Tag Archives: humor

Machine?

The Driver

Mr Tripathi was one of the most dignified drivers that we have had the pleasure of employing. He was an integral part of the household, playing a significant role in making our lives comfortable. From the daily running around to just having a nice presence, he was a positive influence in my life while growing up in the historic and culturally vibrant city of Lucknow.

He was always on time which was quite a novelty in Lucknow where the Indian Standard Time became the classical Indian Stretchable Time for most. I could never fathom the whole point of giving a time reference and not sticking to it. But that’s Lucknow and intrinsic to many parts of India. From a VIP at an event to a groom arriving for his own wedding, coming on time was almost a bizarre concept for most. But Mr. Tripathi was different. He used to dress sharp and run our lives with clockwork precision.

But all was not hunky dory. While he was perfect through the day he would demonstrate a surprisingly strong streak of aggression in the evening. Suddenly our Trekker in his hands would turn into a true beast. The Trekker was the Indian equivalent of the Hummer ( in the 1980’s) minus the sex appeal. It was a big bulky fuel guzzling machine that was built like a tank by a designer of questionable talent. It never gained popularity despite the best efforts of the manufacturer for obvious reasons!

Talking about beasts, Lucknow roads like most North Indian towns were co-inhabited by humans and a fascinating variety of four legged creatures. During the day, stray cattle would make the roads their own and the adjusting traffic would find a way through them. In the evenings, the cowherds would use the roads to get their cows home with scant disregard to public convenience. The cows would take their time to navigate the streets as the hapless humans waited in anticipation to get by. There was a strange equanimity demonstrated by both parties in this particularly vexing situation. But as they say no one is ever in a particular hurry in Lucknow!

However with Mr Tripathi thingimgres-1.jpgs were a bit different in the evening. The Trekker would just need to announce its arrival through a sharp series of horns and the bovines would dutifully make way for our car. It was pretty amazing to see this and gave us as a family a bit of an edge. As a boy it got me to believe that my dad was so important that even the bovines on the road make way for us! The truth was that the bovines had realised the hard way that Mr Tripathi and his beast stopped for nothing, not even them!

My father in turn always suspected that Mr. Tripathi had an extra tipple every evening and that caused his aggressive road behaviour. From time to time he would accuse Mr T of having a drink which was passionately denied. Mr T would swear by all the gods known to us proclaiming his innocence. It always ended with my father reluctantly accepting his pleas for innocence and warning him to drive better in the evening. This went on for the three years that we were posted there and then one fine day we embarked on our next journey as my father was transferred to another city. I was sad to leave my friends, my home and my school but at the same time filled with excitement about our next adventure. Kids have an amazing sense of optimism and resilience and I guess I was no different.

I still remember our final day in Lucknow. Mr. Tripathi arrived smartly to drop us all off to the station. Our bags were packed and we were ready to go! The short journey from our home to the railway station was filled with us as a family thanking Mr. T for serving us well. As we arrived at the station we continued with our extended farewells. Suddenly in all my earnestness I popped the question that had bugged my father for the last three years about his aggressive driving post sun down. I asked him if he drank? He sheepishly whispered into my ears – “Baba, I am suffering from night blindness. I could not tell this to your father since I would have lost my job. Please keep this a secret and never let him know about our conversation!” As a nine year old I did not understand what that meant but the words stuck to me. Plus I was a loyal friend and kept this secret to myself.

Two years later my teacher was a bit puzzled to see my horrified cum amused expression as she taught us what night blindness meant!

Really, really, really short stories

How short can stories get?
How about stories in three sentences?
The interesting aspect of a three sentence story is that you can complete the story, fire up the imagination and yet leave it open for interpretation.

Here is a sampler:

Till Death Do Us Apart
He loved her
She did too
Read the tombstones

Time Flies!
The beds were always unkempt
The floors were never clean
“Why do they grow up so fast? I wondered as I looked at the perfectly made beds!

Dilemma
Should I snooze in the library?
Or, should I snooze watching television?
It’s not easy being a dog after all

Highway Star

The speedometer passed the magical 150mph
The wind in his hair was exhilarating
That’s the last he ever remembered

What a Wonderful World!
The cheese on the pasta looked delicious
The ring in her hand shone resplendent
Suddenly even the water tasted wonderful
The Barber’s Muse
My hair was naturally curly and I made it straight
It was jet black in colour before I dyed it golden
Here I was looking at a thrilled customer whose beautiful straight golden hair I had just made black and curly
For Whom Shall I Shine?
Everyone seems to be in a hurry nowadays
People are so caught up in the daily rhythm of living
“Don’t think anyone saw me again today, but I did put up quite a show”, reflected the rainbow
#Living Social
I snap chatted away
Took lots of pictures for Instagram
I was hanging out with my friends today, but was I?
@friends
I have lots of Facebook followers
My Instagram is always hyper active
But why do I still feel so lonely?
Message in a Bottle
Whisky matures with age
With age comes wisdom
Here I am, nursing a hangover, looking for wisdom

This story format is inspired from Haiku, the ancient Japanese format of poetry expressed in three sentences.

The Headline Theatrics

The media in India loves to whip up a hysteria. They scream and they shout and they let it all out. It often leaves me wondering is it really as bad as it sounds? Here is a summary of the current rant:

1. The cinema of the Khans are tolerated but they accuse India of being intolerant!
2. It’s odd that the Delhi suffers from pollution, while the politicians are busy getting even!
3. Chennai, submerged in poor governance for long,
Gets flooded and wrecked while the posters of the beloved Amma just look along.
4. Mr Kejriwal calls the PM a coward, a psychopath and a bully
But does not have the courage to accept the corruption in his own gully.
5. Our system of governance stops the GST bill
Sets free the juvenile rapist to live as he will.
India’s problems seem to be coming to a boil,
Rather small, when I see Trump, Syria, ISIS and Oil.
So as I see the headlines I wonder.
Why fret?
We live in times where even Santa comes with a clause!

Just Another Day in this Digital Age..

“Have you read the book I left the other day on your bedside table?”, I asked my 75 year old father as we were having our dinner.
“Which book?”, asked my father.
The one I left on your bedside table, I said!
“Is it on the kindle?”, he asked.
“Not that I know! But why do you ask?”
“Well! I don’t read paper backs any more. E-books are so much more convenient. I can set the font size, they are lighter to carry and I can also adjust the brightness of the screen to my taste”, said he.
Silence followed as I toyed with my dinner.
“My knees have been paining a bit of late”, he added. “But don’t worry I have ordered a knee brace online”.
I walked out of the room feeling an acute sense of generation gap as I placed the paper back in the library of my home that I have built over the years. “The times they are a changing”, I hummed as I glanced back at my dad who had his wireless headphones on…

Holy cow! What a controversy…

The Indian political muscle is flexing and beefing up around the concept of beef consumption. The Hindus consider the cow holy. The Muslims and Christians consider it food. Instead of accepting the ideological differences, arms are being twisted. The rhetoric is rising. Tempers are flaring.

All that the poor cow has to say is that who is the victim at the end of the day?

Let’s face the facts by examining the anatomy of this four legged controversy:

Milk: That’s what the politicians do all the time…
Dung: The quality of media reporting…
Meat: A competition between steaks and religious stakes that’s left some upset and many confused…
Fodder: The scam patented by Lalu Prasad Yadav…
The hide: A position that the government seems to have taken…
Urine:  Humans drink that too. What a piss off…
Herd: The mentality that the religious leaders evoke in the masses…
The moot point is that to solve this issue has anyone chosen to ask the cow?
All that the cow tends to do in such situations is ‘chew the cud’. Now thats an inspired idea…