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!

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Kootharas of the World, Unite..

We are mallus (some consider this term derogatory. I don’t). Many of us were and are proud of that, though I never understood why. We had achieved immense progress, the propaganda machinery had told us over the years – high this, low that, big schlo…, what not. And somehow, even after learning from G Carlin (that being a mallu is not a skill, but a f#$king genetic accident - G Carlin on Pride), there was this subconscious pride in me. Dormant, most of the time, more or less like the subconscious religious and racist bigotry found in the depths of people’s hearts, which peeps out in unguarded moments.

All this pride, however, has been slowly crumbling in front of my eyes over the last couple of years, ever since I started using Facebook and WhatsApp. I found out that we are one of the most reviled people in this country. Chu#$ya mallus. All those achievements were nothing but old wives’ tales. If this continues, the only legitimate remnants of mallu achievement could be the gooey remains in sleazy movie halls across the length and breadth of the country.

The first inkling of what was going to come was when the Grand Poobah compared us to Somalia. There was, however, another hint much earlier in my life when in college a Delhi kid told us “You south Indians are all like that.” Never understood what he meant by “that”. We just told him “Po thaya#$” and left it at that. He was a fair and lovely kid and I think had a fancy-sounding (at least to us) name like Saxena. We were all Bijus and Jubis and other disyllabic names and many of us were jet-black wheatish complexioned. Obviously, no one was there to advise our parents on how to get a uttama santati. No north-faced banyan tree twig, no 72 days of abstinence. They got married, fornicated and reproduced like rabbits. No, that is not true. They didn’t reproduce like rabbits because they were vaccinated, which, in case you’re not aware, is a big scam by the West to depopulate the world. Well, the result is clear. Look at me. They got one parameter right, by accident, for sure. Tall! That’s all. Tall….dark, ugly and dumb.

Well, subsequent to the Poobah calling us Somalis, they started downgrading us one by one. We became the worst state in the country. The crime capital. Our cities are dumps. People, especially of a certain majority religious persuasion, are on the verge of becoming refugees. There is murder, mayhem, and there are trans-genders in workforce, etc. and before you could say Jack Robinson, we became “thundery Pakistan”.

That was when I lost it. “Thundery?!” What the f#$k is thundery? My dormant pride was stirred. Are they alluding to thunder thighs? Those plump women in the mallu movies; a genre that the country loves more than Bollywood fare. Are they telling us that when the Gujaratis were lunging for their asmita, we were embracing Silk Smita movies here? So, that is the deal. They want to paint us as “kootharas,” which could be translated as dirty rotten scoundrels. Once we start believing that we’re kootharas (I know quite a few who have become believers), they, the fair knights in shining armour, riding their cows, will come in and save us. It appears to be from the playbook of certain religions. You’re a sinner who needs to be saved.  

I was downcast at this turn of events. The horror of knowing that you’re universally hated! But then, I do have some friends, who religiously post uplifting messages and motivational bullshit in my WhatsApp groups, which I used to deride. Not today. Today, those have come in handy. I’ve decided to look at the positives and take ownership of being a koothara. After all, I was born and raised in one of the koothara-est neighbourhoods of Trivandrum, thanks to which I had developed a fine command over koothara language at a very tender age (a fact revealed to me by the taxi driver who used to ferry us to school). So, here is my response for calling us thundery. I’m raising my lungi to you in protest, an ancient vedic ritual practiced in this region to express dissent. NO! Not that, don’t look there, you koothara. Look at my thighs, my thunder thighs!

Kootharas of the world, unite. You have nothing to lose but your lungis.

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Alternative Fact-ory

At times, I want to be Sivan. Not the destroyer god with three eyes, though I wouldn’t mind having that third eye. Especially when driving. Would love to incinerate some of the f#$%ing maniacs who magically appear in front of me when I am driving. The other day, driving from Rama Rao Lamp towards Palayam, easily one of the widest stretches in the city, my smooth progress was blocked by a woman on a scooter, two guys on a bike and a small van (engine power = 0.005 Mhp; Mhp denotes “Miniature horsepower” a new SI unit I just made up) all cruising in sync at 25 cm per hour, occupying three lanes – three f#$%ing lanes. Oh, for that third eye! Oh, for that frikkin’ third eye!

Lady on scooter, blissfully unaware of the havoc she’s causing around her… Poof! Ash!

Guys riding bike, carrying a sack, probably filled with 10 rupee notes given by the bank in accordance with the 56th RBI regulation of the day… Poof! Gone!

Low Mhp, make-in-India van loaded with PVC pipes… Poof! Smouldering f#$%in’ embers!

And just for the fun of it - lady in small car going in the other direction, head barely visible, knuckles white from strangling the steering wheel… Poof!

I’d gladly give my eyeteeth for that third eye!

Enough ranting for now. Let’s get back to Sivan.

Sivan appeared before me some five or six years ago. I don’t remember exactly when. It was about six in the evening, and walking back to my house I saw him sitting forlornly on the steps of this deck-like extension of my dining room.   

I went up to him and said something like “Yo, ‘sup Sivan?” in Malayalam. Sivan is hard of hearing and in the twilight he could barely read my lips, but he replied. It was more of a statement. “I don’t have a place to sleep.” Till the previous day, he was at a neighbour’s and apparently he had had a tiff with the lady of that house. Sivan is always having tiffs - with walls, with stray dogs, with guava trees, etc. And from what I learned, he has switched his residence a few times in the last few years after having tiffs with the house owners. I shrugged and pointed at the deck and that’s where Sivan has been for the last five or six years – the longest he has stayed anywhere in recent memory.

Sivan does odd jobs in the neighbourhood like cleaning yards and dehusking coconuts for, literally, peanuts. He won’t accept more than 200 rupees at a time, which is probably enough to cover his food expenses for two days. No financial planning for him. His material possessions (he has the key to the shed in my yard) has increased to two bundles now, and for some reason he has a fetish for footwear. His footwear collection is reaching Imelda Marcos-esque proportions with 7 or 8 pairs of sandals of different hues lined up by the deck.

So, what I’m getting at is that Sivan was the one person I knew who was not affected by the Supreme Leader sucking cash out of the system. No banks to go to, no 500 or 1,000 rupee notes. Sivan didn’t care. And I wanted to be Sivan. I know that demonetisation is so 2016, but I started writing this piece back then and couldn’t complete it (as I was standing in the queue). Please bear with me.

Another thing that has been bothering me for some time now is the words being used to describe our rulers by their devotees. We have a supreme leader with a 56-inch body part and a state leader with dual organs. I haven’t heard anything yet about our mayor, who seems to be busy doing nothing. It’s possible that he too has an inordinately long organ – a 12-metre long small intestine, perhaps – and his devotees are waiting for the right moment to publicise it.

Anyway, with all these talks about organs in the air, I suddenly felt a nagging doubt about the adequacy of my organs. Being a science-oriented person, I immediately went for the tape measure and set about measuring myself. I am a reasonably big man. I’m six feet tall and can oscillate between well-built and fat f#ck in the space of few hours. The tape went around my chest and said 108! Wow! “I’m the biggest! I’m the biggest!” No, wait. That is in cm. Converted, it was just 42 inches. Pathetic. My self-esteem went poof like the lady on the scooter in front of my third eye!

I needed to come out of this dire situation and that’s when I got this idea of calling up the Central Statistical Office. They’re good with numbers, I had heard. The voice at the other end was brusque, “What’s your problem?”

I explained my problem and there was a smirk at the other end.

CSO man: “Where did you start your measurement from?”

Me: “Seerow…sorry, Zero..that was my mallu accent acting up..y’know unguarded moments.”

More smirking at the other end. Was that for the accent? Hmm.

CSO man: “Well, there lies your problem.”

Me: “What?”

CSO man: “Try starting from 15.” Click.

It worked. I’m a 57-incher now. My self-esteem zoomed. I was on par with Arnold Shivajinagar.. sorry Schwarzenegger!

I was happy. That was all that mattered, and as luck would have it, I had unwittingly become part of the hottest trend sweeping the world. I plunged headlong into the “alternative fact-ory” movement.

Though I wrote headlong, it was not that I didn’t think about it at all. I did get some insights from friends who made me see the light about reading such “alternative fact-based” news. The fact is that such news made them happy. These are good people, and like good people in many countries, they’re constantly worried about their country going to the dogs. Especially, dog forbid, to dogs from a different religion or dogs of a different colour. 

So, when they hear that a decision by their supreme leader (also known as the “master stroker”) has led to a drastic fall in cancer incidence in Rarotonga, which was verified by NASA’s sister organization NAUSEA (National Absurd & Unverifiable Story Excretion Agency,) they go overboard with happiness. They also altruistically spread that happiness around through WhatsApp and other media. Once it is posted in three WhatsApp groups, it becomes a universal fact. (Also, stop smirking at the word stroker. I didn’t mean that!)

Well, you can’t blame them. He is a Cisco Certified National Leader (CCNL). He came in fifth initially, but after some time, was revised upwards to third. More happiness. Cisco promised $100 million investment in India after giving the certificate. Unbeknownst to us, Cisco had promised 100 times that, i.e. a $10 billion investment in our bad-ass neighbour up north in China. Guess Xi Jinping pings at a higher level.

Then, there is Jason the Yankee Hindunaut. His greatest advantage is that his identity can’t be tracked down easily, unlike say, a Mark Tully. Jason is what they call a double agent, a RAW CIA agent. In his day job, he is the run of the mill CIA agent, but at night he turns into Trishul Subbu (scary rudra veena bgm). Happiness all around, again.

Now since I’ve jumped into this happiness-generating alternative factory movement, I thought I should dredge up my own stories from the interwebs. That is the great thing about this movement. There are no leaders. Anyone can come up with anything. If someone contradicts you, all you have to say is, “that’s your opinion.” Ultimately, everything boils down to your pursuit of happiness. So, here’s an alternative factory product.

Godse didn’t kill the pop of the nation for his Muslim appeasement as propagated. Some people say…could be Jason. I’ve been reading things on the net and lots of people are talking about many such things. In fact, I’m going to come back here and cite myself... well, some people say that Godse might have been a lovechild of a Ghandy, and was acting out his primal id to eliminate an imaginary father. Look at the names – Mohandas Ka"RAM"chand Gandhi and Nathu"RAM" Vinayak Godse. Scary, isn’t it? Incredibly, if you rearrange Nathuram Vinayak Godse, you get “u a very matka gandhi son”. These are things the mainstream media and the biased historians don’t ever ever want you to know.

So, don’t be fooled guys. Come aboard. Pursue happiness. Create your bubble.  

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

First-time Ever Greatest History of Ever-greatest Nation EVER, SHARE MAXIMUM!!

If you don’t know by now, the history of the greatest ever nation to exist under the sun god that you have been learning all along at schools and colleges is not exactly true. This is a humble attempt to fix that anomaly and create a new history of our glorious land out of thin air god. And, this is the first-ever attempt because this is the season for first-ever this and that. At this point of time, however, I can only provide you with a first-ever abstract with random contents, because I’m expected to sit and make profound observations about everything under the sun god.

Like, for example, if you lie down on your left side, you’ll fart. This is mentioned in our ancient texts. It, without doubt, proves that our ancestors were in possession of deep knowledge regarding flatulence, which modern science has not yet fully digested. Anyway, I’ve found some time, in between making such profound observations, to write this abstract. Use this as a guide to important events in the history of this land.

Another thing I'd like to mention is that any time you undertake such huge responsibilities, you’re supposed to follow certain regulations and guidelines. Some of them are prescribed by the government of the day, while some others are set by religious organizations. These are simple but strict rules and if you err, you may be charged with sedition or even end up losing an organ or two. So, I’ll strictly abide by those guidelines and in order for you, the reader (as well as the government and religious kernels), to easily identify those areas where I’m following regulations, the sentences will be in bold italics as in the portions in the above paragraph.

Ancient Land

Let’s start at the beginning. In the beginning there was nothing. God just sat there for gazillion years in the dark, doing nothing. And then, out of the black (well, it was dark, so, you can’t use “out of the blue”) 6020 years ago on a chilly October 23rd (age of earth from bible) he had this brainwave of turning on the light and creating planets and stuff (on the assumption that god has a brain – and before you god people go bonkers, let me clarify that I’m just thinking of an anatomical structure like the human brain and not his/her/its “infinite wisdom”).

Anyway, little did god know that we, here in India, were one up on him and were pre-travelling planets with our vimanas long before that. In fact, 7,092 years ago, on September 12, 5076 BC, much before earth was even a piddling thought in god’s head, Hanuman met Sita in Lanka. How do we know? Institute of Scientific Research on Vedas. That is how we know (Ramayana dates). Even NASA (an organization set up to corroborate ancient Indian wisdom) has confirmed this, which clearly points to the superiority of our ancient science. There is another group of historians who claim that the land bridge to Lanka was built 1.7 million years ago to bring back Sita. These are minor discrepancies, and the vedic historians and scientists are cooperating and doing peer reviews to pull out better explanations from different orifices.

What matters to us here is that we are an ancient land, unlike, say, South America. We were the first-ever ancient land. We were also very rich. Well, we were humming along very nicely over these thousands of years (or millions, whichever), inventing stuff, discovering stuff, and generally evolving into a tolerant super species, with an occasional fratricidal or parricidal war thrown in, when we lost everything in a mysterious way. Everything vanished without a trace into thin air god – our vimanas, our surface-to-air bow-launched nuclear-tipped arrows, our plastic surgery techniques, our bridges made with floating stones, our rooparkana rahasya radars, our MRI scanners, our WhatsApp..everything. Which meant that we had to go back to low-tech stuff.

Maurya Empire

So, let’s jump straight to the Maurya Empire, which was founded by Chandragupta Maurya, whose mentor Chanakya with his stony face, blazing eyes and wagging finger famously said, “Skip this portion and go straight to the Gupta Empire. This Chandragupta is not the golden one”.

Gupta Empire

The Gupta Empire was the golden age of India (learn this by heart). It was the first-ever golden age of India. History texts don’t mention any silver or bronze ages of India, partly because there’s no History Olympics. Moreover, no teacher has ever read history answer sheets fully. All you have to do is bloviate and end the essay with “Thus, the Gupta Empire was the golden age of India”. Around the time the Gupta Empire (The Gupta Empire was the golden age of India (read 10 times)) was kicking ass, Manu wrote Manusmriti, which was the first-ever smriti written by Manu. There is a claim that a guy called Hammurabi wrote a similar smriti much before this. This is patently false since we’re the ancient-est around. Also, what kind of a name is Hammurabi? Would you name your child Hammurabi? A famous journalist once told me that he liked the name Ajatashatru and wondered why people don’t name kids Ajatashatru anymore. Would you name your kid Ajatashatru? Sorry, losing track here. This is not

Back to history. During the Gupta Empire, which, in case you forgot, was the Golden Age of India, Hinduism was able to claw back some of the space it had lost to upstart (startup?) cults popularized by Buddha and Mahavira, especially, Buddhism, which had the support of Emperor Asoka, who got his name from the Asoka Chakra in our flag, or vice versa (use vice versa wherever possible – teachers like it). Hinduism is a very tolerant religion. This could be attested by the fact that around this time the lower castes, especially the untouchables, were making great progress. They didn’t have to do anything. They didn’t have to go to schools and learn difficult trigonometric equations or astrophysics formulae, and they had 100% reservation in easy jobs like cleaning streets and poop. This continued for 1,000s of years to the chagrin of the upper castes who had 100% reservation in all the tough jobs, though they tolerated it. The tolerance levels reached great heights in the Malabar Coast where the lower castes tolerantly kept distance, some up to 96 feet, from the upper castes lest their shadows hurt the upper caste people. It is also worth mentioning that the lower castes contributed to nation-building by paying taxes even for their boobs.

In between, we failed to mention, there was Indus Valley Civilization, which was a super-duper ancient civilization, though we have our doubts regarding its ancientness. The two main sites of this civilization, Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa, are now in Pakistan, which is a hellhole.

This history thing is getting tiresome. Only some key points from now on. Pump in your own gas.

Islamic invasion of India

Muslim conquests on the Indian subcontinent mainly took place from the 12th to the 16th centuries. The previous sentence is a straight lift from Wikipedia. Here, we have to say that Islam is a peaceful religion, and after some peaceful negotiations, which included loss of lives, looting and plundering, the various Muslim dynasties got to rule over much of North India for a few centuries. You people will have to look up Battles of Panipat I, II and III on your own (very important). Also, there was a Shah Jahan Trump, who built a Taj Mahal casino, or something. Maybe I got it wrong.

Vasco da Gama

While these guys were running riot in the north, Vasco da Gama landed up in Calicut and the Malayalis, as was the custom, raised their mundu in traditional welcome and asked him to take a hike (avantey oru gama). He went back, only to return with more firepower and lobbed a few cannon balls over, after which the Malayalis relented and let him in. That was a big mistake, as he went around cutting noses and ears and stringing people up on masts.

Brits and Independence

When other Europeans heard about the Portuguese, they also wanted in on the action and this eventually led to the Brits coming and helping the country to become good at programming computers in English. They also built railroads and ports to help the natives get rid of their unnecessary stuff, which were packed and shipped off to Old Blighty for safekeeping. This was something they altruistically practiced around the world - helping the natives (when not actively exterminating them).

Anyway, somewhere in the late 1940s the Brits packed up and left because of the Indian Army, while some other people and ahimsa wagerah, wagerah played a m-i-n-i-m-a-l role, as per Maj. General Bakshi, a major historian, unlike me. Real independence came much later in 2014, according to the Maj. General. There’s a high likelihood of the period from 2014 being called the actual first-ever golden age of India, though haters will disagree. Some people are already raising doping allegations against the Gupta Empire, and if proved, it may be stripped of the golden tag.

One ridiculous thing that the Brits left behind was cricket - a mindless, meaningless game they invented to kill time in between drinking tea and eating biscuits. Pakistan, a hellhole near us, is No.1 in it now. It is a hell of a place. It is a hell. That's where we stand now.