Monday Mirth

Child Custody

A seven-year-old boy was at the centre of a courtroom drama today when he challenged a court ruling over who should have custody of him.

The boy has a history of being beaten by his parents and the judge initially awarded custody to his aunt, in keeping with child custody law requiring that family unity be maintained where possible.

The boy surprised the court when he proclaimed that his aunt beat him more than his parents and he adamantly refused to live with her.

When the judge then suggested that he live with his grandparents, the boy cried out that they also beat him.

After considering the remainder of the immediate family and learning that domestic violence was apparently a way of life among them, the judge took the unprecedented step of allowing the boy to propose who should have custody of him.

After two recesses to check legal references and confer with child welfare officials, the judge granted temporary custody to the England Football Team, whom the boy firmly believes, are not capable of beating anyone.

PS: You could substitute in your favourite team and sports.

By George…

A poor vagabond, traveling a country road in England, tired and hungry, came to a roadside Inn with a sign reading: “GEORGE AND THE DRAGON”.

He knocked. The Innkeeper’s wife stuck her head out a window. “Could ye spare some victuals?” he asked.

The woman glanced at his shabby clothes and obviously poor condition. “No!” she said rather sternly.

“Could I have a drink of water?”

“No!” she said again.

“Could I at least sleep in your stable then?”

“NO!” By this time she was fairly shouting.

The vagabond still continued, “Might I please…?”

“What now?” the woman interrupted impatiently.

“D’ye suppose,” he asked…”I might have a word with George?”

Kid’s views on marriage

How can a stranger tell if two people are married?
You might have to guess, based on whether they seem to be yelling at the same kids – Derrick, age 8.

What do you think your mum and dad have in common?
Both don’t want any more kids – Lori, age 8.

Is it better to be single or married?
It’s better for girls to be single but not for boys. Boys need someone to clean up after them – Anita, age 9.

How would the world be different if people didn’t get married?
There sure would be a lot of kids to explain, wouldn’t there? – Kelvin, age 8.
. .
Soul Food

A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government. (Edward Abbey)

You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams. (Dr. Seuss)

Computers are useless. They can only give you answers. (Pablo Picasso)

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. (Maya Angelou)

Self-pity is the worst kind of self-indulgence. (Kayaar)

Talent grows its own legs and wings. (Kayaar)

You talk when you cease to be at peace with your thoughts. (Khalil Gibran)

A child can teach an adult three things: to be happy for no reason, to always be busy with something, and to know how to demand with all his might that which he desires. (Paulo Coelho)

Anybody can look at a pretty girl and see a pretty girl. An artist can look at a pretty girl and see the old woman she will become. A better artist can look at an old woman and see the pretty girl that she used to be. But a great artist-a master…can look at an old woman, portray her exactly as she is…and force the viewer to see the pretty girl she used to be…and more than that, he can make anyone…see that this lovely young girl is still alive, not old and ugly at all, but simply prisoned inside her ruined body. He can make you feel the quiet, endless tragedy that there was never a girl born who ever grew older than eighteen in her heart…no matter what the merciless hours have done to her. (Yes, this is from the SF guru: Robert A. Heinlein!)

Just when you think it can’t get any worse, it can. And just when you think it can’t get any better, it can. (Nicholas Sparks, At First Sight)


Sources: Credits to OyiaBrown (, another one from Ray Mitchell (, Rajiv Chaudhry, (ibuteb, professordenis, mathec),, and Wiki.


Out To Watch ‘The Movie Of The Decade’ – Impressions

Part 3

My wife did not appear entertained as the movie lacked any large scale drama with the usual quota of turns and twists. I somehow liked it for the very same reasons!

There was no a) father lying on deathbed extracting promises with dear ones standing all around in tears and a solitary violin going loud and sad, b) a comely bride stoically suffering at the hands of the in-laws, c) speeding cars on hair-pin bends d) guys chomping on raw sugarcane and spitting out or e) gun toting baddies sent flying through the air by a mere toe contact or variations thereof. My wife interjected these were time-worn, demode, passe. She did not elaborate on what were the current templates in place of the above.

It was all about a boy and a girl growing up together and fond of each other. The boy wants to tie the knot with her. The girl doesn’t know her mind. At one time it is ‘Never let me foolishly drift away from you, please’ and at other times ‘I need my space’.

There were breaks all around starting with the title: dishes break on finding the floor or meeting the walls, the same with ashtrays and flower-vases; their relationship breaks up from ‘engaged’ to ‘friends’. There were breaks of the other kind too – the girl gets a break bagging an international acting assignment, the boy breaks away from his father’s mould and into the league of restaurateurs (restaurant owners). The one significant exception: The duo does not break into a duet in the entire length of the film as far as I could recall.

Guys and gals all showed up as weak, fallible, vulnerable and likeable – shades of Wodehouse.

Most scenes were framed around the two. It might be slow and boring to some. For me it was refreshingly different from what I see in the ‘action packed’ or ‘emotion-laden’ snatches on the TV, though it was a missed opportunity, I thought, to have invested more depth and credibility without the usual melodrama to the somewhat light and frothy treatment.

The one thought that stood out in my mind from what I had seen: If this is what it takes to woo and marry a girl – energy, application, technique and perseverence – most of us would never stand a chance in our lives! Thank the Lord for arranged marriages!

Suspecting I was well on the way to announce ‘Break Ke Baad’ as the ‘The Movie of the Year.’ my wife hastened to caution me this wasn’t the first of its kind in recent times. I did better by declaring it as the ‘The Movie of the Decade’…… after all this was the one movie I saw at a movie-hall in all of the decade coming to close on 31st Dec of 2010!


Out To Watch ‘The Movie Of The Decade’ – Impressions

Part 2

They cannot see or hear you while you can. No one can tap you on your shoulders or hold you by the scruff of your neck and neither you. You could still mingle, travel, live with people, and be where things happen and remain untouched. Who would you be? Most certainly a ghost, won’t you agree, from whatever we’ve been led to believe about ghosts? Why am I turning a poor unsuspecting you into a ghost which you’re clearly not? Kindly stay with me, I’ll clear it up right away.

All I’m saying is seeing a movie is very much the same thing – you sneak into the scenes of a different world, unobserved, unheard and untouched and watch the show. Well, if that doesn’t make you a ghost…So it is little wonder you look ashen, dazed and other-worldly when you troop out at the end of a show. Of course it is another matter that some of these movies may be giving even the ghosts the fright of their lives(?).

And it takes a while for you to shed your ghostly coil and return fit in faculties to the world of flesh and blood. Here is where the discerning would see the design reaching great heights- in metaphorical as well as in physical sense! These halls, I’m told, are customarily perched, by precision design, on one of those higher floors to give you just the time needed for recovery, as you trudge several floors down by half-width stairs to the street level. It’s all worked out to the minute using computers. If you think about it, you’ll figure out it’s the same design principle applied when they make you walk a mile after disembarking from the plane to the baggage collection at any airport of the newer kind; and when you reach the baggage collection, your suitcases regard you disdainfully as a hopeless laggard, having already made several rounds on the belt unclaimed.

Quite neat, eh? All, achieved by the simple expedience of putting the right distance between two points! In fact I would go so far as to urge scientists, engineers, sociologists, economists et al to consider this as a possible solution to many problems proving to be otherwise intractable in their respective fields.

I’m digressing – let me come back to us. Working to the design, the color was back on our cheeks, pupils in the center of our eyes and feet on the ground as we climbed down five floors and spilled out on to the street, leaving behind all ghostly resemblances. As we picked our way out I noticed something unusual – the way out took us right through the belly of a shop in the mall selling dresses! It was quite an innovative way of luring the affluent, discharged from the hall above (does that make them the effluent?) at the end of every show into seeing the goods on display. Full marks to the architect who conceived it or adapted from the west! Or, perhaps it was discovered serendipitously by the ’pioneers’ specially invited to the maiden show at the hall as the only route available to them – short of scaling the walls, breaking glass or squeezing through trap-doors – at the end of the show to reach the street and their homes. I was in no frame of mind to ask around whose doing it was – the innovative architect or the unstoppable ‘pioneers’.

We were lucky to have the first auto that I flagged down mercifully consenting to take us back to Chembur. Only when we settled down as much as the three-wheeler would let us and were hurling past Kala Nagar in the easy Sunday traffic, the conversation opened up on the movie.

(To be contd.)

Out To Watch ‘The Movie Of The Decade’ – Impressions

Part 1

Quite out of the blue, blew in a couple of tickets and refreshment coupons to a movie in Bandra – it was from a nice kid at my bank remembering me. Mind you, I’ve not been in money since my retirement and have not talked business with her for quite sometime now. On an impulse I decided to take it. My wife was properly surprised at this sudden lapse in form. Anyway the word was out and the tickets were in and so there was no going back.

The movie was a Sunday matinee show of ‘Break Ke Baad’ that was released a few days ago. Frankly going out in the hot sun – this November was unusually warm – after the heavy lunch and the glucose-rushed postprandial nap was an unwelcome prospect. Somehow we pushed ourselves onto the street, helped by an invigorating glass of freshly brewed ‘filter’ coffee. We reached the movie-house almost in sweat and a tad tired after the long ride from Chembur by an auto (three-wheeler) whose rear springs had given up the ghost quite a while ago.

The movie-house wasn’t difficult to find – the shopping-mall-movie-house combo was on the main thoroughfare. We had hit a little early as they were still into the cleaning act. As we waited out gawking at the young crowd, I felt like a priest in a pub. We were the only grey-haired elderly couple all by themselves. I double-checked the posters to confirm if the movie wasn’t some animated panchtantra story or a Lion King genre or about one-eyed aliens sporting antennas and kidnapping unsuspecting earthlings.

My wife sweetly suggested we have a ‘dheko’ (looking around) of the shops in the air-conditioned comfort of the abutting mall. The avowed purpose, more often than not, is misleading and turns into purse-bleeding. I cautioned her in time I carried only a few hundred bucks in my pocket and no credit-card. It was just as well for all my money was good for purchasing at best a couple of pile-less bath towels at this up-market mall. This time I felt more like a priest in a stripper club. We hastily retreated thankfully unrelieved of our cash and headed for the movie-house now admitting its patrons.

The movie-hall was smallish – its rows stopped much short of even the basic course of A to Z, in two small banks. The tickets cost 180 rupees a pop while popped corn at 50 rupees a scoop and sandwiches 60 rupees apiece! Well, if a single rose-on-stem, only a little bigger than a button, could cost 5 rupees, why not? I got it later from an acquaintance in the production business these jaw-dropping prices are ‘very reasonable’! He also revealed the mark-up on these refreshments are nothing to laugh at – the business depends on them to boost the bottom-line.

I remembered the national anthem was always played at the end when half the crowd despite all the admonishment still pushed its way towards the exits. Here they fixed it innovatively by playing it as we entered the hall – everyone dutifully froze where they stood.

The ubiquitous ushers shining their torch lights were not in usual numbers. As we were shown our seats and we had settled down, I looked around. Even for its small size the hall was only half-full. But it was nothing like I had seen before. Air-conditioned, plush seats thoughtfully designed with a drinks-holder at the end of the arm-rest – they let you even have refreshments inside the hall, a large screen from which images jumped at you….though the sound was uncomfortably loud.

I noticed they don’t anymore play the colorless Films Division news-reel. Perhaps today social messages are anachronisms? After a couple of noisy but short trailers – we couldn’t make out who was chasing whom and for what – the main movie commenced.

(To be contd.)

The Girl

pitch-forked from a private garden
on to a road not journeyed for
a travel unchronicled –
a nervous nineteen, aware by half.

a strand of fragrant jasmine,
the rustle of the bright blue cotton,
eloquent eyes in shy smile,
innocent of harshness.

the slender fingers in trusting clasp,
the world could do whatever,
the days never the same –
a parade of unfading freshness.

what…straying thoughts of a graying sixty+?
well…just straight thoughts of an incurable,
blessed with a magical vision to see
the girl jumping out, ever so often,

of his dear

(straight thoughts, for a change!)