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Posts Tagged ‘character sketch’

Someone sent this to me. Apparently these wise ass answers are the actual responses by the website officials . I don’t know if this is true. The reason I’m posting this (besides the fact that they are funny) is to show that an idea for an interesting character can come from random places. Yes, even irritating friends who insist on bulk mailing stupid jokes.

Q :      Does it ever get windy in India? I have never seen it  rain on TV, how do the plants grow? (UK).
A:      We import all plants fully grown and then just sit around watching them die.

Q :      Will I be able to see elephants in the street? (USA)
A:      Depends how much you’ve been drinking.

Q:      I want to walk from Delhi to Goa- can I follow the railroad tracks? (Sweden)
A:      Sure, it’s only three thousand kms, take lots of water.

Q:       Is it safe to run around in the bushes in India?   (Sweden)  
A:      So it’s true what they say about Swedes.

Q:       Are there any ATMs (cash machines) in India? Can you send me a list of them in Delhi, Chennai, Calcutta and Bangalore? (UK)
A:      What did your last slave die of?

Q:       Can you give me some information about hippo racing in India?  (USA)
A:      A-fri-ca is the big triangle shaped continent south of Europe. In-di-a is that big triangle in  the middle of the Pacific & Indian Ocean  which does not.. oh forget it. …… Sure, the hippo racing is every Tuesday night in Goa.  Come naked.

Q:       Which direction is North in India? (USA)
A:      Face south and then turn 180 degrees. Contact us when you get here and we’ll send the rest of the directions.
 

Q:       Can I bring cutlery into India? (  UK)
A:      Why? Just use your fingers like we do.

Q:       Can you send me the Indiana Pacers matches schedule? (France)
A:       Indiana is a state in the Unites States of…oh forget it.  Sure, the Indiana Pacers matches are played every Tuesday  night in Goa, straight after the hippo races.  Come naked.
 
Q:      Can I wear high heels in India? ( UK )
A:      You’re a British politician, right?

Q:     Are there supermarkets in Bangalore, and is milk available all year round? (Germany)
A:      No, we are a peaceful civilization of vegan hunter/gatherers. Milk is illegal.

Q:    Please send a list of all doctors in India who can dispense rattlesnake serum. (USA)
A:      Rattlesnakes live in A-meri-ca which is where YOU come from.  All Indian snakes are perfectly harmless, can be safely handled and make  good pets.
 

Q:       Do you have perfume in India? ( France)
A:      No, WE don’t stink.

Q:       I have developed a new product that is the fountain of youth.  Can you tell me where I can sell it in India?  (USA) 

A:      Anywhere significant numbers of Americans gather.

Q:       Do you celebrate Christmas in India? (France)
A:      Only at Christmas.
 

Q:       Will I be able to speak English most places I go? (USA)
A:      Yes, but you’ll have to learn it first

Q:       Can I see Taj Mahal anytime? (Italy)
A:      As long as you are not blind, you can see it anytime.
 
Q:       Do you have Toilet paper? (USA)
A:      No, we use sand paper. (we have different grades)

Even as I post this, a smart ass character is already forming in my head.

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Whenever stuck for ideas, the news is your best source. It certainly is my best source. Just recently I was stuck for an idea for a character whose public profile was impeachable but who had a sinister private profile. And then Lt. Col Shrikant Purohit came along.

When the news first came out, it left most of us reeling with shock. A member of the Indian Army, the one institution that still commands respect, engaged in terrorist activities, why the idea was outrageous. Or was it?

Look at it from his point of view.

(Disclaimer: This is pure speculation and is not based on any facts)

He was probably a loyal member of this stellar organization, serving his country without question in inhospitable and downright hostile areas. He was probably engaged in counter insurgency ops in J&K. He was probably freezing his butt off patrolling at Siachen in knee deep snow.

For what?  To protect an openly ungrateful people and a government that doesn’t care. Through unjustified brickbats and unfair pay commissions he remained stoic and his patriotism was unshakable.

They caught several terrorists who were later let off for political or other reasons (prisoners for hostages kinda exchange). And (behold the mother of all ironies) one of these very rascals later went on to become a prominent political figure whom Purohit was forced to salute! It is just too much. And the straw that broke the camel’s back. Is it any wonder that the Mumbai Police openly refused to salute Gawli (or was it protect, or both)?

Of course this is only a general outline. Many people snap under unrelenting stress, and in a variety of ways, not necessarily anarchical. To explain his leanings towards militant Hinduism, you’d have to first concede that he was an Alpha male type personality, and then go back and reconstruct his childhood. To begin with, you’d have to consider that he was probably raised in a middle class Hindu household with allegiance to the Sangh, which was not a terrorist organization.

Even at this stage, to him, religion was private and had no place in his professional life at all. But gradually, he saw the rise of Islamic terrorism and, what seemed to him, a persecution of Hindus. This rhetoric was, no doubt, inculcated by a newly radicalised Sangh. He knew that the Government would not do anything about it, only pander to minorities. And that he had to do something if he had to arrest the inevitable downward slide of his beloved country into chaos. Here he probably saw Israel, with their prompt and retaliatory bombing, as an example. And a religious vigilante was born.

If you undertake this speculative exercise, bam, you’ve got a character. Hell, you’ve got a story.

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