Archive for May, 2015

Whether it is the realm of politics, home affairs, civic issues or public transport, Sudhir Dar’s cartoons continue to regale us with their tongue-in-cheek humour.

You may enjoy these as well:

01 Strike and Lift

02 Car pools

03 Bus drivers

04 Old vehicles

05 Thieves

06 Men

07 Board meetingsDenizens of Delhi would surely relate to these works of art better. But the underlying messages happen to be global in nature.

The likes of Sudhir Dar, R K Laxman, Mario Miranda and Shankar have always managed to keep us amused with their timely and witty cartoons. But for them, and but for authors like P G Wodehouse, our lives would be so very dull and dreary.

(Source: The Best of Sudhir Dar, Penguin Books)

(Related Posts:




Read Full Post »

When the chips are down, what do we do? Some of us would drown our sorrows in tissue restoratives. Some would watch a movie. Some would curl up in bed with one of the anti-depressant narratives of P G Wodehouse. Some others would reach out to their bookshelves, shake the dust off a book of cartoons, and soak in the wit and humour embedded therein.

One of the cartoonists I have always admired is Sudhir Dar. For many years, every morning, it used to be a delight to look up what was in store on the front page of The Hindustan Times. These were invariably timely, uproariously funny and highly pungent. Amidst the plethora of gloomy happenings – a gang rape, a murder, a scandal and what not – his cartoons, published under a caption ‘This is it!’, never failed to lift one’s spirits.

Here are some of his cartoons which continue to be as relevant and apt today as they were when published originally.

09 British civility

10 Elections

12 Home work

13 Henpecked husbands

14 Pollution

15 VIP security

08These cartoons continue to serve life with its sunny side up and help many amongst us to retain our sanity in these turbulent times.

(Source: The Best of Sudhir Dar, Penguin Books)

(Related Posts: 






Read Full Post »

Often, on Facebook, some fans raise a question as to who the most lovable character is; or, which is the best work of P G Wodehouse. Futile, I say. Pointless, I state. Because when it comes to making any comparisons in Plumsville, the mind boggles. Each character has a couple of traits we can readily identify with. Each narrative has a situation which we can relate to. We just need to roam around in Plumsville’s valleys lit with sunny humour and quietly lend an ear to the rivulets of gentle mirth murmuring past us.

Here is one of the several exceptional posts from Plumtopia which demonstrates (if that is the word I want) this simple fact of life.


Pip pip!


Wodehouse, as a nonagenarian

Henry glanced hastily at the mirror. Yes, he did look rather old. He must have overdone some of the lines on his forehead. He looked something between a youngish centenarian and a nonagenarian who had seen a good deal of trouble.

The Man with Two Left Feet (1917)

I feel much like Henry did, as I glance in the mirror to inspect the remains of my former self on the eve of what I’ll just call a ‘significant’ birthday.  But I shall resist the urge to impersonate the great Russian novelists, and reflect instead upon some of my favourite Wodehouse moments. I have selected five favourite novels to share, representing one for each completed decade, and one for the future. I do hope you will indulge me.

My first selection is a school story, published in magazine (The Captain) and book format under various…

View original post 1,313 more words

Read Full Post »

My dear Blogger,

I think you have a magnificent blog. I just happen to be one of your followers. Allow me to share my plight with you.

De-mystifying my fickleness

To you, I sound fickle-minded. You work hard on creating a marvelous piece that you post. The absence of response 'The Thinker' : Rodinis maddening. You keep twiddling your thumbs, trying to figure out where the denizens of Blogosphere are. It is as if WW-III has broken out and all the followers have gone underground, scurrying for safety. At times, you create something in a jiffy, and lo and behold, you are flooded with likes and comments!

For me, the recipient of all your creative outpourings, yours is just one of the several other blogs I follow. Then there is so much else to be read on the world-wide-web we have spun around ourselves. Please understand that I have the unenviable task of sifting through hundreds of other platforms and blog posts. I might just end up missing your latest post. I may simply lack the time, the will-power or the perseverance to locate the very post you are keen I should look at. Breathe easy. Relax. Give yourself some time.

Of Moore’s Law and sky-diving Attention Spans

You see, the job of keeping a track of what is happening on social media becomes tougher every day. Earlier, I had to undertake an elaborate ritual to kick-start my PC and then see what was up. These days, even while traveling in a ramshackle bus, I merrily continue to check the latest updates. Now, when the smart woman sitting next to me flashes her eyelids and tries to catch up on her updates, I am bound to get distracted, right? Can you then really blame me for missing out on your post, howsoever juicy it might be?

Surely, you have heard of Moore’s Law? As predicted, the transistors per square inch of the ICs used in our gizmos keep going up. Screen sizes keep shrinking. Our attention spans keep sky-diving.

Allow me to propose an AKB’s Law on Attention Spans, which would postulate that ‘The Attention Spans of netizens are directly proportional to the screen size of the gizmo in use, the quality and the topicality of the content, as also its presentation.’ The smaller the screens, the shorter the attention spans. The smarter the content, the longer the attention span. More glitzy the presentation, better the attention it attracts.

If you are in the eye-ball grabbing rat race, aiming at a mass following, you have to keep coming up with zanier and wackier headlines. You can cover topics which are either controversial or of current interest. Press and media professionals do it all the time. But if your posts happen to provide a fresh perspective on issues of global interest, and if you are content with a smaller and more devoted group of followers, you could still catch my attention somehow.

The obligation of providing instant gratification

You already know that blogging is more like a marathon and not a sprint. When you have published something new internet image 2straight from the oven, please do not expect me to rush to my IT contraption, all agog in excitement, quivering in keen anticipation, and post either a ‘like’ or a ‘comment’ right away. I could be busy with my own life. Even if my eyes are glued to a screen of sorts at the time, I could be deep into something else. Give me some space.

At the end of each tiring day, as I sit bleary-eyed in front of my laptop, the least I want to read about is one of your raves and rants about the several ills plaguing our society. Or, a personal problem you happen to facing. You see, I am already suffering an overdose of negativity around me. Nor do I expect to read about how your day went. Life happens to me as well and I know the pressures of a typical day in one’s life.

Yes, if you have something to say which could be of some use to me, I might glance at it. For example, if your boy/girl friend has just decided to dump you, you have my deepest sympathies. But I might not be interested in the not-so-juicy details of the break-up. Yes, if you have tips on how to be successful in getting my wife to walk out of my life, I would lap up your post much like a hungry cat would devour a hapless creature of the piscine kind.

The great sermon handicap

I detest sermonizing on your part. As a kid, I had to put up with this charade at the hands of my parents. As a student, my teachers took it upon themselves to mould me right; they simply ended up reducing my self-confidence to pulp. Once I tied the knot, my spouse took up the task of reforming me. Born optimist that she is, her sincere endeavours continue unabated till this day. On the job, several of my bosses continue to do it with unfailing regularity and severity. Of late, to my chagrin, even my children have started making such attempts. Living up to some lofty ideals held sacrosanct by those who profess to love me has left my soul in torment. Please do not add to this discomfiture of mine.

Yes, if you have learnt something new from an experience of your own, I am game. For example, your internetBlogging illustration connection has been playing truant and you have discovered a deity which specializes in setting it right. I look forward to learn from you the special invocation which you find to be effective. Let us say your spouse has been bed-ridden and you have suddenly found a website which sends you a maid at a very short notice. I would surely like to try it out. Or, you have just found a new trick of convincing your boss to let you have a day off. I would be delighted to know. You could have discovered a way of having your morning cup of tea while reading your newspaper peacefully, without being disrupted by a nagging spouse. Please, oh please, do share it with the denizens of Blogosphere. Like me, all permanent members of the Harassed Husbands’ Association would bless you no end.

Not looking for a fly-by-night wordsmith

Try to be regular, will you? If you get erratic in posting your ideas and thoughts, I might just lose track. If you are a regular, I shall love to watch your progress with considerable interest. We may even become blog-buddies, exchanging ideas and what not. If your ego is sublimated, I could even think of giving you some tips. If you are feeling down in the dumps, I could perhaps cheer you up. I could be your sounding board for ideas for simmering within you for future posts.

The long and short of it

When you start composing your outpourings, you find yourself unable to stop. You go on and on. Please have a pity on me. With continuous exposure to screens of all kinds, my eyesight is already failing. Also, I have limited time at my disposal. Please come up with pieces which are short, sweet and to-the-point. If your post is a long one, let it be. In that case, just ensure that I am able to grasp the likely nature of the contents within the first two paragraphs of your post. Or, group your paragraphs and provide sub-headings.

Another thing that puts me off

Often, I take some precious time off and exercise my grey cells to write a comment. But you do not bother to either acknowledge or respond within a reasonable period of time. If you are too busy to do so, you are welcome to remain in your ivory tower. I would then simply exercise my democratic rights and ‘un-follow’ you.

Let the title not be a cross-word puzzle

Do please provide a heading which says it all. If you make it too tantalizing, I may simply get put off. If you make itinternet image 1 too indirect, my pitiable IQ levels might just fail you. Please be aware that my idea of an exciting career is not to become an assistant to either Sherlock Holmes or Dr Watson.

The inner glow of happiness

When you post, you are happy for having expressed yourself to the world. Yes, words of praise and encouragement become the fuel which keeps you chugging along on all six cylinders. But try not to be over-dependent on me to provide this fuel to you on a regular basis.

I am in Blogosphere merely to relax, to get amused, to derive some inspiration, to be entertained and, at times, to get educated. To learn something new. To discover new vistas. Help me in any way you can in doing any of this, and you shall be suitably rewarded. Great many likes may come your way. Juicy comments would continue to flow in.

Hope some of this makes some sense to you. If it does not, pray do not fret. I am myself not someone who practices what I preach. The fact that this post itself has become much too long, exceeding 1,500 words in all, goes on to prove this, right?

Happy blogging!

Your Ardent Follower

(Inputs from a fellow blogger, Ms Lopamudra Mitra, are gratefully acknowledged)

Read Full Post »

Branding is an important part of marketing, and who knows this better than the celebrities from the realm of cinema? Assuming an appealing name is a crucial aspect of a celebrity’s image and persona. Here is a well-researched two-part series of posts on some Bollywood personalities. A sumptuous treat for Bollywood fans.

My Views On Bollywood

By Sharada Iyer

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose

By any other name would smell as sweet;”…



Does this hold true for our industry? A peep into our film industry’s history reveals a fascinating number of artistes of the early era who changed their name to try their luck and write their destiny in the industry. Some chose the names on their own, some were rechristened to suit their personalities, some had to change to avoid confusion with already existing similar name…Well! Whatever the reason, they are now part of our cinematic consciousness and today we cannot imagine them by their original names…

The most famous change of name that comes to our mind is that of Dilip Kumar who did not hesitate in giving up his original name Yusuf Khan and take on the screen name of Dilip Kumar thus establishing…

View original post 2,357 more words

Read Full Post »

R K Laxman Common Man

Happy are they who in this chaos of things
With the feet of time chasing them in the rear,
Continue to be Very Ignorable Persons
Living modestly, armed only with hope, doubt and fear.

In this uncertain and ambiguous world
Full of pompous VIPs of a different kind,
Happy are they, anchored on fixed belief
Immense wealth they do not need to mind.

Drunken driving they dare not indulge into
Lest the long arms of law catch up with them,
Disproportionate assets not to worry about
The poverty in their lives being the only gem.

They continue to chug along eking out a living
Facing the harsh slings and arrows of Fate,
Happy, contented, smiling, enjoying togetherness
Nurturing their family along with a soul mate.

Lining up for public facilities they are used to,
But they sleep well, relishing the small joys of life
They dream big for their younger ones
Struggling hard to keep them away from harm and strife.

Not for them the exalted concerns of the privileged class
The color of the beacons on their cars, the power and the pelf,
The ‘special handling’ at airports, at toll booths and at other places,
Twisting the short arms of the law, escaping ignonimity of the self.

The enforced solitude and the lack of real private space
Missing the late night ice creams off a street-parked cart,
The stress of living in a fish bowl, always in the media glare
Unable to go off to a movie or to a museum for a spot of art.

Imagine being a Bertie Wooster sans the millions
Going about life care-free, helping out pals in distress,
Reuniting sundered hearts, obliging ungentlemanly aunts
Avoiding a saunter down the aisle with an aspiring mistress.

Tickling purring cats behind their ears, befriending dogs with aniseed,
Relishing lavish spreads of Anatole, laced with some exotic wines,
Merely pinching policemen’s helmets, manuscripts and cow-creamers
Facing a beak like Pop Bassett and coughing up some modest fines.

Our system somehow does not follow Pop Bassett’s example
Our celebrities might be aware how very lucky they happen to be,
Receiving acquittals aplenty, escaping the thirty days without an option
A furlough there, a bail here, pretty liberal the system appears to be.

Happy are they who in this chaos of things
With the feet of time chasing them in the rear,
Can afford the luxury of continuing to be Very Ignorable Persons
Living modestly, armed only with hope, doubt and fear.

(Illustration courtesy R K Laxman: The Common Man)

Read Full Post »

In the post-matrimony phase, we find Bingo Little to be a devoted husband. Maintaining matrimonial peace and harmony is the sole purpose of his life. When it comes to keeping his lady-love happy and contented, there is little that he leaves to chance.

If a childhood friend has to be persuaded to soften up an uncle, he does it. If having the same friend being held to be a VeryGoodJeeveslooney helps him to make the dove of peace flap its sonorous wings over his abode, he does not hesitate.

If a cook of the stature of Anatole has to be sacrificed to ensure that his social reputation does not nosedive, so be it.

In Jeeves and the Impending Doom (Very Good, Jeeves), we find him struggling hard to earn his subsistence by tutoring a despicable kid like Thos. He has to ensure that he is not discovered to be a pal of Bertie. He has to also ensure that the kid’s misdemeanours do not get reported to his mother.

Bingo shares his predicament

When Bertie runs into Bingo at Woollam Chersey, he is exhorted to behave like a perfect stranger.

The letter ‘was to tell you that I was down here tutoring your Cousin Thomas, and that it was essential that, when we met, you should treat me as a perfect stranger.’

‘But why?’

Bingo raised his eyebrows.

‘Why? Be reasonable, Bertie. If you were your aunt, and you knew the sort of chap you were, would you let a fellow you knew to be your best pal tutor your son?’

Eventually, the mystery unfolds thus.

‘I will also now reveal why I am staying in this pest-house, tutoring a kid who requires not education in the Greek and Latin languages but a swift slosh on the base of the skull with a black-jack. I came here, Bertie, because it was the only thing I could do. At the last moment before she sailed to America, Rosie decided that I had better stay behind and look after the Peke. She left me a couple of hundred quid to see me through till her return. This sum, judiciously expended over the period of her absence, would have been enough to keep Peke and self in moderate affluence. But you know how it is.’

Odd women and an angry swan

What poor Bingo regarded as a cautious and conservative investment camecupid unstuck. The horse in question came in last, making him blow up the entire allowance in a single go. He has had to find the means of keeping his body and soul together till Rosie’s return, so she does not discover what has occurred.

‘Rosie is the dearest girl in the world; but if you were a married man, Bertie, you would be aware that the best of wives are apt to cut up rough if she finds that her husband has dropped six weeks’ housekeeping money on a single race. Isn’t that so, Jeeves?’

‘Yes, sir. Women are odd in that respect.’

Eventually, Mr Filmer, the Cabinet Minister, faces retribution for having reported Thos smoking in the shrubbery. On a rainy day, he is made to get stranded on an island, facing a swan which has taken serious offence at its family having been disturbed.

Even after he has been rescued, Mr Filmer keeps wondering if Thos was the one who had set his boat adrift. Jeeves manages to shift the burden of this misdemeanour on to Bertie. This saves Bertie from being considered for the position of Mr Filmer’s private secretary, an unagreeable prospect. However, he has to slide down a pipe to avoid an unpleasant confrontation with Aunt Agatha.

Little Bingo ends up retaining his tutoring assignment, thereby securing matrimonial peace. To him, sacrificing a bosom pal’s social reputation for the sake of having peace at home is a worthy trade-off in life.

A rare beauty in Bertie’s nature

Some of us could wonder as to why Bertie keeps helping Little Bingo from time1923 The Inimitable Jeeves mycopy to time. All of us know that he is an ardent follower of The Code of the Woosters. The extent to which he goes out of his way to help his pals, sublimating his own ego, is truly amazing. This is a point which he himself attempts to clarify in yet another narrative, entitled Comrade Bingo (The Inimitable Jeeves):

‘I don’t know why, ever since I first knew him at school, I should have felt a rummy feeling of responsibility for young Bingo. I mean to say, he’s not my son (thank goodness) or my brother or anything like that. He’s got absolutely no claim on me at all, and yet a large-sized chunk of my existence seems to be spent in fussing over him like a bally old hen and hauling him out of the soup. I suppose it must be some rare beauty in my nature or something.’

Friends like Bertie Wooster certainly make our lives sweeter and simpler!

(Related Posts:




Read Full Post »

Older Posts »