Thursday, August 27, 2009

Vendor Vocabulary

“Cae-rett, koli-phlaver, inji, takkalli, penis!” went the hawker.

Carrots, cauliflower, ginger, tomatoes and… penis!

Housewives leaned out their windows enquiringly… while I craned my neck to spot the hawker in the milling crowd. There was only his voice, ringing loud and hearty.

Penis? He hawks penis? I was stumped for a moment.

And then he came into view, his pushcart, piled high with “Cae-rett, koli-phlaver, inji, takkalli, penis!”

There on a corner of his cart was a neat little mound of beans!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Purse

Again, with
Pen poised over paper,
He sits to deliver
Verse.
Like a pregnant woman,
Now in pain,
Now stifling a
Curse.
Words fall about him
Haphazard and
Terse.
Now he perms,
Now he slashes, then,
Confines them to the
Hearse.
For it just isn’t so
He can’t get a go,
Hanging there high-strung,
He’s left for the
Worse.
His child cries for
Her mother,
Who’s left him for another.
He knows not how he’ll
Feed her,
He knows not how he’ll
Nurse.
His landlord stands
Taller,
His debts aren’t getting
Any smaller.
Yet, he waits
In vain, over paper,
To catch the eluding
Verse.
He waits
Like a man in haste
Now expectant,
Now mouthing a
Curse.
(Sigh!)
Poetry my man, springs
From honest thought,
Spontaneously begot.
It cannot be
Curried together,
You see, just
To feed a lazy
Purse.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

How To Fart And Not Get Caught - III

You docked inside safe?

Good! Now as calmly and deftly as you can, put both palms on your cheeks, fingers slightly spread.

No. No. The other cheeks. You are not being taught to burp…

With the lesson so far? Excellent!

You are now in the launch mode.

Shhh! No sobbing in there. And shhh… No guttural intonations either. And… what?

Ok. Ok. We’ll cut the crap. Now spread your cheeks as wide as you can to allow free passage for the fiend.

Wait! Did you check for inflammable material on your person or immediate surroundings? Do… waaa… What did you just fling into outer orbit! Your lighter? Ok!

And wait! Do you have an exhaust fan running on kingdom-come-or-bust mode, well above your head? You do! And your palms are firmly on cheeks? Yes? Hallelujah…

All systems are go dude!

Monday, July 27, 2009

How To Fart And Not Get Caught - II

Oh good, the launch pad (the poop ‘n’ pee place u *#@^) is free. And whoopee! There’s no one around. But! What’s that noise? Maybe you’re imagining things. Remember, when you’re all filled up and ready for release, there’s a chance that the gases could, you know… get osmotic.

Wait! You heard it wrong. It’s OSMOTIC. Not ASTHMATIC. Which means you won’t choke on your gut fumes. It’s just a postulate that it might fuddle your brains a wee bit, making you hallucinate. So you might go “What’s that noise” and all that. Now the explanation is complicated. Besides you’re in no mood for it, remember?

You’ve got business to do, so lets get rolling.

No. No. Not your eyes. That’s no way to release pent up gaseous fury. Dude, did you just try passing wind through your eyes? Momma! We better get down to the expulsion bit then. You must be ready to explode to try something like that!

Ok. Ok. That fierce nodding says it all.

Now get your butt into a cubicle. You done? What?! Why’s the rest of you out! “Butt into cubicle,” means your whole frame into it. You need to shut the door, remember.

To be continued…

Friday, July 24, 2009

How To Fart And Not Get Caught

So you know how to squirm. You know how to jam lock your release valve to prevent untimely escape of the wind genie. You even know how to blush a bright pink, come Armageddon.

Now learn how to pass the stinker with the finesse of a diplomat.

The trick, to begin with, is to release with at least token camouflage.

If you work on a shop floor you are one of those twice blessed ones who needn’t care a rats arse about the consequences of suspicious shifts in decibel and odor levels in your immediate surrounding. You are well camouflaged any way. And a fart or two wouldn’t bring the roof down.

But if you work in a nice-nice office with nice-nice people, you better learn up quick about out-smarting the flatulence genie before it’s too late.

Let’s suppose you’re at your nice-nice desk when the genie stirs within and gets progressively annoying. No amount of tightening your rear musculature is going to discourage escape. In fact you’ll only be walking into a highly explosive situation when the said musculature would willing give way, not unlike the pressure cooker on a bad day.

So before it gets fiendish, you must slowly slip to the rest room.Of course, nice-nice offices have nice-nice rest rooms. Make sure you have your all-is-well smile firmly in place. And don’t squirm as you make a beeline for the launch pad. That’s a dead give away.

To be continued…

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Samiyo’s Revenge

Samiyo stood up tottering and burped loudly. He was rather content with the way the day had ended. After all he’d spent a good part of it making porottas at the wayside restaurant where he was the undisputed Porotta Master.

He’d just downed his usual measure of ‘fieriness’ to wipe away his weariness, before heading home to his dear wife, when he heard the familiar whirr. Did he perhaps dispatch a wee bit more than usual? He wasn’t certain. But he was sure that the blurry thingy that whizzed past him was his last bus home.

He grabbed his paper bag of porottas and beef and weaved his way to the bus bay, debating if he should empty his bladders in the mean time. No! He’d rather be smart and grab a seat for himself on the bus first. Then perhaps he could go for the piss, leaving the paper bag on his seat, proclaiming his imminent return. Brilliant! Samiyo beamed. It was such brilliance that had helped him fortify his position as Porotta Master.

Still beaming, he hurriedly boarded the bus, chose an empty seat, placed his paper bag carefully in the center and walked out for a quick ‘leak’.

Appada! The sudden exertion had exhausted him or so it seemed because he’d missed the last step and stumbled on to the bay. And now his bladders were bursting.

Still swaying, he tottered into the darkness to relieve himself. Perhaps he should light up a beedi to accompany the piss. Now that was a fine idea. He presently felt cheerier.

He must have taken a while because when he returned he saw to his horror that the bus had already taken off and was rounding the corner at a distance. Damn! He cursed himself. He had to save his paper bag somehow.

He jumped into an auto rickshaw and pointed in the general direction of the bus, insisting that the diver follow in hot pursuit.

Five minutes later the bus was in sight. There! It was stopping now. “Faster! Faster” he goaded the driver of the three-wheeler. And yes! He’d just made it. He’d have his paper bag soon. But just as he was getting out the bus pulled away. Moreover, he realized it was the wrong bus!

By the time Samiyo tracked it down to the terminus, the bus was long empty. He couldn’t find his paper bag anywhere. The darned driver’s eaten his porottas and beef he decided, grinding his teeth. That was way too much for Samiyo to bear.

“Oh yeh? I’ll show you what you get when you steal a man’s porottas and beef,” he swore as he sat in the driver’s seat and switched on the ignition.

The next day a horrified driver reported his bus missing and an hour later the police called to tell him they’d tracked it down a kilometer away, where it had crashed into a tree, with Samiyo still asleep at the wheel, unawares.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Sam Bourne: And My Righteous Indignation


Now, I do admit that it's mighty easy to smear the work of others. But I'm doing it now. Without further preamble, let me tell you that I found this book The Righteous Men by Sam Bourne a huge let down. There isn't a story in there. But guess why I picked it up? Because the tag read - The end of the world is coming. One body at a time. Boy! That’s dramatic by any standards and then the first page was pretty taught too. And I was suckered. I must admit, that I read this book through, trying to figure out what I'd missed as I turned the pages. It turned out that I didn't miss much.

There’s even a review by Mirror right on the cover that reads: the biggest challenger to Dan Brown's crown. Pha! Nothing could be further from the truth. I enjoyed Dan Brown's da Vinci Code immensely. The logic there was woven in well, plotted studiously and the pace never slackened even when the story swung into historic detailing. But that's not the case here. It’s plain boring. And the code breaking here isn't well explained. At least Brown drew it out for you. Here, Bourne, just describes it in the most vague manner. I didn't get it, I swear.

This man was trying mightily to do another Dan Brown. I wonder if Brown himself could do it again, let alone others. Spend your money elsewhere, because as sure as eggs are eggs, this is a rotten one.

I’m sorry Sam; it doesn’t feel good to be an armchair critic. God forbid, if I were to write a book and were to read such a review, I’d want to personally rip the critic apart. But Sam, Sam… the promise of grandeur that was apparent on the cover of your first fiction work didn’t go beyond the cover. Why!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

For a Burp

Steaming, sticky idillis
Four tiny ones
On my plate;
Laced misty thin
With chutney
And a hint of pungent mint

The supper
Of an apprentice
Is food enough for thought
You’re served
But token appeasement
The flatulence
Not the burp

Yet you choose
To skip the gravy
And save
On tea and coffee
You indulge
In salt and pepper
To stretch your serving
To a fill

Ah! For a spread
Of dinner…
For a full,
Delicious burp

You sink into
Your lumpy bed
And hear the bugs
Deep sigh
You shut your eyes
You dream your dreams
And tuck in idillis
In your sleep

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Pirate Jack Sparrow! Will You Be Back?


Ugh! That was absolutely insolent of me. Captain. CAPTAIN Jack Sparrow it is. And I'll never get that wrong again. I'm this late bloomer, if that's the word. I get everything backwards. I miss out on a lot of things and then before regret buries me alive, I indulge to save my soul. What was that saying again... better late than never. Touché!

I love Captain Jack Sparrow.

Don't you too? That was a legend waiting to happen. Pirates have always amused me. But the spectacle on celluloid was something beyond my wildest dreams. I'd like to kill myself for not having watched the Captain on the big screen. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl is a masterpiece. I haven't enjoyed a movie so much in a long time. (Excuse me while I flagellate myself for not seeing it on the big screen).

I didn't like Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest as much though. But it's fascinating never the less. The characters are so real. And the Captain... oh well, he didn't shine as much as he did in the first story. If you haven't seen the movie yet, rush to get yourself a DVD, even a pirated one like I did for Dead Man's Chest! These pirates are a contagious breed. Imagine! I got myself a pirated DVD to watch Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. Haaaaa! Excuse me, that was a joke I told myself.

But there’s something that bothers me: When Captain Jack falls off the cliff still tied to the bamboo pole after escaping from the cannibals, he is clearly falling towards water. But when he hits the ground he is in a jungle! And then when Elizabeth tries to head for the gun in order to shoot the gunpowder and rum barrels, she tries to climb stairs (right before Captain Jack takes up the gun). Suddenly, the ship is hit so hard that Elizabeth falls down. The gun, however, does not move at all.

Did I miss something? Never mind. Everything's forgiven when it's a mind-blowing experience.

[Psst! I hear Rocky Balboa is great too.]

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Stingy Vocabulary

The whole affair was a façade, a smokescreen to prolong his stay in office and lessen the accruing damage. But Nixon was only getting deeper into the dirt he’d gotten himself into and by God, did it smell to the high heavens!

Florentyna followed the charade closely thinking: “What a sham!

There was a knock on the door.

I book marked the page I was reading, before tossing it on bed, thinking to myself: “What a sham…” as I opened the door.

You have sham?” asked pasty face next door, looking a little embarrassed.

Oh crap! What did I get myself into while I was reading a book, I wondered as pasty faced repeated...

You have sham…

And then it hit me - an emphasis on the ‘P’.

Pasty face had come to borrow my shampoo again. And he’d always called it ‘shamp’ never shampoo. Very economic with vocabulary too, not just with buying himself a bottle of ‘shamp’.

Monday, May 25, 2009

DVD Only Saar!

Gent walks into a store in Bangalore.

"I need a blank DVD" he says at the counter.

The young chappie behind nods his head wisely, apprises Gent for a fraction and then vanishes into the inner recesses of the store. As Gent looks around the store, wondering how long it would take, he hears a slap on the counter.

"DVD saar!"

Quick gun huh? However that didn’t look like a DVD to Gent.

"I need a blank DVD" he repeats to the chappie.

"That only saar."

"But this is not a DVD, it's a VCD"

"Same only saar! DVD, VCD same only."

But this is not a DVD, it's a VCD" insists Gent.

"Saar! Same only saar! DVD, VCD same only. Today we already sale three." He says triumphantly.

And as if strength would add to it, another chappie comes to the rescue and insists that his colleague is right. A DVD and a VCD are one and the same, he says firmly. But not firmly enough or so it seems as the colleagues eye each other, unsure for a moment. One of them suddenly turns round.

"Saar! What difference?"

Gent blinks stupidly.

"The capacity. The difference is the capacity."

Never mind, he told himself and made a quick exit while the chappies were left to figure out what they’d just heard.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Closed Doors

Closed doors
Give me that coffin-feeling
Colder than death itself
Let in the warm sunshine
And the mellow air
Let the cat walk in
Without a thought or care
Don’t wait to knock
I know you’re here
Come in, do
You need not fear
Closed doors
Are not for me
Let in the sweet odour
Let in the breeze
I’ve thrown out the
Darkness
Along with the keys
Closed doors
No. They’re not for me

Come,
Unfasten my shackles
That I embrace light
That I celebrate life
It’s now
Handsome and bright

Monday, April 13, 2009

Getting at Mr. Pompous

Imagine you have this pencil that can make people hiccup. Or build flatulence or make them wince or twitch or wink or yawn! All you need to do is write down on a piece of paper the desired action while you picture the face of your victim. Sounds like roaring fun, ugh?

Imagine combining these twitches and winks and precipitating them at random or by design. That would be particularly handy at office meetings, wouldn't it?

Picture this. Mr. Self Important has just strutted into this terribly important meeting, late as usual. He thinks it makes a big impression. He's all fake smiles and then as he sits down he quickly explains it off with a "wasn't feeling well this morning... had to drag my self here."

'Hrump!' you sniff to yourself and write 'Flatulence' on your pad.

Mr Self Important suddenly goes pale with the wish-I-weren't-here look. You would too if you were in his shoes, trying mightily to stifle a fart in public.

That should fix him for a while you think, enjoying the looks on the pompous face, which is not so pompous now.

But nothing ever bothers Mr Pompous for more than the wink of an eye, or so he makes it seem. In no time at all he recovers. The self-important frown is back as he peers down his glasses at the lesser mortals round the table.

'Hiccup', you write on your pad in disgust. Promptly everyone's surprised by a loud hiccup. And another. Oh! You’re enjoying this! Ha! And furiously thinking up wicked combinations.

'Wince', you write and an already embarrassed Mr. Bumptious winces involuntarily, adding to his discomfort. As everyone looks on amused and some even frown, you quickly scribble a vile combination.

‘Hiccup’. ‘Wince’. ‘Hiccup’.

This is fun ugh? How about a ‘Wobble’ and ‘Clown Jig’ as well just as Mr. Self Important makes a hasty retreat after trying in vain to control his bouts of unexplained hiccups? Or how about 'Burp' and 'Fart'.

I leave the rest of the combinations to you. I know you'll enjoy it.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Rx Gloom

Let’s suppose the drug stores in our locality dispensed Glum Pills over the counter that would make you morose and wretched in about twenty minutes of ingestion. And that there is a mad scramble for it. Everybody want’s it for their own reason. Would it be something like this one described below?

Your ‘ex’ is in town unannounced. She didn’t know she’d be coming until the last moment and then there wasn’t time for a grand announcement. But she’s in town now and you can’t keep a straight face. You’re all smiles and delicious anticipation.

As you’re shaving you catch yourself smiling ear to ear. When your wife walks in with tea it’s all you can do to feign nonchalance. But the wife, like all wives, reads something in your face. You see it in her eyes and you hastily yet slickly evade it. And catch yourself in the mirror again. “Eeeeks!”

“That me?!” Why is my face all contorted into a… why do I look like something that deserted a cat’s chow bowl in a tearing hurry, you wonder, trying desperately to appear relaxed again, with that careless morning look.

“Are you ok darling?” Asks the concerned wife.

“Yeah! Just my acidity acting up darling. I’ll skip tea and have some water instead.”

And you make a beeline for the kitchen, without turning back.

In office you’re all smiles again. The printer is out of cartridge. You’re smiling. Once the cartridge is in, you run out of paper. You’re smiling. You put the paper, wrong side in. But you’re smiling. She’s here! She’s here!

And then you force on a straight face again as you hear footsteps, but not before the approaching company wisecrack and clairvoyant sees another one of your desperate facial contortions and gives you an aha-so-she’s-in-town smile as he passes. “Sheeeet!” You tell yourself annoyed. “I can’t be this open story book that everyone can read.”

Lunchtime and you rush to the nearest drug store to get yourself the Glum Pill. But you’re wise for once. You keep it for after the meeting and get back home suitably morose. What a wonderful pill you tell yourself next morning. Doctor & Bramble have a good thing going there; bless them.