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Piyush Tainguriya
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Dec 29, 2008

A soapy episode

Sitting with mummy darling has its disadvantages. One of them is that you get a heavy dose of her family soaps. Today I'm gonna describe one heart wrenching episode of my mum's favourite saga. This one is known as "Raghukul Reet Sada Chali Ayi". The Ramayanic overtones are evident in the title itself and the title song can make you cry with devotional fervour and familial longing. It goes like "Raghukul reet sada chali ayi,Pran jaye par vachan na jayi" and lots of wisdom about sanskar, parivaar, and sadachaar.
Oh and yes the main character is played by none other than The Great Rajesh Khanna. He is the elder of the two and the two brothers are actually stepbrothers just like Ram and Laxman. Rajesh ji has some big thundering name like singhaniya or something which I currently am unable to recall, infact I doubt I ever caught it beacause he is so revered that everybody calls him Bhaiyya, Beta, Tauji, Sir etc. Nobody utters his name. So this Ram reincarnate has a wife who is barren but the epitome of maternal emotion. The younger brother has another wife who is the bitchy sort and doesnt like the respect Ramji gets in the house and everywhere. And the crunch is a big multimillion dollar business which she wants for her child. By the way this one is blessed with three children. One boy and two girls. All of them love their Tauji. And their is the perennial Amma who never speaks much but when she does the badi bahu and the two girls break into tears without exception, every time.
The episode starts with Rajesh Khanna sitting in his office and three of his employees standing in front of him. One of them is the honest and hardworking and loyal Sharma ji or Verma ji or something. Today is his birthday. Now Ramji starts talking- Khanna ji bataiye hamare sabse imandar aur mehnati employee kaun hai? Khanna ji knows that its just a rhetorical question he knows better than interrupting the superstar's monologue."Woh kaun he jo pichle 25 salon se hamari company ka saath puri mehnat se saath de rahe hai?" and then a lot of woh kaun hai..woh kaun hai..and khanna ji and the other employee look actually puzzled. That great superstar revels in the effect he's creating. All this time Sharma ji or Verma ji or something is almost shivering with fear. He is so inocent that he doesnt even know that he has not been summoned for a session of sadistic spanking. But thats how good people always are. Arent they? And a truly awe inspiring music is playing in the background as if James bond is about to kill the evil German spy. Now that hallowed man asks" Khanna Ji aaj kiska janmadin hai?" and this is supposed to be when the penny drops and the camera goes crazy and the music reaches a crescendo and Khannaji good naturedly says" sir, woh koi aur nahi balki hamare apne Sharma Ji or verma ji or something hai." It turns out that this sweet man is about to retire and he feels that he will not know what to do with himself if "Sir" lets him go. Because "ye office mere liye ghar se bhi badhkar hai sarkar." So Ramji gives a wad of cash and an extention of five years in his service as a birthday gift. Sharma ji rushes to his feet but Ramji embraces him in the nick of time with that well known dialogue"Arre aap to mujhse umra mein bade hain, aap ki jagah yahaan nahi yahaan hai."
About fifteen-twentyminutes have gone in such an important sequence which lets you know in no ambiguous terms that Rajesh khanna is a magnanimous man.
Now the camera turns towards home. By the way the house is known as 'Raghukul Niwas'. The son of the house who is about to join the business as a junior partner has his birthday today, everybody is busy preparing for it. The two daughters, the elder one serious and spectacles laden and the other one chirpy and gullible, are so happy about their Bhaiyya's B-day that they are fluttering about not knowing what to do with their bursting hearts. One of the friend families has also been invited and the wives also engage in a battle of double entendre about their jhumkas and their husbands' looks and this is supposed to be the acme of comedy genre. But the evening turns into night, the guests leave and Tauji is worried but the Ladla is nowhere to be seen.
Actually he is with the younger daughter's boyfriend who is the arch-enemy of his Tauji because, he did something to his mother years ago and now he has sworn" main Raghukul niwas ki eent se eent baja doonga" so now he's thrown a party for the good son of the good family and the limit is reached when he forces him to drink. Poor gullible son is so innocent that he takes all the drinks proffered to him and then the advice to cut loose of his Tauji's influence. Then the good son goes home and the arch-enemy slyly talks to himself "singhaniya, tumhare raghukul niwas mein aag lagane ka kaam ab tumhare pyaare pyaare bacche hi karenge, mere dil mein jalti hui badle ki aag tabhi thandi hogi..Muahahaha.."Faithful audience shivers of repulsion at this point.
By the way this sequence is shot under one strobe light that gives a so called night pub look and the cool people go all "yow man" and "gow for it brau" when the son gulps down the drinks bottoms up. And yeah he keeps rocking his body in such a cool way that Elvis Presley will be hard pressed to do.
Now he reaches his home. All the "parivaar ke sadasya" are standing in the exact same positions as they were in the evening. Our hero enters from the main door ..isnt it audacious? and comes face to face with guess who? Tauji. Tauji sees his floating eyelids and understands the whole matter and doesnt even utter a word. A look of deep hurt clouds his face. The boy's father who respects the hell out of his elder brother starts interrogating the boy. The boy has suddenly turned insolent after twenty something years of ideal upbringing under Tauji's supervision, so he says "jahan bhi gaya tha isse lakh guna achi jagah par gaya tha". And everybody turns silent and another heart wrenching symphony starts playing, the world starts roatating, the apocalypse is coming. The father makes to hit he boy. And trusts me he means to hit him but just at that moment Bade Bhaiya says "ruko bacha hai, use jaane do, Jao beta aaram karo".
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Along with ads and public service information This much has taken the whole one hour and so camera pans on the sad and responsibility filled face of The head of the family and then unfortunately for my mom the scintilating entertainment ends.

Dec 28, 2008

The Right Job

We met at a roadside restaraunt. I ordered coffee, adi ordered tea. It had been a hard six months after the completion of the college. Adi hadnt got the call he was promised in the campus interviews. I had called him to discuss moneymaking.

Here I'd like to add that when the two of us talk about moneymaking we make it a point not to utter the words 'morals', 'scruples', or any other assosiated words. Its just too embarassing.

"Whats the plan?" Adi said and looked me over from above the rim of the glass. The steam emanating from the tea did not conceal his "I know everything you asshole" smirk. Did I look that excited?

Did I tell you that I have a job? Yes I am a teacher. No more comments. lets get on with the story.

I told them the plan. Adi liked the beauty of the plan but was cynical about the feasibility. I expected him to. Now I had to convince him. He started firing questions. " why will he be weak in front of us?". "Because he is stuck between being left high and dry and staying safe and dry". "Why is capitulation the only way out for him? why cant he take care of us the dirty way?" "That is a concern" I admitted. "But there are ways.We need not come forward and even if we do we can checkmate them. I have thought of everything. I could see he was tempted. I needed him on the team. He stared at the ceiling for a minute and then smiled." Lets do Mr. Sharma". He gave in as we clinked glasses.

Mr.Sharma is a meticulous, careful, suspicious, and thoroughly dishonest civil servant.Presently Placed in the PWD department as deputy engineer in charge of the bypass road construction in our sweet little city. The day we met him he was his usual arrogant self. "So the young warriors want to cleanse the system"." Yes I was responsible for the construction of the first five kilometres,personally so?" "You wont get any papers from this office."

"We have lodged a Right To Information* application to know who was responsible for that patch, sir. You are under obligation to tell me that out of the three crore forty lakh grant that was passed by central government for the construction of that road to facilitate the arrival of multinational IT companies in the city only two crore were spent on the road,the depth of the road is only half the specified depth, the material third grade and duration overstated in the documents. And you sir will also provide me the office files pertaining to that project so that I have ammunition to attack you in court and in press. If you refuse to do so under 30 days you will be liable to a fine of Rs25000 and still you will have to provide the information. There are drawbacks in being the information officer. " I explained as cooly as possible, not that he didnt know it already. The application had created quite a stir and he had called us to discuss the matter in private. He was trying to persuade us to take the application back before 30 days were up.

"Look son this is how the system works. Everybody takes their share. You know how it is." Adi had switched on his directional recorder. He was an electronics engineer. And a very resourceful one at that. "Do you think we can take care of the matter between ourselves?"He was sweetness personified now. Adi acted innocent "Like what sir?" See one crore sixty lakh has been ditributed form up to down. Why dont you take a share and just forget about it?.

Adi switched off the recorder now. "ok sir now that you have offered money to me to keep quiet, that too on the record now lets decide how much we're gonna get." I said as Adi showed the recorder to him as if teasing a dog with a bone.

First a triumphant smile came to his pudgy face and when the significance hit with his full force he paled like a two day old omlette. Get out of my office. You dont know MLA sharma has personally contributed to it from his constituency money. I hope you understand what he can do to you. Adi allayed all misgivings, innocently again. "Sir, please do not resort to threatening, what we're doing can not be legally called as taking a bribe* so law cant touch us and anyway its your word against ours. About MLA Singhvi, our letters to all the leading newspapers,Radio stations and a PIL for the high court are sitting with our lawyer right now to be used in the event of any pysical threat or our suspicious death.

I decided to sum it up for our poor Mr.Sharma. Sir You will have to give us the information with proof about the corruption that is rampant beacause of the RTI application, there is no way out of it unless you convince us to change our minds. In other words you are fucked.

Next month the electricity bills, travel bills and other expenditures of that particular office came to be about 10 lacks more thanthe average bill and the road construction expenditure was also upped by another 10 lacks owing to adverse weather conditions.

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*RTI act:- It includes the right to -
1.inspect works, documents, records.
2.take notes, extracts or certified copies of documents or records.
3.take certified samples of material.
4.obtain information in form of printouts, diskettes, floppies, tapes, video cassettes or in any 5.other electronic mode or through printouts.[S.2(j)]

Information means:-any material in any form including records, documents, memos, e-mails, opinions, advices, press releases, circulars, orders, logbooks, contracts, reports, papers, samples, models, data material held in any electronic form and information relating to any private body which can be accessed by a public authority under any other law for the time being in force including "file notings" [S.2(f)].

*Bribe:-1.A secret payment to a public officer in exchange for preferential treatment
2.A misappropriation of public funds by a public officer.

(note the word 'public officer')
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The events described in this story are totally fictitious the author and his friends have never even thought of such horrid things and the author is not suggesting anything to anybody....Ok you can stop laughing.

Dec 27, 2008

Broad Strokes

Our species needs, and deserves, a citizenry with minds wide awake and a basic understanding of how the world works. Carl Sagan

The moment a little boy is concerned with which is a jay and which is a sparrow, he can no longer see the birds or hear them sing. Eric Berne






Have you ever felt that a whole bevy of people think in more or less the the same way?


Have you ever felt that a whole bevy(slightly less) of people think in more or less the same way as you?

Have you ever felt that a whole bevy of people think in more less the opposite way you think?


Here I'm concerning my self with patterns of beahviour in clusters of people and their reasons (psychological and neurological).I by no means claim to providing the absolute solutions to these question with unimpeachable scientific authority,rather this article should be taken as a ruminative observation of the things as they are.

As Carl Sagan notes in his famous book Dragons of Eden there are two basic modes of thinking namely the right Neocortex way of thinking and the left neocortex one.The right Neocortex is visual and processes information in an intuitive and simultaneous way, looking first at the whole picture then the details. The left Neocortex is verbal and processes information in an analytical and sequential way, looking first at the pieces then putting them together to get the whole. Although things are not as simple and as tidy as this but we can safely assume if not taken to extremes it will bear the weight of a more insistent inquiry.

The stupid feeling of being in love,where feelings become more important than logical considerations,leading the elders to remonstrate with admonitory finger waving..remember my girl"love is blind".Losing track of logical moves when you have gotten check- mated once too often and commiting an embarassing mistake while playing chess.

It is definitely arguable that certain people show a preference to the left brain or the right brain thinking.Women just "know" that a certain man is just perfect for them,Men have always "calculated" the odds of their getting the promotion.Young rebels "feel" the need for independence and their parents have "worked out" the way they are spoiling their futures.At the risk of charting a scientific territory wothout any sophisticated instruments other than my observation I would also like to connect this theory with another revolutionary stream of study namely"Transactional Analysis" .
This concept was developed by Dr Eric Berne in 1957. Berne's approach to therapy was simply observing the way the patient communicated (through words, body language and facial expressions) in a transaction. Berne believed there were ego states and these were behind each and every transaction. They consisted of the Parent, Adult and Child. Berne found that within his therapy sessions with patients they would change over the course of a conversation. Berne claimed that the changes didn't necessarily mean verbal, they could include facial, body language, body temperature and many non verbal cues as mentioned above.The child ego state is that part of the personality characterised by childlike behaviours and feelings. It is subdivided in two divisions (natural child) spontaneous, impulsive and often self centred and pleasure loving or (adaptive child) the compliant part that conforms to the wishes and demands of parent figures. On the other hand, the adult ego state is rational and organised, it is the objective, thinking, data-gathering part of a person. Moreover, the parent ego state incorporates the attitudes and behaviours of parental figures that is, the dos, shoulds, and oughts. This ego state is also subdivided with the nuturing parent that conforms, praises and aids others. Where the critical parent finds fault, displays prejudices and prevents others from feeling good about themselves. This example illustrates Berne's ego states in action..'a woman may observe an attractive man and go through the following self-dialogue: "He is really good looking and well spoken [adult], but he's probably stuck up [critical parent], although I've heard he's very sensitive [nuturing parent]. I wonder how I could attract him and get him to notice me [natural child]. Oops! I'd better stop looking and get back to work, or my boss will get mad at me [adaptive child].".. This is an interesting model to me to understand which ego state(s) a person is using when engaging in interpersonal communication.

If we compare both the theories we'll find that there's a remarkable similarity between these two behaviour templates.How I compare them is something like this; Right brain nearly the same as child ego state;Left brain nearly the same as parent ego state and the combination of both I equate with adult one i.e logical and calculative ego state.
This is my basic thesis.In the next few posts I will apply this thesis to a variety of topics like politics, clubs , war etc and we'll see if our model can explain the goings on in this strange world of ours and whether we can do anything about it.

Jun 30, 2008

मैं ताकत हूँ

मैं ताकत हूँ,
ढाई किलो का हाथ हूँ,रिश्ते में तुम्हारा बाप हूँ ,
मैं ताकत हूँ ,
अजूबा हूँ ,दीवार हूँ ,शक्ति हूँ ,सरकार हूँ ,
मैं ताकत हूँ ,
रक्तपात हूँ ,घमासान हूँ ,युद्ध का मैदान हूँ,
मैं ताकत हूँ ,
काम हूँ ,क्रोध हूँ,प्रज्वलित प्रतिशोध हूँ,
मैं ताकत हूँ ,
घमंडी हूँ,चूर हूँ,कुचलता हूँ,मजबूर हूँ,
मैं ताकत हूँ ,
लालच हूँ,व्यापार हूँ,दुनिया की रफ्तार हूँ,
मैं ताकत हूँ ,
सोना हूँ ,तेल हूँ,पैसों का खेल हूँ,
मैं ताकत हूँ ......मैं ताकत हूँ ......मैं ताकत हूँ ......

The Me

Like rollin stones,like flyin' kites,
I leap n bound,at dizzyin' heights.
A shipwrecked sailor,a rovin' gypsy,
Livin on the waves,drunk and tipsy.
Velvety heart,in an iron glove,
Skin of the vulture,over the dove.
A heartless beast,to the sole of the boot,
Heart crushed,pulverized converted to soot.
Searchin equilibrium in an unstable system,
Angry at myself,furious at someone.
Livin on the edge,though i love my bliss,
Cant live in the valley,coz i love my cliff!