Dehradun

Astounding Alliterations for the Absolutely Unabashedly Asinine

Before that, this:

It has come to my notice that this git has been making one too many unwarranted, not to mention completely unsubstantiated allegations with reference to yours truly. Now, I’ve been long aware of this git’s git-like ways, so that really ought not to have come as a surprise. Be that as it may, spreading canards amongst friends is one thing, bad-mouthing in front of teachers another, but to smear and and tarnish someone’s fair name in this hallowed realm of cyberspace, is something I most certainly shall not stand for. No, Sirree, No.

Ergo, I propose an entire sequence of posts on THE Git. You’ll hear anecdotes; you’ll hear tales told. You’ll know why THE Git was also known as The Body (aka btw, as The Shark). You’ll hear the truly heart-wrenching tale of how the man lost his mush. You’ll be informed as to when THE git was on the verge of submitting the single most awesome memorial EVER, but being THE git he was, how he developed cold feet at the last moment. Or why he was once found crawling around in a law firm library. Or for that matter caught kicking a poor hapless female, who was unfortunately sitting in front of him. And perhaps, the greatest revelation of them all, what does THE git have against hygiene? What primal need drives him into abhorring all kinds of daily ablutions?? For all this and more, just tarry a bit, patient adept, cause my patience is running thin, and the appropriate hour for a GIT-post would appear to be nigh.

Now, that:

In my second year at law school, classes used to be pretty much joyless affairs. Not to put too fine a point on it, but I don’t think I’ve been ever as bored out of my friggin’ skin, as I was that summer. And as you know, zing is what makes the world go around. If there ain’t any zing, there ain’t anything. So, for the few classes I used to be present for in that semester, and in face of teachers who either went motha-fatha-motha-fatha at the lectern, or had hand-movements and speech inflexions, which would have done a flight stewardess proud, I had to do something. Anything. The following 🙂 I give you, The Astounding Alliterations for the Absolutely Unabashedly Asinine:

  • Amnesia : The ambrosia of the asinine.
  • Poetry : A parody of pantomimed polemics.
  • Man : A modicum of meandering mendacities.
  • Passion : Platitudes of platonic perversions.
  • Siesta : Soothing somnolence, served usually in shade.
  • Quarrel : A quorum for the overtly querulous.
  • Essay : An inscription of infantile inanities.
  • Short Story : A smashing smorgasbord of senile semantics.
  • Denouncement : Damnation of decidedly didactic dimensions.
  • Fastidious : Feisty finickyness foisted on the firmament of fallacious fisticuffs and foibles
  • Tantrum: Trenchant trials of tedium typified tangentially by temper

(1. My initial POA was to have an entry for each letter of the alphabet. Unfortunately, I attended far too few classes for that.

2. Further, in relation to the two luminaries I’ve alluded to above, I missed a better grade by .05 in both their papers. Anybody from NUJS would know what that means. As highly evolved a Karmic comeuppance scheme as I’ve ever seen.)

Some 12 years back, it used to be 2/2 Bakralwala, Nashville Road. Today it is B 10/17 Green Towers, Golf Green.

I had no words back then. And even now, I don’t really know what to say.

mnesia : The ambrosia of the asinine.

Poetry : A parody of pantomimed polemics.

Man : A modicum of meandering mendacities.

Passion : Platitudes of platonic perversions.

Siesta : Soothing somnolence, served usually in shade.

Quarrel : A quorum for the overtly querulous.

Essay : An inscription of infantile inanities.

Short Story : A smashing smorgasbord of senile semantics.

Denouncement : Damnation of decidedly didactic dimensions.

Fastidious : Feisty finickyness foisted on the firmament of fallacious fisticuffs and foibles

Tantrum : Trenchant trials of tedium typified tangentially by temper

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Zurich is No More

Zurich is no more. Long live Zurich.

Many might there be Picadillies, and French Loaves and Cream and Fudge Factories, but there shall be (was) only one Zurich.

Got into a fight today. With an auto-wallah of all people. In re two bucks of all things. But as always, a fight though triggered by specifics, is never about them. Nor can it be broken down into disparate components. A fight is always about generalities, of principles, of sahis and galats, and similar platitudinal excesses 🙂

Today, the entire sequence consisted of the auto-wallah pocketing ten bucks instead of his usual eight; of being almost run-over in rush-hour traffic; a 100 metre dash behind the offending party; a proper shove-session in front of the traffic policeman in front of South City, who true to form, washed his hands off the affair, with the exception of proffering a suggestion to register a complaint at Jadavpur P.S.

Then, trundling back to Lord’s; being accosted by the Auto-wallah there who had somehow tracked me back, and being threatened with dire consequences if I registered a complaint (and at which point, I truly lost it). A psychedelic 2-3 minute hand-to-hand combat session, which almost culminated in my shoving that git’s face into a vat of boiling oil where jalebis were being fried. And finally, getting back two rupees.

A honourable mention goes to the Skulker, who was comrade-in-arms, for the entire bit till we trundled across to Lord’s and whose cell probably still has stored, the offending auto’s license plate number.

Also, on a slightly more personal note, the most psychedelic moment of the entire episode probably occurred when in midst of grappling with that jackass, I picked out a complete stranger and asked him to hold on to my specs, so that I could let loose. For in sooth, though I mind not specs, they do hamper you, come fights. That, and also in terms of utter psychedelia, abusing him in English 🙂

Saw me a movie recently. Thought ’twas alright.

I still remember the first copy of Sherlock Homes I ever picked up. I must have been in Grade V then. Rajpur Road used to have this really old bookshop called Jugal Kishore. I’d got it from there. I think I even remember the first story I read; The Adventure of the Speckled Band. And I was HOOKED. Next year I came to Cal for the first time. The first bookstore I visited was Oxford’s. The first books I picked up were The Adventures, The Case-Book, The Memoirs, and The Return of Sherlock Holmes (I read His Last Bow only a couple of years later).

Guy Ritchie’s Holmes though, is not one (only) of cobblestone streets or meershcaum pipes. His is one of kinetic excesses and excess coolth. And one, who is, a tad vertically challenged. The greatness of true literature is that often it not only leads itself to translations, or transliterations, but also to transmutations. Take Mahabharata; you have Mrityunjaya by Sivaji Sawant, Randamoozham by Vasudeva Nair, and Yajnaseni by Pratibha Ray (a strand later  taken up by Chitra Divakaruni), all of which use entirely different narratives in respect of the same overarching structure. And more pertinently, succeed in doing so.

Whether Downey Jr.’s Holmes also falls into the same category is for you to decide. I though, for one, shall stick out my neck, and say, verbal fencing and witty repartee apart, there was little to distinguish it from say, a cerebral version of Van Helsing.

Of Revisionist Tendencies (And Cocky Chumps)

Orissa = Cuttack = Kalyani Nagar + Tulsipur

In much the same way as,

Dehradun = Bakralwala + Rajpur Road

and, Cal = Golf Green + NUJS + A dash of Park St.

See, there’s revisionism for you.

I don’t mind people with serious attitudes. Neither do I mind jackasses. However, a jackass with attitude issues, is way, way beyond tolerable limits. Beyond one’s ken, as some would say; %$%^%&**, as I would say. And most of these gits, in terms of actual responsibility are at the very bottom of the ladder. As if the only way they could assert their importance is by acting like prats. That, and they’re usually dumb too. Potent combo that.

Ran into two of their breed today. Had a proper shout-session before getting my way. What was truly incredible though, was how wronged they felt at the fact that someone had, so to say, put one over them. Mr. Cocky Chump was busy trying to explain how he’d been right all along, and how I had managed to finagle my way in owing to a mere technicality. Ms. Cocky Chump on the other hand was adamant on the point that I was a git. Which, true as it might be, was pretty much a non sequitur apropos the point under discussion 🙂

Weird Indeed are the Ways of the Cocky Chumps.

What Makes the World Go Around

Some prat once said that ’tis love which makes the world go around. For me though, it’s probably expectorants.

My fav-est term in the Bong lexicon is probably ‘Dhurr’ followed closely by ‘Chhagoler Dim’. The first roughly corresponds to ‘Gah’ in English. The second one is untranslatable. Gotta wonder though, who first called someone a ‘Chhagoler Dim’. Takes a really special sort of a snowflake to come up with something like ‘goat’s eggs’, you know. Sukumar Ray would’ve been right proud of him! Cult.

Looks like India’s gonna have a new state pretty soon. Some chap went on a fast for 10 days, and ergo, Telengana it is. Just to put it  in perspective, Irom Sharmila‘s been fasting for 10 years now. There is actually a school of thought that KCR’s fast has less to do with the Telengana cause and more to do with the manner in which his party got served in the 2009 elections. Don’t blame the chap though, anybody would’ve been pissed.

One would think though that some 50 years after Independence we would have better issues to go apeshit about. And heaven knows, if there is any country with a dearth of issues, it sure as hell isn’t us. But nope, old habits sure die hard.

Reminds me a lot of Dehradun though. When I was studying there, for a few years in between, the Uttaranchal agitation was in full swing. Which was awesome! We used to have at least one strike every fortnight, with an almost metronomic regularity. And given how considerate most of these strike-wallahs are wont to be, it used to be invariably scheduled on a Friday or a Monday. So, every couple of weeks, when the clarion call was given, you know, when the bugle was sounded, it was essentially a signal for us to pack our stuff and hotfoot it across to Delhi for a small li’l break. Which was, I repeat again, awesome!

And when finally the State go-ahead was given, I don’t think anybody was as pissed as us schoolkids. Or even our teachers for that matter 🙂 Its kinda hard you know, reconciling yourself to the same old weekly routine, after months and months of four and three-day weeks, mini breaks, picnics, general vela-ness et al! For about a month or so after the announcement was made, all our faces were sullen enough to make the very milk curdle!! We. Were. Pissed.

And now look at Doon. Its hot, its crowded, its noisy, you’ve cars honking the smidgens off each other on Rajpur Road, and most of the trees are gone. Basically its like a miniature version of Delhi now. Yeah. See. That’s what Statehood does.

On the Subject of Homes

He sat quietly in a corner of his room, brows furrowed, and wondered.

He wondered what people meant when they called something, someplace a home. And then, he wondered, about his own home.

He wondered about that small city he spent his childhood in. That small hill-top at the bottom of which he used to stay, and silently chuckled at the thought of the sixty degree angle their cricket pitch invariably made, whenever they played on that road which angled down from there. He remembered all the times he’d had that Samose wali chat at Kamboj Sweet Shop, Kulfi at Kumar’s or had borrowed those dog-eared Tintin issues at the nearby kirana shop. He remembered Gupta Aunty, the Khannas, Charu Didi, Jogen Bhaiyya, Shakti-Nanha and dear old Uncle Bhaiyya. His old school which was just a fifteen minute walk away, or Nikku Bhaiyya and Mabel Didi who walked alongside him to school everyday. He remembered his friends, his teachers. He remembered studying by the light of a lantern during those all-too-frequent evening power outage sessions and how every night he could see the lights of Mussoorrie gleaming in the distance. He remembered all those days, when he was still a boy, and silently willed them to come back again.

Then, he wondered about that city he grew up in. The City of Splendour. The City of Squalor. The City of Joy. The City of Sorrow. The City of Palaces. The City of Pot-holes. He remembered how, the first thing he had noticed about this city, was that he’d never seen so many Ambassadors in his life before. He remembered a certain something called rallies, and an even bigger travesty called the Book Fair. He remembered marvelling at the sheer variety and quantity of food, food, and still more food. He remembered his school; he remembered his college. He remembered the uncluttered views he used to command from the floor of his 10th floor apartment and how green everything seemed from up there. Classmates, acquaintances, friends, neighbours, he remembered them all. He remembered how unbelievably helpful people were at times, at bus-stands, on roads, anywhere. He also remembered how he was once called an outsider and asked to go back where he came from. He remembered the good times; he remembered the bad. He remembered all that; and, he remembered more.

His thoughts went to the other city now. That city where he was born. That city where his Mum and Dad came from. That city, where once every couple of years, he and all his relatives used to come together to catch up on all the time they had lost. To deal in constants like love and affection; and to compare variables like height and weight. He remembered having Alu-Dum Dahi-Vada off Barabati Stadium, or that killer Rabri Lassi at Buxi Bazaar. He remembered his Aai’s uber-licious chaats, and those meals at Kalyani Nagar, where every session closely approximated a veritable feast. He remembered all his relations who still stayed there; his grandparents, his uncles and his aunts. He remembered his little cousins, all of whom seemed to be as irrevocably scatter-brained as he was. He remembered, and he treasured those moments anew.

In turns, he thought about all the moments he had spent at each of these places, a few weeks, a few months, and a few years at a time. Details, every single one of them, came flooding back to him. In vivid technicolour mode.

And then, he realized one thing. Homes are not where you come from. Homes are not where you go. Homes are, where your heart is, and forever there, shall you stay.

And by the way, which blasted dingbat said that homes had to ever conform to some kind of a singularity paradigm

He sat quietly in a corner, and wondered no more.

He switched on his comp and listened to Adele blitz ‘Hometown Glory’ instead. 🙂