In spit of

1

 

I often wonder, at this great Indian obsession,

To dispose outside, of your body’s salivary secretion,

They call it, the formidable Mr Spit,

But showing him the door, is a crime most commit.

Often in this spot, you’d yourself find,

On a pleasant evening walk that you twined,

Blissfully unaware of the peripheral view,

When suddenly out of the blue,

A gurgling sound breaks your daydream,

From a walker churning up a frothy stream.

It splashes and it sloshes and it bubbles inside,

Till it erupts and gushes out between his teeth, like a landslide,

And with a vengeance, from the mouth, it darts through,

When you hear the relieved, satisfied grunt of an Aak Thoo!

 

It could be a tepid gurgly gargle,

A meek croak, a feeble throat curdle,

Or a superficial rinse and swish around,

The crevices of your mouth and outward bound.

A bitter rejection of the nasty medicine forcibly fed,

Or the digestive remains of a paan in scarlet red,

A mode of exchange in a heated parley,

And also the product of an acid reflux gnarly.

Occasionally into a form sinister, it may spin,

Arising from the bronchioles deep within,

Spiralling its way upwards and out,

Collecting phlegm all the way to the spout,

Steadily reaching the cavernous throat,

Gathering force as it stays afloat,

Until it can choke the drains no more,

And charges into the mouth like a wild boar,

Swirling a whirlpool and a vicious circle,

As it finally bursts from the oral portal.

Striving hard, for one noble purpose,

To find its way north, out of the corpus,

Onto a pavement or a park or a wall,

Or out of a moving car in a waterfall,

Although that is a hard task to do, with the wind moving,

Splattering it back on the face, with a look disapproving.

 

Why do people do it, I wonder often,

And these excuses, may critics soften,

For spitting the almighty Mr Spit,

Is as essential as cleaning the arm pit.

A means to throw it out of the system,

Like piss or poo and a daily custom,

And just as you’d squat out a faecal constipation,

It is inexcusable, not to strain out a spit from its gestation.

Is it illusioned to be an attractive trait,

A sign of manhood or a date bait,

Probably it is an urge elementary,

And one couldn’t care less, about the hoighty toighty gentry,

Or that the trip to the bathroom, is too much of an exercise,

And swallowing your spit, is a hard task likewise.

Perhaps it is as important as speaking,

Or as subconscious as sleeping, sneezing or breathing,

And a little spit here and a little spat there,

Is hardly a reason to stare and sulk and swear.

 

Spitting is an art, that requires practice and dedication,

A science, that merits recognition and citation.

For it requires an expert, to know the right inward pressure,

To squeeze the spit out from the chest, in the correct measure,

And to understand the dynamics, trajectory, torque and force,

To hurl it rightfully, in its designated geometric course.

So continues the tale of Mr Spit and Mrs Spat,

Locked eternally with man, in a mouth-to-ground combat.

Who in their rightful mind would dread,

And the dangerous road to the loo tread,

For a task so little,

Just to spray the spittle,

When such an easy and natural alternative exists,

And only a little cockiness and some chutzpah it consists.

Rhythmic multichromes

1

One day, four kindergarten mates – alpha, beta, gamma and theta, met at a bar. Alpha had become a famous doctor, beta a popular psychologist, gamma a wrestler, and theta an amateur writer / blogger, enjoying the desi life. The bar was celebrating Holi Week, and as they gulped down their half-off drinks one after another, the nursery colour rhymes came spilling down (Red Red, Susu in the bed… Yellow Yellow, Dirty fellow…). Many shots later, the four friends decided to put their own twist on those intently perceptive verses.

 

Alpha sang, with a whiskey in his hand…

 

Red Red, Capillary Bed.

Blue Blue, Tropical sprue.

Green Green, Sickly Spleen.

Yellow Yellow, Oncology Fellow.

Violet Violet, Pancreatic Islet.

Brown Brown, Molar Crown.

Black Black, Cul de sac.

White White, T Lymphocyte.

Orange Orange, Saintly Florence.

Pink Pink, Catch a wink.

 

Then came Beta, jo ‘kabhi nahi peeta’…

 

Red Red, No fear you dread.

Blue Blue, Let happiness brew.

Green Green, No words obscene.

Yellow Yellow, Calm and mellow.

Violet Violet, You’re a fighter pilot.

Brown Brown, Simmer down.

Black Black, Cut some slack.

White White, Look on the side bright.

Orange Orange, No abhorrence.

Pink Pink, I’m a great shrink.

 

Gamma the macho man, gruffly his rhyme began…

 

Red Red, Drop Dead.

Blue Blue, Screw you.

Green Green, Stick your head in a latrine.

Yellow Yellow, Crush you like a marshmallow.

Violet Violet, My punch drive is on auto pilot.

Brown Brown, Back down.

Black Black, Hand me your lunch pack.

White White, Get up and fight.

Orange Orange, Are those headphones foreign?

Pink Pink, You and your rhymes stink !

 

Theta came in the end, and from him these words stemmed…

 

Red Red, Amul butter aur bread.

Blue Blue, Har jagah tatti ki boo.

Green Green, Pan thookne mein vileen.

Yellow Yellow, Murga bane main aur mera classfellow.

Violet Violet, Sab ka sahara, Sulabh Toilet.

Brown Brown, Masala chai at sundown.

Black Black, Deewane over Salman ke six pack.

White White, Daru marathon on international flight.

Orange Orange, Jai Maharishi Torrent.

Pink Pink, Patiala peg meri drink.

 

Lamba chala us din, wo colours ka session,

Aur sab ne jamaya apne profession ka impression,

Rangon ki saji bahaar,

Amongst kuch baithe yaar,

Bharat ke ubharte sitar,

Riyaaz karte hue in that bar,

With yaadein, spirits, aur random vichaar.

Christmas

1

I told your parents that Santa ate all the cookies ;

They laughed and exclaimed that they were no rookies.

“You may be clever but you can’t outsmart us, sweetheart ;

Coz the chocolate reeks from the baby’s burps and your fart.”

I woofed and wagged and said that this was no laughing business ;

The season is here, folks, and it only smells like Christmas !

What’s in a name ? (At a government office)

images

Naam boliye.

Neha.

Neha aage ?

Neha Kumar.

Neha ‘Kumar’ ??… ‘Kumar’ ??

Jee.

Ladeez thodi naa ‘Kumar’ lagati hain…

(Stumped silence)

‘Kumari’ hoga. Neha Kumari.

Jee nahi.

Pucca?

(Negotiating my surname, are we ?) Bachpan se yehi naam likhti aa rahi hun. Maa-Baap ne bhi yehi naam rakha tha.

Batao ji. Koi baat hui ? Neha ‘Kumar’! Maine to kabhi aurton ke naam ke aage ‘Kumar’ nahi suna. Manager sahab, aapne suna hai ?!

(I can hear my eyeballs, rotating in their sockets amidst the chattery chuckling.)

Maa-Baap bhi kaise naam rakh dete hain. To aapke legal documents mein aapka naam ‘Kumari Neha Kumar’ likha hoga, nahin ?!! He he he…! (Raucous guffaw)

Kyaa paar ki nazar hai aapki !

Bura mat maniye, main to sirf soch raha tha. Shaadi shudaa hain ?

(Seriously ?! Aapse matlab ? … I pendulate my head in an emphatic ‘No’.)

Nahi ? Arrey…shaadi ho gayi hoti, to kam-se-kam Shrimati Neha ‘Kumar’ to likh hi sakti thi…

(Affsos. Kuunwari Kumari Neha Kumar.)

Kahan se hain aap ?

Dilli se.

Dilli se? To ye aapka asli surname hai ?

Matlab ?

‘Kumar’ kisi ka asli surname to hota nahi hai.

(Chalo police thane mein report darz karwate hain.)

Kuch aur bhi to hoga… ‘Kumar’ ke aage ?

Nahi. Hamare parivaar mein kisi ne zyaada dimaag nahi lagaya. Jab mere pitaji ka janam hua, tab Rajendra Kumar bohat bade Bollywood actor the. Mere dadaji ne bhi, bina zyada soche, mere pitaji kaa naam Rajendra Kumar rakh diya. Unhi dino se ye ‘Kumar’ surname ki parampara chali aa rahi hai.

Aap to mazaak kar rahin hain, madam.

Nahi, nahi..bilkul nahi. Aap hi to jaanna chahte the ki mera surname ‘Kumar’ kaise pada.

Chalo jee… koi baat nahin. Shaadi ke baad to badal hi jaiyega. Hain jee ? Ha ha ha.

No aunty-waanty

1

 

I know I’m thirty and something,

And to say this is, is probably a dumb thing,

But I can’t seem to get my head around,

Kids calling me ‘aunty’ and making me frown,

Even when I’m wearing jeans and a tee shirt,

Carrying a backpack, lest that dreaded name they blurt.

 

I mean, how in the world, do they gauge,

To call a human female an ‘aunty’ at which particular age,

How do they discern, with their eyes beady,

That this one is an ‘aunty’ and that one a ‘didi,’

Coz even if I dress up like a twenty year old,

“Aunty, zara ball pass karna,” is what I’m always told.

 

Its this Indian thing which makes me wrinkle,

Every woman is an aunty and every man an uncle,

Even in my thirties this is hard to digest,

To be called an ‘aunty’ or an ‘aurat’ is a sob fest,

Here I am, minding my business and walking with my jhola,

When someone calls and I pounce, “Salaa, aurat kisko bola?”

 

So how would you like to be addressed, my alter ego wonders aloud,

Probably a ‘lady’ or ‘Ms Neha’ may my wounds, and age, enshroud,

A ‘lady’ and an ‘aurat’ is the same thing, you might say,

But the two sound horrifically different, however you argue may !

 

This is an anger cloudburst and a disgruntled mutter,

And to cry “Aunty mat kaho na!” I’m dying to utter,

A new Hindi Shabdkosh, I petition, to invent and design,

To address the ladies in their thirties, some words divine,

A shabd poetic, for a young woman you just met,

No longer a ‘didi,’ and an ‘aurat’ not yet,

So let nobody, in the future, have the jurrat,

When they meet and greet, to call us an aunty or an aurat.