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How I Spend My Free Time

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One of things I do is to find old PhD theses in the public domain on subjects ranging from the psychological problems of the hybrid buffalo in south-east Asia to the private lives of first-generation robots

One of things I do is to find old PhD theses in the public domain on subjects ranging from the psychological problems of the hybrid buffalo in south-east Asia to the private lives of first-generation robots

My readers might be under the impression that I am a very busy man. Entirely understandable. After all, I do write this terribly important column once in two weeks, and that does involve some pretty intense research that takes up several minutes. But what do I do the other 20,100 minutes? Here, dear friends, is a sneak peek into the remainder of my life.

I am an avid follower of various catering/food pages on social media. As a caring, conscientious and contributing citizen of our country, I keep a keen lookout for all queries on these pages.

‘I need a 5kg butterscotch cake by tomorrow in Arakkonam. Urgent. Pleeeez advice!’ says one man.

‘Need Hyd-style mutton biryani for a get-together for 15 people asap. Any good caterers in Santosh Nagar?’ asks another lady.

‘We need chutneys of different kinds, to go with rice, idli and dosai, on a war footing,’ laments yet another subscriber. ‘Any good South Indian suppliers in Kigali?’

Whatever the request, whichever part of the world it’s from, I always reach out.

And because it saves time, I have come up with a response that is suitable for almost everyone posting on these sites.

‘Dear (insert name of person)’, goes my response. ‘I feel somewhat bad to tell you this, but you don’t need butterscotch cake/biryani/chutney. You want them. Huge difference. My suggestion is that you take a breath and reconsider eating the 5kg cake/15 servings of biryani/variety of chutneys. How about trying a salad diet? Grow your own vegetables. Good for the environment. Do yoga. Be a helpful neighbour. Obey your elders. Fasting on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays is good. On other days, do push-ups. Take up a hobby like stamp collecting or sudoku. Listen to K L Saigal’s songs. Inbox me and I will send you very good paste made of ginger, asafoetida and engine oil that will clear backlog. Jai Hind.’

So far, though I have been blocked by 18 sites, I will continue serving the public.

~~~

As you all know, my illustrious writer friends are never far from my thoughts. And, for years, I have been trying to get into the circles that matter, without much success. And this despite my undying efforts.

One of things I do is to find old PhD theses in the public domain – the really long ones that run into hundreds of pages – on subjects ranging from the psychological problems of the hybrid buffalo in south-east Asia to the private lives of first-generation robots, and forward them to my writer friends with the note:

‘I’m sure you’ll find the subtle references to your work in these papers most edifying.’

~~~

In my computer, I have a secret folder called ‘Secret Folder’. It is zipped. And that zipped folder is in a password-protected folder called ‘Don’t Open’. And all of this is in a third folder called ‘Censored Family Pictures’.

Safe from the prying eyes of foreign intruders, in it are hundreds of files (each running into several pages) with names like ‘What Karan Johar Actually Does When He Covers His Mouth While Laughing’, ‘All The Contacts in Sukesh Chandrasekhar’s Little Black Book’, ‘The Gruesome Truth Behind Murakami Losing The Nobel’, ‘Why Chennai’s Humidity Is a Giant Scam Leading To The Nehru Family’, ‘The Scandalous Connection Between The Bullet Train Project and Malaika’s Pooch, Casper’, ‘The Incredibly Famous Real Parents Of Sunny Leone And The Effect They’ve Had On Our GDP’.

I’m fully prepared for a day when someone hacks into my computer.

They are all blank.

Ha!

Krishna Shastri Devulapalli is a satirist. He has written four books and edited an anthology.



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