The below blog is a work of imagination and any reference to any real-world
purely coincidental. Not to be taken seriously and not meant to hurt anyone’s
Yesterday, in a historic national election,
La-La-Land unanimously voted for Pappu. Excerpts from his interview with a news
reporter from The Rhymes of India –
Curry: “Pappu ji, congratulations on a
landslide victory. What is your first message to the nation?”
Pappu: “Thank you. The nation has given a
clear mandate. I am humbled. I am also grateful to my mother for everything.
Without her support , this could not have been possible.”
Curry: “What is your first focus area of
Pappu: “Women empowerment!”
Curry: “Second focus area?”
Pappu: “Women empowerment!!”
Curry: “Sir?? Second focus area??”
Pappu takes out a paper from his pocket,
fumbles for a second- “ I am sorry I thought you wanted me to repeat it”. He
looks at the paper – “Reducing farmer suicides and improving their quality of
Curry: “Very noble thought Pappu ji. What
are some of the initiatives which your Government is planning to take in this
Pappu again looks at his paper.. thinks for
a minute. Curry hears him muttering “Yeh toh syllabus key baahar hai!!” .Pappu
gathers himself back and says “I am not in a position to divulge confidential
details. Finance Minister and Home
Minister are working on this.”
Curry: “Why should the home minister work
on farmer suicides? Isn’t it the job of Ministry of Rural Development”?
Pappu: “Yes, yes… you are right. I am going
to give both these portfolios to the Home Minister.. hence you know….”
Curry: “We saw two separate ministers
taking oath for these two departments!! Are there going to be any further
Pappu : “No no.. the Rural minister just
had a collapse, which many of you are not aware. Hence, I meant Home Minister.
In fact, as we speak, I am in touch with his team over Whatsapp. Give me a second ..”
Curry overlooks Pappu typing – “Mom, what the hell is happening? This jerk is
asking me uncomfortable questions. You never helped me memorize the answers to
these…. In the next 10 minutes, either
you come here or you fire this guy. Aur haan… Rural Minister ko collapse karwa
do.. I have just told that he has collapsed.”
Pappu: “Curry ji, we need to wrap this
interview quickly. The Rural Affairs Minister is in ICU and I need to see him
immediately. I can take only a couple of questions.”
Curry: “Sure. Pappu ji, who inspires you
Pappu : “ Mr. Grump – the President of the
DSA (Divided States of Hagey-rica). I like his ideas. I also want to build a
wall around the nation’s border. The wall will be longer than the Great Wall of
Hyena. Because of the wall issue, the Divided States had a Government shutdown.
Building a wall here will ensure a full shutdown. Right now, we operate at 50%
shutdown as half the days are lost due to strikes/walkouts. If we do a full
shutdown, which will happen if I build a wall, then everyone can work
peacefully without disturbance”.
Curry: “Pappu ji, your views on the Falafel
Pappu:” We have discussed Falafel issues at
length. No more Falafel discussion”
Curry:“Pappu ji.. since you had won the
election on the Falafel deal issue, what next on this?”
Pappu : “ Correction !!! The Falafel deal was not the only issue with
the previous Government. It was a disaster on all fronts. I had a problem with
everything. The previous leader was only a good poet, a very good marketer. He
was good at filling containers with gas. Gas, Gas and Gas. All his policies
were flawed. He tried to take certain bold moves but the bold cannot survive in
this nation. Only the beautiful can survive. That’s why the TV series Bold
& Beautiful didn’t do well in India !!!
The previous leader screwed the work-life
balance of the bureaucrats. He insisted on Powerpoint presentations during
Department reviews. He equated
bureaucrats to MBAs. MBAs can kill by powerpoint- bureaucrats can’t. Like
a Sales Head.. Humesha number ka hi baat karta tha…. He was an inefficient
Marketeer, who only gave fancy names to new initiatives with minimum execution
and zero results… This nation likes status quo which is what I am going to do in
the next 5 years… Maintain status quo… Do nothing !! Also, since the
bureaucrats were busy working for last 5 years, I am going to give them a 1
year break. ..one last question please”
Pappu frantically sends another sms – “Mom,
I told you I know nothing about the Falafel deal but still this joker keeps
probing me. Please ensure he loses his job and gets deported !”
Curry:”Pappu ji, your final words for
Pappu takes out another piece of paper : “ I
want to dedicate this poem to the nation. Mom has written for me –
Pappu ki gadi tez hai, Pappu kudiyon mein
Pappu ki aankein light blue….Pappu
dikhta angrezzz hai
About a year ago, last April,7 of us went on a memorable 7 day family trip to Japan. Japan is an enigma and a must-see for travel enthusiasts. An extremely kid friendly country with huge parks and family size toilet rooms in every nook and corner of the country. Train is the cheapest mode of transport (cheap means 18,000 rupees for a one-week Japan Rail Pass !!!). The rail stations resemble malls, many having a Louis Vitton or a Gucci store. Experience Sumo wrestling live , gobble up Sushi and miso soup, stare at the Shin-juku crossing where lakhs of people cross a zebra-crossing in a minute, catch the famed Cherry blossoms in March and whiz from Tokyo to Kyoto in the famed Shinkansen ( bullet trains with speeds touching 320 km/hr). Further ahead from Kyoto is the inspirational city of Hiroshima. Hiroshima can give any world city a run for its money in terms of world-class infrastructure. As you travel around , amazed by its beauty, you will forget that this city had an atom bomb dropped … until you see the Genbaku Dome ( one of the few buildings that was left standing near ground zero). Here, you will realize why killing innocent civilians in the name of war is so grossly unfair on the affected families. The way they have quickly re-built this city makes you salute every Japanese you come across…
Japan and Germany have been most devastated by the World War 2, but the way they have leveraged technology to become the world leaders in electronics and automobiles is truly inspirational. The world’s best electronic brands – Sony, Canon, Toshiba.. along with household automobile names – Toyota, Honda, Mitsubishi all have been built after World War 2. Ruthless focus and amazing execution excellence!! Same goes with Germany – BMW, Volkswagen, Audi, SAP, Daimler, Siemens, Adidas …
all this technological advancement has come at a cost for the Japanese. Most
Japanese are intense work-a-holics. This explains high suicide rates and an
ageing population. I felt that many people here do not have time for childbirth.
Therefore, Japan has a very strong family policy with child benefits. Japan
also houses “cat cafes”- where people pay money and talk to cats… Yes you heard
it right !!! People pour their daily lives to cats. They talk to cats as if
they are talking to children.. Have you heard about this in any other country??
are very devout by nature. All through the year, you will find the “Inaris ”
filled with devotees. This part of their culture resembles India. The fox is
highly revered. You see a lot of threads tied on trees-a prayer, a hope,a
feeling of gratitude for a fulfilled wish..
My best memory
of Japan, which will remain forever , is the Japanese commode. The Japanese commode symbolizes technological prowess.The
commode has various push-buttons, each having a different functionality. My first
visit to the commode was awe-inspiring. For 20 minutes, I was just zapped by the
push-buttons. I tried flirting with the various push-buttons. On pressing one
button, cold water started gushing out. It was quite cold in April, so in panic
I pressed the next button. The water suddenly turned hot; red-hot that my skin
started to burn.
In panic, I
pressed the knob next to the buttons. I turned it clockwise and lo.. the water’s
temperature started to change. Temperature control , like an AC; only difference
is the AC is used to control the temperature of a room.. in this case the knob
controls the temperature of your bum. Zapped!!!
looking for the sprinkler but I couldn’t find one; I hate tissue paper and I
was cursing myself… until I saw two more buttons!!!
buttons were the icing on the cake. For the first time in my life, I have
compared a commode to a cake !! That’s the experience it gave me. I pressed one
button and. the water hit my buttocks from the sides. I was impressed. But wait..
I pressed the second and.. Boom Boom Boom… the water gushed out from nowhere
and hit my buttocks from underneath! The Japanese have used amazing technology
to eliminate use of both sprinkler and tissue paper. Pure Genius !!!
commode was not in a 5 star hotel. It was in a homestay in the suburbs. I saw
this commode everywhere in Japan- in a train, mall, park, 5 star hotel, ferry..
The Americans and Europeans should take a leaf out of the Japanese book. These so-called innovation hubs still use tissue paper, despite knowing that 70% of the earth is water and it depletes less quickly than trees. Cannot fathom why they are stuck in the Old Stone Age and still use tissue paper when we have the amazing Japanese sprinkler-free technology. After the Japan visit, I stopped staying in all “Park” brand hotels in India as they don’t have sprinklers. I hope an Indian brand of hotels sets shop in US, Europe and uses this technology as a USP to woo guests.
If the legendary
Raj Kapoor was sitting in place of me in the iconic Japanese commode last April,
he would be singing..
“Mera Commode Hai Japani..Yeh Patlun English-taani,
Disclaimer: The below blog is a work of imagination and any reference to any real-world person/organization/entity is purely coincidental. Not to be taken seriously and not meant to hurt anyone’s sentiments.
Centuries ago, in La-La-Land, two legends, a poet – Kavi Shastri, and a statesman – Dhanmohan Singh, won the hearts of their nation.
Kavi cemented his place in cricket history
as one of the great all-rounders of his times. He became a famous cricket poet
post his playing days. In his last avatar, he coached the national cricket
team. He had taken over this role in difficult times as his predecessor AK-47
had huge differences of opinion with then captain Irate Bohli. Kavi had a huge
responsibility on his ferociously broad shoulders which he handled well.
Dhanmohan earned his name by leading economic reforms for his country post liberalization. He was an economist par excellence. Under his stewardship, La-La-Land regained its rightful place as one of the Chamakta Taaras of the world. Dhanmohan was liked by one and all for his financial acumen and was entrusted the responsibility of leading the nation. He led the nation for 10 years. Though he officially was the leader, there were strong rumours that he was just a rubber stamp in the hands of a lady – Ammonia Gandhi.
A journalist by the name Curry Subramanian
stalked them all through their life and decided to compare these legends.
Both Kavi and Dhanmohan never used to say
“No” to their respective masters – Bohli and Ammonia. They acted like loyal Labradors.
They did not pee unless their masters permitted them to. Their loyalty to their
masters was so strong that their spouses got jealous and hired private
detectives to check for infidelity. Their marriages almost collapsed due to
Favorite TV series –“Yes Minister”
Favorite song – “Aey Malik tere bande hum…”
Only 2 rules in life:
Never take a decision without
approval from your boss.
When in doubt, follow rule 1.
Favorite rap lyrics – “ Hum dono hai alag
alag… hum dono hai juda juda…Oh-ho-ho-ho….Main anadi ..mera boss khiladi”’
Favorite movie dialogue – “Rishtey mey aap
humare baap lagte hain… Aap ho shahenshah… aur hum pussycat”
Favorite hobby – puppet shows
Favorite drink – Teagram’s Royal Tag… Its
your Life… Make it Large*
*subject to boss’
Kavi and Dhanmohan also featured as a case study in La-La-Land’s best B school – Pee Pee M Meh-meh-dabad. The brainy geeks there analyzed their decision-making styles in great detail and concluded that they followed a very unique approach – MBRC (Management by Remote Control). The students there took pride in masturbating their way out of B school by quoting case studies in every possible corporate discussion. Even if Ammonia G’s dog pooped, then Pee Pee M Meh-meh-dabad would turn this episode into a case study and analyze the process-oriented approach used by Ammonia in cleaning the dog’s poop.
Kavi and Dhanmohan had quite a few
Kavi liked minimal clothing. He always used
to hang around in his boxers, even during media interactions. He was a True
Rangeela. In each media interaction, the color of his boxers varied. Dhanmohan,
on the other hand, was usually wrapped from head to toe and could only afford a
single white kurta with a buttoned coat. Rarely have the countrymen seen him in
a different attire.
Kavi spoke a lot and his recitals as a
cricket poet became the stuff of legend. Once, while reciting poems during the
final of a close cricket match, Kavi yelled “Slashed…..slashed hard”. The
recital was so brutal that all the folks listening on TV were immediately
rushed to the nearest hospital. Tons of blood had oozed out from their ears.
Kavi was temporarily banned from reciting. “When you slash,..slash hard” became
a legendary corporate success mantra. In Hindi, it translated to “ Kaatna hai
kisi ka…toh acche sey kaato. #Cutgaya”.
Dhanmohan rarely spoke. His continued
silence at times used to become so unnerving that people thought he had lost
his voice. “Speech is silver, silence is gold” was his mantra , unlike
Kavi who believed that “his voice” was
mightier than both “the pen and the sword”.
Kavi was allegedly a serial womanizer. Dhanmohan
was rumored to have spoken to only one woman, apart from his wife, all his life.
Kavi had the most obvious responses to any question
asked. Once, with 5 overs left in a close match, Kavi was asked by the media to
predict the outcome. Kavi’s obviously obvious lines “The match is too close to
call. All 3 results are possible” made it to the Wall of Shame.
Dhanmohan had a weird and standard response
to any question asked. As the leader of the nation, he was once asked his
opinion on the nuclear deal. His response – “ Iska uttar sirf Ammonia G hi bata
sakte hain. I am not allowed to speak on this” stunned the nation. This
inspired Warnab Go-Tommy to start a successful show – “ The Nation Wants to
Curry Subramanian felt there was some
divine connection between Kavi and Dhanmohan. He stalked them till their grave.
At the graveyard, he couldn’t believe his eyes. On both their graves – the
following cryptic words were engraved …
“Bohli kya, Ammonia kya….. Sab Katputli hain.. Bhagwaan key katputli…
Jab Tak hai Jaan… Hum hain desh ki shaan… Katputli
Legal Disclaimer : The below rant is a work of pure fiction, written by an extremely deranged writer. Any reference to any individual/organization/brand is purely coincidental. No animal was injured while writing this piece of crap.
Last Sunday, I was watching Koffee with Karan Jokar ( some people fondly call him K Jo… a la J Lo… Kahaan J Lo ..aur Kahaan K Lo… bas humare K Jo ko Jhelo.. aur is chakkar mey sabki Le Lo … Jaan Le Lo… #arzkiyahai #waahwaah). If you are cursing yourself why on earth are you reading this rotten shaayari , then hold on.. I get the same feeling whenever I watch K with K. The show gets excruciatingly ridiculous with each passing episode. Yet, people lap it up and the show gets ridiculously high TRPs .Proof of the pudding is its amazing sponsors :
Poppo – a leading mobile brand ( the parent company had Khaali-wood superstars Vanveer Singh and Deep Ka Paad Kaun as brand ambassadors ). Why on earth are they paying money to sponsor this ?
If I had all this money, I would rather give 100 rs to every individual for not watching the show. That would build more credible brand loyalty and brand connect. A less farzi way of brand building in today’s age.
2. Woreal – a global beauty behemoth. It has some heavyweight brand ambassadors like Cashwarya Rai , Wrinkle Khanna yet it doesn’t trust the brand strength of these stunningly beautiful ladies. I Guess sponsoring this is a brand ambassador-hedging strategy.
Deyd dimaag marketing waalon – budget hai toh referral scheme chalao .. Get 2% cash back for every Woreal product referred.
“Blimey !!!” (Wrinkle must be thinking)
Recently, K-Joke won critical acclaim for his mind-blowing episode with cricketers Soft-dik Panda and K Yell Gandhi. Good questions asked, even better responses , praise all round. Soft-dik and K Yell were given Lifetime Khel Ratna for their inspirational words in this show. The previous title sponsor Koogle Home smartly disassociated itself from the show. They thought their low sales of their newly launched clone against Durexa (which is the market leader) will increase so much after this episode that they will be out of stock.
Poppo and Woreal continue to think that this
ridiculous show is going to give exponential sales. Their management that their
sales are going to improve at the rate of 2 raised to the power 129 cr every
month because of the viralness of this show. Smart marketing brains.
Some ridiculously consistently annoying moments
of this show –
K- Joke : “ Van-bir or Van-veer? “
Me thinking : Dude, why ask this question
to every celebrity who comes on the show everytime ?. Deep ka Paad Kaun being
asked this question is understandable. But why ask this to Vijay Dey Gun,
Bloodart Malhotra, Hippie Kaushal, Kameena Kapoor and hubby Safe Balidaan. I pity those celebs.
K-Joke : “ Were you ever dating X, for a brief while?”
Scenario a): Celebrity Y: “ No, we were just friends and the media just made this up”
K-Joke wickedly smiling : “ Mujhe toh sach pata hai… Nee Nini Nee Nee… If you are not buying two chocolates, I am telling your mom about this ”
Scenario b): Celebrity Y: “ Yes, for a brief while… but we have now moved on”.
K-Joke in delirium: “For the first
time on national television, we have Y admitting to her link-up with X. That’s
THE best part about being on the couch. Mazaa aa gaya , Mazaa gaya .. yippee”.
Me thinking : Dude, is he a psycho? Why ask personal questions about exes when clearly, its not a comfortable question to be asked. Obviously, people link up and move on if it doesn’t work out. Just because you are a big shot director, who’s been lucky to be born with a silver spoon, you think you can get into the personal space of entire Khaali-wood…..
#3. K-Joke :” Who among the following would you BAE/PLAY/SLAY ?”
Me Thinking : I will BAE-friend my maid ( else I will never get to know when she’s taking chutti), PLAY with my dog and SLAY my Dhobi (he never gets my clothes ironed on time and i am forced to wear second choice clothes for job interviews).
#4. The torture continues in the Rapid-Fire Round. Celebs need to take a coffee shot if “Yes” is the answer.
K-Joke : “ Have you ever been in a Friends with Benefits Relationship ? Have you had crush with your co-star? If yes, did you make out on the set? Have you pooped in your vanity car? Have you spat in the face of paparazzi?
If the celeb takes coffee shots to any of these questions, then K-Joke gets up, screams orgasmically –“ Yasss Yasss Yass Yass Yass…. X has admitted this on national TV”
Me thinking : Moron ! Don’t you have anything better to do in life?
#5. The final nail in the coffin – The Grand Finale Quiz Round with Tie-breaker question.
K-Joke :” I want you guys to call up 3 vela-bonds . The need to answer on speaker phone –“ Hey K-joke, this is me,, and I am right now licking your….”.
Me annoyed : “ Please stop this shit”
Adding insult to injury, the celebs are ecstatic when they receive gifts for winning the rounds. As if they have won the football World Cup for India after 50 years…
Ridiculous show… Ridiculous to the extent that it’s one of the most watched, commented, Retweeted, Regrammed show on Earth.
is dedicated all the bahus of this world , who have bitched about their
mother-in-laws at least once in their lifetime. Basis my interaction with bahus
around me in the ozone layer, I have categorized the bahus as below:
The Devil Wears Prada bahu – she’s extremely jealous of the way her
mother-in-law carries herself in society, the clothes she wears and the
perfumes which she buys. Therefore, her only mission in life is to ensure she
exhausts her husband’s monthly salary to buy all things designer – clothes,
shoes, lingerie,mats, dogs, cats, rats, bats and so on.
The Fake Pati Parmeshwar bahu – she
gives a false impression that she treats her husband as Pati Parmeshwar and her
mother-in-law as her MAA. All her outward actions seem to be pleasing her
husband and her mother-in-law but secretly she’s waiting to poison both of them
and usurp their wealth Humraaz style.
The ACP Pradyuman ( CID) bahu – her
criminal instincts resemble ACP Pradyuman in CID . Whenever her mother-in-law
offers milk to her and her son, her immediate reaction is “ kuch toh gadbad
hai”. She will offer the milk to her dog and if the dog doesn’t die, the milk
is passed to her husband for drinking.
The Bhai bahu – she secretly goes to
the gym and starts toning her body. She doesn’t like people talking against her
or her husband. If the mother-in-law does something which she doesn’t like, she
immediately ensures all social access is blocked. The mother-in-law can’t act
any longer in movies, she can’t be Brand ambassador for any ads, no director
will offer her scripts etc. Husbands and Mothers should be wary of such Bahus.
Always praise them. If you ever cross them, then you are doomed.
The Himmatwala bahu – she thinks
that the way to take the remote control of her husband from her mother-in-law
is by taking his son out clubbing, showing off the choicest of dance moves,
grooving away to glory and mesmerizing her husband to completely forget about
his mom. However, fate ensures that while the bahu shows off her dance moves
like J Lo, the husband disappoints by showing off his Jitendra-style Himmatwala
moves. Eventually, the status quo is maintained in the Bermuda triangle.
The Aruna Irani bahu – she thinks
that emotional blackmail is the best solution to win over her husband from her
mother-in-law. She always uses this as the tool to get things done. Her
character resembles Aruna Irani’s repetitive role of emotional blackmail in
yesteryear Bollywood movies. She initially succeeds till the interval, but in
the end, the husband has the final say.
The Sprite Bahu – she’s a Bol
Bacchan. She talks big in front of her husband and builds false castles in thin
air. She promises that staying separately from parents will transform them into
a utopian world where husband and wife are always super happy. Alas ! Ground
reality shows both husband and wife fighting every second day and then
promising not to fight again. The husband secretly thinks – Ye Sprite ki tarah
hai – Bhujaye only pyaas, baaki all bakwaas
The Bhadrakaali bahu – she thinks
that she has been blessed by Goddess Durga Maa to kill anybody who comes near
her husband, including her mother-in-law. She’s always angry and feels that her
mother-in-law is a demon, who plans to devour her husband. She may kill her
mother-in-law with the trishul on the coming Vijaya Dasami to put an end to this
The Politician bahu – this one is
the most dangerous bahu of all. You never know what her true affiliations are.
She may change party depending on the tidal waves. Sometimes, she will be super
pally with her mother-in-law. At other points in time, she will bitch about husband
to mother-in-law, sometimes vice versa. Only she knows what she’s actually
thinking. And the gap between her stated intentions and actual execution can be
equated to the distance between the North Pole and the South Pole.
Amongst all this tamasha, the poor husband ends up becoming the victim. He goes through extreme mental harassment. He has been with his mom for 25+ years and suddenly he finds a new woman in his life trying to take that place. He doesn’t have a choice also, as he can’t afford to piss off the love of his life. His next 25 years of existence depends on his equation with this bahu. Invariably , he ends up making the biggest sacrifice of his life, like Ekalavya and decides to give the remote control of his life to wife, although he secretly hopes that he can control his mom and wife. He thinks he’s the hypotenuse of a right angled isosceles triangle , but in reality he’s a poor football , who can be kicked around at will by anyone and everyone. He also pities his mother, who is the subject of immense mental torture by the bahu. He thinks spending time in Tihar jail is better than getting sandwiched between two women he loves equally . He comes home confused with all these thoughts not knowing what to do. He switches on the TV and Star Utsav plays “ Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi” in a soulful tune. He sees a big wide smile of Smriti Irani on screen. He secretly smiles and says to himself – “Apna Time Aayega. Yeh Bahu bhi to kabhi Saas Banegi”. Everything is fair in love and war.
week’s topic for the weekly blog is interesting yet touchy. It’s a topic which
most of us will have an opinion on. It’s related to children. OUR children. Let
me start by asking all parents/soon-to-be parents/couples planning a child in
future a simple question. Would you be OK if your child DECIDES to become a “Bartender”?
If the immediate answer in your mind is NO, then YOU are screwing up your
child’s future. Read on to find out why and how.
mistake our middle-class society has done is lay disproportionate focus on
education and more specifically, higher education. The importance given to
education by our Indian society is so high that sometimes it becomes an
obsession and in turn, we forget that there are other things to do in life.
Many a time, we forget that there’s more to education than our child becoming a
great doctor/engineer/MBA/techie. For most of us, higher education means higher
and higher degrees. Even if this comes at the cost of compromising our child’s
aspirations, interests, dreams, quite a few of us are fine with this.
elaborate further. Most of the Indian society thinks that the only way their
child can have a great future/ secure future is by becoming either a
doctor/engineer/MBA/techie. Coming from South India, I have seen this attitude
in quite a few parents. To me, this
notion of a doctor/engineer/MBA/techie becoming an extremely successful
individual is a big myth. Ask yourself this question – is every
doctor/engineer/MBA/techie financially super successful? My definition of
financially super successful is someone earning at least 75k per month at the
start of his/her career after graduating from either of these professions. In
my view, less than 10% of the working population of urban India earns this
salary at the start of their career. I have not done a lot of consumer research
but looking at people around me, I don’t think there’s more than 10% in this
because a few doctors/MBAs/techies/engineers have been successful, the typical
Indian parent thinks that is the best career path for their child. Therefore,
without understanding the child’s interests, passion and skills, quite a few
parents decide to enroll their kids for IIT coaching from a ridiculously early
class 6 onwards. The kid wouldn’t even know the full form of IIT at that age
and wouldn’t even want to know. We look
at Engineering /Medical State Topper front page newspaper ads and get inspired.
We want our child’s photo to come in this ad and make us proud. It’s a great
feeling of pride for us, isn’t it? “US” … But does the child feel so? Have we
had an honest discussion with our kid after class X, XII whether “S/HE” will
feel proud if his/her photo comes in the front page? Is THIS his/her aspiration?
Or is their aspiration something else? For all you know, becoming a world-class
guitarist may be their aspiration. Or representing India in kabaddi. Or a
chef. Or a violinist. Or a singer…
My hunch is
many of us parents will
a) not have had this conversation with their
child on his/dreams/aspirations
b) not have understood what their child’s
strength in terms of skill sets are.
If a) and
b) would have happened with most parents, then we would not have had
A staggering number of parents enrolling
their kids in IIT coaching from class 6,7,8
a zillion engineering colleges in
the country with many of them struggling to get students placed
a few thousands of MBA colleges in
the country but only a few colleges in which the average CTC is more than 10
lacs per annum
the number of medical and engineering
test applicants running into lakhs for every state but only a few getting seats
in reputed institutes
coaching centers for higher
education running akin to a parallel MAFIA where they send a few good students
who get good ranks to good colleges, but majority of the students would have fallen
by the wayside
Why is this
happening? Isn’t it BUT obvious that both parent and child are NOT on the same
page in terms of what makes them happy? In my view, Indian parents have the
biggest herd mentality. Just because
they have seen some doctor/engineer/IIT/MBA become successful, all Indian
parents want all their children to follow this. And then we complain about lack
of jobs, lack of skilled labour etc. The problem is WITHIN us parents. Not WITH
the child. If a child is not interested in pursuing engineering/medicine, then
S/HE will not make a successful career out of it. Period…
our societal fabric doesn’t allow disagreement or difference in opinion to be
seen in positive light, many of our poor kids conform to their parents in class
12 or beyond and do not rebel against their parents’ decision. They have too
much love and don’t want to see their parents’ dreams shattered. If they raise
their voice against this decision, our great Indian society and even greater neighbors/relatives
will label the child as a brat/rebel etc., So they take up their parents’
dreams and end up in mediocrity. They spend the whole life regretting the fact
that they were cut out for something better. This explains the fact that only a
handful (less than 2%) of the people score high marks in engineering/entrance
exams. The significant majority have just wasted money, their time, energy and
been an also-ran. And I will NOT
blame this significant majority of students. I will blame their great parents
for this. Just to satisfy their vision without understanding the true
strengths, passions, likes/dislikes, they have blindly decided that
IIT/IIM/doctor etc. will be the best fit for their child.
parents give the freedom of choice for the child to decide at an early age. I
was one of those lucky few. My parents empowered me to make my independent
career choices post class 10. Seeing others around me, I took the call of
becoming an engineer. I decided to go with the herd and decided to take up
Electronics engineering as it was considered as an evergreen course. I did reasonably well, scoring 79%. Was not the
class topper but would have been in between 15 to 20 in a class of 60? But I
realized that this is not something I wanted to do. So, I decided to pursue my
MBA. MY MBA. MY DECISION. I didn’t want to go abroad as I wanted to serve my
parents when they retired. I passed out of XLRI Jamshedpur. Again, every
decision was left to me and my parents offered me financial, moral and
emotional support. Nothing beyond. Unlike many other parents, they backed my
independent decisions and they knew if I am doing something out of my own
calling, then the probability of me being successful is higher. Therefore, I have done well for myself at age
of 31 and today in my age group, I must be in the top 10% ile of salaried
people thanks to my efforts. I have done this for myself. Not because of
parental force. But I am pretty sure there are so many ALSO-RANs who regret
their decision to do an MBA/become a doctor/become a software engineer. I feel
sad for these folks as they have no choice now but to continue.
our great hypocritical society will not allow them to change their career
track. If a software engineer after 3 years of work and wants to become a
singer because he found out his true passion, our stupid society will again
pass a judgement saying this bloke is confused, he’s gone nuts, ACCHI KHAASI
NAUKRI CHOD RAHA HAI, GAWAARA HAI. The poor software engineer may not find
girls for marriage as the girl’s family mostly will think this guy cannot
secure their daughter’s future. But the same hypocritical Indian society will
pay a 1000 + bucks to see a Sonu Nigam, Shaan, Sunidhi Chauhan perform. These
folks understood their strengths, passion and decided to pursue a career of
their choice. Not become a doctor/engineer/MBA. Our great Indian society will
applaud all these artistes but if their child comes up with such an idea, the
typical risk-free Indian parent mentality will be “BETA, Padhaai pey dhyaan do.
Ye sab as a HOBBY kar lena?” Who the HELL is the parent to kill the child’s
aspirations? The role of a parent is to enable the child to find his/her strengths
and help in achieving the child’s dreams. Let me tell you how this stupid
parental behavior affects India as a nation.
We Indians are not the physically
fittest in relative to others. Our society neither encourages sports as a
career nor stresses on physical fitness at early stage. Therefore, our Olympic
performances are abysmal compared to the likes of China, Russia, Brazil.
We continue to churn truckloads of
mediocre engineers/doctors/MBAs every year and cry for jobs when those poor
kids never wanted to be one in the first place.
Barring a few musicians and actors, we
have very few artistes who perform at the world stage and are famous across the
world. This is because our risk-averse society does not encourage global
exposure at a young age. Most parents think their child may not adapt to such
lifestyle and are afraid to take a financial risk. They want to see their child
growing in front of them even after class 12. Nothing wrong but check if THE
CHILD also has the same thought process
We have very few MICHELIN STAR Chefs
coming out of India.
For us, a CHEF means somebody who could not be a successful
DOCTOR/ENGINEER. Many of us think that alternate professions like being a chef etc.
will not help our child find a suitable life partner.
Our script writing quality in movies
still has tremendous scope for improvement. Why can’t an Indian filmmaker make
movies like INCEPTION, MINORITY REPORT. Because we don’t have a strong enough ecosystem
which appreciates alternate professions and backs them. Lot of our Bollywood
stars are still scared to experiment with off-beat movies thinking our audience
will trash them.
Our world football rankings continue
to be outside 100 because we parents feel there’s no money in Indian football
and even though our child wants to pursue football, we just clip the child’s
Our health ratings as a country are
poor, we continue to have high degrees of stress related illnesses because we
don’t have a focus on fitness since childhood and this sedentary lifestyle with
an excessive academic focus takes a toll on our lives
At the core
bottom line of this irrational parental behavior is a very poor risk-free
mindset of Indian society. Our society doesn’t appreciate risk-taking behavior.
Classic example is when someone says s/he wants to quit his job and start a business;
our first reaction typically is “ARE YOU SURE”? The intent of asking this
question is right but we should stop being risk-averse as a society. We should
start believing in ourselves, our child’s abilities. Just because we took the
safe path doesn’t mean the CHILD has to take the same SAFE path. Times have changed and we thankfully now live
in a society where many alternate professions are respected.
case of hairdressing for example. My friend Gaurav Gupta, quit his job as a
Sales rep in a Pharma company, decided to enroll in a hair dressing academy 8
years ago and today he’s one of the top hairdressing trainers in India. To many
typical parents, he’s a barber, not a hairdresser. This mindset needs to
change. And who’s going to CHANGE this? YOU …and me. Not our neighbors, not our
important, our tutoring system of bringing up our children is flawed. I would
bring my child up in the following manner.
make him/her enroll in all kinds of activities in early childhood – not only
academics. In the initial few years, I will enroll my child in various
activities like swimming classes, dance, crafts, singing. I will check what the
child is liking and taking an interest to. I will make a few assumptions and
periodically ask my child whether s/he is liking what she’s doing and what else
can I do to help. I will continue to have these conversations till the child
tells me it has found its true calling. Let’s assume the child tells me that it
is really interested in kabaddi, I will act as the biggest enabler for him/her.
I will find out good mentors, take the child to watch kabaddi matches and ensure that his/her
passion is not lost. I will be a super proud DAD if my child represents India
in the kabaddi World Cup and if this gives happiness to the child. To me, seeing
my child fulfilling HIS/HER dreams is more SATISFYING than making him/her
achieve my unfulfilled dreams. For me, Academics is not everything. I will
ensure that my child gets access to the basic education needed to survive.
Beyond this it’s HIS/HER’s wish on how much he/she wants to move academically.
If EVERY Indian parent can do this, I think our motherland will fare much
higher on all the above-mentioned points.
to my question at the start of the blog, if your child aspires to become a
bartender, try and enable him/her to achieve this. There are some excellent coursers
offered and lot of countries which value this skill. Some top 5-star hotels
across the globe need exceptionally talented bartenders. It is not something
which should be LOOKED DOWN by YOU as a parent. Your child will travel the
world over and entertain people with amazing skills. It’s not an easy skill.
You need the right mixing skills, the right jugglery skills. This could lead
the child to pursue related line extensions like Jugglery, Cooking etc. So, it’s
not a bad financial choice as supply of good bartenders is few. More
importantly, your CHILD is happy with this choice.
message to all parents/future parents is – Parenting is a great opportunity to
make a difference to your child. Understand the child’s strengths, weaknesses,
skills, aspirations, dreams and help the child achieve his/her aspirations. Be
an ENABLER, not a DREAM-KILLER.
This Friday’s blog is about my struggle
encountered last week. I was at a job interview. There was a lunch break
between 12 30 and 1 30 pm. Multiple rounds of Interviews were happening pre and
post lunch in a single room. In order to save time, the HR person had organized
for a packed lunch which would be served inside the room at “sharp” 1 pm. As
expected, the lunch arrived at an even sharper 1:20 pm. (Being from Hyderabad,
any time given to me, I would discount it by at least 15 to 20 minutes). I was
super hungry. To add to my woes, my next interview was supposed to start in 10
minutes time. Therefore, I was expected to be a Bakasur and gobble everything
within 10 minutes. This Looked difficult but I told myself – “Impossible is
Nothing Hari… Nothing! I will finish lunch in 10 minutes come what may.”
The lunch was served to me in a corporate
meal pack. The office staff smiled and placed the corporate meal pack at the
table along with a closed packet which was made of aluminium foil. I smiled
back and the office staff left. That’s the end of his role in today’s blog. He
reminded me of Anil Kapoor in Mission Impossible 4. Anil came and left in a
jiffy in the movie. Sorry for the brief digression. Back to the corporate meal
pack. I had 10 minutes left to devour the food. I stared at the corporate meal
pack for a minute. It was a plastic plate with various compartments having dal,
salad, curry, rice and some sweet. It was wrapped by a transparent plastic
sheet. I wondered why an annoying plastic plate wrapped in an even more
annoying plastic sheet is termed as a “corporate” meal. What’s so corporate
about this meal… It looked plain… shitty packaging. Corporate I thought
meant classy. This was more sleazy
than classy. Instead of being a classy Kal Ho Na Ho song, this was a cheap
Sheila Ki Jawani. Why the hell do people call this a “corporate “meal man? Some
idiot would have coined this term and without thinking, we blindly follow this
idiot like a herd of cattle and call this a corporate
meal. I lost about a minute in these thoughts. I only had 9 minutes left.
I looked at the aluminium foil packet. At
first, I thought it was papad sealed in an air-tight packet. I touched it to
reconfirm but I found out that it was soft and mushy ,unlike a papad. I
continued pressing this soft part for a few seconds. Before I could drift
further into fantasy land, I saw that 2 minutes were gone. I guessed that this
was chapatti and not papad and I tried tearing the packet. To my surprise, it
just refused to give in. I tried inserting the plastic fork and making a tear.
The bloody packet would just not break down. I tried another time. As I was at
an interview, the idea of tearing the packet with my teeth didn’t sound
appealing. I was scared that if I got caught doing this, the HR would have seen
it through an imaginary web-cam and docked some points thinking this was an
indication of violent behaviour. So, I gave up on the rotis temporarily. I
focused on the “low-hanging fruit” – the CMP (Corporate Meal Pack).
I first tried to open the transparent
plastic top cover by the edges. I tried really hard but I guess the CMP had
seen my Wrestle Mania match with the rotis and must have understood that I was
pretty lame. It decided to make life miserable for me. The plastic cover would
just not break. I guess some joker pasting this cover on the CMP would have
used all the available Fevicol in the world, having got inspired by its tagline
– “Tootega Nahi”. BC- Toota Hi Nahi. Cover todney key chakkar mey Goti Muh mey aa gaye
the. Ravi Shastri will be proud of this Goti comment. I tried an alternate
strategy of trying to tear the cover. I took the plastic fork, and decided to
launch a brutal attack. I used all the weight of my elbow to punch a hole in
the middle of the CMP. This was the exact mid-point. The intersection of the
two diagonals. My maths teacher would have been proud of the way I arrived at
the midpoint and applied her concept in a real-world application. I punched the
hole and Yo – it was first strike. I had found an opening. Hari 1 – CMP 0. I
felt overjoyed. Having found an opening, I decided to go for the kill. I tried
tearing away the rest of the cover. For a couple of seconds, I succeeded but
then again, the Fevicol overpowered me. The bloody sheet was just not willing to tear open further.
Even the fork could not go beyond this. Only a small hole had been created in
the middle of the CMP. Nothing beyond this. I gave up with the Fork strategy.
Hari 1 – CMP 1. I took a time out. I had only 6 minutes left.
This time, I decide to use the “Attack from
the Corners – strategy”. A more abusive corporate jargon for the same would be
“Flanking strategy”. I used to tear open the four corners one by one with my
hand. This started to work. I took the extreme bottom left corner, used all my
fist strength and found an opening. The cover started to tear from the corner.
All the corners were part of the square shaped compartment. So, I tore two
sides of the L shaped bottom right corner. I thought I had cracked the code.
The score was about to become Hari 2 – CMP 1. Alas. The Fevicol started showing
its strength again. While I had pierced the outer sides, the inner sides of the
square shaped compartment just refused to give in…. just refused! I guess they
were inspired by the Wall- Rahul Dravid. I used the flanking strategy for the
other corners as well but same result. The two outer sides of the square shaped
compartment would open but not the inner sides. My Frustration levels
skyrocketed. I had only 2 minutes left. In 8 minutes, I had not able to open a
simple CMP. Me– a so called MBA from XLRI Jamshedpur. What’s the point of a
fancy MBA degree if you can’t open a corporate meal box??……
Hari 1 – CMP 2. At this point, I decided to
use a more realistic approach. Make use of the available opportunities. I
realized that the middle part of the cover, which I had cracked open had jeera
rice. With a half open CMP, I started gobbling the jeera rice through the small
opening. I only used to get 1/4th of the spoon in every serving but
I thought I will repeat this action a million times and fill my stomach. After
all, small actions create a big multiplier effect. This is what my boss had
told me. I started cramming morsel-after-morsel. Hari 2 – CMP 2.
Suddenly I realised that in one of the
corners which was half opened, there were items I could lay my hands on. So,
like a street dog , full of heat, which wants to hump every other dog which it
sees on the street, I decided to eat whatever I could grab from the corners. I
could fill 10% of the spoon with the dal but that was good enough. I used the
same strategy to pull out a few salad pieces of cucumber, two or three pieces
of aloo from the other half-opened corners. I was now able to eat most of the
compartments. Yes, I felt that I was eating an actual plastic compartment. It
was 1:35. I guess the HR would have peeped through the window and thought – “Wrestle Mania ka interesting match chal
raha hai. Launde ka match khatam honey do. Fir interview start karenge”. As
most of the food was getting emptied despite the cover being half open from
most of the sides, I could pull out the entire food and finish the entire CMP.
I guess the CMP had given up. The CMP had mentally disintegrated. The collapse
of the CMP reminded me of the “Sachin out- TV off” era where the other Indians
would just collapse after Sachin’s wicket. The Fevicol, who was the Sachin of
the CMP team, also gave up. I could tear open the entire cover and finish the
I was overjoyed. What a victory. Hari had
played well in the finale and finished the match 3-2. Unlike the South African
cricket team which chokes in most of the important matches, I had held my nerve
when it mattered most. I was overjoyed. I stood victorious. In the WWF days of
the 1990s, the Rock would win the World Championship and raise the WWF belt by
standing on top of the ring. The crowd would give a standing ovation. I felt
like standing over the chair and lifting the battered CMP and showing the world
outside that I had conquered it. All these thoughts were going in my head until
suddenly, the HR knocked at the door. He said he would send someone to clear
the plates and start my next interview at 1: 50. I got back to reality. I had
spent 30 minutes trying to eat a CMP. However, I was still satisfied that I had
got the better of the CMP in a closely contested match 3-2. A feeling of pride
was running all through me. This time, another Anil Kapoor came to clear the
food. He smiled at me and said- “Saab, aapko roti pasand nahi hai kya? Aap toh
roti khaya hi nahi?”
I looked at the unopened sealed in
aluminium foil with rotis. Damn !!! Hari 3 – CMP 3.
Life’s a bitch.
P. S : Next Friday’s blog : Will YOU be OK if your child wants to become a bartender?