Tiwari ka pujari

Daily papers crammed with news of scams, rapes, rantings of politicians, road and rail accidents are most depressing. The shenanigans of Narain Dutt Tiwari come as a comic relief. Bless you Tiwariji! You are a man after my heart. Long may you live!

How many people dare to celebrate Christmas eve with three young prostitutes to share their bed? And that too in the Raj Niwas of a state when you are its governor? I can’t think of anyone besides the gallant Tiwari. They sack him for his display of gallantry. He flies back to his hometown Dehra Dun to receive a hero’s welcome. Then a fellow named Rohit Shekhar, 32, says: “He is my Pop because my Mom says so.” Mom, named Ujjawala Sharma, supports him. “I am his mummy and Narain Dutt is his pappy. I can swear to it.” Narain Dutt replies: “They are liars. I had nothing whatsoever to do with her or her bastard son.” Mamma and son get court orders to take a sample of Narainji’s blood. Being a brave Brahmin he retorts: “Nothing doing! My blood is precious, no one is going to get a drop of it for free.” However, the law courts don’t agree with him. The more he evades court orders to submit to a blood test, more the people believe he has something to hide.

So, at long last, the much harassed Tiwariji has been ordered to give a sample of his blood. What it yields has a strong probability of his having sired an illegitimate son. Now, they have also produced a photograph of Tiwariji with Ujjaawala and a baby at his mundan–head shaving ceremony.

Why have the powers that be persecuted the poor man so mercilessly? They elect him chief minister, appoint him governor, then allow his lady companion and her son to blacken his face. Tiwariji will go down in the pages of Indian history as an able and subservient Congress party Neta. A doggerel about him has immortalised his name:

Main Narain Dutt Tiwari hoon,
Na nar hoon naa naaree hoon,
Main Indira kaa Pujari hoon
Main Sanjay kee savaaree hoon.

There is something wrong in this malicious diatribe in denying him manhood (na nar hoon, na naari hoon). He is very much a nar - a he man. So I shout from my house-top: “Narain Dutt Tiwari, Zindabad! Tiwariji tumhara koi jawaab nahin - There is no one like you.

More money, more sex

“Men are usually unable to control their behaviour if they have too much money in their pocket,” government spokesman Rifly Katili told reporters in Gorontalo province, Indonesia. “They cheat on their wives, and spend all their money on mistresses, and many wives of civil servants have complained to the governor that their husbands were even withholding how much they were earning, which is typically between one and four million rupiah ($110-440), a month.

“Something had to be done, so from now on, all male married civil servants will have their monthly pay automatically transferred directly to their wives’ bank accounts, is a government initiative to stop them having illicit sex or casual affairs, and to empower the employees’ wives to learn about household budget management. The ruling affects 3,200 civil servants in Gorontalo and North Sulawesi, and we are pretty sure that this decision will eliminate the possibility of love affairs that undermine families. About 90 per cent of the employees are voluntarily taking part in the initiative, but it is compulsory anyway, so it doesn’t really matter whether they volunteer or not.”

(Courtesy: Private Eye, London)

Modern art

Geeti Sen is currently director of the Indian Cultural Centre in Kathmandu. She specialises in modern Indian art and has published several books on the subject. Her latest offering is ‘Your History Gets in the Way of My Memory: Essays on Indian Artists (Collins). It deals with the works of Ganesh Pyne, Maqbool Fida Husain, Anupam Sud, Nilima Sheikh, Manjit Bawa, Sayeed Haider Raza, Meera Mukherjee and Zarina Hashmi. A number of celebrated names are missing. For eg. Satish Gujral, Solanki, Arpana Kaur - and a few more. Besides that she has not explained why pictures of circles and squares are considered works of art by experts like her. However, some artists’ works have been embellished by their poetic compositions which read better than their paintings look. One example is Zarina Hashmi. While her drawings baffle the viewer, her poems bewitch the reader. I reproduce one sample:

Far away was a house with four walls
On rainy nights the ghost stopped by the pillar
The black snake came in the house
On long summer afternoons everyone slept
I run outside to play and burn my feet
One night we heard the owl in the tree
The one-eyed maid said we would have to move far away.

Sailing in same boat

A Pakistani to an Afghan: “You don’t have trains in your country yet you have a minister for railways?”

Afghan: “Same reason, as you have a minister for justice in your country”.

(Contributed by Anirban Sen, New Delhi)

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