Archive for the ‘Ohohoho…whaatt-a-funny!’ Category

Continued from Part I

“Uuh! Alright. I’ll be there. I was in the middle of an ‘über-romantic, hyper-sensual sleep engagement with my beautiful, stinking rich wife, while my pet thousand-hooded snake acted as our bed’. But, no matter! This is an emergency. She’ll understand. She’s used to me popping in and out of home at will anyway.”

The demon was behind Shiva like a starving cat chasing a mouse, in this case, ironically, it’s vice versa! Shiva ran and ran. He had gained quite a head-start when he noticed that, at a distance was a divinely beautiful woman, with a seductive wobble in her gait, daintily walking towards him. So enchanting was her beauty that, the epitome of asceticism that he is, even he couldn’t resist a flirtatious gesture.

“Greetings, O Lovely one! What did the four-headed Creator put in you to make you so fiiiiinnnneee!” he flirted.

“DUDE!!” she said in a man’s voice, ”It’s me!”

“V?” shocked. “Is this really you?”

“Yes. I’m here to distract and possibly trick that maniac into doing something stupid!”

“O Maaan! Had you not spoken in that voice, I don’t know how far I’d have gone!”

“With that cheesy pick-up line? I’d say, not even the next few steps. So, dream on, buddy! Anyway, get out of here before you blow my cover. I hear him closing in. See you on the other side.”

“Thanks a ton V! You truly are a savior! I owe you one. BIG TIME!! And maaan! Aren’t you a thing of beauty? And boy, are you going to be a joy forever!! Phew!”

“Dude!! Seriously, that is so below-the-belt! And NO! It ain’t happenin! Now, GO! And yes, you owe me one, BIG TIME!”

Shiva immediately took cover and started to peek from his hiding place. He wasn’t going to miss all the action.

Vishnu lecherously called out to the approaching demon. Horny as all demons are, Bhasmasura was no exception. So bewitched was he that he completely forgot who he was after and followed the enchantress like a love-struck puppy, drooling all over the place.

Bhasmasura succumbs to Mohini's charms

“Sooo, who are you chasing after, so tirelessly? Hmmm?” she asked in a seductive voice.

“You, of course! I was chasing you. Who else would I go after? Haaaaaaaa”, mesmerized.

“Me? Why? You don’t even know my name.”

“To marry you, of course, and when did demons start inquiring about names to get married? We like someone, we take ‘em! No questions asked!”

“Aaah! Marry me, you say? Playing around is fun, but marriage? I’m Mohini, the enchantress, and I don’t just give myself to any man…err…demon that comes by, you know. I want a man….damn!…demon who can dance like me, or better. Can you dance?”

“Well, I do jive and swing about from time to time, but one can hardly call that ‘dance’. Perhaps you can teach me. What say you, mio amore?”

“Oooh! A polyglot, I see! I like that in a man…..crap!…..demon. Now, let’s get you dancing, shall we?”

“I’m all yours, my love!”

She had the dumb demon completely under her spell. He mirrored every one of her moves, right from the basic mudras to non-dance activities like scratching, sneezing, swatting flies and the like. As the lessons progressed, her enchantment worked like an opiate. Finally, in one of her moves, she placed her palm on her head to stroke her hair. Bhasmasura, under the spell and in an absolute lapse of level-headed judgment, did the same. Even before he realized what he had done, he just went up in smoke, leaving a pile of ash right where he stood!

Mohini called out to Shiva in a man’s voice. ”There! All done! You can come out now. I’ve made you some fresh ash to adorn.”

“Thank you V! Thank you sooo much! I don’t know what I’d do without you. How will I ever repay you?” a grateful Shiva said as he knelt down to collect the ash.

“Well, for one, you could keep your word and come to my aid when I need it the most”, Vishnu said as he regained his real form.

“Of course, man! Anytime, anywhere, in any form. You need just utter my name!”

“How about – in the Treta Yuga, in Kishkindha, as Hanuman, the son of Anjana Devi and Vayu, as the leader of the army of apes?”

“Sure! No pr……wait a minute! Did you just say leader of an army of ‘Apes’?”

“Yeah? Is that a problem?”

“You want me to turn into a ‘monkey’?”

“Dude, I changed my sex, flirted and almost married a demon to save your skin. This is the least you can do! Come on, be a sport.”

“Fair enough!”

“Alright then! If our work here’s done, then it’s time we got back to our wives before they turn you into a pile of ash and me into a pile of ‘Thirumann‘!”

“Oh yes, of course! Let’s go! Brilliant dance moves, by the way. Some were exceptionally graceful. Never knew you could dance like that. Really, WOW!!”

“Thank you! I appreciate it. Especially, coming from the Lord of all dances! I was thinking I’d call it ‘Mohiniyattam’. What do you think?”

’Mohiniyattam’ ? Hmmm….Sounds trendy and at the same time, exudes ethnic beauty and charm, in keeping with the geography of the region we’re in. I like it.”

“Good! It’s settled, then. ‘Mohiniyattam’ it is. You know, these were the same moves with which I distracted these demons after the churning of the ocean of milk. As always, they couldn’t have been more boneheaded.”

“Aaah! Clever! I did issue a caveat to this guy before I gave him the boon, but I’d say he had it coming. ”

“In your haste, you seem to have forgotten your bull. You need a ride back home? My eagle can take two.”

“Sure, thanks!”

The two mounted the mighty eagle, Garuda and off they flew. A conversation ensued as they took off.

“Hey, out of curiosity. What’s with all the ‘monkey’ business?” Shiva asked, as the eagle took off.

“Well, you know, a boon-infested demon terrorizing the world, a savior crown prince and his faithful clique to the rescue. To add spice, the prince’s newly wed wife gets napped by the demon. This is the story I have in mind. What do you think?”

“Interesting, but where do I come in?”

“You’re one of the faithful clique. As a matter of fact, the most powerful and the most dedicated one and….ahem…ahem…celibate.”

“A faithful clique of monkeys is weird enough, and I’m to be the most powerful and dedicated but ‘celibate’ monkey? Really? Man!! I just hope it’s all worth it. Only Brahman knows what you’re up to.”

“No, he doesn’t. Hehehehe!” he chuckled, flaunting a naughty grin.

Thus were sown, the seeds for the events in one of the greatest stories the world has ever heard or read, making for one of the greatest works of literature the world has ever known – The Ramayana. Of course, this is also the legend behind the birth of one of the most graceful, exquisite and visually appealing classical dance forms – Mohiniyattam. These myths, tales and legends have been told and retold millions of times over thousands of years in a million different versions, all taken with a pinch of salt. This is my version with a sprinkle of imagination, and a dash of fun!

Image courtesy: Bhasmasur-Mohini

He was about to wrap himself around his wife in a carnal embrace after an aeon-long dance of love, when he felt a tingling, a silent whisper in his ear, like someone’s calling out to him. The next thing his wife knew, he had vanished into thin air!

“ALRIGHT NOW! What the hell was so important that you had to pull me out of an über-romantic, hyper-sensual dance engagement with my lovely wife, which I had planned for over a thousand years! This had better be worth it, or else!” an annoyed Shiva, the Supreme Destroyer of the worlds asked a penance-beaten demon, Bhasmasura.

“err…err….well….O Lord! I….I…”

The Ash Demon

Bhasmasura

“Well? I did not come all the way from Kailasa to listen to a dimwit demon stutter. I have better and more pleasurable things to do. Now, out with it! What is it that you want?”

“Well, my Lord! I was wondering…..err….if….I could be granted that boon….of…….err….”

“Don’t you dare! DON’T YOU DARE SAY ‘IMMORTALITY’! Are you really trying to get me to open my third eye? Huh? You really want me to? I will if you push me.” visibly miffed beyond a mortal’s comprehension.

“Alright, I’m sorry. Is a demon not entitled to a wishlist?”

“Don’t you know that immortality isn’t mine to give or yours to take? It’s something your brothers from the other mother won in a fair gamble! You and your brothers, on the other hand, flaming imbeciles that you are, just didn’t see it coming.” he sneered.

“Fine! Enough with the insults already! GOD!!”

“YOU call me out here, in the middle of nowhere, and for goodness knows what, and then you go on and take my name in vain? Are you really trying to piss me off? Do you want me to stab you with my omnipotent trident, with a celestial omniglot damarukam tied to it? Now, stop yawping about what I said and just tell me what you want.”

“Alright, alright! If immortality is out of the window, then grant me this wish…”

“What?”

“That any person on whose head I place my palm, must instantly combust to a pile of ash!”

“What?! You know what, I’m not even going to ask why. You bonehead demons beg for the weirdest of boons and then die in the weirdest of ways on account of them. Don’t you people ever learn? Anyway, let’s just get it over with!” saying this, he swirled his right hand in the air to reveal a blob of bright light which flew across and blended itself into the demon. He then cursed under his breath, “I can’t believe I left Kailasa at the most crucial moment of passion for a load of this nonsense! I wish I could curse him instead……” He suddenly noticed the demon come at him with his hand raised in a Nazi salute.

“Whoa, whoa, whoa!!! Wadda hell are you doing?”

“Well, as a ‘boon’stumer, I’m entitled to test the quality of my boon, aren’t I?”

“On the bestower? Are you out of your bloody mind? How dare you threaten to test it on ME? I am one of the Trinity! All the fourteen worlds would annihilate themselves for one of our boons. The three of us bestow the best boons in the business!”

But Bhasmasura wasn’t one to be convinced by a mere advertisement of the mouth. He insisted on testing it despite a quality assurance certificate from the Boon Regulatory Authority of the Confederated Brahmaandas, which all boons from the Trinity carry in order to avoid litigations and other legal entanglements later, from the chaste and devout wives of the demons, however ironic as it may sound. Bhasmasura relentlessly charged towards Shiva in an attempt to put to test, his newly attained power. In a supremely ironic twist of fate, the Supreme Destroyer of the worlds was forced to run for his own life. And thus began the chase.

Shiva, without losing a moment, telepathically screamed out for help to the Preserver of the worlds and his closest friend, the dark hued Vishnu.

“DUUDDEE! HELP!! Paahimaam, Paahimaam!!” Shiva screamed.

“Hello! Who is this? I can’t hear you and your voice is breaking up. Could you please speak up a bit louder?”

“Hello? It is I, Shiva, The Destroyer. Can you hear me?” Panting.

“Oh! Heeeyy!! Many Namaskarams! Long time no see! How be the three-eyed god and his emerald hued wife?”

“The wife is just fine. I, on the other hand, am being chased by my death!”

“What? Where? Why? By whom?”

Shiva told him the whole story and then –

“Dude! You have to come and get me or this maniac is sure to turn me into a pile of stuff that I wear on my body, only this time there isn’t going to be a body and the ‘stuff’ is going to be ME! So, please, hurry up!”

 

To be continued…

Image Courtesy: milkmiracle.net

It’s been a while since I’ve graced my own blog. I finally decided to write something, fighting my most formidable foe, sloth. A lot of brain-wracking and thinking later, I decided to scribble something, lest I should lose the little gaggle of readers that this page invites. I’m already beginning to nurture fears of having lost more than half of them. It was on the eve of Noël that I sat down to write a new post. But then again I stood vanquished by the dreaded enemy, so, I decided to take a raincheck on writing.

Over a month later, a few minutes past midnight, I found myself sitting next to the fireplace in my aunt’s house. It was a cold Florida night only devoid of the hallmark snow. Everyone but myself, the nocturnal beast, was snoring away to a dreamy slumber. Armed with a laptop, I sat down to write a post on some elusive subject. I began to rummage through the mess of ideas that were galloping through my head, when I heard a ruffle from behind the wall almost near the roof. The noise seemed to come from above the fireplace and seemed to slip down the chimney. I grabbed a rod next to the hearth and began prodding it up the chimney.

“AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!” came a deafening scream and something came crashing down. Even the gods would’ve gone deaf. Owing to natural reflexes – I screamed too. But surprisingly, no one else seemed to have heard it. The sudden hellish commotion hurled me to the ground. A haze of dust and ash billowed from the hearth. As it cleared, a large red ball-like figure began to fade into sight and it began to move.

“WHAT THE FU**!!” I howled out of sheer fear.

“You mind your language kid!!” came the reply in a thick English accent.

“Who the hell are you?” I snapped back, my heart still pounding. I was still trying to get my bearings on what was happening.

“Look again” his gruff voice said.

I did. I looked again, and again. I still couldn’t place him. So, I looked again, and again. He was a ripe-old portly man with an impressively long white beard, clothed in blood-red coat, white cuffs, and a large black leather belt. He was wearing a funny looking red cone hat.

“Is he who I think he is?” I thought to myself.

“Yes, Yes!! I am who you think I am!” he said as though he was reading my mind. He struggled to climb out of the fireplace.

This time I looked closer and sure enough, it was him.

“Santa? Is that you?”

“Yes, you bonehead! It is I, Santa Claus, Father Christmas, St. Nic, Kriss Kringle. Now, give the ol’man a hand will ya” he yelled, still trying to pull his meaty self out of the damn fireplace.

Instead of helping him out, I ran to the window to get a peek at his sleigh. There it was, with the nine reindeer.

“I’D BE DAMNED! It is Santa!!” I exclaimed with a childlike excitement.

“You don’t come over here and pull me out’a this fireplace RIGHT NOW, you will be damned! I promise you. I’ll make sure you are!” he cursed.

With a sheepish grin, I helped him drag himself out of the fireplace.

“So, wassup Santa? What are you doing here at this time of the year, Christmas is long gone! And why, O why! Why the chimney, when you know you’re not as acrobatically flexible for it? Can’t you just knock on the door?” I asked him as he dusted himself.

“Well, I just took some time off to see my old friend, K and the chimney….mmm…let’s just say I’m sticking to an old custom.” he smiled.

“hmmm…so you’re here to see me? Wow! I’m touched Santa! But now really, to what do I owe this honor of your visit?”

“O Alright!! I’m here to give you something that’s been festering in my warehouse for a while. It’s not something my elves made. It’s something your chum Max wanted me to give you. I don’t see why you deserve it in any form, but I just had to get it off my chest” he admitted. He pulled this out from his goodie bag.

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“WHAT!! Really? This is for me? Thanks Santa! Thank you so much!”

“O Please! Thank your buddy Max for it, not me. I didn’t think you were worthy of it in the least” he heartlessly admitted.

“But I’ll take it anyway, thank you very much! You can be really mean for a jolly old man, you know!” I remarked with a frown.

“So, why didn’t you come earlier? You sneak to every house with good people on Christmas Eve with all sorts of presents. Was I not a good boy Santa?” I chuckled.

“Don’t even get me started on your bad-boy quotient last year. You have a special mention on Hell’s most-wanted list. The gargoyles have a bounty on your soul. About popping by at this time of the year, well….. I thought, if you really deserved this blog-award then I’ll let you blog first and then give the award away. I waited for you to commit something to paper before I handed it over. But you sinfully indolent bum! You wouldn’t even login to your blog, let alone writing! You’ve been dead for over two months now! Some of your friends even have obituaries prepared for your blog. The prolonged silence even drove away some of your regulars. You’re hopeless!”

“I know, I know! Now please don’t rub it in. I admit I was inconciderate to my readers, but you know how it’s been in the past couple of months. I was travelling and then I fell sick. So, cut me some slack!”

“O yes, of course, the illness. What’s it called again? Shingle bells, Lingle bells or some hogwash like that. You know your friends were joking about it” he joked as he burst into his signature guffaw “HO, HO, HO, HO……You know, your friends have a brilliant sense of humor, I love those guys!..….HO, HO, HO, HO…..Damn!! This is killing me!!” he cracked up as his cauldron-like belly wobbled to the rhythm of his laughter.

“You know, for a man who’s ever-fussy about children being virtuous, you are a foul-mouth, Santa!! And please….it’s called ‘Shingles’, not Shingle bells. You’re just obsessed with those carols. Christmas is gone, remember? Grow up, ol’man!” I commented with scorn.

“Right!! Whatever! I find it amusing!” he shrugged and “O, and one more thing! Max tagged you”

“Tagged me? With what?”

“Well, the rules of the tag are” he pulled out a scroll and read “Post 5 links to 5 of your previously written posts. The posts have to relate to the 5 key words given (family, friend, yourself, your love, anything you like). Tag 5 other friends to do this meme. Try to tag at least 2 new acquaintances (if not, your current blog buddies will do) so that you get to know them each a little bit better. Nice tag, ain’ it?”

“Yeah! Nice one! So, I have to link some of my old posts eh?”

“Yes, and then write new ones, don’t just stop with this. This tag isn’t an epilogue, you know” he mocked.

I pretended to ignore that comment.

“hmmm….so, family eh? Let’s see. Well, I don’t have posts exclusively written about my family, may be this will qualify. It mentions my mom and her peeves.”

“How about this? It shows what an angel you mother is” Santa suggested.

“O Yes!! Of Course! Thanks Santa!” I said “mmmm….I really need to come up with more posts on my family.”

“Yes, momma’s boy, you must!” he joked.

“Well, now for my friends. They eat a large portion of this cake. There’s this and this for a start. Interesting episodes! Then there’s this with pictures! And then this post briefly mentions another best friend of mine who had a little rendezvous with some very different people” I said with a naughty smirk.

“Ho, Ho, Ho! Yes, that one had me in splits!” he agreed.

“Yeah! And now, for myself. Well, what better way to introduce myself than with this, watsay Santa?”

“Yes, there’s no better way! And coup de grâce! This one! Sums you up in one word!”

“What word?”

“Weirdo!!” he burst into another fit of laughter.

“Okay, now! The next category, love. Aaah!! My most successful post to date!! This one invited so many comments with questions and interjections, I had never imagined! Some even said that it couldn’t have been written by me. There’s nothing else and nothing better in this category!” I grinned.

“No, seriously, did you really write that post? And did it really happen?” he asked, trying to force things out of me.

“Don’t you know?” I retorted “Now, for the final category anything I like. Well, I like all of ’em!” I said grinning again “This and this would take the cake. My favorites!! The former being thought-provoking and the latter, just hilarious. Don’t you think?”

“Yes, but then how about this one, Mr. Ghalib!! hmmm?” he winked.

“Sure, if you like it!” I smiled “Well, there we have it! But I already seem to have broken the rules of the tag! It asked for five links, this is as long as a toilet-paper roll!”

“That’s alright, my friend, as long as you take up the tag! Now, tag five other people” he reminded me.

“O I completely forgot! Yes, I’ll tag and award my childhood friend and fellow brilliant blogger Vidya, and other excellent bloggers, the confounded-lady, Nandini (whenever she’s back from her sabbatical!), rads and Prashanthi. Go all taggy guys…err…girls!!”

“Well, good job son!! You’re back on track!”

“Yes, I’m back on track! All, thanks to you and Max!”

“Alright! If my job here’s done, I shall take your leave. My reindeer must be dehydrated from all the perspiration! Is it even winter over here in Florida?”

“Perspiration? It’s freezing out there!”

“Son, do you even know where I come from! It’s called the ‘NORTH POLE’! You think this so-called ‘freeze’ beats the ‘close-to-absolute-zero’ temperatures?”

“Absolute zero, Santa?”

“Alright, that was an exaggeration, but I wager, you have not the slightest idea how cold it can get out there!”

“O okay, okay! I understand, I come from a winter-oven and you from a summer-deep-freeze. Happy?”

“Alright! I should now hit the clouds! It’s late and my elves must be getting out of control, they only need a reason to engage in mindless frivolity and with me here, the warehouse must be a complete mess! Anyway, you be good and you HAD BETTER KEEP WRITING or I’ll run you over with my sleigh! You understand?”

“Whoa! Is that a death threat? I’ll call the angels have you arrested and frozen in the North Pole for all eternity!” I joked.

“We’ll see! If it can get you to blog regularly, then it is worth all that pain. Anyway, you keep writing and be good, okay?”

“Aye, Aye Sir!” I gave him military style salute.

“At ease! Now get to bed, it’s past two. Good Night and very happy belated greetings to you for Christmas, New Year, Pongal and Republic Day!”

“Thanks Santa, and wish you the same! And Good Night!”

“RUDOLF!! Let’s go!!” he called out to the reindeer. He hopped onto his sledge and away he flew. What a jolly old man!!

The next moment I found myself sitting on the same couch next to the fireplace with the laptop. Everything around me seemed untouched, including the fireplace, as if nothing had happened. And the time was a few minutes past midnight, the time I sat down to write. I looked into the monitor and there it was, this post! All written and concluded!

Was it all a dream? I wondered.

Some questions are better left unanswered!

Let me assure you that the not-so-subtly suggestive title will slowly begin to make sense as you read on. The subject matter of this post is not particularly objectionable but may seem marginally racy to some. But what the hell! This is my page and I’ll write whatever I damn well please! So, here I go!

As someone who has lived in India for 22 years, I can, with unquestionable certainty, establish that every one of us has, at some point in time, encountered a group of eunuchs or hijras. It could be on the train, in a busy market, at bus stops, near temples, at a North Indian function – it could be anywhere, but seen them, you must have. Don’t deny it! I know it. (They are called kojjas in Telugu, which sounds more ethnically-cool. So, I will be using its abbreviation ‘KJ’ throughout this post to address them.) KJs attack you with a formidable weapon – a discordant ensemble of claps and cochlea-rupturing voices (no offence to them, but when they sing, they are sure to cause an ear-haemorrhage!) demanding money for their unearthly ‘choir performance’. They are almost always in groups waiting to ambush their prey. They catch you in the unguarded moment and come clapping and singing. They shower all sorts of blessings on you and go “Aeyi Rajaa! Chal dena. Mera Rajaa!” as the clapping persists, sometimes adding lewd gestures (read ‘threats’) to frighten you. You would be better advised to turn in the first big note your hand chances upon in your pockets as you grope. If you deny them the privilege, then be prepared to be violated, for the ‘gestures’ will no longer be just ‘gestures’, if you know what I mean! I believe, lessons are better taught with anecdotes. So, I shall take that route to elucidate.

I was traveling to Chennai from Hyderabad by the ‘Chennai Express’ which never started or reached the destination on time. In keeping with its own tradition, it was late that day too. Certain towns on its route are notorious for their exacting cabals of Super-KJs. Nellore is one such town which is supposed to pass at around 3 am, but never did. You could sleep in peace if it did. KJs aren’t nocturnal train attackers, apparently. Anyway, that day, the train arrived at Nellore at around 7 am and, as you might expect, an army of KJs boarded the train. With their inveterate clapping, singing and blessing, they combed every coach and every cabin pursing all the money they could from their helpless audience. As I heard their melodious voices from the other end of the compartment, I crammed all the 100s and 500s into my suitcase and pulled out a 10 as a token of my generosity for the promotion of the timeless art they were inevitably going to perform. I prepared myself for the ensuing concert by plugging my ears. The guy sitting on the opposite berth was unaffected by the preparations everyone around was making. He gave me a cocky look with a smirk that said ‘You silly! I can’t believe you’re afraid of them. Look at me, I’m a superhero, the invincible Shun-KJ-man’. I threw him an even cockier look clubbed with pity, that said ‘We’ll see who survives, you or Super-KJ’. And the troupe arrived, gave a memorable performance, gave themselves an applause and then it was collection time! Everyone chipped in their share of the mandatory donations. Our Shun-KJ-man’s cocky indifference irked Super-KJ and his(er) troupe.

The conversation: Super-KJ had a thick Nellore accent in Telugu.

Super-KJ: Aeyi, Saaruk Kaan, teeyi dabbulu. (Aeyi, Shahrukh Khan, out with the money!) *clap, clap*

Shun-KJ: Chillara ledamma. (I don’t have any change.) *contemptuous look*

Super-KJ: Oyabboo! Yeme, Vijaya. Vintiva? Sillara ledanta Sakti Kapooru daggara. Igo abbaya! rendu, aidu chillara teeste, muddu pedata emanukunnavo! Notelu teeyi! (What? Vijaya, you heard him? He has no change. Look Shakti Kapoor, if you show me measly change of two or five, I’ll give you a kiss. Gimme bills!) *playfully caresses Shun-KJ’s cheek*

Me (thinking): Shakti Kapoor? *trying hard to repress a guffaw* (This was the time when Shakti Kapoor made news for all the wrong reasons, hence, was known even in the south.)

Shun-KJ-man’s cockiness and superhero-ish machismo flash-evaporated at the threat of a kiss. His face suddenly wore a flushed look of morbid terror as his hands frantically groped for money. He pulled the first note in his shirt pocket and handed it over without even looking at it. I noticed that it was a 50. Super-KJ and the troupe gladly accepted their reward. In return, Super-KJ tenderly brushed his(er) palm against Shun-KJ’s cheek, gave it a caress and winked at him before they left.

I was still trying really hard to suppress my laughter that was waiting to burst. I decided to play the meanie for a bit. I noticed Super-KJ and the troupe in the next cabin engrossed in their performance routine. I patted Shun-KJ on the shoulder and said “Sir. Pilustunnaru!” (Sir. They’re calling you!) as I pointed to the troupe and guess what happened! The guy turned around and one of the Super-KJs happened to notice him. (S)He winked at him blowing him a kiss! Shun-KJ simpered and donned an I’ve-seen-enough-of-this-cruel-world-I-no-longer-have-the-will-to-live kinda look. I ran to the bathroom, laughed till my guts hurt and returned to my seat. And every time I’d look at the guy, the name ‘Shakti Kapoor’ would start ringing in my head and I would stifle another fit of laughter. This went on until I reached Chennai. The moment I got off the train, I burst into a laughter frenzy.

The following incident also occured on the same train but at a different time. Nine of us were headed to IIT-Madras to represent our college at “Saarang ’04”, their annual cultural fest. The train halted at Guntur, a major junction which arrives at around 9 pm (not too late for KJ revelries, as it turned out!). A battalion of Super-KJs had already begun their ‘Operation Clap-dance’. Three of the guys from our group were at the door of the compartment smoking, while the remaining six of us gathered into one cabin cracking raunchy jokes on each other. As the bettalion drew close, five of us prepared for the imminent third-degree torture. The sixth guy, who happens to be one of my best friends, sat there like another Shun-KJ-man. The KJ Regiment arrived, did their little gig and came to each of us showering blessings, stuffing our money into their saris. When it was my friend’s turn, he brusquely replied, “Ledu, pomma” (I don’t have anything. Just go!)

Super-KJ: Aeyi, Ritik Row-sun! Enti? Leva? Naa chiknaa, teeyi, untayi choodu. (Aeyi Hritik Roshan! What? Don’t tell me you don’t have anything. Look closely, you’ll find something, my cutie-pie!) *clap, clap*

My friend: Ekkadinunchi vastaru raa babu! (Where do these people come from man!) *indignantly, turning to the guy next to him*

In a display of annoyance, displeasure at my friends remark, one of the Super-KJ’s did something unthinkable.

(S)he said “Ekkadinuncha? Ikkadinunchi.” (From where? From here!) *Lifts up the sari upto the waist, as (s)he faces my friend*

The jolt he got from that little ‘flash’ of anatomy, seems to have snapped a few of his neural synapses. I think he still suffers from that slight loss of sanity sometimes! Poor guy! The kind of things he brought himself to see! He was obviously the butt of all the jokes for the entire trip that followed. I still pull his leg over it!

So there, people! Lessons from KJland! Next time you come across KJs, don’t disrespect them. They may not be very receptive of it. They have weapons against which even the most powerful nuke would disarm itself! Don’t try to act snooty with them, they know how to pull you down. Act wise and save your eyes (from having to watch something ghastly!). Let the ‘lewd gestures’ remain gestures!

Here’s a song that teaches you the lessons you need even more lucidly (Please excuse the obscenity in the video)! Yenjaai and learn! 😀

PS: No hate mails/comments will be tolerated. This post was inspired by this one.

Strangely adaptive and pliable as all languages are, English is no exception. Incredible, how flexible it makes itself to the whims of its patrons, in their speech and their squiggles. More so among non-native users, which includes us Indians (This is not to imply that the native users are champions of English! Hello? Avar very vown George ‘Dubya’ Bush, I say! He wasn’t conferred the (dis)honourary title of ‘Butcher of the English language’ for nothing!). Despite holding a reputation for being the best non-native speakers of the language, we Indians also tend to weave English into our local vernacular in even quirkier accents, sometimes inadvertently morphing the real meaning or intent behind its usage and sometimes the word/phrase itself is beaten to death! We are perhaps even better known for that! Some of these usages would have anyone in splits, for the way they sound or mean. Let me illustrate a few such twisted usages, malapropisms, weird accents that I have encountered myself, some from friends’ experiences, and some other typical ones.

  • We had a Physics teacher in +2, who would always substitute the alveolar sound ‘T’ as in ‘tea’ with a ‘ch’ as in China (“Would you like some ‘chee’?“, “one, ‘chew‘, three,….., eightch, nine, ‘chen'”). Every time she had to stress on the ‘T’, she would quite audibly and emphatically say ‘ch’. She otherwise spoke good English. Once she missed a class and the next day she explained why – “I’m so sorry I couldn’t make it to class yesterday. I had an appointment with the dentist and I had my wisdom tooth removed.” (I’d suggest reading the above quotes the way she would have said it, with a ‘ch’ for ‘t’!) Need I elaborate? Even the most inattentive guy in class felt a jolt when she said that. “What did she just say? Did she just say she had her ‘ch****’ removed? O My God!”, he smirked before bursting into an uncontrollable chortle. I cannot imagine her telling her children about the ‘Tooth fairy’! God help them!
  • The same Physics teacher once assured me, “One moment. I’ll come chew you”, when I stood up for a question during a study session as she was attending to another student! My first instinct was to frantically look for protection! “What if she’s rabid?”, I thought. I panicked too! But as it turned out, my fears were totally unwarranted. She was coming ‘to’ me, not to ‘chew’ me!
  • A prankster student disturbs our en’gross’ing mathematics class and our disgruntled lecturer expresses his vexation saying, “Hullo, lick here”, pointing to the blackboard! He meant to say, “look here”. Also, we never understood what exactly he wanted to raise when he always asked us, “Hullo, can I raise?” before erasing the board. A few of his very common utterances – “Naat nessary” (not necessary), “is eekolt” (is equal to).
  • My friend’s Chemistry teacher from school instructed them during a lab session – “Take Potassium Chloride on a deflagrating spoon and eat it. On excessive eating, you will observe…..”. My friend and his classmates almost had a heart attack, but then they realized she already ate the ‘h’ from ‘heat’!
  • Our Biology teacher from 9th standard insisted on us learning the names of the ‘fecies’ (species) of all the organisms we were studying!
  • A very common investigation aimed at identifying the owner of an unnamed notebook – “Eeyi! Who is this book ‘ma? Whoever it is come to staff room and take it ‘ma. Don’t forget who it is, okay?”
  • An ‘English’ teacher from +2 taught us John Keats’ masterpiece ‘Laa Belly Dam Sans Mercy’…..err….‘La Belle Dame sans Merci’! (O Whaat yails thee, knight-ut-arms, Yellown und palely laayitring? The sedge haas wither’d frum the lake, Und no burrds sing. And our ears bleed! As we listen to him woe-begone!)
  • Our 8th standard ‘English’ teacher wanted us to learn the ‘pony-tics’ of all the new words we came across! I know, so much for all my rants on improper English! *banging forehead against the nearest wall* It was not until later that year that I learnt the actual ‘phonetics’ of the word ‘phonetics’! Some of you may be wondering ‘Guru aisa tho chela kaisa?’, and I don’t blame you! But in spite of my ‘miss’guidance, I guess my English turned out to be fine.
  • A winter morning. A very pretty girl in my class, in 10th standard, was cold and was shivering. Even before I could feel sorry for her, she requested me to “off the fan yaa! Please!”. I could never muster up the courage to speak to her in English again!
  • Another teacher faced with the same situation, reacted thus – “Aeyi! Remove that! Remove that!” as he pointed to the switch!
  • Our principal from +2 was once very disappointed in us over our behaviour in class and conferred on us the title “Dankees und kemmels!” (Donkeys and Camels).
  • A Malayali acquaintance once introduced me to his ‘bust-front’! Now, now don’t let your mind wander away. The guy was only introducing me to his ‘best-friend’! (Thank God!)
  • Now, growing up in the company of such ‘chompions’ of the English language was a task in itself. Engineering first year: Our Inorganic Chemistry professor teaches us about the availability of Sulfur around the world – “Ouruu sulfuruu isuu avai-lay-bull innuu ouruu….ouruu A-mary-ka, very much it is.” Wow! How informative! A student once broke a beaker during a lab session and the professor yelled out – “Whaat ees that ees? Whaat hep-end? Whaat is the break?”
  • One of our college buses proudly sported the name of our institution – “### COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING AND TECHNALAGI” for over a month until the college administration was informed of the reckless ‘flaw’nting! Hell no! I’m not disclosing the name of our college. This was disgraceful enough!
  • On a hot summer’s day, a classmate in Engineering complained – “O My Goooood! The sun is falling into my eyes! Please close the window no?”
  • You know how some people are sticklers for the flawless Wren-and-Martin-English grammar doctrines. So much so, that sometimes their steadfast adherence borders on redundant redundancy!(:P) I hate to admit it, but my dad is one of them. He once texted me – “Your mother, Yamini, has left for Chennai to meet with your aunt, Jyothi. She, your mother, will be back in a week’s time. – Ramana”. What was he thinking? Well, may be he thought I was so used to calling my mom ‘Amma’ and him ‘Nanna’ that I forgot what their real names were. Or perhaps he figured that while filling out forms, I’d write – Mother’s name: Amma, Father’s name: Nanna, so he wanted to remind me of their real names on a periodic basis. May be I should check my passport once! No offence Nanna! I still love you! I really do!
  • And then there’s another breed which does not feature the word ‘formal’ in its vocabulary at all! A new student arrived at the university and was desperately looking for funding opportunities. My friend B suggested he email and set up an appointment with one Dr. S, who had a few openings. He told him Dr. S was a Telugu too and that he was quite helpful to Indian students, esp. students from Andhra. B was blissfully unaware of what the guy wrote to the professor. A couple of days later when B inquired into the progress he made, the new guy informed him that the professor hadn’t replied yet. B was sort of taken aback, knowing Dr. S was the kind of person who immediately replied to the most insignificant of emails from students. He asked the new guy what he had written and B almost fainted when he read the note. This was his request for an appointment, no, an order for a Graduate Assistantship (GA) : “Hello S Anna, B Anna told me you have GAs. Please give one.” I almost died laughing!
  • This happened to my uncle. He once paid a casual visit to a family he knew well. This was the hostess’ offer for refreshments – “I have many samosas inside. Shall I vomit up and give you?” (The poor lady only wanted to warm them up a bit!) My uncle promptly refused the offer. He promised himself he’d never eat anything at their house ever again!
  • I always tuck my wallet in the ‘back packet of my jeans fant’!
  • A Gujarati technician testing a microphone system at a school function – “Hello, hello, Mic tasting. Tasting 1,2,3. Hello, hello. Haan, haan! sab barobar chhe!“(Namak, mirchi, masale, sab barobar chhe!)

This is the story of my ‘English’ life, people! All these incidents and faux pas are real and I did not make anything up, if that’s what you’re waiting for me to admit! Really, all this is true! I hope you’ve had as much fun reading them as I’ve had writing about them! I’d like to end this post with three really funny newspaper headlines and some of my favorite ‘Bushisms’ (Source: www.innocentenglish.com) :

  1. Two convicts evade noose, jury hung.
  2. Milk drinkers are turning to powder.
  3. This was a heading when Obama won Wisconsin: “Obama beats Hillary in Wisconsin. Hillary runs to Texas.”

(The real newspaper sources are unknown.)

And last but not the least, I dedicate these ‘Bushisms’ to the man himself, Dubya!!

“You know, one of the hardest parts of my job is to connect Iraq to the war on terror.” –George W. Bush, interview with CBS News’ Katie Couric, Sept. 6, 2006

“After the bombing, most Iraqis saw what the perpetrators of this attack were trying to do.” —George W. Bush, on the bombing of the Golden Mosque of Samarra in Iraq, March 13, 2006, Washington, D.C.

God Save the Queen and Her Tongue!!

Cheers!