Friday, 8 May 2020

Yeddy Current, etc.

Yeddy Current and Freedom (to die on railway tracks) at Midnight

As some dude said, based on a fake Gandhi quote, “The measure of any society is how it treats its most vulnerable members,” and we, I’m proud to say, have measured up to the highest level. In these times of corona, we knew who those most vulnerable were. The builders, of course! Quite clearly, they have been suffering for long and Yeddy knew that instinctively. And, to his credit, he acted immediately. He rightly and rightfully instructed those inconsiderate migrants to go round and round in circles in their tin bungalows. This, he knew, would generate a current known in scientific circles as "yeddy current" (no relation to the eddy current you learn in physics). Another thing is that this Yeddy current is also beneficial to the environment according to some NASA studies.

Even then, some of those migrant guys are defying government orders and selfishly walking and cycling home, insensitive to the fears of the vast middle class. Why can't they buy one of those exercise bikes or treadmills off Flipkart or Amazon and install it in their balcony? C’mon yaar. Anyway, it's heartening to note that people like Yeddy and Yogi and the police are rising to the challenge and imposing strict measures and scrapping these stupid human and labour rights.

Also, it’s about time these people learned where their respective places are in the society. When you think about it, we did have an excellent ancient system, with in-built social distancing rules and all, which was screwed up by all these new-fangled ideas.

In the olden days, people knew where they stood in the pecking order. Sivan knew that. Remember Sivan? I had written about Sivan some time ago. Though his name was Sivan, nobody called him that. Partially deaf and considered by many as being a few cards shy of a full deck, he was “pottan” to everyone. Pottan is a term used generally for a deaf person, and often also used to paint someone as stupid. My mother used to call Sivan that. Her household help and driver called him that. Everyone in the neighbourhood called him that. Those who came looking for his service called him that. Even I used to nod when someone asked the confirming question “Pottana?” when I say something about Sivan. The only person who seethed every time she heard that word was my wife, who always addressed him as Sivan-san. But then, being a foreigner, she doesn’t understand the nuances and intricacies of our ancient system of keeping people in their respective places.

Well, one day, Sivan was on one of his evening jaunts, unkempt and unshaven, bundle of belongings hanging from his shoulder, trudging along as usual, exchanging pleasantries with a utility pole here and a stray dog there, but generally being harmless, when, out of the blue, there was a stinging pain in his bottom. He turned around and saw a police jeep with a policeman swinging his thick cane at him. Sivan did the only thing that he knew he could do. He ran. He ran like hell. The police did the only thing they knew. They chased and kept swinging that stick at him. “F#$%ing a$$%*+#! The temerity to walk with bundle and s#$% on the road,” the policeman shouted. Sivan kept running and ran into my parent’s place. The police stopped at the gate. They didn’t open that gate and charge inside. That gate had certain rights that Sivan didn't have, which the police didn't dare infringe on. They noticed my parents’ household help standing there and asked about the bad guy who just ran in. She said she knew the person and saved Sivan’s ass for the day.

A few days later I heard about this incident and went to Sivan. I was all indignant. To be honest, I still don't know what had gotten into me at that time. Could've been a mild bout of anti-nationalism. “C’mon Sivan. Let’s go file a complaint,” I said, spouting highfalutin words like human rights, etc. Sivan, however, just plainly refused. Under normal circumstances, I would expect such a refusal to be accompanied by a sarcastic smirk, but Sivan was all sincere in his response. He was adamant that he didn’t have any complaint against such big-big officials, who have the right to punish people like him as and when they pleased. He was also scared of the revenge they’ll take out on him for his insolence once I went back to Japan, if he complains.

I thought over it. I will be leaving in a few weeks. And, I am no activist. Neither I’m a man of action, like certain leaders who can take dramatic overnight decisions. For example, someone like Bollywood villain Ajit says, “Aaj aadhi raat ko theek barah baje, Hindostan ke baarder pe apna helikaapter aayega (Tonight, at 12 o’clock sharp, my helicopter will come to Hindustan’s border). Michael, tum cycle leke jaa (Michael, take your cycle and go)”. Michael will dutifully take his bicycle and go to the border. If a supreme leader gives such an order, every Michael in the country will dutifully get on their bicycles and go to the border. That’s the power of supreme leaders. I wouldn’t go, because I’m not named Michael. But, I’ll be standing in my balcony, clanging my vessels in moral support when those Michaels pedal by. My train of thoughts was going crazy as if in search of migrants on tracks. Anyway, good sense prevailed, and I got out of my reverie and thanked Sivan for teaching me the right concept regarding rights.

Looking at the things happening now, I beseech the government to grasp this golden opportunity and eliminate or modify those foreign concepts, while lobbying internationally (Trumpji, I’m sure, will be amenable) to amend the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to reflect the real issues faced by vulnerable sections of the society such as builders, stockbrokers and jewellers. Clauses granting nations the right to split people into first-class, second-class, and so on should be included when revising the declaration. As mentioned earlier, we have the ancient blueprint for that. The possibilities are infinite if you can sub-divide those classes further. Everyone will know their responsibilities and will stop going walkabout on railway tracks and all. Let’s hope we don’t miss that train of progress this time at least.

Tuesday, 31 December 2019

The Face of 2019

It’s the season of naming the person of the year, leader of the year, bigot of the year, etc. Upon ringing in that new year, I wanted to get something off my chest. It’s not my usual cynical crap. 

Jollu Rajappa. This is a name I saw for the first time about three weeks ago after the gangrape and murder in Hyderabad. The incident is now buried under the CAA ruckus, which has brought the country that much closer to becoming the spitting image of its neighbor, meddling generals and all.

The four accused in that rape/murder were killed in a shoot-out, which most reasonable people would agree was a staged encounter killing. They were not from the privileged class and their pictures and videos were there for one and all to see in the print and visual media. Even their dead bodies. Immediately after the extra-judicial killing there was an avalanche of celebrations all around, with people from all backgrounds, cutting across the political spectrum, across religions, and across professions praising the lord for serving justice, and saluting the police and their guns.

Four scrawny vermin from the gutters got what they deserved as per a vast majority of my friends. They were cocksure about that. There was no doubt in their mind that all four were equally culpable. Well, the police and media said so. There was not even a one in a million chance that one of those guys perhaps had been in the wrong place at the wrong time. Some even wanted to cut off the balls and burn the bastards. Some were worried that pesky human rights activists would turn up and screw up justice. These are my friends. Normal people, charitable people, people who show genuine concern for others. And, that was the case across the country. An yahoo poll had more than 80% approving the police action.

Yahoo poll on police action

At around the same time, there was a similar incident in another part of the country where a woman was burnt to death in broad daylight by a group of men. You’ll be hard-pressed to find the pictures of those guys, and there were no calls for their summary execution, because they were not from the vermin class. You don’t see the police taking any bishop, guru, or politician accused of a similar crime to the crime scene in the guise of collecting evidence and shooting them dead. We all know that it won’t happen. So, we rejoice when four men, who are not that well-dressed or well-off, from the underbelly of the society are executed.

Amidst all this laddu-distributing, fire-cracker-bursting din, there were two soundbites that my well-dressed, well-fed, well-off, some even well-read, friends would love not to hear, even as they join the chorus for the police playing the roles of judge, jury and executioner.

The first one is from the earlier mentioned Jollu Rajappa. He is the father of one of the accused in the Hyderabad case. When asked if he thinks the killing of his son by the police was right, he said, “So far, why hasn’t such action been taken against those accused of multiple rape cases. I agree that what they did here was right..” Mind you, he has just been delivered the news of his son's death by the person asking that question. He doesn’t say it was wrong. He probably doesn’t know that he can say it was wrong, but he does ask that important question as to why such action is not taken against others.

Jollu Rajappa's reaction at 1:23

The second one is by the father of the Unnao rape victim. He is also asking the same thing. Why such action is not taken against the guys who raped his daughter? "I do not want money or any other kind of help. I want to see that the accused are chased and shot dead like the Hyderabad encounter or hanged to death," he said.

Unnao victim's father's reaction

I don’t know how to end this piece and I don’t know how this societal fault lines will play out in the end, but Jollu Rajappa’s stoic face will remain etched in my mind. The face of 2019 for me.

Tuesday, 10 December 2019

The Him in Me

“Dey, your Kuru has fled the country”. I woke up to umpteen such messages on my WhatsAppi screen a few days ago, but being my Kuru’s shishya I was the least bit concerned, because the Him in Me was cocksure that He was not one to flee. It was pretty much evident to any thinking person that He had transmogrified into another dimension, which proved to be true in a few days’ time. He appeared and delivered His message to His bhakths, of whom I consider myself to be the biggest one.

Now, some people think I’m putting up a show about Him being my Kuru. They’re wrong. I genuinely admire and am in awe of his godliness. There are some pretenders out there, the “sad” kurus and “sree to the power of n” kurus who command widespread following among the middle and upper middle-class. These people look down upon my Kuru for His funny, accented English, whereas their suave, flamboyant, smooth-talking, dancing, motorcycle-riding, artfully living kurus speak immaculate Macaulay’s English (which incidentally they despise).

The fact is that He has now cocked a snook at them and their kurus as well as the Exalted One (LAPH) and his hatchet man, who are setting up this Hindu Rashtra, by setting up the first-ever Hindu Rashtra just like that with a snap of His fingers. In retaliation, they tried to accuse that He snuck His cock at nubile actresses and some girls. Accusations which could get any normal anal sphincter killed in a shootout, but not my Kuru. He is in fact influencing a whole lot of influential people from His celestial abode. Want proof.

Here it is. Watch from 2:00.
Another one
I bow before His untrammeled power. The nation, after promising riches to incredible spiritual leaders, ditched Him. Let’s all pray to Him for mercy, lest He opens His third eye and convert us all into anti-matter, which is like poop, but worse.

Talking of poop, a few days ago, there was a news about the Exalted One (LAPH) taking baths at airports, which the world came to know after it was strategically released to the modia by his hatchet man. It immediately set off a train of thoughts in my mind; specifically related to a train called Island Express and a railway station potty. But, before we go into the Island Express story, I must tell you how amazed I was at the Exalted One’s sacrifices to save mankind. Taking bath at airports, but somehow still managing to be elegantly coiffured with not a hair out of place, and then changing into impeccable sartorial creations, as if He was going to meet the press at the airport. But that – meeting the press - is not his schtick. He’s probably getting back on board to go to his next destination and send zillions there into rapture (WAG, HLAWTHH). Word on the street is that he often sneaks out from his luxury hotels and goes to airports to take bath. It’s addictive.

Let’s get back to Island Express and Cakkoos. The Island Express of yore was such an exquisite piece of craftsmanship that, on one of my trips to Kolhapur from Trivandrum, I didn’t want to defile its waterless toilet, instead deciding to do doodoo at Bangalore's Majestic railway station, where I had a stopover. The Cakkoos at the station was another work of art. I went in to find a squat toilet filled with poop, like in an art installation at Tate Museum. On seeing that, I did what any normal person would do in such a situation, which turned out to be a ginormous mistake. I poured some water down the toilet. Loo and behold, the thing came to life. Gurgling sounds, sucking sounds and a small explosion later it began frothing like shaken beer. It reminded me of the place I was supposed to spend the major part of the rest of the day till my evening train – The Pub down at Brigade Road. Anyway, after some major acrobatic maneuvers, half standing, half sitting, I achieved my goal and got out, taking care not to splash water or flush.

Imagine that. As a country we were already teaching avvar young (I was young) to save water sooo many years ago, which the West is learning vonly now. Sorry, that was my Kuru manifesting Himself in me as only He can do. Good day and Happy New Year to y’all.

Recently, I am seeing many well-meaning people worrying about too many things. They’re worried about democracy, worried about human rights, worried about onion prices, worried about the economy, etc. There is a phrase “The economy, stupid” which Clinton used in his campaign to win an election, but that, I’d like to remind them, doesn’t work in the South Asian context. Remember Pak Prez Z A Bhutto who said “We’ll eat grass…but we’ll get our own bomb” after India tested its nuke. Well, they are still eating grass, more or less, even after having their bomb. That’s how things work in this part of the world. For a brief period of time, there was a misguided belief that these crazy Western concepts like human rights and democracy, imposed on India by debauched Westernized leaders, will get established there. Well, luckily it didn’t. It had to come unstuck at some point of time. Evidently, majority of the people cannot accept human rights, etc. in its entirety, which  doesn’t work well with the caste system. The beauty of the caste system is that you always have someone below you in the pecking order to peck (pick) on. Except, of the course, the bottom-most layer, but they’re usually too oppressed to do anything about it. So, across the spectrum people enjoy pooping on the layer below them. Human rights and stuff would deprive them of this very basic happiness. Ergo, it has to go. Now, we have openly designated certain human beings as termites. This is applauded by a vast majority of the population who are elated that a section of the people is finally, finally, living in fear. You’re trying to douse that happiness. You’ve no chance, because, as a friend who told me the reason why he believed the fake feel-good stories of UNESCO and NASA awards, it makes them happy.

Note: LAPH- Let's All Praise Him
         WAG - What A Guy
         HLAWTHH- How Lucky Are We To Have Him

Thursday, 5 September 2019

Random Ramblings

My ancestor was a rishi and not some ape as I believed all along. This I learned during a visit to GOC for vacation a few months ago. I should thank the honorable MP Satyapal Singh (former HRD minister who used to be responsible for higher education) for opening my eyes. One good thing about me is that I am the questioning type. So, when Mr. Singh said this in the Indian parliament, I immediately decided to do some research of my own. That’s how I am. I don’t blindly believe something when someone tells it, unless of course it comes through WhatsApp asking for "maximum share" or from some website which has words such as “true” or “right” in its name. Then I instinctively know it is true.

The rishi thing turned out to be a pretty watertight theory. Rishis, as we all know, can do anything they want. For instance, they can impregnate pretty damsels with their minds. That’s what I reasoned, because visualizing the other option of rishis fornicating with damsels, which my pervert mind did imagine for a brief period, seemed blasphemous. So, I tried to wipe that image out of my mind and replace it with a rishi getting a lady pregnant just by thinking. #$%&, I can’t get rid of that. A Baba Ramdev-ish rishi having coitus with a damsel, hairs and bodies tangled and stuck together like Velcro, sound of conchs breaking and Acharya Balakrishna complaining of giddiness in the background. “Oh, rishis, forgive me. Don’t curse me. I have no control over my thoughts”.

Anyway, with that doubt about my ancestry settled, I went to sleep, sound in the knowledge that I have gained new old wisdom. Next morning, while washing my face I saw my reflection in the mirror, and wondered how frikkin ugly my ancestral rishi would have been (on the premise that rishis impregnate only pretty damsels).

Thank you, former HRD minister.

The exceptional thing regarding HRD ministers of late is that they’re a treasure trove of ancient wisdom. The new minister Mr. Pokhriyal, recently enlightened some misguided IIT students on how our ancestors built the Rama Setu sea bridge with ancient technology. I hope the IIT curriculum will be changed and kids taught these ancient methods instead of modern stupid engineering.

Speaking of education, I’m appalled that the government is straying from its stated aim of bringing back our ancient wisdom in all realms. Recently, the government offered bridge courses for AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy) people to practice modern medicine. Suddenly, a whole bunch of doctors started protesting. I feel these are the wrong docs barking up wrong trees. The government, if it were to follow its own policy, should be offering bridge courses to modern medicine practitioners so that they can use AYUSH remedies. In that way, slowly we can ease out the cancer of modern medicine gnawing away at our nation’s health. There is still time, and we did see some positive signs with the budget papers being brought to the parliament in sacred cloth and all. Next up, no budget papers. Let’s hope next time it’ll be in good old palm leaves and delivered in a chariot.

Continuing with the theme of education, ideas are being floated to change the names of universities to reflect the current mood of the nation. Like changing JNU to MNU (dunno what it stands for except that the name involves Modiji). I think it is OK and any government should be able to change names as they please. The Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), for example, could be renamed as NAMUNA (NArendra Modi University of NAutanki). The humongous body of work including television documentaries that he piled up in a short period of time deserves appreciation. Didn’t they make a movie titled “Crocodile Dandi March” with him in the lead? Maybe I’m wrong.

Food – now, this is serious stuff unlike the above drivel. Mallus in Frankfurt were in the news recently protesting against North Indians who prevented them from serving beef. I think mallus are being duplicitous in this matter. These are people who are self-censoring beef and pork out of their menus in resorts up and down the mallu coast to suck up to North Indian tourists. My school reunion was at a resort  in Kumarakom, Kerala that boasted a 150-metre long pool. A typical backwater resort, but not worth the hole they burn in your pocket. They served roti, daal, Chicken Kolhapuri and such stuff! It's preposterous! Forget Frankfurt, you don’t get no beef, no parotta, no kappa, no nothing even in the supposedly free southwestern tip of Faratham nowadays.

Nor is there pork anywhere. Domino’s Pizza used to have pork salami in their menu. That mysteriously disappeared some time ago. I wrote an e-mail to them, but never got a reply. Domino's probably wanted to suck up to a certain community, as they say in the news (or, Muslims, as they are commonly called). Anyway, I’m back in Japan, where a cup of instant noodle contains everything from pork, chicken and beef to things you don’t even want to imagine (Oooh, that image #$%&…..forgive me, my ancestral rishi!) disodium guanylate and autolyzed torula yeast, whatever they are. Bon Appetit.

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Happy New Era - Welcoming Reiwa

A bit late to wish you, the fifteen readers who read this, a happy new year, but allow me to do it anyway.

The new year started off with a bang for me. Couple of weeks into 2019, I was all fired up and leaping around on a badminton court playing mixed doubles. High ball up front on the left. Sweet. I summoned up my inner Lin Dan, soared to the left. “Bang!!!!” What was that? One moment I was Lin Dan, and the next I was on the dang net, clinging to the pole. Who pushed me? Didn’t I order that woman to stay inside the back box so that I, da man, could lord over the court? I looked back expecting to see her behind me sneering. But she was still there, at the back, ready to wait till I ask her to move. Anyway, something strange had happened, and my left leg appeared to be in a different dimension compared to the right. I limped off the court, wondering what I did to piss off the badminton god (hereinafter referred to as "baddie god").

It turned out that I had ruptured my Achilles tendon, and I decided to take the surgery option offered by the doc. This, obviously, was not the best choice, as we know these docs and pharma companies are in cahoots to cheat us. If only I had known about the germanium bracelet and its miraculous healing powers beforehand. But, as usual, the unholy nexus between mainstream media, big pharma and the governing mafia continue to successfully suppress such news. In case you don’t know, germanium is the best source of magnetic energy. Magnetic fields play an important role in your daily life “as per” many prominent people. This “as per” is a very important phrase. “As per” is used in sentences when you have to establish something as an indisputable fact. Once that phrase is in there, nobody can question it. For example, “as per the Aztecs, Quetzalcoatl was a peaceful god, who accepted animal sacrifices but not human blood”. You know it is true because the phrase “as per” is in there. Similarly, germanium prevents infrared rays from penetrating your body, increases blood circulation, improves metabolism, relieves fatigue, slows down aging, heals wounds and even cures cancer, as per many people. The only thing that comes even remotely close to the miraculous magnetic power of germanium is rubbing the backside of a female Bos Taurus Indicus, as per ancient texts.

I learnt to not question the “as per” statements right from childhood. There was this incident when my mom and her family were shifting their family goddess from her small thatched wooden abode to a new concrete building. The goddess talked through an old lady (a relative) in goddess lingo or "goddledygook", which the lady then translated into Malayalam. I thought it was an extra process. Either of them could’ve straightaway spoken in Malayalam, but my mom used the “as per” explanation and that was it. While going around the yard, the oracle lady tripped and fell, but then rolled on as if she was planning to do that from the beginning. Again, when I asked my mom, she had an “as per” explanation. Apparently, the goddess liked the new pad. Why not? Hot, tropical climate. What better than concrete to build your house? 
Anyway, what we now know is that magnetic fields are everywhere. It’s true. You might have heard of an eminent cardiologist in New York, who was given the honorary title of “Lady Magneto” by an eminent orthopedist from Trivandrum because of her expertise in magnetic theory. As per her, there are magnetic fields in certain divine areas. Could it be that I had screwed up the magnetic field in the badminton court, which triggered the wrath of the baddie god? I had to find why this happened. I was pretty much sure that such things don’t happen to middle-aged guys with worn out muscles and tendons trying to channelize their inner Lin Dans. Lying in the hospital bed, looking at a tube going into my arm and another going out of my dong - absolute proof of a loving, compassionate god’s wrath - I pondered over the possible reasons.  
Magnetic theory sounded credible. As per some reliable sources, the theory was tested secretly by NAUSEA (National Absurd & Unverifiable Story Excretion Agency) in God’s own Cakoos some time ago. They got some native dudes randomly off the street for the test. The only criterion was that they should be in their traditional mallu national dress, which is the “lungi without (underwear)”. First, these guys were made to stand around in their regular haunts - street corners, liquor outlet queues, etc., after which, they were moved to an area with a magnetic field. At each spot, they were asked, “How’re they hanging?” The normal answer is “one lower than the other”, and that was the response they gave for the regular areas. For the magnetic area, the study found that both were hanging at the same level. There are areas like this in Japan too, which are called “powerspots”. So, this has to be true. I made a mental note of looking into this theory later.

My train of thought was abruptly broken by a sweet, sing-song voice from behind the curtain. Someone, probably a nurse, was talking to the old man in the next bed. A few moments later, the same sing-song voice apologized to me and pulled back my curtain, and there stood before me a man of average build with slightly receding salt and pepper hair and a five o’clock shadow, but delicately feminine in mannerisms and every other aspect. He (or she) was the pharmacist. He (or she) went on to explain in detail the medicines I will be taking over the next few days. Kind, considerate and professional. And, that soothing voice. After, he (or she) left, a thought crossed my mind. Was there a gay person in the closet where they kept the nets and stuff? As per many religious texts, gods absolutely abhor such people. Maybe, my sympathies for their cause had pissed the baddie god off. 

Things were getting complicated, and I knew it was time to ask the god. It would’ve been easy if that relative lady with the hotline to gods was around, but she is long dead, and probably enjoying long goddledygook conversations with the gods. The only option now in front of me was to take the ancient scientific route, i.e. divining the will of god using cowrie shells and stuff. Since cowrie shells were hard to come by here in Yokohama, I used clams. Worked fine in the end, as the baddie god, though Japanese, delivered the message in English. And that message was the word - “Incontinence!” 

In Japan, as in many advanced civilizations, women are banned from doing certain things, like getting inside a sumo ring, because (you guessed it right) they are considered impure. While the gods did get the menstruation impurity thing right, they overlooked incontinence when they set the rules long time ago. You can’t blame them, because almost everyone croaked before they reached the age of incontinence in those days. Reaching the age of 60 used to be and still is a major milestone even in Japan. It is known as kanreki. Nowadays, people here are living close to 85 years on average thanks to germanium and power spots and some minor contributions from modern medicine.

I couldn’t think of anyone with incontinence at the court that day, but then I thought hard, and I realized that the lord, as is his wont, has given me a cryptic clue. Of late, I had been playing tennis and some days I play with people in their 70s and 80s. It is possible that someone in that group had such issues. That clue, therefore, was ultimately to convey to me that he smote me for the indiscretion of being unfaithful to badminton and succumbing to the temptation of tennis. The baddie lord doth move in mysterious ways. One thing you’ve to admire about the baddie lord is that the retribution is quick and pin-pointed. A surgical strike, unlike certain other gods I can think of, who send floods and earthquakes and kill indiscriminately. Still, I felt it was a bit harsh on me, given that even gods are said to be susceptible to temptations.

What about the tennis god, then? you might ask. Isn’t the tennis god cruel? Unlike us the baddie people, who are really nice and have from time immemorial prayed for the good of all other sports people, those tennis assholes, with their big rackets and balls are really nasty. And, those soccer guys. Ugh! They’re the worst, but we love them like family. Their gods also smite people in similar ways - tennis elbow, jock itch, etc. - but nobody says anything about that because they hate baddie people. (I included this because many of my friends and relatives told me that it is necessary to give a balanced view.)

Well, because of all these tribulations and smiting, the new year quickly moved into the month of May before I could wish anyone. However, as luck would have it, Japan decided to have a new imperial era altogether. They decided to move from the Heisei era into the Reiwa era from May 1. This was done primarily to confuse people, especially foreigners, trying to fill up the date columns in official forms. Now you have to do complex mathematical calculations to convert and choose from Taisho, Showa, Heisei and Reiwa (and in some cases even Meiji) eras. So, wishing you all a happy new era, where everything remains the same. Patriarchy rules.            

Thursday, 18 October 2018

From Secular Progressive to Regressive

From secular progressive to regressive. That didn't take much time, did it?
There is a palpable sense of glee in some quarters, eagerly waiting for the religious floodwaters to break through and drown this secular bulwark against communal bigotry.  They hope that this would be another deluge, with Sabarimala the first shutter opening of the Cheruthoni dam of religious bile. Let’s hope we find enough fishermen and boats to survive this flooding.
Ideally, one would expect these people to be protesting in front of the Supreme Court, as it was that court’s decision to let these "impure" women in. It’s hard to believe that the secular, liberal intellectuals had any kind of influence on the court. Or for that matter, anyone, because then that will not be a fair and impartial judiciary.
My initial reaction was, “hey, let the ladies believe in whatever hocus-pocus they want to believe”. However, after seeing the attempts by a section to hold God’s Own Cakoos to ransom, I became more interested and started looking up largely uninteresting facts (or fake news, as they are known now).
We have to admire the audacity of this group. The women who filed the case were not, as a Facebook friend commented, WEIRD (Western-Educated Industrialized Rich & Democratic) people with a liberal agenda. If anything, some of them were from the “right” stock (check out Prerna Kumari/husband in fb). An initial smokescreen was created in the name of the Indian Young Lawyers Association, which was headed by a guy called Naushad at that time (2006), who didn’t have anything to do with this petition.
The case dragged on for 12 years, and the Supreme Court, in its infinite wisdom (or is it ignorance, if you believe these people), and hopefully after studying the case meticulously, gave a verdict. All these people, including the NSS, the descendent of the family that ruled over the Pandalam municipality and surroundings, and even a guy called Rahul Easwar, had the opportunity to present their side to the court. Naishtika brahmachari (it will be interesting to know how many people who spout this word know its meaning (I googled)), menstruating women, magnetic force, magic fire in mountain, crowds killed in stampedes trying to watch magic fire in mountain, e-coli in Pampa river, everything. Still, at the end of the day, the court decided in favour of the women who filed the complaint.
Then, before you could say swamiye saranam ayyappa, it all became some devious liberal agenda. Suddenly, some of them saw a chance to open that shutter to let the pent-up religious bigotry on the people. The glimmer of a chance to get a foothold was too good to pass. Hence the change of heart from
Suddenly, ancient customs became important. The RSS supreme leader now blames the judges for ignoring tradition. Irony drowned itself in the Pampa when a Dalit priest said centuries-old customs should be respected. The guy would have had to stand close to a century steps away from the Namboothiri thantri of Sabarimala if those centuries-old customs were intact.
Regardless of the feeling towards the ruling dispensation in the State, it’s time once again for mallus to pull together like they did during the floods.
P.S. It is interesting to note that a similar centuries-old tradition was ditched some time ago at the Shani Shingnapur Temple in Maharashtra after a court order.

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Whats Appi Syndrome

It’s almost a month now since I resurrected my life in Japan on Easter Sunday. On April 1, I moved into this small apartment, a few minutes from the school where my kids are enrolled. Japan is one place which teaches you that you don’t need humongous space or thingies to be happy. All you need is … an electronic potty. So, first things first, I went and got myself the cheapest electronic potty available and installed it. Heated seat and warm water butt wash for the winter months.  With that done, we moved on to other essential items - a table and few chairs, some home electronics items, a gas table, a few futons, etc. – and we were all set to start our “minimalist” life.

There were, however, couple of major items left. Mobile phones and Wi-Fi. In fact, I was on the verge of experiencing withdrawal symptoms without access to the virtual frikkin’ world 24/7. I missed the daily dose of inspirational doo-doo from bad gurus. I wanted to read fairy tales that start with I’m not a bhakth, but*. My body yearned for fake news and memes. To put it in a nutshell, I missed my Wi-Fi, something I never expected to happen to me. You see, I have this habit of taking the phone to the potty in the morning to catch up on the WhatsApp messages from the previous night. There are usually a few of the aforesaid inspirational and other such posts in the list. These messages, believe it or not, have a laxative effect because of the convulsions you undergo while reading some of the gems, all the while trying hard not to fall off the commode. It could be convulsive laughter or just plain epileptic ones, but whatever it is, it smoothens the passage of doo-doo from your body. Plop!  Things, obviously, were getting difficult. The appi, as turd is called in some parts of Kerala, was creating problems without WhatsApp. Dang! I had the dreaded WhatsAppi syndrome.

So, my wifey and I went shopping for Wi-Fi and mobiles. Now, in most countries, I’m guessing, this should be a breeze. Not in Japan. We first went to one of the top two companies, where a smartly dressed young man with a tablet (computer, not pill) sat with us and explained, with the help of various charts and diagrams, the stuff they have. Then he listened to what we wanted – two phones. Well, with Google and WhatsApp, if possible. Here, in Japan, you can’t just buy a sim card and insert it in your handset. You have to buy the phone/sim as a bundle. Anyway, the guy gave us a few printouts of the quotes for the different plans he had, and then escorted us courteously to the door.  

Outside, we walked straight to the competitor’s shop. Another well-dressed young man -could have been the first guy’s twin brother or even the same guy- appeared and the same routine was repeated. Deja-vu. We finally decided on this guy after he kinda impressed upon us, with some convoluted logic, that we’re getting the handset free if we use it for two years. He then passed the baton to another dude who sat behind a counter. We were expecting him to produce a paper and show us the dotted line to sign. Totally wrong. He started off by asking our address, and was almost professorial in the way he went about explaining things. He printed out certain papers, brought them to us, and explained the contents. In between he was marking some crucial places with a yellow marker, perhaps for us to study for the test he’ll conduct at the end of all this. Then he printed out some more papers. The process continued. Did he just say “the Company reserves the right to cleave off the left kidney of the user if he/she exceeds 2 gb data”? Nah. Maybe I dozed off.  When I looked up, he was again printing out stuff. I was feeling guilty and personally responsible for destroying a few hundred acres of Amazonian rainforest. Anyway, after a few hours, my wife signed the various papers including the kidney one, I think, and we were owners of smartphones. But…the Wi-Fi won’t come for two more weeks. What?!   After all the bureaucracy and signing and stuff!  

Contrast this with India, where you can go into a mobile shopeee (the more ‘e’ s, the better), flash your Maine Pyar Kiya underwear tag (which, of course, is linked to your Aadhaar) as identification, throw 500 rupees on the counter, get a SIM card, and before you can say “I’m-not-a-bhakth-but,” you’re  a man with a plan.

All thanks to the ****nis and ****jis who rule the country.

* - ”I’m not a bhakth, but” is a new genre of fairy tale similar to the “Once upon a time” stories. These tales have gained in popularity in the past three or four years, and is especially popular during election seasons. Here’s a sample.

I’m not a bhakth, but the other day I was talking to this dude who is the illegitimate son of my grandfather’s brother’s, now-deceased wife. This guy - I can’t reveal his name - so, let’s call him Jai, was employed as a senior janitor with executive powers at the Exalted One’s abode. Another thing is that, he and all his family members, legitimate as well as illegitimate, were Biju Janata Dal voters for hundreds of years, even before Biju was born. So, you can guess their dedication. That night Jai had woken up to go to the loo to pee out the gaumutra he had consumed before sleeping. It was about 3 in the morning. He saw a light coming from one of the rooms. Out of curiosity he went and peeped in, and to his surprise he saw that the light was not coming from any electrical light source, but the Exalted One was emitting an aura so powerful, the entire room was lit up. Then, the Exalted One picked up the phone and called this scavenger in Kendrapara and instructed him to clean up the sewage in two hours. Great or what?
If you agree, forward this to all the people, in particular to those with WhatsAppi syndrome.    

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Do Frogs Fart and Other Philosophical Questions

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic” – Arthur C. Clarke

The scream pierced the Trivandrum night. He was holding this chest and screaming. His grandfather, a medicine man, had bequeathed him that ancient chest. The chest was called “Chest Z,” because right from ancient times people in Travancore were using English alphabets to denote variables and unknown parameters. Nobody knew what was inside the chest and the old man never gave a hint. He was in the attic holding Chest Z within seconds of his grandpa croaking, trying hard to open it. Nothing worked. He was going crazy screaming, when suddenly, another old man, probably a relative he didn’t know existed, appeared near him and told him the secret behind the chest.

The chest is locked with a magic hymn – a hymn that is made up of seven farts of a dodo bird in varying frequencies. Not only that, there is a secret sound in between, which certain trusted sources have said, is the wet fart of a gastric brooding frog.

“What the #$%&?! Where do I get these creatures and their farts? Who told you this?” he began panicking. The old man smiled and said, “There are books by NASA which cover this in detail, but they have kept it a secret. They stole from us, y’know. You have heard of Alibaba and the open sesame cave thingy, right?”

He nods.

“Same technology. Where do you think they got that from? Us!! Where do you think they got the knowledge to develop this voice recognition software and all?”

“That’s all OK, but where can I find this dodo and the brooding frog,” he wondered, but the old man had disappeared.

He had an idea. He flipped out his smartphone, which works like magic. You open up this thing called Google and type in “dodo bird” and you get all the information you need on dodo. How does it work? It’s f$%&ing magic. You can even say “brooding frog” and this nice-sounding lady will tell you everything about the frog in English.

And the information was shocking. Both the dodo bird and the stupid frog are extinct.

The old man mysteriously appeared again and told him, “Don’t open the chest. It will destroy everything here” and disappeared.

Possible, he thought, the f#$%ing thing is filled with farts. Must be toxic by now. Scream....
Are we in frikkin 21st century or what?

I sometimes sit and brood and some people think that I’m thinking deep philosophical thoughts. They’re right. I have questions all the time. “Do frogs fart?” was one such thought. Luckily for me, Google God gives me all the answers I ever need. It is magic.

Apart from the Google God, I have a thing for gods who protect their own asses. You see it quite often in the aftermath of a natural disaster. A god figurine that was left untouched by an earthquake, or a place of worship that survived a tsunami when all the blooming worshippers living around it were washed away, or a tsunami that bypassed the god and destroyed everything a few kilometres away. These are the gods I love. Parochial, territorial and selfish. Just like us.

Anyway, get ready to be destroyed, because the Supreme Court wants Chest Z…no Vault B of the Padmanabha Swamy temple opened. The court probably thinks it is a bar in a city, for which it gave permission to open. The question I asked in this post on Devaprasnam from 2011 still stands.

Is the lord going to destroy Trivandrum? Or, could it be the area under the erstwhile Travancore kingdom (parts of which the lord anyway ignored when the tsunami came) or is it going to be Akhand Faarath that is going to be destroyed if the Supreme Court order is carried out? Scary!