Saturday, May 30, 2015

Big Ban Theory!

Indian government’s favorite pass- time these days is to use the magic word “Ban-Ban”! Ban this, Ban that! It seems we are vying for the first place to become the Ban-Republic of the world. With the avalanche of bans toppling over my head, I try to work out a list of 10 bans currently being most talked about.

1)      The Beef-Ban- the government in Maharashtra has passed the beef ban to join a host of other states where it is already banned. The central government apparently respects the sentiments of the rest of Indians for the time being and is not imposing a pan India ban. How about ordering some butter chicken and Seekh-kababs tonight, they might get banned someday soon too.

2)      Cuss Words -   Lesbian- Oops! I said it. The dialogue containing the word lesbian was muted in the movie ‘Dum Lagake Haisha’. Our ultra-sensitive film censor board found it offensive! Come on!  What kind of morons do we have at the Censor Board anyway? They released a list of cuss words that are to be banned in Bollywood from now on. Even the word ‘Bombay’ is banned. We listen to more beeps and muted words then dialogues these days because everything in India is banned. Hai Ram! (Wait; is that a banned word too?)

Cuts recommended by CBFC,’ in the movie Dum Laga ke Haisha

3)      Foreigners- Party toh banta hai boss! But make sure there are no “foreigners” on your guest list! The Karnataka government has put a ban on parties in Karnataka with foreign invitees. Allegedly they behave inappropriately. Our members of parliament can give tutorials on good conduct with their exemplary behavior, no?

4)      Bikinis- In the neighboring state of Goa, the government plans to ban bikinis and drinking on the beach. Tourism be dammed!

Beaches in Goa

5)      India’s Daughter- What a government cannot control, a government bans. We Indians are clever, we work around them. Everyone watched the banned BBC documentary online and mortals like myself even went further and blogged about it.

6)      Films- Films inappropriate for us delicate Indians like: Un-Freedom, Final Solution, Water, Fire, Bandit Queen, Garam Hawa, Black Friday were all initially banned. Some were lucky and got released later. These movies make you react and think, so the government banned them. Movies like Tees Maar Khan, Chandni chowk to China, Himmatwalla, just numb your brain with their vulgarity and crass so they need not be banned. Logic anyone?

7)      Homosexuality- Homosexuality is banned in India. Being gay makes you a criminal (According to section 377). It was proposed by Lord Macaulay in 1860. He said it was unnatural. Tim Cook CEO Apple Inc., Giorgio Armani, Luxembourg's prime minister are all criminals in the eyes of the Indian Law. Falling in love may put you behind bars in India while the real criminals ride into the sunset.

Vikram Seth

8)      Dance Bars- Dance bars, dancing girls, in fact dancing in general in Mahanagar Mumbai is banned under section 33B. Wait a minute, doesn’t Mumbai host the likes of FilmFare Award shows where our desi boys dance- Are they doing illegal activities? There is a lot of confusion regarding this ban on what is allowed and what is considered obscene. I just threw my dancing shoes away, you too best do that. While in Mumbai do as Mumbaikers do, right?

9)      Lingerie on mannequins - Lingerie clad mannequins in shop windows are banned in Mumbai and Pune.  Men get immoral thoughts on seeing them; boys become rapists, so says the wise Mumbai Municipal Corporator. My, my.

10)    Ban on Freedom Of speech- IIT-Madras bans student groups for criticizing PM Modi and his policies, this is the latest ban to make headlines.

      And I better shut up now and close this list before the cops come knocking on my door and the authorities decide to ban blogging. Let me put on my Ray-Bans. There is too much of a kill-joy atmosphere going around for my liking. No eating, no drinking, no dancing, no loving. What do  mere mortals like me do then? Sing Chee Chee Ban Ban to the tune of the 60s Hollywood number called Chitty Chitty Bang Bang!

P.S-And Maggi now to join the Ban-Wagon.I am going to have mine lead and all! 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Lali's Story

The streets can be a rough and cruel place to grow up in. There must be about a thousand homeless street dogs in this city alone. Lali was one of them. As a cute stray puppy, she was cared for by an old man. When he quit his driver’s job to move to another town he abandoned Lali to the streets.

Lali lived of scraps offered by passersby and scavenged around the garbage heaps. Food was difficult to come by. Hunger and thirst became her shadow. Insecurity and fear her constant companion. Nights interrupted by barks and fights between the different street dog gangs. If you wanted to survive in the streets you had to fight. Lali was tough; she survived.

But unlike the other street dogs she trusted humans. She came right up to them, waging her tail as if pleased to see them. Her brown eyes looking soulfully at anyone who would stop by. Those eyes could melt even a hardened dog hater.

That was precisely why the Mishras  decided to adopt her. They were wooed by her docile nature and expressive eyes. Their two children fed her and played with her all day. And soon Lali was living with them.A year or two passed by. She was content and happy. She had a family. Every dog needs a home and a family.

Lali’s happiness proved to be short lived. The Mishras moved out on transfer to Delhi. They didn't want to be burdened with a dog, least of all a desi one!

Lali could never understand why the Mishra’s left. For days she cried and sniffed around their  empty house until she was shooed away by the new tenants. She was back on the streets. The neighborhood dogs looked at her as a threat and the summer heat was getting almost unbearable.

That’s how I found Lali- defeated, dejected and almost dying of dehydration and heat. She was caked in dirt and filth.

Nagpur was a blasting 47 degrees last year. I decided to get Lali into the house. She entered hesitantly; chose to just lay down right at the front door, grateful to be out of the heat.

In the evening when my husband came home and found a dog inside the house he threw a fit. For him dogs and cats are best kept at a distance. To him they spelled diseases and trouble. He grumbled and cribbed while I maintained a stubborn silence. In the end Lali’s brown eyes won him over. I think we all fell in love with her amicable and mild nature.

 Lali has become a part of my family. We have adopted her. She has her bad days and mood swings. She’s not young any more. She sometimes looks lost in her thoughts and aloof. I leave her alone to deal with her past.I know our constant love will ultimately erase all her unpleasant memories.
And I  wonder if she knows it’s our anniversary today,its been exactly five years since she became a part of my family.

Lalli And Me