Thursday, August 20, 2009


On June 19 this year, Bangladesh advanced its clock by an hour to address the precarious power scenario.
The most memorable aspect of this move, however, has to be the headline that appeared on June 18 - "Aaj ratri egarotay, Pradhan Mantri deshey barota bajaben"!
Unfortunately, completely lost in translation.

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Mini-posters and small graffiti created by one Mr KC Paul are seen in several parts of central Calcutta.
Mr Paul claims "the sun goes around the earth once a year".
I remember reading an interview of his some 20 years back, where he explained how the thought first came to him when he was a paratrooper and saw the earth remain steady while the sun moved around. He also has detailed calculations to prove his theory. He is obviously not the only one to propound this notion but unfortunately, all his supporters died some 300 years back. He soldiers on nevertheless.
And for people seeking a clarification (or maybe, even a healthy debate) are welcome to call him at 9332372027, which he lists in his graffiti.

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Apparently, the title which is shared by the maximum number of Indian films is Laila Majnu. Followed by Tarzan and variations thereof. In an old mail I got, I have 19 names, including the following - Tarzan ki Beti, Tarzan aur Jaadui Chiraag, Tarzan aur King Kong, Tarzan comes to Delhi, Tarzan 303, Tarzan Mera Saathi (right after Haathi Mera Saathi), Tarzan aur Cobra, Tarzan aur Nobra. Oops, not the last one.

And of course, there is plain and simple Tarzan - of Hemant Birje fame.

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On Mehrauli-Gurgaon road after you cross the Delhi border, there are a couple of old bookshops. For people who are too lazy to go to Dariyaganj, this is an acceptable option.

The first time I went there - without expecting to find anything really - I chanced upon a copy of The History of Indian Cricket by Mihir Bose. A cover price of Rs 995 and in a relatively decent condition (except for a fold in the middle of the cover), I asked how much they wanted for it. My wife turned around to see that I was in the car within the next one minute. When they said "100 bucks", I did not risk hanging around the shop and letting them change their mind!

This time, I picked up Zounds! A Browser's Dictionary of Interjections (one of three books for Rs 100). A long time back, I remember reading in a Tintin comic (The Calculus Affair) about a guy saying "Geronimo!" before zooming off in his car and wondered why.

Now I know... Geronimo was an American-Indian Chief, who was the bete noire of the US Army. Once, he escaped the US cavalry by jumping off a cliff while on his horse. And he screamed out his name in an act of insolence! As his legend grew, this scream became popular among all who try to become airborne!

The full name of the guy who said it in the Tintin comic was Arturro Benedetto Giovanni Giuseppe Pietro Archangelo Alfredo Cartofoli da Milano. But that's a story for another day!


Roger Rabbit said...

The snippet on Geronimo is really wonderful! Thanks.
I looked in Wikipedia and actually learnt a lot about Geronimo. High time they made a proper film on him (they've made quite a few but the last proper one was in the 70s).

He he.... by the way, Tarzan Aur Nobra does sound good !

Nilendu said...

I read about that Geronimo byte (along with a detailed history of Typhoid Mary; and how irritated Napoleon's son eventually became) in Bathroom Reader. Best books are always bought the cheapest!

Diligent Candy said...

I want more posts like this.

hack said...

good that someone mentions that very strange person who writes those graffiti with diagrams on walls.