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Category Archives: parody

Ganpati Bappa

Ganpati Bappa

I won’t go down there this year
Duty calls dear son, why fear?
The din the lights the rush the air
The loot in my name I can’t bear
They throw me in the dirty sea
That kills the poor fish!Can’t they see?
That’s true my baby but you see
There’s those that come flocking to me
And you and and they’ve been waiting all year
Because you give them hope my dear
We bear the din the dirt the loot
The organisers don’t give a hoot
But the common folk who flock to us
We can’t let them down because
We are their only hope
Relegion may be a dope
But it helps them bear the pain
Their prayers must not go in vein
Go my son alone this time
Next month will be family time
When we visit Kolkata
For another year of this gatha

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Opposite lines

Opposite lines

A poem with alternate lines being romantic and the reverse

For you my darling I’d go anywhere

As long as you pay my business class fare

For you my sweet I will do anything
As long as I am paid for it in cash kind or Bling

For you my beloved I’d write a whole song

But only if you agree to go away for long

For you my dear lover I’d give up my life

As long as you don’t ever get near my wife

 

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A Weekly humour coloumn

A Weekly humour coloumn

#humour #KitchenFisasco #BachelorsLife #WhyPigsHaveWings #DifferentTruths
Here’s an interesting account by Soumya, a humourist, on cooking. We are introducing his humour column, beginning this week, on Tuesdays, exclusively on Different Truths. I am a foodie. My girth hints at it. I take a keen interest in the creative process of cooking too, but all strictly theoretical. I also enjoy cooking as a spectator sport. The glamorous cooks on television make it look so sexy. [ 933 more words ]

 

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The initiation

The initiation

The Initiation
He was an eager young rookie, in his early twenties, barely out of college, finding his way around the maze of the public sector corporate world.
He was attending his debut budget meeting, where performances are analysed, targets set, and strategy debated, postings decided; at least that is what he thought.
A new branch office had been recently opened in the heart of the capital, and our young hero was sent to man it till a suitable head is decided upon.
Full of enthusiasm, our greenhorn had bustled about and won a number of new accounts; the crowning glory of which came when he reached an agreement with an equally young and enthusiastic IAS officer and acquired a new business of what was a princely sum in those days. It was a big breakthrough for the region. He therefore was brimming with confidence and excited over his virgin evaluation by the exalted regional head, a veteran Sikh gentleman.
The meeting seemed to be carried out entirely in Punjabi, which was the language most of his colleagues spoke. The other Branch heads were all battle scarred veteran salespeople, more than twice our hero’s age. The venue was the company guesthouse, a spacious bungalow in a posh neighbourhood. No business was discussed, but whiskey and jokes flowed unchecked, and a good time was being had by all, including our rookie. Undaunted by the occasion, he too imbibed merrily, and shared witticisms in his pidgin Punjabi.
Finally, the big boss summoned him. But to his puzzlement, he was led out into the backyard with a friendly arm around his shoulder, glass in hand.
There, the venerable regional chief proceeded to give the young hero the best advice he could get, much like Lord Krishna’s discourse to the nervous Partha.
Although this Geeta saar was delivered in Punjabiised Hindi, I shall translate it into English for the uninitiated reader. Those savvy can retranslate in their mind for the full flavour.
“Listen son, I want to tell you something important. I am speaking with a whisky glass in hand, so I am speaking the truth.
We made you a Branch in charge, but you did not show any gratitude. We therefore had decided to remove you after this meeting. You however, managed to pull this coup, and even the corporate office is impressed. Thus, you are safe. If you continue to perform like this, we can’t touch a hair of your head, despite your arrogance and lack of proper deference and gratitude.
Remember this, to survive in the company; you can do one of two things. Be of service to your superiors, do Seva, or you can perform. If you do both, no one can match you, you too even become a General Manager, or even Chairman. But you have to do at least one. Out of the two, serving your superiors, or seva, is the best. Then, multitudes of faults are overlooked and mistakes excused. In performance, you may survive with your impudence as long as you keep up a super track record, but we will be watching you. The first mistake and you are toast.”
The young man ruminated over these gems of wisdom. It has stood the test of time. He has seen many colleagues practice the first and prosper. He has seen a few try the second and be ruined. He has seen even fewer try the golden combo and blossom. He himself, thanks to his contrary nature, stuck to the second, at a great cost, suffered some serious setbacks, but undaunted, continued to strive bull headedly, continued to reach new milestones, and marked out a niche for himself. He was fortunate later in his career to encounter professional bosses who appreciated his work ethic and style, He ultimately did almost reach the dizzying ranks promised by his first boss as a reward for achieving the golden double, but did so on his own terms.
He continues to appreciate the truth in the valuable lesson learnt from this initial guru.

 

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Video promo of Memories a Novella

 

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Cooking my Goose

Cooking my Goose

Cooking my Goose
I am a foodie. My girth hints at it. I take a keen interest in the creative process of cooking too, but all strictly theoretical. I also enjoy cooking as a spectator sport. The glamorous cooks on television make it look so sexy. However, the actual mechanics of it have eluded me so far.
Having grown up in the strictly feudal atmosphere of a Bengali Bhadralok family, I learnt to appreciate fine food, without ever wondering about the process that creates it. Our kitchen was presided over by a family heirloom, the venerable Maharaj from a neighbouring state, who dished out delectable repasts ala Anatole of Blandings fame but jealously guarded his domain, where even my mother was denied entry.
When I finally left the comfortable cocoon of home and later hostel to venture out into the big bad world to forage for the daily bhat mach or pizza, this shortcoming became a problem.
I moved into a Barsati with some friends, a typical bachelor dig. Those of you who have seen Chasme Baddoor will get the idea even if you have not lived it.
For economies sake, for we were impecunious bachelors, we decided to try cooking at home. The onus of providing dinner came by turns. When my turn came I thought that khichuri will be a simple enough dish, as you could add rice dal vegetables eggs sausages spices and everything one could think of in the pot with ghee and add water and boil and it’s done. The subtleties of proportion and timing and controlled heat escaped me.
The net result was that the mix turned black and started emitting a foul smelling smoke. Adding more water in a desperate bid to salvage my creation turned it into a thick black liquid broth. I dared not taste it.
I tried calling my creation Hungarian Goulash and try it out on our most gullible roommate, but even he saw through it. I was demoted to procurer of ingredients, leaving the creative side to my more skilled roomies
When I lost my single status and my partner moved in, my roommates moved out. My wife was a superb cook, and my attempts to help out were quashed on the grounds of slowing down the process and leaving a mess in the kitchen. My guilt regarding my inability forcing her to do two difficult tasks, cooking the books at the workplace, and a multicourse Bengali Punjabi fusion cuisine at home continued to niggle, and we arrived at a compromise solution of hiring help in the kitchen, supervised by the LOH.
In due course, kids appeared on the scene, made life a delicious blur, and the years whirred past. Soon I had three militant feminists, who had allergic reactions to my feudal mores, running my life.
The fallout was that it was decreed that all of us would be self sufficient, and at least make our own breakfasts.
Gone were the days of stuffed parathas in the morning, with generous dollops of white butter, which transformed me from the svelte youth to the rotund old man. The dictum was that everyone had to prepare their own breakfast.
The obvious answer was cereal with milk and toast and fried eggs. This I concluded would be well within my limited capabilities. Pouring the cereal in the bowl and pouring the milk on top was done without a hitch. The toaster popped up the toasts unaided, and spreading the butter was the toughest task so far, but I managed it without mishap. The first few days, I stuck to bread and jam, buttered toasts, sandwiches made from sandwich spreads and cereals soaked in milk for breakfast.
Now I came to the real test. I was attempting eggs, sunny side up. I waited till I was alone at home. It looked so easy on screen. The pan is placed on the stove. A dollop of butter is plonked in, and starts sizzling and bubbling. Now with one smooth movement of the hand, the egg was to be cracked on the edge of the pan, and the egg neatly drops in and magically turns into a golden smiley face. It looked so easy, elegant and stylish. The hand holding the egg swooped in. Contact was made with the edge. So far everything was going as per script. But now deviations set in. The pan leapt off the stove, the hot butter splattered me, and the smashed egg was all over the floor.
While I soaked under the tap and danced about in pain, my faithful Labrador cleared up the floor of the mess, shells and all, even cleaning the pan.
Undaunted, I geared up for attempt number two. I tried a less flamboyant method now. Pan, butter all in place, I held the egg over the pan and tried to crack it with a knife, to let the stuff plonk into the pan. It looked really simple on screen. But no, here too, things did not run as per script. The egg smashed and fell in the pan, shells and all.
After faithful Labrador removed all tell tale evidence of crime once again, a third attempt was planned. Robert Bruce tried seven times before defeating England we have learnt, but I had only six tries, limited by number of eggs in the fridge.
This time egg was broken into a separate bowl. After fishing out as many of the shells as I could, the egg was successfully poured into the pan. But the result wasn’t the golden center ringed by a white beach as advertised, but a yellowish white amoeba, brown around the edges, with bits of shell hidden inside.
I have discovered that ordering a takeout is the best for anything more ambitious than bread and jam.

 

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Write, Chapter 19 of Memory, a Novella

Write, Chapter 19 of Memory, a Novella

Writing, Chapter 19 0f Memory, a Novella
Written for Nanowrimo extended 
Copyright (c) Soumya Mukherjee
If the reader is tired of Boy’s college antics, we could go back to see how this mania for writing afflicted our young hero.
Having an insatiable appetite for stories, and finding that supply is unable to match demand, Boy decided to fill the gap himself, by making up stories himself. This is how that happened
Boy’s fascination with words began early, perhaps not as early as Abhimanyu, as he didn’t remember anything prenatal, but soon afterwards. Boy was fortunate in a literate ayah, who was his major childhood influence, and a literary mom, who had a sizable library at home. To keep him quiet, the babysitter would read to him from anything available, including Bangla translations of the English classics, and the Bengali Mahabharata. After such a classical grounding, he could not help but be a lifelong addict to the magic world of fantasy and fiction, initially oral, and later of the printed word. The Loyal reader has read all about this in an earlier chapter.
But addictions have fatal side effects, and Boy became quite useless at all useful skills of survival. He wasn’t focused on studies, and his handwriting made him suitable only for the medical profession. Boy learnt to read, so that he wouldn’t have to wheedle others to read for him, and was a very precocious reader, forcing his parents to hide books in unconventional places, and put covers on some. That’s how Boy knew which to read first, and in secret. But this too, the loyal reader has already read. But bear with us, as we still look forward to coaxing new readers to try out our story
The inevitable next step was joining the ranks of his heroes, and start writing himself. Writing was fine, but Boy faced the problem of all would be authors, how to get readers? He had a captive audience in his family, but they couldn’t or wouldn’t decipher his writing. Solution – a little brother Boy could bully, who would copy it out for him.
Note to reader, Boy and his chronicler have remained mysteriously silent on the sibling issue, but they do barge in occasionally. The reasons would be disclosed later to the patient reader.
Thus was born his first collection, containing humour, parody, rhymes, mystery stories inspired by Blyton and later Christie, war stories when the 72 war captured Boy’s imagination, and even plays.
Jump cut to high school. Obliging friends copied out his stories for a hand written wall magazine in exchange for doing their maths homework, and other obliging friends copied out pieces for their first handwritten cyclostyled little magazine, edited and mostly ghost written by Boy in exchange for names on masthead to impress girls. Believe it, bong girls fall for such stuff.
Fast forward to the 80s. Handwritten contributions are no longer acceptable, and typing is a skill Boy has failed to master. However, obliging young ladies willing to support the arts help out, and college, university, and company magazines continue to feed his need to be heard. That’s how his partner to be first heard of him.
Working life and matrimony soon put all creativity on a backburner, until Boy’s children appeared on the scene, and mealtime, bedtime and anytime stories took care of all his creative juices, and was well within his technical knowhow.
As time passed, Boy hankered for a wider audience. By now, he was empowered with a stenographer, and a bit of charm could overcome his tech handicap, and double spaced typed offerings with self addressed envelopes haunted editorial desks and found kind supporters like Jug Suraiya of TOI and others kindred and discerning souls.
Boy had the ultimate high, seeing his babies in print with his by-line , and being paid for it.
Soon,work and family took precedence, and creativity was limited to sales pitches and the incredible job of bringing up two daughters to be independent freethinking individuals, well adjusted in life, until they no longer needed or heeded Boy, and the craving for an audience hit once again
By now, the world had changed beyond his tech challenged comprehension, and the virtual world ruled, denying Boy access. His wife, who had moved with the times, his friends, who had learnt to cope, and his children, who were born with mouse in hand, had no patience for Boy’s illiteracy.
It looked like Boy’s outpourings would die unheard through lack of virtual space. Finally, with patient coaching from few young colleagues and friends, Boy attempted the new medium, THE BLOG and the FB and through many blunderings in unexplored and mysterious realms of which more shall be disclosed later, the end results were finding an entirely new set of readers, who did not pay in moolah, but in likes and comments and shares. Moreover, the reach was Global, and it thrilled Boy to have loyal readers and followers from five continents, including someone from Moldova, a couple of people from Pakistan, and a few from Russia.
The happiness that this gave Boy, money can’t buy.

 

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