The Freudian Slumdog-Soothsayer

The art of Begging.

To thee, I must confess, this weird interest of mine has just become an obsession. I have asked people around me for help. But they only seem to say 'Boy, you're a sadist!' or 'That's so cruel!' or 'Kaam-dhanda nai hai terku?' - that last one is a Hyderabadi friend, so the accent is perhaps understandable. But no one seems to pay enough interest to the various beggars around the country and the different styles they adopt.

Most of the beggars in the country are poor, as it usually goes with the formula 'I don't have money, so I will browbeat you to give me some money until you break down with guilt.' But that doesn't seem to work in our country anymore. Being irreversibly poor just doesn't qualify. You have to have that extra 'thing' to score big money. Confused? Let me share how.

Yesterday I was walking down the Theatre Road, on my way back from the US consulate. I was happy, as I just got my visa and passport back. I was finally going to start my graduate studies! I was feeling very happy about it and so I dreamily put on my earphones. While I've stopped listening to music on-the-go with earphones on (which was such a rage in high school), I wished to listen to some triumphant music while I walk down the road at this joyous moment.

To feed my pretentious ambitions, I put on the famous Space Odyssey soundtrack waltz piece - The Blue Danube by Johann Strauss II - and stuffed the earphones into my ear. I have music ranging from 'Munni badnam hui' to 'While my guitar gently weeps' and Beethoven to Hugh Laurie. One for all seasons, but only this piece of music seemed to serve the purpose at hand. But at the very first crescendo, I was stopped mid way by a very happy Sikh guy.

'Hello my friend!'

Why I Support England At The World Cup... Always!

Honestly, I'm a stranger to Kolkata's football culture. Right in front of my house, the giant flag of a certain country that eats, breathes, sleeps and lives football, even though a cricket ball seems to be in it's center, flutters in the breeze. And down the street, the Argentinian flag is flying higher than the Indian flag on top of the local police station. Someone somewhere has put up a statue of Messi looking down upon the adjacent statue of Dr. BC Roy as well.

And after last night's match, certain idol-makers from the famous alleys of Kumartuli, have started carving their idols for Durga Puja. Goddess Durga, looking much like a feminized Robin van Persie is slaying the demon king who resembles the Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas, quite eerily.

Welcome to the football World Cup season in Kolkata. The people here, don't get to follow the Euro Cup as it doesn't incorporate the playmaking styles of the abovementioned two latin American teams. So essentially they keep waiting for the FIFA World Cup every four years. And much like a desperate person's perverted schemes of escapism, every four years later, the people paint the city with colours of their favorite teams.