All the things that could have happened in India - and the world - but haven't (yet).
Mystery of Wailing North Korean Mourners Solved
31 December, 2011,
Pyongyang, North Korea
The mystery behind images of weeping North Koreans, mourning the death of Kim Jong-Il, widely perceived as a dictator and tyrant, has finally been solved.
An investigation by this reporter, which was conducted largely in sign language, revealed that the North Korean state television had posted its itinerary shortly before the procession began.
After the telecast of the funeral, the channel proposed to intersperse speeches by Kim Jong-Il with three Indian phenomena that seem to have piqued international curiosity - the song Why this Kolaveri Di, ball-by-ball replays of the missed hundredth hundreds Sachin Tendulkar could have scored, and five-minute clippings from the two Shahrukh Khan blockbusters of the year - Ra.One and Don 2.
A grim voiceover is believed to have said the itinerary could be altered to show Kim's speeches alone, if citizens conducted themselves without decorum at the funeral procession.
Moved to tears either by the exhortation, or by the prospect of failing in their task, North Koreans turned up in large numbers, and bawled as a larger-than-life poster of their grinning leader crawled past the fenced-off pens they were herded into.
Indian Twitterati were not reachable for comments, and those by the North Korean ones were found unreadable due to linguistic challenges.
Maya, Mamata want a piece of the Mummy pie
December 11, 2011,
Kolkata, Paschim Banga
On a lazy day at the West Bengal – oops, Paschim Banga – State Assembly, an MLA popped a question that would set off a row over nomenclature, across the nation.
“A Dravidian state, full of misogynists, hails its Chief Minister as its mother. In a state where the Mother Goddess is all important, why are we calling our Didi, Didi?” asked Shamya Roy, “we should call her ‘Mago’.”
The question, which may have been followed by considerable option-weighing and lengthy discussion, was ignored; the subsequent suggestion ensured that the right form of address for ‘Mother’ became the issue at hand.
While some were in favour of ‘Mama’, others protested, saying it sounded like a shortened, and therefore disrespectful, version of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s name.
Others suggested ‘Ma’, but that was dismissed as not being distinctly Bengali.
Shamya Roy tried several times to remind the Assembly that he had suggested ‘Mago’, but he was shouted down by Mamata Banerjee, who angrily pointed out that she was younger than Jayalalithaa.
However, her supporters tried to placate her by saying Jayalalithaa had assumed motherhood a couple of decades ago for the first time. This seemed to have the opposite effect, as Mamata Banerjee angrily chided them for delaying her change of title, and called for an impromptu Cabinet meeting to zero in on the right version of ‘Mother’.
As television channels broke the news, the Uttar Pradesh State Assembly was brought to a halt, as Chief Minister Mayawati ticked off her supporters for wasting time and money on garlanding her, without according her the status that befitted a woman who has already called herself a sister and daughter to her mentor.
“I refuse to be Behenji anymore,” she announced, and ordered her Chief Secretary and Principal Secretaries to prepare a list of alternate titles.
According to sources, the Finance Ministry of the state and the Department of Culture are nervous that they may be ordered to erase the old title and re-etch the new one – once it has been confirmed – on all statues of the Chief Minister across the state.
Virgins Take Offence to Osama Jokes
31 May, 2011
Virgins of various ages, ranging from 3 to 91, took out a candlelight vigil near the Gateway of India this evening, protesting against crude jokes about their breed servicing jihadis after death. It must be said, though, that not all those in the procession were aware of the cause they were fighting for. Many, especially those in the 3-10 and 80-91 age group, simply wanted ice cream.
A dancer, who can usually be spotted at most protest sites, and a writer who has written a single work of fiction and usually turns most places into protest sites, joined the procession, despite being married.
“This cause is so much bigger than marital status,” the dancer, who has often accused activists of hypocrisy, said.
“So what? You want me to declare independence from my marriage? I will! I declare independence from the institution of marriage!” the writer cried. She also promised an eighty-page essay that will be circulated exclusively among foreign newspapers before it is published in India, on the subject of marriage and virginity.
“Why they are making jokes about us?” a forty-year old virgin demanded, furiously, “they think we support terrorists or what? They think we want to sleep with them or what?”
While the women were vociferous in their condemnation of the jokes that have been circulating by email, a smaller group of male virgins discussed the absence of men from the cartoons, calling it gender discrimination.
“It is all because of feminism,” a seventy-year-old man fumed to this reporter, “madam, they are acting as if virginity is the exclusive domain of ladies!”
“I wish Anna Hazare would take up our cause,” a dejected teenaged boy said, “as an unmarried man, he should be able to empathise with our grievance.”
Another teenager, whose priorities seemed somewhat different said, “I mean, it’s not like we want to be sodomised by jihadis. But there have been cases of female suicide bombers. We’d like to watch them in action with the seventy-two virgins.”
Malayalis protest against offensive advertisements
March 11, 2011
Thiruvananthapuram came to a standstill today as two camps of Malayalis held separate protests, claiming two television advertisements were offensive to what they called the ‘Meleyaeli zendimentch’.
One group had taken umbrage at an Idea Cellular advertisement that had a son of the soil pronouncing ‘Ram’ (the deity) in the same manner as ‘ram’ (the animal).
Having rather ambiguously named themselves ‘Meleyaelis Against Ideas Add’, they had the Department of Science in a bit of a flutter, but spokesperson Jiju Verghese clarified his stance.
“Vee are againz steereodybing of aur agzent,” he said, addressing the media, “vee zay Rame, not Raem. The Nordh Indian adverdizers are unfairly imbozing a bade imej to zujjust Meleyaelis don’tch knaw Inglish.”
The other group, ‘Meleyaelis Against STB’ was temporarily joined by a group of AIDS awareness activists, but the latter left disappointed after being told ‘STB’ stood for ‘Set Top Box’.
The spokesperson of this protest group, Ananthan Panicker, told media, “A Tata Sky adverdizement…”
“No, Dish TV,” another protester interrupted.
“No, Aredel,” said yet another.
“An SDB!” barked Panicker finally, “shows a Tamilian saying in Tamil that he is transferring to Jaipur, followed by Gadhagalli and Mogini aettam dancers following him. This reveals lag of awareness about the Meleyaeli gulture.”
A dissenter from the group told media separately that it wasn’t simply the lack of awareness in North India that they were against, but yet another attempt by the Tamilians to hijack the cultural cornerstones of their more artistic neighbour.
This reporter was about to leave the site of the protest when a foreign correspondent was heard doing the following piece to camera:
“London’s Hyde Park Corner seems to have found a parallel in Kerala’s Teeru…Teeru…Teeru-want-a-
Self-Immolation Complex at TN Secretariat
September 27, 2010
The Tamil Nadu government has announced that a Self-Immolation Complex (SIC) will be set up at the state’s brand new Secretariat building.
“It is one of our state’s greatest traditions that since the time of Kannagi, people have been setting things on fire to protest against atrocities and in support of various causes,” a spokesperson for the ruling DMK party announced this morning, “we have decided to honour this by creating a separate area with complete amenities.”
These facilities will include a suicide kit – kerosene (at a subsidised cost), matchsticks and media coverage.
Guards have been appointed to keep ambulances out.
“Advance booking facility has been made available,” the spokesperson added, “suicidal Tamilians can avail this facility both online and through a hotline. Both the website and call centre will be inaugurated by the Honourable Chief Minister on 9 October.”
The auspicious date (9/10) was reportedly chosen because the Chief Minister’s favourite numerologist said it was the opposite of World Suicide Prevention day, which falls on 10 September (10/9).
At 9.10 a.m. on the set day, the Chief Minister will stand witness to the first suicide at the new SIC area.
Sources say a lucky victim will be chosen by lottery. As the demand is likely to outweigh the supply of dates and timings, the caste-based reservation system will apply.
This rider left suicidal members of the Brahmin community dismayed.
“This is very unfair,” a prospective victim said, “now, we have no choice but to go to Silicon Valley to look for ways of killing ourselves!”
The Kannagi statue will be relocated to the spot as a mark of honour.
“Initially, we had a debate on whether to install an electric incinerator, to ensure the green building maintains its carbon footprint,” an MLA said, refusing to reveal his name, “but since all our Chief Ministers for as long as we can remember are from the cine world, we had to choose the more dramatic suicide technique.”
Eventually, the government hopes to have segregated areas for various kinds of protest, against or for – the rights of Sri Lankan Tamils, the rights of various castes, the use of Tamil and non-Tamil languages, screening of movies and miscellaneous causes.