Thursday, April 28, 2005

Osmania Biscuit IV "Hallucinative Hypochondriac"


Appalling injustice!
Totally unwarranted!

Here I was, solemnly taking bath today with the sweat manjira water sent to Hyderabad, and suddenly, I was reminded that all this was soon to end and I will find myself drawn into a war two feuding states of India. The very water that I am going to bathe with is going to be claimed on the other side of the border as theirs. Perhaps someone thirsty may be looking for a gulp of water on an unforgiving summer afternoon. What if something happens to him? Will his people leave me? Or will they thirst for vengeance? Perhaps they will leave me alone, seeing that I am not a native, or perhaps they will hack me down (and sell the body parts labelled as "chops ahoy!" at walmart) knowing that I come from the land of "anna".

I suddenly feel like John Connor of the Terminator series who unwantedly leads the human resistance against robots. But they were only machines, but these are...

Where the heck is Lingam Yadav when I need his advice??



Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Point of inflection

Point of inflection
Upon the high seas of tumult
On sails a ship, frail yet valiant
Propelled by will and guided by purpose
Though obscured by dark clouds

The tides of the sea, ever daunting
The isles of mist, ever eluding
Rocks hidden, ever revealing
The ship, still, sails on...

Ever and anon, the clouds are torn
Sun shines clearer, winds turn sweeter
The ship built anew, a phoenix reborn
It forges ahead while unrests retreat

To sail upon the seas with command
To command upon the seas with the sail
To vanquish the haunting demons
To enslave the enemy, now so frail

But Lo! The ship crashes into a berg
Hope stutters, faith falters, wind turns to gale
The clouds return with thunder and hail
While the dazed ship begins to quail

A tide, vicious, leaves the rudder aghast
A storm, wicked, tears through the sail
A bolt, infernal, breaks asunder, the mast
The ship, disillusioned, stops in its trail

Which path is right, which is Wrong,
Fleeting shadows of the same illusion all along
Which way matters, which way doesnt?
Whence thoust come, whither thoust go?

Naught achieved till now, than sweat of thy brow
Of what consequence is to brave the knave's blow
So thinking, to the inviting storm, it turns around
The journey abandoned, yet towards darkness bound.


Monday, April 25, 2005

Osmania Biscuit III -- Lungi Imperatrix Mundi

It is not an unknown fact that the bourgeois Indian male wants to exude a sense of confidence, style, masculinity within affordable limits, and is constantly searching for ways and means to solve this rather difficult problem involving linear programming and operations research for centuries. And yes, he has found a solution long ago and it is still in use today. It appeals to a surprisingly large cross-section of people cutting across religious and socio-economic backgrounds, from outgoing and humble 70s people like Sudhir R. to the artistic and dextrous Chandu "Flute" T. of the present lot.

Yes brethren! I am, in fact, talking about the one and only... lungi! But this post is not dedicated to any of the entities mentioned above, nor to the bangra-obsessed punjabi folk, and also not to the sambar species of the south, but to our own hyderabadi chahush people of the old city. They have incorporated the lungi in their attire with such sense of fashion and nativity that would put even Armani or Versaci (RIP) to shame. They have added the greatest accessory to the lungi others cant even dream of.. a 2-inch leather belt! And add a colourful porous vest to that, and Vola! You have the attire complete! This is the single most influential achievement of the Hyderabadis with respect to fashion. Who says we aint got style?? We left Bangaloreans way behind long ago.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language( Fourth Edition 2000) has this entry under lungi:
A cloth, often of brightly colored silk or cotton, that is used as a piece of clothing, especially the traditional skirtlike garment of India, Pakistan, and Myanmar (Burma).

An independant search revealed surprising facts about this ingenious invention--first of all, this is not an Indian invention at all! Next, it was invented by a woman named Lungi from Sicily!!

Long ago, a family in Sicily was in the service of the Roman Empire, with its roots traced to pre-christian Lithuania, and one of their maidens was Lungi Neslaaska, who was later called Lungi-I. This invention is generally credited to her, as she wanted to save her man (well, atleast the parts really mattered for her) from the excessive heat of the Sicilian summer. This invention was kept as a family heirloom and a secret. Then, after about two hundred years, Lungi Veskonnava, from the same family called Lungi-IV, in her gratitude and magnanitmity, is forver remembered and adored for revealing this secret to public. At around the same time, the great Atilla the Hun invaded the Roman Empire, and came to know of this precious garb. His empire stretched from Eastern Europe to Caspian sea, and there was a great flow of Ideas to and from the west during this time. The Lungi gradually found its way into the midle-east, and then Indian subcontinent, and even South-East Asia.

This History is generally accepted and was first published by an Italian jewish enthusiast Sabi Pehno. But Indian right-wing nationalists insist this is a purely Indian invention, and cite several passages from some upanishads which do mention its name, curiously, although this is rebutted by main-stream lungi historians as spurious, as these upanishads were written or forged after the advent of lungi only to paint this invention as Indian. But later on, some Multi-lingual Indian discovered that the whole history of Lungi was actially forged by Eurocentric racists of the nineteenth century-- Neslaaska and Veskonnava (names of two of the Lungis) have the same meaning in two different Indian languages--"Did you wear?" though, the theory was suppressed and did not receive any publicity outside his native village. Nevertheless, since lungi made its grand entry in India, it was accepted as one of her own, and is sure to stay for a long time.

Oh, and by the way, the present Lungi is Lungi-XLII and her maiden name is Lungi Shakeelava.
And finally, the title of the post "Lungi Imperatrix Mundi" means "Lungi--Empress of the World".

If you dont believe this story, you have to believe atleast Lingam Yadav, because as everyone, by now, knows:
"Lingam Yadav doesnt lie when he is eating Osmania Biscuit."


Thursday, April 21, 2005

Osmania biscuit-II "The grand disillusionment"

Order... the basic premise of the universe and the ultimate goal of every system. Order is essentially bound by a set of concrete principles aimed at preserving it and maintaining its continuity. You were born within the perimeter of those rules, grew up within those rules, thought, played, ate, drank within those rules... and then suddenly you find that rule is broken and no longer in effect. The human mind cannot accept such harsh and blatant truths hurled at it calmly. It naturally denies it at first, dismissing it as a figment of its imagination, then enters a region of compromise as a glitch within the system, but when rule is being broken daily, the mind is consigned to disbelief, melancholy, and disllusionment, all fighting for their share of torment in the mind.

I experienced exactly such a situation when I noticed city busses with route numbers like 434, 430, or even 900!!! I always grew up with the notion that bus route numbers can NEVER go beyond 299... but here they are. And no one says a thing!! Such callousness... such non-challance...such lethargy of our Hyderabadi people speaks volumes about our attitude towards the rules of our very own system. I bet if this had happened in Mumbai, Chennai, or Kolkata, there would have been riots and CRPF would have been called upon... but NO! not here! Call it stoicism, call it poker-faced mentality... I would never accept it, and I know who ever is reading this empathises with me.

Finally, I would like to point out to those readers who dont look from my point of view.. well let me tell you I am not the only one who feels this way Good'ol Lingam yadav also shares my perspective.. and readers, you poeople have to believe him at the least because....

"When Lingam Yadav is eating Osmania bisuit, he never lies"


Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Osmania biscuit-I

Ok! listen up...

Every once in a while, when all the astro-geo-psycho-physical conditions are met (and you will be suprised to know how often these conditions are satisfied, the proof being the mount of information dished out by raving lunatics like, well, yours truly!), I will come up with something on Hyderabad and/or not Hyderabad (if a contradiction and a tautology appear in a single sentence, is the result not a contradiction again?).

In view of its 400 year old history, architectural achievements of the qutub shahi dynasty and the fact that kohinoor was "born" here, I have decided to aptly name the series on Hyderabad "Osmania biscuit."

Once there was a grocer in a Hyd lane named Lingam Yadav manning hyper-protectively, his ancestral fortress of his shop and still selling those antique eatables such as gottams and of course osmania biscuits. But he was especially famous for his talks during late afternoons when all the jobless folk gathered around his place for a chat. He told them totally unbelievable stories of how he saw a nizam king swim the musi on the back of an elephant, or how he was attacked by giant birds of prey while walking near Mir-Alam Tank. Nobody used to believe him, and they were of course blatant lies, until he showed them the absolute proof.. and it really was an absolute proof beyond doubt...
"Everybody knows that when Lingam Yadav is eating Osamia biscuit, he never lies," he used to say. For new aquaintances of Lingam Yadav, it may seem strange, but it really is true! He never lies while eating Osmania biscuits!

So folks, before you sleep tonight, remember the only sentence in this whole post that matters:
When Lingam Yadav is eating Osamia biscuit, he never lies!


Friday, April 15, 2005


1)Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkein
2)Catch-22, Joseph Heller
3)1984, George Orwell
4)To Kill a Mocking Bird, Harper Lee
5)The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
6)Animal Farm, George Orwell
7)Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
8)The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald
9)Midnight's Children, Salman Rushdie
10)Zen and the Art of Motocyle Maintenance, Robert M Pirsig

Once, there was a God-fearing citizen in a village. He had everything--money, fame, a god-fearing wife and two god-fearing children. One day, an ascetic came to their house asking for alms and predicted a great predicament upon their house. They called him in and asked his advice. He told them some pujas and vratas to perform. In return they graciously offered him some gold coins, some clothes and some grain. While this was going on, the youngest son noticed something weird with the beard of the ascetic, and pulled at it.. and Lo! and came into his hands... that ascetic was a charlatan! They kicked him out of the house and they all thanked God for revealing them the truth in time. From then on, they decided not to trust any ascetic who come to their door. One day God wanted to test them, and he went in the form of an ascetic and asked for alms..they called him in, and offered food which he graciously accepted and blessed them a long healthy and prosperous life, but secretly they were all looking at his beard. Then while he was starting to leave, all of them suddenly lunged on to his beard... it didnt come off, but the ascetic (God actually if you remember!) got might angry and cursed them to a mean lowly life from now on. It turns
out that even the blessings of the God-ascetic became useless and the charlatan-ascetic was right after all!

Oh and By the way, the ten books mentioned above are the top ten widely read books of the twentieth century.