Friday, December 23, 2011


From an obscure mass curled up in a womb
To a lifeless form asleep in a tomb
Surrounded we are everywhere by shackles
In vain do we make an attempt to grapple

The chain adds a link everyday anew
Thousands claim stake for places too few
Everything’s a comparison with our peers
We toil and struggle, all for empty cheers?

Schooling opens paths trodden to the limit
Interested or not, you have no say in it
Colleges manufacture degree certified machines
Who land up in companies with numerous dreams.

A year or two at work
brings questions to the mind
Masters or Management
else y’are left behind
Blinded by the need for money, power and fame
We choose a path seeing others do the same

Every step taken to release oneself from shackles
Is nothing but a journey within vicious circles
Then what is to be done to break free and go?
All we need is freedom, to say Yes…and a firm No

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Rajiv gave me a wide-eyed look which meant to say that what I had said just now sounded ridiculous. Being a boy of eleven, he didn’t have the courtesy to finish off with the look alone and proceeded to pronounce the meaning of his look emphatically.

“You want to play cricket with us??” he exclaimed, giving full vent to his tone of shock.

“Why not! I thought I would give you boys a few pointers”, I replied.

The look on his face turned from one of shock to one of hopelessness. He hung his head down and muttered ‘ok’ as I grabbed the bat and made my way out of the house.

Cousins who are almost half your age rarely see you as their equal. And the fact that you are a bespectacled, pot-bellied guy of twenty four with hairline which can be termed as invisible rather than receding doesn’t project you as the next milk swigging M.S.Dhoni. So I was not surprised by this less than welcome attitude of Rajiv. Still, I wanted to see how the rules of Street cricket had changed since my times. And I was itching to have some good old ‘gaaji’ at the expense of the little twerps.

We reached a street which had houses on both sides and three stumps right at the centre. There were about twelve boys milling around, teasing one another and cracking up. It felt so refreshing to be in their midst and forget the constrained life I was forced to lead. I experienced a rush of happiness as I went to join them. Instinctively I laid a generous slap on the back of a kid who didn’t seem to have any body parts except a head and a stomach. The head turned in my direction and the laughter ceased immediately. Twelve pairs of eyes looked at me as if I were a terrorist. Though they were merely curious, I could actually visualize grinding of teeth, cracking of knuckles and hissing as they looked at me.

“Hey guys! I am Rajiv’s cousin. Can I join you fellows?” I asked, putting forth my most affable persona.

The twelve pairs of eyes shifted their focus to the actual culprit now-Rajiv. He looked sideways at me in a pleading manner. “Please don’t do this” said the look. I stood firm on my decision.

 They had no choice but to start splitting into two teams. The big question was- who would get the prized possession? In other words, me.

After much fight amongst themselves it was decided that I be in the team of the healthy looking young boy whom I had smote on the back. He let out a loud bawl when they had settled this which, I presume, must have been because of immense joy. The other team was captained by this intense looking fellow called Raghu. While most of the other kids were laughing, teasing and talking this fellow was silent and focused. He didn’t behave like an eleven year old at all which took me by surprise. But as the match proceeded my surprise was short-lived.

Our Yokozuna junior won the toss and we decided to bat. I decided let the kids have a go first so that I can be there as a backup in case of a sudden collapse or if we are in need of quick runs. But Yoko thought otherwise. He signaled to me.

“You go opening”, he told brusquely.

I felt very flattered by his faith in me. It was not before I took my stance to face the first ball that I got to know the real reason behind this when I heard Yoko talking to Rajiv.

“Are you mad dude? Why did you send him opening?” Rajiv asked

“Relax da! This way we can keep the important wickets intact”, Yoko replied.

If I had been their age I would have felt either very angry or very embarrassed as I listened to this atrocity. But the ‘adult me’ didn’t feel anything. I just wanted some fun time out and brushed the incident away reasoning that kids will remain kids.

The rules were pretty simple. There was only one side you could score runs- straight. You were out if you hit the ball directly into any of the houses and were granted one run if you hit the ball along the ground into any of the houses.

Raghu opened the bowling for them. He had the same fiery, intense look in his eyes. I decided to play a quiet maiden over and settle my nerves. He ran up and bowled. I plonked my foot forward to defend only to see the ball whizzing past me like a furry blur. Man, this guy was quick! I looked up at him. He gave a little smirk. I had to alter my course of action. I would henceforth adopt the stump-guarding mode of batsmanship, I decided. For the next ball I covered all three stumps and presented the full face of the bat to the straight half volley. It smacked me on my leg and pain shot through me. I never imagined that a tennis ball could cause such pain. As I bent down to rub my leg I heard Raghu shout.

“Full cover!! That is full cover. He cannot cover his stumps fully”, he exclaimed at the umpire who was from our team only. The guy nodded and asked me not to cover my stumps. This was new. I had never come across such nonsense in my playing days. Of course, the kid in me wanted to argue but the ‘adult me’ once again bottled down the rebellious ‘kid me’ and acceded to the demands of Raghu. The next ball was a fierce Yorker and of course, the most obvious thing happened.

“Yesssss! Bowled!!!” Raghu screamed. He looked at me as if to say ‘Ha! Were these the pointers you wanted to teach us?’ He gave a supercilious wave of his hand as I walked back to the side where my teammates were standing. Once again, the ‘adult me’ took charge and calmed me down. Instead of thinking ‘Wait till I get my hands on the ball and smash that little devil’s stumps into smithereens!!’ I ended up thinking ‘Wow! The little fellow does bowl well’.

The rest of our innings went pretty well. Rajiv and the kid who was umpiring while I batted stitched together a nice little partnership and Yoko came in during the final overs and muscled some hefty half-dozens. We ended up making 84 in 10 overs.

As we prepared to bowl, I decided to take up the wicketkeeper’s position, assuming that I would have less running to do. The mistake of my assumption, of course, was my gross overestimation of my keeping abilities. After letting some eight balls slip through right between my legs, missing three catches and two stumpings I was called off by Yoko.

“Please say that you are injured. We will take a substitute- my kid brother”, said Yoko, pointing to a smaller, rounder version of himself who was standing beside him sucking a lollipop. Did he really think this fellow could field or keep better than me? The ‘kid me’ wanted to put forth the question but the ‘adult me’ intervened once again.

“Sure. Go ahead”, I said.

Yoko went across to Raghu and they seemed to have a lengthy argument. He came back shaking his head. I looked over at Raghu and saw that familiar smirk on his face as our eyes met.

“He is not accepting. Ok. You take up that position near the boundary”, he said resignedly, pointing at the chalk marked line some 30 yards behind the bowling crease. I jogged up there and stood.

The match proceeded along without major hiccups from my side as I didn’t have much to do. I could call it either coincidence or luck, but the balls either sailed over my head for sixes or rolled up to me in a gentle fielder-friendly way.

 The luck lasted for nine overs.

Rajiv held the ball and scrutinized the field. They needed twelve runs of six balls. He started the over.

He bowled three superb balls without giving away a single run. Off the fourth ball he took a wicket. It all seemed nice and easy.

Then Raghu walked in.

He took stance and smacked the next ball straight over Rajiv’s head.

“Catch it Uncle”, someone shouted.

I was deeply offended by this. But in hindsight I shouldn’t have reacted to this ‘Uncling’ as the ball came soaring towards my head. It was at a perfectly catchable height, in between the eyes and the throat. I should have put my hands in position and held on to this sitter. Instead I ducked.

Yes, ducked.

“Sixxxxxx!!” shouted Raghu’s teammates. I could sense that smirk on Raghu’s face even at such a distance.
Yoko gave me an enraged look. Rajiv almost had tears in his eyes. I waved apologetically at them and positioned myself for the final ball.

Rajiv ran in and bowled a useless half volley. Raghu heaved at it. The ball soared once again.

“Catch it Anna”, someone shouted.

I felt a sudden surge of joy. I focused on the ball. But this time it was traveling over my head. I stretched my arms over my head and leaned back. I felt something soft and furry land on my palms and immediately closed my hands around it.

I could hear a mixture of shouts. Amidst the ‘Yesssss We won’ I could also hear ‘That is a six. He went over the line’. I looked back.

My heel was almost a centimeter outside the boundary line.

 I turned towards the raging crowd running towards me. Rajiv had a pleading look in his eyes. Yoko was all red and flushed up. Raghu was intense as usual and outran the other two. As he approached me, I looked once again at Rajiv’s pleading face.

I pulled my leg inside in as discreet a way as possible.

The crowd milled around me. Raghu looked at my position and let out a resigned sigh.

I looked at him. The ‘kid me’ toppled the ‘adult me’.

“Ha! We Won!!!” I shouted, giving my version of a smirk right back at him.

As we made our way back, Rajiv went on talking excitedly about the final over. He literally made a superhero act out of my catch off the final ball.

As I raised my hand to high five his waiting one, an inadvertent smile escaped my lips.

Kids will, indeed, remain kids.

Friday, October 21, 2011


Dear Cook

This is a dispassionate and unbiased letter to you from an aggrieved Indian fan. But first things first: In Your Face!!! Ok, now on to the dispassionate, unbiased part…

You, my spiffing young fellow, and your team did not realize the effects of the merciless hammering that you gave our cricketers when they were guests in your country. To biff them once in the backside is something that could be overlooked as harmless banter to ease the situation. But to repeatedly smite their tooshies till they turned as red as Turkish tomatoes was something unacceptable. If the treatment were indeed in any way worse, I am sure Sharad Pawar would have been consulting the Defence Ministry for armed support to our poor cricketers who suffered grave war-injuries at your hands. We Indians are gentle by nature. You might have experienced an exemplification of this nature of ours when we accepted the appalling treatment meted out to us with Gandhian calmness and Rahul Gandhian stupidity. But you should have known that even a stomped cockroach finally emits a stench (I don’t know why I said that but it does sound relevant.) So now you are bearing the consequences of your inhuman activities during the English Summer. Ok, let’s move on to your Batting, shall we? 

You are a corking young fellow who thinks he has mastered the art of holding the bat at that exact position where the ball cannot miss it. But this scheme seems to be working for you only in England. Have you ever sat down to think about why your bat fails you whenever you are in India? Do you know the history of the Indian Tantrics? Need I say more?

Well, just because you made merry in your home country against a bowling attack consisting of a pot-bellied kid out of slumber, two youngsters who misunderstood the wood they needed to be aiming at and a Punjabi police constable who was a fierce, self-delusional off-spinner, you think you are a choco-chip off the old ‘Cook’ie? Well, you did not play real cricket my dear fellow. Tell me, how many IPL matches have you played? Well, have you played at least a CL T20 match? Ok, have you AT LEAST played in the Karnataka Premier League?? And you call yourself a complete batsman!! Tell me my man, would any of the IPL teams even consider including you in their scheme of things? Even the terminated Kochi Tuskers will have second thoughts about you. And the new teams proposed for IPL 2015 – the Kozhikode Kozhaputtus and Madurai marikozhundus- will select you only over the dead body of Ramesh Powar (If you have seen him you will know what a laborious task that will eventually be). Hence, I would suggest that you spend some fruitful hours with the likes of Suresh Raina and Virat Kohli so that there are at least some positives for you during this tour. These experienced batsmen have played all forms of the game all over the world. They have played the IPL, the CL T20 and…of course, Tests and ODIs in India. That about sums up all of international cricket does it not? While you keep bragging about being a boss in your backyard, these people have actually been there and done that.

Now, coming to this business of 'The Whitewash', Frankly, I was amazed by your people ranting on about the complete whitewash handed out to us when we were there. I know you people have an affinity towards the fair colour but this is bordering on senility. Well, now you have got an appropriate response haven’t you? You might argue that there are still two matches to go of which you might end up winning one or both. But please understand that we Indians always leave out a spot or a smudge in our Whitewashes. So, effectively, the whitewash is already done and we are thinking about whether it will be a spotless one or not.

So sweet cookie, I hope you have learnt from your mistakes and understood the true meaning of a very famous Hindi phrase which was shouted out by all of us in India, after you embarrassed your guests of honour. Keeping that in mind make sure you let us win some matches the next time we are there or prepare to hear us shout out, once again, ‘Idhar Aao’! 

Monday, July 18, 2011


Disclaimer: This Short Story is a work of fiction. Characters in it are imaginary and if they resemble any personality, living or dead, it is purely coincidental.


“So how much did this put you back by?” I asked, turning Vivek’s ‘smart’ phone back and forth in my hand.

“Thirty five grand, dude!” he replied.

My mind went back to the time when Vivek used to clear out leftover dishes in our college canteen.

“They satisfy two of the most important criteria of outside food. One, they are not poisoned. Two, and this is the most important criteria, they are FREE!” he used to say as he licked the remains of some stranger’s Paneer Butter Masala.

Visualizing that image gave me some solace amidst the exaggerated flaunt show that he was putting on with his accessories ever since he joined a ‘big-buck’ job three months ago. I smiled in a wry manner which he mistook for appreciation of his newest gadget.

“Cool right? Wait till you see its features…” he went on as my mind wandered away.

I walked back from Vivek’s house wondering whether I will ever be able to buy a phone like that. I had wondered the same way when he had bought a ‘Pulsar’ two months ago and a Sony ‘Vaio’ a month before that. Being in a dead-end job where income and expenditure were like two openings of a vertical water pipe can do that to anyone, especially when people around you were spending their earnings as if it were their last day on earth. I cursed my job for the umpteenth time in my mind and directed a part of my frustration towards my four-digit bank balance. I turned a corner and halted at the bus stop to wait for the ‘government-appointed’ chauffeur to drive me home. My vehicle arrived and stopped a few feet away. As I made my way towards the crowded entrance, my eyes caught a flashy advertisement on the body of the bus which went like this: “Quickest way to become a Millionaire! Come, learn and earn…” There was a photograph of a suave gentleman next to this caption on the Advertising board. With horn-rimmed glasses, a pinstriped suit, long hair pulled back in a ponytail and a smile that revealed even, sparkling teeth he looked every bit a man who knew the game of finances in and out. I got into the bus and was surprised to see the same Ad on the inside as well. This time I was able to read it in full detail.


Come, Learn and Earn!!

A path-breaking single session seminar on ‘The Quickest way to become a Millionaire’ by renowned Economist Miranad Raichud.

Date: 25th July

Place: Island Grounds

Entrance Fee: Rs 1000/-

An hour that could change your life!

Be there.

The frustration at the lack of luxury in my life and the abundance of the same in the lives of others around me made me ponder over this Ad. If this ‘Miranad’ fellow has the guts to charge Rs. 1000 per person and the resources to splash around such Ads then there must be something worthwhile in this seminar, I thought. Though I had never heard of any ‘Miranad Raichud’, I felt a positive vibe when I read the name and associated it with his picture. I made up my mind to attend the ‘path-breaking’ session. Even if it consists of utterly futile theories about hot stocks, innovative investments and grand business venture models I will end up losing only Rs. 1000 and not more, I thought. On the other hand, if it indeed turns out to be some miraculous ‘quick-buck’ theory then I could be ‘Iphoning’ in a month or two. This thought made me happy and, as usual, led me to a chain of fantasies which led me a further seven stops away from my actual bus stop. So What? I told myself. I am spending Rs. 1010/- instead of Rs. 1000/-, that’s all.

This time I made sure I got down at the right stop.

* * *

The crowd that had gathered at Island Grounds was quite sizeable. I had expected only the most desperate, jobless people who looked for short cuts to become rich to attend the seminar. Apparently this segment of the population was more substantial than I thought. The crowd that thronged Island grounds easily outnumbered a couple of thousands. There was a solitary counter at the entrance which issued entry passes for Rs. 1000/- (Attractive gifts to be won during the seminar, it said). By the time I followed the queue to the counter and into the grounds, it was well over the scheduled start time of 4 pm.

A huge stage had been erected but all of us were surprised to see that there were no chairs to seat ourselves. Though this was a minor discomfort, the fact that we couldn’t even find a microphone on the dais was something perplexing.

“Maybe the guy is going to use one of those wireless clip-on mikes”, a person next to me suggested. I relaxed a bit at this suggestion and surveyed the gathering once more.

It consisted mainly of people in their 20s and 30s but there were a discernable number of white haired gentlemen in the mix. One guy in front of me was talking about whether he will be able to take the last bus to Gobichettipalayam if there was any further delay in the commencement of the seminar. I didn’t even know that such a place existed. Man, this seminar is quite far-reaching, I thought.

As time drifted by we began to feel uncomfortable. Was this a hoax then? Had we lost thousand rupees for nothing? Just as there began some restless murmurs amongst the audience, a crisp voice came through. It was a well-amplified male voice and seemed to be coming from speakers, though we couldn’t locate the speakers or the speaker.

“Ladies and Gentlemen! A very good evening to all of you. When I placed the Ad for this seminar I never thought of such an overwhelming response. So, I am very thankful to the two thousand three hundred and seven people who have made themselves available for this session.

Now, in view of the sheer volume of the audience, I think I will have to shelve my earlier plans. I have decided to make this session short and crisp. So shall we begin?”

We all shouted ‘Yes’ enthusiastically, while searching the whole ground for the person speaking. He went on.

“As you all know I have collected Rs. 1000 from each of you as entrance fee for this seminar and as previously stated, more than 2000 of you are present here. So, what does this imply?”

The majority of us were clueless while there were some incoherent murmurs here and there. The voice resumed.

“It implies that I am a comfortable Millionaire now. I thank you all and request you to follow my example. Good night.”

* * *

The only silver lining after this was the fact that I had been right about losing Rs. 1000 and no more.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

GMMSCC - The Way Forward

It is that time of the year, again. Yes people, the time has come for us to say goodbye. We bid adieu with a heavy heart and resign ourselves to undergo that frustrating wait till April 2012, when we can rejoice once again. No, I am not talking about the IPL 2011 which came to an end two months ago (Though Chirayu Amin, whose full time job consists of sitting and yawning at cricket grounds for two months and plan for the succeeding year’s yawn session for the next ten months, might deny the very fact that the IPL 2011 has, in fact, concluded). I am talking about a far superior season than the IPL, Big Bash or, for humour’s sake, the SLPL. I am talking about the MANGO SEASON.

With the summer down to its last embers and monsoon accentuating its stronghold all over India, the Mango season (I turn yellow with fear every time I even think about it) has come to an end. Yes, the king of fruits is set take a nine month vacation and there seems to be no visible escape route from the perpetual torture of ‘Sweet Lime’ at least for the next ten months.

Mangoes bring us happiness, satisfaction and a sense of fulfillment every time we devour them. The realms of ecstasy we experience when we suck at the enormous mango seed till each and every drop of its pulp gets deposited into our digestive tract is something unrivaled. These are reasons enough for us to wish for perennial cultivation of mangoes and start an aggressive agitation called ‘Global Movement for Mango-Suited Climate Change’ with Jairam Ramesh at the helm and Baba Ramdev lending moral support. But there are some other prominent points which we have overlooked for a long time now. With my pointing out of those, I have a feeling that GMMSCC will gain massive foothold in the coming months.

Mangoes have always strived to transform little known people into famous personalities. I mean, would we have even known Kylie Minogue, the now famous Australian pop-star, if a variety of mango hadn’t been named after her? And don’t tell me you knew any Sheila other than ‘Sheila ki Jawaani’ before reports started flowing in that there was actually some Sheila dwelling in the capital city of Delhi and a variety of mango has been named after her and not Katrina Kaif! It turns out that she was the Chief Minister of Delhi. And though Aishwarya Rai’s case is a little different as she had already won some local beauty contest organized by the UK and by the virtue of that had become somewhat well-known, even she can’t deny the fact that she began to gain more and more popularity after a Mango-variety got named after her. Recently, she has been storming the news reports and bulletins of all media houses in the country. The fact of her being pregnant might have played a slight role in this but one can’t ignore the ‘Mango-Effect’. Now, there are strong rumours from RCR that extensive efforts are being put in to cultivate a variety of mango to be named after the Prime Minister of India in order to turn him into a famous personality. As per ‘closed-door rumours’, the first trial cultivation has yielded a bland, tasteless variety.

Mangoes are also the perfect companions for Single guys. They go through the never-ending struggle of trying to landing a girl friend day in and day out. But at least during the three months of the Mango Season they will have something similar to a girlfriend for company. Mangoes are, after all, sweet-smelling, nurturing, tender, smooth-skinned, delicious and supple.

Mangoes have also provided a significant contribution to the English Literature. It has metamorphosed one of the most complicated sentences in the English language. Instead of saying ‘The advanced anthropological evolution of a species of Australopithecus makes a retreating motion’ one can, now, simply say ‘Man goes’.

With such telling impacts it has on society it is high time we take up a cause in favour of Mangoes and popularize GMMSCC.

I might have sounded like a starry-eyed romantic ranting on about some silly fruit, but it would suffice to say that I am an ‘AAM AADMI’ after all. 

Thursday, June 30, 2011


After the succinctly spectacular World Cup 2011 and the briefly brilliant IPL 2011, Cricket Season has started off in England and West Indies without much ado, spectators and, in some cases, even players.

Let me put the current twin series going on in these countries in Zaltsmanian terms for better clarity. This is the first series, or pair of series, in the history of cricket where four teams – accompanied frequently by rain – are playing cricket with not four, not five, not six, heck! Not even seven, but eight current captains in their midst. England will gladly claim lions share in this as three of the eight are captaining England in each format of the game. In hindsight, this is the first time, after 12843 years and 73 days that England has been on top of…anything, I suppose. Sadly, West Indies continue to languish at the bottom with only one captain at the helm of affairs. For good measure, they have gone on to sack their vice-captain as well. India, sensing the acrimony and danger of falling victim to the stat-cracking brilliance of yours truly, went well-prepared to the West Indies. With a captain-count of two they share an honourable second spot with Sri Lanka, who brought about a cunning injury to their current captain Dilshan, dilly-dallied with Sangakkara for a test match and, in trying to out perform India, even made Thilina Kandamby their T20 captain. Sadly, Sangakkara, being a former captain, will not be counted in this stat. You might argue that even Andrew Strauss is a former captain, but logically speaking, he is also a current captain. So, in that way, it does makes sense no?

Anyway, let’s get back to cricket. The ODI series between two teams who called themselves ‘West Indies’ and ‘India’ turned out to be, Ravi Shastrically speaking, a ‘walk in the park’ for the cricket fans which was more so because most of them preferred the aforementioned activity to watching the matches being telecast. Still, we have to appreciate the fact that the series did not turn out to be as one-sided as predicted. The first three matches turned towards one side, admittedly India, and the last two matches turned towards the other side, West Indies, naturally. In the end, we got an enthralling two-sided series without Ravi Shastri’s commentary. What more can you ask for from a Cricket Series?

In complete contrast to this ODI series, we had a dull, drab and mostly damp test series between Sri Lanka and England. I keep forgetting what exactly occurred in the series except for torrential rain. Ah! Something tells me I must have dozed off when those three English mega-serials were going on – Cook, Strauss and Trott.

Coming to the Test Series between India and West Indies, one has to say that the cricket has swayed from being extraordinary to being unmentionable depending upon the following four events:

• West Indies Bowling

• India Bowling

• West Indies Batting

• Murali Vijay Batting

A great batsman once said that ‘We love Murali and we all know he can bat. We want him to just go out there and enjoy himself’. It is high time our lad acknowledges the truth behind that statement. That great batsman was Mahela Jayawardene and he was talking about Muralitharan, not Murali Vijay.

The deep-rooted patriotism towards my hometown forbids me from ridiculing the talented Vijay but seriously! Have you ever seen a worse ACTOR??

Did I say actor??

Oh, I was meaning to say BATTER.

Well…no harm done one way or the other, I suppose.

Friday, May 20, 2011


Before proceeding with this interesting little anecdote I would like to put to ease the doubts that may have arisen in many of you upon noticing this title. Yes, the title is indeed an honest rip off of the title of another book which went one step further and became the total rip off of another whole book. Ok, enough said. Let’s get on with the story…

Now, before we get to the business of how Omni Aarumugam got arrested, it is important to know how he got famous. In order to know that it is important to know how he got noticed. So, as always, we have to begin at the beginning.

At the beginning, Omni Aarumugam was not Omni Aarumugam. I am not, of course, implying that this is a chilling story of deceptive impersonation. On the contrary, Omni’s original name was Dhandapani. Dhandapani was born to the poor, middle class couple of Aarumugam and Muthulakshmi in the remote village of Atthipatti in Tamil Nadu, which became even more remote once the Tamil movie, CITIZEN, got released. Dhandapani was lucky enough to get enrolled in school at the age of four. As he was their only child, both Aarumugam and Muthulakshmi harboured high hopes on him.

‘Our son will become collector’, they thought.

He came back with a bag full of garbage collected from the school dustbin, one day.

‘Our son will become scientist’ they thought.

He gulped down 250 ml of Hydrochloric Acid in the chemistry lab and became bed ridden for a month, once.

‘Our son will become engineer’, they thought.

He refused to pass out of fourth standard for four consecutive years.

So, after the fourth year of fourth standard, they stopped fantasizing about the future of their son. They thought he was destined to become a manual labourer, like his father.

How very wrong they were!


Dhandapani was such a quiet and sweet kid that nobody knew he had a hidden talent. In fact he himself didn’t know about it. This was because Dhandapani rarely opened his mouth. In fact, for the first four years of his life, his parents were almost resigned to the fact that their son was born dumb and could never speak. This myth was broken when four year old Dhandapani used some choicest swear words he had learnt from the housemaid on his father. Aarumugam’s joy knew no bounds when his son referred to him as ‘son of a prostitute’ in chaste Tamil. Tears flowed from his eyes as he hugged his son and called his wife to share the good news.

Even after that revelation, Dhandapani’s speeches were few and far between. Most of them were mere monologues of one or two words, some times extending to a simple, grammatically incorrect sentence of four words. So it took thirteen years for their parents to realize the hidden talent in Dhandapani that paved the way for his meteoric rise to fame.

Now, before we come to this talent, let us spend some time on ‘meteoric rise’. This phrase has always intrigued me. From what I understand, Meteors are solid objects which move around in interplanetary space and occasionally land on planets like earth. Thus, it is quite clear that meteors do not rise but, in fact, fall. But still, authors universally use this word as an adjective to ‘rise’. This proves that very few authors think like me when it comes to words and their usages. I am expecting the phrase ‘meteoric rise’ to fall and fade away into oblivion with nobody attempting to use it after reading this snippet of yours truly.

Coming back to the hidden talent which paved the way for the meteoric rise of Dhandapani, an incident in a train showcased this talent. Aarumugam’s family was travelling in the general compartment of a passenger train bound to Chennai. As is the case with Passenger trains, or any other Indian trains for that matter, hawkers selling eatables flooded the coaches. Incessant ranting of ‘Masal vadai’, ‘Bajji’, ‘Samosae’ and so on filled the ears of all the travelers. In the midst of this came another shout – ‘Biscuits-Chaai-Coffee-Cooldrinks’. Some seventy one heads turned upon hearing this pitch, though most of them might have been for the purpose of blood circulation in the neck region, still, seventy one was a good number. They all looked in the direction of the shout. It had come from the rarely opening mouth of Dhandapani. It had caused quite an uproar in the coach. A few people, in fact, went to the extent of offering money from their purses in order to buy one of the auctioned items of Biscuits or Chaai or Coffee or Cool Drinks. Such was the clarity and genuineness of the shout. Aarumugam was dumbstruck. Clearly, destiny had planned something other than manual labour for his son. He could already visualize it.

‘Dhandapani Aarumugam- Mimicry specialist’.

Now, only one thing stood in the way of his son’s path to glory – his name. Anyone familiar with the mimicry industry will tell you that artists’ names have to be short for their careers to be long. Nerella Venumadhav became NV, Damodaran became Damu and Srinivasan Jayanth became Chinni. And anyone familiar with the name Dhandapani Aarumugam can vouch for the fact that it is a tad too long, like this anecdote itself. So Aarumugam took an instant decision. Dhandapani retained only ‘ni’ and this ‘ni’ was preceded by the auspicious ‘Om’.

Thus started the meteoric rise of OMNI AARUMUGAM!


Omni’s success story, being an oft repeated one, shall not occupy this cramped space. Instead, I shall now go on to describe some attributes of Omni, the mimicry artist, or, as they call it in the west, the impressionist.

First and foremost, Omni the impressionist rarely made an impression with his performances when he started off as an impressionist trying to make an impression with his performances. This was because Omni rarely improvised during his performances. He stuck to his script and refused to think on his feet. Some people opined that Omni didn’t even think. Others felt that Omni was a robot with a sound recorder/transmitter fixed in his mouth. This opinion intensified when Omni was asked to give a live interview for a famous English news channel. The interview went like this

Interviewer (Female): Hello Sir! It’s a pleasure to meet you.

Omni (considered Male): Hello Sir! It’s a pleasure to meet you.

Interviewer: Wow! Really great sir! That was exactly like my voice!

Omni: Wow! Really great sir! That was exactly like my voice!

Interviewer: How do you do it Sir?

Omni: How do you do it Sir?

Interviewer: Ya. That’s what I asked you.

Omni: Ya. That’s what I asked you.

Interviewer: Can we get to the interview part more seriously now?

Omni: Can we get to the interview part more seriously now?

Interviewer (irritated): Fuck you

Omni (Calm): Fuck you

This proved that interviewing Omni was not a very bright option as he tended to take that also as part of his act.

The repercussion of this hastily cut short interview was the termination of the interviewer for using swear-words on public television. As for Omni, well, he had merely reciprocated.

Thus Omni delivered prepared performances only. It was enough if he heard a person’s voice just once and had a script in hand. He could give a performance of that person reading that script instantly. He didn’t even need any time to practise perfecting the voice. It was all inherent in him. In short, Omni was a stupid man with a genius-like voice.

It was precisely this attribute of his which will get us to the crux of this anecdote.

How Omni Aarumugam got ARRESTED


I remember a wise old man’s quote in English which roughly translated itself into English again as ‘Imitators never prosper’. Though that saying was a cheap imitation of the more famous saying of ‘Cheaters never prosper’ it did have some meaning. And in the case of Omni, it indeed became true.

Omni had become a sought after star in Local pubs, where inebriated idiots couldn’t even differentiate between an imitation of Manmohan Singh and Harbhajan Singh. They simply couldn’t get enough of him as Omni did his little act in front of them. Most of them threw up, but some of them also laughed.

It was on such a routine night in the Adyar TASMAC that a burly spectacled man, adorned in Reid & Taylor suit and carrying a shining blackberry, noticed Omni. He was simply overwhelmed by the act. He looked meaningfully at his safari-suited secretary. The secretary gave an Understanding nod. Both refilled their glasses.

Hardly a day had gone by since that performance when Omni received an audio CD, a written script and a blank cheque. When he played the CD he heard a loud, its-ok-to-be-called-feminine kind of male voice with a very curious accent. As usual he didn’t pay attention to the content of the CD as he memorized the voice.

Later, as he sat leafing through the script, four masked gentlemen entered his apartment and abducted him in a van. They travelled for half an hour before the van stopped at the entrance of a street. Omni was pushed out of the van. One of the Gentlemen got down beside him and pointed to a building

“Go to the first floor of that building and enter into the room to your left. It will be empty. Do not touch anything. Simply perform this script and return”, he stated menacingly.

Just as Omni started to repeat this very sentence, the gentleman, remembering Omni’s live interview, pushed him away towards the building.

The four of them watched as Omni entered the building. One of them dialed a number on his cell phone.

“He has entered as per plan. Voice recording system is in place in said room. I will deliver the CD personally once the act is completed”, he spoke into the phone.

There were some instructions given from the person at the other end, but since we are seeing this anecdote from this end we will stick to our side of the story only.

The four Gentlemen waited for sometime. Ten minutes elapsed when, out of nowhere, they heard sounds of police sirens. They quickly boarded their van and waited with bated breath. Through the windows they saw numerous police vehicles make their way towards that very building. They looked on confusingly as almost fifty policemen instantly surrounded the building. They were pointing to the second floor of the building while discussing amongst themselves. The four gentlemen stole a glance at the second floor. They saw a large hoarding which read:

OHO FM 94.6! Chennai’s Premier FM Station.

There was a window beside this hoarding. Behind this window appeared the face of OMNI AARUMUGAM.


The four gentlemen quietly made their exit from the area. Thankfully, neither the CD nor the Script could be traced back to them or their boss.

Omni, having given a performance in an empty room, was happy to find some audience outside the building at least.

He descended the steps and exited the building only to be surrounded by this very mob of audience, albeit with guns in their hands.



Hello to my dear friends in India. First of all, I would like to say that this is a confession. Through this speech, I am going to admit to many of the crimes I have committed till now, abusing the power given to me.

First, I admit that I own the Rajasthan Royals IPL team and its cheerleaders.

Secondly I admit that I own the Kings XI Punjab IPL team and its cheerleaders.

Thirdly I admit that I own Emerging Media and Multi Screen Media.

Fourthly I admit that I also had a minor role to play in the 2G Scam.

Fifthly I admit that N. Srinivasan is a suited saint.

Sixthly I admit that N.Srinivasan is not gay.

Seventhly I admit that I am not gay.

Eighthly I admit that I am absconding from Indian law and seeking refuge in foreign land.

Ninthly I admit that this CD is purity personified and absolutely unspliced.

Finally I admit that I am LALIT MODI

Thursday, May 19, 2011


When I was a boy, barely aged four
I saw you decimate villains galore
Fights were violent, till you came along
They became pure joy, just to see you on song

Even your unkempt hair made a style statement
Your films gave meaning to mass entertainment
We thronged the theatres for ‘first-day-first-show’
Decibels lost their meaning, when we saw your intro

Your lopsided smile made people go senile
Your majestic walk soon became national talk
A twirl of your fingers captured million hearts
With each of your movies a new festival starts

Charisma as a catchword could fit none better
Sunglasses without you, Ah! Do they even matter?
Dialogues packed a punch only when said by you
Who cares about storyline? Your mere presence will do

You gave strength to the weak and courage to the meek
With every new movie you scaled another peak
So we geared up for the next in your winning streak
But now we hear that your health is very bleak

The whole of India waits with bated breath
For you to fight this villainous ill-health
Inside the hospital as you lie
Our only plea to you: THALAIVA! Please don’t die…

Saturday, April 23, 2011


I have thought about this long and hard and have finally thought up a scenario. Having given this situation an eagle eyed view from all angles, I have come to the conclusion that this is the best situation for everyone involved.


I get into the company bus at the usual godforsaken time of six in the morning. I am surprised to see a girl occupying my very own left hand side window seat in the third row. I give her a questioning look; a look that will simply send shivers through a demure little creature such as this one. In my mind I remind myself about these types. One small smile and they will be all around you. ‘I have to put her in place right away’ I think morosely. She gives a nervous smile and says that she is the new process engineer in the ‘advanced super semiconductors and micro-ceramics’ division. What? I didn’t even know there was such a division in my company. Of course, I manage to hide this shock quite admirably from her as I give her a knowing, almost careless, nod (Brain wink!) while all the time memorizing ‘advanced super semiconductors and micro-ceramics’ in my mind.


We get down from the bus. By pure coincidence (not due to any purposeful scattering of my bag contents just outside her seat and thus making her help me pick them up) we get down together at the very last. I keep looking at my phone, giving scant regard to her vanilla-scented hair, her perfectly smooth facial features, her neatly manicured toenails and her full, curvy…

“How do I get to the advanced super semiconductors and micro-ceramics division?” she asks.

Again, I hide my internal confusion pretty neatly from her as I quickly bring my phone to my ear and start talking on it, while indicating a vague direction to her. ‘I want that data mailed to me in one hour, no less’, I shout into the dormant phone. Suddenly ‘Dhan te Na’ from Kaminey starts playing loudly from my phone as I feel a ticklish sensation in my ears. I immediately press the button to silence the ringtone and shout into the phone about switching off the radio while at work (Brain wink!).

I quickly walk away towards my division. I casually glance back and see her smiling slightly. ‘Another dame floored instantly’, I think.

‘Girls! Show them a well built (parts near the midriff can be called very well built) handsome, ‘Rahul Bose-type-receding-hair-styled’ hunk and the things they do to catch his attention!! Ridiculous!


For next few days I keep a low profile around her. Though a part of me feels that I can keep the lowest of profiles by simply not being around her, another part reasons that, being a Gandhian, I need to follow his principles and learn to control my desires. I feel proud of myself in general. Then, one day, after some seventeen weeks of low profile I decide to learn more about her. As I am now aware of the stop she gets down every evening, I plan to casually be there when she gets down the next day. So I apply for casual leave the next day. I arrive at the stop just one hour before the bus comes. As it stops I grab my phone, make sure it is switched off, and start shouting into it. I catch her eye and carelessly wave at her. She smiles (Girls! No?).

“So, you live around here?” I ask her patronizingly.

She replies that she knows I have been ogling at her for past seventeen weeks (Such a psycho! She has been counting the weeks!) And that I need not feel nervous and that she too likes me. I look shocked at this blatant accusation and tell her that I need to think about it as things were going pretty fast for my liking (Brain wink!).


After intense self-brainstorming for a solid duration of eleven seconds I decide to finally relent to this crazy psycho female, lest she take some untoward decision. I call after her just as she takes a turn into a by-lane.

I clearly tell her that I am not like those hopeless romantics who fall head over heels for girls and pursue after them without a care in this world (She smirks a little which, I am sure, is due to some muscle pull in her left cheek).

“Don’t expect me to spend hundreds of rupees on you every other weekend” I tell her sternly.

“I don’t mind spending hundreds of rupees on you” she replies.

I look shocked at this insult but manage to grin through the pain in order not to hurt her feelings.

“You think I am cheap enough to come after you just for some hundreds of rupees?” I ask in a hurt voice.

“I don’t mind spending even thousands of rupees” she replies.

I manage an even wider grin amidst all the emotional turmoil in my mind. I decide to relent. Obviously this female has low self-esteem and I have to help her with it, I think.

“I am all yours” I reply (Brain wink!)

Sunday, April 3, 2011


As an eight-year old boy in 1995, I was told that my grandmother had died. Everyone around me was sad. I got to know that I was also supposed to feel sad. Well, I couldn't remember how I felt then. For an eight-year old sadness revolved around tiffs with friends and occasional scoldings and beatings from his father. There was nothing much more than that. Then the Wills Cricket World cup 1996 happened. India lost to Sri Lanka in an ugly semi-final at the Eden Gardens. Unbridled tears flowed from my eyes. A game; a team of eleven players. They taught me what sadness was. 

Interest in cricket can always be expected from any school going boy in India. After all, the whole nation follows the game with such enthusiasm. On top of that, I had parents who loved cricket and never restricted me from following or playing the game. But the emotions that coursed through me even at the age of eight when watching a cricket match can be attributed to three people. Two of my Uncles who followed the game with such passion and craze, which, to this date, I have not seen anyone else match and one player who seemed to perpetrate magic on a cricket field. 

As I became older I was expected to become mature. I did become mature to a certain extent in all aspects of my life, save cricket. Cricket still dominated my emotions and has been doing so for the past seventeen years. Instead of becoming reticent with age, I became a more vociferous cricket fan. Indian losses were simply indigestible and the emotional rage I felt at moments of faulty plays during the course of Indian matches often spilled over to my surroundings. Indeed, there has been many an occasion when my mother, sister or father had to bear the brunt of my anger. Graduating from school to college changed nothing. It, in fact, made me even more passionate about the game since I was surrounded by guys as fanatic about Indian cricket as myself. Cricket was always a thread of discussion, a way of bonding and a topic of heated arguments. Indian wins were celebrated and losses were punctuated with abusive tirades. When Indian matches coincided with my brief visits to home from hostel, there were more surprises in store for my parents. I had added some choicest abuse words to my already temperamental cricket alter-ego.

 In retrospect, I am sure people around me were a worried lot. There have been many who have questioned my behaviour during an Indian cricket match. Was there a meaning to this madness? What was the eventual purpose of spending eight emotion-ridden hours before the TV every time India played a match? These were the questions put to me by many people. Others gave advice like 'cricket is a game after all' and 'winning and losing are part of sport'. I was not able to answer these doubters and was in no mood to accept their advice. Something will happen, I kept telling to myself. 

World cup 2007 happened. India's unceremonious exit prompted me to ask these questions to myself. Was there, after all, a meaning to this madness? Are these doubters indeed correct? Should I mellow down and see it just as a game? But even if I had tried to mellow down, I couldn't have done it. Some people smoke cigarettes. Some people drink alcohol. Some people take drugs. I follow Indian cricket. It is an addiction. This madness will stay with me, I thought. And I feared it. What if everything becomes a meaningless aberration? 1996, 1999, 2003 and 2007; each of these years brought renewed hope but, in the end, paved way to emptiness and frustration. 

2011 also brought with it a renewed hope. A hope accentuated by the hype surrounding it. 'India are favourites' they told. I felt a mix of thrill and apprehension on hearing those words. India started its World Cup campaign and the league phase rekindled feelings of deja vu. This time the rage became monumental. It was maybe due to the hype of hope. I lost my senses after the string of shoddy performances by India in the league phase. Amrith, my closest friend and someone who understands my cricket alter-ego better than others, can vouch for this fact. When the knock outs started I was more skeptic and less expectant. That was when the second phase of the Indian World cup began. It said 'Go on my Friend. Don't stop your dreams just as yet'. The emotions reached fever pitch. Thankfully our performance matched the soaring emotions. 

Yesterday at 11:00 pm it finally happened. The dream merged with the reality. 1996, 1999, 2003 and 2007 faded into nothingness. The pulsating emotions inside me burst out in the form of tears. I had found a meaning to this madness.

India had won the WORLD CUP... I had won the WORLD CUP

Saturday, March 19, 2011


Leo stared into the empty space at his eyes’ level in the drawing room. That blank portion of the wall somehow resembled the blankness in his mind. He had just heard something which turned his whole world topsy-turvy. It was worse than the harsh treatment meted out to him by the mentor the previous day. That was nothing new to him. He had witnessed it many a time. So many of his fellow members in the Order’s Asia-Pacific establishment had been given this appraisal by the mentor. When a member failed to live up to the expectations set on him, his days in the Order were numbered. No, he was not killed. Life was but an irrelevant disposition for the Order. It was meaningless. The only organ in the human body which was given importance was the mind. If a member didn’t live up to the Order’s expectations he was simply discarded. He was ostracized from the elite circle he had always felt a part of and was, in all respects, scientifically quarantined.

 Every member of the Order was a genius and not a single member could be classified as ‘Old’. Leo was the youngest of the geniuses. His path breaking research paper on the Effects of Psychochemical Behaviour Modification Drugs had sparked quite a few debates in the global scientific circles and proved to be the gate-pass for his induction into the Order. He was expected to make further headway to his initial hypotheses. They were eager to have him in the establishment. He was welcomed in a grand way and provided unlimited and unquestioned access to data and equipment. He was surprised by the fact that they could acquire such sophisticated equipments which were not even found in the USA or, for that matter, China – the hub of genetic engineering. He wanted to know who was behind all this, but didn’t dare to ask.

For the first few months he was provided with all sorts of comforts he had only dreamt of in the ‘real’ world. The Mentor, as he was called by one and all in the Order, outlined to him the motto of the Order in a single, crisp sentence – Pursuit for Intellectual Saturation. He was simply blown away.

But slowly, the potholes on the highway began to emerge. The Gleaming glass building that portrayed itself as Naqoya International Medical Center was, to the outer world, a non-profit private organization providing world class medical treatment to the common man. But to the three hundred odd brilliant minds occupying rooms hidden in the labyrinthine pathways at the far end of the center, it was a posh prison. No one was given a glimpse of the outside world. They came to know whether it was day or night only by means of a twenty four hour digital clock that hung in the recreation room. There was food; there was healthcare; there was even a shopping mall and cinema. But there was nothing that resembled the word ‘home’. In short, they existed but rarely lived.

This arrangement suited most of the inmates. They could concentrate on their research in a tranquil atmosphere. They were footsteps away from any equipment they desired for experiments and free from searching eyes and prying questions. Leo found all this very much to his liking for the first few days. Then he inadvertently heard a conversation from the mentor’s office which simply shook his faith in the Order.

“Any probing questions from our guests?”

“None till now, sir”

“How is the search going on? How many more can we expect to join us by this year?”

“At least ten thousand more, sir”

“Good. Be careful and avoid suspicions at all costs. And always remember our vision”

“Yes Sir. Intellectuals above the rest. The world at our behest

Leo was shocked. This was something that sounded very different from what the mentor said. It didn’t sound one bit like intellectual saturation. He felt it was more on the lines of fascism where some of the best brains of the world were cohorts in an endeavour to rule the world.

He later learnt from one or two like minded scientists that this was indeed the goal of the Order. The Order’s ultimate aim was to rule the world. Not just rule, but dictate. This was where behaviour modification played an important role and that was where Leo came into picture. He learnt that there was extensive research being done on drugs which made people docile and which could be airborne. The average human being, once infested by this airborne drug would become what the members of the Order refer to as Post-Human beings.

Post-Human beings were people who would not have the capabilities to think and draw conclusions based on their own reasoning skills. They would cease to be creative, inquisitive and compassionate. In short, they would be SLAVES – people who do as they are told to do.

Leo Kaisuke was bedazed. He knew he was trapped. If he refused to carry on with his work he would, like many of his colleagues, be isolated from the rest and sent to the Rejuvenation Room; a room from which he had seldom seen people return. Having been privy to the actual mission of the Order he was sure he couldn’t carry on his work here for the wrong reasons. So he sat staring at the blank space on the wall. He looked up from the space to see the golden framed portrait of the mentor. Even the artist had captured the cold fury emanating from his eyes.

As he continued to stare, he saw the portrait shake ever so slightly. Then there was a more pronounced shake. That was when he felt his chair sway from side to side. He caught hold of the desk in front of him to balance but it was also rocking back and forth. He immediately fell on the floor, flat on his belly and covered his head. The quake continued for a minute and a half. It was the longest he had ever experienced.

He sat up and surveyed the room as the shaking stopped. Not much damage; just some toppled books, vases and artifacts. That was when he heard a low rumble. It grew louder by the second. It seemed to come from the outside. He went to the window and peered outside.

Leo Kaisuke smiled. It was neither a smile of happiness nor one of sadness. It was a smile of knowledge. The knowledge of what was going to happen.

‘Sometimes it is better for geniuses to die…’ he thought. It was his final thought.


Naqoya International Medical Center was a brilliant piece of architecture. The gleaming glass exteriors, plush white interiors and state of the art security systems made it a building to envy. It, in fact, had very few negatives.

That it stood majestically facing the seashore turned out to be one of them…

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Following India's tawdry display on the cricket field over the past two weeks in the Cricket World Cup, blames have been ricocheting off many a pillar and post. The latest blame, surprisingly, has fallen on some low key government official who is famous for spreading across messages to every corner of the country. Known to his colleagues and friends simply as 'Ambi', this government son-in-law (mapla) has been at the receiving end from none other than skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni. 

"Well Of course", dhoni started. "Ever since hype for this world cup began, I have been hearing from every corner of the nation that India are in form. Having lost a series in South Africa just prior to the start of the World Cup, I was surprised at this statement but let it go as harmless fan support. Then, as we unleashed our performance in the first five matches, whispers have started doing rounds that India are not in form. Frankly, I was quite nonplussed by this", dhoni continued. "That is when this fellow 'Ambi' was brought to my notice. Apparently he browses through various government tax forms and applications during his work. Now, we all know that in any application form the header will invariably be 'Government of India'. Thus, obviously India will be in form. But during the course of our fourth or fifth match, Ambi, it seems, came across a visa application form of Australia. Naturally, India will not be in that form. Thus, Ambi has been spreading the message that India are not in form".

"So, amidst all of this I don't see why Nehra or Munaf or myself need to be blamed for India's poor show against South Africa. Obviously the media and the fans are giving too much importance to Ambi's words rather than our performance. How can a team be in form just fifteen days back and suddenly not be in form unless its something to do with such a technicality spread by this Ambi?" Dhoni further questioned.

Meanwhile our sources have some inside information that Ambi might be a close ally of Ravichandran Ashwin. Please follow this page for more details about India's form...

Monday, March 14, 2011


After a strenuous jogging session on the beach shore, I stopped by at a bakery and decided to quench my thirst with a 200 ml bottle of Fanta. It was the first time I was having a soft drink in the 200 ml bottled form since my college days. I was surprised at the pricing - Rs. 10/-. My mind immediately went back to the good old days in college and our very own SASTRA endemism - GOLD CUP.

Bottled in the small village of Pillayar patti this refreshing soft drink came in four unique flavours - Orange, Lemon, Grape and Paneer. While Orange did taste a lot like a liquid concoction of the erstwhile 25 paise orange candy known by the name of ravelon, lemon offered a very unique taste which could never be matched by any of the other famous drinks of the same flavour like limca, seven up, nimboos or LMN. It was the most sought after of the four flavours simply for its uniqueness. Grape was more on the lines of Kalimark's Bovonto, only a little more watery. It was the least moving flavour and often remained unasked for in a corner of the refrigerator. Paneer was a rival to our very own Goli Soda which came in the same Paneer flavour. Though 'Gold Cup Paneer' was a lot sweeter, it had all the essential ingredients to make it a worthy competitor for the fabled Goli Soda

Though the flavours were nothing much to boast about, the main attractiveness of the drink was its cost. Priced at Rs. 5/- per bottle of 200 ml, this was the perfect thirst quencher/after-dinner drink/gas-relieving agent. It was also the main sponsor of our bitterly fought hostel cricket tournament and was often presented to the umpires as a form of refreshment for the thankless job they did under the scorching sun. We hostelites didn't mind spending our allowances on this 'budget beverage' and even the most miserly guys were all for buying this 'quintessential quencher' for themselves and their friends. We SASTRAites built a strong foundation for our friendship through this wonder drink and even went to the extent of planning a visit to our college, after passing out, just to grab at the first visible bottle of GOLD CUP. 

So, why am I harping on about this little known soft drink? Well, I just wanted to convey a message of importance and it is imperative that all you readers get acquainted with GOLD CUP so that you will be able to grasp the essence of the message: 

"After witnessing India's shoddy performance on the cricket field for the past two weeks, forget about the WORLD CUP, Our team does not deserve even a GOLD CUP!!"