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On my way to work this morning, I spotted a bunch of kids training for Karate in a neighborhood park. The middle aged, lanky master was shouting those Karate shouts and the kids responded in a thunderous chorus, moving their limbs as if they were slicing some invisible butter. And, a thought struck me: what if one of these kids, when they grow up and become software professionals, is confronted by a Bangalore auto driver or a mugger? Will Karate be enough?

After much thought, I arrived at the conclusion that even if you are an expert in Karate, Marathe, Kung-Fu, Kung Pao, Jin Tao, and every other martial art there is, a seasoned street fighter will kick you donkey to Uranus under 30 seconds.

On what basis am I concluding on this? You'll never ask me that if are from Chittoor.

I think I was in my first PU then; my friends and I'd just finished drinking our 'crush' (grated ice mixed with sewage water, sweeteners, and colour additives.) As we entered school, I noticed Anif (name changed), the body builder, walk towards Bhaskar (name changed). Anif's eyes were glowing; he swung his arms ferociously and his fists were clenched and white. There was a ghostly chill in the air, the boys and girls automatically moved away and made way for Anif. Even the boys playing cricket had stopped the game and were staring expectantly at Anif and Bhaskar. Bhaskar had no clue (or he pretended so) until Anif stood face to face. My curiosity got the better of my fear and I edged closer.

'Why are you talking to my girl?' Anif hissed.
'She's my cousin, what the fu....' Bhaskar did not even get to finish what he was saying. I saw it in slow motion. Anif's head arched back only to swing back and bang! I never saw Anif's forehead hit Bhaskar's nose. In a blink of an eye, Bhaskar was lying on the ground, his face all bloody. Anif waited for him to get up but Bhaskar looked like he was settling down there so much so that I wanted to say 'Good night Bhaskar!'
Anif eyes darted around to spot any of Bhaskar's supporters and he spotted me. A mighty shiver ran down my spine and my left knee started shaking like a Congress government.
'H-h-hey! Sir, h-how a-are you?' I bleated.
He did not even bother reciprocating. I was disgusted that I was calling a guy that never will pass 9th standard in his life 'sir!'

Anyway, what Anif did is called, referred to with a lot of respect, in Chittoor as 'Dichhaa' (pronounced 'ditch-aa.' No, not like 'coming aa?' 'Kings aa?' 'Yesssaaa?')

Do not try Dichaa at home. You need professional assistance to learn Dichaa. I have seen young men train hours on end, hitting their foreheads against punching bags. I know guys that break bricks with their foreheads: Dichaa!

But, nothing is as disastrous as a Dichaa gone wrong. For example, Suri, two years my junior and colony mate, tried a Dichaa on Raju. Now, Suri was all of four feet some inches. In all probability, he is still that. He picked an argument with Raju over the number of balls Raju had bowled. Suri claimed he already had bowled two overs and that it was time to retire from the game. Raju, who detests sarcasm in any form, held Suri's collar. Now, if you are wondering why does none of the onlookers ever separate those that fight, well, peace sells, but who's buying?
Anyway, the moment Raju held Suri's collar, all of us stopped whatever we were doing and we moved closer and formed a circle around the fighters. No, we don't cheer or boo like those American high school boys; come on! don't you know about our Indian culture?
We waited for some action but Suri and Raju were locked in a ferocious argument. After what seemed like ages, Raju said something about Suri's mother. Suri lost it. He should have kicked or punched but he went for jackpot: Dichaa. It was damn funny watching a midget jumping up to hit someone with his head. Raju further opened his perennially open mouth and Suri's head promptly hit the teeth. Suri fainted after he saw all the blood dripping down his head. Never attempt a Dichaa if you are a shorty. Never. Dicha is never bottoms-up. It is always lateral. It is always forehead that hammers the opponent.

People became world famous in Chittoor because of their Dichaas. Dichi (short for Dichaa) is automatically added to your name once you become an exponent of this art form. Dichi Kumar, Dichi Rajesh, Dichi Dilli... you get the drift? If you want to become a 'dada' mastering Dichi is a significant milestone in your career.
So how does one defend the Dichi? Simple. Move back and thank the sweet lord if you escaped unhurt.

Along with Dichi, Guduga, another street fight skill forms what I call the supreme, street fight repertoire. I have seen a couple of guys beating the shit out of a gang of eight using Dichi and Guduga. A dichi and a Guduga will make your opponent call lord Muruga is the old saying (I think.)
What is Guduga? Guduga is normally the second blow (the first strike is always with a Dichi). You hit the guy on his face and as he is crumbling down, finish him off by ramming your knee between his legs. Ramming your knee, my dear reader, is called Guduga.

Now, tell me, if you are a Karate champ and I can do 12 Dichas before you can say 'I am coming,' who do you think will win the fight, if we were to fight, god forbid? Think about it.

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Anonymous BNB said...

A few questions

1. Do girls do Dichhaa ?
2. It's still confusing - any diagrams/cartoons ?
3. Reason for stupid q #2 - I want to execute this with clinical precision on a couple of managers, coolies, and auto-drivers, and become the first code coolie to be convicted for illegal Dichhaa usage
4. Did she become a member of the harem ?

Tuesday, April 10, 2007 10:13:00 PM GMT+05:30  
Anonymous Suman said...

1. Do girls do Dichhaa ?
I don't see why not but i don't know any who practice it!
2. It's still confusing - any diagrams/cartoons ?
Nakkalaa? Romba thaan kurumbu kannu unakku.
3. Reason for stupid q #2 - I want to execute this with clinical precision on a couple of managers, coolies, and auto-drivers, and become the first code coolie to be convicted for illegal Dichhaa usage
Ok, Diagrams are not enough you need professional assistance/help.
4. Did she become a member of the harem ?
What? Who is 'she' now?

Thursday, April 12, 2007 11:43:00 AM GMT+05:30  
Anonymous MadMan said...

In English, it's called a "headbutt".

And yes, if you have a heightened sense of awareness, you can defend against it.

Saturday, April 21, 2007 1:26:00 AM GMT+05:30  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are wrong.An expert will whip you without fuss,street fighting or dichaa or not.An amateur will kill you without meaning to.Its highly unlikely two experts will descend to a fight.

Sun Tzu: "The ablest general is one who can win without fighting."

Wednesday, April 25, 2007 9:40:00 PM GMT+05:30  

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