Crepuscular humour

There is dark humour, and then there is crepuscular humour. Good examples of the dark variety make one laugh and cry at the same time. The crepuscular variety, on the other hand, makes one laugh and then leaves a residue of utter misery at the bottom of ones oesophagus and a strong proclivity, as the great Groucho once put it, to join a club and beat some one on the head with it. The events in Mumbai have given us, over the last couple of days, stellar, potentially Academy award-winning and downright jaw dropping examples of crepuscular humour from our politicians.

Nominee 1: VS Achuthanandan

The rickety Soviet era vehicle Mr Achuthanandan was driving apparently had a mileage problem, and when Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan gave his life to save others’ at Mumbai last week, the good CM realized that he could take a detour and drive his car down to the grieving parents’ repair garage and fix the political mileage problem with a photo-op. The father was not impressed, and declined the request. The CM’s response was this –

“Had your son not died, even a dog would not have bothered to come to your house”

Let me translate that into Malayalam for slightly better effect.

“Ninde mon ee nattinu vendi inganey chetthillangil, oru pattiyum ninde veetil vannirukkilyairunnu

If I had happened to be the host of something called “The Daily show” and my name started with J and ended with a T, my expression on hearing this stunning piece of crepuscular humour would have been something like this


Hmm. So where do I start? I am so speechless that I could practically be a giraffe. So in the light of my Kerala-style vocal chord hartal, I am going to hand this over to my neighbour’s labrador, Leo,who looks somewhat like this


and he had this to say:

“First of all, on behalf of the canine community, I’d like to let Mr Achuthanandan know that we totally love the Unnikrishnans, and would have frequented their house, um, frequently, no matter what transpired in Mumbai last week. You see, we just like people (especially those who choose to serve the country), unlike the CM, who only saw fit to visit their home for a photo-op  when their only son lost his life.

And oh, the CM must surely be aware that police sniffer dogs, all my labrador cousins by the way, did precede your visit to their house, so you are wrong in more ways than one.”

He also showed me a poster the Canine Defamation League had designed for this incident.


Nominee 2: RR Patil

For reminding us all of

  1. A profound proof in mathematics, that 5000 > 200, and therefore his government deserves credit.
  2. A reaffirmation of Newton’s first law of motion, that it requires the force of political incompetence to keep this tragic train of terror events moving, “Yeh sab chalthaa hi hai”
  3. The failure of reverse psychology (“I will not resign”) in its ability prevent the inevitable – his resignation.

Nominee 3: Vilasrao Deshmukh, soon to be full-time consultant for RGV’s next dud – Ram Gopal Varma ki Gaand mein Aag

While I have never understood why our politicians waste our time and money doing things like assessing flood situations from helicoptersand disturbing sick people in hospitals with a media circus, without either a degree in aerial geology(?) or medicine, Mr Deshmukh’s tour of the Taj post-tragedy was particularly interesting from 2 other perspectives:

  1. What the four letter word is his lame (no, paraplegic) actor son doing on an official visit?
  2. What the present continuous form of the four letter word prefixed with a close relative and suffixed with a really bad place is Ram Gopal Varma doing accompanying the CM on an official visit?

Nominee 4: Narendra Modi

For attempting to gain mileage out of the death of a man he had recently abused over the Malegaon arrests. Hemant Karkare’s widow did what Major Unnikrishnan’s father did – asked him to politely GTFO. In fact, rather ironically, the polite Tamil expression for gently requesting a person to move his posterior away from oneself is Moodittu Podi, or Modi for short.

Update: There have been repeated demands for Nominee 0: Shivraj Patil, but I had left him out because I thought his contribution to this award winning ensemble drama was achieved by his absence. But do read Ramesh’ brilliant take on this: