Postcards From The Edge


Here are a few photos during my random wanderings around Delhi.

I have always wondered why there has never been a store that sells aquariums, leather belt, ladies purse and dog food all together. Well now I know there is one.

For those of us who have always wanted a desi meat czar like Colonel Sanders of KFC, the wait is over. Say hello to our very own Dadu (grandfather) whose cutlets I have been told are to die for.

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Two Big Os


As an country we are obsessed with statistics and with individual achievement. Perhaps that is because of the way we have been conditioned to think from childhood,  focussed exclusively on marks and ranks. Given that baggage of our upbringing, the euphoria that sweeps the nation as Sachin Tendulkar becomes the first man (yes a woman has already done this) to score a double century in a one-day international is understandable, being as it is no mean feat.

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Barber Shop


There was a time, long long ago, when I used to look forward to getting my hair cut at the local men’s”saloon” (Rs 10 a cut) It was not so much the act of cutting the hair that I liked but the delicious waiting, sitting surrounded by an ocean of beheaded hair, hair hair everywhere, leafing through the eclectic collection of reading material the “saloon” would have—consisting of Stardust, Filmfare and many of its august brethren (The saucy Hindi mystery novels I didnt much care for I accept). It was precisely because of these magazines that I would go on Sunday mornings, when the crowd would be the largest,  the lines longest, the maximum loss of study time possible. As I waited, surrounded by naughty film magazines not allowed at home and hemmed in by refined men getting their underarms trimmed, I was convinced that Heaven must be something like this.

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After a few heart-rending glimpses at Facebook profiles of those that will never come back, killed at German Bakery and after asking myself useless questions like “Will we ever have justice?”, I have come to the conclusion that we in India should stop spending time, money and lives investigating Jihadis and trying to bring them to justice.

You heard that right.

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Sale Sale


You could not walk on the footpaths of Gariahat in those pre-Operation Sunshine days (Operation Sunshine being the controversial drive to clean Kolkata’s footpaths of illegal hawkers that became the first nail in the coffin for the CPM in Kolkata and marked the rise of the Big M) without being assailed by them.


“Sale boudi sale” [not to be translated as Bhabhis for sale but Bhabhi, we have a sale”] they would shout, a never-dying cacophony that seemed to emanate from the bowels of Hell. As you tried negotiating the narrow rope that was left of the sidewalk, you would bump into people standing and bargaining, their sweat mingling with yours, with directed howls of “Ashun dada ashun notun shirt wholesale” [Come Dada come new shirts at “wholesale” prices] aimed at your eardrums making you stop in your tracks, just in time for someone to stomp your right toe.

This tedium would sometimes be broken by comic relief provided by cries of “Boudi boudi blouse niye chole jacchen” [Bhabhi is running off with blouse] as a hook of some garment hanging from the rope strung across the footpath would catch the hair of some lady walking by or by a violent diversion  provided by two shopkeepers, angry at being undercut by the other, hurling the most poetic of abuses. And no sooner had you crossed the zone of clothes-salesman would you be set upon by the “greeters” of illegal egg-roll shops that lined the footpaths. They would literally hold you by the arm and with avancular words of empathy (“Boy, you look tired after school, why don’t you have some chicken cho-men with extra sauce?” or “Going to tuition son? Ei Bhola whip up an egg roll double pronto for this gentleman right away”) entreating you to sample their wares while you tried to extricate yourself from their grasp, your senses nevertheless drawn to the chunks of meat of doubtful provenance sizzling like a seductress on the tawa .

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My Name is KingKi


BJo [sits in a sauna, clad in a towel] : You know what. I am sick and tired of people calling me a maker of lovey-flubby-pinkie-winkie coochie-hoochie-coo movies like “Kuch Kuch Kiya Hai” and “Kabhi Aage Kabhi Peeche” and “Kaabhi Andar Na Daalna”. I want to make serious impactful cinema with political undertones….

KingKi (eyes shut, enjoying sauna): Gone mad or what?

BJo (smiling): Kidding yaar. Of course my next movie will be a love story, an intense and passionate one. What else can I do in any case? After all asking me to make a non-love story is like asking Sachin Tendulkar to dance ballet. Plus yahaan ka public only wants the coochie coochies. But baat kya hain, today’s audiences want more.  When they come out of the movie, they want to feel a surge of “I am so smart”  and this is why we need to layer in a political, deeper, “more mature” cocoon over the hoary old cliches and truisms , in essence making old garbage sound profound and brilliant .  Simple college romances don’t work any more dude and honestly I cannot make you look like a college kid any more….

KingKi (raising his eyebrow): Well if that idiot can why can’t I? Well at least can you at least make me the world’s best engineer who can improvise devices on-the-fly?

BJo: Of course ! After all what am I for? Here is going to be your slogan in the movie. “I can fix almost everything”….

KingKi: Don’t we have to pay royalties to  Aaj-Haar, ex India captain for the use of that phrase?

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Naakh Kata In Nagpur


One of the defining trends of the last ten years of cricket has been a perceptible decline in the quality of world bowling, a fact that has not only led to inflated reputations of many an ordinary batsmen but has also contributed to faster rates of scoring. I would not know exactly why we have had this dip but abridged forms of the game might be a major reason. As an example, one has to only look at Pakistan to see how they have gone from a country that produced the most explosive of bowlers (Wasim, Waqar, Safraz, Imran and even to an extent Aaqib) to one that cranks out ball-hurlers who can at best be called restrictive (Naved-ul-Hasan, Umar Gul).

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