June: Chapter one
Yet again it’s done
2012. A pouring Sunday, June seventeen,
In the Bombay monsoon given up for dead,
My pen hovers over a paper clean,
And reading the Dirty one I jounce my head.
As stupefied ink gushes off an American Fischer,
Slimily slithers out an Indian sonnet –
A desi engine chugging ‘neath an imported bonnet –
‘Bout ‘nother American dream, ‘nother sucker:
This time it seems even jurors were in tears,
As assiduously, they validated their worst fears.
Over hours nine and a half, weighing the evidence,
Insider Trading they inferred, but was it providence,
That it had to happen again, yet again. . . .
An Indian much deified, did India to shame.
But pray what’s with the rest of the news
(Below where Rajat Gupta stands shamed).
The nuggets are crammed with journalistic views:
Mulayam’s U turns are on pressure blamed.
As the Congress backs Pranab Mukherjee,
Presidential polls ripen to a political circus,
With egoless promiscuity, expedient hocus-pocus,
Peppered with a spectacle called Mamta Banerjee.
So who gives a f_ck, trains collide at Andheri station,
Or that well bug_ered is the economy of the nation.
Rather that a minister’s son’s deals are dubious,
Even Dirty Paper’s nosey and far more curious.
Oh but read on dear savant; it’s just a matter of time,
When abusive Indian headlines deservedly rhyme.
But what’s my two-bit temperate take,
On what the day shows pointers to?
For whom the nation toils, for whose sake?
Does it give a flying F to me and you?
Well at least the weathermen were honest,
Limited only by as much as they knew.
But on the powers-that-be, the intent we must rue,
In a democracy any good, or merely the largest?
If a Finance Minister seeks office of President
It’s their personal gain, so sc_ew the dividend.
Its b_lls on its ears, the economy does a dance,
But a preoccupied country has elsewhere to prance.
For the Executive’s a goner, the Judiciary’s blinking,
And incorrigibly again, the Legislature is winking.
Were the weathermen right – a bright Monday?
But today, ‘monsoon here, rain alert’.
South West monsoon’s come all the way,
So it isn’t it confirms, just another spurt.
But here’s the newest set seeking the sun:
A self-righteous motley? Political prima donna?
An unbourgeois flirt called ‘Team Anna’?,
Averring graft charges on Pranab must be done.
Strange how tainted teams turn around and say,
In this shamelessly shining India of today.
How one insists the other must get the sack,
Is the proverbial pot calling the kettle black.
Sadly the Mahatama departed, but gladly left us to keep
Anachronous khaadi, delusive topis, and imitators cheap.
And now while it’s lovely to rhyme the rest,
But proud patriotism may well go to seed.
For in Swiss bank accounts India’s the best.
A doctor couple does female infanticide in Beed.
The ‘delayed retail reforms’ may happen afterall,
And two politicos may discuss airport work delay,
But an unlikely certificate comes our way:
In the eyes of the Taliban, India stands tall!
Funny how for the US, our heart seems to beat;
Suddenly insider trading’s rampant on Dalal street!
Yet little’s said on Saina winning Indonesian open,
For in Bandra now, the swine flu virus has spoken.
A blessed geography’s gone rapaciously wrong.
A nation independent, or was it always stillborn?
So now on the third fouteener of the day
It’s time for sprinkling some two-bit philosophy,
Plus an urgent urge to kneel down and pray,
For a riposte to this slutty blasphemy.
With so many heroes extolled here,
With incalculable gods to caretake us,
With boundless blessing, dizzying fuss,
Why we’re so fu_ked, is rather unclear.
Weren’t we told this dominion’s mighty,
A graven democracy and multi party;
Or was it only relative to penurious Pakistan,
The estranged twin we so love to darn?
Methinks we love repeats of rich doses of history.
Like teenagers privately seeking a murder mystery.
We wake today to the west fingering us.
A rating agency is shoving it up ours.
From stable to negative is their crux;
Don’t sc_ew with ‘reforms’ it’s telling us.
You know what the word ‘reforms ’must mean –
The failed western model we must emulate,
And turn it modishly into a capitalist state,
Where private companies on public bailouts preen.
Only then will foreign investors congregate.
Only then will the dollar and rupee date.
So the formula is quite simple really –
Money does chase money, homosexually.
‘Coz the economy sags if you choke corruption,
Look away, and boy! The market has an erection.
I know I know the last sonnet was horny.
But placed within Kali Yug, as it fittingly was,
In context I think it wasn’t all that corny,
For a nation as randy even in diapause.
Now Anna gets it back from the Congress,
When they question the very timing.
A doc kills her hubby for demanding
Every now and then a lot of sex.
The Air India pilots are still on strike.
Not that the private ones are shining bright.
Maharashtra questions CBI’s probe of Adarsh scam.
Is there any money hole left for politicians to bang?
Now, that even players start politicking in tennis,
The symbol of Kali Yug should be the pen_s.
The commercial world always does manage
To extract the very worst from yours truly.
Just can’t help but marvel on the damage
They cause, all so stunningly easy to see.
Methinks for all the sparks and sparkles,
When avarice fills a rich man’s soul,
It’s easy to guess where he upturns his own p_le,
Then under his own greed, one day he buckles.
For disparity does no one any good;
A simple enough principle to be understood.
As companies hungrily seek market share,
Whole industries are stripped naked and bare.
Now on MBA education one rightfully shudders,
For once upon a time there was Lehman brothers.
Whoa, today it’s the turn of the twin!
And Prime Minister Gilani is sacked.
Their Supreme Court basted the sin,
That Asif Zardari he had backed,
And that he refused to pursue with the Swiss,
Zardari’s ill-gotten wealth stashed in banks.
Now despite buddy’s requital and heartfelt thanks,
Alas the parliament, he’ll have to give a miss.
And now when speculation is rife on early polls.
With twinnie, how we share the bell that tolls.
Not surprising that we’ve so much in common:
Geography, history and a fate f_cked by a demon.
Impoverished, yet feuding, only politicos seeing gains.
But what the hell, isn’t it the same blood in the veins.
Now that headline was damn gratifying.
At least someone else stinks as much!
And the $10bn aid to Eurozone is satisfying;
As a giver India feels better as such.
Reminiscent of the good old Nawabs, till
Well after they’d lost all their wealth,
Just to show they were in the pink of health,
They would pay income tax still.
Now RBI and government’s blaming one another,
For inflation that’s scr_wing like the weather.
And Nitish is targetting Modi from Bihar.
For the PM’s chair, will be an all out war.
As a CBI judge’s booked by Anti Corruption Bureau,
This isn’t a country anymore methinks. It’s a curio.
So the pure land was called Pakistan.
Misnomers galore in the subcontinent.
And India was also called Hindustan;
Countries created through Jinnah’s vent.
But dare I say anything about Jinnah.
For any good I say, the BJP’ll lynch me,
And for the bad, the Pakis it will be.
So who to blame for this double faux pax.
See, if we were meant to be so alike,
Then why the partition, why the dislike.
Instead at each other we must beam,
And to win, form a common cricket team.
But that’s a sport, though evidence clearly,
For joining hands and not warring weirdly.
Today to exchange itself with the dollar,
The rupee shall replicate fifty six times.
Sangma’s like a rupee, against Pranab, a dollar
BJP support’s noisy, yet flimsy like wind chimes.
A battle ready Sangma, from NCP resigned,
But partners Shiv Sena and JD(U) disagree
With the choice of big brother, the BJP,
For they know Sangma’s rout is destined.
But make no mistake that there’s more,
To why Sangma, they’ve chosen to deplore,
Than holy and principled disagreements;
Under the veneer, are election realignments.
Now if the rupee were to plummet and tear,
Do politicians realize it’s our underwear?
With the government on an austerity drive,
We thought they wouldn’t spend too much.
But Civil Aviation secretary’s got a high five,
The spend on him no one can touch.
They’ll spend to have him elected as President
(A grateful retirement gift from the nation)
Of International Civil Aviation Organisation.
This austerity is without precedence.
North Block’s become a strange place.
On policy making: bereft of haste, void of pace.
For Pranab’s all set for Rashtrapati Bhavan,
Even if the rating’s scre_ed, the rupee done.
Congress’s preparing for a potpourri parliament,
So the President elected better be a friend.
That’s what friendships mean these days –
Win-win deals struck among a losing few,
Give and take even if fake, and betrays
That sincerity is passé, no longer true.
Competition’s an illusion abaft what ticks.
Mistaken as the reason behind the win
Of all, though a demented individual whim;
And sweet success is tasted in dirty ass licks.
There was a time when friendships reigned,
When all was calm no matter who gained.
Now victory is an end where the means,
Don’t matter and are so seldom clean.
It was funereal today, writing this one,
It’s night now, but I am done.
This is what we call Indian ingenuity –
All scam records are wiped clean;
One helluva decisive conspiracy,
On fire raging in Mantralaya we’re keen
To know, and wonder about the timing.
In one masterstroke that destroys,
All scam related documented ploys,
But still no one at all is really whining.
For nowadays, even spectators appreciate
Slimy, cunning innovation that may grate
Of a deviousness that’s quite chilling,
A moral turpitude long simmering.
Fifteen were injured and two died,
But in Kali Yug, that’s a small aside.
Now even the Left is divided on
The issue of Pranab’s candidature.
And the CPM sees a new dawn;
Its anti Trinamool stance is miniature.
This is what the Left is reduced to:
A house divided, agenda-less,
Eliciting a strange queasiness;
A marginal future will have to do.
Again in the news is Kapil Sibal.
The HRD minister fails to sell,
For all IITs a common entrance test,
For each thinks they are the best.
We have this knack sometimes I think,
Each to our own, even if we sink.
For we are an easy prey of gleeful sufferers
Stoned in a patriotic cage for victims,
A tolerant fatuous bunch of duffers,
Weighed under idiotic self-limiting dictums.
As a country we’ve on shortages grown,
Afflicted deeply by a starvation syndrome,
Burdened under it, we soundlessly groan,
Snatching in response, or living on loan,
Hungrily devouring power and position,
Steal before it exhausts, the driving notion.
It’s the insecure fear of missing and losing.
Grabbing, snatching, and greedily consuming,
We’re agriculturists lost and confused amid industry.
Ensnared completely by ritualistic astrometry.
Now Sibal’s plan’s gone quite sour,
As more IITs tow the hard-line.
You know each thinks he’s a star,
Including Sibal who doesn’t give a dime.
Now Congress is left with only such types –
Spokesmen all, but no representatives,
English speaking is what Sonia likes,
Articulate lawyers on accented sedatives.
These days it’s all about the Upper House;
Sonia’s nominees and democracy’s grouse.
A Rajya Sabha seat is for servile royalty,
And Lok Sabha for wily yokels and loyalty.
A new breed forms the powers that be,
English speaking sycophants in plenty.
Now Dirty paper is downright entertaining,
As the rupee falls to 56 point 57.
Suicide rates in southern states are gaining;
And the economy inches closer to heaven.
A Principal over admission gets beaten,
The rain deficit is twenty four per cent.
Fined for cartelization, are companies in cement;
Now watch how their shares prices get eaten.
India and China both start confusing us;
On the border they both say they won’t fuss.
It’s trade they will both boost instead,
But this new spin sounds both fake and dead.
Wonder what’s behind this double deception.
It’s weird like b_lls undergoing erection.
Are we plunging into a vortex deep,
Where it’s depressing to even converse.
And peace will come only from sleep,
For the news around is always perverse.
That’s why I call the newspaper dirty,
Though what it bravely reports is hard fact.
But when it’s not its job to resort to tact,
How can these verses have levity.
I know as a writer or poet I’m in danger,
Of being labeled activist or scavenger.
But how can my stanzas be brighter,
When the news makes paper, toilet paper.
That’s brings us dear reader to the root cause.
It’s a lavatory today; a country it once was.