My most memorable loo story is at Madame Tussaud’s. A Canadian woman accosted me after I came out of the facility with, “Are you Indian?”
“Oh, I am surprised. I did not know Indians flushed…”
“What?” I gasped as I stood near the wash basin.
“I hear that Indians do it in the street.”
“Who told you?”
“My brother – he is a professor and has travelled to India.”
“It seems there is a lot left to his education.”
On the way down (she insisted on not letting go off me), she tried to tell me about yoga and other such exotic stuff and then she took me to a group of people – her family and friends. I was beginning to feel like an exhibit. She introduced me to her father. “You know dad she is from India…”
My anger was simmering, so I addressed the gentleman: “Sir, are you not surprised that I do not pee in the streets?”
There was a group of Sikhs at the next table and one sardarji gave me the most beautiful balley-balley smile.
A few years ago, there was a report of an Indian who wrote to the municipal corporation in Mumbai demanding that licences of five-star hotels be revoked because commodes in their washrooms have only tissue paper and no water.
In his letter of complaint, he said: “The absence of water jets and bidets is unhygienic and also against the Indian lifestyle. Even in foreign countries and at international airports, they have Indian-style toilets to suit Indian tourists. However, shockingly, in Indian five-stars we don't get such a facility even though we pay high prices…If you need to clean up, you either have to get into the bath tub or climb on to the wash-basin, which, as you will appreciate, is quite inconvenient. We are Indians. We prefer water over tissue. So we should be given the option by these hotels.”
While I find the idea of anyone getting into the bathtub or the wash basin to clean up after ablutions disgusting, I know that it is a major scatological issue that can divide the world. Who will tell you this aspect of Indian culture? The jug is a huge obsession. Increasingly, handy sprays are used. In Pakistan they call them ‘Muslim shower’, and I wonder what religious significance it can have. It spurts out water just as anything else.
I confess to being a diehard ‘water baby’. My earlier travels overseas used to be filled with dread. The first time I boarded an international aircraft, I sat cross-legged for most of the nine-hour journey. But thirst and hunger cannot be kept at bay…so I could not continue to pretend I was Sharon Stone for long. I stood in that tiny cubicle that planes think are conducive to bowel and bladder movement and discovered the power of invention.
Sight-seeing trips, especially at sites like museums, usually have long queues in the ‘ladies’. I always believed women were cleaner, but seeing sanitary towels carelessly dumped outside bins and tissue rolls on the floor, I am not too sure.
Indians, however, can be quite terrible themselves. The use of water does not necessarily mean that everyone is hygienic. At Indian airports, there is a bucket overflowing, the taps are open and the floor is a mix of urine and water. The seat is often muddy, the reason being that those fools squat on that with their dirty footwear. How they manage the feat is beyond me.
A friend told me that one should not sit on the seat. “Just pretend to, a few inches off the seat and finish it off.”
If you look the ‘westernised’ type then the attendant – oh, we have those here too – will hand over a bit of toilet roll to you, and when I say bit I mean a bit: it is exactly a six-incher. And then when you return, to your embarrassment, you are handed another six-incher to wipe your hands.
Of course, the great put-down is to say something has been used as toilet paper. Dolly Parton once said, “My aunt in Knoxville would bring newspapers up, which we used for toilet paper. Before we used it, we'd look at the pictures.”
Ah, and I look at meself in the jug of water?
Why does he document himself aging? Every five years he makes a mould of his face, fills it with 10 pints of blood. The sculptures are then kept in a Perspex box filled with silica and chilled to minus 18 degrees Celsius to prevent them from turning to liquid. Precious. An ode to life frozen and afraid of flowing like the warmth of life-giving blood.
British artist Marc Quinn says, “I think I’m more obsessed with life than death. Death’s inevitable, and slightly boring.”
This is why he makes it interesting by celebrating “the powers of the human body”. The last one was acquired by the National Portrait Gallery in London for $500,000. His earliest work is worth millions of pounds. This is an interesting aspect of art as not a statement but evolution of the human being.
Quinn is quite contemporaneous in his oeuvre. Take a couple of examples...
Here, Quinn has fallen for a faddist idea. Just as he believes that Moss as model and person have different lives, he ought to understand that the fashion industry’s idea of perfection is not the real world’s perception. In fact, perfection even as a means to manipulate a counter-perfection is antithetical to art, for it merely uses ready material as illustration.
The woman born without arms, on the other hand, has not been culturised. She is a part of the natural process of being. He might believe he has through Moss created an abstraction but he did use Moss.
Coming up next year he has a new series of sculptures of “people who’ve transformed themselves with plastic surgery”.
Again, a contemporary statement. Will he use real role models? Will it show evolution or disintegration? Is there a likelihood of it being a parody of such surgical intervention or will it be an observation of the same ‘growth’ of the aging process he uses his blood heads for?
I don’t find his works disturbing, a term he dislikes. “I think you have to make work that makes you feel things and people don’t like feeling things.”
It is more than feeling things. It is unfeeling them. There is detachment in taking the real, transforming it and pushing it into the extreme version of one kind of authenticity.
He may freeze some of his blood but will he allow it to congeal within him?
On Dussehra it is customary to commemorate good over evil. I have seen pictures of the police placing flowers over weapons. Understandable. They are in a sense worshipping their job. Although it ought to be more than the use of weapons. If the armed forces do so, again fine. What is the chief minister of Gujarat doing bowed before guns?
He ought to be at his office offering prayers to all those musty files that have let him off. Or he should be arranging money to give as compensation.
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Image courtesy The Times of India
It isn’t unusual. In fact, it is along expected lines. Swami Ramdev has bought a Scottish isle for about £2 million (Rs 16 crore) to set up a wellness retreat. What is surprising is this:
The conch-shaped Little Cumbrae island, spread over 1.25 sq km and home to a 13th century castle, was put on the block by its previous owner due to the global financial crisis.
Obviously, spiritualism has suffered from no recession. People are still spending money “for scientific research and treatment in yoga, spiritualism and ayurveda”. Why is this jim-jam being garbed as research? Yoga therapies, ayurveda are already there in ancient texts. And what scientific research can be conducted in spiritualism? A personal quest is not dependent on analysis or measured.
The Swami’s explanation is this:
“The base is not about property as much as it is about spreading Indian values. My aim is to turn this island into a peace haven.”
What is the need to spread Indian values oversees when Indians themselves are aping the West? What exactly are these values? Contorting the body, eating stuff procured from forests and swallowing long strings to bring out mucus? What is so un-peaceful about the island that it will transform into a peace haven?
It will only increase tourism. Travellers will throng to the place, after having satiated themselves with haggis, shortbread, tartan scarves and kilts and want to retire for some S&M – spiritualism and massage. These places are no different from detox spas and, while the regular parlours are pretty upfront, here it probably makes people just feel better for no reason other than partaking of an ‘inner journey’.
If Swami Ramdev is so concerned about peace, he could have chosen an Indian island like the Andamans or Lakshadweep.
And someone please make it clear that this Swami has not revived yoga. There are several institutes that have been quietly doing their work and people practising it. When your mind is searching with a resolve in the stillness, you are on a higher plane without the arrogance of making tall claims about it.
If Narendra Modi says there are no villages in Gujarat, you just believe it. His reason to sneak out of it is the plan to set up gram nyayalayas (village courts) for quick dispensation of justice.
A report says CM of Delhi Sheila Dikshit too said there were no villages in her jurisdiction and the newspaper explains it as a possibility because:
the once upon a time villages in Delhi have been consumed by rapid urbanisation given the need of a burgeoning population.
I do not understand. We have had panchayats for years and these village courts decided by the union government is only one more move at interference.
To give Modi his due here, he has agreed to have “mobile courts…at the grassroot level”. Makes sense. Now if only he does not have chaps like Vanzara and company getting all mobile. Okay, could not resist that one. I prefer Modi’s idea in principle.
Rather sick headline in TOI:
Had she not had famous parents would anyone make this seem so legitimate? What is there to shout about India’s first celebrity love child? Is this an achievement? Two people shared some moments of passion and the woman chose to have the baby. Who took the responsibility, how the parenting was done is between the parents.
Let the media not prop this up.
I resisted reality.
And then one day we were not moving in. The reason for the house – marriage – was over. But do homes need a reason? I had never met the white bed before. We were strangers. I did not know the turpentine, the bathroom fittings. Hello! I said hello to them because they would be mine. I thought. Alone, in a different city, I was clutching at wood shavings.
I started cutting out bits and pieces from magazines and pasted them on cardboard sheets; a collage had formed. I was hoping that having made a pattern, things would fall into place. Do they ever? The verdict was clear. My house would remain bare of human warmth.
It was easy to tear the collage. I used the pretty cushion covers to dust the shelves even when there was no dust. I imagined future dust growing thick on it and settling like a bored spouse. I kicked the table and hurt my leg. Yet, I kept kicking at it. There was nothing in the kitchen cabinets, except a few jars waiting to be filled. I arranged them on the window sill. Rain water collected in them and overflowed. My cup runneth over. It was so funny, I could cry.
The scent of fresh paint was nauseating. I walked around bare feet on the cold floor. Floors can be so cold. I started counting the rooms. I already knew how many rooms were there; I knew the corners…I had sat on the ground against those very corners when there was not even a chair. I had tried poking my fingers into sockets to see if I could take any shocks. I did not expect shocks, but I could sense their arrival. Not this soon. But, it is never too early.
I picked up the bag filled with stones. They must have been stones for what else can be this heavy? I bolted the door with the heavy lock bought specially to keep me safe. It mocked at me with its brilliant brass shine. The bunch of keys spread like tentacles on my palm and bore dents into the fingers. What mysteries did they wish to unlock?
Since that day, I have never wanted to belong anywhere. I am designed for alienation. There isn't anything to overwhelm me and claim me.
Even in blissful slumber, I am threatened by the nightmare of exits. I start missing people before they have left. I assume they will leave. So, instead of letting experiences grow, I wallow in episodes.
I had taken a picture of the ocean. It showed up as a large black shroud. I forgot to stand against the light, and not all suns can provide a halo. What would I worship, anyway? The vastness of shadows or a drop within reach that would evaporate? The jars pregnant with rain water had to be given away. Nothing would be born.
Announcing the departure of…the undertaker.
In a poll conducted by the international writing magazine Wasafiri 25 writers were asked about the books that have shaped world literature, Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude topped the list. This book even in its translated version is older than 25 years. There is no doubt that it remains a delight in the magic realist genre and is fabulously nuanced and loaded with symbolism.
One of the primary reasons mentioned for its choice is, "Apart from the fact that it's an amazing book, it taught western readers tolerance for other perspectives."
Are we assuming that the West must decide? Have there been no literary efforts in other languages precluding English? Not all of the writers polled are considered huge names. Therefore, this sort of survey is obviously the opinion of 25 people. Is it any better than a random reader poll?
These are essentially reviewer type pat choices. Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita has been chosen for its “astonishing virtuoso performance, which has never been excelled". Never according to whom? One writer. Is literature a performance? How do we measure excellence? And if it has not been bettered then how has it influenced world literature at all? Aren’t creative efforts about growth, even if – better if – it is tangential?
Is Raymond Carver’s work important because, "Thousands of young writers have been taught to pare their work to the bone”? Are we talking about literature as an editing course?
Ted Hughes's Birthday Letters was chosen for "a new form of intimate poetry, quite different from Robert Lowell's confessional verse". Is poor Lowell the only one into confessional verse? And what is intimate poetry? Writing about intimate things or getting the reader to get intimately involved in the process of such work and its thoughts and metaphors?
Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children and Satanic Verses figure as well. I was curious about the latter. How would this book qualify as one that influenced the literary world? Are we talking about writing, pushing the envelope or inviting controversy? What was Rushdie’s literary topography to begin with? A religious book. Would he agree that he was influenced by it and therefore his effect on literature is a reflection of the effect of the Quran? Has his work seminally induced a genre of parodist writing? I am not too sure. Those who took on religious ideas did so from different perspectives – there was the modernist view, the alterative sexuality view, the view from the reverent side. And there have been several forms of irreverent writing before Verses.
I am quite amazed that in 25 years the Obama memoir, Dreams from My Father, made it. The reason: It is "definitely the most influential book historically, but … also a work of literature too, beautifully written, and the product of deep, open-hearted reflection".
Most influential historically? I do not think it is because he traces his father’s life. It is because he is the President of America and a product from a certain background. I cannot comprehend this obsession with the ‘difference’ being highlighted continually.
I suspect some books and literary figures get chosen because writers are sometimes not willing to take the onus of their own ideas.
Creativity is a lonely hunter and you may not find the big kill but, wait – can you feel the adrenaline rush? That is inspiration and perspiration enough.
Infosys chief mentor N R Narayana Murthy is worth Rs. 1 lakh. Kumaramangalam Birla came next. For some reason the organisers are not willing to reveal the amount he was auctioned for. It must not be close to the Murthy bid. It probably is way less and might seem embarrassing. One thing this proves is that management students know that they cannot follow the path of inherited money and need to know the way someone who started from scratch works.
Will a day be enough? No. Will the ‘Shadow a CEO’ be truly educative or merely an opportunity to bask in the sunshine of a sparkling office and watch Mr. CEO (was there a Ms?) conduct day-to-day routine. It is unlikely he will decide important matters of company policy in the presence of the student.
Management schools do have long sessions on various aspects and it might be an interesting opportunity. But I do not like the idea of this bidding at all, especially if it is being garbed as the Joy of Giving. Who is giving and for what?
The students have paid up and the money will go to a charity of the CEO’s choice. Have these students done it with the intent of giving or receiving? By giving one day in their life to a student, who will most likely be hanging around ‘absorbing’ – yeah, that’s what they’ll say – what are they giving?
Why is it a charity of the CEOs’ choice? It is these three who will get the credit for it. 1,196 students went online and took part in this. A lakh of rupees is a lot of money for them. They would never have thought of spending it on their own for any charity, and it would be perfectly understandable. The CEOs can spend this much money any time.
The real joy of giving would have been if they had just divided the groups of students and distributed them among the 26 business heads who participated. And each would donate an amount they could afford for charities decided by their institute. If the CEOs wished, they could add their own to it, a minimal amount as token.
After their shadowing session, the students could be sent of to those charity organisations where they can imbibe some management skills about how to handle issues of people who have less of everything.
But who gives a damn too, right?
The last rains
Are not like the first
Quenching soil thirst
Fragrance of trampled seeds
Grown up prematurely to bud
With old summer steam
Paper boats with footprints
Shoes smelling of resin feet
Umbrella hinges greased
A recorded drone
Lightning welding sky wires
Cars plodding sleepy tyres
People with bored eyes
Too parched to drench
Grass grown long
The last rains
Are not like the first
Mahesh Kamat while appearing before the court appealed for bail because the cops could not record the statement of the victim.
He has been slapped on two charges – unnatural sex and cruelty against animals. The first one is the controversial Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which includes gays and heterosexuals indulging in what the law deems as abnormal. Dogs and other animals are included.
The newspapers have branded this bizarre. I wish they had asked a few more questions.
What I find strange is that the cops in Mumbai, who are extremely lax about sexual abuse of women and little boys and in fact have been caught in rape cases themselves, are cockily announcing that they have enough evidence against him, including DNA and forensic reports. This is the same police force that does not reach crucial areas of attacks and riots on time and is ill-equipped. Cases of rash driving resulting in death and molestation cases take years if they ever manage to reach the courts.
These are the same cops that look the other way as strays are put to sleep by the municipal authorities. Suddenly, they are concerned about animal cruelty. It is believed that the offence disturbed the residents of the area. I really am wondering what this taxi driver was upto. Doggie with doggie is noisy enough and one may understand the dog’s reluctance. I do believe that humans are the only species that commit sexual crimes.
This man is obviously a pervert. But if the residents were disturbed, why did they not intervene? The cops have got evidence, which means they must have reached the place of the crime pretty much around the time after it happened, if not during, to know which particular dog it was. Strays are fairly visible in the city and I doubt if they have tell-tale signs that show specific abuse by men. Were these people watching the show and then decided to act?
Would the man be so foolish as to do it in full public view? And what is this about it being a stray and not a pet dog? It is like saying that the homeless have less of a right to their bodies than people who live in houses. This incident reveals that even for the animal kingdom the human mind uses hierarchies. The poodles leashed with Prada collars are of course not as free as it may appear.
The cops wouldn’t know about lapdogs, would they?
Four years of encountering different people, many of who came searching for something else and stayed. Some left because the search was over. A few do whizz past...
I just want to say that whatever it is I write and however I respond to your comments, I am doing so to stand by the words that mean so much to me. If I won't do so, then who will?
Someone made a most interesting observation recently. He said it appeared that I had a science background. The reason? I analyse and dissect.
I do. But my analysis and dissection is far from scientific. I do not start with a theory, then experiment to prove its veracity. What I do is akin to taking a mould of clay, pulling it into two…the insides of the halves initially do not appear smooth; there are ridges or pockmarks all over them. I run my fingers through these, then smooth out the rough edges or rough up the smooth bits. If the urge gets too much, I make little balls or flat rounds, like those M&Ms; some I place on hard surfaces, where they leave no mark; others I put on paper and a little of the paper may stick to them. The paper then acquires a chewing gum-like identity.
What have I dissected? To begin with, the clay is not clay anymore. Paper is not paper anymore. Was it an experiment to prove anything? No. It was to transform the clay. The discovery that paper too got transformed was the unexpected part. What was being proved was my ability to see how that transformation took place. Transformation is not quantifiable or even ‘qualifiable’.
Is this too much analysis? I have a restless mind, but I like to think it is centred. So what happens is one takes off at a tangent.
I do it with life. Some people call me indecisive. For me it is savouring the strange. I know where I am headed. The road is straight or at least I am aware of the turns. But what if I stop by a pond, sit down on the grass and wet my toes? Would you say I could have done this with the bottle of water I carried? Would I resist doing it only because that water serves another purpose and this another?
No. I have wet my toes with potable water and I have drunk off several sludgy liquids. It is the moment I wish to enjoy. I cannot carry the pond with me. so I may dissect it – floating leaves, perhaps even a flower, images on water, the depth, the possibility of shallowness…I am not out to verify the existence of the pond.
Then I am off on my journey once again. It is possible to be stopped at various points, perhaps take another road or even decide to turn back.
Is this indecisiveness? How can it be when I am making that decision? I am not walking backwards; I am turning and stepping ahead…the travelled road is not always a musty relic. Nor am I looking for the safety of footprints. On concrete you cannot find them, anyway. And I rarely do muddy trails unless it is for fun.
When I want to reach someplace, I like my road to shine like steel and not become dust beneath my heel.
Move over, Mr. B. The competition is now really stiff. Nothing compared to the ambassadorship of Uttar Pradesh. In the gubernatorial stakes, the good lord has got mythology, religion and culture all backing him.
Lord Rama is now the official ambassador of Gujarat. According to legend, Hanuman was born in that state. And then these people complain about an Italian being the Congress chief only because she married an Indian. Such proxy glory and relationships are fine to further ends…
Next time you visit Gujarat, even if it is only to meet your favourite trader, eat undhiyo, drink masala chhaas, and then make a quick trip to buy some nice bandhni sarees and souvenir torans, please do the ‘Rama Trail’. These are essentially places important to Hanuman. Read the following carefully:
“It is believed that when Hanuman was flying to Lanka with a mountain from the Himalayan ranges with the Sanjeevani booti to save Laxman, a piece of it fell in Gujarat’s Dangs district at Anjani Parbat,” said State tourism minister Jay Narayan Vyas.
Officials said the Sri Lankan tourism delegation was all set to join hands with Gujarat government to develop a ‘Rama trail’ on the lines of the one existing in Sri Lanka.
Think Tamils 2009. Think Gujarat 2002.
Anything for god, though. So, it is not surprising that the two have got together. Gujarat has added Mahatma Gandhi, for his “mass appeal”, as another ambassador. They will play up his “Hey Rama” last words. What else?
Now, I look forward to a ‘Modi Trail’. Tourists will be taken to various ‘ruins’ and finally end up in a room full of dusty files. The guide will announce, “Ane aa Gujarati asmita chhe”. And this is the self-esteem of Gujarat. Sure.
It is so easy to pass of the danda as a dandiya stick and make it seem like tradition.
He has been arrested now. If the army had thrown him out for such activities, ought not the government to have been informed? Isn’t the government then supposed to keep tabs on such persons?
Let us get some basics right, first:
Five days before India and Pakistan’s ministers for external affairs are scheduled to meet in New York, Bihar police on Monday nabbed a dismissed Indian sepoy, suspected to be an agent of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), and seized important Indian military documents from him.
Why are those five days before important? Was the arrest timed with the upcoming event?
Why is he referred to as a sepoy? In the days of British rule, those who were with the colonial army were called sepoys. One assumes the reference here is to his ‘allegiance’ with the ISI! A bit silly to use such nomenclature. And if it must be used, then it cannot be ‘dismissed Indian sepoy’…from what I understand we refer to soldiers as jawans.
Now, it is possible that a soldier is called a jawan irrespective of designation. But, if he were a high-ranking person I am sure it would be mentioned. Therefore, one might assume he wasn’t. So, how does he have access to important military documents and maps of key army installations? Even if he were super smart, it has been two years since he was rusticated. Is the information the same and the installations exactly where they were? If not, is there someone within the armed forces helping him?
He was on his way to Nepal to meet a “Kathmandu-based ISI conduit whom he identified as Rana”. The Intelligence Bureau tipped off the Bihar police about his whereabouts.
The IB gets to know about what this man is doing two years after his dismissal. The cops manage to get out the information that there is some Rana he is in touch with, who is with the ISI. Now what?
The two countries will bring it up in their meeting in New York. This is not for India or Pakistan. This is for America. The US will reprimand the two errant nations to behave, the blame game will continue. America will weep tears over terrorism. Huh? That’s right. It is about the Indian army. The ISI. But the US only knows one word.
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A few days ago there was a news item about our Home Minister P Chidambaram giving US officials a list of 60 Pakistani terrorists killed by Indian security forces in various encounters in different parts of the country and another of 10 arrested in the last one year.
Our honourable minister did this act of boasting (or kowtowing?) before leaving on his US trip.
“Their names and addresses in Pakistan were given in the list,” the official said. The government is also contemplating launching a publicity blitzkrieg in Pakistani media about the activities of terrorists belonging to that country in India.
As though Barack Obama will put them up on a most wanted list when they are already dead or in prison. What fools. And what is there to launch a publicity stunt in the Pakistani media? This sounds like a gossip session of tu-tu-main-main. Dekho, tumhari kameez meri kameex se kitni ghandi hai…
I will. Because, my first breath I owe to her. The two prayers I know. I use them – one for domestic flights, one for international flights. I was told as a child that you ought not to burden god. So, I will keep it short…it does sound like going through the motions but this morning as I was trying to shrug off everything I felt my eyes sting. As though a bee had lodged itself in there. The tears tasted like honey and lingered on the cheeks like memories…
Moon-sighting was akin to looking for the UFO. We'd go to the balcony and for some reason squint our eyes and imagine that by doing so we'd spot a sliver. And once it was spotted, my grandma would look at it, cover her eyes and ask to see my face first. There was no confusion over that!
In our house, besides the night before preparations and Nani’s mehndi applying skills, that included elephants and big flowers and large dots to the more nuanced ones of later years, there was the excitement about a crate of bottled drinks that arrived. For some reason, fizzy colas were not a part of my childhood. We had rose sherbet, Rooh Afza, and squashes. I liked the lemon squash – slightly bitter, slightly sour with just a dash of sweetness. We had to wait for it till some adult decided they wanted to cool off. And then every sip was savoured. This must qualify as child abuse of some sort…
The relatives started trickling in by 11 AM. There was chatter, some music; someone might even read in a corner. The youngsters were dispatched to distribute the sevaiyan to neighbours, friends and other assorted creatures that constituted one’s social life. Even though I had no social life, I was made to carry this burden – in glass bowls protected with a crochet cover. You had to smile sweetly at people, say ‘Eid Mubarak’; sometimes if one looked particularly cute, a kiss was planted on the cheek. I disliked lipstick stains on my natural blush and most definitely suffered from hygiene issues for I would wash it clean several times.
Then the family appraised your clothes. I sometimes succumbed to the sharara business. The part I liked best was holding up the middle delicately if it was too long and walking – it was so deliciously Bollywood. By the time I had got to my teens, I would hope that I’d drop something and some dashing guy would bend down to pick it up and hand it to me, our eyes meeting and then both running round trees, me holding up that sharara. It never happened. All I’d hear were loud shouts of the neighbourhood fellows, “Hey, where are your legs?” A nasty one that, considering I always wore skirts. There was no pressure on me to wear traditional clothes, although when I look back it must take some nerve to get 'special Eid clothes' made by Zia bhai, our tailor, and his shocked expression when he was told that it was a polka-dotted skirt with a ruffled blouse and a waistcoat. I do not think he found it amusing. Zia bhai took his revenge by making the skirts long. When the packet arrived, I’d lock myself in a room and hem it up.
So, in this Muslim household where most people had fasted the whole month and prayed, I was not seen as much of an outsider. Their faith included me as one of them. For, they believed in me as much as I believed in them to be a part of our world.
Lunch time constituted a bit of a struggle as to where to fit me. I was between ages. It was my pleasure to join the younger ones because food was served first to the kids. I continued this for as long as I could. The change in status came when the Eidi money – a token amount of money elders give as blessing – increased. I did not know why. Then, I made the simple deduction that it had something to do with my growing frame. The appearance of breasts increased my brand value. Yes, that’s what I thought.
I wasn’t the sort who’d just throw money. I saved most of it and used it to give little gifts on birthdays. It is a joy I receive even today. Just the thought of buying something for someone, packing it up nicely and then handing it with so much trepidation – will they like it, will they?
My eyes are misting over now. I can clearly smell the flowers, strings of them that the women in the house wore in their hair. And the scent of ittar, a strong essence, used instead of regular fragrances because anything with alcohol content was avoided. I remember the ittar shops in small lanes and how they’d dab a bit on the back of the hand. I’d be handed a plastic rose, its dark pink shocking and a ball of it soaked in cottonwool stuck at the centre. I’d hold it afar, so strong was the scent. And wonder why some petals never fall.
Why? They embed themselves in your mind and become nostalgia…a small recognition of a life that creation has granted.
Now,now. Mehndi is an important part of Eid. And it is sweet of The Times of India to remember that. As much as they have their ghazal/qawwali programmes that are nice sponsored events. Works as well as political iftaar parties.
But, obviously the advertising department has no clue about how to portray even cliches.
In this advertisement wishing readers Eid Mubarak they have used the most appalling stereotypes in a bizarre manner.
A mosque? The number 786 (conveying 'Bismillah') is just about fine. But, what the heck is a maulvi type reading the Quran doing on a woman's hand? Do they understand subtlety, forget sensitivity?
Even the most religious person would think a hundred times before having this on her palm. To make the idiocy more evident, the other palm has two men in an embrace as they do when greeting each other!
If it weren't so stupid it might have been funny. Well, I hope the TOI cow gets to jump over that crescent moon. Oh, it is there. Naturally...
They hold your hand tightly, as though they are drawing blood for testing. They probe and prod. They cannot find your veins. For 90 minutes they try this. One hour and 30 minutes you are already suffering a slow death.
Romell Broom’s execution has been delayed because the prison authorities in Ohio could not find a vein that could handle the lethal three-drug injection. Had he been tried and sentenced soon after the crime he might have had to spend time in a prison cell for long. Since 1999, the state has resumed executions.
They finally conducted a medical examination and found that his “right arm appeared accessible”. Who would imagine that one’s own arm, that too the right one, would become a traitor? He must curse that arm. What if he had no right arm? What if they had not found this access path? What if…?
I do not sympathise with his crime, although I am against capital punishment. I have said this often that killing a killer does not stop murders anywhere in the world. There is no precedent to prove it.
But, the idea of a man waiting for that final moment when in his full senses has dark elements. An ill person knows about malady and fatality. A person in an accident is taken by surprise. But to have to wait for death? Was he thinking about what he did 25 years ago? Did he even remember the face of the girl? Did he think about the details of his crime? Did he feel remorse? Did he hate himself?
Right now he must be only thinking about his veins.
2. Tnx 4 bringing out funny side of PM. He got ur joke but dats coz u did Kofi. Last time he joked was wid Gilani bout Balochistan.
- - -
Ok. Am done with bird talk. If you really think you are some pun-chkin then you have a think coming.
Here are some statements you made and in one you imply that people would not appreciate humour. Honestly, you are about as humorous as a bagpipe playing at a Roman repast
Holy cows are NOT individuals but sacrosanct issues or principles that no one dares challenge. Wish critics wld look it up.
Aww, giving us work to do? You think your critics would not know? For your information, YOU are a holy cow and as far as I can see you are an individual unless you believe you are an issue now.
And you do not travel with principles. I mean, do you ask for an aisle seat next to that puffed up sore-assed principle of dynastic politics? Heck. I already got it wrong. That wouldn't be a holy cow for you. You cannot have a beef with those who give you a ticket to ride.
- - -
It's a silly expression but means no disrespect to economy travellers, only to airlines for herding us in like cattle.
Aha! So did you speak to our local Richard Branson, Vijay Mallya of Kingfisher, and to Naresh Goyal of Jet? Did you speak to the minister of aviation?
But, what will you tell them? That they are doing okay with the holy cows...principles, of course...but not individuals who have to go moo-moo each time they turn their face and the passenger next to them is breathing butter chicken?
I know your fan base has increased though I suspect some women ministers might object to your gender political incorrectness with regard to cow.
You have put everything at steak and need a well-done break.
Wanna do Kofi at Kyarla Hose?
(That is what the Mallu you have forgotten would say about doing coffee at Kerala House.)
Take care, tweets. Now be good and LOL.
The Great Indian Rope Trick
by Farzana Versey
Counterpunch, September 18-20, 2009
The soles of his feet were cracked like the soil in barren fields. He sat idly and drank khus sherbet. There weren’t any files spread before him. He was doing no work, only shaking his legs in that nervous frenzied manner of people in power who have to sit with others.
This was in the executive class on a private airline. It was before the Congress party told its ministers that they had to go on an austerity drive and travel economy. Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar reacted by saying there would be no space to do any work.
Why has there been such a black and white reaction to this move? Was it because two ministers started staying at luxury hotels while their government bungalows were being ‘done up’? S.M.Krishna and former UN man Shashi Tharoor claim they did not use the tax-payer’s money; the latter in his now patented fashion is throwing the “I am paying the bills from my own savings after a lifetime of international work” line.
His little tweets have made him into a five-star martyr to become a part of knee-jerk legend. In one he said he would definitely travel in ‘cattle class out of solidarity with all our holy cows’. Naturally, those who think life revolves around conveying their daily stories in small doses find it, and him, cute. The arrogance of this kind of Indian politician mirrors the same feudal mentality that upstart urbanites accuse the country bumpkins of.
The primary reason is that our society follows the “Dilli Chalo” (onward to Delhi) credo to sanctify the power of central leadership and fake cohesiveness. Our slogans have moved from “Jai Jawaan, Jai Kisaan” (Hail the solider and the farmer) to “Garibi hatao” (Banish poverty) to “India Shining”. While India was shining, farmers were committing suicide as they are now. Getting ministers to give 20 percent of their wages for drought-affected regions is simplistic. The salaries of ministers are not known to be high. They earn more through perks – for fuel, phones, travel. There is also the larger issue of corruption. Granting licences for large projects to certain firms is part of the money-making deal that keeps the political machinery lubricated.
The current move is not about hypocrisy but hyperbole. And who better fits the slot of abstinence than the father of the nation? Lalu Prasad Yadav said, “Mahatma Gandhi always preferred to travel in third class compartments... and remained frugal throughout his life.”
If there is anyone who made poverty look like a million bucks, then it was Gandhi. The land of nabobs became the land of the half-naked fakir. The Birlas played host to him not because he drank goat’s milk but because he said, “India must protect her primary industries even as a mother protects her children against the whole world without being hostile to it.”
This is the brand of selective socialism that is being replayed today, not the fashionable Nehruvian model which was about how to do a Lenin by wearing mink. It is corporatisation of spiritualism. Anyone with a begging bowl of empty dreams can head a start-up venture of couture abstemiousness.
The idea of droughts and famines do not merely fan such high thinking among politicians but intellectuals, too. Remember Amartya Sen’s facile belief that, “… famines have never afflicted any country that is independent, that goes to elections, that has opposition parties to voice criticisms, that permits newspapers to report freely and to question government policies without extensive censorship”?
Simply speaking, we would be talking about socially and economically wealthy societies. Forget famines. What about other problems that beset a country like India? We have democracy, why then does Prof. Sen subscribe to state intervention? He had concurred that the role of the state even in matters of nutrition, health, education, social insurance was connected with the outcome of economic processes, which must empower people to become economic agents in their own right.
Here was a clear case of making both sides happy without giving a thought to the fact that state intervention can never empower people; it only results in dependency if not degradation. Perhaps, that suits the purpose. As he once stated, “Buddha was asking himself what kind of life is that (of illness, old age, mortality)? These are problems we all face. For many of us it is also the impetus for our work.”
The concern about rural India’s suffering arises only when it affects the middle class and the rich. Food, a basic need, is in short supply. An India that is now being sold Quaker Oats by an organisation of heart cure is willing to exaggerate its misery. Where are our irrigation plants? What happens to the families of farmers? How many people are moving to other towns and cities? Have these aspects been considered? Sonia Gandhi takes a flight with the plebs. As a symbol it might work, but only for a limited audience.
Once the flight touches ground, there will be a fleet of security vehicles. The person in the street does not care. It will, however, result in more corruption. The corporate sector that has thrived due to political munificence will be happy to help. They will not go quietly and do something in the villages where they have set up factories; they already think they have done the country a huge favour by providing employment opportunities. Labour is cheap. Instead, they will provide facilities to ministers, and since many of their kind have got into the fray it will be easy. They talk the same language and suffer from the same gilt-edged greed.
Does anyone talk about austerity for them when they are in fact sponging on the shareholder’s money? Was there any talk about austerity when villagers were driven out of the leftist state to facilitate factories to produce a low-cost car for the city dweller – a car that would clearly point out the difference between the rich and the ones who would never get there?
We condescendingly let Lalu, our rustic politician, join the cavalcade of management geeks to give lectures at Harvard and Wharton. The gallery applauds as they would when they watch a comic act or an acrobat. He senses that. Years of having been marginalised have taught him lessons in hypocrisy, stereotypes, and expectations. He plays their game. He too starts quoting Gandhi even as he made money from kickbacks from cow food. How much more hick town can anyone get?
Sleepy Communism has joined ranks, clinking glasses of Old Monk and belting out the angst of foreign rebellion in the voices of Ginsberg and Che, driving kitsch up the Warhol wall. Poor India has today become a parody of its own poverty.
- - -
(An abridged version appears in The News International, September 19)
Then there are those magnets that you stick on refrigerators. I pick them up on travels. Once I had written down all important telephone numbers on a sheet of thick cardboard and placed a few of these magnets to hold it in place. The cardboard had a smooth surface and the magnet was rather small, so it kept slipping. The thing it was attracted to had been interfered with. That portion I had clothed in paper was not letting it meet the object of its desire. There was no skin-to-skin contact.
There is this beautiful country house with a cobbled path and a doorway with awnings. I had left that magnet alone on the surface. It stood in all its magnificence apart from the rest. One day, due to hurried opening of the door, it fell to the ground. The house broke. I tried using an adhesive to put it back together, a bit of the white sticky glue had covered the façade. It did not look like the house it was. I touched its surface one last time, especially the window, and put it with the junk.
I threw open the real window. It was dawn; the sun was just coming up over concrete buildings that looked surprisingly beautiful in the hazy light. Two clouds got together, fluffy pillows whispering to each other. I stood transfixed. I had found new magnets.
They moved away from my view, one following the other. Would they stay like this? Would they break into bits or clash? Were they attracted to each other or was the unreachable sky their magnet?
I looked up at the sky. I know it will stay in place. I fold my hands together and feel a warmth surging within. I am my own magnet.
There are several questions here:
This was on Danish TV and apparently staged, so what prompted it? Is there a belief that people will throng to the country to have flings?
Is there a problem with the child being dark-skinned, although in the image here it does not appear so? Why are such values being promoted?
VisitDenmark manager Dorte Kiilerich explained that the intent was to tell a nice and sweet story about a grown-up woman who lives in a free society and accepts the consequences of her actions.
I understand free societies. But, do only women in such societies have to grow up? And what does ‘accept the consequences of their actions’ mean? Isn’t a woman in a free society intelligent enough to protect herself against pregnancy? What is so nice and sweet to be left alone with a baby? Do free societies have a carte blanche emotional security policy that makes its women believe that it is nice and sweet to consolidate this image of independence even if it means that they have to fend for themselves?
It is indeed sick to even imagine how any nation can let itself be bartered for such an image.
I had had a very nice meal. When I returned, in the building the workers who were doing the plaster work sat in one straight line on the floor, where cement flakes and stones were strewn, and ate from small steel boxes. It looked like very little food. I was hoping they had eaten something before I saw them. I was hoping they would eat something after they left. I was hoping I had not seen them eat. I was hoping I had not eaten what I ate. I was hoping, just hoping, that life were different. For them and for me. For different reasons. I tried throwing up. They wouldn’t know.
So, when someone says they are hurting, and the cause happens to be me, I wonder how I have sliced through their veins. There is no blood, but I try experiencing the congealed pain. Hurt is not measured. You can mourn for ten days, 20, 40, but the hurt remains. I wonder if people dream about their agony. I wonder if dreams are necessary then. I wonder if there can be some moments when emotional pains can also have this curfew time, specific hours, even minutes would do.
I cannot keep slapping at the air.
I resort to angry outbursts, bypassing, ignoring, because I am afraid that my attempt at probing veins as atonement has scarred me and scars aren’t pretty. I should have apologised, instead. It attracts bees to your flowering discomfiture. You let them hover, taste the dew because you want the pollen to spread and feel light. You need replacement, replenishment, retribution.
We were sitting in silence. Uncomfortably. Three of us. X and Y had a bit of a tussle. I was the observer. I don’t know when they fell quiet. And I don’t know when the tears clouded my eyes. I got up to leave.
X stopped me, and then I broke down. He said he understood why this happened. I was upset; I had made someone else’s hurt my own. An hour or so later, the discussion was beginning to start again – which is when Y jumped in and told X: “If you knew all along that this would upset her, then why are you doing this? We have been through these things so many times…but she?”
I must admit I was surprised. Y, a child-man, had cut through the swathe and entered it, not to stay or to claim, but to find the deep abyss. He said, “I don’t understand it – you are not involved. Why do you have to take on other people’s problems? I am sure you have enough of your own. I am quite sure. Take this from a friend, it is not worth it. But I can see that you do this often. Why? Do you feel guilty?”
For a moment I was taken aback. I had not caused this problem, so I was not responsible. But I was mesmerised by an imaginary wound. I was remorseful simply because I was not suffering as they were at the time. My subconscious was boring holes.
The fort I claim to have built crumbled. The flakes turned to dust in the eyes.
"Yes. Hazel nut in the coffee, please," I say.
"Right. Name ma'am."
He proceeds to note it when a colleague shows him the register.
"Ma'am, there is already this name. Can you give full name?"
"Uh, ok. Alka Seltzer."
I finally got the lather going over hair that had been flattened by too much care. As I tried untangling the knots, like meaningless relationships each strand stayed stuck. Hair is not so different from people.
This reminds me of my absent-mindedness.
Osama bin Laden has sent a message directly to the American people. This time there is no video footage; just an audio with some images. He says:
“The time has come for you to liberate yourselves from fear and the ideological terrorism of neo-conservatives and the Israeli lobby. The reason for our dispute with you is your support for your ally Israel, occupying our land in Palestine.”
Our land? I think by bringing in Israel he is deflecting the issue and really pushing the anti-Semitism idea, which is counter-productive. The funny thing is while some westerners are not willing to grant Al Qaeda the role of culprit in the attacks, this man wants to be seen as the criminal. Where was the Al Qaeda when America attacked other nations? The Israel lobby has always existed, and Palestine has rarely had support from Arab nations in real terms. In fact, Palestine is different in many ways and has to deal with Israel on a daily basis.
The response from the White House is facile. The press secretary said:
“I don't think it's surprising that Al Qaeda would want to shift attention away from the president's historic efforts and continued efforts to reach out and have an open dialogue with the Muslim world.”
Please. These open dialogues are as good as marshmallows during Halloween. What are these historic efforts? A lot of blah-blah, just like saying racism will end if the Prez has beer with Henry Louis Gates Jr. And Al Qaeda is not in the US. Does a small radio clip have the power to shift attention? Does the ordinary citizen care one bit whether Obama has historic or pre-historic discussions with the Muslim world, whatever the heck that means?
It is time the White House realised that there is no single Muslim world, just as there is not one kind of American. During elections, the red and blue states are clearly divided. So, wake up and smell the Starbucks, which is indeed the great leveller.
Daniel Suelo has been described as a “48-year-old hermit from Utah”. Eight years ago he decided to stop using money. For the past three years he has been living in a cave. His eureka moment came when he went on a trip to Alaska. His friend and he “speared fish, ate mushrooms and berries and lived very well. Then we hit the road, hitchhiking, and realised how generous people were”.
Now this is being glorified. How many people do you know of who have given up materialism, live away from ‘civilisation’, and yet manage to reach out? Mr. Suelo has succeeded in portraying himself as one who lives without government handouts. Yet, he goes to a public library to record moments of his “punishing lifestyle”. He is a hero during times of recession because he has got no money, so he cannot lose it. Ho-hum.
This charade reeks of disdain in a world where qualified people are laid off. Where skilled labour in some societies has to subsist on minimum wages. Where people do not have water, forget fish to find in it.
There was a report a year ago about a foreign tourist who lived in a cave in the mountain regions of Kullu a tourist town in Himachal Pradesh. After losing her passport 8 years ago, Dimitri subsisted by soliciting money, food, and other essentials.
No one quite knew where she was from, though the cops said, “She has been living here for last many years.”
And how has that been possible? She did serve a seven month term for being without documents, but why was she still there with the knowledge of the cops? If her police records showed she was from Italy, then on what grounds did that country refuse to accept her?
What I find even more intriguing is that she declined to interact with Indians and begged only from foreigners. Ah, and they say beggars can’t be choosers.
Is there a need to romanticise such stories? There are millions of people who are homeless and do not have the choice of who they beg from and how they file their routines for internet posterity. This cave identity just does not convey a fraction of the squalid conditions of people who live in the open or in pipes.
I’ll any day take bats over manipulative batty.
I do not know what the standards used for such choices are, but one assumes there is an element of wit or thought, and it rides on some literary or artistic drive, if not merit. Merit is subjective.
Sarah Palin has made it, too, but then that quote did become famous and symbolised a part of an election campaign: “What’s the difference between a hockey mom and a pitbull? Lipstick.”
Honestly, I don’t have a snotty attitude towards what the reports have made a point to mention –
I mean ‘cute’ blends in like whipped cream does in milk, honey. Besides, this quote has not made heads or headlines turn. It is a run-of-the-mill advice that a matron would give students in a dorm on a good day.
It is so un-Paris. Heck, it is even un-Prague.
Is there a value to duh?
There is something tragic rather than comical when celebrities start to get all highfalutin. Intellectualism isn’t the prerogative of every goatee-glasses-crumpled skirt-seeking muse creative person on the make. We do have some absolutely marvellous quotes from the entertainment world. Think Woody Allen, think Mae West, think Jean Harlow, think Chaplin, think Sam Goldwyn. Think dry humour, sarcasm…heck, you need élan to carry that off with panache. No emphasis needed to make a point. It has to spout like grease off the tongue.
In a world where 'lolling' is not a pastime, heavy-set words wearily fall off mouths drained of innovativeness in an attempt at throwing attitude and furtive funniness.
Almost two years ago, Vanity Fair had an interview with ‘Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi’. It is a known fact that most interviewers don’t bother to counter-question. After reading those bits, I don’t think “The lady's like a sailor!” She is just vocabulary-ly challenged.
Here are some of her replies. There are a few counter-queries I would pose, if I were the one conducting the interview. (I had posted this portion before.)
PL: On the Top Chef Emmy nomination: "[It] was a big fucking deal.”
Me: Erm…was that the deal?
PL: On life without her ex-husband, Salman Rushdie: "I'm really fucking sad."
Me: Bad for the guy you are with. It means you are sorrowful while at it, right?
PL: On her new cookbook: "Finishing the fucking book was like being in labor for two years!”
Me: Shouldn’t you have worn a condom?
PL: On hosting a dinner party: "I pulled this out of my ass."
Me: Is that why the guests called it shit?
PL: On an AIDS charity she supports: "…we’re doing a campaign and an event and you should buy a fucking table.”
Me: Are you trying to say if you do it on the table, then you ain’t get no AIDS, but AIDS gets aid?
PL: On telling the press if she had a boyfriend: "My husband would call fucking Reuters."
Me: So, everytime you and Salman were at it, he said “Let’s Reuters”?
PL: On a tabloid's coverage of her bra size: "…they said it was 36C. I said, 34C, motherfucker!”
Me: Does it not mean that mamma-obsessed tabloid fellows like it bigger?
PL: On her current living situation: "Now I’m staying in a fucking hotel with all my shit in storage."
Me: Are you saying you live like a stowaway in your own room?
Eik Aise Gagan Ke Taley
Jahaan Gham Bhi Na Ho, Aansoon Bhi Na Ho
Bas Pyaar Hi Pyaar Paley
Let me take you
Beneath such a sky
Where there are no tears or grief
And only love lives
Aa chal ke tujhe
Movie: Door Gagan Ki Chaaon Mein
Lyrics: Kishore Kumar
Music Kishore Kumar
Singer: Kishore Kumar
The film was also produced and directed by Kishore Kumar.
The Malik-Chidambaram Face-off - A Satire
by Farzana Versey
Countercurrents, September 12, 2009
This is an exclusive peek into the private debate that took place between Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik and India’s Home Minister P Chidambaram regarding the 26/11 attacks. Mr. Malik had suggested they meet at any place –
P Chidambaram: Just wondering.
Rehman Malik: Now what? You think too much. You remind me of Dalip Kumar, you know he also has this pose of hand under chin. Big tragedy king.
PC: What happened? He has nukes?
RM: Nahin yaar. He is original
PC: You gave him Nisha award, right?
PC: Oh, whatever.
RM: Not vatever. We have enough on plate…
PC: Plate? Are we starting with lunch?
RM: Nahin, I mean we have enough problem; you want us to probe what happens in your country, then you send formal request in Marathi. How can we understand?
PC: It is not for you to understand. This is bureaucracy. Did you understand anything that Baitullah Mehsud used to say? You think only you need time? We also need time.
RM: How much? I told reporters that day that we filed the chargesheet in court within 76 days whereas Indians took more than 90 days to prepare it.
PC: Have you seen our population? Our courts have too much work. And all because of you guys. If you want to infiltrate why did you guys leave during partition at all?
RM: Tohada dimaag toh theek-thaak hain? I was only in kindergarten that time.
PC: You went to kindergarten?
RM: Haan toh…Jack and Jill saath saath vich hill climb and then Humpty Dumpy came tumbling after…
PC: You are mixing up your nursery rhymes.
RM: So vaat? How is Arun Shourie saab? He is ekdum intel gents, full of fatafat rhyming.
PC: Can we get down to business?
RM: Down ya up, business is business. Bolo, kithe shuroo kainda?
PC: So what are you doing with the dossier?
RM: Which one –
PC: Excuse me, but your own PM made it clear there was nothing given.
RM: We don’t have to give everything we make. Waise, your Man saab is changa aadmi…ekdum jo moonh mein aaya bol diya…
RM: Err…ghalat honda?
PC: Ok, we both know English.
RM: We both studied statistics also.
PC: Oh, well, I am a lawyer, too.
RM: I got doctorate in criminology.
PC: So find the criminals for us.
RM: Lau ji, if you are saying we send criminals then how we can have them also…this is like eating cake and having it…Mary Queen of Scots said.
PC: No, she did not.
RM: How you know what she said and what she didn’t? The problem with you Indians is jumping the gun and not pumping the gun.
PC: We are the
RM: Chhad yaar. But I am not minding. You took effort to come over here to debate, I am grateful to Allah.
PC: Hmm…I took the flight you know.
RM: Oh yes, that also in conmy class. That Parnab is on new trip.
PC: We understand that we need to pull up our socks.
RM: Loose hain kya? Please tell me why all Indian finance ministers carry that funny briefcase like someone carrying black money?
PC: The budget report is there.
RM: Ok, so budget has to have small buxa, not big. Nice symball.
PC: “Gham ka heera
dil mein rakho
kis ko dikhaate phirte ho
ye choron ki duniya hai…”
RM: Wah-wah, you know Urdu so well.
PC: All finance ministers must know. In
RM: But you did not.
PC: I know. Big mistake. We need to appease people.
RM: But Muslims are poor.
PC: Who is talking about Muslims, we have to show Pakistanis that we are Jack of all trade.
RM: Jack in the box…
PC: Please, can we start the debate?
PC: It does not become us.
RM: Who is wanting anyone to become. I only asked for spice gal…gal meaning talk. You Indians are so big country but you only have one railway track line mind. I don’t want any trouble. Zardari saab said one nice thing to Sarah sahiba and whole of
PC: You are anyway half American.
RM: Haan, sahi hain. But you are full Italian.
PC: I take your leave sir.
RM: Allah hafiz…
PC: Thank you for reminding me…where is Hafiz Saeed?
RM: And who is Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi? Make up your mind who did what. Next time we will have more material and debate on border. Then we will see doodh ka doodh, paani ka paani.
PC: We have a shortage of ghee and butter in
RM: Correct. Rab sab jaanda, I tell you.
Both depart. Rehman Malik takes PIA fusst class and asks for razai. P Chidambaram gets into economy and the seats next to him are vacated.
Ajmal Kasab continues to grin in court.