Thursday, November 29, 2007

"Child beer"

Dilli sheher ki tanhaion se kuch door nikalte hi…shuru hoti hai zindagi. Agar kuch khatam hoti hai to who hai ek bejaan duniya ki dardnak yaaden aur wahi ghise-pite chand angrezi ke shabd. Welcome to old country bhaiya.

Highway ki seedh pe chalte hue kuch sawal dil ki ghehraiyon se umadne lage. Jaise ki hum kaun hain, kyon hain aur yeh “child beer” kya hota hai?

Doori ke baad kuch aur door chalne pe maloom pada, ki bhai jis tarah school ven, bullet cart aur horn ok please… naam se kam aur kaam se zyaada matlab rakhten hain…theek usi tarah is unhoni ka bhi yahi rahasya hai.

Phir bhi…yeh child beer akhir hai kya…kya yeh bachchon ke liye banayi gayi imported sharab hai ya phir …

Khaer is “child beer” wali baat ko in stephenians ke beech overanalyze na kiya jaye to hi achcha hai.

Nahin to bekar mein “The fortune at the bottom of the pyramid” se lekar Lacan aur Freud tak bhi baat pahuch sakti hai…na na…forum chuppi sadh li jaye.

Safar lamba hai aur mein neendh se timepaas karna zyada pasand karoonga

Beheral angrezi bhasha avam avashyakta aur avishkar ka silsila…swapnlok mein jaari rahega.


Sunday, November 25, 2007




Too tired to make an effort to frame a structured slew of letters, the heroic blogger resorts to random rants about shoes and ships and sealing wax and I am the eggman, they are the eggmen, I am the Walrus…

Everything here is in regression. There hasn’t been a movie worth seeing since Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi, which was some five years back. Instead, they put all their money into self-congratulatory crap like Om Shanti Om, which, in its effort to milk ‘70s nostalgia actually gives you a crash course in how things got to the sorry state they are in today. There hasn’t been a truly memorable ad on TV for a long time. Television has been stuck in a horrible stupor for about a decade. Brain-dead for all practical purposes, it raises its head only to look to Bollywood for inspiration, which just makes things worse. And music may be the saddest scene of all, because you have a bunch of diverse talents all wasting their fucking time trying to be the bastardized son of Laxmikant-Pyarelal with Bhangra beats, while Rahman continues to innovate from a brilliant parallel universe.

Literature doesn’t seem to be going anywhere significant either. When will that book come along, that elusive rebel yell I’ve been waiting for all these years (and which I doubt I want to read now because it must be a young book or else its useless), the one whose realities are our realities, whose dreams are our dreams, whose broken, innovative, transfigured language is the kind that we, young of this country, have spoken for close to a decade now. Give me no more NRI displacement sagas, no matter how sensitively wrought. And stop showing me Rushdie, we do not speak like he thinks we do. We are a unique generation, rapidly growing old, and in need of a good chronicler.

Take me back to those last 2 years of school. In rock ‘n roll terms, that time was like a fantastic chorus; it all came together, and we brought it all back home. Fifteen jugglers, five believers. I’ve never known a crazier bunch of people; it was like we were all wired together, but the wiring was loose. I sometimes wonder what it would be like if we were all together today. I should probably call them…

Anything else? Yeah, the Government. As the Stiff Little Fingers said “Its time the bastards fell”. And corporate culture. And ranting self-obsessed bloggers. I hate them the most.

Posted by a fan apart at 6:33 AM
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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A love story

“Hey I need to tell you something.”
“Its something I've always wanted to tell you.”
“What is it?”
“But the thing is I’ve never been able to gather up enough courage to speak about it.”
“Don’t feel shy Rahul…just say it.”
“That’s what the problem is…I come up to you… and then I lose all steam.”
“Its not that Rahul…You guys just keep everything to yourself.”
“But Pooja I’m not sure how will you take it.”
“How will you know if you don’t tell me in the first place?”
“Pooja I feel shy.”
“Aaawwww… my baby…come aawwwwn…be a man.”
“But Pooja…”
“Ok Rahul you don’t have to say it. I know it already. Some things are better left unsaid.”
“You know it Pooja?”
“How dumb do you think I am?”
“But how do you know?”
“I can tell it looking at your eyes.”
“WHAAAAT?... Do my eyes tell you that I masturbate day and night, thinking about you?”

(Long pause…a very long pause)

“(in a whisper) Rahul”
“Pooja…even the memory of your smile makes me come…”
“I knew you’ll get upset Pooja…that’s why I never wanted to tell you.”
“Yes Pooja”
“That’s the best thing anyone has ever said to me.”

….and they fucked happily ever after.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

The Massage

i'm happy to inform you that now i'm the proud owner of a beard.

therefore the need to go to a barber's shop to have the damned thing trimmed. i try and make it there every sunday. run by goblins, and mostly for them, the place provides a television, a poster with several korean men wearing complicated 80's hairdos and a fat man geting a facial done, sans the cucumbers. this time, a man sitting next to me is geting a mullet. there's a vhs tape with chuck norris and two machine guns on the cover, the reference shot for the desired haircut. and the barber's like a trained professional at it, snipping away at the details and getting them all wrong. jeena marna tere sang is playing on the overhead tv. a man in a moustache and a t-shirt (note bourgeoisie pretensions) takes a swig out of a bottle of whisky and bursts into the next room to rape raveena tandon, hullabaloo follows and an old man inervenes wth a stick and is consequently beaten and thrown off. meanwhile an ape has started his journey towards the house. the drunk gets back to sruggling with raveena tandon as the ape makes an entrance, notices a scorpion walking about the place and throws it into the man's t-shirt. the man collapses into a shelf of utensils, gets covered in flour and gets a pot stuck to his head. the ape meanwhle starts applauding. raveena tandon is suddenly laughing. the man rushes out of the house with no help from his sense of vision on account of having a pot stuck to his head. the neighbours find this strage creature threatening and pounce upon him with pitchforks and lathis. the ape continues applauding.

meanwhle, the barber is done with his trimming and asks me whether i want a massage. there's a stunned silence in the room as he says this, even the actors in the tv have gone quiet. a lined page, torn out from a copy saying 'No Smoking Please!' flutters scotch taped on the wall. now i've heard about this a lot. apparently a man with magical fingers kneads your face and makes your cheeks, neck, nose and ears crack. hearing the crack is a human condition comparable only to that microsecond of bliss after acheving orgasm or taking a piss after great denial. i succumbed. 'shahnaz husain ya champi?', he asked me. doubt. apparently, and i remembered this from a friend's experience, these massage oils are the harbingers of allergy. i murmur my dissent but it's too late, the man is already rubbing some paraffin smelling substance onto my face. my protests go unheeded. i finally make a loud retort. the man, in return, holds my neck and makes it go crack. post the joy, i realise that i can't move, the crack has me paralysed. any attempt to move simultaneously injects a thousand needles into me. i can see the eyes of the man with the facial looking at me. the man behind me is still reading his dainik jagran. the two children next to him are staring at the television. my man is continuing to wax my face. the atmosphere is, by and large, unperturbed by what's happening to me. as soon as he's done murdering my face with the paraffin, he presses this red button on the table in front of me which i had mistaken for a bottle cap. suddenly the life sized anil kapoor poster opens up and four mustanda pehelwans appear out of it. i'm grabbed and held horizontal and carried back into the secret opening. as i see the sunlight fadng, i know it's closing.

i'm taken into this hamam like place, there are these steamy fireplaces around a slab of stone. i'm placed on the slab and my clohes are taken off. i remember that my spectacles are on the shelf in front of where i was getting my hair cut. in the blur that is my state of vision, i see a monstrously fat man, naked and draped in oil. 'no', i manage to scream. but in my state of paralysis, it is little more than a whisper. the man comes running and leaps upon me.

i pass out.

i wake up fully clothed, sitting in the barber's shop. i put my spectacles on and get up to leave. i pull out the 10 odd i pay the barber everytime.

20, he says.

Saturday, November 3, 2007




i leave the book i bought for kanika at the gallery. 'A book for a book!' written in pencil on the second page over snow orhan pamuk with a visitng card. it's something i'd been planning for a long time. i walk out to the road and walk to a rickshaw, the farthest one towards the road. i feel heartless as i ignore the other rickshaw wallahs calling for me. i remind myself i'm not being partial. d block, 1403, i tell the rickshaw man. he nods, minute acknowledgement of the address and possibly knowledge of its location, i get on and we begin our journey. there're a set of tapes i have to pick up from the address, a gift from long ago.

the houses in NFC are a disinct south delhi 'i have a farmhouse in mehrauli, a bmw and no taste' sort. going down these roads makes you ashamed of your shoes and your lack of interest in commerce. the guards outside these homes look at you with disdain. and your rickshaw wallah feels srangely intimidated. after recieving directions from several helpful bystanders/shopkeepers/guards, a passerby informs us that d-1403 doesn't exist.

my rickshaw wallah decides he's had eough and flees the scene. the place looks familiar so i trudge along, deciding that the number must be 1043.


d 1043 seems more achievable than 1403. i follow a d 991 to a d 1011 in a more relaxed residential bylane. this place has trees and almost no traffic. a porsche cayenne parked by the side reminds me that i should have stuck to my plan of doing an mba. the road decides to split into two. i ask a reluctant wachman which one i have to take to d -1043. the watchman tells me i can take either. i pick the one on the right. i walk along conemplating this grand alley. this is probably where the term boulevard comes from. i'm looking at these palatial 3 BHK company lease only dream homes when suddenly i freeze in my tracks. before me is the house i was looking for. i don't know why, but i'm horribly certain. i go to the watchman perched on a small wooden chair blocking the security entrance. 'bhaiya ye kaun sa makaan number hai?'



what do i do now? a name suddenly pops to the surface.

'sher shah honge?'

'sher shah?'

'sorry, sher singh?'

'haan, sher singh hain'

'bula dijiye.'

he asks me for my name. there's nothing i can tell him that'll make any sense. i tell him to tell sher singh that i've come to take the tapes. regarding me suspiciously, he walks in. a few yells later, sher singh appears.

thankfully, he recognises me. he's at once respectful and apologetic. he tells me i took too long, and that the tapes are gone.

i tell him it's ok, and that i was just passing through. i thank him and walk on, asking for directions to the NFC community centre.

a gift was delivered, another wasn't. -1, +1, a balanced zero, like it's part of some greater symmetry that i'm too small to understand.

'seedhe chale jao', he says. it's a long road down ahead. thankfully i have my walkman. mark knopfler is singing true love will never fade.

Thursday, November 1, 2007