A boxer plead



This is an appeal to the Indian men,

Who every now and then,

Dare to venture out gallantly,

In a pair of boxers, oh so casually,

Strolling on a morning walk,

In a local market, or out for a casual talk.


You see, boxers are an under thing,

And though the looks may be deceiving,

They cannot, your shorts, replace,

Nor the need to wear your pants, efface,

For this is not a two-in-one deal,

And though we appreciate your undies saving zeal,

Wear your bottoms, you must,

And the laws of aerodynamics, trust,

Coz the territory down south, may get a little too airy,

And turn into a peek-a-boo show, scary.


In the end,

Your boxers may prevent,

A fungal infection or two,

But the ‘flash dance’ will spew,

Chuckles and snorts and some infamous fame,

With the king’s berth in the hall of shame.


Though your inhibitions, you want to inhibit,

Be wary of a ‘chaddi’ wear-and-show exhibit,

There is only one guy who can pull off such a plan,

If you couldn’t guess, his name is Superman,

And even he, would wear them over his costume,

With a matching cape, in red bloom.

But Superman, my dear, you are not,

So even if it is blazing hot,

Do not try the dangerous boxer stunt,

To catch off guard, the world out front,

It may be wise to be a little discreet,

And wear your trousers whilst on the street,

For though I hate to burst your bubble,

Such prudence, will save you a world of trouble.

Metro Womaniya



Beware the female, on the Delhi metro scourging,

In the ladies compartment, surging,

In pursuit of a glimpse of an empty space,

Attacking at a frantic pace,

In an already packed coach,

She’d aim for that wedge to encroach,

Between two women, sitting together side to side,

And head straight towards the mark, glue eyed,

Like a missile launching towards its target,

On a blazing mission, not for the faint hearted.


She’d trap you with an ishaara, a wave of hand,

Urging you to move away, in the direction fanned,

No please or thank you, just a gaze, chilly and still,

Hinting, that move you have to, and move you will.

And if you pretend, to suddenly acquire a squint, and look the other way,

Or act dumb, and not understand what she would say,

Pat comes the nudge, and the shove, and the retort,

“ Arey, adjust kar lo na !” she bellows like a fiery sport.


If you’d be so lucky, and be a little fat,

Well my dear, you have an upper hand in the combat,

For the predator would tend to look the other way,

And direct her effort towards the slimmer, frailer prey,

Jabbing and bulldozing the hapless commuter,

Ambushing her victim, the victorious sharpshooter.


What I can’t seem to discern,

Is that for all the trouble, and the heartburn,

All that is achieved, is to park half an arse,

Uncomfortably lodged in that space sparse,

Which is not pleasant, given the length and breadth of it all,

Vexing the co-passengers, and which is more, boosting self’s cholesterol.

And oddly enough, to manage to get a ‘seat,’

In this modus operandi, is often considered a ‘triumphant feat,’

No wonder then, that I am awed by this ‘lady like’ resilience,

And the metro trips give me a ‘Chak De’ experience.

Wondering frantically in my head,

Glancing at that superwoman with dread,

“Iska pair left ki taraf muda hai, yeh left mudegi,”

“Par iska face to right ki taraf hai, yeh right chalegi,”

“Lekin iske haath meri aur bade hain, ai khudaa,”

“Yeh to seedha shot legi, hai rabbaa mainu bachaa !”


So fear the womaniya in the metro,

She may seem feeble, with mellowness aglow,

But give her, in the train, an inch of free territory,

And you’ll see her unmasked, preparatory and predatory,

As she scorns at you with disdain,

Looking contemptuously, at the game slain,

Her thoughts screaming, “ Look sharp. Make haste.”

“ Let not, a nanometer of bench space go waste !”

Sarcastically yours


Sarcasm runs in my family. It is a disease, partly inherited and passed down the generations, probably in an autosomal dominant pattern, and partly acquired after living for long, with people who have this constitution. It is an art, a science, a peculiarity, dormant in most of the general population, but provided in unlimited supply in my family and often spoken as second language. Bade buzurg first, so let’s start with my grandmother. Raising seven kids on a farm and managing house work was a monumental task. So if a domestic help was cutting work and the house was unclean with stuff strewn about, she’d exclaim, “ Bhai waah ! Kya kehne ! Ghar kitna chamak raha hai.” No “What were you doing all this time?”, no “Why is the house so dirty?” and no “What are we paying you for?”. Just a saucy wisecrack that made the other person feel sheepish and generally did the trick. In the midst of these daily nitty gritties, occasionally came in some light moments. So if she walked into someone wearing a flashy dress, instead of feigning a compliment, she’d say, “ Oho ! Poore kamre mein ujaala ho gaya.” (Chuckle!)

Down the family tree, came my mother. Padai-likhai was an important thing in our home, so if my sister and I were caught doing matargasti during our “do your homework, for god’s sake” hours, there was plenty we had to listen to… “ Haan beta, dekh dekh. Aur TV dekh. Kal yehi movie aayegi test mein.” Or “ TV bohat zaroori hai. Exam ki padai to ho hi chuki hai.”  If we were uncovered snoozing while pretending to study our books ‘thoughtfully’, pat came the smart-alecky remark – “ Nahi, nahi.. aur sole ! Kal raat ko kahan neend puri hui thi! Thak gayi hogi.” And a ‘late’ night outing with friends usually ended up with Mom calling at 10pm, “ Wahin raho raat bhar. Ghar kyun aana hai ? Abhi to bohat jaldi hai.”

With such tough acts to follow, my dad was eager not to fall behind. Hinting at him to drop my sister and I to a mall in his car, I would ask him, “ Papa mall jaana hai… kaise jaien?” leading to his response, “ Kaise jaien ? … Hawai jahaaz mein chalenge, beta.” Top that. My housekeeper, who is family, and has lived with us for many years, acquired the sarcastic traits from us over time. Seeing me dressed up in a kurti and ‘short’ shorts to go out with friends, one day, she remarked, “ Bahar jaa rahi hai ? Acchha… To kapade to pehen le…” Didi !… Aap bhi ?!

Coming to the extended family, stories of my uncle are legendary. In one such instance, once my uncle was driving his car and was lost for directions, stopping every five minutes to ask a passerby to guide him to his destination. After half an hour of frustrated drive, he stopped again and asked his son, my cousin, who was in the passenger seat, to go to a shop and ask them for the whereabouts. My cousin absurdly asked him, “ Kya poochun unse ?” This broke the dam and my uncle retorted, “Unse pooch ki mujhe marna hai. Kahan jaake marun ?”…  Sarcasm, at its pinnacle of glory…  Which brings me to my aunt, who too, has inherited this hereditary quality. Cleaning up his room at his mom’s ultimatum on a lazy Sunday, my cousin innocently asked her, where to keep a certain item. And my aunt’s kickass rebuttal was, “Mere sar par rakh de.” At another time, had he asked, “ Kya karun ?” when told to do his chores, the knee-jerk reaction would have been “ Naach mere sar pe !” Touchdown.

So engrained has been sarcasm, in my family’s cytoplasm, that not a day went by without a comment witty, strung together with satire in a little ditty. And I am sure they have passed down this trait, to our generation straight, so we have been bestowed with the genotype, and have acquired the phenotype, of this particularity, with conviviality. And if you are lawyerly and need a proof written, surely you can hear it in this piece if you listen. They say sarcasm is a skill of the wise, to thwart stupidity some theorise. And some are its masters in disguise, and should probably win a Nobel Prize. So long live sarcasm and some quick wit, and cheers to those who giggle and get it.




Batao bibi, kya takleef hai ?

Mere bacche daani mein bohat dard hai.

(Come again ?!)

Bacche daani mein ? Tumhe kaise pata tumhe wahan dard hai ?

(Aankhein hain ya X-Ray vision?)

The woman points to her lower tummy and proclaims confidently…Yahan dard rehta hai… bacche daani hi hai naa yeh ?

(Umm… no !  Your bacche daani is in your pelvis for starters.)

Bibi, yahan bacche daani nahi hoti..

Phir kya hota hai ?

Aantein hoti hain.

Aantein ? Nahi mujhe motion mein koi problem nahi hai.

Theek hai.. tumhare dard ke liye davaiyan likh rahin hun.

Nahin nahin. Davai-wavai nahi chaiyye. Mujhe bacche daani nikalwani hai..

Kyun ?

Kyunki mujhe bacche daani mein dard hai..

(Here we go again.)

Bibi, uske liye bacche daani nahi nikalte hain. Tumhe antibiotics de deti hun.

Phir davai ! Arey doctor, main bohat pareshaan hun. Leucorrhoea ki bhi itni problem hai.

(Of course. The most pracaharit ‘stri rog’.)

Accha ? Leucorrhoea ka matlab kya hota hai ?

Matlab ? Safed paani, aur kya ?

Bibi. Ye koi kaaran nahi hai operation karwaane ka.

Tum ajeeb doctor ho.. Arey main keh rahi hun naa, kar do.

Tumhari utsukta sarahneeya hai. Par tumhari razamandi ke saath doctor ki razamandi bhi zaroori hai.

Accha suno, mere chaar bacche hain. Aur bacche nahi karne hain. Aage main koi tension nahi chahti, isliye bacche daani niklwaana chahti hun.

To bacche band karne ka operation karwaa lo. Isme bachhe daani kyun nikalwani hai ?

Offo. Aur kya kaaran dun ?… Arey haan, mujhe date bhi time par nahi aati hain. Kabhi aage, Kabhi peeche.

Phir to kuch tests karwaane padenge.

Tests se kya hoga ? Bacche daani hi nikal do na.. pareshaani khatam.

(Bacche daani, ya cheez puraani ? Jo ab ban gayi ‘pareshaani’, aur kisi tarah hai nikalwaani.)

Log kehte hain umar ke saath bacche daani septic ho jaati hai..  Aur cancer bhi ho jaata hai.

Kaun log hain yeh ?

Mere pati, bade buzurg, mohalle waale.. sab hi kehte hain.

Mujhe nahi pata tha aapke chahne waale saare doctors hain.

Doctors ? Hain ? Kya matlab?

Kuch nahi.

Cancer ho gaya to mere bacchon ka kya hoga ?

(Master stroke. The ‘emotional’ cause.)

Tumhe kaise pata tumhe hi hoga ? Aur aise to shareer ke kisi bhi bhaag mein cancer ho sakta hai. Phir to operation karke, sabhi angon ko nikaal dena chaiye.

Hmm… main bhi soch rahi thi, ki bacche daani ke saath, appendix aur pith ki thaili bhi nikalwa lun.

(Stupefied silence)

Bibi mujhe maaf karo. Davai logi to likh deti hun.

Kamaal ki doctor ho! Bahar itna bada ‘lady doctor’ ka board laga kar baithi ho, aur bacche daani nahi nikal sakti. Chalo jee, hum kahin aur chalte hain. Time barbaad kar diya.


( Bacche Daani,

Aur safed paani,

Na ho jaye aage koi haani,

Isliye har mahila ko hai zabaani,

Yeh anokhi kahaani,

Ek uterine gaatha Hindustaani,

Jo sunai har ‘bibi’ aur har ‘rani’,

‘Lady doctor’ ko bhi yaad dilade naani.

Yeh hai garbh ki thaili, mere jaani ! )