Psycho Physio

Dear Diary,

I have always believed I had a high threshold for pain. Remember last Sunday, when I couldn’t move because every little movement put severe stress on my neck? Do you also remember why it got so bad? No, no, it’s not the usual excuse. I don’t spend enough time in front of my laptop or watching TV to have such debilitating neck pain. It was actually because I decided to get healthy. Yes, my decision to start going to the gym put me in this position.

But, like I said, I have always believed I had a high threshold for pain. And, like most of my beliefs, this one came crashing down faster than a North Korean rocket.

So, the neck pain, yes. This wonderful little bastard called ab-crunches did me in. Remind me to shoot the gym instructor, diary, who kept on insisting that the pain in my neck actually meant that it was working and that a few hundred more ab-crunches would ensure a reduction of at least two waist sizes.

The naive little (well, not so little, tee hee) me believed him and even shook my head vigorously, as per his advice, whenever there was any hint of neck pain. I am sure I told him I have spondylosis, but I don’t think he really heard me amidst all the shitty music in the gym.

Now, diary, the worst thing about spondylosis is that I can’t stay in one position (sitting/standing/lying down) for an extended period of time. Anything above two minutes and I feel uncomfortable and need to move, which brings in a whole set of other problems (pain with every moment, hello?).

Let me get to the point very quickly, diary, before I start wasting my time ogling at my articles for The UnReal Times. Oh, you didn’t know? Here, go see for yourself...but not now!

So, yes, the doctor (most likely a quack – I mean, what kind of a doctor prescribes bed rest? DUH!!), asked me to go for physiotherapy in case there was no improvement. So, I went for physiotherapy.

Nothing could have prepared for the torture I was about to go through.

Two pieces of equipment that looked like they were used in Afghanistan by the KGB to torture hapless locals during their invasion – one supposedly was to give me ‘heat therapy’ and the other, well regardless of what it is called, I’m going to call it the ‘shock machine’. Of course, it didn’t help that the physiotherapist was a grumpy old sadist with the scariest eyes ever. Even when she smiled, I knew a flower died and a rainbow abruptly ended somewhere. I also think she's single-handedly responsible for the extinction of unicorns.

And this is supposed to heal, it seems!

Diary, I want to tell you the horrible things that the shock machine is capable of. One, even if the shock’s being applied on your neck, your fingers would twitch, uncontrollably. The psycho physio, I am sure was revelling in her dark art and kept laughing in a deep-throated manner (although nobody else seemed to notice the laughter). Now, as time progresses, the electric current gets stronger. This makes several other places of your body twitch uncontrollably.

I wondered why I was being subject to torture – what kind of information would free me? So, I started ranting out all the bad things I did since childhood, including stealing money from my mom in school! This seemed to have the desired effect and the psycho physio stopped electrocuting me.

Of course, it is also entirely possible that I passed out a few minutes before I made the confessions.

I left the place with two realisations – one: I do not have a high threshold for pain and, two: hey I could move my neck a little bit.

Also, three physiotherapists are crazy.


UPA Renames State Bank of India to Secular Bank of India

It what is perceived to be a blow to Modi and his “Hindu Nationalist” comment, the UPA government has announced that the State Bank of India would be renamed to Secular Bank of India.

At a press conference held to make this announcement, Finance Minister Mr. P Chidambaram said, “The economy is in a bad shape. Inflation is high. Investor confidence is low and so is the value of the rupee. Under these circumstances, we wanted to do what any government would do - rename stuff.”

Clarifying the circumstances and reasoning behind the re-branding, Mr. Chidambaram said, “It would be prudent to not speculate over the re-branding. We could have named it after Rajiv Gandhi or Indira Gandhi, but we wanted to send a strong message to the communal forces while examining the possibility of implementing some much needed reforms in the banking sector as well.”

When asked to explain the nature of these reforms, Mr. Chidambaram said, “Well, we are in the process of implementing multiple interest rates for different sections of society. The details will be in the public domain shortly after it is approved by the UPA Chairperson. The gist of the whole thing is that we have always wanted inclusive growth. Now that it does not seem possible, we want to give pain to all sections of society in equal measure.”

He also added, “We made sure we gave the people a holistic banking system,” with a wink.

RBI Governor, Mr. D Subbarao, who was also present at the press conference, stated that the State Bank and its five Associate Banks will be renamed according to the new directive. He also announced the formation of a parallel credit rating agency, which would rate your secularism based on which loans would be granted.

Explaining this further, Mr. Subbarao “We have something called the Secular Quotient, let’s call it SQ. Now, SQ is an index of all your activities online and offline. Your posts on Twitter, Facebook and other social media would be analysed for secularity by an algorithm provided by our Joint Chief Secular Officers, Ms. Barkha Dutt and Ms. Sagarika Ghose.”

“Of course, for minorities, SC/STs, OBCs and holders of secularism certificate personally signed by either Ms. Barkha Dutt or Ms. Sagarika Ghose will automatically have the highest SQ”, the FM added.

Bank officials seemed quite enthusiastic about the move. “I am very happy about this. It will help us get more deposits that would in turn help us make sound financial decisions like rescuing a certain airline,” said a highly-placed source from the new Secular Bank of Mysore’s Head Office (curiously located in Bangalore).

He also added, “Now, if they only changed the logo from something that looks like a part of the female anatomy, it would be very nice only.”

(This was featured in The UnReal Times. Do check the site out for some great content!)

PLEASE NOTE: This is a work of fiction. Readers are advised not to confuse this with real incidents.

UPA Government Announces the Right to Housing

Dr Girija Vyas

Buoyed by the success of eradicating hunger from our country through the Food Security Ordinance, the UPA government announced that it will now take on the scourge of homelessness that afflicts our citizens. The government announced a draft version of a bill which guarantees that all Indian citizens will get a roof over their heads. The Right to Housing Bill, as it is being called, calls for every middle class family to accommodate a minimum of 14 homeless people in their homes without compensation.

Announcing the measure at a press conference earlier today, Union Minister of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, Ms. Girija Vyas said, “The Empowered Group of Ministers tasked with solving the problem of homelessness looked at it from all angles including factors such as total available residential area, demographics such as religion, caste, sub caste, secular status and ownership of cats. And they have come up with a holistic and innovative zero loss method of providing homes to the homeless,” leading to political pundits unanimously hailing it as the first known use of the expressions “holistic” and “zero loss” in the same sentence in the history of mankind.

Clarifying the reasoning behind the move, Ms. Vyas added, “There are a couple of fundamental concepts that form the basis of this measure. The first is the notion that mere announcement of the right to ‘X’ has a magical way of making ‘X’ appear out of thin air. The second is that if an option to inflict severe pain on the middle class is available, the government must always exercise the option. We have taken these two epic concepts and mixed them up with caste and religion based quotas to achieve God level here.”

When prodded to elaborate, Ms. Vyas snapped, “Look, a lot of space is wasted by selfish middle class people who use homes as storage areas for their stuff. Tell me why middle class people need homes when they hardly spend any time there? They spend 13 hours in the office, another 3 hours on commuting on god awful roads through messy traffic and the rest of the time filling out income tax returns. They don’t even spend weekends at home. Instead, they go on road trips or to malls, take selfies and post them on social media. In the meanwhile, their homes have stuff and stay locked and unused. This is a scam of gigantic proportions which puts both 2G and Coalgate scams in the shade. Now, it is our responsibility as a government to question citizens on such dubious home ownership patterns which have led to much presumptive loss being incurred in buying assets and not using them in a profitable manner.”

Mr. Kapil Sibal, present at the press conference and observed going into paroxysms of ecstasy on hearing “presumptive loss,” vigorously defended his colleague saying, “The way this works, each middle class family will be forced to accommodate a minimum of 14 homeless people in their homes without compensation. If they don’t already own homes, they will be required to buy homes immediately and allow 14 homeless people to stay in them. The cool thing about this bill is that minorities, SC/STs and OBCs are exempted from compliance. The measure also provides another easy way to dodge compliance by obtaining a secularism certificate personally signed by either Ms. Barkha Dutt or Ms. Sagarika Ghose.

Mr. Manish Tewari also present at the conference merely had this to say, “I’m incredibly jazzed that my re-definition of the word holistic to mean I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about is being popularized by Ms. Vyas.”

When quizzed about the impact of the measure on real estate prices, an exasperated Mr. Sibal quickly intervened and said “Obviously zero yaar. Zero. Zero. Zero. Everything is a bloody zero. How many times do I have to repeat this nonsense?”

Unconfirmed reports suggest that the government is working on an equally innovative “Right to Clothes” bill. According to sources, the bill will provide for any shirtless or dress-less person to legally and physically remove clothing of middle class people (with the exception of secularism certificate holders, minorities, OBCs and SC/STs) at any point in time and begin wearing it themselves with immediate effect.

(This was originally published on What Ho! and The UnReal Times. Do check both the sites out for some great content!)

PLEASE NOTE: This is a work of fiction. Readers are advised not to confuse this with real incidents.

UPA Bans 'Hindu RSS' Feeds

Stepping up its pressure on Hindutva forces, the government today announced that the use of RSS feeds in India would be banned. While this decision seems to be aimed at stalling the progress of Narendra Modi, there have also been a number of conspiracy theories that have led to this decision.

“It is a Hindutva conspiracy to dominate cyberspace and we shall not allow it”, said Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Manish Tiwari. “Look at the colour of the icon! If that doesn’t tell you who is really behind all this, nothing else will.”

The RSS, however, has remained silent on this issue. On the condition of anonymity, a pracharak said, “We don’t even know there’s something called RSS feed.” This reporter confirmed this statement by visiting the Sangh's website, which does not have an RSS feed.

Congress spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan attacked the RSS for such a claim. “Of course they don’t have it! They are literally feeding off other websites!”

Adding fuel to fire, Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav said, “Look who has created it in the first place. A man named Ramanathan Guha. A Hindu. This is so clear.”

This decision has sent the entire cyberspace into tizzy and has polarised netizens.

Twitter also trended this topic heavily with the proponents of the ban claiming the entire world was duped into a Hindu conspiracy. While popular tweeters like Shashi Tharoor wants an XML based feed originating from Kochi, the main trend-setters wanted a more equitable name.

One Twiterrati even went on the draw comparisons between the RSS and Microsoft. He alleged, “RSS Feeds = Microsoft Works.”

While this decision will not affect websites outside India, it will be interesting to see how websites would be tracked for the now objectionable RSS content in India.

A few alternative names have also come up in the wake of this decision. InterNet Content (INC), Dynamically Monitored Kontent (DMK) and All India Dynamically Monitored Kontent (AIADMK) were discussed. A decision would be made soon, depending on who the government wants to go with in the next elections.

Mayawati’s demand of naming the feeds after Dalit superhero Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar was immediately rejected, due to, well, you know...

PLEASE NOTE: This is a work of fiction. Readers are advised not to confuse this with real incidents.

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