Tag Archives: Indian mothers

I Went To Iraq And All I Got Was Arrested

You’d think that there’s nothing funny about ISIS and you’d be right. ISIS is a cancer feeding off a militant belief in a fairytale and is as joke-friendly as cancer can be. But even so, there’s something to be said about a group that the Al-Qaeda formally dissociated with almost a year ago on the grounds that they were too batshit insane. And let’s be honest – cancer is kinda funny when it happens to a**holes.

Take, for example, the 24-year-old Mehdi Masroor Biswas, the Bangalore-based engineer who was arrested this week for running @ShamiWitness, described as one of the most influential ISIS propaganda accounts in the world. His tweets, seen over two million times, exhorted jihadists from all over to give up their lives and move to Iraq to fight for ISIS. All this while he sat around in a comfy MNC, sipping on Starbucks and fantasising about that one useless but hot chick in HR who exists in every office.

I cannot think of something more Indian than that level of laziness. It must take a spectacular sense of entitlement to have the following Twitter conversation:

@ShamiWitness: 

Go to Iraq and fight, young soldier! Screw logic! Logic is Satan’s roofie!

@IdiotJihadist:

YEAHHH! DEATH TO KUFFARS! \m/

@ShamiWitness:

Go get ‘em!

@IdiotJihadist:

I’LL SEE YOU ON THE BATTLEFIELD BROTHER!!!

@ShamiWitness:

Uhh, actually I’m just going to hang here.

@IdiotJihadist:

Wut.

@ShamiWitness:

Sorry yaa, I signed up for Bangalore marathon. And new Modern Family episode after that. And then office dinner at TGI Friday, so can’t ditch for obvious reasons.

@IdiotJihadist:

????

@ShamiWitness:

But you have a fun death! 😀 😀 #kthxbai

Mehdi apparently said that he would’ve gone to Iraq, if not for his family who were financially dependent on him. It’s sweet that he protected them by staying put and serving as a Naukri.com-meets-Shiv Khera for terrorists. I’m sure there was a point at which he even packed his bags for Iraq, but gave up after he realised that Banglore airport was six light years away from Bangalore city.

If ISIS wants a good online presence, it shouldn’t be looking at India. Most Indian brand managers look at social media the same way toddlers looks at laptops – it’s new and shiny and they really want to use it, but you know they’re probably just going to poop all over it. I can picture this guy saying things like, “If this tweet gets 10000 RTs, God will ban alcohol and schools.” And don’t even get me started on #Qurfies.

On the bright side, as a journalist friend pointed out, techies getting arrested for terror is a boon for parents’ views on liberal arts. It makes sense. If you want to study arts but your parents insist on engineering, tell them that you’d be recruit-proof as a philosophy major. (Also, salary-proof, but that’s a different story. ) Seriously, why would ISIS need you? What can you do – bludgeon the enemy with your 1500-page thesis on The Nihilism In Nietzsche’s Nipples?

Another bit of hilarity came from Areeb Majeed, the 23-year-old from Kalyan – one of four friends – who’d sneaked off to Iraq to cut people’s heads off, thus proving that Indians will go anywhere for foreign placement. Just how rubbish is Kalyan that Iraq seems like a better option?

Majeed returned this month, complaining about the fact that he was made to clean toilets there. I, for one, am shocked to know that a bunch of Arabs would make an Indian carry out menial tasks for no pay. But I get his indignance. I totally do. Beheadings, bombings and general psychotic behaviour is okay, but you can’t just ask an Indian guy to do some chores. He’s not used to it. No matter how poor they are, Indian men are used to always having a servant around. She’s called Mom.

Another one of Majeed’s friends is on his way back, maybe because he didn’t get to sleep with the goat that he fancied. Just like Majeed, he’ll be arrested as soon as he lands. So without meaning to, these guys actually did end up cleaning some shit off our streets.

(Note: This is my HT column dated 14th Dec 2014.)

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It Was Mother’s Day. What Happened Next Will Amaze You.

According to a recent scientific study about the human race, mothers are kinda sorta important in life. They spend their lives caring for the next generation, spurring them on to go forth and conquer and also get a haircut and what is that shirt you’re wearing and what you’re going to a party you must be doing drugs are you doing drugs tell me the truth I’m your mother I always know when you’re lying to me (Hah. No, you don’t) and oh god who will clear these plates DO I LOOK LIKE YOUR SERVANT OR WHAT OKAY DON’T ANSWER THAT YOU CHEEKY BAS… well, you get the idea.

On that joyous Mother’s Day note, I’d first like to say to all the mothers reading this – and I mean this in the nicest possible way – you’re insane. Why else would you sign up for what is essentially a lifelong unpaid internship at Stress and Sacrifice Pvt. Ltd.? I appreciate the work that you do, not because parenthood is some noble, holy endeavour, but because the whole thing looks extremely difficult. (This is also my approach towards jazz performances. I have no clue what’s happening, but it looks tough, so it must be good.)

This would also be a good time to talk about a subject that I’m clearly an expert on: pregnancy.  I’ve reached that age where half the people I know have started having kids (the others have started getting cats). So my Facebook is plastered with typical baby albums with those typical baby album names like ‘My angel!!’, ‘My little bundle of joy <3’ or ‘The Systematic Destruction of My Hopes and Dreams. Awwww.’

But I find it odd that we see pregnancy as routine and commonplace. When your friends say, “Hey, we’re having a baby!” you just smile and reply with the usual “Congratulations. I guess we’ll never see you again.” And sure, pregnancy seems simple enough. You have sex and nine months later, you have a kid. Or if you’re Haryanvi, you have a son. Simple, right?

But in my head, pregnancy is amazing. It’s almost like a magic trick, so when I meet an expectant mother, I’m normal on the outside but there’s a voice in my head going, “HOLY CRAP, LADY! THAT’S CRAZY! HOW ARE MORE PEOPLE NOT AMAZED BY THIS? First there were two microscopic cells the size of nothing, and they turned into a living, breathing, thinking human being that is growing inside you, complete with arms and legs and a brain and a liver and pancreas and an iPhone and its own Instagram page and a sense of entitlement and whatever it is that kids are born with these days.”

That’s not my favourite bit though. You know what I really, really appreciate about pregnancy? That I’m a guy.

(That disturbance in the force you just felt was all my female readers flipping me off in unison.)

I don’t think I’ve ever wished my mom a happy mother’s day, because why restrict yourself to one day when you have 364 days to annoy the hell out of her? Gifting is also a problem, because like a typical Indian mother, she’s pretty difficult to impress. This is how it usually goes:

Me: Look Ma, here’s a fancy dinner at the best restaurant in town.

Mom: I can make better food at home. Don’t waste money.

Me: Look Ma, here’s a necklace that was once owned by the Maharani of Jaipur.

Mom: I know a shop that can make this for one-tenth the cost. Don’t waste money.

Me: Look Ma, I bought Antilla. Just for you.

Mom: Ugh. Who designed that was he on drugs he must have been on drugs is he your friend does his mother know…

The one gift she would like is for me to be more responsible and start investing in something that is not a Jager Bomb. This pales in comparison to her other concern, which is, “Khaana khaaya?” I’m almost thirty, but everytime I see her, she will put forth this question with the urgency of Obama demanding updates on a nuclear attack, because there’s a real danger of me starving in my own home. Once again, I appreciate the concern, but I still don’t get why anyone would willingly put themselves through this. So the least I can do is dedicate this column to my mother. Because this isn’t something she can make at home for cheap.

I think.

(P.S. Thank you for everything.)

(Note: This is my HT column dated 11th May 2014.)

Stop, Or My Mom Will Refute!

Last week, the Indian government finally managed to get its hands on 26/11 handler Abu Jundal, probably because Kasab was bored and demanded company (I mean there’s only so much goat porn one can watch) The arrest has been described as a major achievement for India, because we can now finally prove that Pakistan was behind the attacks, as opposed to earlier when the evidence pointed to pygmies from Congo.

Abu Jundal is reportedly a nasty piece of work, who evaded arrest all these years via the standard method of nibbling softly on the ISI’s earlobe. And now that he’s in custody, the circus will go on as usual: India will interrogate him until he reveals shocking details like Pakistan runs terror camps, or that Shahid Afridi and Rekha share the same anti-ageing DNA, after which Manmohan Singh will reiterate his anti-terror policy by staring balefully at Pakistan until the US feels sorry for India and promises to write a remark in Zardari’s diary.

Then there was also Jundal’s mother claiming that he was innocent. I feel bad for her, as you would do for a mother whose son turns out to be a mass murderer. You know how it is – you spend all day taking care of your kid, but you turn your back for one second, and the tyke sticks a pencil in his nose, or walks into an LeT camp. It happens. And she probably really believes that he is innocent, and that he went to Pakistan only for the wild beach parties.

It’s not her fault. As an Indian mother, she is genetically wired to reject any statement that goes against the idea of her son being the Noble King of Sunshine and Rainbow Land. It doesn’t matter what sort of maniac we’re talking about. If Hitler were Indian, his mother would have rushed to his defence saying that he was a sweet boy who had been led astray by that Mussolini kid. (For some reason, I see Kirron Kher as the mother, stuffing Hitler’s face with paranthas going, “Kitna patla ho gaya hai! Bilkul Jewish lag raha hai!“)

Things don’t change that much with age. I’m 27, and my mother sometimes still treats me like I’m at the mental age of Rahul Gandhi. It doesn’t matter what I say – nothing seems to beat her ninja-like maternal reflex. This is what the average conversation in my house sounds like:

Me: Greetings, O Maternal Figure. I have come here only to tell you that I recently saw a burning bush and had an epiphany, thanks to which I shall now march into active war-zones to preach the message of love through shamanism and interpretive dance, while wearing only satin boxers and a towel as a cape.

Mom: Uh huh. Did you have breakfast today?

OK, I’m kidding. Sometimes she also responds with, “Get a haircut.”

It’s also amazing how mothers operate on worst-scenario mode. Son’s gone for a rock show? Probably doing drugs. Gone to a party? Probably doing drugs. The party’s in Juhu? Definitely doing drugs. A prime example of this was when I was in school, and used to frequent a McDonald’s (because this was New Bombay, and McDonald’s was our Fire and Ice, okay?)

Anyway, in an example of stellar planning, the place next to the McD’s was a flashy dance bar. So yes, at one point, I was duly asked, if I, a wisp of a teenager, had ever been to the dance bar. I didn’t know what to say, so I said no and went back to pawning my mom’s jewellery. (Mom, if you’re reading this, relax. I only did it to pay for the abortion.)

The best way to counter maternal paranoia is to just agree. I realised this in college, when I came home after a “DJ Nite!” at a fest and gleefully chatted about the pot-filled classrooms that I’d been sitting around in. I don’t think my mother will ever forgive me for that shock. (She’s started with her revenge though – she keeps throwing around words like ‘arranged’ and ‘marriage’ without using any other words in between.)

Also, I’m glad that I have no real arguments with my parents anymore. It’s a wonderful thing that you only begin to see in your twenties, and I’m all for it. I also know that no matter what I do, I can count on my mother to stand by me, while blaming my misdeeds on those pygmies from Congo.

(Note: This is my HT column dated 1st July 2012. Link to original post here.)