Living Alone: The Unofficial Report

At some point of life, much like 18-year old American kids, Indian kids also have to move out of their homes, or as my mother puts it, “Haye kapde kahaan dhulwayega mera bachcha?“. The said event is mostly for studies like MBBS, MD, DM/MCh, Fellowships, Diplomas, and more such things that medical society comes up with to ensure that doctors attain enlarged prostate and sagging organs before they can put ‘well-settled’ in their matrimonial ads. I moved out of my home 5 months ago, and living alone has, to put it mildly, not been a cakewalk.

Pardon me for being a little sexist, but girls have it easier when it comes to living by themselves. More girls know about cooking than guys, they know the rocket science-level techniques of using a broom, and have problems living in a room with floor full of pizza boxes and chips packets. Guys, on the other hand, live among ants in the bedroom, with fungus-inhabiting expired food products in the fridge, and a toilet that can be entered thanks only to Odonil toilet fresheners.

I currently live alone in a one BHK in Shahdara(read about it here), which is just a normal one room set but calling it BHK makes me feel like I’m living in Gurgaon, and only the sight of naked kids relieving themselves at the edge of the ‘naala’ interrupt my imagination. Also, living alone is not easy. Mostly you only have one companion to make you feel better, your glass of BudweisBOURNVITA I SWEAR MUMMY I MEANT BOURNVITA. That, and Punnu Ji, the kind person who delivers food to me from Gobind Dhaba. He may not realise it, but I have never loved anyone more than him in the last six months, obviously in a platonic, approved by BJP and RSS kind of way.

When a guy lives alone, he expects a Bollywood lifestyle, where he plays music at high volume, stores crates of beer in his fridge and always has females staying over for parties. The reality, however, is that the South Indian family below my floor does not appreciate, in their own words, “Luchcha North Indians and their pathetic music”, I store packets of flavoured milk in my fridge because my parents threaten me with surprise visits, and any woman would never risk respiratory failure or heart attack coming over to my place because I live on the fourth floor of a building without a lift.

I have a big balcony and also a rooftop, where I go every night to cry about my loneliness look at the sky and feel philosophical. The mornings are peaceful, and even though I was apprehensive earlier about waking up on time without anyone banging on my door, but the group of pigeons who make out with each other in a huge avian orgy on the top of the window AC make enough noise to wake me up at 7:00AM, whether I want to or not. And ironically, that may be the maximum ‘action’ my ‘BHK’ may ever get to see.

I am trying to stay alive and happy, and thanks to my friends who come over often, and Punnu Ji with some freak bidi-smoking-yet-four-floors-conquering lung capacity, I might just make it through the next few years.


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Sirf Parents Ko Dikhaayo: Prem Ratan Dhan Paayo

Sooraj Barjatya and his Rajshri productions have come up with another believe-it-or-not-ofcourse-not Salman Khan epic, with values so desi and morals so high, that only people born before 1985 but who do not vote for Congress will be able to relate to. This movie is supposedly very different from earlier Barjatya-Salman combos, as Sallu Bhai has a double role, hence mathematically only 50% Salman Khans in the movie are called Prem, and he has a bigger family in this movie, as they needed an entire Haveli to fit in all his step brothers and the entire servant clan from Lallu the first to Lallu the eighteenth. Also, Anupam Kher plays Prem’s butler, and you might get to see Prem trying to be batman to Anupam Kher’s Alfred, especially while saying the dialogue “Gotham Sonam needs me!”

Of course, I would never risk any money on another Salman gem, because I feel nauseous at the thought of people aged 60+ playing Antakshri and trying to hit on their Samdhans. Yes, I liked Hum Aapke Hain Kaun, but mostly because I did not have cable TV or internet connection, nor had I hit puberty by then, so HAHK won hands down against whatever Doordarshan had to offer, like LokSabha live and Baba Sehgal songs on Saturday Top 20. However, it will be tough to keep my parents away from the movie. I may not be able to ask my mother the reason, because I do not want to risk getting a lecture about how pathetic a human being I am because I watch movies with semi-naked women and their item numbers. So the following are a few guesses about why Barjatya-Salman combo works for parents of the entire nation:

1. My Mom wants to know how agyakaari her baalaks would have turned out had she slapped us everytime we deserved one, because she believes in the Barjatya logic that the only mischief you are allowed to do is to target a woman’s ass with a gulel(slingshot).

2. My mom wants to know who the hell this Neil Nitin Mukesh guy is, and how can he think about being offered a role in the TV series I watch on my laptop and immediately shut down whenever she enters into my room.(Game Of Thrones)

3. My Mom probably wants to look for one reason why Anil Kapoor says that he is a proud father.

4. My mom wants to relive old days when Salman Khan used to look innocent and handsome, though she doesn’t know that she will be served a gym trainer’s sweet-potato shaped body with a Botox-ed Salman Khan face on top.

5. My Dad will go because, well, my mom would make him.

I will not watch the movie, which hardly matters because it will be a blockbuster, and the entire audience at Delite cinemas, Daryaganj would still touch itself inappropriately everytime bhai comes on screen, except that one guy whose sole purpose in life is to watch every show in single screen theatres and scream “Abey le le pappi le le” before every kissing scene in a movie.

Now if you will excuse me, I have to book tickets for my parents, after which I will apologise to Gods, as Neil Nitin Mukesh would say, both old and the new ones.


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The Real Hunger Games: Karwa Chauth

The Karwachauth, or as Indian men call it, the socially acceptable emotional blackmail for jewellery day, is one of the most romantic things in Indian culture, and it is supposed to strengthen the bond between a husband and a wife because making the wife cranky and irritable due to hunger is the perfect way to achieve that. If a spouse’s hunger strike gave you a longer life, a lot of men would have proposed to Anna Hazare the moment they turned 21.

So, a wife has to stay hungry after 12 midnight, for almost an entire day, till the moon shows up, and then she has to see her husband’s face through a sieve before she can eat anything. How an eighteen-hour fast and an ugly face at the end of it not make you nauseous enough to reject any food in the world is beyond me.

It’s 2015, so the madness is not restricted to married women only. Now husbands have to stay hungry, may be to show respect to their spouses, may be to avoid the fast to be used as a weapon in any future arguments, but mostly because, you know bro, she says “Saala Mai akeli kyu bhukhi maru?”. Also, unmarried couples have also started to celebrate the day and stay hungry by making horrible excuses at home ranging from “diarrhoea ho rakha hai” to “I’m building appetite for the Barbecue Nation buffet later”. For girls, it can be called a practise for future, but for guys, karwachauth fast before marriage is mostly a last ditch effort to get laid, because if alcohol and gifts don’t work, hunger strike should! Because after all, ‘ye dil pyaar karna nahi jaanta, ye jaanta hai to sirf bhookh… jismKarwa chauth ki bhookh’.

Mostly, a karwa chauth fast is rewarded by a shopping trip and a romantic dinner. The shopping trip is brilliant, as wives can happily look to claim gifts beyond their husbands’ aukaat, because it doesn’t matter if you are 5 years old or a married woman, the most effective way to get something is to refuse to eat your meals. The husbands roam around the market and occasionally steal glances at the wine and beer shop, similar to how teenage boys steal glances at a La Senza outlet – You can’t resist but you just can’t afford to get caught.

Movies like K3G have tried very hard to make this festival about ‘Sargi’, sanctity of marriage, the value of family, but the truth is that jewellery and new clothes might always stay the most prominent motivation behind the day. After all, meethi maththi ka achaar daloge kya?

So, to all the married women and single men out there, on karwachauth, type ‘stay hungry, stay foolish’ on google search and click on I’m feeling lucky. And don’t forget to take a pantoprozole at 12am.

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