Character Sketches



The Man Who Knows Too Much

This is the watchman at any residential complex gate. He knows exactly what is happening inside, and who is coming or going. In case there is a murder in the residential complex, his testimony is crucial. Has to keep tabs on parking of sundry vehicles, and tries to fob off guests trying to park inside. Also a useful chap when the housewife has small errands like calling the dhobi, or the raddiwala, or the absconding maid needs a stern reminder. At other times, his sphinx-like appearance belies his alert mind, at least in the daytime. He may be occasionally found snoring at night, but never goofs off more than the average office-goer.

The Indian Student in 12th

This is a person who has to answer 3 times a day, for 1 year, the same dreaded question- "So, WHAT are you planning to do?" from all and sundry. Even tougher than answering the board exam questions. If she makes it to the dream courses like engineering or whatever, she is considered a success by everybody. But if she does not, God has to help her, like Krishna came to the aid of Draupadi. If she happens to have an interest which is somewhat non-mainstream, then even God is of little help. You can admire a Saina (or a Sindhu), but you can't aspire to be one, is the golden rule here.

A Girl Over 21

"So, what are your marriage plans?" goes the question for this one, on the lines of the question above. If you don't have any, you better be a celebrity, or else....all the older relatives feel left out of the 'family affairs' if this girl seems to be independent minded far as marriage plans go. It is after all, everybody's business what the girl does- for example, what would the Khap panchayats do if they can't sponsor a few honour killings now and then?

Continuing with the thoughts, here are some more,  this time in the form of job profiles.

A Management Guru

You have to spawn a new vocabulary, and a new 'paradigm' which is expected to change the business world forever. A best-seller outlining 10 ways to achieve the largest market share in any business in 1 year, is mandatory. You must wear a three-piece suit even in peak summer, so that your brand value is not eroded, corroded, etc. You must also have a travel itinerary that spans the world, so you can be unavailable for appointment seekers, again enhancing your value through what cine-stars have been practising for ages- being elusive.

A run-of-the mill Guru

These are now perfected recipes. Take 1 ashram on the outskirts of any city with a large population of IT or other rich guys. Mix one measure of robes of any colour. Give gyan in a branded course on anything under the sun, including yoga, pranayam, breathing, or anything Sanskrit-sounding. Throw in a dash of calisthenics on any spiritual TV channel by buying enough airtime, and you are all set. Buy a couple of currency counting machines (or borrow from chief of Medical Council of India) to keep track of the cash. Do some invigorating exercises, after making sure there are no hidden cameras.


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