Search This Blog

Monday, September 16, 2013

Miss America - The Color of Victory

The last time I was this excited about Miss Anything was years ago, when a couple of Indian beauties stormed the world of beauty pageantry by winning both the Miss Universe and Miss World titles in the same year. I was watching the Miss Universe pageant telecast into the wee hours of Indian Standard Time (off the GMT one, not the time you arrive at parties), afforded thanks to the newly liberalized cable media at the time. I was so excited that an Indian won the title that I called my friend at 2 am to inform him of this exciting development. I should add that this was before cell phones had arrived in India. I was mortified when his mom received the call and rightfully chastised me to call again at a better time.

Ms. Nina Davuluri wins the Miss America pageant, less than twenty years later, and sets the record for being the first woman of Indian descent to be anointed with the title. I congratulate her on her tremendous achievement, for this title will give her a platform to follow through her dreams, whatever they may be. To many Indian-Americans, this victory signals the emergence of the 'other' minority in American popular culture, which has mostly relegated them to academic, largely symbolic, frequently caricatured, and mostly token presence. 

With her victory, Ms. Davuluri has suddenly made dark skin beautiful, slipped the state of Andhra Pradesh into mainstream conversation, this time of course, completely undivided in its support of the beauty. She has made South Indians glamorous icons, and Indian-Americans, mainstream. Ms. Davuluri states that Miss America is an iconography for a typical American girl next door. It follows that the promise of this victory is the acceptance of the notion that Indian ethnic features such as black cascading hair, black as coal dark eyes and dusky skin can be mainstream – a girl next door indeed. Indian fairness cream makers and proponents of “fair” skin as a stand-in for beauty, please take note – the fair in “Fair and Lovely” is really about justice, equality and fairness without a tint (pun unintended) of discrimination to it.

Ms. Davuluri embodies the best among Indian-Americans, educated, hard working daughter from a family of doctors, and a consistent high achiever. Consequently, it was not a leap to quickly rally in support of the American, Indian-American, Asian-American or other hyphenation we chose to define her, in order to find a redemptive relief in her victory. We quickly claimed ethnic kinship to the various sub-segments that make up for her ethnic identity as we saw fit - Indian, South Indian, Telugu and any other combination of her origin - to validate the sound standing of our own ethnic group in this country. Her heavily appreciated Bollywood dance routine even cemented our vague hunch that the true potential of Bollywood is under-represented in the U.S.A. We were quick to celebrate her Indian-ness, irrespective of how Ms. Davuluri might truly feel about the imposed duality. In celebrating her Indian-ness, we even conceded generously to share her victory with other Indian-Americans who do not belong to the same state, sub-sect, caste, religion, color or ethnicity. We were one in that moment.

As the story unfolded, the eventual and completely expected racial backlash did not surprise me. What left me surprised was the horror of many who were unprepared for the spate of reactions from the bigoted and the uninformed, who flocked social media with their sad and ignorant commentary about her ethnicity. In her many press appearances and speech, Ms. Davuluri proudly remains rooted to her origins, never once hiding her ethnicity, yet she is also a quintessential American, one who wishes nothing more than to be an elemental part of this country. In claiming a share of the halo, have we forgotten that the titular Miss America is not a sum of parts, but the representation of America in its entirety? Would our collective enthusiasm be the same if she were a lesbian, or born out of wedlock to a struggling single mother, or a witness to gross domestic abuse? Is there really room to dissect the multifarious combinations, and claim as ours the good parts or worse, reject the whole as not ours?

It is simply unfortunate that any American has to justify his/her Americanism by emphatically repeating that they were born in the country and have every right to be here, even if one is not running for the presidency. The racist comments about Ms Davuluri have been rightfully disavowed by sensible Americans, hyphenated or otherwise. As for other forms of discrimination and phobia, many find an escapist relief in not having to cross that bridge yet.

I do not expect Ms. Davuluri’s victory to change the way we look at beauty pageants, race, or our existence as hyphenated denizens of U.S.A. What this victory has done is open the avenue for discussion, introspection and evaluation of our preconceived notions and the cognitive dissonance about our own racial attitudes. Let us simply celebrate the victory of a smart and beautiful woman, who will use this very visible title to catapult her dreams into reality. Good Luck Miss America!  

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Irresponsibility of Adulthood

South Asian cultures place a high degree of importance on adulthood. How many times have you heard your parents tell you, be nice to so and so because they are elders of the family? Even if you know that said elderly is being irrational. If you are born and raised under south asian influences, this theme runs rampant in our families. Tolerance, acceptance, and silent deference are taught from a young age.

But let me ask for once. What earns one respect? Respect is not given by default, its earned through your behaviors, actions and words. Being an older adult is not an automatic license to win respect. And when the  very adults who are supposed to act as role models to the youngsters become the petulant child, what is a person to do?

Adults who do not pause to think how their actions affect the youngsters do a huge disservice to the society and their circle of influence. Yes, we make mistakes but setting a good example is not a matter of rocket science, its a daily discipline. As adults (anyone over the age of 18 really) we live and we learn. We make mistakes and when we do, our maturity requires that we admit it, use it as learning point and pass the lessons to our youth.

Online behavior of adults has been a matter of huge discussion ever since I joined India Forums. I've maintained this that although I am an adult, I am not in the business of mommying anyone on the forum, unless I get to know them personally. To that end, I have resisted "telling" anyone to behave in a certain way. I understand the fine line i walk everyday, given that my adulthood gives me certain confidence and experience to really influence young minds, if i chose to. I have seen many who quickly establish credibility among the youngest members through their poignant posts, compelling fan fictions and rib-tickling sarcasm. This is all well and good as long as the intent is to have fun at the expense of a show and its characters.

The forum is very young and easily excitable. How responsible is it of adults to rile the forum to get what they  want? How you ask? Here are a few examples.

Use your formidable strength of words to create petitions after petitions, rousing the young to focus unilaterally on a purpose and providing fodder to the angst of the young. What we adults give our young is perspective in life. Yes, a show is important but only for the 30 minutes of the life we set aside for entertainment. Yes, you must stand for a cause beyond yourself, but the cause has to be worthy enough to touch another humans life in positive ways. Yes, we all know we want a certain actor to continue working on the show, but despite his million appeals and clarifications, we continue to seek a fall-guy to blame others for a decision that is his. We need youth activism and young hot blooded energy to make the world an exciting and lively place to live. Without the young, the world will be full of grouchy old people. But we also need to work on understanding when to stop our activism, a wisdom that comes with experience (not age). As adults, most of us can be excessively aggressive on the forum yet revert to our lives like sane people. An impressionable mind is often unable to do that.

Use your clout in the forum to get what you want. How many times have you received PMs inciting you to do this or that? The PMs range from emotional appeals to threats. Someone decides to leave the forum because they were hurt by XYZ and sends mass PMs to others. This in turn causes mass hysteria of "why are you leaving? please stay, don't worry about "them", we will teach them a lesson etc etc etc" My question to adults is - is this necessary? If you were hurt or wronged by someone, you are the adult, send a pm to the person who wronged you, sort it out in private, don't create mass hysteria among supporters to massage your ego. And if you want to leave, just say goodbye with grace and leave. Do your reasons matter to anyone besides you? By using forum clout to show who's the boss, we tell our youngsters that its ok to use high school bully tactics to gain support.

Use the forum to amass support for a cause, using public berating and abuse to silence others into submission. My question to any adult is this - was this your absolute best solution to a problem? We are taught to look at problems from many angles and seek counsel from others to gain different points of view, identify a set of solutions and alternatives. We get to the root causes of a problem and try to address the cause not just the symptom. This is what adulthood teaches you. However, when you decide to air your dirty laundry without considering alternative solutions, you've just shown how irresponsible you are. Rousing a young forum to incite bullying and "put someone in their place" is not problem solving, its a form of online harassment.

Finally, using your adulthood as your stamp to legitimacy. Sorry, just because you are older does not automatically grant your views legitimacy. Good reasoning, sound experience, middle ground thinking and a nurturing attitude makes you an adult.

That felt good to let it out of my system.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Flight

Khushi settled into her first class seat - 1A, the coveted window seat, as she rearranged the pleats of her beautiful Jill Sanders beige suede skirt and kicked off her latest walnut Jimmy Choo shoes, relieving her aching feet that had been standing for hours on shoot location followed by a long wait at the airport.

She looked out the window of the Chicago bound United Airlines flight and saw the murky Washington DC skies ready to declare a rainstorm any minute. The flurry of activities on board indicated that the crew intended to take off any minute, reaching high into the "friendly skies" before the storm hit the airport. She noticed the seat next to her was still empty and she was somewhat relieved to get the unexpected privacy. She was in no mood for pleasantries or the commotion that usually followed as a late harried road warrior got on-board and tried to settle his or her belongings into the cramped overhead bin and plunked heavily into the seat. What usually followed was gushing over her presence, million questions about her work and the usual starry eyed fan admiration, all of which tired her. She hated those guys, especially on days like these where she craved solitude owing to a grueling morning schedule, harsh camera lights on her face for hours and a very irksome, slick politico from the mayor’s office who was none too cooperative.

There were traces of thick pancake make-up that applied since 4 a.m, in preparation for the last day of weeklong reporting gig. She had been excited during the day, as she could fly home after this leg was over and take a break from all the rush of on-camera reporting. Her full lips showed a deep seated stain of a professional and subdued mauve lipstick ideal for the part she took on camera. Her makeup took on that well-settled, smooth, dewy sheen that happens when it has been on for hours.

Her eyes still had the perfectly applied mascara beautifully framing her doe-eyes, which darted around the cabin to check her fellow passengers furtively. Thankfully, none seemed familiar and to her satisfaction, none seemed to recognize her. It was another annoyance she had begun to detest these days when fellow passengers recognized her, they stopped by to say hello and asked about her work. She appreciated their attention but of late it had become a tiresome routine. Her cheeks would ache from the fake smiles but she imagined that was the prize she paid when she left her anonymous back-road reporting to a highly visible on field and news room reporting.

She settled in and loosened her white crepe chiffon blouse around her waist, and shut her eyes in anticipation of a short sweet nap en route Chicago. She rested her head on the navy-blue airline pillow squished into an odd shape to support her head on the side panel. She felt movement on the seat next to her. She cracked opened her eyes a tad and glimpsed at a handsome profile of a man in full uniformed regalia. She noticed an array of medals and pins on his uniform as he spoke to the flight attendant, requesting some drink or snack, she couldn’t quite tell.

Curious, she opened her eyes further to get a better look when he suddenly turned in her direction and caught her off-guard ogling him. This was embarrassing and unusual for her to say the least, as she was typically the object of ogling. He immediately broke in a warm smile defined by two rows of perfectly pearl white teeth in neat alignment. There was something about that smile she could not resist and she shot a smile back. He extended his right hand awkwardly to brace himself before he settled further into the seat.

"Hope the weather stays up in Chicago" he stated casually, trying to break the ice. 

Her mind knotted giddily at the forceful voice. The cabin played some strange music she could not quite decipher and for the first time in her life, she felt something strange inside her. She reprimanded herself for losing control of her confident composure even if it was for a second. Somewhere in the deep recesses of her mind she decided to dislike this stranger as a matter of self preservation. A person in complete control of her emotions, she found it was hard to let go even for a second but this was a first for her. Apparently, he was oblivious to her star stature and did not seem particularly aware of her breathtaking beauty. This was another first for her. She had gotten used to men fawning over her, showering her with praises, and following her for casual dates, hoping to end it with a quick romp in the sack. His indifference towards her obvious beauty irked her further making it easier for her to dislike this person.

The man busied himself with loading his carry-on bags and getting his drink while she resumed her nap. An announcement cracked through the cabin speakers. It was the captain. He had expected to take off before the storm but it seemed that weather in Chicago was equally bad and the control tower did not clear them for a take off. A collective ‘aww’ erupted but the captain continued to explain that it was for passenger safety and it might be a few hours before they could be on their way. As a last straw, he added that the passengers weren’t allowed to deplane at that point. Mild protests and exasperated tones were heard. On cue, infants and toddlers on board decided to go on a screaming tantrum. She could imagine the hassled moms who did not expect a delay and were caught unprepared. She had nothing waiting for her except her drive home and a warm soak in her elaborate bathtub, specially ordered from Italy. That would have to wait for some more time, she imagined.

Her nap seemed to disappear with the announcement and she felt the need to riffle through the pages of on-board shopping catalogs and in-flight magazines. She picked a few magazines before settling on the latest issue of Time. She skimped through an article on Iraq war. It seemed to go on and on for pages. The bloodied pictures reminded her of her own brief foray into Iraq as part of news coverage team from WPS station. The events that had followed after her assignment to Iraq had shaken her world to its core. Her crew had lost a cameraman and a reporter in a fatal series of land mine blasts. She was lucky to have survived the blast with a sprained neck and few superficial injuries.

The memory of the blast still reverberated in her ears, the deafening sound had hit them from nowhere. The ensuing mayhem, noise, commotion, billowing dust masking everything in sight left her team members and her in complete disarray. The desert dust had settled in every exposed surface of their bodies. Putrid odors of burnt flesh and gun powder filled the air. The jeep that transported them had been reduced to a tangled mess of steel and burning tires, smoke had engulfed the entire vicinity.

There were more blasts but it was hard to tell one from the other as they happened in fast succession and her ears had gone numb by the loudness. She felt someone over her body, shielding her from more falling debris of steel, glass and rocks. The body that shielded her was a man who was shouting urgently, muffled and raspy because of the dust and grime he inhaled, and his earnest impatient voice commanded “Move, move away, Go Go Gooooo!”. There were people shouting and screaming everywhere, scuttling and running in all directions. Then the blasts stopped as fast as they had begun, the man shielding her seemed to have gone limp and exerted his entire weight on her small frame. She was curled up, knees under her body, her spine exposed and the man’s body positioned awkwardly over her neck bearing down its entire weight and tearing her neck ligaments. That was the last thing she remembered.

Later, she awoke in the nearest army make-shift hospital and was calmly updated on the loss of crew members and her reporting partner. She had no tears at that time, she had no feelings other than a numbness in her ears that dimmed all sounds to a dull muffle. She was told that the jeep that transported her moved straight over a land mine triggering a series of blasts. The death toll was huge but she was too scared to find out the exact tally.

She had taken a transfer from field reporting to local news. The change proved good for her. The frivolity of local politics suited her fine. These reporting tasks were empty and shallow after what she had been through but she never dwelled too long on that. Upon further inquiries from her, the army had notified her that the solder who had shielded her was one Sgt. A. S. Raizada. The official channels notified her that the soldier had been responsible for saving her from the worst of the blast by shielding her from the devastation and injuries, He had survived with an amputated left arm. 

Every time she thought about that day, the dull ache of her sprained neck returned and the raspy voice of the soldier echoed in her ears. She intentionally avoided the coffee room conversations for days after the incident. As months passed and as fresh reports of horrendous war crimes poured in, it became an old forgotten story.

She shook herself out of her reverie trying to focus on the present and saw the flight attendant on her third round of service. She ordered a strong coffee; it always helped her clear her head. She decided it was too painful to continue on the article and was about to place the magazine back into the front pocket.

“May I?”, asked her co-passenger taking her by surprise. “Sure”, she replied handing the magazine to the man. “I was there you know”, he pondered aloud looking at the picture on the front cover of the magazine. She did not understand what he was talking about and then it occurred to her, he was referring to Iraq. “Oh yeah! Me too”, she replied with a mustered casualness. “Really, when?”, he asked with the genuine interest of a school boy who just met his favorite baseball player. She thought it was odd, since he seemed to be a decorated soldier and she was a mere civilian for whom the Iraq war was a minefield of rich reporting bonanza until that fateful day when the minefield took on a literal meaning. She tried to appear dismissive and replied, “I was reporting on Iraq war with WPS station.”

The man’s eyes grew wider and she knew he was going to ask her about THE incident she had feared and avoided for 8 months. She knew it was coming and she could do nothing to prevent it without sounding callous or thoughtless. She braced herself for the questions. He paused, looked at her face and then took on a reflective expression. He did not ask her anything. 

Suddenly, he rose from his seat she caught sight of his military name tag with its clear white letters declaring – Sgt. A. S. Raizada!

He stood up as if to straighten his travel weary uniform. Her chest was thumping as she saw gleam of steel where once used to be his left arm. He animatedly held out his coffee cup for the flight attendant with a steely mass of simulated fingers, wires and metallic clasps. Her eyes fixated on the steel. She breathed heavily with a strange stifle in her chest. Months of suppressed memories flooded back all at once. His gentle face turned to her as he sat down. There was silence; their eyes held each other’s expressions in a perfect harmony of knowledge and cognizance. He moved his left arm made of steel and she tenderly reached for it feeling the cold steel with her right hand, instinctively, as if it were the most natural thing to do. Their sas smiles conveyed volumes on life and irony. Unshed tears hung on the edges of their lower lids, threatening to stream down any minute.

She mouthed the words “Thank you” but words never came out. He nodded his head ever so slightly in response. Words weren’t needed; their eyes spoke to each other in complete understanding.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

A new FF

Hello readers

started a new FF.

hope to see you there too with your lovely comments and feedback.


Friday, June 1, 2012

The Hut Fockers - A Consummation Movie

Posted: 31 May 2012 at 11:37pm | IP Logged

Originally posted by MentalExotica

Warning: The stunts in this movie were performed by professionals, so neither you nor your dumb buddies should attempt anything from this movie.

Disclaimer - We are not responsible for any damage to your private property caused by the accidental interchange of U and O in our movie title The Hut Fockers. You are on your own with that!


1. Khushi's aerial hug - you know who will more frisky in bedroom

2. Khushi poked and bloodied by branch - need i say more

3. Goon saying I will eat food or it will go Waste - LOLL!!!! ASR wont do it. I will eat you, why waste iski Jawani

4. ASR breaking the Mesh (Jaali) - Need I say more?

5. Goons ruining the Sex Party - Goons are Star Phus execs. Party poopers!!

6. Boxes ke Peechay kya hai? - Full Body Rabba Veyyy

You're too sexy and you know it - Im ready

Dedicated to Bhatika

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Jab Mano Met Mama

Circa 1975.
Mamaji, a 24 year old strapping Raizada was one of the most eligible bachelors of Delhi. But he had a problem. A plight so severe and grievous that it left him incapacitated of finding a single girl to marry in the entire city of Delhi. No, it wasn’t a physical deformity or male deficiency as god knew mamaji had a fairly solid libido. It was all in his name. 

You see, Mamaji, before he actually became a Mamaji, was always called Mamaji (does anyone know his real name? see!). He was a universal Mamaji. He was always called Mamaji by everyone in the neighborhood including the children, grannies, aunties, vendors, shopkeepers and household help. To his extreme sadness, the young eligible nubile beauties of his neighborhood by virtue of his moniker called him Bhaiyya (brother). How this moniker came to stick was not clear nor its origins known, but since the time he could remember he had been, well, a Mamaji. 

Needless to say, it had become a constant source of agony and pain for him. It elevated him to the status of a brother to everyone who was marriage material and of an Uncle to anyone who was not marriage material. His conundrum usually reached its painful zenith on Rakhi, a day of pure torture, and trauma for Mamaji, as each and every girl of the family’s acquaintance, each girl more beautiful than the other, lined outside Shantivan to tie rakhi on Mamaji’s kalai/wrist. Rakhi was a sad day for Mamaji. The way things went, Mamaji had no hopes of finding a suitable marriageable girl in the neighborhood, none of those girls whom he had crushes on , would want to settle down with him because he was a Mamaji and therefore a Bhai to those girls. His mom seemed oblivious to his plight.

It was during that time Mamaji had to be in Kanpur in order to meet a leather wholesaler to discuss his next venture. He had driven into the city in his spanking new white Ambassador car and had attracted a lot of attention among the neighborhood children as he drove into the narrow alleys and backstreets of Kanpur. As the car slowly negotiated its way into a somewhat congested and pothole ridden section of Jajmau road, a large drove of excited children gathered and followed the car with cries of delight, too happy to see a rarity in their god forsaken neighborhood that reeked of industrial sludge and tannery wastes. Mamaji was a new driver and was having trouble finding a good parking spot. His eyes frantically searched for a fairly open space that did not have parked push carts, rickshaws or piles of cow dung, all banes to a new car owner. As Mamaji looked about, he saw a sight that would haunt him for the rest of his life. 

A garish apparition in a kurti of deep splashes of purple, red, neon green and gold over a bright orange shalwar, bordered with gold gotas walked by. The lass did not hesitate to swing her flaring hips seductively, her long braided hair snaking over her right shoulder, held in her right hand and flung about in a rhythmic circular motion, her mouth full of red paan ready to find a home or a freshly painted white wall to receive its irreverent dark red spit, her neck and arms covered in cheap trinkets leaving little real estate for any flies of the streets to settle on her, her kohled eyes dismissing admiring glances as cat calls and whistles left the mouths of young lads on either sides of the street. Life seemed to have stopped as she waltzed by, gaping guys stood in awe, waiting and entirely unable to resume their normal humdrum of life until this sight passed through. A radio perched on the push cart of a Chat wala suddenly blared as the vendor jacked up the volume to assist the passing lady find her swinging rhythm “BABA, dhing, ting ting tiiiing, dhing ting ting tiiiiing, BABA” 

Mamaji watched in utter shock at the confusion of colors walking towards his car from the opposite direction. The lass noted the car with curiosity, looked inside to check on the owner, and paused to deliver a coquettish smile to Mamaji. She turned her face without moving her eyes that were trained on him and delivered a long trajectory of paan spit, which landed on the shirt of the nearby Balloon vendor. The man gave an audible sigh of satisfaction and looked visibly delirious at being the chosen recipient of lass’s spit. A wave of sigh was chorused by the other bystander guys as if instructed to do so on cue from a band conductor. “Haiii Mano Raani, ek baar idhar bhi thoonk de”, (Hai, mano darling, grace us with your spit too). Mamaji was mesmerized by the strange sight dancing in front of his eyes, which struggled to focus on one thing among the many things fighting for attention on the girl. Then he heard a loud crash.

A stunned mamaji stared ahead.While he was distracted, his brand new ambassador car had crashed into a store located at the dead end of the street, and it’s bangles, trinkets and display jewelry completely crushed into smithereens, with bits and pieces of broken glass, beads and ear rings strewn on the hood the of car. A billowing and screaming man came running from the nearby tea stall delivering a heart-wrenching cry. Mamaji surmised that must be the store owner. The man came running with his hands resting on his chest to steady his racing heart and assessed the damage done to his store.

“Hey Ram, What have you done?”, came the gut wrenching cry as the man realized that his entire wares were damaged beyond repair. Then he turned to Mamaji, his anger rising quickly to its full fury. He rushed to the driver side of the car and before mamaji had time to react, he opened the door and pulled mamaji out by his collar. 

“You wretched man, you filthy, rich bastard, you ruined me, see what you’ve done? See that? Now how will I feed my family? How will I get my daughters married? You heathen, you ruined me!” , the desperate man crumbled to the ground with uncontrollable sobs of resignation. 

“I will marry your Mano, Uncleji, you don't worry”, a young man with grubby face and dirty teeth answered, the words repeated again by the chorus of lads who surrounded the crying man. Then one of the guys yelled, “Maaro saalay ko (Lets hit him), they think they can get away with murder, don’t spare him”. A group of scruffy and mean looking men surrounded Mamaji as he backed himself to the car, fear and sweat dripping through every pore of his body. If these men acted out, Mamaji was sure he would die a virgin. The men rolled up their sleeves and begin to zero in on Mamaji, closing in a circle around him. Then a bright idea struck mamaji.

He folded his hands and appealed, “Please, it was an accident, I will compensate the man his damages”
“That you will mister, no doubt, but who will feed his family, eh?”, countered a gruff ruffian among the group, twice mamaji’s size
“Yeah, who will feed his family, who will marry his daughters with no dowry?” another rude one opined.
“Uh! I, I will give him a job in my factory in Delhi”, Mamaji was trying to think as fast as he could on his feet.
“Oh yeah, and then what about his family, who will take care of them?” said another dirty face. The circle closing in on him, Mamaji could smell the collective mix of sweat, tobacco, paan and dust. His mouth went dry with fear. 

“Uncle ji, you don't worry, we will make sure this AmeerZyada (rich sloth) pays you,” a newly minted local guardian of the shop keeper chimed, “And I will marry your Mano, uncle ji, you don't worry”. At that point the downed shopkeeper wailed even louder and started hitting his chest with his fists in desperation.
“I don’t think he likes the idea, Bhaiyaa”, Mamaji tried to reason
Local guardian now glowered at Mamaji and spat, “what do you mean he doesn’t like it, how do you know what he likes? Hah! What do you know in your rich cars and houses, you know nothing,”. He spat on the ground landing his spit next to Mamaji’s foot.
With that the local guardian punched mamaji’s gut and mamaji let out a pained groan that seemed to bring some satisfaction to the men gathered around.

“Nahiiiiii” shrilled a dramatically high pitched voice and all the heads turned in the direction where it came from.
“Unhe math mariye (please don’t hit him)”, the colorful kurti came running and pushed through the gathering of men, once in the epicenter of the furor, she twirled around in a slow dramatic turn with her palms covering her ears as if to protect her from ungodly sounds, and her head shaking a no in a dramatic appeal to stop the fighting. She turned a couple of more turns in this manner, with every man in the circle feeling her pain and agony more than her. 
“My life is ruined, but it’s unfair to blame this man, it was an accident, after all.” She wailed and continued, “I am ruined and no one will ever marry me without dowry”. A collective audible shock wave went through the gathering and the men seemed resolved to take action.
“I will marry you Mano”, came the first responder
“No, I will marry you,” came the second one
“I will”, “I will” and before they knew a scuffle broke out among the men all laying their first claim to marry Mano. Mano looked at the men with wide eyes and bewilderment fit for a drama queen and settled her eyes on Mamaji who was still backed against the car nursing his gut that was hurting from the blow earlier. 
“Aap theek hain”, she swayed her hips and walked over to Mamaji

Mamaji raised his palm to tell her he was fine and assessed the skirmish that went on ignoring the two reasons that started it all – the fallen shopkeeper who was still sobbing on the dusty ground and the girl who was now fascinated by Mamaji and his car. Mamaji looked at the girl once more as she ran her fingers on the side of the car, and suddenly everything around her faded as if adjusted by soft focus lenses with her coming into sharp focus at the center. She stood there, her fingers caressing the car, her eyes fluttering and her ruby red lips smiling at him in a come-hither. Mamaji saw redemption from his years of torment of living a lonely, inexperienced, and virginal existence.  

“I will marry her”, Mamaji announced mustering the conviction and victory knell with which Sir Edmund Hillary must have announced when he reached the top of Mt. Everest. The skirmish stopped and all the men looked agape.
“I will marry her”, Mamaji repeated, not letting this new found redemption easily slip away.
“Like hell you will”, the local guardian roared.
“I will marry him, I accept", she quickly added lest he change his mind.
Every pair of eyes in the maelstrom turned towards the lass. She stood there fluttering her eyes even more, restless to settle the issue once and for all.
“Array, array!! hold him, he has fainted”, a bunch of men ran to catch hold of the local guardian as he landed on his back, hearing his dear Mano's rejection.

“You guys can all disperse now, the man has spoken and I accept”, commanded Mano, eager to seal the deal before anymore objections followed among her eager group of suitors.
“Chalo chalo, sub, move, clear out”, a police constable appeared serendipitously and dispersed the crowd. As he passed Mano a silent wink passed between the elderly cop and the girl, one that went unnoticed by Mamaji and others. 

Thus began Manorama Champaklal’s epic journey from the back streets of Kanpur to the haveli of Shantivan. And Mamaji, who thought he would die a virgin found his release.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

KKGSR Dabba Service - A Stupendous Success

An ODE to Mumbai Dabbawalas
Trust ingenious Mumbaikars to run an organization as old as India, with Sig Sixma Certified perfection and efficiency. The organization is none other than the revered and honored Mumbai Dabbawalas Organization

An uncommon story of a common man.
Khushi was terribly inspired by the Mumbai Dabbawalas. She decided to open a branch office in New. Delhi. The business became an instant success, with thousands of Dabba's delivered to offices across Delhi.
She was so successful Prince Charles himself sent her congratulatory note on expanding the organization's reach to Delhi and personally enquired about the possibility of her starting a unit in U.K.


Her business became a Harvard case study on corporate expansion. Even the Japanese wanted to meet KKGSR to understand how she took the idea from one metro city and replicated it successfully to another metro city in the complex yet fundamentally different ethos of Delhi from Mumbai. 

KKGSR Dabba Service made waves across the country.
Anna Hazare On Khushi's Business
Khushiji has shown how to run an honest business. She is a true Indian, an anti-corrupt business woman (except that one time she hid the truth from Raizada's about Shyam)

Baba Ramdev speaking at Annual Yogic Convention Themed "SAY NO TO GAS"
He cited Khushi as the best Satvik Food Maker of the century. KKGS Dabba Service prepared food that complied with his yogic principles, Baba was heard saying, "See, Learn, Khushiji has laid the ideal ground for a healthy Delhi. Delhiites, no more Ghee on your Rotis, cream in your Dal Makhnis, or Tandoori Chicken. Simple, eat salad. Say no to gas"

Poor Delhiites had no idea what hit them. Was it a UFO or a meteorite?

And unbeknownst to rest of Delhi, KKGSR Dabba Service had one Very Very Very Very Satisfied Customer.....The Coming of Mighty ASR!!