A Quill Dipped In Acid

Like Love Haha Wow Sad Angry

There is often a confusion between humour and satire. Humour is a feel good experience – it makes you smile and laugh. Satire on the other hand shakes you up. Satire is like the pea that doesn’t allow the princess to sleep. Of course, to be troubled by satire you should have the sensitivity which made the princess so special. That is why our political class, whose skin would rival that of any self-respecting pachyderm, is rarely troubled by sarcasm.

In India we have a long history (or mythology) of satire. The first sardonic statement was probably by Draupadi taunting Duryodhan about his lack of occular ability and linking this failing to his DNA. This jibe led to the naani of all battles: Kurukshetra.

Centuries later Kabir Das took a sarcastic dig at the ritual obsessed populace: If you think by worshipping stones you can receive the benediction of God, then I shall go and pray to a mountain. However, it would be better to worship the grinding stone which serves the entire world.

ALSO SEE :   What Started Off As Friendship Is Now A Dream I Live Every Day


A brilliant political satire was written by Bharatendu Harishchandra in the 19th century:  Andher nagri, Chaupat Raja. It worked at a number of levels and is still considered a masterpiece. However, in the present times satire in its true-blue avatar seems to be almost conspicuous by its absence.


The stuff most of the celebrity writers like Khushwant Singh and cartoonists like Mario Miranda indulge in would fall in the category of humour which is safer and less arduous to achieve.

How many true blue satires can Bollywood boast of?  ‘Jaane bhi do yaaron’ with its scathing  black  humour stands alone. The rest are puerile comedies catering to the lowest common denominator.

In the virtual media too we have the coarse and crude AIB and TVF which pander to the young and restless whose appetite for absorbing filth is awesome. The AIB roast of the ‘Gundey team’ made me almost retch.

When are the Indian writers going to rise above slapstick comedy and cheap humour and explore the tough terrain of satire.



I know there are several problems in writing satire. Its shelf life is low; the time given between the incident and its expression is barely a few hours. 

But on the flip side India possibly offers the most fertile ground for satire. Here we can see the ridiculous even in the most sublime. We have venal politicians, pompous bureaucrats, over paid cricketers, pampered film stars and caught in their dragnet the common man who epitomizes infinite patience, unflinching faith and a resilience which would put King Bruce’s spider and Mahabharata’s Abhimanyu to shame.

In a scenario such as this, satire should not merely sprout it should blossom and bloom.

So what are you wannabe or ‘been there done that’ satirist waiting for? Pick up your quill, dip it in acid and rip through the  miasma of  hypocrisy. 


About Ramendra Kumar
Ramendra Kumar is an award-winning writer with over 30 books to his credit in the genres of satire, children’s fiction, and non-fiction. His articles and write-ups have been published in several Indian & foreign languages. Among other national and international publications and anthologies, his stories have also been published in the ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul Series’. He is also an inspirational speaker, story-teller and mentor. Ramendra lives in Rourkela, with his wife and children.


About Mock, Stalk & Quarrel
Mock, Stalk & Quarrel – a collection of satirical tales – emanated from a nationwide contest conducted by Readomania to identify powerful voices that could wage an ideological war against issues that matter. Twenty- nine voices – indulgent, tolerant, amusing and witty -for part of this collection.
Each narrative in this anthology is a silent scream, a way to remind the reader of the stark realities of our times, of the hollowness, the empty promises and the increasing nepotism, corruption, and banal priorities of the modern life. From domestic violence, to red-tapism, from reservation to religious fundamentalism, from scams to godmen, our authors have captured it all, creating stories that prick the conscience and challenge the powerful, gently ridicule absurdities and follies of fellow humans, not to enrage the reader but to bring on a wry smile. Eventually, they take lexical pot-shots at the well-heeled establishment that does not think twice before taking people for granted. Sprinkled with liberal doses of humour and wit that will make the readers laugh, cry, rage and think.For more about the book and the authors, like our Facebook page. Pick up your copy of the book here.
Like Love Haha Wow Sad Angry
1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Hitesh

    March 27, 2017 at 4:43 pm

    I really like what you guys tend to be up too. This type of clever work and exposure! Keep up the wonderful works guys I’ve included you guys to my blogroll.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Thoughts

To Top
More in Humour, Stories
I Love You, I Need You

A beautiful smile, a loving hand the sweet words you say, the simplest kinds of pleasures these make a joyful...


His middle age and the ravages of time were more than hinted at by the furrowed countenance and the slight...