Deconstructing Indian Culture through the cunning use of Photoshop

Why Americans are better than Indians at Outraging

Today, I had a conversation with the venerable @cgawker, who is venerable because he wears a tie and a turban, and more importantly, is Caucasian and therefore never has to use Fair’n’Lovely during his lifetime. 

He wondered why the world looks at America as the role model for global outrage, and not in the sense that people around the world outrage at their tendency to drop bombs like Indian cows drop dung, with casual aplomb. It is the fact that Americans are professional outragers that was in question here. How do they slickly and consistently outrage over abortion, PETA, Paris Hilton and Marilyn Manson while we, the nation that invented every English word that is prefixed with “out”, languish at the bottom of the Outrage charts.

It got me thinking and it struck me that the problem is our heritage. The Manusmriti asks us to outrage over the slightest violation of custom with punishments like pouring molten lead down violators’ throats. Then comes along the Upanishads that ask us to chill the fuck down because everything in the cosmos is actually this hot girl named Maya and therefore let’s all simply gawk and not beat each other up. If you thought that was the final word, think again, because the Ramayana comes along and tells us that the appropriate response to a bon-vivant, ten-headed Veena rocker dude inviting someone’s wife for a spot of tea in Lanka is nuclear war (Brahmastra #youremember) featuring an simian army. Then comes the Mahabharatha that tells us to chill out till Krishna puts on some Godzilla level special effects and commands us to blow the opposition away over some minor property disputes and a bit of eve-teasing. As if myth wasn’t heightening our dilemma enough, history comes along and relieves myth like in a WWE tag team match. Buddha tells us to calm down, but question everything. He asks us to be in a state of equanimity, but at the same time ill-treat women because they are the root of all that is not, um, equanimitous? Mahavira arrives on the scene and preaches non-violence to everything except one’s stomach, which is to be abused thrice daily with Jain food. Ashoka indulges himself to a bit of genocide and then suddenly turns all pacifist.

And the RSS puts bullets in old Gujrati gentlemen while swearing by “Om Shanthi Shanthi Shanthihi”

So as you can see, if we were all Hamlets asking the question, 

To outrage, or not to outrage, that is the question:

Whether ‘this nobler in the mind to suffer

the Slings and Arrows of Outrageous Bloggers

or to take Arms against a Sea of Troublemakers

Our holy books are essentially telling us

The Sawtooth Dilemma of Hindu Outrage

Chart credits: The even more venerable @shenoyn

Americans, on the other hand, have much more clarity in their messaging. Outrage first, think later. That’s why they are much better


Traditional marketing was like a guy with his dick hanging out asking a large group of women if any of them would like to have him.

Then some B-school professors advised them to be a little more selective. The market has segments, they said. So this guy started wearing different shirts for different groups of women, but still had his dick hanging out and asked them (with different accents) whether any of them wanted him.

The Internet then arrived. Now, several guys with their dicks hanging out randomly appeared out of women’s closets and asked them if they wanted to have them. Sometimes, closing the closet on them caused more guys with dicks hanging out to appear.

Soon, that was considered to be a bad idea, so Google told them that they must unzip their fly only for women who wear lipstick.

And now, we have social media marketing, where these guys send several women nice looking packages, and when they open them, they turn out to be guys with their dicks hanging out with a sticker that reads “Share me”

A Day in the Life of Ali: A Shenoy

I promise. This will be the last one.

Ali was a spoiled child. His father, the town’s blacksmith, was worried. He was not a rich man and could not leave his son any meaningful inheritance that could afford the sort of charmed life that children of nobility often led. The kid had to learn to be responsible and earn his keep. That’s it, the blacksmith thought. Ali needs a daily regimen to straighten him out. But it had to be gradual. The kid was likely to protest if the change was drastic.

He decided that the household cat would make a good, easy start. Nothing too hard. He called Ali to his forge and told him that he had a new responsibility, that of waking up early and petting Rustum, the large Persian cat that had this abominable habit of climbing onto the master’s bed early in the morning every day and waking the blacksmith up just so he could get his early morning’s quota of petting. Rustum’s needs were now Ali’s responsbility, he was told.

Ali was hesitant but the task did not seem onerous enough to protest against. He reluctantly agreed. A week passed. The blacksmith felt that it was time to add to Ali’s daily schedule. Preparing rice, he felt, would make a suitable addition to Ali’s morning routine. The boy was summoned and informed, and with some reluctance again, he accepted. He had to wash the rice and boil it every morning after he was done petting Rustom.

Soon enough, the crafty father managed to make Ali also pick tea leaves, crush them and make the morning tea manually, and also weld the apprentice’ iron vise before he started the day’s work.

The blacksmith was happy. The regimen was working. Ali to pet early, do rice, make some manual tea, weld Iron vise

The Druid Camp: A Shenoy

It was a cold winter day in Calais. The year was 1942 and the row-men in town were seething with discontent. Their boats were lying in disuse, waiting in the harbour, reeking of stale fish and memories. Business was slow, the winter was harsh and with families to feed, desperation was rife and often manifested itself as violence on the streets.

A delegation of Druids was in town, and as was their wont, they would climb every tree in town and gather leaves and herbs to prepare concoctions for every known malady. Babies with fevers, workmen with alcoholism and old men with hearing problems would come by to drink potions and go back healed. The locals called these long bearded, white-robed men the "tree men". Legend had it that they could “hear” the inner machinery of people and concoct specific magic potions to cure illnesses, much like expert mechanics use their ears to listen for problems with cars and other contraptions.

The row-men union decided to do something about their woes and asked the Druids for help. “Give us a potion that will attract fish to our boats”, they said. “We wont do that”, said the Druids. “We can fix your health problems, but we will not tamper with nature”. The row-men pleaded with them, but to no avail. Soon enough, tempers frayed and one of the more unstable row-men took matters into his hands and screamed - “If we cant ply our trade, we wont let you ply yours”, and shot the Druid leader with his blunderbuss and then proceeded to hack his ear with his fish knife. “Now lets see you hear our problems”, he grinned maniacally. Soon enough, gunshots rang through the Druid camp and auditory apparatuses were being hacked and harvested like ears of corn.

While the union leaders looked on in shock, the man who instigated this took centre stage.

"We will change our trade. We will now be lenders. Druids are precious, but their ears are the real crown jewels", he announced.

Soon the word got out: French row-men gun tree men, lend mere ears

Politicians screw with entire populations all through their careers, but they do so with their pants on. That, methinks, is ND’s biggest blunder.

Politicians screw with entire populations all through their careers, but they do so with their pants on. That, methinks, is ND’s biggest blunder.

Word of the day - Pigetic Justice

So Narendra Modi has been diagnosed with Swine flu. Now, follow me on this.

Modi sees himself as a “Lion” of Gujrat.

The first part of Boss’ law states that lions come singly

But in 2002, these “lions” of Gujrat came in large mobs to slaughter several innocents.

The second part of Boss’ law states that pigs come in groups

But in 2009, a solitary pig seems to have hit Mr Modi

Pigetic Justice.

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