We’ll Be Right Back After These Messages

If you’re here, you’re either a regular reader wondering why this space hasn’t been updated in two weeks, or a casual visitor who drops by whenever some noble soul shares a link on his timeline. You might also be one of those accidental visitors who get here by googling wonderful search terms like – and I wish I were making this up – ‘sunyleone ‘s pelvice’. You, Sir, are a hero.

As of today, this column is going on a break for a few months. As much fun as it is to sit here every week and bang my face against a keyboard until something semi-coherent emerges, I’ve realised that some time off is necessary, for the sake of the content. I’ve been writing this for almost six years straight now, so it would do well to step away from the fatigue for a bit.

So thank you guys for reading, lurking, commenting, trolling, sharing and providing me with tons of validation over the years. It’s been pretty overwhelming and I cannot complain.

I wish I could tell you that I’m taking the time off to go off on a rich-person sabbatical where I’ll learn the meaning of life while scuba-diving with Katrina Kaif in Spain. I wish. But I’m going to be around in Bombay, working on some exciting AIB projects that you’ll be hearing more about soon. If you liked the content here, and if you like the work we’ve done so far, chances are that you’re going to like the new stuff as well. Except maybe you, Pelvice Guy. You should probably move on to another site.

An Open Letter From The Pakistan Foreign Office To India

(Note: This is my Hindustan Times column dated 9th Aug 2015.)

From

Qazi Khalilullah

Spokesman

Pakistan Foreign Office

To

The citizens of India

Subject: It Wasn’t Me

Dear Indians

On behalf of the Pakistani government, I’d like to condemn the recent attack on an Indian BSF convoy in the Udhampur district of North-Eastern Pakistan Jammu and Kashmir. It is exactly the kind of attack that aims to undo all the trust and goodwill generated by Bajrangi Bhaijaan. So please put all your logic and common sense aside and for once, trust me when I say that Pakistan isn’t responsible for this attack, just as it wasn’t responsible for the 3463874979 attacks preceding it. Contrary to what the facts would have you believe, Pakistan is not the designated fluffer for the LeT.

Sure, I can see what it looks like. You apprehended one of the “terrorists” who claims he’s Pakistani, and it doesn’t help that he looks like Kasab on day six of a juice cleanse. (By the way, Kasab wasn’t Pakistani either, but like the case against Hafiz Saeed, I’m going to let that one slide.)

There’s a very simple explanation for this. The suspect, Mohammad Naveed, is trying to defame Pakistan and you’re falling for it. Have you even considered other options, such as the fact that his entire video confession was morphed? Surely a country that produced Shaktimaan and Captain Vyom has the VFX muscle to do this.

Or maybe Naveed is a cybernetic organism – living tissue over a metal endoskeleton – created by a brand for the purposes of internet virality? The kids are really into all that Youtube stuff these days. (Psst… Superwoman, if you’re reading this, I <3 you. Please make a video on #ShitDesiGovernmentsSay?)

Hey, maybe the guy is Chinese? They’re trying to sneak into your country too, you know. Plus if a Chinese kid trains really hard, he can grow up to look Pakistani. Who knows what these mystical Orientals are capable of?

Anyway, the point is that much like Dawood ‘Goggal Mein Kya Mast Lag Rela Hai Bhai’ Ibrahim, Pakistan has nothing to do with this guy. I understand that this very newspaper got hold of a number disclosed by Naveed and called up one Mohammad Yakub in Faisalabad, Pakistan who – picture me making air quotes as I say the next word – confirmed that he was Naveed’s father.

It’s a classic trick. I mean if an Indian chap gave you my number and I answered and said, “Hello, Michael Jackson speaking” will you show up outside my house for a concert? Nahin na? Phir why you’re doing like this?

This just brings back memories of 2008 when Indian security forces went back in time, crossed over to Pakistan, ensured the hookup and subsequent consummation of the marriage of a random couple in Faridkot, just so that after 26/11, that couple could be paraded around as the parents of Ajmal Kasab.

Your jihadi Marty McFly act was so good, even Geo News fell for it, thus giving the world an “irrefutable” Pakistani link to 26/11. There are claims that the ISI has since tried to kill Geo’s senior staff, including executive editor Hamid Mir, but that’s just how we celebrate a free press.

I urge you to not let this little hiccup derail the talks between the national security advisers of both countries scheduled for later this month. In fact, if you happen to bring up terrorism, our man will be forced to raise his hand and say “Same to you no returns.” We’d appreciate it if you stuck to the most pressing issue at hand, i.e. supporting our claim to the Pakistani half of Nargis Fakhri.

At the time of writing this, there were reports of yet another attack in Udhampur. I’d like to make it abundantly clear once again that Pakistan has nothing to do with this and the whole thing is a holographic sequence projected onto Kashmir by aliens. Please consider this reason binding for any attacks that may occur in the future.

Yours sincerely

<Insert signature that looks like a middle finger>

(Chief Bovine Excreta Deliverer)

HAPPY RANDOM MARKETING OPPORTUNITY TO YOU!

(Note: This is my Hindustan Times column dated 2nd Aug 2015.)

Today we celebrate Friendship Day in India, and by ‘we’, I mean teenagers and people who watch Bindass TV un-ironically. The concept of Friendship Day was first promoted in 1930 by Joyce Hall, the founder of Hallmark Cards. This was followed by McDonald’s promoting Cholesterol and Self-Loathing Day. According to noted historian Mr. Wikipedia, the Friendship Day fad ended in the US by the ‘40s but much like Bryan Adams, it did well in Asia despite being dead.

The concept lived on thanks largely to the efforts of an organisation in Paraguay called – and this is true – the World Friendship Crusade, who introduced the concept of World Friendship Day in 1958. Their plan was to turn the world into a giant Black Or White music video. Maybe it’s just me, but calling it a ‘crusade’ probably wasn’t the best idea. That word stands for friendship in the same way Bombay stands for green open spaces.

A World Friendship Crusade just sounds like a bunch of savages galloping from village to village, forcing people to tie friendship bands around their wrists while singing Purani Jeans. In fact, you can make the nicest, most innocuous thing sound fierce and warlike if you add the word ‘crusade’ to it. If you want to appear extra manly, don’t tell people about your first kiss – tell them how you went on a Hormonal Tongue Crusade.

The World Friendship Crusade continued to pester lobby the United Nations until 2011, when the UN General Assembly declared 30th July to be International Friendship Day. And people wonder why nobody respects the UN. It’s hard to, when you see them spending time on a concept that’s already covered by the most competent authority of all – Bollywood.

Bollywood is the place that first taught us that ‘ek ladka aur ladki kabhi dost nahin ho sakte’ unless the ladka and ladki are actors being interviewed by people whose idea of journalism is ‘tell na who u making sexytime with’. Classic Bollywood is how I learnt to make friends, especially with the opposite sex. The basic procedure went like this:

  1. Be the college stud.
  2. Wear jeans, jean jackets, jean shirts and jean banyans.
  3. Spot the new admission. She’ll be the pretty one in a frock that looks like a Monginis cake threw up on her.
  4. Make a move only to get rejected because The Song hasn’t happened yet.
  5. Chase her around with your mawaali friends while singing about her nakhra, which is all just code for ‘Y U NO LET ME TOUCH’
  6. The girl smiles and eventually gives in to the creepy denim gorilla.
  7. Stockholm Syndrome complete.

Of course, it wasn’t all bad. There were other lessons I learnt i.e. celebrate Friendship Day by losing to your tomboy friend at basketball and then marrying her when she gets hot.

It was pop culture like this that led to students cutting up perfectly good ribbons and turning them into friendship bands. When I say students, I mostly mean girls, who expressed love with meticulously crafted bands and handmade cards involving six types of glitter. Meanwhile, the boys stabbed each other with dividers.

This isn’t to say that boys aren’t civilised. As a kid, I once handed over a card to a guy friend on Friendship Day. It wasn’t handmade because that would be weird and as an ode to our manliness, it featured a commode and some pun about poop. Who’s immature now, huh??

Friendships work differently now, especially in frenetic, stressed-out cities like Mumbai. The older you get, the harder it becomes to make friends, mostly because there’s no time and everyone thinks everyone else is weird. The loneliness eventually leads people to take extreme steps, like arranged marriage.

You do end up accumulating a lot of acquaintances though. It’s easy to mix the two up, but an acquaintance is someone you bump into at bars and make small talk about football with, whereas a friend is someone you can get embarrassingly drunk around, trusting him or her to not turn your stupidity into a viral video. Consider yourself lucky if you have more than a handful of these around. Keep in touch and if you’re feeling extra nice, grab yourself a divider.

Seven Old Monk Facts That May Or May Not Be Made Up

(Note: This is my Hindustan Times column dated 19th July 2015.)

Like an aunty who just saw the neighbour’s daughter with a boy, I have plenty to talk about this week. We were witness to the incredible Pluto flyby, a testament to the power of science and curiosity that reminded us yet again of our place in the universe.

This was overshadowed by another great scientific achievement when Professor Emeritus Of Center Parting And Net Banyan Studies Salman Khan announced his theory of ‘Selfie le le le le le le le le le le le le le’. His fans scrambled to follow his instructions, leading to a number of injuries because it’s difficult to take selfies when there are three of you on a bike.

But the news that struck deepest was the imminent collapse of Old Monk, aka Molasses That Went To College. It was reported that the dark rum was on its way out, until the makers clarified that yes, there had been a dip in sales, which they were dealing with by downing Patialas and listening to Jagjit Singh, and no, Old Monk was not going to be taken off shelves.

So in celebration, here’s a list of Seven Old Monk Facts That May Or May Not Be Made Up:

  1. As the name suggests, Old Monk was first brewed in the hills by an actual monk, because living in a monastery is so boring that watching sugarcane ferment seems like legit entertainment. Old Monk is made using the moustache hair of a military officer ranked no lower than a Colonel, and the tears of a first-year engineering student who just got dumped and in response, will spend the next four years wearing the classic T-shirt that says ‘99% of gurlz are beautiful….. the rest are in my college’.
  1. Old Monk is manufactured in Ghaziabad, a city that shares a border with Delhi and is known for its wide variety of kidnappings. It likes to say that it’s part of the Delhi-NCR region in the same way that Kambli likes to tell people that he’s Sachin’s best friend.
  1. Old Monk was the largest selling dark rum in the world for years and is India’s most loved export since Anil Kapoor’s English at the Oscars. Oddly enough, the world’s finest hash also comes from India. See, that’s the kind of patriotism I can get behind. Once I’m done with these six packets of chips, that is.
  1. The large Old Monk bottle is genius design because it shows you the exact shape you’ll turn into if you don’t stop drinking. You can also smack people over the head with it when they start intellectualising the drink instead of shutting up and just drinking it. 
  1. Old Monk fans swear that it is great at curing colds and coughs, which proves that your friends will say anything to get you to drink. In every group, there’s always that one guy who will offer scientific logic like ‘See diseases are caused by germs and alcohol kills germs hence proved SO DRINK NA SAALA LADKI HAI KYA MARD BAN WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU’RE IN A COMA JUST DRINK NA BASTARD’.
  1. For some reason, Monk fans also swear that it does not give them a hangover. These people are either lying or they’re Australian. It’s amazing how, as a die-hard fan, you could be curled on a bedsheet adorned with the previous night’s partially digested nachos while your head feels like Ganesh Acharya is tap-dancing on it, and you’d still go, “Dammit, it must be something I ate.”
  1. Because Monk is primarily a guy drink, men get turned on by a woman who can chug the good stuff. So yeah, date a girl who drinks Old Monk. Date her because her sweat smells of rum and that’s hot. Date her because she can fart the opening riff to Smoke On The Water. Date her because that girl is so much like you. No wait, she is you. You are alone, and you deserve to be if you’re taking dating advice from stupid listicles.

On that note, it is time for me to step out and get my weekend drink. If you see me performing an ode to my drink, please smack me over the head.

Did They Just Say What I Think They Said?

(Note: This is my Hindustan Times column dated 12th July 2015.)

I don’t mean to exaggerate but this was one of the greatest weeks in the history of India, second only to the time we invented gulab jamuns. Let it be known that in the seventh month half-way through the second decade of the second millenium, the Chief Justice of India said that a blanket ban on porn sites would be a violation of a citizen’s fundamental right to liberty. This was in response to a plea that wants the government to block all porn websites in India, probably by turning off the big switch marked ‘Internet’.

The petitioner’s contention is that watching porn leads to an increase in sex crimes so it should be banned, which would make sense if the theory were – how do we say this – true. I could be wrong though. I mean porn is banned in Pakistan and as a result, things are so much better for women there.

This wasn’t a ruling, but nevertheless, the statement was seen as a happy glitch in the matrix. It’s because we live in a world where our priorities tend to be all over the place. For example, this is how our politicians react to consensual adult pornography:

“MORAL FABRIC OF SOCIETY IS BEING DESTROYED PORN CAUSES CRIME BAN EVERYTHING INCLUDING THINKING ABOUT OPPOSITE SEX.”

And this is how they react to actual incidents of sexual violence:

“Blame chowmein because short skirts and jeans and mobile phones and boys are like this only what to do her star was in the wrong quadrant VOTE FOR ME.”

To be clear, the pronouncement was not a celebration of the pizza delivery guy/plumber/agent documentaries that people hold so dear, but of the freedom to privately consume the most offensive, vapid content out there, be it smut or Comedy Nights With Lowest Common Denominator. It’s heartening to know that as of now, you can legally enjoy this freedom every day, or several times a day if your exams are going on.

If there are any minors reading this, I’d like you to know that this column in no way endorses the consumption of content not meant for your age group. Remember, the cops will come banging down your door and worse, your parents will know. They always know. Even if you’re in your room googling ‘Fermat’s Theorem’ for fun, they’re just going to assume something’s up. So please continue watching Shin Chan or Superwoman or whatever it is that you guys watch until you’re of age, by which time the government may just have banned porn, thereby keeping you safe from the dreaded phenomenon called ‘buffering’.

It’s strange to see Indians be hypocritical about matters like these, especially when the data suggests otherwise. A 2014 survey released by the Pornhub, the world’s largest adult site, reveals that India ranks fifth in terms of total visitors to the site. Sunny Leone is the most searched for star, thereby reaffirming our total lack of imagination.

The site’s Android traffic from India ranks third, only behind the US and the UK. I’m sure there are a ton of iOS users who intend to log on but they’re done after like ten seconds of looking at their iPhone. The report says that 25% of Indian visitors are women, which is obviously a lie supplied by the ISI to discredit our angels. Everyone knows that an Indian woman does not seek pleasure – she receives it telepathically whenever her husband is happy.

There were other results about the kind of content people watched, but the most popular fantasy for Indians is to live in a society that doesn’t believe in bans. Until that happens though, we’re just going to have to make do with the next best thing: buffering.

Life Hack: Get Douchey Or Die Tryin’

(Note: This is my Hindustan Times column dated 5th July 2015.)

First up, I’d like to inform my editor that even though this column arrived sixteen days late, it is not my fault and has nothing to do with the fact that I was neck-deep in a pizza-and-Daredevil marathon. No, what happened was that I’d sent the email across at the same time as a bunch of MPs and the data packets got held up by the ministers’ data packets. The whole network was jammed as my electrons waited patiently for the ministers’ data convoy to pass through. You could tell it was VIP data because it was moving through the cables in a white car with a license plate that read ‘TU KYA UKHAAD LEGA’.

Man, I wish I could really use excuses like that in real life. Given how the VVIP culture works in this country, I’m sure I’ll get the chance someday. There was a flamboyant display of the overlord mentality this week, when reports alleged that an Air India Leh-Delhi flight was delayed and three passengers were deboarded to accommodate Union MoS for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju and the deputy CM of J&K, Nirmal Kumar Singh. On the bright side, it’s always nice to hear that an Air India flight got delayed for reasons other than the fact that they’re Air India.

However, the Ministry of Civil Aviation gave a clean chit to the ministers in question, so that’s that. I imagine that in cases where the government has to look into its own, there’s a standard template for the investigation that goes like this:

Investigator:
Did you do the thing that they say you did?

Minister:
Nope.

Investigator:
Cool. So what do we tell everyone?

Minister:
Choose from the following:

1. This is a conspiracy to malign my good name.

2. “Woh mera judwa bhai thha – Laxman Prasad Dashrath Prasad Sharma.”

3. Aila, chest pain.

4. THOSE WHO DISAGREE CAN GO TO PAKISTAN ‘COS PAKISTAN SUCKS AMIRITE GUYS GIMME A CHEER IF YOU THINK PAKISTAN IS COLON OF ASIA

So if the ministers were in the clear, it logically follows that the statement issued by the airline station manager, as well as all the news reports claiming otherwise, were incorrect. This makes perfect sense because as we all know, the airline-media nexus is infamous for spreading rumours about powerful people misusing their power. They need to make up stories because it’s not like real incidents ever happen.

For example, I’m sure last month’s story about an airhostess on a Patna-Delhi Jet flight being manhandled by Bihar MP Pappu Yadav was totes fabricated. Pappu Yadav – a name that belongs in a film where Manoj Bajpayee goes around killing people in some place that looks like it’s yet to discover deodorant – is known for being a sweet chap with only one murder conviction to his name.

So naturally, the airline-media nexus had to ruin his reputation by claiming that he pushed the attendant forcefully and at one point, also took off his chappal and threatened to hit the crew with it. What I love about this story is that there is nothing more Indian than smacking someone with a chappal. This shows what a true patriot Mr. Yadav is and so we must take his word that the airline staff is lying, QED.

These are just two cases. If you google ‘VIP delay flight train India’, Arnab Goswami will jump out of your computer, scream at you for six days as the bottom of your screen bursts into flames. But that’s not the best part about VIP culture. The best part is that if given VIP power, most of us would do pretty much the same thing.

The guy who jumps queues at the ticket counter would also make flights wait for him, if he could. The parents who defend their eve-teaser son with a “Boys will be boys” statement would also get witnesses bumped off if he ever killed someone, if they had the lal batti needed to do so. Basically, everyone is a douchebag – it’s just that some work harder than others. And if that’s not a life goal worth having, then I don’t know what to tell you except GO TO PAKISTAN TAKE THE FIRST FLIGHT OUT UNLESS IT IS DELAYED DUE TO NETA.

India Destroyed After Legalisation Of Same-Sex Marriage

28th June, 2020:

As India descends into the vortex of horror that is social equality, it would serve us well to look back at the manicured hands that pushed us to our doom.

It all began five years ago, on 26th June, 2015, when the US Supreme Court declared same-sex marriage to be a fundamental right across the United States. This verdict dealt a crushing blow to those who insisted that Americans stick to less deadly fundamental rights, like the one that lets them buy assault rifles at Walmart.

But it didn’t end there. Indian radicals, under the influence of Western common sense, started pushing for similar legislation in India, beginning with the scrapping of Section 377. With no respect for the hatred and superstition that binds us all together, they started voicing their demands on social media, overshadowing more important debates such as #23YearsOfSRKSpreadingHisArms and #WhoWillLalitModiScrewOverToday.

This online outrage led the Indian government to take another look at the deeply complex issue of whether or not anyone should give a sh*t about anyone else’s choice of partner. Then the unthinkable happened. Threatened by the prospect of alienating a liberal minority with no real vote share whatsoever, the state buckled and granted legal status to same-sex marriages. And that’s how they invited the wrath of the heavens in a country that was otherwise doing great, all the illiteracy, overpopulation, sectarian violence, corruption and terrorism notwithstanding.

Little did these peacemongers know that they’d started a chain reaction. The Butterfly Effect would hit us hard, and as science tells us, butterflies are just gay locusts.

After the verdict, Indian parents slowly came around, heartened by the fact that gay marriages would get them gay dowry. Scores of same-sex couples across the country tied the knot, including men and women so old, their first date happened before humans had invented the gods that would judge them.

These despots continued with their propaganda about true love and soulmates, knowing full well it would psychologically cripple their younger opponents who were still trying to get that one right-swipe on Tinder. Parents, now faced with the task of explaining equality to their kids, chose the easier option and just shot themselves. This led to a spike in the number of orphans, who were then adopted by gay couples – all part of a master plan orchestrated by the Gay Illuminati.

If you’re alive and reading this today, there’s no way you’ll ever forget what happened after.

The skies turned gay and rained gay fire upon the country. This was followed by a wave of gay tornados, and you know they were gay because the twisters did the YMCA before they attacked. Gay tsunamis, or gaynamis, engulfed our coasts, drowning millions and leaving survivors with advice on not to pair black pants with tan shoes. This was followed by a gay mushroom cloud erupting over the Indian landmass, forever cutting off our sunlight with a blanket of unicorn dust.

In the darkness of gay nuclear winter, every unnatural act you could think of became reality. People were consumed by an urge to marry their pets because that’s just how gay marriage works. Straight people suddenly found their wrist bones missing, causing their hand to flop about like a gay plastic bag in the gay wind. You have no idea how difficult it is for me to sit here and type this, with my hand flopping all over the keyuygrjsbdfuywgr97wy%$$08whfnuefwboard.

But I will not give up. My wife is now a beautiful German Shepherd called Moti, but I will fight. The world around me cowers under the thumb of the gay Pakistani general who took over when we were busy watching Modern Family, but I will not give up. I will not lay down and die.

I will survive.

Dammit, that’s a gay song, isn’t it?

(Note: This is my HT column dated 28th June 2015.)