Appraisal Festival For Kids

Ho Ho Ho! It’s that time of the year when “good” and “well-behaved” children are rewarded – for being good and well-behaved of course. It is just one of those traditions when elders bribe the children to be good so that they don’t grow up and bribe…erm?

So I am wondering how Santa Claus (SC) discusses with his Human Resource consultant (HR) about the management of the gifts in ratio with the degree of “niceness” of little mortal beings. Let’s explore…

HR: Sir! Sir..SIR!

SC: *wakes up* what is it?

HR: It’s time. We need to evaluate the yearly performance of these naughty brats.

SC: What? Why on earth do I have the most taxing job ever? Whoever fancies sneaking down through chimneys when everyone is chilling in the holiday season! FML.

HR: Eh..the Amazon preview sale is until midnight, let’s go over the list so that we can get great discounts, shall we? What about Donald?

SC: Who? Trump? The same guy who when opens his mouth is only to change whichever foot was previously in there? Have they started selling feet online yet? We may need a couple of hundred for him for the coming year.

xmas1HR: Well, what about Salman Khan?

SC: Oh ya, order a car for him. I know it’s a highly unsafe choice, but he needs to go far before he signs any other movie or Bigg Boss…the sooner he goes, the better. And that way, I guess I am compensating by saving an entire population!

HR: Right. Next is Barkha Dutt?

SC: This young lady has delusions of adequacy. If I had it my way, I would get her off the TV first, but my contract doesn’t allow me to do that. Well, just put her in the list of not-nice children.

HR: Narendra Modi?

SC: He is the same kid tea-seller we had given a pencil a few years ago, right? Well, it certainly takes him no time to make his pointless.  Blade it is then.

HR: Robert Vadra?

SC:   What more do I give him, when I am already paying a toll to pass through his property, be it on ground or in the air!

HR: Kejriwal?

SC: Oh, get this chap removed from the list, and ban him from all future considerations. Since my last report, he has reached rock bottom. Check if he has started digging there yet? Or else there will be no place left for him to go!

HR: *chuckles* Rahul Gandhi?

SC: Aww, finally we are talking about children, is it? It’s the easiest to please someone who would be out of their depth in a roadside puddle – also created by them. Candy it is. Anything that remotely looks like one will also do. Just something else for him to suck up to, you know!

That reminds me, I haven’t done my bit of sucking up to Santa Claus for fulfilling my greed…umm I mean needs. After all, like they say (and I repeat on every Christmas) – Nothing comes easy in life. Even Santa comes with a clause.

Peace Out, Bro.

Do you remember the time when as kids we would shut our ears, stick our tongue out and make weird sounds to signal that we have stopped listening to the other side, when in an argument? Well, blocking people on social media is exactly just that.

I remember the era when internet would take ages to connect with that peculiar voosh-voosh sound, and if and when it did, by the time it would even manage to open my email – which obviously had nothing urgent or important or mail – my time was up. Then with Orkut, it just sort of replaced our slam books and scrap books. With the overwhelming information that Google had to offer, it soon was sought out as more of an educational tool than a recreational one.

Internet had expanded our chance of having discussions, making informed opinions/decisions, but it also has given us the liberty of shutting the screen, switching off/or between tabs, and blocking anything or everything that challenges our views.

Internet was also a potential prospect of meeting with like-minded people. No, I am not talking about Tinder, d’uh! But, we become aware of other people who also are blocking the same things/views/people as us, and suddenly that gives a great power to our thought, ingrains it into us more than ever, and we block other views with renewed zest and enthusiasm. This is sort of leading to a “cult” culture over every opinion that we have.

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So today it is very difficult to just say anything you feel like about any issue. Because the moment you open your mouth, you are either a bhakt, or an AAPtard, or just downright stupid. Either you are a feminist or a chauvinist. You become a libtard, right-winger, anti-national, intolerant or Pakistani even before you completely keep your point.  If you are against Trump, you are pro-Hillary. If you are against Hillary, you are pro-Trump. You are racist, body-shammer, islamophobic, or ….and if you aren’t one of these my-way-or-the-highway kind of peeps, then you are just ay!

This is now not only the story of the internet, but also in the outside-social-media life. The recent elections in America or Brexit has proved that we all are living a (judgmental) bubble of our own. But we forget that a bubble doesn’t even need something as sharp as a needle to burst, you know! And well, it has.

This change has been quite drastic, and rather too rapid for my liking. Of course, “change” has various connotations today, and I am not talking about the new prevalent – Do you have a change for 1000? – Kind of change. But, change must be such that it does not eliminate people or their ideas. Because this majoritarian attitude will only reduce our way of life to an idiot mechanism. As Shiv Visvanathan puts it – The change we need is a change in the idea of change itself.

Well, I am going to begin with not thinking that Indians who celebrated Thanksgiving have less IQ than the stuffed turkey on the table. Peace.

Call It A Day

There are people who wish to call it a day even before the day breaks. And then there a few people who strive to call anything and everything about our existence a day. We are aware of the number of bizarre International Days that we all celebrate. Most commonly celebrated are the days for different relations. If India had it its way, we would have had to celebrate some relation every day and all of 365 days of the year would still fall short of accommodating all the duur-ke-hai-par-apne-bahut-kareeb-hai rishteys. I was just going through the UN’s list of such days, and I have realized that we have a day for everything that we would rather not celebrate in life. Like Cancer Awareness Day, World Tuberculosis Day, Refugee Day (yes, we have a day for people who do not have a country), Sparrow Day, etc. We probably need to figure out how and why Fathers’, Mothers’, Daughters’, Sons’ Day made it to the list. But erm..

So today is World Toilet Day, or as I like to call it To-Let (out) Day.

On this auspicious day, I would like to put end to one discussion once and for all – Wash It, Not Wipe It! Let’s face it guys, beneath every excited scream – “Yaay, I am going for a Euro Trip!” there is a – “Oh hell, toilet paper again!” Why west, why?

Let’s try and imagine what must have happened. There was an early human, fascinated and astonished at something stinky coming out from his body, while looking at a beautiful sunset view across the lake! And then thinking – Shit, this feels dirty! He looks at all the water and wonders, “I used it for cleaning the house, having a bath, washing, rinsing. Oh my God, that’s too much for something so fluid. How can I use it to wash my poop?” Amidst all this worrisome thinking, he sees a tree, and goes like – Idea! And he cuts the tree, slices it, makes paper, and rolls them, and pats his back while patting dry his…IT DOESN’T MAKE ANY SENSE!

Well, anyway. I am getting so carried away, as if I am going to Europe tomorrow! Meh. Let me come to the reason why we need this day. To put things in perspective, there is about one-third of the world’s population that doesn’t have to choose between water and paper, because they do not have a toilet!

Fun Fact: There are more number of mobile phones in the world than there are toilets.

Untitled.pngActually, people are building toilets these days. In my two years of experience in this field, let me take you through the easiest and quickest way to construct a toilet:

Step 1: Find an images of slums and villages, and play them on slides with sad music.

Step 2: Also attach photographs of toilets in disuse, toilets filled up with garbage, field sized areas of sewage and stagnant water, which accompany explanations of why we need to reinvent the toilet.

Step 3: Then add images of women in India walking into fields to relieve themselves with captions about their vulnerability and statistics of their likelihood of being assaulted.

Step 4: FIND pictures of happy people standing in front of their shiny, newly constructed toilets.

Step 5: Add a quote by Bill Gates or Gandhi for the effect.

Easy-peasy, bro!

PS: The world has a shit of a problem. Butt, don’t call it a day yet.

Note Vote Hai Rabba

Amidst the smog-bound Delhi, and poll-bound America, Modi played a trump card that for sure has given a smog-like experience to all, even if not in Delhi – and don’t even ask me about the visibility status in Delhi. Forget visibility status, it has even fogged out the “status” in Delhi from Tu-jaanta-nahi-mera-baap-kaun-hai to Bhaisaab-ek-khoke-ka-chutta-milega. You can judge that from the very beloved and honest CM of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal’s tweet – “BJP will lynch everyone who speaks against their wrong doings.” – As a response to the fate of Rs.500 and Rs.1000 notes. The smog, for one, has definitely blurred Arvind Kejriwal’s vision. When the centre has taken a strong step in the direction of the only thing on their party’s mandate, Arvind Kejriwal is as if running to his mom and saying with welled up eyes – “But he cheaaaaated! That was my thing!!” I am not saying Arvind Kejriwal is dishonest, but every time he fights corruption, Mamata Banerjee’s nose grows an inch.

untitledWith a plethora of memes and messages on social media, the past couple of days have felt like a self-declared holiday! To me, it felt like a mass India’s Got Talent with the number of “hidden” jewels I didn’t even know existed around me. I mean kudos to all the people supporting the India-Against-Corruption movement against themselves! The great thing out of this whole fiasco, I mean of course other than the obvious ones, is that when padoswali Gupta Aunty tells you – “I know how much you had last night”, you can reply with a “So do I!” *wink*

On this note let’s observe one minute silence for all the aunties with huge kitty piggy banks in a constant state of poverty for their husbands. While we are at it, let’s also give a big shout-out to all teenagers, who are hooting for Modi. What do these innocent jackasses, living in their snapchat bubble, know about their fathers sweating over a bag full of money-turned-paper in the next room?  I won’t blame these children actually. I mean if an entire country could live in so much of a social media bubble that their president elect bewilders and shocks them all at the same time, then these tiny pouting creatures still haven’t grown brain-cells.

To my brain, the American election still feels like some kind of a social experiment – and it is just not gotten over! I mean I am still waiting for Cyrus Broacha to pop out from somewhere and say – Bakra!

Because this election has proved that no matter who is on top, the pervert parade is still larger in numbers, if not in IQ points. But I don’t blame the Americans. It’s like you are on a mission to lose weight – and you have to choose between not having fried food and not having sweets. I mean both are harmful, and have different ways of messing your goal up. The bottom line on choosing any one is – you are still heavy and now even a moron!

Well, anyway. I know that post the announcement by our PM, life is a struggle for quite a lot of us, but it is a short-term discomfort for a greater good in a long run. Just like not having that sweet AND that deep-fried potato!

Trump(et) Vs. (Clin)tons Of Email

branco-trump-and-hillaryI have no idea why the never-ending America’s election is so big even here in India. Or is it because I am watching too many late night shows from America. Hey hey hey! Hold your horses’ guys. The late night shows there are more about making jokes, and not a joke itself! So anyway everyone is talking about the big day this week when America elects the first female president, or the first person, as Deepak Chopra puts it, whose consciousness is stuck in his first Chakra. (I suggest- go find out where it is located).

The possibility of a Donald Trump presidency is now listed as one of the ten top global “risks” by The Economist, somewhere between a Chinese economic meltdown and an oil price shock, and right next to the rising threat of terrorism. How can you not judge an entire nation when you read something like this? Firstly, how does one manage to be a global “risk” when your name is Donald. I mean don’t ruin my childhood for me, you!

The problem with most Americans is that they don’t love any of the two choices. How do you choose between someone who is under Federal Investigation for using a private email server and someone who has proposed about banning a religion, said women should be punished for having abortions, called immigrants rapists, lost a billion dollars in one year, had a fake foundation, was accused of committing sexual assault, caused violence in his rallies, bragged about not paying income tax, and not to mention about the “locker room” talks. I mean how should one choose when evidently none seems worse? I agree with you America, it is rather difficult!

The guy who seemed to have been the only one blowing his own trumpet about a year and half back seems like a legit winner today! Who would have thought? Imagine Donald Trump as the president though! I can totally see him do all diplomatic communication via his Twitter account- @CEOUSA. And just like his companies, he may invest big. If it works, its big returns as well. But if it doesn’t, then it’s going to be a completely different story.

The more I think about both the campaigns – Trump in the US of A and Modi here in India, I can draw a lot of parallels between them. If Trump comes in power, for one thing, they’d have a lot in common — both would be conservative, both suspicious of Muslims, both elected to power promising to work a miracle cure on unemployment and the economy, both banking on their leader’s charisma and fondness for showmanship and rhetoric to sell the seductive idea of “making America great again” or ushering in “achche din”. He even went ahead and used those golden words – Abki Baar Trump Sarkaar. Whoa, did we just elect a Trump back home, and are laughing at them? DID I VOTE FOR THE INDIAN DONALD TRUMP?! *faints*

War On Women

We live in a country where female feticide exists- and in a much larger way than we can even imagine. We live in a country where one half of the population lives in fear. We live in a country where “boys will be boys” is a justified excuse for rape. And then they say feminism is bullshit.

Feminism: (n) A radical belief that women are people.

In a jiffy, feminism is exactly just that. But now this word has various connotations, various reactions, various perspectives, and largely a very mocked about implication. If you believe women are as human as human beings can get, you are a feminist! If you say you aren’t a feminist, then the only explanation to that is that you don’t believe women are people – which includes Kim Kardashian. And there is something majorly wrong with that – not Kardashian, but the belief!

But clearly, feminism has a clear PR problem. There is a whole lot of confusion in the way this movement has been executed, and understood – and that according to me is responsible for its downfall. There are two kinds of feminists:

  • Anti-man: You don’t have to be anti-man to be a pro-woman!
  • Anti-woman: You don’t have to be an anti-traditional-woman to be a pro-feminist (only modern haan.)

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As women you are not supposed to do everything that men do – that just validates the fact that what they do is what people must do (men people) – and then the movement is against the people who are a part of that movement. Do you see how much confusion that creates – like, even in that sentence? So, stop! Stop doing everything that they do – just to prove a point. Do it if you like it. I mean why not, go ahead and make the whole world double meaning in your head. But because you want to, and not because they do and so I would too!

I think only women can make this entire world women-friendly, while they are also the most important section that is not letting this happen. I mean I know women who would say – “I am a feminist. I earn my own money. I am not a housewife”. You have got it all wrong, woman! Feminism is about respecting individual woman’s choices – that ranges from occupation to clothing. It’s not dictating it. That’s what the movement is against, remember?

It is we women as mothers and/or grandmothers who have enforced time restrictions on our daughters and not on our sons. It is we women as mothers-in-law who do not wish to seek happiness in the choices that our daughters-in-law makes, just because we didn’t have the liberty in our time (college raging mentality). It is we women as a friend, a confidante, an acquaintance or a stranger judging other women’s choice of fashion, choice of lifestyle, and choice of occupation.

People do not realize you can be a feminist and pro-life. You can be a feminist and a stay-at-home mom. You can be a feminist and choose to adorn a burkini. You can be a feminist and be calm and peace-loving.

That was the week that was!

Arnab Desai had news channels,

E-I-E-I-O

On their channel they had some TRPs,

E-I-E-I-O

With a suicide here, and an anti-national there,

Here a scam, there a rally,

Everywhere a perk, perk!

Current_Affairs_IndiaWith so much happening this week, our journalist had a field day! This gave them an opportunity to have a finger in every goddamn pie! Let me just list down all the major happenings of our country this week, just to put things in perspective, regarding our current state of “well-fare”!

  • There was Jesus Christ, and now there is Salman Khan. Jesus turned water to wine. Salman turned it back to water.

Salman: 1; Christ: 0.

(Do I have to apologize to Christ? Will I be called a racist or an anti-national? I hope no sedition charges on me for this one!)

  • The rich 17-year old brat recklessly driving Mercedes need not worry about justice with Hit-and-Run cases in our country! When you have a mentor like Salman Khan, no number Siddhart Sharmas’ dying is going to lead to justice. Relax bro, care for some Martini?

Salman: 2; Integrity: 0.

  • There has not been respite for the jewelers. This one month long protest doesn’t seem to be leading anywhere! This protest-turned-slugfest became fun when the leader of Anti-corruption movement jumped in to back holders of unaccounted wealth. Well, there is an opportunist and then there is Kejriwal.

Corruption: 1; Honesty: 0.

  •  In the last few weeks, for the first time in India, we experienced equality in the true sense- Jewelers and Farmers, both were on protest. Time for self-evaluation, Modiji? While they are sticking to their side of dispute in this scorching heat, a Good Samaritan sent them a stand-up comedian for a little entertainment- our very own favourite, Rahul Gandhi!

Gandhi: 1; Protestors: -10.

  • Talking about scorching heat, the drought situation is real. And IPL being conducted in drought stricken Maharashtra will only talk about our priorities – green paper over green fields. But why is everyone insisting on shifting IPL outside Maharashtra? Rather we must insist on them to import a measly 150 lakh litre of water in Maharashtra! Let’s play their game their way!

On a side note, to overcome the water crisis, contact Salman.

Salman: 3; Society: 0.

  • Thank God Bihar isn’t suffering from a drought situation. Given the liquor ban, even Salman wouldn’t have been able to help.

Nitish: 1; Salman: 0.

  • Close to Bihar is Chandigarh, where people who couldn’t get into roadies are struggling to make a mark in Stand-Up Comedy, under Modi’s “Stand-Up India” scheme. One minute silence for them.

Roadies: 1; Modi: 0.

  • Not so close to Bihar is Panama, from where a few papers were leaked, and now some rather important people are in a fix. Alas, if only it was as easy as papers leaking at University. Sigh.

Indebted India: 1; Incredible India: 0.

  • University paper leaks are least of our concern these days. Universities now serve a larger purpose- they have become prime centers for playing dirty politics. Education – Ha! Who cares?

Wide-eyed kids (studying in Hindu Madrasas) in 2020 – Are you really telling me universities were supposed to impart knowledge and stood on three pillars – Parampara; Pratishtha; Anushasan? (Courtesy- Senior Bachchan; because junior never seemed to have gone to one)

Bharat Mata ki Jai: 1; Mohabbatein: 0.

  • On the other hand, my heart goes out to students preparing to get into IIT, but merely will end up getting into a life-long education loan. Only to be able to use the Stand Up scheme of course!

Banks: 1; Education: 0.

  • Solely good lord can save our country from all this chaos and stupidity! Gee, but then again, owing to the way He created me, I cannot enter the temple to meet Him! With temple’s new found idea of gender equality, I am looking for a transgender to take my message to the almighty. Any references?

Stupidity: 1; Sanity: 0.

  • This bring me to my favourite – Rakhi Sawant vs. Ceiling fan! For someone who has never seen a fan in her entire career, I can probably understand why she wishes to ban them. Though I would request the government to let her use one before they do so!

Rakhi Sawant won; everyone else zero.

All I can say is that at the end of the day, everyone is but just a speck of dust that no one cares about. A tiny speck on a pale blue dot suspended in a vast cosmic arena.