Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Breaking News: Mooli parathas under attack!

An organization called ‘Society Against Mooli’ (SAM) has indicated plans of attacking stalls selling mooli parathas across the country. Mr Jaimin Tubar has identified himself as the ringleader of the grassroots organization.

“I hate mooli and we will agitate to ban sale and consumption of mooli in any form. For too long we have suffered in silence while people around us stuffed themselves with mooli parathas. Mooli ki sabzi is even worse and an insult to my taste and nostrils.We will start with paratha stalls and target subzi mandis next.”
Mr Tubar said he grew up with an uncle who ate mooli ke parathe every day. “It was torture to be next to him because you would never know when he would release another of those noxious farts. Everyone talks about clean air globally. First we demand clean air in the room we are in.”
Swami Kusmitananda has declared his support for the movement. “It is clearly written in the scriptures :
‘Mulaka bhakshati naraya, paayashabde durvaata,
maruta pralubhyati parisara, bandhawaha pranashyati’
(Translation : People eating mooli emit a stench so vile, they will not have any friends after a while.)

There are already voices within the organization asking to include turnips and shalgam in the protests. In fact one radical member who asked to remain anonymous said he would like to ban all vegetables except potatoes since he 'hates eating ghass phoos'. Asked about his views on other bans in the country, Mr Tubar says he supports all food bans. “In fact, 'SAM' plans to unite with ‘Beef Haters Organizational Group' (BHOG) and create a joint organization. Then we will truly be ”


Wednesday, August 19, 2015


A lissome shimmering cloth so fine,
O who spun this lustrous shine!

Whose spinning wheel pulled the world,
Into a weave, a soul unfurled

My Lord, for nine months hath spun
A fine cloth, a life begun

People, priests, gods embodied
Tossed it on and off, sullied

Kabir keeps it shimmering fine,
His soul mirrors the lustrous shine.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Guru Dutt

Jaate jaate dikha gaya, logon ki kaisi sagi hain
Zinda tha to koi na poocha, mar gaya to line lagi hain.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

The debate

I’m passionate, you’re combative, he’s a rabid dog.
I talk facts, you talk propaganda, he’s being ridiculous.
I give examples, you cherry pick, he should read more.
I defend my stand, you ramble on, doesn’t he have a job?

A middle class muse on Bal Thackrey

I am very late to all the opinion floatsam on Bal Thackerays death, but the ocean is big and palghar cops have by now discovered that the internet has much more interesting stuff to offer.

So here are 5 points I ponder.

1. Godwin’s Law states ‘As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving hitler approaches One.’ Bal Thackeray didn’t spend all his waking hours making comments on Hitler. But he did make comments professing his love for hitler's oratory, organization skills, artistry and about how india needs a benevolent dictator. Most have heard similar statements by at least one of our friends or family. But Thackeray is who's under discussion and uncle drinks anyway. So it dosent matter that politically, India has always been driven by personality cults pre and post independence. It dosen't matter that Thackerays influence never extended beyond Mumbai. We can still ring the fascist alarm bells and let reductio ad hitlerum begin.

2. Do you remember reading The Godfather? What was your dominant feeling after? Awe and respect for the godfather or disgust at the mafias crimes? Compare that to your feelings about Thackeray. Vito Corleone is a much better analogy to Bal Thackeray.

3. Were you in Mumbai in 1993? If you are reading this, you were either in a muslim stronghold or a hindu stronghold or are incredibly lucky. Who started the riot is a chicken and egg question. Who attacked or protected your neighbourhood is not. If you haven’t seen a truck full of sword bearing men trying to make inroads into your locality and get beaten back by acid bulbs and tubelights, you don’t know what I’m talking about. Yes, it was all wrong. But who watched your back?

4. Shiv Sena started out as a Congress pawn in the 60s. A hired gun that the Congress used to break the communist party's hold on the trade unions. Some pawns survive to reach the last square and become queens. Unlike chess, they also change colors. Like a Congress backed Bhindranwale who later changed colours. Like the US fed Taliban that turned against their former allies.

5. The bandh didn’t really matter to me. Neither do the elections. They have never. I am not the slumdweller whose home stands or gets bulldozed if this corporator wins or that. I am not the impoverished immigrant escaping the lawlessness of his hometown. I am not a daily wage worker. I think its an exaggeration if someone says all government job appointments have a backdrop of regional and caste based agendas.

Meritocracy is right. Parochialism is wrong. Two wrongs don't make a right. Or so I believe until I'm wronged. Or righted.

My problems are of the urban rich. My indignance is well fed. My activism is air conditioned. My empathy is an ego massage. And my vote really just dilutes the votes of people whose lives depend on an election outcome.

Oo look..India won the test match.... 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Hereafter if we part

Hereafter if we part, in dreams shall we meet
Like a flower, dried in the pages of a book so neat

Amongst the people unfortunate, seek the gem that’s yours
A jewel that only, in depths of tragedy shall you meet

You are not an angel, nary my love so noble
Mere humans are we, why the veil when we meet?

Pour life’s tragedies into the tragedies of love,
Heady is the glass, where two intoxicants meet

Neither am I what you see nor are you what you seem,
Like two shadows, in the mirage shall we meet.

~ Ahmed Faraz ('Ab ke hum bichde')

Friday, August 05, 2011


Manu is researching bacteria
Her summers been a mad rush,
She now stands solemn, with an empty petri dish,
"Say a few words, while I flush"

'Baco the king', the microscopic vulture,
the lord of millions in this bacterial culture,
"You cant" he thunders, "flush the drain"
"We will come back as a mutant strain..!"

Manu stops for a second and starts to think,
Do bacteria float or do they sink?
Her heart now fills with ominous dread,
would it be better to bury them instead?

"Haha!", says Baco
we will find you Missus,
Don’t think you had our company,
only for the thesis!

Manu boldly flushes and goes for a nap,
Baco sends his scouts to look for her tap,
Swish swish, they slither back up the drain,
with newfound powers as a mutant strain.

But manu is awake, with a crafty grin,
she tiptpoes to the the kitchen sink
Opens the tap, into a platter
Baco jumps out, into dough and batter!

She kneads him in, till he gets stuffy
and makes a pizza, nice and fluffy
She gets some beer, calls friends for a feast,
and thanks her stars Baco mutated into yeast!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Puneri Ogden Nash

Her husband does the dishesh,
tyat kay vishesh?
Kadi laav aatli,
mi nahi tyaatli
(author unknown)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Poetry Crassics

I recently read about the missing two lines from Leigh Hunt's poetry classic about the arab who had nightmares. Due to slow email in the eighteenth century (it took hundreds of years), Leigh communicated with his publishers using pigeons. But the pigeons took off before Leigh finished dictating the poem. Pigeons are impatient, that way.

As I dug deeper, I discovered ending lines to several classical gems.

Abou ben Adhem - Leigh Hunt
The Angel wrote, and vanished. The next night
It came again with a great wakening light,
And showed the names whom love of God had blessed,
And, lo! Ben Adhem’s name led all the rest!
Which tell us in a way quite lyrical,
Angel's prefer to keep names alphabetical.
(this is someone else's discovery)

Leisure - W H Davies

What is this life full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare,
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep and cows.

Though to stare as long would make people wary,
It would look stupid and might be scary.
The cows grazing on the grassy felt
are destined for a conveyor belt.
And sheep prancing in idle hurry,
will soon find themselves in mutton curry.

Two Roads - Robert Frost
shall be telling this with a sigh 
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, 
and I took the one less traveled by, 
And that has made all the difference.
Though had I taken a GPS along,
that would have made a lot of sense.

Daffodils - William Wordsworth
My heart with pleasure fills
and dances with the daffodils
And basking in this wondrous sight
is the earth-mover on my right.

Lady of Shallot - Lord Alfred Tennyson
But Lancelot mused a little space ;
He said, ‘She has a lovely face ;
God in his mercy lend her grace,
The Lady of Shalott.’
'By Jove' quoth he, pants undone,
'It'd have been a lot more fun
if she didn’t smell like an onion.
The Lady of Shallot.'

I hereby declare the floor open to other poetic historians to restore classical poetry to its pristine version.

Friday, October 09, 2009

World cheers Obama peace prize

The world is unanimously in great spirits and good cheer on the Nobel peace prize awarded to the US President. We interviewed a section of the cheering hordes to gather their reactions.

In India, local politicians were ecstatic at Obama's victory. "Finally, the world is warming up to India's long standing tradition of rewarding politicians for promises made, rather than results delivered. We welcome the peace prize as an endorsement of success of the Indian political system." A leading party has promised to start a low-cost housing scheme called 'Baracks Barracks' to honour the US president.

In Tuscaloosa (Alabama), there was a massive rally of foreclosed homeowners cheering for their Prez. "Ye know, that’s the kind of thing we were thinkin' back in 2004. So what if ah havent done nothin' to deserve this half a million dollar condo? Mah intent is to provide a lavish lifestyle for mah family. The banks were ready to give me a loan despite no credit, Ah would be a damned fool to turn it down!"

Top executives of Wall Street companies celebrated with champagne and caviar at the Waldorf-Astoria in midtown Manhattan. "We wholeheartedly support the culture of instant gratification, where short term results get rewarded out of proportion." Ex-President George W Bush who also attended, exhibited surprise and happiness at the announcement. "I didn’t think anyone in washington would ever get the nobull prize"

Reactions from the United Nations were similarly jubilant. "The prize clearly proves that a motherhood & apple-pie intent to do good is more important than achieving it. Finally people will realize that global organizations such as UN and Nobel prize committees are more than just stuffed suits committed to a lifetime of not rocking the boat."

In a related news, the US president will participate in the second session on healthcare reform remotely using an earpiece, while simultaneously attending the Nobel awards ceremony in Oslo. "We are really glad to have a president who can truly multi-task.", said the chairman of the healthcare reform committee.
"Our previous session was held while the President was attending Olympic city selection proceedings in Copenhagen."

Friday, July 17, 2009

The acrostic

"So does no one have the courage to pick up the beeda?" The queen mother looked derisively at the assembled lords. The sturdy sirdars hung their heads in shame. The betel leaf lay untouched in the plate at the centre, the intact silver warq mocking the assembly. "Maybe we should add some more rooms to the janaan-khaana, so these sirdaars can have a place to stay', she spat into the spitoon.

"Hukm!", a voice boomed from the back. The great Khan strode in his seven foot frame to the centre of the darbar and picked up the beeda. "Hum pakad layenge Sivaji ko!", he thundered.


The swami was sleepless. His spy had just come in with the news that the great Khan had picked up the gauntlet. The Swami knew anyone leaving the fortified Adilshahi capital would be followed. He knew the news wouldn’t reach Raigad till the Khan reached the border town of Wai. And then it might be too late.
It was in the wee hours of the morning that a kirtan-kar came to seek the swami. He would lead a dindi all the way to Alandi. The pilgrims would walk for seven days, singing and dancing in the name of an 11th century saint. They sought swami's blessings in the morning prayers. The swami had an inspirational owee for them.


Maharaj sought the blessings of the pilgrims assembled at the temple. 'Let the words of the wise bring light', his mother used to say. A kirtan-kar from Bijapur, his nasal singsong tone amply betraying his brahmin origins, started the kirtan.

"Vivek karava karya sadhuna,
jaanaar nartanu he jaNona,
pudheel bhavishyaarthi mana,
rahatochi naye.

Chalu naye asanmaargee,
satyata baanalya angi,
raghuveerkrupa te prasangi,
daasa-mahatmya vaadhavi.

Rajaninath aani dinkar,
nitya karati sanchara,
ghalitaati yera-saara,
laavile bhramana jagadeeshe.

Aadimaya mool bhavani,
hee sakala brahmandachi swamini,
yekanti viveka karoni,
ishta yojana karavi."


Maharaj smiled, declared a generous donation to the temple and excusing himself from the rest of the ceremony, rode back to Raigad.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Bard

1150 AD

Rana made a final dash towards the Ghori invader. An attack, that if successful, would in one sweep of the sword, change the war and the history of the subcontinent. But Ghori was as vigilant as the Rana was valiant. He moved away with speed, back into his cordon of protectors. An Uzbek guard seized the reins of Rana's horse and unseated the mighty Rana.

Unfortunately for the chivalrous Rana, Ghori's ideals were decidedly more practical. In one swift decree, he declared himself as the master over all of Ranas dominions and declared Rana as a royal prisoner of war.

"Ah, so the great king of Rajputana and Hindustan is now a prisoner of a slave governor from Ghori. This is amusing indeed!", the Sultan was merciless in his taunts.
"Lower your eyes when you speak to me Rana, like every other kaafir commoner"
"A Rajput's eyes are never lowered, O Ghori. Certainly not to a raiding marauder", the Rana responded with the charactersitic defiance and disregard for prudence.
"Very well, burn them then."

The bard had accompanied the rana throughout his childhood. He and the Rana grew up together. He would compose poetry and paint, while the Rana learnt political science, economics and martial arts. The bard accompanied Rana to the battles and to the royal prisons.

The buzz of the upcoming archery context was all among the slave subedars of the court. Who would win the contest? The prize was bountiful, a hundred thousand gold coins and 'Amir-ul-Mara', the title of freedom. The bard was thoughtful.

There is great mirth among the subedars. The blinded kaafir king has entered an archery contest! A gazelle is being swirled around by a rotating post at a distance. The Sultan seats himself on a magnificent throne in the grounds. The show begins.

"Well Ranaji, what are you waiting for?"

The bard cleared his throat. 'Amir-ul-Mulk, a humble request. The Rana won't accept orders to shoot from anyone but another king. So if you please issue the command to shoot, the rana will shoot the gazelle right in the eye"

"Proud as a king, and proud as a slave, eh? Very well, O Bard." And then, with a voice as unctuous as he could manage, the Sultan spoke, "O mighty king, if you could please show your prowess in archery." Rana did not move.

"Hukm ki TAMEEL HO!", the Sultan shouted.

The Rana lifted the bow and pulled the string taut.

And then the bard whispered, ever so softly..
' Paanch kos, pachaas gaj, angul ashta pramaan,
ta par Sultan hain, chuke mat Chauhan'

There was a very small indiscernible pause, which went unnoticed by everyone except the bard. Then in a fluid movement, the Rana turned to one side and let the arrow fly.

The Sultans expression did not waver. He did not clap. He sat motionless for what seemed like an long time. And then ever so gently, like the swish of the fans behind him, he slumped forward, his head held a little above the knees only by the three foot arrow jutting out of his neck.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Woman at the door

The nights in Vagale match up to your expectations of a Goan village night. A dark summer night devoid of streetlights, croaking flogs, chirping crickets, the ancestral home had it all. A power failure just added to the charm.

We settled in the dark living room, with a couple of candles burning on the centre table. In just a day, we had enthusiastically embraced the 'Sushekaat' principle, which every Goan langrously defends. Murmurs of post dinner conversation blended with the waters of Mandovi rippling some distance from the backyard. Cinema flowed into politics into family anecdotes. Befitting a lights out night, the conversation turned to local legends.

"Do you know", Mama started, "How the Dempo family became this rich?" Everyone in Goa knew the Dempos. In addition to mining interests, they ran a popular football team. Dempo & Salgaocars were the East Bengal and Mohun Bagan of Goa.
"They used to be a poor family, living on the outskirts of this very village. Appa Dempo lived with Tai in a small 2 room house with their five kids", Mama continued.
"Those were Portuguese times, and it was hard work filling 7 stomachs with what little Appa made from working as a clerk in the mines. He was neck deep in ancestral debt too. Turns out there was some trouble in the mines and Appa stopped getting his pay. With no money and no credit, it was clear the family was about to starve." Mama paused to let out a contented burp of mandeli and chicken cafreal.
We did not miss it.

"One evening, they were down to their last handful of rice. No one knew where the next meal was coming from. The family had barely sat together to eat their share of two spoons of boiled rice, when Appa heard someone at the door. He stepped out into the verandah to check. It was a woman, begging for food."
"Appa Dempo, what a man", Mama glanced reverently towards the sky, "did not hesitate and gave the entire bowl of rice to the woman. 'Atithi devo bhava' they say. You know, right?" We nodded, agreeing.

"The woman took the rice gratefully and looked up at Appa. Tai Dempo had arrived by Appas side by then. The woman's eyes met Tais. Tai turned around and walked back quietly into the house. She ran to the backdoor, into the back yard and jumped into the well. Tai had ended her life."

"What ??" We looked at each other. Everyone had a puzzled expression, I felt a chill down my spine.

"Meanwhile, the beggar woman came into the house. She walked into the inner room , in measured steps and without uttering a word, locked herself in." Mama paused, we weren't sure if it was for effect or an upcoming burp.

"You see", he continued. "The beggar woman at the door was Lakshmi - the goddess of wealth. Pleased with Appa's generosity, she decided to be in their house forever. That is why she locked herself in. And the Dempo family was never poor again. Even now they say, the Dempo mansion is built around that very room, which has never been opened in the last fifty years. Dempo is afraid Lakshmi might leave if the room is opened."

"What about Tai Dempo?"
"Well, Tai recognized Lakshmi for who she was. You know the woman of the house is the griha-lakshmi. And there can be only one Lakshmi in the house. So Tai knew she had to leave the Earth for the sake of her family. "

"They say though, if you are ever hungry and happen to peer into a well,you can see Tai beckoning you in the reflection…."

No one wanted to go for a night-walk that night.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Little Pakistan

Pakistan finally admits Kasab is a pakistani

Pak Nsa sacked for comments on Kasab nationality

"So Vicky, is Kasab a pakistani national?"

"Yeah but no but yeah but no but yeah but no but yeah but no but yeah but no but yeah....SHAAAAAAP!"

© Michelle Fernandes Datey

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Aji & Derivatives

I don’t understand this hoopla about securitized products. Aji would have agreed with me. She did the same thing, making amba-barfi.

She displayed pure genius on the sub-prime front with 'Beri-chya-vadya'. For the ignoramii, 'Beri' is the gunk left at the bottom of the pot after making ghee. Aji scraped off all the tar, insured it with liberal amounts of powdered sugar and cut that into squares. As kids, we were allowed only the junior tranches - the broken-edged, crumbled, CCC rated barfis on the edge of the pan. Guests got the perfect cuts, smoky-sweet squares, fit for all credit & blood-sugar scores!

We learnt to hedge early on, trading off a scolding from aai with some pampering from aji and vice versa. Summer vacations & card games were our initiation into the market. Anyone who has held on to a king and a queen in badam-saat because the seven hasn’t been played yet, knows the agony of a market choke-up. We called options too, playing 'paach-teen-don'. If you made more hands than required, you had an option in the next round, to call for a card or a hand from the loser. What happens if it was almost evening? Someone would get up and declare that it was time to play cricket. Options be damned.

That’s the beauty of being a Jimmy Cayne or a Dick Fuld. You can get up and go away to play another game.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Party Time

'Tis the season to be jolly
Some hold their drink, shum are sholly!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Artist

He is just a face, in the crowd
His walk is thoughtful, he's under a cloud.
"Should I just do it? I'm losing time,
This is getting worse..but is it a crime?"

A scary thought, furrows his brow,
"What if I'm seen, by someone I know?"
A critical decision, at this juncture
"Maybe it'll burst, maybe a puncture!"

The time is right, he sneaks to a side
Whips it out, to hell with pride.
A great relief, he whistles a tune
"I'm not a girl, what a great boon!"

He walks away, and no one knew
He's lost again, in the milieu.
His art remains, on the wall
A wet parabola, three feet tall.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

The Sculptor

He sits by the window, a portly figure
the afternoon train hot, sweaty, beleagured.

People yawn, doze, mostly resigned,
Some hum, daydream, they pass their time.
But one man has a purpose, he has a mission,
he is about to embark on a sculpting session.

He suddenly plunges, a furious spree,
Digging, probing, to get it free.
Will he get it out? the suspense is mounting,
the boy opposite watches, he has been counting.

Ahh, its free! The raw material is here,
the sculptor looks relieved, now with cheer.

The fingers deft, give it a shape,
squeezing, flattening, the boy is agape.
Fierce concentration, the image takes hold,
The boy counts, thats the third one rolled.

He watches his creation, a suspicious glance,
As if it appeared in his fingers by chance,
A thing of beauty, a work of art,
a pinch, a flick, its time to part.

The sculptor relaxes, his job is done,
the difficult part is, picking the right one.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Morning Baba

It was in the 7:55 to Central Terminal that I met him. "You will soon be prosperous, but will lose out on the ebay deal.", a voice pronounced in my ear.

A short, stout, saffron robed saint; among the sweaty masses of a damp morning train. Vermilion on the forehead, hair shorn for a Hare Krishna look. The round, chubby face clean shaven, with the second chin wagging to agree with the first when he spoke.

"Are you a face reader?", I asked.
He made a face reserved for the unknown droplets that fall on you in the tunnels.
"No, my son."
"A Palmist then? Or perhaps you read from the shape of the head?"
"Take it easy son. Palmistry, phrenology, tarot.. all are passe. I've studied this science for a long time, and have developed my method. I operate in the rush hour trains. I smell armpits", he said with a quiet dignity.

I brought down my arm from the bar above, and lost my balance. "You what?"

"Armpits, son. The fortunes of today are all written in the underarm." He suddenly raised his voice in a sales pitch.
"Very convenient for daily commuters. Problems in Love? Job? Money? Sex? All problems guaranteed solution. Come to me! Raise your arms, raise your luck!"

"He's good", a guy next to me remarked. "I'm a software engineer. I never had enough time and I never was very good.. but now I get her off in logN time."

The sales pitch worked, and people did a slow trapeze to get to the Armpit Baba. Some even gave up their window seats for a consultation. "Soon my skills will be world famous.. my disciples will spread across the globe foretelling future of the entire commuting mankind...", he started his services.

"I'm going to get a fortune when my wife dies..", a fat man returned happily to his seat.
"Your boss will be out all day after lunch", a bespectacled clerk was told.
"You shall soon be sleeping under the stars.", the Baba told a beaded hippie.
"You too..", he said to a pretty struggling starlet.

I was slowly edged out to the door and onto my platform, thinking about when Armpit Baba's disciples would swarm the rush hour trains.

So if you have a problem, and need help, keep an eye out and an arm up for the Armpit Baba.

He's out there, and he's sniffing.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

The Highwayman

The highwayman is a social phenomenon. He forms his band at social gatherings.

There was a time when people who had nothing better to talk about discussed the weather or the water situation. But what with those topics running dry (ha ha), long hours of a dinner party are now spent discussing Interstate routes.

Literature, Art, Cinema, all have taken the backseat due to this rather base topic of discussion. This Pathology has reached such alarming proportions, that people don't dare to talk about anything else lest they be considered wimps.

People ignore the bullet holes on your car, or the deer sticking out of the radiator; But they want to know if you came by the fastest route possible.

There is one man at the party who has complete knowledge of the nations routes. His wife beats him on the head everyday with a cauliflower, but in this conversation he assumes an air of the invincible.

"Oh, you took a long time getting here..", he starts. "I assume you took the turnpike?"
"Umm.. yeah..", the innocent man says.

The highway man lets out a smirk.
"You should have taken the Interstate from exit 64 on the Beltway. 17 South is a much faster way of getting here than the Van Johnson. You can also try the country route 5.."

As the conversation proceeds, onlookers form a circle around the innocent man. They jeer and throw bits of pudding on him. The party is a great success.

The highway man swaggers, with ladies fawning and children wide-eyed.

The party ends. The innocent man slinks away, resolving to memorize the map. The highway man walks out of the door, once again the meek guy living a quiet life of compromise.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

A Birthday Ode

Hey Mihika! Happy Birthday
wishes to you I send,
I am sorry, I'm not yet
rich enough to spend.

So I send u lots of love
This 21st of May,
Go Party! Have lots of fun!
on this special day.

They'll say,"You aren't a kid anymore,
and seriously ought to,
be serious, and all grown up"
(Heck- Just read Harry Potter!)

For the b'day gifts you'll get today,
Do thank one and all,
For the big ones give many thanks,
and fewer for the small.

And if u ever wonder how did Dada
write this corny rhyme,
google helped me; and a drink
2 parts vodka, one part lime.

- May 21, 2003

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Je suis Marxiste, tendance groucho.


* Starring *
Groucho Marx as Rufus T. Firefly, President of Freedonia
Margaret Dumont as Mrs Teasdale, Rich Widow financing the country
Chico Marx as Chicolini, the Spy!

(President's office, discussing the threat from Sylvania)

Groucho : We need more money to fight Sylvania.
Margaret : Oh.. we have spent all of my dead husbands fortune already..
Groucho : You couldnt have asked him to work harder, you old nag!
Margaret : Maybe we could plunder some treasure from the Incas..
Chico : At'sa okay. I got some Incas at home..
Groucho : Really?
Chico : Some blue inca and some black inca, you tella what you want?
Groucho : You know it pains me to see cannibals go hungry while you're around.

Groucho : Maybe we should go to the mountains to search for treasure.
Chico : No, no ,no. It'sa too dangerous.
Groucho : Why is it dangerous? (lifts eyebrow)
Chico : Mountain there'sa snow, abyss..
Groucho : Golly! thats where the abyssinnians live.
Chico : Avalanche..
Groucho : Its too early for me.
Chico : Avalanche!
Groucho : Okay, don't shout. I'll have some lobster.
Chico : Oh, you are too shellfish..
Groucho : Say, can you eat an electric eel? 1
Chico : Only if you ground it.

Margaret : (running in) Freedonia has been attacked from air!
Groucho : (going over to the telephone) Get me the secretary's underarms. I mean the Under-Secretary of Arms.
Groucho : (on the phone) I would like to order five Gnats, ten Mosquitoes and ten Stingers for the airforce. Mash them well, and go easy on the sauce.
Margaret : (wringing hands, agitated) The peasants! They are fighting!
Groucho : Oh, don't be chicken..
Margaret : But the peasants are revolting!
Groucho : I agree, and it would do you well to take a bath too. Chicolini, send a scoop of trouts to investigate, the spooner the better.

Groucho : (looking out of the window) You know, they have a drink named after the man who conquered that mountain.
Margaret : A drink?
Groucho : Sherbet Tenzing.

Monday, February 28, 2005

A Visit to a Madrassa

Not the one where they teach you to have faith in the goodness of all fellow beings and donate to charity; Mind you, this was a real teach-kids-terror Madarassa.

"We have about two hundred and fifty school children here, in various stages of training". My guide started the tour.
"Violence has to be inculcated into the little minds right from childhood. Here we do it through books, films and group activities. You see a bird teaches the fledgling to fly right from when it is an egg."

That was a new one on me. But the school was named Al-Baidaa, so there had got to be something in that.

I passed a group of kids (aged three) watching Tom & Jerry cartoons. A dog was pounding the cat into the meat grinder. "That looks pretty harmless", I ventured. My guide looked at me in a Heh-Heh kind of way. "That is according to the Montessori system."

The next group of kids, five years old, were getting to the real training, he said. As I passed, they chanted out,
'Piggy on the railway, Picking up stones,
Along came an engine And broke poor Piggy's bones.
"Oh" said Piggy, "That's not fair"
"Oh" said the Engine, "I don't care" '

I moved to another group which was practicing killing innocents.
"Rock a bye baby on the tree top,
When the wind blows the cradle will rock,
When the bough breaks the cradle will fall,
And down will come baby, cradle and all. "

Some kids were into their Play recess. "Ah, it makes your heart glow to see little kids playing.", my guide said.
The children started..
"Oranges and lemons, Say the bells of St. Clement's...
You owe me ten shillings, Say the bells at St. Helen's.
When will you pay me? Say the bells at Old Bailey.
When I grow rich, Say the bells at Shoreditch....
Here comes a candle to light you to bed,
And here comes a chopper to chop off your head. "

I moved to some older kids reading '1000 Amazing Facts for Children'.
'If all arteries, veins and capillaries from the human body were stretched end to end, they would make a path that could go four times around the moon.'

'The human brain generates enough electricity to power a electric toothbrush.'
I could see some of the kids looking at me with a glint in their eye. I left as fast as I could.

The visit to the terror-training school left me shaken. It is chilling to think of young minds growing up saying such fiendish things.

Aren't you glad your kids are not exposed to such violent literature?

Friday, February 25, 2005

Caps Shift

According to a team of researchers in Thailand, the capital Bangkok has moved nine centimeters (3.5 inches) to the south-west since the huge Indian Ocean earthquake in December. The seismologists claimed that such shifts often take place after major quakes and do not affect local people.

I beg to differ.

With the whole city shifting by 9 cms, all the people in the city are now displaced from their original homes. So Bangkok, is now a city of 'internally displaced' refugees. Quite like Darfur.

GhaatSpaat correspondents talked to some locals to see their reactions.

"I do feel a bit out of place", was the reaction of Mr. Pad Prig who runs a prawns shop in the city.

Kwan Moon, 58, blames the civic officials. "Will you tell them to stop moving the city? I feel giddy enough from the spinning earth anyway."
She is also looking for companionship.

Coomar Mangal, who is of Indian ancestry commented on the south-western shift. "I feel closer to India now", he proclaimed.

In the surrounding areas of Bangkok, people were pleasantly surprised to find nine centimeters added to their land. Ayng Pyongak who has a paddy field on the outskirts of the city was available for comment.
"My dog peed there anyway ", was his enthusiastic reaction.

In any case, this shift is miniscule compared to when the entire village of Nirali-Dhani, Gujarat shifted 7200 miles to Edison, New Jersey in 1987.

I personally, am keeping my bags packed in case Syracuse decides to shift somewhere. They aren't going anywhere without me!

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Microsoft Interview Questions

One can find a lot of websites dedicated to technical interviews. However, most do not provide correct answers to the kind of questions big technology corporations ask.

I present here a compendium of tips and technical questions with their ideal responses. These should serve you good for your next interview with an industry giant like Microsoft, Google, Al's Greasy Spoon Diner etc.

Whichever school you went to (Harvard, IIT, Oneonta Community College), do not enter the interview room with a chip on your shoulder. This is plain bad hygeine. If you carry a heathen idol for luck, make sure it is not large or multi-headed. This will confuse the interviewer about who to interview. If you used to work in the movies before, remember, paddles & protection are not required for a technical interview (yet).

Remember to respond with confidence. That wishy-washy answer aint gettin' you nowhere! Remember to stay one up on the interviewer (Ha Ha! turn the tables!)

Let us jump into the technical questions now -
Q - How do you convert a big endian byte to a little endian byte?
R - Didn't do too well on the spelling bee, did you? Well, there are no big indians, and the little ones dont byte.

Q - What is your view on open source?
R - View them?!! I would say apply a little salve, foment them. They could get cantankerous.

Q - Do you love technology for technology's sake?
R - I haven't tried that yet. But you should try the sake at 'Konnichiwa Hut'. Its the best!

Q - How would you move Mount Fuji?
R - Can we make that Kilimanjaro, just to make it interesting?

Q - What is multiple inheritance?
R - Talk about luck!

Q - What does this do : 'kill -s KILL' ?
R - (This would be a good time to make a run for it..)

Some Operating System questions might leave you hanging by a thread. Dont panic. The answer is 42.

There will come a time for you to ask the interviewer some questions. At this point, you should restrain yourself from asking why they are 35, unmarried and with coffee stained teeth. Ask something to prompt further discussion. The dialogue would go something like this.

"After seeing my impeccable technical skills, where do you think this career path would take me?"
"How do you make a Big Mac?"
"Smother the undercooked meat with mayonnaise, two slices of tomatoes, cheese, lettuce (slightly black), place between bread. Throw in a large fries with extra salt, give it to the obese customer.Make the sign of the cross."
"I think that answers your question well."

Ultimately it is you who will determine whether you get the job or not. But these tips should help you get your foot in the door, (right when they slam it).

Thursday, February 10, 2005


In anticipation of the India-Pakistan match, a regional political party formed a special "Diggers comittee", led by Mr. Ghatspate, a clerk in Mantralaya.When questioned on the choice of Mr. Ghatspate to lead the diggers committee, party officials said, "Mr. Ghatspate worked as a government babu for 32 years. We have plenty of evidence that shows Mr.Ghatspate knows digging."
Well said.

Hindi version of 'The Princess Diaries' releases across theatres in India. It is suitably called 'Raajkumari ki diarrhoea'

Formula I
Race fixing charges were leveled on the Indianapolis Grand Prix Committee. GhaatSpaat correspondents aren't surprised. Its easy to bribe anything with the words 'Indian' and 'police' in it.

National Geographic
The indigenous clans in the jungles of Mbongonga are getting increasingly quarrelsome for each others territories. Will this result in jungle war?
Dr. Livingstone reports, "I think they will have traditional howling contests to resolve the conflict. If the noise levels get dangerous, they will just diatribe at a time."

Fourth Estate
In only two short months (including February, which is shorter),
GhaatSpaat readership now exceeds the worlds leading publications* combined!

* Berkeley Republican Digest, The Kabul Financial, Waziristan Society.

Monday, February 07, 2005


New York Winters are deary. The foggy days, misty nights and the incesant snow. You do start wondering why people here aren't living in igloos yet. After five months of the pure white, yesterday the heavens opened.

Temperature rocketed to a sunny 55 degrees. Joggers jogged, bikers biked and the the idle oglers were reminded after six months what shapely girls in spaghetti straps look like.

People sat out in sidewalk cafes, bronzing their necks and outdoing each others smiles.

It was in such a cheery mood that the lad stepped out on the road. His clear eyes admiring the golden hue laden on all earth, his mind carefree. He was killed by a speeding truck.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Lurid looreading

The Girl who Turned into a Bed
It happened that day
she picked up a strange pussy willow.
Her head swelled up white
and a soft as a pillow.

Her skin, which had turned
all flaky and rotten,
was now replaced
with 100% cotton.

Through her organs and torso
she sprouted like wings,
a beautiful set
of matress and springs.

It was so terribly strange
that I started to weep.
But at least after that
I had a nice place to sleep

Toxic Boy's Epitaph
As Roy's soul left his body
we all said a silent prayer.
It drifted up to heaven
and left a hole in the ozone layer.

-- Tim Burton
The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy

Monday, January 24, 2005

Thank you note

I noticed a lot of people were clamouring for my favours through email. While I flatter, fawn and blush under the attention, I present here a common thank you note to all those who care.

A sample letter beseeching my favour:
"Bookmark this page www.budgetstays.com
A single stop shop for India, where you find Hotels, Homestays, Inns,Lodges,Resorts,Tour & Travel operators, Money changers, Jungle lodges,Travel agents etc.
Guests can contact Hosts direct as all contact information is available on the site. "

A Thank you to all such
Thanks a lot for the information. Its due to the kind generosity of people like you that my bookmark section has 684 links. All my wishes have come true by forwarding mails. I now have a large number of best friends.

My mortgage payments are in negative. I recently helped Crown Prince Otenti Bonty of Ougadougou move $5million to American Banks.

I have received $5000 from Microsoft and some free mobile phones from Nokia. My penis is now 18 inches long and my breast size is 48DD. I take viagra with my evening meals and hold 17 University Diplomas.


Friday, January 21, 2005

Just what

Just what is Gram Panchayat?
The grassroots of Indian democracy. For the people, by the people, under the peepul.

Just what is a Govinda movie?
A wooden roller coaster running off the tracks. Its fast, its noisy, and noone has any idea where its going.

Just what is a Ramsay brother's movie? (Veeraana!)
Guy takes a wrong turn, turns up in an empty house, turns into a bedroom with a girl half-naked on the bed.
Guy turns on, girl turns monster.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Let Tooth Prevail

I, like countless others was moulded into near perfection by the powers-that-be, with a snag ... No teeth.

In childhood I felt it an absolute waste to give my teeth to the cologne bathed orthodontist when the tooth fairy could always exchange it for the toy engine I wanted. But opinions were not wanted or asked for as I was virtually dragged to the plush waiting rooms of the family tooth graveyard. Later in life when I was making enough to get by, a faithful molar decided to pack its bags and be replaced by cheap ceramic.

A car needs regular servicing .. teeth shouldn't. ( Every three months, or 300 meals, whichever first, clove oil and toothbrush change.)

The waiting room was teeming with people as I picked up an outrageously outdated magazine. “Believe me, that was up to date when I came in”, a man next to me remarked. Unnerved, I leafed through the pages while observing people going into the cabin heavy-footed and emerging light-pocketed. I was wondering how much greenery would I have to shell out, when my name was called. Names of all the Hindu gods I knew, flashed through my mind as I invoked them for protection and entered.

“Hello son, after a long time ,eh?” he yapped, trying to update me on the recent political events and his opinions. My ear throbbed with the constant humdrum of his droning voice as he peered into my mouth.

"I dont think your insurance covers this". That made me listen again.

“The plaque has infested the upper molars ... It’ll need the Novcaine shot and the , extraction apparatus please ...... Did you now my son is starting in Cornell this Fall?”, he chatted. I sat up imagining my hard-earneds paying for Medieval Literature 101. “Excuse me, I’ll be back.” ,as I scrambled to the exit ... fortooth! I wasn’t going to pay for his sons education.

The evening was cool as I rounded off the corner and bumped into a the toughest individual I’d ever seen. “Looking for trouble, mayn?”, his heavy voice floated to my eardrums as a brainwave flashed through me.”

“Yeah”, I said. ... “do you know you're so ugly, they'll give you a permanent job at the freak show?”

“Oh yeah...”, he said , raising his fist,
And that's how I got it done for free.

Note: This was something written for a school essay (1995), posted with minor changes(to reduce my embarassment). Reproduced in the honour of a recent root canal.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

big brother

I get this feeling im being watched..my sidey sense is tingling..



bad joke in first post .. u dont want to read any further.
i dont want to write any further either but i just wrote it twice.