Monday 27 October 2014

The Doosra Diwali Gift Survey

Social scientists fear it would be incredibly difficult to survive without Google but agree it would be absolutely impossible to survive without domestic helps.

Let’s face it. It’s not the politicians, scientists, IT guys or Rajinikanth but the domestic helps who keep the world going.

The theory may not apply to the West but it has not yet been established beyond satisfaction that West is part of the world. Many Indian tourists in fact exclaim it’s out-of-the-world.

And nothing influences the decision of a domestic help whether to continue her current job or look for a greener pasture than the Diwali gift from her employer, often the female family head, with whom she shares a relation involving diplomatic skullduggery of the highest order.

Indian male family members – universally recognised as easily the selfish, incorrigibly the lazy and absolutely the redundant unit of any household – have no clue about the existential significance of the day after Diwali when the crackers have fizzled out like a Ram Gopal Verma movie at the Box Office and the earthen Diyas resemble one of those once oil-rich nations sucked, democratically, bone-dry by the US.

Doosra conducted a nationwide family survey and came up with some startling facts:

1. 67% male family members said they were not consulted while determining the Diwali gift for the domestic help;

2. 20% male family members said they may have been consulted but don’t exactly recall as the discussion coincided with some football/cricket/tennis/sepak takraw/ muay thai/kalaripayattu thing on TV;;

3. 7% male family members said they were consulted but their Diwali gift suggestion was summarily rejected;

4. 6% male family members refused to comment;

5. Of the domestic helps who reported for duty the day after, 89% sported a sullen look on their face and steadfastly refused to share any neighborhood gossip;

6. Of the domestic helps who did not report for duty, 76% confirmed they were one round of cajoling away from joining back;

7. 76% of the domestic helps who did not join duty, did not take call from their employees, spreading widespread panic and consternation at their workplace;

8. 23% female family heads successfully got rid of old cutlery sets gathering dust in an obscure corner of their cupboard;

9. 79% male members of families hit by domestic help’s absence called their bosom friends to cancel evening gathering citing hostile atmosphere at home;

10. 86% of kids in family’s hit by domestic help’s absence reported above-average scolding and significant rise in slapping, pinching and other popular forms of disciplining a child;

11. 97% apartments witnessed gathering of domestic helps, featuring comparative study of each other’s gifts and assessment of their employer’s character with generous sprinkling of unparliamentary words and phrases.

Monday 13 October 2014

Why This Year’s Nobel Peace Prize Sucks

First a confession. Still in the clutch of a post-lunch siesta, initially I read this year’s Nobel Peace prize has gone to Kailash Kher and Malaika Arora which seemed to me a fair even if somewhat a left-field choice.

After all, Kher, even at the height of his fame, looks a perfectly humble and peaceful guy even though history tells us most of civilisation’s worst tyrants, such as Attila the Hun, Hitler and Don Bradman, have been people who traded vertical growth for career growth leaving (runs and) ruins in their wake.

Malaika was not an unnatural choice either, having done her bit in maintaining peace in
a Mumbai household which tops the muscle-per-family-member table but is not exactly known for emotional stability.

Furious rubbing of eyes revealed the jury has, not for the first time or last, made a complete ass of itself and has gone ahead and gifted it to some Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai instead.

If you ask me, this year’s Nobel Peace prize should be called LoC, something India and Pakistan share and neither looks completely happy with the arrangement.

If you’ve seen his photos that have started littering the front pages of the newspapers, you’d agree with me what Satyarthi actually needed is not a Nobel prize but a stout razor and a tube of shaving cream. With the money he now has, he can obviously secure a lifetime supply of shaving kit but that’s a roundabout way of doing things.

What is more baffling is they made him share it with Malala Yousafzai. It’s not a paani-puri that you serve to a teenage girl and ask her to share it with her neighbourhood chacha.

Spare a thought for the girl! The poor girl is still recovering from the trauma of being shot by the Talibans and instead of helping her recuperate, you give her a nasty shock. Have a heart!

One completely understands the jury’s compulsion. Under a secret agreement, they have to announce a winner every year for the award that Alfred Nobel had started, for reasons best known to him, or be blown up by the good Swede’s most famous invention – dynamite.

What one doesn’t is their queer choice even when you had at least another dozen candidates who deserved it more.

Baba Siddique for instance. The Bandra MLA did the Bollywood equivalent of making Sourav Ganguly feed Greg Chappell with his right hand while fanning the feisty Aussie with his left. Siddique facilitated the epoch-making hug between Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan, whose followers, historians and Bollywood analysts predict, would fight World War III. If that doesn’t qualify for a Nobel then I don’t know what does.

One would go to the extent of saying that it could have been given to any Newshour panelist, for showing exemplary restraint and resisting the temptation to throttle Arnab Goswami.

And if the jury was keen on springing an obscure Indian in an unsuspecting world, Adi Pocha should have received it even if belatedly. Nobody spread peace more than Pocha has. He spread “Shanti” over 807 episodes and Mandira Bedi has not looked back since.

(Pix: DNA)
(P.S. Hope all realise it’s a humour piece and means no disrespect to anyone, however worthy)