June 21, 2016

How The Internet Took The Passion Out Of Porn

Fritz Gonsalves

Let’s get straight to the point - Internet has made watching porn so boring that even hardcore fans have switched to watching Japanese prank videos on Youtube. Someone summed it right – that the thrill is gone. You see, what made watching porn so thrilling was the limited accessibility and the secrecy. This along with the content itself made porn the ultimate thing to kill time.

But everything changed with the Internet. Now you could be lying inside an ICU, wearing an oxygen mask, waiting for the flatline and still get access to good quality porn. Seriously, it has become so convenient that one can actually have a virtual quickie during the IPL commercial break, cook instant noodle and still be on time to watch the next over. The drama of watching porn has been sucked dry.

Imagine a scenario - you are eighteen or bordering nineteen-year old guy. There’s a family reunion happening at your place – uncle, aunties, toddlers, cousins, dada, dadi – the whole shabang is there. You bored out of your skull. You are tired of greeting and smiling, but have strict instructions against leaving the house. So you slouch on a couch and wonder – how to kill time? You want to listen to music – but it’s way too rude to wear the headphones. So you try texting and get bored. So what else to do? How to kill time - suddenly a wassapp message you received hours ago lights up your brain. It had a 2-minutes clip in it that might help you kill some time. So you get up, go to the balcony or a quiet corner and browse through your messages and bingo you find it. You click on the link and a Caucasian woman carrying abnormal amount of silicon on her body shows up on your screen - the clip last for two minutes; the memory at least for an hour. You enjoy your little break and join back the party all happy and cheerful. No one has a clue on what you saw or why you were smiling looking at your cell phone screen.

This my friends was an impossibility just a few decade back – specifically in the mid or late nineties, when the Internet was still a lab experiment and the only reason for computers existed was so that we could play Tetris. It was a slow society then - Pizza was still a decade away from being delivered in 30 minutes and the only thing that got delivered on a click was a telegram. Also everything was in short supply - honest cops, rainfall, six-pack abs and the dearest of all – good quality porn (or BP). It was near impossible to get hold of decent Porn. And even if you got one, there would be serious doubts about picture quality, sound or in some cases – all the film would have was one lip lock. That’s it. Take it and go. Still testosterone heavy teenagers travelled long and far, bribed and begged elder cousins or feigned night-studies so that they had something nice to remember while taking a long shower.

And for this reason, watching porn was a responsible, community experience - which involved serious planning, code language and detailed contingency plan.

This beautiful drudgery would begin with a call. It would be from a close friend – someone who actually owned a Video Cassette Player and whose mom and dad were out for wedding or work. This piece of news would quickly spread to a limited group of friends. And from there on the task would be rent as many Video Cassettes as possible and reach that friend’s place in the shortest possible time. So two guys would rush to the video parlor, praying all the way that it’s not shut. Thankfully it’s not, but then in situations like this it’s mandatory to bump into a neighborhood uncle at the video parlor. So there he would be, leisurely browsing over old Guru Dutt movies or busy ogling at Sri Devi posters. The moment you see him, you act surprised and say - namastey. Then he starts enquiring about your studies, about how much marks you scored in Maths, whether your dad has come home for lunch and many more such banal questions - each one of them shamelessly eating into your precious porn watching time. You look towards the clock, swiftly turn to code language and ask the video parlor owner -

“Boss, Raju Gentleman Ban Gaya Kya?”

(For the sake of Bollywood deprived – “Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman” is the name of successful Bollywood movie. But when you twist the words and make a question out of it, it automatically became a code language for asking Porn movies.)

Now back then video parlors only used to stock a limited number of porn videocassettes. And everyone rented a minimum of three. So when schools were closed and offices were open, it resulted in severe shortage of Porn films. Therefore depending on the availability, shopkeeper would say -

“Raju Toh Gentleman Nahi Bana. Par Raja Ki Baraat Agai Hai. Yeh bhi Acchi hai. Dey Du?”

This basically meant that the old collection is rented out so why don’t you try the new one.

“Ok Boss, Teen Dey Do”

Smilingly you would collect the cassettes and run to the friend’s house.

So finally, you have got hold of good quality, blood-pumping porn. One friend closes the curtains. Another one hooks the television to the VCR and the last one gets cold water. The mega marathon Porn watching session begins. The first cassette is pushed in the video player. Blurred lines appear on the screen, then some useless commercials and by the time title sequence appear – someone yells.

“Arey Forward Kar Yaar. Naam Dekhney Key Liye Laaya hai Kya”

Fast forward to the part where naked bodies ravage each other in cinematic glory. All the three pairs of eye are now hypnotized by the visual; blood starts gushing downwards and excitement get mixed with fear, happiness and anxiety. A two-hour long movie is finished off in less than 20 minutes. A sense of achievement prevails. But there are two more cassettes to be devoured. So the second one goes in. Again the fast- forward button is pressed and while the whole action is repeated with fresh faces and new sets of private organs – fate once again decides to play buzz kill - the doorbell rings. Everyone goes mute. The guy who hosted the porn party turns white. The slightly sly friend starts thinking of an escape route from the house (Just in case there are cops at the door. It used to happen, as it was illegal). They switch off the TV, VCR and the host friend calmly goes to check on the door. He cautiously opens the door and as expected, meets the most intruding creature God has ever created – the next-door neighbor aunty. She is a housewife and her favorite pastime is to keep a tab on who comes in and goes out. She very well knew that uncle and aunty were not at home and saw two young guys enter the house. So this was just a sly house call to tell you that she is watching; that you can’t hide those raging hormones from her. She makes the purpose of the visit obvious by enquiring about the electricity and whether the TV and VCR are working fine. The friend answers in affirmative. Then she once again gives a hard long look to everyone and leaves.

This brief interlude drastically reduces the excitement quotient. It cools off the hormones, but the third cassette is still waiting to be watched. The friend with the VCR looks at the clock. The hour needle is now entering the red zone, which basically means the next time the doorbell rings – it will be mom and dad. A logical versus instinct fight begins. Should we risk getting caught and watch the third cassette or call it a day. In the end, we are all animals – therefore animal instinct wins. The third cassette too is devoured, this time, even faster. And as the binge porn watching session comes to end, you hear the quintessential sound of a Bajaj Scooter approaching the main gate. It’s the sound that announces the arrival of parents. They enter the house and are greeted by their son and his two friends. Strangely, all of them look drained and are walking slouched  - that’s because each ond of them was hiding a hiding a videocassettes in his crotch. Imagine the pain.

This piece first appeared on FilmCompanion.com. And is republished with permission.

May 31, 2016

At least we have The Art of Irony

Desmond Macedo

Nobody saw how silly Tanmay Bhatt’s act was. Instead, they found it offensive.

If people stuck to the reaction, ‘silly humour,’ it would have discouraged similar acts from artistes. But getting offended by it, and calling for Tanmay’s arrest, will only spawn more silly humour.

In another recent incident, people didn’t read Gayatri Jayaraman’s non-literal meaning of Urban Poor. Instead, they grabbed the literal meaning of poor, and found the article insensitive to India’s poor.

In the first case audience reaction encourages poor art. In the second case, it discourages good art.

In the latter, even journalists were nitpicking the story. And rival news site, Scroll.in, came up with an uninsightful, vapid, artless reply.

Democracy, a newly capitalist country and social media have combined to create lots of openings in art. And yet, I’ve come across perhaps one decent piece of writing from Gen-X in a long while: urban poor. Writing that people want to spend time with.

So we have poor art, and an audience unable to appreciate it when it’s good. Or, an audience that cannot separate poor art from good.

With Tanmay, the police have asked Google and Youtube to block his clip.

So instead of ignoring silly art, we use censorship. And the police are examining how Tanmay can face legal action.

When that happens his art gets more popular.

So we have more silly art. And censorship to increase it.

At least we have The Art of Irony.

Democracy, a newly capitalist country, smartphones and social media have combined to create brash people.

And brash people have a distinct trait: They are ready with the RIP tweet even before the celebrity has died.

It's like saying, ‘Hurry up, you should have died already.’ It sounds intelligent.

Exactly how Tanmay does it to Lata.

Post Script

By evening of today, Lata hasn't heard of Tanmay, nor has she seen the video. So politicians, twitterati and Bollywood have been getting offended on her behalf.

How apt.

In conversation with a friend today, he tells me about an interview of Russel Peters he watched: Peters says, 'It's easy to be a hit in India; just offend people. I feel like some genius there. In Canada, people ignore me.'

There you are. 

May 24, 2016

Non-fiction Music

Desmond Macedo

Eric Clapton did Layla for Patti Boyd, his ex wife. The song got so famous that even the guitar on which he first played it sold for a quarter of a million pounds. Before him, George Harrison did Something for her when she was his wife. The song is high up in rock hierarchy. Patti herself became the muse for the most number of rock songs.  

Like literature, art and film, much of rock and pop music, too, has originated in real life. And with lasting effects.

Hit The Road Jack and don't you come back no more, no more
was nearly how Ray Charles' mother persuaded him to go out and do something when he was a young boy, as she struggled to keep her home together. He did just that.

Tie A Yellow Ribbon has an adorable story. A guy was in jail, doing time, and when he was nearing release, he sent his wife this note: Tie a yellow ribbon round the oak tree in front of our house, if you want me back. When I pass buy, if I see it, I'll get off the bus. Else, I'll stay on and go away. When he passed by he saw what the song says, A hundred yellow ribbons.

Curiously, a large portion of Beatles' music has come from real people, places and incidents. Those songs, too, happen to be favourites. Here are a few:

Lucy In The Sky with Diamonds
Hey Jude
A Day In The Life
Let It Be
The Ballad Of John and Yoko
Dear Prudence
You Never Give Me Your Money
She's Leaving Home
She's So Heavy, considered early heavy metal
And Penny Lane - the nurse in the song is believed to have been identified, some eight years ago.

Of the twelve songs on Sgt Pepper's, at least six have origins in real life. Across the Universe came from Cynthia Lennon nagging at John all day: Words are flowing out like endless rain into a paper cup / They slither while they pass / They slip away across the universe. And Glass Onion is a Beatles' song taking a crack at Beatles' songs. Even the background score for I Am The Walrus came from the sirens of police vans passing by John's house.  

There have been many explanations for the enduring nature of Beatles' music. 'Based on a true incident' may be yet another. After all, if you look at books, art and film, those based on true incidents are enduring.

May 2, 2016

Surge Pricing

Desmond Macedo

Isn't Surge Pricing a bit like autowallahs asking for extra fare when it's raining in the city and autos are scarce? Or when the buses are on strike? Or asking for half-return fare because he won't get  a passenger back from your destination, nor will you get an auto to go there?

Cabbies and autowallahs always had some kind of Surge Pricing but everyone abused them for this tack, until Uber came along, gave it a fancy, high-sounding, new-age marketing term, and people paid up in style.

Serves them right for falling for jargon.

For those of you interested, there are a few passages on jargon in my book, A Guy Growing Old in a Country Growing Young, with a line that says, 'Jargon confuses you on something you are already clear about.'

And surge pricing is an excellent example.

Here is a book extract on HarperCollins blog.

And a review 

April 30, 2016

An interview with Irfan Syed

Irfan Syed is a copywriter in Chennai. He also writes about books and films.

Here he interviews me: 'The old disdain the young, and the young disdain the old.' 

April 29, 2016

To be a great artist, you need to be a little bitter.

Priyanka Chopra, leading Indian film star crossing over from regional films to international screen, in a recent interview with TIME:

When I was young, I was 19 and doing the first movies, I remember that my dates weren’t working out. My scheduling wasn’t working for a movie with a very big actor.  And the producer said, ‘Well, she can’t work it out, it’s fine, we’ll just cast someone else. Or, you know what? I’ll launch a new girl because girls are replaceable.’ Now, 15 years later, I think that in the movies that I do, I am irreplaceable  and the boys are replaceable.’

Reminds me of what I said to myself, long ago: To be a great artist, you need to be a little bitter.

April 28, 2016

Book Review: A Guy Growing Old in a Country Growing Young

By Sheela Jaywant

Reading this book was like a breath of fresh air. No plot, no thrill, no path-breaking psychological insights into complicated characters. Yet, I enjoyed the read because on every page I read something that a) reminded me of my childhood, b) made me smile because I recognized a similar funny incident/situation in my own life and c) for those who have now crossed fifty years of age, brought home the fact that the India’s young no longer want/need you.

I believe this is a collection of thinly disguised biographical blogs of a middle-aged copywriter in an advertising agency. He’s written it under another name: Dan Mullagathanny. Same initials as the author.

The first chapter got me interested. It was about how garbage, many decades ago, was less. Because people consumed less and also because so much of it was recycled.

“Nehru, the architect of the Public Sector Undertaking in India, didn’t encourage private manufacture that would have generated more jobs, better salaries and consumption that would have produced garbage because he didn’t think private enterprise was suitable for India.

Until the ‘90s, India had beautiful environs for the oddest of reasons.”
Middle-class miserliness some might call those oddest of reasons, but plastic wasn’t a menace.

Then Gen-X took over, cable television invaded our homes, the computers changed office life, the mobile phone improved connectivity and the internet changed every single thing.As did tetrapacked juices.

Macedo tackles the problems facing a middle-aged, middle-income man in an India that’s rapidly become young-focused. It’s about writing your biography to convince young managers that your experience is good though you don’t know what ASAP might stand for.

Macedo has covered important social events that got a lot of media coverage, but made nary a dent in the lives of ordinary citizens. The chapter headings give you hints of the content: ‘Cop Slaps Girl, Girl Slaps Her Back’, ‘Youth Prefer Jargon to Language’, ‘Too Many Alternatives’, ‘Don’t Argue, Take Your Money and Run’ and ‘Bottom-up Country’.

From slackness towards grammar and language in general to matters of earning a living to minor political commentary, Macedo has light-heartedly packed in what every Indian knows but can’t express: life’s hard but fun as long as there’s a roof over your head and food on the table.

A book I would gladly gift someone a) waiting for a bus, b) travelling by train, c) wanting to spend an afternoon smiling to him/herself.

Sheela Jaywant is a Goa-based humour-columnist, fiction-writer, translator, editor-at-large.

Here is a book extract on the publisher's site.

March 4, 2016

Satire & Me. April '16

# Going through the accusations Government and Opposition are throwing at each over Vijay Mallya's escape made me wonder: You don't lock up the stable after the horse has run bolted anymore. It don't work like it used to. Now you argue, how the door was kept open in the first place.

Bikram Vohra, journalist, Firstpost, writes a fairly lengthy article on Kanhaiya Kumar, whom he does not want to know anything about.

# I still see phrases like  'winds of change a blowing.'
Must be why pulses in India have to be imported.

I still see phrases like  'sowing seeds of mistrust'.
Must be why onion prices in India reach frightening levels.

I still see phrases like  'reaping a harvest of doom.'
Must be why farmers in India are committing suicide.

#Anyone in India who is not a cricket fan is considered weird.
This is the closest we can come to a simple explanation of majoritarianism.

# In time Britain will join the European Union again.
You see, Geography also repeats itself

# Fact Is Funnier Than Fiction: After voting to leave the European Union, many Britons are googling to know what the EU means. 

# There was much fuss over the the amount of opinion on #Brexit on social media. Truth
is, Facebook and Twitter would've flopped long ago were it not for people with a point of view.

#Democracy favours Politicians, not People

When Congress tried to introduce the GST Bill, BJP opposed it. Then when BJP tried to pass it in parliament recently, Congress opposed it.

A few months ago, the BJP-Shiv Sena combine banned beef in Maharashtra. Now the Sena is fighting against the BJP's meat ban in Mumbai.

Notice how democracy benefits politicians, not us.  

Do bad governments lead to worse governments?

In the US, growing support for Trump comes from 'frustration and anger at the establishment.'

Quite similar to why Indians voted BJP and Modi in 2014. But now we have JNU, Kanhaiya, anti-national, sedition, Vemula, Smriti Irani, beef ban, Dadri, rewriting history, etc, and students from ABVP influencing the BJP, who, then, govern the country.

In both countries, their earlier governments were shabby. In India, UPA 1 and 2 from 2004 on were consecutive rules, with 2 getting more corrupt than 1. 

There weren't instances to raise this question but I did: In a democracy, do bad governments lead to worse governments? And a friend on Facebook advised I read ‘The Rise of American Authoritarianism.’

Reminded me of what I observe on social media that, even with the BJP high-handedness, there are plenty of young people in India - with an 'authoritarian profile', as the article explains - who want BJP to continue, so the 'money making machine' that India is now is kept moving. They fear, what if the machine stops? 

In the US, it is the 'working class white people' who have been squeezed by economic trends and who fear

Both Americans and Indians fear chaos that upsets markets, a reaction driven by self-interest.

So while I may think this is bad going to worse, for a lot of Indians it may be the opposite. 

In my book, 'A Guy Growing Old in a Country Growing Young,' I mention, ‘Gen-X wants the country run like a company with a boss who delivers.' The character in the book, Dan Mullagathanny, dwells on how 'The youth of India had enough of coalition politics. From his experience in the offices where he worked, and many others where he had friends and ex-colleagues, Dan knew the unwritten, unspoken day-to-day working policy: Don’t argue with the client. Do what he says. Get the billing.'

'Clearly, the younger lot wanted the country run on that policy: Take your money and run. Or any policy that doesn’t hinder development. No wonder they were in favour of a leader who got things done, someone who didn’t go forward assways.'

An article in the DailyO says, 'Trump is America's Modi and Modi is America's Trump. The anger of the American voters propelling Trump is similar to the Indian voter rage that brought Modi to power. Trump's rise is a result of Obama presiding over America's worst recession since the Great Depression.'

Few people in India will cry over the loss of freedom and liberty. For the rest, money comes first. Call it job security or opportunity or career growth or steady EMI payments.

As my book says, 'Modi is authoritarian, but the youth ignore that flaw.'

November 27, 2012

Unidentified Flying Rice

Apalaa Bhattacharya

In the December of 1994 my grandmother decided that we should eat together at a make-shift dining table made by placing a plank of wood – I think it was the remnants of a door  – on two wooden trunks. The house had an abundance of wooden trunks, since it was my grandmother’s preferred way of storing disintegrating, old sarees and banged up cooking vessels. Trunks could replace any conceivable furniture and perform its function with the greatest ease - in fact, we hardly had any chairs. 

I could just sit on one such wooden crate and fancy myself a pirate sitting atop his treasure chest, sailing the high seas looking for land to bury his loot.

It’s not that we didn’t have a dining table, but the dining table was always occupied by my eldest sister’s Economics and Mathematics books, and my sister, picking at her cuticles and desperately trying to make it to “phust place” [first rank] in school.

The make-shift dining table was laid out in front of a window overlooking our neighbour Neogi’s house. We had a shortish wall between the two houses; grandfather used to say they never paid us their half for it.  

One December afternoon, we were seated at this makeshift table for lunch. I was facing the window that opened up to the wall between Neogi and us. Ma had just returned from Sanskrit University, where she was a professor, and was scurrying to serve the food while it was still hot. She plunged the serving spoon into the enormous vat of rice (bhaat in Bengali), and proceeded to pile it onto my plate, thick and heavy.

“Ma, I don’t want any more”, I said.

More rice landed on my plate. Being thin was considered a sign of ill-health, and fatness a sign of prosperity. For young women, the latter was also an indication of their eventual stellar child-bearing capacities.

“Ma, no more rice.”

Still more rice. If it was on my plate I would have to finish it, I knew – “All the starving children” and what not. Panic set in.

“Ma, no more rice,” I yelled, hastily covering the plate with my hands.

Ma was constantly overwhelmed – raising three young children on her own certainly wasn’t easy, neither was the long commute everyday between South and North Calcutta in the notorious minibuses packed with pick-pockets and other delinquents. My rejection of a fourth helping of the mass-favourite Bengali staple was too much for her to bear.

“Thik achhe” [“Fine”], she grunted, grabbed a handful of rice from my plate and flung it out of the window. She must have had quite a throwing arm growing up, because the grains of rice catapulted over the wall between Neogi and us, and a second later, we heard a horrified scream from across this wall.

We all went quiet for a bit, and then Ma said, “Chup chap taratari khabar shesh karo” [Finish your food quickly and quietly].

A couple of minutes later, the doorbell rang. Padmajhi – our maid at the time – was sent off to answer it. In those days, grandmother could add the jhi suffix (meaning maid) without it being considered politically incorrect. Padmajhi was an enormous cock-eyed lady who giggled incessantly. She taught me about menses. We later learned that she used to be a prostitute at the local brothel, which is how our maharaj (cook) knew her.

A skinny young man in his early twenties was at the door. He was wearing a white kurta-pyjama; the kurta had some grains of rice stuck on it. This was Neogi’s unemployed son – ‘Neogir bekar chelle’ (Neogi’s Jobless Son) - as we all knew him. He was a Political Science graduate; in those days you needed to be a doctor, an engineer or a lawyer to be considered human.

"Accha"[Okay], he said slowly with a deadpan face, “I live on the ground floor next door. I was asleep, when suddenly I was hit by some rice. Look” – he gestured towards the very visible grains of rice stuck to his kurta. “Did anyone of you throw some rice from your window?”

Padmajhi started giggling uncontrollably. Ma rushed over and ordered Padmajhi back into the house. “What? No”, she said, “it must have come from some other house.”

We were watching the proceedings through the slightly ajar door of the dining hall. My eldest sister had temporarily abandoned her study table and was there as well – her economics books and cuticles needed a rest.

He was adamant. “No, I’m definite it came through your window.”

Ma was non-committal. “Then perhaps our maid threw it. Ok, I am sending our maid to wash your clothes.”

“No, that is not necessary”, he said, “We have a maid as well; I just came to inform you.”

“Ok, fine” said Ma, and that was that.

The next day the table had mysteriously moved to another location in the house – one without a window.

“Eta bhalo” [This is better] commented grandmother.

We continued to use food as projectile missiles on occasion, for emphasis. Fortunately we kept our targets within the confines of our house. Neogi’s son started working as a private tutor and went from being referred to as ‘Neogir bekar chelle’ to just ‘Neogir chelle’

Padmajhi eventually left our job and returned to her evening shifts. 

About the author
 Apalaa Bhattacharya spent her childhood and school-going years in Kolkota. Then she moved to Mumbai for college, where she met a guy and never went back to Kolkota. She then joined advertising as a  Copywriter.

June 9, 2012

Top 10 Social Media Irritants

Daniel P Carey

1. LOL. Why on bigfoot's dick do people put LOL at the end of sentences that not only aren't funny, but cannot even attempt to be? I have seen things like: "Just woke up, LOL" or "I just ate breakfast, LOL". If you laugh out loud every time you eat breakfast you should get off Facebook and seek medical help immediately.

2. Women Pouting.  Seriously.  What on earth compels some woman to pout constantly in pictures on Facebook?  Waving a camera at some girls these days seems to immediately result in them sticking their lips up in the air, pulling a face like they are having difficulty with their bowel movements, and then pouting with all their might until they look as though they are being dragged, lips first, into a black hole, whilst trying to suck the meat off a chicken leg.  I'm no oil painting, unless 'Scream' by Edvard Munch counts,  but if I wanted to see something looking like that on my wall I'd go down the local taxidermist and got myself an aardvark (a pig-like animal with a snout longer than a pig).

3. Public Arguments.  Why the hell have some people decided that a public argument on Facebook is a good idea?  If you put it all out there for the world to see, later, you can't deny saying it.  That shit'll be with you for life; you'll be saying to your other half "I don't remember saying that, you must of misheard me" to which the other half will reply, "Well you posted it on my wall and 18 of your friends bloody 'liked' it, so I know you said it and I know you have been talking about me with your mates".

4. Defiant Status updates: "Yes I've been fat. Yes I've been skinny. Yes I've been a fool.  Yes I've been wise.  Yes I've loved.  Yes I've lost.  But no I won't change and no I don't care what you think" Repost this if you refuse to change and don't care what people think! Err rr r  no thanks, not only because I don't care if you won't change but also because you clearly do care what people think or you wouldn't have been posting this nonsense on your wall in the first place.

5. Spam.  “People are saying horrible things about you on their twitter feed. Click this link to find out who.”  To be honest even if that is true, ignorance is bliss so I'll give it a miss, and especially as clicking the link will undoubtedly get me a virus quicker than a pervert in Bangkok.

6. People who follow me on Twitter and have such bio's: 'When I get on my knees it's not to pray' or 'haterz, playerz, fuk dat shiz'.  Firstly, to the lady who isn't praying - I  assume she's gardening or talking to an infant - please don't follow me, I really couldn't give a shit that you're not religious; neither am I not.  As for those who put z's at the end of words for no reason, please also leave me alone; but if you want to follow someone, feel free to follow your teacher down to the library, pick up a dictionary and learn to fucking spell.

7. Poking people on Facebook. I can't see the frickin point of it. I say if you want to talk to someone then send him/her a bloody message, or if you want to be friends then send a bloody friend request, otherwise leave him/her the hell alone.

Secondly, is it those who poke you are never the people you want to poke you. It’s never the girl/boy you've secretly fancied for months that suddenly realises s/he has fallen in love with you, is it? Nope. It’s always the sinister oddball at work who spends far too much time hanging about the photocopier. I say get rid of the 'poke'. It’s really about as much use as a dissolvable condom.

8. The obligatory 'Like'.  Now this is more of a jealousy thing on my part if I'm totally honest, as I can spend a few hours writing a blog post, drop it on to my wall and five days later I've got about two Likes and no comments, whereas a girl writes "I just ate a potato" and five minutes later she's inundated with Likes and comments such as "I love potatoes too LOL" or "Ooh Justin Beiber eats potatoes apparently, ROFL."

9. Cryptic status updates.  The ones where someone writes an update such as "I don't know why I bother" or "Just when I thought things were going well, again" and then everyone jumps in and asks "What's up?", "Are you ok?", "Please tell me things are alright?"  To which, after luring everyone in like they were moments away from death, they respond with "Yeah I'm fine, just had a bad day at work".  A bad day at work?  If you're filling up everyone's news feed with such attention-seeking antics then you should at least have the courtesy of being held captive at the hands of Somali pirates, otherwise please keep your desperate pleas for interaction to yourself.

10. Boring Status Updates.  You know those people who update their status with things like "I'm about to eat some toast" or "I just saw a cat" or "It's raining".  Seriously if that is the highlight of your day then I advise you, “Quickly eat your toast, stick the cat on Ebay, put on a raincoat and go outside and live a little, as you sound like you are having a terrible life.”

About the Author: Daniel Paul Carey, 31, an advertising professional, lives in Beckenham, Kent, and works  in Central London.

Note:Any of you got a humour story you wish to share with readers of this blog, please send it to me forthwith, at dezymacedo@gmail.com

May 26, 2012

How to tell Indians from different states

One Bengali = poet.
Two Bengalis = a film society.
Three Bengalis = political party.
Four Bengalis = two political parties.
More than four Bengali's = Countrywide agitation to bring Ganguli into Team .

One Bihari = Laloo Prasad Yadav.
Two Biharis = booth-capturing squad.
Three Biharis = caste killing.
Four Biharis = entire literate population of Patna .

One Punjabi =100 kg hulk named Pinky.
Two Punjabis = Pinky with his bigger brother Twinky.
Three Punjabis = assault on the McAloo Tikkis at the local McDonalds.
Four Punjabis = combined IQ equal to one.

One Mallu = coconut stall.
Two Mallus = a boat race.
Three Mallus = Gulf job racket.
Four Mallus = oil slick.

One Gujju = share broker in a Bombay train.
Two Gujjus = rummy game in a Bombay train.
Three Gujjus = Bombay's noisiest restaurant.
Four Gujjus = stock market scam.

One Andhraite = chili farmer.
Two Andhraites = software company in New Jersey.
Three Andhraites = Naxalite outfit.
Four Andhraites = song-and-dance number in a Telugu movie.

One Kashmiri = carpet salesman.
Two Kashmiris = carpet factory.
Three Kashmiris = terrorist outfit.
Four Kashmiris = shoot-at-sight order.

Tamil Brahmin
One Tam-Brahm = priest at the Vardarajaperumal temple.
Two Tam-Brahms = Maths tuition class.
Three Tam-Brahms = Queue outside the U.S consulate at 4 a.m.
Four Tam-Brahms = Thyagaraja music festival in Santa Clara .

One Sindhi = currency racket.
Two Sindhis = papad factory.
Three Sindhis = duplicate goods shop in Ulhasnagar .
Four Sindhis = Hong Kong Retail Traders Association

One Mumbaikar = footpath vada-pav stall.
Two Mumbaikars = film studio.
Three Mumbaikars = slum.
Four Mumbaikars = The number of people standing on your foot in the train in a rush hour.

Blessy Chettiar, who said, “The Goan in me feels left out,” added this one:

One Goan: confessing in church
Two Goans: bar by the beach
Three Goans: rock band
Four Goans: Portuguese visa scam

Note: I have no idea who wrote this piece, but if anyone knows do mail me - I would love to credit the author for this rare humour. Also, do you write short humour stories, or would you like to try writing one? Send your story to me at desmond.macedo@gmail.com

February 14, 2012

My Wedding Invitation

Hello Everyone,

Here's my wedding invitation. Please don't look for an attachment because there isn't any. My able advertising friends failed to meet the deadline, so I'm relying on my written words to persuade you to attend my wedding or my reception.

My wedding is this Friday, 17th February, 2012. Please don't ask me why it isn't on 14th February.

The wedding is in my girl's hometown Bhilai. For those of you who just know where Zurich or Capetown is, I would like to inform you, it's a humble steel city in Chattisgarh. For those of you who don't know where Chattisgarh is, seriously, fuck off.

If Bhilai seems difficult for you to reach, here's another option.

Come for my reception. It's in Dehradun on Tuesday, 21st February, 2012.

Monday is a holiday, at least in north India. Depending on how much you love me, you can apply for a leave on Tuesday and Wednesday.So you'll have a full five-day weekend, where you can plan a trip to Auli (a skiing resort quite far from the Alps), or Rishikesh, or anywhere in the Himalayas. On your way back you can attend my reception.

So that's the deal. A friend's reception and nice holiday in the Himalayas.

Please don't feel bad if you can't make it because I won't feel that way either. We all have our job pressures and deadlines. Even I've missed quite a lot of close weddings for exactly the same reasons.

Even if you do come, don't expect it to be the grandest of affairs. My dad says splurging on weddings is for those who have black money. And in advertising there's little opportunity to earn it.

Let me add there won't be any booze either. Just get drunk on your way.

And if you do get drunk, let me assure you there won't be a cheap-ass 'Sharma DJ', but an authentic pahadi dhol to dance to.

Alright then, please consider attending my reception, and if you decide to come, wear your best clothes and make me feel proud.

That's all folks.

Abhishek Deshwal

pahadi dhol – folk music of the Himalayan region.

About the Author: Abhishek Deshwal, or Deshu, a Copywriter, is from Dehra Dun. He worked in Bombay until recently, now is in Delhi. Note:Do you write short humour stories, or would you like to try writing one? Send your story to me at desmond.macedo@gmail.com

February 13, 2012

It’s Scary Being An Idiot

Daniel Carey.

I am a movie buff I am going to focus this story on horror films.

Having written the above, let me just go and check the locks…be back in a moment.

Okay, fear is something we all have, other than Chuck Norris - the palms-sweating, bum-hole twitching fear that comes from being truly scared.

But what you can guarantee with all horror films, whether they are good ones ( Jaws/Paranormal Activity/The Blair Witch Project) or bad ones ( any 'Saw' film after number 2, Hostel, The Last House on the Left), all are packed to the rafters with people doing stupid things. You know, where, rather than all stay together to fight the killer, everyone decides to split up and do it on their own. If you started as group, stay as group. Once you've gone out on your own your shortcomings soon become apparent. And if that shortcoming is exposed to a knife-wielding maniac wearing a hockey mask, you are bang in trouble.

So I have put together a list of stupid or illogical things that happen in horror movies and how to overcome them:

1) People run upstairs rather than out the front door. If you are on the ground floor of a house and someone is chasing you with a chainsaw, or the head of your dead housemate, don't run past the front door and then up the stairs; try going out of the front door, legging it up the road, flagging down a cab, getting to Starbucks to have a coffee, until you calm down.

2) People offer lifts to those they shouldn't. If a bloke is standing on the side of the road asking for a lift, and he looks like his sister is also his girlfriend, do not pick him. I'm sure he won't mind waiting another five minutes for some other idiot to pull over.

3) People do things they know will lead to trouble. If someone tells you that saying something into the mirror a specified number of times will lead to your imminent demise, heed this advice, don't just jump up and yell Candyman five times whilst you’re doing your hair as he will undoubtedly turn up within about five minutes and beat your arse to death. My advice would be to get rid of your mirror, or anything that provides a reflection, just in case.

4) People tempt fate. If you have heard that there is a giant crocodile/piranha/alligator roaming around a specific lake, why on earth would you ever decide to go swimming in it? Get back in your car, drive to the nearest swimming baths. If you're lucky they may even have a wave machine.

5) People fall over for no reason. When a serial killer is casually strolling after you whilst you sprint for your life, watch your step as there is a 99% chance you will fall over something that in everyday life wouldn't send you tumbling. So that blade of grass that just the morning before you stepped over with no problem at all is now likely to trip you, so avoid it at all costs. And remember, at no point will the killer break into even a light jog, as for some reason, all horror movie murderers are lazy bastards, so you have time to watch your step.

6) People do things that are illogical. It's three in the morning, a man with an axe is chasing you, slowly of course, and you're banging on the door of a shop that says 'Closed' in the window. Quickly realise that you're being an idiot, banging on the window of a haberdashery at 3 am, how the hell would it be open? Just in case an idiot turns up looking to escape a mass murderer? If it was 17:31 and you can see the staff cleaning up, then yeah bang away, otherwise it's probably sensible to try and hide elsewhere.

7) People don't take others’ good advice. If there's a shark the size of a house circling you and someone says 'We're gonna need a bigger boat", take their advice, go back to shore, pick up something like a cruise liner or an aircraft carrier and return. Chances are, if you don't, one or all of your arses is going to end up as chum.

8) No one ever takes the advice of experts. You think your house is haunted and a ghost hunter/priest/weird man you met on the internet says “Whatever you do don't try to summon the demons yourself.” Don't do what they do in the movies and immediately run off, set up a Ouija Board, dim the lights and then start asking your mates 'Are you moving that glass?' It's 100% certain that they aren't, that it will spell out something scary, and then all of you will end up getting the crap kicked out of you by something you can't see, probably because you haven't turned on the lights.

9) The living dead like to bite people, especially the exposed flesh. So if you are under attack, don't walk around in a bikini. Get yourself some jeans, a roll-neck sweater, Doc Martin boots and ideally put on a motorcycle helmet.

And finally number 10) People don't questions about what they've been told even if it doesn't make sense. Take Gremlins for example, so you buy an animal that's certainly not your run-of-the-mill pet and the wise old Chinese man who sells it to you advises that whatever you do, “do not feed him after midnight.”

So rather than go home and break out the chicken wings, first ask when the hell 'after midnight' ends? Surely all time is after midnight. If not, then where is the tipping point? I'd want to be made fully aware that if I’m serving up a plate of chicken nuggets at half one in the afternoon that this was sufficiently past midnight and that, later, I am not going to be confronted by a monster intent on shooting me in the face with a crossbow.

It's just self preservation, people.

About the Author: Daniel Paul Carey, 31, an advertising professional, lives in Beckenham, Kent, and works in Central London. Note: Do you write short humour stories, or would you like to try writing one? Send your story to me at desmond.macedo@gmail.com

January 18, 2012

"What I got for a Mcdonald's"

Daniel Paul Carey.

When I was growing up I had slightly protruding front upper teeth; nothing to horrific, but bad enough for kids to occasionally chuck out a 'buck tooth' chant when they'd run out of abusive things to say about the rest of my appearance.

My lower teeth also had some issues, as they seemed to be fighting to get on top of each other like a pair of wrestlers going for a pin, but rather than giving up on the Count Of 3 they stayed in the same place for 14 years. So when I got to about fourteen it was decided by my dentist and my parents that I was to get a brace.

Before I got my brace I was told I needed to have four teeth removed as the reason my teeth were protruding and sitting on top of each other was because they didn't have room in my gums to sit comfortably, so they were jostling for position like a bunch of grannies in a bus queue.

Off I went to the dentist with my Mum and Dad in hand as they promised me a McDonald’s for being "Mummy’s brave little boy". Thinking back, it amazes me how just the mention of McDonald's made me content to have a 6-inch needle in my mouth, 4 teeth removed and a metal rod placed where my smile used to be, but it appeared to work. It makes me wonder what I would have been willing to go through for a Burger King.

"Daniel" the dentist shouted. Up I jumped and gave him a wave that contained far too much enthusiasm for a boy who was about to have parts of his body removed.

"Lean back and open your mouth please" the dentist advised.

So back I went, laying down in the chair and opening my mouth as wide as I possibly could in the hope that this would mean the dentist or his assistant wouldn't have to delve too far into my gob. I was wrong. In they went, both of them seemingly in competition with each other about who could get the farthest into my mouth, and as they tried to shove every tool they had inside it I got the sense that my gob was quickly becoming a garden shed.

After a few minutes of this rummaging around, like he was trying to find his car keys down the back of the sofa, and after his assistant had stuck a small hoover in my mouth to suck up my saliva and anything else I may have been storing between my teeth after lunch, he leaned back and grabbed the needle. Well, I say needle, but this thing to me looked more like he was preparing to go jousting, and any minute he was going to whack on the medieval armour, jump up on to horse and charge towards my gums.

The dentist’s words, "Little injection, little injection, little injection" kept running through my mind in the hope that, although the needle was like a Marlin's nose, only the tip of it would go in, and then, everything would be fine. But it carried on, farther and farther and farther, until I was at a point where I assumed it had come out the other side of my head, and I was now a kebab.

Now to be honest the pain wasn't horrific. I mean it was bad, but I've had worse since, watching any Nicholas Cage film in the last five years, for example, but more the fact that this wasn't the only injection I was having, and over the course of the next hour I ended up with six. One on each side of my upper and lower gums, then one under my tongue and one in the roof of my mouth. By the end of it, not only was I looking like one of those guys in 'One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest' after they get lobotomized, but I was also, effectively, turning into a kitchen strainer.

All the while the dentist constantly asked me if I was "Okay" whilst he continued to stab me with needles, like he had finally got the opportunity to work on a real life voodoo doll and he wasn't going to waste it.

Once all the injections were done and I was now just a lump of mash potato wearing a school uniform, the dentist went in with his pliers and grabbed hold of the first tooth he wanted to remove. "Are you okay?" he asked. With the injections taking effect my speech slurred, so I just did a Thumbs Up. Off he went wrestling with my tooth like Steve Irwin taking on a crocodile.

After half an hour the first tooth was out, proudly displayed in the forceps by the dentist like I'd just gone through labour and he was presenting my new born baby to me. He then moved on to Number 2 and repeated the process.

Once this second one was out, he declared I'd have to come back in a week’s time for the other two. I knew it would mean another two bouts of the Steve Irwin impression, and potentially another bout of me having more needles in my face than Hellraiser.

Anyway, back I went a week later and repeated it all again.

Even the promised McDonald's didn't materialise, as just like after the first time, the thought of having anything near my mouth was enough to make me want to cry into my cavities.

About the Author: Daniel Paul Carey, 31, an advertising professional, lives in Beckenham, Kent, and works in Central London.