Tuesday, 20 December 2016

You Don’t Need A Train Ticket To Go To An Indian Railway Station

“The real beauty of this country is only seen through a train journey…”
“If you want to see the real India, travel in a train…” 
“All you need is a general trail ticket in India to experience its true essence…”

We’ve all heard these statements from our white friends who come to explore India in the most Indian way possible. You will also find those Indian vagabonds who are avid travellers and amateur photographers who echo such thoughts. But we all know the reality behind all this. No matter how much we romanticise the Indian Railways, we all know it’s a cheap, dirty, risky, and an extremely slow mode of travel option. Period.

There is a side of this story that probably deserves a little more credit. The side that revolves around the Indian Railway Stations and not within the trains themselves. The side which does not require you to travel in the cheapest train to experience life. The side that we all experience yet we don’t appreciate.

What I’m referring to is the small ecosystem that exists around all railway stations in India. An ecosystem that caters to all kinds of people. An ecosystem that thrives from people who are not actually travellers. An ecosystem which everyone is aware of but nobody really notices.

From going to the station on a Saturday night at 2 in the morning after a night out of partying at a 5-star for a quick and cheap meal to eating seekh kababs at Comesum on a Wednesday night after a long day at work, we’ve all experienced this at one time or the other in our lives. When it comes to food late at night, there’s only very few places that come close to giving you an experience like an Indian Railway Station would.



The Indian Railway Stations are also the ideal locations for some introspection for us humans. I’m not suggesting anything on the lines (no pun intended) of going to the tracks and giving up your life. Rather I am talking about just buying a platform ticket and just sitting around in the middle of the night and watching trains pass by. Seeing poor people sleeping on the floor covered in their kambhals is an added advantage.

Of course, the Indian Railway Stations are also home to a few travellers as well. The travellers that are travelling between cities on road and are looking for a night halt at their chosen locations. It’s a known fact that some of the cheapest hotels are always around railway stations and the railway stations are also some of the most well connected spots in any city or town.

So, no matter what you reason be, no matter what time of the day, it is not always necessary to be a train traveller to visit a railway station. All you need is the location of the nearest railway station and the spirit of an explorer to experience the world around Indian Railway Stations.

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

The Safest Place In Delhi

I’m a Jamnaa Paar kid. You know, the place where the autos don’t go. Where the streets have no names. And where the majority of the baniyas of the city live in. Me being one. Pity I don’t have a single trait of being a baniya. No wonder I haven’t been able to monetise this stupid blog of mine yet. I’m such a nakli baniya that my dad is a doctor and my mom practices astrology for charity!



So, it was, of course, a big move up when my family and I decided to move to South Delhi so that we could be closer to work and not spend 9 hours a day on the road just honking, yelling, sweating, spitting, and blowing our noses. After living for close to 28 years on the other side of the Yamuna, it finally felt like our dreams of becoming cocks like all other South Delhiites was going to come true. But… It wasn’t to be.

Even after spending over a year living here I can still see creatures from Jamnaa Paar as humans. This also includes beings from Rohini, Punjabi Bagh, Pitampura, and more. They did not suddenly start stinking or started looking dirty. I went to my nearest Starbucks to check what was wrong with me. Why was I not able to blur away their presence? I smashed my Java Chip on the floor but picked up my laptop and slowly walked away. I had no answer.

It was not until Ramadan 2015 that I understood how this city of ours worked. It was a regular night in the middle of the week when my wife and I decided to grab a few drinks after work. It was about 11:25 pm when we started feeling hungry and we just couldn’t get ourselves to order 48 pieces of nachos for 475 rupees. I mean, unless those nachos are plated with gold, they’re not going through my throat. Or, unless Angelina Jolie shat on them. I'm sure even her poop tastes like chocolate. She's a Goddess, after all.

Anyway, it was then when we decided to go to our favourite joint where we would go once in 6 months when we were broke and wanted to be bad Hindus. No I’m not talking about GB Road. That would be plain weird. Well, I’m not sure. I’ve never tried it. Not that I want to. But maybe Amsterdam’s GB Road one day? Who knows.

We drove for 20 odd minutes before the familiar shady lane greeted us with the usual hustle bustle even at 12:05 in the night. And no, we did not land up in Mumbai in 20 minutes. The story is still about Delhi. So… We parked the car inside the government hospital that’s about 600 meters from our actual destination. We took a rickshaw and started rocking towards our regular spot. The ride is quite good for your libido as it goes through many ups and downs and if you're feeling extremely horny, you could have an orgasm by imagining this ride to be a sex simulator.

And then it appeared. The beauty. Amongst the crowded and the brightly lit neighbourhood, you can see it resting behind all the madness, the Jama Masjid. The famed Jama Masjid from the Chandni Chowk area. It’s what Old Delhi is proud of. It’s what makes Delhi 6 actually 6e. And you know, where apparently all the terrorists of the city go to? Like, I have heard from some very close sources that they have a Yakub Memon, Afzal Guru, and an Umar Khalid memorial within the compounds with access only to Dawood and Kanhaiya Kumar.



We stopped as soon as we saw Lalu Shahi Kababi’s brightly lit sign board with flashing lights on. Our destination was on our left. We ordered the regular – bade ke kabab (buff meat). They’re dipped in butter and after the first bite, I always need to check my crotch in case I came. Thankfully, it has never happened yet but that buttery kabab in the mouth can make anyone cum.


It was more crowded than usual that night and that’s when we realised it was Ramadan. There were families and friends, boys and girls, young and old, all in their traditional terrorist attire, you know, a white kurta pajama with a skull cap and a beard? Some women didn’t have beards. But, of course, that’s how all terrorists look like, right?



We decided to walk around and infiltrate this terrorist network a little deeper this time. It was almost 1:00 am and we were only going deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole. All that these stupid terrorists had was some amazing food (read: meat), great hospitality and sweets to die for. Ahh, who were they kidding. They could not scare us into not eating their god given food. We could also see their laugh was fake. Their joyful gestures were all a trick to lure us into believing all was ok. And boy oh boy they had a serious attitude problem. They acted as if they didn’t even notice us. How can that be? We were the so called 'normal' people walking cautiously in an apparently unsafe area. I'm sure every kid there that night was just a dwarf terrorist with amazing makeup. Oh these smart terrorists, always coming up with new tricks to fool people. Hah!

We spent enough time eating Biryani, Seekh Kabab, Shaami Kabab, Korma, and wrapped it up with a kilo of firni each. We were quite sure that with the amount of food we ate and the money we spent, they would definitely not kill us. It was 2:00 am when we sat back in the car. And this is the conversation we had:

R (me): Ahh. What a night!
A (her): Seriously, what killer kababs. *burps*
R: I can’t imagine it’s 2 o clock at night!
A: I know. It’s brilliant
R: Imagine GK 2 M Block at this time.
A: Ugh. Guys in their Audis and Mercs drinking outside 24/7 and spitting their hot dogs on the road.
R: Hahaha yea. I can’t even imagine the drunkenness that must be happening at Hauz Khas Village. 
A: I’m sure there’s a rape happening in a Fortuner in Gurgaon as we speak. 
R: Insensitive but true! 
A: And they call this place unsafe. Why?
R: Muzzlims.
A: Bhencho, chutiye.
R: *drives away*

It’s that time of the year, people. Some great food, vibes, and hospitality await you in the by lanes of Matia Mahal. Don’t go by what your parents say about a crowded place dominated by Muslims. There are bigger idiots in just South Delhi than all the rest of Delhi combined. I know them personally and I’m sure we have all experienced their dick behaviour from time to time.

I vouch for you and your girl and your family’s safety if and when you go witness Ramadan celebrations near Jama Masjid. It’s a mind blowing experience that you can’t get that anywhere else in the city. Shun the malls and the pubs with their fake offers and go and get this authentic experience. It’s completely chill unless of course you start yelling “TERRORIST TERRORIST!!” at seeing a Muslim man dressed traditionally. I’m quite sure they’ll cut off your kabab and hang it as a tourist sight. I mean, it would be the right thing to do irrespective of anyone’s religion.

I’m going to be there. Are you? 

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Stay Drunk Stay Inspired

Inspiration comes in many forms. For some it is Buddha and for some it is Ram, some look up to Raheem and some go to Jesus.  Women often become inspiration for men, great leaders of the world also try their best to inspire people, but where does that leave us?

Clearly we don’t look up to our current leaders. Hello politics. And we’d rather die than take inspiration someone of the opposite sex. Hello sexism / feminism / equality / gender-based-keywords. We’re hardly religious any longer and we’ve forgotten all about our world’s history.

But all is not lost. We still have some heroes we can look up to. There’s still some good out there that we can go to when we’re feeling low. If it’s inspiration that you’re looking for, look no further. Below are 8 fictional characters that have changed the way of life for billions of people if not trillions. There’s just one thing common between them all. They like to stay drunk. Let’s get started. *hic*

Homer Simpson: He is probably the baap of all drunks. No pun intended. Older than the majority of us, he has successfully managed to raise his kids for over 20 years now and keep his marriage strong all the whole getting drunk on some Duff beer.


Peter Griffin: He’s like the predecessor of Homer Simpson and his mentee and he has done a splendid job of it. In fact, he has taken being drunk and foolish to the next level and only time will tell for how long will his beautiful wife Lois will stick with him.


Sterling Archer: It’s a known fact that this man will die if he stops drinking. The cumulative hangover will actually kill him. So to maintain his sanity and to stay alive, he must stay drunk and continue to be the deadliest spy ever.


Humphrey Bogart: When it comes to some live action characters, there’s nobody like Humphrey Bogart. The man in Casablanca can tempt any sole to grab a whisky and a cigar and listen to some piano. Sheer class.


Nicolas Cage: Have you even seen Leaving Las Vegas? No? Go watch and then argue with me. There is drunk and then there is Nicolas Cage drunk.


Randy Marsh: He once got operated upon and became a dolphin. Need we say more?


The Gang From It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia: Imagine being in a bar all day long all week long with nobody else but an unlimited supply booze and some like-minded foolish company. Drunkenness doesn’t get more fun than this.


Hank Moody: This one is meant to be. He is good looking. He is a writer. He is extremely promiscuous. And he stays drunk. It’s the perfect combo.

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Angry Indian Godd

Disclaimer: This post will contain language that may be inappropriate for younger audiences. Reader discretion is advised. 

Fuck.

Now that I have set some context, with an abusive word to say the least, I’ll jump straight to my review of the film Angry Indian Goddesses. (I know it is a bit late given that the film released over a month back, but I’ve been trying to get around to writing again and it’s taken some time, but I’m back. So, yay!)

But now, let me just say, Bhenchod!

There. I did it again. Feels good. Feels great. Feels normal. But I can’t say the same about the movie. The feeling of watching Angry Indian Goddesses was quite the opposite. Frustrating would be an understatement. Angry would be more like it.



But it’s not the movie itself that made me feel that way. It wasn’t the actors either. It was the stupid fucking censor board that did it for me this time. Oftentimes we end up blaming the director or the script or the story or the music for a bad movie experience. But it’s come to the point that any half decent movie can become pathetic thanks to this higher power called the censor board.

Officially known as the Central Board Of Film Certification, it was formed in 1951 and its current chairperson is Pahlaj Nihalani. You must have heard this name in some recent furore over censorship when people were making fun of him online. You also probably know that he is the producer of Shola Aur Shabnam, one of my personal favourites, but a movie that has one of the worst second halves ever and an equally pathetic rape scene led by the indomitable bad boy Mohinsh Behl.

What I don’t understand is that Angry Indian Goddesses was given an ‘A’ certificate, which is completely fine, yet it was censored like it was being aired on Disney Channel. What the hell was that all about? It is a movie meant for adults. An adult by definition is someone over the age of 18. Someone who is old enough to make his / her own decisions or let mummy / daddy do the same.

The film had so many dialogues that went mute, so many abrupt shot cuts that made no sense and confused the viewer, and a goddess poster unnecessarily blurred out. The filmmakers were simply trying to show something that we already know. The characters were talking like we usually do. The issues shown actually exist. Of course things are exaggerated and over dramatized from time to time but that’s only to add to the narrative and keep the audience engaged. But I’m not going to get too much into my subjective opinion of how good or bad the movie was.

My two cents on the movie: a very decent effort by the director and his bunch of girls. I didn’t go in with too many expectations but came out pleasantly surprised. Of course, the movie did go a little overboard in some parts but hey, it’s a lot better than a lot of other crap that comes out these days. The topic was bang on. They didn’t get into a lot of unnecessary men bashing. They made sense and well, I must also admit, they were a delight to watch as well. So many beautiful women on the screen dancing, singing, abusing, crying, fighting, is not something that we get to see on movie screens too often.

I was extremely disappointed by how this film was treated by the censor board. Finally a film had come out for the women by the women but of course the people in power had to force their archaic beliefs into it. It was extremely irritating and made me super angry. And the worst part is, I can’t do anything about it other than write this stupid blog.

If you haven’t seen the movie, you must. It’s not bad, at all. And here’s a clip that I found which shows some of the scenes which were censored out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPxF8ZMsaPs

There’s the whole TV and radio leg of this anger as well which I will probably talk about some other day. I must end this blog now before I realise how crappy it is and flush it down my recycle bin. Writing after a hiatus of over 4 months and it feels like I can’t think or write any longer. Hope this gives me a push in the right direction. I will be back with more. Soon!

Cheers!

PS – Will this blog be censored out too because of the abusive language?