The readers must be wondering at this quaint and mysterious title of this piece. Please bear with me. The mystery will be soon solved.  

The date was 16.12.2008 (Tuesday) (“Jai Bajrangbali ki” bolna padega, bhakto !! ). Three incidents were reported in the news on that day.  

The most famous international scene was about a TV journalist, who flung his size 10 shoes at George Bush.Muntadhar Al Zaidi, a broadcast journalist, working as a correspondent with Al Baghdadia TV, a Cairo based news channel, who dared to do this defiant act, has become an international hero overnight. He has already received one bravery award from a charity group and more awards may follow. A man in Saudi Arabia has reportedly offered 10 million dollars for the shoes thrown at Bush! Youtube has been besieged with millions of hits to view this shoe hulring shot video and it has secured a place of pride in the list of top 14 videos of 2008 ! By the time this article appears in print, a lot more mileage may have been covered by this incident in the print and visual media. The only apt quote that flashed before my eyes was “Only the wearer knows where the shoe pinches.” Readers may draw their own conclusions.  

The second incident was a national news related to the much hyped and awaited draw of lots for 5238 DDA flats. The lucky allottees have realised their lifetime dreams by venturing into “real estate”. The TV grabs showed the “real” “state” of minds of some winners. Some who were unsuccessful also grabbed a few seconds of fame on TV. The websites of DDA were overloaded by hits and soon the system hung. The crave and craze for housing continues unabated. Everyone seems to be planning for a roof over his head and singing that golden oldie “Ek bangla bane nyaara…”.  

The third incident was on my personal front. Results for scale promotions from MM III to SM IV were declared by our Bank ( Bank of India ) and I was one of the candidates who had made it this time. I wish there were camera crews to photograph my emotions at that moment. We have all witnessed similar glorious moments on TV when a Miss World or a Miss Universe is crowned. The expression on their faces say “Oh my God!”. There are tears n their eyes! Tears of joy! As soon as one of my collegues Shri Bijay Sharma from ZO Ghaziabad conveyed me the news over my mobile, the first thing I asked him was to confirm once again whether my name was really there in the list or not. He confirmed it and congratulated me. Soon more congratulations followed and this continued for the next 3-4 days. Had there been a journalist or a TV camera man present then, he might have asked me the most inane/obvious question “Aap ko promotion pa kar kaisa lag raha hai? “. When an officer aged 59 like me gets a long overdue promotion (that too on merit!) the most obvious answer to this question would be: “Budhaape mein bacha paida ho gaya!” (A child is born to man in his old age ! ).  


The upbeat mood in my house was to be seen to be believed. Earlier, when I didn’ t get promoted, my better half used to say “Falaana promote ho gaya, Dheekna promote ho gaya, par aap nahi hue!” (Every Tom, Dick and Harry had been promoted except me!). Now she was glad at having become a Chief Manager’s wife ( a Chief-Managerani ? ) My daughter put up a proposal for buying a plasma TV.I said I will put up the proposal for consideration at appropriate level ! ( the most common  phrase a banker hears and uses often in his career.) My son had heard the news on his way from office.On reaching home ,he said he was simply “shocked ” ! I asked him “shocked “? He said “Yes,shocked with the happiness that the news of your promotion gave me “.”Here, have a Ras Malai ” he said , and popped one whole piece into my mouth !.The  famous golden oldie song came to my mind :” Saala main to sahab ban gaya ! ”   Now that I had given a happy news to my family, I asked my recently married son “When will you give me a khush khabar about my becoming a grand father ? ” He raised his eyes above to the Lord Almighty up there in the sky and smiled sweetly ( secretly ) .  

Now, as promised at the begining of this piece,let me try to connect these three incidents.Our interviews for promotion were conducted through ” video-conferencing ” this time.I am happy and thankful that there were no ocassions for the interview committee members to ” hurl ” a shoe at me for a wrong answer to their questions ! Moreover,we were both at separate receiving ends.I was receiving their questions and they were receiving my answers.Just imagine,what could have happened if they had just watched the “shoe-hurling ceremony ” on TV before  they started the interview and what could have been the result if the interviews were held across the table,in person (as was done in previous years) and what could have happened if a wrong answer of mine could have fetched a response similar to Mr.Bush’s from Muntadhar!   The few lucky officers whose names appeared in the list of successful candidates in the Bank’s promotion process of 2008, were obviously very happy and must have felt similar emotions felt by those successful applicants of DDA Housing Scheme 2008, who had made it to the final list of successful allotees.  

Now, I hope the readers must have now understood the significance of the title of this piece.Some may however feel that “there was more dum in that number 10 shoes compared to the dum in this piece”. If so, they may be tempted to hurl a pair of shoes from Mumbai or elsewhere to New Delhi towards me (like those missiles used by Bush in the Iraq war). My only humble submission is that in case they do so, they may please hurl a pair of new dark brown shoes of number 8 (my size) which will be useful to me and match with the colour of my new pair of trousers purchased from “Pantaloons” shop in the nearby mall.!! It would certainly make economic sense during such times of economic downturn.Isn’t it ?  

Happy Hurling and Happy New Year 2009.  

– J. S. Broca    

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