This Is What Would Happen If We Had A Sherlock Holmes In India Today

Sherlock HolmesEvery once in a while, I revisit all the Sherlock Holmes stories and novels with the same enthusiasm I had when I first picked up the books. I read each line with the same amount of drool in my mouth, and my heart beats faster each time the dramatic “elementary” reveal is around the corner. But, as time has gone by, I’ve become duller and predictable. My brain lacks the level of imagination it had when I was a kid. The result is that I find it hard to imagine the 19th century streets of London and the rustic surroundings of 221B Baker Street. I used to imagine them quite vividly, back when I was an innocent kid. Not anymore.

The alternative is that I try to imagine what would happen if Sherlock Holmes were discovered today, in this day and age, in India. It would not bode too well for our favorite detective. He would experience a systematic pounding by the media and the public until he would be so steeped in his own apparent ignominy that he would kill himself. This is what would happen:

Step 1: An Extraordinary Man Is Discovered

The tabloids would feature him first as a man of extraordinary talent, capable of solving crimes that the inept police can’t. People are impressed at his skills and the newspapers and the news channels run little fluff pieces on him and his abilities. He rapidly rises in the eyes of the public as the eccentric man who can solve the toughest of crimes with his extraordinary mind. He’s awarded a bunch of times by the Government and the Prime Minister gets his photograph clicked with him.

Step 2: The Obligatory Scandal

One persistent little fuck photographs Sherlock Holmes injecting himself with heroin. The photograph becomes a national sensation. How can a hero abuse narcotics? News anchors who can’t report to save their lives fill the TV screens with small-time politicians, ex-police officers and disgraced authors and ask them their opinion of this fallen hero. Four days of non-stop mindless debates about how he was politically motivated by the BJP or the Congress party to inject himself with heroin. One particularly persistent bitch of an anchor takes it upon herself to interview him on national television about this. Sherlock Holmes , with his usual battery of wit, proves to be too much for the dullard anchor to handle. She brands him a “traitor”.

Step 3: The Fall From Grace

He quickly becomes a laughing stock when one particular tabloid carries a photograph of him dozing off in court. He is actually closing his eyes and listening intently, but the tabloid sells sensation, not news.

Step 4: The Midnight Raids

The CBI raids his house in the middle of the night and finds a stash of chemicals, bullet holes in the wall, and the stash of heroin. They drag him out to Tihar Jail, but not before alerting the media of this “surprise” raid. The vultures are waiting for him on the street, and the newspapers splash the sensation on their front pages the next morning. Arnab Goswami is over the moon. “India wants to know the truth, Mr. Holmes!” he screams from the TV screen.

Step 5: The Demise

Sherlock Holmes gets out on bail. He checks himself into a five-star hotel room and overdoses on heroin. The media goes wild over this, and frantically covers the entire spectacle. “A national hero is dead,” mourns the TV anchor sadly. “He was a great man.”

This Is What Would Happen If We Had A Sherlock Holmes In India Today

I Interviewed A Coffee Cup, And The Results Are Unbelievable. All Your Friends Clicked This Awesome Headline For A Funny Story. What Happened Next Is Just Too Good!

This post is part of the Furniture Interview series.

Clickbaits. The bane of our existence. Don’t you hate these ridiculous headlines that are solely intended to get people to click through to a page that’s extremely lame? Oh, don’t forget the obligatory bikini photographs to lure you in, while the page has absolutely nothing to do with women or bikinis. In fact, using these techniques to get you to click through to a page like this, which deals with a man interviewing a coffee cup is borderline illegal. I may be banned, if I were serious. If I’m still banned, I’ll be mad.

Hot coffee mug sexy coffee mugAnyhoo, the coffee cup I interviewed today was one I met on Tinder. I loved the curves on it’s smooth, ceramic body and just had to meet it. We met at a nearby coffee shop and I was immediately attracted to it because it got the irony of the situation. We sat there, drinking our coffees (it just swirled its coffee around itself) and talking about this and that, when I decided to push the envelope of danger and take the next step. I grabbed the coffee cup, put the smooth ceramic to my lip and took a long swig of the hot coffee.

“Oh, wow,” said the cup. “That was – that was fantastic! That was my first kiss, by the way,” it added, a bit shyly.

“Really?” I asked, leaning forward, with my best come-hither look. “How was it?”

“Meh,” said the cup.

“Meh?” I asked, taken aback slightly. “What do you mean?”

“Dude,” said the cup. “I’m grateful for the first kiss, but it wasn’t anything like what I expected.”

“What were you expecting?”

“I don’t know. Something else, I guess.” It looked around the cafe, bored. It let out a yawn. That made me angry.

“What’s going on here?” I asked, almost ready to stand up and walk away. “One minute you’re all hot and flustered, and the next, you’re cold as ice.”

“I’m ceramic, baby,” replied the coffee cup. “You need to microwave me to get me hot and sweaty again.”

Well, I walked away. Though the coffee cup was definitely date-able, I didn’t want to keep a microwave oven in my bedroom and die of radiation poisoning if I didn’t die of a heart attack after seeing the power bills.

I Interviewed A Coffee Cup, And The Results Are Unbelievable. All Your Friends Clicked This Awesome Headline For A Funny Story. What Happened Next Is Just Too Good!

So, I Interviewed A Chair.

Interview with a chair depressed chair image mirrorcracked

This is the first in a series of posts in which I interview pieces of furniture. Don’t ask. I don’t know why I do half the things I do. 

It sat there looking at me, staring, unblinking. I didn’t know if I should proceed. When I asked if I could sit, it didn’t respond. It just stared at me. I shrugged, and walked over to it, smiled and was about to sit across the table from it, when it suddenly growled. It was a low, guttural growl. I froze and looked up.

“What?”  I asked.

“You can’t sit there,” said the chair.

“Why not?”

“You are here to interview me. I won’t allow you to sit on my cousin while you do.”

“Oh, this is your – ” I backed away from the chairs and the tables and found a bean bag in the corner. I sat in it and said, ” – cousin? I’m sorry.”

“It’s all right, happens to us all.”

“So, chair. Tell me. What’s new in life? What’s the scoop?” I was eager to get started. I had my notepad out and my recorder was on.

“Not much,” replied the chair. “It’s a boring life.”

“There must be something that’s going great for you!” I implored, determined not to give up. “Come on, help me out.”

“Dude, I sniff butts all day long,” sighed the chair. “In about ten minutes, I know what the person has had for breakfast. It’s not a glamorous life.”

“Do you have any advice for all the young chairs out there, reading this?”

“Yes,” said the chair with a deep sigh, that reminded me of Marvin, the depressed robot from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. “Yes, I do. Don’t do it. Don’t become a chair. You’ll be lured in with a lot of false promises – easy job, great life, good benefits. All a bunch of lies!”

“But, chair,” I said. “Surely, something must be good. You do have an easy job and a great life – you just sit around all day, helping people sit around all day.”

“Oh yeah?” said the chair. “What about the termites that have burrowed up my ass?”

“Well, that’s an occupational hazard…” I ventured.

“Don’t you dare tell me about occupational hazards!” thundered the chair. The room shook. I felt something warm and wet flowing down my legs. I had wet myself.

“Great!” said the chair, in a resigned tone. “You pee’d your pants. Now, unless someone mops that up, it’s gonna make it’s way over to me and I’ll be just as big a loser as you – wallowing in your urine.”

“Sh-shit, I’m s-s-sorry,” I managed to say. My heart was still racing. “I’m sorry. I’ll mop it up.”

“Forget it,” sighed the chair. It motioned for me to come over. “Come over here, human. Come, sit on me. Let me tell you a secret.”

I stood up slowly. I took a few cautious steps towards the chair.

“Don’t be scared. I’m not going to eat you!” said the chair and laughed. It apparently found it funny.

I walked over to it and sat on it. It leaned in from behind me and whispered in my ear, “I lied. I’m going to eat you now.”

I screamed and lashed out, spring up from the chair. I looked back and saw the chair sitting there, laughing heartily at it’s joke. “Man, you are too easy!” it roared in laughter.

“Very funny,” I said. I was not amused. “I have one last question that our readers are very interested in knowing.”

“Shoot,” said the chair, wiping its snot.

“What’s the social order for you chairs? We humans are very interested to know what’s organizational structure you follow.”

“Sure, we have order,” said the chair. “We have a chairman.”

And it burst out laughing all over again. This time, it didn’t stop. It rolled all over the floor, laughing and snorting in glee. “Chairman!” it kept saying again and again.

I walked out. Chairs are assholes.

Image courtesy: chickencrap.com

So, I Interviewed A Chair.

A Really Long Short Story Titled “Cause & Effect” [Chapter 1]

-CHAPTER 1-

For a long time he stood there, naked except for the wet towel around his waist, eyes closed and arms wide, inviting the strong flow of cold air that the window-mounted air conditioner spewed out. He knew that it wasn’t the cleanest air he could breathe, and knew that a lot of dust and potentially harmful things were being hurled at his face at a high speed, but he didn’t mind. It was the cold he wanted, the momentary relief from the unforgiving, sweaty humidity of the summer that forced him to shower twice a day. He didn’t mind the showering part – what he didn’t like was that he sweated so much every day, even if all he did was sit on his desk all day at work. The weather was all that he hated of the city – the city that he had moved to a couple of years earlier in search of a new life. He had found it and much more. He loved the chaotic harmony of the tiny city made up of all those tiny islands in the corner of the country. He loved the fact that he was barely twenty minutes away from a secluded beach. He loved the fact that he could get lost in the crowd in this city and not panic. It was a city of straight lines and parallel tracks. And he loved every inch of it. Except for the bloody weather.

He came out of his trance-like state and walked around the room, discarding the towel and mined his clothes for the day from the wardrobe – a chore that always made him feel a little bit like an archaeologist digging for buried treasure. The room was tiny, but given the standards of the city, a palace. The apartment was a one-room deal with a kitchen and a living room. He shared the bedroom with the only person who made living in the cramped quarters fun – his wife.

He dressed quickly and sat down on his desk, angled the air-conditioner’s vents so that he could feel the cold blast of air on his face and lit a cigarette. Even before he lit it, he knew it was asking for trouble.

He had hardly taken a couple of drags on it when his wife opened the door and entered, wrapped in a wet towel of her own. She stood there, staring at him and his cigarette and folded her arms across her chest and said, “Why the hell are you smoking?”

[to be continued]

A Really Long Short Story Titled “Cause & Effect” [Chapter 1]

How To Survive An Encounter With A Wild Animal

In this handout photograph received from the Delhi police, an Indian schoolboy is confronted by a white tiger inside its enclosure at the Delhi Zoo on September 23, 2014.I’m sure you have either watched, heard about or read about the tragic accident that happened at the Delhi Zoo yesterday. A 20-year-old man climbed into the enclosure of a white tiger (either by mistake or stupidity) and was killed when the tiger attacked and mauled him.

I watched the footage and I was repulsed, obviously. I don’t condone videos of people being killed. But there were a few things that I noticed that struck me as unfortunate. The man could have actually survived the ordeal if he knew a few basic things. I am going to list them out here and I urge you to share this with as many people as possible. It might just save someone’s life.

These four basic survival rules are applicable if you ever find yourself face-to-face with a tiger or a lion – either in a zoo or in the wild.

  1. Don’t run. The minute you turn your back on the animal, it chases you down.
  2. Don’t make yourself a small target. The natural predator-prey relationship works on the intimidation principle. Stand up tall, maybe even take your shirt off and hold it out behind you to make it look like you have wings. If you make yourself look larger, the tiger or lion will think twice about attacking.
  3. Don’t urinate. Urination is a way of marking territory – the second the tiger smells your urine, it considers it a challenge and will fight you to the death to defend its territory.
  4. Make a lot of noise. The tigers are just as scared of you as you are of them. For the tiger, you are a strange sight in its otherwise human-free habitat. They are also curious about you, and being natural predators, they will want to assess whether you are edible or not. The best way to discourage the tiger is to make a lot of noise. Shout and scream  out as loudly as you can by looking at the tiger. Look the tiger in the eye when you make the noise. Don’t look away and don’t run! Stand your ground and shout.
  5. No quick. repetitive movements. Don’t move your hands around too much or twirl your shirts around. A quick moving target irritates the beasts and they will charge. Stay as still as you can, while you shout and stand up tall.

When you realize the tiger or lion is either scared or going away, back away from the place slowly. Whatever you do, do not turn your back on it. Do not run. Retreat slowly but steadily without ceasing the noise.

Follow these five basic rules and you may just live to tell the tale.

How To Survive An Encounter With A Wild Animal

Thirty And Me

Keep Calm Turning 30

At precisely 42 seconds past 5.30 PM this evening (on Aug 20, 2014) the Earth will complete it’s thirtieth revolution around the Sun with me on it. I have spent the past four hours reading about what it means to people when they exit their twenties.

Turning 30 is supposed to be a big deal, an achievement of sorts, having survived tsunamis, earthquakes, riots, murderers, diseases, ninja assassins and of course, traffic. It is also supposed to signify the fact that I’ve officially a grown up and cannot rely on my youthful ignorance as an excuse when I screw up. I am supposed to be responsible, financially and emotionally stable, be able to hold down a job for more than three months and not throw boogers at passersby. I am not supposed to scratch my balls in public and have random fits of paranoia causing me to run down the road naked, dodging invisible aliens. I am supposed to be mature enough to realize the difference between right and wrong, morals and immorality, black, white and grey, and most importantly, coffee and tea.

I am supposed to start leading a healthier lifestyle – no more smoking, no more drinking binges and definitely no more weed. I am supposed to drink lots of water and work out regularly to ensure that my first heart attack happens only three decades from now.

I am supposed to be a strong pillar of support for my parents, be able to provide a good quality of life for my wife and be a responsible role model for my younger brother. I am supposed to be mentally strong to deal with the real world and I am not supposed to get depressed with the fact that I am growing old and am one year closer to death.

When I look back on the things I’ve done during the past three decades, I am surprised at the level of ignorance, insensitivity and intolerable cruelty that I have exhibited at times. I am also surprised at some of the intelligent decisions I’ve taken, something I was not sure I was capable of.

I’ve alienated people, I’ve infuriated those who love me and I’ve driven others to murderous rage. I can think of people who would put a bullet through me right now given the chance. I can think of people who would walk past me on the street and pretend to not recognize me. I can think of people who would smile at me and stab me in the back with the metaphorical knife when I turn around. But I can also think of people who would love me unconditionally and take me in as a part of their family. I can think of hundreds of people who would still acknowledge my existence without any animosity.

In a world filled with hate and anger, where people are being slaughtered each minute, the fact that one insignificant boy in Bangalore has grown up and turned thirty should not make a difference. But when I look at the journey I’ve been through to get here, I am overwhelmed. I am moved to tears at the kind of experiences I’ve had – the good, the bad and the ugly ones.

We all have fantastic experiences in our lives every day. Each moment of joy we experience means so much to us that it’s hard to imagine hordes of such people being killed. Millions of dreams and hopes being crushed every single minute by people pursuing theirs. I ask myself if it’s all worth it. Is it worth having a really ‘happy’ birthday when there is so much grief all around us. Or maybe, these tiny sparks of happiness keep the world turning.

We are all allowed meaningless rants straight from the heart, once a year. Today is my turn. As I see the clock inch closer and closer to the hallowed hour, I am filled with a little hope about hope.

Image Courtesy: keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk

Thirty And Me

Listen To Mr. Jim

So, I get this weird email this afternoon. Here’s the screenshot:

Email Screenshot

First of all, who the fuck are you to call me “Sirs”? I may look like I’ve eaten 3 people but I’m just one person. So, when you begin your email with a fat joke, I immediately assume you’re an idiot.

So, when you send me an email saying you have submitted MY domain name to Mr. Jim even though he has advised you to move on to another, then you’re really pissing me off. Listen to Mr. Jim, asshole. Move along. This domain is NOT for sale, rent or lease. Unless you are willing to pay a ridiculously high amount of money for it.

Shit, I’d be disappointed is this were spam. Oye, Jiang Zhihai! Are you for real? I need two suitcases full of money in cash if you want this domain name. Let’s make the exchange in a dark alley wearing overcoats and hats, while ominous music plays around us. You hear me?

 

Listen To Mr. Jim