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There was a boy who was forced to drink chirotar pani every morning by his mother. Over the years, his tongue warped and he lost all taste. Unable to stand up to his mother, the boy took to finding the answers in spirituality. After hearing about Newton and Buddha, two people who found the light (and an apple) under their respective revelatory trees, the boy decided to do the same too. But since a tree wasn't forthcoming in his neighbourhood and his mother wouldn't let him wander, he chose to sit under a light post just outside his apartment building. He found no answers and came back home a bitter soul. And thus, Teeta was born.

O wise Teeta,
I have heard tales and rumours of your enlightenment beneath the light post. And my search for answers has led me thus to your footpath. Accept now my offering of a crow's tail feather and hearken to my woe.
I am discombobulated as to what I should do at this crucial crossroads. You see I am a lover of food, a connoisseur. I delight in satisfying hunger. I am so hungry all the time, that even when I'm eating, I'm hungry. Where does the problem lie exactly? Here. I also love hot food, filled chillies and all kinds of spices. Alas, my closest friend is my dearest enemy. My tongue betrays me even as I type. It rebels and refuses to take hot food, burning me to my core at the slightest touch of that delicious chillified chotpoti. Alas, I am lost, and unable to satisfy my true hunger without paying the price of hissing for twenty minutes after. Help me, Wise Teeta, you're my only hope.

Dear Unquenched,
First, there was no enlightenment; I sat there for four hours until the sodium light came on. During those four hours, eight crows took the opportunity to "sanctify" me and a dog decided to "consecrate" the ground I was sitting on. And then my mom yelled at me from the verandah. Then the guards laughed at me.

But I'm only talking about myself. Which is nice. Your problem strikes very close to home. Re: me, myself and the teeta. But for you, the torture seems to be self-inflicted, out of some insane desire to eat only spicy food. The problem here, is not about your craving for morich. Oh no. You're obviously over-compensating. By doing the only manly thing that you are capable of doing, as in, eating spicy food. Which isn't really manly at all. My suggestion would be for you to do something manlier. If you are going to overcompensate, do it right. Learn to chew sheet metal. Your tongue will hate it even more.

Dear Teeta,
I don't know how to say this, but I think I hate my mother-in-law. I know I shouldn't feel that way about her. It's never like this in any of the Hindi serials I watch (or in any of the movies). The thing is I feel like she doesn't trust me and is always spying on me. I know it's not really true and that she only comes to our bedroom at 1:00 am to check if Janu has clean underwear ready for office next morning. I don't know what to do with her. I've even had a fight with my darling Janu over this. Please help.
Janu'r Shona Bou

Dear Janu'r Shona Bou,
I watched a TV serial in Hindi once. I watched the women bicker, I watched wives hating on mothers-in-law and vice versa. Then I watched the wall. Of the two, I believe, the wall taught me more about life. Then I had dinner with my mother where she forced korolla bhaji on me. Apparently it helps my blood flow.
But once again, I'm talking about myself. Which is nice, I should do this more often. For you, I have this to say: Buy a dog, make it bite old women to give it a taste for jerky. Then formally introduce Butch to Janu (not your mother-in-law, you fiend, that would be wrong). He'll stop loving you for blackmailing him into not wearing underwear on occasion, but hey, what was the problem again?

Dear Teeta,
Let's just get straight to the problem, because you tell it like it is. I was happily dating this handsome rich guy. But then this not-so-handsome but rich and well-connected guy started wooing me with gifts and flowers. He was very persistent. What was a girl to do? I caved.
Fast-forward six years, and everyone is using the M word. And then this handsome, but not so rich guy walks into the picture. And suddenly this rock is starting to feel heavy.
My friends say I'm fickle and heartless. That can't be true, can it? I can't help it if I'm irresistible.
So what do I do, Teeta? How do I come out of this smelling like roses?
Yours Truly,
The Magnet

Dear The Magnet,
During my four hours under that light post, a random white person asked me if I needed humanitarian help. I said yes. I told him the story of the chirotar pani. He laughed, called me a riot and left. Other people did the same too, laughed and left. But they called me other, altogether undeserved things.
But I'm talking about myself again. I thought women were all independent these days, drinking chlorophyll and other teeta things to feel all empowered. Wait… that doesn't empower you does it? No, becoming an insufferable go getter, an overachiever empowers you. If you do that, all those men (who I doubt were all that handsome) will feel small and inadequate, and will start resenting you. At some point they might go crazy, which will give you the perfect excuse to get restraining orders on them. Of course that will excise men altogether from your life, but you won't be called the Magnet anymore. Heartless, bitter and cold, yes. But not magnetic.

Dear Teeta,
My bua has forcibly taken my IPod Touch and won't give it back. She constantly teases me about it by dangling it in front of me and saying "Dimuna, dimuna!!" Now I can't listen to the sweet voices of Justin Beiber and The Jonas Brothers as I fall asleep every night. I complained to my father, but he refuses to tell the bua anything because I think he is ashamed of me for not being manly. My mother even calls me by girly names. Sometimes I wish I were a vampire, like Edward from Twilight. Please tell me what to do, as I have no one to turn to. How do I fix my life Mr. Teeta?
Frustrated Belieber

Dear Frustrated Belieber,
I had a bua once, who, on my mother's orders, made this tulsi pata'r bhorta. I didn't even know such a thing was possible. She then went on to watch with malicious eyes as I gagged and swallowed my tongue.
But I'm talking about myself… again. Your bua is the man. You aren't. Hell yeah. Watch Die Hard. Learn. Bruce Willis died at the end of Sixth Sense, but he was a man to the end.

Pat shak is teeta. So are my answers. Make my life a little less teeta here: write.to.teeta@gmail.com

Illiustration by
Sarwat Yunus

The Innocent (?) Face of Evil

Children, so sweet and cherubic; they are the souls of the house, the future leaders of our nation, the apple of the families' eyes…seriously, could you get any more delusional? Children are inherently evil, irrespective of the general opinion. Do not be oblivious to the evil deeds of the little fiends - why do you think children are the main characters of half of the existing horror movies? From the looks of it, it is up to yours truly to unmask these imps.

Unless you have been secretly drugged by these rascals, you will have noticed by now that little kids are aggressive; the toy cars always have multiple accidents, the Barbie dolls are always beheaded and the favourite show is always Tom and Jerry (which, if you have not noticed, is shockingly violent). Don't have any illusions about their sadistic side - it's hardly mere coincidence that all over the world, kids harass and humiliate their family members by 'blurting out' the most outrageous confidential information. Though it must be said that their ability to scoop out information without anyone noticing is quite commendable.

The adults and the teens are not the only victims of the kids; the way these freaks of nature behave within themselves puts hyenas to shame. Speaking of hyenas, did I mention that kids are a major threat to the animal kingdom? Just dig up the earth in the periphery of their dwellings… more likely than not you will find an assortment of bones belonging to their former 'pets'. I knew a kid who used to sneak out to the chicken pen during his naptime to kill the newborn chicks. Poor little chicks…he used to squash them in his tiny, yet evil, grip and kill them, after which he dipped them in a bucket of water and performed a burial ritual. The kid's parents eventually found out what was happening and have been permanently scarred.

This writer had the opportunity to ask the imp why he murdered innocent chicks, to which he answered 'Oh, little chickens are so soft and cuddly and cute!' which translates to 'MWAHAHAHAHAHAAA! CHECK OUT MY EVILNESSSS!' The sceptical ones should know that this incident has not been fabricated in an attempt to prove my point. It's absolutely genuine.

I can write a thesis on children's capacity for evil and get a PhD, but being the selfless do-gooder that I am, I find it more important to clear your heads of the filth that has accumulated over the years. Unfortunately, there is not much we can do about these pests, unless, of course, you are fine with them 'accidentally' revealing your worst secret for the entire humanity to see. So be vigilant, and stay away from kids. They are not cute - they're just plain evil.

By Sarwat Yunus



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