World Tourism Day

I am posting a blog after an indecently long time:( The reasons are many but primarily because the ‘kar2ning’ bug bit me , and bit me where it hurts most, and I was admitted to the hospital for “kar2nia”, an incurable decease that needs constant feeding with ‘kar2ns’ in order to keep the patient breathing…
But in between when I surface for a normal breath I can manage to slip in a blog edge-wise and that is exactly what I had done now!
And the provocation ? 27th September was what UN had decided to call World Tourism Day!
So, on with that !

World Tourism Day

The 27th of September, is supposed to be ‘World Tourism Day’…United Nations World Tourism Organisation ( UNWTO ) has been celebrating this day as such since 1980 , I am told…!
The idea apparently is to spread awareness about the role which ‘tourism’ plays within the International community, worldwide!

And tourism is our staple food…here in Kerala!
Except when it backfires…:)
And thereby hangs my tale!

rotten holiday

Kerala is situated on the southwestern coast of India, a country in South Asia. This tropical paradise enjoys a unique topography with Arabian sea, a part of the Indian Ocean on the west and the Western Ghats on the east.
Me, I live here because I am a native, born and brought up here. After nearly 40 years living outside the state I returned in 2000 AD and am here for better or worse..:)

One of the few things this state is blessed with is the scenic beauty which prompted National Geographic blokes to call it ‘Gods Own Country’. We also boast of a long shoreline with serene beaches, hill stations and exotic wildlife, not to mention opportunities for enjoying Ayurvedic health holidays and many more… We further claim in the same breath of having a most advanced society with hundred percent literacy ( though that you have to take with a pinch of salt because it is the official boast:)
Having got all of that off my chest I feel sheepish to append another aspect of life here that sometimes make me hang my head in shame…

During one of the New Year celebrations in Kochi in the recent past the merry making was marred by sexual harrasment of women foreign tourists. Shell shocked and crying the visitors made a hurried departure even before the clock struck 12. Some youth allegedly misbehaved , maybe under the influence of alcohol or drugs or both, with the teenaged daughter of a tourist who had come all the way from Sweden to celebrate the New Year here , it seems!
I doubt whether they will ever make a second visit!

Other similar disgusting tales have been recounted , happening after dark in other parts such as beaches, roadsides et al.. including the worst variety!

Given all that I wonder how we, the guys in kerala , can ever ‘celebrate’ this day!
So much for Tourism…!

Things like this may be happening in advanced societies of the West but when something like that happens at my door step I look embarrassed and furious…
In turn…!


Until I opened the news paper on the morning of the 15th of February I was not aware that another of those ‘DAYS” had come and gone the day before , smacking me right on the occiput…
The so-called Valentine’s Day!
There was a time when this event was not well-known around these parts where I live. During those times I even used to think that ‘Valentine’ was some sort of fearsome animal like ‘Wolverine” or a blood-sucking vampire!

However today’s ‘youth’ , straining at their leash to get themselves into a bind , have started “celebrating” the event in such a way that my grand mother , had she been alive today, would have fainted , watching it! And recently the “celebrations” have reached such a pass that my grand mother ( the same one as before, mind you! ), had she been alive today, would have sat up from her faint and committed suicide!

In the early days,  love was considered to be a very private affair . If ‘A’ loved ‘B’ , or for that matter vice versa, it was their own private business not to be ‘tom-tomed’ about from the roof top! No one poked his nose into it unless he/she was a parent of the ‘erring couple’ . Also such love was conveyed by them through coy glances and through rolled-up pieces of paper . These were exchanged by the duo when they met in lonely places clandestinely , when no one was looking!
Now, even if one doesn’t want to poke his nose into these affairs , he gets drawn in willy-nilly and it is thrust up his nose by the hype-mongering marketing guys and entertainment establishments . These folks smell a ready-made means in it to make a fast buck and fill their coffers! And love be damned!

During the last Valentine’s Day, some Malls hereabouts hosted these events with much gusto and noisy celebrations ! So much so,  Mister  Cupid who happened to be strolling past these Malls with hands in the pant pockets , deep in thought and minding his own business ,   got himself sucked into it to join the fun and add to the ‘celebrations’!

Students thronged the Mall Halls where the boisterous merry-making was in full swing , at a time when they should all have been home and poring over their text books under shaded lamps! On the contrary, they danced and hollered as though some banshee’s spirit had got into them ! They milled around like ants on a dead cockroach !

While all these celebrations were going on, another set of “moral policing” enthusiasts who wanted to save the country from untold cultural degradation mounted ‘counter attacks’ using various missiles such as rotten tomatoes etc. on some of the revelers who then paused and started thinking whether after all, was it all worth it?

Celebrating such “Days” at the drop of a hat is now the in-thing. And there are plenty of those ‘Days” to pick from. I made a recent search with the Google and was flabbergasted at what Mr. Google came up with!

For instance, did you know that there is something called the “International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation” ? It falls on Feb 6th!
It is reported that more than 125 million girls and women alive today have been at the receiving end of this horrible practice which is observed in some 29 countries spanning Africa and Middle East !
And that “Day” comes just 8 days before the ‘Valentine’s Day’ ! But no “Mall” ever thought of ‘celebrating’ it or even remembering it !
Probably because there is no money in it 🙂

Then there is the ‘Hug Day” on February 13th, though I don’t know what exactly one is supposed to do on that day except perhaps the most obvious thing:) !
Maybe a warm up towards the following ‘Valentine Day’?

Another “Day” that sent me into uncontrollable chuckles is the ‘Thinking Day” , falling on the 22nd of February!
Maybe we are supposed to ‘think’ only on that day and ‘act like mad ’ on all other 364 days!

I also came across a ‘World Sparrow Day” ( March 20th )! The sparrows would have been as perplexed about it as me, I am sure!
The “World Water Day” was another ‘head-knocker’ and it falls on March 22nd !
And wait , there is more…
There is a mind boggling candidate called the “Purple Day” which is scheduled for March 26th! In case you don’t know , if you add a dash of potassium permanganate to water on 22nd, ( the size of the ‘dash’ depending on the quantity of water you start with:-) ), it will turn purple by 26th or for that matter, even earlier! So there may be a ‘sibiling-like ’ connection between these two ‘Days”!

Every one knows the significance of April 1st… but do you know that April 15th is pegged as the “Day of Silence” ?
Wow! Which crank could have conceived this idea? Would he like to sell that to the warring folks in Syria ? You simply can’t walk into the gun fire , raise a hand and shout: ‘Hey, Stop all that noise for the day!” There will be some technical hitches in doing that… such as getting shot and killed 😉
Also our poor women folk would be hard put to observe that day:) It can become a big strain on their vocal chords !

Pregnant ladies please note! May 5th is the “Midwives Day” ( read: midwives’ non-working
day !)
If you happen to choose that day to deliver your load you will have to pull out the junior on your own! And you alone will be responsible for the consequences !
For example, a boy may emerge as a eunuch because you pulled it out by the wrong part of it’s body !
Moving on, 25th of May is set aside as the “Towel Day” ! To celebrate it in my own modest manner I think (not on Think Day ) that I should go out and get me a Turkish towel!

What really takes the cake is the ‘World Mosquitoes Day” which falls on August 20th!
As if bugging us right through most of the days (and nights) is not enough, now they have assigned this special Day to these ‘blood-thirsty terrorists’ to play hell with our sleep!
However there is a silver lining!
If we were to go by the habits of the practitioners the “May Day” who down all their tools on the 1st of May , we can hope that perhaps no mosquito in its right frame of mind will ever pick up its syringe and go to work on that day!

Not to be out done in this business , there are a few other ‘memorable’ days . For example there is the “International Talk Like a Pirate Day” on Sept. 19th ! ( Must have got the idea from Johnny Depp of the movie “Pirates of the Caribbean” )
There is also a “Global Hand washing Day” on Oct.15th! Imagine the gallons of water which will be wasted on that day by some 7.146 billions earthlings with unwashed hands! )

And don’t forget the “World Toilet Day” on November 19th! I think I don’t have to be explicit on what you all should be doing on that day!

world toilet day

All told, we have very few days left out of the 365 days of the year to be by ourselves and live our own “ Personal and Private Days”!

No, folks, I am not “Day” dreaming, !




Walkers Inc.

I am an avid morning walker… 

I try not to miss any of my morning constitutionals !

Most of the days I am out by 6 am.

I simply love to walk, period!

Now that you have got the general picture I may also add that some of my friends even call me Johnny Walker..Some less charitable others say that I walked out of my mother’s womb! The latter of course might be a bit of exaggeration because if I had done that I would have fallen off the delivery table and broken my neck… and you wouldn’t be reading this epic piece:) !!!

Many people go for a morning walk because sometime, somewhere they have read that it is good for their heart ! At other times they have heard that it has a beneficial effect on one’s blood sugar, thereby giving them an escape route from the bad effects of wading into sackful of sweets day after day! And some men do it as a ruse to escape from the morning naggings of their ‘bitter halves’ 🙂

During my morning trips I have come across a variety of walkers who trudge along stoically , gulping down the God’s Own Air’ in large doses, like beached whales ! But one indisputable fact is that a large percentage of these people drop out and disappear into thin air , some after a few days, some after months!

I suspect some of the women walk because their neighbour walks, proudly displaying her belly button which had long ago disappeared into the folds of fat. I know about one lady who attends every office party religiously and indulges in some really daring acts of over-eating . The next morning she hits the road for a spin in the fervent hope that by the time she returns to her house she would have transformed herself into a ‘feather weight’…Fat hope!

feather weight

Another strange couple I have come across ( both women and consummate practioners of the so-called sport of ‘talkathon’) takes the cake ! They wag their tongues incessantly while on the move, leaning on each other… Serious walking happens only as a casual afterthought. The first is a shortie who laughs all the time like a hyena for no apparent reason at all while the other is an Amazonian who too laughs all the time but just for the heck of it! ! They stop walking only when their tongues get tired !

Then there is this senior citizen whom I walk with off and on . He is a past- master at multi-tasking. He moves likes a worker ant who has been sent away by his Queen on some urgent errand! He is always fiddling with his mobile phone to switch off its radio , but with little success! On his lucky day he may also meet a passing walker and would accost him as a long-lost friend while  tweaking the radio! Once the guy passes he would slow down to turn around and still tweaking the radio ( because I am 5 steps behind him, having exhausted all my energy trying to catch up with him) would  ask me in sotto voce:

“ Hey ! Who was it?”

He makes up his lack of ‘inches’ by the speed of his walk which strikes terror in the minds of other walkers on the same route ! Even the news paper vendor who , in his own right is a ‘death racer’ on mobike, has a healthy respect for this ‘star walker’! At times when I slow down his walking style ‘cross-fades’ into an “s” mode, winding from way side to way side , but still in top gear !

And then there are some other types of walkers who walk at a pace dictated by their dogs !
These dogs come in 3 shades:

walker's dogs

Category 1: The ‘Cheeta’ dogs:  You have to run after them, otherwise you lose them for good!
Category 2: The tortise dogs:  Lazy bums…You need to push them to get going !
Category 3: The constipated dogs …ahem..( more later 🙂 !

Handling dogs is dicey because of the animals’ uncertain pattern of bowel movements. Once I was walking in the Lake District in the UK along with my English friend and his wife with her dog in tow. She carried a good supply of tissues under her arm the purpose which escaped me at first. But once the walk started things became clearer and all pieces fell into place!

She would stoop down every now and then and pick up delicately the dog droppings and store it in a paper bag , admonishing her ‘baby’  for not being civic minded! I wanted to suggest to the lady that she should try using a diaper for her dog ! But being their guest of honour I kept my councel to myself!

diapper dog

The Category 3 dogs- the constipated variety – have the will but not the wherewithal! I have seen walkers’ dogs arching on closely planted feet and struggling to produce some output while their resigned owner hangs around looking embarrassed, waiting for something to emerge! And the passers-by look at him with compassion and move on because they have nothing much to offer!

Finally, there is one more category of walkers as far as I know, but they do not walk on the roads in the mornings . So I don’t see them but I am well aware of their existence . They have no fixed times for walking.. I met a fatso of this kind one day in his home and suggested he take regular walks in the mornings to fine tune his health, or what there was left of it.

“ But I do walk man, I do! Every day!” He replied with a scowl on his face as though what I was saying was sacrilege .
“ But I don’t see you outside at all, mon ami”  I tried a bit of French as I had heard he had flown over France once.
“ Mon Cher!” He gave back in the same coin… “ I walk from my drawing room to the toilet at least twice every day …More , when I have an upset stomach!”


I quit!

After studying all these various types of’ walkers’ I have finally come to this conclusion: –
“Walk alone and you will walk tall !”

Bye for now!





By drinking what I mean hereunder is the consumption of alcohol…Pure and simple!‭ ‬And some of my friends‭ ‬ are past masters at this game,‭ ‬honing it into a fine art‭!

In the olden days I had seen people in my home town thronging in the evenings to the thatched sheds with the sign board‭ “‬Toddy‭” ‬prominently displayed at the entrance,‭ and dotting ‬along the length and breath of this country of mine.‭ ‬At one end of the spectrum,‭ ‬there were old timers‭ ‬in the‭ ‬assemblage who are seasoned drinkers and‭ ‬thought‭ ‬nothing of being‭ ‬spotted in a toddy shop line-up.‭ ( ‬Those days the so-called‭ “‬decent guys‭” ‬didn’t go to a toddy shop for a sip of the elixir‭ ‬because it was considered to be‭ ‬infra-dig‭! ). ‬Then there were‭ ‘‬greenhorns‭’ ‬both young and old,‭ ‬who got goaded into making a visit by their friends for a bit of fun.‭ ‬These guys ‭ ‬tried to erase themselves from the face of the earth by covering their heads in a‭ ‬native towel but with poor results.

These toddy shops used to dish out both toddy‭ ‬and‭ ‘‬arrack‭’ ‬,‭ ‬the latter being a clear liquid‭ ‬,‭ ‬smelling like the bottom of a unwashed baby‭ ! ‬But it‭ ‬sported a kick like that of a‭ ‬mule in a foul mood!‭ ‬Usually the congregation ended up in a brawl‭ – ‬some got bounced‭ ‬out and some got bashed up.‭ ‬By midnight peace would return and the guests would walk out with their wallets still not dented too much.‭ ‬In today’s financial terms‭ ‬their night’s expenses would be less than the droppings of a constipated ant!

Those were the days…But it is a different story here now a days….

Today Toddy shops still exist‭ ‬but our youth have developed their own preferences.‭ ‬Bars are a favourite haunt‭ ‬,‭ ‬especially for those with well stuffed purses.‭ ‬But the real heros are the‭ “ ‬Oh‭! ‬For the open spaces ‭!” ‬guys who have elevated the act of drinking to mind blowing levels of perfection‭ ! They have even discovered ways to avoid overworking their kidneys when on a heavy drinking bout!

kidney bypass syndrom


Close to where I live there is a band of‭ “‬booze art lovers‭’ ‬who are the da Vinci’s of group tipping.‭ ‬Going on tour is a passion with them because they get an opportunity for‭ ‬downing the ale,‭ ‬without the cussed‭ ‬neighbours breathing down their necks , making life unbearable‭ and robbing ‬ them of a chance for a peaceful pow-wow with the bottle‭ !

This group‭ ‬ look upon‭ “‬Drink‭” ‬as their own sibling.‭ ‬One of them whom I know carries it in his car always‭ ‬,‭ ‬often relegating his‭ ‬10‭ ‬year old son and   wifie to the back seat‭ ‬so that he can install the bottle and other related paraphernalia on the front seat‭ ‬and hug it while driving‭!

Recently one group here went on a tour of the Western ghats for a spot of drinking extravaganza.‭ ‬The‭ ‬20‭ ‬seater van arrived in the‭ ‬colony right on Indian time‭ ‬,‭ ‬that is‭ ‬60‭ ‬minutes late‭ ‬:‭) ‬,‭ ‬because the driver too was an ardent fan of the inebriating brew‭! After a flurry of activity near the van door, i‬n went first the casks of beer,‭ ‬bottles of whisky,‭ ‬Rum,‭ ‬and Brandy,‭ ‬ all with extreme care, and then the wives and the kids in that order , the latter gettin not so much care..‭ ‬All the bottles were‭ ‬carried inside delicately by loving hands and stached away in the inner folds of the‭ ‬20‭ ‬seater,‭ ‬after some‭ ‬5‭ ‬seats were‭ ‘‬unseated‭ ‘ ‬and thrown out‭ ( ‬space crunch y’know‭!)‬.

It was around‭ ‬7‭ ‬o’clock in the morning and the morning sun was ascending‭ ‘‬unsteadly‭’ ‬-‭ ‬or so it seemed to the team leader who was still trying to figure out what went wrong during last night’s binge‭! The ground apperared to have acquired a mind of its own and still showed an annoying tendency to gyrate ! Balancing under the circumstances was difficult unless one downed yet another peg. ..and he did just that!
The driver,‭ ‬back from‭ ‬a soujourn at the lamp post to download the contents of his bladder crawled into his seat and honked twice,‭ ‬and then some‭ ‬,‭ ‬perhaps to assure himself that he had got into the right van ! He was quite familiar with the honks of his van which he could single out from a kilometer away, like the mother penquin who could recognise it’s baby’s cry from the cackle of a thousand others’ ‭!

‭The revellers trooped in one by one, kids and baggage in tow, looking left and right to ensure that they are not too conspicuous … By 9 am all were in and relaxing…

‭“Shall we start?”

‭Asked an impatient reveller.

‭“ Shall we start what? The van or on the bottle?”
‭Quipped anoter impatient one.

‭“ Why not both ?”
‭ Suggested a more practical impatient guy and this was welcomed with much enthusiasm.
‭It was followed by two ‘pops’ , one made by the driver gunning his engine and the other by the decapping of the beer bottle…

‭The procession was on its way…

‭Half way to the destination during the ensuing revelry someone suddenly noticed the absence of the team leader! Frantic consultaions about his possible whereabouts were underway . Under the seats, on the the seats and over the seats in the luggage racks , no stone was unturned but all searches came up with nautch! In the end a non-plussed group decided to push on , and leader be damned!

‭Back home in the colony a desolate half-drunk was seen ambling around without aim , mourning under his liquir-smelling breath

“The B******s ditched me !”

‭Until next time…!


Hi Folks, it is a long time since I have posted last time. But then better late than never:)

So here goes…….

4G Names

In the earlier days names were given to the kids at a naming ceremony, especially by the Hindus in Kerala. And each of those names had a meaning… some were the names of Gods and goddesses, some were the names of seasons ( girls) some from scriptures and some were those of their elders . The telephone directory also came quite handy while hunting for names! 

Whatever, they all had a meaning. Hindus had names like Narayanan, Krishnan, Shivan , Gopalakrishnan etc. Christians chose names like John , Philip ,Thomas , Joseph .. etc…Muslims also chose meaningful names for their kids… 

However , things have changed now! The modern names chosen are a jumble of alphabets, such as Biju, Saiju, cinchu ,bonju, shiju, shinu, tintu,buntu, to name a few …The list is endless as one can make all kinds of sounds and translate them into words! …I was pondering over this and was at a loss to understand how these guys could have pitched upon such atrocious names for their kids! Finally I concluded my research and decided that a possible modus operandi of theirs could be as follows! 

On the day of the naming ceremony I would imagine the entire household and friends ( and maybe some enemies if invited ) gathering in the yet-to -be- named- kid’s home on a fine morning… They would all sit down to wolf down a sumptuous breakfast ( at the expense of the hapless parents ) so that the chosen methodology for selection of names would produce the best results! A name that no one else would have thought of till then is the aim of the exercise…in other words a unique tag ! They then would pray to whatever god(s) they believe in, invoking His blessings and cluster around a round table with grave faces that would normally be sported by husbands whose prayer for a dead wife hadn’t quite struck pay dirt:)…

Next to the table would be kept a basket with pieces of paper carrying the letters of the alphabet of whatever language the name has to be in.. The fans are switched off so that the breeze from above does not produce any embarrassing results!

The eldest or oldest relative , usually an uncle on the mother’s side ,would now dig his right hand into the basket with half-closed eyes chanting some incomprehensible mumbo-jumbo . Surfacing with a bunch of paper slips in hand he would look upwards as though seeking God’s permission and also to ensure that the fans have stopped rotating…He would then throw the slips into the air above the round table with a flourish… As the pieces of paper come tumbling down some will land on the table-top. The balance would decend to decorate the floor below!

When the dust has settled down the slips that are on the table-top are read out, either from left to right or from right to left depending upon the language of the family and…. lo and behold! You have a brand new name for your new born, a unique name!
And to hell with what it means ….or what it doesn’t!

(click to enlarge)

names for enfente terribles

The Monsoon Wait

The south west monsoon, the much-awaited ‘manna’ from the heavens is expected to hit the Indian peninsula some time in the first week of June this year.

Or so the weather man says!

Now weatherman in this part of the world is usually very good at “predicting” what the weather was yesterday, and that too with clock-like accuracy! However when it comes to tomorrow’s fare, he is embarrased and looks the other way because he usually fails miserably in his prections . In fact he has generally very little faith in his own prediction… so much so , the guy starts off for his office in the morning with out even a toy umbrella!

Time was when, as a small boy, I used wait eagerly for the arrival of the monsoon rains plumb on the 1st of June, year after year! The schools used to re-open after the summer vacation on June 1st in those days and the down pour would come calling on the dot, full of deresion and just to hound us kids.

I like rains, per se , especially the sound of rain drops drumming on the roofs and the water caressing the leaves in the trees around our house! I also love the ball-shattering noise of the thunder that would break out unexpectedly as though some joker had stuck a red hot iron up its ass without notice ! The bull frogs are overjoyed at the opportunity of getting their annual quota of sex! They make merry and sing long and drawn out lullabies through out the night which would make even an elephant go into “sleep mode”……..

I love to hear all that , as long as I remained indoors. Now schools being schools, there is no getting away with absenteeism especially on the first day because that was when your fate will made known! That is to say, whether you go up to your next higher class or dig in where you are sitting to ensure that the new comers from the lower class don’t usurp your seat! ( making the best of a bad bargain!) So, out I must go to attend the classes, into the lashing rains, juggling a bundle of text books, a half-broken umbrella with some of its ribs askew – which my dad should have replaced years ago-, and a tiffin box … all without a carry bag because in those days the school bags were unknown!

By the time I reach my school and find my way to my new class ( I always got the promotion without fail every year which surprised me as much as it surprised my daddy’o! ), I would be drenched to the skin … and late! So I have to stand outside the class room for the rest of that period in those wet and sticky clothes as a punishment for reporting late.

The rains would stop around noon time to allow the kids to return home for lunch ! But that is just an eye wash because the monsoon god and the weatherman are both out to get us for sure! So as soon as we step out of the school’s compound into the road the rains will start an encore with renewed vigour . And they invariably will last till I reach home.

After lunch I would spend a few minutes horsing around with the siblings in the drizzle , including running through puddles of water and splashing it all over mother’s freshly washed linen ( and in the process getting clubbed on the head ) And it is time now to walk back to the school but the rains would be lurking patiently around the corner with a club hidden behind its back ! It clobbers me once again all over my fresh shirt, taking some sort of sadistic pleasure while doing it!! It will then accompany me to the school like Mary’s lamb and by the time I reach my class I am once again bone-drenched.

It is 4pm.. the school peon rings the bell which is fashioned out of a piece of steel rail someone had pinched from the nearby railway yard aeons ago and the schooling time is over. We all burst out of our classes like shrieking banshees ,  carrying a close resemblance to a cluster of  of bats going out for their nightly forage! We head for the gates, only to be engulfed once again by some more heavy showers which turn up as on cue from god knows where and exactly on time.

By the time I reach home, I am …er…well, you guessed it right, drenched to the skin!

But what with global warming , deforestation , pollution, ozone holes, and a number of other climatic ills, my monsoon no longer ambles in around june 1st every year. Having said that reports trickle in regularly about sighting it wandering rather listlessly in the distant land of timbuktoo, with belly bereft of any rain water… But I wait patiently for my truant friend, the south west monsoon to show up , because without it this time my grand kids can’t go to their school in June !


A Foreign Jaunt

Foreign jaunts are usually meant for ministers politicians and money bags…For most of the rest of us ‘ordinaries’ what is destined are only jaunts in dreams…

I had one recently, just after retiring for the night…

I dreamed that I had taken a trip to a foreign country…

When the aircraft landed on the tarmac with a thud the earth shook a bit , may be because the pilot bugger was a trainee or a retired pile driver 😦 These folks use us dream travelers for “target practice” !

The ‘thud’ may have been a small one for the country, but a much bigger one for its neighbour! Apparently the plane’s ‘thud wave’ traveled like a “terrestrial Tsunami” , getting amplified as it dashed single-minded towards the neighbouring country and grew into a god-awful Earthquake with a magnitude of 7.4 on the Ritcher scale when it hit its target!

That is my theory , of course! It is yet to be proved! However, as a matter of fact there indeed was an earthquake or rather two in the neighbouring country around that time which gives some degree of credence to my theory…, if you discount the fact that the earthquakes hit a few days after my ‘arrival!

( We bloggers are a privileged lot with some leeway given for improvisations and are allowed to practice a bit of fact-twisting, now and then y’know! )

Days later, while being driven from home to a friend’s place I came across an interesting ‘pastime’ of some of the locals . This involved burning what looked like black round rings from a distance, which later turned out to be car tyres! As if to lend a helping hand to the choking smoke that accompanied these rituals the local peace keepers lobbed a few well-aimed tear gas shells into the inferno ! These were warmly welcomed by the burning tyres with open arms and the two had a swell time doing a tango together! I enjoyed those fireworks , albeit with a bit of my heart in my mouth!

Subsequently , I had my own share of many of such incidents while being driven through the neighbourhood ! Observing these incidents , it occurred to me that perhaps the business of selling tyres for feeding such fireworks could be a more lucrative proposition around here , better than selling the cars themselves. And who knows, at some point in time as the past-time gains popularity the up-beat dealers might even remove all the new tyres from the vehicles as and when they are delivered from the factory . They can then sell them to the incendiary experts at a good price , after throwing away all remaining waste material such as the engine, body, wheel rims interior furnishings et al….


I was also entertained by some other forms of breath taking displays of fireworks which always came after the ‘tyre sequence’, much the same way little babies follow a marriage ! I did some research on this and came up with some awesome findings… I found out that these entertainments are provided by the use of a special device which is produced using a patented and a jealously guarded technology credited to a smart-ass guy called Molotov. These devices go under the trade name of ‘Molotov Cocktails’. Having said that, if you happen to go into any beverage shop in the market looking for these devices you are bound to get disappointed… and that is NOT because the local laws frown upon drinking in public! …!

I did some further research and delved deep into the origin of this WDM ( weapon for mass destruction ) and came up with some interesting findings…..

Comrade Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Molotov was a Soviet politician and diplomat, an Old Bolshevik guy . He was a leading figure in the Soviet government from the 1920s, when he rose to power as a protégé of Joseph Stalin , to 1957. As with all these sudden rises of ‘proteges ‘, the poor chap was suddenly booted out from the Presidium (Politburo) of the Central Committee by Comrade Nikita (‘patch-on-the-head’) Khrushchev !

What now follows is pure conjecture…”putting two-and-two -together” kind of thing, y’know;)

Reasoning shrewdly ( and that is yet another of my special talents ) I realised that after getting the elephantine boot from Comrade Khrushchev’s well-shod foot in the small of the back , our wretched Comrade must have got thoroughly demoralised and ‘dispirited’ ! And what did he do?

Well he went and brewed up a spirit-lifting strong drink …and Vodka be blowed! But unfortunately , maybe by miscalculation, the man used a wrong kind of ingredient, called ‘petrol’ in the making of his recipe ! Now liquids like petrol ( as every terrorist child knows ), show a strong tendency to blow up in one’s face when ignited in closed spaces …

The end game? Our friend Comrade Molotov had his come-uppance and got himself “martyred” .

Well folks, thus was born the now famous’ Molotov Cocktail! ( I have sent this theory off for patent approval, response awaited:( !)

Why all this blah-blah now, you may ask and you well may! On the above mentioned occasion I had a grand stand view of two of these wonder portions winging their way over my head into the unknown almost brushing my car’s bonnet and my offended ego! I was not privy to what they did in the end! However, I heard a loud bang- rather two- and from the look of things, the quiet neighbourhood must have got its beautiful ass singed!

It was then , that I was rudely shaken and brought back to reality by some one shouting..

I say , dammit, you just fell off the bed, man ! ”

And when I opened my eyes I saw there never could have been a truer statement of facts! I was sitting on the floor, with my better-half staring down at me , her eyes full of concern!

Well, so much for my “dream jaunts”…:(

Crime against women and children is on the increase in Indian Cities. Statistics of “diminishing” crime is no consolation for the person who had a taste of it first hand. For her, an exemplary and quick punishment to the perpetrators is the need of the hour! Not long-winded speeches and promises!
‘Maybe something like this:(

Exemplary Punishment

Exemplary Punishment

And ensuring fool-proof systems in place to prevent this happening again in future …

Recently in New Delhi a girl was brutally attacked and taken advantage of in a moving bus. The uproar that this incident created in Delhi and elsewhere in the country is proof enough of the disgust that public feels towards the feet-dragging Establishment. When driven to the corner with no way to wriggle out of commitment the Government has relented and agreed to set things right but promises are not enough, action is, and quick one at that!

12-12-12 Biennale

12-12-12 Biennale

Today the 12th of December 2012 is the D-Day for the new Kochi Muziris Biennale in Fort Kochi…The papers are full of it…There is an impressive line up of global and Indian artists who are scheduled to take part in this event which starts today in Fort Kochi.

According to one paper,

“…The Kochi Muziris Biennale will showcase the works of world-famous artists and is expected to give a fillip to the economy and tourism in the state..”

So far so good…

But on a parallel track there is also a strong criticism raging ( as with any event happening or about to happen in this land ). It is alleged that in the name of this event a drastic money swindling had been going on! A thorough investigation into this scam is being demanded by those who deride the Biennale. So much for “fillip” !

Be that as it may, the event will take off this evening! But what took my fancy were a couple of “installation exhibits” among the many items to be “showcased”.

One whose picture was prominantly displayed in today’s papers looked like a giant ostrich’s giant egg, albeit in a skeleton form. Made of bamboo and some such material this is supposed to be hung from the top of a coconut tree for all to see ! The artist is an Indian celebrity. At first sight it looked somewhat huge but a bit frivolous to me , maybe because I am no great artist, with special skills to appreciate this kind of “artwork” in depth:(
Apparently the less you understand any art work, the more is its worth!( The first law of art evaluation and appreciation;) ! Only we should not forget to utter at regular intervals, “Oooooh!” and “aaaah!” while cruising through these art waters in order to be accepted as “art savvy”

The second one is even more bizzare. It is a dilapidated auto apparently cornered from the umpteen ones plying on the roads in Fort Kochi , with an equally dilapidated old-world gramaphone with twin speakers of the horn type mounted on it and belting out old Indian numbers…the whole set up looked like an eye-sore to me . That it has any art value is hard to believe , maybe because I lack the requisite skills as mentioned earlier! But it comes with awesome credits, e.g the perpetrator of this monstrosity is a world-famous Italian Artist 😦
Imagine foreign and native art lovers spending their hard earned money and trekking to the venue to witness this kind of art…it beats me!

These two incidentally are termed “Installation Art’ according to the organisers and the participants…This is a special beast and such exhibits appear in many art exhibitions that are worth their salt, or so it is believed . Whatever it may be, these leave me cold…at least the ones above did!

So much so, in order to shake off the disgust rumbling inside me , I drew this kar2n…

12-12-12 Bienalle

12-12-12 Bienalle

“The Taj Mahal is ( or shall we say, ‘was’ ) a white marble mausoleum located in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India. It was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal.( these emperor guys do get around, don’t they! They must learn from the Emperor Penguins! One wife and no roving eyes!)
The Taj Mahal is widely recognized as “the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world’s heritage”-
So says Wikipedia!

At the end of the last century the Indian Government noticed the growing polution problem caused by the tanneries in and around the area in which the Taj is situated . This was threatening the health of the structure!

So it started a program to save the monument’s shiny white marble façade since it was showing a strong tendency,( most monuments have a mind of their own;), and turning yellow. Over $150 million were spent on restoration but it did not help much. I fervently hope that money really went into the project and not into someone’s pockets;)

Corrosion has unfortunately continued and acid rain in that area has also caused a change in the color of the façade. Some years ago restoration experts started putting mud packs around the façade to bring back the building’s shiny white color. For all the good it did, however, the government might as well have used all that face packs on the faces of all those old women coming to the beauty parlours all over the country , with much better results!

In fact if Emperor Shah Jahan were to resurrect himself he , after one look at his poor wife’s monument would have started to look around for a convenient rafter to hang himself from…that bad it is now!

The following kar2n sums up the situation , albeit a bit exaggerated !

Father, son and Taj

Father, son and Taj

Long Live Taj, white or black!