Showing posts from 2016

It's a Bus, It's a Train, It's a Railway-Man

“Time has no divisions to mark its passage, there is never a thunderstorm or blare of trumpets to announce the beginning of a new month or year.”- Thomas Mann
Time simply flies. Minutes to hours, hours to days, days to years. Years to 5 years. 5 years into the world of a legacy enriched for hundred of years diligently by people now no more, world of rolling wheels and cruising metals, world of rails, tracks and bridges, world of Indian Railways.  These 5 years also gave me an opportunity to visit several places across India. Opportunity to interact with several wonderful people and make long lasting relationships.  I learnt about a species of superhero called Railway-Man whose single pursuit is to keep the wheel rolling and the giant moving. Whose muscles are not of steel, like Super-Man, but his thoughts are. Who doesn’t weaves a web of silk, like Spider-Man, but brilliantly weaves a web of railway tracks. And unlike all superheroes he wears his underwear correctly.  He can battle it …

Curious Case of Salary Slips

*Also on**
While other people receive salary statements, we as govt employees receive salary slips or pay slips in government parlance.
Any thing which is not tangible does not goes down our throat. The pay slip is not just a piece of accounting paper. It is everything what a slip is ordained to be. It is born as a slip and it dies like one. You can fold it over and over, roll it, crumble it, or laminate it 15"x5". The last being least recommended because of least profit and more effort.
The joy of a government employee at the sight of a neatly folded salary slip as the first thing on his office table is inexplicable. Sensing the worthiness of the immortal paper, the peon brings it like a pleated shawl, with full guard of honour. As though he is entrusted to deliver the Padma Shri to  his immediate officer. The officer also reciprocates with cheap love and a rare grin. In a spirit of celebration and generousness …

Coins and Notes Call a Nationwide Strike

The auditorium was packed beyond its capacity. Notes and coins of all denomination were jostling for space. Sweat ensured that all notes new and old looked crumpled as if just rescued from drowning into a washing machine along with a lousy jeans trouser. Torn and worn out notes were pulled up by young brigades wearing silver lined suits. All had assembled to stage a protest. A protest to earn their self-respect back, a protest to mark their dissent, a protest to bring back the nawabs of Indian currency-500 and 1000 note. It was ironical that those who always comprised ‘change’ or ‘chuttein’ among Indian currency had assembled to resist a change initiated by Govt on 8thof November.
“Remember remember the 8thof November, the ban on 500 and 1000 note. I know of no reason why these currency denomination should ever be forgot”, roared a tattered 5 rupee note as its body trembled like a piece of paper. The improvised dialogue of Guy Fawkes met with thunderous applause from  crowd of 10 rupee…

A Wednesday!Re-Modified - Common Chaiwallah's Uncommon Story

*Also on**
Neeraj Pandey is set to release the sequel to  his 2008 thriller  drama A Wedenesday. Set on the backdrop of PM's million dollar stroke that is set to change the face of Indian Rupee(Re). The movie is titled A Wednesday:Re-Modified.
The protagonist is an  old chai wallah who is frustrated after serving chais from morning to evening to affluent people.Poor chai wallah is highly irritated when people emerging from luxurious cars offer notes of 500 and 1000 to him and ask "Chacha Chuttey kar do". Feeling it as a mockery to his honest profession at the hands of people who have no worth of Gandhi's ideals or his currency notes.
Tired of such contempt of large currency notes he arrives on the roof top of an under construction building and calls the Governor of the Bank of Nation to share his 'Man ki Baat'. He asks the governor to b…

Once Upon A Time Only Honesty Was The Best Policy

It was summer. Not the one of 69. But 99 and unlike Bryan Adams those were not the best days of my life. I was in class 9th and my school principal knew me by name. In those days, even if your class teacher called you by name and not just a blaring “YOU BOY!!!”, then it mattered a lot. So when my Principal, Colonel B.R Sharma, knew me by name I had all the reasons to enjoy envy of my friends.
My brother likened him to Mahatma Gandhi, I likened him to Hitler.Perceptions can alter even when you have a similar upbringing. After biting time ideally in his plush chamber and having surpassed all  morality limits in thrashing kids he pacified himself in conducting Moral Science lectures for young kids. A decree was passed that every student should buy and carry his own Moral science book during each class. Amid much obese books of Social Studies, Science and Mathematics, the Moral science book was like zero size Kareena Kappor among the latest bollywood queens. We carried the book not only on…

Hometown Calling-Nostalgia Around

There is something in your hometown that refuses to move ahead with time. Something which always opens a flood of memories drowning you deep down with it. Something which can only be perceived when you stop there in a familiar spot and realize that life can still be lived with an unhurried pace. Something which tells that this part of world which we left for the better part does still breathes calmly. Here the time desists to keep pace with the time we know. May be it is the nostalgic fragrance lingering in the wind that blossoms the memories of childhood in the garden of life. May be its the narrow alleys that want you to run down the length shouting and play hide and seek around the corners. May be its that old house that has painted in various colours your voice, your laughter, your cries on its walls. May be its only waiting you to hum a melody before it echoes back your childhood to you. The streets, perhaps they have humbly shielded their bends and directions for the child in y…

Transferred and Transfixed : This Too Shall Pass

The best and the worse quality inherent in a government job is in its transfer policy. Best-becuase every three year you get to see new places. Worse-because you get to see them even if you don’t want to. Therefore, government job offer letter boldly clears its stand on transfer when it says – “Transfer should not be considered as a punishment”. Which means, that as a punishment even if you are posted among  people who look like the first inhabitants of earth you may curse god but thank govt for the opportunity bestowed upon you. The next important thing is to buy a three year calendar in advance and start striking each day as it reluctantly passes off till you are again transferred. Policies of Government jobs and beliefs in Hindu mythology have startling resemblance. Transfer-posting and birth-rebirth  find their basis in law of karma. Your karma in previous posting place- which includes your relation with your bosses and  Jugaads you have established- and Karma in this life governs…

Motion Se Hi Emotion

An act that creeps unconsciously into your consciousness and adulterates your thoughts day in and day out, I suppose , that is addiction. You repeatedly perform an action everyday that seems so obvious and one fine day you realize that you are so much comfortable with it or so much  uncomfortable without it.
What? What did you think just now? Come again loudly you dumb mind of mine! Of course, I am not talking about daily ablutions. No, not also about  mastery in brushing teeth twice daily.
Disguised above is an effort to humbly boast about writing as an addiction. All those wasteful lines were part of 'make word count 600' bug I am presently infested with. Those were also beta version of a magnanimous opening about writing as a skill that I will vomit all around in the next stanzas. Skills which in nascent stage are just Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V but then manifest into a pest reluctant to die anytime soon.

From Kansas to Alabama- My Years In Uttar Pradesh

"I have never been to the U.S, but I have been to U.P”. This famous sentence was once not said by William Wordsworth. Had he then Wordsworth would had his name rechristened by the local populace of Uttar Pradesh as William Gorakhpuri or Wordsworth Lakhnavi. The overwhelming hangover of colonial regime interspersed with Indian fervour finds its utterances in names like Faithful Ganj and Burlington chauraha. So it would also not be surprising if the landmark Taat Mill Chauraha were renamed after Wordsworth as Taat Will Chauraha or rather Willyum ganj.

The Land Of Falling 'Degrees'

India is as much a land of religion as much as a land of degrees.Religious structures throng the nook and corner of its vast stretch. So does thousands of degree colleges. Temples in Varanasi, Betel shops in Patna, Momo stalls in Gangtok and Engineering colleges in many cities are prosperous business entities. The abundance is so significant in some cities that 7 out of 10 times a randomly tossed stone will hit an engineering college. The remaining three it would be a coaching centre.

Mere ODD-EVEN Ayenge- Karan-Arjun Revisited

*Also on*
It’s an action-packed story. No, it is a thriller. Alright, let us not be partial, it is an action-packed suspense oriented melodramatic emotional thriller.
This is not an ordinary punar-janam script. It is the Baap of all of them.
It goes like:
Once upon a time in the urban fartlands of Dilligarh there lived a rustic and dreadful Thakur. Thakur Durgandh Singh. Durgandh? Because his presence created an atmosphere of durgandh-read toxic gases- in the village. The two sons of Thakur, Nitrate Singh and Sulphate Singh, had intoxicated the atmosphere of the village by setting up many industries and construction units that emitted noxious gases. Particulate and construction dust lingered now on the otherwise clean air of Dilligarh. People were afraid of their presence. Where other villagers moved in cart or bicycle, Thakur and his crony family, sister BEHENzene and motherAMMAnia vroomed past…

Our Jungle Book and Our Doordarshan

Have you ever been on a time machine?

I have. Yesterday, as I sat inside a multiplex savouring Disney’s Jungle Book, my fantasies of Mowgli were fanned up again. As the memories of yesteryear evinced nostalgia I was virtually transported to several years ago. The years of a sound blaring large box with a front glass called TV, the years of tweaking an antenna to catch the fleeting  signals and a booster to boost  the reception . The years of black and white television and a much colourful life.

I Have Disproportionate Assets! Sue Me.

Disproportionate assets, for the sake of novices, is an accumulation of personal asset which is not in proportion to the living style what a particular organization deems as deserving  for  you. Disproportion is commonly  ascribed  a negative connotation like possessing an asset whose value exceeds  the purchasing power of your salary. There are exceptions, though. If you don’t ride a two wheeler Honda Activa and instead drive around in a three wheeler Vikram Auto then it is not disproportion. It is a blatant example of  stinginess and you should conceive changing such ignoble habits soon in the larger interest of your family.
I too have disproportionate assets. So what? Drop me in front of a firing squad. But let me first rewind you to 2011.

Exams: An Alternative To Arranged and Love Marriage

As the youngest sibling, I take pride in having successfully married off my sister once and my brother twice. Twice? Did I just say twice? Oh yes. The first one was rescinded with a ceasefire between the two parties. It met a natural death by today's standards during the probation days after the engagement. Thankfully quiet earlier than the cards were printed. Or we as cunning Brahmins would resort to using whitener for replacing the name of the girl with a new one.
I also boast of immense knowledge gained in deciphering meaning out of nonsense matrimonial profiles scattered all over the newspaper on Wednesdays and over internet. I have the  first-hand  experience in arranging arranged marriages and second-hand experience in knowing the nuances of love marriages  through my  cupid struck friends who  turned Devdas eventually.

Oh JNU! And We Thought Engineering is All Fun

"In India, the pen can never run dry. Something, interesting, is always happening"- Ruskin Bond.

The fact-finding committee of Government is under severe pressure from engineering students  across  nation  to verify the legitimacy of ‘figures’ of condoms, beer and cigarettes allegedly found inside JNU campus.
The BBC committee of engineering students that is spearheading the agitation,  have asserted that if the figures are found to be correct, even up to 3 decimal places, then a second round of agitation across engineering colleges will be called. When asked whether their committee is sponsored by BBC they clarified, “BBC is Booze, Bust and Cigarette – the  yearning desire of all students right from 1st year to 4th year”.

A Doctor's Prescription on Nationalism

"It is necessary for every person who stands for progress to criticise every tenet of old beliefs (if) reason is the guiding principle of  his life. "- Bhagat Singh

“The only religion that is fashionable is patriotism” – Swami Vivekananda
Not a sermon but you are best to choose your side and allow me do the wittiest best I can do.

"Look at your eyes" the eye specialist said donning a thick lens “they have swollen like table tennis balls"
"Oh really?" I asked. I was soon reminded of a neighbour‘s son who armed with his new found love of table tennis bat posed a potential threat to anything that looks similar to a TT ball. I vowed not to go near him.
"If you keep watching TV like this I assure you with  two lawn tennis balls popping out below your head" he concluded.
"But there is so much going across the nation" I reasoned  " My nationalism an…

Letter from an aggrieved Shani dev to Maharashtra CM

Halo CM saab, Shani here. No, not Sunny Deol but Shani Dev or the planet Saturn you can always relate to. We both are ghayal ,although, he by acting as one and me by acting of my bhakts. Well he can make an Ajay Mehra avatar again to fight for the truth so evident in his movies. But I am more or less a mute spectator since ages as the He-sena and the She-Sena are embroiled over something which I would never bother of.

Ghayal Once Again – Oh Sunny! what hath thou wrought

There are some movies which are once in a generation.  There are others  which come with an average expectation but are an instant hit. And there are some which re-establishes the old and the dying of Bollywood.  To put the curtain down Ghayal –Once Again is not any of them. Ghayal-Once Again is not a movie it is an experiment which vied to discover a catalyst that would soar the dipping career of Paaji but in the process has surely drowned it. The intelligentia of the script touched record low levels. At few points it  dipped so low that scientist could go on a deep water exploration using it. Doesn't makes sense here? Make me watch a movie like this and I can bemuse you with more such paranoid activities here.

Marriages: Arranged in Heaven, Squandered on Earth

"Aana hai bhai. Pakka" Said my friend’s friend as he handed over his marriage invitation magazine. Yes! With 8 thick glossy leaflets and an overwhelming embossed lord Ganesha on the cover it resembled more like a grandeur magazine than an invitation. Here was this person, just an acquaintance, but too jubilant to invite an extra mouth for a rupees 1200 something per plate event. I gathered my senses back and reflected upon my friend’s friend’s face.  His mouth lay wide open salivating over his wedlock. The pearly white teeth splendidly projected the euphoria into a dazzling smile. "And come along with bhabhi". His face radiated a cunning smile as if he knew something which I am yet to come terms with.


Once upon a time in a middle class, Government-job-crazy family:
“Maa, I want to contribute to the nation building” I said affirmatively to my mother.
“So you are, beta” my mother said, ignoring my well planned words as she flicked  another long whatsApp message on her newly acquired smart phone.