India That Is Bharat
Satiricus’s ego feels hurt. Not that he does not know that politics is a dirty business all over the world. Still, as a patriotic Indian Satiricus always claims that no one in the world can beat us Indians in running this dirty business with such dedication and dexterity. So it was mortifying for him to recently read an article by an American professor titled “Corruption permeates the US political system”, wherein he wrote: “I have never known anyone who did not believe the Congress was not corrupt, even though Congressmen, like common criminals, regularly plead not guilty.” Omigosh! For a moment there, Satiricus could have been fooled. He could have thought the man was writing not about American Congressmen but Indian Congressmen.
Unfortunately for Satiricus’s patriotic pride, the man does not stop there. He writes: “We have a government … which enacts imbecilic measures.” On second thoughts, however, this is not as bad as it looks—and it shows that Indian Congressmen are still superior to American Congressmen. For if, as this American professor says, the American government is run by imbeciles, the Indian government, as Pritish Nandy just the other day said, is run by not only rogues, rascals and robbers, but also by idiots. This makes it clear that American imbeciles are not in the same class as Indian idiots.
Drain the pain
Satiricus does not normally use painkillers, but he knows that the market is full of them. There are pills and pills, creams and creams and ointments and ointments. Satriricus does not know how good they are, so he does not know which is the best of the lot. But now, believe it or not, he is told that swearing is the best painkiller! Strange but true, if a study at a British university is to be believed. This study has found that bad language can act as a powerful painkiller, at least for those who do not normally use swearwords. For them, assures this study, it is up to four times more effective than it is for regular swearers. Well, now, what do you know? Did you stub your toe? You don’t need an ointment, you need an expletive. But the crux of this treatment is how much pain needs how strong a swearword? Satiricus would like this ready remedy, but does he have an adequate vocabulary for effective medical treatment? If not, can the dictionary diagnose his problem? And finally, what should Satiricus do when he meets somebody who is a pain in the neck? He swears he does not know.
Science of happiness
Satiricus’s friends call him a birdbrain, and so long he has meekly submitted to the possibility that this may be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the bird-brained, tiny truth. But not any more. For Satiricus lives in a metro, and scientists have now found that birds living in cities have larger brains than those found in rural areas. According to a recent report, researchers at a university in Sweden studied more than 80 bird species in European cities and the surrounding countryside, and found that birds with relatively large brains, such as crows, live in urban areas, while small-brained birds like larks are found almost exclusively in rural locations.
That settles it, no? Every Indian city is full of crows, so it follows that bird-brained Satiricus has as big a brain as a crow. Well, actually and unfortunately, it is not so. For while writing this column, Satiricus often looks out of his window and sees flocks of pigeons flying about—and according to the final finding of the above report, pigeons, which have small brains, “are one exception”. Oh, well! Satiricus can take comfort in being an exceptional pen-pusher.
Talking about birdbrains and birds’ brains, here’s a truly bird-brained idea: The mayor of the city of Lancaster in Britain reportedly wants to brighten up the city by broadcasting recorded bird songs. He says there’s science to show that listening to bird songs makes people happier. Well, now, is that really so? Bird-brained Satiricus had no idea it was that simple to be happy. And now that Americans are reportedly searching for happiness that lies beyond heaps of dollars, this could be a flying start for their quest. In fact, what would be music to American ears is that a parrot in a British city can actually sing the theme music of a film song. He could spread happiness to Hollywood.
But what if birds busy with making people happy themselves become unhappy? Then, of course, they have to be given medicine—like, for instance, British birds. It has been reported that more and more British pet birds are being prescribed a drug called Prozac, to help them overcome depression. Parrots, it is said, are the worst affected. If left alone at home when people go to work, they get bored and finally develop depression. Shockingly enough, British parrots are said to be of Indian origin. If that is so, Satiricus has a suggestion for the Brits—send these parrots back to India, here they can parrot politicians’ senseless speeches.