Friday, August 21, 2009

Oink flew

How many of you are scared? How many of you have started wearing masks? How many of you have stopped going out to public places?

I see the situation in Pune/Mumbai, and I think it is a little scary. I see the situation in Bangalore and I find it extremely funny. Masks have become a style statement here. Or at least that's what they want it to be. To me, (to quote Red Forman), its a dumbass statement. The masks that people wear are no thicker than two tissues or maybe even toilet paper quality tissues held together. I'll come to them later, first here are a few observations that make my days:

1. People will not give up on malls. It's one thing if you are working there. You should, in that case take all precautions. But it's another, that you go there, out of your own will and reason and then pretend that you are scared for your life. Some may argue that it is to keep the spirits high, how long can you stay at home? Well, why can't you stay at home? Malls don't provide basic facilities. You can get your provisions at the local store, barely a stone's throw away from your house and which is frequented by a fewer number of people. The only thing basic about malls is the clothing that they display on the mannequins.

2. People think they can control this virus by sheer will power. How else do you explain a lady, standing in the queue to buy movie tickets, totally unprotected. 5 min later, same lady, one row up ahead, taking out the aforementioned tissue thin, useless, streetside, sold for 10 Rs. mask and wearing it. You see, she couldn't catch the virus standing next to scores of people where her face was exposed to all and sundry! No Sirree Bob! It is only in the dark confines of the theater, once she is settled in, and is sure that no one can spot her with the hideous thing on her mouth, that the virus will think to themselves "hey, she is well equipped now, so let us attack the others!".

3. Mobile - check, wallet - check, sunglasses - check, silly mask - check. This other incident is directed at those of you who have made a mockery of this whole thing. You buy these surgical kind masks, not even knowing that the only thing they can protect you from is probably dust, or if the material is too cheap, just dirt and then wear it all over the town, apparently very proud of your responsible behaviour. You get on Brigade/MG road (places in Bangalore where people get dressed up to walk, randomly, for no reason) and you see this girl, stylishly attired, wearing a tank top, snug pair of jeans, hair let loose, sunglasses on even though it's past 7 p.m. and of course, a mask. She has the air of a princess who is walking amongst the commons. She has a green cloth over her mouth, surely no virus can harm her now!

4. The smelly cats. Have you received the forwards about how some drops of oil on your handkerchief will magically keep you safe? These are the people who overdo it. They bathe in these oils, probably after brushing their teeth with it, spraying it on their whole body, massaging it into their hair and using it in their car as fresheners and sometimes maybe even washing their clothes in it. Nilgiri/Eucalyptus oil is the new Dettol. Thanks to them, a closed space smells like a dirty, shady high-on-dope-and-suggest-this-oil-for-all-treatments-sadhu's abode.

5. The conspiracy theorists. My favourite people! Don't they make every problem so much fun to deal with! I mean who cares if it is a medical condition which may get out of hand if not dealt with properly, all these people want to do is point fingers at the government/s and demand answers.
"Last year we had Avian Flu and this year it is Swine Flu. If birds and pigs cannot be trusted, what is the government doing about it?".
"Michael Jackson, who is 'so called dead', mated his chimpanzee, who has AIDS with Tiger Prabhakar's pet pig, who if sources are to be believed, is half Tamilian and half Sinhalese(the pig, not Tiger) to produce this virus so that people are so distracted that his "death" is not looked into. This project is partly funded by Tupac and Osama Bin Laden."

Before I end this piece, let me make it clear. I am not ridiculing the disease, it is a very serious business and people have unnecessarily lost lives to it. I am ridiculing dumb people. If you want to be safe, do what I do - stay AWAY from those disease carrying germs on kids and preggies!

P.S.: Almost forgot, my pic came in Deccan Chronicles. Yay! Before you start assuming, not because of this blog or any book offer. Hell no!


  1. "Michael Jackson...Tupac and Osama bin Laden" :-D And I think you should get really close to the mask wearers and sneeze. That'll show em. There's only 1 'green mask' and he has an alter ego named Stanley Ipkiss. Amen.

  2. I think #4 is the funniest. I wish the SMSes had something really funny like "Stand upside down on your hands for ten minutes everday" or "Wear a platinum nose ring". And of course, they will have to be signed off with "NIV" to make them look authentic.

  3. have you seen the same bunch of people wearing masks to restaurants and pulling them down to eat and pull them back while waiting for the next dish?

    i did today and i smirked at that guy ! ;)

  4. An amazing tribute to Jim Carrey. He's been a wonderful actor all these years! @Natarajan: Exactly.

  5. I expected flying piglets in this post initially :D There are few more things that put me off trying to mock the whole episode and the seriousness of the affected:
    >> The panic atatcks among public and belief in strange medicines that folks-taking-advantage-of-the-situation commercially prescribe. Eg: drinking one glass of milk everyday with turmeric in it - till the threat is eradicated :P
    >> Tissue mask packets of 100 available at Rs 50 at Sunday Bazar (I just couldn't stop laughing)
    >> People wearing the same Rs 5 mask everyday, and sneezing/couging/slurping/nose blowing through them - probably in such a way that those masks would be the cause of the next epidemic
    >> Media hype (several incidents like a 70 year old lady having pneumonia who died, but the cause of death apparently was only the cursed fever) which increased death toll count meter - and sent panic attacks to all those living in and around 15kms of the neibourhood and everyone started going to the 'said pundit' for his ayurvedic portions or performing random poojas :P

  6. Hi Karuna

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    Interested in writing for Chicken soup for the Indian Romantic soul? It is under the same Jack Canfield Mark Victor banner. If yes, pls email me on and i will forward the brief to you.
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