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Book Title: Panoti In Blunderland|
The author of the book: Pawan Jangid
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 13.28 MB
Edition: Wun Luv Publications
Date of issue: July 16th 2016
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
Read full description of the books Panoti In Blunderland:A loser larger than life.
A life full of blunders.
A dream bigger than his aukaat.
A friend faster than excuses.
And an enemy deadlier than death.
An underdog. And a Dog-Almighty. The twisted tale of The Dog Duo out on Amazon. Fetch now!
Sample Chapters & excerpts:
Pink City, Rajasthan: the venue of State Management Admission Test (SMAT) counselling: 2007. I was sitting in the hall, waiting for the counselling to start, biting my nails and listening to the rain drumming against the window.
Hellomic check mic check. The loudspeaker came to sputtering life. The crowd hushed. I took a deep breath to prepare myself for what I knew would be my biggest moment of public humiliation, just a few more seconds away. When you cant keep something bad from happening to you, all you can hope for is that it will be over quickly. I fervently wished I could time-travel between now and the aftermath, this embarrassing patch of time just a blur in between.
I fidgeted. The count-down had begun in my head. The loudspeaker hummed, followed by the soft tapping of a finger, the clearing of a dry, aged throat, one hurried sniffle and two unnecessary, self-conscious coughs. Silence then, broken by the flipping of papers. Finally, a womans harsh voice cut into the mechanical humming of the microphone.
Paneer..cha..nd..o..kaat..mal ..Tikka! She spoke the name in small instalments of insult, like a kindergarten kid trying to pronounce a botanical name. The amazement in her voice had turned to amusement as she finished speaking. After a pause, there was a cough of uncontained laughter over the microphone. I wasnt surprised. This was the standard reaction to my name.
Paneerchand Okaatmal Tikka, first rank. She had finally managed to hold back her chuckle, but clear traces of amusement still lingered in her voice. The crowd was laughing, looking around curiously for the bearer of this ridiculous name.
A thread of nail on my index finger was slipping out of the grip of my front teeth in spite of all my attempts to pluck it. Those who enjoy biting their nails would understand what this meant. I continued to struggle with it as though the name did not belong to me. I planned to stand up when it was safe, when people wouldnt suspect that the name referred to me.
Paneerchand Okaatmal Tikka! The voice roared with authority and I stood up in reflex. I found myself passing through a sea of accusing eyes and disgusted faces. Again, thats the customary reaction. Mine is the typical fishy face that comes to mind when you hear something like Inform security staff about any suspicious persons or the creepy face of an unclaimed dead body you might see in the newspaper. Mass attention does that to me. It makes me feel like Im a dead body carrying a live bomb inside my shirt.
Topper nerd! Look at him! Looks like studies are the only thing he does! Someone whispered close by, a loud whisper which is nearly impossible to pretend you did not hear.
Anyway, the whisperer was wrong. For the record, I went to the loo every day, brushed my teeth, ate meals and took a bath as well. I watched Chitrahaar on Wednesdays and Bollywood movies on Fridays on Doordarshan on the old scratchy TV owned by my landlord. I also listened to Hit-list, the daily countdown of Bollywood songs on my portable FM radio, the one I had bought the previous year. I hummed the songs later and even sang them aloud sometimes in the middle of the night when no one was around. Sometimes, on romantic moonlit nights, I imagined myself inside those songs, with a fantasy girl I called Cine-derella.
I called my preoccupations woolgathering. Long Ago, farmers would employ a wool-gatherer to collect the chunks of wool left in the bushes by grazing sheep. The job didnt involve much skill or concentration and left a great deal of time for the wool-gatherer to indulge in wild fancies. That was why I loved the word. It sounded more important than day dreaming and less impossible than fantasizing. On a cold winter night, it felt warm, and on a long tiring day, it seemed like a full-time occupation.
It may seem stupid to indulge in such childish fancies but it was a necessity for me, a cheat-code to survive. Over a period of time I had knitted together a beautiful tapestry of lies, just a wink away from bitter truths. It had begun as an escape from the ugly reality, but soon burying my head in fairy sand had become my way of life.
My now deceased Dadi was the one who had introduced me to fantasies. She was an architect of air castles. Living up to her name, Baya, she would weave shapely fairy tales like her namesake bird does its nest. She used to tell them with such conviction that they sounded like anecdotes and biographies of real people she had known. The best part about her stories was the ending. Shed sanitized them for my young mind. No lives were lost. The witches, monsters and dragons didnt die at the end. There was always a change of heart. Everyone, in the end, found something good and constructive to do with their powers. Witches would become doctors or fortune-tellers, beasts would pull wagons, monsters would build bridges and dragons would spit out bonfires at parties.
The hardcover, special illustrated edition of Alices Adventures in Wonderland, tucked into the most frequented corner in my closet, was another fuel for my fantasies. I had found it in an accident nearly a decade ago and since then continued to look up to it as the Bible of wool-gathering.
Oh my god... such a picture perfect loser, isnt he? Another stray piece of gossip brought me back to where I was. I had been knighted again. Why do people always label me so quickly? Was it the earthquake resistant hairstyle fastened to my scalp, well irrigated by refined cooking oil, or the heavy-duty, bullet-proof specs anchored to my nose? Or the clothes hanging on bones tightly wrapped within leathery skin, or maybe it was my frozen, mask-like face with its default expression of misery and disorientation, or maybe all of it put together. But I hardly cared, for I had heard worse. Back in school, they used to say that my aesthetics were just the visible tip of the iceberg of what a giant loser I was.
By the way, something about this clichéd word, loser, didnt sit right with me. Though deep down I knew who I was, if given a choice Id prefer the word underdog over loser. Loser sounds like an eternal judgement about who you are, while the word underdog smacks of everything I love - dreams, fairy tales and dogs.
Before I learned about sex, when I asked Dadi how we were born, shed tell me that we were all made in a Big Factory. If there is a Big Factory, Im pretty sure I wasnt made there. Rather, I must be the result of a laboratory experiment to produce a functional model resembling a Homo sapiens, made with the minimum possible recycled materials in the least possible time. I was a penny in the fuse box arrangement for a regular human being. Negligible flesh, height vulgarly disproportionate to weight, thin and sparse hair with multiple cowlicks, nearly blind eyes and something unspeakably despicable overall the loose-ends are endless. Im the absolute worst example of an able-bodied man.
I dont mind people laughing at me. I believe every life has a purpose and long ago, I made peace with the fact that mine is entertainment. Im the invention whose mother is not necessity, it is entertainment. Not only I was born for but also I was born from it. Instead of being planned, my birth was accidental, the result of idle, illiterate parents and an acute scarcity of means of entertainment.
I could feel the prick of thousands of eyes as I walked towards the counter. I regretted topping this exam. I had done my best to achieve a rank under 60 so that I would get Paragon the best institute under SMAT. But I had overestimated the calibre of the other 12,000 students who had taken this test with me.
Paneer tikkatasty name! someone called out and a bunch of students giggled.
A persons name is the address of a composite unit consisting of a head, torso, arms, legs and other accessories, but in my case this address takes you to a grilled Indian snack instead of a human being. While the purpose of a name is to mark your exclusivity, mine marked my parents eccentricity.
I have never aspired to a mystical, erotic and over-qualified name from Roman mythology. All I wanted was a noun which suggested that there was life behind it. An average, meaningless Indian name like Sonu, Monu, Tinku, Rinku I would even have settled for common Indian dog names like Tommy, Moti or Sheru. But Paneerchand Okaatmal Tikka I wish I could become invisible.
Those who know me say that, invisibility, is the most visible part of my personality. I call it playing possum. I stick to corners. I love darkness. I always wear bland colours that help me blend into the background. I despise my tall height because it is the biggest structural detriment to my invisibility. I grow squeamish at the sight of bright, attention-hungry colours. I love seclusion so much so that there is a family joke about how I took more than twenty hours to emerge from my mothers womb. Sometimes I think I have a medical condition, some kind of Avoidance Deficit Syndrome!
Some time ago, when I was feasting on a fresh harvest of my nails and wondering what was so wrong with my life, I recognized a theme. Almost everything pathetic around me started with the letter p. I called it L.O.O.P (Law Of Obnoxious P). It might seem weird but when life doesnt stop doing this with you you know what it starts with F and rhymes with my luck then you need permanent protection. LOOP was a contraceptive between lustful life and vulnerable me.
In case you are still not pissed off with me, Im great sucker for progress-porn, I mean, self-help books.
The loudspeaker barked my name again.
Every time my name is called in public, I think about my parents. My father, sick and retired these days, once upon an unfortunate time used to sell paneer from an unauthorized shack by the road. He wanted to be a full-flung halwai and sell rasgullas, but he failed at that, and so he sold paneer instead. My name was the lousy result of my fathers deluded belief that he made the best paneer in town and hoped that one day I would be as famous as his paneer. When you were born, you were so soft, mushy and fair, so Madhopur-wali Tara Masi said Sister, you have given birth to a chunk of paneer! and that was it, my mother would often tell me when I complained to her about my name. Tara Masi died long before I could kill her. The municipality officers had destroyed my fathers shack, but my name lived on.
Paneer is a kind of Indian cottage cheese, and the suffix Chand comes free with vintage Indian names as a condiment. Okaatmal is my fathers name. The legend goes that somebody once challenged my weak and infertile grandfather, telling him that it was not his aukaat to produce a child. He took the challenge so seriously that he named his only son, my father, Okaat. The spelling was supposed to be aukaat but the voter ID guys goofed up. The frilly mal was an added condiment. My family name is Tigga, and Tikka was an unfortunate clerical error by Mishra ji, the lazy-ass teacher at the local government school.
Such accidents had made me hate my life so much that I had developed a kind of hobby out of it. To keep myself from getting confused about the various things I hated about myself, I made a Hate-list like the Hit-list on FM radio. My name occupies the second spot on that list.
Which institute? The man across the counter asked me robotically. It was a stupid question. Id gotten first rank so I had to get the best institute, Paragon. I reached out and pointed to the name on the list before him. He wrote something down and finally accepted the demand draft for the institute fee.
There is this endless LOOP called destiny which plants me exactly where I shouldnt be. It also ensures that I am surrounded by things, places, people and ideas whose names start with the pathetic sixteenth letter of the English alphabet, P. This time, it was the institute. I had to stay in Jaipur and there were only two good choices: Paragon and Integrity College of Management (ICM). With its swanky infrastructure, flamboyance and hype, the latter was known as the rich peoples institute. Besides its LOOP-less name, I liked ICM for the pretty girls in its advertisements. I had appeared in SMAT last year as well and my rank was good enough to get me into ICM. But along with money, there was one more reason why I could not go there, a reason so deadly it sent shivers down my spine every time I thought of it. Paragon was a less pathetic choice.
The rain had stopped and a flyover of a rainbow hung on the horizon. To kill time, I picked up an ICM brochure. Photographs of small groups of students were superimposed in patches over the façade of an impressive building. The students looked TV-commercial-ish happy with their XL size, carefree smiles of rich people. The cover girl in the photo wore a pink paisley patterned tunic and a well-rehearsed, important-looking smile. I instantly named her Rosy and just as I was about to imagine myself in a song sequence with her
A songlike voice met my ears. I turned around to see the source. FLASH! Maybe it was the July sun on her fair face that dazzled my vision. Everything seemed to change as my vision adjusted, as if I had been viewing the world from someone elses spectacles. Sparkling before me was a face so impossibly divine, it felt as though I had been born again into a better world.
In a self-help book, I had learned about a memory trick according to which if you relate something to a wonderful picture, you could remember it better. The picture is called memory hook. I knew that from now on every time I looked at a rainbow or smelled fresh rain, it would remind me of this dazzling face.
She was saying something, but I could not make it out. There seemed to be something fundamentally wrong with the filing of memories, manufacturing of thoughts and plumbing of concentration inside my head. Sometimes there was so much traffic inside my head that I just couldnt focus on the one on the outside. Once I had woken up amidst a thought, flat on the road and barely ten inches from a screeching bus tire.
Stop the commentary you idiot. Focus! I told myself. Have you chosen ICM? the vision asked.
I shook my head.
But everybody is saying that the first ranker chose ICM! she said confidently.
Awwww... not again! Why were there brand new blunders every day? Im not asking for a garbage truck from the movies that happens to pass by exactly at the same time as when the hero jumps from a skyscraper. All I want is that I dont fall in an open manhole every time I jump. I was tired of this never-ending expedition from frying pan to fire or if Im lucky that day, to another frying pan.
My tongue itched, but the curses could wait. Instinctively, I started to rush towards the counter to get the institute changed.
Hey! Dont worry, you made a good choice! ICM is my favourite!
Has it ever happened to you? Has somebody said something absolutely impossible and yet you are left with no choice but to believe them? Have you ever topped an entrance exam and then paid a fortune just to get yourself killed? The very notion was stupid... suicidal... and I was angry that I wasnt angry. What is happening?
How lucky you are. I wish I could have made it to ICM. She frowned angelically. I dont know how my mind found time for this sweet distraction in such an agitated state. Her voice... it felt creamy smooth but was still peppy at the same time. You could almost see the colourful words rolling merrily from her mouth. A fine-spun melodious voice, with the grace of a lady and the curiosity of a girl.
Focus. Focus. Focus. Focus!
She sighed, her breath on my face like a splash of mint and snow. Hmmm! My rank is a five digit number, just one digit less than my landline number at home. No chance at ICM for me!
It was a decent joke. I should have laughed. I could not trust my face with heavy-duty expressions. Sometimes, when I wanted my face to say sorry it would say thank you, and when I meant to say excuse me it would end up saying go-to-hell or even **** -yourself. By the way, other than unintentional non-verbal expressions, I never say this word... the busiest word in English language it starts with an F and rhymes with luck... particularly my luck. Instead I have invented an alternate cussing mechanism for emergency ventilation of negative energy. I repeat a tongue twister under my breath.
After an awkward wait for my reaction, she spoke.
Pleasure to meet you, by the way. Im Pari Pari Paranjape.
I allowed my mind one last, divine drift. Her name... it sounded like a stray piece of rhyme surgically cut from a poem. It reminded me of something I felt like I had been looking for a long time. This was going to be the main ingredient of all my future passwords.
She offered her hand. I wiped the sweat off my palm and shook it. I felt as though we were a porcelain couple, perfectly curled in a ballroom dance posture inside a snow globe, like the ones on display at the gift shop I pass every day. Somewhere, thousands of flowers were blooming and hundreds of sitars were playing busily. The world around us spun gracefully. Gravity no longer had me in its clutches. A flap of wings and I felt like I could glide into the air.
.and you are?
The question clipped my wings. The flowers withered. The sitars stopped with a clang. A lung-load of cusses took shape inside of me. Hadnt she heard it when my name was announced? I began to sweat and tremble.
Ppp I looked away from her and thought about something short really short, like her name, and finally blurted out, ..PPaul. As she could not make it to Paragon or ICM, it was a safe bet to lie.
I used the momentary silence to get another eyeful of her before she chimed, Bye, Paul. Good luck with ICM
They say that it takes a while to change the value-system built over a lifetime. I bet it doesnt. All it takes is one stroke of pure inspiration, something strong and beautiful, like her. I hadnt seen a prettier P in all my life. This was the first time that contraceptive of LOOP failed and I was, metaphorically, pregnant with positivity. Not everything that started with the letter P would always lead to pathetic. She was the first pleasant P in my life. Pretty, precious and phenomenal.
'A loud squeal from the audience disturbed my chain of thought. It was a collage of mollycoddled, spoon-fed faces... an ugly pimple was their biggest misery and slow internet was the worst torture that they knew. They say 80% of the resources in our country are owned by 20% of the population. The rest of the resources are shared by 80% of the people, and then there is a sub-category of invisible social scavengers among this middle-class majority, the picturesque poor, the poster-boys of scarcity, struggle and starvation, invisible unless captured artistically in black and white by an award-winning photographer. We are not people; we are a piece of art, tourist-destination, election-agenda, statistic, coffee table debates and first world noise. We are Proletariat. I found this Marxist word really fancy. It sounded much more important than what it meant, like calling disabled differently-abled, or the mentally retarded special.
I saw Indian society as a big ramp. The Proletariat were at the bottom of the ramp and the Condescendants (the upper crust) at the top. Those between the Pros and Cons were the Rampant, middle-class. A steep ramp, plus the crab-mentality of Pros, plus the billions of kicking legs of the Rampant kept the Pros from mixing with the Cons. It was a seamless, spill-proof system where accidental trespassing resulted in social blunders like me' Page 27.
'Once, a page from an expensive-looking lifestyle magazine happened to be the wrapper for a samosa I bought from a roadside stall. There, I stumbled upon this article that said that women like pillow talk after sex and men prefer it when they are drunk. I could see a similar pattern in dogs too.' Page 86
'Dont you think Panoti dogs are far better than humans? They bark when they dont like something. They bite when you tease them. We are evolved, evolved enough to pretend what we are not, evolved to a fault, I guess. We are the most hypocrite species.' Page 120
Read information about the authorStruggler. Story-weaver. Wool-gatherer. Muggle Lover. Slow Reader. Espalling mestaker. Daughter-doter. Thankyouer. Blah-blaher. Hates travelling by Floo powder and slow internet. These days mostly the middle finger-proof, shameless askhole, asking people to review his book.
So why should you meet (read read) PIBble, despite it seems to have all the necessary symptoms that make it a pukable potboiler- a cheap attention-hungry title, a home-made cover that reeks of slimy carcinogenic plastic and a desi, non-ivy-league, non-NRI, bored overpaid (Ha! last adjective is LoLsome!) barely-literate man of literature.
True! Reading a new writer is like trying a new toothpaste. Though it won't kill you (except sometimes) but it can leave a very bad taste in your mouth. And why to ruin a perfect morning with a desi 'tobacco-wala-gainda-brand-manjan' when market is flooded with angreji manthol toothpastes with good-reviews and positive word of mouth.
Yes its a risk.
Read the sample chapters and excerpts, you will know. After all proof of pudding lies in proof-reading (or whatever it means).
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