Monday, 26 August 2013

I Categorically Deny Writing This

Ever since I started watching News as a kid I have been listening to this phrase that "So and so has "categorically" denied this, denied that. So I thought, OK, not only this person is denying the corruption charges against him/her, he/she is doing so "categorically". 

I did not understand then what importance did "categorically" added to the denial of that respective charge. I still don't understand it.

Is there any other way of denying an allegation than doing it categorically? For instance if a politician is found to be involved in a sex scam, would he or she (being gender neutral is fun) ever deny it non-categorically? 

"Well yes I deny the charges but I do so non-categorically, I might be found guilty later"

When you come to think of it, how many of us understand the importance of the statements made by our representatives in Parliament anyways?

Be it a natural disaster, a terror attack, a huge scam uncovered or any allegation made by opposition, there will be one politician, and in some rare cases Prime Minister, will just give a statement in the Houses of Parliament that we "strongly" condemn the attack, we are "deeply" saddened by the disaster and we "categorically" deny the charges. And that just makes things better.

Well at least for them. But what does this statement do for the common man? And How?

Is there any other way than to condemn the terror attacks ? 

Is there any other way you can feel than be saddened by the thousands of people dying in a natural disaster?

And most of all this gets my goat. A recent incident of beheading soldiers at the border was followed by a statement that "It was an unfortunate incidence."

For God's sake please clarify whether our Parliament considers this incident a result of misfortune? 

Well only if the soldiers were lucky enough.

But then silence also drives the populace crazy. So they have to say something. 

And I wonder if adding these adverbs is a cultural thing. India as a society is a melodramatic one. Be it our movies, our literature or politics. 

In the land of "Hey Bhagwans" and "Haaye Raams" our politicians know the importance of emoting aggressively when it comes to issues close to the heart of people. 

So we know the drill by now. We have heard the same statements innumerable times. Staff of our leaders must have created the templates by now to respond quickly to different situations.

So for the readers of this write up I place before you template #420 "I categorically deny writing this". 

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

You are so funny please pay Tax

This whole issue of Aditi Restaurant in Mumbai actually got me thinking that why do we have to pay tax on entertainment, luxury or leisure ? 

Is it because we are a poor nation and the ones who can afford entertainment should pay a tax? 

Or is it just that Government considers the pleasure/entertainment a sin and like alcohol or tobacco it is also taxed heavily to deter people from having fun ?

Well you can smoke this highly dangerous cigarette, which we know will kill you, as long as you pay a heavy price for it and we will impose heavy Excise duty on it to make it expensive so that poor people who cannot afford cancer treatment may not smoke it.

But we are a democracy and we do not want to deprive poor people of their right to kill themselves so we will provide them with cheaper smoking devices such as beedi, gutka or hukka. 

Quite recently, I reluctantly agreed to help in the paper work for a stand-up show I am doing with my fellow comedians (click on the link to buy tickets) BAR BOYS 3  *shamelessly promotes the event*

For this I was given the chore of getting an NOC from the Entertainment Commissioner's office. This real incident can be used word by word for a sitcom like office office. Me being Mussadi Lal the common man in that.

The guy dealing with this at the ETO office looked at the application typed in double space, triplicate and nodded his head as CID Chief Pradyuman. Kuchch to gadbad hai.  

What is this program Haan ?

Sir its Stand-Up comedy show and we are doing this with an NGO so we are applying for the exemption in Entertainment Tax (ET). 

He shook his head vigorously and informed me that only plays, puppet shows and classical arts are exempted from Entertainment Tax. Ye toh Comedy hai. 

I asked the next logical question "Sir if there is comedy in a play, will it be exempted?" 

This guy gave me a look as if he is going to Tax me for having a sense of humor and rejected my application and gave me a two page form, to be filled in duplicate and asked me to get the auditor's report for the said NGO for the last two years to get exemption. 

Taking into consideration all the paperwork we might have to do we swallowed our pride and decided to pay the ET. Got the Demand Draft made and duly filled the form and attached all the relevant documents.

Now imagine this scenario. We WANT to pay the Tax. Government NEEDS the Tax. But when we actually go to PAY the tax they behave like Punjabi relatives at the weddings who will refuse to take Shagun three/four times before they finally take it making you feel like an idiot. Iski kya zaroorat thi hehehehehe.

At this ETO Commissioner's office they have successfully done away with all the signage so that you are forced to ask for direction and very cleverly they have managed to camouflage the important windows so that its not easy to find them. Here is some adventure thrown your way. 

Like the actual window where the MAN is sitting has old furniture piled up against it and you have to use your imagination to know that there is a window. 

This particular office being in Public Dealing has different Lunch Hours for different departments. So by the time you are done with one department and reach the next one, their lunch hour starts and this Domino effect continues till you reach final window and submit the Tax.

So the lesson learnt is that if you are funny you will be Taxed. If you are entertaining someone Or have used luxury Or leisure in any which way you will be Taxed. 

So pay the price for being funny.  

Friday, 24 May 2013


मैं भी किसी की कविता हूँ 
मुझको पढ़ा करे कोई 

मिट्टी की अधूरी मूरत हूँ 
मुझको गढ़ा करे कोई 

बचपन बीते दिन हुए
फिर से बड़ा करे कोई

बाद में मान जाने को
मुझसे लड़ा करे कोई

गिर के संभलना सीख लिया
कांटों पर चलना सीख लिया
घुटनों से मिट्टी पोंछ के अब
मुझको खड़ा करे कोई

Wednesday, 1 May 2013


पांव के नाखूनों पर 
आधी लगी आधी छूटी नेलपालिश
बयां करती है अधूरी ख्‍वाहिशों की कहानी 

हां मुझे भी शौंक है सजने संवरने का
मुझे भी अच्‍छा लगता है 
कंधे से फोन को कान पर दबाए हुए बतियाना
पांव के नाखूनों पर नेलपालिश लगाना

नेलपालिश को भी गुनाह ठहरातीं
घूरती निगाहें
मां की सख्‍त नज़रें
पिता के माथे की लकीरें
खीज भर देती हैं मन में और
ताज़ा लगी नेलपालिश धीरे धीरे
बन जाती है
आधी लगी आधी छूटी नेल पालिश

पर्स में हमेशा मनपसंद रंग की नेलपालिश रखे
आधी छूटी नेलपालिश वाले पांव
ऑफिस के रास्‍तों पर तेज़ी से चलते हैं
घायल योद्धा की तरह शाम को एक बार सोने से पहले
अपने टूटे हुए नाखूनों का जायज़ा लेते हुए
पर्स में रखी मनपसंद रंग की नेलपालिश को याद कर
बेसुध होकर सो जाते हैं

कोई नहीं है जो उनसे कहे
अच्‍छी नहीं लगती
ये आधी लगी आधी छूटी नेलपालिश
आओ मैं लगा दूँ