Post by Abbas Halai:
What Sachin meant to a Pakistani
Post by Abbas Halai:
What Sachin meant to a Pakistani
So here we have a young (by Indian standards) politician, who has been lampooned and bullied on the social media, whose every utterance and word has been misinterpreted, quoted out of context and torn asunder by the armchair experts whose lives begin and end on Facebook or Twitter. His surname has been turned into his biggest liability. His family has been chastised. Questions have been raised on his education. And most worryingly, simple truths from his mouth have been converted into deceitful lies. Sad. What has the young political scion of the India’s oldest political party – which leaves behind a legacy of leaders and prosperity – done to deserve this? What have we accused him of? And what exactly did he say…
Poverty is a State of Mind…
Is it a goddamn lie? Have poor people not been accustomed to believe that poverty is good for them?? Are they not ordained to live in poverty, dependent on the state for their basic needs??? Here, we have a semblance of change being brought about in the way poverty is perceived. And what do we get instead – ridicule. “Thank you” everybody. Bring on the “Psychologists for the Poor” jokes, but sadly, the joke is on you.
India is a Beehive…
Our very own favorite white-bearded mass-murderer took it as a personal responsibility to tear this quote out of context. He went about railing “India is our Mother. Not a “Madhumakkhi ka Chatta”..” Seriously, we have this dumb interpreter to be our future PM? Is India not a complex being? From t=0, India has been a picture of chaos. And underlying this chaos are layers. Layers which give meaning to this chaos. This makes the entire system analogous to a beehive. Rahul was right. And sadly, the educated twitter trolls got it wrong. No debate. No argument. Just pure trollin’..
IF India is a computer, Congress is the default OS…
So he was talking to the Congress Workers. He was there to motivate them. And he made an absolutely acceptable statement. Congress has “Democratically” ruled India for a majority of the period since independence. No other political party understands the pulse of India better than the Congress. And as a default program, Rahul believes that his Party is best at understanding the pulse of the country – to ensure that any progress is seamless.
Jhansi of Rani…
Yes. A Slip of the tongue. But what is offensive about it? I would rather find “Kutte Ka Bachcha” more offensive – even if that was a slip of tongue. Evidence and post-interview behavior suggests that it was not. 11 years after his defining moment, this is the the mindset, attitude and language skills of the Opposition’s prime candidate. No wonder, friends have turned into foes quicker than the speed of light.
Since when has the education of a politician been a prerequisite to lead the people? No one knows the educational qualification of NaMo. No one bothers to even ask. What we instead have are photoshopped images of Rahul Gandhi’s educational documents, floating around on the internet. Well, his educational qualification has been declared via sworn affidavits to the Election Commission. If there are doubts about his education, why are they not raised at a proper forum? Why is the principal opposition party silent? It is because there is no scam there worth even a dime. But it suits the armchair critics to raise questions and keep the embers of doubt burning.
Politics by Way of Eating Food in the Houses of Dalits …
Horrors of Horrors – he ate food in the houses of the poor, the farmers and the untouchables. How can he commit such an abominable and ghastly crime? We had politicians (Of all parties, including “Congress”) competing to divide the people on the basis of region, caste, creed and religion. And suddenly a kid, an elite Doon-School alumni “Baba” came out to ruffle the rules of the game. He erased the lines and showed that caste lines can be redrawn. Picture a rural casteist oppressor whose sees the scion of India’s ruling political party sitting and dining with the powerless and the meek. He gets a wake-up call. And the wake-up call goes to the poor oppressed too. If politics is about signals, this was a powerful symbol. Nothing signifies the impact of the symbol more then the way the gesture was rubbished by the pundits. He was not snatching the food from the poor; he was realigning the paradigms of casteist dynamics. Something which the “insulated from real world” arm-chair sound boxes just don’t get.
He Never Took a Stand on Issues like Delhi Gangrape etc etc…
What do we expect him to say – The obvious? That he finds these crimes ghastly, inhuman and despicable. Or were we expecting him to come out with statements like “I absolutely welcome such crimes and hope that these criminals keep up the good work…” Would statements from him have made the situation better? When the Home Minister, the Prime Minister and the President had spoken, what was the need for him to speak absolute nothings for the sake of the cameras?
Where was he holidaying partying at the time of Uttarakhand Floods?
Next time, please remind nature to call up and strike at a time when the politicians are all reachable for their soundbites and aerial surveys. Cant, right. That’s the trouble with disasters – they strike unexpectedly. Unless of course, we consider the “Boys Who Shout Wolf” every day – the perennial disaster alerters. Rahul – well, we are talking of him, if you did not get the drift yet- was out of the nation. He came back when the magnitude of the disaster became clearer and his coming posed no hinderance to the rescue and relief efforts. Not so for the disaster tourists turned politicians, who came like Rambo, saved a million people with a couple of phone-calls, and then flew back to count the potential votes.
(Note: Of course you knew we were talking of him. People who read this blog are very receptive… :) )
Rahul has his follies. He has his faults – maybe more than we expect. We call him a reluctant leader, who is being pushed to become a Prime Ministerial candidate. Maybe it is true.But a lot of criticism is misdirected. Definitely not a #PAPPU, as coined by the cyber-troll right wing of Communal Republic of India.
Rahul lost his Dad and Grandmother to violent deaths in childhood. Leaders who lost their lives while serving the people of India. A consequence of the decisions that they took with the collective wisdom of the Cabinets of those times. Rahul has lived a life more shaken and consequently more sequestered from the society. His Mother was concerned for him. Would your mother not be? He has still made a brave decision to come back and do what his father could not. That is a strong motivation. He has been tagged as immature. But remember, he has tried hard to understand this country. His understanding is today better than what we see or understand. He has democratized his Party’s Youth Wing – no mean feat. He has given calls for politics of positivity. And in the face of an abusive opposition, he has maintained decorum and calmness not usually expected in the slugfest of Indian politics. He has not been arrogant. He has not projected unbridled hunger for power. And he is acceptable to all sections of the society – except the numb, hate-filled Right Winged hordes. The Congress bungled up over 9 years. But that is no reason to bully someone, who has his heart in the right place. He has been realistic and accepted the challenges. Something which the people do not really appreciate, but which they should. There will be no magic wand. And no “Hero on Horseback” melodramatic solution to our countries woes. Solutions exist, and we will have to wrestle, grin and stay united to get over these troubled times.
No one remembers Inspector Francis Induwar. The brave officer was beheaded by the Maoists in 2009 – an indefensible crime. He died protecting us. Who empathized with his kids? No political points scored. Just mentioning – that Rahul is not what he is often made out to be.
Back when India was Shining, Delhi prepared to bid for the 2020 Olympics. Then things happened. The success of CWG and IPL happened. We got busy with committing crimes of morality and character. We next spent time protesting the very same crimes that we and our ilk are still committing. We worked doubly hard to ensure that our GDP growth slowed down. If we had some spare time at hands, we counted, recounted and compared the number of communal incidents in Gujarat with Bihar. One leader would not dare talk. Another would not dare stop talking. We won the Cricket World Cup. But we had even bigger glories – Kolkata Knight Riders won the IPL. Chennai Super Kings won the IPL. And then, Mumbai Indians won the IPL too. Sreesanth managed to get himself eligible to enter the Big Boss. Impressed by the macro-environment conditions for growth in India, Sunny Leone flew down to India. Somewhere in the melee, we managed to get our Indian Olympic Association banned. Our IOA Administrators took on IOC with courage that sadly our very same leaders miss when it comes to national security. John Abraham learnt to act. Ravindra Jadeja learnt to bowl.
Salman Khan took time off from driving on footpaths and did yeoman service to the society by attempting to make Rs. 200 Crore movies for those people whose IQs are close to Rahul Gandhi’s. He was successful. And Shahrukh Khan made his 300 Crore movies for exactly the same target audience. They both hugged, and the nation wept. Rohit Shetty made crap. Karan Johar made “Student of The Year”. Jagan Reddy became “Businessman of the Year Century”. Robert Vadra became “Farmer of the Millennium”. And then Yeddyurappa happened. Reddy Bros rose. And then they fell. YSR flew in a helicopter. Kingfisher stopped flying. Mayawati ran out of land to build statues for herself and her elephants. The Indian Rupee edged well past the Retirement Exchange Rate vs the Dollar to become eligible for Senior Citizen concessions. Meanwhile the US economy deteriorated, and now we come to an age, where a Dollar can’t buy Onions or Petrol in India. Of course, the resilience and inclusiveness of our economy, we can get food for 12 Rs a plate. Our Government declared a hundred Rajiv Gandhi Yojanas. Brand Gandhi transformed from mahatma to Rahul.
2G happened. Adarsh happened. CoalGate happened. RailGate happened. CWG evolved from Games to Scam. Srinivasan resigned from BCCI. Sachin Tendulkar did not. And Narayan Murthy re-signed on to Infy. Subbarao stopped signing on the Rupee. Raghuram Rajan started signing on the Re/-. Priyanka Chopra started singing. Honey Singh started rappin’. Rajini became Robot. Robot became PM. Aishwarya became Mummy. ND Tiwari became Daddy. Mamata Di got angry and left in a huff to Bengal. She had Maoists to hunt. Arnab Goswami got angrier. The Pakistanis came. Then came the Bangladeshis. Then the Chinese. Then the Burmese. The Lankans have always been coming. The Italians came a long time back. 1 Billion Became 1.3 Billion. Jobs went. Bal Thackeray went. Dara Singh went to heaven. Vindoo Dara Singh went to prison. Chinese built Smart phones came, the smart people went. Yash Chopra departed. Uday Chopra came back.
Today, Japan has won the bid for the 2020 Olympics, while Delhi was not even in the race. And unless the Japanese cheques bounce or we export Kalmadi and Lalit Modi to Japan quick, Japan will successfully organize the games. No worries. After all, we could not win the Olympic bid because of global factors. The QE Tapering affected our chances. And of course, Olympics are communal. Maybe there was a conspiracy to keep us out – the ubiquitous Foreign Hand. Congratulate the Japanese and shout #MeraBharatMahaan. Poor Japanese, they can have the Olympics, we will still have Telangana and A.Raja.
Nothing excites a crazy person more than running into an even crazier person…
I was attending a business summit in Hyderabad in August 2012. It was the sort of event where people go to, in order to watch some speakers spout mumbo-jumbo crap on the state of Indian economy and Infrastructure, and then drown out the sorrows over copious barrels of alcohol under the guise of networking with the “Fraternity”.
There are a few positives from such events too. Business cards are exchanged, inter-firm gossip is exchanged, and a fair share of boasting, ranting and complaining culminate in a sizable number of under-the-table business deals.
Coming back to “Isaac Mendez”. This is a nom de guerre for a person who I ran into at the summit. Isaac Mendez was a fictional character in the epic TV series “Heroes”. He was an unremarkably lonely man living in lower Manhattan. An artist by profession, he was a failing cartoonist. This failure saw him engulfed by Heroin addiction. Sad, you say?
Only, the Heroin addiction became a silver lining for him and his career. You see, the character of Isaac Mendez would relapse into a state of trance after his “drug sessions”, and in his state of trance would produce works of art – prophetic images which would describe events from the future. The quality of his arts was mindblowing. And his comics based on the prophetic images slowly gained an undercover following even in faraway comic-crazy Nippon!!
The catch – he could only draw when in trance.
And that brings me to the local Hyderabadi Isaac Mendez. His name was Chandru – a man who had never drawn a thing in his sober life. Dark skin, unkempt and receding hair, dressed in a wrinkled pair of formals with a beard that signified laziness more than style. He had exactly 7 neat pegs of Directors Special on his table, arranged in a semi-circle, like he was having a brainstorming session with his pegs. And in his hands was a premium Mont Blanc pen – the kind you would expect a person like him to have stolen.
The sight was pure magic. He was drawing in ink, an image that should have come from years of practice. And he was stoned out. The talent flowing from his pen had to be seen to be believed. And it was fun listening to his disjointed tales. He was a self confessed self-styled artist, who had taken to the comfort of bottle after failing to get a job, and the bottle helped him get a job in a small architectural firm, where the boss encouraged him to get drunk when in office. That is a job worth having, and a boss worth having!! The pen he had stolen from some Andhra politician – the reasoning being that the Politician himself had stolen it from the “People”, and anyway the politician was way too dumb to understand the value of a Mont Blanc. The pen was in the service of humanity in the hands of Chandru. And it would attain its Nirvana there.
I never met our desi Chandru again. But that’s the fun part of our lives. We meet the shitty people often, but the real gems who entertain us and provide that spark to our mundane lives – we only meet them in passing. Just like an oasis. He will never achieve greatness as it is defined. But he has achieved a level of Maverickness that has not been defined.
P.S. I Thought You Could Glimpse Through What Isaac Mendez Drew…
Circa 2005 A.D. It was the night before my exam – Class XII Boards to be precise. I had my Physics exam the next day, and I was busy trying to cram up the derivations. Now, the Boards in my era were very important. Every neighborhood aunt and her Mother-in-Law would be concerned with how your “Boards” went.
I went to a school where fortunately we were given at least 3 pre-board examinations. Unfortunately, my Physics was still bad – bad enough to force me to burn the midnight oil late into – well, midnight. You see, the school does not really bother with you doing your Board’s well. It is more worried about getting the elusive 100% result printed in its admission brochure, so that the Teachers get a nice pay-hike and the school earns some moolah.
Now, about that dark, brooding night. As the clock ticked and tocked, the derivations in my mind began playing hide and seek more aggressively. And I began to panic. Invisible beads of sweat started forming on my forehead and I was certain that my heartbeat had started racing up. In a bid to escape from stress, I decided to sleep it over; comforting myself that I was prepared and it was only my mind playing tricks – nothing that a night of sleep couldn’t cure.
And then, happened the incident. A cow came over – yes, at midnight – and stood right outside my room’s window. And then, it sang. That is what it can be called. The cow “moo-ed” up, and “moo-ed” down. it “moo-ed” all around. Never before had a cow come next to my window in the history of history. Never had a cow come at night in our colony. And here it was, in the night just before my goddamn Boards, enthralling the Bats and other creatures of the night with its sweet “moos”.
The Moo-s never did they stop. And I could not sleep. Tragedy, tragedy – I could not even study under its cacophony. The cow – was it a plant sent over by a zealous rival from school? Or from a wicked neighbor?? I don’t know. And I will never know now too.
Maybe the cow was a well-wisher, wishing me luck before the “D-Day”. Or, maybe it was an extra-terrestial experiment – afterall, who has seen a cow in the night-time. It is even remotely possible, that the cow was a long-dead ancestor, who had come to wish me via a holy cow. So, you see – the possibilities are endless. And also, pointless.
But it is fun to reminiscence, how a cow came out of a worm-hole, just to moo and bray, at the oddest hour possible. Funny thing, the cow never came ever again. Never.The holy cow chose one fine
day night to make its red-carpet appearance by my window sill. And what a concert it was.
I ended up in the exam hall the next day, deeply shaken but not stirred – a’la James Bond. Eyes red and mind muddled. So how did my exam go? Suffice to say, it was bad. After all, I was forced to attend the concert of a cow the night back.
So, was there a silver lining? Yes. The question paper was tough, so everybody ended up screwing the paper. In hindsight, even if I had studied those couple of hours extra, it would have served me no good. Maybe the cow was trying to leak the paper to me, or advise me against studying harder. Stupid me, I was just not listening to it.
I wish that cow is alive today, and I hope it has found its true place under the moon – Bovine Justin Beiber.
Man runs, panting hard, but not slowing down. All around him is a barren, lifeless desert. The only accompaniment with him is – a chair. Perched on his shoulders. Why would he run with a chair on his body through a desert? Where did he come from? And where does he want to go? Is he stealing the chair? Or does someone special need that “special chair” somewhere across the desert?
Next, picture a similar scene.
2 young men with *HoldYourBreath* a lovely cushy Sofa. Running through a highway for a change. The same questions.
These scenes have been directly pilfered from the Lead India campaign’s advertisement running on television. Take a look, if you have so far been blessed as to be staying away from television and think it is my imagination playing really imaginative tricks.
Now, the two scenes that I described succinctly above happen all over the country – Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi etc etc etc. Guys and girls – all of them representative of the great all-knowing Indian Middle class – angry, frustrated and in a hurry. They do not discriminate – plastic chairs, expensive sofas, cushy duvets, rocking arm-chairs, bean-bags and cane rockers. All piled up on heads, shoulders, autos, tempos, trucks, buses – boats even.. Some of them are in such a hurry, they do not even wait to see if the chairs belong to them. No waiting for the doors to open. Just pick what you are sitting on and scoot.
The cops sip their coffee and gape. The land-lords whose chair is going can just watch in amazement. The poor – they do not even have the luxury of a chair. They are just confused – what the hell is that youngster doing – they can pay some daily-wager to do this menial task. Surely, there must be some pay-off at the end of the fancy chair race.
Slowly the dumb ones start following the herd mentality and join the race. A physically challenged ingeniously cycles away with his precariously balanced chair. Maybe this way he can beat the system and win the amazing race.
All the runners look grim. Or angry. They all appear to be high on red-bull. Slowly the mystery is solved – or rather deepened. All the fancy furniture is piled up in the middle of nowhere. Wannabe shot-putters throw the wood-work with amazing precision. This sure was not supposed to be the trial for Indian Olympic shot-put team – was it? I wish it was – we might have won some gold medals the next time.
The key to this grim mystery hits you from the testosterone filled background score. The time for sitting down is apparently up. YOU, yes YOU are responsible. Don’t point fingers. Don’t stay frustrated. Don’t give excuses. You are the answer. Whatever the question. That is what the lyrics suggest. Or something to this effect. And yes, the time for feeling guilty is up too. The youngster understands – it is time to pile on the furniture and run run run.
Finally the climax. Once the young lady throws her last bit of furniture – silence greets the crowd. It is finally time for the solution to all the problems that never come in your question paper, but still slap you on your face every day. The lady heaves a fiery torch on the pile of furniture and all is aflame – the furniture I mean. Now is time for tranquility. The video does not tell us what happens next. But it is not so hard to guess:
Of course, the media would have a field day post this. And considering the kind of mileage our political parties derive from the mundane, they would have their take on this too !!
And while this happens, we could just sit back and interpret what hurts us more. The slap on the face by the daily problems that we face in myriad forms like corruption, inequality, joblessness, incompetence and terrorism etc etc etc etc etc. or the statement that THOU ART RESPONSIBLE !!
And the solution to it was peaceful protests – or that was what
Daddy Currency Gandhi told us. Burn Candles. Dharna. Fasts, Hunger Strikes. Bandhs. Satyagraha. Ha, he was wrong. The solution is to burn furniture. So that the one thing you were good at doing – sitting and plotting your flight out of this nation, is also jinxed. When you burn furniture, the noxious smoke of burning wood will react with the anger in your hearts, confusion in your mind and hunger in your belly to voila, give you the solution to all the problems that you face. Your voting will not change a thing. Don a mean look. Get grim. Aggressive. Run. And burn that goddamn chair that you are sitting on. The time for that is up already. But still do it. Else you will be bombarded by more such senseless videos. Even RGV could not have come up with a more inspiring video.
So the next time some Pandu cop asks you for that mamool, just take a chair and burn it.
I will just sit (on the floor, obviously) and calculate how many chairs we need to burn to get the Dollar to 40 Rupees in the meantime.
Aatma stood still.
Nobody knew he was an angel. Nobody actually cared. Mortals are so busy with the trivialities of life that they fail to see divinity in motion along them. And after thousands of years of travelling amidst Man, Aatma had gotten used to living inconspicuously without raising any eyebrows.
Sipping tea in the marketplace, Aatma‘s eyes had fallen on a skinny kid darting around the maze of the marketplace. The kid was armed. And it was comical. The kid was nervous, but he tried masking his nervousness by adorning an ill-fitting mask of meanness. Full marks for trying though, thought Aatma. But his curiosity was piqued. He mentally tried making a list of occasions that necessitated an armed kid aping meanness. His mind went blank after one.
And then, Aatma was on alert. He wet his lips in anticipation of the coming excitement. Action was entertainment for an wandering immortal angel. And the irony, the target was another skinny man. The kid had chosen his opponent well. Alas, it was all over in a jiffy. Aatma had had his hopes of excitement blown cold. No shrieks, no blood, nothing. It was all over just like that. Glum faced, Aatma returned to his cup of tea. Suddenly, his ears were filled with a cacophonous laughter. The pain behind the laughter was something that only a greater being could identify. And this laughter was pure pain.
He looked up from his cup of tea, and saw that the robbed man was the one laughing. Lonely in a crowd. His divine sense told him that the man’s name was Aseem. And a pained soul he was. Funny, thought Aatma. Of all the hundreds of people in the crowded square, it had to be the laughing man who was robbed. He wished he could interfere and wave away the travails, but he knew the rules. Angels can not interfere in worldly matters. But the pain in the laughter now started to disturb Aatma. This was not like any pain that he had ever seen. And he had seen lots in the millennia of journey across the world.
Something shook up Aatma from within. At this point, Aatma decided to challenge the rule. For, what use are angels, if they can not spread happiness around. Without thinking, he let out a shout:
Aseem, Return Home…
Stunned were both – Aseem and Aatma. Our friend, Aseem, turned back laughing. He was in a daze – laughing hysterically. This sudden turn of events had left him completely disoriented. And watching a stranger shout random gibberish was probably the icing on the cake of a tragic day that his fate had cursed him with.
Aseem waved. He just waved. He had had enough surprises already. And he was vary of any more surprises. The stranger did not look like a money lender. His voice was not threatening. And his gait was not aggressive. Who was he? A part of his mind told him to ask the stranger what he meant. Another part of his mind told him to take flight. Aseem did nothing. He just stared at the man.
Aseem took a step towards Aatma. But Aatma had started dissolving in thin air. Having broken the sacred rule, Aatma’s time was up. Aatma knew not his fate. But he hoped to carry no regrets. Aseem could just stare. His laughter had subsided. And his pain was slowly getting replaced by confusion. Was he hallucinating? Were his senses – his eyes, ears and mind playing tricks? Had he finally become the loony that his society had branded him long ago?
Once the apparition had vanished, Aseem gathered whatever little control of his senses that he could and ran. Ran as fast as his legs could carry him. There was a way right through the mess of people and carts that somehow opened for a sprinting Aseem.
Huffing and panting, Aseem reached home. There he saw the most beautiful sight – his smiling wife. She looked hale and hearty. And she had a small pouch with her. Aseem needed no prodding. He knew what was there in the pouch. It was his pouch after all that had been stolen. Aseem wondered what turn of events had taken place? But wisely, he chose not to question. A man who never questions the maker for the pains wisely does not bother questioning any blessings. And though small was the gift of fate, the poor and the pained seek solace in tiny pleasures of life.
The sun had set by now. And as the stars shone high up in the night sky, there was a new star that twinkled brighter then all. Aatma had broken the sacred vow of angels, but his gift of smile on the face of a pained had granted him immortality in a different manner. He did not know the consequences of his act. But now he knew that a true angel is not bound by vows and rules when it comes to spreading happiness.
From up above, Earth looked brighter to Aatma, with one sad Aseem lesser. There were many others like Aseem, who still needed help. And Aatma trusted other angels to answer their conscience. Eventually they all would. And till then, the pained just had to laugh at their pains.