Category Archives: Funny

Mallika Sherawat, Papa, look vagina

I was feeding milk to my 4-year-old daughter and while she sipped milk on my lap we were also watching random Hindi songs on YouTube. She normally doesn’t allow me to touch the mouse and clicks on whichever video thumb nail catches her fancy. Repeated clicking brought us to "Jaane kya chahe mann banwara" from Pyaar Ke Side Effects.

In one of the shots in the song they show a sad-looking Mallika Sherawat lying on her bed with the close up of the face. As soon as her face covered the YouTube screen my daughter pointed at her and said, "Papa look, vagina."

Ruffled, I used the time line slider to move backward and see what exactly prompted her to pronounce the word but got no clue. I asked her why she had said that but she didn’t deem it necessary to answer my question.

She’s familiar with the word as we don’t normally suppress her curiosity and she knows that girls have a vagina and boys have a penis. Still wondering what made her say Papa look, vagina, when she saw Mallika Sherawat’s face.


Please note: I wrote this a long time back, many years ago, when I used to live alone with my mother.

Insects and I have shared a long lasting association with each other. This I have come to recognize more after regularly watching documentaries on insects, on various wildlife TV channels. Despite my mother’s strident objections (we watch TV together while having dinner), if they are featuring insects, I have to watch that program.

Although I have not gone to the extent of chewing live beetles and juggling around tarantulas just to needlessly harass the scandalized creatures and make people cringe at my antics as some demented looking hosts and anchors are wont to do, I have begun to acknowledge and accept the presence of these six-legged and eight-legged terrors. I refer to them as terrors because, see an ant under a magnifying glass and it’ll look like the most hideous monster you can ever imagine. A mere touch of a cockroach’s belly can give you the creeps for months.

I have accepted them as an inexorable destiny. They have been before me, and they are going to be after me, on this living planet.

But I’m not the only unscientific person who gets fascinated by these creatures of the pre-historic transcendence (if I’m not mistaken, the geological period when insects evolved, is called the Silurian Period of the Paleozoic Era). The narrator in Dostoevsky’s “Notes from the Underground” wants to turn into an insect at a particular stage of his pathetic life; and who can forget Kafka’s “Metamorphosis,” in which the protagonist wakes up as a giant insect? In most of the horror movies, I often witness hundreds of insects entering and exiting writhing humans, turning them into funnily spasmodic zombies. In ancient Egypt, they worshipped the dung-rolling beetles as they supposedly roll the Sun across the sky with their hind legs. Known to be rich in proteins, ants and caterpillars are being recommended as a staple diet by the starving entomologists all over the world.

There was a time when I used to be very scared of cockroaches. So scared that their presence used to make me stiff with fear. The fear was not exaggerated of course. If there was a cockroach in my room, then it had to lunge upon me in a spate of ground and aerial attacks. It had to enter the most unseemly crevices of my clothes that I happened to be wearing at that time, from where it could not be extricated without copious bodily contacts. By the time it was out, it had performed its acts of exploration and probing, and there remained no use of dancing around in panic and hurling unmentionable obscenities at it. It used to happen sans exception. The fear has ebbed by now, though the creepy feeling still lingers and changes into fear whenever I think of those demonic infiltrations. Fortunately when we changed our residence, we left those tales of sordid encounters behind, for, I have not seen a cockroach in our house ever since we have been in this new house – for the past three years.

But mosquitoes and ants are still here to fill the gap. They don’t scare me. They torment my tranquil moments, especially when I’m engrossed in reading and writing. They allot themselves the lower and the upper regions of my body in a hegemonic accord. The mosquitoes attack my hands, my neck and other facial paraphernalia and the ants attack my feet. I don’t know if you can, but I can differentiate between a mosquito incited pain and an ant incited pain. Of course the ants have talons and the mosquitoes have those biological straws (proboscis? I don’t know what it’s called). That incidentally brings to my mind, mosquitoes don’t bite – theoretically they sting – so I wonder why everybody says, “mosquito bites.”

Ants I respect, mosquitoes I repel. Me respecting ants does not imply I offer my body to them at their lunch hour; it’s just that, I have never, knowingly killed an ant. Accidentally, yes (sometimes they refuse to let go off the skin so they break). I’ve been trying to predict earthquakes by observing the behavior of ants and successfully predicted one last to last month when they came out, holding their eggs. They stuck to the bathroom wall and the adjacent floor as if they were dead. It’s winter, and ants don’t come out in winters, so I told my skeptical friend over the phone, “We’re going to have an earthquake very soon.” There was one, very mild, the next afternoon.

I remember being plagued by giant moths and locusts during my college days. I have mentioned them in one of my suspense stories. In the old house (the one infested with cockroaches), my study table was adjacent to a window that I always kept open during the study-ridden months of February, March and April – in college we had annual exams in May. By the end of February, only the tail of winter is left, and the night air is full of reposeful warmth and the smells of spring, and hence the unclosed window. Keeping the window open meant bearing the onslaught of moths that got attracted to the glow of my table-lamp. Believe me, they hailed from all the corners of the world, for I have never witnessed such a variety of moths, not even on the National Geographic channel. For weeks I kept a dead moth that looked like a rhinoceros with me and scared the neighborhood kids with it.

Then, during my second year of college, Delhi got hit by a plague of locusts. A locust looks like a big, fat and elongated cricket, light gray or black in color. They were as big as sparrows, and they were everywhere. You couldn’t put a foot forward without hearing a crunching sound beneath it. For a couple of days we had to cover our faces while venturing out. I had to keep my windows shut. They ate all our plants and then they disappeared as magically as they had appeared. They say a locust attack is always invoked by a curse. Who knows? I believe in the paranormal manifestations.

The only insects I have knowingly killed are the ticks that stuck to my dog, Suzy (she’s no more). I just couldn’t tolerate them troubling her, so I used to kill them with a vengeance. In the fits of nostalgia, I still crush a solitary tick passing my path.

Alien invasion or slimy worms?

There is this video on YouTube that shows an obscure blob of slime heaving up and down in a North Carolina sewer. The footage, allegedly, has been shot by inserting a snake camera into the sewer.

Some websites dedicated to extraterrestrial life and UFO have started urging people to brace up for an alien invasion. Of course, scientists and sewage experts say they are nothing but a colony of Tubifex worms. They often get together and form this blob and then display slimy movements when exposed to light and heat.

I wonder why people have such a bad notion of aliens. Why does a life form that can travel across galaxies have to end up in sewers and manifest such a repulsive biological existence? How did they travel? Did they use spaceships or simply hopped across dimensions and time coordinates? If this is the future of an intelligent existence — you gotta be highly evolved, spiritually, biologically and scientifically, to be able to travel and reach other living worlds — then this gives me shudders. Will we all turn into sewage-haunting blobs say, after a million years, if by any chance we don’t kill ourselves and the planet by that time?

Or may be the ability to travel in space is overrated simply because we cannot grasp it. May be it is so simple that even goo can travel through space.