Skip to main content

We are the battle class


When Shashi Tharoor tweeted, he was the man of the hour. For if there is an art mastered by our elected representatives, it is the foot in the mouth syndrome. It has been a year since Mr. Tharoor tweeted his infamous cattle class tweet and got everybody's blood pressure soaring. But there is another class that we are all inadvertently a part of. Travelling on Indian roads, fighting the system and making sense of our country has caused us to become warriors’ of a different kind. We are the battle class. And our story deserves to be told.


In my opinion, the home ministry has seriously underestimated an emerging threat to citizens in certain cities – the auto mafia. They, who charge by their imagination and not by the meter. Who will take you where they want to go and when they want to go. If your destination doesn’t coincide with theirs, the fault lies within. Choose a better direction.


I strive daily to achieve the common sense IQ of our municipal corporation. Using cheap tar for our roads makes sense only in hindsight. When they dig it up two weeks later to insert cables, it mustn’t become too laborious. Come the monsoons and we develop a sixth sense to pick up potholes that aren’t visible to the naked eye. Admittedly, this sixth sense fails us at times. But the price is relatively small – a few bruises, a few broken bones and in few cases, death. Not to forget, wading through traffic - only to be overtaken from the left, right and centre by (bullock carts?). We don’t deal in lanes or in discipline. But our enthusiasm should never be understated. Our half - done needless flyovers and constructions are a standing testimony to this condition.


A survey conducted studied the walkability index in our cities. Walkability index? I am still searching for an uninterrupted stretch of footpath where I can walk without doing the balancing act between an open drain and the main road. All our lives, we strive for exclusivity. But in the true halls of exclusivity, lie our parliamentarians. Elected as the wise men chosen to take our country forward. What could these people have done to scale those heights, to be in position of power to determine the future of the country? And what could they be talking about that we can emulate? If you put your ears close to the wall, you’ll discover. It’s Cheerleaders, the Indian team’s performance, condom ads. At some point they get pissed off, much like us. Then they hurl abuses, much like us. And start to throw furniture and whatever else is in near sight. Not like most of us, hopefully.


In the entire melee, I have a few prescriptions for all our elected representatives. Let them take the public transport to work when they are not the sole passengers and get jostled around. They should hone their argumentative skills by brokering deals with the rickshaw drivers. I’m sure they resort to destroying furniture in the parliament because at some point they run of things to say. They can add more years to their lives by selling off their helicopters and strengthen their spines and serve us longer by diving deep into the potholes that line our roads like meteors. In the mean time, we put on our armory to do battle another day and hope to live to tell the tale.


For alas, we are the battle class.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

When an Iyer met an Iyengar

If you see my parents, they look like the quintessential arranged marriage couple. After nearly 35 years together, they still take care not to touch each other while posing for a photograph and my mother’s smile dangles precariously between a smile and a grimace. But this image discolours the truth a tad.
Some 40 years back, they met at work, fell in love and got married. The talking point of the union being mom’s status as an iyengar and dad’s as an iyer. Simply put, the iyers and the iyengars are two castes of the Brahmin community, each, when given the chance, profess superiority to each other on all counts. If you listen closely, an Iyengar talking about an Iyer will say ‘Iyer a?’ in a condescending tone. And vice versa.
Mom tells me that when she told her dad about the marriage, he vowed to stand by her at any cost. Dad never told me what happened, but allow me to hazard a guess. His mother (my grandmother), threatened to go on a fast unto death. My dad threatened to go on a parall…

Unfair and unlovely

If time is money, the demonetization drive has ensured that many Indians are already very rich because they have suddenly been taught the virtue of patience.
A crossing near my house got to be very busy and a new signal was installed to help regulate the flow. Every single day, I see people break the signal from all sides without paying heed to their safety or anyone else’s. The people who break the signals glare at you for following the rules. You feel guilty for being patient.
The signal is red and people behind you are honking as if there was a reward for it. People shout the choicest of epithets at you for not moving and standing your ground. Either that or I need to go for an eye check up and see if I am colour blind. In another part of the world, orange maybe the new black but as far as I know, red is not the new green.
Stand in a queue at the railway station, in the petrol bunk, airport check-in counter ,or to pay a bill, and there will always be that one asshole who tries to…

Rasam rice

On some days, Bangalore weather becomes nostalgic. And for some time, everyone is permitted to live in the past. On one such June day, the sun wistfully playing hide and seek and the clouds emitting just enough raindrops for an instagram photo, the weather flirting with winter, the craving for rasam becomes telling.
Rasam. Rasam rice. Whichever, doesn’t matter.
First, use your fingers to make space in the middle of a heap of rice. Don’t protest when the dollop of ghee gleefully sinks into the rice. The rasam should scald, otherwise the ride isn’t worth it. The flesh on your fingers crawl when you dip them into the rasam, but trust me, keep with it. No good thing has been known to ever come easy. The impatient wait for a few seconds and an insignificant morsel is savoured. Gooseflesh ensues.
Slowly but steadily, bigger portions are savoured. to enhance the experience and attain nirvana, combine it with crisp papad and sandige.  Personal favourites include molagu rasam, thakkali rasam, jee…