Friday, December 24, 2010

Kaho Na Pyaaz Hai...

Our national anthem has changed. No... seriously! Instead of the familiar strains of 'Jana Gana Mana...' we now have several... weepy ones. Like: 'Rulake gaya onion mera...' The humble Onion has finally got its annual 15 minutes of fame, reaching the dizzying heights of Rs 80/kg. In some places it scored a century too! As always, Twitter is abuzz... giving the layered veggy the credit it has finally earned.

On Twitter, #onions became a trending topic in India. With onions and other vegetables being discussed so much, twitter may (soon) open a section called 'TwitMandi'... where people can tweet and fill their stomachs... instantly. So says the little blue bird. Actually... the little bird is tweeting happily without a care in the world. 'Coz birds don't eat onions... silly!

Elsewhere... 'Onion diplomacy' has succeeded where bus and cricket diplomacy (cricket i-Pill included) failed miserably. Onions rush in where cricket fear to tread! Given the way onion prices have pole-vaulted... and left everyone in tears... India had to import (halal) onions from the 'land of the pure'... as an urgent measure. And with our friendly next door neighbour - Pakistan - sending us onions, 'Hyderabadi Do Pyaaza' just got a whole new meaning. Kaho na pyaaz hai...

The govt. also put a ban on exports. Wonder how onions are available for exports... but not for domestic consumption though. Ummm... must say, "truth is stranger than fiction". What?

Btw... The Financial Express (dated May 04, 2010) headlined "Onion prices weaken on record harvest outlook"... and stated that: "the country is all set to harvest a record onion crop in 2010 driven largely by favourable weather and government initiatives in improving production of horticulture crop. A bumper harvest should considerably bring down onion prices." Hmmm... the cricket i-Pill is the culprit. The Hon. Onion Minister is high on it. I'm totally convinced.

Even the walking-talking jewellery-ki-dukan aka Guppy Lahiri... is thinking of 're-mixing' the lyrics of his (1979) hit number: ' pyaar pyaar pyaar pyaar, chaahiye thodaa pyaar thodaa pyaar chaahiye, chaahiye thodaa pyaar thodaa pyaar chaahiye...' to ' pyaaz pyaaz pyaaz pyaaz, chaahiye thodaa pyaaz thodaa pyaaz chaahiye, chaahiye thodaa pyaaz thodaa pyaaz chaahiye...'

After all... 'Pyaar' is passé. It is easily available... anybody can get it. While 'Pyaaz' has a nice contemporary ring to it and is quite hard to find these days. It may soon be available at the goldsmiths' and will rival the diamonds and platinum... and not just the yellow metal. That is the difference between 'priceless' and 'valueless'. Whoever said: 'All that glitters is not gold'... doesn't know a thing about onions. It even has the power to reduce strapping adults to tears. And cheers. Lessons learnt: All that is worth more than gold... does not glitter. And it is Pyaaz, Ishq aur Mohabbat... in that order.

Onions even have the power to 'change' governments. The so-called "onion factor" also helped defeat the left-leaning, now defunct Janata Party in 1980 parliamentary elections when prices went up quickly. It may be recalled that onion was the single largest factor that brought the downfall of the BJP led Government in Rajasthan and Delhi in 1998. Onion is certainly an effective lever to topple governments. Can't say whether voters in Uncle Sam country eat onions or not. But Barack "Change we can believe in" Obama's Democratic party has suffered a drubbing recently. Perhaps they heeded his later/modified slogan, "Change We Need"... after two years. Unfortunately... Obama skipped namma Bangalore aka Bengaluru aka BUNGLEuru during his India trip and missed picking up a few 'priceless' lessons in political management. By not coming to Bangalore and meeting the genius-shris behind "Operation Lotus", Barackanna went back without the wisdom that that what he really needs to shore himself up is "Operation POTUS". Plus onions. Next year he will deliver the State of the #Onion Address... for sure!

Santa Claus is a very worried man these days. Only a few hours to go for the much awaited Christmas. He has already filled his big red sack with gifts and goodies... and now suddenly like a bolt from the blue he has been deluged with fervent requests for onions as X-mas gifts. He had sent an urgent message to a certain Tamil Megastar who is known to make onions cry. But even he too sounded helpless and very humbly admitted that this was something beyond his considerable miraculous/magical powers. That even HE cannot bring down their price. Who said that there is nothing he 'kanth' do...??

Elsewhere all shows/tickets for 'Wanted' starring Bollywood's shirtless thunder is going abegging. Nobody wants him now. Methinks... he should redo the posters to 'Wanted: Onions'. The government headed by 'Singh is King'... may have to declare a reward of a million bucks (in dollars silly) on Mr. Onion's head... and alert the Interpol. Last heard... apna Gabbar Singh has gone into a huge sulk.

Weepul Shah is thinking of making yet another remake. He is a true braveheart. The box-office collection of 'Action Repplayy' has made him lachrymose... but he is not ready to give up... and believes in the philosophy of 'try, try, try again'. Whether on the audience or on himself... my guess is as good as yours. He is thinking of remaking the (1957) Gurudutt classic: 'Pyaasa'... which will feature the (erstwhile) paisa wasool Akki Raja (who has now also lost the Midas in his touch)... in the title role. But their numerologist has advised that they should consider calling it 'Pyaaza'... to prevent any further overflow of the lacrimal glands. Frankly... if the iconic Guru Dutt were alive today... he would make a film about a poet struggling to buy a kg of onion... and name it: 'Pyaaza'. No prizes for guessing!

There is a nip in the air... and it is only getting nippier by the day. Crunchy onion pakodas and piping hot masala chai was the perfect antidote to this weather. But with onions doing a Houdini act... it has become a pipe dream. And Tata tea urges everyone to "Jaago Re". This hasn't gone down too well with our 'nocturnal friends'... especially those who work in 'night shifts'... exclusively. To perform similar tasks in broad daylight one needs to be an 'honourable' member of the Parliament or the Legislative Assemblies... or even the 'Chor'porations. Even 'rakshaks' can become 'bhakshaks'... legally. Dilly-dally.

Apparently... 'Onion Uthappa' is only available @ the residence of the dashing 'Robin Uthappa'. Whether it is his pet name/nick name/cousin's name/sibling's name... we do not know. Karamchand Jasoos ko bulao. Jaldi! Atleast we won't have any difficulty writing his cheque or serving refreshments/breakfast/lunch/dinner/snacks to him. Why? His favourite food: carrots. Thats why.

Acclaimed director Shankar will probably remake his Tamil film 'Anniyan'. It'll now be called 'Onion'. Don't be surprised to see serpentine queues (with people holding several empty sacks in hand) outside the theatres... from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. He is also contemplating directing the sequel to 'Robot'... where Mr. Chitti will chase his look-alike, the elusive Mr. Onion all over the globe and beyond... and romance Ms. Onion... @ the Pharaoh's tomb aka pyramid, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Taj Mahal, the Stonehenge, the Great Wall of China, on top of the Eiffel Tower and the Leaning Tower of Pisa, on top of Mt. Everest, the Alps, in the middle of the Manas Sarovar... etc. Simultaneously. Chitti Chitti Bang Bang!

While the makers of the 'The Lord of The Rings' film trilogy... based upon the books by JRR Tolkien... has decided to add one more to the series. To be titled: 'The Lord of the Onion Rings'. And the makers of the classic 'The Great Train Robbery' are in talks with Sir Sean Connery to star in its sequel... tentatively titled: 'The Great Onion Robbery'. The movie will be financed by ace producer apna Najid Sadiadwala and will be the first major Bollywood foray into Hollywood... thus proving that the world indeed is a global village. Most of the supporting cast will be Indians... camouflaged as onions. While the real onions have already undergone the mandatory security and quality checks and been cleared by the paper tiger and gang. Auditions have already commenced. Full-on. Natural acting. No glycerin. Last heard: 'Fear Factor' may soon become 'Tear Factor'.

Tendulkar hitting a century no longer brings tears to the eyes. But onions hitting a century sure do. Errrr... if someone's acting really pricey, do we say they are going onions? Amidst all this... the 'Pyaaj 3' people are going about their business of being 'Pyaaj 3' people quite nonchalantly... which is kanda mysterious. Meanwhile... demand for mouth fresheners have fallen drastically... while large crowds are found around onion sellers. Nobody is buying; people are just trying to take a sniff of the ultra-precious commodity. According to the grapevine: Onion sellers across India are going to start accepting credit cards from tomorrow. Yippee! Errr... 'Mogambo khush hua'! After all... 'Bhagwan ke ghar der hain andher nahin hai'. Hence proved... beyond a shred of doubt, that is. While the police will now offer a PCR/Hoysala van escort if you buy more than 5 kg Onions. Along with half a dozen permanent bodyguards. Cherry picked from the elite Black Cat commandos.

Employers are an unhappy lot these days. Appraisals done... the employees are awaiting a hike. They have all asked for a handsome raise to compensate for #onion prices. Now that onion prices are sky high... I wonder if the media shall term it as 'Onion-Gate'. After... IPL-Gate, CWG-Gate, 2G-Gate, Radia-Gate, Barkha-Gate, Sanghvi-Gate, Raja-Gate, Chara-Gate or whatever you want to call it. What say??

People craving Pav Bhaji or Bhel Puri with crunchy pieces of onion in it... are contemplating converting to Jainism. The venerable Lord Mahavir and the 23 Tirthankaras are said to be greatly alarmed. Onions have hijacked their message of peace! Unthinkable! But then 'fiction is stranger than truth'.

The prohibitive cost of the onion is forcing people to look elsewhere for substitutes. An eatery in Ahmadabad has begun to thicken its curries with biscuits!! Parle-G or Tiger... I have no clue. But this 'idea' has done a mentos: "Dimaag ki batti jala de!"

As for nachos... please click here to read how nachos ought to be eaten.

To Julian Assange of the Wikileaks fame... whether in or out of his 'mansion arrest': Well... leeks can disappoint you and garlic will break your heart. But only onions make you cry. Now that both Jemima Bibi and Fatima Bibi have entered the fray... lets wait and watch. It's definitely getting curiouser and curiouser. (Tarang! Tarang...) - meanwhile... the suspense music playing in the background... is building up to a crescendo. Any leeks oops leaks on onions... the India edition??

Things sure look a little (b)leek for the onion. What with restaurants scrambling to erase 'chicken-do-pyaaza' from the menus and scribbling 'chicken-do-taazaa' next to it. All the while... surreptitiously checking... whether it was time for the chickens to 'fly' again. That's an annual event... you see. And quite a p(b)ig ticket one at that.

Whether you like it or not... onions, have become the most joked about item on social networking sites. Here are a few samples... doing the Facebook and Twitter rounds:

1. Which cricketer won't get past Indian customs? Graham Onions.
2. There will be a different Malayalam word for younger brother: they will no longer be called 'Aniyan'.
3. The Onion is not launching an India edition after all.
4. Lady Gaga has already decided which animal/vegetable her dress will endorse at next year's Grammy Awards.
5. Who wrote the Indian version of Emma? Shallot Bronte.
6. Most popular ringtone of the day: "Pyaaz me hota hai kya jaadoo. Tu jaaney ya main jaanoo..."
7. Beyonce has a new India edition for the song "If you like it, then you shoulda put a ring on it". I am not going to say it.

Parting shot: To the government headed by Madam, the blue turbaned yogi who firmly believes in the benefits of 'maun vrat' ('coz 'silence is golden' you see), UPA-nishad, sundry 'Gates', RADIA-tions and/or Wikileaks: 'Pyaaz maanga hai tumhi se, na inkaar karo...'

Wish you a very Happy Christmas! Even a Merry (and teri) Christmas! May Santa Claus bring good cheer and deliver bagful of onions everywhere. He needn't squeeze himself in via the chimney. Walking in through the front door will do. What say you??

Cartoons courtesy: Link.


Suits the subject of this post... what??


  1. pyaaz ke chilke sahi utaare hain aapne... really good post...hansna to aa raha hai..rona bhi...good one

  2. very tickling. GoooooooooooooooooooooD.

  3. Roshmi, you're a brilliant humorist! Hilarious writing. :D

  4. I guess it is bye bye Chicken do Pyazaa for a while... atleast till my company offers a onion allowance ;)

    loved ur post as usual!

  5. @ Anand Rathore: Thanks! Glad you liked it...

  6. dont worry, congress will pay a very high price for the corrupt practises they follow by supporting the hoarders.
    You post is very hilarious.

  7. @ Tang: Hahahaha! 'Onion allowance'... you said it :D

    P.S. Great to see you here...

  8. @ BK Chowla: Chowlaji... not just the King Cong... but 'is hamam mein sabhi nange hain'...

  9. @Roshmi
    Paya hai aapki post mein pyaz hi pyaz beshumar....
    well, This price rise is a classic case of management failure of the agricultural more reason to understand the eye tearing properties of onion.

  10. Nice blog Roshmi.. is organizing the first of its kind 'Best of Indian Blogosphere 2010' Polls. Do nominate your blog for it.

    Email us at or visit our website for more details.

  11. @ Sunil: Yes 'mismanagement' it is! Onion, sugar, toor daal, tomato, garlic, et al... at regular intervals... all go through this cycle of 'mismanagement' :)

  12. @ Shruti: Thanks Shruti... and welcome here. Will surely check out the link...

  13. Completely agree with you - "hamam mein sabhi nange hain"! :)
    Kickass post this was! Thankfully, the prices are going down!

  14. @ Anukriti Sharma: Thanks girl... and good to see you here :)

  15. @ Preeti: :D :D :D

    Yep! But the prices of tomato and garlic have shot up. Next may be sugar and toor daal. Thats the usual pattern ;) ;)

  16. wonderful hilarious post and loved the idea of replacing pyaar with pyaaz in songs.

  17. awesomeness! and yes, i am home for the hols :D

    oh and there's a new faith called onionism which is also trending on twitter!

    Apparently, even some malls are attracting customers by giving away free onions.

    Wishing a happy new year to you and your family as well!

  18. haha....very sarcastic take...i love satire...and here it does get a fresh form....good write...well done

  19. Lyrically wrapped up post like the humble bulb-Hilarious!

  20. Pratibha The Talent: Thanks much and welcome here :)

  21. @ Wrahool: 'Onionism' is it?? Yet another 'ism' to increase our woes...

    "Apparently, even some malls are attracting customers by giving away free onions."

    ... Now we know where some of the absconding onions are put up...

    Happy hols and have a great year ahead :)

  22. @ The Fallen Poet: Glad you liked this post... and thanks for stopping by my blog :)

  23. @ Arpana: Thanks a bunch... and welcome here. Glad you liked it :)

  24. Ha ha ha earlier we used to say that cutting onion makes us cry, now hearing about it only makes us cry now

  25. @ Siddhesh 'Ravan' Kabe: Bang on! :D

  26. I got a SMS that I would like to share ...

    IT department is watching all high valued on-line transactions
    so don't buy onions and garlic online.[:)]

  27. @ Sunilji: ... and tomato too! :D :D :D

    Thanks for sharing... and have a fabulous year ahead!

  28. 'With onions and other vegetables being discussed so much, twitter may (soon) open a section called 'TwitMandi'... where people can tweet and fill their stomachs... instantly. So says the little blue bird. Actually... the little bird is tweeting happily without a care in the world. 'Coz birds don't eat onions... silly!' I love the whole paragraph! Still laughing...!

    Jewellery ki dookan, Guppy Lahiri...I think this post is too long, my comment will be a post then.

    Too good a post, Roshmi! Thanks for the laughs!

  29. @ Sandhya: Muchas gracias Sandhyaji :) Glad you liked it...

  30. Hahahaha great post!! loved it!!