Saturday, 25 March 2017

Alternative Fact-ory


At times, I want to be Sivan. Not the destroyer god with three eyes, though I wouldn’t mind having that third eye. Especially when driving. Would love to incinerate some of the f#$%ing maniacs who magically appear in front of me when I am driving. The other day, driving from Rama Rao Lamp towards Palayam, easily one of the widest stretches in the city, my smooth progress was blocked by a woman on a scooter, two guys on a bike and a small van (engine power = 0.005 Mhp; Mhp denotes “Miniature horsepower” a new SI unit I just made up) all cruising in sync at 25 cm per hour, occupying three lanes – three f#$%ing lanes. Oh, for that third eye! Oh, for that frikkin’ third eye!

Lady on scooter, blissfully unaware of the havoc she’s causing around her… Poof! Ash!

Guys riding bike, carrying a sack, probably filled with 10 rupee notes given by the bank in accordance with the 56th RBI regulation of the day… Poof! Gone!

Low Mhp, make-in-India van loaded with PVC pipes… Poof! Smouldering f#$%in’ embers!

And just for the fun of it - lady in small car going in the other direction, head barely visible, knuckles white from strangling the steering wheel… Poof!

I’d gladly give my eyeteeth for that third eye!

Enough ranting for now. Let’s get back to Sivan.

Sivan appeared before me some five or six years ago. I don’t remember exactly when. It was about six in the evening, and walking back to my house I saw him sitting forlornly on the steps of this deck-like extension of my dining room.   

I went up to him and said something like “Yo, ‘sup Sivan?” in Malayalam. Sivan is hard of hearing and in the twilight he could barely read my lips, but he replied. It was more of a statement. “I don’t have a place to sleep.” Till the previous day, he was at a neighbour’s and apparently he had had a tiff with the lady of that house. Sivan is always having tiffs - with walls, with stray dogs, with guava trees, etc. And from what I learned, he has switched his residence a few times in the last few years after having tiffs with the house owners. I shrugged and pointed at the deck and that’s where Sivan has been for the last five or six years – the longest he has stayed anywhere in recent memory.

Sivan does odd jobs in the neighbourhood like cleaning yards and dehusking coconuts for, literally, peanuts. He won’t accept more than 200 rupees at a time, which is probably enough to cover his food expenses for two days. No financial planning for him. His material possessions (he has the key to the shed in my yard) has increased to two bundles now, and for some reason he has a fetish for footwear. His footwear collection is reaching Imelda Marcos-esque proportions with 7 or 8 pairs of sandals of different hues lined up by the deck.

So, what I’m getting at is that Sivan was the one person I knew who was not affected by the Supreme Leader sucking cash out of the system. No banks to go to, no 500 or 1,000 rupee notes. Sivan didn’t care. And I wanted to be Sivan. I know that demonetisation is so 2016, but I started writing this piece back then and couldn’t complete it (as I was standing in the queue). Please bear with me.

Another thing that has been bothering me for some time now is the words being used to describe our rulers by their devotees. We have a supreme leader with a 56-inch body part and a state leader with dual organs. I haven’t heard anything yet about our mayor, who seems to be busy doing nothing. It’s possible that he too has an inordinately long organ – a 12-metre long small intestine, perhaps – and his devotees are waiting for the right moment to publicise it.

Anyway, with all these talks about organs in the air, I suddenly felt a nagging doubt about the adequacy of my organs. Being a science-oriented person, I immediately went for the tape measure and set about measuring myself. I am a reasonably big man. I’m six feet tall and can oscillate between well-built and fat f#ck in the space of few hours. The tape went around my chest and said 108! Wow! “I’m the biggest! I’m the biggest!” No, wait. That is in cm. Converted, it was just 42 inches. Pathetic. My self-esteem went poof like the lady on the scooter in front of my third eye!

I needed to come out of this dire situation and that’s when I got this idea of calling up the Central Statistical Office. They’re good with numbers, I had heard. The voice at the other end was brusque, “What’s your problem?”

I explained my problem and there was a smirk at the other end.

CSO man: “Where did you start your measurement from?”

Me: “Seerow…sorry, Zero..that was my mallu accent acting up..y’know unguarded moments.”

More smirking at the other end. Was that for the accent? Hmm.

CSO man: “Well, there lies your problem.”

Me: “What?”

CSO man: “Try starting from 15.” Click.

It worked. I’m a 57-incher now. My self-esteem zoomed. I was on par with Arnold Shivajinagar.. sorry Schwarzenegger!

I was happy. That was all that mattered, and as luck would have it, I had unwittingly become part of the hottest trend sweeping the world. I plunged headlong into the “alternative fact-ory” movement.

Though I wrote headlong, it was not that I didn’t think about it at all. I did get some insights from friends who made me see the light about reading such “alternative fact-based” news. The fact is that such news made them happy. These are good people, and like good people in many countries, they’re constantly worried about their country going to the dogs. Especially, dog forbid, to dogs from a different religion or dogs of a different colour. 

So, when they hear that a decision by their supreme leader (also known as the “master stroker”) has led to a drastic fall in cancer incidence in Rarotonga, which was verified by NASA’s sister organization NAUSEA (National Absurd & Unverifiable Story Excretion Agency,) they go overboard with happiness. They also altruistically spread that happiness around through WhatsApp and other media. Once it is posted in three WhatsApp groups, it becomes a universal fact. (Also, stop smirking at the word stroker. I didn’t mean that!)

Well, you can’t blame them. He is a Cisco Certified National Leader (CCNL). He came in fifth initially, but after some time, was revised upwards to third. More happiness. Cisco promised $100 million investment in India after giving the certificate. Unbeknownst to us, Cisco had promised 100 times that, i.e. a $10 billion investment in our bad-ass neighbour up north in China. Guess Xi Jinping pings at a higher level.

Then, there is Jason the Yankee Hindunaut. His greatest advantage is that his identity can’t be tracked down easily, unlike say, a Mark Tully. Jason is what they call a double agent, a RAW CIA agent. In his day job, he is the run of the mill CIA agent, but at night he turns into Trishul Subbu (scary rudra veena bgm). Happiness all around, again.

Now since I’ve jumped into this happiness-generating alternative factory movement, I thought I should dredge up my own stories from the interwebs. That is the great thing about this movement. There are no leaders. Anyone can come up with anything. If someone contradicts you, all you have to say is, “that’s your opinion.” Ultimately, everything boils down to your pursuit of happiness. So, here’s an alternative factory product.

Godse didn’t kill the pop of the nation for his Muslim appeasement as propagated. Some people say…could be Jason. I’ve been reading things on the net and lots of people are talking about many such things. In fact, I’m going to come back here and cite myself... well, some people say that Godse might have been a lovechild of a Ghandy, and was acting out his primal id to eliminate an imaginary father. Look at the names – Mohandas Ka"RAM"chand Gandhi and Nathu"RAM" Vinayak Godse. Scary, isn’t it? Incredibly, if you rearrange Nathuram Vinayak Godse, you get “u a very matka gandhi son”. These are things the mainstream media and the biased historians don’t ever ever want you to know.

So, don’t be fooled guys. Come aboard. Pursue happiness. Create your bubble.  

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

First-time Ever Greatest History of Ever-greatest Nation EVER, SHARE MAXIMUM!!


If you don’t know by now, the history of the greatest ever nation to exist under the sun god that you have been learning all along at schools and colleges is not exactly true. This is a humble attempt to fix that anomaly and create a new history of our glorious land out of thin air god. And, this is the first-ever attempt because this is the season for first-ever this and that. At this point of time, however, I can only provide you with a first-ever abstract with random contents, because I’m expected to sit and make profound observations about everything under the sun god.

Like, for example, if you lie down on your left side, you’ll fart. This is mentioned in our ancient texts. It, without doubt, proves that our ancestors were in possession of deep knowledge regarding flatulence, which modern science has not yet fully digested. Anyway, I’ve found some time, in between making such profound observations, to write this abstract. Use this as a guide to important events in the history of this land.

Another thing I'd like to mention is that any time you undertake such huge responsibilities, you’re supposed to follow certain regulations and guidelines. Some of them are prescribed by the government of the day, while some others are set by religious organizations. These are simple but strict rules and if you err, you may be charged with sedition or even end up losing an organ or two. So, I’ll strictly abide by those guidelines and in order for you, the reader (as well as the government and religious kernels), to easily identify those areas where I’m following regulations, the sentences will be in bold italics as in the portions in the above paragraph.

Ancient Land

Let’s start at the beginning. In the beginning there was nothing. God just sat there for gazillion years in the dark, doing nothing. And then, out of the black (well, it was dark, so, you can’t use “out of the blue”) 6020 years ago on a chilly October 23rd, he had this brainwave of turning on the light and creating planets and stuff (on the assumption that god has a brain – and before you god people go bonkers, let me clarify that I’m just thinking of an anatomical structure like the human brain and not his/her/its “infinite wisdom”).

Anyway, little did god know that we, here in India, were one up on him and were pre-travelling planets with our vimanas long before that. In fact, 7,092 years ago, on September 12, 5076 BC, much before earth was even a piddling thought in god’s head, Hanuman met Sita in Lanka. How do we know? Institute of Scientific Research on Vedas. That is how we know (Ramayana dates). Even NASA (an organization set up to corroborate ancient Indian wisdom) has confirmed this, which clearly points to the superiority of our ancient science. There is another group of historians who claim that the land bridge to Lanka was built 1.7 million years ago to bring back Sita. These are minor details, and the vedic historians and scientists are cooperating and doing peer reviews to pull out better explanations from different orifices.

What matters to us here is that we are an ancient land, unlike, say, South America. We were the first-ever ancient land. We were also very rich. Well, we were humming along very nicely over these thousands of years (or millions, whichever), inventing stuff, discovering stuff, and generally evolving into a tolerant super species, with an occasional fratricidal or parricidal war thrown in, when we lost everything in a mysterious way. Everything vanished without a trace into thin air god – our vimanas, our surface-to-air bow-launched nuclear-tipped arrows, our plastic surgery techniques, our bridges made with floating stones, our rooparkana rahasya radars, our MRI scanners, our WhatsApp..everything. Which meant that we had to go back to low-tech stuff.

Maurya Empire

So, let’s jump straight to the Maurya Empire, which was founded by Chandragupta Maurya, whose mentor Chanakya with his stony face, blazing eyes and wagging finger famously said, “Skip this portion and go straight to the Gupta Empire. This Chandragupta is not the golden one”.

Gupta Empire

The Gupta Empire was the golden age of India (learn this by heart). It was the first-ever golden age of India. History texts don’t mention any silver or bronze ages of India, partly because there’s no History Olympics. Moreover, no teacher has ever read history answer sheets fully. All you have to do is bloviate and end the essay with “Thus, the Gupta Empire was the golden age of India”. Around the time the Gupta Empire (The Gupta Empire was the golden age of India (read 10 times)) was kicking ass, Manu wrote Manusmriti, which was the first-ever smriti written by Manu. There is a claim that a guy called Hammurabi wrote a similar smriti much before this. This is patently false since we’re the ancient-est around. Also, what kind of a name is Hammurabi? Would you name your child Hammurabi? A famous journalist once told me that he liked the name Ajatashatru and wondered why people don’t name kids Ajatashatru anymore. Would you name your kid Ajatashatru? Sorry, losing track here. This is not babynames.com.

Back to history. During the Gupta Empire, which, in case you forgot, was the Golden Age of India, Hinduism was able to claw back some of the space it had lost to upstart (startup?) cults popularized by Buddha and Mahavira, especially, Buddhism, which had the support of Emperor Asoka, who got his name from the Asoka Chakra in our flag, or vice versa (use vice versa wherever possible – teachers like it). Hinduism is a very tolerant religion. This could be attested by the fact that around this time the lower castes, especially the untouchables, were making great progress. They didn’t have to do anything. They didn’t have to go to schools and learn difficult trigonometric equations or astrophysics formulae, and they had 100% reservation in easy jobs like cleaning streets and poop. This continued for 1,000s of years to the chagrin of the upper castes who had 100% reservation in all the tough jobs, though they tolerated it. The tolerance levels reached great heights in the Malabar Coast where the lower castes tolerantly kept distance, some up to 96 feet, from the upper castes lest their shadows hurt the upper caste people. It is also worth mentioning that the lower castes contributed to nation-building by paying taxes even for their boobs.

In between, we failed to mention, there was Indus Valley Civilization, which was a super-duper ancient civilization, though we have our doubts regarding its ancientness. The two main sites of this civilization, Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa, are now in Pakistan, which is a hellhole.

This history thing is getting tiresome. Only some key points from now on. Pump in your own gas.

Islamic invasion of India

Muslim conquests on the Indian subcontinent mainly took place from the 12th to the 16th centuries. The previous sentence is a straight lift from Wikipedia. Here, we have to say that Islam is a peaceful religion, and after some peaceful negotiations, which included loss of lives, looting and plundering, the various Muslim dynasties got to rule over much of North India for a few centuries. You people will have to look up Battles of Panipat I, II and III on your own (very important). Also, there was a Shah Jahan Trump, who built a Taj Mahal casino, or something. Maybe I got it wrong.

Vasco da Gama

While these guys were running riot in the north, Vasco da Gama landed up in Calicut and the Malayalis, as was the custom, raised their mundu in traditional welcome and asked him to take a hike (avantey oru gama). He went back, only to return with more firepower and lobbed a few cannon balls over, after which the Malayalis relented and let him in. That was a big mistake, as he went around cutting noses and ears and stringing people up on masts.


Brits and Independence

When other Europeans heard about the Portuguese, they also wanted in on the action and this eventually led to the Brits coming and helping the country to become good at programming computers in English. They also built railroads and ports to help the natives get rid of their unnecessary stuff, which were packed and shipped off to Old Blighty for safekeeping. This was something they altruistically practiced around the world - helping the natives (when not actively exterminating them).

Anyway, somewhere in the late 1940s the Brits packed up and left because of the Indian Army, while some other people and ahimsa wagerah, wagerah played a m-i-n-i-m-a-l role, as per Maj. General Bakshi, a major historian, unlike me. Real independence came much later in 2014, according to the Maj. General. There’s a high likelihood of the period from 2014 becoming the actual first-ever golden age of India. Some people are already raising doping allegations against the Gupta Empire, and if proved, it may be stripped of the golden tag.

One ridiculous thing that the Brits left behind was cricket - a mindless, meaningless game they invented to kill time in between drinking tea and eating biscuits. Pakistan, a hellhole near us, is No.1 in it now. It is a hell of a place. It is a hell. That's where we stand now.


Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Samprati Hype-aha Shruyantham

  It’s been close to two months since I left the heat and grime of Trivandrum for the cooler climes in the northeast of Japan. With temperatures hovering around 0°C most of the time, my brain also went into a freeze mode, occasionally perking up like a dog’s ear to some bullshit in WhatsApp, but rarely responding actively. Some of my friends say it was because I’ve been active only in eating (exotic items like basashi, or raw horse flesh, and uni, sea urchin roe) and drinking most of the time.

  Anyway, now I am in Shonandai, south of Tokyo, where it is quite balmy and nice, and the brain has begun to thaw, ever so slowly. That is when I got this message extolling Sanskrit. Mind-blowing facts, it said. It’s too big for me to reproduce here, but trust me, it is beyond any normal human being’s comprehension. All the usual suspects – NASA, Brits, Russians, Germans, etc. - are deep into Sanskrit now. I got a feeling that if you know how to read Sanskrit in a certain way, the resulting energy waves would even cure cancer (see P.P.P.S). So, I was reading it intently, when a sentence caught my attention –“Learning of Sanskrit improves brain functioning”. Given the frozen condition of my brain, I immediately latched on to it.

  There was, however, one major problem. You really don’t know anyone who can speak Sanskrit. I personally have heard only two. One was my father’s elder brother, who is long dead, and the other is Baldevananda Sagara. He, Baldevananda Sagara, is a pravachaka (usually refers to one who cannot be criticized) and has been around for as long as Sanskrit has existed, which is “millions of years”, the message tells me. There were a few others in between. Panini, who drew up the grammar some 1500 years ago (don’t ask me about the millions of years before that), Vararuchi and Patanjali. Panini was appropriated by the Italians and made into a small bread roll (grilled sandwich), while Patanjali, of course, makes and sells Italian pasta with no Ruchi, or taste. Pathetic, how these Westerners are stealing everything from us.

  Somebody had to put a stop to this, and as if on cue, Our Lady with the Convent-educated English Accent stood up and instructed the elite technical university students in India to use their palm-tops to study the latest technological secrets inscribed in Sanskrit in state-of-the-art ancient palm leaves. NASA is doing it! so, why can't they?

  #$%&! It is a frikkin’ language. Dead, for all practical purposes! There is pride; and then there is cow dung! We sure must keep that language alive. Without doubt, there will be many people studying it, for the classical literature or for the legitimate early scientific works by Indians, but do we have to impose it on engineering students? Why are we getting all chauvinistic about it now? It was an elitist language to begin with.

  It all appears to be part of this constant bombardment of jingoistic hype, propaganda and hyperbole about everything from the prime honcho wanting to make somebody else’s trinkets in India to reasons why god gets pissed off. God recently got angry in Kerala, probably because Malayali women are wearing jeans now. To god’s credit, he/she/it did send a sign that things are getting out of hand – a god figurine fell down from atop an elephant. Our morons, as usual, didn’t understand the significance of it. God could have just said, “Ladies (it’s always the ladies), time to discard those tank tops and leggings and get back into mulakachchas. OK, not all of you. You there, you are not allowed to cover those boobies up”. But, for reasons which our brains will never be able to comprehend, god didn’t say anything, and killed a hundred for ignoring that sign.

  I’m now in Japan, a country at which god is perpetually angry, again, probably because the women here wear shorts, though nobody in Japan has caught on to that fact yet. In fact, god has been angry and sending hundreds of earthquakes every day for millions of years in anticipation of the last 40 or 50 years of miniskirt-wearing Japanese women.

  A few days ago I took my kids to see some actual dinosaur fossils from millions of years ago. My younger one, not old enough to comprehend the time scale in millions, wanted to know why there aren’t any dinosaurs alive now. Instead of just the volcanic and meteorite theories, I should have told him the entire truth – “Son, it was the thongs worn by the female spinosaura that invoked the wrath of god, who smote them with meteors”.

  Ithi vartha ha.

P.S. “Sanskrit has the highest number of vocabularies than any other language in the world,” says the message I received. I’m sure there is a “vocabulary” for chasmosaurus too, which was first used millions of years ago by, you guessed it, Baldevananda Sagara. He is a living fossil in his own right. The only known living person who can string together a sentence in Sanskrit, let’s hope he is offered a Nobel Prize that he can refuse.

P.P.S. There is also the mythmaking and the personality cult being created around our supreme leader. “Subtle observations” (means made-up crock, like the one about the Google map pointer being the tilak on Lord Vitthal’s head) keep popping up at regular intervals. Movie-goers may soon have to sit through propaganda news reels like the days when Indira was India. It hasn’t reached Kim Jong-un-esque proportions yet, but pretty soon you may hear stories of how the first words the Chosen One spoke as a baby was “Bharat mata ki jai”.

P.P.P.S. Had to “share (at least) this to the maximum” so that people know the truth and live a healthful life away from anti-national medicines. Excerpted from the voluminous “Why Sanskrit Kicks Ass”:
“Sanskrit is the only language, which uses all the nerves of the tongue. By its pronunciation, energy points in the body are activated that causes the blood circulation to improve. This, coupled with the enhanced brain functioning and higher energy levels, ensures better health. Blood Pressure, diabetes, cholesterol etc. are controlled. (Ref: American Hindu University after constant study)”

P.P.P.P.S. Nah. Nothing more. To your health!

Thursday, 31 March 2016

Woaa, Thanna, Thanna

Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard. - H.L. Mencken
 
There’s another election around the corner. It is an interesting time and I was planning not to endorse anyone. Not that it matters. In the USA, influential people will endorse one of the candidates, which could get the candidate some votes. Given my influence, or lack thereof, I usually decide to sit tight and enjoy the show.

 
Things suddenly changed a few days ago. The rant gods smiled at me slyly. And I bowed and crawled and did the complex hand movements involving middle fingers to appease them. Because…

 
The Big Jumbo Party of all decided to bring in a guy boasting the most slap-worthy cheek south of the Vindhyas as their candidate in Trivandrum. As you all know, the Big Jumbo Party, led by the Grand Poobah, is the biggest party of all in the universe. If you have a mobile phone and you look at its keypad at a particular angle, you get enrolled as a member of that party. They had built up a humongous fan base in Trivandrum through that technique and has been planning to enter the legislature leveraging that base.

 
Until now, what was preventing them from capturing the State was the fact that “they party with a difference”. Unlike the other parties in Kerala who party with booze, babes and beef, they party with milk (A2 milk from vedic cows), banana and honey. This never went down well with the locals, who enjoy their tipple with onion fry garnished with beef shreds.

 
It was all going to be different this time around. Many people had finally ploughed deep into their heart and found the latent bigotry buried in there, and were slowly getting comfortable with it - justifying it, defending it and at times ready to kill for it. This was going to be the coming out party (with A2 milk and all, of course).

 
Then Sreesanth happened. After meticulously going through their huge fan base in Trivandrum, the Big Jumbo Party found that none of their local payalukal stood a chance. In fact, not many from the erstwhile Travancore state (also called Pappanavan’s land) stood a frikkin chance, as they are commonly considered as scoundrels. So, cocksure of themselves, they have decided to import good, decent people, mainly from Kochi and beyond, to represent us poor suckers.

 
Now, this is not new and you shouldn’t blame them for taking a cue from the other groupings who have tried and succeeded with outsiders for long. The old, used-to-be-grand party brought an UN super commando all the way from New York and we all fell for it. Before that, the left had the long-haired dude from the north, and recently another guy (who miserably lost) who, though technically from Trivandrum, could’ve been from Mars.

 
To be sure, the pickings are slim for all parties. There is a sickening parade of jaded celebrities on all sides. You really don’t want to endorse any one. Maybe, we deserve to get it good and hard. Still, I had to rant against this man-boy, who brings only one image to mind - of a crying face -, and the sound of a slap that reverberated from Kasaragod to Kaliyikkavila. For #$%’s sake, he is not even the best cricketer the state has produced. That is going to be Sanju Samson (OK, I'm obviously biased here). So, at the polling booth, look at the other options, a NOTA perhaps, or a name that sounds like the person can say, “Woaa, thanna, thanna”.
 
P.S. He, the Kochi lad, is going to make Kerala into a Gujarat apparently. A quick google study threw up the following numbers.


 
                                                Kerala         Gujarat
Poverty rate                                7.05            16.63
Literacy rate (female)        93.91 (91)      79.31 (70)
Sex ratio                                    1084             918
HDI                                           0.825           0.599
GDP                                        $58bn         $110bn
Pop.                                           3.3cr            6.0cr
Households w/o toilets                 5%             43%
Infant mortality                            12%             44%
Life expectancy                             74             64.1

Saturday, 5 March 2016

It's Infectious, My Lord


As an armchair bloviator, I’m going through a period of fictitious existential crisis, i.e. whether to do a ghar wapsi – a reconversion to Hinduism - or to go back to college.

Ghar wapsi appears to be a safe option in the current environment. There are lot of things in favour of that option. Let me elucidate here, as Scat Cat says in Aristocats. The factors in favour of the first option include dodgy videos that could feature you, guy on TV with loud voice, the best police force in the world, lawyers, phone calls that can scare even old seadogs, squares who want their kid to go to cultural universities for education (unlike them), etc.

When you have these many forces arraigned on one side, you want to play it safe and be on that side. Imagine the best police force on earth – the Delhi Police (DP). How do I know? The DP chief (whose term got over a few days ago) himself told that on TV. He said DP is even better than NYPD. He had been to New York and was not impressed by NYPD. Need proof DP is the best? Some months ago, they received a distress call that a group of mallus were secretly eating beef. Within seconds a platoon was at the site kicking some beefy mallu ass. Even NASA has confirmed this. Mallus had to prove their innocence (an ancient DP custom – people are guilty until proven innocent).

Coming to lawyers - the term, in pre-Vedic Sanskrit, means “people who take the law into their own hands”. You wouldn’t want to rub them the wrong way. They make their own rules. And the DP outsources some of their kickass projects to them. 

Then, there are the right-minded people. The biggest factor. Regular people, people who probably were counting condoms back when they were in school, but became squares when their kids started going to school and they came into some money. These are people you definitely don’t want to offend. Many of them only recently found their middle class alter ego, which is quick to pass the death sentence on, or exile to Pakistan, anyone that they are instructed to dislike. They are the nation. The nation doesn’t want to know the minutiae. It wants only bullet points, in bold capital letters.

Many of the members of this nation are nostalgic of the good ol’ days, when their ancestors knew their places in society. When some of their grandparents were taking bath in the temple pond and going in to pray, some other grandparents were hanging around far outside, bare boobs and all (because they didn’t pay their boob tax). Oh, those were the days. Their aim is to return the nation to its former glory, cleansed of alien concepts such as democracy and free speech.

Did Chanakya, with that icy look of his, ever talk about democracy or free speech? No. He talked about powerful, autocratic father figures who make intellectuals and anti-nationals poop in their langots. We finally have reached that stage of development, which countries like Saudi Arabia had reached much earlier. The authoritarian father figure is now there, whose chest size we know. With this new parameter in place, I can only imagine sleazy British tabloid headlines if a woman becomes the premier –“New Indian PM; 36-inch Rack”. Anyway, if at all I go down this path, I think I’ll join the upper-est caste available, y’know, the crème de la crème of castes, whichever that is. I am not interested in being a Mala, or just an Iyengar or a Nampoothiri. I want to know who was at the top of the pile that came out of Brahma’s mouth and I want to join them. There is a small issue. What would I tell my kids, who are registered as having no religion at their school? (They’ve recently started showing interest in Dinkoism).

Now the other option, i.e. to go back to college or not? This is very tempting. It’s always cool to be a student - bunking classes, playing cards, smoking, drinking, counting condoms, singing songs about freedom (Aretha Franklin in the Blues Brothers). Again? You want to do all that again!? Well, those slogans are kinda catchy. Infectious, in fact. Can I? No? I’m too old? OK, then I’ll settle for Scat Cat (Everybody wants to be a cat).
 
 
 

Monday, 1 February 2016

Random Suo Motu Rants


It is so random, even I can’t make sense of it.

Sifting through the social media crap that piles up in front of me day in and day out is becoming extremely tedious. There’s so much made-up shit in there, you wonder what makes these people do such things. Bill Maher recently said that, “Somewhere along the line the Information Superhighway became Bullshit Boulevard. And truth was roadkill”. The other day, I received a devotional song rendered beautifully by a small kid, with the caption that she is M S Subbulakshmi’s granddaughter. She is not. Why would someone deliberately add a falsehood to a song? Then, there is the steady stream of proud Indians sending out some proud things about which I am instructed to be proud of. Some messages explain how unscrupulous, scheming foreign forces are collaborating with sickular anti-nationals to malign our ancient land of honey and milk, about which I should be angry and react as a proud Indian.

Recently, there was a story in a friend’s Facebook page about a rich man living in a villa and his watchman.
The story goes like this – Rich man living in a villa. Whenever he goes out in his luxury car our watchman opens the gate and wishes, but the master never responds. One day master sees guy opening garbage bags for leftover food. Next day the watchman saw a bag near the dump filled with fresh food, and this became a regular thing. One day the master dies, and the bag also stops (note: the protagonist, thickheaded obviously, still hasn’t connected the food bag to the master). After some time, our dude asks the master’s wife for a raise, who could not believe this guy needed a raise. However, he tells her the story of the food bag. She started bawling because she realized it was her benevolent hubby. Next day onwards the son started bringing the food bag. Wait, it is not over. There’s a twist. Our guy says thank you, but the son too doesn’t respond. Guy is miffed. Later momma explains that the son is deaf, just like his dad. So, the moral of the story is - don’t judge people without knowing the truth.

A whole bunch of people liked it, shared it and expressed their appreciation at the profound meaning of the story. "Awesome," "touching," "great," went the comments. They were all sympathizing and identifying with the poor, rich, deaf feudal lord who “so generously” left the food bag by the "dump" for his watchman. Not with the watchman who had to scrounge the waste for half-chewed breadsticks, but with the boss who won’t pay a living wage to his employee. And the madam and the son continues with that generosity. The guy, instead of being grateful for that, was passing judgments. The f#$%ing serf.

It obviously is his karma. As it was for Rohith Vemula, the kid who killed himself in Hyderabad. A few days ago I was reading stories from the Mahabharata to my sons and I came across this paragraph about Ekalavya after he severs his thumb as guru dakshina for Drona.

“You may think it was a hard and cruel demand that Drona made, but a very important lesson underlies it. A man is born according to his past thoughts and actions, and his body is part of his karma. He must not forcibly snatch advantages denied to him by his physical condition, but must patiently bear his disabilities till he has worn them out, and the way opens before him. Ekalavya would not wait. He resolutely grasped the fruit that to him was forbidden, and the body that had sinned had to pay its debt.

Rohit Vemula too did not wait. He was, and others like him are, reaching for that forbidden fruit, which is irking some people, who would like to restore that old system and show these upstarts their place in society.

I started writing this post a few weeks ago when the Supreme Court upheld the bar closure in Kerala. The Supreme Court, in its infinite wisdom, deemed that only those mallus who can afford five-star bars or have friends in elite clubs need to booze. I wanted to rant against that verdict but then two words – suo motu – stopped me in my tracks. Suo motu is Latin for “You fat f#$k”. This is used by judges when they throw the book at you. E.g. “Suo motu (You fat f#$k), solitary life imprisonment for you for writing dumb blogs and other crimes”. We live in a “kinda democratic” country. Being “kinda democratic” means you can say some things and get away with it. However, there is a non-democratic institution which can screw your happiness just like that and that is the judiciary. A judge can call you “Oy suo motu” and throw you into jail for anything and everything or even make you write imposition (Judge makes police write imposition).

Though “kinda democratic”, there is one no-go area. Religion. Hurting religious sentiments is a big crime in India, as Sanal Edamaruku found when he rubbed the Catholic Church the wrong way. And there are many other such instances.

But then, what about “scientific sentiments”? What about my scientific sentiments that are being hurt every time I see Mr. Gajendra Chauhan, the FTII head, peddling Hanuman pendants on TV for good fortune?
What about my hurt sentiments when I see that prosperous-looking woman selling a “valampiri shankhu” for prosperity?
O Supreme Court, What about my frikkin scientific sentiments?

In the meantime, our city got a new mayor. I was reminded of the Eagles song “New kid in town”, except that in this guy’s case “Nobody’s talking about the new kid in town.” He is invisible. At the same time, another election is approaching. So, the railway god was brought out for the customary light metro gibberish for the capital city, which is into its fifth year of gibberish-ing. The chief honcho is raining promises on the electorate from dark clouds covering the sun. The opposition is waiting for the sun to come out.

As Chanakya, with his brahminical, stern, constipated look, his stretched index finger poking your eyes, said about democracy, “When the fart gets wet, it is time to change the langot”.