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?

As if all their other methods were not enough, the master strategists of the Congress have thought of a novel, fool-proof method to thwart public support for the Jan Lokpal bill movement.

They have got a female model to threaten to dance naked if the bill isn’t passed.

Brilliant! What better way of ensuring that all males, 14 and upwards, now actively start campaigning for the bill not to be passed?

Who says the Congress leadership lacks strategic depth?

My disdain for CNBC and the pundits on it has prevented me from making millions.

I discovered this sad truth earlier today, when some talking head on the channel let slip the secret that’s been eluding me – and I am sure, many others like me – for years. “The trick to making money in the stock market” he revealed, “is to buy stocks cheap.”

No shit, Sherlock.

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? 🙂

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.

In 1947, there were approximately 568 princely families controlling our destinies. They, along with a few thousand zamindars and other members of the minor royalty, formed an elite corp, completely insulated from the rest of India. Going by their incomes and lifestyles, they may as well have been from a small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Betelgeuse as far as the rest of India was concerned. By and large, these families had no abiding interest in the progress, development or betterment of their fiefdoms and peoples and sought only to perpetuate their power, which was the source of their incomes and therefore lifestyles. The faceless masses, with their aspirations, dreams and nightmares, may as well have been from some other planet in the vicinity of Betelgeuse as far as this bunch was concerned.

In 2009, there are approximately 543 princely families controlling our destinies. They, along with a few thousand MLAs, MLCs, Corporators and other members of the minor royalty, form an elite corp, completely insulated from the rest of India. Going by their incomes and lifestyles, they may as well be from a small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Betelgeuse as far as the rest of India is concerned. By and large, these families have no abiding interest in the progress, development or betterment of their fiefdoms and peoples and seek only to perpetuate their power, which is the source of their incomes and therefore lifestyles. The faceless masses, with their aspirations, dreams and nightmares, may as well be from some other small planet in the vicinity of Betelgeuse as far as this bunch is concerned.

We sure have come a long way!

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.