For a shop that sold cigarettes. The one
I encountered gave a tinkering feeling inside of me
And the beautiful creasy outfit appeared
You are now in a brighter place
With tall buildings and bridges.
No longer shrouded toxic egos
Of a town so small.
Where white collared uncles
Take pride in getting drunk,
Splashing cash and crushing
The rest with their macho ways.
Where retired lonely parents
With big bungalows,
Flaunt about their kids
In a faraway fluorescent land.
Where casteist auntys’ still
Carry on rhetoric debates
About religion and menstruation
And what not.
They even try to hear
When one is romancing
When one is not
And prophesise incoming babies.
The family expands
And young women and men
Join the new ranks.
Some smell of cheap whiskey
And some of cheap affairs.
Garbed under mouth fresheners,
Concealed under muted past.
The good sons and daughters are
The typical hypocrites and pretenders.
Anyone else who tries to reform
Gets mocked and yelled at.
The establishment tells you
“Go back to your big-big town”
“We are better off without you”.
The one who never left
Is the unlucky scapegoat
He runs errands, attends weddings
The only visitor in the hospital
He is the man on speed dial.
The poor little fucker
The Messiah of the bygones.
In all of this and all of that
You go back once in a while
Like a tourist with cool shades
And Instagram stories of delight.
What was once your everything
Is still the same.
Yet, you can do nothing….
People seem like portraits
The servants you played with
Got so grey and old.
But you don’t worry
For all of these troubles,
Save up your official leave.
When a granny or a relative dies
Or a court summons,
Please do visit.
And for your showbiz wedding
Book in advance, you selfish twat.
Our very own, Mr Rajkumar alias Rajkumar Thakuria has gone national or you can say international. After giving many hits in Assamese language, his new Hindi song “Diwani tu Diwani” and English song “You are a doctor, I am a driver” has put him on the global map.
The song has received mixed responses amongst the audiences. It has also led to major trolling on social media platforms and recently by famous Youtuber “Carryminati”. Audio clips have been circulated on Whatsapp where people have disgracefully abused him over the phone.
About: With the internet of things, it is Mr Rajkumar, who brought the culture of being a Youtuber in Assam. He should be credited as a pioneer, which paved the way for a generation to become successful Youtubers.
What makes him different from the likes of Dhinchak Puja and Omprakash? Well, the sheer level of dedication and years of creating content with consistency. He is not a one song wonder, period.
Theme: The song “You are a doctor, I am driver. We fell in love with each other” talks about a love story between a driver and a doctor. The driver is at first reluctant because of his class consciousness. However, the doctor lady is quite open about her feelings and is not ashamed of expressing it openly. “Don’t say that”, she even confronts her friend when her friend calls him “a driver” in a mocking tone. The song explores the concept ‘dignity of labour’ and how love transcends the class barriers prevalent in the society.
Legendary artist, Dr Bhupen Hazarika once wrote a song about “Autorickshaws” and the dignity of labour. This song is thematically similar to that in certain aspects. (Not a stupid, to compare them together. Just a thematic comparison of both the songs). At a time, when unemployed youth is shifting to drive Ola and Uber in Assam, this song provides much respite to normalise the situation, which in many ways is beautiful.
Lyrics: Mr Rajkumar has been mocked for romancing openly in films and music videos. He has also been trolled by some “as a paedophile”. His overtly romantical and flirtatious lyrics include “Naam tumahara kiya, najanu main”. Although it is flimsical, the song normalises love as a public affair and it is openly expressing those emotions in a public platform. At a time when the country has become so uptight with ‘romance and the idea of love’ with events like the “anti-Romeo” squad in Uttar Pradesh and our local Assamese media trying to TV shame couples, Mr Rajkumar is the pop hero we all need.
The lyrics of his song “Agar main chand hota toh, tumhare liye chandni phelata” keeps nature and romanticism together. This is an old school style of writing — a reactionary response against the scientific rationalisation of nature — not found in contemporary lyrics. What is wrong in that?
Music: Okay, the music is also criticised by many. We all know Zubeen and Papon have taken Assamese music to a new level. But, during the last festive Bihu season, we also saw how in the name of rap music, hacks like Kusum Kailash and his contemporaries’ destroyed Assamese music and the rap genre as a whole. Mr Rajkumar’s music might be a bit redundant but it is honest. It doesn’t try to mimic any popular genre to sound cool. It is also catchy. Try listening to “Jak jak Gavoru, Bihu Nase” or “Dream Girl” to get a hold of his avand-garde style.
Trash genre: As reported by The Independent, academics have delved into the Thrash genre with the journal Poetics publishing a study entitled: ‘Enjoying trash films: Underlying features, viewing stances, and experiential response dimensions’.
“At first glance, it seems paradoxical that someone should deliberately watch badly made, embarrassing and sometimes even disturbing films, and take pleasure in them,” writes Keyvan Sarkhosh, a postdoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics.
The research finds that it is mostly film buffs who watch trash films as very often their enjoyment comes down to analyses of production values, dialogue, and plot structure. Ironic viewing is actually understanding the cinematic flaws of the movie but still deriving pleasure out of it. It also suggests that people with a high intelligence like such type of movies.
What the carryminati kid fails to understand, is that Mr Rajkumar’s movies should be looked through the prism of “Ironic Vewing”. The joke is on you if you try to be critical of his movies and songs.
Unifying diaspora: Mr Rajkumar is a big hit among the Assamese diaspora outside Assam and even outside India. People living in Delhi, Bangalore and other big cities often play his movies for sure fun and a few laughs. He receives calls and messages from such fans in good humour. They see him as a unifier of their dear homeland and something which they can talk about, apart from Assam floods. His music also blends well after you have hit the fermented grape juice.
Lastly, Rajkumar Thakuria reportedly resigned from his job just to devote his time in films. He needs better acceptance and polite mockery. Not abuses and insults.
PS – YouTube links of songs mentioned in the post are all embedded in the words. Do listen to them, if you have not yet.
The time of the year when you update your CVs have arrived. So here are some qualities which you have brushed every vacation but which will never be allowed to be entered on your CV. (Spoof and Humor)
Crushes are like “leather jackets”. Everyone has it, be it from “Pallika Bazar” or Zara it doesn’t matter.
2 laws are always constant.
So, if you are ugly and still single. You must be “a nice” person.
People say they break up mutual. The one getting dumped has to listen to the infamous line, “It’s not you, it’s me”.
So this accreditation should be allowed for people who have earned it through beautiful disparity.
“A faultless guy is an asset for a company”
Pros – If the company makes a faulty product which explodes. The customers would respond, “Its not you, its me who is doing it wrong”. Crisis communication solved, don’t have to pay those PRs.
In the rapid age of automation we are getting mechanized everywhere. The only art that saves humankind is the art of rolling passed down through generations.
“If I had to choose between a bulky-curled-whey protein-cum-steroid lover-gym freak and a receding hairline black suited corporate sold out with student loans in bank, I would always prefer a skinny guy who can roll good joints”.
-Anonymous Girl Confessions of Amsterdam
Pros – A good roller would keep everyone happy(literally) in the immediate environment of the company which checks the internal communication required in a company.
If you are the guy who buys the disposal glasses, runs to the wine shop because it’s going to be 10 PM (for Gujarat and Bihar – read milk shops) and cooks dinner getting high. You are already doing better than a diploma degree in skill development from IIP(A)M.
Not everyone can upload snaps on Snapchat, stories for Instagram, memes for Facebook and extra filtered photo on Instagram just to prove that you have a life. It takes real effort, wifi and Jio simcards (sim1 only).
Pros – In a world of convergence a multi-tasker would innovate new ideas like why doesn’t the Steering wheel of cars have cameras to Snapchat roads while a Punjabi song is getting played.
NOTE – The post doesn’t facilitate smoking. The scoops are intended only for humor. Cheers.
It’s 4 in the morning and I am brushing my teeth. Not because morning has arrived but my insomnia has ended.
A normal sleepless night had gone by. A Eddie Vedder song, Society played through the silent musings the night offered. My light was on though. A mere cheap bulb cannot contain the darkness that lies outside my comfortable room. The song ended; the cravings spurred. When the habit kicks, you stop enjoying things without the chemical stick. It becomes your crutch. The only hazard I have faced. They say there is more to follow. I have to go out now. The only trouble is the big hybrid dogs that guard the society of the residency. The happy people are asleep. My cyno-phobic heart struggles. I dared outside concurrently strolling aside a brave guy who wore an ID to work. He is allowed to walk this time because he is an unskilled labour and a cab awaits for him. The tea stall is nearby the road. I bought the sweet hot tea and the cheap stick. My fag reached the highway and vanished. The life changing moment I had wanted has not arrived as of yet. All I needed was to reach my lowest potential and strive towards resurgence. I don’t know how lower I need to go. I guess I have to make more holes in my belt. I am buying the cheapest stick these days.
Capitalism allows you to have the cheapest and the best. There is no lowest. It allowed me to enjoy the poison and the sweet tea. The only commodity it fails to enjoy is Love, an optimism to end this tiredness. The greatest ambition. Once it takeovers love, it will be launched in series, Love 7 Love 8s and differently same versions would follow. At this moment, we are safe. We can pursue. We can wait.
My smoke is about to end and the dirty part of tea gulped. I have to go back to my room. There is sadness when things end even if it is happy loneliness or a cup of tea. I think this useless morning contemplation won’t change anything. I will still be the same hypocrite with a low moral code for other people. I will still fail to pursue my greatest ambition. I will still walk with my head low.
But I don’t fear the night dogs like before.
I used my eyebrows to greet him. That was the proximity of our relationship. The guy, who weighed a lot. He was not that important to analyze even. He sat in the pharmacy and went back home. This to and fro motion defined his life. He was alone and he ate. We all stereotyped him. Maybe he deserved it for his lack of attempts to get fit and be valid to the world. I was fascinated with him always. Does his kind get true love? Does his kind feel? We had a professional relation of conduct. I used to buy medicine from his shop whenever I visited my paternal home. My grandmother was a patient of stretched urban existence and hence needed drugs.
Stretched Urban Existence – The average age of mortality increase, coupled with the lack of any valid purpose fostered with Dementia and other ailments. Delaying your property investments.
I had currency and a scribbled page by an educated human (prescription) on my hands every time I met him. The currency wasted on an exiguous tablet which won’t matter after it is diluted in the stomach. The eye brow courtesy stood because this guy was related to us. Their family shared the same neighborhood with my paternal side for ages and he was the guy I connected the least. He was unimportant, unfunny and unexplored. He was like the tablet inundated. The guy died. Strangely at a faraway place from our paternal home. The epicenter of the country. The adults with bad handwriting could not save him. They could not play god with weight I guess. In short the guy had died from fat disease.
Why is this slob important enough to be featured in a story? Probably he isn’t. No one ever will be. Not even the great doctors or the popular kid on the block. Not even Neil Armstrong. Not even her. On a cosmic level you don’t matter, someone had told me. I had visited his cremation place and the first visuals I saw was a dead meat wrapped under a white sheet. (I went because I thought an empty funeral would have been devastating. My self-pity turned into guilt eventually.) Until then and always I valued him as mere flesh. Mere fat to be precise. I saw the wife and she was in a ventilation of mere existence without the monetary ICU expense. Just plain breathing and pain. She struggled though she carried the ritual; presumably done by the son. In his case there was lack of. The sad doctor, evidently the fat guy’s sister wept. Probably after the failed operation the sister looked into the mirror and said, “Sorry we couldn’t save him” to herself. She had been smitten by Karma for this poor last line every doctor with an unsuccessful attempt says. They have no value in a cremation ground, I have learnt.
The wife changed my perspective. He mattered to her. He mattered to a lot of people. A strange irony of life is some people matter only in cremation ground. That day a pharmacy salesman mattered over a doctor, history had been witnessed. The atmosphere of popular empathy was unexpected. This mediocre guy too had what many people never get. He had a family; love and was loved. He mattered. He had everything. The pre requisites for a happy death? Probably he even sang in the bathroom shower. In the last rites he had to be carried in the raft and there was a short of hand; he required about 10 people to carry.
I offered my malnourished hand to carry him. For the first time apart from currency and eyebrows I had offered my hand and had the greatest of guilt.
He didn’t weigh much…
Narrator 1: Bad Cop
Results out. The presentation ceremony follows. The excellence demonstrated much publicized and hyped. The media is here. They don’t want you just like Her. They want your best friend. (Trust the voice. I have distanced both the narrators from me)
Results matter. It requires a lot of consistency to do well; the pressure is immense. When your Mom’s second cousin came to visit before the traditional 1st English exam to gift a Parker Pen you understood. Now it is too late. This reading is not for the success stories of the exam. It is for those results equivalent to a ½ kg of ‘Mithai’ Party, a big 2 litre Coca Cola bottle and “Don’t worry. Life doesn’t end here. Be better in whatever you study next. At least you are no addict” -a drunk pep talk from the father (kind of students). Your friends thanked their teachers and family on social platforms while you lament and contemplate about bunked classes. Your reputation doesn’t threaten the school nor does it make them proud. You don’t even make it to the statistics. Your ugly passport size photo is nowhere in the Hoardings. There are many like YOU.
Threat: The literal failure who prohibits the school to flash their 100% pass record.
Be afraid and purchase the greatest product in the commodification of Education or the utopian ideology of pure studies. The binary has been born. One requires huge bulk of money; the latter needs a lot of hard work and extremist ways.
Commodification of Education: Lame instances include brokering for other students for an added discount.
You are in dilemma. This creates a denial from the reality. Some say they were not made for “science or commerce”. Some say they would drop out. Some say “life is shit”. Some even avoid going to the school felicitation ceremony; they are too tired to clap anymore. Too loaded are their files and folders with participation certificates. They are too bored of listening to “I told you sos” from teachers whose Internet History revolves around Jobs Searches for higher mobility.
The crisis will only increase as you encounter the results of entrances and further college rejections. The moment of truth comes when you have to buy your degree from an Institution or settle at a less reputed public college where people click selfies with cheap androids. You can use your Dad Money to buy your seat somewhere outside and feel secure. But then those childhood dreams about being a doctor, a bureaucrat, a pilot ends. You will be confused. There are many like YOU.
Different instances will follow course, all much alike. You will feel the carpediem jingo and follow your heart cliche – You would lose hope – You would buy your way to a degree – You would drop out. Decisions centered on an ugly truth – “You are not good enough”. What follows in a 3-4 year timeline is the same recurred events with further acquired habits. Why do they call it timeline when it is clearly a circle? The choice you made as an escapist and the black past crawls back again. This time the line is thin and less doors to knock. You convinced your parents again. Emotional fools understand. The hardest part is to convince you. Crap Diem it is, they never say. Crap Diem, it always will be. There are many like YOU………
Narrator2: Good Cop
So what is left for you then? The escapist mediocrity or a salvation. May be neither. So what’s next? Where to look?
I don’t know the solution. The voice has something relevant to tell. Never base your decisions on past experiences. The future may be different. The tag of mediocre or prolific is irrelevant in terms of future. If someone makes you feel – you are not good enough – they are probably right. They point out your past in their narrow judgement by following the same mistake. They consider the past. The future is always different.
You can appear for CAT and clear the MBA, get a good job and buy a sedan. There is always the UPSC and the train to Delhi. If you dare enough. Go for it and bring a badddass honor to your family. Learn a foreign language. If you are skinny/fat and look average, you can even do stand up sketches. The ocean is ahead of you. The tide will get low eventually. Till now it had been a cheap public bus ride for you. On a bird eye view, passport sized celebrities are common these days. Success density has reduced exclusivity. It is the time to make the assessment which will give you the highest freedom out of all the choices bestowed. If all fails, maintain a healthy social media appeal. People will dig your life. One little baby step every second. There are many like US.
But for now, go clap for your best friend.
I am a lazy idealist. I have not always been one. Opinions are not absolute science. There are flaws and logic behind them. Not as awesome for a person who differs with you. But there are people who don’t have an opinion. The people who read the pros-cons and believes in the hyphen. We suffer a lot. We avoid the public bashing. We avoid this bullying. Hence we become this lazy idealist.
The current order in the world has been “Either you are with us or you are not”. What if I am with no one. None of you can guarantee. I just want to know the truth and cure this insomnia. The truth which they feed us and the real truth has a fiscal deficit of 100%. This debt creates this insomnia. Every night I sleep clear but the next morning ridicules and clouds my yesterday. Thus, I have taken my refuge to music and readings. These are my past times; they don’t change my life though. I fear people who read an opinion or some “isms” and they get hulk over in their utopia. They try to break the order and establish a new order which just piles up more human dirt. I have finally learnt to use a mask to protect me from the dirt because whatever order you may establish, the dirt is the same.
People like us are also called mediocre. I take that as a compliment as we are not an extremist. We don’t strive for great nor the ungreat. Sorry I don’t know the counterpart of great. We don’t make it to the news; agendas are not made for us because us mediocre don’t even vote. We are not even counted in their targets. What I like is that I am not confined. I can amazed the world or carry this jute bag to the market and buy some fish for lunch. I have realized something which gives me such contentment even my first kiss, my first blunt, my first anything couldn’t. I AM THE HYPHEN.
In the ‘Srimad Bhagavatam’ it has been said, advancement in the modern age transcends into material progression and not spiritual development. We have evolved a lot substantially, we still lack to see the basic fundamentals and the simple truth. A guy hits the gym every day to boast his physical body but does he read or converse to enhance his mental self. The question is, why have we become so materialistic? The answer is not direct and unequivocal. It can be account to the simple fact that materials have no expectations. A bachelor works all day in the office returns home to “Netflix and Chill” and finds solace. The best thing about materials is they are never jealous. You love your laptop which has an i5 Processor but that doesn’t mean you can’t cheat with another higher configured device. What’s cheating when everything is a phase? Materials are not like Scorpios, they don’t ask you 10 questions just for reassurances. You have fun with them and you keep them aside. Charge them with your electricity(love) and they are good to go. The best is they come with a warranty unlike human beings. You connect socially better through the medium as you have ample time to communicate at your own pace. Yes, The Introverted people can also find common ground here. There are times when we skip big “get togethers” just to lie down in our bed cozy and comfortably with our gadgets. Technological peace is the closest enlightenment we get in this moribund life.
There is no bigger picture; it is human to be materialistic. I have not seen eternal bliss; the glow on their faces as they smiled out from a shopping mall with hands full of bags has been the closest. No matter how pathetic life may seem to be, we spend the most amount of time with a Laptop and the phone than with real entities. I am not ashamed to replace them when I save enough for the new model. When Love ends the heart pains, when your iphone breaks there is always accidental damage warranty. However, always respect the motherboard.
The war has begun
Shut all windows and doors.
No nuclear or oil agendas
The plain human supremacy
For this trivial world.
As the migrant child floats
Without a documentation
“Kiyiya Vuran Insan Lik”
Inside me, this empathy
But a sad hypocrisy.
A migrant is no human, and
Slaves needs no religion.
With the modern currency
Or the loaded trigger;
It can be bought.
The war had already begun
When dogs became our best friends.
“Kiyiya Vuran Insan Lik” – Humanity Washed Ashore
Cartoon by KhalidAlbaih