Friday, 28 April 2017

Why poor students topping exams is not news

* JEE Mains 2017: Son of Udaipur compounder tops exam
* Farmer's son tops Chhattisgarh Board Class 12 exam
* Autorickshaw driver’s daughter tops CA exams

This has become a mindless ritual in the hopelessly lazy world of news media.

Every time some exam results are out, newspapers and TV channels religiously serve gooey, boilerplate stories about some poor kids who scored heavily in whatever tests they took.

I'm tired of this sentimental tosh. What is novel about it?

With fewer, if at all, distractions to ruin their study, isn't it precisely what they are supposed to do?

I'd consider it news if a kid from an affluent family tops an exam. For a moment, shed your prejudices and consider the predicament of being a rich boy.

The poor kid has so many things screaming for his time and attention -- gadgets, girls, booze, automobiles, recreational drugs, splitting parents, dysfunctional families, Messi's injury, Ronaldo's mistresses -- the list just goes on.

Now where do you slot study in this crazy schedule?

Topping exams is the easiest thing when you have none of these distractions, which is why I don't get teary-eyed when I read about a rickshaw-puller's son cracking IIM or a daily labourer's daughter acing IIT.

The truth is, these poor kids have an unfair advantage over their rich cousins in terms of motivation.

They have the greatest motivation to succeed, for the result can potentially alter the standard of their life beyond their wildest imagination.

In contrast, a billionaire' s son enters the exam hall knowing fully well that education can't really lift his lifestyle. There is simply no incentive for him, just no motivation at all.

That they still take the pain to reach the hall and write paper is, you'd agree, utterly commendable.

So dear poor kids who just topped an exam, I'm not impressed.

The unpleasant truth is - the game of exam is blatantly rigged in your favour and your success, sorry to say, is pre-ordained.

In fact I'd go to the extent of saying that poor kids have no excuse for failure, as simple as that.

As for me, my heart bleeds for the rich kid who is mourning his low grade by smoking weed in a friend's place, befittingly rolling the stuff in his mark sheet and watching it burn.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

If state transport buses had something like in-flight announcement

Dear passengers, we welcome you on board, on rooftop and on footboard of this State Transport Corporation bus.

Today your driver is Mahadev Singh, who spat gutkha juice out of the window and is currently exchanging expletives with the person he smeared with the jet.

I'm your conductor Bhola Singh, with a rolled hanky under the collar. Please tender exact fare.

We will complete this 20 KM journey in about one hour and 45 minutes, provided we survive detours, demonstrations, breakdowns, road rages, accidents and arson by agitators.

We may also reach the final destination in flat 15 minutes, provided we have a bus of the same route number hot on our heels.

In that case, you may have to get down at a destination of our choice, kindly cooperate. Also, chances are we might have to offload you bang in the middle of the road. Make sure you don't get run over by traffic from behind, just to give us a bad name.

This vehicle, which was serviced last in the 15th century, has one front door and there's another at the back. In case of emergency, the resulting stampede is likely to take you near the door. Again, try not to fall and get trampled on by fellow passengers just to give us a bad name.

In case the air inside gets fetid, kindly look at everyone suspiciously and accusingly even if you're the culprit.

Those standing, kindly hold on to the strap overhead. If you're vertically challenged, you can also grab someone's bag straps, and anything for that matter, to maintain balance. Everything is fair in love, war and state transport buses.

Remember inside the bus, you can get away with anything by just saying 'sorry'. So, if you have just crushed someone under your feet, be nice and say 'sorry'.

Also remember, getting toes squashed is commonplace, so kindly don't blow it out of proportion.

For those lucky enough to get seat, remember there will never be a consensus on how much the window should be kept open. Views will differ, so wait until the other guy has dozed off before you can quietly adjust the window to your liking.

Remember, buying ticket is not optional, though your conductor Bhola Singh, with a rolled hanky under my collar, is open to negotiations.

Currently we're moving at a break-neck speed of 500 cm/hour, which is roughly the speed of an arthritic snail which has just undergone a knee cap replacement. This is due to a marriage procession ahead of us. You'd probably be tempted to slap the groom on horse once he's under your window but we advise utmost caution.

For those sitting on the right, the view may not rival the grandeur of pyramids in Egypt but you can look out of your window and marvel at the splendid pile of municipal garbage. If you feel like puking, kindly stick your head out but make sure you don’t get your head smashed by an overtaking bus. It would give us a bad name.

Those on the left need not despair. Thanks to the jam, you’re strategically positioned to appreciate the overflowing public convenience just outside your window. If you feel like fainting, do intimate the fellow passengers.

Meanwhile, our checkers will soon begin ticket inspection. If you haven’t bought your tickets yet, you may end up paying double the money as bribe to get away from their clutches. I can give you a better deal, so contact your conductor Bhola Singh, with a rolled hanky under the collar.

Ladies and gentlemen, we’re finally about to reach the destination. We appreciate you had many choices but you still decided to suffer at our hands.

On behalf of driver Mahadev Singh and conductor Bhola Singh with a rolled hanky under collar, we hope to serve you again.


Thursday, 13 April 2017

Why cash-for-vote is a welcome idea

We live in a world where very few things make sense.

And in that sea of things that don't, right at the top is the self-righteous outrage that follows every time a cash-for-vote scandal erupts.

Having looked at it from all angles, it seems a splendid idea, especially if you are a citizen.

If your vote fetches you a couple of thousand bucks, what's the harm?

I hate to break it to you that your vote doesn't count anyways. The EVM is rigged and the outcome fixed. It's a funny game where the candidate you vote for will win or lose without your ballot. Relax and sit back, your vote does not matter.

Other than the mandatory selfie-with-inked-finger, it counts for nothing.

So if a political party wants to pay you a few thousand bucks for that useless thing, why not sell it?

In fact, if you slightly enterprising, you'd auction your vote and go for the highest bidder.

Once the money has reached your pocket, you can urge fellow citizens: "Be a responsible citizen, go out and vote. Trust me, it pays."

Once legalised, cash-for-vote would go a long way in drawing more and more citizen out of their drawing room and near the polling booth. Isn't it what the government is trying to achieve - to get maximum number of people to vote?

Those who oppose is are simply cuckoo. If a party wants to buy your vote, seal the deal. This is the only time a politician will actually GIVE you something, dammit! Once poll is over, his family is his constituency.

Don't be a chump. When the sun is shining, there's lot of sense in hay-making.

There's also a serious reason why you should charge for your vote. Experience tells us people don't value anything that comes free. If you expect the crook you elected would be grateful for your vote, you need to get your head examined.

It's tough for a politician to feel any such emotion towards a bunch of lambs who are nuts enough to vote for him so he can loot the exchequer.

Make it give-and-take. Isn't it at the heart of market economy?

Often, the outrage against cash-for-vote is led by frustrated people who could not sell their own vote and are now plain jealous because some other people have.

Democracy has traditionally been a case of survival-of-the-richest. It's a game loaded in favour of the richer party in the fray. My point is, if the citizens gain something in the process, where's the problem?

And don't even mention ethics/honesty. These are vague terms coined by self-pitying losers, who needed something, even if intangible, to feel good having lost the real battle in life.

Also, you can't redeem ethics/honesty at restaurants and shopping malls.

Sunday, 2 April 2017

A new metal is added to chemistry - Kid

Symbol: BaB
Atomic Weight: Weighs sufficiently buy never satisfactorily to mom

Physical Properties:
* Propensity to chewing everything inedible
* Boils over whenever denied toys
* Freezes only when asleep
* Melts if pampered with junk food
* Bitter when contacts lactose
* Can be an embarrassment-causing agent in social gatherings
* Endowed with hyperactive lachrymal glands

Chemical Properties:
* Very Reactive
* Highly vulnerable to gravity
* Possesses strong affinity towards plastic and loud colors
* Assumes parents owns Reserve Bank of India

* Mostly found in front of Cartoon Network
* Highly flammable when comparing toys with peers
* Has happy properties when captured in photo

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Doosra Annual Awards 2016 (UNESCO certified)

1. Human Lacrymal Gland of the Year ~ Aamir Khan. For crying here, here and here. He receives the teardrop-shaped Nirupa Roy Memorial trophy. He'd cry khushi-ke-ansu now.

2. Lord of the Larynx ~ Arnab Goswami. For breaching permissible decibel levels at prime time;

3. Indian With The Cleanest Mind ~ RBI governor Urjit Patel. Post-demonetisation, he changes mind every night;

4. Mr National Eyesore of The Year ~ Ranveer Singh. Some of the outfits he wore would have got him behind the bars in several countries. He gets a jar full of Delhi air;

5. Ms National Eyesore Of the Year ~ Airtel 4G girl;

6. Political Trishanku Of The Year ~ Navjot Singh Sidhu. Paaji left BJP but yet to join Congress or AAP, at the time of going to Press.

7. 'Atithi Devour Bhava' Samman ~ To Ravichandran Ashwin. For feasting on visiting batsmen;

8. Mard Tongue-e Wala ~ Kapil Sharma: For his breathless, mindless and frequently meaningless male chauvinistic jokes;

9. Worst Namer of the Year ~ Saif Ali Khan & Kareena Kapoor. For naming their son 'Taimur', thus exposing the kid to a lifetime of ridicule and ensuring he won't be able to visit a Starbucks for the rest of his life;

10. Yami Gautam Banking Award ~ Axis Bank. For its role to help convert black into white;

11. Wailing Cupid of The Year ~ Arijit Singh. For singing sweet love songs after sweet love songs that left the country's love-struck with emotional diabetes. He gets what he needs most, a shaving set;

12. Frugal Indian Father of the year ~ G Janardhan Reddy. For managing his daughter's marriage with a shoestring budget of Rs 550 crores;

13. Boyfriend Of The Year ~ Virat Kohli. For his stout defending of Anushka Sharma with this SHAME tweet;

14. Pariah Of The Year ~ Cyrus Mistry. From leading Tata Sons to being ousted from the group. He gets an year's supply of Tata salt, to rub on his wound;

15. Enemy Of The Inbox ~ Kangana Ranaut. For sending one mail every six minutes to Hrithik Roshan during their bizarre affair. She will receive medal from the Nigerian Price who spams our mailboxes.

16. Worst Fashion Statement Of the Year ~ Priyanka Chopra. For wearing this t-shirt.

17. Footloose of the year ~ Azam Khan's buffaloes. For their tendencies to go missing;

18. Worst Network Of the Year ~ Whichever Bob Dylan uses;

19. Indian Athelete of the Year: TMC MLA Sudip Roy Barman, who seized the Speaker's mace and ran off in Tripura assembly;

20. Bollywood's Jack-Of-All-Trades of the Year ~ Farhan Akhtar, who seems clueless whether to be an actor, director or musician. He receives Irfan Pathan Failed Allrounder Trophy;

21. National Bank ~ Paytm.

22. Gravity-defier of the Year ~ Dipa Karmakar. She also proved you don't need to jump to conclusions always, you can Produnova to it as well;

23. The Indian Houdini Of the Year ~ Vijay Mallya, for his overnight escape to safety in London;

24. The Indian Christ of the Year ~ Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, for turning wine into water until Patna High Court lifted the liquor ban;

25. 'Invisible Friend of India' Medal ~ The anonymous NASA photographer, who floats in space capturing how India celebrates her festivals and shares it unfailingly;

26. National Appu Ghar ~ Big Boss;

27. Unfaithful Indian Of the Year ~ Sonam Gupta.

28. Guide of the Year ~ Bhagwant Mann, for his guided FacebookLive tour of Parliament;

29. Misquoted Person of the Year ~ Rumi, for the umpteenth time;

30. Disgraced Institution of the Year ~ UNESCO. After countless hoaxes about it declaring random things as the 'best'. Including this post.

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Why 'Baby-on-Board' stickers make no sense

You can learn a lot about a person by just noticing the sticker on his car. In fact, I judge people by the sticker on the car they are depopulating the cities with.

Car stickers fascinate me. I read them like a suicide bomber reads detonation manual: as if his whole being depends on it. His whole not being, if you insist.

I don’t know what to make of a “Baby-on-Board” sticker. To begin with, it’s only half-truth. You probably mean “Baby Also On Board”. Or do you consider yourself an infant? In which case you should not be driving in the first place, endangering lives of the pedestrians - a job already outsourced to the Salman Khans of the world.

My main issue with the “Baby-on-Board” sticker is I’m not even sure of the tone.

Is it yet another vain, male chauvinistic show-off? “I maybe a regular wife-beater and a prominent history-sheeter but hey, at least I’m not impotent!” Well, don’t be so sure. Raise the issue with missus tonight and see if she avoids eye contact.

Or is it some hopeless seeking of that previously-prevalent-but-presently-out-of-supply human feeling called sympathy? Something like “Baby on board, please be nice to us”?

In that case, put a “Na├»ve-On-Board” sign instead and you’d be giving yourself a better chance of returning home unscathed. Like statutory warning on cigarette packs, these inscriptions are as effective as a glass of warm milk in the battle against terminal cancer. Well-meaning but inadequate, if you know what I mean.

If you think putting a “Baby-on-Board” sticker would draw less hostility from the merchants of death who have been let loose on the streets with full backing from the state, you are raising the bar for stupidity. I’ve seen a hearse being rammed into in a frantic attempt to kill the same person twice.

If you still have faith in humanity, it may not be too late yet to get your head examined.

If you ask me, a “Baby-on-Board” sticker makes you more vulnerable to collisions. How? Some drivers, in good intention, may actually decide to give the baby a taste of the world he is going to inherit: a world of road rages and traffic rule decimation. Can you really fault someone for thinking: "If the kid is going to live in a world like that, why not help him get used to it NOW and get a headstart?" BANG!

Or is it some sort of confession? “Baby on Board and Hence I’m Being An Ass In Two Minds Not Knowing Whether To Drive Fast Or Allow Overtaking.” Even in that case, your obduracy would only infuriate others with one of them eventually taking the onus on himself to knock you off the road.

Also doesn’t a sticker like that make you more vulnerable to the kidnappers? They might overtake and stop you on a dark stretch and make off with you kid leaving a note: “Thanks for the sticker. We had lost you in the sea of traffic until the sticker flashed. Wait for the ransom call. For your gesture, we’d offer a 5% discount. Even hijackers have some ethics. We are fighting against all kind of stereotypes associated with our profession. Hope this alters at least one view. Cheers.”

Sunday, 18 September 2016

What Ails Olympics Opening Ceremony (2/2)

Qatar: Ladies and gentlemen, let me present next the Qatari team. They are so rich that the security guard they tipped outside the stadium has just made it to the Forbes' list. The same people who are planning a central AC for the entire country for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Russia: Russia follows next, though without the swagger that you associate with them and instead sucking some liquids. Don't get me wrong, they are clearly the cleanest bunch of athletes, having undergone so many tests. They have dehydrated themselves giving urine samples and sipping innocuous drinks to rehydrate themselves.
Sierra Leone: Here's a tiny contingent from Sierra Leone. And some of you thought Sierra Leone is Sunny Leone’s sister. The country grapples with Ebola when it's not caught in a bloody civil war. More than medals, they need medicines.

Syria: Special welcome to the Syrian contingent, comprising of people who successfully escaped the bloody civil war. They have already requested IOC to consider giving them ammunition instead of medal to help fight ISIS.

Somalia: Somalia has sent a tiny contingent. They won't be allowed to participate in water-sports though, lest they hijack boats and take rowers hostage.

Thailand: Here comes Thailand and no, they are not fighting but massaging each other.

Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabia, ladies and gentlemen, one of the richest countries in the world. There have an unprecedented four women athletes in the contingent and they are very excited. After all the is the moment they all have been waiting -- to drive a car, something they aren't allowed back home, on the roads of Rio. They plan to buy a car and abandon them, money is not the issue you see. Also, to they plan to drive incognito, by revealing their faces, so no one can identify them.

United States: The superpower in every sense, here comes the United States. If meddling in others' affairs is made an Olympic sport, they will win gold hands down and celebrate it by bombing an oil-rich state. Apparently, everything that's wrong with this world has got something to do with this country. In addition to their strong events, US is likely to win all shooting medals, provided the competition takes place in a college campus. Apparently, White House is trying to bully Rio into shifting it to Federal University premises.