Category Archives: Luchay baatan (Drivel)

Cycle Bell Bill

Karrupiah and Elangovan were two illiterate farmers in a small Tamil Nadu village. One day, after a long day of work Karrupiah was bicycling to the local saraya kadai (Village bar).  Elangovan was returning on his bicycle from the shop. They crashed into each other. A scuffle broke out and the local constable intervened. The constable, who bore a grudge against the two for not lowering their lungis when he rode his moped in the village, booked cases against the two. Lack of street lights, amavasya and the absence of a cycle bell on Elangovans bicycle were noted as factors in the FIR. The case went to court.

The judge after hearing the case ruled in Karrupiah’s favor and ordered that the government make it mandatory for all bicycles to have a cycle bell. This judicial order was reported widely in the media. A group of lawyers under the CCACB (Concerned Citizens Against Cycle Bells) filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) challenging the ruling. After years of affidavits, counter affidavits, black gowned lawyers shouting “Objection your Honor” and emotionless dawaalis loosing their voices, the judge ordered the government to resolve the issue.

The government immediately constituted an advisory panel under the chairmanship of a retired IAS officer of the Transportation Ministry and a large posse of public servants. Apart from sumptuous lunches and pakoda-samosa high teas, the panel went on a fact finding mission to Europe and America to study their Bicycle bells and bicycle accident data. The committee managed to keep extending dead-lines until the IAS officer ran out of desk calendars to look for future dates. So he hastily googled the information and sent his report endorsing the stand that cycle bells be made compulsory.

The government drafted a bill to be tabled in the parliament. The bill languished for a few years since every time it came up for discussion the parliament would be adjourned sine die for members to attend khaini chewing contests in their constituencies or that members would stage a walkout protesting the amount of noise in the house when they tried to get some sleep.

The bill was finally brought for discussions in the midst of flying microphones and office furniture. The left wingers opposed it saying that in encroached on personal freedom and the right wingers protested that the sound “ding-dong” were foreign swear words disguised as auditory notes. The communists said that the proletariat must not be unduly subjugated and hence all vehicles, including cars and buses must also be fitted with cycle bells.

Widespread protests hit the nation. People rioted on streets burning Bell bottom pants and effigies of Graham Bell. The Bell Curve and dumbbells were boycotted. The opposition parties brought in a no-confidence motion against the government. After major horse trading, public vote auction and the party whips flogging their members mercilessly to ensure that party lines were not breached, the members voted and the government fell.

The opposition now laid claim to the throne government. The president, who was lulled out of his gardening activities, called on the opposition to form the government and to prove their majority on the floor. A new session of trading began anew. Bookmakers released odds on the results and the parliament members made a small fortune. The vote failed. The president who was once again trudged out of his favorite armchair was forced to dissolve the parliament and call for fresh elections.

The election commission has issued dates for general elections. The cycle bell bill is still in the pile. Since it is to come after the discussion on the eligibility of criminally convicted MP’s to stand for election, it sure never to see the light of day.

Two governments have fallen; a general election in scheduled and the public is restless; but Elangovan and Karuppiah have patched things up. Elangovan had to borrow money from the village lender to buy a cycle bell as ordered by the judge. He then had to sell the cycle because he couldn’t afford the interest on the bell. Karuppiah lost all his money on successive failed harvests. Now they both walk to the saraaya kadai together and share the drinks over a single plate of oorkaai.


The 7 habits of highly effective Indians

Success, they say is relative. There are successes which end with world wide fame and recognition. There are plenty of Indians who have bettered mankind and have thus achieved immortal fame. Though India lacks in its PCS factor (that is Per Capita Success factor) for this kind of success, we make it up in other forms. Success can also be leading a peaceful life with the domestic bliss of a wife and kids, and a lazy evening spent over chaai and butteraan. There are billions of Indians who are successful at that. Given that the modern day nihilistic society in the industrialized world searches for that very bliss, I thought it would be best to share the secrets of Indian successes with the world. I have labeled it “The seven habits of highly effective Indians”. Here they are:

1) Procrastinate: This is best described by the couplet that goes “Aaj kare so kal kar, kal kare so parson; Itni bhi kya jaldi hai pyare, jab jeena hai barson”, which loosely translates to mean “Postpone today’s task to tomorrow and postpone tomorrows work to the day after. What’s the hurry when we have years ahead to live”. As Indians, we do not have to worry about learning this particular habit. It is a part and parcel of our DNA. It runs so deep in our blood that even after we are cut, the blood takes a while to come out. Hence the term “Bloody indian”. This is THE MOST important quality one must learn in order to be a successful Indian.
2) Aimlessness: Had it not been for aimless wandering, places and things would not have been discovered.  A cursory glance at a street corner in India will show you young kids going “kutti severru” around their houses, middle ages mustachios debating the “kavarchi nadigai” news at the tea kadais and at the same time the aged while their time whining about the present state of life with interspersed remarks of antha kaalathule. One must also practice this rigorously and make sure that it permeates into ones very essence.
3) Rainy day planning: As the sub-heading reads, rainy day planning does not involve having to plan for bringing the clothesline indoors or remembering to fold up your trouser hems as you wade through the rain water. Rather, it is to be a pack rat and hoard up every single thing you come across because “you never know when you will need it”. Be it locks that you do not have the key for or the beyond repair radio on which your kollu thaatha heard the swearing-in ceremony of lal bahadur shastri. One must therefore rat hole everything that one finds for a day that it might be needed.

4) Think Loss/Loss: The Indian pysche is beyond comprehension by even the finest of minds. The reason we do not have any alien abductions of Indians is the fact that the aliens are scared that we might in turn brainwash them instead. As the say, if you cannot stream ahead in a running race, then you got to trip the other runners! One must be prepared to take the high road and also drag along any road blocks that come up. Then and only then will you be able to reach your destination.
5) Be the loudest: In a land were one has to converse over the din of a jam-packed commute its only natural that our voice decibels have climbed to higher octaves. Ask any of abundant politicians that we produce, the key to success is to be louder than the loudest competitor to make your voice heard!. The best lawyer in town is not the one with the most legal knowledge but the one who can out-shout the other prosecutor with “Objection your honor”. To this effect one must practice twice every day, one hour in the morning and one hour in the evening, in order to make your voice louder.
6) Teamwork: This one is simple. Get into the team based on your performance and then become a permanent fixture, like a birthmark. Avoid all attempts to take you out. If the heat to kick you out becomes unbearable, then gloat on your past achievement irrespective of your arid contributions in the recent past. Referring back to our politicians and their tactics, blame someone else for any failures.
7) Dull the aruvaal: Since all work and no play makes jack a dull boy and jill a dull girl. In spite of Habit 1 (i.e. procrastination), one needs to ease off the work schedule calendar. The sharp dagger of a lifestyle which involves mooching off and delegating can cause both senses and sensibilities to be on ultra-high alert. Hence from time to time it needs to be dulled with a healthy dose of sick and casual leaves.

I am sure that these habits and an unhealthy exposure to a tanning lamp might qualify you to be a face in the crowd of one the most successful people on earth….the Indians…(not the native American variety).






Schpelling B

The spelling bee is a contest that is held annually for kids to show off their geekiness and their skills of being a mug pot. I know the saying that there is no such thing as useless knowledge, but what is the point of knowing obscure words and their origins? Its usability in modern day life is like that of snail mail. Yes it exists, but who uses it!?.
Given the direction the modern day generation is trending, in terms of spelling. grammar and pronunciation, I was thinking how it would the actual spelling bee competition should be held. Here is my version.

The final round. Only one kid is left.
(Kid walks up nervously to the microphone)
Judge: Contestant # 416. If you get this correct you will be the champion. Your word is “companion”

Kid: Companion…..companion. Can I have the origin please ?
Judge: Originally from Latin from companio

Kid: Companion….companyon..Could I have its meaning please
Judge: Closely connected, confidant.

(Nervously trying to say the words over and over again)
Kid: Compagnion….companeon…….Could you use it in a sentence.
Judge: Salt and his companion pepper spiced up the egg.

(Slowly muttering it over and over)

Kid: Compaion….
Kid: B F F 

Judge…That is correct… Companion is spelt BFF. (Best friends forever)!!

Given the way modern spelling is evolving the day is not too far when the best english and grammar teachers would be southern rednecks!. Thats something I am picking up in ample doses!.

Before and After

It was well into the wee hours on a summer night and I was trying to complete my daily required dosage of TV. I happened to come across an infomercial for weight reduction pills. The ad claimed that all you needed to do was to pop this pill, and viola in a couple weeks your belly would go from that of an over due pregnant mom to that of a NFL running back. They kept showing before and after pictures of people, implying that they had lost all that weight. But the pictures could hardly be believed. Come on…., before picture of a ugly looking fat chick that transforms into a Scandinavian blonde in the after picture ; a balding paunchy guy with sagging breasts changes into a strapping hulk!…yeah right….Seeing how obviously made up these pictures are and that the “before” and “after” pictures are of two totally different guys, I came up with a brilliant plan. I have a proposal which I am planning to send to the companies that make weight reduction pills. Take a picture of me now. This could be used as the “After” picture. Then let me pig out for 6 months on a calorie rich diet of ice-creams, fried foods and good ole meat. Then when I have gained a few feet in circumference and added a couple more chins, you can take a picture. This would become the “Before” picture. Now you have an actual documented case, with picture proof of a “before” and “after” picture .And it is the same guy!! Now isnt that brilliant So guys go ahead, call the companies and let the pigging begin in earnest!.