Monday, October 15, 2012

Off Season Mango People...Rahul writes to Robert!





Okay guys. Much too much is going on in my life. These images have been shot at the Kasauli Lit Fest by Sanjeev Sharma, the very talented press photographer who works for  Hindustan Times. It was a lovely Lit Fest - warm, intimate and driven by books, not wannabes. The people of Kasauli threw open their hearts and homes for visiting writers. By far, the star of this Lit Fest was Salima Hashmi, the scholarly, artistic daughter of the legendary poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz. Her session titled 'Many Partitions, Many Legacies' inspired the crowd enough to give her a standing ovation. I enjoyed my own session greatly, even though there were hiccups galore since the great man ( Khushwant Singh) himself was missing.At 98, he is too frail to travel up to his Raj Villa in Kasauli. Despite that, I can gleefully report that every single copy of my books was sold. That should explain the Chesire cat grin on my face during the signing session.Hats off to the King of Kasauli (as Brigadier Ananth Narayan is popularly called) and Ashok Chopra. These two amazing men, along with Niloufer Billimoria, managed to make a huge success out of a modest Lit Fest and with limited resources. 
And what did I manage with my limited time in Kasauli? A splendid two hours in the bazaar - Upper and Lower Mall. More on that tomorrow....
                                                                        ******************
This appeared in Sunday Times yesterday....

                                
Dear Jijaji,
                Bro, you really should have checked with me before deleting your facebook page. Why react to what some foolish people are saying about you? About us?So what if you lost your cool? It’s a pretty uncool thing to do.But it happens, Bro. My issue is simple. Some random guy called Kejriwal makes some random charges against you. Why react? Ignore the guy, Bro. That is what Mummyji always says. If you ignore these pests long enough, nothing happens. People forget. And what is this rando talking about in any case? It sounds like a joke! Anybody in India can make 300 crores today. Overnight, at that. And let’s not forget you had 50 lakhs to start with. Never mind where those came from. These are such minor details. Business is in your blood, Bro. The best investment you ever made was when you married my sis! J-o-k-i-n-g! It was a master stroke, Bro. Let’s face it, from zero family to first family is a major leg up for any lucky guy. After that… it was non-stop Diwali. These randoms don’t get it. Business opportunities don’t come every day. Mummyji keeps saying that. If you used your dimaag and contacts to invest in hotels, real estate, malls, housing societies… vaghera vaghera….good for you. My sis has simple tastes… but life is expensive these days. What are family friends like our DLF buddies for if they can’t help a young, newly married couple?
Jijaji, people are making all sorts of nasty jokes about your  DLF deals. And that Kejriwal is maligning the whole family. Naturally Mummyji is upset. But don’t worry, Bro. I’ll handle Mummyji. She has full faith in me. And we have P.C. to deal with the press . Why worry? He is so smart, he even refuses to utter Kejriwal’s name! I like the way he calls him a ‘private individual’. Puts him in his place,  nicely. We should all learn from PC how to handle scandal. Even Lallu bhaiya has stepped in to defend us. So sweet. He is talking about ‘character assassination’. Imagine! Bro, it takes guts for Lallu to talk about character assassination. Mummyji will show her appreciation to all these people soon. Mummyji is known for that. But for now, you should just stay out of the public eye. I know that’s really tough Bro. What with the Fashion Week. Who will occupy the front row seat that is permanently reserved for you? I don’t mind filling in… but I don’t have your hot bod, Bro. Talking of  which,  why not spend the next few months pumping up?You’re gonna need heavy duty muscle power. Keep gymming, Bro. It may turn out to be a tough fight, with more and more embarrassing papers turning up. You will need to be a sturdy India Bull before locking horns with these types.
Thank God our Mango People are really very forgiving. Look at all that they have forgiven over the years! Loot maar and major scams. Mummyji always says, “Good thing we live in India. Anywhere else in the world….” Mummyji is so clever,Bro. I wish I was half as smart. My sis is pretty clever, too. We should listen to the women in our family. They don’t tweet and get all of us into trouble. Maybe you can deal with the negativity, as you said. When all hell broke loose, I told Mummyji to book my ticket to London. I can’t handle such stuff. But Mummyji said not to worry – PC will handle it.
Seriously, Dude… you could have named any other fruit… there are so many to choose from. But you had to pick a banana! Why, Bro, why? Even I felt it was not fair to call the country a Kela Kingdom. Come on, Bro. We are not a Banana Republic.I mean, not officially. Mummyji was stumped. Look at what you’ve done, Bro. Mummyji has stopped keeping bananas on the breakfast table… and I am not getting my daily potassium fix. My muesli doesn’t taste the same, either. You could have mentioned Chikoo Republic, Kaddu Republic,Santra Republic. But you had to pick Kela. And where was the need to mention Mango People, that too, in such a sarcastic way?Now, the whole world is referring to India’s Mango People. And  poor Mummyji is finding it very difficult to handle all that criticism. We have to think about Mummyji’s health. She has her own issues to deal with, and she really doesn’t need to be given grief by her family. That’s it from me, Jijaji. Fingers crossed there won’t be more stuff flying around about 2G. And some other ‘G’. Ooops. Even though your surname isn’t Gandhi… see how those Mango People have dragged us into it? And Bro, ever wondered why all Bollywood villains were named Raaabert in the ‘seventies?Actually, India is worse than a Banana Republic.Had we really been one, Kejriwal would not have stood a chance. Gotta run,Bro.It’s Mummyji calling…Affectionately,
                        Rahul    



16 comments:

avidblogger said...

Very well written and nice. Please also give us your first hand account of the Big B Birthday bash as you promised. Looking forward to your version in your ishtyle...

Shwetha said...

Hilarious, splendid, I am at a loss of words because I am laughing so hard!..
Where do you get these terrific ides to write about, so darn tongue in cheek :))....

Unknown said...
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Unknown said...

Corruption in high places is not to be made into a joke and laughed off. It is too serious an issue. Hope Kejriwal will probe how Ambanis made their wealth, Vijay Mallya's dealings, Maharashtra politicians wealth which is mountainous compared to what those poor biharis earn by working hard, the sea of corruption in the hinterlands of India spanning from Kanyakumari to Kashmir. As for Vadra is concerned, he would have become a very big fish if not for this expose. I could not believe that the clean looking Khurshid getting so angry. Kejriwal must target the biggest ones and the lower ones will automatically get the drift.
It will not happen and there wont be logical conclusion. Because all these biggies are too clever, too powerful and our eminent lawyers will see them through.
There is this trend. These big industrialists sponsor birthdays of filmstars, centuries of cricketers and hobnob with socialite journalists so that a new group is formed between the so called innocent? celebrities and the filthy rich. And the aam aadmi is left wondering as to whom to distrust the more.

October 16, 2012 9:01 AM
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Shilpi Karnani said...

Oh My God!!Jaw-dropping, Stomach-Holding and rolling in laughter!!! Awww my jaws are hurting!!

Lovely post!Could imagine all the characters behaving in the particular manner elaborated by you!!

http://shilpikarnani.blogspot.in/

Pooja Rathore said...

looking colourful De in the pics.
i read your post in sunday times...fantastic ...fun ,loaded with gyaan (wisdom)i really liked it and as usual very well written.

eternesseclinic said...

Hi Shobha I am a private detective and investigator from Mumbai. Yeah one of those rare female breeds in the Indian private investigation scene! Why dont you comment on today's post by Anil Ambani on Amitabh Bachchan and equating him with the Buddha which was nauseating. I found the over-the-top fawning by the so-called industrialist in bad taste and really a lousy statement on our juvenile obsession with our cultural icons.

Martina said...

Ooh my my, you look stunning!!!

Jogeshwar said...

I cannot reproach myself enough for not being able to attend the lit fest, even though it being an hour's drive away. Now I repent, that I should have been decisive and come along with my Aunt who's a member of the kasauli club instead of letting my sis take charge. But next time is very hard to accept.
My uncle was posted here for 3 years, ever since I've fallen in love with this cantonment town. I just love the splendid breeze and views atop from the terrace of the club. Miss those hour long walks with my Uncle and his cute lab in the morning and evenings in the country woods. Sitting by the fireplace in winters, just sharing some of my nostalgia with this place that rekindles every time I think about this place.
The terrace of the club is my favorite place , did you also enjoy the beautiful views? Although the club continues the snobbish tradition of the British, not even a single resident of Kasauli is a member. Only the elite are allowed, for whom it is a nice getaway from the hustle and bustle of big city life. The good being, the elite are so chosen considering their background like profession etc. for example 'The King of Good Times' might never be eligible neither can he buy Army land. Many thanks to the Indian Army for keeping Kasauli intact, otherwise by now it would have been a concrete jungle.
For me the following aphorism fits perfectly for this place;
' I would rather be first in a little Iberian village than second in Rome' ~ William Shakespeare in Julius and Ceasar.
Jogeshwar!!

J & R said...
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J & R said...
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Kruger Brent said...

Well said mam...
I was laughing literally when i read this. That Robert's marriage with Priyanka thing and reference to diwali was hilarious enough.

http://anonymousconversations.blogspot.in/

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Aditya said...

Nice Post
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