Sunday, 23 December 2012

Why Do Men Rape?

Men rape for various reasons. I am not trying to justify what they do, definitely not. All I’m trying to understand is why they do what they do. I will also not venture into the psychological aspect of it. I didn’t go to protest, hence, writing something about it is the least I can do. I guess.

Fact: There will always be rapes.

Come what may, there will always be bad elements in the society. There will always be people who would hurt others. People will always be murdered, robbed, fleeced, and conned. There will be that odd war every now and then. And then there will always be rapists.

In my very personal, humble, honest opinion I do not think we can even dream of eradicating all that is wrong from this world. I don’t see it happening anytime soon. I know it is the ideal scenario that we would want to see in this world but if you think about it practically and objectively, it’s almost impossible.

What we can and need to do is reduce the numbers, the frequency, and the rate at which these crimes are happening. Whereas there is nothing wrong with fixing the deep rooted psychological complexities of these criminals from the root, we must also figure some practical solutions which fix the situation we are in, immediately. Simply assuming that there will always be men who would want to rape women can help us in making this city/country/world a better place.

Why are there so many rapes in Delhi? I think it is because there is lack of fear. These men are not afraid of the consequences. The consequences might or might not be harsh but that is really not the point here. Even if we have capital punishment for a convicted rapist, till the rapist does not fear getting hanged, he will not stop.

It is very simple and basic. Remember, back in school, how it was easy to cheat in a certain teacher’s class whereas much more difficult on someone else’s? Their levels of attentiveness and strictness determined whether a student could cheat or not. Both these factors are equally important. Just being strict (say, capital punishment) isn’t enough because a student would still want to cheat thinking ‘Ahh, I know she’ll beat the hell out of me, but hey, she won’t catch me only.’ Similarly, on the other hand, just being attentive is also kind of useless. The kid would obviously give cheating a shot since he won’t be afraid of the consequences, thinking, ‘Let me try and copy some stuff, even if the teacher catches me, I’ll be let off easily.’

Now use the same rationale for a rapist. Both raping and cheating are wrong, on different levels, yes, but still wrong. Till the Delhi rapist is not afraid of both getting caught and the following consequences, women will keep getting raped. It is as simple as that. So when we ask for capital punishment for rapes, we must also ask our government to ensure that the culprits are actually caught and hanged.

In the meanwhile it is fine to fix the mentality of the people and spreading education and ensuring the problem is eradicated from the roots for a better future. But for a better present, we must take swift actions against these rapists who go on their joyrides raping women without the fear of getting caught.

I’ve only stated the obvious and there’s so much more I’d like to say. But then there’s nothing here that I’ve written which you already didn’t know but I guess I had to document this all.

Much thanks for your time, I hope humour is back into our lives soon. There’s too much darkness around.

Also, a suggestion, we need a little girl to sweetly walk up to the Chief Minister Sheila Dixit and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and give them a tight slap in full public view. That level of humiliation might affect them; or might not actually.

They’ve failed us. They’ve failed us bad.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Oh Weary Woman

The way you walk; the way you talk
I know men all around you gawk
What you wear; and your hair
Turns them on even more, I swear

This is not the kind of world you deserve
For survival, your kind we need to preserve
People are hell bent on destroying your kind
If it gets too late, there won’t be no rewind

Can’t imagine a world without you, oh woman
Imagine Maine Pyar Kiya without Suman
But if it continues the way it is
There’ll be no ‘Her’ outside the loo, only ‘His’

I’m a guy you can trust, come what may
But there’s only so much I can do or say
But till the time I’m with you, my lady
I’ll protect you from lads who’re shady

Alas, 4 guys will come and kill me first
Then come to you to quench their thirst
It saddens my heart when I can’t do a thing
And the men responsible, enjoy their bling

There’s no way to comfort you, I know
And I can’t help you get over this blow
I can’t ask you to relax, or even chill
It’s too late for that, it’s time to kill

Our own humankind is acting like crazy
An they’re making my vision hazy
If I start thinking about the mess, I can’t stop
I see no solution, and that’s so flop

I’m still fine; a guy does not get raped
And you, sometimes, even get taped
Can’t imagine the way you feel
God you’ve dealt them an unfair deal

There are ways to escape it, ways to avoid
Ways to stay alive, and not be destroyed
But that’s not something that I really want
I want a solution which I could flaunt

I can’t do it alone; I probably can’t do it at all
The one’s who’re supposed to, busy havin’ a ball
So come join hands with me, trust me on that
I’ll help you teach a lesson to each spoilt brat

Is it time for anarchy? For that one last blow?
Or do we just wait and watch? I don’t know.
Things are taking a turn for the worst
I’m telling you, even my head’s going to burst

Get a knife, get a gun, do what it takes
Carry a cobra, maybe they’re afraid of snakes
Oh weary woman, just try and stay strong
We’ve to work together to right the wrong

All this won’t help either, but it’s just my way
My way to tell you I care and that you must stay
Stay strong and collected; you can beat the heat
Because without you baby, I’ll be incomplete

I write to you simply as a man who cares
You, oh weary woman, into the oblivion who stares
I’m sorry about the world around you right now
I have immense respect for your bravery, here, take a bow

It’s not you, of course, it’s us who’re to blame
I know times have changed, it’s not the same
But I still dream of a better tomorrow, honest
Where we live in city; without the mentality of a forest

Here I sign off, still as clueless when I started
This effort to send out a message is not half hearted
So remember, oh weary woman, don’t you dare
Think that I don’t love you, or I don’t care

Friday, 14 December 2012

Pubic Interest Litigation

“Animal rights NGO files PIL against Salman Khan for Ek ‘Tha’ Tiger. Since it’s in past tense they are talking about a dead tiger and hence promoting killing the few remaining tigers.”

“Fevicol to sue Dabangg 2 producers for using their brand name in a song.”

“A flop dancer in Mumbai appeals to the public on Twitter to force an apology from a leading TV baron who said ‘fuck’ to her father.”

This world is being taken over by idiots. And this world is, apparently, going to end. Co-incidence much? I think not.

The first two scenarios mentioned at the beginning might or might not be true, but the last one surely is. Taking undue advantage of her significant following, a so called ‘Tweleb’ is raging about how her father was disrespected by a respected (or not so much) member of the TV/film fraternity. ‘Apparently’, I say apparently because there is no proof yet, other than her ‘word’, her father was called an ‘old fool’ or some such. This disgrace goes even further when reports surfaced that the F-bomb, which is of course the foulest expletive ever, was thrown towards her father. And to make it a life threatening situation, an incidence which could cripple any man for life, he was shown the finger. Thankfully she did not do katti with him. That would’ve broken his heart then and there.

Who in this world has ever asked somebody to fuck off, right? Have you ever shown the finger to someone? Of course not. And yeah we respect each and every old man in this world so much that we touch their feet at their very sight. This is the world we live in na? How dare anyone even look at that old man in the eye?

Gaah! Give me a FUCKING break.

We all curse like there’s no tomorrow and the middle finger is used as often as we used to use our little finger while at school to tell the world that we needed to pee. Most old people are a little slow and it gets a little difficult for our fast generation to deal with them. I’m not saying that we should go ahead and keep dissing these oldies at will but don’t you dare say that you’ve never cursed, albeit under your breath, some random old man on the road driving his car at 38 kmph. Or that annoying old man who keeps giving you gyaan about life whenever you cross his house.

All our teachers and bosses and seniors and even parents at times have been subjected to incidences of outrage by youngsters who’ve been unable to cope with them. I’m not trying to defend any of these ‘immoral’ activities but then let’s not make a hue and cry about it. We’ve all done it. We’ve all said kya kutiya hai bhancho under our muffled breath to that teacher in school who was very strict. Obviously that translates to what a bitch for all you preppies. I’ve even heard a friend of mine say my dad’s such an ass. Grandparents are obviously worse. It’s a natural progression of life where there is a slight gap in understanding between a particular generation and the one preceding it.

Why go ahead and demand a public apology for an incident as lame as this where an influential and powerful person calling a regular old bloke an old fool. Just try and look at yourself in the mirror first (apne girebaan mein jhaank ke dekho) and picture yourself react when the old guard of your colony fails to recognise you at night when you come back from a crazy party and does not let you enter for a minute or two (before he adjusts his glasses and recognises the cute dolly beti who’s all grown up now) . Or the look you give to an old beggar trying to walk across your car after the light at the junction has been turned green who ends up wasting six seconds of your precious life.

I reiterate that I am not trying to say what happened was right but then raging over such a puny incident is pretty lame. Deal with it; move on. Give your old man a hug of reassurance and tell him that you’ll go and withdraw the money for him instead of raging on Twitter and getting idiotic sympathy votes from your six thousand followers who’ve got nothing better to do in life. In case you want an apology, everybody should first apologise to Tusshar Kapoor for making fun of him. If you can’t make a public apology for making fun of Jeetendra for wearing a white shirt, white pants, white socks, white shoes, a white underwear, a white condom, a white nappy, white teeth, white hair, then bitch, please. 

Monday, 3 December 2012

Open Letter To A Parent Or A Parent-To-Be

Dear Parent/Parent-To-Be

I am writing to express my extreme displeasure about the fact that you had a kid or that you’re going to have one soon. What I am feeling is not without reason, but most of you all’s decision to have one, is.

It’s a fact, face it.

Image credit -

Having a kid, especially here in India, is a natural way of life. The majority of us take the beaten down route; study well, get into a good college, graduate, get a well-paying job, get married, have kids, live, laugh, love, enjoy. This is how we are brought up and this is what we do. For some of us, the order of priority might be different, but most of us do end up taking the path one way or the other.

I don’t have a problem with people taking the path, it’s safe, it’s reliable, and you know others who’ve taken it and you feel comfortable on it. Fair enough. What I have a problem with, is, you, who has taken the path, looking down upon the ones who did not. Or could not. How or what makes them wrong is something I fail to understand, because it is not right to pass your own judgement and call them wrong. Hence I fail to understand it.

An unmarried 38 year old woman in India can easily be tagged a good-for-nothing frustrated soul who ‘could not’ get married. Her life’s a disaster and ‘OH-MY-GOD-I-DON’T-WANT-MY-DAUGHTER-TO-END-UP-LIKE-THAT-MUST-GET-HER-MARRIED-RIGHT-AFTER-COLLEGE’ is the attitude you will carry towards your own daughter. A 40 year old single man is obviously a drunk. Even if the said bachelor/bachelorette is NOT crazy, over time, the world makes them go mad. The woman stops taking care of herself and the man takes up boozing instead of eating. A once bright dream has now turned into a dark and depressing reality for them.

Tell me, who are you to say that a couple is ‘incapable’ of having a baby if they haven’t conceived even after 15 years of their marriage? Not having a baby at all is something most of us can’t even think of, can’t even consider. Sooner or later you have to get married and similarly sooner or later you have to have a kid; is how we roll. Have you ever thought about why you want/wanted a baby in the first place?

Oh it’s a magical thing they said; oh it’s an experience everyone must have they said; oh it’s so beautiful to hold your own baby they said; it’s the purpose of life they said.

It’s just overrated bullshit, tell them I said.

Just because we can have sex and we can procreate does not mean we have to. My definition of happiness does not include me having a baby with my partner. Come to think of it, I’m pretty sure if you give it a thought, you would be clueless as to why did you have that kid (or going/planning to have one soon). There’s no good reason other than simply following the norm and the mumbo jumbo of a beautiful and a magical experience.

In today’s times, things are much more complicated; life is much more complicated. There’s so much more to do and people’s lives are becoming busier by the day. In spite of knowing all this clearly, we still end up adding more to the existing chaos. We decide to have the experience of a lifetime and have a kid. Bite me.

We won’t think about the fact that our lives will be finished (you know what I mean). Our individuality will die and we’ll happily cremate it. We’ll live on believing that now our kid is our life and that is how it is supposed to be. All our happiness and joy and adventure shall now revolve around the kid. We’ll take them to movies and annoy the fellow patrons; we’ll go to five-star hotels and let them jump around the posh restaurant and hide under tables while they play catch-catch; the mother shall stop working just so that she could raise her own flesh and blood in her own hands because she dare not keep the kid with some alien of a babysitter. No sir, we live for the kids, and that is how it is supposed to be.

We won’t care if our marriage is unhappy and the kid will have to endure it all and get affected by it when it grows up; we won’t care about the crazy times we are living in where the crime rates are increasing at alarming speeds all across the world; we won’t care about the fact that we can’t fend for ourselves because we’ll share that one roti three ways instead of two after having that god’s gift called a kid.

Right now, I don’t think I want a kid anytime soon. There are things I want to do and then there are things I don’t want to do. Is it so difficult to understand? I don’t want to have a kid. Simple. Why would you want to convince me otherwise? I’ll take my chances of living a lonely life when old but I don’t want to screw my youth because of that. I believe with the energy, effort, money and time I save by not having a kid; I’d be able to do a lot of other cool things and be a much happier person. It is a risk and I am willing to take it and I shall stand by my decision till my last breath.

I might change my decision tomorrow; I might never change it. Either way, I’m entitled to do what I want without you giving me that nasty look of how I’m going all wrong about my life. You’re nobody to say that. It is my life and I shall do what I want with it. You can give birth to a litter if you’d like, I shall make do with loving a dog, so to say.

Good luck to you and your kid or the future kid that is on its way. Be warned, it’s not going to be easy. Think about it while there’s still time.

Anyway, don’t tell me that I’m wrong for not wanting a kid. There are plenty of people in the world, there’s plenty of love around.

Quoting a Queen song I love – ‘Too much love will kill you.’ 


A confused but an honest soul.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Scumbag Airtel

“Hello good morning my name is Champu how may I help you today?
“Uh.. Hey hi... So ya my internet is not working...”
“I’m sorry for the inconvenience can I have your full name, landline number, account number, passport number, your wife’s bra size and the size of your penis?”
“Uh yeah so my name’s blah blah number’s blah blah blah...”
“Okay sir what seems to be the problem?”
“My. Internet. Is. Not. Working!!!”
“I’m so sorry for the inconvenience... Can you check those lights...? Is your modem switched on...? Please restart it once... Open this webpage... Let me scratch my balls... Fart... Burp... Okay sir, did it work?”
“No man, still not working...”
“I’m so sorry for the inconvenience but I’ll connect your call to the technical department... Please stay on the line...”
4 long minutes later...
“Hi. This is Paplu. How may I help you...?”
“My internet is not working.”
“I’m sorry for the inconvenience and bullshit like that I am going to say and the whole process will be repeated till you get frustrated and hang up. So you better hang up right now.”

We’ve all been there and done that. We’ve all yelled at those Airtel customer care executives and tried talking in 18 different languages just to get our point across. If you haven’t, you probably have MTNL, BSNL, MantraOnline, Satyam, AOL or else you live in Meerut where there’s still no electricity, forget the Internet. And the situation is same for Airtel mobile subscribers as well. Guys end up spending more money on calls to the helpline than their girls. Even those naughty calls to Dubai late at night cost less than those.

You know if there was a Golden Kela Award for the worst, the most pathetic, the most mind numbingly idiotic customer care, it would go to Airtel, hands down. I’ve heard they’re trained in Afghanistan, only instead of guns, they are trained to attack people simply by opening their mouths. A few key words here and there could actually give a man a heart attack out of frustration. Apparently this guy in Gujarat who had to pay his wife’s phone bill of Rs. 89,745 shot himself after a 15 minute conversation with an Airtel customer care guy. But kudos to the executive who managed to get the payment in full before the poor Gujju could shoot himself in the balls.

Impeccable customer care, an understatement though, is not the only ace up Airtel’s sleeve. When it comes to ‘broadband speeds’ they are even faster than the fastest internet connection at Nasa. Faster at looting us, faster at spreading across India like a virus, faster at strengthening their monopoly even further, faster than nagging wives at frustrating people in India. When the whole wide world is driving a Porsche when it comes to internet speed, we’re still far back behind cruising in our Fiat Padmini Premier. The one with the gear knob at the side of the steering wheel.

But taking some blame away from Airtel is the Indian government, or whosoever is responsible for defining, or rather dictating, the broadband speed at an awesome 256 Kbps. Whoa. Stop right there citizen. You must not cross the speed limit of a blasting 256 Kbps lest you have an accident online. I’m sure these guys believe that if the Internet is fast, then porn sites would load faster and hence guys would ejaculate faster! My oh my why didn’t we think of this. We should actually be thankful to them for curbing the problem of premature ejaculation in India. Bravo, oh kind men.

Oh but wait. Wait wait wait right there. Who said Airtel does not provide ‘high speed’ internet. They’ve got ‘huge packages’ of 1 and 2 Mbps and even 4 Mbps for some lucky ones living in posh colonies. You know, because a good high speed Internet connection is something only the rich deserve. The poor are still not allowed to stream porn videos, they must keep watching thumbnail image porn till they become richer and move to a better place.

Now a 2 Mbps connection sounds really good. You go ahead and take it. But there’s a small catch, a tiny detail which isn’t all that important but, you know, maybe you should know that it comes with a 10 GB download limit to start with. After that you’re back in medieval times with a 256 Kbps speed where you can go and make coffee and have a toast and watch Airtel’s Har Ek Friend Zaroori Hota Hai crap on TV before Google displays its search result. Of course you can get a 100 GB limit, but then you can buy a bike by spending lesser money each month. And a 10 GB limit is like a dad saying to his kid “Look son, you’ve been a good child, you get good scores, you listen to your momma, you don’t fart in public and you don’t molest your little sister. So here’s the key to my Porsche, go out and take it for a spin, go for a long drive, take on the highway and show it to them who the boss is. But hey, after you’re done with the first 10 Kms, you can’t go above 40 Kmph. Now go my child, GODSPEED!”

I mean come on guys. Who the hell are you fooling? I know we’re a bunch of dumb people living in a country run by even dumber people, but hey, when it comes to Internet, we’re a little sensitive. A man must watch his porn at good speeds all month long and not just for the first 3 days. There’s only so much he can imagine about his maid, neighbour, teacher, cousin, dog, Shilpa Shetty, Richard Gere, a pregnant Aishwarya Rai, or whosoever lights his fire at night. Airtel’s ‘Fair Usage Policy’ (FUP) is more like a ‘Fuck User Policy’. Word.


Oh wait, before I wrap up, I recently heard they’re increasing the prices by 100 bucks. Yay! That is exactly what we wanted. An increase in rental instead of speed. Great. That made my night.

Dear Airtel,
Up yours. You’re a scumbag company.
A loyal customer. 

Sunday, 25 November 2012

The Night I Spent In Tihar

The image of her lying next to me kept flashing as I tried sleeping in that 6x6 cell. I still didn’t know where I was, I wasn’t fully asleep neither was I awake. I was somewhere in the middle, a trance, but a really disturbing one. I kept turning and twisting trying to figure out the mystery of how I’d landed on this cold rough floor in this tiny, stinky room. I tried to wake up, tried to get up, but fell on the floor with a bang and I blacked out. BOOM! BANG! I remembered how it all started.

Coming back from work with Rita, we were travelling in those shared autos which can seat up to 8 people but the guys manage to get in 15 just so that they could get in some more dough. She never really did like travelling those bloody things but we didn’t really have a choice.  Strapped of cash, struggling to make ends meet, this is what we had to go through every single day. I got a seat in the middle amongst the labourers, while she always preferred to sit at the door so that at least one of her sides wasn’t rubbing against a stinky, cement clad man smoking a bidi.

It was a Sunday, we had some students coming in for an extra class at the music school we used to teach at, and in return we were getting a day’s salary extra. Fair deal, I’d thought. We got free at noon, and were heading back home, hungry as always. It was a particularly special Sunday for us as today was the night of the Khyber Music Fest where we’d met for the first time a year back. Although it took me a while to actually ask her out, but I still remembered that magical night like it’s happen just last night. There was excitement on the road; people from all across the country had come to witness this grand event, today being the final day.

Amongst the merrymakers were these young kids in a car who I’d noticed drinking while we overtook them. We made slight eye contact and I noticed how they kept driving around our auto for no reason. I wasn’t too worried since they even had a girl amongst them, seemingly not forced, chilling with them and even enjoying a beer herself. Even I’d done all this crap back in the day. Life moved on.

As we were about to reach home, stuck at a red light, I was just staring into the oblivion wondering why life was so tough. I kept telling myself I’d be happy tonight and not let gloom take over, but frankly, it was difficult. Completely forgotten that there were people around me, lost in my own thoughts like I’d always be, I suddenly heard a loud cry and I snapped and looked on my left where Rita was sitting. It was all slow motion after that as I saw the same black Swift in which those kids were travelling parked right besides the auto on the other side. Before I could jump off from the opening on the right side, they’d forcibly taken Rite in the car with them and sped off. I tried to run behind them but all I could see and hear were cars from all sides honking at me as I stood there like a lost puppy in the middle of the intersection.

I rushed home and made some calls to a couple of friends who instantly came over for help. I was sweating although it was December, and fairly cold. I couldn’t stop shivering, or smoking. We were still trying to figure out who they were or why they’d kidnap Rita, if that’s what they did. The kids looked completely harmless when I’d seen them earlier. I was in shock and couldn’t think straight. It felt like someone was playing a game with me. A game I wasn’t enjoying much.

One of my friend suggested we should call the cops but I didn’t want to get into the hassle of dealing with the corrupt cops here and get Rita into more trouble. We were all divided by our opinions but in the end it’s me who had to decide since Rita was my girl. And we decided to deal with this ourselves and give it a shot before we called the cops. I knew where those kids were headed so we took off for the Khyber Music Fest.

Armed with leather belts around our waists and leather boots on our feet, we were on our way to the hippy fest to look for Rita amongst the 10000-odd strong crowd there. Rite loved dubstep so we headed directly to the dub arena on the terrace where there wasn’t much crowd as the genre still had to catch the fancy of the masses. All 4 of us, me and my friends, stood at the entrance and scanned through the crowd to see if she were to be found. I tried hard to remember those kids’ faces and started walking towards the DJ console. We all spread out and as I slowly neared the main stage, I saw her, I saw her giggling and laughing with the kids who’d apparently ‘kidnapped’ her. I stood there in astonishment and couldn’t move. Everything and everyone got blurred except her. She was laughing like a child, her hair bouncing as beautifully as ever. I hadn’t seen her this happy in quite some time. For a moment I thought I should let her be and just walk away. She seemed happy, after ages. But, alas, love wouldn’t let me do any such thing.

I marched right towards her, my belt in my hand, ready to hit the kid who was driving the car and who was now sitting next to Rita, his arm around her shoulders, both sipping beer, something me and Rita hadn’t done in so long. I got close, Rita still hadn’t noticed me and I wacked one at the guy. The music stopped, everyone gasped and I hit him again. On the floor, writhing in pain, he cried for mercy and I stopped and shifted my attention towards Rita. She was just standing there, beer bottle still in her hand, aghast. As I took a step towards her, a few hands grabbed me and pulled me back. Everything was a rush after that.

A huge ruckus followed with people from both sides trying to maintain the peace. We found out that those guys were her college friends from where she studied and had come to town for the fest. This was all just a prank for them and they’d though they’d have some fun with the boyfriend. I tried to comprehend how kidnapping someone I loved a prank!? Rita had taken their side which had completely destroyed me. She said I didn’t know how to have fun anymore. This whole thing was still beyond me as this was a grave crime and ideally I should’ve called the cops. They still didn’t want to understand what I had to go through and they maintained that I was a sour loser. I had agreed to let it all go and did what the authorities there had asked us to do, leave. They had instead threatened us that they’d call the cops if we didn’t leave that very instance. I’d reached the exit gate but I stopped and looked back at Rita once. She had gone back to being happy like this had never happened before. As I wiped a tear off my face, I turned around and saw a cop standing right in front of me. He hit me with a stick and slapped around a couple of times before handcuffing me. What had started off with Rita being the victim and me considering calling the cops, the tables had quite turned. They dragged me away and as I got a last look at her, I saw her smiling viciously towards me and showing her phone to denote that it was her who had made that call to the cops.

I had never been betrayed like this before. Even the cops wouldn’t listen to me. I begged my friends to get help. They dragged me inside the police van and beat me up again. Next thing I saw... was the dirty floor. I could taste the sweat and blood and the dirt on the floor. My head was hurting so bad, I kept coming in and out of consciousness. A blur, the day had been. Last thing I remember was the nasty smile she gave. I knew it would be etched in my mind forever. And I fainted... Again...

Lights, is what I saw next, and a comfortable bed is what I felt. My baby lying next to me, in my arms, it all looked unreal. A few seconds I took to see what was happening, and I saw my own room. Floyd was still playing on the system and candle was still lit. I got up a little, slid my arm away from under her head, and lit the cigarette. Resting my back up against the wall behind me, I took a long drag and looked at my baby. I felt a tear roll down my eye. But this tear was no tear of sadness or grief. I was happy because it was all a dream.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

In The Name Of Religion, Culture, And Crap

I live in East Delhi, close to a naala, and there’s nothing to hide about that fact. That naala is apparently some tributary of a river, probably Yamuna. Which, in turn, is a site for some religious fanatics to celebrate the Chhath Puja around. By celebration I mean, them being a menace, blocking roads, playing music till late at night, night duty for policemen, riding around triples on motorcycles helmetless and generally thinking they own the world. All this while not giving a fuck about the world around them and ensuring the ones around them notice their so-called-merriment.

Why are we so afraid of such religious nuts? Why can’t the government, law, policemen, or the general public do something about it? Why do we let these fanatics do as they please, which involves troubling the whole world in the name of religion? How is this atrocity allowed? Why do these people go unpunished when they clearly break all laws known to man? It’s not just killing and raping and drunk driving that’s a crime. But no, we’re a tolerant society, more like a fattu society which dare not touch any ‘sensitive’ issue lest increase the chances of a riot. I only have one word: BANJO!

Take Shiv Sainiks for instance, their leader dies, they shut the whole city down. They own the cops, the politicians, the actors, the bigwigs, the industry, the commerce, you, me, and UP ke bhaiyya Amitabh Bachchan as well. Their spokesperson would come on TV, talk a load of crap on the news, assure that they’re a peaceful unit, and that the world is paying respect themselves. Haven’t we seen enough movies to know that it’s all crap? This sort of politics can’t be happening for real, but, sadly, it is. Meanwhile, us citizens just sit idle complaining or feeling helpless and eventually frustrated about the whole situation. Although a couple of us young unlucky girls get arrested for a wall post on Facebook and for ‘Liking’ it. For heaven’s sake, weren’t Hitler, Osama, Saddam enough?

In the name of democracy, secularism, tolerance, freedom, what we practice is utter crap. A farce, is what our country is becoming, in ways which are not good at all. In those certain respects, it’s getting worse by the day. Appalling are the things that are happening, and shockingly, it’s being carried out by the same people we vote for, same people who are there for our protection. If the system is screwed, who do we go to? Who do we protest against? The cops, who’re already a corrupt bunch of men in uniform who can’t really do much even if they wanted to? The law, where people spend half their lives fighting off a simple case of robbery? Or just sit around India Gate holding a candle light vigil? I say, what this country needs is, a bit of extremism, a bit of idealism, and fanaticism. Fight fire with fire. Go and do a Rang De Basanti and hope the world sees you and takes action.

Unfortunately, everything goes unheard. Even if they listen to you, action is seldom taken. In the rare event that some action is actually taken, nobody follows up. Our victory is celebrated at the first hint of some progress. This can be seen everywhere, in our lives, at our workplace, in schools and colleges and definitely around all the issues plaguing this country. We suffer from this mediocrity, being happy, or at least satisfied with what we have. We’ll dream of a better future but won’t do anything about it. Not saying that we don’t try, there are indeed a lot of screw ups about which we can’t do much. You think we can change the ‘system’? I don’t.

This country needs a radical change. Enough of being ruled by a bunch of dictators disguised as a part of a democratic government. If need be, this country needs a new war of freedom to rid us of these inefficient, dishonest, corrupt Indians who have the power to bring about a change. They need a mutiny? Give it to them. How better are we than how we were when being ruled by a ‘foreign’ country? Just because we can go to a pub with a girl, get a job where we want, wear the clothes our cousins are wearing in the US, does not mean we are truly free. Girls still get beaten up for wearing short clothes, the government offices are still full of people who take undue advantage of their job and harass the common man, and 21 year old girls still get locked up for expressing their opinions on Facebook. Fuck, this freedom. Sab naatak hai saala.

A rant, this is. Useless, I am. Crippled, we are. 

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Karva Chod

It’s that time of the year again when women across North India fast for their wife-beating, raping, molesting, disrespecting, ugly and fat husbands. In fact, a lot of these unmarried PYTs also fast to showcase their dedication towards their to-be wife-beating, raping, molesting, disrespecting, ugly and fat husbands. It’s time for Karva Chauth.

This is the day when women proudly don’t eat or drink for a day just to ensure their husbands have a long life. Yes, because exercise and a good diet are passé. It’s Karva Chauth that will keep them healthy, wealthy and wise. No wonder these moustache donning, paunch showcasing, burpers, farters, borderline-alcoholics continue with their lethargic lifestyles because they know that back home they have a wife who’s going to do all the hardwork, even if that means she dies of hunger, to make sure the husband gets his daily dose of Tandoori Chicken and Royal Stag.

Before you give me gyaan about symbolism and what not, I’d like to stop you, make you sit on a La-Z-Boy, hypnotize you, molest you first, wake you up and then put my point across. In this time and age of woman empowerment and science and shit, it just seems absurd for ANY woman to go fasting for the good health of a husband who’s totally not worth the effort. In fact, what should happen is that those very husbands should take a day off from work, do the household chores, please the wifey down there, cook and do the dishes WITHOUT EATING OR DRINKING A THING.

For long the Indian society has been following absurd customs which have always been pro male and completely anti female. Be it sati or women eating from the used plates of their almighty husbands, women have always been given the broom so they could move on and clean the house. Some lucky ones would get to sleep on their rightful place on the bed if the husband is not drunk enough and hence hasn’t puked on the wife’s side of the bed. In spite of all the crap that STILL happens in India, like new born girls being drowned in milk, or pubescent 16 year old women being wed off to violent and horny 26 year old males from a staunch lower middle class mentality, or chicks from even the top Indian families not being allowed to study further or work after getting married; somehow the women still feel they need to show their dedication for the Indian man.

Women, the Indian man is a pig. Period. Not your period, but the full stop kinda period.

Beware, they won’t do shit for you. They’ll continue treating you like shit. It’s in our blood to treat you like a woman and feel furious if you’re better than us in anything at all, except for giving blowjobs of course. Just be a piece of meat and you‘ll keep them happy and satisfied. Give it back to them I say. If not tie up their balls to a cactus, at least don’t lick them either. Stay brave, stay equal. We men are not the better species, in fact, in all probability, we’re worse.

Say no to Karva Chauth. This festive season, KARVA CHOD! 

Sunday, 28 October 2012

An Ode to Old Monk

A winter night in Delhi without a peg or two of our most beloved dark rum is like sleeping naked in snow. Even summers are incomplete for a few without having some Old Monk with chilled water and a lot of ice cubes popped in. But suffering from the myth that rum is supposed to be had in winters only, the real season begins when the air conditioners are switched off in Delhi households. And that time is NOW.

The single malt of rums; is what I personally like to refer to Old Monk as. Talking about whiskey, you’ve got your desi stuff (8 PM, Bagpiper), you’ve got the better desi stuff (RS, RC), then you’ve got the entry level scotch (Teacher’s, etc), obviously the slightly higher level ones (JW, Chivas), and well there’s always the Glens and the single malts of whiskeys. There’s a lot of variety, which is good, but then it also leads to a lot of confusion.

From what I’ve heard, the desi whiskeys that we have here in India are nothing but flavoured/coloured rums. I personally despise anything that’s not scotch. The standard whiskeys here taste weirdly plastic and give you a bad hangover. Scotch, is something I still can’t afford to have on a regular basis, which is fine by me. I have my Old Monk.

Old Monk is as cheap as the entry level whiskey and as smooth as single malt. If you get used to it, there’s nothing like it. It’s safe, it keeps you warm, it helps you deal with your daily frustrations, it’s there when you want to celebrate, it’ll help you get that random chick, it’s not too LS that makes you looks like a chindi neither is it too upmarket to make you look like a snob. It’s just perfect, right where it is. It fits in wherever you are, be it at Jama Masjid while you’re having ‘bade ke kabab’ or at Hyatt for Dum Pukht. Old Monk bridges that divide between rich and poor, classy and desi, Hindu and Muslim, circumcised and Christians, fat and obese, cricket and football, and my left testicle and your right moob.

It can be had with water, it can be had with cola, it can be had with a girl and it can also be had as a shot with the standard salt and lime. It can be had with friends while you’re playing cards at home this Diwali, it can be had with the guy you want to slap who beat you at poker on Diwali the night before, it will be needed while you’re masturbating on the terrace while checking out your neighbour trying out her new sweater and it will be there for you when you’re left beat up by the side of the road in Manali when you’ve had too much to smoke and you just ended up with the wrong bunch of firangis.

I got a little carried away there probably because I’m on my 4th peg of Old Monk. Winter is coming. I have an excuse to drink legally at home on a daily basis. I need this to keep me warm. It doesn’t look too cool when you balls are the size of a peanut because of the low temperature of Delhi. You need to Monk to keep ‘em balls warm. And ladies, there ain’t a hotter woman than the one who can drink the Monk like and man!

So here’s to Old Monk. The healer, the saint, the fighter, the quaint; the modern, the master, the warden’s party blaster.

Cheers to each and everyone who drinks and enjoys Old Monk. Give me a shout out if you want a free drink. Maya Bar is always open and the Old Monk never runs out. Ahoy mates, this journey has just begun. HIC!

PS – This is not an ode. See, I fooled you. Better go have that peg of Old Monk right away I say. 

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Of Megadeth, Delhi Safari, Anniversaries and More

Did you see a guy running around half naked when Megadeth was playing? Did you also notice that same guy do a ‘Hips don’t lie’ when Mustaine was ripping the solo on one of his song’s? That was me. Unless there was another guy belly dancing to Symphony of Destruction.

Did you also get a chance to see this beautiful animated film called Delhi Safari which released this Friday? And did you, by any chance, wait till the end credits rolled and notice the 4th name on the left of the Animators’ list? That too was me. No ifs and buts here.

It’s been quite an eventful last few days. Although why you might be interested in reading about how ‘kewl’ my life is beyond me. I went to the NH7 Weekender. Day 1 was a breeze when I was alone and sober and taking pictures. Day 2 on the other hand was a crazy affair when I was with my girl and a bunch of other friends from work. Don’t remember much of Megadeth but I’ve been told I wanted to rape a man for some reason.

Life moved on and in came the biggest week of my life. Delhi Safari released on the 19th of October. The moment, for which I’d been waiting for over 10 years, finally occurred. I worked on an animation feature which released on the big screen and I had my name in the credits. I kid you not but my eyes went moist with joy.

On the same day I celebrated my parents’ 30th anniversary with my close ones and had good food along with some smooth alcohol. Yes, we’re Jains like that; we booze and eat meat, especially when the whole world is fasting. Another milestone of the day was my 1 year anniversary in Delhi. Probably the busiest, happiest, craziest, year I’ve ever spent in Delhi. It’s been one roller coaster ride and PLEASE KILL ME FOR USING THE MOST CLICHED LINE EVER.

Since this post is more of a personal update and a post to maintain the regularity on the blog, I’ll ask for your leave and quickly conclude this. Stay tuned, I’ll continue with my regular, and hopefully interesting stuff, soon enough.

Things are only about to get better.
Let’s do this thing together.
Stay with me, enjoy the ride.
Sleep well, have a good night.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Durga Ma Ki Jai

I can feel it in my fingers. I feel it in my toes. Okay, maybe not the toes but I do feel Durga Puja all around me. From Chitaranjan Park to Model Town, Mayur Vihar to Pashchim Vihar, pandals are being set up, boards are being put up, and there's this sense of excitement in the air. This 'pre-buzz' phase of the oncoming festive season is the perfect build-up ever. Period.

There's a change in the air, it's much cooler now. People are falling ill, including me, but not complaining as they all know it's thanks to the change in weather. A change that is good and most welcome by any Delhiite, who, by the time it's October is quite sick and tired of the heat and is really looking forward to the chilly weather that accompanies the 3 months of November, December and January.

Having lived in a Bengali society aptly named 'Anand Lok' as a kid I've had the best times of my life during this very period where Durga Ma and Kali Ma become more important that our actual Ma. The kids, especially, are the ones most looking forward to those 5 days of merriment that ensue from Panchami to Navami (hope I got that right). Starting with Anand Mela, it goes on to 3 days of cultural festivals in which a number of those very kids participate in and make their parents proud other than just having fun themselves. The slightly elder ones have a reason to stay out till late and enjoy beers in parks and whatever terraces they find open. The uncles and aunties get to dress fine and meet up with their peers over scotch and gossip after each gala night of plays, dances and music shows. Durga Puja really does cater to everyone.

Diwali might be a bigger festival for Hindus but the only problem is that Diwali is, at max, a 2 day event. Whereas Durga Puja, including the preparations, feels like it lasts for a month. And that's where Durga Puja takes the cake when it comes to enjoyment. People around you are generally happy. Uncles don't complain when they see you smoke a cigarette. Aunties are more than happy to see a drunk you dancing after the Dhanuchi performance, and the ladies adore the attention they get during Dandiya. The kids, on the other hand, enjoy every little thing about this time. Be it a quiz competition, painting competition, 'lemon-on-spoon race', musical chairs, magic shows and what not, it's as if the kids are in Disneyland for those few days.

Tambola (Bingo) at night is an experience they never forget and chilling at the pandal till midnight gives them a feeling that they've finally grown up. This is the time when kids actually hit puberty and not when they get their first hair down there. All this happens without a hint of religion being forced down on anyone. Apart from the morning and evening aarti, there's hardly anything that would make you feel that anyone's trying to promote their own religious propaganda and promoting anything in the name of God. In fact, a lot of good comes out of it too, like the daily bhog in the afternoon where, in the olden days, people used to actually sit down on tables with the whole colony and eat together. And all the kids would proudly serve everyone before they had a bite themselves. Things might've changed now, with the buffet system and all, but the essence still remains.

Durga Ma is probably the most fun Goddess of all time. The only competition she has is Ganpati, who, again, is a cute looking God who probably loves to have fun. I might not believe in any religion in particular but that does not stop me from enjoying Durga Puja one bit. Also, I'm not a Bengali, and that's the beauty of it, really.

So here's a big shout out to Durga Puja and all the happy times that are about to come. Brace yourselves, Bengali's are going to wake up from their slumber and get in action for this annual event.

Bolo Durga Ma Ki Jai!

PS - All image credit to Surabhi Chowdhury.

What Work-Life Balance?

“Home, home again
I like to be here when I can
When I come home cold and tired
It's good to warm my bones beside the fire”

I’m pretty sure Pink Floyd weren’t talking about any Tomar, Dinesh or Harish coming back home after a hard day’s work at their office. But Tomar, Dinesh, and Harish, on the other hand, were definitely humming this song whilst coming back home from yet another hard day at work.

Welcome to ‘Work-Life Balance 101’.

Child, if you think you have a life, think again. If you’re the average Jai, which I’m pretty sure you are, you most definitely don’t have a life. What you have is an illusion that you like calling ‘life’ which consists of a job that you pretend to like in front of your friends, a thrashing weekend where you hide your tears behind that peg of Old Monk, a family you hardly get to talk to and Facebook/Twitter to prove to the world that this illusion really exists.

Shoot me if I’ve been wrong so far.

Okay, so tell me, you spend about 10-11 hours a day at work, about an hour or two in travel, a couple maybe to get ready before work and freshen up after it, and at the very least an average of 6 hours of sleep on a daily basis. That sums up to about 20 hours a day which you spend AT work or getting TO work or simply sleeping. What have you left to live your so called ‘life’? A measly 4 hours a day which you, in all likelihood, spend drinking or eating or even working again, just so that you could enjoy this ‘life’ a little more. I’m really sorry to break this for you, but no, that is not how ‘life’ is supposed to be.

But alas, there’s no set definition of how this life’s supposed to be lived.

“Oh I work my ass off during the week but I ensure I have a blast over the weekend!” is like saying “Oh I really hate my wife but I really dig her when I get to have sex with her!” This is not working out boss, sorry! Just like your wife is not a piece of meat why do you treat your life like a bitch? It’s not supped to be raped with excess cribbing over the week and an abundance of alcohol over the weekend. There’s only so much one can pretend enjoying life. What we’re headed towards is total disaster where we’re bitter about every little thing in life and things are as fake as that smile on your face.

Have you ever really stopped in life and just stood still to take a deep breath and think about life itself? Have you ever really felt that exhilarating pleasure of pure bliss which you once felt as a kid when rolling down on a slanted garden? Do you really think you’re doing something worthwhile which, forget the world, you feel good about? Do you think you’ll be remembered once you die? Forget that, you won’t be remembered once you leave the party.

All this might be sounding too idealistic, I know, but it’s worth a thought I’d say. We can’t go all extreme and feel and breathe ‘life’ in every breath of ours. Getting stuck in this crappy illusion of a life that we’ve created for ourselves is not good either. A little more honesty, with our own selves, would help us a great big deal.

I’m afraid if I continue on the same thought I’d continue giving more gyaan and that’d just repel the whatever little views I’m going to get on this blog post.

Take this as a rant, take this as a chant
Either way, there’s one thing that you can’t
Claim that you enjoy drinking booze in gallons
Tell me, oh child, where’s the work-life balance?

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Ab Dilli Door Nahi

“So... We’ve done some really good work here, we’re getting in more clients and hopefully more projects. We’ll still stick to our philosophy and do good work only since we do not want to compromise to us. The whole idea to form this studio was to do quality work in India which was, quite frankly, missing. But... Sadly the current situation of the studio does not look great... Uhmm... Means... We’ll have to take some drastic steps... We’ll have to let some of our employees go...”

This uncomfortable and a much difficult speech by the owner of the animation studio where I worked still echoes in my head like it just happened last week. The memory is so vivid that I remember that ‘Black Friday’ down to the last detail. We’d all decided that we’d wear black that Friday when the ‘firing’ was supposed to happen. And it did, it went down pretty bad.

Prior to that we’d all been pretty chill about it since we had become quite used to delayed and reduced salaries. Some of my colleagues had to sell off their belongings to make ends meet, married people especially, but it was still easier for us young bachelors for we could still manage to live and have fun in spite of a couple of thousands worth of deduction from our pay. We all did it, we all continued to work because we felt that it was all still worth the effort we were putting in, worth all the difficulties we were facing, be it delays in home loan instalments or thinking twice before going out to drink. We were working on something big. We were working on something we could call ours. We were working on Delhi Safari.

I worked with Krayon Pictures in Pune for about 2.5 years. A memorable 2.5 years to say the least. Considering it was my first job and all, it truly was an experience of a lifetime. I never went to college, but I don’t think I missed it either. Working at an animation studio in Pune, the education hub of the country, was no less than going to Stephen’s or Xavier’s or Christ. The work culture was truly something that is not only hard but impossible to find anywhere else. The people were nothing less than amazing and I would be lying if I said I didn’t make any friends for life there. In spite of all that was going on in my personal life there was still this one thing that kept me going, the fact that I was working in arguably the biggest and the best animation film this country had ever seen.

What started off as a dream back in school, when I used to go watch animation films with my mother and wait for the end credits where we’d both point out Indian names in the list and feel happy about it, I knew I had to get my name up there someday for her to see and feel proud of. The journey to get there was quite long and had its share of ups and downs, but it looks like I’m finally there, in all probability I’ll get to see my name in that list. So what if it’s not a Pixar or a Dreamworks film, Krayon Pictures’ Delhi Safari is not less than the Madagascar of India. On the 19th of October, I shall stand proud, with my mother, at a cinema near me and watch the fruit of all the effort and the sleepless nights we all put in to create this piece of art which was initially to be named ‘Ab Dilli Door Nahi’. Hence the title.

Now do I truly understand the phrase of the term Ab Dilli Door Nahi. As I sit here at my home in Delhi, miles away from where all the magic happened, I’m getting impatient just counting the days. I might not be working in the so called ‘animation industry’ anymore but I still feel there is that animator in me somewhere, just sleeping for a while. For all practical purposes I will not get back to animation, I’m currently quite happily employed as a writer in my hometown, but in my dear Justin Bieber’s words “Never say never. Just be gay.” Okay, maybe he did not say the second bit but that’s what the subtext is of all of his songs.

So ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, and children of all ages. Get ready to witness the magic on October 19, 2012 when Delhi Safari releases at a cinema near you. On that auspicious day, 5 years after its journey started, what will come to fruit is the years of effort of over 200 animators’ sweat and blood. On that very day I complete my 1 year in Delhi after leaving Bengaluru and with it the animation industry. But the best part of it all is that on October 19, 2012 my parents celebrate their 30th anniversary. I don’t think I could’ve given a better gift to my mother.

So here’s to Delhi Safari and everyone who worked on it and everyone who’s going to watch it and for all your good wishes. And here’s to ma, this one’s for you. Cheers!

This is where the magic started.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Tu To Mera Bhai Hai

If you’ve ever been drunk or been around a drunk then I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “Tu to mera bhai hai!” This phrase is commonly used when a person is intoxicated and is in the company of humans, dogs, chairs or mice. Any living or non-living thing becomes the most beloved in front of a drunk who’s full of love. But then there are the depressed drunks too. And equally menacing, the frustrated drunk.

Why does the common Indian man drink? Is he a connoisseur? No, he probably cannot spell it or even pronounce it correctly. Does he like the taste? Probably not, since he makes that weird face after every big gulp of the 8 PM whisky that goes down his throat. Is it a cultural thing? Definitely not, in a religious country like India drinking is more or less considered to be sin. Although that does not deter even the most pious of followers who duly spill a cap full of Old Monk on the floor and dedicate it to Bhole Nath.

The extremely average Indian man drinks to get drunk. That is the one and the only reason why he heads to the ‘theka’ after a hard day’s work and buys his favourite Green Label (not Johnny Walker, but Gilbey’s) and heads home to a drunky night before he snores away to glory. And then there are the more sophisticated ones who go to their favourite ‘watering holes’ and bathe in Mojitos and LIITs till they’re drunk enough to be talking to random women at the bar. Or aggressive enough to be driving over the poor sleeping on pedestrians on Marine Drive or Ring Road.

“Bhai 17 pack peene ke baad bhi main seedha khada tha banjo!”
“Saale kabhi hamare saath baith ke piyo, hum sikhayenge kaise karte hain hold the drink.”
“Dude I know this guy who’s like this tanker man. I mean I shit you not but he drank 11 bottles of beers in front of me and he was still fine.”

We’re a proud lot. We might not be proud about a baby girl being born or the fact that we have one of the richest cultures in the world but we sure talk with pride when it comes to the amount of booze we can have before we pass out and sleep in our own puke. We’ll go on binges of the likes never even seen in Scotland or Holland. We’ll put to shame the biggest drunks of Ireland and smooth-talking-vodka-drinking Russian ‘Zaars’. From Mallus to Punjabis to Bengalis to Marathis; we’ve all got stories of those few good men who drink like there’s no tomorrow but still manage to wake up solid as ever. And if rumours are to be believed, Gujarat, a dry state, consumes the maximum about of liquor in this country. It won’t be too surprising if this statistic is true.

Sadly, for the common Indian drunk, this specific culture is not particularly embraced by the common public here. In lands outside of India they drink wine when they eat, they consider scotch to be a religion, cops drop the drunks to their home safely and women probably don’t get raped all the time by tipsy men. The situation in India is quite the opposite. Drunks here are a nuisance. Drunks here are ‘over-friendly’ to the extent that they molest women to show their love. Drunks here are looked down upon even if they are good drunks and become happy high after a few drinks. Drunks are not welcome here.

Our philosophy is simple. We drink to get high. We love to get drunk. We feel that it’s a waste if we drink and not feel out of our senses. That’s what our real thoughts are when it comes to drinking. And for some reason we’re quite cool with it and don’t see any reason to change.

We, the average Indian drunks, don’t want to grow up. Even 10 years from now we want to pee in our pants, drunk dial, get in car crashes, hump street dogs, and wake up with no memory of the previous night whatsoever. That’s who we are. And that’s who we will be. Always. Proud.

I’m getting a little high as I end this here so all I’d like to say is “Tu to mera bhai hai.”

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

For The Love Of The Game

There’s a reason why football is called the beautiful game. The raw emotions, the hair-raising excitement, the subdued anxiety, the tears, the drama, the elation; all add up to give any true fan of the game an experience like none other. It touches you deep inside at a level where only a few things and people can reach. One must play a sport, any sport, on a regular basis as my grandfather used to say “Beta pick up a sport and play it at least once a week for the rest of your life. It’ll keep you in shape.” I agree with what he used to say but what I would want to add to that is ‘One must follow a sport whole heartedly and not miss out on the feeling of being a fan either.’ Yes. I’m a fan of the beautiful game. And, Arsenal. I’m a Gooner.

Yeah, this is me. World Cup 2010.

Quite typically speaking, I started watching football when I was about 14 years old, back in ‘99. And as any other typical Indian kid, I started with Man U as they were, and probably still are, the most popular football club in the world. They’d just won the 1999 Champions League in dramatic fashion against Bayern Munich, I’d heard. Since I hadn’t started watching the sport ‘full-on’, I never knew about those big CL matches which started at 0020 hours at night. The following year, I saw a few EPL matches, not understanding too much of what was going on but I did get to witness the magical kick by Zidane in the CL final in 2000 after a long ball by Roberto Carlos was converted into a goal thanks to a brilliant volley by the ‘headbutt-er’ himself.

But what changed that season was that my loyalties towards Man U gradually started shifting towards Arsenal. I started watching this unique football club in action in which the majority of the players were, well, umm, black. Somehow that intrigued me into watching the Gunners play. And their short quick passes made it only better. Wo din hai aur aaj ka din hai, I’ve been a Gooner, and always will be.

I am not trying to defend the sport here or trying to justify why I like watching football or Arsenal particularly. I don’t need to. I am not against any specific sport; I don’t think a particular sport is superior to any other. All I’m trying to do here is express my love for football. And emphasise on the awesome feeling of being a fan. It could be any sport of your choice. Be it cricket, F1, tennis, badminton, golf or even kabaddi, if you don’t follow a sport or at the very least follow a particular team, you’re really missing out on something. In football, there’s a lot of drama for the crazy ones, a lot of games on for the bored ones, a lot of skill to see for the critical ones, a lot of stats for the obsessed ones, and some hot looking guys for all the women out there.

I even love playing football. I might not be all that good at it, but I manage. I don’t get to play it any longer, but I wouldn’t miss a chance if I got one. Trying to pull a step over, or a curling free kick, or just a shoulder push on a person you don’t like really brings out the best (or the worst) in you. Playing it on the computer is even easier, and a convenient way for most common public to get to know more about the players, clubs, stats, etc. And eventually to show off that knowledge in front of other college kids during a night out for some beer at a pub. People do that.

But the gist of what I have been trying to say is that you really need to become a true fan of a team and/or a club and/or a player. Live a dynamic life. Live a second life. Experience emotions the kind you never feel anywhere else. Cheer when your team wins, cry when it loses. Don’t give up. Just because India loses a match does not mean we stop supporting it right. So what if Arsenal hasn’t won a single trophy in the past 7 years or so? Does. No. Change. A. Thing.

Once a Gooner. Always a Gooner. 

Monday, 10 September 2012

Blame It All On The Woman

Women are supposed to be women.

Firstly, if you find out through a scan that you’re having a girl, get it aborted. In case a girl is born, just drop her in a drum of milk and let her die in peace. If you can’t kill her then, let her grow up and ask her to wear a nice black dress and go to Gurgaon after 8. She’ll get raped AND killed. If she doesn’t die, get her married to a Jain. Or a Marwari. Or any orthodox Indian man actually. Don’t give a dowry. They’ll burn her in the kitchen and say it was an accident. In case that doesn’t happen, in the hope that she would produce more sons for the family, ensure that she delivers a girl child. Either they’ll bribe the doctor to get her killed during childbirth or else keep blaming her for the rest of her life till she commits suicide. A woman is not supposed to live in this country. Even if she is allowed to live, she can’t stay happy. Those are the rules. Either accept them or you better end this miserable life of yours.

Who ever gave women the right to be born in the first place? This country does not need any women. All it needs is strong and power hungry men who will fight each other for the smallest of things and feel good about themselves. Women have no right to be educated. All they need to learn is to how to cook food, keep the house clean, pleasure their men and breastfeed their kids among various other random activities. Women shouldn’t work. Women shouldn’t wear modern clothes or go out drinking. Heck they shouldn’t even be allowed to drink unless their drunk husbands force some desi liquor down their throats just to satisfy their own wild fantasies. Women can’t go eat good food outside, or eat from a fresh clean plate. All they need is some leftover crap which they eat from the used plates of their men. Forget about a sweet dish or a cold drink. That’s what men consume. Women only cook and serve. That’s what God made them for. That’s all they need to know.

Men are animals. And it’s a good thing. It’s just the natural order of things. Women are the prey and we are the hunters. If a woman is walking on the road at night, any man has full right to rape her then and there in full public view. He does not do it too often during the daytime, not because he is scared, but because there’s no ‘feel’ of having sex with the lights turned on. So they prefer to abduct them inside a car if they find a good one during daytime. It’s comparatively darker inside a car and there’s natural stimulation thanks to the potholes. Women are NOT supposed to travel or anything. They just need to step out of the house only when necessary. For example, when the groceries need to be bought, or milk or bread. And the shops should not be more than a km away. They should avoid talking to other random men as much as possible and come back home directly without even looking at anyone else.

If men see a pair of boobs it is their birthright to go and press them for amusement. That is what boobs are for primarily. Only when women have babies do boobs have any other purpose. Although, men again have full authority to drink human milk in those days and let the kid cry of hunger. Man does what pleases him. That’s the law that is followed in this country. Be warned.

This is not it. There’s more but I don’t want to gross anyone out even further. Or get into much crueller details and scenarios. I have proven my point.

Now tell me, why in God’s name would I want to have a girl child in this kind of an environment? When we live in a world like this, why would you want to spoil another human’s life? Why would you endanger your daughter’s life (and izzat) by bringing her into this hellhole of a world? I wouldn’t. Fix the mess, then talk. Till then, let me fight the system till I can. Let me fight for women’s rights. My sexist jokes will one day bring justice to all you women out there. And that’s a man’s promise. Yeah, because man always fulfils his promise.

Bitch, please. If you don’t get it. Get a life.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Discrimination Against Bikers

I went to The Oberoi Hotel in Delhi for an event today. For obvious reasons I shall not name the event but it was pretty big. There were a few biggies attending it and then there was the usual janta as well. It was covered by the press too, but not too widely though. What was happening there trended on Twitter worldwide and is probably trending as I write this blog. An invite-only event, but apparently, an event where you either come in a car or even walking, but don’t you dare come on your motorcycle.

As I rode from my work place in South Delhi to The Oberoi Hotel near Lodhi Road, I was feeling a little uncomfortable because I was wearing a brand new shirt which I had just unpacked 10 minutes prior. I was completely unaware of the event till late afternoon only to realise that I was dressed like a jhalla. The boss felt pity and bought me a new shirt. Just so you know, only when I got home did I notice that the cardboard thingy which keeps the collar stiff was intact throughout the gig.

But this is not about my shirt or my dressing sense. None of them are great but I’m still quite happy with them all. This is about the fact how The Oberoi Hotel discriminated against me, my motorcycle and my helmet.

I’ve been going to hotels on my bike on a regular basis, usually for work purposes. I prefer travelling on my bike because it’s cheaper than travelling in a car, it takes much lesser time, and I also have the love for biking. I don’t really care for other people’s opinion or where I am going to. Having lived in Pune for 2.5 years, biking is sort of in my blood. So as I approached the not-so-main gate of The Oberoi Hotel, I asked the guard where the motorcycle parking was for I knew that 5-star hotels do not entertain bikers through the main gate and neither do the valet drivers take too kindly to bikers.

The guard then asked me what my business was at The Oberoi Hotel, which of course would never happen to somebody sitting in a car. I got a little miffed but I managed to keep my cool and calmly told him about the event. He directed me towards a shady corner of the compound near the taxi stand where all the bikes were parked. It was safe to assume that it was the employee parking area and all sorts of shady activities could be witnessed there, from a firang smoking a joint to a parking slip just made by writing something on a random piece of paper.

I didn’t have much of a choice so I just parked it there and went towards the main entrance to the hotel. Since this wasn’t the main gate or the main parking, the walk to the main entrance was around 5 minutes long. I was happily walking with my backpack, which was slightly heavy thanks to the laptop, and I had my fake Wayfarers on, which probably look better than the originals. I was just thinking about my tasks for the event when I was suddenly stopped by a random looking guard who was manning a seemingly empty road with a small stool in front of him and an attendance register kept on it.

“Haanji, kahan ja rahe hain aap?” “Where are you going?”
“Hotel mein, aur kahan?” “Hotel, where else?”
“Achha, entry kar dijiye.” “Okay. Please make the entry.”
“Kaisi entry? Kaunsi entry?” “What?”
“Hotel mein jaane ki.” “To enter the hotel.”
“Yeh kab se hone lagi bhai?” “Since when did this start?”
“Ji yeh to sabko karni padti hai.” “Everybody needs to do this.”
“Achha to gaadi mein bhi jo log aate hain aap unse bhi entry karwate ho?” “So even the people in the car need to fill this up?”
“Haanji.” “Yeah.”
“Achha. Agar main abhi pata karke aau ke aisa hota hai ne nahi... Kamal ji... Aur agar pata chala ke aisa nahi hota gaadi walo ke saath to?” “So you’re saying if I go to the main gate and ask if this is done to the people in cars... Mister Kamal... And I find out that it doesn’t...”
“Uh... Ji... Sir wo unki entry CCTV ke through ho jaati hai.” “Uh... Sir, their entry happens automatically through the CCTV.”
“Achha....” “Oh...”

I didn’t feel like haggling over the entry too much as I was kind of running late so I duly started filling the register.

“Sir wo job hi paidal aata hai na unki entry karni hoti hai.” “Sir whoever comes walking needs to fill the register.”
“Magar main to bike se aya hu bhai.” “But I came on my bike.”
“Sir lekin idhar se to paidal hi aa rahe hain na.” “But sir you’re crossing this area by walking.”

I filled it up and started walking again.

“Sir theheriye. Helmet nahi leke ja sakte. Use motorcycle ke saath hi chhod dijiye.” “Wait a second sir. You can’t take the helmet.”
“Teri ma ka... Main udhar nahi chhod raha karna hai jo karo.” “Motherfu... I’m not leaving it there.”
“Sir wo gate pe bhi mana kar denge.” “Sir they won’t allow you.”
“Haan theek hai main dekh loonga.” “Yeah I’ll manage.”

Now I was properly angry and ready to pick up a fight with the manager. I briskly walked towards the gate and asked the guy to take my bag through the scanner. He instantly told me that I couldn’t take the helmet with me. That was the cue. I started yelling and asked him to call his senior or manager or whoever was around. This another random looking dude, but not in a guard’s uniform at least, came towards me and asked me in English what the matter was. I yelled at him and told him how absurd could they be to not allow me to take my helmet inside the premises. I gave arguments like “what if I was paying 10k for a room, would you still ask me to keep my helmet outside?” But they just wouldn’t budge, neither did I. I clearly told them I am not leaving the helmet out in the open on my bike.

“Tell me what if it rains? What if somebody steals it?”
“Sir it’s the management’s rule. Nobody is allowed to take a helmet in.”
“Will you give me a room in the hotel if I lose my helmet? Because I sure don’t wanna ride my bike if my helmet is wet or if it gets stolen. Will you buy me a new helmet? Will you guarantee that I would be safe on my bike without the helmet?”
“Uhh sir no but which room are you staying in?”
“I am not staying at this hotel currently and I don’t think I would want to ever if you treat your customers like this. I am here for the XYZ event.”
“Oh okay sir. Please leave the helmet here with the guards, that’s the best I can do.”

I could see my boss waiting in the lobby inside so I decided to give in and asked them to keep the helmet safe. I walked inside and then had to forget about the incident. The event started soon and I kind of forgot about the whole bike fiasco. Until I got out after the event and went to my beautiful bike.

The whole episode came striking back and I wondered how these snobbish hotel guys could be so discriminative against bikers. What do they have against motorcycles, I just don’t understand. Not just The Oberoi, in fact, at Hyatt and Intercontinental too I have had similar experiences. Not as bad as this though. I have gotten used to a spate entry gate and a separate parking space, but not being allowed to take my helmet inside was a new low altogether.

Why can’t they treat us as equals? Just because somebody is on a bike does not mean he/she is poor. It could simply be that the person prefers riding instead of driving. What if it was John Abraham on his Ninja? Obviously he wouldn’t have been stopped. Then how different is this from “Indians and dogs not allowed” boards from the British Era?

This crap needs to stop. They need to treat us as equals. I am an educated person, an Indian citizen and I demand for equal rights for us bikers. This incident will not stop me from taking my bike the next time I go to a hotel but I expect to be treated better. No more preferential treatment towards people travelling in cars. I am also paying the same for the butter chicken I order in there as the person in the car. Enough is enough. These 5-star hotels need to learn or else there will be anarchy.

There is a reason why people don’t take pangas with a motorcycle gang...

P.S. I have a 2008 Bajaj Avenger 200. I love it. I am a passionate biker. And I will continue to ride till the end of my days.