Monday, January 28, 2008

The Lungi Brigade

Thought for the day: Motivation is the art of getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it. ~ Dwight D

“News is just in of… ”- a phrase which often brings excitement to us ordinary people. In India, there are so many ‘news networks’ (And, I am not referring to the TV ones) in and around our cities/towns, that it’s unbelievable. Be it the friendly neighbourhood boot-polishwallah(shoeshine guy) or the paanwallah(Paan seller) or the sabjiwallah(Veggie vendor)- you go anywhere near their respective shops and you’ll get to hear a good sprinkling of the latest gossip around town and who’s doing what to whom, depending on how well you know them.

There’s also the ‘khabari’( nosey parker in polite terms) around offices, whose main job is to keep his ears open twofold and listen in to anyone talking about anything, and convey the juicy bits to the boss(es). That’s a breed I always identify first, whichever company I join, since it can help in getting your happiness/irritation conveyed to the right people. LOL.

Imagine my surprise when I read that Dubai has it’s own ‘Lungi Brigade’(For those who don’t know what a ‘lungi’ is, it’s a piece of cloth, often printed and of various designs and colours, worn by men and women…further details? see here.
The article says that the Lungi news brigade is the most sought-after by people who want to get the latest hot gossip in the neighbourhood. Members of this brigade are everywhere and it is difficult to escape their prying eyes, and they take pride in being the designated sources for many journalists, feeding them information, sometimes exaggerated. It includes workers, watchmen and delivery boys working in supermarkets/laundries/cafeterias, cleaners and even rag pickers.

Their origin dates back to their tradition of a village elder who reads that particular day’s newspaper to those sitting around him at a roadside tea stall. That person then initiates discussions on the national, local and international news of interest. A person interviewed states’ We are also called ‘Mallus’ by other people and are proud of it. In Kerala, we have this interest to start discussions on various topics. Right from a fight in a labour camp, protests, a particular accommodation going without electricity/water, a road accident, and, voila, the news reaches their journalist friend, by way of a ‘missed call’to him, based on which he/she calls back to get the news.

(Giving a missed call, is another trend out here- the purpose of the person giving one being, to save the thirty fils that would otherwise be deducted as call charges from his cell phone).

Recent funny news:

Border crossing crooks were blamed after an entire beach – including beach huts, sun loungers and sand were stolen. Landlocked Hungary has no beaches of its own and tonnes of sand had been shipped in to make the riverside at Mindszentas as near to the real thing as possible. Managers who found that 6,000 cubic meters of sand as well as playground rides, the huts had been stolen. Head of the local council Etelka Repas said: “I would have thought it was impossible to steal an entire beach. It was cleaned up and covered for the winter and then we saw that it had disappeared – beach, accessories and all.”

On to the end-jokes:
A blonde calls a mechanic 2 fix her car, he gets it going in 2 minutes.Blonde: What was the problem?Mechanic: Just shit in the air filterBlonde: How often do I have to do that?
A husband, the owner of a new car, was somewhat reluctant to allow his wife to drove his prize possession...even to the grocery store which was a few blocks from the house.After she insisted, he finally relented, cautioning her as she departed, "Remember, if you have an accident, the newspaper will print your age!"

Till next time, keep smiling.


austere said...

HOW do you identify the khabris?

The beach one was funny.

ninkita said...

lol... i needed to read this post today!!! really truly!! :D i've had enough of khabris, would you believe it??

Keshi said...

Some Sri Lankan men wear Lungis..I hate it LOL!


Shreya said...

those gossip mongers can be very entertaining on a dull day! hehe

austere said...

off topic:

Dr Maisel’s book tour is up today, please visit my blog and read/comment.