Walk The Line

Archive for October 2008

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

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 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 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 at rush hour.

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

One Marwari = The neighbourhood foodstuffs adulterator.
Two Marwaris = 50% of Calcutta
Three Marwaris = Finish off all Gujaratis & Sindhis.
Four Marwaris = Threaten the Jews as a community.

One Haryanavi = tube light.
Two Haryanavis = agriculture.
Three Haryannavis = Lathi squad.
Four Haryanavis = actually just one was enough.

Last but the best

One kannadiga = devegowda
Two kannadigas = devegowda with his son Kumarswamy
Three kannadigas = rivals of devegowda family
Four Kannadigas = total no of kannadigas in bengaluru

One Bihari = Laloo Prasad Yadav .
Two Biharis = booth-capturing squad.
Three Biharis = train capture.
Four Biharis = caste riots
Five Biharis = entire literate population of Patna …

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

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.

Sorry, no Coorgs or Parsis……too small to make an impact..start breeding…..


A Thousand Splendid Suns
Khaled Hosseini

When I got this book as a birthday present, I was skeptical. Though I loved his previous one, The Kite Runner, I wasn’t sure whether another book on war-torn Afghanistan would be arresting. After all, this one was again on the same country, the same cityscape. There was another reason for my reluctance to read another book on Afghanistan: news fatigue. As a journalist, I am bombarded with news and photographs from Afghanistan almost everyday.

Then one fine day after finishing Pallavi Aiyar’s book on China, I decided to give it a go. I read the first five pages and gave up. Started again. Stopped. This went on for a while. Then one fine day, I just couldn’t keep it down. I raced through the pages, read it while going to office, at coffee shops and restaurants. (Sometimes in office too. I hope the Ed is not reading this!)

And, this is what I think makes the book so special: its capacity to draw in even an uninterested reader.

The story revolves mainly around two women and their lives and and how their lives coalesced, collided and merged again by the twist of fate and politics.  They were born in two different cities (Herat and Kabul), led very different lives till they were teenagers —- one a ‘harami’ born to a maid servant and the other born to middle-class, educated parents —- and then were married to the same man. While all this was happening, Kabul — the Kabul of Saeb-e-Tabrizi and other Farsi poets — was transformed into the Kabul of Taliban and then again the sanitized Kabul of Hamid Karzai.

The author has beautifully fleshed out the characters and their emotions, and yet everything unfolds in a restrained, understated way. The most beautiful aspect is how the author handles the relationship between Mariam and Laila — two women with more than a decade difference in age but married to the same man.

The author could have easily messed up the plot, overplayed the tension between the two protagonists. But not Hosseini; he has given each their time and space in the story. Not even for once anything seemed excess or forced.


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  • Ram Manohar Sah: Hi All, Kosi (Kaushiki) furry reminds old saying "tying knot in the snakehead". Hydropower, irrigation and flood management are conflicting objecti
  • Alex: Your blog is interesting! Keep up the good work!
  • Nandan Jha: M has done wonders with here Dalit-Brahmin pitch (Sarva Samaj). Even though it was mostly to Mishraji's brilliant plan but if you look now, she could