Sunday, January 23, 2011

How to fuck up a city 101

For those who have not been here before (and you lurking Americans, Canadians and Herzegovinians), I have been living, rather trying hard not to commit suicide, in Chandigarh for the last five months. This and the last few blogposts are my way of asking this city to go fuck itself, royally.

Chandigarh, I’ve been told on more than one occasion, is a planned city. Will someone with even one-eighth of a brain please tell me HOW?

For starters, it is in the middle of nowhere. This is the proverbial No Man’s Land; at least not an intelligent man’s. We have the amiable Pakistanians a couple of hundred kilometers to the west and to the east we have Mr. Mao trying to pry open his eye-slits with chopsticks. So every time an Al-Qaeda junkie gets his panties in a bunch, I could be the first to die. How bloody convenient!

The airport’s not that great either.

I’ve traveled quite a bit to realize that a city’s essence can be gauged from its airport. Bombay – crowded, cosmopolitan, synchronized chaos. Singapore – organized, soulless sellout. Madras – functional. Abu Dhabi – concrete, kitschy, tailor made, man made.

How about Chandigarh?

Let’s see.

The airport in Chandigarh is only slightly smaller than the average Bihari cowshed (in case you were wondering, the flatulent, rotund policemen are rightful bovine replacements). The runway, all 200 centimeters of it, was once a cricket pitch for midgets. The last time I saw the conveyor belt operational, there were two moderately ginormous Punjabi women treating it like a personal treadmill. Agitated that their bags seemed lost, they were making their way to the hole in the wall that the baggage usually comes from. After all, if the mountain won’t come to Muhammed, then Mrs. Samarjeet Bhatia must go to her Samsonite, no?

A map of the city looks like this –

A Chessboard looks like this –

The retard, Le Corbusier, who was commissioned to ‘plan’ the city, looks like this –

Dear Mr. Le Corbusier,

Did you drop out of Architecture School after Lesson 1: Lines? Are you not aware of the existence of curves, arcs, bends, circles or loops? If we wanted you to draw a square, we would have asked you to draw a fucking square.

Also, Corbusier Uncle - if you are cocky enough to prefix a Le before your own name, why choose to be sedate when naming localities in the city? Numbered Sectors was the best you could come up with for naming neighborhoods; really? Sector 1, Sector 2 and so on.

And what is with the Mathematics you bastard? How does it help to know that you numbered the Sectors in a way that the sum of two adjoining Sectors is divisible by 13?

It’s Saturday night and I am monumentally sloshed. I’m on my way home and I cannot make out left from right because smartie pants Corbusier here decided to plan a city without landmarks, identity and character. I am lost somewhere between Sector 23 and 35 and I am majorly fucked. But lo and behold! All I need is the power of Math. In my state of alcohol induced incapacitation, I just have to figure out if 23+35 is divisible by 13 and I’m home. Right?

Why no imagination? Is it because you were Swiss and all you ever did was eat cheese and be intimate with cattle that you confused with your women?

And pray tell me what is this ‘monument’ that you have designed?

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? It is a hand? Is it something sticking out like a sore thumb?

You are lucky to be dead. For if you were alive, I would first kill you. I would then proceed to cut you up into teeny-tiny little numbered squares. And then I would feed you to 13 hungry, hand shaped birds.



P.S. I had specifically asked for stripes, not checks.

P.P.S. O wise one! Do not confuse this Chandigarh with the other hypothetical one existing in a parallel universe.


Judy Balan said...

Hahahaha. Lovely Sunday morning treat. I think you should re-christen your blog and make it all about Chandigarh. You may diss it all you want, but Chandigarh is exactly what you need to fully be in sync with your funny bone.

Nice PPS :P

Shruthi said...


Now, that's out of the way, let's talk!

Who is the dog? I'm slightly in love and all.

When sloshed, drunk text. It's the rule. Whilst being textually inappropriate, the universe will find a way for you to get home.

As for the city - the name, when translated in Malayalam and then into English, is a telling indicator of it's character. The town of chandi or bum...

The End.

not here said...

How I love this!

kamna said...

gooood mornin!!!
yes... dont diss squares... we knw wat happens wen u mess around with squares/lines/boundaries :-D.... i luv how the city is fuckin u up... at least i get to laugh at ur expense...

Raj said...

Doesn't the taxi wala not know the route? Sector numbering looks a bit add - I suspect the ones that were added later

Believe me, squares work. Not now, probably after 10-15 years when the population explodes and the authorities will be able to make alternate lanes one way in one direction :P

notgogol said...

@Prudy: So back in Bombay my funny bone had ceased to exist eh? Well then, in two months it will vanish again.

What PPS? :P

@Shruthi: Why not diss squares? I absolutely abhor them.

That be landlord's lab 'Timmy' - yes, I know - horrible name. Bad names - its a Punjabi thing; in our blood I think. Also, very very untrained doggy.

Drunk texting is a very very bad idea. I have learnt this the hard way, over and over and over again. I think my new year resolution of 2 drinks a night ensures this shan't happen soon.

The ending and all.

@not here: I like your nick. It has a familiar twang to it :P

@kamu: Gummornin :)

And NOT funny :|

@Raj: No taxis in bumville dude :)

And I don't believe you. If I wanted to live in a city full of squares, I would live in Europe. The lack of squares and other symmetric geometry makes India what it is na.

Judy Balan said...

@NG: Can't you take a compliment and say thank you? :P

Bastard, you linked me there now? :O

vira said...

ROFLOL @ "I would then proceed to cut you up into teeny-tiny little numbered squares. And then I would feed you to 13 hungry, hand shaped birds."

....and for once we laugh at ur misery :p

Sowmya said...

Wow! I am just about managing not to fall off my chair.. Ha Ha.. You are gifted.

Basically Blah said...

The Math test could possibly work better than a breathalyzer test conducted by cops on a Saturday night.

Fucking hilarious post. I hope you're stuck in C'garh a good long time just for the fabulously entertaining posts the place is inspiring! ;)

notgogol said...

@Prudy: All the habits that you've rubbed off on me aren't awesome na :P

You only said na, you're the girl who gets linked (links?)? Wats the problem now? :D

@vira: Pitegi tu. Dhamki nahin hai yeh!

@Sowmya: Rubbish. I'm just slightly mental. That's all. :)

@BB: Oh god, don't you know - Gmail had launched this app for people who have the habit of sending drunk mails/texts (FYI not me). If Gmail detected the mail was being sent on a Fri/Sat night - you'd have to solve a few timebound math problems correctly to prove your soberness.

And why would you wish ill for me biatch?

'Niroo' Ravi - Copywriter, Creative thinker, Blogger, Pot painter, Bongo banger, Angel, Devil, Freak said...

I can just imagine how many signals Chandigarh would have and how much time would be wasted at them if there are so many junctions.

Anyway, it was a funny and insightful read ;). Thank u

anoushka said...

Dude, you're getting it all wrong and focusing on the wrong things. Listen to me -

1. The city can't offer you curves but Punjabi women more than make up for it.
2. The new found Punjabi woman misogyny is just stupid.
3. Alcohol related new year resolutions are meant to be broken.
4. Did YOU just say drunk texting is a bad idea? YOU? That's a hoot.
5. Bleh. That is all.

notgogol said...

@howcanubesomanythingsatonce: There are lots of signals here. Each signal telling me to go back to Bombay :)

And thank you it seems! :P

@anu: How much does it pay to be a bitch? And why this sudden fondness for the North-Indies?

'Niroo' Ravi - Copywriter, Creative thinker, Blogger, Pot painter, Bongo banger, Angel, Devil, Freak said...

@NG - :P

AtomicGitten said...

Well Chandigarh has ONE thing going for it: it acts as fodder for inspired diatribes and witty character(?) assassination.

I'm secretly hoping that you get to live there longer so we get to read more funny posts ;P

notgogol said...

@howcanubesomanythingsatonce: Stop sticking your tongue out :P

@atomic: Et tu Gitus? :|

Rhymestone Cowboy said...

There was a man from Chandigarh,
He was more sour than vinegar.
NotGogol's his name,
He's a bloody pain,
Thinks he's King Kong kaboothar.

notgogol said...

Lol. Who is this? Please to identify your south Indian self.

Rhymestone Cowboy said...

A total enigma is who I be
Who I am eludes even me
I am confused
But you're screwed
Cos I could be anything even a flea

notgogol said...

This is clearly someone terrorizing me from BB's space :)

Almur said...

A friend of mine spent, oh let's see, almost 100 or so precious hostel nights to ensure I was "appropriately" terrorized by the mundane, moronic, idiotic, mind-numbing phenomenon called "Chandigarh". And now you. You should give her a ring :D

notgogol said...

Does she have any anti-suicide tips? Then definitely.

And I am so curious - "Almur" ka matlab kya hai?

Ana said...

Sigh @ Architects.

Funny is a understatement. Loved this post! :D

Almur said...

She might, she survived 4 years there :P :P
Almur refers to the combined short form for my twins, actually my sis's twins named alefiya and murtuza... But I always call them mine :)

Sneha said...

man rises in misery!

u raised or not, i laughed :P

notgogol said...

@Ana: What's wrong with you baba? Architects are brilliant. At least they have a conscience enough not to become a run of the mill engineer/doctor na.

@Almur: Then ask her to write to me an give me, literally, survival tips.

Then what/who is Samkukree?

@Sneha: I'm dying only pa!

Anonymous said...

My God, you're funny as hell. My first time here and myself, ji, Subbulakshmi. Call me Subbu. Came here from smartassbride's. Now going off to read archives.

Almur said...

Samkukree was my idle mum's idea of having fun with my name on a dry, sandy day. Apparently her larynx doled out this version of my name unexpectedly and she takes no responsibility whatsoever of the terrible consequences it ensued (40 nicknames and counting). Like it wasn't bad enough that I was named "fat/chubby" as per the Arabic translation of my name Sameena.

Also, a punju told me "kukree" means chicken/hen. Truly, now what woman can resist being called poultry? :x

notgogol said...

@subbulakshmi: You have one of the most brilliant nicknames ever. I always end up laughing when I come across it on Prudy's space :)

@samkukree: And darling, not just any poultry - chubby poultry :D Btw Sameena is such a lovely name.

There is a Sumira who comes here as well. She has promised to take me to Kashmir and feed me biryani when I'm back in Mumbai. Right Sumira? ;)

Neha said...

lol sure the city's architect already turned in his graves

smartassbride said...

write, man. puhleeze.

notgogol said...

@Neha: I like how you've buried him in multiple graves :)

@smartassbride: I will. Soonly.

Anonymous said...

can u like, u know, write

bloody dog!

Anonymous said...

God! I am so glad I have insomnia and that I decided to spend time blog hopping. This is bloody brilliant.

notgogol said...

Sounds sadistic but I'm glad you have insomnia as well :)

Minal said...

you are hilarious- this post made my day.

notgogol said...

Nice to know that it did :)

Mohit said...

I love the analogy with the chess square! :D Good stuff (p.s. I'm from Chandigarh, or I lived there for the first sixteen years of my life atleast. Fail type life)