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

stewart

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

lab

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.

dogsgate

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:

http://www.rameshsrivats.net/2008/12/shivraj-patil-versus-sardar-patel.html

72 Comments

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  1. Hey Krish.. You left out a couple more deserving people in here. Shivraj Patil -> Change three suits in a day when hell is breaking loose. Raj Thackaray -> You have better vocabulary than I do to put a few good words against this guy’s name.

  2. What more can we expect from man with a choice hindi expletive in his name! I guess he should be insulted everytime someone addresses him by name!

    Never before have I been as embarressed to be a mallu than thanks to the affore mention *##*iya!

  3. Great post, Ashok. Thanks for taking on these a$&*les with your humour. In these times, we could do with a laugh at their expense, even if it isn’t funny, the crap they try to pass off as concern.

  4. Great post!!! And may my dogs join the Canine Defamation League…they would do a number on his ankles he won’t forget soon, the total F$#*$wit.

  5. For once, the laughter turns into a bad feeling even as it comes out. How insensitive these guys can be! And how powerless I feel. All I have is one vote.

    Achutanandan deserves to be flogged.

  6. Isn’t it Suit A Moodithu Podi ?

    And I know one person getting multiple nominations is slightly unfair to the other gentlemen here but at least give a special mention to Patil for this: ” the terrorists left before I could get there”. Somebody tell him the terrorists got very angry that he did not keep his dinner date with them. So now he is responsible for everything, ain’t he?

  7. Brilliant Post. Have to say, even if our politicians cannot get us the basic amenities or keep us safe, they certainly try their best to keep us entertained!

  8. Aww come on, you left out Shivraj Patil. Half a dozen terror attacks before, he didnt know how to react, and resorted to constant dress changes to destress, but just when he was getting the hang of things (how to host a post-terrorist-attack media conference without having to change clothes halfway, that is) the terrorists ‘left’ before he arrived.. Bad form on their part I say..

  9. You should have lengthened the post…there are many more i’m sure you know…and why make Barkha feel lost and lonely???
    Brilliant way of getting back at these A@!#

  10. naqvi saab had something against lippistik paavdur ladeej. Too bad now that’s one person you wil never see endorsing himani nor will the BJP get any funding/sponsorship from them!

    I’m glad you left barkhaji out of this. She has single handedly been successful in preventing any road accidents during the three days all over india!

    her broadcasts were shit scary and made ppl pee their pants everytime she emoted. Forget leaving the house, ppl were afraid to even get of their sofas!

    I recommend her for an award!

  11. One would think that for once the politicians would be normal human beings – but its too much to expect, apparently.

    Why is the presence of a politician needed at a funeral to legitimize the martyrdom of a soldier? Why can’t they have a funeral minus the security, camera, microphones, etc..? After all, in death he is just a son, a father, a husband.

  12. Crepuscular humour 2 would follow I suppose to talk about the infinite other comedians involved in making this movie oscar worthy!

  13. awesome post.

    i’ve been fuming ever since VS made that remark. koman sense illatha patti.

    and i strongly object to anyone who nominates only barkhaji. NDTV ke paas barkha hai toh IBN ke paas sardesai hai. the clown prince of indian television – he even promised a live telecast of sandeep’s funeral.

    there’s one word in your whole post that beautifully sums up the situation – circus. everything’s being turned into a circus in india. no one’s even allowed to die in dignity.

  14. Goodness! I have never seen such white hot rage from you in any post before.
    But you’re right – How can we expect our politicians to solve problems if even conducting themselves with dignity is too much for them at a time of national crisis.

  15. Hi Krish,

    You should start a Daily Show or a Krish Report.

    Today I was thinking why is the SPCA not saying anything – they targetted the cute dog in the Vodaphone ad – why are they so mum now? Chalo you have taken their cause – Doggate !!

    And your new term Modi – priceless !!

  16. Great post! I loved it. Its not language that a CM should be using. By the way, I’ve a theory about Shivraj patil changing his clothes so often. Maybe he was so sh*t scared about losing his job that he kept soiling his pants.. 😉

  17. Rumour has it that he is negotiating a contract to walk the ramp. It is said that Patil was perfectly happy to find that he could change clothes once every 2 minutes, and not be lambasted for it, and the designers themselves have one less wardrobe malfunction to worry about. Win-win eh?

  18. Rumour has it that he is negotiating a contract to walk the ramp. It is said that Patil was perfectly happy to find that he could change clothes once every 2 minutes, and not be lambasted for it, and the designers themselves have one less wardrobe malfunction to worry about. Win-win eh?

  19. Infusing humour while expressing utmost disgust, is good. Watching 60 hours of terror unfold on television was worse than actually living in the city. But, one thing I’d like to make clear.. enough of this spirit of Mumbai. Let’s not make that an excuse to heave-ho and move on. Had it not been for the upper classes that had been hit, this would have been forgotten in a day. Anyway, I’m glad that people across the country are reacting… even if it means that the elite had to be affected to get a reaction. The last straw on the camel’s back, perhaps. Good.

  20. Doff my hat to you KA. (Actually I dont wear one, but you know what I mean)

    Your post was a complete catharsis for all the anger, disgust and incredibility of this last one week.

    But yes, I join the chorus begging you to do one on the media. How they were all falling over each other to give us “live and exclusive” terror.

  21. Great post. Maneka Gandhi should have been asked to comment on our achuthandan thatha’s poetic reply. Even if he had an iota of grief for the dead hero, he would have acted differently. Now Prakash Karat is apologising like some one who apologises to you because his dog peed on your wall.

  22. You forgot the media. The idiots who beamed everything live like it was some reality show. The sensationalist asses who go by the surnames of Sardesai and Dutt. These utter business minded retards will push someone else into a well and show that to us for 48 hours next.

  23. You left the most important person, the people of India. Nobody including myself have the guts to stand before the politicians. The politicians and Media are just the face of our society, the reality lies with our love for “Break the Rulz” .

    Wonder if all the Students and IT folks who are the youngest could stand up to a unified strike to demand the setting of qualification and background check for the politicians. It could make India really a better world.

    However long be the night , there is always a dawn. Lets see when it comes for India and at what expense …

  24. I request in the most humble manner to read my post, What (Exactly) Kerala CM said… on Kerala CM’s remarks which were misinterpreted by TimesNOW.

    @ the post

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

    I will call that a poor translation… in fact the exact words of CM was, “sandeep-nte veedallengil oru patti thirinju nokkumo avide“, which should be read together with the sentence next to it, sandeep’s father, sandeep’s mother, sandeep’s family, the attachment we have for them is very special. Only then the complete meaning is conveyed.

    Let me explain to you dear brothers and sisters, the Kerala CM’s remarks are NOT (even if it were taken out of context), directly or indirectly, abuses or disrespects slain major. Sandeep or his family.

    Blame the media for capitalizing all of our love for the country and sensationalizing the news. I request all of you to condemn the unethical act of TimesNOW.

  25. pr@tz has a very valid point. I think Achutanandan lacked a bit of tact as he said it but it is easier to demonize politicians in the media than the mediapersons themselves. And yet, Barkha Dutt had to respond to the allegations of bias, sentimentality, sensationalism, etc., that have been heaped on her.

    Barkha has put the article on the NDTV website and NDTV has cleverly selectively approved comments on it:

    http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/ndtv/mumbaiterrorstrike/Story.aspx?ID=COLEN20080075194&type=opinion

    It is disgusting to see people getting sycophantic about a news presenter!

  26. Ashok , you got it wrong.

    Achudanathan’s said this because Major Sandeep’s father said that he doesn’t want dogs in his house (when Achudanathan’s went to his house).

    Don’t join the stupid media in passing remarks without verifying facts

  27. Ashok:

    Disappointing to see you fall for this media-created frenzy over politicians. Yes, humour is your lens, but this time I find your humour grates.

    Another man from your city has written about the role of the media in reporting these attacks. You might want to read it before you write that “separate post” for media:

    http://www.gnani.net/
    Ashok: Agree with you. It is indeed rather naive to just blame politicians for this, but I just want these clowns to stay out of the way and stop providing our media with distractive fodder.This was not a post about why politicians are to blame.

  28. Hey KA,
    Great post..and believe me, no amount of abuse to these useless,unworthy,people elected politicians is sufficient. They STINK. They are disgusting. This only feels like a deja-vu to what happened in Rang De Basanthi. Going a little off-tangent, I believe that movie makes more sense now than before. We all seem to carry the same amount of agitation, aggression and anger against these politicians. But we also need to bear in mind that we don really have an Amir or Siddharth (he’s so cute! ) or Kunal with us..neither do we need youngsters like us to become brave martyers. The crux of RDB was that although these men sacrficed their lives, the sad truth is that it cannot radically change the system. I feel this is more critical a situation than the terror fiasco since emotions are running high and wild everywhere. This calls for a rational approach rather than a juvinile act of ‘freedom struggle’ or ‘revolt’.

  29. It takes a good writer like yourself to be able take on a topic as serious and as disturbing as this and still keep up the same class and wit. You’ve got a new regular reader in Finland!

  30. KA,

    I am a fan of you and your blog.

    But I have to disagree with your translation of Achuthanandan’s words.

    Sandeep’s father called him a dog when he went to their house. Reasonable, given that Achu was going there after media compulsion.

    And Achu’s response was actually: “If it was not Major Sandeep’s house”, and not “If Sandeep did not die”. This was tactless, but that is Achu for you. He speaks his heart out – sometimes foolishness too. However, the channels, especially Times Now and Headlines Today, were showing the twisted meanings.

    Your targets in this post are just our silly media’s targets. Where’s the police mechanism, where’s the intelligence mechanism, who are the real culprits? What did the politician do, in causing this? I am sure all of them would have given good orders to the police, the IB & RAW, army, everythng, to save the country from such attacks (its easy to order). So, the major lapse was on the very same heros of the moment – uniformed folks. But the media want money, easy culprits, etc. And you fell for it!

    A small anecdote, to end. A member of the young India & IT brigade in B’lore was echoing your very same sentiments while standing in Queue for a temporary ID. Politicians, blah blah. We need army. Now, when his turn came, the guy at Access Control was doing serious check ups on this guy (in the Intranet) . He asked some questions (for confirmation), checked photo etc. Our young brigade got angry – “for a simple temporary access, you need 5 minutes! this is irritating i tell you!! I am not a terrorist!”.

    Now, who’s the culprit?

    When does a politician wake up, and when does he(or she) sleep? How much rest he’s taking?

    The middle class and upper class – mainly those who dont vote – can have fun watching the channels.

    Sorry for the long post. Read gnani’s post, please.

  31. Also,

    Some Amit123s are having fun at the pun in A-chuth(i)a-nandan’s name. But amit123 does not know that “achuthan” means his own Krishna bhagvan!! Poor amit123!!

  32. LOL … I was thinking if you were going to use all conjugations of the four letter word that starts with F and ends with K and has “You see” in between. It would have showed the “Tense”.

  33. While a lot of all types of stuff is posted at our site, your blogposts are always a jewel in a coal mine.
    Greatly entertaining and vindicating to read this. Maybe you can add a bit on (BJP) Naqui’s comment about the peace and protest rally’s being just lipstick wearing women marching about ! :LOL and these are the people running our country

    Dubbagol Team

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