A buck saved is a black buck earned

Amidst the Aamir Khan/Kiran row, some on social media took vows like the earthshaking vows that many men and women in our epics and Puranas took. Some last week swore never ever to spend a single rupee watching any of the actor’s movies.

I was reminded of someone I know that took a similar vow when Salman Khan’s case was hogging the social media space some months back. But when he told me he’d watched Bajrangi Bhaijaan, I asked him about his vow. His reply proved to me that there is a little Birbal or Tenali Rama in each one of us. And as in the case of many of our Puranic vows, his workaround was fiendishly clever.

He said he’d kept his vow – not spending a single paisa watching the film. “I streamed it from a pirate website. The quality was bad, there were lots of interruptions but I had the pleasure of not paying anything to watch that [expletives deleted] actor’s movie. Enjoyed the movie without a paisa wasted.”
Any qualms watching illegal stuff, I asked naively. “Nah, that’s the best way to treat him.”

Tale of the God Fish

What’s in a name? Plenty enough to bring a dose of hilarity to something as boring as a conference on marine resources in the middle of nowhere. And thereby hangs this tale:

I was at this international conference about oceanic stuff on one of the Pacific Ocean’s beautiful emerald paradises. One of the speakers was a Japanese fishery expert whose name was Masayoshi. Everyone addressed him as Masa. How appropriate his name would have been in Mumbai, I thought. For in the local Marathi lingo, ‘Masa’ means fish!

At tea between sessions, a photographer was going around getting people to stand together for group shots. Some of the delegates too were clicking away. One of them appeared to be of South Asian stock.

Waiting for a break in my conversation with the Japanese gent he approached me and glancing at my nametag asked if I was Indian. I nodded. “Well Dev has to be Indian. Where from?” From Mumbai, I said. “Me too. You understand Marathi?” I sure do, I said.

Then pointing to Masa’s tag, which he’d obviously noticed before, he let out a loud guffaw. “Dev-Masa” he said. “You know that means whale in Marathi, eh?” Of course, I said. Devmasa is indeed Marathi for whale. (‘Devmasa’ can loosely be translated as “God Fish”).

The session after the tea break was about whaling in the Pacific!