Saturday, February 22, 2014

Condition Serious Hai

Came across a contest organised by Cadbury 5 Star about people jinki #ConditionSeriousHai. So, here is my take on two friends discussing a love affair - either real or imagined.

At what point does one realize that you are in love with someone? Gaurav wondered as he walked up the stairs to their flat. Every time he left Rohini, the urge to ask her to stay back grew stronger. How long will it take my ego to actually say it to her, he wondered?
As he fumbled with the keys, he thought about the number of love stories that do not happen because the guy is trying too hard not to appear desperate to the girl.
He threw the keys in the bowl on the cabinet and kicked off his shoes. The TV was on. Dandy was watching a news channel at half past two?

“Has Nigar Khan joined…” he stopped to take the scene in. A distinguished looking lady was sitting on the futon. She was twirling the remote and had The Authoritative Calvin & Hobbes open on her lap.
“Hi, you must be Gaurav.” She switched to Bengali and said, “My name is Rituparna. I am also a Bong, though not from Calcutta.”
“Hello.” Gaurav squeaked as he tried desperately to think of a polite way of asking what-the-fuck-are-you-doing-in-my-drawing-room.
“I was wondering why you were late.” Atul walked in. “You guys have met. She is the Head of HR at the bank.”
“Oh.” Gaurav’s confusion increased now.
“I think I will freshen up. The cab should be reaching.” Rituparna said and turned to leave the room. She stopped at the door. “I was noticing that you have all the eight albums that make up the complete Calvin & Hobbes series.”
“You are the second person to notice that.”
“Thankfully, you did not say that I was too old to figure that out.” She smiled brightly, turned on her heels and entered Dandy’s room.

“Who is she?” Gaurav whispered to Atul.
“I told you na… she is the HR Head of…”
“You jerk. I heard that. What is she doing in our flat at 2 AM? Don’t tell me you are screwing her…”
“Well, screw is not the word…”
“You were making lurve, maybe? And I thought you were finding some Ritu babe in your office hot.”
“She is Ritu.”
“Her name is Rituparna. Everybody calls her Ritu,”
“That Ritu is this Ritu? Mind-blowing. You are seeing the VP – HR of your company all this while and pretending as if you are…”
The curtain parted and Rituparna walked back in. She was pulling a strolley and had a bag on her shoulder.
“I am catching the first flight to Bangalore. So, instead of going back all the way to my pad, I thought I’ll just sack here.”
“Where do you stay?”
“Samudra Mahal. It’s an apartment block near the Worli…”
“Yes, I kind of know it.”
Her mobile rang. “Yes, I will just come down. My cab’s here. So, see you around – Gaurav. We must catch dinner together sometime.”
“Yeah, sure.”
“We had dinner at Mahesh. Atul was missing you very badly. Though that did not reduce his appetite one bit.”
“Yes, he is a bit of a hypocrite that way!”
“He is, isn’t he?” She ruffled Atul’s hair as she adjusted her bag, which had slipped down.
Atul walked her to the lift.

Gaurav attacked him the moment he walked back in. “You bastard, how come you don’t tell me anything nowadays?”
“Bugger off, you are sounding like Rajendra Kumar.”
“Screw you. Why did you keep her under wraps?”
“Bugger, I am not even sure if we are an item or not. Look, it’s not like a simple fling you have after meeting at an office party. She is like very like me, you know. And you, for that matter. She kind of relates.” Atul made quote gestures as he said ‘relates’.
“Which world are you living in? You are sleeping with a grown-up woman and you don’t know if you are seeing her?”
“We are not!”
“What? Seeing each other?”
“Yes, that. And sleeping too. We did not have sex today. Or ever.”
“But she looked very post-coital right now.”
“Tu bada jaanta hai coitus ke barey mein?”
“The girl ruffles your hair on her way out. She is relaxing on your futon while you come out adjusting trousers. If this is not coitus…”
“Bloody hell. If you are in Shikha’s drawing room at 2 AM, does it mean you are screwing her?”
“No, it means I am massaging my balls after she chewed them off in a pool session. Abbe, don’t be bloody pendantic. Shikha is like one of the guys. She is not some statuesque head of HR…”
“What is the meaning of statuesque?”
Gaurav started laughing.

“Why are you laughing, fucker?”
“Here, a lady lot older than you is sitting in your flat in the middle of the night and you are thinking of word meanings?”
“She is a friend, yaar!”
“But you have the hots for her…”
Atul was uncharacteristically shy. “Well, I do have a bit of a soft corner…”
“Soft corner? Bloody hell… you have a hard-on.”
Gaurav softened when he saw Dandy’s expression. And had to smile.
“So, how is she?”
“She’s very cool, yaar. She attended the Rolling Stones concert. She met them backstage and had a Licks t-shirt autographed and all.”
“Does she know the songs also or…”
“Boss, she is totally into it. She knows the Stones. She knows Calvin & Hobbes. She knows teen-patti. She is on first name terms with Abbas…”
“Who is Abbas?”
“The manager of Zenzi. He like escorted us in when we were there.”
“So, she is super cool. But if she is so cool, why is she working on a Sunday?”
“She just went on a tour, right?”
“Arre, she is going to Bangalore. To meet her daughter. She is at the NLS.”
“You are dating a woman with a grown up daughter?”
“Chuck this grown up woman bit. I am not dating… actually, I am dating her.”
“Dandy, you are priceless. You are dating a woman who is like a lot older, a lot lot richer and a lot lot lot sophisticated. Do you think you can handle it?”
“What is there to handle, yaar? Right now, I like being with her. I think she also likes being with me. So, we are trying dating. Let’s see how we both feel after a year or so?”
“Your mom will leave you in peace for a year? Without asking to get married?”
“Haan yaar, that’s not happening! But then, if I take Ritu and tell Ma that I want to marry her, then can you imagine the scene?”
They both doubled over in laughter at the thought. When they stopped, Gaurav had to say what had been their catchphrase since b-school days. 

“Dandy yaar, tera condition serious hai...” 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

From the Modi Campaign Trail

As Narendra Modi cranks up the frequent flier miles on the campaign trail, his ecstatic fans are already sounding the victory bugle all over the internet. That they are doing it in their characteristic abrasive style is also the cause of much lamentation among the people who usually get to write newspaper columns. Thanks to some of Mr Modi’s more enthusiastic supporters, his campaign has got shots of (unintentional?) humour – much needed in these serious times.
Here are five examples of ‘fan-art’ from his supporters, gleaned from the wondrous, cavernous folds of the Internet.  
Needless to say, it can be convincingly argued that some of them may have actually been created by Mr Modi’s detractors. I – myself – believe that these are indeed made by his die-hard fans, probably because I see sincerity instead of cynicism in all of them. But hey, it could be just me!

NaMo + Momo = National Intergration

To take on AAP and their cavalier treatment of Ugandan women and to highlight the death of a Mizo student in Delhi while AAP was in power, Narendra Modi met up with students from North East. And his PR cell promptly reduced the meeting into a popular Bollywood-style stereotype.
“Momo bechne walon ke saath NaMo hai...” was the rousing line with the message ended – banishing the articulate, erudite, good-looking population of North East to the roadside momo stall in one fell swoop.  
Oh – they also added Sushma Swaraj’s ‘flat-nose-sharp-nose’ sauce, just in case you thought the momo was too bland!

Tit For Tattoo
What you want written on the soul, you tattoo – Old Jungle Saying.
And so you have this young girl who has tattooed a gigantic face of Mr Modi on her entire back and his PR machinery clearly sees this as an example of her ‘deewangi’. I am hoping for the girl’s sake that this is Photoshopped. Can you imagine the plight of her fellow dandiya dancers if she is wearing a backless choli and Namo peeps out in ‘Big Brother is watching you’ style? And of course, slightly imaginative positions during coitus are a strict no-no!  
Am I the only one who thinks NaMo looks a bit like Osama in the tattoo, especially with the white t-shirt looking like an Afghan turban on him?

Let A Thousand Flowers Bloom
Meghna Patel threw caution (and her clothes) to the wind as she posed nude* (terms & conditions apply) on a carpet of lotuses – only with a poster of Mr Modi for company. Ever since Ms Poonam Pandey pioneered the concept of ‘stripping as reward’, several starlets have followed her on the disrobed path. But this was something new.
‘Nude for NaMo’ was announced as an incentive or reward. What was Ms Patel saying? Vote for NaMo and I will throw away the lotuses? I don’t want a Hand to touch me? What?
Either way, she was reprimanded by a BJP official for doing something that was – you guessed it – alien to Indian culture. 
[On his birthday, Mr Modi was wished by Mallika Sherawat on national television through what was clearly the most execrable performance of the ‘Happy Birthday’ song ever. I am not including that in my list since it was a promotion of Ms Sherawat’s forthcoming TV show and not a Modi campaign message. Masochists, click here.]

Monkey Shakti, Tan Ki Shakti
While monkeys are our ancestors in a distant sort of way, we always refer to them in a negative way. All through my childhood, the word “Bnador” – in Bengali – is always reserved for the naughtiest kids and other cultures are no different. Therefore, the mind boggled when his PR cell compared Mr Modi to a monkey. On closer inspection, one realised it was Hanuman who he was being compared with. Surely, a visage of Ramanand Sagar’s Hanuman would have been more apt?
But the sincerity, with which the message asks you to recount the similarities 'apne dil par haath rakh kar', is something else.  

NaMo NaMo PM Go!
This is my personal favourite. Primarily because they rhyme 'tea vendor' with 'the last air-bender'. How cool is THAT? 
Everything that NaMo does (or is going to do) finds place here. In three exciting minutes, this video manages to summarise the main qualities* (terms & conditions apply) of the PM candidate, that too in rhyme. Set to dance music. And with snazzy slide transition effects? As Saif Ali Khan says, WOW!
If this is not worth 272 seats, I don’t know what is?