Satire

I am a writer and I am offended

Once upon a time, there was a Bihari boy called Madhav. He fell in love with girl called Riya. Madhav didn’t speak English well. Riya did. Madhav wanted a relationship. Riya didn’t. Riya just wanted friendship. Madhav didn’t. Riya suggested a compromise. She agreed to be his half-girlfriend.

Script for a cheesy C-grade film? I wish. No, this is the latest offering by the pioneer of Indian literary world, Mr. Chetan Bhagat. Mr. Bhagat, I don’t have a problem with you telling half-baked and rehashed cheap stories to people dumber than 5 points on a scale of 1 to Kamaal R Khan. Go ahead and do so as you please, but please for the love of God, stop pitching your books as novels and yourself as an author.

Name the books as “Manoranjak Kathaein” and they will still sell like crazy if not more than before. Or, maybe produce a show on MTV about youth and relationships with bad actors handpicked by you. You will still have a fantastic audience; in fact, you can reach more people than before. You are still meeting your primary objectives: 1) Money and 2) Telling  really bad stories to people.  Why are you so desperate to write books then?

Because, it is clear you don’t even have the time to write them. I can only imagine you brainstorming before your new novel: Hmm. Boy. Girl. Sex. Obviously. Friends/lovers. Shit happens. More sex. More shit. The End. Maybe, you even have a group of proxy writers who fill up the pages of your novel. With such bad writing, you can never tell.

chetan-bhagatI am a writer and I find it offensive what you pass for as books and novels. I find it offensive that you continue to publish book after book, rehashing and republishing your first novel with different covers. I find it offensive when I tell people than I am writing a novel and they ask me, “What? Like Chetan Bhagat?” I find it offensive that you think language is a dish best served fragmented and bereft of any structure.

You want to tell a story? Please do. Make a film. Release comic books. Rebrand your books as Champak. But, please don’t give out the illusion to the public that you are a writer!  Please stop reducing the attention span of a billion people by means of your books. You are making them dumber and you know it.

You have enough money, go hang out on a beach or something, but stop making the guild of writers come off as a bunch of phonies and sissies. You don’t spend enough time on quality writing, you don’t spend enough effort on scripting a good story, it doesn’t mean all writers don’t. And that is pretty much the message about writers that you are giving out to the public.

If I had the time, I would go on to rant a little more about Bollywood and your associations with it. I just read you were one of the co-writers for Kick. No wonder. But, the two of you are made for each other. Just leave the writers alone please. We still think of writing as an art, and storytelling as a wonder.

I hope I never have to read your books again and more importantly, I hope you never have to read your own books ever again because you might not survive them, you know! Adios.

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The Uncommon Sense

Common sense, they say, is the most uncommon in common man. We decided to come up with a list of the most commonly observed “uncommon” sense on display in everyday life. Welcome to India.

  1. The Smartass Drivers:
    • The Honkers: Of course honking changes the traffic lights’ colour faster, doesn’t it? So equip your car with the loudest, the crassest and the most irritating horns available in the market. Now what? Go crazy, no holds barred! Honk, honk, honk! Traffic jam ahead? Still, honk, honk, honk! Nobody’s moving? Who cares! Honk, honk, honk!
    • The Light Raiders: Oh, you can’t see through your black sunglasses in the night? Why, switch on the high lamps! If you have the fluorescent lights, it’s even better. Who gives a damn if others around you can’t see a thing; it’s your vision that really matters!
    • The Texters: Driving at 80 kmph and your mobile phone starts vibrating? You must check it, NOW—without stopping of course. It could be some very important message, maybe about “how to reduce your fat in 30 days” or some good forwarded joke. Don’t forget to send back an LOL, before you start concentrating on the road again!
    • The Random Parkers: Where to park, where to park? Meh, I will just leave it here, lying in the middle of the road. You shall not pass!
  2. The Seat Freeloaders:
    So, you’re sitting there in the metro, peacefully reading a book, and suddenly some Auntie with an engorged posterior (no offence) orders you (not asks) to make some space for her. Grumpily, you scooch about slightly. Buoyed by bullying you, the Auntie pushes her rears with all her might into the teeny tiny space, turning you into a 2D object!
  3. The Minister of Traffic:
    Oh, a VIP minister is about to come through this road. Quick, let us block all the traffic here for a couple of hours, and then spend another five hours to fix it. The Minister needs an expressway, and we’ll make him one in the space of a couple of hours. We are smart, aren’t we?
  4. The Unrestrained Fighters:
    There are some of us who are just waiting for a fight. They don’t even wait to know the parties involved, or the reasons for the spat. They are just itching to get out there and unleash their firepower. Often, these guys forget whose side they actually are on, and end up assaulting their own friends in the battleground.
  5. The Mobile Phone Show-offs:
    • The MP3s: Oh, your phone can play music files? Please play me and others on the metro/bus your favourite soundtrack from a ’90s movie or a religious soundtrack perhaps! While you are at it, please set it to repeat infinitely.
    • The “Loud Speakers”: You are at a theatre, watching a movie? Call your girlfriend and start shouting how you miss her, can’t sleep without her etc etc, while the audience looks on in despair. You are the centre of attraction; who cares about the movie anyway!
  6. The Pee-rs:
    You have to go? Nobody’s looking, take your chance. Yes, that pole, aim for it. Why wait for a couple of minutes to reach home? Peeing in public is a statement of your courage and prowess. Who gives a rat’s ass about hygiene and other such petty issues!
  7. The Great Indian Paan Spitters: How can we forget them; be it the wall of a school or a residential building or the footpath, it’s their birth right to grace it with the holy red spit. So go on spitting, let’s turn this green world red.
  8. The Stompers:
    Have you had the distinction of coming across those who wear big massive Iron-man-esque Woodland shoes? These men have no idea about other people who might be wearing slippers or light shoes and go about stomping everyone here and there as if there’s no tomorrow. They are most commonly found in metros, at cinema halls and of course, the Woodland stores.
  9. The Bargainer–Shopkeeper Agreement:
    Shopkeeper: X Rupees. Bargainer: X – Y Rupees. Shopkeeper: X – Y + 20 Rupees. Bargainer: X – Y + 10 Rupees. Item sold. Time lost = Anywhere between 10 minutes to 2 hours

While there is no shortage of more “antique pieces” in our country, these should suffice for the time being while we must ponder if we too are one of these!

(Contributions from: Charvi Jain, Punita Maheshwari, Brototi Roy, Shubhanker Saxena, Ankit Gouraha, Debarati Nandi)

Originally written for News That Matters Not by Kumar Pratik.

Ten Things You Should Not Do As A Sophomore

1. Do not try and exert your seniority on every second fuccha you see:

Things may go downhill, if the fuccha actually turns out to be a third-year, who looks young, or an M.Tech first year, or in the worst case, a fourth-year. Hold your instincts, for they may land you with a black-eye and numerous bruises.

 2. Do not be a smart-ass with the teachers:

We are talking about men who have been in the business for ages, who have had to deal with smart-asses like you every year. They have certain tricks up their sleeves, you are better off without having to experience them, trust me.

3. Do not stay locked up in your rooms/hostels:

Remember, your laptop is not your girlfriend. Some unlucky girl is. Go out, feel the wind, soak in the rain, lay down and look at the stars (ALONE!).

4. Do not buy a guitar to impress the ladies:

The effort to learn the guitar is not proportional to the accolades from the fairer-sex. Sooner or later, it will end up in your dust-bins. Do yourself a favour, don’t buy it.

 5. Do not try to design an innovative new project, that will revolutionize the world:

Using a laptop charger as a toaster for a loaf of bread, and a ruler to spread butter does not count. Neither does keeping folded clothes beneath the bed-mattress as a means of ironing the clothes. More often than not, your helicopters won’t fly, bots won’t move, and programs won’t run. Give it a try, though.

 6. Do not become a ‘Devdas’:

Engineering course has a common pattern. First year is about Girls, New faces, Freshers’ Night, Fests etc etc. Second year is all about Love, broken hearts, the same old faces, frustration in life.  Third year onwards, it’s only career, jobs, interns, placement. Long bearded looks, out of sheer frustration are a strict no!

7. Do not be an addict, don’t play with your life:

Yes, education may be injurious to health, but then so is smoking, drinking etc. Bike stunts, car drifts, all these have a certain appeal and thrill about them. Don’t get misguided by the world, value your life above social perceptions.

 8. Do not try to sneak out or sneak into the lecture hall midway:

Mentos doesn’t help in real-life situations. If you do get caught leaving or entering the class, some more plausible explanations would be needed. Try these for best results: ‘I have a tendency of sleep-walking’ or ‘Just going out to take a fresh breath of air, Sir’, ‘Uh-oh, this is not where I parked my car’.

 9. Do not become ‘that guy who attends classes even on mass bunk days’:

Believe me, you don’t want to attend a class if the whole class has agreed to go on a bunk. They will slaughter you, burn you alive and throw your body to dogs. No kidding. True Story, bro!

 10. Do not try some fancy new hairstyle the hairdresser recommends:

After paying hundreds of bucks, you will end up looking like a villain from a Bhojpuri movie, not to mention the ridicule you will be subjected to by your worthless friends.

Disclaimer: Please, don’t try this at home! The author shall not be held responsible for your actions, lest they be inspired by one of these. 

This is a sequel to ‘Ten Things You Should Not Do As A Fresher’.

 

My Professor, Mr. Bones

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Meet my Professor, Mr. Bones. He has a huge crush on my other teacher Mrs. Biatch. And both, Mr. Bones and Mrs. Biatch spend their time in my classroom, daydreaming about having their own little Kid Bones and Biatches. I have thus chosen ‘Woofolgy’ as my elective language, so as to understand Mr. Bones and Mrs. Biatch. To enroll in the course, please drop a comment below.

10 Reasons Why Education is Injurious to Health and Society

1. Overdose of sleeping pills is detrimental to health:

If a study were to be conducted on effects of sleep-inducing pills/situations, lectures would trump other drugs and medications by an overwhelming margin. It’s such a shame that no company has yet been able to synthesize lectures and classes into sleeping pills. These pills would have no side-effect whatsoever; one pill would just put the patient to deep peaceful sleep for an hour.

2. Dumb, dumber and dumbest – The art of being a fool and yet making a fool out of others:

You cannot argue with a fool. He will bring down the argument to his level and then defeat you in his comfort zone.  Have you ever been able to answer questions convincingly in a viva-voce? No? You know the reason now.
Also, how often do you understand what the teacher is trying to explain? Almost never, I suppose. The answer lies in the following statement: If you can’t convince them, confuse them. So, it’s not you who is the fool, but it’s the other fools who are making a fool out of you.

3. Induction of frustration and suicidal tendencies from teachers leads to an ever-increasing mortality rate:

When you have to endure people who seem devoid of life force, bereft of the will to live, possessing the power to completely suck out the intensity and enthusiasm from your very soul, there seems only one solution to escape the harsh reality – To hang yourself until death.
Dementors are real, they live among us. They feed on our happiness, our laughter, our energies. Next time you come across a teacher, who makes you want to kill yourself, try this: Think of the happiest moment in your life, and scream Expecto Patronum.

4. Education: A source of employment for the unemployed:

Can’t find a job? Not qualified enough? Not good enough? Don’t worry; we have just the job for you. (Courtesy: Mentos, Dimag ki batti jala de). BECOME A TEACHER, TODAY, NOW! It has good pay, relaxed and flexible working hours, but most of all has huge perks, such as ‘Screaming at students for no apparent reason’ or ‘Venting your frustration by failing those pests’. It has everything you could dream of. Join the group today, become a teacher!

5. The Drain-of-the-Brain Syndrome:

Our system works on a very simple philosophy: The more you study, the dumber you become. These effects of excessive studying are very well-documented in the form of a new upcoming class in the society: The Ghissus. Chances are that these Ghissus will make it to the very top of the hierarchy, and will have a great package, a great job, but will be as dumb as a duck. (*Cough* Prime Minister of India *Cough*)

Please follow this algorithm for securing maximum marks in examinations: Step 1: Find the most popular book by an ‘Indian writer’ in the given subject, which probably your seniors, and the seniors before them used. Step 2: Start studying at least a week before the exams. Step 3: How to study? Cram the formulae, mug the derivations, solve a couple of numericals. Go through the past-year questions, find their answers. Step 4: Ask the teacher for some ‘probable’ questions. Step 5: Repeat Step 4 over and over again, until he tells you all the ‘probable’ questions. Step 6: You’re done. Go hang out with friends.

6. Degradation of English at hands of your teachers will lead you to become a teacher yourself:

A great chain reaction is at play here. Your teachers will first ruin the very basics of your English, which will render you jobless. You will then have to choose the only job you can find: A Professor/Lecturer/Teacher/Lab Assistant/Physical Education Teacher. And then, you, in turn, shall ruin English of hundreds more. Ah, the mysterious ways of society!

7. It is impractical to perform a practical which is not practical:

A ‘practical’ cannot be deemed practical if the apparatus doesn’t work, if the readings are random and unpredictable as the number of stars in the sky, but most of all if you have to write practical records by copy-pasting from someone else’s files. Absolutely nothing practical about that!

8. Antiques are better for decoration, not for use:

Wine gets finer as it gets old, teachers get crankier. They belong together – old bottles of wine and Professor Grandpas – in a cabinet of fine antiques, adorning the grandeur of the living room. Because, you see, you cannot come up with ‘new and innovative’ measures like Powerpoint, while the world has already moved on to videos, illustrations and animations. People should know when to stop feasting on past glories and when to fade away.

9. The feeling of nausea before exams:

We are not talking about nausea from food, but the nausea from mugging up 500 to 600 pages of books, in five-ten hours. It’s a special skill set that develops only once you enter a college. When you do master it, you will be able to vomit all or most of the information from those 500 odd pages directly onto your answer-sheet in one go!
Disclaimer: The vomiting ability is a one-time skill only.

10. The schedule of classes leads to a disrupted time-table and disjointed sleeping hours, leading to schizophrenic tendencies and lucid dreaming:

When the prescribed sleeping time-table for students i.e. 3 am to 12 pm is disrupted by lectures and classes from 8-9 am, over an extended duration, students suffer from serious psychological impacts such as lucid dreaming (Loosely translated as: ‘Din me tare dekhna’) and schizophrenia (abrupt laughter, delusional fantasies, aggressive behavior). This aggressive behavior in students has been well-backed by a recent study on the ‘number of expletives and profanities a common student uses in one single day’, which claims that the number almost tends to the number of galaxies in the universe.

This article was first published at News That Matters Not.

A Common Man’s letter to First Lady of India

Dear Mrs. Gandhi,

My name is Ramesh, and I am just a common man, a term you are clearly unfamiliar with. Now, let me tell you a story, in fact the story of my life.

I have three daughters. All of them are girls! (I have heard you are slow, just like your son, so I am spelling everything out.) Anyway, so I have a salary of Rs. 30,000 a month at a government job, which by-the-way I hate, but it pays nonetheless. With this meager amount, I have to pay for my daughters’ education, the food in the house, the house rent, electricity rent, etc etc etc. I will someday have to pay exorbitant dowry (read: inflation) for my daughters to gutless and spineless men. So, all in all, I have to pay a lot. Now, the question comes: How in the name of God am I going to pay 75 Rupees for a litre of petrol amidst all this? Of the top of my head, I can only think of robbing, stealing, or becoming a terrorist. Those are the jobs that pay well, not these crappy government or private jobs that are considered honorable.

Do you have the weirdest idea what 7.5 Rs means to the average Indian? Of course not. I will tell you, it means a lot. It’s exactly the amount a person at the poverty line can afford to pay for one meal (assuming he has four meals a day, not that he can).  But, you should know that, right? Because, I remember you were visiting all those poor people in the elections of 2006, and they were flashing your face all across the news over and over again. Now, I have no idea about economics, no idea how inflation and market value works, and the more qualified people have been saying this price rise was unavoidable. So, I will skip that and just ask you something very simple. We pay taxes, don’t we? Yeah, that’s right. To your very own government. Now, I have been thinking a lot, I simply cannot figure out where this sum goes! Defence? No way. Rural development? You have got to be kidding me. Global markets? Yeah, right.

You cannot answer that question now, can you? I know where. It goes to a mythical land of Switzerland, buried deep below the Earth’s crust, where no man living or dead can find it. Oh, was I too metaphorical? I am talking of course, about the Swiss Bank. On one hand, you have assets worth hundreds of crores, from your “Government jobs”, that pay no more than mine. And yet, on the other hand, you claim you are crippled by the global economy. What exactly do you do to deserve all that money? You know what, you are no better than the Englishmen who once ruled us. At least, they had the audacity to rob us in broad daylight, not the cowardice to stab us in our backs. They say your aide, a certain Mr. Singh, was a commendable Finance Minister once upon a time. Clearly, his powers have waned now. Or maybe, he was just in the right place at the right time (like he was in 2006). I have little doubt that I could do a better job at managing the finance and administration of the country than you incompetent fools. At least, I would not eat into my own people.

As for my own troubles, I have finally found my calling. I now understand. I’ve given up everything, and I am now going on a quest round the world to search for oil wells. And once I find them, I will be able to carry on the rest of my daughters’ education, pay my rents etc etc, but mark my words I will not pay your f***ing taxes!

I have heard Italy is a very exotic land. So, why don’t you get the f*** out of our country, back to your own and leave us with our miseries? Yes, we are bloody hospitable, but clearly, you have overstayed your welcome. Go away now, Shoo!

Sincerely,

A common man

If this article was a little too damn serious, check out this other article I wrote on the issue of petrol price hike. Here: Engineering student invents car that runs on politician’s bullshit!