Depression to hoga hi …


Kya ho gaya ? Bohat chup hai aaj …

Kuch nahi, bas mood off hai..

Grandmother :  “ Ghar ka khaana pasand nahi aata. Har doosre din burger, coke aur pizza. Daal, roti, sabzi to dushman hain. Depression to hoga hi.”

Grandfather : “ I tell you, this nayi peedi… No exercise, no morning walks… Hame dekho, kheti karte the, roz dand baithak karte the, koi majaal hai kabhi depression hua ho ! Mat suno bade-buzurgon ki. Depression to hoga hi.”

Mom :  “ Raat ko ek baje sote hain. Din mein barah baje utth te hain. Phir kehte hain ki mood off hai. Depression to hoga hi.”

Dad : “ Depression ?? Kis baat ka depression ? Kis cheez ki kami hai tumhe ? Ghar hai, khaana hai, acchha job hai. Aur kya chaiye ? Depression to un logon ko hota hai jo ghar mein pade rehte hain. Tum to apne kaam mein busy rehte ho, depressed hone ka time hai tumhe ? Batao… yahan duniya ki ladkiyan space missions par ho aaiieen, aur meri beti ko depression ho raha hai. Koi baat hui ?” (Sorry Papa, galti ho gayi.)

Sister : “ Aur sun purane bollywood ke gaane. Depression to hoga hi.”

Housekeeper : “ Kabhi ghar ke kaam mein haath batayaa hai ? Depression to hoga hi.”

Aunt : “ Yeh sab English picturon ke karan hai. Koi gaana nahi, koi dance nahi, log marte rehte hain. No happy endings. Depression to hoga hi.”

Uncle : “ Pucca B complex ki kami hai. Depression to hoga hi.”

Cousin : “ Ek mahine se shopping karne nahi chali. Depression to hoga hi.”

BFF : “ Maine bola tha na, uss party mein chal mere saath. Par nahi, dost to bewakoof hai. Ab bhoogat. Depression to hoga hi.”

Nephew : “ Pokemon Go nahi khelte naa… Depression to hoga hi.”

Neighbourhood waali Aunty : “ Hormones. Depression to hoga hi. ”

Boss : “ Sabse pehle office ka kaam, chahe ho neend haram. Warna, meri jaan… Depression to hoga hi.”

Quack : “ Poore body ka PET scan karna padega. Samasya ki jadd nahi milegi, to Depression to hoga hi.”

Cricket crazed fan : That bloody cheating umpire ! Galat LBW ka decision diya. Depression to hoga hi.”

Apple dealer : “ I phone 7 kyun nahi liya ? Depression to hoga hi.”

Bollywood : “ Pedon ke chaaron or dance nahi kiya ? Depression to hoga hi.”

Arnab Goswami : “ Depression ?? Why ? How ? Where were you hiding this ? The nation wants to know. We don’t buy this crap – ‘Depression to hoga hi’!”

Communist : “ Aur is economy mein kya hoga ? ‘Depression’ to hoga hi.”

Kejriwal supporter : “ Ye saara kasoor Modi sarkaar ka hai. Depression to hoga hi.”

Indian government : “ We blame Pakistan. Depression to hoga hi.”

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.

Kya item hai !



Bollywood item songs are assumed to be notorious for sleaze, double meaning lyrics, and for the great budget divide between the set decors and the item girl’s outfit. Little do we know, that these songs have been inspired from age old sayings and famous quotes, and convey much deeper meanings than we give them credit for. Say, these ones for example…

“Fire brigade mangwa de tu, angaaron par hai armaan Ho balma.” (Fire in the heart sends smoke into the head.)

“Dilwalon ke dil ka karar lootne, Main aayi hun U.P., Bihar lootne.” (Not all those who wander are lost.)

“Zara Zara Touch Me Touch Me Touch Me, Zara Zara Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me, Zara Zara Hold Me Hold Me Hold Me.” (Kissing is like drinking salted water. You drink, and your thirst increases.)

“Yeh duniya, yeh duniya pittal di, Babydoll main sone di.” (Where gold speaks, every tongue is silent.)

“Bachkey tu rehna re Bachkey tu rehna, Nahin duja moka milega sambhalna.” (One must not play on the nose of a sleeping bear.)

“Arey chhod-chhad ke apne Salim ki gali, Anarkali disco chali.” (A rolling stone gathers no moss.)

“My name is Sheila, Sheila ki Jawani, I am too sexy for you, Main tere haath na aani.” (Alas ! The slippery nature of tender youth.)

“Munni badnaam hui, darling tere liye, Le zandu balm hui, darling tere liye.” (To give and not expect return, that is what lies at the heart of love.)

“Babuji zara dheere chalo, Bijli khadi yahan bijli khadi.” (Look before you ‘leap.’)

“Meri photo ko seene se yaar, chipka le saiyan Fevicol se.” (If your pictures aren’t good enough, you aren’t close enough. )

“Chikni chameli, chhup ke akeli, pawwa chadha ke aayi.” (In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is freedom, in water there is bacteria.)

“Jaam jab yeh chalakne lagta hai, jo bhi dekhe bhekne lagta hai. Honth rasile tere, Honth rasile.” (There’s many a slip between the cup and the lip.)

“TV pe breaking news haaye re mera ghagra, Baghdad se leke Delhi via Agra.” (You must be the change you wish to see in the world.)

Singing songs



Have you noticed this thing peculiar,

And probably to our land singular,

That just when a lady passes by walking,

The men burst into a song, watching.

A song laden with fervour and emotion,

Some lyrics golden and a sentiment explosion,

Drawn from the depths of the heart,

With a melody so moving, that tears would part.


Sometimes it is an anthem uplifting like “Jalebi Bai,”

Words so sacrosanct, that tongues would tie,

Or a gem like “Chikni Chameli,” if you would be so lucky,

Resonating loudly from a man, proud and plucky,

And just when you thought, these verses could not get more profound,

Now and then, comes a song so magical, and unceasingly jazbaat drowned.

“Blue eyes, hypnotize teri, kardi ai mennu,” somewhere, a man chimes,

“I swear! Chhoti dress mein, bomb lagdi mennu,” in the mother of rhymes.


In the midst of this brazen, sing-a-song marathon,

If the lady turns back, with a glaring look drawn,

The crooner nonchalantly drifts his gaze towards the sky,

But keeps the orchestra going, albeit lowering those notes high.

On occasion, there is a walker, brave and fiery,

Who finds it compelling, to forego her poise entirely,

And confront the songster with a “Kyun bey !”

“Bada gayak hai tu, bohat gaana aate hain tujhe !”

Pat comes the retort, “Hum to apne liye ga rahe the, Madam.”

“Aapko kya pareshaani hai, koi gunaah kar rahein hain, kya hum ?”


No smouldering look, nor a jeering sarcasm,

Can curb these Mian Tansens’ burgeoning enthusiasm.

How these accomplished talents, do not find place in Indian Idol,

Is a Poirot Mystery, and a crime on the Music Industry, homicidal.

I suggest, that we all be good citizens and break some norms,

And fund a trip for these pratibhashaali men, to such platforms,

Where they could showcase their unique symphonic prowess,  

A gift to a break into a song impromptu, and a rustic flair, without bias.

Or extend them a welcome warm, with bouquets floral,

To grace the pedestal, with some bhajans choral.

For it is imperative, to rescue this genius from attrition,

Nurture it with eager audition and nationwide recognition,

Scout these roadside musicians, on a noble expedition,

And extricate them from every gully and nukkad, in a melodic mission.

Rhythmic multichromes


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.

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


Naam boliye.


Neha aage ?

Neha Kumar.

Neha ‘Kumar’ ??… ‘Kumar’ ??


Ladeez thodi naa ‘Kumar’ lagati hain…

(Stumped silence)

‘Kumari’ hoga. Neha Kumari.

Jee nahi.


(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



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.

You are FAT, missy ! – How the Indian salesperson ‘subtly’ rubs it in.


“Bhaiyya ye top dikhana.” “Ai Chotu, zara XL mein red top lana.” (I didn’t tell you my size. Please stop guestimating.)

“Madam, size barabar se dekho, haan. Badme change nahi hoga.” (WTF)

“Hamare pas dress material aur darji bhi hai.” (Maine poocha kya ?)

“Bhaiyya ye top dikhana.” “Is piece mein large tak hi aata hai.” (Again, will you stop sizing me up ? Its offensive.)

“Ye color heavy logon par mast dikhta hai.” (Abhi mera heavy haath tujhpe uthega.)

“Anarkali lo madam… ek dum slimming effect aata hai.” (You should be my stylist !)

“Medium size ?! Kisi ko gift karne ka hai ?” (Tumse matlab ?)

“Jeans? Aapke size mein ? Dekhna padega…” (Really ?! Coz, believe it or not, the pair of jeans I’m wearing, were actually made on earth.)

“Aiiye madam… bohat suits hain. Aapke size mein bhi milega.” (About turn.)

“Itna margin hai is kurte mein. Aapko kya, kisi ko bhi aayega.” (Haan, teri biwi ko bhi.)

A classic conversation in the life of an Indian female doctor



(I am not responding.)

“Ai … Hello sister!”

(Seriously, this is how you address people ?!)

The guy now confronts me face to face.

“Sister, main aapse baat kar rahan hun.”

“Main sister nahi hun.”

“To kya ho ?”

(Kya ho ? I am not a ‘thing’, for starters…)

“Aap hi soch kar batao bhaiyya.”

“Mujhe nahi pata.”

“To mujhe roka kyun ?”

“Arey, aap to bura maan gayi, didi.”

“Didi ?”

“Ab sister nahi to didi hi bulaenge na.”

“Bhaiyya, main aap se pehle baar mili hun. Zahir si baat hai, main aapki didi nahi hun.”

“Uff, to kya bulayen ?”

“Socho. Thoda dimaag par aur zor lagao.”


“ Behenji ?….Behenji ?!! Main tumhe behenji dikhti hun ?”

“Accha …Sir. Ab Sir to theek hai na?”

“Pata nahi. Mujhe to lagta tha ki ‘Sir’ sirf aadmiyon ke liye use karte hain.”

“Oho, acchha chalo Madam… khush ?”

(Well done !…you are getting there. At least ‘madam’ tak to pohache.)

“Haan, batao.”

“Hamare mareez ki pishab ki thaili bhar gayi hai. Usko khali karna hai.”

(Deep breaths. Deep breaths. Count to ten. Ommmm…..)

“Bhaiyya, us counter par sister baitheen hain, unko bata do. Wo orderly ko bol dengi.”

“Accha, ek baat aur. Hamey woh doctor saab keh rahe the…”

“Kaunse doctor saab?”

“Arey woh doctor saab…” and he points to a male resident in the ward.

“Acchha ! Woh doctor hain, to main kya hun ?”

“Main kya janu ?”

“Kyun, ladkiyan doctor nahi ban sakti ?”

“ Ji TV par dekha to hai. Banti hi hongi.”

“Maine bhi safed coat pehna hai. Mere gale main bhi aala hai.. aapke doctor saab ki tarah.”


(Okay, I give up.)

“Main bhi doctor hun.”

“Accha, aap bhi doctor hain ? Batao.”

“Haan bhaiyya batana hi pada.”

“Arey koi baat nahi daactarni, bura mat mano… Philhaal, hamare mareez ka saline bhi khatam ho gaya hai, aake badal do.”