A Valentine Day Story

118 Comments

[Long Post]

Scene: A red heart shaped statue. A tourist guide with a bunch of tourists stand at its base

Guide to tourists: And this over here is the monument, the beautiful Broken Heart, constructed to commemorate all those marytrs for love who fell, many of them nameless, on that fateful Valentine’s Day. In the greatest non-violent mass movement since the Non-Cooperation andolan, young men and woman stood together and took a stance against repression. They took blows and punches and had their hair pulled so that successive generations have the freedom to get drunk, pass out, buy overpriced long-stemmed roses and splurge on “My heart will go on” -playing musical cards.

It was a time of great political ferment in the country. Scared that women in low-rider jeans drinking, dancing and cavorting with the Rocky Khannas of the world will wipe out Indian civilization as it was known then, a mass movement of cultural fundamentalists united under organizations with names like “Banar Sena” , “Dushashana Fan Club”. They then announced plans to forcibly prevent Valentine Day celebrations across the country and to marry off any girl and boy who were walking together, unless the boy tied a Rakhi around the girl’s hand and made her a behena.

But this oppression did not go unanswered. Just like how their great grandparents, many generations ago, came out in protest against the Rowlatt Act and braved the baton charges of the British, tens of thousands of socially conscious brave men and women shrugged away their apathy towards national security, economy, crime, environment and decided “this far and no further”.

As one of the greatest women of her age gave the call for “Pub bharo”, Indian youth put aside their petty differences, their entrance exams and ambitions of making it big to storm the pubs and engage in morally ruinous behavior so that the Banars and the Dushashanas may be baited. A secret society called the “Pink Chaddi League” started sending pink underwear (some used and soiled) to the leaders of the reactionaries in a show of brazen deviance. They were soon assailed by counter-reactionaries who formed the “Pink Condom Cooperative” and started sending the leaders of the Pink Chaddi League pink contraceptives.

Tourist: But why pink chaddis? What did underwear have to…

Guide: Simple. Because in those days there was an advertisement slogan for underwear which went “Yeh araam ka mamla hain. Apun ka choice ka mamla hain.” This line succinctly captured the sentiments of the Pink Chaddiwalas…

Old Man (Sitting at base of Broken Heart statue): Aare bhailog what bekar bakwas. This guide is telling you all the stuff she has memorized. Ask me what happened on that fateful February 14 and I will tell you.

Tourist: Why should we ask you?

Old Man: Because I was there that day. Do you want to hear what the text books tell you? Or would you prefer to listen to living history? Twenty thousand rupees is my fee for the story. And please no US dollars. Only Indian rupees.]

Tourists turn away from guide. Look expectantly at old man.

Old man: Myself Prakash. I was twenty two then. Ordinary dude. Used to sit on my bicycle while me and my friends would watch beautiful girls in their spaghetti straps and tight bottom huggers and skirts go clubbing and dancing with rich, English speaking guys , looking disdainfully at us “sadak chaap” folks. There was one girl I really liked. Let’s call her N. Beautiful lady, hanging out with her friends at discos and pubs never giving me even a glance far less a chance.

Guide: What does your love story have anything to do with this old man? Spare us…

Old man: Patience. So as Valentine’s Day came up, I saw from my position at Lala’s grocery store that she was gathering up her friends to take part in the Pub Bharo Andolan. Lots of nice cars with nice fairies, both male and female, started making the rounds of the mohalla. It didn’t take much for me to understand their plans. They were going to go to the pub, drink themselves silly and defy the “Dushashana Fan Club” by wanton public displays of affection. Needless to say, I saw a chance…..to be a not-so-innocent bystander.

The day arrived. A bunch of girls set off from N’s house in skimpy pub attire clutching their purses and cell phones. Now normally I stay away from pubs being more a “desi” person myself though sometimes when I come across some cash by picking father’s pocket I do have a drink or two of the phoren stuff and do some nayansukh. But today, I was enthused with the “Pink” spirit. Just as normal people got inspired and started following Gandhiji on the Dandi march, I too “spontaneously” followed N and her gang to the pub.

Inside the pub, the women were in a militant mood. I felt I was seeing the Rani Jhansis of today. Talking loudly and giving out hugs. I waited my time.

Soon they came. The saffron banded Dushashanas. They assembled outside the pub and started shouting slogans, calling the girls “Draupadi”, “Kunti” and such-like. I could see beautiful N was getting angry, I loved the way a nerve in her temple used to start throbbing when she got pissed off . She was answering the Dushbags back in her Anglicized Hindi.

This was my chance. The girls were forming a line, holding people’s hands. I slipped besides her. She was too busy exchanging heated words with the Dushbags to notice me.

And then just as the scuffles began I held her hand. And turned to the Dushbags and said “Chal kya kar lega…maar hi to sakta hain. Aur kya?”

N looked at me with startled eyes. I could see her cringe as she tried to brush me off.

I whispered “Mam, if you let me go, then they will think you are afraid of holding hands in front of them. Come on mam. Show them what you believe in.”

N whispered back “You are so…….” (rolling her eyes in digust) and looked around to see her friends engaged in increasingly heated verbal exchanges. She could not back down. So despite her obvious aversion to me, she held on to my hand.

Then one of the Dushbags shouted :”Besharam auraat. Holding hands with a mard…kya bhai laagta hain tera?”

Angry and close to an aneurysm she just turned around and in a show of defiance that will go down in the annals of history, planted a kiss on my lips.

That was it.

Heaven !

Soon we were surrounded by the goons punching and trying to seperate us. Though initially carried away by the Matangini Hazra-Pritilata Waddedar passion, N had now realized that she had just kissed a smelly, sadakchaap, “never been kissed” person, the kind of man whose friend ship requests on Orkut she declined every day by the dozen, the kind of man her profile message “If you do not know me, do not bother to add or scrap me you loser” sought to keep away.

But it was too late. She was now on the crest of the wave of history and there was no turning back. I kept the kiss as best as I could and every time I got dragged away I whispered “Mam you cannot let go. If you do, these bastards win. And there will never be any freedom”….poor N was torn between her revulsion for me and her belief in the cause.

After all “Rang De Basanti” was her favorite movie (her Orkut profile said that) and right here, she was being the change.

Except I gather she didnt quite like it all that much.

The crowd dragged us away. One of the Dushbag chieftains said “Enough. Bring the priest here. Let’s get these two married.” N was close to tears and totally silent. But still defiant. I was yelling “Yes yes get us married. We are lovers. We are not afraid of the world. We shall not resist. But we will not accept tyranny.” The priest started chanting some gibberish. Someone took a picture of us garlanded. Defiantly I smiled at the camera. N looked downwards in shame and disgust which I think made her look quite bridelike.

By this time, the cops had arrived and people were dispersing. N was only too glad to leave the Kurukshetra. Needless to say, I never saw her again. But for those few minutes that I shall never forget, I was part of something much greater than myself. A part of the nation’s voice. Connected to another’s voice in a way that was beautiful, poetic and utterly enjoyable.

And that young fellows is how our generation sacrificed so that you may walk freely today.

Tourist: Wow that is so moving. Did the blows the “Dush”bags rained on you not hurt?

Old man: Sure it did. But how different was it from the blows that rained on us poor frustrated men every day, the blows to our hearts and egos when we saw those rich kid’s sons leading a life we can only dream of, the cars, the women, the debauchery? That day was different in that I only exchanged one type of blow for another….

Guide: Hah ! What humbug. You just took this opportunity to get a kiss and a hug….how cheap !

Old man: Not just that. I had made a bet of Rs 2000 with a friend of mine that I would marry N one day. I showed him the picture and made him pay up….the poor sod cried and cribbed a lot saying this was not what he meant but a loafer’s word is sacrosanct. A kiss or two, a few hugs, and Rs 1000 at the end of the day—not bad rewards for political action eh? Now please everyone put your money in this hat—it better sum to Rs 20,000..

Tourist: Wait wait wait. First of all, if you made a bet with your friend for Rs. 2000 how did you gain just Rs 1000 at the end of the day? And second, if the Dush-bags forcibly took that “wedding” picture, how did you get hold of it in order to show as proof of having won the bet? As in why would the Dush-bags, who were beating you up, give you back the picture they took…unless you and the Dush-bags…..”

Old man smiles gently, shakes his head, winks and moves away.

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118 thoughts on “A Valentine Day Story

  1. Is it just me or do other people find this Ramesh Srivats guy and his self promotion more than a little desperate?

    Excellent post by the way

  2. this is teetering on the edge of being a masterpiece!
    All the trademark humour and whackiness, but also some wonderful layers there of intentions/motivations/classes etc. Wonderful, gb!

    ps- Loved the Dushasan Fan Club shouting “Drapuadi!, Kunti!”

  3. awesome post! couldnt have captured the underlying class war , pretexed as a ‘culture war’ in a more humorous manner!
    simply superb!

  4. Awesome story GB.. If only I had enough money, I could have directed the next Sadakchaap ‘N’pati (with rights from you for the story, of course) πŸ˜€ Loved the way you referred to the ‘banar sena’ douche bags as doosh bags.. πŸ˜‰

  5. This is precisely what I feel about all that is going on πŸ™‚ Some girls get beaten up for going to the pub – ludicrous! Ok alright for the sake of being politically correct – it shows how jobless these Rama sena folks are!

    And now the whole youth of India is up in arms to fight that – how? sending pink chaddis with “pub bharo” andalon and getting wasted – truly uplifting -yes, look world we can take debauchery to a newer level by being wasted in the name of bigger cause! please give me a break! if you wanna get wasted – do it but please leave those lofty ideas of freedom and feminism at the court check!

  6. I wasn’t too sure about what point you were trying to make – yes, the campaign is ridiculous, that’s the whole point it exists – to be ridiculous and ridicule by association. And therefore has to accept being ridiculed, itself. But what you’re doing is a pink-chaddi version of a rape fantasy, and taking as a victim someone who already is being victimized. And the perspective you’ve conveyed is that of the largest of the three parties involved in this – the uninvolved audience, gathering around to watch the tamasha that they know will happen.
    And laughing.

    Sorry, Arnab… but this was not even funny. ‘Creepy’ is about the best I can manage.

  7. Great post!

    Ram Sena must be having a good laugh. No PR agency could get them this kind of publicity right before the election. Wonder if the Shiv Sena will slap a case against Ram Sena for hogging all the glory….

  8. In Today’s Hindutan Times for the first time sagarika ghose wrote a very balanced coloum about all this rubbish.(sri ram sene, pink chaddi, women empowerment and motor mouth renuka chaudhary’s ideas about freedom of women)

  9. I’m assuming you would take the Eminem defence — that the old man you dreamed up is just a character, and his views and attitudes don’t reflect your own.

    Otherwise, I’d have to agree with Ashish. This is kind of creepy.
    I can’t quite put my finger on it, but it’s almost as if you sympathise with the monkey men. A whole lot of them would sure like to do what your protagonist does.

    You’re funny and clever, and usually I like reading your stuff, but this one was disturbing

  10. Great post really….
    @ arbit bond – dada ke blog par comment mein first aana mushkil hee nahi namumkin hai…could see ur desperation there [:)]

  11. RB,

    I think we need to move beyond the patently obvious question: Do you have any sympathy for men who would beat up and molest woman? I mean, WTF!

    My real worry about the pink chaddi campaign is that it feeds further oxygen to the devil, and media is exactly what motivates folks like Mudalik. A dude who commands maybe 100 useless idiots is now a national figure worrying the home minister and heaven knows who else.

  12. This weekend should churn out fantastic masterpieces in terms of news reports and videos.
    Can’t wait for them and then your take. Excellent fodder in making for new posts.
    Don’t know whther it has to do with my engineering background, but most of the “boyfriends” in my friends circle are quite pleased with these senas. A few of them plan to donate to the senas, half the money that otherwise would have had to be spent on the outing that day. Add to that the time saved and you have deeply felt gratitude for ghar-baithe entertainment.

  13. @Ashish, RadicalBong,

    >I wasn’t too sure about what point you were trying to make.

    It’s a sad indictment of my story-telling abilities when I have to explain my point. Having said that, in my defense, so many others did *get* it. In case sarcasm passes you by, I would like you to refer to my post (link) for a more blunt expression of my opinions on this issue (even though that too is sarcastic in tone, but much more explicit). If you are still labouring under the impression that this is a “rape fantasy” (very strong words to use sir) with sympathy for the Ram Sena, I would ask you to give the piece another reading over and wonder as to the intent behind the use of words like “Dushbag” and my attempts to bring out the essential duplicity of the “Promiscuity is a western import” subtext of the Ram Sena by making the Dushashana Fan Club (I presume you think I use that name as an expression of sympathy and support) use “abuse words” like Drapuadi and Kunti.

    As to what exactly my point was, there were several. As some commentor has mentioned, the principal being to bring out the class/culture battle and highlight once again that “frustration” is perhaps the strongest motivator for moral police (it’s a point I have made over the years).

    “I can’t quite put my finger on it, but it’s almost as if you sympathize with the monkey men. A whole lot of them would sure like to do what your protagonist does.”

    Actually, if you read the last few lines once again, you would realize that it is very strongly hinted that the protagonist is indeed a “monkey man” himself or has strong financial dealings with them.

  14. Hi, Arnab.
    Tried re-reading it to see if I missed something the first time… I understand it’s not you, it’s the character whose viewpoint you are lampooning by stretching it out into absurdity – but every time I read it, I find myself watching from the viewpoint of your reluctant accidental heroine, and it still leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I guess it’s just a point-of-view difference.
    PS – sorry if my strong language offended you – wasn’t a deliberate goad, I usually come up with the occasional whopper JLT. Peace! πŸ™‚

  15. RichandFamous,

    That depends on whether you’re following Sanskrit or Hindi phonology.

    Dushashana – Sanskrit phonology

    Dushashan – Hindi phonology

    Regards,
    Hades

  16. Dear GB:

    Actually your story telling abilities are excellent. Don’t doubt urself just based on the comments of two dimwits.

    Great writing as always.

  17. As a few commentators have already pointed out this is article reflects the true problem. The class war. Our society is changing too fast to take everybody along and in the process creating these classes. The sexual tension underlying the class barrier is bound to show as it is one of the most basic of human needs.
    I can totally understand the frustration and hurt it causes to the proverbial “lower class”. It does not help that our country has a history (or in many cases the present) of the caste system which labels a whole group of people with adjectives like ‘dirty’. This has very conveniently given way to classification on the basis of their economic well being in the cosmopolitan cities where caste and religion are not that big issues. The mentality needs a serious overhaul, but I confess that it is a very deep rooted problem I do not know if there is anything the common man can do to help. Suggesting that people should curb opulence is no solution.
    Evolutionary biologist say that animal groups diverge into different species because they stop inter-copulating. A very prompt analogy to the present situation..I feel.

  18. Hey look who’s back …. my dear friend Kishor. Dude this thing at the pub happened in Mangalore. What says your “South Indian Pride” !!!!!!!!!!???????

  19. Another thing that comes to my mind with reference to class war is the movie ‘Oye Lucky, Lucky Oye’. Look for the scene where young lucky is with his friends and they see girls drive off with rich, english speaking guys with cars. The song in the background:”Tu raja ki raj dulari…”. It is exactly what the protagonist in the above story might have felt. You can understand Lucky’s dialogue:”kyun? main nahi kar sakta kya?” with reference to the class barrier that he is constantly trying to bridge and because which he ultimately resorts to stealing.

  20. Isn’t it strange that while the media, bloggers etc went bananas over the Mangalore Taliban, no one paid any attention to the Kolkata Taliban who indulged in vandalism and attacked the Statesman House in central Kolkata. I had higher hopes from Greatbong. I guess the young generation cares more about V day than press freedom.

  21. @Chicken, It is indeed strange that I did not talk about the attack on the Statesman House. It is stranger because I never even heard about it till you commented. Evidently the press in India doesnt care enough about press freedoms to make it front page news. Maybe you should have higher hopes from them.

  22. Arnab,
    I think this was one of your best posts. Really hilarious and witty. I ended up reading it 2-3 times. One has to be brilliantly demented to come up with this.
    One question though (siding with Kishor above). Why do you feel compelled to respond to the dissents like the ones from Ashish and RadicalBong this time? Firstly, those comments add to the joy of reading the original post and secondly, such explanations from you kill some of that joy.

  23. @arnab:

    You are correct about the Indian press not caring about its own freedom. After googling for ‘statesman building attacked’ the only result I could come across was this:

    http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/024801.php

    which in turn refers to a BBC article. I guess the press has the much more important job of tracking the pink chaddis and condoms. Perhaps the news channels would like to join in on 14th with ‘Breaking News’ of chaddi v/s condom score updates

  24. @RadicalBong & Ashish: What differentiates this from a “rape fantasy” is that the girl N is never forced to kiss the protagonist or hold his hand. She’s tricked but she does it of her own free will at that point in time. In fact she’s the one who initiates the kiss. Point being to illustrate her hypocrisy & show the Dushasana Sena (love that name, btw) as being no more righteous than a bunch of frustrated eve-teasers.

    At least that was my reading of it.

    Though I beg to differ with GB’s reading of frustration as being the only factor. Definitely frustration & class envy play a large part in all this absurd hoopla. And the attitude of the rich educated classes who don’t give a rat’s a** about poverty, illiteracy, or terrorism until someone takes away their precious privileges — bombs their Taj or ransacks their pubs — is sickening.

    But there is a very genuine clash of cultures going on, over a relatively short period of time (post-globalization). In a best case scenario we Indians would be able to smoothly absorb what’s good about Western culture — the freedom & respect & insistence on equal rights & opportunities for women — without absorbing the bad: the over-sexualization of women & the culture & widespread single motherhood. But that would be a perfect world & we don’t live in that perfect world. Remember that once upon a time Indians were outraged that the British abolished sati.

    I guess my point, in a sentence, is that the roots of this problem run deeper than repressed lust & class envy, & it’s going to get worse for a while before it gets better.

  25. such an awesome post, arnab.. that, peeple like me, who do not normally comment, could’nt resist….

    being a dosa-dude in a premier b-school, i can absoultely relate to the cultural and lifestyle variance depicted quite beautifully and sarcastically w/o any offence….

  26. If the ram sena needs to INDIANIZE everything, we do have Rati and Manmatha as our eternal lovers( equivalent of CUPID. They can call it R&M day)

    I guess Draupadi is supposed to be insulting whereas referring to men as Sri krishna is complimentary.

    Whether the women/girls need to drink themselves silly and cause a few more drunken brawls,drunken driving and accidents to the list caused by underage/otherwise drinking men is a matter of debate. I agree the freedom of choice whether man or woman is necessary. Can’t the “sensible” individuals use the same yardstick to “retain the cultural values”.

    Being from Karnataka, I do not condone the discriminating moral policing, on the other hand i would not want my son or daughter drinking,smoking,doing drugs because its not healthy and its well known that all the above things causes lapse in judgement
    Culture and morals have nothing to do with it.

    GREAT WORK GB!

  27. Awesome!
    Waiting for a review of Dev D just like some other readers.

    @sreetama: thank u, i get to learn some Bengali which I need 2 survive being in Calcutta now.

  28. Very nicely done, sir. But what about the epilogue where he gets into IIM, listens to the dark side, reads the catcher, smugly rebuffs para’s latika who always had a crush on him because her tastes fail to evolve, promptly deletes from his orkut friend list those who are not hot and those who went to wrong schools with him, posts an ad only on English newspapers looking for a fair-complexioned, convent-educated, slim, cultured, beautiful girl, marries N’s sister, and with her, laughs at and gets embarrassed by his relatives speaking vernacular?

  29. :)Dushbag. Ho ho. I was trying to say something when I read Debashish’s comment.

    “I think this was one of your best posts. Really hilarious and witty. I ended up reading it 2-3 times. One has to be brilliantly demented to come up with this.
    One question though (siding with Kishor above). Why do you feel compelled to respond to the dissents like the ones from Ashish and RadicalBong this time? Firstly, those comments add to the joy of reading the original post and secondly, such explanations from you kill some of that joy.”

    Thanks Debasis! I was wondering about the same thing. Maybe he felt compelled because those dumb as a post comments were compelling enough to respond to! Actually no response was needed. Those two are just a different version of the Dush bags, the difference being that they just have a more liberal countenance which effectively hides the same conservative mind. πŸ™‚ Rape fantasy!! Does he even know what that means? Does he even know that many women actually have rape fantasies? But that’s besides the point. Those pair of comments clearly illustrate that the more dumb and black and white the mind, the more stupid and holier-than-thou is the pate.

    @wafa- Nice comment.

  30. @chicken-

    “Isn’t it strange that while the media, bloggers etc went bananas over the Mangalore Taliban, no one paid any attention to the Kolkata Taliban who indulged in vandalism and attacked the Statesman House in central Kolkata. I had higher hopes from Greatbong. I guess the young generation cares more about V day than press freedom.”

    Hmm. I think you know that this wasn’t exactly publicized that widely? And do you know why? :))))Because the same f-ing pseudo secular media people who will take every opportunity to criticize Shiv Sena and Modi and the BJP found to their dismay that this time the perpetrators were people who belonged to the “religion of peace”. People who belong to that religion, according to pseudos like the eminent Suzanne Arundati Roy, some douchebag bloggers and people like Sugarika Ghosh of NDTV, are always the victims. These are generally the type of people who have a subliminal desire to go back to the 1600s, and live their life licking the shoe of some Mughal emperor, as evidenced when some of them openly write about handing over Kashmir to the Pakidogs. Giving publicity to this news will run contrary to their pseudo-secular agendas. But has it been that a Muslim editor of Aligarh was arrsted for writing something against Hindus…oh baby…you would have been drowned in a sea of pseudo outrage.

    Link to bbc article.

  31. Now waht you will send to Durga sena chief?
    It also evident in maximum pub the fight women vs women……!!!
    Do not balme men , it is women is the main enemey of women and it is man is the main enemy of man, that is the reality and god created.
    We indian men had been fooled since years , women vs women fight and we man sacrifice our life, history wittness.
    Durga Sene goes one up on Rama Sene
    [link]

  32. Hi Arnab,

    I read your blog regularly & am quite impressed about the energy you have of churning the posts day after day

    [edited by GB]

    GB: Asterix please keep the discussion on topic. This blog is not a place for keeping a watch on Islam. May I suggest Jihadwatch and several other similar themed websites if engagement on these lines is what you seek.

  33. @yourfan2
    Statesman can dare to republish such articles. it reminds me abt the times when statesman used to publish ASK(aids -sex -knowledge) & Caveat.

  34. did y’all read this? looks like this will be a fun valentine’s day.

    http://www.vijayvaani.com/FrmPublicDisplayArticle.aspx?id=382

    [GB adds: Kindly post links only and not complete article copy pastes]

    [And yes nicknames need some moderation too. Do realize that I do not want to get into any kind of “hurting sentiments”/defamation bullcrap here from anyone (since sending legal notices seem to be the flavour of the season), more so since the people who are posting such comments behind such innovative nicknames choose to stay “anonymous” and then claim “freedom of speech” ]

  35. Classic clash of Pink vs Khakhi Chaddiwalas….

    luved it!

    (I am personally opposed to Valentine Day celebration and that has nothing to do with religion or right-wing/left-wing politics. More to do with corporatization of this day.)

  36. @kaunteya
    ‘More to do with corporatization of this day’
    Bad luck buddy. Girls are always going love roses and chocolates and diamonds and… well you know the list. And yes so people spend money on stuff, so? what is wrong with that. Of course if they start spending money they do not have (or will never have) then there is a problem. But the way I see it we need more gimmicks like the Valentines Day to get this economy going again.

  37. @Jatboy,

    In Mahanagar, in the last shot the husband and the wife walk towards an uncertain future after the wife quits her job. As the camera pans away, the last glimpse is of street lights, one of which is glowing and the other broken (this is how I recall the scene was since I have seen it many years ago). Critics raved about the symbolism of the scene, the hope and the despair contrast. To that Ray reportedly said ” The street lights were broken. That’s all there was to it.”

    So no, N was very much a random letter and I heard the name Nisha Susan only afterwards.

  38. Hi..GreatBong..

    Its high time you write a Book. India ke liye aur ek Booker pakka ho jaaega!!!

    I personally feel.. your writing has much more depth and humour than certain Mr.Adiga.

  39. Well Well Arnab..

    Would you support goons coming and beating up girls in pub? I hope not.

    Would you not then agree that this needs to be protested, and freedoms need to be protected? I dont understand you issue with the Pink Chaddi campaign.. honestly. (I presume you have an issue since you mock it)

    It is merely a symbolic campaign to embarrass the wrong doer, and defend our freedoms. To go to a pub if we want to (and legally are allowed to)..

    To show a finger to random schmucks who tell us how to lead our lives.

    It of course does nothing to alleviate the pain of the class war in India and I dont think that is it’s aim.

    But dont you think what it seeks to defend is also worth defending?

  40. all this hoo haa about pub hopping?

    everyone should patronise panchu who dispences baangla in a shack by the railway line near level crossing no. 15.

    sigh……….. i can’t even afford panchu.

    i drink weak tea and muse “why should nice nice gurls wear tiny tiny black dress and drink bad bad things!?!”

    its NOT moral policing.
    its HAVES VS HAVE NOTS.

  41. So are you doing a post on Ravindra Kumar being arrested and the media’s strange silence or not? Someone needs to talk about it!

  42. πŸ™‚ funny piece GB.

    But, this has got me thinking real hard.

    http://www.deccanherald.com/Content/Feb92009/city20090209117445.asp

    root cause: Class Divide, Frustruation & their exploitation by small unknown political parties (culture has got zilch to do with this)

    solution: 1. No, not bridging the divide. Not immediately anyway. So, what can be done? Urge your favourite watering hole to revolutionize security. Beef it up to the max. Happens across all major cities of the world. No one would mind paying a little bit more to support this. One place has to start it. And once ‘Total Security’ becomes a legitimate USP of a pub / disc, others will have to follow suit.

    2. Take these political parties to task. How many of us have invested time and money in making a great place for ourselves to live in? Spend 1/10th of that on making a legal – social landmine for every ‘sena’ that existed. Push your contacts. Use formal channels and informal ones. Protest marches and media coverage is good. But, start ‘Doing’ something. For e.g. even these ‘sena’ members need jobs. Next time, filter (or get it filtered) job applicants thoroughly.

  43. @GB: You got me wrong…I didnt mean to start a discussion on that on this post. Apologies for that. I would definitely like to read a post from you on these issues though.

  44. While the media and bloggers raved about the “Hindu taliban”, the REAL Taliban took over West Bengal silently. Remember Taslima Nasreen?

    GB, my reason for having high expectations from you is your interest and thorough knowledge of socio-political senario of Bengal.

  45. greatbong!
    really looking forward to a dev d review from you..i am sure you will have a lot to say!will be waiting for your post..and you’re doing an awesome job here..reading your blog is a real pleasure:)

  46. I was going to write about the Statesman incident but then virtually everything I had to say has been written by Pratap Bhanu Mehta, in a much better way than I could have, in the Indian Express. [Link]. And yes once again the topic of this thread is Valentines Day….if you have anything to say on the Mehta article and the topic of the article, this is not the appropriate forum for it. I just provide this link since a few people have asked me to write about it in the comment thread and this is the reason why I have not.

  47. @sunny-

    “Statesman can dare to republish such articles. it reminds me abt the times when statesman used to publish ASK(aids -sex -knowledge) & Caveat.”

    Sunny, I have the highest regard for that newspaper. Many boys like myself learnt English, by looking up for words which we saw in The Statesman, in the dictionary. To this day, I have not read a single newspaper which has an overall better standard of English. Of course some may say that the English language itself has been redefined by that great paper, TOI. But since the Statesman does not have TOI like sensationalism, it is not a glamorous paper. The fact that the Statesman used to publish articles from NYT, Telegraph UK and London Times made it possible for us to read those op-ed pieces in a pre-internet era. The ASK thing you talk about was also a farsighted initiative, considering the consequences of teen pregnancy.

    All I can say is that this particular article by Johann Hari is an outstanding piece of op-ed writing (Google up: Johann Hari The Independent). The author’s views are so well argued that it is almost a lesson in essay writing. I was spellbound by the dexterity of the piece. It is an article that deserved to be republished. The views of The Statesman regarding this matter: “A note published on 8 February said The Statesman had reprinted Hari’s article because “it mourned the marginalisation of the middle, liberal path in modern society”. It added: “The Statesman has always upheld secular values and has a record of providing space to all viewpoints, even contentious ones. If we were unable to fulfil this role, we would rather cease publication with honour than compromise our basic values.” That is all I can say. But I do not want to incur the opprobrium of GB by talking further about this issue as this is a different comment thread. All I can say is that after what happened, Mr. Hari can rest his case. πŸ™‚

  48. Nice imagination – screenplay and story! Should get into movies if not already in it! Mutalik has actually made all the pubs and dance bars full today. If not for him, there probably would not have been such fervent adoption of pubbing and kissing today! A new phrase “Do a Muthalik” => Have the complete extreme opposite response to your aim, has emerged today!

  49. Now let me get this straight, in this story a girl rejects the advances of a horny kid, presumably because of class differences, so when he manipulates her into kissing him, we are all supposed to applaud? this is a funny story? How weird and misogynist.

    Only a guy who doesn’t get sexually harassed every single day of their life, just doing the things ordinary people should be able to do like going to college or work or buying subzis, could have written this. Now you strike me as an intelligent young man, why would you be so thoughtless?

  50. I agree with Sasha. I got a little creeped out by this story as well. I understand the satire and sentiment behind it, Yet I too see a misogynist streak in the charcterisation of the girl who wears low rider jeans, has RDB as her favourite film (we do know of your opinions of the film, which are incidentally mine too) and is essentially an air-head. When she casts her eyes in shame and disgust at being married off to the local lech I feel my stomach churn. I don’t agree with this silly pub-bharo andolan but I also don’t agree with the picture you have painted. You satire touches a raw nerve.

  51. Ritu,

    It seems that it would be okay for a woman to wear low rider jeans etc. and it would be okay for her to protest being assaulted if she also accepted the advances of every hormone hyped young man. Its full of anger and hate towards young women.

    I notice the story is quite a favorite with male readers. So much for the thin veneer of education and a middle class status. Shining sons of India indeed! long way to go folks before we can join the ranks of civilized nations.

    btw I thought the Pink Chuddi campaign was a witty and effective response to the absurdity of the sort of hooliganism we take for granted now. Mind you this vigilantism has been part of our lives for a long long time. Glad its being at least talked about, so power to pink lingerie!

  52. Pingback: The Valentines Day Pink Chaddi Campaign: Indian Pubgoing Women Vs. Shri Ram Sena | Gauravonomics Blog

  53. Pingback: A special day « Vignesh’s Blog

  54. @GB:ending like the story ‘The face on the Wall.’

    U can give this script to Aamir Khan for Jaane tu Ya Jaane Na part 2.

  55. Finally BJP and Advani do what every other political party in India and the government should have done.

    Start the “Ladli Laxmi Yojana” to protect and support the girl child in true Hindu tradition.

  56. Your fanclub is too eager to please.
    Was forwarded this link by a friend (bong of course) and read the post with increasing dismay.
    Like some other guy said in response, it was creepy.
    I really loved it that someone notices that there is a class war going on but you really picked the wrong example to bully your point. Choosing to play one victim against another isn’t funny.
    While that was about your choice of subject, the writing was also too contrived. Sorry about that but I suppose that happens when you want to force a point.
    Did like the “dushbag” bit though πŸ™‚

  57. @Sasha above-

    “Now let me get this straight, in this story a girl rejects the advances of a horny kid, presumably because of class differences, so when he manipulates her into kissing him, we are all supposed to applaud? this is a funny story? How weird and misogynist.”

    You are not supposed to do anything. You may find it disgusting, but this is just a work of fiction. After all, in any kind of courtship or game-hunting, isnt there a bit of manipulation involved? Always? Do you always tell what you actually are. As an example, the majority of guys watch and like porn. But they will not say that to a girl when he is dating her. Your entire thought process revolves around the idea that a girl is always right and deserves the Snow White treatment. I do not blame you for that. But the prince, due to the class/caste thing emphasized above, in an Indian context, has to be a guy like Rocky Khanna, long hair, shaved chin, cute chocolatey smile, tight jeans, expensive cologne and a swanky BMW car. So when Rocky Khanna turns out to be a player, you merely dismiss him by calling him a jerk. Well who fell into that trap? Guess what, Rocky Khanna manipulated you too. πŸ™‚ But a streetside “aam aadmi”, like the protagonist in this piece, ill- dressed, unshaven, disheveled, non-english speaking and gauche, will never get the chance to play the hunter-gatherer game with you. So essentially your point here is that, it is good to be maniupulated by a Rocky Khanna, but its a nauseating thought to be manipulated by a streetside everyman. Some of the complaints on the Blank Noise Project blog resonate the same theme.

    And this article is anything but misogynistic. Arnab’s sense of justice is quite impeccable. He has written a scathing criticism about the Mangalore incident (which it fully deserves), but he is not a blogger who will write a sissy type blogpost on why poor streetside Indian guys gawk or look shamelessly at a girl’s cleavage. If you really want to read the kind of Snow White stuff, then I can suggest a few blogs for you to read. So lets say that a blogger writes a stupid piece calling Sanjay Dutt a misogynist, interpreting his comment out of context, I am sure that you will like that. What you will not realize however, is that that blogger manipulated you too. πŸ™‚ He is merely target-pandering and trying to press some pyshchological buttons and trying to build a feminist following for his blog. Manipulation Manipulation! he he . But Arnab is an honest man. And it is that very reason which makes many people to love this blog.

    @Rita above-

    “Yet I too see a misogynist streak in the charcterisation of the girl who wears low rider jeans, has RDB as her favourite film (we do know of your opinions of the film, which are incidentally mine too) and is essentially an air-head. When she casts her eyes in shame and disgust at being married off to the local lech I feel my stomach churn.”

    Why? Because you do not want to accept reality? Arent there air-heads and bimbos? The theme of the story demanded such a character, and hence it was crafted like that. I think you just took that description too personally. Past hurt perhaps! Was it mentioned anywhere in the piece that this is the description of all girls? Then why do you use the word misogynist? So next time you find your stomach churn when you hear some girl talking about being quote unquote manipulated, if there was no coercion involved, ask her to accept responsibility for her own decision making.

    @Nirmal above-

    “Your fanclub is too eager to please.
    Was forwarded this link by a friend (bong of course) and read the post with increasing dismay.
    Like some other guy said in response, it was creepy.
    I really loved it that someone notices that there is a class war going on but you really picked the wrong example to bully your point. Choosing to play one victim against another isn’t funny.”

    Increasing dismay! So how creepy was this? Good enough for a horror movie? But here is a question- who exactly is the victim here?

  58. my my, look at you trying to address conspicuous consumption and the Indian underclass. Quite the Gramscian, eh? your inner Marx hater probably had a minor aneurysm trying to process this dissonance.

  59. Sad to say, but the documentary on the Delhi rape reminded me of this post. Mukesh Singh was basically trying to say this (which was disgusting to say in itself)

    ” But how different was it from the blows that rained on us poor frustrated men every day, the blows to our hearts and egos when we saw those rich kid’s sons leading a life we can only dream of, the cars, the women, the debauchery? ”

    . I guess it was easy to laugh when I read this post, but from a long term perspective, this belief needs to be changed.

  60. Pingback: Valentines Day Bhopal 2009 — Bhopale

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