लालू रिटर्न्स और मैं

मेरे जैसे अपने को बुद्धिजीवी कहने वाले अक्सर राजनैतिक चुप्पी साध लेते हैं. ये कह कर कि इस देश का कुछ नहीं हो सकता. लोगों ने देश से भागने के चक्कर में जी जान मेहनत की, जुगाड़ लगाए, और नेताओं नें ये रोड, वो इंडस्ट्री खड़े कर दिये कमीशनखोरी के चक्कर में. मज़ाक मज़ाक में देश टैलेंट की खान बन गया, और विकास के हिलोड़ें लेने लगा. इसी धक्केबाजी में मैं भी बिहार के एक गाँव से उठ कर अमरीका रिटर्न डॉक्टर बन बैठा. पर इसका सारा क्रेडिट महानुभाव लालूजी को. भला मोमबत्ती में पढ़ने में जो शक्ति थी वो ट्यूबलाइट में कहाँ? इधर उधर ध्यान हीं नहीं जाता. कागज पे एक गोल प्रकाशित क्षेत्र दिखता, उसके अतिरिक्त सब अंधेरा. जूही चावला की एक तस्वीर दिवाल पे लगा रखी थी. अंधेरे में बिल्कुल भूतनी नजर आती. ऐसे डरावने माहौल में तो आदमी दो ही चीज़ें पढ़ पाए- एक सामने रखी किताब, या फिर हनुमान चालीसा. 

बकवास करने की, जिरह करने की पुरानी आदत थी, और पढ़ने की तो बाय डिफॉल्ट थी ही. नेहरू-गाँधी पे इतने भाषन दिये, और हर गली-नुक्कड़ पे गाँधी परिवार की इतनी मूर्तियाँ देखी, कट्टर काँग्रेसी बन गया. नेहरू की ‘डिस्कवरी अॉफ इंडिया’ लगभग कंठस्थ थी. राजीव गाँधी के स्मार्टनेस का कायल था. सोचता मैं भी गोरी फँसाऊँगा. उस वक्त बी.जे.पी धीरे-धीरे उभर रही थी.

कुछ बच्चे हर क्लास में अपनी उम्र से बड़े दिखते है. आखिरी बेंच पे बैठते, बॉसगिरी, मटरगश्ती करते. मुझे बहला-फुसला दिवाल फाँद सिनेमा दिखाते. सब पक्के देशभक्त लेकिन. वो भगत सिंह स्टाइल जोश वाले. मैंने भी सोचा ये असली वाला मामला है. खाकी शॉर्ट पहन शाखा पे जाने लगा, रोज़ हनुमान मंदिर जाता और पाँचजन्य पढ़ता. साध्वी ऋतांभरा की सी.डी. सुन सीनें में हवा भरता.

उसी वक्त स्कूल के एक बड़े जलसे में लालूजी को सुना. क्या स्कूल का जलसा? हेलीकॉप्टर से वो आये, और सारा गाँव उमड़ पड़ा. स्कूल के बच्चे भीड़ में लुप्त हो गये. वो शाखा वाली अपर क्लास नहाये-सुनाये लोगों की भीड़ नहीं, अर्धनग्न लुंगी-गमछा वाले. साला मेरा परशुराम धोबी सीना तान आगे बैठा? वो दूधवाला भी? अकड़ तो देखो! हमारी ब्राह्मनों की बस्ती में मालिक-मालिक बोल घिघियाता है, और यहाँ? खैर, लालूजी बोले और एक छाप छोड़ गये. छुटपन में ही अहसास हो गया, ये विदूषक और स्टैंड-अप कॉमेडियन बड़ा शातिर है. मैंनें भी अपने अंदर हास्य लाने की वर्जिश शुरू कर दी और शाखा की उत्तेजकता से कन्नी काट ली. दलितों और मुसलमानों की तरफदारी करने लगा. शौकिया समाज़वादी बन गया.

ज़ब आडवाणी जी का रथ मेरे जिले से कुछ दूर रूका, और बाबरी नेस्तनाबूद हुआ, मैनें राष्ट्रिया सहिष्णुता पे स्कूल की असेंबली में भाषण दे डाला, और लालू को बना दिया उसका हीरो. किस्मत से ८० % निचली जाति और ग्रामीनों के लिये आरक्षित स्कूल था. कुछ तालियाँ भी बजी. पर हॉस्टल वापस पहुँचा तो तगड़े घबड़ू जवानों ने पुंगी बजा दी. खैर, दलबदलू प्रवृत्ति थी और वाक्-शक्ति बेहतर थी, बहला फुसला भेज दिया.

मेरा अनुमान ठीक ही निकला. लालूजी शातिर रहे; लोग कहते हैं, बहोत लूट-पाट मचायी. भ्रष्टाचार की रेस में सबसे आगे. समाजवाद से मन टूट गया. मैंने भी राजनैतिक सन्यास ले लिया. वाजपेयीजी के भाषण पे मंत्रमुग्ध होता, लेकिन कोई पार्टीवाद नहीं.

सालों गुज़र गये. डॉक्टर बनते बनते दशक गुजर जाते हैं. देश में भी सन्नाटा था. राव साब, देवगौडा, मनमोहन सिंह सरीखे मूक नेता हों तो बच्चो का मन न भटके. मैं भी अच्छा खासा पढ़ लिख सेटल हो गया.

जब केजरीवाल जी ने मुहिम छेड़ी, तो फिर खुराफाती दिमाग कुलबुलाया. फेसबुक पे लंबे-लंबे पोस्ट लिखने लगा. पर इतिहास लौटा, और वो शाखा वाले घबड़ू जवान भी. पुंगी बजा दी. मेरी भी, केजरीवाल की भी. लेकिन वो तो हार्डकोर देशी जुगाड़ू निकले. लोकपाल तो अब गूगल पे भी न मिले. अब ये वामगाँधी जाए तो जाए कहाँ? पाकिस्तान?

बड़े दल-बदलू और मतलबी होते हैं हम जैसे बिहारी. अब पठाखे यहाँ बजे या पाकिस्तान में, खुराफाती जनता तो खुराफात ही करेगी. 

The common wall: great Indian neighbours

I love him but I just don’t like the way he gurgles and clears throat every morning. We greet each other when we rush to pick our newspapers; While I give a conceited grin holding an intellectual The Hindu, he mocks me with saucy hot Times supplement. He keeps his car shinier than mine, and would light up his house 15 seconds before me in Diwaali. And both of our wives are locked in everlasting sugar-coated fierce duel. The day one joins Yoga, other joins Zumba, and the fight goes on. 

Years back somewhere in 1985, our childhood neighbour got a videocon colour TV, which was talk of mohalla. A month later, a massive deluge happened and our entire city was flooded. Yet, my dad sailing through waist-high water, was lifting a large box on his head, like Vasudev lifting Lord Krishna. It was a new Onida TV which said, “Neighbour’s envy; Owner’s pride.” 

Rest of the TV-deprived neighbourhood would gather to watch the ’87 world cup. TV was disproportionate large in our small home; My mother would fry delicious pakodas for kids who parted with us; While, neighbour uncle would slap any guy caught smiling when India lost wicket. India lost the world cup, but we won as better host.

Event led to an unsaid ‘cold war’, a war of superiority, and we took the brunt most. If his kids got more marks, I was screwed and vice versa. But, my dad suddenly become Gandhian and began giving Amir Khanish lectures. He arranged many Vajpayee-Musharraf style meetings but one day the neighbour kid stole all our fresh lemons and the war resumed. Lemons were returned, kid beaten and a wall was erected. The wall on which we urinated for long.

We moved from kid-hood to adulthood, and my father turned into Robinhood helping any needy, but neighbourhood bitterness persisted. Whenever friendship of our generation bloomed, aunty would charge at her son, “If you like them. Go and stay with them.” As if we were Pakistan, and he was Shahrukh khan, huh!  Shahrukh khan my foot!! He wasn’t even close to Rajpal Yadav. 

Years gone past, we moved to other states, other countries, globalised. The wall stands but lost its sheen with some algae layers at bottom, I believe nobody urinated on it for years. Faded yet a memory stands, when there wasn’t a wall, a TV, and a reason to fight. Our fathers played chess, while we toiled in mud and sand.

Uff! He coughed again. Bloody! Man has TB I think. 

The lover’s nest a.k.a FOSLA ka ghosla

I learnt most of the Ghazals, when I was lovestruck for the first time and mastered them with each failures and heartbreaks as they say. Somehow the complex urdu poetry absorbs all the woes, while you try to figure out what it actually means. A country exemplary for epitomes of love like Tajmahal to Kamasutra, has incidently the largest inventory of lovelorns, frequently abbreviated as FOSLA (Frustrated one-sided lover association).

Although I had never been a president of FOSLA since there were much strong contenders, I must have played some stupid game like ‘FLAMES’ and sang lovesongs. While giving a debate speech, I would look in crowd for the blue-eyed girl, with my tone fluctuating with her facial expressions. Once I was narrating Subhash Chandra Bose speech in an adrenaline-charged loud voice, and she just gave me a casual smile. The smile turned Bose into some Kamadev (love-god) incarnate, and in a soft enamored voice I said, “Tum Mujhe Pyaar do, Main tumhen Azaadi Doonga” (You give me love, I will give you freedom). Not to mention, I received the punishment #1 – a brutally tiring diatribe (read my old blog).

Well, Shahjahan was a royal Mughal who would have charged his army, captivated Mumtaz’s father and taken her as prized possession.  If Shahjahan were an aam aadmi, he would have roamed around the gully where Mumtaz lived, lifted gas cylinders for her dad, and would have been content with a glass of water offered from Mumtaz. He could have never built Tajmahal, but must had shaved every morning, and walked with his two hands in pocket across Mumtaz, furtively catching a side-glimpse. While the road-side romeos ogle at Mumtaz, Shahjahan would warn, “Tameez se beta! Bhabhi hai.” Mumtaz would have been mohalla’s bhabhi never knowing who the hell is Shahjahan? If anybody dared to whistle, he would pounce like a mughal warrior.

Some shayar said, “Shahjahan tumne Tajmahal banakar, Hum gareebon ka udaya hai mazaak”. (O shahjahan! you made fun of we poor people by making a Tajmahal)

Aurangzeb must have cursed Shahjahan while paying EMIs for his Dad’s Tajmahal. Poor man could never build anything for himself, and no girl gave bhav to the poor king.

Akbar had Jodha.

Salim had Anarkali.

Shahjahan had Mumtaz.

Aurangjeb had Begum who? Probably, one of the founding member of FOSLA Aurangzeb was. Respect!

And what about Kamasutra?

The FOSLA library always had a strong collection of porn, which would be circulated among members, with each member tearing pages of their choices till the last member receives nothing, better termed colloquially as, ‘Babaji ka thullu‘. Whatever would have been the intentions of Vatsyayana in writing Kamasutra, I wonder how its pages are preserved till date.

To say FOSLA is a man-only institution, is a bit biased opinion. From ages, one-sided love was more common in women who would dream of a prince riding on horse. Well, it transformed to a Shahrukh Khan running in knicker later. Whatever movie said, if father is even a bit of Amrish Puri, a girl would never dare to love. These TV soap and romantic movie crazy melodramatic creatures surely form a huge chunk of FOSLA.

Men or women; the young and the old; and the bloggers with long lovelorn letters and poetry. The glory prevails. Long live FOSLA!

बस यूँ ही, मेरे मन की.

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.

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. 

Why Alia Bhatt could be the perfect Indian wife?

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.

Thank god you retired Sehwag!

Hey Viru!

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.

Thank god you retired Sehwag

Your favorite bowler. Hahahaha.

Read also:

Zaheer khan: the unsung hero

Desi mid-life crisis

“Sir, you look pretty young, must be in twenties!” The callous bubbly girl remarked.

I never realised how swiftly I entered into 30s and close to heading what they say ‘midlife crisis’ or ‘frustrated forties’.  Could have been a genius-in-day-hoodlum-in-night kind during my college days, and then the pursuit of Dilli-waali girlfriend (read my old blog). Unbound uninhibited. For most of the born middle-class, this fool’s paradise gets over with a simple-yet-effective word called ‘marriage’. Its a symbolic end to any imprudent or luscious desire.

For many mischievous incorrigible young goons, marriage would be ultimate weapon to bring them on track. “Beta! Abb to shaadi ho gayee. Abb to sudhar jaao.”  (Now you’re married. better fall in line!). Even people like Ajay Devgn began doing movies like ‘Bhagat Singh‘ and ‘Singham‘ after marriage, while skimpily clad gyrating Kajol decimated her career to kid movies and Alpenliebe chocolate ads.

So, it wasn’t inapt for me to ignore the lively charming girl. Given a choice between Katrina Kaif or Konkana Sen, I prefer to go for Konkana’s movie which carries some substance-as they say. Wonder why these calculative producers pay so much to Katrina, a woman without substance? These ‘hot’ and ‘oomph’ don’t quite register in mind……anymore. The definition of ‘substance’ for me has flipped for good, like ‘Congress-to-BJP’, a character reversal, moderates to hard-core rightists. No other women. No indulgence. No freedom. No wits. Restrict to roman code of ethics and the supreme boss- your spouse. Konkana couldn’t hold me for long, and gradually the interest for movies died. TV soaps or those millions of singing idol shows were equally brutal.

Aren’t men cheering up Sachin and Yuvraj while gobbling on chips and drinks becoming rarer? I don’t remember when I last watched a test match. What would men do if they are stripped of historical ‘couch potatoes‘  status? With women conquering the couches watching all TV shows, should we begin calling rather ‘couch tomatoes‘?

To make it worse, era of ‘bigbasket’ and online shopping confiscated the lone birthright of indian husbands- shopping vegetables. I remember men enjoying evening walks to shopping ‘haats’ and fish-markets, a healthy respite from family woes. They would drift around, have long chat with buddies, have a ‘bhang-sip’ or a small ‘drink’ based on local preferences, discuss women may be or an unchaste joke. And there was no mobile to track you down either. Deprived of this casual pleasure, I have slowly forgotten the contours of gourds, and colour of flours. Big Bazaar revolution eliminated the pleasure to explore.

While driving back home, I was crooning an oldie, “O bade miyan diwaane, aise na bano” (an old song based on a moonstruck middle aged fellow). The girl who complimented in morning suddenly flashed in the rear-brain. She must be in her twenties or could be even younger. Huh! a kid. Yet, she brought in me a conceited grin, a quick look on car mirror and a stroke through own beard. May be I am still so young and charming! Day-dreaming I reached home. My spouse was surprised to see an exuberant beaming face instead of routine insipid fatigued profile. Mirror was even more surprised to find me staring at it for long. Everything seemed in tone, except the bulging tummy. I began coming home early and rushing to the gym. After lifting plenty of married life burdens, those weights and dumb-bells looked so wispy and light. Soon, my gait transformed from kyphotic bent Neanderthal to a Modi-style bold bloated stance.

Funky T-shirts, kamaal-khan sunglasses, a goan rejuvenation escapade and counting female stranger ‘likes’ on facebook. The new life had begun. Essentially, a suave doc was turning into a silly lampoon.

The tummy kept its contour intact not even budging for an inch. I sweated, panted, pushed up, tread-milled. Futile attempts of revival. God pushes you into such a karma-cycle that the only girl who would ever genuinely appreciate you, is your wife, sometimes more imposingly termed ‘life-partner’. A sacred elaborate marriage ritual and those seven-pheras glue you forever to somebody. Bond becomes even stronger with kids stepping in. The concept of ‘yours’ , ‘mine’ and ‘ours’ kids never crept much in Indian familes except a few like famous Mukherjeas where family lived like a riddle never knowing which son or daughter have come from which womb.

Coming back to the bubbly girl. She deserves some credit for bringing a sense of revival in me. A life lost in undesired burdens and imposed routine. A much early mid-life crisis which engulfs most of the married, divorced, or never-married people, is simply unwarranted. A ball-room dance with spouse may be extreme for many, but may be a bunch-of-roses would do.

What nonsense is buzzing in background when you write such a serious blog? ……Daddy mummy nahin hain ghar pe…….uncouth lyrics, oafish gestures.

Note: All characters (including me) are fictional and any resemblance is mere coincidence.

Continue reading “Desi mid-life crisis”

The origin of curses

An untold history of indian gaalis.

ITO Circle, New Delhi. Summer 2009

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:

A still from Star TV serial Mahabharat
A still from Star TV serial Mahabharat

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.

Medieval era:

Ashoka-Colors
Chakravarty Ashok Samrat: A colors channel TV serial

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’:

A still from TV serial Jodhaa-Akbar
A still from TV serial Jodhaa-Akbar

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?

British period

A still from movie 'Lagaan'
A still from movie ‘Lagaan’

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.

Jai Hind!

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Disclaimer: Author has expressed his fictional opinions and interpolations, which does not claim to have any relation to actual history.

Read also:

The complex origin of our favourite ‘gaalis’

The low-ki affair: Rise of Calabash

lauki

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)

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