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.”

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The Misjudged Criminal

“This country has gone to the dogs!” muttered the mechanic as he bent over my shiny bike.

I stood behind him and said nothing, boiling in the unseasonably hot weather that seemed to force every drop of water out of my body as sweat. I glanced at my watch and realized I was getting late for work, and the traffic would have built up to an impenetrable mass of steel and smoke by now. Bangalore on a summer morning is not for the weak-hearted.

“You’re lucky they didn’t rip this whole thing off. It’s a custom-made part and very expensive,” he said and continued to tinker with the bike, crouched so low that he was almost squatting. I asked him to hurry up and told him that I was getting late for work.

1 Year Earlier:
He knew he didn’t do anything wrong. He hadn’t meant to steal the diamond. He’d just found it lying on the floor next to the dead body, shining prettily in a pool of congealed blood. He’d picked it up, wiped it on his shirt and had tried his best to avoid looking at the corpse, which was stinking up the place a bit. Just as he had thanked his luck on finding a diamond as big as a gold ball, he heard the distinct sirens of an approaching police vehicle. He’d panicked and run in the wrong direction, almost directly in front of the two bright headlights that screeched to a halt. Two constables had jumped out, armed with their lathis and had yelled something at him. He hadn’t paused to think. He had just run.

He thought back on his stupidity as he ran down the deserted roads of Rajajinagar, past the Navrang theater. He could hear the running feet of the constables pursuing him, yelling at him to stop. They had probably just wanted to question him. He should have just stayed there and answered their questions. Who am I kidding, he thought bitterly. They would have just framed him for the murder, confiscated the stone from him and thrown him in jail to rot for the rest of his life. The cops in this city were notorious for their stupidity and laziness. I did the right thing, he thought, as he ran.

He picked up speed and decided to dodge the pursuers in the countless narrow alleyways that peppered Raj Kumar Road on either side. His heart sank as he heard the sound of the siren at a distance behind him. The police jeep had joined the pursuit! He looked around and saw a half-open shutter of what looked like a motorbike service center. He didn’t think – he ducked in and the darkness of the warehouse enveloped him. He could hear his heart racing madly as he stood still in the corner, in complete darkness, and worried that the cops would hear it too. He didn’t move a muscle and stood there for a long time after the running constables and the police jeep had passed the warehouse. He dared not move and go out again. He felt around him and his fingers found a blanket hanging from a wall peg. He snatched it off and draped it around him. He could feel the bulk of the diamond pressing up against his thigh through his trouser pocket. He clutched it tightly and made a decision that he would regret for almost a year.

Yesterday:
Midnight found him walking alone, dejected, shoulder slumped, clutching a half-empty bottle of the local whiskey. His whole life had been a series of missed chances and unlucky coincidences that had almost ruined him once. He still shuddered a bit when he thought back to that fateful day a year ago when he had almost been caught for a murder that someone else had committed. Every now and then, his hand went to his thigh where the golf-ball sized diamond had poked him – in his darkest dreams, he dreamed that he had the diamond in his hands and enjoying the wealth that it brought him. Not a day went by in which he kicked himself for hiding the stone in one of the parked motorbikes. The only thing he remembered was that it was an Avenger motorbike. He had hid the stone in a crevice of the engine and stepped out of the warehouse to make sure the coast was clear. He didn’t want to be caught with the stone in his possession in case a constable or two were canvassing the area. He had walked around slowly, ready to drop to the ground and pretend to be drunk and homeless at the first sight of a cop.

No one had been around. After about fifteen minutes of walking around, he had decided to chance it and had headed back to the warehouse to collect his precious diamond. He had stood in front of the warehouse, shaking in anger, cold, fear and the deepest despair, staring at the shutter that was now firmly closed and locked. In his panic, he had walked all around the building trying to find a way in, but in vain.

The next morning, he had been present at the warehouse door when it opened, and had been chased away by the security guard. He barely had enough time to notice that the precious motorbike that held his diamond was a black Avenger 220 CC bike with the registration number 9669, before he had lost it in the seemingly endless traffic of bikes and people that came in and out of the warehouse. He had taken up an all-day vigil across the street from the warehouse, waiting for the precious bike to be wheeled out, and he had decided that he would take his chances in broad daylight and try to remove the diamond from its crevice. All his hopes had been dashed by a fat man who rode off on the bike. He had seen the fat man riding the bulky motorbike through an endless stream of tears in his eyes.

He stumbled and fell to the ground as he remembered that fateful day and let out a wail of despair. He cursed God and everything that he felt like cursing and crawled on all fours in the middle of the empty tree-lined street, with only his shadows and the harsh orange street lights for company. He crawled to the sidewalk and sat down heavily, taking a swig from his bottle. As he lifted his head to drink, he saw the goddamn bike parked across from him. It was that bike! It was a black Avenger 220 CC bike, numbers ending 9669. He looked at it, his hand paused mid air and the whiskey pouring on his legs and onto the street, which he didn’t notice. He stared at the bike for a good, long minute and looked around to see if there were anyone else on the road. He dropped the bottle and scrambled hastily on all fours across the street to the cursed bike, grunting with anticipation and pain. He crawled up to the bike and his hands trembled as he touched it. Tears welled up in his eyes, his lips quivered as he cried, this time in joy. He seized the strange-looking engine part with both hands and ripped it apart. He looked longingly at the little golf-ball sized diamond that fell out of the crevice and sat in his palms. The engine part that he had ripped apart dangled from a few cables and wires, dripping petrol, oil and other fluids on the ground, and saw the man run away, whooping with joy and laughing hysterically.

Present Day:
“But why would anyone do that?” I asked, as I paid twenty rupees to the mechanic.
“Carburetors fetch anywhere between four hundred and five hundred rupees, sir,” he said. You’re lucky they didn’t steal it. They were probably interrupted by someone.”
“I guess so. Thanks,” I said, climbed on to my bike, and rode to work. The thought of someone trying to steal my bike’s carburetor angered me. The thought of negotiating the traffic in the heat of the summer put me in a bad mood. I just knew the day was going to be a long, bad one.

Reflections On Mankind: An Introduction

crowd of peoplePeople all over the world are clutching their falling pants and wiping their runny noses while trying to hold back tears of joy. That’s all I’m going to say about my vanishing act and my subsequent return today. I’m back. Let’s not read too much into that.

During this hiatus, I’ve done a lot of thinking. I’ve thought about the way fans turn and cigarettes burn. I’ve thought about a lot of things that people seem to have forgotten – the fact that vehicles on the road are actually driven by people. One of the best things that could have happened to me, happened this morning, as I was fighting for my life on the roads of Bangalore. I was locked in a fight to the death on my bike with three buses on a road that was wide enough for just one of them. Just as I narrowly avoided killing one of the buses with my not-so-well-aimed kick and sped through the rapidly-closing gap between another bus and the road divider, the image of a family of giraffes dressed in human clothes floated into my head.

Giraffe wearing clothesNow, it is a strange enough image to float through one’s head at any other point of time, but images that float through heads know no Earthly rules of propriety and timing. They are very rude, inviting themselves in unannounced. As it happened, this particular floating image called itself into existence seemingly out of nowhere, and lodged itself permanently (for the time being) in my peripheral vision.

I urged the bike to race ahead, leaving the three buses to fight among themselves, and for the remainder of my ride, tried to decipher the meaning of a family of giraffes who were dressed in human clothes. I arrived at a satisfying explanation after a few minutes:

Maybe Earth as we know it, is a zoo. A big, very big zoo. And all of us are the inhabitants. Maybe there’s a planet out there inhabited solely by monkeys. Another planet inhabited by elephants. And so on and so forth. Someone decided to take a few specimens of each of these species and put them all together in a vast zoo, and charge a fee to visit us and view how we’ve learned to live together. A very cool version of Noah’s Ark, without the drama. Maybe the little giraffe in the red baseball cap wanted to visit the zoo for his birthday.

If you’re wondering what you just read, and wondering if I still serve any purpose as a funny guy, then I don’t blame you. When you reflect on mankind, you start seeing a lot of strange things where logic and reason cease to exist.

Over the next few days/weeks/months, I’ll outline in detail my view on humanity and everything that matters, and I hope to demonstrate a pattern of ridiculousness that we have come to accept as our natural state of being. I do this in the hope of convincing a few of you to join me in the quest for insanity.

Chai Around The World

Chai Around The World

Howdy Folks!

I’m alive. Surprise!

So, here’s the deal. I rarely come here on MirrorCracked these days. I had forgotten my password – I got in on the 4th attempt. I don’t know what’s happening on the scene anymore. Are you guys all still here and blogging? I don’t know how many will even read this – I’m sure a lot of people would have given this blog up as dead. I hope not.

I blog at a new location now. I’ve been traveling. A lot. And not on my own. Wink 😉

Check out Chai Around The World. Let me know what you think of it. I plan to return here soon enough. I’m mustering up the courage to revisit the old haunts, read up on all your blogs and update my abandoned blogroll very soon. Within this week, I promise. Just because I don’t blog here often doesn’t mean I don’t love you all.

Go. Read my other blog. Tell me your thoughts.

Free beer for all.

Letter To Cupid, 2012

Statutory Warning: The following post contains words and imagery that some people may deem as inappropriate. I have used the word ‘fuck’ twice and I talk about raising my middle fingers to someone, giving that someone the message to go fornicate with themselves. I have used a photograph of a winged child-thing found dead, face down, with an arrow in its back, lying in a pool of its own filth. If you or anyone around you find(s) my language and mannerisms offensive, please click here. Else, continue reading. 

Cupid is Dead

Dear Cupid Asshole

Here we are again, in 2012. I’m still here, single as fuck, and you’re still there, dancing around with your gay wings and your gay arrows. I wrote to you earlier, around 4 years ago and you promised me that the next time would be different. You are a filthy liar and nothing more. If I look back on this year, all you’ve given me is hope, despair and embarrassment. What the hell is the matter with you, jackass? Can’t you just do your job right?

So, in the light of all that you’ve done for me this year and for the past so many years before, I raise both my fingers to you. Go suck an orange, kid.

Do you remember how I signed off my last letter to you? You don’t? Drop Dead.

In all sincerity,

Go Fuck Yourself.

The Dummy’s Guide To Long Distance Relationships

Long Distance Relationships

“Wait a minute! What is this? The Dummy’s Guide? Oh my god, it’s back! It’s back!” screamed one hysterical groupie who ran into me on the street this afternoon. I didn’t know whether to be embarrassed or delighted. In the end, I just managed to nod my head, smile, make appropriate noises, and escape to the safety of my office.

After what seems like a really long time, MirrorCracked is proud to present the rebirth of the Dummy’s Guide series – the self-help guides that guarantee results. For the uninitiated, check out the other guides here.

This time, I write about a topic in which I have done very extensive research – women and relationships. I don’t claim to know all the answers, of course, but I know just about enough that is bound to help all those poor souls who are unlucky enough to be trapped in a long distance relationship. I have an ulterior motive in writing this post, obviously. I, too, am stuck in a long distance relationship with a wonderful woman who amazes me with her sudden bouts of weirdness. After a deja vu morning that saw me relive my gory days of 2006, when I was rapidly losing my mind and my hair over a dead-end long distance relationship in the US, I decided to write this guide to help ease the pain and mental agony that many of my fellow men face in similar situations.

Given below are a list of the top five accusations that a unhinged girlfriend/wife/partner can make against you in a long distance relationship, and the appropriate responses that you can use as rebuttal. These responses are guaranteed to ensure a long-lasting feeling of warmth and love in the unhinged girl’s mind, while totally absolving you of any grief, guilt or need. Here goes.

1. You never have the time to talk to me!

I’m sorry, I’ve been too busy talking to other people about you. I’ve been so held up that I haven’t really had time for anything. Everyone around me seems to want to know about you, and I’ve told the story of how we met and fell in love a million times in the last three days! (For added effect: Each time, with a smile on my face.)

2. You don’t communicate enough! I don’t know what’s happening in your life!

If I don’t communicate enough, it’s probably because there isn’t anything interesting to report. In the past few months, the only interesting thing that has happened to me is YOU. There is nothing else happening with me. Without you around, I lead a very boring life.

3. You are never there when I need you the most!

The obvious thing to say would be, “Well, neither are you, bitch!” but please refrain from doing so. Instead, say this: I know I’ve been preoccupied with certain things of late, but you’re always a priority, darling. I will make sure that I’ll take the effort to be there for you whenever you need me. You’re never off my mind. 

4. I don’t know whether this will work out or not!

Neither did the Shah of Persia, when he set out to walk around the world alone. But he did. He accomplished the seemingly impossible task by sheer faith. Have faith in us, and we will survive. (PS: There was no Shah of Persia, but she need not know that. Forrest Gump is also a good name to use.)

5. My friend saw you with another woman on the bike / car / mall / beach!

It’s true, I won’t deny it. I met a friend from school / college and we went out for a coffee / lunch. She called me a hopeless romantic because all I could talk about was you. 

***

PS: For tips on how to lie effectively to women, wait for my next guide.

PPS: For more information on specific scenarios, feel free to contact me. If I’m alive at the end of the day, I’ll reply to your mails. If not, It’s been sweet knowing you.