Thursday, April 3, 2008

Mahabharata Revisited- VI

The sun dawned on the horizon on the polling day. Astute readers might criticise that this is a blatant attempt at dramatization. Even if it was not a polling day, the sun would indeed have dawned.(By doing so, he too proves his existence. In these rational times, this act of proving your existence is very important.) Dramatization or not, the fact was that he rose as usual in the east that day to brighten up the skies under which people would exercise their franchise. People did come out and exercise their franchise. So did they on all the eighteen days of polling.
On each polling day, there were exit polls too on news channels. Their results were discussed threadbare. Some tried to be sensible and said both parties had equal chance and it was difficult to predict and hence didn't predict. Some were bizarre. They ruled that people did not vote at all. Others tried to make a virtue out of their madness by sounding politically abstruse. They predicted that a realignment of political forces would cause a midway unification of votes that would swing the result in favour of a third political pole. Remarkable was their ignorance of the absence of any such third formation.

And finally the polling ended. It was time for counting. As the story writer, I feel enormously powerful at this point. Singlehandedly(or atleast using both hands, since I am typing this using both the hands) I can determine the outcome of an election. I can, atleast in this narrative, dictate which direction the country's politics takes. In a matter of a few words, I can play with the fortunes of political parties. Feels like God.

Ok ok. Enough of these distractions in a narrative as important as this. I am surely coming back to the story. The counting happened at various counting centers across the country. In a matter of few hours the results were as clear as crystal. Dr. D had won the elections.

PS 1: This story, if you can call it that, has thus come to an unanticipated climax.

PS 2: This was an attempt at imagining how the final stages in the story of Mahabharatha would have played out in our time. And that story of Mahabharatha was Vedavyasa's work(non-fiction-magnum-opus) penned by Lord Ganapati. Since he steadfastly declined my request to write this series, I typed it with my own hands.

Mahabharata Revisited- V

The campaigning began. Nakula and Sahdeva hit the road for a door-to-door campaign. They distributed campaign brochures to every household in important constituencies. Where they could not go, mails were dispatched. Being shrewd businessmen, they decided to promote their second-hand-keyboards venture too. They distributed a second-hand-keyboard for free along with the campaign leaflet. This they did despite fervent pleas to the contrary by the people to whom they gave. Those people's minds were filled with memories of keyboards from Nakula-Sahadeva Inc going to flames when the typing speed exceeded a predefined limit. Their kith and kin had been rendered fingerless. But Nakula and Sahadeva didn't recognize the seething anger against them in people's minds.

While Nakula and Sahadeva were thus a liability to PAD, Bhima was their asset. Not exactly Bhima, but the allegations against him. An Olympic medalist boxer facing a ban due to allegations of taking performance enhancement drugs. There was sympathy for him. The allegations against him were a neo-imperialist conspiracy by America, thought a large majority of people. Consequently, countless number of effigies of American President George Bush were burnt. An American President had never been a target in an Indian election before. Also boxing matches were held at campaign locations to fund Bhima's electioneering. Needless to say Bhima was confident of victory.

Arjuna's campaign was more of analysis than anything substantial. He watched videos of successful campaigns of various leaders in the past. He watched it in speeds that varied from ultra-slow-motion to ultra-high-speed. He practiced whatever he saw. He decided, strangely, to campaign only on the last day of campaigning.

DJ was everywhere; On his blog, on the road, on various public fora, on YouTube and many more. He promised tax exemption for blog revenue. He promised to pay more attention to travelogue writers. But he failed to recognize that bloggers and writers alone can't win him even a single seat.

Dr. D - the angry middle aged man of Indian politics - promised toilets for every home. This, he opined, would give some space to think. He also promised to abolish taxes and regularize corruption. The money obtained through corruption, he suggested, would be divided between the person taking it and the Government. This, he said, would overcompensate the money lost due to tax abolition. In this way, he hoped to kill two birds in one stroke.

Karna also campaigned. It was widely reported to be laconic and incomprehensible. Those who did understand, found it very acerbic. And the other grand old men of KAP too campaigned. So did the rest of the KAP fraternal conglomeration.

And Arjuna's grand campaign day arrived. Krish had come to his house to accompany him. With barely couple of hours left for the public rally, Arjuna suddenly developed a fear for public speaking. Krish immediately gave him a copy of the book How to Develop Self-Confidence And Influence People By Public Speaking. Arjuna read it. Developed self-confidence. And speak he did. And influencing people? Results were going to be the only indicator of that.

Preview of final episode: Election results - Will KAP retain power? Or will PAD regain lost power? Watch out for the final installment of this mega series by GuruWrites.

Mahabharata Revisited- IV

Kunti-Karna meeting happened at an undisclosed location. Kunti told Karna about the circumstances that led to his birth. "So you too are my son and thereby the eldest brother among the Pandavas. If DJ knows this, he would be more than willing to accept you as a consensus Prime Ministerial candidate of both the alliances. Thus, we can avoid an avoidable election. What says you?"
"Ï shall not be party to this betrayal of my friend Dr. D. You may leave now", thus spoke Karna.
What did Kunti do?
She left.

The three electorally disinclined brothers were sad to know that the elections were an inevitability. In his immeasurable joy, Bhima didn't know what to do. He simply ordered a large Veg Pizza along with garlic bread and ate it all alone. Draupadi too was delighted but she did not like Pizza and hence didn't eat it. She instead ate Idli. These acts of gourmandise of both Draupadi and Bhima shall in no way affect the course of the story.

Election dates were announced. It was set to be a long drawn out election spread over 18 days. 'Bloggers Collective' came en masse to accompany DJ when he went to file his nomination papers.DJ asked them all to click more times on the ads on his blog so that the ad-revenues in itself could fund his electioneering. "Weightlifter's Association Of India" members carried huge boulders along with Bhima on their shoulders as they barged their way into the election commission's office for Bhima's nomination. Arjuna called her girlfriend. But she didn't turn up. So he went alone. Nakula and Sahadeva filed their digitally signed nominations online. Krish was their non-playing captain being the key strategist.

Dr. D and his hundred member strong fraternal conglomeration filed their nominations too alongwith Karna. Superannuated Bhishma, the reluctant politician Drona and Krupa, being the key Kaurava-electoral-strategists, too entered the fray although unwillingly.

Opinion polls predicted that both alliances would lose. They concluded that it was difficult to predict who else would win in this eventuality. Dr. Yadav, a noted psephologist with a funny beard, blamed this on stray dog menace. But all opinion polls were confident that it would be democracy that would ultimately win.

Back in the Kaurava camp, there was a bitter fight between chief-electoral-strategist Bhishma and Karna who had been annoyed at not having been appointed as the key strategist. He accused Bhishma of caste prejudice but was careful enough to not anger Dr. D. He also blamed Bhishma for stray dog menace and the mysterious death of ants in south India. Bhishma remained silent so that he could get some publicity ahead of the release of his next would-be-award-winning-autobiographical-book, 'How I got may father married'. Provoked by an unresponsive Bhishma, Karna started a 'Hate Bhishma' community on Orkut. DJ's new blog post on this topic, "Why is DJ happy" became a hit. Ad revenues crossed record margins in two days. Meanwhile, Karna removed the Hate Bhishma community so as to not to hurt his friend Dr. D's electoral ambition of getting re-elected as PM. And then there was some peace in the Kaurava camp.

[Rest of this exciting run-up to polls, poll-day drama, and the results - Watch out for the next episode in this Mahabharatha series]

Friday, February 29, 2008

Mahabharata Revisited- III

Yudhishtira, Bhima, Arjuna were born to Kunti. Nakula, Sahadeva to Maduri. Pandu was the joint-husband of Kunti and Maduri. Since Maduri had died, the four electorally disinclined Pandava Brothers had only Kunti to ask for maternal help.
"Mom, do something?", asked the brothers.
"O my dears, what's bothering you?", asked Kunti affectionately.
"Elections", came the reply in chorus.
"Why? Are the opinion polls predicting unfavourable results for our alliance?", asked the politically shrewd Mom.
"We don't want elections."

Kunti was shocked to hear this. But knowing that her sons would have some genuine reason for that, she patiently listened to their grievance and assured them of whatever help that she could do. The brothers were overjoyed. It was already late in the evening. And it was a Saturday. Weekend. So off they went to a casino, lost money, went to a pub, boozed, got inebriated, then somehow managed their way back home. On seeing Draupadi and Bhima, they laughed boisterously without any reason. And then they slept.

Now a bit of flashback about Kunti. Kunti had premarital sex. With whom? Though vouyeuristc, this question shall be answered. And it was with Soorya, the sales representative of a 'Solar Energy Solutions' company, who had come one dark-power-cut-evening to Kunti's house to sell solar solutions(with increasing power cuts not sparing even the elite and influential too, Kunti's father had called Soorya to negotiate a solar solution for his home) but found only Kunti. After nine months, Kunti gave birth to a boy. Afraid of the social taboo she would have had to face for this evidence of her illegitimate copulation, she covertly went to a "Home For Kids Resulting From Illegitimate Copulation" and left the kid there.

He was then adopted by a couple who named him Karna. Karna, like any other kid, grew up. At the tender age of eight, met Duryodhana online while surfing Orkut. Found in him a friend he always wanted and instantly wrote a testimonial that gushed about him. Duryodhana and Karna went to same school, same college and also became colleagues in the central cabinet of ministers.

That Karna was her son, was known only to Kunti. "He shall be my trump card to solve the woes of my sons", thought Kunti in a sense of triumph. Immediately she opened Outlook on her laptop and sent a meeting request to Karna for the next day.

Friday, September 28, 2007

life ab tak......

You came outta womb and after a couple of yrs you started walking..

You blew tantrums and everything was put into your kitty by your parents..

You overwhelmed when your kindergarten teacher gave you a big star on your wrist..

You cried in the school bus and always forgot your tiffin box in school..

You got thrashed while using first cussing in front of your parents

You hide your school diary which was full of bad remarks

You did false signatures on your report card and finally a feeling of responsiveness came in boards..

You burnished your exam papers like anything but as usual checking from the teachers was not up to the mark. *highly optimistic people*

And finally you came into graduation or i should say lover boy stage where you realized there's no life beyond your cell phone and your girl..

That late night talks and when caught, those illogical excuses; ah, i bet you still remember all of em.

Farewels and discotheques, shimmering clothes, stupid excuses at home, coming late every night ... gosh !!! All those things are as fresh as a hot spongy truffle with a vanilla scoop..

And your convocation in college , that long coat and a beautiful crown like cap ... i bet everyone must be thinking to capture the whole world

Your first job, boring and drab ... work and work but still you manage to take out time for those mischievous things ..

And that realization to continue your studies was again ENTERING THE NEW WORLD..

Finally you're sitting alone and thinking...Man .. you're 21 ... is life fast or my memory is so sharp that all the things ive done uptill now are crystal clear?????

hearty thanx to my friend PEEYUSH for allowing me 2 plagiarise his work.....thanx dude..... U ROCK

Friday, September 21, 2007

Mahabharata revisited-2

Since Dr. D announced elections, the PAD had no choice but to face it. But only Bhima and Draupadi wanted an election. And there were reasons for that.

While DJ was busy with writing travelogue and ending up a loser at casinos, Arjuna's thoughts were aimed only at winning the archery world championship. Last time around Drona was there with him as the coach. Before taking the shot at the target, each time, Arjuna was asked on the earphone by Drona as to what he was seeing. Only when Arjuna replied that he was seeing only the target and not the hot females amidst the spectators, Drona would ask Arjuna to shoot. This was revealed to be the secret of Arjuna's success at previous world championships. This time, Drona was not accompanying him, as he(Drona) was busy with elections. So he thought he had to be extra careful to win it this time. He had put in months of hard work for that. "Now all that would be waste. To hell with these elections", Arjuna wondered in deep anguish. Somehow or the other he wanted these elections to be put off for some time so that he can accomplish his sporting ambitions.

Nakula and Sahdeva were self-proclaimed cool-software-geeks who had become cynical about elections. "There is too much of corruption", was their never-changing refrain. They, being the co-founders of Nakula Sahadeva Technologies, were also busy 'corporates' with teething corporate concerns. With just one product, sale of second hand keyboards, they wanted to diversify and expand their product portfolio. This had become a must for them to increase both their market share and visibility. All this, they firmly believed, would not just add to their revenues but also help them achieve customer satisfaction. All this meant that they too were not in favour of wasting time on elections, atleast for the moment.

Bhima wanted elections because he was sickeningly free. Bhima, the weight-lifting olympic gold medalist, was disqualified for two years, the previous year, because he had failed the dope test. That he did not require drugs to enhance his performance was something that people believed sincerely. So, he also hoped to cash in on the sympathy that was generated in his favour as a result. Dope test of a weightlifter was poised to become an election issue for the very first time in Independent India. Weightlifting Federation Of India came out in full support of Bhima. All this and absence of any other meaningful work made him pitch for polls.

Draupadi too wanted elections. Simply because, she wanted the powers and luxuries associated with being the PM's wife. She was also believed to have influenced many decisions DJ took when he was PM. Also she liked the kitchen in the PM's official residence.

But the other four, not favourably inclined to face early elections, secretly met to devise a strategy to somehow avoid it. In that meeting, they decided to ask their mother Kunti for help.

[What did Kunti do? Will she oblige? - All this and more in the next episode.]

mahabharata revisited-1

Note: Revisiting a part of Mahabharata here, is just an attempt at humour. Probably, a failed one as you might find. But certainly not one to demean the characters or story of Mahabharata - one of the world's greatest epics.

Not too long ago, there were two alliances jointly ruling the country. One was the Pandava Alliance For Democracy and the other, Kaurava Alliance For Progress. Pandava Alliance - consisting of, mainly, five founder brothers Dharmaraj, Arjun, Bhim, Nakul, Sahadev and their collective spouse Draupadi - were fed up with this everyday business of running the country. They decided to take a break and tour the country. They gave the reins of power to their partner alliance - Kaurava Alliance For Progress - a hundred member fraternal conglomeration. They hired Kingfisher airways for their travel. And travel they did, across the length and breadth of the country, for fourteen months. And then they came back.

After having returned, they demanded that the incumbent Prime Minister Dr. Duryodhana should hand over the Government that was always theirs. But Dr. D, as the Prime Minister was called in media circles, was not ready for such a handover. On the contrary, he would not cede even an inch of power. He dared them to withdraw support and go for fresh elections. But chairman of the Pandava Alliance, Mr. Dharmraj (fashionably called DJ), was not for confrontation. "Come on dude, let's talk it over a glass of beer.", he exhorted the PM Dr. D. But sensing that talks would not get them anywhere, PAD Women's Group President and wife of the five member PAD Smt. Draupadi, was not at all happy with this. Smt. Draupadi, who was believed to be the power behind the throne when DJ was the PM, along with Bhima, was strongly in favour of going for polls.

But DJ was not in a hurry to go for polls. He was too busy writing his travelogue. He was confident of winning the Booker for it. He barely had time for his favourite game of casino as a result. That being the case, he could not afford time for matters like elections, that he considered, were for the not so intellectual individuals like Dr. D. So he decided to buy time for himself through talks. He intended to send a negotiator on their behalf for talks with Dr. D. Who better than DJ's cousin Kris, an eminent legal expert and who was also the Chief Minister of Western India, to act as the interlocutor. The tech savvy DJ, had sent a meeting request over email to Dr D, for the talks between Dr. D and Kris. But there was no reply from D for 2 days. DJ got angry. You would have expected him to call a press conference to blast out at Dr. D. But he blogged extensively about it in his cool new site It became such a huge hit that he hoped to earn a million dollars by text ads alone on his blog. The adamant Dr. D just denied having received any such meeting request. His technical assistant then talked to DJ's assistant and figured out that the mail had not been sent as Outlook had crashed before sending. Now that everything was resolved, the meeting was scheduled for the next day.

Kris arrived at the meeting with a new Thinkpad in his hand. Powerpoint presentations would power his talks. Dr. D didn't look at him even for a moment. Members of KAP, all Dr D's brothers, started shouting slogans at Kris. Half of them walked out. Dhrutarashtra, father of Dr. D, was silently watching Kris's articulation amidst all the acrimony. With his dark sunglasses on, that he had got over his blindness through eye-surgery was somewhat doubtful to believe. Dart, as Dhrutharashtra had come to be known amongst cartoonists, was flanked by Vidura, who was his personal advisor. Vidura was so impressed by the look and feel of Kris's presentation that he abruptly got up and told Dr. D that he should give the PAD their due share of power. The people in that hall, which included D's grandpa Bhishma-the-never-retiring-politician and author of "How to win elections and form Governments" , Drona - the electoral manager and the chief-mentor for both the alliances, former live commentator turned psephologist Sanjaya, best selling fiction and non-fiction writer Vyasa and other non-members of KAP, who were nodding their heads in admiration of Kris's presentation, were distracted by this interruption. But they concurred with him. This angered Dr. D. But being a person who was not intelligent enough to deal with such an emergent situation, he just went out and to the loo only to return after Kris had left. Nothing tangible was achieved, felt Kris. Disappointed, he left for a movie.

Dr. D was a loo-thinker. So he had the face of a man who knew what to do, when he returned from the loo. He, despite the harangue that Vidura resorted to against him, dissolved the Parliament and called for elections.