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Monday, September 26, 2011

Love Letter to Bangalore Rickshaw Man

Dear Bangalore Rickshaw Man,

I will get straight into the point.

I have been living in Bangalore for barely a year and a half. Enough material to write a love letter to you.

Every time I ask you to go somewhere, you say NO to me. Every time. I wait so much for you to make my day with your beautiful appearance. Then also why do you hate me so much? I thought first that you hated me because I do not know Kannada/Malyalam/Tamil/Telugu and that my Hindi is worse than your Hindi. But even after I joined classes for ‘How to speak Hindi like a True Blooded South Indian’, you still ignore me? Why?

And when you do decide to come, after much coaxing and endless waiting in sun, rain and other kinds of unpredictable Bangalore weather, you tell me that you will not charge me as per the meter. Why? Why must you torture me like this with all your nakhras? My father did not put that meter in your rickshaw no? If he did, I would tell him to remove it and use it to scratch your back. But the Government put that meter in your rickshaw, so you must show respect and use it no? If you don’t like Indian Government, then why do you remove all your hate on me? I sit nicely and listen to your South Indian music. Then also you will not charge me with the meter. If you won’t scratch your own back with the meter you do not use, at least scratch mine. That also you won’t do. After all the love I shower on you, this is what I get.

And to top it all, why you rob your own beloved of so much money? If the fare is 17 rupees, you will not return 3 rupees if I give you 20 rupees. What is that? I own one bike, but my husband works very hard so he cannot get up in the morning to drop me to class. So in pity I come to you, you silly rickshaw man. That way morning morning, I get to see your lovely face also. But how you repay me? You charge me insane amounts of money to take me from home to my guitar class and back! And both times, you charge different. When I am going to the class you take 50 rupees. When I am coming home you take 70 rupees. What is this double timing you are doing with me? My father’s fault or what, that the roads are bad? My father doesn't own anything but one tiny house in Malad in Bombay. If he owned the road, then both of us would go cavorting in Bangalore Volvo AC bus to airport and back no? But he doesn't own the road with so many holes. Then why you take out all road anger on me and make me pay so much?

And if it rains, instead of getting all romantic and Tollywood song-singing-types, you unleash ‘Rate Card from Hell’ on me. For 1km travel, you will charge me 40 rupees. And if I am carrying one onion in my hand, you will charge me 60 rupees. Why you hate onions and rain so much? I was going to make kanda bhajiyas for you and make some tea by collecting water from the leaking roof of your rickshaw. So much I love your rickshaw and its nature-friendly ways. And yet, you want to make me poorer? And what happens to you in the night time? The bhootiya (bhoot + ch**iya) enters your body or what? Why you charge me some three times the original fare? Night time people get all romantic and all you can think of is money? Why silly man why?

Now after all this also, I still persist to show you how much love I have for you. After you have vehemently refused to acknowledge my shadow also, you rudely tell me hop in. I hop in, you go 3kms, then stop in the middle of nowhere and tell me to get down and walk the rest of the 10kms. What is this new nautanki you have started? If you want to leave me, just say so, I will go okay. But don’t tell me to leave after I am all comfortable and about to sleep to the sweet hum of the roaring South Indian music. And if you think that this is your way of telling me to exercise because I am fat, then I am seriously very hurt. After all I lost so much weight just trying to stop you. If you had so much as looked in my direction, you would have seen how much weight I had lost. And looking in rear-view mirror that shows amazing angles of my chest does not count. Thankfully, I have not lost any weight there ok. That much you know very well na, you silly rickshaw man.

But you won’t leave me, you will roam around me and ignore me like I am a dirty big fart from an elephant. And you bring your friends also to join you in this ignoring parade. Why you make fun of me, I do not get. And yet, I do not disown you, even though I know that any ride in the lap of luxury that is your rickshaw could be the last day of my life. I risk life, limb and guitar every time I hitch a ride with you. The loving curves that your vehicle take has drastically changed the positioning of my internal organs. My childhood dream of reaching out to moving buses from a moving rickshaw is realised every single time, sometimes so closely that someone from the window of the bus can reach out and spit some conditioner onto my head if they are inclined to.

So much I suffer for your love. One ride is too much to ask perhaps, so one look also will do.

But at least, oh silly rickshaw man, show me some lovin’.

Yours truly,
Disgruntled Loveless Passenger

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Dear People Who Hate Cities and Communities and Countries

This 'open letter' is a response to all those who hate people because they belong to a certain city or community or whatever.

You are not being cool when you start writing hate write-ups and posts about North Indians or South Indians or East Indians or West Indians or whoever. Whoever you hate, keep the hate to yourself. We do not want another Raj Thackeray in the making.

And if you cannot keep the hate to yourself, kindly leave this planet , and get the phock out of our businesses and Twitters and Facebooks, and reside on some other universe. You can go there and start hating Indians for all I care but at least you are not doing it here, on Indian soil, spreading hate around by being such a dork at generalising, thus starting fights among communities.

And understand this: You do bad things because you are a bad human being. That’s about it.

If you cannot comprehend this simple logic, then please do not marry and procreate because we do not need more of your kind on this planet.

Good luck to you. Not.

Fellow Human Being

Monday, September 5, 2011

Six reasons why Ajmal Kasab is still alive.

So much has happened in our country since November 26, 2008. Some good things, like India winning the World Cup and the Lokpal Bill getting a go-ahead.

And some bad things, like Ajmal Kasab being all alive and kicking, enjoying regular bouts of chicken biryani in jail.

Biryani that we paid for. Eaten by a terrorist who attacked us.

Now I feel truly sorry for all the media-persons who risked life and limb to get a good video or photograph of the criminals who went on an unleash-maximum-terror rampage in the city of Bombay. The police officials and army personnel did a commendable job of killing the terrorists and also managed to capture one alive, some of them having died in the process. One would have thought that these photos/videos would serve as incriminating evidence against that gun yielding coward.

Alas, it was not meant to be so.

Three years later, he is still alive.

It took our Government roughly two years to sort out the court cases, to ‘prove beyond any reasonable doubt’ that yes indeed, Ajmal Kasab is nothing but a cold-blooded murderer and should be punished for his crimes. Now even after the Supreme Court has ‘okayed’ the execution of Ajmal Kasab, pray, why is he still alive?

This is not a lovelorn man, pelting stones at the window of a now-married-to-another-man-girlfriend. This is a vicious and twisted murderer, who came in like the breeze, went berserk with his rifle, and shot anyone who came in the line of fire. He and his troop arrived with a pure intent to kill and destroy. Meticulous effort has been invested in him and his team to churn out the results that they did. Their bosses had been planning this for months, and may have also hosted ‘triumphant parties’ when they saw the aftermath of their doings.

So am wondering, what possible logic could explain why Ajmal Kasab is still thriving, and thriving well at that?

Here’s what I think could be some of the reasons:
  • If Ajmal’s security bills cost the nation 10 crore rupees (yes, go ahead and pick your jaw from the floor), imagine the gargantuan amount of monies the Government has to shell out to hang him (shudder). So the Government has decided to leave him be.

  • If we keep him alive, his terrorist brethren may attempt to rescue him, and maybe (just we can nab the other terrorists and lock them up as well

  • We want to send out a direct message to terrorists that if you turn yourselves in, you will get better food (“The chicken biryani is awesome guys, trust me”, Kasab was quoted as saying), triple the security and possibly get an Internet connection too, so that you can update your Facebook regularly. Show your bosses how we do it here baybee!

  • Maybe the parliament is planning to rope in Kasab as its brand ambassador. He has one of the most recognised names in our country; hence it is obvious that wherever he goes, the media will follow. And publicity will filter in rapidly. After all, any publicity is good publicity. In addition, he could be employed as a peacemaker. Imagine this; instead of throwing shoes and chairs at each other; they could employ Kasab who would throw bombs at everyone. Arguments would get settled faster this way.

  • Our Government has a heart that is overflowing with the milk of human kindness. It doesn’t do anything that would even remotely contradict the peace and calm of the well-balanced society that we live in. Moreover, it wants to set an example to the likes of USA and Russia that violence begets violence. (Please do ignore the July 14 2011 blasts. And while you’re at it, do blatantly ignore the daily blasts in Kashmir as well)

  • Entertainment Purposes of Indian Audience for Make Benefit Funny Nation of India. Simple macha! We have stopped watching soap operas, now that our news channels provide more entertainment than non-news channels. However, when they do provide us with some news, we get to read some sensational articles such as the following:
  1. How Kasab went bananas during Ramzan

  2. How Kasab could possibly opt for a ten-year insurance plan, since the case would not go anywhere for another ten years

  3. How the miscreants responsible for the July 14, 2011 Bombay blasts wished Kasab a very Happy Birthday

  4. Or how Kasab could possibly delay our infrastructure from getting any better
Now if this isn’t entertainment, then what the phock is?

So, if you are (still) reading this, let me tell you that I have written this article with one goal in mind. To get you a little more angry. To tell you that please, do not sit down and be okay with our Government protecting the man who killed our brethren and treat him like some royalty. Be involved a little more, for this affects you directly. The terrorists are watching us. They see how we are a little shy of laying down the red carpet for them.

If we don’t want to do anything with this, then the next time there is a bomb blast, please do not blame the Government. Because it thinks you are okay and you can ‘move on’.

It’s so many of us against them. If we raise the issue and the Government helps us, we can definitely make a difference.

Because the question is not really what is the Government doing about this. The question that we really should be asking, is this – do all of us, including the Government, care enough to try to do something about this.