An apparent apparition of an appalling agglomeration of apparel.

 

Capture

 

Have you often wondered how the Indian parents unfailingly and unflinchingly, never miss a chance to embellish and adorn your wardrobe in front of others ? It is a known fact that larger the audience to listen to their tribulations, taller are the claims. And the more you deny those claims, the more ridiculous those exaggerations get. So beware and tread carefully and watch out for these weapons in their armoury.

 

Clothes, clothes everywhere, not a single one to wear

This is the time when you have just dropped a hint of an inclination to buy a nice outfit, for an upcoming wedding or a party, and pat comes the whacking wail , “ Har baar kehte ho ki kuch pehnne ko nahi hai. Phir almaariyon mein kya pada hai ? Har das din mein kuch naya kapda to khareedte rehte ho. Wo sab kab kaam aayega ?”

 

Shopper’s Paradise

Try leaving your clothes carelessly in the house. Go for it, give it a shot. Before the seconds hand strikes 12, you will hear a voice booming and echoing across the walls…“ Har kamre mein isi ke kapde hain. Sari almariyaan bhar rakhi hain. Hamare kapde to do khano mein aa jaate hain. Dukaan lagake rakhi hai, dukaan…Ek board laga dete hain ghar ke bahaar – ‘ Kapde hi Kapde : Verma ji and son’.”

 

The guilt

The Bhramastra in the armamentarium. A design to make you realize your sins. “ Jitne paison mein tere saal bhar ke kapde aaye hain na, utne mein to hamaari chhoti car aa jaati.”

 

The exponential factor

No matter how many clothes or shoes you have – few or many, this number is aggrandized by a variable factor ranging from 10 to infinity, by the Indian parents in front of your relatives or family friends. For instance, “ 200 T shirts hain iss ke paas.. 200. Kali T shirts hi 30-40 hongi. Ek hi rang (blue!) ki kam-se-kam 20-25 jeans..”  While you are left mouth agape with incredulity, overwhelmed by this calculation, trying to wonder where those 200 T shirts are tucked away, your parents have already moved on to how many shades of purple they counted in your wardrobe yesterday.

 

The space constraint and the alternatives

If you have dared to buy new clothes from the mall, make sure you quietly sneak them into the house. Lest you want to hear this – “ Phir kapde khareed layi. Kahan hai jagah iss ghar mein, bataa. Kahan rakhegi inko… mere sur pe ?”

 

Comparative and Superlative

Whether in school or college or work, be it marks or awards or salary, comparing their kids to others is inherent to Indian parenthood. So your wardrobe too, is unlikely to escape the sharp, mindful eye.  “ Behenji,  itne jute hain hamare ghar mein, main kya bataun. Utne jute to Jayalalithaa ke paas bhi nahi the.”

 

Do Jodi Jute

“ Hamare zamaane mein…” is the song of every parent. And it is sung at home at least once a day. So if you have too much footwear ‘for your own good,’ you would know these lyrics by heart…“ Chhatisson prakaar ke jute. Har colour ki sandal. Inhe to jute bhi matching chaiyyein. Hamne to poore college do jodi juton mein hi kaam chalaa liya tha.”

 

The Queen’s obsession

The British left our shores many years ago but this doesn’t stop us from obsessing over their monarchy every now and then. So if your cupboard abounds with apparel, you have a fair chance of being equated to a king or a queen. “ Ek Queen of England hai. Ek hamaari Queen hai. Kapde bhi baraabar ki takkar ke hone chaiyyein.”

 

Calendrical guesstimates

This is borne out of gigantic amplifications matched by an astute knowledge of days and weeks and months. “ Itne kapde hai hamare suputra ke paas, ki har roz agar alag-alag kapde pehnega, to bhi 6 mahine mein koi repeat nahi hoga.”

 

Foreign returned

No one can escape their parents’ elaborate renditions of their foreign travels and the trips abroad. Those accounts can be applied everywhere in their lives, and used to tackle every situation by merely substituting a few words and phrases here and there.  They only have to start off by interrupting any conversation saying, “ Jab main vilaayat gaya tha…” So in the notorious case of ‘your wardrobe situation,’ the blanks will be filled thus – “Jab main vilaayat gaya tha, to ek attaichee thi mere paas. Jitne kapde-jute leke gaya tha, unhi ko teen saal chalaya. Aaj ki generation ko dekho.”

 

Murphy’s law states that no matter what the size of your wardrobe, it will always be the subject of speculation, judgment, exclamation and comment amongst your parents and bagal waali auntyjis. Addition of any item before the stipulated ‘appropriate time’ would land you in the way of stormy questioning and saucy critique. And any attempt to convince the world of your dire need to buy a shirt for your office, or replace your shredded underwear, or purchase a pair of sneakers for the gym, will be pointless and unavailing. There is, lamentably, no escape button, mes amis.

Nose diggers decrypted

Lets face it. We are all nose diggers. Some are discreet about it, some do it when they think no one is watching, while others are unabashedly open about it – akin to public urination. And when you think about it, every nose digger has a distinct style that we can put a label on. So which one are you ?!

 

Screwdriver

claw

sweeper

flicker

probe

pincher

paster

Fart Apart

1

 

I know this will sound pretty gross,

To talk about an enemy, vicious and grandiose,

Who’d attack you when you least expect,

Catch you unawares, unsuspecting and unchecked.

 

Amidst discerning company and the office gang,

It will hit you, unannounced, with a loud bang,

Whispering sweet nothings to your sweetheart,

It’d erupt from your bottom, the giant fart,

The fiend, the foe, the deadly devil,

That will blow apart your pride, to rock bottom level.

 

Make no mistake, and never underestimate its power,

Especially after a hearty meal of beans and cauliflower,

You’d think it’d be a silent one, and pass by unnoticed,

With the possibility of it sonically ascending, remotest,

And you let it escape nonchalantly, without a care,

When it startles you with a boisterous backfire mid air,

Breaking into a thunderous clap and a roar,

Shrieking and screeching, “Hahaha, you’re done for !”

 

Which begets the question, how do you apprehend this beast ?

Arrest its launch into outer space, after a savoury feast,

Crush it into a whimper, before it goes kaboom,

With the smelly blast echoing across the room.

 

What do you do when you can’t manage that sprint,

To the loo, before the world whiffs a gaseous hint ?

How do you manage to put on mute,

The treacherous tushie toot ?

 

Do you squeeze your cheeks till they go into a spasm ?

So the fart implodes in your posterior chasm,

Praying that it is not a strong wave,

That doesn’t die, and doesn’t behave,

With a foolproof plan to escape,

Out of the sphincteric gape,

Whistling as it goes,

Steady as the wind blows.

Or do you give up and lay down your arms ?

Forget your manners, and say goodbye to your charms,

Let it out and explode,

Just relieved to unload,

Not troubled of what the world may think,

That some may giggle, and others may crack up in a blink.

 

Do you wait to enter a noisy domain ?

So that a distraction you may gain,

Break wind without evoking suspicion,

And drown the bellow of the butt emission.

Or do you break into a song ?

Tap your feet, or clap for a dance along,

Talk aloud, or turn up the musical score,

Move the creaking chair against the floor,

To douse the derriere detonation,

In the background of clamorous vibration.

 

You may consider yourself lucky, to find an outbound,

Which every now and then, escapes without a sound,

But oh dear, the quieter ones have the smelliest stink,

And if you thought you got away with it, you may like to rethink,

So if you are caught with that impostor amidst strangers, in a lift or a small room,

Get ready to feign the ‘Not me’ glance, when looks question who and whom.

 

An accident happens, once in blue moon,

Horrific memories of which, you’d like to erase soon,

A time when you tried to discreetly fart,

But also shat in the endeavour, turning it into a ‘shart,’

A fart gone horribly, horribly wrong,

The sight of a splatter, and the sound and the smell along.

 

What wouldn’t you give to usurp,

The mighty anal burp !

An arm and a leg to annihilate,

The gassy bowel inmate,

Or trim it down to a vapoury trickle,

So you wouldn’t be caught in a pickle,

And the farts of the world, wouldn’t join forces and fuse,

To overpower the humans, with the stink profuse,

And no matter what food you ate, spicy or bland,

The earth would be a fart – free land.

Kissa kursi ka

chair

Let me tell you a tale,

Of a heroine of yesteryears,

That lovers reminisce about till today,

With adoration, longing and tears.

She was the MAMC library chair,

Always sought after, with lovers abound,

A medico could write for her, a verse and a song,

With a love declared openly, passionate and profound.

 

Beautiful, modest and strong,

And no matter how battered and worn,

The burden of our burgeoning weights,

She had always lovingly borne.

Barely strung together,

And sometimes missing a leg,

We held on to it with all our might,

Sprawled upon it like a scrambled egg.

A little shift here, and a little one there,

To catch up with the center of gravity,

We’d miraculously balance on to the chair,

Vowing never to let go of that concavity.

For she was the means, by which one could manage,

To grab a few prized inches, on the library desk,

And make the non – chair holders, go green with envy,

While they eyed, those with chairs, with looks hungry and grotesque.

 

Hour rolled by sitting on it,

Gazing at the empty space,

Pretending to read while day dreaming,

Or catching a nap, down on face.

Tee-hees on someone’s hair,

Tsk- tsks on the fashion blunders,

Exchanging meaningful looks,

Looking smug and giggling under.

Casting sidelong glances at the crushees,

And at the same time gagging,

At the love struck couple at the table,

For the public display of affection unflagging.

Catching once in a while, the avid reader,

Walk in with a truckload of hitherto unknown books,

As the room broke into psst – pssts and smirks,

With eyebrows reaching the ceiling and horrified looks.

 

We held on to the chair till we could hold no more,

And let it go, now and again, we had to, and we did,

To attend a call from ward, nature or a growling stomach,

Or to go to the reference section, to check out the movies grid.

And when we returned, we found to our horror,

That the chair had been stolen, nay kidnapped,

Taken away stealthily, the nanosecond we were out of sight,

While our friend – turned – security guard napped.

No ransom notes, no ransom calls,

And no remorse shown,

Just an unknown, heartless wretch who snuck behind your back,

To snatch your beloved, now claiming her to be his own.

 

Such had been the public ardour for the chair,

That even if we reserved her with a bag, like on an interstate bus,

Public declaration of the engagement, notwithstanding,

The cruel library dwellers would have separated us.

Nobody could ever come close,

To what that chair meant,

Oh, how she wooed us,

Moments cherished, and well spent.

Not a day passes by when we don’t look back,

No better a chair for ‘study’ designed,

We may have moved beyond med school,

But never such a superstar, did we find.

Red red, Susu ahead.

1

In a land, rich, vibrant and diverse,

Have you noticed an ammoniacal aroma perverse ?

And tried to trace it with your nose,

Whiffing and squinting, to see how far it goes,

Only to find a splattered parapet wall,

Or a soiled tree trunk enveloped in that misty aerosol.

 

The fragrant remains of the river that once ran,

Emanating from the insides of the proud Indian man,

For he, you see, couldn’t be gladder,

To let go of the reins, and relieve his bladder,

The mantra being, to hydrate, librate and liberate,

And never shy away, from an opportunity to publically urinate.

 

Is it the love for living au naturel, and pooh-poohing the lavatory ?

Taking a leak and thence marking his territory,

Or is it likely a Mard thing ?

And a display of manhood to the traffic, makes his heart sing.

Is the Indian man on a philanthropic mission ?

Cleaning the city, without inhibition,

Helping out, in the time of water scarcity,

With a jugaad to water the plants, witty,

And shoo away the notoriety under the flyover,

With the superpower of his pee pee spillover.

 

Perhaps it is a medical condition,

And a weak bladder is my suspicion,

So the sphincteric attrition,

Forces the open micturition,

Or it is an olfactory bulb dysfunction ?

And the mard can’t tinkle and smell in conjunction,

So he’s oblivious to its odour, is the claim,

And you can’t put him to blame and shame.

 

Should we put up a pee resistant wall ?

That would, the incoming jet, stall,

Deflect it into a urinary waterfall,

And douse its human into a squall.

Or in the potential susu targets, instill,

A freezing agent, to cool the stream into a chill,

Ice it all the way up, along its course,

And glaciate and benumb the source.

 

Maybe we should create a distraction,

Click snapshots of these men in action,

Paste them on the very walls they wet,

And exhibit their manhood, lest they forget.

Or aggarbatis with a urinary bouquet, make,

Stuff them under their noses, for them a whiff to take,

A remembrance of what they splash the city with,

And shock and awe the Bhartiya mard monolith.

 

All hail the peeing Indian man,

It takes spunk to do what he can,

No sidelong glance or a jeering jibe,

Could lessen the zeal of his tribe,

Neither an angry lady’s frown,

Nor an outcry for modesty, would put him down,

For the whole world is his toilet,

And no behest or a public convenience can spoil it.

 

 

* susu : Hindi slang for urine;  * mard : man;   * agarbattis : incense sticks

A gargantuan itch

fat_vitruvian_man

 

What if you could take my belly fat,

And convert it into energy stat,

Then instead of calling me obese,

A butterball, or a lump of grease,

You’d exclaim, and look at me in wonder,

For I would steal away your thunder,

Coz I’d be wow-so-hot,

Fire up an engine and what not,

I could just blow you away,

Light a hundred bulbs on a grey day,

I’d impress and I’d bedazzle,

Pull a truck, lift a mountain, never worn to a frazzle.

 

Would you imagine and suppose,

That one could change forms, of all those layers of adipose,

Maybe turn into a conformation gaseous,

All the fatty harvest bounteous,

So slimming down would be as easy,

As pricking a balloon, natural and breezy,

And bursting someone’s ‘bubble’,

Would not be asking for trouble.

If you could, on the other hand,

Melt it to liquid, on command,

Siphon it out of the body with a faucet,

Turn it into liquid gold, and then a ring or a locket,

I’d be a very rich man, I think,

Eat all that I want, and guzzle all I can drink,

Coz underneath my vast amount of skin,

Would be hidden gold treasures tucked in.

 

A day might soon come and grin,

When someone can take away my double chin,

Scoop it out like an ice cream,

Or tear it off at the ridged seam,

And as for my burgeoning cheeks,

They could be shaved off like hair overgrown for weeks,

Squeezed out like a lemon,

Or peeled off like an orange or a melon,

The paunch of my tummy,

Could become a game for kids, funny,

If they could sandcastles out of my fat, mould,

And then swipe them away in a blow cold.

 

Sometimes my imagination runs amok,

And starts talking poppycock,

As I wonder out loud,

What if the vampires were endowed,

To suck on fat, and not blood,

Nip the adiposity in the bud,

We’d be inviting them over to midnight feasts,

And calling them wonderful fat sucking beats.

 

What if the flab was like the flu,

And you could sneeze it out with an achoo,

Or bid it adieu,

In piss or in poo,

Imagine it was an infectious disease,

That could pass on with a cough or a wheeze,

And that there was a magic drug,

That could wipe out the fat bug,

Like a missile in hot pursuit,

Locked on its target and ready to shoot,

If it was an organ that you could donate,

And transplant it, in people skinny and delicate,

The fat people would provide for the emaciated and the needy,

And absolve themselves, of the guilt of being too greedy.

 

If our fat was like money,

And could be transferred, every dime and penny,

Wouldn’t it be great,

If you could give away all that you ate,

To the poor and the homeless,

And relinquish the excess ?

Could the monstrous Mr Fat be a ghost,

Haunting a clueless and unsuspecting host ?

Refusing to leave or budge,

Holding on to an old grudge,

So we could hire a ghostbuster, in that case,

And drive him away, to a more accommodating space.

 

These are the fantasies of a garrulous, overweight man, talking,

A rambling reverie, teasing and mocking,

In the hopes that a day might come,

When I could pluck away the fat on my bum,

Drop the obese suit like dirty clothes,

And the concealed muscles expose,

You may think that I’m quite drunk,

High on the grease and the junk,

A gorging glutton who refuses to exercise,

Non compos mentis, staring dreamily at the skies,

But what if my musings come true,

And all the roly poly potbellies, could shrink away out of the blue,

Wouldn’t that be humongous and grand,

The coup de grace in the fat man’s land !

A boxer plead

download

 

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.

Executerus

Uterus1

 

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 ! )

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.