A “DAY” in Moorakh-land : Freaky Fridays – Weekly Blog

Once upon a time in Moorakh-land, the world’s first marketeer ( Mungerilaal Pasha) sat under a tree trying to think of ways to create demand on certain specific days in a year. An apple fell on his head. The marketeer cut the apple into two and a God-sent letter emerged from the apple – “Hey Moorakh! The answer to your problem lies with you. Just create “days” for every occasion and the fools of this world will come running to you and spend time and money remembering the occasion”

The marketeer started spreading this message to the Marketing Brotherhood. First came HRB (Hotels and Resorts Business) Singh. He said “ Bhaijaan, how do I ensure that all the hotels, resorts are filled on one specific day of the year and people spend any amount of money just to be there on that day ?” Pasha quickly replied “ Arey Moorakh ! Just create New Year’s Eve parties and bashes. The Moorakhs will party as if the world is going to end. They will pay any amount of money to post that cool status message saying they were out on New Year’s Eve. Every God-damn hotel, resort and restaurant in this world will be full. Put up any price and the fools will pay. The industry will recover the full year’s investment on this one day. Add some masala by bringing in some DJs, some sugar candy. The sweeter the eye-candy, the more your profits.” HRB Singh went away with this advice and the entire hospitality industry lived happily ever-after.  

Next up, a lost GC ( Greeting Card ) Malhotra came to Pasha for a solution to drive greeting card sales. Pasha gave him an apple and said “This is God’s gift to you. Cut this into two and you will find your answer”. GC cut the apple and found a letter on which was written “Feb 14th is your answer Moorakh. The full day sales of greeting cards on Feb 14th will always be higher than the rest of the year combined”. GC Malhotra lived happily ever after. However, his younger brother GC Pandey was also into the greeting card business and he had a non-compete agreement with GC. He therefore could not do any sales on Feb 14th. He fell at the feet of Mungerilal Pasha. Pasha did not have an immediate answer, so he took GC Pandey to the same apple tree and asked him to meditate. An apple fell on his head and he cut it into two. A genie emerged and said “Moorakh ho tum! What if you cannot sell greeting cards on Feb 14th? We have other “Days” for you – Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Children’s Day, Fraandship Day… The fellow moorakhs of this world will continue to buy greeting cards… ” GC’s brother lived happily ever after.

Looking at the success of HRB Singh and the GC brothers, a few other marketeers came as a group and approached Mungerilaal Pasha to improve their sales. Pasha had never heard of these folks. Their names were Rosie Singh, Teddy Khan and Chocolaty Fernandes. Pasha gave them an apple each. On cutting the apples, they found a common letter which read “ Hey Murakhs… Fools are an abundance in this world… There is no end to the world’s obsession for “Days”. For you guys, the Almighty has created a week-long festival to drive sales of your products – Rose Day, Propose Day, Chocolate Day, Teddy Day, Promise Day, Hug Day, Kiss Day – all before V Day “. Rosie , Teddy  and Chocolaty lived happily ever after.

Spell-bound by this success, the mother of all marketeers – the tech-savvy e-commerce behemoths decide to do a video call with Mungerilaal Pasha.The Flipkart marketing head found his answer “Big Billion Days”. Do it every 2 months and you will get your sales” The Amazon marketing head was told – “Organize your “Days” in and around the same time as your competition. The results will follow “. Both these ecommerce companies lived happily for a while, until Mr. Ambani decided to enter this business. Once he entered this business, every Day was a Bigger Billion Day. Ambani lived happily ever after.

A few others also approached Mungerilaal Pasha. Pasha never turned down anyone as he was aware of the business opportunity presented by the silly world and its obsession with days. Books Day, Dance Day, Space Day, Pets Day,  Logical Day, Illogical Day…. the list went on and on. A few sections of the society though, could not digest this phenomenon. They by-passed Pasha and called the Almighty for help. First came the politicians with their request – “God, we want to swindle daily and not on specific Days.” Then came the auto-wallahs” Lord, we want to fleece our consumers daily. We can’t wait for certain “Days” to do our business disproportionately, unlike the greeting card companies and the restaurants”. The likes of Mallya , Modi (the diamond merchant and not the chowkidaar) and Goyal also had the same complaint. For these people, a special quota was created – “The invincible quota”. These people’s lives would be unaffected by Mother’s , Father’s , Valentine’s or Children’s Day. Every day would be business as usual. “Jab tak hai Jaan, tab tak hai kaam, lootera humra naam, sabko hai pranaam” was their mantra.

The people of “Moorakh-land” continued to live happily. More and more “Days” propped up, which brought more and more business to various stakeholders. One day, Mungerilaal Pasha passed away in his sleep. His son, Chotu Pasha was worried that there would be no more wealth accumulation in the family. So, he went to the famous apple tree and prayed fervently to God asking for a way to find new business. After a month-long wait, an apple fell on his lap. Chotu cut the apple and found a piece of paper.  On it the following words were written –

“Sunday ho ya Monday, Moorakh-land will splurge every Day…

If today’s times it is V-Day, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day

The future will see Burger Day, T-shirt Day and Sofa Day.

Jab tak rahega samosey mey aalu,

Tab tak rahega yahaan moorakh-pan chaalu

Ja dikha-dey sabko apni yeh marketing jalwa

Kyunki aisi duniya mey zindagi na milegi dobara”

Jai Hind

Marketing Flyers: Freaky Fridays – Weekly Blog

A few years ago, when I was working as an Area Sales Manager, I used to get a lot of flyers/leaflets/brochures printed. We were taught that flyers were a very effective way of reaching our target audience. In a simple colorful one pager, the USPs of a product could be communicated. More flyers = more eyeballs = more brand awareness = more brand recall = more sales. We used to have a separate marketing budget for printing flyers. We used to fight with the central marketing team to increase this budget. Those were the good old days. We wouldn’t care to bother what would happen to the flyer. Until I met my mother-in-law…

My mother-in-law is a B.Sc ( Baby Sitting Champion).  One of her key skillsets as per her Linkedin Profile is putting babies to sleep. She also mentions a few certifications in her profile – cost management by effective flyer utilization. I did not understand what this meant. One day, I decided to shadow her for a full day to probe this. As soon as she received the newspaper in the morning, she started shaking it (like a baby cough syrup) to check for flyers. Three flyers fell from the newspaper. She beamed with joy on seeing them. For a second, I thought she had cracked the final question of Kaun Banega Crorepati. I was puzzled. I looked at the three flyers.

The first was an orange colored flyer with a big photo of our corporator and her achievements in the last few years. I could recognize it was our corporator as she had just visited our house recently asking to vote for her. She comes every five years just before elections to show that she’s alive. The only reason we still end up voting for her is because at least she comes once every five years. The opposition party I guess has given up hopes from winning from our constituency and therefore they don’t bother to do this. Our flat broker proudly introduces our family to her every five years. The flyer mentioned her proud achievements over the past five years – 3 crores “sanctioned” for pure drinking water. She had the audacity to write a budget sanction as her achievement. This is equivalent to me writing “prepared a PPT to increase market share in my district” as one of my professional achievements. Or “brainstormed with my team to think of ways to improve work-life balance”. While the front page had a lot of questionable and “sanctionable” achievements, the back page had a full-length picture of the national leader screaming “Ab ki baar, nan maga Sarkar”.

The second flyer had a picture of a dog in the centre. Surrounding the dog were pictures of the party founders, their children, their grandchildren. The headline screamed “Garibi Hatao…  Since 1975”. I asked my father-in-law, who had been following our constituency politics for more than 40 years, about the dog. He told me “It has been proved that the original leader of the party is not an Indian citizen. The surname Gaadi has been the common thread of this party’s leaders since independence. Only if you have this surname, can you become this party’s leader. The country votes for this surname. This time, their dog Tommy Gaadi is contesting the elections. There is a high probability of this party coming to power as most people still have trust in the Gaadi surname. The party also is known for its consistency in campaigning. Since my childhood, Garibi hatao has been their campaign theme. I am sure your kids, when they vote, will also be seeing this theme”

Before I could react, a gust of wind blew over all of us and the third flyer fell on my lap. “Shop at PigBazaar today and get cashbacks of Rs. 5000*” These words screamed in bold. The * mark made me look at the bottom of the flyer. I had to take a magnifying glass to read the disclaimer. “The cashback for 5000 is valid for 30 days from purchase. For a cashback of 5000, you need to purchase 25000 worth material. This cashback cannot be redeemed in one go. For every purchase, a maximum of 1000 cashback only can be redeemed. Thanks for being our dummy. PigBazaar management has the final say in any legal dispute arising out of this. “

I wanted to turn over and read the back-page contents of the PigBazaar flyer but my mother-in-law interrupted me. She took all the three flyers and kept it in a cup-board. I opened the cup-board and was awestruck. There were multiple shelves full of flyers. The brands ranged from Hornimoz Pizza, Himesh Dum Biryani Centre newly opened, Crow-ma electronics and Baba Kamdev’s ayurvedic products

Before I could do any further study, my baby pooped and we all rushed to the cradle. Without battling an eye-lid, both the Nan Maga Sarkar and the Garibi Hatao flyers were used to wrap the used diapers and were promptly thrown in the dust-bin. Before I could weep at the demise of these two flyers, the Chwiggy delivery boy knocked. We had just ordered samosas online for snacks. She took the PigBazaar flyer and wrapped it to suck the excess oil. My mother-in-law explained me many other uses of the marketing flyers – base paper to cut your toe-nails, to put the wet waste in the dust bin, cut-outs for her grand-daughter’s “shop-shop” game.

Having learnt my lesson, I vowed that I will never print any more marketing flyers. I will also stop others from doing this as it’s a sheer waste. I stepped out of my house to buy milk and there was a young buy distributing flyers to everyone. It was a broadband internet company’s flyers.I didn’t want to take it but the boy insisted that I take the flyer. I asked him –“young man, why do you think flyers will work?’ He replied “Sir, flyers are a very effective way of marketing. More flyers = more eyeballs = more brand awareness = more brand recall = more sales”

I looked at my mother-in-law and handed over the flyer to her smilingly.

Jai Hind

Corporate Designations: Freaky Fridays – Weekly Blog

Folks, this Friday, let’s pay a tribute to some of the fancy corporate designations which exist and motivate employees to progress to the “next” level.

CEO: Chief Email Officer. Most people in the organization see this person only via e-mails. This person sends emails and expects everyone to read, remember everything mentioned but the same is not expected from him/her. S/he meets employees once in a blue-moon and people take selfies whenever this happens. Otherwise, to an ordinary employee, this person is an invisible hollow-man who f*cks people without their knowledge. Bas logon key dil mey hai…. aur subordinates key g**nd mey. S/he’s a pain in the ass for direct reports as most of their time is spent in going through his/her communications, planning travel and meetings, preparing presentations. In general, this person doesn’t have the balls to take his/her own decisions. S/he believes in two rules:

 #1 Success is due to self, Failure is due to subordinates’ failure

 #2 When in doubt, refer rule 1

CFO – Chindi Fakirchand Officer: In their previous birth, these finance folks would have been fakirs. They think a paisa spent is a paisa burnt. They only believe in signing off investment proposals which on an excel sheet gives returns greater than 18%. If life were so simple, then we wouldn’t have Microsoft excel and complex models like IRR, NPV for calculating returns. Most of these finance fakirs will have no idea of customers, sales, brands, operations but will have authority to sign-off or veto proposals in these areas. Most of these guys wanted to be in CID, but since they never made it, they will put their forensic skills to use by randomly checking travel bills, vendor bills. They think employees exist only to make a fool out of the organization. In their quest to save the little pennies, they ignore multi-crore scams.

Next comes the marketing genius – the CMO – Chief Masaledaar Officer : This person’s core job is to put mirch masala in anything given and make it sound out-of-the world. S/he believes every product, every ad created is out of the world and nothing can go wrong (until the product is launched) Like the CEO, this person takes credit for all the success of a product including the awards won. In case the product fails, s/he conveniently passes the blame on other functions like sales, production, quality etc. Mirch-masala leads to bitch-masala . S/he has all the typical qualities of a bahu in the “Saas-Bahu” series. The bitch-masala culture is ingrained into the entire marketing department. The BMs ( Brand Managers  Bhand Managers ) visit the market with the sales team in their quest to add value and only end up finding faults. “Process sucks, the sales team is not able to get things executed, initiatives are going down the drain” Obviously, in a country like India, with the kind of salaries we pay to the lowest rung, you cannot expect excellent execution. The bhand managers think they have opened the sales team’s eyes by stating the obvious. After their visit, they write a masaledaar report of how things are badly screwed up. The poor sales guy is taken to task for not able to cover up things. The marketing team lives happily ever after.

Then comes my favorite function – Sales.  The leader of this function (the CSO) is a “Continuously Stressed-out officer”. As the hierarchy in the sales function goes down, the stress levels in this function increase disproportionately ( NSM – Nationally Stressed out Manager, ZSM – Zonally Stressed Out, RSM – Regionally Stressed out and then comes the ASM – Always Stressed Out Manager  ( they think they are Area Sales Managers). They love their mobiles more than their spouses. The conference call facility has been created only to satisfy the libido of these folks. Whenever the senior most person wants to ejaculate, s/he calls for a con-call with his/her subordinates. Then like a network marketing scheme, each of the listeners adds his own frustration and ejaculates venomously with their direct reports. This chain continues till there is no body left at the bottom of the hierarchy. The folks at the bottom of the hierarchy think that the only way to get rid of this ejaculatory shit is to get promoted so that the shit falls on someone below. What they don’t realize is the shit doesn’t stop at the lowest level, it travels regionally, nationally and even globally sometimes. Chief Shit-Taking Officer in retrospect would be a better name for the leader of this function.

Generally, in life, you feel happy if you meet your targets but if you are in sales, you will feel stressed out that you have achieved it. You and your boss know that you have met your targets with great difficulty but shamelessly, you will get a target which is a minimum 20% higher than your highest ever target. No wonder this function has the highest attrition.

Last but not the least is THE ultimate corporate function – HR. The top boss of this department now-a-days is called CPO (Chief People Officer). To me, s/he’s a Chief Paper-Pushing Officer. This department reminds me of Maun-mohan singh. Without business alignment, they will do nothing on their own, not even push paper. They hate to admit that they are nothing but rubber-stamps in the hands of the business guys. Once-in-a-while, they try to call themselves HRBPs  (Business Partners), but in reality, they only increase the employee’s BP ( Blood Pressure). They are trained to say “I Hear You” These three words are the most useless words which the folks of this department use. “Sir, my appraisal was not fair” I hear you. “Ma’am, the canteen meals suck “ I hear you “ Sir, my id card has not yet been given “ I hear you “ Ma’am, my corporate credit card has not yet arrived “ I hear you. The best part is they only HEAR because they have got ears. After that nothing changes. In many organizations , the Fakirchands of finance do not allow separate admin, IT and HR so you will have employees asking all sorts of random questions to these paper pushers “Sir, my laptop is not working” “ Mam, my bathroom tap is not working . I need reimbursement” “Sir, I am not able to find a conference room “The response is the same “I Hear You”. There are a few people in HR who do not wish to be dummys. They challenge business, speak their mind, take concrete action but in most cases these folks are either transferred or asked to find greener pastures. The rest of the folks pride themselves in calling “facilitators” but they are in reality glorified post-men or “Yes Men/Women”. Anyone with or without a degree can get into this function as the only important skill required is to smile and say” I Hear You”

There are other functions worthy of a mention, but before I try to extend this blog further, my wife gives me a piece of her mind for leaving our new-born baby alone and coming to write this blog.

Guess what my simple response to her is.

……………

……………

……………

……………

“I Hear You”

Jai Hind

Timeless Classics – Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro : Freaky Fridays – Weekly Blog

Last Sunday afternoon, I decided to watch a Bollywood movie with family. All of us wanted a stress buster as the past week had been very hectic. We decided to watch one of the best-ever Bollywood movies– Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro. All of us,barring my wife had watched the movie earlier but still we wanted to watch it all over again. By the time the movie ends, you want to watch it one more time. That’s what makes it a special movie.

A 1983 comedy directed by Kundan Shah (the man behind TV series Nukkad, Wagle Ki Duniya ,director of SRK starrer Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa and Kya Kehna ( Preity Zinta)), the film is an out and out laugh riot.

The film takes us through the journey of two struggling photographers, Sudhir Mishra ( Ravi Baswani) and Vinod Chopra ( Naseeruddin Shah). Sudheer and Vinod open a photo studio in Bombay but struggle to find a single person walking into their store. Shobha Sen ( Bhakti Barve) , editor of  a publication “ Khabardaar”, decides to use these two photographers on a sting-op to get some inside scoop on a corrupt builder Taneja ( the ever brilliant Pankaj Kapoor). Faced with no other choice to make ends meet, Sudhir and Vinod follow Taneja and get exposed to the dark and murky world of builders and corrupt bureaucrats. A corrupt Municipal Commissioner D’mello (Satish Shah) is seen taking favors from Taneja for getting the contract for building a bridge. Taneja’s beautiful assistant , played by Neena Gupta, is used as a bait to lure D’mello. The plot thickens when they realize that Commissioner D’mello is double crossing Taneja for another builder Ahuja (Om Puri).

Frustrated by the rampant corruption, Sudhir and Vinod decide to end their tie-up with Khabardaar publications and handover the photographs to Miss Shobha Sen. A photography contest is announced , with a reward of 5000 rs ( 35 years ago, 5 grand was a big amount !!). They shoot pictures all over the city. While developing the image of one of the pictures which they had shot in a park, they see an image of a man shooting someone. Upon enlarging the image, they are shocked to see that it is none other than Taneja. They go back to the park, and to their shock, they see a dead body. They also find a cuff -link. Director Kundan Shah and the actors of the movie take it to an altogether different level, post this turn of events. Every minute is hilarious, due to a comedy of errors. There is no error in acting though. Each of the characters fit the bill perfectly. In the climax, the last 15 to 20 minutes, all the finest theatre artistes of Indian cinema, converge and deliver one of the all-time great satirical comedies in Bollywood history. Full marks to the writers of this movie, Sudhir Mishra and Vidhu Vinod Chopra. These two names are still relevant in Bollywood and this movie is proof that they are no fluke.

It is sad that the underlying theme of the movie, a corrupt Indian bureaucracy hand-in-glove with the builder mafia, still holds true despite 36 years of the movie.

This movie is a show case of some of the most amazing talents of Hindi cinema – a true ensemble Ocean’s 11 (Naseer, Ravi, Satish ( Shah & Kaushik) , Pankaj, Neena and Om Puri). None of the actors over-act in this movie. In such a star-studded acting masterclass, it is difficult to pick one stand-out performance. Bhakti Bharwe as the scoopy editor plays an effortless role, but we haven’t seen much of her post this movie. Same goes with Ravi Baswani. Nasseruddin Shah shows why he continues to be one of India’s finest actors. So do Pankaj Kapoor, Om Puri, Satish Kaushik and Neena Gupta.

However, amidst this galaxy of acting powerhouses, one performer who stands out is Satish Shah. He’s the life of this movie. He turns out to be the hidden gem. While he’s neither the hero nor the villain in this movie, his character is the best – it has all shades, black, white and grey. There’s also a colorless shade to him, which is revealed in the second half.

Friends – if purely on laughter quotient, if I must rate this movie, I would rate it a 11 on 10. However, Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro is much more than just a comedy. It is a class apart on various fronts – method acting, engaging screenplay, satire, dark comedy, cinematography, flawless direction. The movie can be watched by anyone anytime. If you are stressed out due to your job, or a breakup, or a failure, this is THE movie to watch. If you are happy and want to celebrate happiness, this is THE movie to watch. Go watch it if you haven’t.

I hope Indian cinema continues to evolve like the way it has and we continue to produce some inspirational, light-hearted comedies which can be watched by everyone in the family. In today’s age of VFX, sleaze, item numbers, romancing in Swiss-land, jingoism , this movie continues to hold its own relevance.

Go watch this movie and if you disagree with my views , then I only have the following words to say

…….

…….

…….

…….

Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron 😊

Jai Hind

Baap Baap Hota Hai : Freaky Fridays weekly blog

Yesterday (27th Feb, 2019) was a Red Letter Day in my historic life. Our little bundle of joy , Miss Aaria Iyer , made a grand entry at 1:16 pm into this world. It was truly historic as it came a day after the Balakot air strikes. My friend Yosha asked me if we are keeping the child’s nickname as BALAKOT. While I loved his creativity, we already had a nickname – PEANUT. My creative wife had decided this name as soon as we figured out she got pregnant. Aaria was the size of a peanut in her first scan. Both me and wife are extremely impatient Indians in general and we like to keep things simple. We did not have the patience to think of another nickname and confuse the world. Our 4 year old niece Aiko had already started calling her Peanu. We were scared of her as she would ask a zillion questions and not stop till we gave a logically satisfying explanation as to why we changed Peanu’s name to Balakot. Both of us were too busy in the labor room since the past few days and if she asked any thing about Balakot, we were scared to say #Idon’tknow .Therefore ,we decided to continue with Peanu. This is a very strategically important decision for our family as it has serious implications on the geo-political climate in our family,relatives ,friends and other neighboring nation states. It would impact macro-economic parameters like inflation (of balloons as all future birthday parties may have a customized “peanut” written on it which increases cost) , cost of stationery purchased (a few pictures of a peanut would need to be pasted in diaries, books etc. when the kid asks what is peanut) , but we decided that it would stay this way come what may!!!

To provide some rock solid support, we had our amazing sister in law “Beat Yesterday Preethy” playing the “Dula” role throughout. A Dula is a mentor, counselor, physiotherapist, masseur, coach all rolled into one who will stand with the pregnant mom and ensure she has physical, mental and emotional support . The Western countries have a professional Dula. Due to tight finances, we decided that Beat Yesterday Preethy would be our makeshift Dula (like how Sehwag was made to open the batting in Tests despite never having played cricket before as an opener).

Like Sehwag, Beat Yesterday Preethy killed it in her new role as a Dula. I strongly feel she should stop doing what she does currently and make this her profession. She works as Director of a startup. We made her work from home.. Or rather work from cradle (cradle = Apollo Cradle). I had the privilege of listening to her superb con calls which she keeps having with her team. Yesterday, in a con call where in she had to give a monthly update to her bosses, she started off with an amazing one-liner.. “Starting with the update on our monthly newsletter..which has not been happening since last few months…

” I couldn’t stop laughing . Why give an update on something which doesn’t happen. These corporate updates I tell you…

Beat Yesterday Preethy has got her name because the sticker on her phone says “Beat Yesterday “. It’s an apt name for her as the look on her face always reads “Beat everybody.. Beat yesterday, beat today, beat Hari, beat Ashwin (husband), beat team, beat bosses “. But..Jo bhi Ho.. The delivery wouldn’t have been as smooth if not for my sister-in-law.

After looking at my sister-in-law’s dedicaton, I decided that I will do whatever it takes to be the best dad ever. One of my biggest weaknesses is I sleep like a log. When I sleep, I literally go deep into the deepest layers of the troposphere, stratosphere and ionosphere. And it’s difficult to wake me up easily. I promised my wife I will not allow this once Peanu is born.

So the first night, Peanu decided to sleep, I confidently told my wife – ” Baby, kuch bhi help chahiye toh bas ek baar mera naam Lena.. I will immediately wake up and help up” Saying this, I slept at 10 pm. In my first dream as a dad, I dreamt of me waking up at the first call, helping out and earning qaabil-e-taareef from my wife.

Suddenly , I woke up. I thought I had a bad dream as I could hear my wife shouting ” Hari !!! Hari !!!” When I woke up, I saw my wife staring at me furiously. There was a pillow lying next to me. The nurse was beside her. I was about to explain my dream to my wife but she cut me off “Hari, all this empty talk of waking up on calling your name won’t do any good if you don’t walk the talk. I called your name 10 times as I wanted the feeding pillow. I have thrown my pillow on your face but that also has had no effect. The nurse got scared that I was shrieking hysterically and she came and offered me the feeding pillow. Shame on you!!!”

I looked at the clock. It was 1.30 am. Sheepishly, a song started playing in my mind

” Dula ka role baap ke bas ki baat nahi,

Baap ka role side actor hi Sahi,

Bacche ki real lifeline maa hi hai,

Kyunki….

baap baap hota hai… baap baap hota hai ”

Jai Hind

La-La-Land votes for Pappu: Super Sundays – weekly blog

Disclaimer: The below blog is a work of imagination and any reference to any real-world person/organization/entity/place  is purely coincidental. Not to be taken seriously and not meant to hurt anyone’s sentiments.

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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 Subramanian.

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 work?”

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 life”

Curry: “Very noble thought Pappu ji. What are some of the initiatives which your Government is planning to take in this regard?”

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 changes?”

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 and why?’

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 deal ?”

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 today”.

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 craze hai.

Pappu ki aankein light blue….Pappu dikhta  angrezzz hai

Falafel haathon mein… Perfume Gussey wala…

Per Pappu cant dance saala..

……..

……..

Mitron ….. Khao aur Khaane Do….

Jai Hind”

Japan’s Iconic Commode: Freaky Fridays – Weekly Blog

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 …

However, 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??

The Japanese 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!!!

I was 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!!!

These 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 !!!

And this 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,

Meri Lal TV Sony.. Phir bhi Dil hai Hindustani….”

Jai Hind