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Thursday, April 28, 2005

Smiley's Short Stories Dept

In association with

Smiley's Dirty Jokes Dept


The story of Moby Dick
Travel the world and seven seas

The king

Once upon a time there was a king. He had, like, seven wives. But he loved only one of them. He made love only to that one. That one, on one fine day got pregnant. According to the customs of the kingdom, she was sent to her mom's place for delivery during her sixth month.

King got lonely and gloomy. He couldn’t make love to the other wives. King loved that one so much.

One fine evening, the King stood on his fort and looked at the river flowing by. It made him remember his dear wife. In longing, he started masturbating. His sperm ejaculated with such a velocity and force that it flew for two days, traveled seven seas and fell into the Kamandalam of a great saint.

The saint

Every one revered the saint. He rarely listened to people. But when he listened, he listened and offered solutions. People would just stand in queues for days and for weeks and for months and some, for years, waiting to get the attention of the great saint.

Saint chose people in no particular order or pattern. Saint always stayed still with his eyes closed and uttering neti, neti. (It is not, it is not). Not even his closest pupil knew what was not.

The poor farmer, his ugly wife and their horny daughter

The poor farmer was the unluckiest soul he ever knew. He got married to an ugly and thankless wife during his childhood. He farmed whatever his father left him. It was always either a calamity or huge fluctuations in the market price that ruined him.

That year he put every thing he had into his corn field. Every one else bloomed. His didn't. Bad seeds, they said. Farmer had no other opportunity but commit suicide. But for the responsibility to get his beautiful and horny daughter married, he would have done so.

That day, poor that he was, the farmer, approached the saint.

That day, pious that he was, the saint, opened his eyes and looked at the farmer.

Hmm..I see where it is going. But who is Moby Dick?
Horny and beautiful? I want to know more about her.
Hey, I bet its something to do with 'The One'.

read next..

The Story of Moby Dick
Everybody is looking for something

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

The spirit of Mumbai

For my inflight reading I bought this book titled
The power of your subconscious mind. Its a cheesy book.

I made a call to Leela the moment I got out of the flight.
Take a ric, come to Carona hospital. She told.
I took a ric.
Carona hospital turned out to be karuna hospital.

I called Leela. She came out and waved. She looked beautiful,
beaten and tired.

They are not letting any visitors now.I will take you home.
My home is nearby. She said.

She introduced me to her Tom at the entrance. Tom salivated on my
new Lee cooper shoes. I left the shoes at the door, threw a little
prayer for them and went inside.

Mom, he is Smiley. Aunt he is Smiley. Dad he is Smiley. She introduced.
Her dad never looked up from the Times of India. A little later Leela's
brother came and said, Hey you must be Smiley. I said, Hey you must
be the little brother shadowed by a talented sister-who finally fought
his way to win an Abby.


I sat next to Leela's dad. After a while Dad finished reading his news
paper. I handed over him the Bombay times edition. He looked a little
startled. Who are you? He asked. I am your paper boy. I answered.
Thanks, but I dont read the Bombay times. He said.

The family was busy talking about taking a second opinion on Preeti's
brain condition. I looked around. Pictures of Preeti and her daughter
Alison stood out. There was this picture of Leela and Preeti when they
were kids.

For a moment I fell in love with Preeti. She looked so cheery with her
daughter on her back. For a moment my heart melted.

Her mom made me some drink and apologized for not paying much attention
to me. I am fine. I said. I would like to let you know that Preeti is in
my prayers and my Master Chief's prayers.

Thank you. She said. And can you keep your shoes inside? Tom is getting
excited. She added.

I asked Leela's brother to show his work. He did. Leela couldnt resist and
showed me her stuff too. Her mom fetched me a local newspaper and proudly
showed me a news article on her son.

Leela's dad started rereading the newspaper. This time he started making
some notes. Mom apologized again for not offering any food and excused
herself to the hospital. Leela and I walked down to a nearby food joint.
(Anytime you are dining with Leela, you should prepare yourself for a
dish of Prawns. She will end up ordering a prawn fry after carefully
going through the entire menu.)

So whats up? I asked.
She started telling me. I am not sure if I listened to her. I just
watched her sharing the trauma. The mid day hot and humid Mumbai
air never stopped playing with her curly hair. I was amazed by the strength
and objectivity she showed.

Fortunately or unfortunately I had close encounters with a situation like
this in my past. I can understand the kind of pain and stress one has to
endure in situations like these.

I understood the deal. She is prepared. She is not hoping for what 'she
thinks is the best thing to happen'. She is doing whatever she can do.
She is hoping that that would turn out to be the best for Preeti.

Afternoon shifts are Leela's. I offered my company. Leela's aunt hinted
me that I have to sneak past the stairs, because they are not letting
any visitors. With Leela's help I did. She had to visit the HOD and
at the same time relieve her mom from the morning shift.

Hey, can you go upstairs, tell my mom to go home and be at the ICU till
I finish my work with HOD? She asked.

I can. I went upstairs and told her mom that she can go home and that
I can take care of that ICU stuff. She was embarrassed. What about you?
Did you have lunch? She asked. I had. Dont worry. Take your time. I said.

She left. I sat there and stared at the iron doors of ICU for sometime.
Then I slowly drifted into a nap. Leela woke me up.

We sat there for a long time. I listened to her empathetically. All these
prayers. Something has to happen. She said after a while.

Around three o clock, Leela said she has some work downstairs and asked
me to continue the vigil at the ICU. In about five minutes a nurse emerged
from the ICU.

Preeti. She shouted. Who is for Preeti here? She shouted again.
Me. I said.
She gave me a receipt, a request for three bottles of blood to the local
blood bank and a sample of blood for cross matching.

I was not very sure. I stared at Preeti's blood for a long time. She is
still fighting. I wished that prayer stuff Leela told me is true.
I wished Preeti's blood all the best.

I called Leela and told her about the blood requirement. She called
her brother. Her brother took the note. We need the blood by four.
The nurse declared. Her brother started running.

This tiny little family against a monstrous set up of Mumbai is struggling
to undo the chance event that topsy turvyed their life as they knew it.

This effort of theirs is illogical, instinctive and beautiful.

For some really strange reason they suddenly let Leela inside the ICU.
Smiley, come in, say hi to Preeti. Leela said.
I obliged.

I met Preeti at a lunch before. On the hospital bed she looked much
younger. She has a pretty face. She was serene and almost smiling.
But her skin showed all the symptoms of the fight going on internally.
The kind of pain she must have endured in the last four to six weeks is
simply mind numbing.

Leela put a hand on her sister and whispered in her ear.
Preeti, you are doing well today. Doctors are finally positive.
Your kidneys have started functioning a bit. Your blood pressure
is normal and I am so glad you didnt give up. Keep up the fight.

Preeti's eyes moved under eyelids. In a way, it was almost like
she was responding to Leela.

Hey, look who is here. Smiley. Remember him? We had lunch together
at your office.

I swore to myself that I saw her smiling a bit. A tiny winy bit.

Hi Preeti. Its me. Smiley. I have a confession to make. It was me who
stole your gulab jamun that day.

We walked out. I was still numb from what I saw.
My respect for Leela and her family quantumed.

Leela, I know I can do very little and whatever I am gonna say
is only going to sound cliched. Still. Be brave. Stay float.
You have done a great job. Be proud of it.

Smiley, thanks for coming. Did you really steal her gulab jamun that

What are friends for? Tell Preethi that I will be more than happy to
pay her gulab jamun back. Take care.

On the return flight, I read a couple of chapters of The Power of
your subconscious mind.

This dude is right. There is still hope.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Role of Media

On day two, at Young Indians summit, there was this session called
Role of Media in Transforming India. Very interesting session.
I was looking forward to Tarun Tejpal's (Editor,Tehelka)
take. Tarun wore a Denim and Cotton and looked at ease. On the
other side was NKRam, (Editor, The Hindu), stiff upper lipped and
dark suited.

I read a lot about NKRam in the columns of Varsha, Francoise and
Rajeev. He is a classic Nehruvian socialist according to them.Two
good looking NRI babes were on the dias too. (YI has this policy
of 'Equal gender participation').

Tarun started his speech in a strange accent. Its a kind of British
mix with Northern (Very Hindiish) India. Tarun went on stressing the
importance of the role of Media, especially in a democracy, especially
in a corrupted country like India, especially in an emerging nation
like India. He informed how he and his team sacrificed their lives in
bringing the ugly truth out about the Indian defence deals. He said the
ideal role of media is to act as a check for this function called
democracy. Then Tarun started an attack on a big media house.
(Times of India, of course, every one knows it).

He informed us, how a news paper should not survive on Ad revenue
alone, how a news paper should not concentrate just on circulation
(which in turn is a consequence of depending on Ad revenue) alone,
how a newspaper should not concentrate on popular news alone (which
in turn is a consequence of looking for more circulation).

He thundered that we Indians are cheap. We spend hundreds of rupees
on movie tickets but are not willing to pay another buck for quality

Two things struck me. I am sure Tarun is a well read man.

Concept of free market. Indian Psyche still lives in socialist era.
Every one is telling everyone how it should be like and what it should be
like. The government, the media and the leaders. (Ok, lets not even
step into Vivek Oberai's upcoming model village in Tamil Nadu).

The simple fact of life is, what is good for you is bad for someone.
Free power to farmers is good for poor farmers, bad for the power
sector and the economy. Censorship is good in the short run, very
bad in the long run.

Deciding the right content of a newspaper and right price
of a news paper is not for individuals. It is a dynamic evolution from
the market. Market decides it. Not you Mr Tarun.

Respecting other people's choice and taste. Why is someone who
reads Page 3 of TOI inferior to someone who can finish the crosswords in
The Hindu? That is another Indian signature. This is right and that
is wrong.

Another fact of life is, ultimately, it all boils down to profitability.
Media needs funds needs profits needs circulation/viewership/readership.

Now, what is circulation? It is the choice of the market.Dont argue with
it. Go with it. Otherwise you are doomed. The world has seen too many
of you.

On the other hand, NK Ram elegantly (read: Lots of vocabulary, that
half the people sitting there will never understand and never find
any usage.) expressed the role of The Hindu in reporting the charge
sheets on Kanchi peetathipathi dude, communal riots of 1983, recent
Gujarat riots. He informed us how Hindu fought with the system to
fight for the cause of equality and diversity. He deplored the heinous
hindu caste system, flesh selling news papers and supported women
reservation bill.

He agreed with Tarun on newspaper pricing. He told news should be
responsible and not popular.

What I read about this guy is all true. There was no need to mention Gujarat
riots and the arrest of the leader of a Hindu math. How come newspapers
never mention (especially the socialist types) what started Gujarat riots,
what started operation blue star, what started the exodus of Pundits from
kashmir and heinous purchase of human beings into a certain religion type
aka mass conversions into Christianity in the states of Assam, Andhra pradesh
and Tamil Nadu?

At the end of speech, there was a question hour. Lots of schools (from all
over India) sent their kids to this summit. They are all teens. One teenage
girl in a neatly pressed suit from Delhi raised her hand.

This question is for both Tarun and Ram, on the day Sania mirza entered
round two at so and so Tennis tournament there was also this teenage guy
from a poor family from south who won an international chess title at
Sri Lanka.

Both of you ignored the chess dude and printed Sania in full color on the
front page for entering round 2. Can you explain.?

There was pindrop (an Indian slang) silence on the dias. Later Ram explained
why Sania is a symbol of new emerging Indian confidence. Tarun simply
said that Sania sells.

Tarun's reply was atleast honest and pretty much summarized the role of the

The role of media in a free society is not to shape it but to report it.

Thanks teenie. I lacked the balls to raise my hand.

Later on the NRI babes told everyone how they are trying to teach women
in rural India (Anantapur District, Andhra Pradesh) how to use computers.

Yeah, sure.