Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Latest Trend-Footwear Missiles

Two days back in TOI, I saw a classic cartoon by our R.K.Lakshman which showed a politician with a bandaged forehead and Common man commenting on him ”He wants everyone to think he is a VIP and saying that he was hit by a shoe in the meeting. That is a lie-he was hit with a stone at the meeting” :-))) what a superb timing?
This cartoon has triggered me to drive my imagination cells to frenzy and result is- this post.
First let me narrate the flashback…
The shoe hurling bug has bitten the people after a journalist hurled shoe at ex Dubya.
The first Indian to get this award was our own PC.These first two cases were done as a mark of protest against authority.
But these protestors have completely mistaken our Indian Janta which is always craving for publicity and its related stunts.:-))
After these hurls, Indians are so excited about this hurling ceremony. And their love for cricket helps them throw the footwear perfectly with lots of variations like spins and swings.;-) Recently BJP’s LKA was hit by a slipper in an election rally. Congress’s Navin was hit with a sandal by a retired teacher. Yesterday was actor Jeetendra’s turn to receive the blessings. Cautioned Modi addressed a rally with a protective net .;-) .If he would have read this post before he wouldn't have opted for the net.He would have happily accepted one footwear missile.

While reading these news bits my brain also overworked to invent some ideas and suggestions for our wannabe celebrities who would like to get immediate media coverage. So,what follows is my complete wild imagination...
This is election time man! No body wants to lag behind. Even our seasoned politicians desperately pray for a footwear hit. They have promised huge offerings in Temples and to their favorite deities if they get a footwear hit. Paparazzi is just waiting impatiently to cover every single throw.If you are lucky enough to get hit by a shoe,instant photos will be flashed and you will hog the limelight for a day. Who will miss this opportunity in such a crucial time?
Not to get disappointed if nobody hurls shoe on them, many intelligent politicians have made arrangements on their own.
Aaluji has ordered his party men to throw a chappal in a shape of a train, so it will remain in people’s mind permanently and remind them of his seva to janta when he was in Railways ministry.

Caruna wants his kazhagam brethren to throw a chappal of Yellow color which will bring him luck. Not only that ,he has given strict orders to them to recite some of his poems while throwing ,so that people will understand his fondness to literature.

Java(All names changed to protect their identity!!!;-)) doesn’t want to be left far behind. She has given permission to her cadres to buy a pair of new sandals, wash it with bisleri water, soak it well in Rosewater and throw it on her along with some flowers and after that thrower should do a sashtanga namaskar.

Saniyaji who is hell-bent on improving her HAND’s Fortune also has expressed her wish to get hit by footwear but has insisted on a Pizza Topping/Pasta as a covering for the Footwear.

Everybody wants to get hit with footwear to boost their social status. It has become a status symbol.
So actors and actresses are also trying very hard to get at least a single hit.
Our Bollywood bimbette Rakhi Sawant is very keen on using this technique to boost her waning career. She has asked one of her boyfriends ;-)to hurl footwear wrapped with a bikini;-) That will be great for our news starved news channels. Whole day they will zoom the same scene thousand times and irritate pathetic viewers like me. :-(

In a village, when a farmer bent to mend his Hawaii slipper strings and got up after pinning them,he was shocked to see a big queue of politicians and celebrities waiting for him to hurl his slipper on them. They thought that farmer was taking his slippers to hurl it at somebody.Poor chap who was unaware of this latest trend hurried back disappointing the whole crowd.:-(

Seeing this demand for footwear throwers a shrewd politician is planning to introduce a branch in Engineering “Footwear Throwing Technology” in one of his educational institutions for crazy and desperate parents who are keen in putting their wards in an Engineering course even if they get 50%.
Two IT employees who were laid off by their companies due to recession have started a company “Anonymous Footwear Throwing Company” Which takes Contract to throw all types of footwear ranging from designer to dirty shoes, price range vary accordingly. Already number of party hopping socialites have registered their names in this company to get a hit so that they can elevate their status ranking as a VIP.;-)))
Don’t be surprised if this company beats the recession and posts a high profit..
Huh.. Full stop to my imagination now;-)) ! CU in next post!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Love to buy Everything!

Let me first confess that, I was inspired to write this post after reading Prasanna’s shopping passion .
It was the year 1994, December last week, just 1 and half months after our marriage. So Rajendra used to take me wherever he went on tour. At that time we were in Chembur, Mumbai staying in Rajendra’s Uncle’s place .In spite of my little knowledge of Marathi, I used to enjoy there.

One day, he came early from his office and told me,”Let us go out for Dinner!”! My preference was Chembur because of its South Indian Restaurants, so we went to Chembur Market Area which had lots of shops. Both sides of the road were overflowing with shops. We were newly married so Rajendra was in a state in which he could never refuse anything :-) Shops were so colourful.Articles displayed in the shops were very attractive. First I stumbled upon a hawker under a tree selling lots of magazines. I could sense the excitement flowing in me on seeing Tamil weeklies Kumudham, Ananda Vikatan, Thuglaq etc.I grabbed them with lots of happiness and Rajendra also paid for them with a great sense of pride ;-) Poor thing! He was unaware of what was going to happen in the next hour ;-))

Some boards were in Marathi so I had to carefully inspect the shop everytime before entering into it. My interpreter (Rajendra) also helped me a lot ;-) ,Bitten by the Shopping Bug, I went on a Shopping spree. In front of each shop I spent a minute to analyse the articles displayed , and pulled Rajendra’s hands towards the shop with a dialogue “Enakku vandhu .. aasayaa irukku (meaning I would love to..)..I want to buy this X article” .I request the readers to repeat this dialogue in their mind in front of every shop in which I purchased so that I can save the pain of repeated typing.:-)).Initially Rajendra was very happy. I stood in front of a footwear shop, Handbags shop ,Dresses ,Hairclips, so on and on, I entered each shop and with little bargain bought some articles and dumped in our bag.

Rajendra started becoming impatient; already his shoulders had started paining with the load.
“Padma! I think we should have something! I am feeling Hungry”.
I had forgotten hunger in my shopping excitement!”Oh! That’s a great Idea! Let us have something”.
We entered a south Indian Hotel, had nice idlis, dosas and an extra utthappa for the additional energy required for further shopping ;-)) .We rearranged the items in the bags so that we could accommodate many more items and ventured out of the hotel with newly gained energy:-).

Again with the same dialogue followed by my brief analysis in front of every shop, I entered each shop to add some more to the cart. As shops passed by, our baggage increased exponentially and value of Rajendra’s purse was diminishing with the same proportion. ;-) Now we decided to buy a big bag for future expansions;-) and bought it.

Additional bag opened up for new scopes and we proceeded further. Smile in Rajendra’s face had vanished , because his back had already bent like a slight arc ;-) with the heavy-duty bags. Taking pity on him I offered to share his load. In spite of my generosity he started voicing mild protests like “Oh! No! Padma! It’s enough”.

Not minding his protests, I continued my Shopping. Now his protests became stronger and his face became more serious. Ignoring all signs, I was happily immersed in Shoppo Mania.
Only few shops were remaining in that row, I stood in front of a shop with a Marathi board. As usual, before analyzing I uttered the same dialogue and started looking at the display window.
Rajendra’s face suddenly lit up. His eyes started shining with happiness. Silently I appreciated his regained enthusiasm. He volunteered “Padma! Shall I buy anything for you from this shop?”
Wow! How generous! I just stepped on the entrance, but looked back with a doubt “But I am not able to make out what they are selling”.
Rajendra gave a villainous smile and replied “They sell Veterinary Medicines in this shop!”
I leave the rest to the Reader’s imagination :-) ) CU in next post!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

HiraBen's Confusion.

On seeing the title, if you think that this post is in the likes of Big Ben of London, Sorry! This is not about any Clock tower. This post is about Hiraben.
I will first clarify your doubt which is sprouting in your mind;-).

In Gujarat, all ladies are addressed with a suffix Ben, for e.g., padmaben, prasannaben etc.In short, any lady is addressed as ladyben. OK?
Before proceeding I would like to introduce 2 main characters of my post.

1. Hiraben-Servant maid of our neighbor in Ahmedabad.
2. Buriben-My Servant maid in Ahmedabad.(Age 26)

Hiraben was around 75 years old with minimum number of teeth, tall but slightly bent figure, and her ghagra choli reflecting the rustic look of rural Rajasthan. During my 6 years stay in Ahmedabad, I never understood a single word of hers. But we were cordial with each other exchanging lovely smiles and she used to help me when Buriben went on leave with silly excuses;). Now enough of Hiraben’s description .I will start with the main story.

It was the usual scorching summer of Ahmedabad in the year 2003.Last loksabha elections were held during May month. As usual I tried to educate Buriben with electoral process of our country and explained to her why voting is important. She also participated in the discussions with lots of interest and gave some unique suggestions (!!!), had tea with me and escaped with minimum chores;-) Buriben was a good outlet for me in Ahmedabad .I love talking to somebody or other in spite of linguistic barriers. ;-)
Our language of communication was a mixture of Hindi, Gujarati and sometimes Marathi and Tamil when I lost patience with her;) .But communication with her was far better than hiraben.
Everyday she used to narrate to me how different party people came to their locality and showered gifts on them .Three days before election, one major party had distributed plastic buckets in their locality. I advised her to accept all the gifts from parties because after elections no one will be bothered to give anything to them .But I warned her not to get attracted by these silly gifts and again gave her complete gyan of effect of sincere voting and asked her to stick to her conscience while voting in spite of accepting gifts.

On the Election Day, before Rajendra left to office we went to cast our votes and I returned home. Aditya was very small to share my excitement. But Buriben fuelled my excitement with hot news. Previous night at 2 am, opposition party men had distributed steel tapelis (vessel in Gujarati) in their locality.
Immediately I gave her a warning look. She immediately understood and said that she is going to vote according to her conscience and will not be lured by gifts. Good! I appreciated her. “What about Hiraben?” I asked her with curiosity.
“Arre! Hiraben is not going to vote this time!”
I was shocked. My passion for democracy :-) was too high to accept this.
“But Why?” I asked her. ”Bring Hiraben here” I ordered Buriben.
As usual Hiraben came flashing her teethless innocent smile .
“Are you not voting this time?” I asked Hiraben.
Our interpreter Buri did a good job on that day.
“No! I don’t want to vote! How can I cheat?”Hiraben quipped.
“What cheating? Whom you are going to cheat”
She replied”Three days back I had decided to vote for that plastic bucket party. But yesterday night the opposition party people gave us tapelis. Now whom should I vote for? If I vote for one party it is like cheating the other party. I have received gifts from both of them .See! I am poor! I cannot refuse these gifts. But I have to be sincere and honest too. Those party people have warned us that they have spies in polling booth and will get back the articles from us if we do the cross voting.”
Again I had a tough time in explaining her secrecy of voting process and not to bother about those party men and better stick to her conscience. She was not convinced.
Whole day I was after her and was showing the black dot in my forefinger and at last started pleading;-) with her to go and vote. She started taking pity on me and decided to vote. I asked Buriben (My spy ;-)) to accompany her to polling booth and immediately rushed to our neighbour’s balcony from where I could have a better view of polling Booth's gate to confirm that both of them entered the polling booth which was in our adjacent compound. I gave a huge sigh of relief ,ignored my neighbour’s quizzical look;-) came back home.
On hearing the calling bell, I opened the door to see the victorious duo showing the black dots on their respective fore fingers .I flashed a thankful smile and made them to sit ,switched on the Fan,and rushed to prepare a cool lemon drink for them. I added more sugar in their glasses as an act of Thanksgiving . Hiraben gave a typical smile and enjoyed the cool drink on that sunny day.
“So, finally did you vote with your conscience or was your decision based on the gifts? Bucket party or tapeli party?” I asked both of them.
Before Buriben gave her answer , Hiraben was quick in replying me. ”Let both the parties go to hell. I voted for some independent candidate. I don’t know his name ;-)
Whoever comes to power there will not be any progress in our what big difference it is going to make. Any way thanks for your sharbat. It was nice.”
Her knowledge in Indian politics made her appear like a great psephologist;-) to me ,but anyway wondering the luck of that independent candidate who got a vote because of my pestering, I bid adieu to them and switched on TV for the latest Breaking News on Elections ;-).
CU in next post!