Everyday life poses everyday questions. Rs. 100 bribe for writing an FIR? But this helmet is only made up of cardboard and string? You can’t vote ‘coz they stole the ballot box? Is this tax deductible? Most are just nags, others are worries and some are existential questions.
But we can still live to fight another day with one simple but universal answer: Chalta Hai. You know what they say about simplicity being underrated. Chalta Hai simply means: ‘That’s ok.’ But on closer inspection, on deeper thought and with painful experience you realize that the true sense of this term is a mixture of ‘Altruism my ass!’ and ‘whatever.’ This is a dangerous concoction that blinds its consumer to the point of him ending up as road kill himself for others to remark: Chalta hai.
With a billion such consumers, the expressway to India’s foreordained progress will continue to be littered with shoddiness and apathy. And if you are not a phoney or a crony on this expressway, you are probably trying to keep to the left under the speed limit and paying all the toll. Life can be tough for the conscientious taxpayer. It is with this thought of mounting frustration and last ditch counter that I have put together ‘Chalta Hai: Surviving Phonies and Cronies in Modern India.’
Chalta Hai is a 75,000 word satire steeped no holds barred self-help soul softener that combines the broadside approach of a Carlin performance with the heart of a Dalrymple chronicle.
Though the book is not set out to topple any dictators (yet), the aim is to learn to spot bull shit and avoid it with some genuine laughs along the way. ‘Coz if you don’t know what BS smells like, you may be stepping in it already.