The Free Speech Cycle

Like with everything else in India, we have a way with our own style of discourse with regards to journalism and free speech, something that is as unique as a BJP supporter’s unrequited love for Narendra Modi which turns into multiple orgasms instantly (especially if he were to appear on the cover of a Time Magazine, you know) or  Viveik Oberoi having to claim in an interview that his wife is simple and down-to-earth, and doesn’t behave like a star’s wife. Because she probably isn’t one. But maybe that just skipped Oberoi’s mind.

Following Mint Candyman Aakar Patel’s outrageous diatribe attempting to Draw Something (I used that app and I guess the answer here is ‘Dividing Line’) between the North and South of India, the internet (and by internet, I mean Twitter and Facebook) erupted into fury with several Facebookers calling for petrol purchased from the state of Goa to be unleashed on Patel’s house in (where does he live?). Twitter, in particular, was gracious in awarding Patel the title of the World’s Most Annoying Troll given that he has written provocative pieces before too. They’d awarded him Most Annoying Troll before, but this North-South article just nudged them to add the word ‘World’s’ to the award. Also, nobody noticed that he would’ve got much more fame if the URL of the article was smart enough to incorporate the word ‘South’ in it. For that, Mint owners should probably just take the newspaper’s IT guy to a Roadies audition.

Not long then, before Mint Editor-in-Chief stepped in and tweeted something so pathbreaking-ly predictable that this changed the blood flow of humans and the retweets flow of everything else (including bots in bikinis). Because this is when India’s ‘Free Speech Cycle’ came a full circle. This is generally what happens, all the time. A provocative piece is published which people read and outrage between themselves. Soon, somebody steps up to quote what Voltaire (or Evelyn Beatrice Hall) once said thereby making him shudder in his grave yet one more time. Soon, there is a complete change of the flow and people will start waking up and agreeing that YES YES THERE EXISTS A RIGHT TO PUBLISH! That tweet gets torn to shreds with people either +1-ing it, or adding “TRUE!” or “This ->” before it.

Towards the end of the Free Speech Cycle, all that remains is for those who haven’t read the article in question yet to do so, like turning up late at a Suhel Seth party and having to do with the leftovers. The rest of us live to die another day, and will all get back to washing-rinsing-repeating before we even know it, because that’s what we do best. Soon, it’s sunset and everybody looks forward to alcohol, football on TV or sex (the general rule is that you only get to have two of the three, not all three at once).

The Free Speech Cycle is India’s greatest contributing factor to all the free time in the world that her people have (and no, Pratibha Patil spending 205 crores on foreign tours or the Indian military’s lack of preparedness to fighting even Sri Lanka in a non-nuclear war are not real problems), and is now a part of our national ethos. Like Kamaal R Khan’s kiss-tweets and Kapil Sibal waking up in the middle of the night at any mention of the words ‘Let’s censor’. So coming to the really important part – The question this article (this one, that you’re reading right now) poses is that the Free Speech Cycle notwithstanding, how does one get to have all three of alcohol, football on TV and sex on the same night?

Asking for a friend.

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England for Prime Minister!

The talk of the town in India (and by ‘in India’, I basically mean Twitter and Facebook) over recent weeks has been more or less surrounding homosexuality and wayward uttering in relation to that by the Ministry of Home Affairs (later withdrawn, may have been unsaid, let’s leave it to speculation) and the Supreme Court. That is if, unlike me, you choose to discount Kapil Sibal’s literally-hefty presence at the 2012 World Mobile Congress in Barcelona.

Following the Delhi High Court’s move towards decriminalization of homosexuality, most spoken words not toeing the line of the High Court are (rightly) demolished and thrown to street dogs. However, I must draw India’s attention to a more urgent decriminalization that needs to be paid heed to, in retrospect. It is something that has gone unnoticed for years, and it is already threatening communal harmony.

People who don’t support one of Manchester United/Chelsea/Arsenal/Liverpool, the England national football team and the English Premier League.

Apart from pervasive poverty, widespread hunger, eye-reddening/lung-wrenching pollution, disastrously poor and blindingly un-improving standard of living, faltering infrastructure, limited edition Mountain Dew neon packs which Salman Khan puts to use during power cuts in Bombay, Poonam Pandey in a saree and other indicatively obnoxious things life can offer us, India suffers from the malaise of a fanatical fanbase of people that strictly, as if part of a secret code, supports one of the four ‘top’ English football clubs only, especially Manchester United, despite knowing microscopically little about the game of football or holding an interest as passionate as browbeating in an expensive sports bar just because your Dad or your friend with a wealthy Dad or your girlfriend with a wealthy Dad can pay for your drink. And mind you, this fanbase is multiplying faster than right-wingers can crack yet one more poorly-constituted “RSS is responsible, hehehaha” joke and laugh amongst themselves and retweet it between their Twitter accounts.

If there’s one thing India is excelling in producing more than engineers without girlfriends and MBA graduates with Arindam Chaudhuri’s blessings, it is fans of these four football clubs. It is imperative that somebody from the UPA Government steps up (except Suresh Kalmadi, because he’ll just make lakhs out of it all) and decriminalizes people who don’t support an English football club and the England national team and give them a chance at living like a proud-free-democratic-BharatMata-worshipping (but not necessarily Juan Mata) Indian. In fact, a popular joke goes like this – A guy who knows nothing about football enters a sports bar on a matchday, orders a drink, sits in a corner and observes quietly for 10-15 minutes. “Dude, which club do you support?” “Manchester United, bro”. Okay, this joke is yet to gain popularity. But you get my point, no?

Like all fundamentalists who leave clues, it is not too difficult to sense a pattern here. It’s got to be a Top Four English club, logically followed by the world’s greatest national team, the England national team and all-round gaga-googoo-ing over the world’s greatest football league, the English Premier League. Like monstrous Indian trucks that consistently honk ringtones of old Hindi film music, with ‘Horn OK Please’ and ‘Mera Bharat Mahaan’ written behind them. Of course because, the rest of the world is just foreign. England, English and everything related is home. Or at least gives a feeling of ‘home’. Except, not really. Say a word against this pattern and expect a reaction that oversized Mayawati statues and die-hard Bahujan Samaj Party-themed-inner-garments-wearing fans would give you if you were giving an anti-Mayawati speech in the badlands of Uttar Pradesh.

India must call for a special post-Winter-pre-Summer Parliament session that decriminalizes people who don’t support English football clubs, before power groups endorsing the cause, call for a clause to be inserted directly into the Constitution of India. Given how the ‘reasonable restrictions‘ clause on freedom of speech is the most ambiguous thing to happen to India since Kalyan Singh’s politics, a pressure group may be just what it takes to make supporting a non-English football club illegal on Indian territory (for now, this doesn’t include Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, sorry). While this requirement may not be as old as the archaic Section 377 clause, it still calls for urgent implementation before all the streets in India are painted either red, red-and-white or blue (89% complete, according to unconfirmed statistics). Before it becomes necessary that to be an Indian, one must support a top-four English team, the England national team and the English Premier League in that particular order, the Government has to make a move.

Just like how living in Gujarat comes with a pre-condition to go numb in admiration of the state’s uber-popular and cannot-do-any-wrong Chief Minister (and lesser Gujaratis like myself have to go on a trip to Daman or Diu to breathe fresh air), living in India comes with an absolutely streamlined pre-condition of supporting one of these top four English clubs. Because c’mon, can you afford to not be a part of the ‘crowd’? Obviously not. Like this guy who once said “Dude, supporting Arsenal suddenly made the anti-social in me disappear. People found me so much more acceptable!”. “If we as a herd end up in a Manchester United sports bar, then that is our democratic right!!”, screamed a guy outside a Manchester United sports bar, who was so drenched in red color that it appeared as if he was a walking advertisement for Asian Paints.

And this is true from my personal experiences too because I’ve had fanatics hold me at gunpoint, threatening to drag me to the nearest Passport Office since I made the mistake of revealing to them that I do not support an English club. They let me go after saying “You are a very strange Indian!”, after I fooled them into believing that I’ll have to stay alive as I’m the guy responsible for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s Twitter account, which as we speak is busy solving the nation’s umpteen problems. Go ahead then, India. And do what is required. Or at least, care to give the rest of your people a minority quota in an IIM or something. If the UPA just sits back and watches the action unfold as has been happening for the past two decades or so, then they might just have a new rival the Indian people might prefer over Rahul Gandhi.

England for Prime Minister!

I Got Married

–Impromptu Post Warning–

–Uncalled-for-Drama Warning–

I got married. Yeah, I did.

Thankfully, it was only a dream nightmare. But never before have I spring-jumped from my bed like a jack-out-of-the-box and scurried across the confines of my little apartment in the hope that I don’t stumble into that deadly creature popularly known as THE WIFE.

As it so happens, it turned out to be an arranged marriage. The wife-to-be’s deranged relatives kept pouring in to my home in an area mildly similar to Antarctican extremes. They ripped off my tee-shirt and started applying some sort of powder on my body that resembled very closely in color to liquid excreta entering a Level II Treatment Section in a remote sanitation facility. Very soon, the sound of music took up the air. And by ‘sound of music’, I meant aunty cheerleaders (without the cheerleader outfits, of course) screaming their lungs out at the prospect of seeing me go under the knife.

Despite all the chaos, I attempted to take aside of a few of my I-think-they’re-sane-enough family members and desperately tried to convince them that I do NOT want to marry. This girl. Any girl. Don’t. Want. To. Marry. I attempted to fake-puke my way out of the marriage, but to nothing. Relatives kept pouring in, however. Apart from the free food, I failed to understand what motivated them so strongly. Oh wait, my death.

Saner are those people who live unmarried lives, even if they’re usually demented and search for stuff like ‘mangal pandey sex’ or ‘dog toilets’ on this blog. Less paranoid are those people who shun marriage but are crazy enough to take kids to a room and offer them a ‘lollypop’. Marriage is, by heaps and bounds and miles and kilometers and Chetan Bhagat book pages, the scariest invention ever.

Scariest. Ever.

All it took was a dream nightmare for me to realize that.

What Happens When The National Advisory Council Meets!

Sonia Gandhi: Hello folks. Welcome to the NAC meeting.

Manmohan Singh: Hello, madam.

SG: STFU, dude. [MS goes quiet. Absolute silence in the room] By the way, why are you sitting on that side chair? There’s a special chair for the Prime Minister at all NAC meets.

MMS: Oh, oops. Almost forgot. Heehee.

[At that opportune moment, Rahul Gandhi enters…]

Rahul Gandhi: Paaji, that chair is going to be mine soon.

Ahmed Patel: Sure, you guys can play musical chairs and decide actually.

SG: HAHA Ahmedji. Don’t reveal the secrets behind how Prime Ministers are appointed in this country. Okay Rahul, what have you brought to the table?

RG: Mayawatiji. *chuckles* Okay seriously, not much. This Policy Of Maintaining Silence On All Issues In The Congress Party (POMSOAIITCP – longest policy name ever and so good that it has IIT in it) has paid a lot of dividends to my reputation and I intend to maintain it.

*silence*

SG: Hmmm. Listen carefully Junior – We must get you arrested one more time in UP, the card we played last time did create some hype for the Congress but didn’t work out as well as I wanted.

MMS: Madam, can I say something here?

SG: NO.

AP: ROFLOL. 😀

MS: But Madam….

SG: Shushhh!

Digvijay Singh turns up.

Digvijay Singh: Hello fellow Congresspeople, how goes? I was on the phone with the LulzSec guys.

SG: This LulzSec thingy, do you think they are good enough to hack the NAC website?

DS: Maybe, I’m sure they’ll call me before they do anything. Like everybody else does. Oh wait, phone call from Amar Singh…

*Diggy heads to talk on the phone, and returns in a bit*

DS: Amar Singh called me to tell that he will be calling Bipasha Basu soon…

Oh wait, call from Bipasha…

*Again, Diggy heads out and returns*

DS: Bipasha told me she’s expecting a call from Amar Singh anytime soon. I think something is going on between the two and I suggest we issue statement claiming that RSS might be responsible.

SG: Oh God, shut up. Can we focus on the real issues – how much taxpayer money is required for the next NAC meet?

AP: Quite a bit. Don’t worry, the exchequer will sanction it. We are in complete control.

SG: Great, then. What’s next, btw?

MMS: A personal advisory council for me, please! 😀

SG: SHUTTTT UPPPPPPP!!!!

[PS: Not sure if these are the people who turn up at NAC meets. Bah, who cares! Follow me on Twitter?]

What ACTUALLY Happens At Indo-Pak Talks

Ever wondered what happens when India and Pakistan meet in foreign secretary-level talks? Here goes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SALMAN BASHIR: Yo India! How’s it hanging? Err. What’s up?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NIRUPAMA RAO: All good, dude. Apart from a few scams here and there and Karunanidhi’s constant whining over Kanimozhi.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

M KARUNANIDHI: SAVE KANIMOZHI. 😐

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LOL! 😀 Anyway, getting back to business. So what are India’s claims this time?

Oh, as if our previous demands have been met? What about bringing the perpetrators of Mumbai to justice? That dude Hafiz Saeed gives speeches as if Pakistan is his father-in-law’s country…! Is it his father-in-law’s country, by the way?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

M KARUNANIDHI: SAVE KANIMOZHI. 😐

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RAVI SHASTRI: In the end, cricket is the winner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hehe, that’s what you think! In the end, ISI is the winner. 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

M KARUNANIDHI: SAVE KANIMOZHI. 😐

 

DUDE, KALAIGNAR. WTF! Hold on Bashir, you ain’t going anywhere. I’ve got this under control. Chill.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SHAH RUKH KHAN: Arey, wah! This kind of nonsense goes on at Indo-Pak talks?! Damn. Anyway, I AM THE NUMBER ONE ‘NUMBER ONE CROWN SEEKING’ GUY, at least. Hee hee. Die Aamir.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WELCOME TO IPL 5!! *fireworks*

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BABA RAMDEV: The best way to solve our problems is Fast Unto Death. Also the only way to cure homosexuality is through breathing, which actually means breathing air from one guy to another. Or smooching…..Also…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s raced away to the boundary like a tracer bullet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is going on?! Somebody get me outta here…! OSAMAAA, where art thou?

The World Peace Religious Symbol

Intellectuals and pseudo-intellectuals all over this world’s greatest superpower-wannabe, India, have written about various religious symbols and why we must work hard to either offend them or NOT offend them. Now which ever side of the argument you are on, I must offer you the complete freedom to make fun of my religious symbol.

Rupa Frontline Underwear (And Banyan).

rupafrontline

Yes, this is my religious symbol. Now before I get into further details explaining this pious deity, let me clarify what a religious symbol exactly is.

‘Something’ you have to worship everyday, ‘something’ you must pay heed to when you wake up from a drunken night’s sleep, ‘something’ you have to value more than anything else in your cupboard, ‘something’ that must be with you everyday. The only problem with this religious symbol is that you can’t carry around the same deity everyday. Change one deity for a duplicate deity, and life’s good.

And hence nothing qualifies more so, in my life at least, than Rupa Frontline.

alt

Yeh Aaram Ka Maamla Hai is the accompanying prayer. My religious symbol offers no compulsion to say the prayer everyday but it is recommended that the prayer be said so that whatever maamla you are involved in has a lot of aaram too. And mind you, Rupa Frontline has answered all my prayers. Simply because it is always there, everyday.

You can even buy this religious symbol [here], and make it your own. And pray everyday to it. While the symbol of peace and religion (?) is largely white, Rupa Frontline offers varieties in several colours (including pink) and you can see why the union of Rupa Frontline with World Peace is inevitable. [Last I checked, World Peace is NOT an undergarments brand. Yet.]

And I’m not too touchy about my religious symbol. You can make fun of my religious symbol and you will not find me amassing foot soldiers of the Rupa Frontline Protection Army (RFPA) to burn your house down or kidnap your mother-in-law or something like that.

All Time Number One Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan, who is himself seen as a symbol of religious unity across the world [here], agrees with me entirely. “I agree with you, dude”, he says while opening his arms wide (the one where the arms go in opposite directions directly parallel to the below-the-belt area and perpendicular to the ground) for the 2,23,417th time for a movie scene he is currently shooting.

So, in the spirit of fairness and the spirit of Fair-N-Handsome creams, I firmly believe that the best way to a peaceful world is the adoption of Rupa Frontline as a universal religious symbol by the thousands and millions of human beings (and Uday Choprian creatures).

Buy now!

PS: Rupa has a YouTube channel, too.

[Pictures Courtesy: Google Search]

There’s Always Something You Can Do

indiaflag
First of all, a very happy Independence Day to you.

It’s a dry day, I know. And that’s all that matters. Really. And a dry Sunday, at that. If you have cheekily stocked up on your booze, then more power to you. But all the expletives in the world can’t express your, otherwise, general frustration, can they?

Don’t worry. There’s always something you can do. To keep you busy on a boring Sunday without booze, da. Or on all such days.

1) Stone Kicking

The naughty folks (read ‘separatists’) in Kashmir believe in throwing stones at the Indian Army to keep them away from the streets of Srinagar and other cities and towns in the state. You, on the other hand, can kick stones. Yes, kick.

Areyyy, the ones that lie ‘harmlessly’ on public roads, the ones waiting to come into contact with the wheel of a vehicle and spring themselves at an innocent passer-by to hit him/her on the head. You can kick them away into the side, if you are crossing the road, or the road is empty.

2) Google Doodle!

Got a whole lot of free time to spare? Well, keep all your free time. Google wants just a few seconds of your time. The Google India website, every year, comes up with wonderful doodles that lead to mind-boggling admiration from Indians. And this year too, they are true to their promise.

Nothing wrong. Google’s doodles are something I’ve enjoyed all along. And you should too. Oh, once you are done taking a look at the doodle, you can obviously proceed to search for ‘Shakeela hot bath kiss’ or ‘Sherlyn nude’. Shakti Kapoor takes Google Doodles very seriously, you know. [Picture: Shakti Kapoor’s seriousness] [Picture courtesy: Greatbong]

3) View Independence Day-themed advertisements

One thing I enjoy doing on Independence Day is to take a look at how corporates have brilliantly placed the Indian tricolour very strategically in their ads.

Most ads would go like – ‘Proud to be an Indian. Wear Rupa Underwear & Banyan’ – making the viewer feel apologetic of not attaching with the cause. And the country. Even though you may be very (and rightly) attached with your currently used brand of innerwear.

For example, you could view The Times Of India’s website for starters. The wonderfully astute designers and editors at TOI are usually quick to vomit the three colours on their website as if to make you feel you are jumping into a swimming pool of Indianness. And drowning, of course.

4) Clean up the flags

It’s Independence Day. Time to flaunt the Indianness. I promise to buy an India flag, an India pin, an India cap, an India T-shirt and Uday Chopra jeans. Hey, there are no India jeans. Spare me, please. Except, I won’t really be buying all this.

But I promise I will clean the street. All these purchased flags that have slipped away from their owners, will of course lie on the streets of the same country they are a symbol of. So much for not keeping our cities clean, we tend to dirty our cities with our own flags.

Thank you for the love and patriotism you displayed when purchasing the damn thing, but I’d certainly not like seeing the tricolour on the road. In all seriousness.

Anyway, Independence Day be good to you and your family. Happy, also.

aarti
And please do remember – there’s always something you can do.

[Picture courtesy: Real Bollywood]