The problems of Vishu Mishra!

Vishu Mishra is out in the world with his second book, named as Beauty, Youth & A Beautiful Mind: An insight into the urban blights of our age. A short, swift read that this book is, I couldn’t take my eyes off until the last drop of words had been assimilated. However, this book is not a fiction, the swiftness is the high point of the narrator and not necessarily the subject’s. The subject matter runs risks of getting prosy-dry and preachy-wry if not dealt deftly. To mull on some of the most in-our-face problems of present times powered with his skills of a master storyteller is what the author does Continue reading “The problems of Vishu Mishra!”

The Circle of Friends

If my friends were to form a circle, where would I stand? Will I stand as a point on the circumference, or will I be the center from where the circle would be drawn? Being at the center around which the friends would form the circle of life definitely sounds almost like a movie where you have been nominated in the ‘Best Actor’ category, and your friends in the ‘Best Supporting Actor’ category.

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Year End Read – Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse

The world that a child walks into is ripe with parents,teachers, and relatives who are ever ready to impart their share of knowledge. This world is ever so full with innumerable guides, inexhaustible chicken-soups, volumes of encyclopedia, armies of life-coaches. In simple terms, we should have turned out into a perfect world, a super-harmonious civilization by now. After all when we consider the abundance of knowledge through our history and present as a planet, the awe just grows deeper and deeper.

So the questions that arise are Continue reading “Year End Read – Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse”

Another open letter to Shri Rahul Gandhi

Dear Shri Rahul Gandhi

I am angry and this is a serious letter. So I am not going to throw cheap banters at you. I have also consciously decided to not throw any personal insult at you. I will go ahead with this letter with an assumption that this country has to put up with you till some real leader is allowed to surface on the national scene from your party.

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The Hindu! Take a bow!

Positivity! Where art thou? Hope! Where art thou?

The country is debating Mr. Aamir Khan’s statements at ‘Ramnath Goenka Awards for Excellence in Journalism’. Irrespective of our political leanings, I am sure most of us would agree with at least one part of his statement where he says something to the effect of – “We are afraid to open the newspapers every day”  Indeed, we are!   Continue reading “The Hindu! Take a bow!”

Communism or Alcoholism? Understanding the overstated!

Mr. Narendra Modi had just completed a year in office and ‘India’s National Newspaper since 1878’ was fraught with performance analyses, reviews, report cards and the habitual slander for Government’s first year. Amidst the chaos, a dormant voice tried to make the best of the opportunity. The newly anointed Captain of a sunken ship not-so-fondly remembered as CPI with an (M) wrote a column in The Hindu of May 24, 2015. Continue reading “Communism or Alcoholism? Understanding the overstated!”

The thick skinned humanity!

No!

The young man giving finishing touches to the Ganesh idol wasn’t infuriated, he didn’t mean to offend me but that was his reply – simple and straight. He anticipated a reaction and waited for a couple of seconds before getting back to his work again. I kept quiet. I looked at his father who was friendlier. He was the one I had struck the conversation with before approaching the son.

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The Romantics | A Novel | Pankaj Mishra

There are fictions that give you a rush, a shot of thrill or an expectation of something unimaginable, and you go back to the book whenever you can cast yourself away from the world. You keep looking for that window of time to get immersed and continue your breathtaking journey, then there comes your way – ‘The Romantics‘ which draws you to itself when you want no such rush, no such thrill and you look to withdraw within yourself. The Romantics is a story that develops as a slow, indifferent painting on the chaotic canvas of the world.
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Culture Crops – Banning the termites!

“…but how can we ban porn access?” – cried the person in khadi kurta and a squeaky clean white dhoti.

“Why not?” Another person pounded his heavy fist on the desk and stood up in anger. Dressed in khadi kurta and squeaky clean white dhoti, this man additionally had a Gandhi topi (cap) on his head which was gravitating towards the floor in a strange way as if it had life in it and deep down in its cardiac cavity thought that the head that it housed didn’t deserve the place.

“Okay, let me tell you something very clearly. I will resign if a ban is effected on porn access.” – came the reply.

“And what’s your rationale behind that?” – asked the Ban-Nar (pronounced like Vaanar in Hindi by replacing v with b, meaning the one who bans, variation – Ban as in Ban, and Nar taken from Hindi meaning-Man, effectively – the banning man).

The question was put in a sharp and stinging voice. The Ban-Ban (pronounced like bang-bang but only after eliminating both the spots taken by G, they were always against bans) had no answer.

There were more intelligent ones in the room.
“I will tell you why a ban is not right for us.” – said the man in khadi kurta and squeaky clean black trousers and additionally a black sleeveless Nehru jacket on his kurta. He had no Gandhi cap. Nehru jacket was a sign of intelligence. Gandhi cap wasn’t. Such people were known as Nehru-Coats who almost every time hijacked discussions and manifested a certain flair in their earnestness of debating eloquently. They almost never had a subject of their own to discuss and were always looking to bump into whatever was going on. They held the highest offices in the government because of their perceived erudition.

“Us?” – Ban-Nar was surprised.

“Yes, let me ask you this. What’s the average age of the people in this room?” – Nehru-Coat asked presuming that Ban-Nar wouldn’t know the answer.

“65?”

“You are close, it is 68. And how are you faring in your sex life?”

“Are you serious? I am not married.”

“Does that warrant a sexless life?”

Ban-Nar smiled but didn’t say anything.

“I presume you have an active sex life. So, how are you doing these days?” – Nehru-Coat was not ready to relent in his line of interrogation.

“It’s getting difficult. Can we take this offline?” – Ban-Nar didn’t want to trivialize the matter with details of his own life.

“I have no personal interest in your sex life. Nevertheless, you know most of our boys are unmarried. They have the sex life of an infant and they are growing older every day. The ones who have wives are more treacherously placed than the unmarried ones. The wives find no time for them amidst all the school inaugurations they have to do. Even if they do, they are no longer what they used to be.” – Nehru-Coat was clearly the brightest in the room, so thought the occupants but one.

“This is sexism! Women watch porn too. How dare you say wives are no longer the way they used to be? What about you people? Your belly reaches everywhere two minutes before you do. Have you ever seen yourself in the mirror? You have only 6 to 8 original teeth left. Look at your head, looks like the US drones have raided it. Your eyes are ready to shoot off like projectiles any moment.” – The lady was a tad too harsh on Nehru-Coat. He didn’t look as bad as she had wanted him to. In fact he had more hair on his head than most of the men inside the room. The lady went on for another couple of minutes. Clad in a strange mix of orange and white with print of pink flowers, that looked more like a bed cover than a sari, she was the Secretary of the women’s wing of the party. The aim of the wing was to give wings to the dreams of women. The President was of course a man. History had shown that men always represented women better than women themselves.

The victim of the epithets seemed indifferent. As if, he was expecting the backlash, rather he wanted that backlash from her. He was dotingly fond of the way she spoke. As a matter of fact, he had an appreciative smile on his face all the while.

The lady soon got a polite shut-up call from another woman who was also against the ban – “Can we first listen to his line of argument?” She was less conservatively dressed in a kameez but there was nothing remarkable about her appearance. Such ones were known as Ordinary-Women.

Nehru-Coat continued – “Look, many of us are leading a celibate life just for the sake of the ideology and the growth of the party. We have sacrificed the most basic instinct of ours. We are all aware that sex is a natural instinct. The way we have filled the political vacuum of this Nation, porn fills the sex vacuum in our life at this age. Do you want us to court women openly and be an embarrassment for the party? The opposition members are constantly embarrassing their own parties by sleeping with women outside marriage. On the other hand, we have been always hailed as chaste, morally perfect beings. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to control such instincts?”

Ordinary-Woman intercepted him and shouted in support – “Yes, he is right. Though I have a husband, he is of no use, doesn’t even last for 5 minutes. Where do I go? And by the way, I am bisexual.” – Her voice was more of a cry of a man falling into a dry well. By the time she reached her second line, she was already salivating at the Secretary.

Ban-Nar was listening to all this intently.

Nehru-Coat continued – “There will be chaos. You will have desperate leaders in the house ogling women members. Instead of discussing the nation, they will be discussing sex. You know that men will be men and you must not get surprised if somebody gropes some woman leader one of these days. You can’t ban porn. It will wreak havoc for all of us. We can’t live in a sex vacuum. We have to unwind somewhere. We have to rule the country. You think sex starved people can run this country?”

The Secretary was furious again – “What makes you so sexist, Sir? What makes you think only men will be doing such acts? Women too have equal rights to ogle and grope. We will do the same to the male members of the house.”

The occupants of the meeting room looked at the Secretary with deep reverence for the spirit of equality thriving in her. They were still in awe, rather were already fancying their chances of being groped by women on the floor of the house.

A couple of junior leaders from some state who were earlier named and famed by the media for watching porn during business hours had, dramatically, changed their stance. They lifted their hands rather excitedly and started raising pro-ban slogans. They had already imagined the Secretary groping them and how one thing could lead to another. They looked up, looked at their hands, and were smiling to each other when somebody from the senior rung shut them up, not very politely.

Nehru-Coat still had that reverent smile on his lips. The Secretary looked at him after finishing her monologue and noticed the fading smile as he rose to speak again.

“I’m sorry but I am not a sex…”

He was interrupted by Ban-Nar when he announced that it was a serious issue and they would meet after the parliament proceedings were adjourned for the day.

The members of the parliamentary committee had met to discuss the possibility of a ban on porn access on the internet. Once the announcement of the present adjournment was made, they started treading towards the upper house. The walk was reminiscent of the first walk that a child takes for school with the greatest of effort, clinging to his/her parents’ hands. It took about 1 hour for 12 people to vacate the meeting room. Well, effectively only 10 people.

Two were still in the room. Somehow they knew what they were hanging on for. Nehru-Coat and the Secretary had stayed. The door was fastened from inside. The Secretary flung herself into Nehru-Coat’s arms and said – “so, what were you saying? You are not a sex addict? I bet you are. I caught your eyes lusting at me.”

In reality, he was just trying to say that he was not a sexist when he was interrupted by Ban-Nar. He held her by his chest and replied with a James Bond effect in his voice which could never be alluded to the leaders of the country. They were mostly marked as illiterate, boring, and most of the times funny – “I bet you are right. You are such a bitch. I know what you meant by all those rebuttals on the porn debate.”

“You have to be a bitch here, there are too many dogs around. You know what drives dogs, don’t you?” She had already disrobed him of his nobility by stripping him of his Nehru jacket. He was like any other leader now. The air of erudition had been flung away with the jacket.

“So, my dear custodian of democracy, what do I do with you now?” – Secretary had suddenly turned into a seductress.

“Wait, we need to go to the Parliament after this. Be careful with the clothes.”
“Ha Ha Ha, you are such a PussyHeart!” – The seductress threw an insult no man would complain about at such a moment.
“PussyHeart? Where did you learn that?”

“I see, you must be knowing ‘DickHead’, for the ones who are dumb as a dick. You know how dumb a dick is. Don’t you? And PussyHeart is for the ones who get shit scared by everything. Have you never watched any humiliation video?”

“No, what’s that?”

“The girl humiliates the man while having sex with him. Men who would go at war on such insults otherwise, love the same during sex. That’s why dicks are dumb, you see. That’s humiliation porn. You indeed, are a dick-head dear. Wait, I will show you.” – At this point they were ready to make fast-love. The Secretary examined her purse for her cell phone and fiddled with the screen for a few seconds and played a video. Apparently, the girl in the video was heaping abuses on a man while bouncing on him.

It was already an hour that the parliament had started its proceedings and the undressed ones in the parliamentary committee meeting room had fornicated.

Back as their usual self, with the orange-white sari as fresh as she wore it in the morning, and the erudition inducing Nehru jacket on his shoulders, they moved towards the entrance of the upper house. However, looking at the placards outside and the sounds of sloganeering, they sensed that the house would be adjourned again. Nevertheless, they reached the house. Nehru-Coat scanned the floor for Ban-Nar who was the leader of the upper house. He was not there.

As Nehru-Coat took his seat, Ban-Nar made entry and sat just beside him. He looked unusually happy. With a very friendly hand around Nehru-Coat’s shoulders, he whispered – “Hey, I think you are right.”

“About what?”

“About the ban. There should be no ban.” he paused and continued – “for us. Let’s put the ban for the country anyway. They need to be cultured.”

“That’s exactly what I wanted to convince you about earlier. We are cultured. Let us cultivate culture for our countrymen too. So, who will decide which porn sites to block and which ones to spare?” – Nehru-Coat thought it was a dirty job and by convention, dirty jobs were never done by the Nehru-Coats or the Ban-Nars, or even the Secretaries.

“We have some experts. Let the two juniors from state do it. They have years of experience in taxonomy of pornography. For gender equality, let’s have the Ordinary-Woman in the panel too.” – Ban-Nar had everything decided in his head.

“Yeah. That will be good. I realized today I am still naive.” – sighed Nehru-Coat.

“By the way, are your aware of the word Pussy-face?” – asked Ban-Nar excitedly.

“..and you are naive too. Who called you that? There might be some truth to it.” – Nehru-Coat smirked.

The ordinary-woman appeared at the entrance and walked up to her seat taking calm and confident strides. She glanced at Ban-Nar, smiled and took her seat.

The house was adjourned soon after, following a huge din over the issue of farmers’ suicides. Internet porn was banned by the evening. Culture Cultivation was touted as the panacea for the dying farmers by the state run Far-Mer TV (Far pronounced as far in English and Mer pronounced like Mar in Hindi – verb form of death) at Prime Time bulletin. The other TV channels were confused as ever.

 

DisclaimerThis story is a work of fiction. However, there are a few allusions that do exist in reality like porn, parliament, farmers, upper house, english, hindi, and sex. Other similarities are coincidental. House Adjournment is a myth. Kindly refrain from taking excessive load.

Where’s my news?

How do you print a newspaper everyday – relentless reporting, wiring, proofing, editing, consulting, rewriting, printing ? No! Like everything else, there are newspaper hacks – Sell most of your pages for advertisements, write a couple of columns criticizing Modi’s choice of words, write an article praising Modi’s fashion statement, put a few churches under attack, arrange the ‘Letters to the Editor’ so as to put the ones that resonate with the Almighty Editor’s opinion on top, never try to go into details in the rest of the pages.
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