Dear Terrorists,

I hate you. Why can’t you stick to patterns? Do you have to change tactics all the time?

After more than a year of careful study and observation, we were that close to nailing the MO of you bastards when it came to a 26/11 type of situation. A few more years of focus on that, and we would have almost certainly been able to prevent a recurrence of such attacks – unless we had prior intelligence inputs, in which case things could get a little dodgy…

Anyway, just when I was feeling secure, you guys go all unpredictable and set off a bomb in a bakery. I mean, is that even fair? I agree with the honourable Home Minister. It was insidious. That’s essentially college-talk for “sneaky and treacherous”. Yep, it was sneaky. Imagine going into a crowded place and leaving a bag stuffed with explosives there. What a dirty, underhand thing to do. Well spotted, Mr. Home Minister. We’re with you on that one. How dare the terrorists not send a press release out in advance, giving the location and time of the blast?

And now we’re all stumped. What could you unreliable fanatics be up to next? How can we trust you now? Is that the way for any civilised person to behave? Here we are, in all our magnanimity, literally turning the other cheek. And you shaft us somewhere else.

Cut us some slack now, will you? We have you guys sneaking – insidiously – across the border in Kashmir and creating all kinds of mischief. Pakistan indulges in periodic sabre-rattling. China bullies us and gives us wedgies in the playgrounds of the North-East and Ladakh ever so often. These friggin’ Maoists are causing a ruckus in large parts of the country, blowing up stuff and killing people. And, to top it all, our own good citizens are hounding and attacking each other all over the place. Besides, there will be other films that we shall have to help release. And then there’s inflation. And Mamta Bannerjee. And the Bihar elections. How many things can we deal with? Mercy. Please!

But we’re not going to be cowed down. Apparently, we have something called “spirit” which keeps us going. Unkind people call it apathy, but let’s not split hair. The point is, we know you’re out there, but we’ll keep doing exactly what we have been doing all this while. Which is basically nothing. So there.

Our investigations into the bakery blast have led to a number of clues. For starters, some explosive was almost certainly used. Additionally, we can, as of now, be completely certain of the involvement of that diabolical “foreign hand” that has bedevilled us for decades. But we have finally identified it for sure. Thing, you might have escaped the Addams Family Mansion but you can’t escape us. You can hide but you can’t run. (Ha ha ha…..see, that’s the spirit I talked about earlier. Humour in adversity.) We know you’re hand-in-glove (He he heh) with the bad guys. But we’ll get you. Hell, we’ll even revoke your visa if you’re not careful. If you didn’t come in using a visa, boy, are you in trouble!

As for the rest of you, you have been warned. Don’t fuck with us. This is not the way to treat an emerging superpower, with the second highest rate of economic growth in the world. We demand to be treated with respect, with civility and deference. Do not force us to get nasty. If you do not cease and desist, we can unleash our deadliest weapon on you and then you’re screwed.

Death-by-press-conference is painful, I kid you not.


The Quirky Indian


Utter Fucking Crap.

Saudi Arabia took the debate about beauty and the commoditisation of women to a whole new level this Friday.

Sample this surreal piece of breaking news from Riyadh: “Saudi beauty queen Aya Ali al-Mulla trounced 274 rivals to win a crown, jewellery, cash and a trip to Malaysia, and all without showing her face.

To win the title of Miss Moral Beauty, Miss Mulla had to go through three months of ‘tests’ to prove how much more dutiful than the other contestants she was towards her parents, and society.

While one of the organisers claims that “The real winner in this competition is the society”, what I found interesting was the fact that the only other pageants so far held in Saudi Arabia had as contestants “goats, sheep, camels and other animals, aimed at encouraging livestock breeding”. What a great list to be part of!

Well, after decades of struggle, Saudi women have finally been given their own pageant and now take their rightful place in that long and exalted list. Though I am very sure the aim – quite laudably – still continues to be socially sanctioned breeding.

Because that’s what women everywhere are for, isn’t it? That’s what moral beauty is all about – duty towards husband, parents and society. And fecundity. Let’s not forget the fecundity.

All of you know that I can always be relied upon to point to a dark cloud for every silver lining that you see. Well, there’s no more need to despair. The cynic has decided to hang up his boots. I have decided to join the ranks of the jubilant and the optimistic, as we look forward to another five years of magic.

And while seeking to validate (to myself, primarily – you know how old cynicisms die hard) this sunny outlook, I came across some observations that make me feel we are on the right path.

For starters, India is clearly bucking the global recession. We are getting richer and wealthier. Evidence lies in the fact that the combined declared net worth of our 543 MPs in the 15th Lok Sabha is Rs. 3075 crores. Or 5.66 crores per MP. Not bad. And before anyone tries to puncture my balloon by pointing out that this total could be influenced by a few extreme values (a most regrettable tendency of this measure of Central Tendency!), do consider the fact that of the 543, there are 300 that have assets of at least 1 crore. The comparable number for the 14th Lok Sabha was 154. An almost 100% rate of growth. Not bad for an allegedly poor country. I’m already feeling better about myself. Ready to take on the world and all that.

The number of criminals has also shown a fairly robust increase. There has been a healthy increase of 17.2% in the number of MPs facing criminal charges (from 128 to 150), and an even more spectacular increase of 32.7% in the number of MPs facing serious criminal charges (from 55 to 73). Numbers that have beaten Street Expectations! No wonder the Sensex was up 2110 points. Good news again – we are moving towards a more inclusive society, with none of those old, regressive prejudices against criminals.

Finally, while no figures have been quoted to buttress this claim, it seems that the number of MPs belonging to political khandans has also hit a new high. Which we intuitively know to be true, and which is also reassuring because it tells us that that basic unit of Indian society, the family, the parivaar, the kutumb, is thriving.

My only wish is that we see this trend to its logical conclusion. Why don’t we have a government that actually combines all these stellar qualities? A family-based model of governance that is also wealthy, progressive and inclusive. One that has all the right boxes ticked when it comes to caste, region, religion, gender, criminal sensibilities and the lot. But that ain’t the best part baby – just wait: we already have all the right people for this. What do you think of a government that comprises Daddy, Amma, Behenji, Didi, and Bhaijaan? And, to ensure we don’t lose sight of our great heritage in this mad rush to be a superpower, we need a spiritual advisor. Every good Indian family has one. Enter Guruji.

So what do you think, people? Wishful thinking, or can this be India’s reality someday?

One of the accused in the alleged rape of the American girl studying at TISS has apparently tried to bring in the old, tired “character-of-the-victim” defence ploy.

Regardless of the specifics of this case, why does anyone even entertain such a plea anymore?

When will we understand that it doesn’t matter if the victim is a prostitute? It doesn’t matter if a woman, at any time of the night, willingly accompanies six males with the intention of having sex with each of them; if she changes her mind before or during intercourse, and a man still persists, it is rape. End of story.

Why do we continue to allow a line of defence that seeks to allocate weights, based on this nebulous, indeterminate and totally subjective thing called “character”, to the categorical refusal of women to have sex? Especially in a country where a woman who wears skirts, smokes or drinks alcohol is either assumed to be no better than a prostitute, or worse, easy game. If that woman happens to be Caucasian, well, all she’s in India for is sex with desirable and sexy Indian men, isn’t she? “Desirable-and-Sexy” apparently being the self-image of every Indian above the age of 15 with a penis.

What a crock of shit.