370b303e1460d2691d353ec28f613396.jpgSo apparently just like you are asked to rate your Ola/Uber drivers..they are expected to rate you too.

The desire to be liked is so strong that I found myself shamelessly peering over my driver’s shoulder to see what rating had he given me and I must admit feeling very relieved to have gotten a five star rating. He probably gave that to everybody but the whole episode got me thinking – How many people are rating me ?

My grocer? My gardner? My hairstylist?

What do they write in the additional comments ?

Talks too little.

Does not receive phone calls.

Does not dress Indian enough.

Loves Methi (Fenugreek). Hates Pumpkin.

 Gets too impatient when late.

Wrinkles up her nose if the cab smells stale.

(Actually I also look closely at the cushioning – ONCE I FOUND BLOOD STAINS  which got my head caught up in a tornado imagining dead rotting bodies in the boot and what not)

Anyway I digress.

I imagine all the star ratings and comments going into a giant database that tells you a little something about a billion people.

In the future you could look for partners like you look for hotels. Log in to http://www.judgepeople.com (I checked – the domain name is available) and type in your requirement. Add the number of minimum stars four or five. Select criteria like patience. Generosity. Loves kissing in the backseat of a car. And press search.

And you have your perfect match.

Not choosing people solely on their profile pictures and their self commentary but actual ratings by actual people that they deal with every day of their lives.

You could choose someone based on your mutual love for cinema hall popcorn or karela as reported by the vegetable vendor on the app. Or computer games as reported by the techie guy.

If someone is good to the taxi driver I bet there is a high likelihood of him being an overall nice person.

I know one thing though. I am not letting my auxiliary staff get onto that app whenever that is made. I’d be in negative within three minutes.

On the bright side  – everyone would try to be their brightest sweetest best everywhere they go in the hope of a good rating.


National Threesome Day


Over the years it has become increasingly apparent that Independence Day is a day of formalities,reiterations and make believe. And we have all learned to continue the farce of patriotism while stabbing our fellow nationals in the back in the self righteous name of religion, caste and food habits. Yet I am at the end of the day an idealist and still continue to hope for the best which every new decade promises.

So instead of delving deep into our Indian inadequacies I prefer these days to focus on the quirks.

Because the quirks – oh the quirks –  they define us.

They are not only highly entertaining but wonderfully stupid making us almost lovably psychotic.

Have you ever noticed (at least it holds true in the city I live in)that all through the year the average motorbike capacity is 1 or 2 people ( or at the most maybe a kid )seated sanely heads down? The head down position is mainly to avoid eye contact with the police since the rider is mostly helmetless. Unless the helmet is being carried by the pillion – in which case the rider is proudly riding chin up and the pillion slips the helmet on and off at every traffic light.

But I digress.

Suddenly on 15th Aug (and on 26th January) the rules of the average 2 wheeler capacity change. Independence day is suddenly a day when 3 guys are on a bike.

Like the day implies independence in all forms.

No judgements to be passed.

Explore the limits of your fantasies.

And apparently the fantasies of adult Indian men include unnecessary flag waving, yelling like maniacs, whistling, littering but most important of all – RIDING THREESOME.

2 boys can’t be friends on National Threesome day.

It has to be an odd number.

3 or 5 or 7.

Thus ensuring 1 out of every 2 or 3 bikes you will see is laden with 3 men. Yesterday I actually counted 40 such combinations. I kid you not.

And you are welcome. I do my bit for the country. Taking surveys of madness is also a service before anyone objects to my pastime.

The excitement in their voices. The glee in their eyes. The glow on their faces.

I tell you – 1 day patriotism does more for their complexion than all the ‘Fair and Lovely’ creams in the world.

Patriotism is like a drug with all the high and absolutely no dependence whatsoever.

You can indulge in it on 1 or 2 days of the year and float blissfully through the rest of the year without a freaking care in the world even if the country is falling apart.

And it is Free.



No wonder they play the National Anthem at every cinema hall. It does pep up our mood thus making sure people get through third degree torture like When Harry met Sejal without killing strangling the person beside them.

In fact if cinema hall owners have a house full movie or trains/flights are overbooked and they want to accommodate more people I suggest they play the national anthem 3 or 4 times and distribute the national flag.

The patriotism might motivate people to sit 3 in a seat in a patriotic threesome.

Happy Threesome Day everyone.

****ing Up

Much  Amoo about Nothing

Much Amoo about Nothing

I accept the banning of Beef.


I cannot say I am overjoyed but I can live with it.

But beeping out the word itself with 4 stars on National television ? Now that is just sadism.

For three consecutive episodes of Top Chef I kept thinking – Whoa!! Expletives seem to be the underlying theme for the New Top Chef season until I realized that the poor chefs were just saying –

“I would like Beef ” (when they were asking for their protein of choice) and not something completely inappropriate!!!!

I have spent the last few years patiently decoding the **** on TV. It has been no easy task for someone who does not abuse much in the first place. It has been a taxing process but some tasks are so noble and so important that they HAVE to be done.

3 stars for Sex (But thats pretty simple. Also Luckily this is not always blocked out)

After that it gets a bit more complicated.

4 stars for F£@k or Shit or Piss. Also several other unmentionable 4 letter words.

Now considering that there are 5-6 or more of such 4 letter words and all are designated by the unimaginative 4 stars – it all gets rather murky and blurred.

Oddly the Holy cow for some unknown reason seems to have found itself a member of this disreputable four star club of undesirables on television. Now I personally think it deserves better than to be thrust headlong into this melee of confused profanities but it shall be no easy task for the sadly uninspired word-beeper-outer people on TV.

Let me give you an example of what we are dealing with:

I had the ****. And it was incredible.

My companion had the **** which was tender and savored with enjoyment.

I made ****. It was out of this world.

I am paraphrasing of course but all the above has been said in one form or the other on the cooking series. I belatedly arrived at ‘Beef’ after eliminating the other less desirable possibilities but you can see how scarred I must be after all the baffled and shocked decoding.

It is imperative to ensure that all of this state and maybe India remains in the dark as to what exactly the rest of the world is eating quite heartily but we need to find some better and more distinguished way to represent it on National Television.

Confusing us all with **** is just wrong.

I suggest the ‘Whatsapp’  – 2 folded arms Namaste emoticon to block out the word showing a suitable amount of reverence and far more clarity thus preserving its substantial holiness while concealing its heinous wholesomeness as a meal.

“Everything Bad Always has to Happen to ME”


There are people who cry over everything. Everything. 
Maybe not literally but still I am sure you get the picture. 
If there isn’t a reason to cry then they will invent one. (They are resourceful that way)
They will be crying that they didn’t get tickets at the movies. 
And their boss hates ONLY them. 
And they look ugly. 
And the other guy at the office makes more money for doing much much less. 
And their partner does not compliment them. 
And if they do then they say the same things and never anything new. 
And the dry cleaner is out to cheat them.
And the milk boiled over.
And the chicken got over before they got to it in the buffet line at the wedding. 
Their anthem lyrics are  ‘Everything bad Always has to happen to me.’
You can follow them like you could Hansel and Gretel. 
Except instead of bread crumbs – you will find at regular intervals giant pools of teardrops. 
One soggy step after another. 
Oh we all have miserable moments. And we all have those days when nothing goes right. And it is ok to get upset once in a while.
But to revel in misery??
Lie down in the misery, flap your hands and legs about and make snow angels – Little untidy wet misery angels.
You can point out all the half full glasses. 
And they will convince you drought has begun.
You can point out the bright side all you like. 
They will point out an ugly black mole smack bang right in the centre.
I say – Grab those half full glasses and bolt for the door. 
I have one tiny little life to live. I can’t go through it soaking wet with someone else’s unstoppable tears. 
p.s. If we find a tear harvesting and desalination machine for tears – all those drought stricken countries could have a constant source of water. 

Living and Dying and Living again

Imagine watching The Sixth Sense and knowing how it is going to end. It would still be a good movie but probably half as much fun.
Do we enjoy reading books where we already know the end in which the principal character dies? 
Or movies where the climax scene in which the hero turns out to be the killer is leaked out?
Or a play where you know the protagonist is the villain? 
Most of us don’t. 
We find the whole exercise pointless. At least I do. The whole effort of watching and reading something when we know how it is going to end seems so utterly futile. 
If the above holds true for the most of us – isn’t it odd that we love living so much? 
I mean don’t we already know the collective end to ALL our stories? God leaked out that climax even in the days before spam emails and whatsapp. 
Maybe thats why some people commit suicide. They probably don’t see the point in reading a book when the end has been known for centuries. 
How is it that we find living so thoroughly fascinating? Does the end not matter to us? Or is it that somehow by some extraordinary will power we manage to temporarily wipe out that end from our minds?  Do all of us have the power to forget about death and some of us use that power and some don’t? We could spend all day talking about this. 
But this is not about gloomy stuff like dying. 
This is about living. 
I think we like living because we think of death as the interval. 
Death is NOT the climax scene. Just a really invigorating, depressing traumatic, painful, gripping scene – PRE INTERVAL. Just to create a buzz. 
You go out of the theatre for a bit during the interval. Buy caramel flavored popcorn in heaven or hell. Get a cup of coffee, chat with the folks milling around at the snack counter, comment on the movie so far, criticize the director and analyze cinematography. Come back in and look at trailers for other movies for a bit. 
Then you start with the second act.
The life we have lived so far and what we will live till we die is only – Pre-interval. We got a whole lot of movie left to experience. 
Maybe subconsciously we understand this. Maybe that is why we love living. 
In fact some of us know something even more interesting. This is not just a two act play. There are a dozen more to go. This is just Part I of the Harry Potter series perhaps.
Those who end their own lives Pre interval unfortunately just didn’t get the memo.