Thursday, February 28, 2008

Looking for a new God…

Activists in some parts of the country are on the lookout for new Gods that have origins in their region. Our constitution gives us the right to freedom of religion, and the freedom to choose our own Gods to worship. So, why worship a God who is proven to be a ‘North Indian’? Lord Krishna is from Mathura (UP), Lord Rama is from Ayodhya (again UP)… When will the ‘Bhaiyyas’ stop trying to impose their culture on us? When they migrate to other states, why don’t they worship err… Lord… err… umm… See that's the problem (whatever it is).

Lord Shiva, Lord Ganesh, and Goddess Parvati are from Mount Kailash (China)… Oh! These Chinese I tell you… Always looking for ways to belittle India.

Jesus Christ is from Israel! Prophet Mohammed is from the UAE, Lord Buddha is from Nepal. So whom do 'we' turn to? Who will fight for 'our' region?

What we need is local culture to flourish and triumph. And for that we need local Gods. Gods like… ahem… well, we’ll figure that out later. After we figure out what our culture stands for. In the meantime, let’s start beating up all priests and devotees who throng to the temples of these ‘outsider’ Gods and send them back to where 'they' came from.

We shall then focus our efforts to seek a new God who is universal in appeal, but local in origin. A God that epitomizes ‘our’ culture. Using whose name we will create a new order. An order that demands that you can live here only if your ancestors had settled here (1000? Oops… 500? Umm… 100? Well…) X years ago. We shall communicate the value of X at a later date.

In the meantime, if you have suggestions for Gods that belong to ‘Our’ community, please send them across to me. Here’s a list of criteria that should match:
Should be male (that’s our culture)
Should be married (A cool God ought to have a consort...)
Should have delusions of adequacy (I am the best and stuff...)
Should have a plan for a ‘New World Order’ ('Our' world order)
Should be willing to wear a robe (A definite must!)
Should be willing to talk on length about nothing at all (about anything)
Should be able to create controversies (Publicity is important too)
Should have long, luxuriant hair (Image, people... Image)

Wait a sec! That’s got me all over it! Well, except for the last bit, but I can wear a wig or do something about it! So, what say folks? Shri Walkeshwar (for Maharashtra), Sriniwalker (for Andhra), Walkeran (for Kerala)… I’m ready, check me out! Meanwhile, you keep beating up outsiders…

P.S: Please forgive me for the quality of the image... But that's how I look :) And I didn't have time (or the know-how) to use anything other than 'Paint' :(

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Of friends and good times…

Last evening was probably the best I’ve ever had in Mumbai. Even counting the Iron Maiden show! It was a time for friends and family – the good, fun variety.

I met Jibu ‘Dicky’ Jose after a good four years. Jibu and I studied from 1st to 5th together and then we met again in college. We were roommates for a good while and used to stay with Vipin in one room. Ajeet and Chandu were good neighbors. But Jibu, somehow was very special. I have this dastardly habit of getting a bit emotional when I’m wasted, and Jibu used to be the one who had mostly borne the brunt of it.

(And Jibu again because I’m pretty fond of his family too. His Mom is an absolute sweetheart and more importantly, an awesome cook. I used to be a bit scared of his Dad, but That was a long time ago. Jitu Bhaiyya, his eldest brother is like a friend to most of our batch mates. He is now blessed with a beautiful daughter – Jamie, who turned 5 yesterday and a naughty son – Joel. Jinu, the elder one, used to study in the same town as we did. Jinu was a bit more formal, so not many stories floated around about him.)

So last evening, in addition to Jibu, his beautiful wife Minal, Jitu, Bhaabi, and the kids, there was Jibu’s cousin Shiny with her family. The only other time I’d met Shiny and her sister Sheeba was 10 years ago! But we greeted each other like long-lost siblings :) (And what memory, especially Sheeba for recognizing my voice!). We were later joined by Minal’s family. So, that’s how it began – as a small family get-together. I met Shiny’s dashing husband for the first time too, and we hit it off quite well… We went on till late in the night, trading stories about school, college, and the good ol’ times in general. And before we knew it we had to wind up :( Jibu breathed a sigh of relief that he was spared the usual sentimental outbursts.

I don’t know why, but I feel really nice today. Like the way I feel after meeting my sisters… I guess that’s what friends really are – an extension of your family. And I am lucky to be treated by their families as their own too. I feel great! And I feel blessed.

So, this is a thanksgiving note to God for my friends (Too many here to name) and their Moms. Jibu’s Mom, Ajeet’s Mom, Bindu’s Mom, Rohit’s Mom – are my favorites. And the joy of seeing your former roomies and homies happily married to great people is unbeatable. Probably it’s His way of telling me that He still cares for the people that matter to me and me…

Say what?

P.S.: The pic here is about a year old. I’ll ask Jibu to send me a new one…

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

It’s back!

Another year has passed. With loads of excitement in store… People are already preparing for the big day and I can sense it all around me. The news about the unique way in which we celebrate this great day has reached the world. I’m saddened that tourists are not making a beeline to India to watch us celebrate!

Scouting for spots where couples tryst has already started. Stores selling related merchandise have been identified. Banners, effigies, stones, rotten tomatoes, mulatto cocktails, swords, and other miscellanies have been stocked.

Yes… Valentines day is just around the corner!

Unlike the rest of the world, we celebrate the V-day with V for venom. As an Indian, I vehemently oppose the concept of Valentines Day. It is against our culture. It corrupts our new generation. And I am not alone. With me are myriad political parties, student unions, and social activism groups. Our cadres have infiltrated into the varied strata of society and are sniffing out events, parties, activities that the supporters of this satanic feast are organizing.

I say it is a conspiracy of the imperialists to corrupt our culture. We have never heard of people falling in love. Never has it happened in our great nation. The Taj Mahal – a man’s greatest erection for a woman – is only an exception to this. And what is all this hype about buying diamonds, chocolates and cards? Have you ever heard of any Indian in our glorious past dothis?

You may ask why I am so bitter. The answer is – I will be away from the one I love this V-day. And with me are people who have failed in love, who never have (the courage to) express their love, senior citizens who are envious that this never happened in their age and time. If We can't enjoy this day, why should we let anyone else? And we are joined by self-righteous propagators of the ‘Indian Culture’ who have to do this just to get elected and people who abhor spending money on their loved ones.

So I ask you – Have you ever failed in love? Do women avoid you like the plague? Do you secretly envy couples that fall in love? Do you think it is against your religion (or your interpretation of it)? If yes, come join me in this fight to save our culture (that’s the in-thing and that's what we'll call it). We shall pelt stones and tomatoes at shops, scare away couples, and burn effigies (of whom? The media shall decide that). But caution – Let’s stay away from the bigger organizations like star hotels, TV channels, etc. ‘cos they have security and may retaliate. Let’s just stick to the defenseless people, as they are the ones who need to be taught our culture.
I am including links to present and past activities of our clans that have recieved acclaim from the media.
So, what say? Meet at 4 PM tomorrow outside 'Archies Gallery' with our stockpiles? We should be joined by bored MNS and BSP activists whose leaders have been arrested too! Political mileage for this noble cause? Wow! Nothing like it :)

P.S.: Pic courtesy Times of India

Added on Feb 18, 2008:

Oops! I did go to Hyderabad to be with my Valentine afterall... So, please dismiss this post as a load of bullcrap!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

My India, my media…

I suffer from a rare disorder… A need for constant amusement! And nothing satiates this more than our mainstream media.

At a time when UP and Bhiari bhaiyyas were being beaten up in Mumbai, I surfed some news channels to see what was up and well, there was an unexpected breaking news! Sanjay Dutt was spotted in Goa with Maanyata. Hmmm… (Change channels) “Kareena Kapoor was seen sporting a new ring” Well… (Change Channels) “Govinda unapologetic about his slapping incident” I had it! What is with our media? And their fixation with Bollywood?

But the one that takes the cake is: “Amitabh Bachan ko thand lagi” meaning, “Amitabh Bachan felt cold”!

(Someone at work clicked this pic and thanks to Ayan for sending it to me. BTW, Ayan is a gifted cartoonist himself.)

Is it a lack of stories or are Indians only bothered about the stars and starlets of Bollywood? What about the people? What about issues that need public opinion and support?

I would like our channels to cover this story (or something like it) for once.
But I doubt that it will serve the purpose of amusement that discerning connoisseurs (like me) would appreciate.

However, I will not be surprised if this one gets covered. (I loved this one too by the way... Especially the defense that "All the time I worked for the airline, my moustache attracted many adoring eyes inside the plane and on the ground." Way to go buddy!

P.S.: If you own the copyright to the pic, please let me know so that I can acknowledge you.

Monday, February 11, 2008


"The art of thinking independently together" - Malcolm Forbes

Diversity is now a commonly used synonym for multiculturalism. This concept talks of an inclusive society (or workplace) where people from varied ethnicities and beliefs live in harmony.

In my dealings with numerous organizations based out of the US, one thing that has caught my attention is the huge number of posters claiming the organization’s diverse workforce. Couple of times, I had to attend a ‘diversity workshop’ as a mandate before dealing with them. However, as an Indian, I strongly believed that I should be excused from another such workshop. My passport is proof of my tolerance.

India has more than 150 languages! And that’s not talking about dialects… And She has more than 10 different religions (again not counting sub-denominations). Never, ever have I worked in an organization or lived in a locality that didn’t have at-least three different religions and about 10 different languages. I am a Catholic from Kerala, brought up around the country. My wife is a Bengali from Benaras, brought up in Delhi. More often than not, my best friends were neither Catholics nor Malayalis. Ditto for my wife, my sisters, our parents. So, why is it that someone in my country refuses to let another work in his/her city?

Found an interesting piece of news here. It says that the US should learn diversity from India.

Is it enough to be content that: “In only 60 years and with 14 Prime Ministers, India has already elected a staggering variety of chief executives - from a Kashmiri Pandit to a Punjabi Sikh, India has seen a UP Thakur and Jat, an Andhra Brahmin, a Punjabi Khatri, a Karnataka Gowda, and a half-Parsi, half-Brahmin pilot, among others at the helm.”

Well, that article says a lot about our political diversity. But please understand that these leaders were made by politicians and not by the people. Did I ever want a V P Singh or a Deve Gowda to be my PM? Hell no! And at the same time, we have people in Assam, Mumbai, and other parts wanting ‘outsiders’ to go back! The state machinery waited a full 10 days before filing an FIR in Mumbai. And it is anyone’s guess as to the outcome of that. I am led to think that diversity in India is more of an accident than a choice!

MY constitution gives me the right to live in ANY part of MY country. No man/woman or political party has the right to question that. I was not a cynic, but some of my perverted fellow countrymen are succeeding in making me one.

But there is one thing that I will take with me to my grave. And that is my identity as an Indian. An Indian who doesn’t just believe in diversity, but has lived his entire life in it.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

A brave new world...

The Indian government has taken a huge step today. The legal age for marriage has been lowered to 18 years! And the age for sexual consent for girls has been increased to 16 years…

Regular readers of this blog will be aware that we had earlier proposed a minimum IQ level for men/women (oops… boys and girls now) to qualify for marriage. That either did not catch the eye of anyone in the panel or they would themselves score less than 80?

Being the socially active blog that this is, here are my two bits for the lawmakers to decide whom to let marry. (Considering the (mental) age of the audience, I would suggest a questionnaire with multiple choices.) This questionnaire is for boys (got it right this time) only.


1) Why do you want to get married?
a. To be a better man (like Sohail Khan in Aryan)
b. I am in love (Like all my heroes)
c. I am exercising my right to marry.
d. She wants to.

2) Whom do you want to marry?
a. My classmate.
b. My neighbor.
c. Hmmm…
d. Her.

3) Do you know her complete name? (Click here if it is a he.)
a. I call her Jaanu. That is enough for me.
b. I know her nickname.
c. Hmmm…
d. I’ll ask her.

4) Is the girl willing to marry you?
a. Is that necessary?
b. I have to ask her…
c. If no, what are my options?
d. That’s what she said.

5) Do your parents know about this?
a. I’ll surprise them!
b. They said no and that’s why I’m here.
c. They will never come to know (hee hee)
d. Whatever she says.

6) What do you do for a living?
a. Attend college
b. Social commentator (a politically correct name for a roadside romeo)
c. Eh?
d. Whatever she asks me to.

7) Would you be willing to work?
a. Why?
b. Work?
c. Hmmm…
d. If she is okay with it.

8) Do you plan to have children?
a. Yes.
b. How?
c. Why do you think I’m here?
d. I’ll have to ask her

9) Will you consider family planning?
a. I am planning a family already…
b. I am planning to tell my family…
c. Eh?
d. I’ll ask her what it means.

10) Have you heard of ‘contraceptives’? (I wish your parents had!)
a. 5 years ago!
b. Used it too.
c. Eh?
d. She will know.

No matter what the candidate answers, he still has the right to marry. That is the beauty of our great land! A land where juveniles have a license to marry and procreate. A future filled with jobless fathers and clueless mothers. An initiative to beat China at-least in population by 2015?

Or is it just another cruel joke that our lawmakers are playing on us? Well, it’s business as usual then!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

It happens only in India…

Play in India if you must. But you have to let our side win!

That seems to be the motto of local political parties. Poor migrant laborers were beaten up and their cabs/stalls/autos destroyed in Mumbai. Ditto in Assam. And someplace else.

Not one leader of stature has come forth to protest this. NOT ONE!

Poor old Amitabh Bachhan gets pulled in; the Bollywood fraternity is in an outrage! Not one star talked about the plight of the poor workers who flock to Bombay to seek a hand-to-mouth existence.

We would have had rallies and demonstrations if they had treated street dogs like the way they treated their fellow countrymen. Giving a voice to the animals is cool. Not cool to express solidarity for fellow humans, poor ones at that!

So, all of you need to shut the f*** up when you talk about the plight of Indians in Malaysia, UAE, or anywhere else. If we are not respected in our home, nobody will give a s#it! Do you?