Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Age of Innocence

Age of Innocence

There's this young, bubbly girl (4th standard or so) who swims fiercely and makes friends with every person she comes across at the pool I go to.
Today morning, as I finished a lap and came to the edge, I asked her,
"How many laps so far?"
She didn't reply.

After a moment's pause, she said,
"Don't feel bad, but you look like Virat Kohli."
Me shocked, mouth wide open,

"You look like Virat Kohli. Like his brother or something..."

Me, regaining my senses,
"Thank you. I don't feel bad about it at all."

She took a deep breath and swam away.

#AgeOfInnocence #MeBlushes

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Empire Bars Subjects from Giving Exam

Empire Bars Protesting Colonial Subjects from Civils Test

Dystopia: Two colonial subjects from India, Sarojini N and Annie B, have been refused permission to write the civil service entrance examination of the Empire because they were involved in protests on the territory as subjects there.

The subjects came to know this when the approached the Empire on Dryday after they were unable to procure hall passes. They were told hall passes would not be issued to them as they had participated in protests at the Empire apart from being involved in protests in Another Empire (Almighty Viceroy, the nerve!).

Both are common subjects at the Centre for Common Sense at Another Empire and had applied for the Civils diploma in Common Sense at the Empire. Sarojini is the miscellaneous secretary of the Freedom for Subjects Association at Another Empire. Annie is the activities secretary of the same organization (See, see, how they are professional troublemakers?). 

This is not the first time that subjects have been denied hall passes for the Civils exam for this reason. Last decade Chandrasekhar A was not allowed to take the test as he had participated in a broccoli eating event on the territory (and we all know eating broccoli is dishonourable and against the Empirical Culture).

Empire Doctor, Lord Kensington, said, “There is an empirical rule (which are subject to change according to the whims of the Empirical Heads, everyone accepts and abides by) which does not allow subjects involved in acts of insubordination to scribe the entrance exam. The two subjects were present at almost every other trouble at the Empire when they were here (there are photographic records, of course - Big Sister always watches you). The Empire is very serious about ensuring subordination on the territory and not allowing such subjects to spoil the atmosphere (which is already being accused of global warming and climate change, which we know is false liberalist propaganda) . I told them they have the option of pleading to the Viceroy/Big Sister and asking to be allowed to give the test.”

Proclaimer: Any resemblance to the information given in this article to things that you could have heard is purely not-so-coincidental

Monday, December 7, 2015

The Rabbit Question

The Rabbit Question

(Me busy working at office looking forward to and expecting zero disturbance)
Colleague: “Hey (my name).”
Me (annoyingly grunts): Hmmm... 
Colleague: “One question. What do you know about rabbits? I plan to buy one as a pet... Do they need much care?"
Me: "I don’t know much about caring them... but I’ve eaten them though. Very tasty."

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Prem Ratan Dhan Payo... Aur Free Mein Little Modi Bhakti

CBFC Presents,
Prem Ratan Dhan Payo... Aur Free Mein Little Modi Bhakti!

I watched Prem Ratan Dhan Payo last night (Yes, I did). The movie was pretty lame. Except for a double-role Sallu Bhai (one serious, one fun), there was nothing special in this overly melodramatic movie. Bad execution, bad editing, horrendous villainy, fairly good songs (all 90's style),  some good comedy, well, the only thing that was holding together this film was the power of Sallu Bhai. The power of an escapist Bollywood melodrama. It was bad, but I enjoyed it. That's a cross I would like to take upon myself.


What I want to talk about here is not the film, but the big attachment that came with the film. When the interval ads were over, before the mandatory 'no-smoking' ad was shown, there was a five minute propaganda video song on 'Narendra Modi and Desh Bhakthi'. I had heard about the chances of such a thing being there from a scroll.in article which I read yesterday (here). I thought this was just in the multiplexes, but no, it was in the dingy theater I watched it too, It was in every screen playing Prem Ratan Dhan Payo. Apparently the video is attached to the movie, with the no smoking ad, says an Indian Express article which I read today (here). 

This video was produced and presented by none other than Pahlaj Nihalani, the Chairperson of Central Board of Film Certification, an ardent Modi Bhakt and campaigner. He 'requested' the production house of the movie 'Rajashri Productions' to air the song with the film, as a tribute to Narendra Modi, and showcase all his good work of building a 'tolerant, wonderous' nation by meeting all sorts of world leaders and smiling around for photos. There is a shot in the beginning where Modi is shown in deep meditation-mode in the graphic Himalayas, wearing a Karate costume, an absolute no-miss moment (it's hilarious!). Most part of the video is people synced with lame background graphics. The film shows how all religions of India (a dose of tikawala Hindu, a dose topiwala Muslim,an equal dose of crosswala Christian) is growing strong and co-existing peacefully (full hugs and all) under the mighty leadership of Modi, who is equal to Gandhi, dreaming of a swachh nation. The three dudes representing the three religions had so much desh bhakt in their body I thought all their muscle flexing, passionate expressions on face and vigour, would oust Salman Khan from the movie industry altogether. 

When the song became too unbearable, I booed. Nobody joined me though. There were some comments on Modi from here and there but I think nobody else booed this abomination because of all the graphical mix of saffron, white, and green which were dancing all across the screen, because of the pride sentiment we are infused with from childhood towards the tricolours. 

There have been Government ads playing in theaters all the time, some good, some informative, some bad, but all of them were around 30 seconds and did no particular harm I suppose, till now. This five minute show of forced patriotism and Modism was nothing like that. When you are paying for a movie and watching it, you are thrust upon with and subjected to Goebbelsian style propaganda show, sponsored by the Chairman of the Censor Board. What scares me is that I think this is just the beginning.  They have the power, they could make it worse. What if we aren't allowed to watch a movie without being subjected to half an hour of propaganda video? What if this made mandatory to all movies to pass the censor? What if this is part of the DVD as well? Winter is coming, I guess.

Let's come back to the movie now. With all its faults, Prem Ratan Dhan Payo has one scene which really interested me. Ramleela artists Prem (Salman Khan) and Kanhaiya (Deepak Dobriyal) are asked to stop all their acts in the palace and leave by the Diwan (Anupam Kher). Kanhaiya, in disappointment and anger, says something like this, "Jahaan pe insaniyat ka jagah nahi hein, wahaan pe artists ka kya jagah hoga? Chalo Bhai!" (Where there is no place for humanity, would there be a place for artists? Let's go Bhai!). I don't think this scene was a coincidence. I think it was put in place for a reason. With all the torture caused by the propaganda video, which haunted me all through the second half and does even now, which I cannot un-see, which I would be subjected to again I'm sure, this scene, this one scene proved to me that there's still space for a glimmer of hope. 

Friday, September 4, 2015

A Love Letter to My Beard

To Beard or Not To Beard

(The translation of the note I made on the day I was forced to remove my beard - 30 August 2015)

Dear Beard- Mon Amour

It is with great pain that I write this letter to you. Even though you have been a part of me for quite a while now, you do know that in the past couple of months, things and feelings have grown stronger amongst us. That's the reason I haven't hurt you even with a single stroke of scissors or blade. Now, a circumstance has emerged where I should leave you. I had expected this. But I never imagined our parting to be this painful and sad. Fate has played its card here, a cruel one that is. 

I liked you. That is the reason why I, someone who do not even apply soap properly while bathing, took care of you daily using shampoo, conditioner, oil etc- it was my immense love to you that prompted me to do all that. Terrorist, ISIS guy, Militant, where all names which people used to abuse you through me- but I fought tooth and nail against such attacks and protected you. From now, I cannot. I am tired. Let me explain how such a situation came to be. 

It is with great happiness that I came back home today, after long months. The power went off the moment I stepped into the portico and my bother announced my arrival to my mother, as we where waiting for her to open the door. Since it was dark, she didn't see my face when I got in. Later occurrences make me believe that if there was power in those two minutes of my arrival, our separation would have happened then and there only. Things where that bad, dreadful, and abominable.

The battle continues...

I am not describing in detail what all horrible things were said. All my logical and biblical arguments about beard and its importance where ruthlessly discarded by mom. My pleading of the cause using the photos of St. Joseph and St. Frederick Ozanam, both flaunting their beards, was also rejected. "What kind of shape is this? Don't come back here anymore. Aren't you ashamed to live like this, so carelessly?" said and asked she. "Don't say that mom. I take care of my beard everyday using shampoo and all," said I, to no avail. "I will lock you up at home. I will set fire to that beard using kerosene," said she. Her arguments were not logical at all. She continued her desperate and cruel attempts to get rid of my jewel, my precious you. 

I would have suffered anything for you. But her final weapon destroyed my whole spirit to fight. She declared that she would not give me the Dried Beef, Dried Prawns, and Chutney Powder which I was supposed to take back to Hyderabad, unless I shave of or trim my beard. A shiver went through my spine. I felt tired. I accepted my defeat. There was no energy left in me to fight. "The path of righteousness" ended there, for me. I failed you. I am leaving you tomorrow. 

Let me remind you my dear beard friend, that this parting is not forever. We will meet soon. This temporary split is happening only because I am at the mercy of this house and this woman, my mother. The prophet is always not welcome with his ideologies at home or his hometown, as you know. The same has happened here as well. Here, I bid you tears of farewell. Here, I cry hard. Here, I stop.

Good Bye!

Truly Yours,


Tuesday, August 11, 2015


It's time.
I can't wait anymore.
I should do it NOW.
Later would mean more.
Later would mean more trouble.
It's time.
Time to take a stance.
Time to make the move.
Time to put my feet down...

and kill the cockroach. 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Rattle Your Chains and Celebrate Freedom!

Porn is said to have misguided people, destroyed lives, been a bad influence for many, given a fake sense of pleasure and hope, led to exploitation, violence, rapes, murders, scandals, been addictive for many, led to the formation of organizations of extortion and unwanted profit seeking, and indulged in many more 'crimes' against humanity. Do you know what else has done all these to the world, in much larger scales and much more horrors? Religion. Yet I don't see anybody taking away religion from others unless it is to promote their own. 

This note is written in the context of what is being referred to as the 'porn ban' in India. 

Last night, before I logged off my computer, I checked whether some porn websites, which I heard were on the government list, are still available with my internet service provider. I found out that all of them were not there, just a message displaying 'this website is not available on this server'. I was curious and a bit nostalgic I guess, the kind of nostalgia you feel when something you used to like and follow is no longer there, the kind of feeling close to how people checked 'Orkut' for one last time before it was taken away, just for old times' sake. I'm not a big fan of porn. Of course, I used to watch porn and do whatever was needed to be done at a younger age. But I believe that I have 'grown out' of that age. It's been quite a while since I watched any at all. 

For a young boy who was brought up in a conservative society like India, porn taught me a great deal of things. It gave me knowledge on many basic things even, things which I couldn't have understood or didn't understand at all from all those 'Reproduction' classes at high school biology or those hurried lessons on sex in 'catechism' classes at church Sunday school. I admit I didn't know anything except a few words here and there, by the age of 17 or so. I believe this is the case with most kids in the society and country I live in. Ours is the nation from where the 'Kamasurta' emerged, ours is the nation which prides itself of its epics which contain incest, sexual exploitations and violence, orgies and all sorts of things which are frowned upon in the case of porn now. The world of porn is nothing compared to the depiction of devastations, events, and stories in various religious texts that we have at our homes. 

Also, don't think that porn is a new thing, a product of new technology and the spread of it. It is as old as the great old civilizations and beyond. It is just that our governing bodies suppress the data from the past and show us only what they think is 'good' and 'mighty' from our histories (If someone needs some evidence in this regard, try and watch the documentary, Pornography, the Secret History of Civilization). Porn is not a product of modernity, it has adapted itself to the evolutions of new media of communication from time to time, age to age, just like religion and ideologies do. 

The society around us is becoming more and more repressed, as we see it. I have seen various statistics which shows that it is in such repressed societies that porn has most consumers and I believe it to be true, seeing the people around me. And it is in these repressed societies that most sexual crimes occur. People get intrigued and aroused at the teeniest bits of things and body parts which otherwise the society has deprived them off from seeing and perceive as normal. I'm an adult, I'd rather masturbate to watching people having sex in my privacy with the money I paid for my internet than fantasising about some bit of cleavage or midriff I ogled at. 

I believe, if our society didn't feel ashamed of discussing and seeing sex as a normal thing, if it wasn't considered a form of sin but pleasure, and if we tell our young people and children things the way they should be told, there would be less porn and fewer cases of 'pornographic addictions'. Yet we allow this ridiculous invasion on the privacy of an adult individual and applaud it because it is porn, because it shows the act of sex (sex is bad, against culture, ban! ban! ban!).

Let us all now wait and see what else will join this seemingly never ending list of bans. Meanwhile, rattle the chains you are shackled in, and celebrate our 'freedom' and 'independence'.

"Happy Independence Day!"

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does it matter who i am? everything is maya!