Indian Festivals, Mandaps and Mockery

It’s been a while since I got here. Anyway, now that I am, it’s obviously because something’s made me. This time it’s our great Indian festivals and the chaos they plan to cause every evening.

If Dahi Handi, a one day thing could cause so much of traffic, noise and waste of public money (where do you think our civil servants get that dough to fill your matkas until they overflow?), the Ganpati celebrations I think are pushing it too far now. Like really!

I have nothing against the festival, fine, he’s one of your God’s. Cool! But how is he even treated. Instead of bhajans, lately Akon’s track Takin’ it off and some House music have been singing his praise on Linking road.

I’m pretty sure you’ve strolled around and seen enough mandaps and shamianas put up. Practically every 2 kms you’ll bump into one, sometimes even lesser. Mostly organised and put together by slum dwellers and an illiterate lot, these mandaps have more lighting than the house those organisers live in. They probably wouldn’t spend that much on buying new clothes or food for their entire family either.

So where is the money coming from? DUH!!! Its OUR (middle class) money. So we pay taxes, and what do you get in return? Noise and mandaps…shit loads of MANDAPS. Because Indians believe in celebrating every festival, and if there isn’t one anytime soon….hell we’ll make one up.

These festival celebrations have just turned into one big pile of bull. With nothing but illiteracy, larger than life speakers, free food, and a whole lot of mockery!

5 Things You Should Know Before Dating a Journalist

So you’ve been eyeing that smart, attractive journalist you’re lucky enough to know personally. You’re intrigued. Your journalist is smart, funny, and confident.

Who can blame you? JOURNALISM IS A SEXY OCCUPATION!!

But journalists aren’t like the bimbos you usually pick up at the bar. Nor are they the blondes you men continually fall for. No, journalists are different beings (which is why you’re attracted to them in the first place), and you should realize – before jumping in – that this isn’t going to be a run-of-the-mill, boring, lame relationship you’re used to.

Here’s what YOU NEED TO KNOW

1.  We can figure things out: Understand, we’re paid to dig deep, find the secrets and wade through bullshit. We can pick up on subtleties, so what you think you are hiding from us won’t be hidden for long.

We don’t take shit from anyone, so don’t lie to us or give a load of bullshit. We spend all day separating fact from fiction, listening to PR cronies and dealing with slimy politicians.
If you make us do the same with you, you’re just gonna piss us off. And don’t think we’ll be quiet about it. We’ll respond with the vengeance of an Op-Ed page railing against society’s injustices – and we’ll enjoy doing it.
Just tell us the truth. WE CAN HANDLE IT.

2. At some point, you will be a topic: Either through a feature story or an opinion column, something you do or say will be a subject. Get over it. Consider it a compliment, even if we’re arguing against you in print.

Think about it: we live our lives writing about life. If you’re a part of our life, we’re going to write about you, your thoughts or a subject springing from one of the two.

3. Yes, we think We’re Smarter Than You: In fact, we know it. Does that smack off ego? Absolutely – but that confidence is what makes your heart go pitter-patter.

We have a strong, working knowledge of how the world works. That makes us great in conversation. We can delve into the intricacies of zoning laws, local and national politics, where to find the good restaurants, what’s happening with pop culture, where the good bands are playing and more.

But there are PITFALLS.
Guaranteed, when you say ‘towards,’ we will automatically say ‘toward’ — ‘towards’ is not a word. We’re not trying to call you dumb (even though you don’t understand the English language), it’s habit.

The fact that you sit in a coffee shop wearing black while scribbling in your journal does not make you a writer. Nor does the fact that you “wrote some poems in high school” or that one day you want to pen “the great Indian novel.”

Look, we’re paid to write. Everyday. What’s more, our writing matters. It changes opinions, affects decisions and connects people with the world around them.

You may have some great journal entries, poems and rudimentary short stories – good for you. Just don’t assume we’ll accept that as on par with what we do (unless you’re really hot, then hell, you’re a better writer than I).

4. You’re not less important than the job – the job is just more important than anything else: One doesn’t become a journalist to sit in an office from 9 to 5 Monday through Friday. We do take our work home. If news is happening, we’ll drop whatever we’re doing – even if it’s with you – to cover it. We’re always looking for stories, so yes, we’ll stop on the street to write something down, interview a passer-by or gather information for a lead.

On that same note, don’t get upset if you call us on deadline suggesting some afternoon nookie and we say, “I’ve got to put the paper to bed first.” That could mean hours from now, but we’ll have plenty of time to put you in bed later.

Aaaaaand….Finally!

5. You won’t be disappointed. Journalists are intense, driven, passionate folk: We carry those same attributes into our relationships, making it an extremely fun ride well worth the price of admission. Our lives are never boring and each day is different.

If the pitfalls are scaring you away, consider this:

The fact that we’re inquisitive means we’ll listen to you. Even if it does seem like an interview, we’re paying attention to what you have to say (see rule No. 1).

We’ll write about you or your thoughts because you’re an important part of our life and we care about you (see rule No. 2).

Our brains are a great resource. Ever go on a date with an attractive person and wind up wishing you hadn’t because everything they say is just, well, stupid? That’s not going to happen here (see rule No. 3).

Yes, it may seem that we put the job ahead of you, but we’re driven. You’re not with that loser whose life is going nowhere and who’s completely content being mediocre (see rule No. 4).

There you go, five things you should know before dating a journalist. Feel free to add to the list, point out where I’ve missed something or leave a comment. And yes, men (let me stress on MEN, not boys!!) , I’m single (see rule No. 5).