humour, Travel

The Recliner

Those who fly frequently will agree that the amount of space on offer is much less than in an ST Bus. That is, on most domestic flights.

Yes, the ST buses vibrate and they do travel on sturdy roads and they do make a lot of cacophony. But if you feel like stretching your legs, you can do so in the space available below the seat in front, if it is not occupied by assorted luggage of fellow travellers. And small mercies, the seats of a ST bus don’t recline.

Which is not the case in a domestic flight. Recently a video is doing the rounds of the social media in which a woman tries to recline her seat repeatedly while the man sitting behind her, bangs and pushes her seat as he doesn’t want to be inconvenienced. This video is from one of the western countries but a similar story repeats in our country skies too.

The usual story on a domestic flight goes something like this…

After what seems like an eternity of waiting in the departure area, finally the announcement everyone has been waiting for, is made. Unfortunately the departure gate has changed at the nth hour and everyone has to hurry across to the new one.

The flight duration itself is only 55 minutes but I have already spent more than 2 hours at the airport terminal. I am not even counting the 2 hours I spent in a taxi while reaching the airport.

A further few minutes are spent waiting in a queue to get the ticket scanned then I am on my way. As I reach the boarding bus, it gets full and speeds away. Fortunately another bus is just behind and I get onto it.

Like most other travellers, I don’t rush to the seats but stand near the bus door. As others have the same idea, soon the door gets blocked and someone from the airlines has to show the space available inside to the people who are already inside, by wild gesticulations of his hands and vocal cords. A few passengers (not me) finally get the message and reluctantly occupy the vacant seats thus allowing others to board the bus.

Some old ladies give me obnoxious looks, as if they have seen a particularly ugly specimen. Not to be outdone, I return an obnoxious look of my own. Then the airport tarmac darshan commences, with the bus meandering across the tarmac in search of the aircraft.

In a few minutes I am out on the Tarmac, as soon as the bus comes to a halt and the doors slide open. Happy to be the first in line, I rush with my laptop bag towards the front of the aircraft but the checker takes one look at my ticket and directs me towards the rear. Muttering expletives under my breath, I run across but find myself in yet another queue.

Finally I am inside but the stewardess ignores me but has a bright smile for the old gentleman following me and even wishes him! I glance at him over my shoulder; he seems extra jolly. I scowl at him and move on.

It takes an eternity to reach my row, mainly due to various passengers trying to fit their assorted luggage In the bins above.

As always my luck, or the lack of it, takes me to a middle seat. I think this is the worst seat to get via reservation, unless someone interesting occupies the neighbouring seats. However Murphy plays his part and I sit between two especially healthy specimen.

Due to the ample leg space, the person occupying the aisle seat has to get up and stand in the aisle while I try to find room for my laptop in the bin above. I push and shove the other luggage but can’t seem to fit my humble laptop bag there. Finally I dump it below the seat ahead and plonk myself in the middle seat. As I try to make myself comfortable, I find that there is no armrest for me as the two gentlemen own that space.

As I sit waiting for the aircraft to take off, the aircraft sits on the tarmac waiting for the green signal from the air traffic control. Finally it does…

The congested leg space is made more constricted by my neighbours but I decide to make myself comfortable by reclining my seat once the aircraft completes its ascent. Pressing the knob, I jerk back my seat.

“Bloody fool!”, I hear someone cursing from behind me. Ignore, man…ignore…and I pretend to sleep.

The curses go on for some more time and then fall silent. They always do. I slip into deep sleep.

Suddenly I feel huge pressure on my knees and wake up with a start. I find that the man in front of me has reclined his seat. A few expletives escape my mouth and spread themselves like mist in the air. But the totally shameless man in front of me is unaffected. He just covers his eyes and starts snoring…I let off steam for sometime and then I resign myself to my fate.

Friends! Isn’t this story quite familiar?

Though some of the passengers are obnoxious, this spatial challenge inside an aircraft is mainly profit driven. Previously the space between two consecutive rows was 34-35 inches which has now been reduced to 30-31 inches and in some cases, to a flimsy 28 inches.

The recliner angle, which had been designed considering the previous distance between the rows, hasn’t changed after the distance was reduced.

The precise reason for the decreasing space inside a huge aircraft. The precise reason why you, me and them fight.

Yatindra Tawde


An app for diaper swap

Nachiket and Nikita are new parents. They had their son hardly one month back. Their house is a pleasant mess, which is normal in any house where a child has been born recently.

Nikita is on maternity leave whereas Nachiket too spends maximum time at home, whenever his job and his boss permits. Nikita’s mother too stays with them, looking after the little bundle of joy. Though all of them enjoy being with the new addition to the family, they seem to have no clues when faced with the crying episodes of the child.

A totally peaceful afternoon suddenly turns into a chaotic situation once the child starts throwing tantrums. Thinking the child is hungry, Nikita tries to feed it, but the decibel level increases. Taking pity on her, her mother takes the child in her custody and started singing a lullaby. As the grandmother touches the high notes in her song, so does the child. Exasperated the mother and grandmother look at each other clueless. Suddenly the grandmother espies that the diaper is cold. She places the child on the sofa and takes off the child’s diaper.

Lo and behold!

As soon as this is done, the child is quiet. So this was the problem. The solution was so simple but since the problem was not easily identifiable, the family had to put up with the cacophony.

It is night time, everyone is fast asleep. Suddenly a shriek goes up in the air and all are wide awake. But now Nikita is experienced. She goes and picks up the child and tries to change its diaper… But no, this time the diaper is dry. So she packs up the child again and tries to breastfeed the child. This is what the child wanted and in no time, it is peacefully contented and off to sleep it goes. The night is quiet again!

Nachiket, the software engineer is intrigued. And he decides to do something about this. After all, as a software engineer, he knows that every problem has a solution. So the next time the child cries, Nachiket goes very near the child and puts his ears to the baby’s mouth. He tries to decipher whether there is any difference between each cry, whether it is for food, or for a sound sleep. But he deciphers none. All cries are the same….wahhhhh….

The next day in office, he mentions his dilemma during the lunch hour, to his office mate, Riddhima. And lo! Riddhima has a ready made solution. After all she is his senior and she to has faced this in her life before. And Nachiket does as instructed by Riddhima…

Next day he stays at home eagerly waiting for the child to cry. And then the moment arrives…a cry goes out, disturbing the noon peace. And before the mother and grandmother react, Nachiket is near the child…

He whips out his smartphone from his pocket, starts an app and keeps it on record mode, near the baby’s mouth. Mother and grandmother are watching this, worried about the mental imbalance shown by Nachiket.

But Nachiket himself is very enthusiastic about the task at hand, he keeps his smartphone near the baby’s mouth for about 10 seconds, then his fingers do the tango on the phone . He gives a triumphant cry and shows the screen to the 2 ladies…

Screen shows “HUNGRY” in bold letters. The ladies are apprehensive, but then the mother starts feeding the child… And the house is peaceful again.

The app is passed on to the mother who is the happiest. She feels as if, suddenly there is a translator for translating all her baby’s cries into human speech. Next time the baby throws a tantrum, the app shows that the baby needs a diaper swap. These are the happiest days for the mother and the entire family. The grandmother is the most impressed since she had always felt that technology has gone too far …but now she too is impressed.

Friends, you may feel this is far fetched but this technology is upon us and the app is 90-95% accurate in giving its solutions. The new parents in the West are the most happy, since this app is not yet introduced in India. But by the time you read this, it might be available. But just to try out the new app, don’t try to be a new parent, especially my friends who are now in their late 40’s…

P.S. – this app is said to work only for babies upto 8-10 months old, since the innocent babies cry with honesty, only till that age… After that they get smarter for the smartphone app. And mothers, don’t try to use it for your grown up babies… Your respective husbands 😊

Yatindra Tawde


A burglar with OCD?

What is OCD, someone might ask?

I say, ask my wife, the epitome of OCD. Well, OCD is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Google defines it as, excessive thoughts that lead to repetitive behaviour.

Why is my wife, the epitome of OCD? Well, once the maid has cleaned the house and left, my wife finds dust and unclean corners in the house. And she gets down to the job of cleaning it further. But friends say that it is my OCD to exaggerate my wife’s behaviours.

Today’s story is on a different subject.

Paul and Samantha planned to go on an extended holiday. But worried about the general maintenance of their formidable property during their absence, they decided to employ the services of a house sitter. They didn’t advertise it in the papers but used their friend circle to find a trusted house sitter. And they found one, in the young and effervescent Jennie.

One day prior to their departure, Jennie came to stay with them. Samantha was happy that her precious plants would stay hale-n-hearty under Jennie’s care. Paul was happy that his piano would remain in spic-n-span condition, so too, his billiards table and the golf kit.

Jennie was over the moon. After all, she would be living her dream; dream of living in an exclusive and luxurious property and getting paid for it.

The next morning was the time for enthusiastic goodbyes from both parties.

Once the owners had left, the huge house was for Jennie to enjoy. She brewed up a cup of piping hot coffee and found her cosy corner in the Emperor sized chair kept in front of the theatre sized TV, which she put on and binged watched GoT.

After this marathon TV watching session, her tired eyes demanded shut eye. She headed to one of the bedrooms and made herself comfortable on a king sized double bed,.

Hardly had a few minutes passed, she was woken up by shuffling noises. She was wide awake now, her heart thudding inside her heaving chest. The noise stopped. As her breath normalised, she drifted back into sleep.

There it was again. She panicked. The noises seemed to come from the bathroom at one end of the bedroom.

She tiptoed towards the bathroom, half expecting someone to barge out. Seeing the latch on the bathroom door, she heaved a sigh of relief. She rushed the last few steps towards the door and with shivering hands, locked it securely.

With equal fervour, she retraced her steps towards the house phone and called 9-1-1.

“I am alone in the house, but I hear noises from the bathroom. Am a house sitter, the owners have left just today morning and I was alone when they left. Please help!”.

The 911 services coordinated her location in the background with basic information from Jennie and in a few minutes, the police were at the door.

A relieved Jennie guided them towards the bathroom.

“There! Can you hear that?”.

Yes, the police certainly heard something.

“Come out with your arms raised. Don’t try anything funny!”, the Sergeant barked out the orders. Their ominous message was met by frantic shuffling inside. But no one emerged. The latch was opened noiselessly as the police prepared to barge in.

Hearing no response from inside, the posse of policemen drew their weapons. One of them kicked open the door, which flew in and crashed on the wall. Two policemen, led by their service revolvers, entered inside.

They were greeted by…thin air! But there was a sudden movement in a corner, a shuffling noise, this time stronger but the suspense was lifted.

It was the auto vacuum cleaner!

The alleged ‘burglar’, the vacuum cleaner, was just doing its cleaning job at the pre-programmed hour. A burglar with OCD?

The police as well as an embarrassed Jennie, had a good laugh over this ‘much ado about nothing’ scenario. Jennie talked to the owners and put the machine to sleep.

Yatindra Tawde

humour, Uncategorized

Vada Pav – The Indian Burger

I read different versions of eating vada pav today and was reminded about one unforgettable episode when I ate vada pav. It was unforgettable because it had nothing to do with the satiation one feels after eating a vada pav but something which makes me remember it even though almost 5-6 years have passed.
Once myself and my better half had gone to Dadar to my parents residence. With nothing particular to do I suggested that we go to Dadar west, near Chabildas school and have vada pav at Shree Krishna vada pav centre. As you know, previously I used to stay in Dadar and lot of fond memories are associated with the place. And one of the strong memories are of my 11th and 12th std., when I had my tuition classes in Dadar west, where I used to go regularly. Well, I don’t exactly remember what I gained from those classes but I strongly remember going to the same Shree Krishna vada pav centre, which was the first stop before entering the classes. And I must tell you that the vada pav served there was mouth watering, to say the least. It was served hot and melted in the mouth. we used to eat it, the hot vada pav scalding the mouth.
It was these memories which prompted me to suggest to my wife to accompany me to have the vada pav once again to refresh the mouth watering taste. So we went walking and got down from the iconic Tilak bridge and reached the vada pav centre. This vada pav centre continues to be a centre of attraction for all the denizens who still flock to Dadar for work propose as well as shopping propose. Thus there was a big line and we joined the line patiently awaiting our turn. As we progressed closer to the counter, my mouth started watering in anticipation. My wife is not a foodie at all, and she was just humouring me by accompanying me to eat the vada pav. Finally we had paid, the rate now being almost 10 times what I used to pay during my teens but who cared… The hot piping vada pav was in my hands. Myself and wife moved to the side of the road so that we can have the vada pav at our leisure without getting disturbed by the milling crowds. So there I was, indulging in my foodie delight. Now most of you know that green chillies are also served along with vada pavs and I was enticed to eat one… And that decision resulted in lot of chaos… for me…i don’t know what happened or how it happened but the chillie burst in my hand and the next moment my eyes 👀 were burning…a piercing scream escaping my mouth, my wife totally confused on what had happened… Later on she told me that all people on that street were looking quizically at me. There I was forgetting all about the vada pav in the paper plate with the only concern being to bring fast relief to my eyes. I tried hard to open my eyes but in vain since the pain was just too over powering. At that very moment my wife bought a packaged water bottle and then the attempts to douse the fire burning in my eyes , started. Finally after almost emptying the bottle on my eyes, was I again able to see the world, albeit through watering slit eyes. In all this confusion myself and my wife had all but forgotten about mouth watering vada pavs and instead of indulging my taste buds, I was more concerned about saving my vision. Thus one of my five senses took precedence over another and I had to forego the pleasure of eating a mouth watering vada pav.

horror, humour, Uncategorized

The Library

Recently a library in New Zealand had to un-install a buzzer from outside their premises. Apparently this high frequency buzzer had been installed by them to get rid of bullies who did not allow the students of the studious variety to study in peace peacefully. In short they were a nuisance to society. But the authorities decided that the buzzer itself was a nuisance since, in addition to the bullies, to get rid of whom it was meant for, it disturbed the students too. And it was said to violate the fundamental rights of the bullies too. And , what may we ask, are the fundamental rights of the bully? And mind you, it was not any library attached to a college or something, it was a public library.

In India, there is no such need for a buzzer to get rid of such bullies, especially in a public library. Since, first of all, the public library is usually situated in a real public place, which is quite noisy in itself, that there are not many patrons for it. Usually such libraries are bang in the middle of the vegetable markets thus the major study which happens is, “potato 100 Rs. A kg.”, etc. If a person goes to study physics, the only knowledge he will gain is, how the vegetable prices go on rising defying the laws of gravity. And if he goes to study the mechanics of flying rockets, he will be brought harshly down to earth, by slipping on a banana peel on the way. I know of a public library in Thane, which is located near a fish market. It is a good place to study about the edible aquatic life and also the local names of all such fish. But then you should be able to survive the olfactory onslaught on your senses. And you can also learn about haggling of the highest order. Another library that I know of is situated bang inside a cloth market. Here you get good knowledge of the traditional Indian sarees like Kanjivaram, Paithani, Banarasi, etc. and the latest trends in fashion industry. To keep things short, there is no need of such buzzers near our public libraries since the job is done very efficiently by the very fact that they are located in real public spaces. One must say too efficiently, since the patrons too keep far away from them.

Yatindra Tawde

humour, Uncategorized

The Chicken crossed the street

Many times I am really surprised how the western countries make a big hue and cry over small matters. Recently there was news in the papers about how a chicken in Scotland crossed a street and how the city authorities actually noticed this.
It so happened that a lady driving a car, noticed a chicken scurrying in front of her car. Startled, she applied the brakes instantly. Now, the lady drivers in Scotland are very law abiding citizens, they are either applying nail polish or are playing detective in trying to trace the elusive Pokémon’s or they are indulging in that harmless activity called Mobile chatting. But this lady was different. Perhaps she belonged to the bygone generation. She applied the brakes, took her car to the sidelines and dialed the authorities.
If it had been India, perhaps the chicken would either have been crushed under the wheels or would have ended up on some driver’s dining table. And in India, all animals cross the roads, that too when the driver is least expecting it, whether it is a chicken or a stray dog or cattle, on a busy city road or cattle or elephants in the south. In Thane, where I stay, the stray dogs are the kings of the roads, it is their territory, the cars have to either slow down or take a long detour around the dog, so as not to disturb the sleeping beauty. Recently I had been to the city of Udaipur. There the roads belong to the cattle, who occupy the best shaded and airy part of the road, and the cars have to drive around the cattle. That’s why our Driver faced great difficulty in finding a shaded parking spot since it was usually occupied by a family of cattle. When we asked the driver about this, he stated very matter of factly that the cattle occupy the roads to avoid mosquitos in the dark tabelas. On the roads, due to the cars and trucks going by, no mosquitos dare sit on them during their siesta time. That day I came to know that the drivers of Udaipur are so empathetic, they care about the mosquito bites on the cattle. Perhaps some entrepreneur should come out with a contraption, which sprays the inside of a car with perfume and the outside with a mosquito repellent. Guys, I am just trying to say that animals, whether bi-pedal or quadruped, are common on Indian roads, and what happened in Scotland, can never happen in India.
Anyway, coming back to our story, as soon as the lady in Scotland called the city authorities, a police car in the vicinity was at the spot, in a jiffy. And 4 policemen were immediately down on their haunches to catch the culprit, the modest chicken. The lady was honoured with the ‘STAR of the MAYOR’ for her exemplary kindness towards all living things. But the last I know, 4 policemen together were not able to capture the chicken. Perhaps they were chicken hearted policemen.
Yatindra Tawde

humour, Uncategorized

The singing mice

There are many birds who sing beautiful songs, and I am not talking about the crows and pigeons. I was in Udaipur recently and was very fortunate to, first hear the beautiful cry of the peacocks and then see his elegant dance in the wilderness. The myna birds, are very common in Thane, and my wake up callers. Almost every morning some myna birds, make it a point to come to our balcony and sing the entire range of their opera. After all these years I am able to identify their different types of tenor, of course, without understanding the meaning. And if you go to such exotic places like Mahabaleshwar, you meet many other singing stars with their varied singing styles.

But I was shocked when I heard that the mice sing too, just like birds, so says new research. But to our good luck, this singing is in a high pitched ultra sound tones, which humans cannot hear. I shudder to imagine, if humans were able to hear this singing…

We humans are sleeping in the night. The friendly neighbourhood dogs are having their barking competitions. A few dogs barking from the opposite locality are answered with equal fervour by the dogs in our locality. A few home-bound dogs join in the fun to add to the already loud cacophony. Suddenly two cats decide to challenge each other with hissing and screaming. And the mice try to win over new mates with their screeching singing. As it is, whatever sounds uttered by mice are very uncomfortable to us, I cannot imagine how their singing will be. But looking at the innumerable mice occupying the sewers, and their propensity to multiply their numbers, if we were able to hear their singing, I am sure it would drown out all other sounds in the human aural range.

So folks, I am going to sleep now, with assurance that my sleep won’t be disturbed by one more loud sound, other than those generated by fellow animals who already occupy not only the roadside but are stars of the social media as well. And I am grateful that the mice are not on social media otherwise their singing would make them sure fire singing stars and YouTube would have cute singing mice in addition to naughty kittens and puppies.
Yatindra Tawde

humour, Uncategorized

Pint Yoga

There’s new enthusiasm in the air. The men folk are excited, looking forward to their yoga sessions. The laziest of couch potatoes are now leaping with new vigour. The wives have pushed their husbands since long, to join Yoga classes, with little success. But now things have changed for the better.

Rakesh is a financial wizard who slogs throughout the week, his day starting at 6.30 am. and ending at 10 pm. He hardly gets time to exercise, neither in the morning nor in the evening. Work pressures force him to sometimes skip lunch. He keeps uneven eating hours, totally focused on his work. And the weekends are spent in lazing around the house and enjoying his beer sessions with his buddies. This unhealthy lifestyle has taken its toll and he suffers from hypertension. His beloved wife, Simran, keeps pushing him to take up exercise but with zilch success. And similar is the case with many other households in their locality.

One Saturday night, Rakesh comes home a little high and tremendously excited. Enthusiastically, he tells Simran about his plan to join a Yoga class next day. Simran is pleasantly shocked! She is not convinced but decides to humour him. Next day she wakes him up, early in the morning. “Rakesh, don’t you have to go to yoga today? Rise and shine!”. After half an hour, the king has still not woken up from his slumber. “What happened to your yesterday’s resolution? Why are you still in bed?”. Rakesh then mumbles about going in the evening. “Who does Yoga in the evening. Are you in your senses.” But no amount of threatening or cajoling disturbs Rakesh from his siesta.

Come evening time and Simran finds Rakesh ready with track pants and all. And he is unusually enthusiastic. He reaches the yoga gym with a spring in his step. The yoga session starts with the usual deep breathing exercises. It then proceeds to simple stretches. Then the serious asana’s start. And then it happens. This is what has pushed so many men to suddenly take a liking for yoga. After a set of every 3 asanas , a glass of beer is served. Some mumbo jumbo about how beer is good for the system, is served by the new age Guru. The Guru himself is demonstrating a very unique and complicated asana. Standing with his feet together, he lifts his leg backwards and in the same fluid motion arches his back, lifts one of his hands, tilts it backwards, touching the tip of his finger to his toe. And this is not all; in the same motion, he picks up a glass of beer with his other hand, takes it above his head and pours the contents into his throat. Then he starts demonstrating more asanas , the level of difficulty going up, but all the asanas are accompanied by a glass of beer. All this while, the students are reaching their higher levels of consciousness, thanks to the madira. After 2 hours, everyone is satiated, the students due to obvious reasons and the Guru, due to the fact that he had been able to loosen their purse strings.

Rakesh returns home where he is given a traditional welcome by his doting wife. She sees that her husband’s cheeks are unusually flushed and there is a radiance on his face. She is very happy to see this change in her husband.

Now guys, this is not a rambling of an idle mind but a very likely scenario since this has already started in the US of A, where people are always trying to bring some variety to anything they do, to overcome their boredom in any routine activity.

Yatindra Tawde

humour, Uncategorized

A Dog’s Life

To study dogs smartness, owners learn new tricks, I read somewhere. So the world has turned a full circle, and instead of the dogs, the owners are learning new tricks instead of the other way round. Nowadays universities have Canine Cognition Centres and Yale University is one of them. Owners try to find out how smart their dogs are, so they push their dogs into participating in such centres. And these centres then grant diplomas to the participating dogs. And these diplomas are bachelor’s, master’s and doctorates. And the owners earn brownie points and bragging rights in Social circles.

My name is Rocky and I am not a human. I started staying with Sumaira’s family, in the USA, since I was a pup and she was a small child. She was and still is my best friend. When she was sitting in her pram, I loved playing with her and licking her face. In fact, I loved lathering the faces of all humans in my house, with my saliva. Her parents took good care of me and they too loved me a lot. I was served the choicest food, it was a tradition for me to sit below the dining table, eagerly looking for food morsels, which the family was kind enough to share with me. I was bathed every day by Sumaira’s father and involved heavy foam on my body, every two days. Oh! How I loved to play with the foam. And those walks on the campus were bliss. I loved to watch the falling leaves and being surrounded and petted by Sumaira’s friends. Sumaira’s father would throw a ball, and I would be off in a jiffy to fetch it for him. But surprisingly he didn’t like the ball, and would throw it again. But I did not like to lose it, so I fetched it again. This went on for a while, which made me lose my patience as well as my interest. So I would just sit with my tongue hanging out of my mouth. My days were very well spent in all such leisurely activities. Then two things happened, Sumaira started going to school and her father changed his job, now he had to go to further off places for work purposes. This made him tired in the evening, and he no longer took Sumaira and me to the playground. I started spending more time lazing around the house and disturbing Sumaira’s mother with my crazy antics. In the evening, I started hearing her complaining to Sumaira’s father that I am one dumb dog, how I don’t do any tricks, so on and so forth.

Once there was a get together at the house and Sumaira’s father’s friends alongwith their families had come over, and there was a great racket around the house and I really enjoyed playing with all the little human pups who had come along. It was a great evening spent after a long time. But through the corner of my eyes, I had noticed that Sumaira’s mother surrounded by other ladies looking at me and discussing something. But I did not take much notice and continued enjoying myself with the kids. Next day I was to discover!

Next day started early. Once Sumaira and her father left, her mother showered extra attention on me. In a sing song voice, she said, “Common Rocky. Today we are going to rock”, and then she took me in her car to a far off place, with a big lawn outside. It was a great imposing building with, what humans call, the Greco-Roman architecture. Upon entering inside, my paws were sliding on the smooth as silk floor. I just loved the feeling, and tried to run but was of course restrained by the mother. We then entered a room, where I was given some simple tasks to try out, by a very stout human. After every task, to my delight, I was given mouth watering snacks. I started looking forward to more tasks. After a gruelling session of 2 hours, the stout man told the mother that I was being admitted to the institution. Oh! How happy she was. The next few weeks, this became a routine. I was learning many tricks and my treats were getting better and better. How I loved this lifestyle.

The D-day had arrived. The entire household was now with me in the Greco-Roman building. But there was a difference. Here I was, sitting separately on a pedestal along with many of my own ilk. Whereas the humans were there, making up the audience. My head was held high, avoiding eye contact with the ordinary humans. Yes, ordinary. After all, we the blue eyed denizens of the doggy world, were today sitting on a pedestal in front of the human race. I was so proud when my name was announced, “The next winner is Rocky”. And what was then said, changed my life forever. I was “Doctor Rocky!”

Nowadays I get impatient very fast. After many days, Sumaira’s father took me to the grounds again. He started that stupid game of throwing the ball. Once or twice I fetched it for him, but then I thought, if he doesn’t want the ball, why should I bring it back to him and waste my energy. No, I wasn’t going to repeat such silly acts now. After all I am smart now. A doctor, Doctor Rock, not Rocky the happy go lucky dog. I no longer sit below the table. Now I try to grab a chair for myself, after all a doctorate deserves a higher ground. The family did not like it at first, but now they accept me as their equal. Previously, when Sumaira was back from school, I used to dance around her and make her pet me. But now, I have realised my foolishness and don’t make a scene of myself. I try to maintain my dignity. But when Sumaira or her mother or father, take out the box of puzzles , the IQ Treat box of puzzles, I love to solve those puzzles which are then followed by awesome treats. The family is now getting slowly trained to my new requirements, and I like to be given my space.

So folks, let your dogs remain dogs, don’t try to make them smarter. Or one day, you won’t get such a wonderful welcome once you get home, tired from work, by your loyal loving doggy. He will start showing signs of the Teenagers sickness, a know-it-all personality replacing a love-you-all personality. Don’t say I didn’t warn you, or you would start leading a dog’s life.

Yatindra Tawde

humour, Uncategorized

Bullet Train

Mumbai-Ahmedabad will get a bullet train. From where will it be flagged off from? A date will be decided but will be indefinitely postponed. Why? A controversy will erupt, on who will flag off the inaugural train – whether it will be a Gujarati or a Maharashtrian . Finally a truce will be reached and decided that it will be flagged off by both. Now, where will it be flagged off from – Ahmedabad or Mumbai. For obvious reasons, it will be flagged off from Ahmedabad.
I understand that the bullet trains of Japan run at more that 300 km/ hr. Will they run at the same inhuman speeds in India? Lets suppose it does, then what precautions need to be taken…i think, first and foremost, it will need a dedicated elevated line, to avoid, any animal from crossing the tracks, especially the bovine kind, who are treated as sacred… We don’t want any protesters from holding up the bullet trains.
So the D-day arises. The timings of the train are fixed for the train to start its maiden journey from Ahmedabad at 7.30 am. The station is all bedecked in flowers, beautifully decorated. The bullet train itself has turned up at the station like a coy wife , getting ready for her wedding. The station is teeming with people. There are 3 types, those who have booked tickets in black, to be the pioneers who sat in the very first bullet train in India, others are the relatives and friends, who have come to drop off their loved ones, and the third type, are the sundry onlookers, who have just come to ogle at the train. They are all waiting for the inaugural ceremony with bated breaths. The politicians arrive for flagging off the train, sharp at 8.30 am. The people are happy, that, for once, they have come on time, 1 hour being nothing, if you consider the larger picture. Time comes for cutting the ribbon ceremony. And here everything goes wrong, making the train idle at Ahmedabad station for the next 3 hours!
The delay arises due to the controversy – who will cut the ribbon first, Maharashtra or Gujarat, driven by inflated egos. The railway babus, try to pacify both sides in vain. Some of the egotist start feeling hungry. The entire group, from both sides, retire to the railway canteen. The railway babus, grab their chance, and counsel both sides to reach to an agreement.
Finally both sides reach the front of the bullet train… There 2 ribbons are waiting to be cut, one by each group. The ribbon cutting ceremony passes off peacefully, with both parties then, embracing each other with put-on warmth in front of the preying eyes of the cameras, which are in huge numbers.
With a great toot of relief, the bullet train then commences its journey between the 2 great cities of India. Keeping in mind, the gastronomical likes of the passengers, the pantry car has made arrangements, for a continuous supply of phapda-jalebis, dhoklas, khakra, misal pav, vada pav, poha, et all. With their taste buds continuously occupied, the first travellers on the Indian bullet train never realise how the time passes, and by the time, they have had their umpteenth snack, the have reached Mumbai station, which is again festooned in balloons and decorations, and where a sea of people have gathered to welcome the Japanese marvel.
So the journey, which might have taken 3 hours in Japan, has taken 8 hours in India, thanks to the inauguration ceremony. It’s a victory of Indian tradition over Japanese innovation.