘Battle of matriculation’ turned indecisive. We both were declared joint-toppers. I had beaten him in his forte of ‘maths’ and he shattered me in my own backyard ‘hindi’. Recently, in an alumni meet, the school notice-board seemed over-crowded in year of 1995 with two names somehow accommodated together.

Event crucified the upholder of hinduism, and demon of Gandhi corrupted my mind. When a brawl happened in medical school over some isolated muslim fellows cheering for Pakistan team, I would chip-in as peace-proclaimant. The wobbling Inzemaam or the flairy Afridi, I loved the team, though could never cheer for them in Shiv-sena infested Pune hostel. 

Pak-loving Kashmiri medicos beaten and bruised by Shiv Sainiks. What are we building? Brand ambassadors for Lashkar-e-Taiba? 

I cozied up with them, cheered for Afridi, and soon came the Multan test! Viru and his flamboyance! We all cheered for only man that day, whether in Pune or in Multan. Viru shattered the borders.

Some years later, my dad, a devout Brahmin, navigated through the stinking streets of muslim ghetto, studded with all-species-butchering shops, and threw me into feet of Khan Saa’b, the best driving teacher in city. I somehow manoevred to grab his feet beneath his lungi. His shanty displayed a Pakistan flag and a large portrait of Ramallah in Palestine. I was surprised why my dad, who otherwise refuses to eat in same plate as muslim, did this to me. May be a revenge to his father who might have slapped him in his childhood. Afterall, I am ‘grandpa returns’.

Surprises galore! That pak-loving khan saab brings a packet of incenses, and asks me to take out a statue of goddess hidden behind a wrecked car engine. Before training, he insisted for a puja of that engine with goddess kept on top and I began reciting the durga-shlokas. This wasn’t all. He corrected me in one of them, and gave a lesson on hindu values which are being ignored by new kids on the block. My dad had shoved 101 rupees in my trouser-pocket beforehand, which I handed over to Pandit Khan, touched his feet and learnt to become best driver in city. He would tell stories of his long friendship of my dad and him, and I would be awed in my hard-core hindu dad’s real self.

Puzzled, I quizzed my dad. 

He said, “Why do you sport a US flag on your T-shirt? Probably, you like americans who live thousand miles away. Khan Saa’b loves our neighbour country. I don’t like either. My choice, your choice, his choice. Go! Get a glass of water now!”

Grandpa smiled at his avataar from heaven, and I smiled back to him. I doubt if he is gobbling on muttons and having ‘iftaar’ party up there. Hypocrite gandhians! Huh!

पापा कहते हैं

पहले ही बता दूँ, इस पोस्ट का आमिर जी से कोई लेना-देना नहीं है. पापा तो सब के कुछ न कुछ कहते हैं. बचपन में मेरी तरफ जब भी देखते, कम से कम पानी तो मंगवा ही लेते. तीन भाईयों में होड़ मच जाती. एक पानी भरता, दूजा उससे लेता, तीजा पिता को देता. पानी न हुआ, रिले रेस हो गया. ये सिलसिला सर्दियों में अक्सर टूट जाता. वो कंपकंपाती ठंड, और घर के बाहर का चापाकल. अजी कौन रजाई से निकलने की ज़हमत करे? पिता की तरफ देखना ही कम हो जाता. पास से गुजरते, तो सब बगले झाँकते.

मैं ये सिद्ध नहीं करना चाहता कि मनुष्य पैदायशी मतलबी होता है. वो तो खैर होता ही है. मनुष्य ही क्या? कैलाश की हिम-आच्छादित पर्वत और कठोर शीत में साक्षात् शिव के लिये पानी कौन लाता होगा? गणेश जी से तो मीलों दूर मानसरोवर तक चला न जाए. कार्तिक का मोर भी बरसात से पहले न नाचे. नंदी ने मानसरोवर ब्राँड के बोतल बना-बना देवताओं में खूब बाँचे और शिव माँगे तो जी! स्टॉक नहीं है. वो तो बस विष का घूँट पी के रह गये. जब नंदी की कालाबाजारी बढ़ी, खुद जटा में वो तकनीक लगायी, भागीरथी बहा दी. लो! पी लो जितना पीना है जगवासियों! मेक इन इंडिया.

पिता पिता होता है. या फिल्मी अंदाज़ में कहें तो ‘बाप से पंगा न लेना’. उसके लिये सब बेटे समान हैं. जब मरजी जिसे एक चाँटा लगा दिया. कान खींच दी. क्या पप्पू, क्या पिंटू? पप्पू-पिंटू की लड़ाई हुई, रोना-धोना, छीना-झपटी, तूतू-मैंमैं. पिता थके-हारे ऑफिस से आए, असहिष्णुता से दोनों को एक-एक थप्पड़ रसीद. दोनों पढ़ने बैठ गये. 

अब कयास मत लगाओ. अराजनैतिक आदमी हूँ. हिंदू-मुस्लिम की तो बात ही न की मैंनें. और पप्पू-पिंटू भी तो बड़े हो गये. लड़ना तो बचपना था. दोनों साथ-साथ लड़कियाँ घूरते, ठिठोली करते. दाँत-काटी दोस्ती भाईयों की. नुक्कड़ पे पड़ोस का लड़का भिड़ गया. दोनों ने क्या धोया? आज तक दाँत में खिड़की बनी हुई है.

कब तक लड़कियाँ घूरते? उमर होने को आई, मुहल्ले में एक-एक कर डोली उठती गयी. पहले मुहल्ला, फिर शहर, फिर जिला. न लड़की बची, न लड़की की जात. भागे-भागे पिता के पास आए. पिता विजयी मुस्कान देकर बोले, “आ गये न रस्ते पे? जब तेरे बाप से कुछ न हुआ, तुमसे क्या खाक होगा?” पंडित बुलवाया, लड़की ढूँढी. गाजे-बाजे के साथ दोनों की शादी हुई. पप्पू की भी ऐश, पिंटू की भी.

मौसम बदला. हर साल की तरह. बस ठंड ज्यादा थी. सालों बाद ऐसी कड़ाके की पड़ी है. पिछली ठंड में तो दादाजी ‘हे राम’ कर चल बसे. 

पिता को कभी जोड़ों का, कभी पीठ का दर्द. 

और पप्पू-पिंटू फिर लड़ने लग गये. अब डिजिटल लड़ाई लड़ते हैं-फेसबुक-वॉट्सऐप वाले. हद कमीने फेसबुक वाले. लाइक-कमेंट दिये. थप्पड़ का तो ऑप्शन ही नहीं. 

पापा ने पहले ही कहा था. बेटा नाम करेगा.

जय भोलेनाथ!

When babies came from sky

[adult contents warning: user discretion advised]

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. 

Another brick in Deewaar

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. 

The rhetoric

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.

Macaulay revisited

Baahubali: A lesson from Lanka.

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.

Arjun Ranatunga: The Baahubali, lifting World cup in 1996


O rey manjhi!

Being born in a Brahmin family instilled with supremacy of ideas and thoughts since childhood, whenever I looked upon ‘dalit’ or ‘mahadalit’, there were gradual variations in my perception. Word ‘musahar’ itself seemed funny to begin with. Thank god I wasn’t a born ‘musahar’. Things changed as I moved to a congressi-style school, reading Gandhian and Nehruvian ideologies, leftist thoughts in teachers, and changing political scenario in Bihar. Soon, Brahmins were made fun of, in political rallies. In some of the speeches in school, I stood to talk about Oppression of lower class by Brahmins from centuries, receiving thunderous claps from audience. It grew to the extent that I began cursing myself being born ‘Brahmin’. What if I were born ‘musahar’? There is a lot to it.

A dalit remains a dalit for a life, may be mellowed to ‘harijan’, may be they would have a joyous clamour on Ambedkar Jayanti, may be they claim a coveted quota seat, may be they get appeased by politicos, yet a dalit remains a dalit. Like a ‘hologram’, like a ‘rubber stamp’, its his trademark, something he wouldn’t be able to change by conversion, ghar-wapasi whatever.

But, what’s wrong in being one?

When a mahadalit took over as chief-ministership in Bihar, it might have been circumstantial. He wasn’t the only one who rose from grassroots to the royal seat, prime ministers like Chandrashekhar and Narendra Modi have scaled through economic and social hardships. Its how you hold the seat, how you perform, and how you grow yourself from your caste-identity to governance? A ‘musahar’ is no more a ‘scavenging’, ‘rat-tracking’ dalit, but a chief-minister of state. His profile has changed. Even if he takes a pride in his roots, he should uplift ‘dalits’ by promoting education, creating jobs for them, and setting his success as an example. I would vote for such ‘musahar’ forever and ever.

But, there may be more to it. He may have been booed from background, when gets up to arrange a meeting. He might be rejected by his own people as a lowly ‘musahar’. His not-so-sophisticated statements, and immature thoughts were made fun of. Afterall, a dalit remains a dalit for life.

To erase the ‘rubberstamp’, and ‘dalit’ tag, probably people should reject caste-based politics. Doesn’t matter if a prime-minister or chief-minister is dalit or mahadalit or a brahmin, how he delivers in governance should matter.

Many years back, there was a man, who met a ‘musahar’, and gave up his clothes forever to stay like one. Some years ago, there was a ‘manjhi’ who alone made his way through a mountain. ‘Jaativaad’ should end in our lifetime. The day when ‘musahar’ would be a history, and people won’t celebrate a ‘black president’, but a man with credibility.