Ramgadh Ki Radha (Post 1)

Posted: January 4, 2014 in Uncategorized

After taking inspiration from the Epic Retold series on Twitter, I’ve planned on retelling the epic we all know and are familiar with, Sholay. The story I am presenting is narrated through the popular character, Radha and may have some variations from the film itself. But hey, why don’t you just sit back and enjoy the story a little? I will be retelling the entire story over this weekend, through multiple blogposts. So please do not forget to keep checking. Hoping that you like this fan-fiction. Enjoy!9042_SHOLAY

Its almost like I can see him. A dark figure, that scares you even from a distance. His steed grunting as it climbs the rocky terrain and carries on it the messenger of death. His band of horrendous murderers and pillagers riding in behind him. The smell of gunpowder still lingering in the air, as I hear shot after shot being fired. I am at the village temple, but the sound of each fired bullet echoes across the land. After each bullet fired you can hear one scream less, while the murderers laugh. The loudest laugh however belongs to the beast. He sounds like a hyena laughing to glory after locating his prey. His voice makes my skin crawl.

Three rounds fired in immediate succession, wonder what is he waiting fo-yes, there is the fourth one now. I can see how they died. I can only weep while standing here. A Thakur woman heralded much respect in the old days, but things aren’t what they used to be. My great grandmother could shoot a pigeon in the sky they tell me. But I have never even touched a real gun.

Ramlal can barely get his head up. His spine shivers. I can see the coward hiding behind the large Peepal tree. In under a second, he has forgotten his decades of service to the Thakurs. That we fed him, provided him a place to stay and clothes to wear. The coward doesn’t bother. If those murderers were to come here right now, he would gladly give up his “Radha Bahu” without any questions asked.

Tears cannot stop rolling, but my voice is stuck somewhere in my throat. I know I am crying with my mouth wide open, but I can only exhale air. The pain slowly choking me. I look at the gold bangles. He had just got them for me from the best goldsmith in town. I try and wipe my face. The red sindoor is spread across my mehendi clad palms. All this colour, all this was so new. And now, one fine morning, all gone. I hear another gunshot close by. He is coming for me too. The world is suddenly dark. I can feel him around me, the disgusting smell of tobacco and horse excrement makes me want to vomit. They are here.

I wake up. It has been six years but for the nth time, this nightmare has plagued me. I keep a dagger under the pillow as Mausi had told me to. But it changes nothing. I think I need a glass of water to help my heart stop pounding. But the way to the kitchen requires me to pass his room though. The Thakur must not be sleeping I am sure. I don’t think he ever sleeps. Just stares at the empty walls, sometimes looking at Chhotu’s old drawings that he stuck on the almirah. I’ve seen him weep many times on such nights. But never outside. Never in front of another human being. Thakur Baldev Singh, once a police officer who used to wreck havoc in the hearts of criminals and the village spinsters equally, now sits helpless in his bedroom.

I peek into his room, he is not asleep. But tonight he doesn’t weep, no. There is another look on his face tonight. It looks calm but determined, like he has a plan in mind. Must be something that Ramlal was talking about earlier. About bringing in someone to control the situation. Apparently help was here already, but I didn’t what the whole deal was. I go back to bed without drinking the water. If his face is calm, maybe my heart can be too.

The morning is drab as usual. There is barely anything that Ramgadh can offer to a widow living in a house with two men. I finish the morning puja and can already hear commotion in the living room. I hear two men walking, but only one talks loudly to the Thakur. Wonder how he tolerates loud speakers. He is such a calm man himself, or at least had been over the last few years after the incident.

I walk up near the temple room window to catch a glimpse of who these men are. People in the living room may often miss this window, but if you’re inside the temple room, you can see everyone pretty clearly. I can see that loud buffoon, acting as if he owns the place. The man looks like he needs a bath right away and what is with the look? All tight clothes and that foolish looking hat. If these were the old days, the Thakur would have thrashed him then and there just for talking like that. But these weren’t those days.

But the other one. Wow. I look at him once and I can’t seem to look anywhere else. Tall and lanky, he walks with the elegance of a beautiful wild animal. Those eyes! Beautiful, powerful eyes. Hypnotic even. He speaks in a low-pitched voice, but with such authority. And that baritone! I am at least 20 feet away from him and I can still hear each of his words clearly. What is this man? I caught myself fanning myself with my palloo just after looking at him. Enough, Radha. Enough, with the letching.

The Thakur gives them some money from the almirah, but I know that they’ve seen the rest of the cash. The buffoon particularly is salivating from his mouth after seeing all that money and gold. I see them exchange looks to each other. I know what their plan is.

I go to tell the Thakur about the deception he is about to face from his soldiers of fortune. He doesn’t budge. Instead he asks me to stay up tonight. Wait for them to attempt stealing and then confront them. He tells me that Jai and Veeru are thieves, no doubt, but they’re more humane than most people in Ramgadh. They just need some encouragement to go soul searching, he says. The Thakur is a smart man and I’ve learnt to not question him ever. But why does he want a woman to do this? He could do it himself. I don’t get it.

Like clockwork, I hear them making their way to the almirah at midnight. They manage to open it before I get down. These two are professionals indeed. I know I must catch their attention so I use the kerosene lamp. The minimal light, the white saree and the pitch dark surrounding makes me look quite intimidating. They’ve frozen, I can see. The buffoon is just embarrassed, but the tall one looks at me with hungry eyes. I like it. I tell them to clear the almirah of all the money and the gold. I know I don’t need them anymore. The women of Ramgadh would probably lose their breath if they see a widow wearing jewelry. They’re looking at the floor now, even as the tall one is smiling mildly.

I try to conceal my face with the palloo as I walk back to the room. I had done my part and encouraged them enough to stay back. Doubt if they’ll run even after this. But why can’t I take his faint smile off my mind. Oh God, its been a while since I’ve felt this excitement. No sleep tonight, it seems.

Book Review: Paperback Dreams

Posted: January 4, 2014 in Uncategorized

paperback-dreams-400x400-imadqy2b3rq4tchyTitle: Paperback Dreams

Author: Rahul Saini

Genre: Popular fiction

Publisher: Penguin

Source: Flipkart

What starts off with a very interesting premise and distinctly fresh writing style, moves on to become more and more hectic to read, as the pages go by. Paperback Dreams is a fun read, to say the least. But it could have seriously done away with certain parts toward the end. I do not blame the author, they do tend to get carried away. But the editors could have advised them for the better.

The idea of an author writing about the troubles and tribulations of three other authors was a great one to start with. Saini manages to hold your attention through most pages too. Full marks for that. The language and the tone of the novel make it easy/interesting to read, till about page 230. The last 20 pages or so, I was forcing myself to go on. If your reader is struggling Mr Saini, its probably not a great sign.

Paperback Dreams, a story about three young pop-fiction authors and their struggles with the exploitative publisher, is sure to click with aspiring authors across the country. I was particularly impressed by Saini’s first character, the awkward Rohit Sehdev. The character feels real and the humour associated with him is not forced at all. The other two, Jeet Obiroi and Karun Mukherjee, well, they’re fine. To be frank, I did not find either of their tracks that compelling. But they add to the story in totality, so it should count for something.

To be fair, I wouldn’t mind a standalone novel with Rohit Sehdev as the central character and how his life progresses. But as a reader, you can only wish so much.

Rating: Fun read. Don’t expect any award winning stuff though.

You can buy this book from here.

Book Review: The Steradian Trail

Posted: December 19, 2013 in Random Posts

front_steradian trailTitle: The Steradian Trail

Author: M. N. Krish

Genre: Murder mystery

Publisher: Westland Ltd

Source: Flipkart

I’ll tell you what, I didn’t like this book. It lacks the charisma of a mystery/thriller and none of the characters are interesting enough, either. The plot per se is fine, has its bright moments, but then the book in its entirety is a tiring read and offers much less than what it promises in the end.

Krish begins with a murder at a gym somewhere in America and proceeds quickly to move the rest of the story to India. With characters dealing with the repercussions of the aforementioned murder. Picking on some stereotypes about the people in Chennai/Madras and the locations there, the author tries and weaves an aura of mystery, brings in generous amounts of history and mythology as well. Adds in multiple instances of taxi travel from Chennai/ Madras to places like Kumbakonam, Egmore and Kancheepuram. Finally rounds it up with a sermon about respecting and celebrating artifacts from our glorious history.

But while saying these things through the 350+ page book, Krish sets up a plot with so many holes that you feel you’re on an average Mumbai road.

First problem I had was with the inconsistency in use of language. For most part of the book, the author’s style of writing is conversational and breezy. Then suddenly, he springs up a list of large words in a 10 line paragraph, which sounds unnecessary, to say the least.

Check this extract for example:

“…always curious to study the style, structure, content and political proclivities of English dailies in different parts of the world. The crazy quilting of styles under the same masthead- colonial hangover in the OP-ED page, rabble rousing Indianism on the front page, idiomatic Amercanism of the syndicated sections, pidgin thriftiness of the classifieds, grammtical anality and thematic banality of the editorials, old world charm of the culture and religion columns and the sheer incomprehensibility of the sports page- seemed to perfectly capture the dizzying chaos and contradictions sitting side by side with the striking coherence and consistency in the country”

See what I meant?

The next major problem was the year in which the story is set. I’m still not sure what year it is. Is it the mid-90s? Early 2000s? Or is it some bizarre parallel universe where Chennai is an IT training hub and people are still riding around on a scooty, solving complex algorithms. Somewhere around page 256 is when Krish gives some indication about which year we are talking about. But by that time I was disappointed enough to not consider it.

Apart from these of course, there are errors for which I’d blame the editor, rather than the author. Because really, these things could have been fixed very easily had you just paid a little more attention.

However, if you are somewhat interested in the Vedic system of architecture and mathematics, the life history of India’s math wizard Ramanujam and logic problems faced by computer programmers, the book has some fairly interesting bits of information. Now I’m no authority on these topics, so I cannot verify the accuracy of the facts put in the book. But then they are fun to read for sure.

Rating: Pick it up if you’re looking at light reading during a train/bus ride or something.

You can purchase the book from this Flipkart link: http://www.flipkart.com/steradian-trail-book-0-infinity-cycle/p/itmdqp5hg6vpf9ue?pid=9789383260737&otracker=search&q=the+steradian+trail+

The book is also available in ebook format, for those who wish to download.

Kafkaesque!

Posted: August 28, 2013 in Random Posts

Sorry I’ve been away from the blog for so long, but since the advent of the twitter app on my phone, my patience to write a long form blog post has suffered a lot.

Lately I’ve been hooked on to the television series Breaking Bad and have been religiously following the episodes on Star World. This post is not to dissect Walter White and Jesse Pinkman, but more of a reaction post after I watched lately.

Star World is currently playing Season 3 and the episode “Kafkaesque” was on last night. I think I may have lost some parts of my brain in the joyous explosion that took place in my head. The best part of the episode is a conversation between Walter White a.k.a Heisenberg and his crime boss Gus Fring. This is where Walt dissects Gus’ complex plan to save his best meth cook, while ensuring that the Mexican drug cartel is locked out of selling their product in USA.

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This scene where without even a hint of rage or blackmail, Walt manages to convince Gus to cut him a better deal (Bryan Cranston in terrific form, using only his stern voice and certain character quirks). The scene displays Walt’s transformation into the criminal genius, much similar to Franz Kafka’s popular novel, The Metamorphosis, where the protagonist turns into a grotesque human fly. Much like the novel,

While starting from the beginning of the series we are shown why Walt starts cooking meth, there is no real explanation offered as to why he continues to do so. With all the pitfalls and dangers that he faces, a sane human being would have rather given up on the ill-fated idea. But Walt keeps cooking and dealing. Again, similar to The Metamorphosis, where Kafka offers no logical explanation as why things were set into motion at all.

On the other hand, Jesse Pinkman shows his humane side, talking about his childhood and the beginning of his addiction to drugs. At the time when he discusses it with his rehab group, though, we are not sure whether he is actually telling the truth. The episode also shows the change in Jesse’s character, where he begins thinking for himself, even if it means jeopardizing the arrangement with Gus (Aaron Paul doing what he does best). 

Almost Kafkaesque!

Review: G.I. Joe Retaliation

Posted: March 30, 2013 in Random Posts

Ideally speaking, I would be an idiot to go for a GI Joe movie and expect sense out of it, but then Retaliation had me laughing so hard, that I had to write this out.

This is what the film is made up of:

Actors trying to look cool while spouting meaningless patriotism in dialogue, Bruce Willis showing off his arsenal (snigger!) hidden under the kitchen table, Adrianne Palicki showing cleavage that goes up to her navel, followed by random explosions and a world domination plan which is foiled at the last minute.

Oh! And Ninjas.

THIS. IN 3D. GO JOE!

THIS. IN 3D. GO JOE!

The film picks immortal characters from the popular toy range/cartoon series, manages to get together the worst ensemble cast possible, then proceeds to ruin the awesomeness of the source material for the new generation of Joe-watchers. The only reason why one should waste money on this half-assed attempt at a Joe film is to see just how bad it can be.

The fact that the director, Jon Chu, had previously made visual masterpieces like Step Up 2, Step Up 3D and Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, should be evidence enough to figure out how good this film might be. But I do admire Chu’s treatment of the Ninjas in his film (except that they keep using guns rather than swords and that RZA randomly starts talking in rapster-ese while pretending to be a Japanese martial arts master). That fancy Ninja-fight scene that everyone has been talking about so much, yeah its only more awesome than what you could ever dream of.

"Oooooh! What does this button do?!"

“Oooooh! What does this button do?!”

Coming to the actors now.

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson as Roadblock: I’m guessing The Rock’s discussion with the director, prior to the film, would have been something like this!

The Rock: “So I think I want to portray Roadblock as this really sensitive dude! You know? Like some serious method acting!”

Director: LOLWUT!

The Rock: WHY DOES NO ONE TAKE ME SERIOUSLY?!

Director: Fiiine! You can flash heavy artillery on screen. Happy?!

The Rock: Yaaaaayyy!

"I like. Big. Guns. And I cannot lie!"

“I like. Big. Guns. And I cannot lie!”

Adrianne Palicki as Lady Jaye: Palicki’s character hates the fact that women are considered inferior to men in the armed forces. So to get back at the system, she keeps flashing her cleavage. All. The. Time.

Bruce: "Are those real?"The Rock: "WHY DOES NO ONE TAKE ME SERIOUSLY?!"

Bruce: “Are those real?”
The Rock: “WHY DOES NO ONE TAKE ME SERIOUSLY?!”

D.J. Cotrona as Flint: Now I have always thought of Flint as one of the most badass characters in the GI Joe storyline, but Controna’s role is so limited, The Rock’s left bicep looked more important. Controna’s only job is to look good through the film, while trying to hit on Palicki, who is about three and a half foot taller than him.

"What's that letter that comes after A?"

“What’s that letter that comes after A?”

Ray Park as Snake Eyes: I would have really written nice things about Ray Park for this film, only if we could somehow SEE HIS FREAKIN’ FACE! Unfortunately that is the curse of playing Snake Eyes, nobody believes it was you!

"Don't I look FAAAA-bulous?!"

“Don’t I look FAAAA-bulous?!”

Lee Byung-Hun as Storm Shadow: Probably the only redeeming factor in the film. Lee exudes the same amount of awesomeness and charisma that Storm Shadow has in the GI Joe series.

"Does this midget even know of the things I can do with a blade?!"

“Does this midget even know of the things I can do with a blade?!”

Elodie Yung as Jinx: I still don’t understand how a Japanese swordswoman would have an English accent. She probably was trained by RZA. But all in all, pathetic role. Her dialogues had less impact than Snake Eyes’. WHO DOESN’T EVEN SPEAK!

I tried to google Elodie Yung, but instead got this picture of Dwayne Johnson, from when he was young.

I tried to google Elodie Yung, but instead got this picture of Dwayne Johnson, from when he was young.

Bruce Willis as General Joe Colton: With this film, Bruce Willis has officially attained Alok Nath status in Hollywood action films. He is just there, pretending to be the big daddy who knows everything there is to know about gun fights and looking cool.

Final Verdict: Go and have a hearty laugh, but be sure to choose a cheap theater.

"I actually have no clue where I'm headed, because THIS DAMN MASK DOESN'T HAVE ANY EYE SOCKETS!"

“I actually have no clue where I’m headed, because THIS DAMN MASK DOESN’T HAVE ANY EYE SOCKETS!”

Kai Po Che: Reactions

Posted: February 24, 2013 in Random Posts

While friends and colleagues insisted that I write a review for Kai Po Che as soon as possible, I think I may have to disappoint them. I believe I am not in the right position to be reviewing the film. I am too emotionally invested in everything the film tries to portray.

However, I did want to write something after having watched the film and so this post has come about. This may be long and self-indulgent at times, please bear with me for that. There may also be plenty of spoilers coming up. If you are yet to watch the film, I’d suggest you stay away from this post.

kai_po_che

I decided to finally go watch Kai Po Che today, after fiddling with the idea for hours. It was a busy day in office after  which, mom wanted me to be a part of another social engagement. Do I regret my decision? Not one bit. The film ended on a very weirdly Bollywood note, I agree. But for most of its run time, it had me reminisce times that had long passed by. Some of these memories weren’t pleasant, but were still stuck somewhere in the deepest of recesses of my mind. They took me back to an Ahemdabad which I seldom talk about, simply because it is too damn difficult.

The following are some of the incidences which came back in flashes while watching the film.

January 26, 2001. Somewhere around 8:30 AM. Most of Ahmedabad is either half-asleep, or watching the Republic Day parade on TV. I, all of 12 years old, was in school, attending our own little function on the stage in the playground. Anurag and I had just finished performing “Chhodo Kal Ki Baatein” and were now watching the rest of the show from a window in the classroom nearby. After about five minutes, we felt the bench moving on its own. Soon the door started shutting and opening violently and there were cracks on the roof of the classroom. The ground below us vibrating crazily. We looked out of the window again, total chaos. Varghese Sir, our school principal was yelling into the microphone, asking the students to calm down, with nobody listening. I ran out and somehow caught hold of my sister, she was 9 then. In a few minutes we heard a loud crashing sound. As if a meteorite had hit earth (That was my first reaction. I was only 12, remember?). Later when we started rushing home, we saw that Shikhar apartments, located very close to our school was now only a huge heap of rubble. It took with it many, many people. Most were unnamed entities for me, but a few people I knew. These people had visited my place only a few weeks ago. They were all sitting with us laughing and joking, having tea. Now they were part of the debris that the fire brigade and the police was somehow trying to make sense of.

Early March, 2002. Around 10 AM. It was a Sunday and Darkwing Duck was showing on TV. Mom was busy in the kitchen when she noticed huge clouds of smoke coming from a short distance away. Dad was out of town for some work and I was of course, man of the house. Some neighbours came over and told us that Ravji Supermarket, near Shivranjani crossroads, was on fire. I got on to my bicycle and promptly went off to investigate. A huge mob was standing out on the road, as the supermarket was up in flames. The fire was so violent, I could feel the heat on my face, even though I was easily about 50 feet away. Some of the bystanders told us that the staff was first asked to leave, after which the mob ransacked the supermarket and then set it on fire. There was a lone reporter from Star News and his cameraman, who were trying to capture the magnitude of the incident. Our cable guy, a Mithun Chakraborty fan himself, was part of the mob and was yelling into the reporter’s boom mic, “Humare itne Kar sevak bhai beheno ko train mein jalaa diya. Aaj ek dukaan hi toh jalee hain! Hinduon ki aag bhadak gayi hain, kal akhaa Amdavad jalega”. The mob had apparently branded the store as a Muslim establishment and this was only the beginning of the Hindu vengeance.  Over the next few days the city had literally turned into a war zone. There was hardly anyone present at school. Juhapura had turned into a fortress and my classmates who lived there, refused to come out. Shrinand Nagar, the housing society located closest to Juhapura had turned into an RSS camp. Swayam Sevaks organised self defence camps and conducted classes where Hindu propaganda was being fed to young boys from around the area. They taught them how to build petrol bombs, how to use the sword and how Muslims were the worst thing to have happened to the Indian society. Mom wouldn’t let us out for even an hour. Not only because the city was unsafe, but also because if these RSS types ever caught us, we’d become like them, she said.

There were happy memories too. Like the time when Elton and Tushar thought it would be a great idea to take me to Mount Abu without telling me where we were going. Or the umpteen hours of kite flying on Elton’s terrace, where after screaming, “Lapett!” “Kaipo chhe!” through the day, we would sit back and watch the tukkals flying peacefully in the night sky. Navratri nights when every girl in college looked like she was a supermodel and 2 AM bike trips were made to Vastrapur lake, in anticipation of crossing first base. When Elton and I would ask the same girl out for coffee and neither of us actually took her out. Times when a crazy fresher’s party turned into a midnight adventure escape from the police. The hillarious conversation we had with ticket checkers on Ahmedabad railway station because we were not carrying platform tickets.

Yes, there were memories of happiness and despair, equally spread out and they were all revisited today.


matru-ki-bijlee-ka-mandola-670As I stepped out of the movie hall today, I tried hard to digest everything that just happened inside. Did I just watch a film that was pure cinematic brilliance, or was it utter rubbish? I couldn’t decide. Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola (MKBM) started of as an intelligent, yet witty stock of reality of rural India. Then it moved into the territory of the absurd, transcending slowly into a love triangle and ending in the victory of good against evil.

There was another film, Peepli Live (2010), which documented the stark realities of rural India in a funny and intelligent manner. The film was excellent and truly deserved all the adulation it got. For the first time I witnessed the talent of one of our finest actors, Nawazuddin Siddique. Though what I truly loved about the film was the fact that it ended on a very realistic note. That I think is what my problem with MKBM is.

While excellent actors, quirky dialogues (+delivery), fine music and a less-than-disappointing storyline is all good, MKBM somehow doesn’t let you exit the movie hall with the satisfaction of having watched a brilliant film.

Moving to individual actors.

Arya Babbar: Why isn’t this guy doing more films? Babbar plays the spoilt rich brat who gets beaten in all of his endeavors through the film. He is a good actor, carries himself well through the film and does justice to his bit. Wonder when he will ever play a central character in a major Hindi film.

Shabana Azmi: Class personified. Azmi has the grace of a swan, and the sting of a bee. Seducing men at her will, leaving them high and dry whenever she decides to. Do note this excellent scene where she talks to her son about the true meaning of growth. Pure hindi, pure class.

Anushka Sharma: As gorgeous as she looks, Sharma is probably the weakest link of the film. She does her best with a sketchily etched character, but then in front of the other performances in the film, she falls short. “Meena Kumari Complex” is the best thing that could happen with her character, but then what? Nothing more to offer to the film, except having conversations with Matru and Mandola.

Imran Khan: Surprise, surprise. The youngest Khan probably decided to grow up. After that unbelievably daft act in Ek Main Aur Ek Tu, Khan does a wonderful job in MKBM. He plays a smart, JNU-educated lad, who has to serve as a driver/advisor to the big man in the film just because of a loan he can’t repay. He is also something beyond that, but I guess you’ll have to watch the film to see what it means.

Pankaj Kapur: One of the most compelling reasons why you should watch the film. Kapur represents the duality of an Indian. While consciously he is an ambitious entrepreneur, with ideas bordering the God-complex; subconsciously, he is a simpleton who is happy with what he has. The film depends heavily on Kapur’s ability to portray this duality with finesse. Kapur delivers on the role with such precision, that you are left with an urge to stand up and applaud.

 

 

Final Verdict: Watch for Pankaj Kapur’s mind-blowing act, Azmi’s special speech and that adorable pink buffalo, Gulabo.

Open Letter to a Police Officer

Posted: January 1, 2013 in Random Posts

I’m sorry, Dear Police Officer. 

I’m sorry for being that noisy, irrational fool, who blames you for everything that goes wrong around me. Let it be a stolen bicycle, or a woman getting sexually assaulted, my reaction is the same.

I’m sorry for believing that I have absolutely no role in ensuring the safety and security of my self or my property. 

I’m sorry for thinking that policemen are all corrupt individuals, who aren’t sensitive enough to understand what a woman actually goes through when being pitted against the savagery of man. 

I’m sorry that as a woman I’ve nurtured my son in to believing that he owns the world and that every woman here will always be a step below him. I’m sorry for making my son a delusional idiot who can’t respect a woman’s choice of clothing or her decision to roam on the city street at any point in time.

I’m sorry for not having pulled my son’s collar, looked him in the eye and told him that he is just a boy, nothing more, nothing less. I should have slapped him when he misbehaved with a girl for the first time. I should have told him that if he were to ever misbehave with a girl or a woman again, I would call up the police myself. 

I’m sorry that I, along with my husband and son proclaimed that the woman deserved what she got and if she was out of her house after 8PM, she invited trouble. 

I’m sorry that as a father I’ve always asked my daughter to come back home and not protest when a guy made lewd comments about her. I’m sorry, I never ensured that there is no discrimination in my house, based on my child’s gender. I’m sorry that I never raised my voice against that neighbour who abuses his wife. 

I could have gotten a few people together and made sure that there are no college rowdies in my locality who whistle at every woman crossing the road. I could have at least called you up and registered a complaint against these losers. A woman is raped every 20 minutes in India but only 10% of cases are actually registered with the police, because I didn’t come forward.

Among every 1 lakh of population, there are four sexual offences happening in India, but I choose to look the other way, I choose to reach work on time instead and I’m sorry for that.

I know your fraternity isn’t completely clean. But I also know that for every cop who can be bribed and thinks rape is a woman’s fault, there are ten who will come forth and help me out.

Your system isn’t perfect, just like mine. But hey, we’re all trying, aren’t we?

I’m sorry I didn’t realise that you’re a father or a mother too. You have wives, husbands and kids waiting for you at home. I forget that what frightens me about the society today, frightens you too. I’m sorry that I don’t acknowledge the fact that you are as human as me. 

In my loud protests against violence and crime, I forget that you’re committed to keep the streets safe. That is your job and you’re doing it while I never had the guts or the inclination to do it myself.

I think you deserve a lot more respect than what I’ve given. I applaud your bravery and perseverance. I promise that I will work with you in defeating this wave of crime that we are facing together. I’m sorry I haven’t done it till now.

I’m sorry, Dear Police Officer, I’m sorry.

Book Review: Who Let The Dork Out

Posted: November 6, 2012 in Random Posts

Dear Blog,

Today I happened to finish the most glorious book in the history of NRM (Non-resident Malayali) literature. Its called Who Let The Dork Out, by Sidin Vadukut (Irinjalakuda, about 50 kms away from Shantha amai’s place in Guruvayoor. Does he know her? Will he give me an autographed t-shirt? I don’t know).

Now you know how I never try and exaggerate on important literary works and their effects on me. So when I say the third installment of the Dork series (After Dork and God Save The Dork) has made me feel better about spending a day with a book, I mean it (Not like that fraud Tharoor boy’s Pax Indica bullshit. Bloody 7,000 pages of snore inducing kakkoos material. Pandaaram Adangaan! Thank God I only read the first 15 pages at Crossword, before pushing off to Pizza Hut).

Vadukut tells the story of our ill-fated protagonist and his exploits with the prestigious AVG 2010 (Allied Victory Games 2010) playing in the background (No marks for guessing the similarity between another prestigious tournament that starts with a ‘C’). Using his lucid writing style and ingenious comic timing, Vadukut doesn’t waste a single moment in explaining the fickle nature of life or the complexity of people’s minds or the colour of the autumn leaf or any such nonsense. He dives straight into the story and takes you on a joyride of situational comedy and hillarious plot twists, culminating to the inevitable victory of our hero.

What I really enjoyed in the book was Vadukut’s extremely careful treatment of the vivacious, titular (snigger!) character, Robin ‘Einstein’ Varghese a.k.a the Dork. He isn’t stupid, not one measure. Unlucky? Maybe. But can he think of a plausible solution on his feet, while safeguarding the interests of everyone around? Maybe.

However, my dear Blog we shouldn’t be so quick in our judgement about him. Varghese is a very nice fellow on the inside (A lot like Unni cheriachhan, only a bit more international). There are portions in the book which will make you feel sad for the simpleton, but then like Jagathi Sreekumar he will go on to do some Oscar award winning comedy sequence and you will be left laughing out loudly (not loud enough that your boss steps out of her cabin. But yes, loudly).

Its like a bloody one man show throughout the book, though the usual supporting characters are superstars in their own right. Even though Gouri (Varghese’s girlfriend) as a character is extremely annoying (mild vomiting sensation after remembering past girlfriend), I felt that she could have used some more space. Rahul Gupta, Sugandh, Karthik Subramaniam, all older and more prominent characters from previous books, make fleeting appearances in this one too.

Newly introduced supporting characters are notable as well. Especially Anushka Sharma. I’ve had dreams about her. But more on that later (actually you’re just a blog, so I can leave you for 5 minutes, go to the loo and umm… Bye!).

Anyway, so new supporting characters, yes. I especially liked Javelin Joyyontoh, fraud Kedarji, Colonel Kaldog, Manju Warrier and that moronic Giggs fellow (You don’t know anything about these characters, you say? HA HA HA HA! you make me laugh my dear blog. I’m here to talk about the book, not fucking rewrite it for you).

Ultimately, I can’t deny that the book has severely influenced my writing style, waking up my inner NRM. But you won’t understand anything I say, till you actually read the book (I know you, I know! You’re going all Vish Please! But really, just try and read it once and I am 1000% sure that you will love it).

-Visshy

Packin’ bags!

Posted: October 8, 2012 in Random Posts

So if you aren’t one of the three billion I’ve told already, I am in the middle of switching jobs. I’m leaving the general newspaper I was working for, starting today and moving to a more business oriented newspaper. BECAUSE I LOVE BUSINESS JOURNALISM SO MUCH….OMG!!! *looks away*

Anyway, since I have a week long vacation before I start working for the new paper (OMG BIZ JOURNALISM!!), I am going to do what every sane thinking human being in my age group does, roll a joint take a vacation.  And since it is under my current budget, I am going to smoke weed visit Ahmedabad, Gujarat.

Its a lot like Vile Parle, except we have better roads, better water supply, a flyover that is actually complete, the river front project, better street foo-Okay, its not like Vile Parle. But we have Gujjus.

However, the worst part about vacationing are those six dozen dreadful hours I spend in doing the heinous act of– packing my bags neatly. It used to be much easier before. I would try folding two pairs of jeans and a t-shirt into my travel bag, and it would appear like I couldn’t fit another piece of clothing. Then I would go to sleep, and that is when the Packing fairy Mom would come over and methodically pack every apparel in my wardrobe, in colour combinations, where every shirt has a sticker with a code that matches with the sticker on the exact right pair of pants. My mother is effectively T-800 for unfolded clothes and unpacked bags. But ever since I started living on my own, packing has been the most worrying aspect, closely followed by, “How much Ujaala should you soak your white shirt in?”

But coming to think of it, what the fuck is the point behind trying to pack neatly? No seriously! Are your clothes going to feel uncomfortable inside your bag? Will your tie look puffy because of all the cotton tears it cried on road?!! Will your pair of Levis cry out for help from the authorities at the airport?

If all your clothes don’t fit in your bag, then its probably a sign that you need to buy a bigger bag, or that you’re a woman. Either way, packing clothes neatly in your bag makes no sense at all. Not at least to me.

Anyway, it time for me to get on to snorting some coke my way to Ahmedabad!