What? Lakdikapul is not a stick-flower?

And so, I have returned from a weekend of sheer debauchery, two shades blacker, from the land of the Nawabs, Biryani of every conceivable object non/living and G. Pullareddy Sweets.

I love this city.
For one, it has this major Minaret hangover. Everything here looks like, at any moment, some bard will set up a mehfil/durbaar/whatchummacallit and wax shayaris, with ever-ready bystanders punctuating them with Irshads and Wah! Wah!s. Of course, there will be plenty pigeons going ‘guttrr guttrr’, and plenty pigeon-origin white-stuff to clean off your respective modes of transport.

Ah. Transport.
This is the only city that outright, doubt-without beats mine at traffic-sense. In the negative.
Take for instance, the enlightening auto-ride I embarked upon, clinging on to dear life as psycho automan (with evil glint in eye and shiny golden tooth that revealed itself in a hippo-yawn) went speeding down a narrow lane at 40 kmph upward – in the opposite direction. What simply took the title of “D-uuude!” (delivered with a Hip-Hop/Stoned-out-of-wits drawl) was the hippo-yawning traffic cop whose head casually turned and followed our passing by.

We sped through streets having no name. And the ones with funny, vaguely-exotic names too.
Nampally was my favorite. On applying the sum total of languages I know (barring en peu francaise) the resulting translation is a rather funny, “my lizard”. Another permutation of languages yields an equally satisfactory “name lizard”.

Banjara Hills, of course, was hot-spot and hotbed for techies, both employed or otherwise. (I’ve heard that because of market situation these days, the two are no longer the same.)

The highlights of my little trip were my doww, my elopist, falling flat on my behind outside posh cafe (consequently, getting a bruise), lots of laughter. Super food. Better drink. Kung-Fu Panda, Jack Black, the man! Comfy bus-rides both ways. Also, the fact that Firangi Paani did NOT know what hit them with doww and I hitting the dance floor. Of course, several lech/vermin variety men hit on us, and bouncers threatened to hit them. Cute DJ who we crushed on, temporarily. Vague feeling of feeling lost, but loving it. Autorides at odd hours. Turning to ash in the sun. In short, everything about my trip. However, regret having missed peeyesh, who, very fortunately for him, took off to Timbuktu. Also, very many thanks Wakee, for all the leads, and I know it would’ve been a wilder time if you were there too (I don’t have a link to you, you celebrity). Other characters that have fled the city citing reasons of bright-future-making, and were missed, were NS, seeti and ape.

Lesson learnt from this trip: The only planning you need to make the most of a really small trip, are tickets forth and back.
And replace poor, underused-hence-very-frustrated Noah‘s stupid rechargeable batteries.

Oh, and lakdi-ka-pul is actually a bridge of sticks. Though I could swear I never saw one.

PS: Men reading this must note (and appreciate as a departure from my usual male-bashing habits) that I very strongly resisted the urge to say ‘redundant’ in the ‘lech/vermin men’ classification.

PPS (Internal joke, it’s okay if reader didn’t get this one. Also.): Note to elopist, now you know why you love Hyd as much. You’re incanted so often at the all those durbaars!

Instead of thinking of an LOL title,

I’m thinking – Chemistry must be blamed for this whole affair.

Some moron with plenty time on his hands looked up the English-Latin dictionary, found that Aurum was a fancy way of saying Gold, and then even thought up a nifty little symbol for it. “Ah! Au.” (I’m sure this moron was a really frustrated Copywriter, angry that Descartes beat him to the killer “Cogito Ergo Sum” line.)

Chemistry has always made things difficult anyway. Poor Kekule had probably sniffed a little too much Benzene before hallucinating a bunch of atoms holding hands and singing “ring-a, ring-a, roses, pocket full of posies.”

But yes. The potent alphabet combination.
Pt for Platinum. Mg for Magnesium.

The world has since been citing these terrible precedents, and has gone and invested substantial amounts of time and brain-space (of both message conveyor, and recipient)(we are currently not debating the very presence of brain in either, but we will arrive at that shortly) on what is called the symbol.

A little lesson on, for lack of a better word, evolution, will show that the symbol has, well, mutated, and given rise to the monster called The Shortform.

If you thought RDX, TNT, LSD, LeT, DDT were deadly enough, here’s another edge to their lethalness. Think about it. Saying “Dichloro Diphenyl Trichloroethane” will kill just about anything without any known side-effect. Elaborating LeT at the airport will have the elaborator shot at sight.

Just what can’t you deduce from these random assortment of alphabets, arranged as if they were picked from a box of really expensive licorice allsorts? Try it. At any time, toss two, even three letters together, and you will always have some “meaningful” association.

AB is a blood group. ZXI is a variant of Maruti Zen.

AA is Alcoholics Anonymous. CC is Carbon Copy. XX means female. (Alternately, passed out.) DD means Demand Draft. Or really big breasts. (Not to be confused with 2D, which means the contrary.)

IMHO, they are especially useful in arriving at a regional flavour to the sullying of deserving party if I have recently been acquainted with an instance of poor road sense.

KA means Karnataka. Simply add “makkLu” to any expletive in the noun form or attach any animal’s name to expletive in verb form.
KL is Kerala. Here, add “moNe” to any animal’s name.
MH is Maharashtra, so a sisterly insult, delivered in Tapori, will prove very effective.
BR is Bihar, a very brief shiver, or poorly stifled flatulence. WTF were you doing behind this car, anyway?

I’m amazed by the sheer versatality of these things that, as days go by, prove that language itself is redundant. People have full fledged conversations with these. And not just over SMS.


And as for pop culture? K^2H^2. SRK. MJ. The most memorable I have encountered is Chennai’s favorite eatery – A2B.

The paradigm will of course apply for Advertising and Marketing, which apes (please note, I did not say “imitate”) such important, key real-life modalities.


Yes. Even god, religion and personal beliefs have not been spared. JC. RC, MBra. CCR, DT, MVO, JT. BDSM.

I just don’t get it. Y?

I suppose I don’t buy the BS that this is easier. Easier, how? I think I’ll spend more time decoding EMG than it would take for me to say a complex tongue twister involving saying the word “emergency” seven times upward.

Maybe in time I will relocate the appreciation for this delicate art, that currently resides in and surfaces from the bowels (ha ha) of my gall-bladder.

Until then, I shall put one shot XXX and catch a few ZZZ’s.

There is nothing as gratifying

as a well-timed, well-deserved, well-enunciated cuss word in the native tongue.

Stress-balls, psychotherapy, yoga, counting to ten, twenty, ninety seven – even if it’s in French, and you’re trying to pronounce all the four words of “quartre vingt dix-sept” correctly and in that order – are all shams. They are all machinations of some greater force that is trying to fit civility in a domestic environment involving children (see? another strong reason to use protection) and enforce politesse at corporate offices where they have bugs fixed everyfreakingwhere, so you can’t even swear in private.

So, tonight, while you’re working your 3758943rd gratis overtime, just double check the softboard pins, BEFORE you verbally wish upon your boss and his kin, very unpleasant things.

But speaking of the power of the native no-no-not-mentionables.

The Colonizer was right in stereotyping us as mysterious and exotic. There is no sound explanation for, or logic to, the profound release one feels while launching an assault on another’s ancestry, or likening another to strands of hair. Especially in Kannada and Tamil. Hindi is a distant third, but that language is rich and verdant with abominations directed to female relatives. Not exactly my style.

It is incredible that every culture has many, many synonyms for bovine refuse. I suppose that comes from the fact that it is a very popular fuel (no jokes on gas will be entertained). Especially in areas where the idea of titillation involves a village belle in a startlingly revealing choli, with very supple legs, patting cakes of the said fuel – fresh from factory, full lips red from chewing pan.

Oh, don’t forget the inverted mathematical “therefore” symbol (or the “since” symbol) on her chin.

Also note, if any native language is alien to you, you will find that the most polite sounding words are surprisingly strong in offensive flavour. I have noticed this with Malayalam and Bengali, where everything sounds so musical that it really is hard to know which bug in what part of anatomy the speaker has gleefully and straight-facedly named me.

And the harder a very bad word is to pronounce, the more joyful it is to expel! Twofold, double-bubble! Achievement while you dismiss somebody. Like the ego-trip that your boss has on a daily basis. Case in point, the Tamil alphabet “zh”.

What takes the cake – not necessarily associated with the cake mentioned earlier in this post – is the expression on a comprehending listener’s face. The reactions to my generosities are particularly entertaining, especially because they are delivered at at least two octaves higher than the average person expected to say them, and, well, I have a nose-stud.

I have earned a variety of monikers for the liberal practice of this school of stress-relief. Right from gutter-mouth to underwear-mouth (this one comes with a Kannada subtitle, roughly translating to, “open it and only dirty things come out”).

But this is not to reduce the effectiveness of the English tongue. Four letters have their own very important usages – given it is essentially what makes up an entire genre of music called Hip Hop. But now, we live in a global village, where all things Indian are being sold at five times what it costs on MG Road, and ten times what it costs on Linking Road. Globalization has the world turning to India for answers.

Are we ready?
Of course we are. I’m in charge of printing that lexicon.

My feet are closet-nudists

or, the Confederation of Footwear Makers in Malls and Roadside Alike (CFMMRA) are all plotting against me and my feet.

I was considering titling this “My foot”. But since I pen a lot of bad puns for a living already, I decided to make a difference this one time.


As every twit acquainted with the female psyche knows, every woman planted on god’s green Earth has a problem with some/all part/s of her anatomy. You will hear even she-gazelles bitching (ha ha!) to each other about their flabby hind-limbs, shapeless fore-limbs, and even the poor choice the maker made with their hooves.

Similarly, my grouse is directed at my feet.

A look at them will reveal that they bear startling resemblance to rectangles. A closer look will reveal tendencies towards the trapezium. (A look closer than that is not advised – my pedi is still due.)

A casual observation of how I handle things as delicate as flowers will reveal that every word-association test that has me as stimulus will take, at least, six to eight rounds before arriving at the word, “gentle”.

Putting two very complexly constructed sentences together, we arrive at the plain, simple truth: I am the aforementioned CFMMRA’s best challenge yet. Deprived of shapeliness, in dire need of durability.

If you think this is a rant on the lack of options, you are not paying attention.
There is no person on Earth who has bad karmic feet to match mine.

First, my chappals choose to break at most opportune places. In Koshy’s, when I’m just about sighting cute stranger. At the pool. In the dingy parking lot. On the terrace. Under the stairs. Between meetings. Just about anywhere where I have:

a) no alternative
b) alternatives I’d rather not have.

My latest foot-horror has been acquired at an instance of b). It is a pair of mild-yellow, jarringly plastic-looking ballerina shoes, with what look like pin-tucks on the front. There are two things vying for position of cherry on top: The gold band that runs around the heels, and the little bow.

Second, CFMMRA just cannot dress rectangles. Each time I try out a CFMMRA creation, my feet come out feeling more hideous. Kind of like what designer brands do to normal, non-size 0 people when they step out of trial rooms. What kind of moron designs footwear in the name of lopsided hourglasses, anyway? Why are these slippers remarkably huge at the toes, and why do they taper like fancy spatulas? Are they spatulas? Is there a second usage to this couture that CFMMRA has forgotten to clue me in on?

Third, old jungle saying. Sandals and sneakers will not go with everything, thou can’t bail. I’m reminded of my school librarian who chose to break the word quite often – teaming pretty pink chikan salwars, with white tennis sneakers. Going by how this daring precedent went, I’m fated to be a foot fashion failure.

Just who do I sue? Genetics? CFMMRA? The other maker?

Bleh. I think a duck has better chances at good-looking feet.
That silver Puma slip-on will look especially flattering.

Forty Seven

The poison that is everyday.

So many everydays. One everyday that follows another everyday.
Everyday that’s so everyday.
Habits, routines, circadian rhythms, time – lies that we tell ourselves that our lives are under control.

Like the time-lapse in the subway, under flickering lights, fleeting faces that flit like flies, the fleeing hands of the subway clock. The time-lapse, where we are the constant. Where we pointlessly stare at the dustbin. The cooing of the underground. The gentle rumbling. The lull.

The sedateness of everyday.

Everyday slips in, in a moment of lowered consciousness.
Through the holes of fingers nettled in prayer for strength.
Everyday slips in, like faithful Morphene for chronic pain of the Eventually Forgettable variety.

And then, after many everydays, comes a One Day.