The Valentine Jayanti

Most popular male gods in India are either Lord Shiva or Hanuman-epitomes of manhood. While Shiva is fav among females, an ideal husband material with two naughty kids, Bajrang Bali Hanuman gulps plenty of laddoos from ‘no woman no cry’ sloganeering bachelors. The moment I realised I am loaded with enough testosterone, I switched from Lord Hanuman to Lord Shiva, and memorised the famous Shiv Tandava mantra. Ready for the kill!

Quiting Lord Hanuman began with quiting gymnasium, where I sweated hard on my biceps and pecs, and began looking like a mini-hanuman. Wore half-sleeve tight T-shirts shopped from Chor-bazaar, walking with forward-thrusted chest. Girl who always sat next to me, disappeared as if my sweat will make her pregnant. Realised my sweaty stinking stupid self and quit the bone-breaking muscle-aching gym sessions.

Switching to Shiva meant attitude, male anger and the ‘third-eye’. Trick worked. The girl returned, and my third-eye was all on her. Always talked to her looking down, with ‘trinetra’ right at her face. Soon I was in love like one of those Amol Palekar movies. I would strategically chose seat next to her, but would never talk, never meet eyes. And when the bubbly girl would offer to come to college canteen, the angry Shiva in me would rise from nowhere and reject her. As if I have millions of tasks. Same night, I would be drinking like ‘neelkanth’.

Then came the festival of love. Valentine’s day. Angry Shiva seemed to send his Sainiks in city of Pune to vandalise it. While Hanuman’s Bajrangi Sena is already locking horns somewhere else. Choice between brown-eyed girl and gods was little difficult, but boiling testosterone in me finally won.

Red roses were soaring high in demand, so chose the pink, and hid it between shining white Govinda-style baniyaan and my dashing blue full-sleeves, stuck beneath my jeans at waist. After a quick Reiki of library and canteen, located her among bunch of frolicking girls. To take the rose out sharply, made a window in shirt keeping the lower button open. Crashed into girls, and the rose right in her hand! Execution was flawless like Godse shooting Gandhi. We had a Vada-Pav together and remained friends forever. Never knew bloody rose was colour-coded. ‘Pink’ meant rose without testicles.

Happy Valentine’s!

The half-burnt beedi

Sunrays breaching the window crevices,

A grimace cursing the intolerant sun.

My peep through the slanket,

The sleeves in the blanket,

Bedroom cafe and the lurching woman.


The rattle of the tea-cups,

And the battle of the sloths.

Gusty winds from the east,

And the undaunted snoring beast.


The scent of a woman.

Her hairs afloat,

the shiver in the lips,

And the cluttering teeth.

Love irresistible, and so the Darjeeling tea.

The broken bangles, the amorous moves, and

The brutal neighbour, with the mighty gargles

The lips so close, and the boisterous laugh,

The shattered love, and

The half-burnt beedi.

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!

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 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 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!

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

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

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