Thursday, February 28, 2008

The License

A thin balding man stands in the queue outside the registration office in Mumbai.
There are scores of other men standing before him in various stages of fatigue. The humidity is killing. Some are trying to fan themselves with the documents they have, others using them to
hide from the glowing sun or to ward off the flies. The man stands there, lost in thoughts, looking intently at the intricate carvings on the aging british landmark - now a home to the Indian babudom. Just like a period film, he thinks, but then looks at the front wall, all adorned with paan spit marks & decaying movie posters, the red stain from the paan seeping into a Deewar poster making it look like Coolie. Obscenities about female genitalia written above an awareness message - "kandom che vaapar, aids kari haddpaar". Some election posters, some ayurvedic pamphlets promising all night long virility. Typical wall.

Like hijacked strangers who feel close to each other, victims of the table2table gang become instant friends,sharing information like where do you get the forms, who can fill them out correctly, who can get them stamped, which officer is the 'easiest' etcetera.
A guy claims to know the general manager -
"Wo hamara dur ka rishtey mein haai, manipur se".
Everybody laughs at him "Arey wo manager sirf moneypur jaanta hai,manipur nahi"

"Arey dekho to bhaiyya ye kaagaj sahi hai ya nahi"
"Oho aapne notary se stamp to karvaya hi nahi"
"Ye aakhri taareekh kab thi bhaisab?"
"Upar ka kitna paisa lagta hai idhar?"
"Ye line aagey kyon nahi badhti?"

The cacophony of confusion reigns supreme. But the man remains silent. His mind searching
for a perfect mirage in the desert, a mirage that will show everybody what he wants, not what
is, the grim reality which looks like that front wall.
The men behind him shout, push him into the inches of vacant space ahead.The line moves forward agonizingly slow. Finally inside, he asks for the license registration officer.The peon directs him towards a swarm of people buzzing around a table.He pushes through, keeps the heap of files on the table. The officer looks up. It feels like he's seen the man somewhere.

"bola, naav kay?" the officer asks his name.
"ashutosh"
"konte license pahije?"
"creative license"

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Valentines for Dummies

Having some fun with GIMP.The toughest part was dressing them up ! Yes I know valentines is long gone, but they are dummies after all :P

Friday, February 22, 2008

Bournvita days

when we munched on Uncle chipps
& Dalda was the oil
besides the macchhar dani
we burned a Tortoise coil

even inside, it wasn't safe
some buzzing devil would smile
but it would soon be crushed
by clapping hands a while.

those were the days of Cinthol
or if you were into sports - Lifebuoy
& free hot-wheels that came with Maggi
was the most sought after toy.

people say now, we cut the greenery
which really upset the Chinkara
& then Salman didn't check the expiry
on his Hamdard ka tonic Cinkara.

to think of it - Hamara Bajaj
was a message in national Integration
for the people with no kaamkaaj
queueing for license-quota-ration

things are not much different today
aunties are not any leaner
just instead of Rooh-afza
they hand us a toilet cleaner

is that why India is shining? I dunno
the cola is yet to trickle to the last row
we may have big bars,the 'smallest' cars
I hope broad minds & roads will follow

its true that a lot of change
was brought about by Mannu-ji
but do u think its any strange
that I still want my Parle-G ?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Amreeka Chunaav '08 - Ohio

As a temporary foreign worker, I am obviously not eligible to vote in the presidential elections of Amreeka. And we all know it doesn't effect Bharat much even if Huckabee was elected ! But I am really amazed, amazed at the whole election process, its like a huge bollywood blockbuster waiting to be released, with established fan bases of the 'stars' rooting for each of them. The candidates themselves strut like rock stars, signing autographs & 'handling' media spotlight.[& to think that they're not even nominated yet !]
Watching the Ohio democratic debate today between Barack & Hillary, I thought, why don't we have such (civil) debates back in Bharat ? It would actually be worth enormous TRPs watching Lalu jee(our Colbert) throw his one liners (bhag budbakht!) at the stoic Advani. For once we can make Sonia answerable about her decisions. But then again the chaos at the top represents the functional anarchy at the bottom in India.

Coming to the debate, three major points were discussed :
1) It being Texas & close to the border, Immigration was discussed.
2) Economy & how it can be improved by bringing troops back form Iraq.
3) Universal Healthcare i.e. Health insurance for all.

Theres not much difference to choose either on Immigration, both are pro-legalizing
illegal immigrants & for comprehensive reforms in the process, though Obama seems to lean more towards giving protectionist incentives to companies making pro-american recruiting policies.Which can be deemed anti-outsourcing.

Both want to make a quick exit strategy out of Iraq.The only difference being that Obama was anti-war from the start. He also believes the money which will wont be spent on the war will be invested at home to lift the economy.

On the healthcare front, Clinton wants compulsory insurance to be taken by all, while Obama wants to reduce the costs which should make it easier to take insurance. Here Clintons plan is to force everybody which will be quite difficult with the present costs.

Some passing reference to a new Cuban president was made as to whether they would like to meet him, both were of the positive view with Clinton putting some conditions. I would consider this situation to be similar of how Indian leaders view any change in Pakistan - more of the same.

All in all the debate was cool, it is interesting to note however, that though Obama is the super crowd-puller speaker, it was Clinton who got a standing ovation when she made a sentimental ending note about how her personal crises pail in front of soldiers becoming handicapped. As both signed autographs after the debate, Obama was surrounded by young guys & chicks while Clinton had the women & old men asking for hers.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

SRK in Deutschland

friend : you know SRK was mobbed by german fans at the Berlinale film fest ?
me : hah ! those germans, what do you expect, first they take swastika & completely twist it backward in design & meaning, then they take the pavitra ritual for innocent 'pativrata strees' called Haldi kum kum & turn it into a lusty Heidi klum !
friend : so what happens to SRK ?
me : look out for a good actor.

Monday, February 18, 2008

My fortune cookie on Orkut 10

Today's fortune: Executive ability is prominent in your make up.

- I never knew applying some lip balm would cause such a drastic change in ability.

Friday, February 15, 2008

इच्छा

कैसी तीव्र ये इच्छा है ?
तापस घोर परिच्छा है
क्या सब ही इससे जूझ रहे हैं ?
जीवन का हल बूझ रहे है ?

मुझमें जो नास्तिक रोग है,
कहता यह सब संयोग है,
पर बाकी लोग यही कहते,
" तेरे कर्मों का भोग है "

अब मुझको तो पता नही है,
क्या पाप हुए गत जीवन में,
शायद कोई सुर छूट गया हो,
प्रभु वृन्दावन पूजा की लय में

मुझे कोई पश्चाताप क्यों हो
संग मेरे अब विज्ञान है
रहस्य अनावरण के पग-पथ पर
अब वही मेरा भगवान् है ।

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

This valentines send a rose to ..

Maharashtra Bhayanirman Sena . महाराष्ट्र भयनिर्माण सेनेला गुलाब पाठवा , वाटले तर त्या अबू खाज़मी ला ही झेंडू पाठवा ।
.. yours,
Munnabhai | मुन्नाभाई
Jai Hind first, Jai Maharashtra soon after.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Some people can paint with words

"It's so beautiful, my heart will ache with the realization of its beauty, and eventually break . - Break into ten thousand songs and a million kisses to shower over this place."

- Gayatri Natu at
Steam Engine describes(mostly hindi) the enchanted forest of her dreams.. & how !

Thursday, February 7, 2008

I was alone,

and lights were blinking
the horses danced
their hooves were clinking

On the elephants back
was perched an eagle
she looked all around
and found her seagull.

The gorilla told me
she hates GM bananas
I told her to buy
the grocery from kiranas.

Did Newton ever see
the apple fall down ?
Or did he just see
the stock index in town ?

The earth is flat
& circles the moon
after an encounter
the police shouts khoon-khoon

It rained cats & dogs
in Mumbai one day
where did they go
politics, did i say ?

I am still alone
lights are still blinking
but it turns out that
in a carousel , I had been drinking.

Monday, February 4, 2008

One serious flaw

In Bharat Matrimony, Shaadi, H1BMatri, DocMatri, BComMatri, JeevanSaathi, Mere Haathi etc etc...
where is the Add to Cart button ? (pls dont hit me !)

Other suggestions -

(photoshopped image)

Sunday, February 3, 2008

प्रिय राज,

तुझे उत्तर भारतियाँ विशयिचे उद्गार ऐकले, फारच छान वाटले, तू म्हणतो त्या प्रमाणे त्यांनी मराठी संस्कृति शिकलीच पाहिजे, मी काय इथे येउन अमेरिके चे राष्ट्र गान फुकटात नाही शिकलो , बुश म्हणाला , इथ राहायचे असेल तर अमेरिकन व्हावा लागेल, मला बर्गर खायला लावले, माझ्या इंग्रजी वर हसला (त्याची स्वताहाची कशिही असो), मला भारताचे कोणते ही 'डे' सोडून ४ जुलाई साजरा करण्याचे आदेश दिले आहेत - अरे तोही तुझ्या सारखा 'स्वाभिमानी' माणूस आहे ना । भारतीय आमची सगळी कामं घेत आहेत असे म्हणून इथले लोक रोज आपलीच दुकानं फोडतात आणि निदर्शन, बंद वगेरे करूं आपली 'शक्ति' दाखवतात । कुठले ही अपराध झाले रे झाले कि ते 'बाहेरच्यान्नी' केले आणि आमचे नाव बदनाम करतायेत असे बोलतात .
अरे महाराष्ट्रा पुढे अमिताभ काय आहे ? तुझ्या म्ह्न्ट्ल्या प्रमाणे ज़र त्याने मुम्बइतुन निवडणुक लढ्वली असती तर तो किमान जिंकला ही असता , आणि गोविंदा सारखे तारे ही लावले असते ज़मीन पर ! पण बाक़ी काहीही असो, एक असे की मला नाही वाटत मराठी मुलांना असे सान्गायचे आवडेल कि " मी इयत्ता चौथी - , ऐश्वर्या राय शाळेत आहे "। दुसरे असे की महाराष्ट्र ते कही बाराशे एकहात्त्रावे प्रोडक्ट नव्हे अमिताभ्ने प्रमोट करण्यासाठी ।
असो , तरीही इतर कारणांनी तू आपली मुहीम चालुच ठेव, 'प्रतीक्शा' वर फोडण्या साठी ज़र बाटल्या कमी पडल्या तर मी इथून कोक आणि पेप्सी पाठवतो ।

वि वि
- तुझ्यासारखाच एक 'स्वाभिमानी' महाराष्ट्रियन
-------------------
नाव आहे म.न.से , मस्ती करतो तनसे !

Friday, February 1, 2008

My fortune cookie on orkut 9

Today's fortune: Versatility is one of your outstanding traits

Back in school, standing out was one of my versatile traits , somebody just jumbled up words as i grew up.

Aishwaryas Eyes


Courtesy : "Aishwarya's eyes" by prashant poladia

* Question : If we had three eyes, could we 'see' time ?
* Me : Well I have four & still cant tell the minutes from the seconds.

..weird ? yes i am :P