Sharell has already done a post on the Indian proclivity for spitting in public. And I quite like the numbering convention she’s come up with, so I have taken the liberty of borrowing that for my post.

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We all know that we’re the sort of people who like to treat the world as our spittoon. But this post is about some specific aspects of that general trait.

I was driving to work the other day, and there happened to be a bike as well an auto in front of me.  Up ahead, there was the carcass of a dog on the road, clearly roadkill from the night before. As the bike swerved to avoid the mangled remains, both the rider as well as the chap sitting pillion spat at the corpse in synchronised unison. Ptooeey, ptooeey. Two wet globs of spit landed on the carcass. Not to be outdone, the auto guy followed with a contribution of his own, his phlegmatic discharge twinkling in the morning sun as it, too, found its mark. Bizarre. Almost made me wonder if I was breaking some hoary tradition by not following suit.

That got me thinking about other strange Indian spitting rituals. Have any of the male readers here noticed what goes on around them in the men’s restroom at any multiplex, especially when it’s chock-a-block during the interval? Invariably, many of the men there extend their necks (gingerly) and then spit (not so gingerly) into the urinal before tucking themselves (again, gingerly) back into their flies. Now, I’m nothing if not a Scientific Simian. I therefore decided to observe this phenomenon afresh, and, in the spirit of scientific inquiry, visited a multiplex over the weekend. The results, I must report, were the same. A good number of people (statistically significant?) went thoooh in the loo. I don’t know what pissed them all off, but they did end up looking like spitting images of each other.

So folks, can anyone explain these rituals to me? Why would people passing by roadkill spit on it? And why do men feel the urge to spit while they are peeing? I, for one, am completely baffled. Any answers?

So the media circus around Kasab is hopefully about to get over. I, for one, might be accused of being callous for not understanding what the enormous fuss was all about. The man deserved a fair trial; our judicial system – aided, no doubt, by the fact that the accused was captured on camera – outdid itself in turning in a verdict in a little over a year’s time. Hallelujah!

Many people have already picked up the pieces of their broken lives and moved on, some will probably find some closure with this verdict, and some will never be able to move on. And that’s that. Still doesn’t explain the circus, but then, I’m slow.

But does the matter end here? Fuck no!

There’s the small matter of there being no hangman available. So here’s how things might pan out in the next few years, according to Quirky Indian’s Crystal Ball.

Q4 2011: Various appeals by Kasab for commutation of the sentence are rejected. Finally, the sentence stands.

Q1 2012: Ooops, no hangman.

Q4 2012: Still no hangman

Q2 2013: Government decides to fill the vacant hangman positions. Raj wants only locals to even think of applying. “Others who even think of applying will face action, MNS style.”

Q4 2013: 3 candidates have been selected from amongst the 1673489 applicants (including engineers, lawyers and MBAs). But some disgruntled applicant who was not selected filed a lawsuit alleging irregularity in the selection procedure.

Q2 2016: The courts finally throw out the lawsuit and lift the stay on the appointment of 3 selected candidates. But now there are only 2, as the 3rd candidate has become a ward boy in a BMC hospital.

Q3 2016: Another lawsuit filed by an NGO demanding that the hangings take place in the chronological order of sentencing.

Q4 2016: The government agrees that the sanctity of the queue on death row be maintained.

Q4 2020: The backlog is finally over, Afzal is still ignored, but Kasab’s turn is here.

Q1 2021: A leading TV channel exposes a scam in the procurement of the hangman’s noose and prisoner’s hood. Opposition demands the PM resign, stalls parliament for 6th day in succession, and the talking heads slug it out on TV. Couple of officials transferred. JPC constituted to look into this. Opposition is now desperate – tones down its demand – now wants somebody, anybody to resign. Nobody obliges.

Q4 2025: JPC submits its report. No concrete proof of irregularities found. The hangings can continue.

Q1 2026: Human right groups make a concerted effort to abolish the death penalty. Endless chatter on TV news convinces the government to dither on this issue.

Q1 2030: Government still undecided on death penalty.

Q2 2035: Kasab chokes to death on a piece of his mutton biryani. He was also high on drugs, which is why he could not call for medical assistance on his cell phone. Turned out he called a stripper by mistake. Her services were not needed – he was quite stiff by the time she got to his cell.

Q4 2040: Afzal’s still waiting…..

(QI consults by appointment only)

My sister sent me the link to this the other day. It’s been around for a while now, but this is the first time I saw it. And I just had to share it.

It’s an outstanding piece of work. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the video – mainly because he makes me feel a lot better about my dancing skills.

By the way, he really starts to rock after 1:44…….. 🙂

If this is actually part of a film, could someone please let me know which one? I just have to watch it. It can’t be as bad as the current crop of crap we have in the theatres.

“No trial and no exchange on undergarments”

Duh! I should hope not!

The question is, do stores that do not explicitly state this policy allow trials and exchange of underwear?

Interesting question, that. Adds a whole new and sinister dimension to that mild, innocuous itch, doesn’t it? 🙂

It’s a tough life for us godmen. After all the enlightening, awakening, healing and guiding that we’re expected to do, one would think that we were entitled to some R&R. But no, that can’t happen, can it? You spend all your waking hours serving your congregation, showing them the way to knowledge and bliss, and what do you get in return? Vilification and public humiliation.

There was this actress who was very upset that her career wasn’t doing much for her. “Look at me, Swami. I am talented and gorgeous and fame still eludes me. Oh, please show me the light…..please show me the way……”

Well, what could I do? There’s an SOP for people who want to see the light, who want to find the way. Ironically, even if it’s the light of fame and the way to prosperity that they seek, it involves casting aside worries and worldly possessions. And, as any fool knows, clothes are worldly possessions. So cast them aside she did. Again, being vertical is not a good way to see the light….the bulb’s on the ceiling, after all. So, she got horizontal. I did too…all the better to show her the light, my dears! So I showed her the light and the way – not necessarily in that order – and she showed me her moves. Oh, did she ever….!

And see what happened….and don’t take me literally, you vicariously gratified bastards! You’ve done enough of that.

Man, it sucks being victimised. After all, I just did all that I did to fulfil the aspirations of a devotee.

Not that all this hate and derision bothers me. I am a guru, and I’ve stashed away loads. (All in the course of helping lost souls shed the baggage of worldly possessions…) Besides, you know what they say…….sticks and stoners can’t break your boners…..

Perhaps I can still make a go of it? Or should I find something else to do? Something similar, something that again involves selfless service to the people? Politics, maybe? Well, what better place to start a career in politics than in prison. Talk about head starts. So that worked out OK, eh? Phew.

Though it’s a shame to be changing professions. I kinda like hanging free, if you know what I mean, in those loose robes. They’re easier to cast aside – and khadi is itchy. Should I get into a related field? Like tantric-sex wish-fulfilment therapy? Because I was really good at this. And it worked, didn’t it? For the actress, I mean. She’s famous and all over the internet and TV now, isn’t she? And look where I ended up.

So you see, the media got it all backwards. It is I who got screwed.

I chanced upon an interview of someone called Sonal Sehgal, who’s acting in Radio. It seems she has a line there where she asks another female character – presumably about Himesh – “Are you fuck buddies?” (In theatres, look out for the line “Are you beeeep buddies?”)

Oh the horror, the sheer horror – and incredulity – of it all. Himesh? Fuck buddy?? WTF??? (What will we have next? Aamir as a student? Nah. Let’s not be ridiculous.)

Unless, of course, the film is inspired by that classic fairy-tale about the Princess and the Frog, with Himesh having landed the “before” part.

To be fair to Himesh, his self-belief and tenacity are admirable. He believes he is a ‘hero’, and it seems the universe has granted him his wish. Thrice. And why not, considering that Kishan Kumar was also granted his. Many times.

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Kishan Kumar who? Don’t tell me you never heard that musical blockbuster, Kaccha Sila Diya Tune Mere Pyar Kaa! Enjoy!

Turnip: Welcome to the Crapola News Network. Today today today, we show you how India’s democratic system is furthering entrepreneurship and enterprise. We have with us someone who has come up with a business model unique to India. Welcome to the show, Mr. Rao D. Tell us about your model.

Rao D: Thanks Turnip. I am quite excited about it. I always believed that in our democracy, political parties and other bodies which aspire towards political power need to efficiently outsource their violence and goondaism to professionals. I mean, they’re politicians…their job is to screw things up….so obviously, efficient execution of anything, including violence, is not their forte. Well, I provide that service.

Charkha: Rao D, I take exception to your statement. I have no truck with this kind of statement so reminiscent of the politician-bashing middle class.

Rao D: Charkha, this has nothing to do with the politician-bashing middle class. It is a case of politicians bashing the middle-class. There’s a difference, so there’s no need to take offence.

Turnip: Are you are you are you saying that politicians can’t be violent?

Rao D: Of course they can be…but, being politicians, their violence is not result-oriented. Very inefficient. We, on the other hand, promise more bang for the buck. Hire us, and if you have to inflict violence on someone, we can take it to any degree you want: bruises, a broken bone, a few broken bones, a fractured skull etc. If you want an office vandalised, we can again deliver great results, depending on how much you pay: from a few windows smashed, to furniture and fixtures damaged or even completely destroyed to total arson ….we aim to please.

Turnip: Well, all that is fine, but why should a party spend money and come to you? Mob violence is supposed to be what these parties are good at.

Rao D: Why is any job or function outsourced? For efficiencies and savings. They may be good, but we are better. We train our employees well….there are specialisations, and depending on the kind of job you want, we send in the best. Political parties do not have our depth of experienced talent. We save political aspirants from maintaining an active, violence-ready political cadre, since sustaining such a cadre is an expensive job, particularly in this age of changing loyalties. Besides, it is our people who now risk arrests and prosecution, leaving the politicians free to make political mileage without fear – either fear of physical harm or fear of sharing the spoils. Again, given the very fragmented nature of our politics, very few parties have any kind of geographical reach. We, on the other hand, have an all-India reach….so your democratic protests are not confined only to your neighbourhood stronghold. Finally, in all our events, our media tie-ups ensure maximum press coverage. We have devised a proprietary algorithm that tells us, depending on the scene of action, where to place banners and posters for optimum coverage and impact. So why wouldn’t someone come to us?

Turnip: But now it is your employees who face possible lathis and prosecution. Surely that is a problem?

Rao D: Not at all. First, the police are always inactive when it comes to protests like these. Besides, even assuming they do their job once in a while, we retain the best lawyers and politicians, so diluted chargesheets, bail and extended paroles reduce the problem. Very often, we manage not to have a complaint registered at all. But we don’t worry too much about it. Our people know it is an occupational hazard. And with so many angst-ridden youth in India, staffing is never going to be a problem.

Turnip: Let’s come back to your business model. So you make money, but where is the scope for growth and expansion? Isn’t isn’t isn’t the outlook infructuous?

Rao D: Are you joking? We are going to see more and more of this in the future. It’s boom time, baby! This is going to be the only acceptable way of democratic protest in India. There will always be some neta Somewhere who will be upset with Someone about Something. Our projections show very healthy growth in earnings over the next five years. And all of it is from domestic demand. We are not worried about any slowdown or recession in any other country, or even in India. In fact, my business is also counter-cyclical…..trust me, Turnip and Charkha, your shares are going to be very valuab…..

Turnip: Ummmmm, that’s all we have time for. Thank you for joining us. Time for a break, but when we come back, do we also love Obama very much? More importantly, does he love us? Find out, as we cover strategic aspects of the PM’s US speech. Only on the Crapola News Network.

Not that we needed any proof. But if ever we did, then this experiment of the National Trust in Britain would be evidence enough. Evidence that our cultural arrogance is not only justified, it also has its basis in sound scientific reasoning. What else can you expect from the people who gave the world zero, all those centuries ago?

The National Trust is conducting an experiment at one of its heritage properties to conserve water. Its gardeners have therefore been instructed to pee in the open, on beds of straw provided for the purpose. Finally, vindication of the fact that Indian men whipping out their penises to pee when confronted with walls is nothing but concern for the environment! If, as the Trust claims, just 10 male staff members following this recommendation will result in a reduction of the estate’s water consumption by a third, can one imagine the trillions of litres that we have saved as a nation? After all, our sex ratio is skewed in favour of males.

Given this fact, it’s even more critical now that we stand our ground at the Climate Change Meet at Copenhagen. Bolstered by such third-party data substantiating our continued active concern for this planet’s fragile ecosystem and scarce resources, we can grab the moral high ground.

We should actually go a step further – we should humbly (but not too humbly – remember, pride in one’s culture is a good thing, and we should slap that point home), underline the fact that even our great defecating tradition, apart from being as environmentally friendly as our urinating habit, is actually a precursor of organic farming.

In fact, we could actually pep up the agricultural sector’s numbers by some clever marketing, selling our farm produce at premium prices by labelling them ‘100% organic’. Let’s set up a Green Certification Authority that certifies agricultural products as completely natural, with little stickers that say, for instance, that “This carrot was nurtured by pure, uncontaminated human faecal matter, carefully, personally and naturally sprayed on by the farmer and his family”. In time, like with the great wine estates of France, particular fields in India will also develop their own characteristic identity. You know, potatoes with a unique taste and aroma from one estate, and distinctive enticingly-flavoured cauliflowers from another. India’s fruits and vegetables will become global brands!

But we still need to take one last small step in our journey towards being one with the environment. While we are an “Outdoors” people (not to be confused with the Canadians, who are just an “outdoors” people), we still use water to, well, clean up after. That has to change if we are to preserve water. No, I’m not recommending paper – that only destroys rainforests. But surely we can use leaves? Completely natural, totally bio-degradable, absolutely environmentally friendly.

Let not Copenhagen be another exercise in papering over the cracks.

Let’s wipe the planet green. Let’s bare and green it!

NOTICE INVITING TENDER

Ref: VRSCRUD/000

Date: 15/10/2009

SUB: URGENT AND CRITICAL REQUIREMENT FOR 1 (SINGLE ONLY, COMPLETE IN ALL RESPECTS) COHERENT FOREIGN POLICY, SUITABLY CUSTOMISED TO DEAL WITH NEIGHBOURHOOD BULLIES AND BRATS, WITH ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENT OF BACKBONE-CONFERRING PROPERTIES, WITHOUT MAKING USER FOOLHARDY.

You are invited to submit your bids for the abovementioned in one single sealed envelope, quoting abovementioned tender number and abovementioned date, at belowmentioned address, taking into account belowmentioned terms and conditions.

Earnest money is Rs. 1 lac only. Award of tender will be based on seller’s ability to transfer large, unaccounted and non-refundable (Duh!) sum of money to numbered offshore account. Seller will be allowed to mark-up bid to the extent of 250% only of the said large and unaccounted sum abovementioned, not counting transfer fees and bank charges, which will be on seller’s account.

You are requested to submit your bids at the earliest, preferably before-it-is-too-late. (For the issuers of this tender, not the bidder.)

Sd/-

Effing Clueless

I was having no luck getting an auto-rickshaw yesterday, and was resigned to a spirited sprint in the rain (admire the alliteration?), when I saw one just ahead of me, with the disembarking passengers paying the driver what they owed him. As I ran towards the auto, I thought I caught a smirk of sorts from one the passengers as he walked away.

The driver leaned across and said something in Hindi that I couldn’t catch. I thought he was saying that he couldn’t go, or wouldn’t go, or some such thing, and I geared myself up for another one of those fights – till I realised that what the driver was saying to me was “Bhaisaab, mujhe abhi number 2 jaana hain”.

Which is the Hindi Victorianism for “Dude, I so gotta take a dump right now”.

He’d apparently told his previous passengers to get off as well…..and that is why they were laughing as they walked in the rain.

Shit happens.