It’s All Good. Nothing To See Here. Move On Now.

16th May, 2014 will go down in history as the day India gifted a whopping majority to its new and controversial Prime Minister, Arnab Goswami. If the result wasn’t proof enough of a Modi wave, consider the following true story: A couple in Indore named their twin boys — born on 16th May — ‘Narendra’ and ‘Modi’. (This was a source of great joy for them, but not so much for their older triplets, Lal, Krishna and Advani.)

But the most pressing question here is, do people still name their babies Narendra? On the plus side, that’s one less kid named Aryan, which lowers the douchebag count by one. But on the other hand, you just know that all the other kids are going to call him Uncle all through school, until he graduates and becomes a retired LIC agent.

He’ll still have it better than his brother, whose first name is also a last name. It’s like naming your kid Gupta Sharma. Why would you do that? Also, if the kids start flunking school, do they get renamed to ‘Dammit’ and ‘Rahul’?

The problem is that even though the results are clear, a certain section of alarmist, book-reading liberals are harping on about their concern for free speech. It’s ridiculous. Why would you think that free speech is under threat? Just because Modi’s BJP will rule the roost in huge numbers, while the opposition wields all the influence of a potato? That’s insane, and it’s exactly what the ISI wants you to believe. Let me assure you that dissent and political humour are going to flourish in the years to come. In fact, I’m going to prove it to you with the following anti-establishment jokes:

Q. Why did Modi cross the road?
A. Because Congress is corrupt.

Knock knock.
Who’s there?
Modi.
Modi who?
Pappu hai hai!

Q. How many Modis does it take to change a lightbulb?
A. Sagarika is a Bangladeshi bai.

Modi walks into a bar. And raises it.

You see what I mean? There’s no problem at all. Nope.

And yet, the critics persist. One recent report that got their Fabindia panties in a bunch involved the arts and culture cell of the BJP. Apparently they’re looking to actively develop and support films that showcase traditional Indian values, which, as it turns out, is not just shots of flowers grinding against each other. The film they cited as an example was DDLJ, which promotes the great Indian custom of going halfway across the world to infiltrate the wedding of a girl you once hung out with for a week.

DDLJ also showcases the glorious Indian tradition of fixing a match for your daughter when she’s just a baby, and then uprooting her from a lifetime in suburban London so that she can marry a lecherous stranger and live in a village in India, because people in London are bad and they drink beer.

It also features the classic ‘Hey Simran, I kinda date-raped you when you were drunk lololol this is so funny why aren’t you laughing oh crap I was just kidding’ scene, wherein we learn that Raj Malhotra would never do something like that, not because of the depravity of the act, but because of his (drumrolllll) Indianness.

That, my friends, is the power of culture. So these Lashkar-loving hippies should really stop overthinking the connect between the BJP and the underlying message of DDLJ i.e. your joy is at the mercy of angry old people.

But the report that really sparked off outrage among the Macaulayan parasite class was about how a shipbuilding professional faces serious jail time for allegedly posting an anti-Modi opinion on a Goa-related Facebook group. Thankfully, the cops are checking to see if this is part of a “larger game plan to promote communal and social disharmony [in Goa]”. These Maoist seal-clubbers can whine all they want, but our balanced sense of justice has foiled what would’ve been a devastating communal clash in Goa. It would’ve played out somewhat like this:

Goan Guy 1: Hey, so I disagree with this FB post. In fact, I’m so angry that I’m going to pick up weapons and cause some communal disharmony. Wanna come?

Goan Guy 2: You mad or what men? It’s siesta time.

So clearly, the hysterical jhola agents need to calm down and do a shot of aam ras. They can’t always expect things to go their way and be “fair” or “logical”. You know the old adage: if you want to make an omelette, you have to arrest a few eggs. Or as Raj Malhotra once said, “Bade bade democracies mein aisi chhoti chhoti baatein hoti rehti hain.

(Note: This is my HT column dated 25th May 2014.)

We Are The Youth of The Nation. Like, Totally.

So ‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’ made a 100+ crores this week, of which 98.3 came from Ranbir fans who have heartgasms every time he does something awesome, such as appear on screen. The rest came from the coffers of The Gentleman’s Society For Appreciation of Slow-Mo Champagne Spray On Deepika.

YJHD is the story of Kabir aka Bunny, who sets out to forge his own path, makes mistakes and discovers true love in the end. This is different from Ranbir in Wake Up Sid, where he sets out to forge his own path, makes mistakes and discovers true love in the end, and of course, that was nothing like Rockstar, where he sets out to forge his own path and then puts Nargis Fakhri in a coma by having sex with her. (Although with her range of expressions, it’s hard to tell exactly when she went comatose.)

This isn’t to say that YJHD is a terrible film. It’s not. It’s basic “dal-chawal”, except it’s being described in the way five-star hotels do it, i.e. “Steamed fine long grain white rice hand-picked in the emerald green lap of the Vindhyas, accompanied by a golden lentil soup that was gently simmered over the smouldering kisses of angels.”

It says a lot when, in a youth film, the only character that makes a mark is the father (played endearingly by Farooque Shaikh.) I just wanted to reach out and give the poor man a hug. The last time I felt so bad for Farooque Shaikh was when David Dhawan dropped a giant, steaming Pile No.1 on Chashme Buddoor.

There are currently two major entities that try and define the youth of India. One is Chetan Bhagat, whose characters exist in easily marketable groups and talk in the most badly grammar you will finding anywhere Orkut roxxx. The second is Bollywood, which, on occasion, does a great job, and on another occasion, tried to convince us that Shahrukh was a college student by dressing him up in a blue-green Polo Sport condom.

One film that worked for my generation was Dil Chahta Hai, which was slick and funny enough for us to ignore the fact that Aamir Khan had been celebrating the end of college since QSQT in 1988. Then there was Lakshya, where Hrithik Roshan did a fine job of portraying angst, especially when his jiggly facial muscles kicked in. Seriously, just look at any Hrithik film. At some point during intense emotional scenes, a continuous wave of ripples starts dancing across his face, as if he just swallowed a vibrator.

There are some tropes that Bollywood loves to use. For example, the modern-yet-sufficiently-pious-for-family-crowd heroine, who loves going to the temple. Deepika is super religious for the first half of YJHD, only to have that trait disappear in the second half, probably because she realised that she was a hottie and did not want to be godblocked by religion. Kajol sang bhajans to impress Amrish Puri in DDLJ, which was weird:

Kajol: Dad, I want to travel around Europe with my girlfriends.

Dad: That’s crazy. Now go spend the rest of your life with some gaonwala that you’ve never met.

Kajol: <insert bhajan>

Dad: Aww. Mogambo melt hua. Okay, go. Just don’t sleep with strangers. That’s what arranged marriages are for.

Then there’s the concept of eternal, undying love, which young characters in Bollywood seem to possess in copious amounts. We fell for it as kids, but it doesn’t hold up now. Again, take DDLJ – one of the most romantic films ever, about an aimless rich kid who falls for Ms. Goody Two Chappals even though he barely knows her, chases her across continents, befriends her family and finally, some blood and punches later, asks for her hand. This is also the story of Darr.

And hey, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai fans, if you stay hung up on your college friend for ten years, then you should just marry your basketball. Even during YJHD, when the rest of the theatre was ooh-ing and aah-ing over Ranbir’s decision to put the brakes on his dream to marry Deepika, people like me were thinking, “OK, so they’re happy now, but soon enough, he’ll start resenting her. He’ll feel stifled, they’ll grow distant, one or both of them will have affairs and then end up battling each other over curtains and shared lip gloss.”

Then again, people like me aren’t really the target audience for such films. YJHD will end up being DCH-meets-DDLJ for a lot of people, which is natural. Meanwhile, we’ll be judging silently in the corner. It’s easy to spot us. We’re the ones in Polo Sport.

(Note: This is my HT humour column dated 9th June 2013.)