Saturday, September 19, 2015

The journey

I must have been very tired as I slept within 5 minutes of lying down on my side upper berth. Even though it was the closest to the gate, I didn’t mind the noise as long as nobody bothered me. It was Friday (not 13th!) night and I was travelling from Hyderabad to my hometown Bangalore for the weekend.
I don’t know for how long I slept before I felt somebody nudging me, urging me to get up.
“Hello boss..Melkolapadaniki” said an irritated voice in Telugu.
I don’t know Telugu but guessed that he wanted me to get up. I woke up and turned towards the aisle to see who it was but there was no one. I glanced sideways in the corridoor to see who woke me but the guy seemed to have vanished in thin air.
The train was at halt and it was eerily silent. I have traveled often enough on these night trains to know that even nights have their own sounds. This night seemed to be mute. I decided to get down from my berth and take a look.
And then I noticed something very unusual. All other seven seats in my unit were vacant. No luggage, no footwear, nothing. I recalled that there were people when I had boarded the train. I switched on the light and bulb flickered with a faint yellow light. There seemed to be no trace of anyone occupying those seats. I felt a chill.
This doesn’t seem alright.
May be they all got down at some station?
All of them? That never happens.
I wore my floaters and started moving towards the other end of the compartment, switching on lights as I went. Entire compartment was vacant!
My unease was now replaced by an unknown fear with sense of foreboding. I realized that only sound I could hear was my breath and my heartbeat.
I must think straight.
Must not panic. It’s unusual but not impossible scenario right? Right.
I decided to go back to my seat. Though, now that whole compartment was vacant, every seat was my seat.
Train was still not moving. Night was still eerie. I turned back and noticed that it was dark at the other end of the compartment. The light of that unit was switched off.
Did I switch off the light?
May be I did?
But why will I?
I reached my seat and was taken aback by the sight. There was somebody perched on my seat, covered with my sheet, sleeping.
What the hell!
To my mix of emotions, irritation was added. I nudged the guy. Lightly at first and then with slightly more force. No response.
Seriously dude, not even 5 minutes since I left the seat and you are sleeping like a log!
Irritation entered my voice and I heard myself say..
“Hello boss..Melkolapadaniki

Thursday, September 03, 2015

What if they remade “Modern Family” in India?

First of all it won’t be a comedy. It will be a soap opera. Soapiest of the operas. With a lot of changes. A bloody hell lot of changes!

  1. Pritchets would be Parashars, needless to say a rich business family and you would never know (in the course of its 14836392 episodes) what in God’s name is the damn business.
  2. Jay Pritchet would be Jai Parashar and he would have at least 2 brothers. (yes, no sisters because on Indian TV you are more likely to have brothers than sisters, unless the serial is about the sister!) Of course the brothers would have their own families and everyone would be living under a single roof (of a giant-ass bungalow named ‘Parashar Villa’). Half of those 14836392 episodes would be spent in family preparing to cook meals, cooking those meals, eating them, praising the ‘Bahus’ for preparing the meals and taking second helpings of their ‘manpasand gajar-ka-halwa’.
  3. Gloria would be a South Indian named Gauri (or Gayatri). She would have a thick Tamil accent and would not be half the age of Jai because on Indian TV even if people marry twice (oh you’ve no idea how many times they marry on TV!) they marry someone their age. And there always is some one willing to marry a widow or widower.
  4. Dunphys would be Dubeys and this family would be more or less same. Phil would be Phani, Claire would be Cauvery and theirs would be an arranged marriage because, obviously! And oh yes, Haley won’t have any affairs because teenagers on Indian TV are supposed to be either gentle, docile, God (and parents) fearing, moral cardboard characters or aggressive, conniving, amoral cardboard characters and lest you forget, cardboard characters can’t have relationships.
  5. Cam and Mitch won’t be gays. Cam would be a woman, named Kamya and they would be married because on Indian TV a) you can’t be a gay character and b) you definitely can’t be living in with your partner even if you are not gay. Kamya’s parents would be more important characters and they would definitely be taking more interest in their daughter’s life and her share in Parashar’s business and money. Because on Indian TV, in-laws are either back-slapping, merrily-laughing, gajar-ka-halwa-munching ‘Samdhis’ or they are back-stabbing, scheming, scowling SOBs whose appearance is accompanied by evil music.
  6. Luke would be the sharp one, not Alex. Because on Indian TV, how can the son not be the torch bearer.
  7. There would background score. Plenty of it. The regular happy, sad, naughty (not THAT kind of naughty you know, nothin’ on Indian TV is THAT kind of naughty!), scheming music pieces along with that familiar ‘balle-balle’ sound everytime a Sikh guy shows up and a ‘hadippa’ everytime he opens his mouth. Basically any subtle moment would be dealt with a sledgehammer of background score, just in case you need to know what to feel when watching the show at any given time.
  8. And last but definitely not the least it would be called ‘Family No. 1’. Because Indian TV loves its numbers and nothing on it can be modern anyways.
The makers of this show don’t need to worry about copyright issues. I am absolutely sure that ‘Modern Family’ writers won’t be able to pick any traces of their show from its Indianized version.