Tag Archives: Rahul Gandhi

Aam Aadmi Ki Maaji

 

Maaji, The Nation Wants To Know!

Maaji, The Nation Wants To Know!

Arnab Goswami. He is the TV ‘Cocktail’ that the nation guzzles every night at 9 pm to alleviate its existential headaches. Ok, so perhaps this spirited-bong was never meant to really address the underlying reasons for our despondency, but at least a temporary buzz of mellow it does bring. When we see Arnab lash at shiny people, much like how a headmaster smacks a truant student’s ass with a wooden ruler, it gives us hope that we might not be that close to the end of days just yet. That someone still exists who can beat some sense into nonsense. That the nation can still hope to recover from its triple heartbreaks of antipathy, mediocrity and decadence. That simply through the brute cyclonic power emanating from Arnab’s tonsils, we might somehow get torn off the messes of today and tossed into a better tomorrow.

If it is our national pastime to create real problems for ourselves, it is Arnab’s mission to chase after imaginary fixes for them. And, like Superman itching to tight-suit his way into every issue, Arnab wants  to fix everything and everyone, too. And he has a bunch of New-Killer Weapons he has perfected that help him do that, having target-practiced with them night-after-night over multiple chat windows, sometimes as many as ten of them open, barely fitting on a measly 32-inch screen. His arsenal, deployed along with his Booming B-52 Bomber Voice includes – The Hand Wave, The Flared Nostrils, The ‘Are-You-Serious?’ Glare Through Coke-bottle Lenses, The Reynold’s Pen Poke, The Repeat-Guest-Name Ad-Nauseam, The Look-away Dismissively Look, among others. The most recent addition to the kitty has been The Purring Prized-Cat Voice – the one in which he talks softly to his prey yet still making it pee its pants. Arnab perfected it while watching the Discovery Channel show about a tigress who licked her cubs and then gobbled them up. And then he deployed it on a poor chap whose last name does not rhyme with Pappu.

Arnab’s Vigilante Justice System, popularly known as The Newshour at 9, has spared no one when it comes to doling out reprimands – Politicians Young, Old and Very Old, Bureaucrats, Jurists, Journalists, Czars of the Sporting World, Social Scientists, Activists, and some Overweight Unknowns with Curly Mops and Loud Voices who duet in complete harmony with Arnab’s own tunes.

Lately, though, this constant aiming at the Stars in order to shoot them down, had started to exact a high price from Arnab, for it slowly began to distance him from the very Aam Aadmi (and Aam Naari) he aimed to protect. After all, when was the last time anyone saw a Mango Fellow on his program? So, off went Arnab’s team, looking hither and tither for the Perfect Common (Wo)Man to be paraded on Newhour, to obtain some answers straight from the featured equus’ snout. Sadly, what sounded like a simple search, seemed to always lead to people in mufflers, the common I-Card of The Common Man.

“No more Muffler Men on my program!” yelled Arnab. “Go find me a Real Aam Aadmi!”

Then, one of his producers suggested they look at Bollywood. After all, the Film Industry is replete with people tall and short, dimpled and bearded, dynastic legacies, old mores, slander and innuendos, questionable morality, an old order that Khan’t seem to give way to the younger lot, etc etc etc. In many ways, Art mimicking Life in India. Once the fertile farm called Bollywood had been zeroed into, it was easy-peasy to find The Representative Face of the Common (Wo)Man in the Film Industry, and haul her ass to his studio. Yes, who could be more Aam than The Quintessential Hindi Film Mother?

And who better than SuperMa Nirupa Roy herself for the interview?

 

Arnab Goswami : We debated amongst ourselves who to talk to when it came to getting Aam Aadmi’s opinions.

Nirupa Roy : Thank you for having me on the show, Arnab. I am uniquely qualified to answer your questions on behalf of the Aam Aadmi. After all, the Aam Aadmi is the Mother of All P… (pauses)

AG : What were you going to say, Mrs. Roy? Problems?

NR : (cautiously) Errm…no, Possibilities. I was going to say Possibilities. The Aam Aadmi is the Mother of All Possibilities. And I am…well, Aam Aadmi’s Maaji.

AG : How many children do you have, Maaji, I mean, Madam?

NR : (pontificating) My children have grown up to become Model, Upright Citizens of Society. In fact, most have grown up to become successful Police Inspectors…

AG : Madam, I have just started by asking you a very simple question, and you are avoiding it already.

NR : (presses on unheedingly) …and not just any silly, old, Police Inspectors, mind you…

AG : (persisting) Madam…

NR : (and on) …I am saying, very successful Police Inspectors…

AG : Mrs. Roy…

NR : …the kind who are allotted no less than Type-VIII quarters by the government…

AG : (slowly losing patience) Mrs. Roy…

NR : …with a spiral staircase to the upstairs bedrooms, and a giant piano in the drawing room…

AG : Mrs. Roy, you are avoiding my…

NR : …and a Puja Room made just for me…

AG : (shaking his head, patience ready to snap any minute) Mrs. Roy…Mrs. Roy…Mrs. Roy…

NR : Oh, and they get their own official vehicles too. They all have Willy’s open-roof Jeeps.

AG : (angrily) Mrs. Roy, my simple question to you, which you have avoided for the past ten minutes, is this – how many children do you have?

NR : (as if suddenly snapping back to attention) I have several, Arnab. The exact count no one knows because I have lost a few over the years.

AG : (immediately chastised) Oh, lost? That is awful, I am so sorry, Mrs. Roy! Were they very young when they passed away?

NR : (mortified) Good Heavens, no, they are not dead, Arnab!

AG : Then?

NR : Arnab, you see, I have never failed to visit the Kumbh Melas and other Vishal Bhagwati Jagarans that millions of people in the Hindi belt attend on a regular basis. You know, the kind where stampedes are as common as trains running late in India.

AG : So?

NR : (surprised) What, so? Isn’t it a given that a mother would lose a few of her children at such large gatherings? After all, what are Kumbh Melas famous for? Other than the Naga Sadhus, that is?

AG : Let me tell you, Mrs. Roy, that what you are saying is not normal. People don’t just ‘lose a few of their children’ while they are laundering their sins in the Ganges!

NR : (unapologetic) Frankly, I blame the arrangements made by the State Governments of Uttar Pradesh for my losses. No matter who has been in charge of managing the Kumbh Mela, for example, I have lost kids there. Under the Congress, the BJP, BSP, SP, you name it.

AG : (angrily) You are looking for a scapegoat for your own follies, Mrs. Roy. Why can people never accept their own fault!

NR : (taking offence) That’s not true, Arnab. Sometimes I have lost children because of other reasons, too.

AG : Like what? Maaji, I mean, Madam, please don’t give cryptic answers now. Remember, the nation wants straight answers.

NR : Arnab, there were times when I was physically incapacitated to mind my brood. Like, that one time when I fell on a stone and had amnesia.

AG : (concerned) Oh dear!

NR : Yes, it took me many years to regain my memory. I didn’t even have any partial memory left. At least Aamir Khan recalled some of his every few minutes in Ghajini. No such luck in my case. I recovered mine only when I hit the same stone at the same spot again years later. I mean, had I known…

AG : I see.

NR : And, that other time, I fell on a stone and became blind.

AG : (exasperated) What’s with all this frequent ‘fell on a stone’ business, Madam? This points to some other kind of malaise within you. Why can’t you walk straight? Why should you lose your balance so often? And to such catastrophic results! Have you gone for a full medical check-up?

NR : (helplessly) How can I? I am just a poor widow. Look at my simple white cotton saree! You think I can afford health care in this country? These hospitals are so expensive! In fact, the last time I had to go to one, I needed a blood transfusion but had no money to pay for it.

AG : Then?

NR : It was the kindness of the doctor there who caught hold of three young men named Akbar, Amar and Anthony and made them donate their blood for free, thus saving my life. The kind doctor just hooked all four of us to the same intravenous line and sucked out all the blood from them that I needed. I wish all our medical facilities worked this way!

AG : Holy Maaji! You do realize that was unsafe medical practice, don’t you? In fact, the doctor should probably be in jail for such gross medical incompetence!

NR : (surprised) Unsafe? Why? The boys looked healthy and seemed to be from decent families – one was a cop even. The Muslim fellow looked like a tailor, and the third was a Padre, I think.

AG : (a 1:3 mix of concerned and angry) But, Madam, it is illegal to donate blood without testing! HIV, Hepatitis A, B-12, C, D, E, K, do you really have no worries? What if you had fallen sick? Or worse, died? Who would have taken care of your children?

NR : Oh, my children, yes, though sometimes, I feel that I am losing control over them anyway.

AG : Why do you say that, Mrs. Roy?

NR : What else should one make if it? You know, one of my sons just ran away from home after I scolded him?

AG : Young boys do have a rebellious streak…

NR : This one, I think his name was Vijay or Jai, went and got a tattoo without seeking my permission. I was so livid!

AG : (offering helpfully) Maybe the tattoo parlor had a discount scheme?

NR : No, he got into a tiff with his dad who wouldn’t take him to the T-20 game between Delhi Daredevils and Mumbai Indians.

AG : So?

NR : So, he went to the tattoo parlor and asked the fellow to engrave “Mera Baap Bore Hai” on his arm.

AG : That sounds like a harmless little thing, Mrs. Roy.

NR : Arnab, but that was not even the half of it! The foolish tattoo fellow made a spelling mistake and tattooed “Mera Baap Chor Hai” instead.

AG : (nods his head) Ok, I do see why that might be a problem, yes.

NR : Doesn’t it? That’s why I yelled at the boy. And he ran away. Not only that, my husband left me and disappeared, too.

AG : (with a furrowed forehead) I am confused. Is your husband missing? Or dead? What about this white, cotton saree you are wearing? You can’t don the National Costume of Widowhood on just a suspicion, you know!

NR : (points to the saree, there is even a hole in it at the palloo) Oh, this? This is just to claim benefits from the government under the Rajiv Gandhi Muft ke Kapde Yojna. Frankly, I am positive that my husband is alive. See? I have full faith in my Mangalsutra. Meri woh zaroor aayenge (tears instantly)

AG : Mrs. Roy…

NR : (wipes tears away) And I keep Karwa Chauth fasts also, but without telling anyone (triumphantly).

AG : (glaring angrily) Mrs. Roy, I am appalled, APPALLED at such devious trickery. YOU are the Mother of Aam Aadmi. At a time when India’s growth rate has hit catastrophic lows, Foreign Institutional Investments have dried up, job growth is an 2.2% and The Times of India print edition is surviving only because it replaced news with ads, it is people like you who are bleeding our nation dry. I say, despite such successful Police Inspector sons, you are pretending to live in penury? Why, Mrs. Roy? The nation wants to know!

NR : But I am like this only, Arnab! My sons seem think I have very high morals. In fact, just the other day, my rich son in “Import-Export” business (goes winky-wink at Arnab), got into an argument with one of my Police Inspector sons whom I live with, you know, the one who got me my own Puja Room?  The boy kept throwing his blazing success at my poorer son’s face – “I have DLF bungalows, Audi cars, servants, Husain’s artwork, Apple products, bank balance with HSBC! What do you have?” – he screamed!

AG : Well said! We all know there is more money to be made in the private sector!

NR : I know! But do you know what my Police boy said?

AG : What?

NR : He replied – “But I have Mother by my side”.

AG : (unimpressed) What shit does that mean?

NR : (excited) That’s exactly what I thought, too! I mean, what shit? So I took my Krishna and Radha idols from my Puja Room and moved into my rich son’s bungalow.

AG : Hey, wait, wasn’t your “Import-Export” son the one who died after a car accident at the Mata ka Mandir? The Police had arrested you for yelling at the temple idols and throwing your slippers at them like a demented person. India-TV did some exclusive breaking news coverage of that.

NR : (shakes her head) Much of what the media says is exaggerated. They will concoct anything for TRPs! It was just a simple protest, nothing more! But, yes, I was on psychotic meds, so…Thankfully, my son did leave me his estate in his well before he died.

AG : Ok, Mrs. Roy, now that we have established how strangely the Common Man of India lives these days, I wanted to know – What are your thoughts on the party that represents you?

NR : (happily) I am very glad that the Aam Aadmi Party is doing so well. I say, more power to the Common Man! They will finally bring down the Zamindaari system with the Jan Lokpal Bill! I have seen enough troubles with these Thakurs.

AG : (in a quiet, but seething voice) Madam, this is national television so I will refrain from using harsher language than this, but you are a fool. Why the bloody hell are you talking about Thakurs? In 2014?

NR : But Arnab…

AG : In the era of computers and CNG low-floor buses, you are talking about something from the 1950s?

NR : But Arnab…

AG : It is because of people like you that progress in this country is difficult…

NR : Arnab…

AG : (relentlessly)…because you keep bringing up demons of the past! Have you not heard of all these government schemes that can save you from the Thakurs?

NR : Arnab…I…

AG : (mouth : frothing) MNREGA? Or Jawahar Jai-Jawan-Jai-Kisan Yogna? Or Indira Daridra, Dukhiya, Lachaar yet Jeevit Yojna, popularly known as DDLJ?

NR : Listen, Arnab…

AG : What do you have to say to explain yourself, Mrs. Roy?

NR : If you would only let me…

AG : (angrily) Speak? The nation wants straight answers, Mrs. Roy! For much too long, the people of the country have been taken for a ride by the likes of you.

NR : (offended) The likes of me? But I AM Aam Aadmi…or at least Aam Dharampatni and Maa.

AG : Then behave like one, Mrs. Roy!

NR : I wish I had access to all these schemes after my husband supposedly died! But the Thakur stole my farm plot in Gurgaon. And then my buffaloes also ran away. The police wouldn’t help me because I am not a VIP. I had no place to go! I was on the street!

AG : But your own sons are Police Inspectors!

NR : But they are busy fighting Smugglers after Chidambaram changed gold import policies! They have no time for me now.

AG : Smugglers? You mean they work for Indian Customs Service?

NR : What’s that?

AG : (shaking his head) I am very concerned about your sanity, Madam. I think the Aam Aadmi of the country has a serious mental condition. Ok, let’s change track. I’d like to know more about your family.

NR : (enthusiastically) Most of my sons are married and settled now.

AG : Oh, that’s good. So, there is at least something that is not completely demented in your life then.

NR : My Bahus are indeed very nice. They are reed slim, astonishingly fair and movie-star beautiful. They touch my feet every day and call me Maaji.

AG : That’s nice, Mrs. Roy. In this day and age, it is hard to expect well-educated youngsters to still be so rooted to our old conservative customs.

NR : Err

AG : Did you choose working wives for your sons? Since most of them are Police Inspectors?

NR : (sheepishly) I didn’t choose the girls. The boys chose their own.

AG : (impressed) Very progressive! Have they continued working their old jobs after marriage?

NR : (horrified) Oh, heaven forbid, no! That would be disastrous!

AG : Why?

NR : Well, all my Police Inspector sons married Tawaifs and Cabaret Dancers, you see.

AG : (suddenly much contrite) Mrs. Roy. Can I say something?

NR : Yes, Arnab, it is your show.

AG : I think this will be my last Aam Aadmi interview.

NR : (surprised) Oh, why so, Arnab? Abhi toh picture baki hai, mere dost!

AG : (shakes his head) I am afraid to stay on until the end of this film.

 

 

When Hell Freezes Over

Is it just me or does anyone else also feel that January hardly ever turns out to be that stellar beginning that we all want our new year to have?

Let’s face it, January is never a good month for anyone. It marks the end of vacations (that’s a big problem right there, see?) and the resumption of work, emails, conference calls and the year-end appraisal process. The traffic is awful because everyone is back to their wrong-ways on the roads, despite the Dense Fog. The Dense Fog itself is an invention of airline companies so that they can happily make paper planes with their schedules and then poke our eyes with them. And, have you observed how suddenly this Dense Fog wafts into your life at the most inopportune moment – like, when you are about to leave home for a long-awaited dinner party 25 miles away? Or, when you must pick up an elderly relative from the station when his train arrives – the one that is running with a delay of…umm…anywhere between 2 to 36 hours?

January means acting on New Year resolutions about things you have to resolve yourself into doing because, frankly, there is no way you would do them with a sane mind. Like, ‘I will go to the gym five days a week’, or the death-wish to slip into those jeans from 2010. Or give up Vodka! I mean, really, who are we kidding? Give up Vodka? In this weather? If December is already cold, January is like God teaching Al Gore some kind of a twisted lesson. And have you noticed that frequent urge to pee that seems to get triggered by the mere sighting of water? The eternal conflict between a bursting bladder and the warm razaai, and you cringing in the middle of it, trying your damndest to stay away from your Siberian-cold toilet for as long as possible. It’s the month when morning showers are quickly dispensed with, and strong deodorants are celebrated as your armpits’ best friends. The jaanghiye and baniyaans take at least four days to go from wet to still-damp when you put them on. And then, there are all those pages of your cheque-book that you have to scratch and destroy because you can’t seem to get the bloody year right in the date field. As if signature-matching wasn’t problem enough.

Makes you doubt if that fancy New Year Eve party at the 5-star hotel was really worth breaking your Fixed Deposit for. All that naach-gaana, drunken buffoonery and Facebook check-ins. Such a premature ejaculation of happiness. And for what? January? Like they say, premature of nothing is ever good.

Strange wonder, then, how we still never learn. How we never wait until February to make New Beginnings. Or, better still, March. That one word even has entire phrases like ‘We shall overcome!’, ‘Press ahead!’ and ‘Go seek your destiny!’ built right into its definition!

No, January it always is.

Despite all the miseries I have spoken of above, January is when everyone chooses to soar their highest, only to then land on their backsides with a resounding phus. It is the month that Sallu Tiger picks for the release of his latest magnum opus. The man is sure ballsy but such a pity that his movies only ever smell of the kind made of naphthalene. “Maa Kasam!” you exclaim using the endearing ‘70s vernacular equivalent of the modern-day ‘Holy fuck!’, as you shake your head and exit the theatre after watching ‘Jai Ho’, “that was way too soon after Uday Chopra!”

Then there is that other charmer, Rahul Gandhi, who has shamed until eternity all parents who once adoringly named their sons Pappu or Prince. (Side note : The ones who named their children Prince Pappu or vice versa deserve to be shamed). Indolent Gandhiji lands a January-date with insolent Go-Swamiji, the dimpled man feeling strangely plenty empowered to boldly go where no man has gone before and has ever returned unscathed. The assumption, possibly, being that the cold of the winter hardens ear wax, making all the 1.2 billion people watching Times TV go temporarily deaf – simply unable to hear what is being said.

The less said about the Indian Cricket Team the better. Its gravest nemesis is the Republic of India Passport that allows it to spend its January in the sunny summer of a distant land, where flightless birds and Hobbits can shit on its face repeatedly and with alarming accuracy.

So, no matter whether your name is Kejriwal, Khobragade or something much easier on the lips, January is not likely the most auspicious month for New Beginnings. It’s more like, ‘Let’s Seize the Day some other day’. Frankly, why even look for a reason to delay rolling in the good times? There are 365 days in a year, after all.

So why Day 1? I say, Day 32 (or Day 60) sounds just as good as any to ring in the New Year!

Happy February (Happiness of the visual is courtesy Google - what would Bloggers do without it?)

Happy February
(This Visual Happiness is brought to you by Google – a Bloggers best friend)

The Good Old Khan Market

The Real Khans (Image from Google Search)

The Real Khans
(Image from Google Search)

The year is 2038, that is, twenty five years from today. The world looks very different. TV serial Pavitra Rishta is finally about to end its legendary run on Zee TV. Prime Minister Rahul Gandhi is expected to lose the next General Elections amid widespread perception of incompetence and fraud, the new multi-coloured  1-Crore Rupee note is the new buzz in town and already in short supply, and Sachin is expected to announce his retirement imminently.

The only thing that hasn’t changed much is Bollywood. Cutting edge movies continue to be made, Item Songs are as raunchy as ever, and Abhishek Bachchan is still waiting to give his first solo hit since his debut 40 years ago. Oh, and one more thing – The Three King Khans still rule Bollywood!

They are meeting today at Shah Rukh’s swanky mansion called Jannat. (Gauri stayed on at Mannat after the divorce) The old boys are reminiscing about their years in the industry over beer, fried boneless chicken and Gelusil.    

 

Salman Khan : Yaar, Arbaaz is forcing me to do Dabanng 14. He says this new one will be better than all the previous ones.

Aamir Khan : How so? When you fart in this one, will it be for real this time?

All of them laugh.

Shah Rukh Khan : Oye Arbaaz, I think I know the real reason why you are making this film.

Arbaaz Khan : What’s that, Bhai Jaan?

SRK : (impishly) Your begum is feeling like doing an item song again, right? Basically, all you are doing is building an entire movie around her item song. Just like the previous 13 Dabanngs!

Aamir sniggers at the suggestion, and Salman and Arbaaz look sheepish now that their secret is out.

Aamir : Abey, haven’t all your heroines retired already? Even Katrina has now, after that awful Mother India remake debacle.

Salman : (genuinely surprised) Oh, you didn’t like it? I thought she was really good! Who else could have played an NRI Mother India so convincingly?

Aamir : (with contempt) Hmpf! Saale, itne saalon mein you couldn’t teach her any acting?

SRK : Sallu Mian teaching acting?

All four laugh again.

 

The doorbell rings. Since only Aamir has fresh batteries in his hearing aids, he is the only one who hears it.

Aamir : I think there is someone at the door.

SRK hops on his motorized scooter and drives to the main entrance. The other oldies follow suit on their scooters. At the door, they find Saif Ali Khan with his daughter.

SRK : Oye, Hello? What are you doing here, Saif Ali?

Saif Ali Khan : (mildly angry) Khan. Saif Ali KHAN. How can you have a Khan meet and keep me out of it?

Aamir : Saif Ali PATAUDI. You are not a Khan, you fraud! You never were and you never will be! Now scoot before I release my 2 Idiots – Sharman and Madhavan – after you.

Saif : This is not fair! I have been as successful a Khan as the bloody three of you, yaar! And look…

Quickly fishes out his visiting card from his wallet.

Saif : Even my visiting card says – Saif Ali KHAN. From Pataudi.

SRK : Aww…that’s cute, Agent Vinod. And don’t think I will not unleash my Ra.One on you just because you show up here hiding behind your daughter, ok?

Saif : Daughter? That’s Kareena, you geriatric idiots! Put on your fucking glasses!

The three real Khans laugh very hard and then immediately break into old man coughing spasms. Saif and Kareena leave the premises in a huff.

 

The men are back in the den, slowly chewing on soft chicken nuggets. Each has been advised by his dentist to be careful about the dentures.

Arbaaz : Bhaiya, tell them about the heroine of the new Dabanng!

Salman digs out his mini iPad from his bag which is also carrying his hot water bottle, emergency hair fixing cream and Viagra.

Salman : Boys, meet my new heroine!

SRK : (observes the picture in the iPad and frowns) New heroine?

Aamir : Abey ullu ke paththey, someone is playing a joke on you! That is Reena Roy. She used to be one of those Nagin type actresses from the 1970s. When we were all in our nikkars!

Salman : (angrily) Arrey kameeno, this is not Reena Roy. This is Heerakshi, Sonakshi Sinha’s daughter. Bloody Assholes!

The other two oldies readjust their reading glasses and have another look. They nod their heads at each other.

SRK : (doubtfully) Helluva resemblance, I must say. (Does not sound completely convinced about the woman’s authenticity)

 

The doorbell rings again. This time the boys decide to race their motorized scooters to the main entrance. Aamir wins the race.

Aamir : (surprised) Abey, who are you?

Fardeen Khan : Fardeen Khan, son of Feroz Khan, requesting permission to join the party.

Salman : Abey, tu pagal hai? We just let the dogs after that Pataudi fellow, but at least he was in films. Have you even worked in films? You look like you run a Halwai shop or something.

SRK : (nodding in agreement) Yeah, he does look like a Halwai. (Calls out loudly for the maid servant) Vimla, did we order any mithai?

Fardeen : (extremely offended) Heyy Baby, Khushi, Jaanasheen – all major box office hits, you bloody pompous assholes!

Aamir : (pretending to think hard) Oh yeah, yeah, I am sort of remembering him now…

SRK : You are?

Aamir : Yeah, he had another film…what was its name again? Oh yes, yaad aaya – NO ENTRY.

The door is slammed shut.

 

Later, after several beers. 

SRK : (wistfully) Yaar, I have had enough of Yash Raj. No more. I can’t play Rahul anymore after the flop.

Aamir : (consolingly) Not a very wise choice for Aditya Chopra to remake his father’s old classic. Is it any surprise that it bombed?

SRK : Well, I think it was because of the title – Jab Tak Haddiyon Mein Hai Jaan. I don’t think people took that to be very romantic. Why couldn’t he just call it – Jab Tak Hai Jaan Mein Jaan – or something like that, like sane people would?

SRK silently takes a swig of Gelusil Liquid.

Salman : (changing topic to lighten the mood, turns to Aamir) I hear your new one is very cutting edge? Planning another trendsetter film?

Aamir : (excitedly) Yes, yes, it’s a psychological science-fiction adult comedy.

Arbaaz : Hein?

Aamir : You remember my old films Talaash and Delhi Belly?

Arbaaz : Yes.

Aamir : So, imagine kind of a rehash of those two genres.

SRK : (finding the mixing of ‘psychological’ and ‘adult comedy’ genres quite strange) And where does the science-fiction part come in?

Aamir : It’s based on the Lunar Mafia. Parts of the film will be shot on the Moon.

SRK : (unconvincingly) I see, I see.

 

The doorbell rings again. By now, the men are annoyed by the constant interruptions.

Salman : (as he opens the door) Oh look what the cat dragged in. It’s Paan Singh Tomar.

Aamir : (gruffly) What do you want, Paan Singh Tomar?

Irrfan Khan : I heard there was a Khan gathering today?

SRK : So, how does it concern you? This is for real, bona fide, Khan heroes only. Not character actors like you.

Salman : Yes, real achievers. Like us!

Aamir : What have you achieved, Pi Patel?

Irrfan : Oh, I guess nothing by your standards. No one is willing to give me romantic hero, or rebel hero, or action hero roles at 70 years of age, that’s for sure.

Salman : Yes, so scoot!

Irrfan : Actually, that is what I came here to tell you. You see, even if you invited me today, I wouldn’t be able to join you. I am off to Los Angeles.

SRK : What for, Billoo Barber?

Irrfan : For the Oscars, na. Didn’t you hear? I am nominated for the Best Actor Academy Award this year. The buzz about my winning the trophy is very strong.

The man bids adieu, slamming the door on the ‘real’ Khans faces.

 

Aamir : (mildly annoyed as he makes a u-turn on his scooter) You know, who cares about the Oscars?

Salman : Yes, who wants worldwide recognition as an actor? I am just happy that people from Bilaspur to Bhatinda idolize me as their God! I am thinking of patenting my pelvic thrust.

SRK : Well, thank God it wasn’t me who got nominated. I don’t want to go through any airport security where they don’t recognize my world famous face.

The men return to the den. They are quite wistful. There is silence, except for Salman’s farts which no one hears anyway. Strangely enough, they are too lost in thought to have even the smell bother them.

Aamir : (finally breaking the silence) Saalon, we have been hares all our lives, running after glittery things that mean nothing. And that kameena kachua just pipped us to the post.

SRK : Yes, yaar, bande mein talent toh hai.

Salman and Arbaaz merely nod.    

Suddenly, Karan Johar’s voice booms on the Public Address system all around the mansion.

Karan Johar : (over the PA) Boys, food is served. Come and get it!

The announcement breaks their reverie.

SRK : (looks at Salman) Ah, anyway, tell me more about Heerakshi. Yeh bata saale, will she play your wife or granddaughter in that film?

The boys laugh and drive their motorized scooters to the dining room.

 

 

No motorized scooters were harmed in the writing of this fictional story. I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words 1st – 7th September 2013. The theme is SEVEN. This story featured seven people who happen to have the same last name.

 

The Top 7 Fake News We Would Love To See Come True!

Want Red Beacon Light? Go Through Potency Test First

September 4, 2013 : New Delhi 

In an effort to control the ubiquitous menace of red beacon lights on vehicles, the Supreme Court today ruled that all public officials desiring one will now be required to take a Potency Test first. The court felt that the gross inconvenience involved in going through the test might serve as a deterrent for most aspirants.

This is a file photo. It was not taken during the Potency Test.

This is a file photo. It was not taken during the Potency Test.

It may be recalled that the Potency Test was recently in the news in the Asaram Bapu case.

According to one of the doctors directly involved in handling Asaram Bapu’s surprisingly sprightly genitals, the potency test requires “one to cause stimulation of private parts through manual movements.”

The court did not elaborate whether the official will need to pass the test in order to obtain the red beacon light. However, the results of all Potency Tests conducted for this purpose will be available to the public under RTI. The court is still mulling whether video filming the test as part of record-keeping should be made mandatory.

 

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Sachin Tendulkar To Make Bollywood Debut As Amitabh Bachchan’s Son

March 11, 2015 : Mumbai

The question about Sachin Tendulkar’s next career move since he retired from all forms of cricket has been answered. Agencies report that the ex-cricketer has signed his first Hindi film under the Yash Raj Films banner. The film will also star Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan in key roles.

According to sources, the script has been penned by Aditya Chopra. The original version had Amitabh Bachchan playing a father of twin sons – both sons to be played by Shah Rukh Khan. But with the new casting coup, extensive script changes may need to be made since it is unlikely that the audience will accept Shah Rukh and Sachin as brothers, let alone twins, and Amitabh Bachchan’s sons at that. Sources suggest that Sachin’s character may now be shown as an adopted son.

“Dubbing over Sachin’s original sweet voice by someone more manly is out of the question,” explained an insider close to the project on condition of anonymity.

Reportedly, the original idea of having Deepika Padukone as the leading lady of Sachin’s character has also been shelved.

 

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2014 Lok Sabha Elections To Be Decided Through Reality Show ‘Rakhi Ka Swayamvar’

July 14, 2014 : New Delhi

Given the stalemate produced by the latest Lok Sabha elections where neither the UPA nor the NDA are in a position to form the government, President Pranab Mukherji has decided that the two bachelor Prime Ministerial candidates, Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi, will have to face-off in the new season of the popular reality TV show ‘Rakhi Ka Swayamvar’.

Pick me, Rakhiji, pick me!

Pick me, Rakhiji, pick me!

Thees bhill bhee like keelling two stones bheeth hwan bard,” the President declared in his address to the nation last night, carried live by Doordarshan and Zee Bangla.

Loyal viewers of the reality TV show explained that the show involves two bachelors slugging it out to win the affections of Rakhi Sawant as she lines up impossible amorous tasks for them, for example, writing poetry about her beauty, plucking stars from the sky etc. The program’s producers insist that they will stick to the winning formula despite the two high profile participants.

“Not only will the winning bachelor claim the hand of Rakhi Sawant, which already would be the biggest jackpot of their lives, he will also win the Prime Ministership,” explained Ronnie Screwvala, the head of UTV, the studio that produces the show.

“I think it is a win-win for everyone,” said Smriti Irani, the most articulate BJP leader of all time, when asked for her comment. Sonia Gandhi, Chairperson of the UPA, declined to comment.

 

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The RBI Forays Into Toilet Paper Business

September 4, 2013 : New Delhi

With its vast supply of printed Rupees not likely to find any takers for the forseeable future, the Government of India today decided to convert all its currency notes into toilet paper rolls. The decision was taken unanimously by the members of the Planning Commission and the Reserve Bank of India. The project will be executed by the RBI.

Speaking to reporters after the marathon meeting, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, the Planning Commission Chairman said, “We use the best quality paper for our notes. It seemed criminal to waste them.”

Mr Ahluwalia seemed mortified at questions related to the availability of the Rupee Toilet Rolls to the Indian consumer. “This is for export only. We will earn precious foreign exchange in return for our worthless paper,” he said.

“Besides, 65% of the country doesn’t even have any toilet access. So what is the point in focusing on the Indian market?” he asked.

 

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The Times Of India Becomes The World’s First Ads-Only Newspaper

October 2, 2013 : New Delhi

In a step that was long overdue, Bennet, Coleman & Co. Ltd announced that their flagship brand ‘The Times Of India’ would henceforth be an ads-only newspaper. All 96-pages of India’s leading daily will carry only advertisements, no news.

“Our readers won’t even notice any difference. As you know, we already stopped printing news years ago,” stated Mr Jug Suraiya, Associate Editor of the newspaper.

Understandably, the staff at The Times is very proud to be the world’s first newspaper to have declared itself news-free.

 

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Tech Buzz : Facebook To Start Paying Its More Loyal Users?

September 4, 2013 : Palo Alto

The technology world is abuzz with rumours of an impending statement by Mark Zuckerberg, the Chief Executive of Facebook, where he will announce the roll out of a bonus payment plan aimed at the most loyal users of Facebook. According to insider sources, Facebook Inc. is so flush with funds that it will pay out US$ 1.00 to every loyal user for each ‘like’ the person clicks. That amount is expected to go up to US$ 5.00 for every comment typed.

Birthday greeting messages, however, will not be encashable.

A ‘Loyal User’ has been described as anyone who sends out at least 10 Facebook Friend requests daily. Alternatively, if you spend all your waking hours refreshing the notification button, you may also qualify as a ‘Loyal User’.

It is already well known that Facebook pays US$ 1.00 for every ‘like’ or ‘share’ of photos of sick or deformed children that most Facebook users observe on their Timelines all the time. It is estimated that close to 6 billion such lucky children have already been cured, thanks to the philanthropic activities of Facebook.

However, critics of the new rumoured policy have already started complaining. “Who does he think he is? Bill Gates? I hope he goes to Africa and dies of Malaria,” said one of the Winklevoss twins when contacted. It was virtually impossible to tell which one of the twins that was.

 

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Alok Nath To Limit His TV Appearances

September 4, 2013 : Mumbai

There was widespread panic in the Indian Television world today when veteran actor Alok Nath, simply known as Baba in all the serials he has ever acted in, announced that he was going to limit his TV appearances to only 50 serials at a time. Baba currently stars in all 148 serials aired across all TV channels in India, including many in regional languages.

Mujhe maaf kar do, Beta

Mujhe maaf kar do, Beta

“He can’t do this! I have 24 serials that will get affected by his arbitrary policy,” complained Ekta Kapoor, owner of Balaji Telefilms.

“But, Beta, where is the time to do so many serials?” Baba asked this reporter in his characteristic voice, furrowed forehead and I-am-just-about-to-cry expression. “Besides, I have also been offered Suraj Barjatiya’s next film in which I play the head of a joint family. I play Prem, I mean, Salman Khan’s father, and Reema Lagoo’s husband in the new film,” he added happily.

At the time of going to print, the TV industry and Baba were still discussing an amicable solution to this deadlock.

 

 

 

I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words 1st – 7th September 2013. The theme is SEVEN. This post features seven made-up news stories. Fake, sure, but millions of people pray and fast each day hoping that they will come true. 

The Sad Tale Of My Very Fat Royalty Payments

The Imperative Subterfuge (When Eva Braun Met Gandhi)

The Imperative Subterfuge (When Eva Braun Met Gandhi)

So, first, I thought I’ll go for some prime real estate in London. Preferably the townhouse next to JK Rowling so I could go borrow sugar or the occasional copy of her next book written under an innocent pseudonym whenever I wanted. But then I worried that her neighborhood might be infested with the Russian Mafia of many hues – after all, they are the only folks buying property in London, as per the newspapers. I didn’t want to get shot just because I don’t have a ‘Y’ and a ‘Z’ in my name.

In any case, one book was hardly likely to cause that kind of monetary windfall, so I pegged my sights a bit lower.

I thought, how about an expensive holiday? I considered Brazil, Turkey, Egypt and Japan, the only four places I might be interested in as a tourist (I am not much of a traveler). A quick Google search on the first three landed me on news reports of Anna Hazare – Kejriwal styled street demonstrations (or British soccer fan styled hooliganism, take your pick). Mental images of me at a hospital getting six stitches on my forehead because a stone (or broken beer bottle, take your pick) landed there promptly made me scratch those country off the list. As for Japan, I still remember the tsunami videos quite well. (I just saw them recently in fact – someone was passing those off as “Must Watch Video From Uttarakhand!”)

Good that the luxury travel plans were scaled down from 100 to 0, quite likely that the royalty checks were not going to be that substantial anyway.

Maybe I’ll just upgrade to a brand new computer, I thought next. My old laptop is still going great, but it is 5 years old. And, it runs Windows Vista, for goodness sakes. ‘How’s your Windows 8 laptop doing’, I asked a friend. It was not nice to see a grown man weep like that.

So, no computer either.

New phone, you suggest? Yep, I suggested that to myself, too, only to find out that the iPhone 5S (or 6) is still a few months away. Plus, no one buys Apple these days and I won’t touch Android.

All this happened while I patiently waited to hear back from the kind editors at Amazon Kindle Singles. They had been reviewing my debut book – The Imperative Subterfuge (When Eva Braun Met Gandhi) – for several weeks. Yesterday, they wrote back to me declining my request to have my novel be considered as a Kindle Single, but offering me to go ahead and release it via Kindle Direct Publishing. Rejection! I instantly felt kinship with Rahul Gandhi – a pretty face and yet no takers.

Amidst watered down images of JK Rowling, that luxury spa in Rio, and the swankiest new iPhone, the image distortions possibly caused by welled up eyes and heartache, I did just that – self-publish my first book via Amazon last night. (For the worriers, the heartache was because of some terrible samosas I ate the evening before, so STOP worrying!)

And now that I am a self-published author who is unlikely to see any large (or small) royalty checks in his mailbox anytime soon, I will just have to settle for a self-funded ice cream at best. But, in order to afford that, YOU, my dear reader, will have to go and check out my book at the Amazon store. And download a copy.

Won’t you do that for me? And while you are at it, do spread the word around as far and wide as you possibly can!

 

Note : You don’t need a Kindle device for reading the ebook. All you need to have is the Kindle App on your smartphone, tablet or PC. Click here to get the free app for your preferred device.