Roses really smell like poo-poo

IMG_1307.CR2 exoticIt’s a little late but I finally watched John Madden’s 2011 sleeper hit ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ the other day on tv. It turned out to be a predictable story. It was a big hit with left-of-centre, Guardian reading, Birkenstock wearing crowd in London. As an Indian, I couldn’t help but get irritated with the unending stream of stereotypes.

Ah well. It’s just a stupid movie.

Then, today I came across this article written by an Indian writer in the Guardian sneering at an ultramodern airport terminal built in Mumbai.
10IN_THSAS_MA6_1716515g
His slant was to focus on the squalor of the rest of Mumbai “The size of the average Mumbai family is 4.5 people, and the average home size is 10 square metres, so some of their most private moments transpire in the midst of a crowd.”

Now I’m no fan of Mumbai. It’s a shithole. But this sanctimonious liberal Western media really need to get their heads out of their arses.

The Airports Council International rated Mumbai’s terminal one of the best in the world, along with the new Indira Gandhi terminal, while no London terminals made the list.

In the words of one angry commenter:
“Since the British can no longer tell Indians and others how to think about India, they’ll pay an Indian writer who is more than happy to pass off British racist perceptions as his own, or dress it up in high caste “brown-face”, like Pankaj Mishra, Rohinton Mistry, and Arundhati Roy (all of whom speak for lower castes but are high caste).”

It is as if the value of India resides only in its ancient contributions to human knowledge whereas its pathetic attempts to modernise or develop are to be winked at and patronised.

We all starve; we eat monkey brains; we worship rats; we worship cows. We are noble savages.

And look at that, they’re even building an airport now. How sweet.

Did you watch The Wolf Of Wall Street? I don’t know what the critics are saying, but I enjoyed it. I found it inspiring enough to google Jordan Belfort.

True, he’s a criminal, but you’ve got to admit to become a millionaire many times over like he did, at his age, needs brains and balls. And in all his interviews, the one thing he keeps repeating is “You are not your past.”

You are not your past.

Most of our limiting beliefs come from our past experiences.

Belfort takes a triumphant view on traumatic past life experiences. You are not your past, you are the resources and capabilities you glean from it. That is the basis for all change. If you survived the worst of the worse and are still breathing, you can learn from that. The more crap from your life that you survived, the more likely that you will become great. You must change the way you look at your past. Reverse the angle. View the past as a prelude to your vision for the future.

True, we are the land of Ayurveda and Gandhi. But we are also now, in a lot of ways, not too dissimilar from urban America or Britain.

Miles and miles of urban sprawl. Check.
Malls, ATMs and Starbucks on every corner. Check.
Millions of cars and traffic gridlock. Check.
Skinny hipsters ordering egg white omlettes. Check.

Oh but you also have so many poor people. It’s the Great Divide.

You want to talk about the Great Divide? 
London ranks as one of the most unequal cities in the developed world. Wider than it has been since the days of slavery. the top 10 per cent of people living in London have on average wealth worth £933,563, while the poorest 10 per cent are on average worth £3,420 – some 273 times less.
And if you think disparity isn’t a problem in America, that is just self-delusion. The highest child-mortality rate in the developed world, less social mobility even than the UK. And which country did the phrase ‘white trash’ come from? Or ‘loser cruiser’ for a public bus? No, the difference is Americans live in a state of complete denial about their rigid paralysing class structure.

While our slumdog culture, religion and the caste system are emphasised in Western discourse and movies, no mention is made of post-independence secular India’s efforts toward national integration of its minorities. No mention is made of laws and efforts against discrimination, or the country’s 60-year effort towards active inclusion of scheduled caste and scheduled tribe population in educational and employment opportunities. People also forget to introspect the fact that social discrimination and prejudice has been a widespread worldwide issue, for example the treatment of African Americans in southern United States. For every Gujarat riot, there’s the Hurricane Katrina efforts, which, succinctly put, are a strategically planned failure by the US government. The 2011 London riots were caused by welfare dependence, social exclusion, lack of fathers, hooliganism, spending cuts, consumerism and racism.

You want to talk about rape? The U.S. Census Bureau for the Bureau of Justice Statistics counted 188,380 victims of rape and sexual assault in a year recently. These are charged crimes. 1.3 million incidents were reported. And they say rape is one of the most grossly underreported crimes in the United States. In the UK, only 1,070 rapists are convicted every year despite up to 95,000 people suffering the trauma of rape. That means nearly 98 out of 100 rapists in the UK get away with it.

My point is, there is a lot of shit over here. But there’s a lot of shit everywhere. In the words of rapper Andre 3000, I know you’d like to thank your shit don’t stank. But lean a little bit closer, see that roses really smell like poo-poo-oo. Yeah, roses really smell like poo-poo-oo.

For those of us who aren’t newlywed soldiers

Barring newborn babies and yet undiscovered tribes of cannibals in Fiji and the Andamans, it is a safe assumption that pretty soon every human being on this planet will be carrying a mobile phone.

That is because a) human beings love to talk to each other, and as countless mobile service provider ads tells us, b) this is a good thing. This is also borne out by psychiatrists, Moms, well-intentioned HR people, United Nations officials and hostage negotiators. “Just talk it out”. Note to self: ‘Google this line. See if it’s taken. It has all the makings of a telecom pitch winning slogan’. After all, somebody at some point of time, thought all these lines were brilliant. And must have sealed the deal and won the pitch.

‘Reach out and touch someone’ AT&T
‘Connecting people’ Nokia
‘It’s good to talk’ British Telecom
‘Stick together’ T-mobile
‘Dil jo chaahe paas laye’ Airtel
‘Dil ki baat’ Airtel
‘Let’s talk’ LG

Cut to visuals of lonely soldiers in Siachen talking to their wives and sad grand-dads who go into a paroxysm of joy when their impossibly cute grand child calls them.

It’s all the same fucking thing actually. ‘Reach out and touch someone’  is the same as ‘Connecting people’ is the same as ‘It’s good to talk’. Like ‘Impossible is nothing’ and ‘Just do it’ are actually the same thing.

Somebody digs out the highest order benefit of the category and try and figure different ways to put their flag on it. Brand laddering is the more wanky term for it.

So if all these marketing geniuses and psychiatrists and moms across the world have nailed this as the great human truth behind talking, why do I hate it so much?

I hate incoming calls. They are a vexation. Don’t mind incoming texts so much. But I hate having to chat with people, even friends and family when it’s not at my convenience. And convenience is an outgoing call. Because I get to choose my moment of leisure to have a chat. Incoming calls invariably interrupt. And most people with non-ADHD levels of concentration do not like to be interrupted while they’re in the middle of doing something.

It could also be that I am a hateful misanthrope who should be locked up in solitary confinement. But it turns out I’m not alone. As I found out, there are loads of other, sane, people-loving sorts who hate incoming calls. Not loads really. But a few, at least.

This obviously does not include the lonely soldier in Siachen or sad granddads or lovelorn teenagers.

Does anybody have any concern for us Self-centred Non-Needy types?

There are some of us who aren’t newlywed soldiers you know.

That’s why I suggest we write of Rules of Etiquette for Self-centred Non-Needy People. Not too many rules in there. Just one actually.

‘Unless there’s a specific reason, don’t call. Ever.’

And a corollary:
‘If you really, really have to call, text first. Or e-mail.’

The mobile phone is a tremendously useful tool. It is vital for any sort of business communication and also good for locating lost people and killing time while you’re at the dentist’s. In the early hours of the morning, its light is also useful to find your slippers at the foot of the bed.

But it is also an obnoxious instrument that is a ruiner of concentration and moments of solitude.

So, if it’s alright with you, I would prefer very much if you would, whenever you feel the uncontrollable urge, reach out and touch someone else.

Slumbai

Until recently I had Mumbai labeled as One Of The Shittiest Places To Live In. And if it weren’t for the existence of Patna and Kolkata, the ‘One Of’ would also be questionable.

Let’s start with that popular euphemism

The buzz of Bombay

“Everyone is always walking so fast!”

Now think about it.

If you have to spend 4 hours every day going back and forth to work, the one thing you wouldn’t want is to extend those 4 hours by another half hour.

So you walk faster.

And it’s not like you want to stop and smell the armpits of the lepers and eunuchs who are inescapable in this city.

So you walk faster.

And don’t you just love the smell of benzopyrene in the morning?

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) latest Environment Status Report (ESR) released on September 3, 2011 shows shows that the presence of benzopyrene, a highly cancer causing chemical released in the air, in the city has risen eight times from its minimum level of 0.13 µg/1000m3 in 2008-2009 to 1.09. The maximum level has increased five times, from 0.54 µg/1000m3 in 2008- 2009 to 2.56. Long-term human exposure to benzopyrene can lead to genetic damage. I bet you can’t wait to raise children in Mumbai.

The Axe Effect

I’m not making this up. Mumbai authorities have purchased 42,000 litres of perfume to spray on the city’s enormous waste dumps at Deonar and Mulund landfill sites after people living near the landfill sites complained of the stench. The Deonar landfill site, one of India’s largest, was first used by the British in 1927. Now this festering pile covers more than 120 hectares and is eight storeys high. Around 500,000 people live near the two dumps.

In March 2011, Mumbai was ranked seventh in a list of the world’s 25 dirtiest cities published by Forbes magazine, a worse rating than even Baghdad. Mumbai’s council now has plans to close part of the dumps and use the methane the rest generates to help solve the city’s power crisis.

Hafeez Contractor’s vision of hell

Mumbai is a city built without city planning or zoning restrictions. A haphazard clusterfuck of a city designed by architects from the post-aesthetic school of design.

The trouble is typified by a nascent proposal for the development of a defunct textile mill at Prabha Devi. This 8-acre plot is being allowed to use a Floor Space Index of 10: three million sq ft of built up area. In Lower Parel, a 62-floor supertall skyscraper called the Namaste Tower is proposed. At the narrow Hughes Road intersection, is planned a 60-65 floor condominium; and at the even narrower Marine Lines Road near Charni Road station we are soon to have another splendid addition to Mumbai’s deluxe hotels.

All these oversized developments are permitted because FSI and building rights are treated in isolation from all other factors, divorced from the needs and requirements of the locality and, consequently, the city itself. These constructions bear no relation to the roads on which they stand, the capacity of those roads, or, for that matter, the supporting infrastructure, let alone the physical or visual feel of the vicinity.

The people, the vibe.

Naresh Fernandes, reporting for the New Yorker in the aftermath of the recent Mumbai blasts (What Mumbai Spirit?) said it best. “It suddenly became clear this morning that the sentiment many had identified as the Mumbai spirit was probably epic apathy all along. And, really, who could blame the residents of this city of just over twelve million for being too exhausted to think about anything other than their gruelling daily routines? Behind the sparkling Bollywood façade it projects to the world, Mumbai is a city riven with gargantuan problems. It’s more slum dog than millionaire. More than sixty per cent of the residents of India’s financial capital live in shanties, with twenty thousand people packed into each square kilometre. The pollution is often throat-searing; the water supply and road systems are overstretched. The trains, which carry about 6.9 million commuters every work day, are designed to transport seventeen hundred passengers each, but in peak hour bone-crunchingly pack in forty-five hundred travellers.”

Bambaiyya Hindi

Then there’s the pidgin Hindi lingo that has evolved out of this abyss. A coarse doggerel that is best suited to low-life and those without the IQ to understand a language properly. It is a commercial shorthand that evolved to deal with a large number of uneducated people. Like, imagine you have an illiterate Marathi maid and you speak only Tamil. In a matter of time you will concoct a form of speech with few words and few complications that get the point across ignoring finer nuances. Baby talk, essentially. Bumbaiyya Hindi is a version of baby talk between Marathi and Hindi speakers.

Subhuman, abominable shithole

If you watched Danny Boyle’s much lauded Poverty Opus, Slumdog Millionaire, the term ‘Beggar mafia’ would be familiar to you. I can’t think of any criminal act more debased than those committed here. I can understand someone stealing because they’re so dirt poor that they have no option. But what sort of person, what sort of sick fuck can be so violent and amoral that they are prepared to hack the limbs off children, as well as steal new-born babies from hospitals? And abuse and starve these children as begging ‘props’ to maximise their earnings from sympathetic passers-by?

Although this problem is pan-India, you guessed it, Slumbai is the heart of this industry. The beggar mafia makes more than Rs 160 Cr a year in Mumbai alone. According to official figures, as many as 44,000 children fall into the clutches of the beggar mafia in India each year and of these, hundreds are deliberately mutilated.

Mumbai is number one when it comes to missing children. Mumbai has been partly responsible for India being placed in Tier 2 of the human trafficking watchlist by the US Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.

When I say Mumbai is a shithole I don’t mean that other Indian cities are shining examples of community living. Shit happens everywhere but why does the sickest shit happen in Mumbai?

And every day I read about someone raving about how awesome Mumbai is and there’s no place in the world like it. Fuck, yeah. There is no place in the world like it. If you love it so much, live there. You deserve it.

Enjoy the benzopyrene.

The proper way to do megalomania

Angelina Jolie is adopting African kids.
 Angelina Jolie is writing articles in the Washington Post about Iraq. Brad Pitt is having lunch with Kofi Annan. Tom Cruise and Madonna are spokespersons for a new religion. Jude Law is mediating with the Taliban on behalf of the world. Seriously.

These people are actors. Just good looking people who’s sole talent, apart from having fleshy bums and high cheekbones, is that they are good at pretending to be someone else. They enact stories to entertain us. They are, at best, an amusing pastime. A prurient indulgence. In terms of artistic significance, they would be placed in the ‘Performance Art’ folder, somewhere between Dancers and Jugglers.

Time was when actors made it into the news for sleeping with loads of people, or throwing tv sets out of hotel room windows. Or just a good old fashioned heroin overdose. 

There’s this Elvis story I love. I don’t know if it’s true but they say Jimmy Carter once invited Elvis to visit him at the White House. Elvis’ people wrote back saying it would cost them $50,000. Appearance fee. Flabbergasted, the White House replied saying it was a great honour and whatever to get invited to the White House by the American president. Reply from Elvis. $50,000 if you want me to visit.

You may be the President, but I am the King, asshole.

That’s the proper way to do megalomania.

I’m sure Elvis did his bit for the American community donating money and his seed, selflessly, across the country. He didn’t pontificate. He didn’t go on about third-world conflicts, strange religions and post-natal depression.

I like George Clooney. I even believe his efforts at Darfur are well-intentioned and I don’t think he’s doing it for the attention. But given the post-Bono world we live in, one can’t help but wonder if it is marketing disguised as philanthropy. It is counter productive.

It’s insane how obsessed the world is with actors. India hasn’t been far behind. Every superstar actor has some political agenda or the other. It began in the old days with NTR, MGR and Rajkumar to the present day Rajnikanth and Chiranjeevi quagmire.

Do people ever stop to think before they vote?

How does a chiselled jaw or shapely figure (not that it applies to any of those mentioned in the last few lines) make for a great political leader? How do their infantile brains make that connection, I wonder?

There was a time when Arun Govil, the actor portraying the role of Lord Ram in the popular tv series Ramayan was hailed in some parts of the country as Lord Ram himself. How does a sane person arrive at such a decision? Do they not know that he’s just an actor, a mere entertainer? Do they really think God acts in tv serials under the pseudonym Arun Govil?

There is only one conclusion to draw from these observations. Stupidity is more prevalent than you and I think. Stupidity, like AIDS, is dangerous to humanity. Off the cuff, I would recommend mass culling based on IQ tests. But that wouldn’t sit well with my conscience. So the next best thing, deny dumb people their right to adult franchise. That’s the only way.

Think about that while Jude Law is busy negotiating for the world with the Taliban.

I hope those Afghans ass-rape him

Too Much Oestrogen Is A Dangerous Thing

A recent report in the paper states that women’s breasts are getting bigger and the expert opinions they’ve glommed from the Daily Star state it’s due to an increase in female hormones caused by pollution and man-made chemicals in the environment.

If that is true then expect to see flights to Bangalore fully booked by flat-chested women from all over the world.

However, like everyone with a brain, I distrust anything the TOI prints. The editor must have googled ‘breasts’, found this article and passed it on to his sub-editors with the memo ‘Cover story for tomorrow. Unless Amitabh Bachhan has a new post on his blog.’

So I have another forkful of scrambled eggs, finish my tea and turn the page, choosing to not worry about oestrogen anymore.

Later in the day, I happen to be looking up prominent people in the Indian literary scene. Don’t ask. Something related to my day job. Too tedious to get into. I come across this blog written by a published female Indian author, Mridula Koshy.

Here are some excerpts. I quote verbatim.

“Torn petals of marigold drift between us. My heart is a stranger I watch take a step and then two, and the arm carves a smile there, in the belly, now spills a mass, dark into the dust.”

“Time is an accordion that never opening, closes.”

“Eagerness in our quivering knees. She leads us between yellow walls. Twist, she barks. Slop pots empty from overhead. She is nose lost in fetid piles. We are curious. So this is her bliss. Everywhere small lights quench. Sigh and rustle, man and woman embrace. The moon slides across the carom board sky. Onward the joy. Bound, stumble, prostrate. Feel it passing over us, gray lace, the trailing of night’s hem.”

The TOI, for once, was right. This oestrogen overload thing must be true. Nobody with a regular level of female hormones could construct transferred epithets of such staggering womanliness. Did you read that bit about the “arm carving a smile”? No amount of substance abuse can result in that. This author obviously has a yet-undiagnosed condition.

Wodehouse readers will no doubt recall the caricature that PGW created in Madeline Basset who believed ‘every time a fairy hiccoughs, a wee baby is born.’

Stylists and lyrical writers occupy a grey area in literature. On the one hand you have Shakespeare, and allowing personal bias, T S Eliot.  To the Bard is attributed such gems as ‘Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war’, ‘the winter of our discontent’ (Not Churchill, as many believe), ‘Salad Days’ and the classic ‘Woe is me’. He left us with an overflowing vault of phrases to turn into clichés, use in inspiring speeches and patch together in movie dialogues. So, thanks to the Shakemeister and a handful of others, to which I can even add Rushdie, we can all shout a big ‘Hooray for Stylists’.

On the other hand, you have writers of odious tripe, sentimental bilge about torn petals of marigold who are acclaimed for their stylistic virtues.

“Here is a natural stylist, with an easy, accessible turn of phrase…Hers is a determined, stealthy eye, born of fierce concentration, often conjuring up a rustic quiet: ‘Now her pregnant beauty startles him like the fish that rustle and slip past his shins in the flooded fields of paddy he bends over to seed.”

Rajni George, India Today, June 22, 2009.

Thing is, when I picture people writing stuff like that, I picture them in a tranquil (I hate that word but it’s apt) setting with aromatherapy oils slathered over themselves, stroking a peacock, listening to James Blunt. Before you read too much into it, I’m not making any more gay jokes here. This is about chick jokes. Let’s get our prejudices right.

So the question is, how much femininity qualifies as an acceptable norm? Where do we draw the line? In Ms Koshy’s case, clearly she needs help. They need to immediately cart her into a trauma unit and suck out as much oestrogen out of her as possible, before she grows a beard. And, obviously, keep her far away from pollution and man-made chemicals in the environment.

First published in KIRIK 03, May 2010

Know your Rathore

Rajvardhan Singh

Army Colonel, supposed crack shot. Silver medal winner two Olympics ago. Said he was feeling “pressured” because of Automaton Bindra at the last Olympics. Bindra Gold, Rathore comes back with jack. So much for the Flag Bearer. Recently spotted in a fucked-up Hero Honda advertisement trying to drum up support for the Indian hockey team by threatening the viewer with his “achook nishana” or else sort of thing. Well, the Indian Hockey team had their ass handed to them by everyone, but beat the Pakis, which counts as a great achievement around here. Loser poster boy for loser team. Dhak dhak India.

SP S

Until recently, Director General of Police of some backward state in North India. Used said status to molest some kid who then killed herself. Thanks to the status enjoyed by top cops and the so-called justice system, made merry till a few months ago when he was handed a suspended sentence and a fine which was the equivalent of $20. Media hyenas pick up on the story for their own narrow agendas. Not that they really are for truth or justice or anything, lest you think so. They whipped up public resentment into pursuing SPS with more cases and in one instance being stabbed in the face thrice by some misguided NID fellow. SPS shrugs off stabbing and continues to grin his way through the whole mess.

Kiran

This one is also called Rathod in some places so if we got it wrong, enjoy the eye candy upon googling and don’t mail us. Two-bit actress who had a role as a maid in some flick in 2001. Good thing Shiny Ahuja wasn’t in the cast.

Vikram

Debutante cricketer who made it to one ODI match against England in 1996 and scored 50. S Ganguly, who was the center of attention during that tour for spending more time on his phone than at the crease probably also scored. But not at the crease. Vikram faded into oblivion, but Ganguly is, sadly still around.

Dr Mobeen

No reason for this really, save for the name coming up in Google searches. Pediatric infectious diseases are her domain. If you have infectious kids, go see her and keep clear of us. My name is Ishmael.

First published in KIRIK 02, March 2010

The Brown Man: Otherwise known as the Aam Admi

Each time prices go up or elections go down, it’s all about the Aam Aadmi and how he’s having such a hard time of it. Does the AA deserve so much attention and “mindshare” as they say?

‘Aam’ is the Uzbek word for ‘cunt’. Pardon my French, but there’s no other way to say it. Not ‘vagina’ as an anatomical reference but ‘cunt’ as a scurrilous term. Rather appropriate, we think.

The AA is a jackass who doesn’t deserve the freedoms of a supposedly up and coming democracy. One would imagine, given sixty years of lament of his exploitation, the AA would exercise a tad bit of his native instinct for self-preservation in choosing the people that “rule” him, don’t you think?

To fully understand how thick the AA is, consider the circus surrounding that shameless sponger, Koda.

As recently as 1994, a daily labourer. No shame in that.

Inveigled his way into the Chief Ministership of Jharkhand. Some shame in that. But that’s not the point here.

When investigated recently for corruption, he was found to have about 500 million smackers in USD. SFX: Sharp intake of breath and low whistle. Certainly no shame in that. It’s practically the most sought-after Indian occupation, stealing from the public.

So now Koda is in the clink being investigated by the CBI (which probably means not being investigated at all) does the AA, from who Koda stole for years, realize this? Let’s see what happens next. Koda’s wife stands for election and wins handily. Proclaims victory as sign of husband’s innocence. AA celebrates on the streets of Jharkhand.

One has an impression of Jharkhand as a poor state. But not so poor that the odd half billion can’t be stolen from its people, it seems.

Given that its people comprising solidly of the AA demonstrated how unworthy they are of having the freedom of choice, they can hardly be deemed deserving of the things half a billion would’ve bought them in public amenities and services.

That kind of jack could buy really good roads, for starters. Probably buy a really great public transport system. Bits of which will be burnt each time some lumpen elements have a grouse about some non-issue or the other.

AA is a state of mind not a social or economic standard. It is a philosophy that begets a way of life. Ever noticed railway crossings in India just before the barrier is lifted? Both lanes will invariably be clogged with traffic. So that when they meet, it almost always results in a gridlock situation.

How fucking dumb do you have to be to realize that filling up both lanes just ruins it for everyone?

It’s a symptom of a bigger disease that afflicts AA. Selfishness and complete disregard of simple rules that make man a cooperative social being living with others. Look at those crapping on the roads. I’m sure there is some pious social worker who feels really sorry for the poor souls who cannot even afford the dignity of a private dump. Let me tell you something, Auntie Tie-Dye, shitting on the road has nothing to do with poverty and everything to do with a lack of dignity.

Why not do it a little out of way, dig a hole and bury your muck? Why do it in broad daylight, by the side of the road? He doesn’t care if it spreads germs and nor do his fellow AA’s. They’re into that sort of shit. They have evolved to develop an amazing immunity against germs in scattered faeces, cut fruits and stagnant water. Leching, vandalism, raping, spitting, vomiting off buses, ball-scratching – these are all side effects of the same drug. Self-gratification and a lack of dignity, accompanied by a disregard for rules. Let’s get away with what we can.

In medieval times, religion developed as a set of rules, a code so man could essentially co-exist in harmony, with respect for all and himself. All the big religions – whether it is Hinduism, Islam, Christianity or Buddhism are a code of rules, a way of life. It was a code thought up by intelligent people imposed upon AA’s to get them to be unselfish and not live like animals. India has been the birthplace of some of these great religions and calls itself the cradle of humanity. Yet we continue to live in squalor and selfishness.

Most of these big religions were invented in the Stone Age so obviously they have no sections dealing with level crossings. But if there was to be a modern day religion, it will be akin to those social rules imposed by tyrannical city states that have the power to pass laws that make sense without the consensus and then say that’s that. Deal with it or get flogged.

Singapore and Dubai have taught us valuable lessons in dealing with large numbers of AA exports. AA will behave only if he’s under threat of being whipped. If anybody is thinking of inventing a modern religion, there’s a good starting point.
Truth is, AA has never had it this good. The staggering mass of the AA demographic has given him the power to bend things to his will. Cheesy malls, IPL, Colors channels and its draconian soap operas are all testament to this. AA is being spoon-fed by the natural laws of commerce.

Yet, he is stupid enough to be manipulated by politicians on lines of religion, language and caste. After each election campaign, he ends up drunk on hooch with his dick in one hand and a biryani packet in another. Money meant for him ends up in Swiss banks. And he bitches about corruption only because he hasn’t the opportunity to steal himself.

In short, the AA is an evolutionary mishap, deserves all that comes his way. He just drags the intelligent man down to his level. There are enough hordes to outnumber any measly pickings of the intelligent man. The common factors binding these hordes change from time to time. Sometimes, it’s a common religion, caste or a grave feeling of moral outrage over a film poster. Sometimes, it’s just a couple of bucks and packet of biryani. Throw in a sachet of arrack if you want a landslide. Congress, BJP, Mayavati, Left, Sainiks, take a bow.

And wherever you go, it’s the same fucking thing.

It’s not just in Jharkasland (as some idiot NRI referred to it recently) it’s all over the place. AA’s are unified by their dumbness and bigotry. All the recent flap about the Marathi Manus and subsequent vilification of non-Marathis in Bombay in certain mouthpiece papers or inflammatory speeches (depending on which fascist you’re dealing with) would get zero traction with anyone if it wasn’t for this sentiment being a reflection of what the AA there thinks or feels.

Look at Goa. Once a nice place with nice people has now been successfully dragged down to the AA level, where the sullen locals charge 25 Rupees for a printout and Brittos is run by a Bihari.

Welcome to the Big Revolution. Not the Industrial Revolution or any damn thing that would improve things. Look at the way the AA works. Usually digging holes or messing about agriculturally.

How much thinking is required to see that the mumti (in Karnataka, probably the mammooty in Kerala) is the hardest way there is to move mud or manure around?

The AA loves bending over, doing things the hard and least efficient way. Watch a typical maid mop the floor. On all fours, slopping a cloth hither and yon. At the mercy of Miscellaneous Ahujas. Shiny or Matt. Who fucking cares? All the while bowing and scraping. Need more evidence? I present Exhibit B. The Air India Maharaja. Why is he bending? What kind of discount royalty would bend over and usher people into those crap planes they run? No wonder they changed the merged carriers’ name to Indian. Very apt. All it takes is a boatload of AAs to Jersey to turn the commodes into Indian toilets. Don’t forget your bogus accent bud.

We’re trying to send a guy to the moon, but to get everyone to use mops and covering the drains is something they do only in the first world.

And what’s with people getting all up in your grille. Nowhere else in the world will you stand in a line somewhere or at any counter, minding your business, and have some motherfucker come jostle and elbow you and look mystified and affronted when you tell him to get the fuck away. What do you want, asshole? Learn to wait your turn, respect another’s space and keep your bodily infestations a minimum of a flea’s jumping distance away from folks that have better hobbies. Stat.

While on the topic of mumtis, you might want to turn the handle around. You’ll discover it’s a shovel. Easier to use. Now get to work.

First published in KIRIK 02, March 2010