Monthly Archives: November 2014

YAWN SAMBANDH: Yet Another Sri Lanka Series

Yet another Sri Lanka tour took place, and I chose not to watch a single match in the entire tour. Not one. I’d rather watch a Haryana vs. Saurashtra match on Neo Cricket.

So common are India Sri Lanka tours, that after his record breaking innings, Rohit Sharma went to his room, watched some porn on Xvideos, and went to sleep.

image

Indians have watched so many tournaments with Sri Lanka that they are aware of the cricketers, their statistics, full names, and which schools their children study in. And Sri Lanka will tour any country to play a match. I mean, come on. They went to Pakistan and one of their players got shot in the shoulder. Shot. You have gone to play cricket, and a random terrorist dude takes out a gun and shoots at you.

If all the polar bears left in Iceland got together and formed a cricket team, Sri Lanka will go to play a tournament there. 5 tests, 17 one day internationals, and 22 T20s. Cos that’s how they roll.

I have always felt that we as Indians are like crack addicts. We need our fix of cricket every few months, or we’ll go crazy. Just imagine, if there’s no cricket played for a year. Guys will climb up trees and start humping monkeys. We need our cricket, bhai.

And BCCI knowing this, gives us our hit of cricket by organising these tours. Players are happy, fans are happy, all happy happy. But of late, the BCCI has been alarmingly inconsiderate about the feelings of an Indian cricket fan.

Why would you organise a tournament with West Indies? And then when they pull out, organise a tour with Sri Lanka, of all people? Haven’t you ever thought about it?

That there are just about 10 nations that play cricket on a global scale, and all of them are crackpots? There are India and Pakistan, two nuclear armed neighbours ready to go at each other’s throats. One nation where visiting cricketers are shot at. One country that has a militant ruler who likes to do what he pleases. And then West Indies, that’s not even a country, but a collection of seven countries getting together to play cricket. And yet, whose cricketers look stoned all through their matches, like they’d rather be at a Honey Singh concert than play cricket.

Why should BCCI get to do as it pleases with our cricket? I hope Kejriwal raises this issue sometime soon. That the sport is run by a private body of industrialists and politicians, with as much transparency as Anil Kapoor’s chest in the 90s.

Kejriwal should then go on to demand transparency and people’s participation in the process. For example, when Shikhar Dhawan gets out to one of those ‘I’m a drunk woodcutter chopping away lalala’ shots, BCCI immediately gets a guy from Bihar to speak to Dhawan on national TV.

Come to think of it. BCCI has so much money, is among the richest sporting boards in the world, and is single handedly responsible for 80% of the cricketing world’s income. Why the fuck would you want to organise a West Indies tournament with all that money?

Why not simply put it to better use?

See, one never knows when the good times will end. For all you know, the rest of the cricketing world might gang up against BCCI and end its monopoly. While you have the money, you should rule the roost.

And here are some top class ideas for what to do with all the money that BCCI has.

1. Employ Australian cricketers to do embarrassing shit on television.

For years, we got hopelessly thrashed around by the Aussies in each and every tournament. The Aussies were on a roll, till they met a formidable match in umpire S.K. Bansal, who took the most Aussie wickets in that match after Harbhajan Singh.

But even while that match is hailed as the turning point in Indian cricket, the narrative was not as linear as it is being made out to be today. India still got thrashed by Australia in every tournament they played.

Now, it is time to avenge those losses. And this is how you do it.

Pay Australian cricketers good money to come to India. As we know, Australians will do anything in India for money (case in point being Brett Lee, who will soon be found selling Vada Paav at CST). Pay the Aussies good money for appearing in cringe-worthy Indian TV shows and films.

Like a movie where Harman Baweja singlehandedly smashes Australian bowlers to all parts of the park. Oh wait, that’s a real movie.

How about one where Jackie Bhagnani fucks Glenn McGrath on a velvety bed, with a Sajid-Wajid track playing in the background?

You have the money, make the Aussies pay.

2. Start the Sachin Tendulkar Show.

Indians love Sachin Tendulkar.

So charge them money to watch a TV show where people get to watch Sachin Tendulkar all day. Which side of the bed he wakes up from, how he brushes his teeth, and how many out of our 33 crore gods does he worship? (Then ask Vishnu devotee to send in a message to 57575).

And while we are at it, we could get Sachin to do some Indian culture stuff. Like brushing his teeth twice a day, being a good boy, drinking milk before going to bed.

Just to add some masala to the show, we could have Vinod Kambli enter the show for a few episodes. Walk in with a beer bottle, break some furniture, and break down and cry because he wasn’t allowed to control global warming.

Sachin could then sit Kambli down and explain to him about the many virtues of Indian culture.

3. Make Cricket Movies.

As a nation, our only popular culture is cricket and cinema. That’s it. A nation of a billion people, hundreds of languages and dialects, and all we do is watch cricket, and pay money to watch ugly middle aged men pinch teenage girls on their hips.

But what’s done is done. BCCI should now invest money in combining the two together to come up with Bollywood Cricket series of movies. A unique franchise where cricket and Bollywood get together for the sake of the nation.

One can imagine Ravi Shastri and Jackie Shroff hang out in Rampur like Jai and Veeru. And then add Nagma, Nayan Mongia, and Raj Zutshi into the picture. Just.

4. Just give away the money.

How about the BCCI just decide on one person every week, go to his/her house, and just dump money on his head?

Give away money to people on a lottery basis, and help themselves to get their daily fix of cricket.

I don’t really know.

Dear BCCI, do anything.

Just don’t organise another tournament with Sri Lanka.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/f1/Kluft-photo-fireworks-Cameron-Park-June-2009-Img_2951c.jpg/1024px-Kluft-photo-fireworks-Cameron-Park-June-2009-Img_2951c.jpg

Waterworks

Shanti Nagar, true to its name, is a peaceful colony.

There are no bars or liquor shops in the locality, a decision that was taken when the colony was being built, to keep unwanted social elements away. There is a park at the centre of the colony where children play cricket in the evenings, and elderly couples take a walk on the winding roads, or sit down on the benches and watch the children play. The people of the colony had been living here for over a decade, and so knew each other well.

Until that night when they heard the explosion of crackers.

 

It had begun with a few solitary bombs, but in a few minutes, the sky was lit up with showers of gold and green. The bombs got louder and louder, and children begged to be let out of the house so that they could watch the fireworks.

A few parents stepped out of the house to see who was causing the ruckus, but the dogs who spent the night in the park had assembled near the gate, and were barking wildly at anybody who approached the gate.

In half an hour, the lights in all the houses had been turned on. The women watched from their balconies as the men grudgingly stepped out of the house, unpleasantness writ large on their faces.

The crowd outside the park’s gate had gotten larger now, and the terrified dogs had begun chasing the cows who were loitering around. People began craning their necks to look inside the park, till they found who it was – Satyendra Dubey.

Satyendra Dubey was the one person in Shanti Nagar who never spoke to anybody else.

In fact, most people knew his name only because the nameplate on¬†his house said so. Dubey was a man in his 40s, short and stout, who went to work on his Kinetic Luna, returned at 6 ‘o’ clock, and stepped out on Sunday to buy groceries.

When a cricket ball went into his house, he promptly stepped out and gave it back to the children with a smile. When the youth of the colony went to his house to collect money for a festival, he gave them the money with a smile. But apart from these interactions, no one in the colony knew anything about the man.

But why bother about something that causes no trouble, the people of the Shanti Nagar thought, and they went about their lives peacefully. Until this night, when the fireworks disrupted their sleep.

 

It had been more than an hour since the fireworks began, and the children were running about on the roads excitedly. The cows ran about with their tails raised in the air, the dogs had turned jittery, growling at one and all. The crowd at the gate had grown larger.

A few of them tried shouting out at Satyendra Dubey. But it was of no use. Like a man hypnotised, Dubey bent down, picked up a cracker from a white bag, walked up a few feet, and bent down to light the wick. He then stepped back, and waited for the explosion of sound and light. When the residents grew tired of the commotion, one of them suggested they call the police.

The police van arrived in half an hour, and two policemen stepped out of it. One of them was old and stout, while the other was younger, and held a stick in his right hand.

The policemen asked the people to move away from the gate, and they promptly stepped away. But dogs have trouble understanding human languages, and they growled louder, flashing their sharp white teeth at the bewildered cops. The crackers, meanwhile, continued to light up the sky.

Another fifteen minutes later, the cops had managed to drive the dogs away. The children were the first to run into the park, as the elders followed slowly. Satyendra Dubey was bursting the last of his crackers from the white bag.

The cops moved in on him, asking him to stop. The crowd stood around him in a circle, whispering and muttering to each other. The children ran about the park, searching for any crackers that were left lying on the ground.

The cops took away the bag (which, by now, had only a handful of crackers left), and the crowd got closer. Dubey’s face showed no expression at all. He calmly looked around at the group, and began to pick up the litter from the floor. The cops, used to hustling people and screaming, looked around stupidly, completely befuddled by what was going on.

When Dubey had finished picking up the litter, he walked up to the group of spectators, and began to speak. He had a soft, wispy voice, and spoke in a calm, measured tone.

‘I have been living here for twenty one years. I moved in when I got a job after my graduation.’

The crowd looked at one another, and stepped a few feet ahead to listen to Dubey.

‘I got married within a year of getting the job, and in another year, my wife was expecting our first child’. The cops were now listening to Dubey too.

‘My parents kept telling me to bring my wife to the city, but I was against it. Back in the village, there would be people to attend to her. Here in the city, she would spend all day alone while I went to work. My wife requested me too, but I was adamant that she stay at our house in the village.’

‘When there were a few weeks left for the delivery, I used to visit home every weekend. And then, on a Thursday, I received a call from my village, asking me to rush home. I was new to the job, and didn’t want to displease my officers, so I told them I would leave the next day. She was safe with my mother and sisters, I reasoned with myself.’

‘I boarded the bus the next evening and reached my village early the next day. The sun was out, crows were cawing about happily as I walked down the brown road to my house. The first sound I heard, was of wailing women.’

‘In a few minutes, I learnt that the operation had been complicated. Both the mother and child had passed away a few hours earlier. When I walked into the house, I saw my wife lying down, her eyes staring at the ceiling.’

The crowd listened to Dubey in stunned silence. Not one of them moved a muscle.

Dubey smiled. ‘But that was twenty years ago. I spent every day of the last two decades thinking of them. I would imagine what my child would grow up to look like, what my wife would have cooked if she were living with me.’

‘I spent the last twenty years going about my work like a ghost. But a few weeks ago, I decided I had had enough. What was the point in spending my remaining years in sorrow? So this year, on the night my wife and child died, I decided to burst crackers.’

Dubey looked at the crowd for a few seconds, and bent down to pick up a few papers lying on the floor. The crowd stared at him in silence, while the cops looked about.

In a while, Dubey walked back to his home. The dogs returned to their sleeping spots in the park. The night was quiet again.

Woh Mera Bhai Hai! (Nahi, tum dono chutiye ho)

He had been in love with her for years. He spoke to her, hung out with her, they’d been friends for long. And then suddenly, as casually as she could, she dropped a bomb on his head. ‘Arey, you’re like my brother’.

Wait, what? Brother??

How the fuck?
*
I have never understood it.

If you’re friendly with a girl, and it is clear that there is nothing going to happen on the evil desires front, you suddenly become a bhai, a brother.

Why do girls do this? Is there some sort of a threat? That by making someone your bhai, you are ticking one creep off the list?

I have asked women this through the years, and the most common response that I got is this:

‘It’s easy for you to say this, as you’re a (terribly attractive, Narkasura in bed but at the same time extremely good at heart and caring) guy in India. As girls, we are always on our toes. Something might happen at any given point of time. What’s the harm in making someone your brother? Why do you have to keep making issues out of stuff like this?’

My response has always been an exasperated sigh. Seriously? We speak about women standing up for themselves, being strong and independent. And on a daily, social level, one has to make random guys a ‘brother’?

I don’t get it. What is wrong with friends? Just being friends. You are both of different genders, and are not romantically involved, and since we don’t live in caves and club animals for dinner, you can easily be friends who do nothing harmful to each other. Seriously. What the fuck is wrong with us?

But no. The proclamation will fall. While growing up, almost every girl I knew had a bunch of loonies who she would call her bhai. I have always wondered if they constantly feel a threat. That there might be guys waiting to pounce on them, and the only way to fend them off is by calling them a brother.

I have wracked my brain about this for years.

And found my favourite culprit for everything wrong with our society today.

Yes. Bollywood.

For years, Bollywood has been propogating the idea that love starts from friendship and ends in marriage. Who can forget that legendary line in Maine Pyar Kiya, where Mohnish Behl tells a young Salman Khan this:


As if to make the point more clear, the director made Salman Khan wear this cap through much of the film.

friend cap

Even today, there are three Facebook pages with the name ‘Ek Ladka Aur Ladki Kabhi Dost Nahi Ban Sakte’.

Then, there was Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. Where an English teacher is asking the class innocously what they think love means. What she doesn’t know is that sitting amongst the students is the guy who taught heavenly¬†bodies to fall in love and bang each other. This resulted in the Big Bang, after which our solar system was born.

Yes, that guy.

SHAHRUKH FUCKING KHAN.

anigif_enhanced-31720-1407677420-3

The teacher asks the class what is love. Shah Rukh Khan tells the class that Love is Friendship. While he was making cheesy moves on the new girl in class, we Indians took that shit seriously.

Screenshot_2014-11-18-00-51-48

What the fuck does that even mean? He was clearly wanting to get into her pants, and since they had just become friends, was trying to act mushy.

Believing that Love is Friendship because of that movie is absurd. Extending Extrapolating that logic to other films, the logic is the same as:

Screenshot_2014-11-18-01-01-17

Screenshot_2014-11-18-01-05-27

balakrishna

Probably the next in the line of culprits is the system of Rakshabandhan that we followed in school. I don’t understand the relevance of it. Nor do I know why girls have to tie rakhis to boys in school.

And strangely, it was a matter of pride. The guy with the most rakhis (mostly those cute, fair guys who would later grow up to look like albino salamanders) strutted around in them like peacocks, while the others just had one rakhi on their hands, attached to Indian culture with a red and golden gossamer.

What is the point of the whole exercise? After thinking about it for months, I realised it is for that one moment in the future when the girl who tied that rakhi, would be rescued by her rakhi brother.
(EXT. DARK NIGHT, LONELY STREET. A GIRL IS WALKING ALONE).

A man has been following her for a while. When she turns a corner, he runs and holds her. Turning her around, the girl is shocked to see who it is – Rakesh.

‘Let me go’, she says, ‘don’t you remember, I tied you a rakhi in Class 3?’

‘Arey pagli’, the man says, ‘that wasn’t me. I got a rakhi from Anjali, your friend. I still visit her sometimes…’
That’s the only reasoning I could come up with for the practice of girls tying rakhis to boys in school. And as if all this is not enough, when people grow up and can think for themselves, they choose to continue with this regressive habit of making guys their bhai.

Rakhi Bhai is the term. ‘Woh mera rakhi bhai hai’. Has it ever happened to me? Yes. Once.

There was a pretty girl that I liked. I knew that I stood no chance, but hope keeps man alive. So I pursued her hopelessly, till one day she casually told the others in the group that I was ‘her brother’. I gave her the expression that Sunny Deol gives to the Pakistani army, and left the scene in a hurry. It has never happened to me since, and I make it a point to stay away from girls who indulge in Rakhibhai-giri.

Well, fuck you. He’s not your rakhi bhai. He’s just a friend. There’s no point in drawing imaginary lines in your head in a society where there are already giant red lines drawn every year.

If he’s a friend, learn to accept him as your friend. Don’t give me that bhai-why bullshit.

Why I plan to give Sachin’s Book a miss

When there was news about Sachin’s autpbiography coming out, I was not among those who shared it on Facebook with the tagline – “God!!! Bless me with three kids and a hefty dowry”.

It’s not like I am not a Sachin fan. But the hyperbole around him just makes me a little wary of discussing anything related to Sachin. There are essentially two discussions on Sachin.

One that he is the greatest ever. He is the greatest batsman, the greatest player of any sport, the reason why the earth rotates around the sun, the very reason for the Big Bang. And on the other side, there is the argument about how he wasn’t really a matchwinner, how he slowed down his innings near a century, and was a selfish player.

As a cricket enthusiast, you are sandwiched between these distinctly opposite opinions, with nothing to do except pick your nose awkwardly, waiting for the debate to end. As Indians, we cannot have an objective debate on Sachin Tendulkar. Take for example the time when Indians attacked Maria Sharapova on Twitter because she didn’t know who he was. That’s how much we love cricket and Sachin. We love cricket and Sachin so much that we call Maria Sharapova a fucking whore for not knowing about our Gods. Yes, we are a little Talibanish when it comes to Sachin Tendulkar.

An autobiography is supposed to reveal something about the person that the world is unaware of. But what really is there that we don’t know of? Whatever it is, I am sure Sachin has no intentions to reveal his personal details (may be if it was Vinod Kambli…). Sachin’s life has been written about, spoken about, hailed, and enumerated by thousands of kids who dislike their Maths teachers across the country.

And through the many years that I have known him, Sachin has come across as the ideal boy, the ideal father, the ideal patriot – the nation’s Shravan Kumar. With such a huge baggage on his shoulders, I doubt he is going to be name dropping at this juncture of his life. Sachin has been upright, honest to a fault, and has never showed any signs of anger, disturbance, or aggression. In short – a very boring sort of person.

There have been numerous books on him, and each of them has toed the line that the grand Indian narrative has of the man – the perfectionist, the God-like talents, the humility, the enthusiasm. How much more of it can one take?

I certainly can’t, and have decided to give it a miss.
There’s also the fact that Sachin is never likely to talk about match-fixing. He will never reveal what Azharuddin and Kapil Dev and Manoj Prabhakar discussed between matches. He will never talk about how he never went public against these men who were accused of throwing matches for money, floundering the chances of the nation that he so dearly loved.

And one can’t really blame Sachin. He has been the poster boy of the nation. In his success, India roared. In his failures, India mourned. It is highly unlikely that he would want to ruffle any feathers at this stage of his life (he’s only 41, and yet isn’t it strange how we talk about him like he’s an old man?). And this refusal to ruffle any feathers is probably the one big reason I will give his book a miss. Unlike Shoaib Akhtar, who gave lesser fucks than his batting average, about issues like this.

And then, there’s the biggest reason I will avoid the book.

It has been scripted by Bore-Yeah Majumdar.

For those of you who have lives and do not watch the IPL, Boria Majumdar is Arnab Goswami on steroids. He doesn’t attack his guests or interviewees, choosing instead to attack your brain with his examples, explanations, and rhetoric that could put a T-rex to sleep in minutes.

I fail to understand why Boria Majumdar was selected to write the autobiography. He’s hardly a cricketer, and quoting statistics is hardly the reason people are paid to speak about a sport. And as if his rhetoric isn’t coma-inducing enough, there’s the portion where he begins talking about cricket’s technicalities. Tune in to a news channel after a match, and you’ll find the man talking about Virat Kohli’s stance being problematic, and how Piyush Chawla should attack the stumps more often. It’s all a bit too much to take. Boria Majumdar makes Arun Lal seem like Groucho Marx in comparison.

When the reviews of the book began to trickle in, all my fears about the book were proven right. Sachin has conveniently given important issues a miss, has remained more or less reverential to everybody in the cricketing fraternity (even if they were throwing matching under his nose as the captain). And Boria Majumdar has stuffed so many numbers and statistics in the book that it is being prescribed as a textbook in universities.

So there you have it.

I grew up in the era of Sachin Rajya. I bit my fingernails when he batted, prayed for him to do well.

And yet, I don’t think I am going to be reading his autobiography. I am reading Naseeruddin Shah’s autobiography though, and I laugh out loud every morning after breakfast, leading my roommate to believe I am completely mad.

Kiss of Love and Fist of Fury

The kissing event in Kerala was much needed.

And as always, there were morons who called it against ‘Indian culture’.

Nothing pisses me off as much as listening to the words ‘Indian culture’, freely thrown around by these idiots who wave flags and shout slogans. Most of these guys haven’t read much, their idea of Indian culture coming from an India of Ramayan and Mahabharat. What they are fighting for, is not really Indian culture, but assumed ideas of chastity for women.

And it is tragic that the government in power at the Centre, the so called wave of change that supposedly swept the nation a few months ago, has nothing to say about it. In fact, the BJP’s student and youth wings – the ABVP and BJYM – are frontrunners in this trade.

The criticism against anything that is new – be it in the realm of art, fashion, cinema or culture – is labelled against Indian values. What really are Indian values? We live in a country where cultures, languages, customs change every few hundred kilometres. What values are they really protecting?

And I can bet my monthly scholarship on the fact that none of these guys have actually read anything pertaining to Indian culture, history, or philosophy. For if they did, they’d know that while Indian society had its problems, we certainly weren’t prude about clothing and actions. Till the British came in and enforced their ideas of civility and decency on us. Seventy years after the British left, these dickheads are still hanging on to colonial ideas of civility and decency, shamelessly passing them off as Indian values. If only I had a dollar for every time I had a strong urge to smack such idiots across their dumb faces!

And then, there’s also the fact that most of the people who give out such opinions are from an earlier generation. Politicians, religious heads, these are all people in the 60s (and above). If we truly are a nation with largest youth population in the world, as our Prime Minister announces to every country he visits, with considerable pride, why are our lives still determined by rules drawn by geriatric idiots?

How on earth are we going to be a global superpower if we cannot even wear, watch, and do what we think is right? It’s not like there are people having threesomes on railway platforms. Why then, is there such fear?

In most parts of the country, one cannot hold one’s partner’s hand, or put their arms around their shoulder. If an elderly person sees you, or a cop (God forbid!), they will give you a dressing down on how shameless you are. I was once walking with a girl, when a woman called her ‘characterless’ for holding my hand. Me being the guy, was called ‘Useless’ (or something generic like that), but the girl was addressed in terms that stopped short of a prostitute. Why? For holding hands while walking.

And this fear, this absolute unwillingness to accept that people and traditions constantly change, is enforced by these two groups – ABVP and Bajrang Dal. ABVP is the student wing of BJP, and Bajrang Dal is a special group for people with an IQ of 37 and below.

And this is where my above argument of the youth deciding for themselves, falls flat. These people are all youth (some distinctly less youthful than others), ranging in the age of 20 – 35. Why do they parrot the words of some foolish old minister? Why do they beat up people, smash property, and blacken faces of couples on TV?

Because none of these guys have girlfriends. Think about it.

Think of all the people you know, who support Hindu groups, or are members of ABVP and Bajrang Dal – they are all single males. What they are really against is the fact that other guys can do it, and they can’t.

For, think about it, if you have a girlfriend, would she let you beat up other couples? If you were in a relationship, would you spend Valentine’s Day breaking chairs and tables, screaming ‘Jai Sri Ram’? No way in paataal loka!

bajrang dal

In a way, I feel their pain. Imagine watching your friends hang out with beautiful girls, walking hand in hand to movies, clubs, and libraries. While you have wait for your family members to fall asleep, then switch on Zee Cinema, mute the volume, and jack off. Every single night. It can be very frustrating!

And that is why these morons line up, all of them single, their right hands distinctly thicker than their left, ready to fight for Indian culture.

abvp-respect-women-campaign

If you are a Bajrang Dal supporter, or know an idiot who goes around yelling, give him this bit of advice.

Get into a relationship. It might seem Herculean, but remember that even Govinda managed to woo Rani Mukherjee at some point. Do not lose hope. Ask a girl out politely, and get into a relationship.

It’s beautiful. Straight out of my mind, here are a few advantages I could state:

a. You will have something to do on weekends.

b. You get to make out, which is a gazillion times better than masturbating in your bed.

c. You will learn to actually understand women. You will learn that they are not all the same. How can you protect a woman’s modesty if you have never known one closely?

4. Long shot here, but you IQ might just increase.

Just a little bit.