Jan 25, 2010

It’s Unfortunate


The phrase “It’s Unfortunate” is thrown at our faces by the high ranking govt. officials on a day-to-day basis. It’s easy to learn and eliminates cross-questioning, probably the most efficient and high profile replacement to “I take the responsibility and will work on the shortcomings”

4 poor children just died of cold on Delhi streets; New Delhi, to be precise.

The govt. officials comment “It’s Unfortunate”. They claim they did everything possible to save the poor from the smoggish chill. They gave the necessary shelter, a mattress and a blanket; Rava blanket, to be precise.

We say It’s Unfortunate that there is a New in New Delhi.

They say It’s Unfortunate that Dal has become unaffordable to the poor, It’s Unfortunate that India is still vulnerable to terror attacks, It’s Unfortunate that Hockey India has hit a new low.

We say It’s Unfortunate that a farmer sells Dal at Rs 35/kg and people get it at Rs 100/kg, It’s Unfortunate that 26/11 happened a few weeks after an Intelligence warning, It’s Unfortunate that Hockey is our national sport.

For govt. officials, “It’s Unfortunate” should be dubbed as “I’m Unfortunate”.

For us, the Aam Aadmi bandwagon, it should be dubbed as “I can’t bring any fortune”


Jan 1, 2010

In to the wild


“Bhai-Saab” said we as we kicked off the wild tour in our gypsies. Standing on the seats we took a deep breath of the freshest form of air.

Enter Pench National Park - Madhya Pradesh.

4 of us wished to spot a roaming Tiger; Tigress to be honest. Our Guide seemed to be a Jungle connoisseur. 100 meters away from the entry gate, we started troubling him: “Have you seen the Tiger hunting?”, “Is there any way we can get down from the Gypsy?”, “Can we also figure out the Tiger calls?” He gave us a giant snub on all the 3 questions. Rat Bastard. So, 100 meters in to the Jungle we found the first wild animal - the Guide.

Guide said he couldn’t do much about finding a Tiger. He could just decipher the noises which animals make when they see a Tiger around, which are called “Calls”. Calls can help track a Tiger.

My companions were worried it might turn in to some really boring 3 hours. The companions were Narbhakshi, Ghoda and Badey. 2 of these, as the names suggest, were already wild. The 3rd one, Badey, doesn’t give a tiny rat’s ass to the world and all the existing forms of life & matter. Given the wild gypsy content, I was sure of some fun amongst us.

250 meters in, Guide asked us to be pin-drop quiet and screamed “STOP”. Gypsy halted. He gave a Byomkesh look and asked us to spot a Deer. Beautiful it was. We waited for 10 minutes. Badey took a pic. 200 meters more and STOP. 2 Deers this time, 2 pics. We were thrilled as we had spotted 3 Deers in half an hour. Anticipating our joy, the Guide slapped: “There are 35,000 Deers and 35 Tigers in this Jungle”. One of them (Deer) will kill him someday for me, I pray.

After one hour of boring Deer-spotting, we saw an Owl. Finally something to fake-cheer a little about. Badey took a pic. Frustrated, we said “Can you please take us to the Tigress?” Guide screamed “STOP”. “That was quick”, I thought. He pointed towards a potty mountain and said “look, that’s Tiger’s faeces”. Narbhakshi added spice to the Eureka: “It has Deer’s hair in it”. Badey promptly took a pic. Ghoda laughed horsterically. Shame on us.

Two and half hours and the count was 4: Deer, Owl, Jackal and Bison. We took a Godzilla sigh as we spotted a bunch of 50 Deers and gave up majestically. Anticipating our early give-up, the Rat Bastard said STOP. This time he moved his ears, shrank his forehead, waved his fingers and closed his eyes. It looked as if he was the lord of ears - Kaandev, trying to decipher some random screech. “Bingo, it should be a Tiger call”, I fake-cheered. Narbhakshi asked me to shut the shuck up, so he and the guide could concentrate on “THE CALL”.

After 5 minutes of this high voltage melodrama and mind numbing silence, he shrugged and ordered the driver - “Aage badho”. He must have felt a Patiala kick after rubbing salt in our wise-owl-brain bruises. Ghoda finally felt the slow death and took a wild yawn. Thereafter, I and Badey labeled every screech in the Jungle a “Missed Call”

Heading towards the exit, I started analyzing the worth of the trip. I assigned Rs 1 to each of the 100 Deers we saw. Rs 10 for 1 Owl. Rs 20 for 2 Jackal and Rs 20 for 2 Bison. This made a total of 150 bucks, nothing close to the Rs 650 we spent on the entry tickets. The only way to recover the money was to assign money to each tree. I cursed the Jungle and accepted the result.

The only man coming out smiling from the Jungle was Badey. He had 50 pics in his cam. 1 of the Tiger potty with Deer hair, 3 of Deers, none of Bison (coz we thought it was a regular Buffalo), 2 of Jackals, and 44 of his own.