Monday, August 31, 2009

More on the knee

As i was saying in my previous post, I have been diagnosed with osteo-arthritis. The good doctor prescribed me some tablets and a "Bio-protein pure collagen blah blah" drink which sounded so phony that I had to open the pamphlet and read. The first line was "Osteo-arthritis is a disease that affects the elderly". I ask you. A man in his prime. Eyed by many, including Mrs. Bacchan the younger (I'm not joking. I saw her at a party once and she looked at me. Over the heads of 70 other people, she looked at ME! The raw desire in her eyes was unmistakable, but since I am spoken for, I responded not). I am NOT elderly. You know who's elderly, A. K. Hangal, that's elderly. And L. K. Advani.

Ok,  enough ranting. Actually, the missus has been very sweet. She keeps fussing over me and asks me every fifteen minutes if my knee is hurting. It is not, actually, but I grimace slightly every time I stand up, conveying the impression that I'm being extremely courageous and manly, concealing my pain like that. I know. I'm a rat.

The kids have been really nice too. Vyaas, the elder one asked me if I would ever be able to walk again, while Gautham offered to buy me a walking stick from his pocket money, provided he has any left over after buying the Eminem Relapse CD.

Well, that's about it from me. The missus is very serious about not letting me drink a single drop of alcohol which term, unless repugnant to the context thereof, shall be deemed to mean beer, wine, whiskey, vodka, gin, brandy, rum (black and white), the triple distilled horse urine they call bourbon, tequila and beverages containing all or part of the ingredients aforementioned.


Friday, August 28, 2009


 I've been having a nagging pain in my knee.

Like all typical guys, I was in complete denial. Guys will refuse to go to the doctor till they physically drop dead, because deep down inside, all guys know that doctors are dying to put their hands up your ass lookng for something called a prostate, which I'm sure these guys have made up for precisely this purpose.

But I'm not your regular normal guy. I'm a guy married to Sheela Shenoy. It's a bit hard to say no when SHE'S telling you to go to the doctor.

"And don't be silly, Naren. He's an orthopedic surgeon. He doesn't want to put things up your backside." , she added. After 17 years of marriage, the wife is still unable to say the word "ass", bless her heart!

Well, I went in the end. One, because SHeela said so. And two, because the knee was really hurting, especially when I climbed up stairs.

My orthopedic surgeon is a serious kind of bloke. No reassuring smiles or backslapping. He told me to take an X-ray. "This has all the signs of osteoarthritis" he told me. And today, when I went back to him with the X-rays he took a look at them, the knees and the x-ray images.

After a moment or two spent in uffish thought, he gave me the look college principals give parents when it is their painful duty to inform them that their son is doing weed.

"You definitely have osteo arthritis".

"Are you sure?"

"Here. Look at this gap"

Looked fine to me.

"It's less than normal. Plus there are these bony protuberances"

Well, he looked confident enough. I took his word for it.

"What do I need to do? Like precautions and so on"

You're not going to believe this. He asked me to reduce my weight. REDUCE MY WEIGHT! I'm practically skin and bones right now.

"And a couple of seriously Chennai Film Industry Thighs", the missus added, sardonically. "And an Andhra superstar potbelly."

"And no booze till you're 70." added the doctor.

"Till I'm 70 years old!" I was aghast. "You can't be serious, doctor".

Something in my look must have appealed to the well concealed human in him.

"Not 70 YEARS, my dear chap. 70 KILOS". And he smiled for the first time since I've known him.

Well, that was a relief. So mission 70 kgs begins from today.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Test post

Whenever I take any firm, decisive action about something, I generally find myself with my ass in a sling, to use a technical term.

Not when I got married, of course. That turned out fabulously, though I haven't won a single debate since, but that's beside the point.

What I was saying is that all this is just yada yada yada to test out if I've managed to get the Disqus comment engine out of this blog.

Probably not, because I'm pretty much a moron in these things.

I wasn't born that way.  O no, sirree! I had to work hard at it. SOmewhere along the way, I joined up an MBA course, which helped immensely, but it was mostly just hard work.

Why would I want to become a moron, you might ask.

You moron.

Don't you know that only morons succeed in life? Look at the world around you.

Though it must be said that it is not a sufficient condition, just a necessary one.

Meaning that you have to be a moron in order to succeed, but being a moron is no guarantee of success.

If you got that, you're going to have to work harder.

At being a moron, I mean.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Groaners anonymous

Miles was upset. "You charged me 'arf a pound for me pint!"

"That's what we charge around here, me man", the landlord said, wiping the bar with his sleeve.

"But you didn't charge 'im a single penny"

"Didn't charge who?" asked the landlord

"Whom" interjected his educated wife.


"Whom. 'Didn't charge whom' is how we say it, dear"

"That's exactly what I'm askin'. Whom came 'ere and didn't pay for 'is drinks?"

The landlord's wife rolled her eyes heavenward.

"The monk, dear. From the abbey. You know we never charge him for his beer"

"That's what I want to know" said Miles, indignantly. 'What's 'e done to get free beer while honest folk like me 'ave to pay through me nose?"

"Ah, 'im!" said the landlord. "Well, 'e's different."


"Yes, different. You see, e's a regular 'ere. "

"So am I!"

"Yes, but 'e's a frequent friar, Miles"

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Words fail me

Photographed in Mysore. Made available by my alert b-in-law Dr. Mahesh Rao. Seriously, words fail me.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Vande Maataram -

Found it! Vande Maataram by Mogubai Kurdikar. The best version of this moving song, as far as I am concerned. This is a recording from 1947 so the audio quality is a bit grainy, but the genius of Mogubai is unmistakable.

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Einstein groaner (re-posted)

(An old groaner reposted for the purpose of checking a new system of comments called disqus)

The assiduous Swiss have been spring cleaning all their government offices, including the Patent Office in Berne, where a document has been found that might throw light on one of this century's most radical theories. According to this document, a page from the diary of one Mileva Maric, her husband Albert "Emceesquared" Einstein, suffered a nervous breakdown circa 1904. He was advised a rest cure and chose the tropical Portuguese dominion of Goa. Being straitened of means, he decided to stay in an inexpensive B&B run by one Mr. D'Souza. Now the D'Souza's had a big fight over property with the Sequiera's next door and one day, the Sequira brothers caught hold of Mr. D'Souza's son Ronnie and started whaling the tar out of him, as the technical term goes.

Albert, a known pacifist, was aghast. "Why protect him you do not?" he asked of Uncle D'Ssouza who was observing the proceeding with scant concern.

"What? What you sayin, men?" enquired Uncle D'Souza

"When two men him attack, why do him not you defend"? Albert clarified.

"Heh", Uncle D'Souza said, scornfully. "E's equal to 'em Sequira's". And indeed, Ronnie held his own against the Sequira brothers.

"What say did you?" expressed Albert, with amazement.

Uncle D'Souza repeated himself, adding "If you don' com' yer hair, men, you're bloody going to look like a bloody med bugger".

But Albert couldn't hear any of it. He was rushing to catch the next steamer to France and from there to Berne. He had this big theory about e's equal to 'em sequiera's. "But", he said to himself, "the spelling a bit I had change better"

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The week in review (unfunny post)

Ok folks. Lost my muse somewhere. Can't think of anything funny to write, and yet feel like writing. Who better to inflict all this upon than my poor, unsuspecting readers? Here goes!

Things are pretty bad in Mumbai. I went to Alfa, the famous smuggled goods shop in Irla, to buy a cellphone battery and it was totally deserted. Now this place usually resembles a well packed tin of sardines. Today, it looked like a meeting of "Intellectuals of the Samajwadi Party". Population zero, I mean.

The reason of course is the swine flu panic. And this is the city which shrugs off bomb blasts and terrorist attacks. It's sad!

Schools and colleges are closed. The missus and I are at our wits end trying to find new ways of keeping the progeny amused and out-of-trouble. They keep fighting and hitting each other. If this happens when I am at home, I do what any responsible father would do. I slink off into another room. But if it happens when I'm not, I get a full report from Sheela who expects me to march into the kids' room and be treated like the Fuhrer. Ha! They take as much notice of me as a bunch of life-guards would of a ninety pound weakling.

Yesterday I went, with a couple of friends, to a Bhajan concert by Pandit Jasraj. This was at Shanmukhananda hall. I do get suckered into this kind of stuff every now and then, but seriously, I like Indian classical music. The way with which my fellow citizens receive Indian music saddens me. They go "yuck"! And then go on to listen to Eminem or Timberlake. I ask you! But it is no use. My own sons, my flesh and blood treat my choice of music with derision. For the record, the maestro was just OK - having an off day perhaps - but the chap who was accompanying him on the flute, a young lad named Shashank Subhramanyam was simply fantastic.

What else? Lets see.. Oh yes, here's a picture of me pretending to be Boddy Darling, handbag and all. The scene is outside the changing room at a garment shop in one of the many malls around our house which survive on the largesse of the missus.

And here's something which has been seriously bothering me. It's Vande Maataram sung in a different way. I heard it many years ago -don't even remember when - but everyone at home insists that they've never heard anything like this. Can anyone out there recall if they've heard this, and if they have, who sang it? (don't listen to this video if you have a weak heart. It is me, singing the tune from memory)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

No more groaners

No more groaners. I have received threats, and I'm taking them seriously.

Don't laugh. The Americans take the North Koreans seriously. And THEIR threat is a missile called Nodong. It is enshrined in their National Anthem (Take us Seriously. We have No Dong).

No the time has come when men must be men and behave like grown ups.

Even if they have No Dong.

And wise people must write their books of sayings.

Mao wrote one.

Barak wrote one.

Fidel's written one too.

Bill wants to write one but Hilary keeps burning the manuscript. Rumor has it that it is full of gems like

"There are only two sure signs that a woman is coming on to you
1. She's smiling
2. She's not smiling"

"One does not become President overnight. It took me years to learn the gropes"

"I love, admire and respect Hilary. She is a beacon. Radiant, illuminating, warm. Indeed in that respect, except for the fact that the latter can be screwed, she is like a light bulb to me."

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Little known cases of Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud has never been a stranger to controversy. People have challenged his radical theories hotly, bordering sometimes on the hysterical. But none can deny his calm composure, analytical ability and accurate diagnoses. Here is one which has recently come to light, hidden possibly because of the legendary celebrities involved, and particularly important because it is the first instance of his diagnosing a Complex which later became universally famous.

The case involved the main characters of the "Puss In Boots" fairy tale which, as you doubtless know, is based on real characters and events.

To summarize, a young man, the son of an impoverished miller, was left a cat as his sole legacy by his father. However, the cat turned out to be a member of the 'felis loquacious' species, capable of speech.

As the story goes, the cat turned out to be exceptionally clever. It advised the young miller first to jump into a river, then to pretend to be the Marquis of Carabas, and finally to pose as a lord and marry a princess.

It was this princess, by marriage now the Marquise of Carabas, who had come to Dr. Freud with her problem.

As was his practice, Sigmund asked her to lie down on a couch and sat behind her. The Marquise was a bit puzzled, and her puzzlement increased when Sigmund began questioning her.

"Do you have penis envy?" asked Sigmund

"Well, my best friend Marie married an American financier who owns property in many towns there including one called Phoenix, but no, I don't envy her. Pity her, actually. He's a crashing bore, name of Trump. No, I'd say no Phoenix envy.

"Your Ladyship misunderstands. I meant envy of the male organ, a common problem with members of the fairer sex"

"Oh, that! Oh, no, no!" said the Marquise, as realization dawned. I" have come to ask not about me but my husband. HE is the problem"

"Ah. Well, tell me all, your Ladyship"

"Where do I begin? I suppose you know my story, and that of my husband's rise to fame and fortune"

"The Puss in Boots legend! Who has not heard it, your Ladyship. It is true then?"

"Oh yes, every word"

"The Cat, she speaks?"

"Oui, monsieur, very fluently. And the problem is, my husband hangs upon her every word"

"Mais oui, I suppose it is but to be expected, given that the Cat is the architect of his success"

"But EVERYTHING? He asks her for advice if he has to go to the BATHROOM!"

"Even in - er - matters of the private nature? Between yourself and his lordship I mean?"

"Yes, damn it! Every little kiss has to be asked to the cat. It's driving me nuts! Do something, Dr. Freud! You will be justly rewarded"

Sigmund paused in thought. He had been studying a number of cases, and drawing his own conclusions, but he had never made his thoughts known to anyone. But now..... perhaps NOW was the time......

"Your Ladyship" Sigmund said "This is the very cutting edge of psychoanalytical research, but I think I am completely certain of the diagnosis"

"What is it?" asked the Marquess, breathless in anticipation

"It's called the Heed a Puss Complex"

Friday, August 7, 2009

A Little known Arthurian story

King Arthur was pensive. Sitting on his throne, with his hand to his chin, the great king looked sad and lost. All was silent in the court. A patina of gloom seemed to have descended on Camelot.

Knights in shining armour looked at knights in matte finish material. Varlets looked at knaves. Maids looked at pages. (Most of whom were pages in charge of clearing out the cobwebs in the palace, otherwise known as web pages).

Only Queen Guinivere looked on proudly. From time to time King Arthur would look at her sadly and shift his gaze back to the floor.

Suddenly there was a puff of light and Merlin the Wizard appeared. The assemblage promptly bowed to the King's revered wizard and advisor.

A quick glance around the room told Merlin that all was not well. With a wave of his hand, he bid them to be gone.

"We wish to have a word with the King in private", he roared and the company dispersed hastily.

"What be it, Arthur? From whence hast this gloom descended, like the fog descendeth on the lake? Excuseth thou the Purple Prose, but we are wearing our Purple gown today" said the Wizard.

"She slept with Gawain last night", said Arthur, gesturing with a thumb towards Guinivere, who continued to stare defiantly.

"I have but purity in my heart, O reverent wizard Merlin" said the Queen.

Merlin gazed at her with his magical vision and turned to Arthur

"'Tis true, Arthur. She speaketh not a lie. Art thou sure thou hast seen what thou thinks though hast seen? That it is not a despicable illusion by Sir Mordred?"

"Ask thou that thyself", snapped King Arthur

"Hast thou, Queen Guinivere, done what Arthur sayeth?"

"I do not deny the event, O Wise Wizard, merely its impropriety"

It took the Wizard a few moments to work this out. Turning to Arthur, Merlin asked

"Hast thou sanctioned this, King Arthur? Art thou NUTS!"

"I swear I have not. She has been sleeping with them all. Last night it was Gawain. The night before it was Galahad. And the other morning I spied Lancelot tippy-toeing out with a smirk on his face. Yet she denies all wrongdoing, and continues unrepentant. We are at a loss"

Merlin smiled sadly. "Arthur, Arthur, thou art a dolt"

"Me? What did I do?"

"Think back, Arthur. Did thou not covenant Guinivere to unhesitatingly and guiltlessly obey thy commands?"

"Yes, but that was to help her overcome her reservations about killing, should any evil being attack her when I am away"

"And rightly so. But is it not beholden upon thee, then, to weigh thy words carefully and evaluate all their implications?"

"I suppose so, but what did I say?" Arthur cried in puzzlement.

"It is always the simplest explanation, mon ami" said Merlin. "What is the last thing thou tellest her before retiring?"

"Has thou kept the milk bottles outside the castle?"

"No, after that"

"Oh!" Said Arthur, for realization had dawned upon him. The wise Merlin had solved it, as usual.

"I tell her to have a good night" he said.

"Exactly", smiled Merlin

Update: I have received an interesting mail from one Prof. Hogsbottom, expert in Arthurian History. He says "Back then, pages in charge of cleaning cobwebs would have a free run of the premises and thus be privy to all kinds of secrets. As a precaution, therefore the pages in charge of the royal chambers would be locked up in special cellars (or crypts) so that they could not relay information accidentally overheard. They were called encrypted pages"

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Little Known Facts about Medieval Russian History

Feudalism, or manorialism, was a system of forced labor where lords enslaved laborers and forced them to work on their farms. The laborers were called serfs and they were not allowed to leave the land they were bonded to.

This practice was common all over Eastern Europe, and particularly severe in the Russian empire. Indeed, the excesses of this system formed the basis for the Communist Revolt.

But that is not our topic today. Today we are going to discuss details of day-to-day life in those times.

Recently discovered artefacts and accounts from the period suggest that serfs often tried to escape across the vast, unpeopled steppes of Asia Minor.

Initially, it appears, the lords did not bother, because they believed that the serfs would perish in the harsh conditions on the steppe.

Soon, however, it was obvious that the serfs were not only managing to survive, they were setting up villages of their own.

Alarmed, the lords started actively pursuing the serfs and capturing them, usually with a net, in the fashion of the Roman Retiarii.

The most interesting account appears in the diary of a lord, dating from that period.

Meticulously written, the diary describes the equipment required for the purpose.

"A net of strong twine, a spear, a lance, a fast horse, all these are required for capturing them.

And do not forget to wear a band tight around thy waist.

And make sure the band around thy waist is not too narrow

For it is only too well known that a broad band is required for netting the serfs."

Monday, August 3, 2009

The underbelly of the celebrity world

"Did Stevie pay for the wine and cheese he ordered?" Mr Singh the grocer asked his partner, also Mr. Singh.

"Stevie who?"

"Stevie Wonder, old chap. "

"Oh, the guy who sings"

"I believe he does, yes. Quite famous, to go by what my cousin says. "

"Cousin? Which one?"

"My cousin. The one you met last month. His name is Mr. Singh, if you recollect"

"Oh that one. Mr. Singh's son. Well what about him?"

"Who? My cousin?"

"No, Stevie Wonder. Did he send in the payment? I am quite worried about these celebrities. Michael Jackson, he died quite penniless, I'm told. Mike Tyson is quite broke. And Stevie Wonder isn't doing too well, according to the grapevine"

"Oh, that's the connection!"


"Yes. He called up the other night and sang something which I couldn't quite get the significance of. But now, I see all! I don't think we're going to get our money anytime soon"

"Why? What did he sing?"

"I just called to say I'll owe you"

"At least he's decent. The late Michael Jackson told me to beat it"

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Designer Tees from the House of Donatella Shenoy

Hi folks! Summer is here, which means we in the fashion industry are already thinking of fall 2021. The color is white, silly. And the look is casual. Here's a peep into what's trending.

Little known medical cases involving Bollywood personalities

Aamir Khan

This talented actor is known for going to any extent for a shot. He immerses himself so much into the role that he ends up doing things quite dangerous to himself.

In one of his films, the scene involved the bad guy forcing him to eat stones. Aamir actually swallowed some, and though the shot turned out amazing, the next morning he was in agony. A couple of the stones he had recklessly swallowed seemed to have got stuck somewhere in his alimentary canal.

A doctor was called in immediately. An experienced man, he wasted no time in scans or X-rays

"Get me a sigmoidoscope", he barked at his assistant, who got one from the car.

As it was inserted up Aamir's dorsal end, the doctor assessed the situation as safe, and asked for Aamir to be given an enema. "That should do the trick", he said and like all doctors who have looked up a fellow human's backside, asked for tea.

"But sir", said his student, "The stones seem to be pretty far inside. Almost in the small intestine. How will an enema help? Shouldn't we operate?"

"My dear chap! Small intestine forsooth! The stones are right here in the rectum, waiting to be flushed out"

"But then, why does it seem.....?" The student was puzzled.

"Ah, you youngsters probably haven't heard of it, but we of the old school have learnt the old maxim by heart"


"You know, Objects in Aamir are closer than they appear"

Author's note: I realize I'm hitting new lows here but my excuse is that it is 1 am and I am unable to sleep, because of the North Korean Situation. Please forgive me.