Category Archives: Politics

On Shoe Throwing and Uncle M.

George Bush

P. Chidambram

Manmohan Singh

L.K. Advani

oh wait…

my friend  Patroclus (name changed, obviously), who had a shoe thrown at him by a classmate girl. (really!)

Wow, the list is increasing…Protest and Disagreement have a new form of expression, and I cannot imagine anybody more happy than my uncle M. Having conceptualized this idea of ‘shoe-throwing as a path to political reform’ late when I was still a kid, I am pretty sure, uncle M would have been the first one to execute it on a big stage, had somebody put him in the big stage in first place, maybe with a journalism tag or something.

Any political rally on TV screen, and after every promise of reform by the political leader, M would say, “Chappal maro saale ko! Kuch nahin karega elect hone ke baad” [which kind of translates to ‘He is not gonna do anything after he gets elected, so hit my brother in law him with slippers’]. M’s idea of worn out, torn out shoes to a massive social reform was not limited to his political discontent. Back when Indian cricket team was playing really bad, his solution was not change the captain or coach, but instead, “Saale har ek ko 100-100 chappal maaro, and phir field pe utaro” [Hit each player with slippers 100 times and then send them to play on field].

I heard M repeat these statements everywhere in every possible scenario; If the movie is bad, shoes should be thrown at director/actor (not the actress, no way!), If there is a traffic jam, shoes should be thrown at the head of Police dept., If kid in the neighborhood was bitten by stray dog, shoes should be thrown at the dog and Maneka Gandhi. While watching the movie, he even thought that throwing shoes at King Kong was going to work.

[PS: While writing this post, I had assumed that he would be the happiest guy after all this shoe throwing thing catching up big times in protest circles, but while talking to my cousin (M’s son), I came to know his reaction on the famous/infamous Iraqi journlist Muntather Zaidi, and here is the twister in tale, he said, “Saale ko chappal maro! Amerikkan rashtrapati pe joota penkh raha hain!” (Hit him(Zaidi) with slippers, (how dare) he  is throwing shoes at American President)]

Pied Piper of Politics

“Shitty stuff, Man! This whole politics business. Everybody is so $%#$%^& corrupt! What are we goin’ to do? Clean it like movie style, like some guy walks up and drags corrupt politician in the street. That should happen. I am telling you, somebody should do it man.”

Okay, first of all, I was extremely surprised -how many times does man sitting next to you on a train berth, use this as an ice breaker. Quite often, I agree, but it would have been fine had the guy been reading some newspaper or magazine, he was doing none of this, he was just pondering, and I was watching him ponder, and then he starts blasting off. All of sudden. And then, just to be polite, I decide to offer the guy some ideas.

“You are absolutely right, Sir. But, I think, instead of one hero dragging one corrupt politician, we should have more of a high thorough-put method to this political cleansing thing. We need a Pied Piper, who can lure all the corrupt ones and then make them jump off the cliff. Cool method, huh?”

“Hmm”, the guy looks up at me, with a look that you have when you see a mentally retarded kid for the first time. Seriously, he even offered me candy after like 5 minutes.

Bush Presidential Survey Ranking: 36th

[Conversation]

“Did you see that George W. Bush is 36th out of 42 on Presidential rankings!” [Source: CNN]

“Yeah!! Really?”

“According to a survey by historians!”

“Ha ha ha…what happened to that one liner- History is going to judge my actions-shit!”

“lol….but still its historians who put him in that rank! Not history!”

“Ha ha ha”

“Ha ha ha …yeah history might put him even lower down the rug”

“Ha ha ha…I so totttally agree with you dude!”

“This should be his line now- I was not the worst. There were 4, no hold on..5 below me!”

“Yeah..that should be his reassurance speech like…My fellow Americans, we have come out of this mess 4, no 5, no couple of times before,..we will manage this time too!”

“That would have boosted his ratings and stuff!”

“I don’t know about that man!”

Notes on Valentine’s day

I distinctly remember that last year I had written a blog about Saudi’s banning Red for V-day. Since then a BMW M5 with a registration plate that says ‘UAE’ has been following me all over the place. I have seen it outside my coffee shop, my home, my lab, …. almost everywhere. Either it’s some strange force of attraction between that BMW M5 and me, or I am being followed! Really I think I am being followed!

            Anyways this year, for reasons excluding and including that I am scared of dying at hands of a crowd throwing stones at me, I am going to focus back home to India, where a group of saffron clad purveyors of God’s message, were trying to correct the morality standards of society on V-day (and earning media limelight on their way). I heard that there were incidents where couples were asked to tie Rakhis (a thread that signifies brother-sister relationship) to each other under duress, a guy was married to a donkey (what??) and a lot of couples were beaten up. And all this while when moral policing was going on, real cops who are always in a perpetual state of disillusionment, were standing and watching the proceedings. Anyhow, my take on the things is that, first, I agree with the quote that says Censorship like charity should start at home but(/and) should end there. Secondly, I don’t agree with the way some self proclaimed moral poilicing groups conduct their business, should I be allowed equal people beating, vanadalising rights to do the same to these groups. (and not to forget media attention!). Third, can somebody please tell me what happened to that guy who married to the donkey. Interesting story there isn’t it…

(The guy slowly trudges in to his parents house, with his newly wed wife donkey, slowly following him.

Slow music that accompanies walking fades down…)

Guy: Mom (pause), Dad, This is your new Donkey in Law!

Parents: Nahinnnnn!!!! (a very dramatic NO!)Mom faints!

(Donkey walks slowly towards her mother in law)

Chorus (all saffron colored): Applause! Jai Shri Ram! Jai Shri Ram!

Curtain falls

 

*****

[Excerpt from my novel currently titled ‘The Greatest Novel Ever Written”]

 

” I think I should write a song for her this Valentine’s Day and compose music on a didgeridoo for that song. Then I can arrange a group of Hawaiian dancers to dance to that tune. Oh! I would also need some flamingoes. Oh! And I would need a kid to dress up as cupid. …”

“What the hell are you talking about. V-day is tomorrow! Just tell her!”

 

****** 

What if Shri Ram and Sita got married on February 14th. Would it change Shri Ram Sena’s outlook towards V-Day in any way or will they file copyright case against St. valentine??

Scribbles from Last Week [Week 40, 2008]

[Debate]

Sarah Palin is going to commit blunders in this debate….She is going to faint…she is gonna have a stroke mid way…she just cannot handle this debate…blah blah blah!

 

All this hoopla before vice presidential debate, I actually thought that she was going to come on stage wearing a space suit with at least dozen biomedical devices attached to her.

*****

[Conversation]

Him: …everybody commits every sin everyday. It is like a conscious attempt..like u have a notebook and then you go…Greed. Cross. Sloth. Cross. Envy. Cross. Blah. Cross. Pride. Cross. Whatever. Cross. And then you run out of paper. Shit, no more paper. You are like..I have to commit more sins..Shit, what now?

Me: (silent)

*****

[Conversation]

“Can you believe it, the first electric powered vacuum cleaner was invented in 1900? And before that, they had mechanical ones!!”

“Really, mechanical as in you had to suck the air in from one end of pipe.”

*****

[Music and Lyrics]

An old Irish song. Amazing!

Oh dark is the evening and silent the hour

Oh who is that minstrel by yon shady tower

Whose harp is so tenderly touching with skill

Oh who could it be but young Ned of the Hill

And he sings, “Lady love, will you come with me now

Come and live merrily under the bough

I’ll pillow your head where the light fairies tread

If you will but wed with young Ned of the Hill”

 

Young Ned of the Hill has no castle or hall

No bowmen or spearmen to come at his call

But one little archer of exquisite skill

Has loosed a bright shaft for young Ned of the Hill

It is hard to escape to this young lady’s bower

For high is the castle and guarded the tower

But where there’s a will there’s always a way

And young Eileen is gone with young Ned of the Hill