In giving we receive; in being dutiful, we become strong..

Soon it will be budgive day

And, all that all of us can do

is pray -

Dear Lord, help us

Get through the day.

Help us not to boo...

Or rue, and feel the blues

Of the tax and spend cues

Or the Customs of the Excise

that leave some renewed..

And most of us to stew.

With GST, nothing's free

Not anymore, unless

You stay grounded

At the bottom of the

Economic tree...

Its low hanging fruit

Tastes best

And it's free..

But not for you and me!

Apparently it's tough

When the freebies are endemic

And war's the new pandemic

And building roads

Opens new vistas and stuff...

They would be remiss

Not to add a Surcharge or Cess

It's the same dirty cloth

And it will clean up the mess?

Thank God

The Vat has gone flat

Still there is no way out

Or is there?

Skip the bill..

maybe there's that..

Only a professional like Tom Sawyer

With rules of cash in the foyer

Can ignore this day and stay

In happy mayhem.

Else, You can't beat 'em

with Paytm..

The salaried are harried

Their income

Is income before before tax.

Like COVID before the vacs.

Oh to be in business,

Legitimate or illegitimate...

where Income

Is Income after tax?

At the end of the day,

Indeed it would be nice

If we could eat

Our curry and rice

At the same price!

Come on guys. Cheer up.  Soon it will be bud-get day. They get, you give. Get it?  You’ve Gotta give, before (if) you get. It’s built on the popular maxim.. in giving you receive! You are precious in this budget process – all 3 percent of you. It’s all about you. But not so in the election process that’s underway.  You could ponder over this dilemma over a Budweiser. And Buddy, hope you will be wiser.

The Budget is always based on history. If something cost Rs 100 last year, this year it will cost Rs. 110. Income, on the other hand, on a revision of history…Rs 100 may become Rs. 90 or 80. Mid year it is revised and it’s called revised estimate. When u revise, it will change. That’s the lesson history teaches us!

Revision of history is not about turning the pages of your textbook for the nth time before a board exam during revision holidays anymore.   There are no holidays for revision currently. It’s an  Everyday task, so that even if there is an out of syllabus question raised, and there are many, you are covered in glory among your stakeholders…

History has always been the most boring subject in the pantheon of Macaulay’s school curriculum. Because it was always His Story. But now its more interesting because His is  whomever you want him to be…. And your imagination can help you in unimaginable ways…to make it interesting and ease your understanding of a complex subject – Would Sachin Tendulkar have had the same success as Sunil Gavaskar if he had played with the same constraints (or lack of them depending on how you view them)in the same era?

Indeed it’s your right to look at your past in new ways and make it your story  rather than his story; and it is your duty to reclaim it from those who wrote it with a  Parker pen and rewrite it with birch bark or bhurjapatra (Sanskrit) on dried palm leaves.

PM Modi too felt it’s time that we fulfill our duties rather than fight for our rights. For 75 years our focus has been off. we’ve   been busy “talking about rights, fighting for rights and wasting time,” he said in a recent speech.

“The talk of rights, to some extent, for some time, may be right in a particular circumstance, but forgetting one’s duties completely has played a huge role in keeping India weak.” Everyone must “walk on the path of duty”, he urged, if we really want to see the country achieve new heights.

In terms of statues? Or statutes? We have the tallest ones, and more to come; now there’s even one that can be seen but not felt, virtually unbreakable, like the man himself, an old style nationalist, in the one for all and all for one tradition, not the one for some or some for one rendition. It weighs less than a kilogram. It’s a hollow gram. Literally. You can’t see thru it, but you can go through it to a  rainbow nation like no other. As regards the latter, there are so many and they are so complicated that the legal-bureaucratic as well as the illegal-aristocratic fraternity can enjoy a lifetime of employment, that some think the bud cannot give!

Surely our tallest is right. Asking for rights is to take a left turn. Doing our duty can put us on the right, if not righteous path; we’ve Gotta make our beds in the morning before we ask for a bed sheet; and there lies the conundrum.

One conundrum leads to another. The conundrum of the girl child. Man knows he cannot come into existence with out her, yet he seeks to destroy her. It’s a paradox if there was one.  Yesterday’s celebration of the international day of the Girl Child  sought to understand and resolve this conundrum through numerous virtual omicronic seminars. At the end of the day we were no closer to a solution or resolution  than at the beginning!

The best way to make  the boy child to remember and celebrate this day with her is to remind him that without her, he wouldn’t be here. Note the spelling… he, her, here. Remind him with his sonogram. Not a hologram!

Have a good week and remember, in giving you will receive! Hopefully.


This Article is written in the lighter vein. It hopes to bring a smile to your face, and you must not ascribe motives to its contents. There is no connection to events and characters in real life and if perchance you find a connect with any such real-life event or character, rest assured its purely coincidental.

Images by Gerd Altmann &  Ishwar Artist

This week’s learning: Vacs before you wane!

The name’s Chronic. Omichronic! That is a line from the latest Bondage movie! With a diluted license to kill, it has taken over the world…again. And we need a counter terrorist to dislodge it. Who other than social proximity? We hold hands when we are about to face death, why not when we want to live…? We hug and kiss in the hope we will live, or sometimes before we are shot? You must bend the bow to enable it shoot straight; right? Do you find this Question raised n the case of the Tennis Circuits No. 1 player! that Australian Courts found so difficult to answer, a no-brainer? Was not referring to you there… On one occasion they were positive, and on the next, negative. Much like PCR tests on which he relied for entry. Ultimately his service was ruled out in the tie break!

After losing the tie break, NoVax is Dnewjoke! Not for those in Serbia, but those in Australia. Unlike underwear, you must have it, to flaunt it. Else you will be discriminated against in a free secular, modern world that values human rights in a rather inhuman way – to protect other humans – we must remember however, that the vaccinated can get infected, if an unvaccinated man enters their midst. This logic hangs by a cobweb, given that the vaccinated are better placed as compared to the unvaccinated to receive the virus! Something like giving a bye to the top seeds in a tennis tournament to protect them from an upset.

The reality of life is that Novax is not no one anymore. You are a world citizen only if you are hairless – sorry, vacced – not once but twice, and you will be presented with a doctorate rather than a visit to a doctor. At any cost, and cost is the key word in many a nation, you must be waxed before you wane! to remain sane. If you do not consent, it is your funeral – one which you can attend and regret like no else will for you! You will become an in-law everywhere that matters – malls, parks, stadiums, hospitals too ironically, and even at marriage halls where even the bride and groom’s families demand to see the vaccination certificate before they agree to any tie up. Sometimes they lie up to tie up or they fund the drive… as a freebie!

Indeed, there was wave of weddings during the third wave! Some were incredibly inviting – so many were invited to watch the couple initiate divorce proceedings, (You cannot divorce unless you marry, right?) while at others, that the couple had only to whisper behind the mask to be heard. Pandemic couples are the best. Fully vaccinated against strife! They honeymoon at home within four walls, masked like at holloween and are vaccinated against outside interference which was rampant in the past! So, the pandemic has its blessings, not just its lesssings! They learn about each other’s tattoos and Huttu Guna very quickly, faster than did their 10th std science theories.

Weddings are extraordinary events in everybody’s life, I guess. Even those who have been living and hopefully loving together for some time if not a long time. Either the parents or the couple spend a whale – even if they cannot really catch one – on it. They invite the neighborhood, extended family and school and college friends long out of touch. They wear the grandest of clothes, choose the best of locations, provide a variety of food and beverages, and create elaborate ceremonies, all to ensure that the couple is primed for a long partnership.

Primed all right, but if you see Amazon Prime, most marriages do not last long – these are called original series. Not because you watch it – most couples watch it together, except those that have already grown apart – but you can draw an inference from what one can find on it!

And so, I was surprised and impressed when I was invited to a golden wedding anniversary celebration, where the 80-year-old gentleman who never sang at all was moved enough to sing for his 75-year-old bride, “She wears my ring”! And indeed, she was still wearing it.

They hardly spoke, except with their eyes, and the messages were clear. Killer looks had not killed the joy, even after 50 years. They smiled a lot, and even did things that surprised the other. Who was the better half and who was the other half would be the devil’s choice question…? In contrast, at a wedding, the couple had to speak to each other to understand one another, laugh loudly to be sure they enjoyed each other’s company, and party hard to ensure that what was to come was not a priority at that moment. The moment had to be cherished.

So do Indian couples, that tie the knot, untie it quickly? Not really. India is considered to have one of the lowest divorce rates in the world. Indeed, if we rely on cold figures and statistical studies, it turns out that in India, only about 1% of all married couples end their joint family life with a dissolution of marriage. This indicator is immeasurably insignificant compared to the average statistics for the United States in recent years, where more than 45% of official marriages end in divorce.

Dhanush, Wife Aishwaryaa Separate After “18 Years Of Togetherness” was the headline on today. Dhanush and Aishwaryaa got married on 18 November 2004. The couple has two sons – Yatra and Linga – who were born in 2006 and 2010. This was followed by a reference to a Megastar’s daughter untying a tidy knot. Telugu360 was the first to report that all is not well between Megastar Chiranjeevi’s younger daughter Sreeja and her actor husband Kalyaan Dhev. The duo was not in good terms for the past few months, and they decided to part ways. Sreeja and Kalyaan Dhev are blessed with a baby girl Navishka, and she turned three recently.

Good terms? Which one Marriage or Divorce? The Indian philosophy is clear. This start up is forever. It must become a unicorn… but then why is India 148 on the happiness index?

Well, the answer to that is: Virat Kohli, India’s most successful, most enthusiastic, most expressive, and most impressive Cricket Captain announced his resignation from his role as the Captain of the Indian Test team.  This before the BCCI could do it. He could have done it on the stump mic but chose instead Instagram. It was a divorce that falls in the one percent mentioned above.

Two sporting icons in a week making the headlines for all the wrong reasons, but for reasons they believed were right, were for me the highlight of the week that was…. The rest were hogged by Politicians and their parties – boozy parties at 10, Downing Street and by political parties across India’s largest and smallest state.

It had to be state of the art, given that the Election Commission – nice name for an independent body – had banned physical rallies which most were adept at. But they are great at converting Obstacles into tentacles that draw people towards themselves like an Octopus. Incidentally Octopussy was the name of another Bondage movie – the entire series is incidentally now available on Amazon Prime.

Watch it together. Stay bonded until next week!


This Article is written in the lighter vein. It hopes to bring a smile to your face, and you must not ascribe motives to its contents. There is no connection to events and characters in real life and if perchance you find a connect with any such real-life event or character, rest assured its purely coincidental.

Images by Gerd Altmann &  Ishwar Artist

The Battle of Balaclava is still being fought!!!

I was to attend an important event last week but missed it because I got stuck in traffic for more than an hour.  In fact, I was the Chief Guest at the event. I had the foresight to,  after 20 mins of looking this way and that, call ahead, and tell them that it would not at all be possible to come over as there was no way forward, only backward.  They said, no problem, we will manage without you. I didn’t know whether to feel relieved or insulted.

There were vehicles all around me. Stuck in my car for almost an hour, I was reminded of Lord Alfred Tennyson’s Poem “The Charge of the Light Brigade” about the Battle of Balaclava fought in October 1854 – The second stanza reads like this

‘Forward, the Light Brigade!’

Was there a man dismay’d?

Not tho’ the soldier knew

Someone had blunder’d:

Their’s not to make reply,

Their’s not to reason why, 

Their’s but to do and die:

Into the valley of Death

Rode the six hundred.

In the end I had to turn back as none had predicted the unexpected blockage – not google maps, nor the commuters who went ahead of me. Apparently, the blockage was caused by a procession ahead – a procession to improve road conditions for pedestrians – for which permission had been denied, we learnt later. It was spontaneous, walk in procession! Perhaps, in hindsight, or maybe foresight, one of us could have got out of our vehicles, walked the short distance to them and engaged them in a fruitful dialogue that might have parted the red sea…and bridged the gap; but that was too pedestrian for us – each one of us thought why should I? it’s my right of way…. I’ve paid my taxes; they have not paid theirs…

None  apologized – Not the processionists, nor the concerned authorities for turning a blind eye to the procession or those in charge of managing the traffic enroute. But that is only to be expected – we are used to it. And there was no assurance, forget about re-assurance, that it would not happen again.  We are used to that too. We are used to a lot of things – that is where we get our immunity from good governance. We could have raised a stink about it, but only to find the kettle finding a pot to call black. The kettle is the superior vessel, a vestige of the British Empire!  It has not earned its coil, but is always coiled to strike…

Anyway, I was glad I missed the event. It was thinly attended due to the battle of the Balaclava fought against the omnipresent omicron…. And of course, the battle of wills and legacies – I know what’s good for you vs you don’t know what’s good for you… Generally speaking, I’m not used to empty spaces.  I just love them when they are in my head… which is most of the time…. Still, nobody can notice – I’m that good! Just read this column!

By now you must be wondering about parallels you endured or read about last week.  Parallel is a good word because the three l’s in the word will never meet! Neither will the two a’s! There is also no comparison though you might be inclined to make one. That’s your choice! It’s probably one of the few remaining ones!

With Elections to five states just around the corner, politicians have been cutting corners to inaugurate a slew of projects that are ostensibly meant to help us – or the selected contractors, it’s not clear – lead a better quality of life; and convert us to their way of thinking by allurement! Luckily, that is not yet banned.

Anyway, faith must lie eternal that all the money spent on inauguration of projects does not go waste…but goes to the waist – our waist – right now that’s all that matters – roti, roti, roti. The cost of veggies is over the top – Brinjal and Cabbage at Rs: 90 a kg? at least in my city could be higher in yours. You could liquefy them and use them in your vehicle if need be. Same cost!

That’s a lot of baggage to carry into an election, but by the time you remove the balaclava to show your face before you vote, it will be just a bad memory, just like the bodies floating in a river shown (for some time) on the news. That memory is short, is evident from the fact that all those bodies we saw on the news in the river are now anti bodies!  The percentage of anti-bodies to bodies has already been determined, if you have been following the news carefully and so will not be an issue! In any case, these will be elections with a difference – with a balaclava.  But mind you, not the ones thieves use to prevent identification, when they rob you…. Also, candidates will be screened. Literally.

The third wave has prompted a new round of vaccinations, and we now have the pro and home version of Covid Test kits, just like windows! The Pro version administered at a variety of mark ups at hospitals and airports, make one feel distinctly inhospitable. But once you get omicron, you will be hospitable – in both its letter and spirit. Otherwise I’llCU!

And this is exactly how you’ll be verse off….

When your throat begins to itch

That’s when you’ll start to bitch…

About omicron and its eco-system

Its restrictions and prescriptions

It’s when everyone begins to spout their Wisdom

And you get poorer, while they become rich!

Enjoy your weekend at home, forced, or otherwise. One thing’s for sure. If you do go out, you won’t get stuck in traffic like I did! There’s Car few to contend with! But there’s no event to attend? that can be arranged, can it not? like a Padayatra?


This Article is written in the lighter vein. It hopes to bring a smile to your face, and you must not ascribe motives to its contents. There is no connection to events and characters in real life and if perchance you find a connect with any such real-life event or character, rest assured its purely coincidental.

Image by OpenClipart