The intelligent idiot

While rest of the world thinks I am a genius, atleast there is one human on this planet who proclaims me an idiot because I always bring an expired sandwich-bread! Would Newton or Einstein would have checked expiry date on a bread? Being a doctor, I do mean what an expiry means. But, this bloody bread expires within a week, as if all the fungus in the world are waiting for that very hour to infect all the humans. The fury of expired bread-loaf….hooohooohaaaa…..won’t spare anyone.

Well, this may be one idiocy, but there are plenty.

# I always withdraw twice from ATM and play with all the buttons, just to see an irritated face of person standing behind me.

# I always get down to pee when a bus halts even for a minute. I strongly believe, bus always stops to bestow this pleasure on us.

# I love to stand in a busy traffic on Maratahalli bridge (bangaloreans would know travails of it), just to catch a glimpse of dog-sex happening beneath; and as I smile in ecstasy, many passerby bikers join me to create a huge traffic jam.

# I always give tip to the waiter beforehand, because I believe he would fart on my burger to make it spicy otherwise.

# I never put fan on max speed and never sleep directly below it, because one astrologer told I would die of a fan falling on me.

# I have thrown some 437 coins in river ganges from the passing train, since somebody told it fulfils the wishes.

# I love to ease myself in the toilet in running train, but I never use toilet in a flight.

(I believe plane toilets have some vacuum-cleaner mechanism, which would pull my mojo into it.)

# I go to toilet three times every morning, one for headlines, one for editorial and one for sports page reading.

# I pretend as if my vehicle broke down when somebody honks from behind, giving an abrupt stop, jerky starts and slow nudges.

# I recently had a wonderful dinner at a marriage party, and couldn’t find my family because they were sitting in true marriage party happening in some other marriage hall on same street.

# I remember the full name of Pablo Picasso

Pablo Diego Jose Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno Maria de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santisima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso

P.S. Will be back with another post if alive

(I am making a suicidal attempt of eating four loafs of an expired bread while writing this post)

The gully-games of India

Some say chess or ‘shatranj‘ came from improvisation of ‘chaturanga‘ played in Mahabharata period; Polo was invented by Indian shatraps; Playing cards were popular in various courts as ‘Kridapatram‘ or ‘Ganjifa‘; Kalaripayattu gave origin to Judo and Martial arts by Buddhists; Teer-Dhanush promoted to archery; Kabaddi in Asian games. And ofcourse, land of snake-charmers must have been the idea behind ‘snake and ladders’. But, those games gained enough popularity to spread their wings across the world from Olympics to Vegas casinos.

But, some games couldn’t make it.

1. Antyakshari: College kids singing with deafening voices, trying to culminate songs with ‘tha’ (ठ), ‘dha’ (ढ). And the veterans coming up with ‘Thandey Thandey Paani se‘. A popular among college trips, and in boredom of trains, Antyakshari remains the most glamorised indigenous game featured even in movies and TV shows.

2. Goli a.k.a. Kanchey: One game, which led to frequent thrashing in childhood was this marble ball game. An intoxicating addiction. The enticing colourful shiny balls, and the ease of hitting with bow-stringed finger. The game is a miniature version of golf where we try to put the round balls into the hole, breeding many Tiger Woods of Kanchey.

3. Lattu a.k.a. Bambaram or spinning top: Spinning top is the first childhood lesson in practical physics. The ‘torque’ and centrifugal force, the spinning velocity. A game of perfection, Lattu needed hours of practicing to develop that reflex.

4. Aada-paada: Razma-mooli/Dosa-Idli eating Indians have always been obsessed with farts and purgatory desire. No wonder iconic Amitabh Bachhan was chosen for Piku (the movie). A detective shot at who farted and a wonderful limerick!

Aada paada kaun paada

Mamaji ka ghoda paada

Aam paam dhuss

Chane kee daal phuss.

One of the nasty embarassing game to nab the ‘wasn’t me’ guy.

5. Pitto a.k.a. Lagoria/ Satolia: Game may sound benign but it was the only violent skin-ripping masculine game played ofcourse by the notorious boys. A soft ball (technically) would be thrown at a pile of flat stones. While the opposite team tries to stack it back, the attackers would hit hard with ball at them. A cowboy game of ‘who shoots first’ played in gullies of India.

6. Raja-mantri-chor-sipahi: A chit game where ‘mantri’ have to choose the thief between ‘sipahi‘ and ‘chor‘ on raja’s instruction. I am sure similar chit games must be existing elsewhere but police and thief in similar garb may be unique to India.

* Games like chhupam-chhupai (Hide and seek), patang (kite-flying), chausar (roulette or board game version), gudda-gudiya kee shaadi (barbie indian version), gulli-danda (cricket) are excluded as they didn’t seem purely indigenous to author.

Kanchey: the game

Lattu: Glamorised as ‘spinning top’

Play pitto

Raja mantri chor sipahi

Born immigrants of India

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.


Cracking the paanwallah code

I never learnt to whistle and it wasn’t my piece of cake to attempt eve-teasing but I always wished to understand the psychology. Paanwallahs, barbers and some frequent train travellers used to be one of inherent philosophers and observers. They observed life in raw form everyday, every minute.

Paanwallah has his small cubicle on one of the busy streets in Bangalore, next to a wine shop, probably an ideal ‘adda’ of hooliganism and raw manhood. He told me a woman would step down the pavement some 50 meters ahead of shop, staying at a fair distance from shop. I made a bet it wouldn’t be true for a ‘fearless (nirbhaya)’ woman in this cosmopolitan city. Some 43 (yes we counted!) females passed, with pretty good accuracy of 50 meter down-stepping.

What worst could happen at a Paan-shop on a busy street? May be some ‘whistles’, some ‘lewd remarks’, or just a ‘look’. Standing at the shop, I felt myself standing a ‘culprit’ or at least an ‘accused’ to these street ‘victims’. I never whistled in my life, because I could never learn it properly, but when an attractive girl passes by, my head does turn or at least sway a bit. But, the look doesn’t have that dangerous appeal probably. Remarks could have been lewd in closed hostel rooms, but never on a bustling street or in front of woman.

A good look or a bad look, a good touch or a bad touch, a woman could recognise much easily, which actually never existed in men’s dictionary. Where to step down, what to wear, where not to go in night, good corner, bad corner,…….. umpteen senses irrelevant to me.

Only way I see to eradicate this social stigma is to improve the interaction. A sexual autism prevails in India, where many of men talk or interact only with men, and believe women could be either mother, daughter, sister or wife. As if, rest of women are some creature to look, make remarks or whistle. More eyes would meet, and smiles shared, the world would look more uniform.

Courtesy: Google images