Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Can You hear the Dhaks beating Dhang-kur-kur ?

With every other Bong bloggers blogging about Dugga-Pujo, my blog yesterday came out of my screen and threatened me with these exact words "You lazy bum, get up and type a 1000 words about Pujos. You know how much my click rates have gone down in recent time .Earlier at least I used to get hits from your home computer IP. Even that has stopped. Life is so pathetic to be stuck with you...if was not for the older posts I would have given up hanging to this URL"

Before I could ask my blog whether it's been listening to my wife's enlightening words of wisdom missiled at me, it simply crept back to the cyber world to cling onto its sole cyber possession the blogspot URL. So to make a truce I'm finally typing about Durga Puja, the Mardi Gras of Bong heartland.

I first thought of writing the Standard X type essays soaked with nostalgia that'll make you buy the next air-ticket to Kolkata. And the next moment you'll be clicking on my Google Ad sense ads for cheap fares to Kolkata bringing me money. But since I don't have ads at the moment I decided to drop the idea. Instead lemme share you some trivia about Durga Puja.

Did you know that the clay required for building the idol has to be mixed with bit of mud procured from prostitute's house. Oh you already knew that!! Sala Bhan-saali, you had to show that in that when-will-it-end movie Devdas. And then just with the name of Devdas a chord strikes my brain (yeah it can be painful when it strikes).Let me tell you about one of the colorful characters among the many in Calcutta's Pujo circuit. And before you ask what Devdas has got to do with these people, the answer is well on these festive days this guy let's call him PD( Pooja Devdas) was just as sober as Devdas was.

PD lived in the some distant suburbs of Kolkata. To reach those places you had to travel in those fully packed local passenger trains from Sealdah. And to stand inside the train compartments you need to do some really flexible feats that might have made the Elastic Man proud. The reason I am saying all these things just to imply PD was a simpleton and was not so accquinated to the ways of life in a big city.

So one Durga Puja PD comes to Kolkata, get drunk with none-else but me and together we go out for Pandel hopping. For those who are from Kolkata they might know during the Durgapujas the Ekdalia Road has a No-Entry sign for vehicles to make it easy for the pedestrians. We had reached this place when I suddenly remembered that I need to buy cigarettes.

I went to the trusted Oriya paan-ka-dukandar opposite to Laxmi Sweets leaving PC there alone. Even I was drunk too and swayed by my camaraderie I spent around 8-10 minutes asking about how this guy’s family is doing in Orissa. I enquired whether they suffered in the last cyclone and did they receive the relief from the government and if they are not they should start a movement and send a petition to the PM himself. The guy was patient enough not to kick me out from his shop at that busy hour.

Suddenly I hear an angry authoritative voice shouting "Aare sala I told you hundred times this is not for the pedestrians...only for can go". I look back and see PC is in a heated argument with the police constable about the NO-ENTRY placard placed in the middle of the road. His point of view was that sign is quite misleading as thousands of people walking to the pandels might think that sign meant for them and take a detour creating more chaos. I had to employ all my strength to pull PD from that place just moments before the constable lost his cool and charged at PD with his only armor : his well oiled cane-stick.

PD was quite moved by my attempt to help him to escape the arms of the law. So as we were approaching Maddox Square he told me "Bishu you my true friend....for you I can do anything....even place my bogol (ie. armpit in Bengali) on the tram-tracks....errr I mean my neck !!". His intention showing his comradeship by laying down arm-pit before the tram wheels nearly brought tears to my eyes.

Just as I was searching for my hankerchief to wipe my eyes, three things happend :
1. Heard a "Tong" sound as if some body had a bang on collision with something metallic
2. Saw PD lying at the foot of the lamp-post nursing his forehead which had immedietly swelled.
3. A group of girls standing nearby broke out into maddening fit of laughter.

I looked at PD. He had a pitiful smile on his face. "It's not really my fault.With so many beautiful girls around I didn't see the lamp-post in front", was his defence.

PD is now well settled some place Mid West in US. I hope he doesn't debate a traffic cop out there about another traffic sign. They might confiscate his license. And PD please don't crash into a lamp-post while checking out some hot blondes around. Your insurance plan might not cover the damages. But I know that would never happen.

Because US Mid-west is no Kolkata at Durgapujas.These things can only happen only in that enchanted city in that enchanted time. Only then you find friends willing to sacrifice their armpits for you at the drop of the hat. Only then people loose sight of the lamp-post in front, because the surrounding is so provocative that it jams your sensible sense organs. Only then even the otherwise authoratative cop also finds ten minutes worth of patience explaining an un-initiated the meaning of NO-ENTRY sign-board. That's what Durgapuja means in the heart of Bongland. Wear the best clothes, Have the best food, Be at your best, And never forget to get crazier at times. Insanity sometimes becomes a virtue in an otherwise painstakingly black-n-white sane world.

Enjoy the Durgapujas to the beating of the dhaks (Bengali version of drums). Can you hear them beating "Dhang-kur-kur...Dhang-kur-kur" !!

Monday, September 18, 2006

A Hypothetical Question Or A Hypothetical Idiot?

The PM of India seemed to be suffering from Stockholm Syndrome when he was bowled over at Havana by his Pakistani counterpart's strong-willed gesture of fighting terrorism.

Speaking to reporters who accompanied him on his visit to Brazil and Cuba aboard Air-India One on Sunday night, Dr Singh said, "General Musharraf has assured me that Pakistan has no hand in perpetuating terrorist acts in India. He asked me not to go into the past, to forget whatever has happened in the past and to let us work together in the future." [source]

Is General's assurance is truer than your own intellegence reports ? Or did Mush waved his magic wand to sweep all the terrorist churning factories whose sole aim is to create furore in India. Forgetting the past will be easier but are we going to forget the lessons from the past as well.

Asked if future terrorist attacks on Indian soil would endanger the peace process, Dr Singh said, "Let us not deal with such hypothetical questions. I cannot say we have got security for our country forever. Life is much more complicated, it is not black and white. We have made an attempt to solve the problem, therefore let us not get into hypothetical questions." [source]

If the PM considers future terrorist attacks on Indian soil as something hypothetical then why was he alerting the nation about future possible attacks a couple of weeks back. Sirjee, you seem to catch up your predecessor Bajpeyi's forgetfulness but somehow this time it looks more of a concious effort rather than effect of old age and alcohol that had taken a toll on the most non-eligible batchelor of Indian politics. Everyone knows that the next attackers are lurking somewhere and only waiting for the right oppurtunity.Even the naivest of all wouldn't rule out that situation as hypothetical. But in naivity you seem to defeat us all.

On dismantling the terror structure in Pakistan, Dr Singh said, "We will discuss all the issues. Let us not jump the gun. Let this mechanism be in place. We will explore all the ways with which we can rid the subcontinent of the scourge of terrorism." [source]

As they say it was clear as mud.If you are not jumping the gun now after two simultaneous blasts at Mumbai and Malegaon when will you do that. What is the mechanism you are thinking about putting in place other than strongly asking our neighbours to hand over the wanted ones and shut down the terrorist churning factories. If you are not already in the process of exploring the ways then when are going to do that? Are we still waiting for the next blast ? Or will that be a hypothetical situation ?

"We had a very sincere, frank discussion on all issues," the prime minister said, speaking for the first time about his latest encounter with the Pakistani leader. "President Musharraf recalled what I had stated -- that the borders cannot be redrawn -- and his statement that they (Pakistan) cannot accept the Line of Control as a permanent solution. I believe that we should work in all sincerity out of the box, to deal with the situation.". [source]

Seemed to be too impressed that Gen. Mush has a memory of an elephant recalling what you stated last time to the exact words. Time for you to take some lessons at memory games from the General but then again you are also the one who urges us to forget the past and may be its lessons as well.

At the end of the day your speech conveyed nothing except weasel words just like the captain addressing the crew in a sinking boat. It's just the right kind of script for a leader who either has no clue about the depth of the situation or is simply trying to pass the buck. Only at these times we hear cliches like "Thinking out of the box" while the time-bombs inside the Pandora's box keeps on ticking.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Gadget Tag

Twisted DNA, in his twisted witty style ended his last post by passing the Gadget tag at yours truly. Rules of the game are simple enough : I got to come up with three gadgets that I dream of even when I am wide awake. Regular readers of this blogs ( yes I know you are even rarer than the pink unicorn and is yet to be classified in animal kingdom) will know that me and gadgets are not the best of pals. But anyway since that was an archived blog post tucked historically somewhere after Salman Khan spent two days in chakki pissing the jail-ki-atta and before Krissh marked the advent of superheroes in Indian screen, I wouldn’t start my dukh-bhari-kahani again.

Instead let me tell you what I think is the purpose of gadgets in general. It is a device operated by mechanical force or electricity aimed at becoming an extension to the human capability of performing tasks otherwise restricted by limitations of human anatomy. Now that’s what I call Bullshit Bingo. Ok coming back to plain Angrezi : gadgets are supposed to help me in my struggling lifestyle in an otherwise zaalim duniyah. In short help me to elongate my abilities to overcome my short-comings in every possible way.

My prime short coming is forgetting the door keys. Believe me I vouch upon Mallika Sherwat’s non-existent pallu that it’s been three times I had been locked out of doors. First time I spend a night on a sofa at a colleague’s place. Next time I borrowed a hack-saw to cut through the Godrej tala.I had to do a lot of explaining to the new security guard in the complex until a kind hearted neighbor identified me as the rightful tenant of the flat. Third time I didn’t take any chance so I spend a night in a Rs. 500 hotel room with attached bath.

Not to be caught in similar locha fourth time I made 4 copies of my house key. I gave one to my neighbor , one I left with the shopkeeper in the stationary shop opposite to my house , one was locked inside my office drawer and the other attached to the key ring of my bike keys. Later in job life when somebody appreciated a disaster recovery plan I prepared, I surely knew where I learnt my lessons from.

So my first fancy gadget would be a door that opens to only at my command. For anyone else who can remember the exact date Babur invaded India and thereby by the virtue of his memory not loose his keys single time it will act different. Impressed by memory retention capacity it might even allow its hole to be probed by steel key belonging to such a guy.But for me it should never ask for mere earthly possesions like a key.

To add to security from my voice-alike I would program it to open the doors to me only and only if it recognize me singing “O(NNNNN)h Huuuuuuu(NNNN)zur……ter(NNNNN)aa suroooo(NNN)r “ in my nearly perfect imitation of Reshmiya’s nasal effort. Surely the imposters cannot beat me in that. And yes I admit in front of all of practicing this song every time I sit on the comode seat. The passage of strong air current in nasal cavity really helps in the morning traffic and believe me you can download at zooming broadband speeds.

My second fancy gadget would also compliment my another skill at loosing : Umbrella. Since you know umbrellas are meant to be lost I don’t feel that guilty. But once in a while it is worth bringing back home. That however reminds me the story of a gentleman who had similar traits of character.Every time he took the umbrella outside he would loose it somewhere. Upon returning home he would be shouted at by the other half for his forgetfulness. So one fine day he is determined and finally comes home with the umbrella in his hand held up high in full glory like a trophy won. But to his utter surprise he still gets the same amount of daily rebuke. On asking “But why” the wife replies “You hadn’t taken in umbrella from the house in the morning…and may I know whose ladies umbrella are you holding in your hand now?”

My second fancy gadget is an umbrella that never lets itself go from your hand. The way it would work is every time I leave it back somewhere it would sing to me in the same dard-naak tone as Lata sang “Na jao re saiyaan…churake baiyaan”. And I guess I am not so cold-hearted to leave such a longing companion behind.

My third gadget would certainly have to be a way of restricting my over-spending. Even if I go to a 7-11 in the night to buy a bottle of beer and a pack of cigarettes some how I fail to restrict myself to the charm of articles assorted on the shelves or freezer. Now if a tiny 7-11 shop can have this effect on me think how helpless I am when left between alleys and alleys of unwanted articles in a super-market.

I desperately need something that can at the same time check my saving account balance, check at the ration stock at my house, can communicate with my better half and obtain her approval before allowing me to grab that Buy 1 Get 1Free scented matchstick box with a free WWF card. In case it fails any one of the above mentioned checks it would simply sing to me “Naahi naahi abhi nahi….abhi karo intezer”.In case my determination doesnot succumb to the lyrical advice the machine should cling to my wallet covers with its teeth. That would certainly make it qualify as a Blue-tooth gadget.