Nov 30, 2012

Two funerals and a Party [335/365]

Having postponed writing for quite a while now, I think I have learned my lesson. November was an interesting month. Lots of interesting people dying, some getting killed. Others missing the point completely.

So it does look like the world will end soon.
Bal Thackeray died.
Finally!
The grand ol' man of Mumbai and the 'Savior of millions' finally packed his bags and left.
Predictably, Hell is all excited about the 'new hires'.
Tomorrow when he is buried/cremated and packed off, he will cause the last traffic jam in his life.
For an immensely talented person, he surely chose the wrong profession.
Bal T is an excellent example of what will happen when a person is influenced by the wrong ideas.

A couple of hundred kilometers away, we saw another death. Totally avoidable, yet an unfortunate example of how subtle and fleeting life really is.
When Chadha and his brother killed themselves in a shootout over a property, they left behind everything they lived for. While the families of both the brothers might want to put the past behind them and move on, killing each-other really didn't achieve anything.

Israel lost its marbles and decided to pound its southern neighbor. What's ironic is how powerful Israel is as an economy and a force to reckon. We have been struggling to keep our porous borders er.. less porous but Israel shows the way to keep its people and its country secure. The rest of the world can go to hell with their opinions and their fake pictures and reports.

Aarushi was in the news again. Apparently our investigation agencies are still digging for truth and found that the blood found on her pillow is not the same as in the murder weapon. Duh!
I wonder how much longer her parents will need to suffer the ignominy of seeing their daughter's life and death played out in the media like an Indian play.

Politics was in the news again.
With Arvind Kejriwal launching the Aam Aadmi Party, the other parties almost shat in their pants. It is definitely a risky proposition but considering how he has had much success in whipping up support, elections next year should be interesting.
As far as branding goes, I think he managed a coupe of sorts by naming his party this way, but what will matter is how honest its candidates will remain and how fast it can frame a political agenda. So far and by the admission of its creator, the party does not even have an economic plan for the country. Deja vu, anyone?
The more important question here is- Can one party change how India has been ruled for decades?
The unfortunate answer is No. Just as it took many parties with vested interests to plunder India in the years since our Independence, Arvind's AAP sounds more like a mango drink advt than a party that can stand against the monster it wants to fight.

On a brighter side, BJP expelled one of its own for daring to question its tainted leader. Not really surprising considering how we love to eliminate our opposition, this will be water under the bridge for the veteran.

Nov 21, 2012

Kasab's last Kabab [326/365]

After four years of deliberations and a couple of millions bucks feeding him and curing him of his illnesses, Kasab was hanged in a Pune prison.
In this four years, he was paraded like a prized cattle er ... thief.
The crime was proven the moment he was caught, but our politicians didn't want to loose this wonderful opportunity to rub salt into Pakistan's wounds and prove that we are just at the same time. He was after all caught on candid camera gunning down innocent travelers with an AK47 much to the chagrin of his Pakistani handlers. In the minds of billions of patriotic Indians, he was already sentenced to death but we toyed with him. Gave him a glimmer of hope that we might free him on humanitarian grounds. Our tax rupees paid for his counsel, years of biriyani, kababs and world-class healthcare. We pleaded, cajoled, threatened Pakistan to hand over Kasab's masters.

Predictably, they didn't and we went ahead and hanged him. The fools amongst us celebrated.
While some human-loving peace nicks campaigned for clemency and raised 300-odd signatures (what's 300 in a country of a billion-plus), Kasab had his time run out and we lost our favorite Pakistani scapegoat to the hangman's noose early this morning.
We didn't have to do what we did. Kasab should have been parceled to the bottom of the Indian Ocean ala Osama but no. We had to parade him to feel vindicated.

I wonder what Kasab went through. Did he curse his luck that he stayed alive. Did he repent killing so many people? Was he enjoying the enemy's hospitality? Was he angry that his family, his village and his country disowned him? Given a chance would he have reformed? Could we have turned him against Pakistan? Was there a chance he thought he would be pardoned? Was he happy with the biriyani and kababs?

So while we all slept, Kasab had his last kabab and bid adieu in the most ironic and painful way he could. In the same way he snuck into India under the cloak of darkness and with the same stealth that he killed, he was killed.

We like to think we are children of our destiny, inevitable results of our circumstances. Kasab had a choice. He could have grown up and worked hard like the hundreds and thousands of people that he and his compatriots mercilessly killed.
Instead like hardened spies, he held fort and took his secrets to the grave.

Can we atleast ask Pakistan for a refund?

Nov 18, 2012

Don't f*ck with us - Part 1 [324/365]

Before I start today's post, I must begin with a confession.
I hate Bal Thackeray. I hate the Shiv Sena and I hate their ideologies.
And I'm just reinstating a hatred that I have always had towards what I'd call the 'Scum of Mumbai'.
I don't subscribe to their ideologies mainly because they are populist and very discriminative.
They have instigated the local SUAS (Stupid and Uneducated AssHoles) against the Muslims for far too long now. They have pitted locals against the 'immigrants' who actually make Mumbai what it is - a bustling metropolis with a dream.

But that's the essence of Mumbai. It could be dirty, and crowded and busy and fast. Yet Mumbai is addictive. I can't put a finger on why I love Mumbai, but it grows on you. Mumbai is unlike any other city that I've been to and will never match any other city I know either.

Mumbai is a wonderful place where you'll see the 'can do, or will die trying' spirit. From the rickshaw wallahs to the random person in the 'locals', given a choice I would like to live in Mumbai for atleast a few years. Why won't anyone?

But when the grumpy ol' leader of the brat-pack died yesterday, I was relieved. Phew! But there was a bad feeling and much of Mumbai felt it too, which is why they shut themselves down. Amazing! The city that does not sleep and refuses to rest took a massive doze of barbiturates and went to bed.
Not fair, everyone said. I mean when hundreds died a few years ago, the city didnt miss a heartbeat.

After all, it is the US of India, where people are driven to accomplish and free to speak. Or not.
Today, two girls where arrested.
The reason will have you laughing your last meal out. One of them made a remark about how crippling a strike like this was and the other for 'liking' the post. Now laugh.

I haven't heard of a more absurder charge than this. I mean c'mon! I'm pretty sure that Bal 'No Balls' Thackeray have had more harsher critics than SRK, but this? I've called him and his bunch of rag-tag assholes even worse names in my blog posts and I have no hesitation in saying that. They deserve worse but this arrest smacked of good ol' fashioned Indian sycophancy. The cops who made the arrests were obviously trying to appease the rascals.

I guess I have a reasoning on why this happened. The A-holes seeing how they were not getting a chance to run amok decided to make some news themselves. Which brings me to an interesting question:

  • When the rascals were supposed to be mourning the death of their rat leader, what were they doing on FB? Not checking for new 'friend requests', I hope.
  • What gives them the right to ransack an hospital and who gave them the right to take the law into their hands?
But then I realise the second question is redundant since they aren't really known for their law-abiding skills and this was just one of their ways to release some nonsexual frustration.
What next? Knowing how the well greased Indian Politico works, here's what we can all expect:

  1. The cops will release the girls. Or we'll make them.
  2. The state government will make all the right sounds and mock scold the Sena scum.
  3. The cops will be suspended (some much needed vacation) pending enquiry. They will be reinstated in a couple of months (I'd give them 4 weeks).
  4. The victims will change their statements atleast half a dozen times. No prizes for guessing why.
  5. The government will announce a plan to make the law fool-proof. Not going to happen.
  6. In the time that the above takes, everyone will forget about what happened and Sena will build a memorial and demand that half of Mumbai be renamed to their fallen leader.
Mumbai is a great place to be, except on days when the Sena Scum run amok.
Last Question, Mr Thackeray: Do you think we'd wish you to rest in peace for the ways you didn't let others live in peace?

Nov 14, 2012

No green grass [320/365]

Many years ago, if you had a relative who worked in the Gulf, you'd be proud of the accomplishment. Then a few years later, if you had relatives in the UK, you'd know that they have achieved the pinnacle of good living.
And if your kids immigrated to the US, then you'd know that their lives are settled. India was never the place to live, work or play.

From the other side of the rose-tinted glasses, they would disown everything Indian. Accents are acquired, the sari and the churidars traded for business formals and mini-skirts, and your relatives in India become those village cousins that they knew once upon a time faster than you could say Namaste.

Parents and relatives would call their Westernized 'children' after 9pm IST to save on the long-distance phone charges but then came broadband internet and Skype.
After all, our western relatives - with two cars, two kids, two jobs, one dog, one house and seven credit cards - were living the dream.


We would never know that they are living hand to mouth, in mortgaged homes, driving in cars that were bought at a local used car dealer for discounted price, buying groceries using coupons, struggling to raise their children because daycare is too expensive and working in companies that will fire them without any notice. The grass is really not even a shade of green there.

Our disdain for our motherland is exceptional. Yet, the brain drain wont stop. Nor will the constant complaints about how India is 'so dirty, ugly, corrupt and yucky'.
So today, a piece of news struck me- A qualified Indian dentist who immigrated to Ireland after her marriage died due to complications from her miscarriage.
There are a few nuggets about this incident:

Savita was very well loved and respected in the community that she adopted.
She was denied an abortion since Ireland is a 'Catholic country' despite her repeated requests.
What good is a religion that professes to love life but ends up killing a person?
Why were the doctors reluctant to implement an earlier rule that mentioned they can surgically terminate a fetus if it was detrimental to either the child or the mother?

From a humanitarian perspective, this is an open and shut case. Save life.
Trouble has been brewing for the Catholics for a while now. Their utter disregard for life - in the form of pedophile priests and cover-ups and now abortion is a terrible irony and reminder of how the religion is indeed very archaic and needs urgent overhaul.
Savita's unfortunate and untimely death could have been the most high profile of such injustices but I am pretty sure this isn't an anomaly. For doctors to have refused abortion so strongly, it appears they have been doing this routinely.

If this were in India, I am quite sure a dozen hot-blooded fools would have smashed the jollies off the doctors responsible for this atrocity and then the case would drag on for a few years. Probably with an acquittal in the end. But in Ireland, after worldwide scorn and much unwanted attention, they are finally doing what they will need to do to ensure that this does not happen again in the future.

The doctors can thank their parents and the strange quirk of luck that they were not born in India and will live another day to refuse abortion, because Ireland is a Catholic country

Maybe Savita accomplished more than any one of us would ever have- Change the archaic laws of a mindless country.

RIP Savita.

Nov 12, 2012

O My Jejus [317/365]

Okay, so the other day, while I was discussing current affairs, a colleague of mine lamented how Ms Chopra Playboy edition didn't really work its magic (with her legion of fans and porn addicts) and Poonam has been out of work (!) and kept herself out of the headlines for a while. None of this really made any sense. It didn't look right. How could India survive without the drama?

As if answering our faint requests for drama, our original 'plastic-surgery-gone-bad' actress Ms Rakhi Sawant dashed off a letter to the Commissioner of Police against Mr Digvijaya Singh for certain remarks he made associating her with Arvind Kejriwal.

For your Eyes Only:

Here's the full text of the letter written by Rakhi Sawant, which has been reproduced in its entirety with spelling mistakes and grammatical errors:

Mrs. Rakhi Anant Sawant,
4001, Imperial Height, B Tower, Best Colony, behind Oshiwara Depot, Goregaon, west, Mumbai-104, Dated -12/11/12 To, 1). Commissioner of Police, 2). Home Secretary, State of Maharashtra, 3). Sr. P.I., Goregaon Police Station,

Subject;- Complaint for taking cognizance on the lewd and indecent remark on me by One Digvijay Singh General Secretary of Congress Party.

Dear Sir,
I, the undersigned and as mentioned above, respectfully bring to your information my grievances with a hope to get justice, as under :-

1) I am a professional and artist and world known stage performer, famine activist, social worker and cultural Maharashtrian Maratha girl.

2) I have been hearing many news channels playing news on me and calling on and reporting about lewd indecent, outrageous remark on me by the said accused Digvijay Singh of congress Party. Whatever I heard about my self and my person, which is said by the said digvijay singh a as... arvind kejarival and rakhi sawant are quit similar...they tried to expose but no substance..."

3) He said that I am a female and cultural activist. I say that said accused has lowered my image and reputation by comparing with masculine gender Kejarival and thus raised question mark on my feminist. I say that accused Digvijay has compared me with political activistwho has no specific base and character.

4) I say that who told Digvijay singh that I have no substabce. I say that I do not know Digavijay singh personally and neither I have entered into any contractual obligation to claim expose to show. Neither I feel that any such elderly person of such old age shall inter into private life and profession in any manner. For the same I have already issued instruction to my lawyer Ejaz Naqvi to issue notice for claim against defamation for damage of Rs. 50 Crore to said accused Digavijay Singh at his address for loss etc. and further calling on him to stop such comment in further future.

5) Prima facie it looks that Your officer and the concerned state congress machinery is inclined to presume and spread the false contention about my person that I am outrageous. Which is too attracting jurisdiction of state/national Human Right Commission I say that the same contention/presumption of Congress Party and is general Secretary Digvijay Singh is baseless and false and I wanted to prove it by enacting Police investigations. Fore the sake of justice and my right to dignified life under the constitution of India.

In the circumstances and gruesome attack on my noble character and log history of disregarding to lodge proper cognizance despite being informed about such remarks on my person, I finally request you to direct to you subordinate to register an appropriate complaint and F.I.R. of outraging modesty of a woman/female, charges of passing lewd remarks and eve teasing, abusing, mischief, passing defamatory remake and false statement and rumour etc against me and Criminal Conspiracy etc. and further transfer it to C.B.I. against the above mentioned accused under the Relevant provisions of I.P.C. u/s. 354, 427, 500, 511 and also section 67/A and 69 of Information Technology Act 2000 etc. and investigate the matter as disclosed in the Complaint and find out the accused etc. and secure the dignified life & legal interest of the Complainant & in the interest of justice and Right to dignified life as guaranteed of the constitution for all the citizens to get justice.

Yours truly,

Rakhi Arun SawantAdv. S. Ejaz A. Naqvi
(I have been told all the facts in Marathi before signature),
C.C.-1) DG.P.-Maharashtra 2) Chairman, State Woman Commission, Mumbai/bandra for calling the accused Digvijay Singh for his lewd and anti woman remark and proper action. 3). Sonia Gandhi , President of Congress party, 10 Jan pat for taking appropriate action on the said accused Digvijat Singh for lovering image of a hindu Woman.


Now, having read this letter, me thinks Arvind deserves to feel more scandalized than Ms Sawant. But knowing him, I think he'll come public with clinging details of how bimbos like Rakhi Sawant and PP have ruined Indian society.

We await.

Nov 9, 2012

Happy Endings! [314/365]

And what he got.
For those who know the Lord's Prayer by rote, there is one line in it - 'Bring us not into temptation but deliver us from evil...', today's news was a reminder of how the strongest among us can crumble to temptation.

David Petraeus, CIA Director and four-starred general who oversaw operations at Afghanistan, tendered his resignation citing 'poor judgement in having an extramarital affair' with his biographer. The buxom lady in question, Paula Broadwell, has herself been under FBI investigation for sending anonymous threats via emails and accessing top-secret and confidential files belonging to Petraeus.

Incidentally, this was not even the intended result of the investigation, but seeing the turn of events I am thinking if the director of the best spook organizations failed to keep his fling secret, then that only proves that it simply can't be done.
Many might argue that he took the high road by owning up to the 'mistake' but I wonder if he would have thought this when he was having the romp.
I was fascinated by the title of the biography, '
All In: The Education of General David Petraeus' sounds like a intimate detail of the couple's bedroom education than anything else. But then again, I wouldn't blame Petraeus for the momentary lapse of good judgement because beneath all those medals and stars he is just a man with an aging wife who looked more like his grandmother, and got lucky with a lady who looked like one of those Bond babes. Shaken not stirred
What he was stuck with...
 Professionally, I'd question the authority of an organization that kills, maims and assassinates citizens of other countries, when it's own chief has little morality.

Looking into the future, we will all forget about this. Both the families will survive this very public fiasco, their spouses and children will stand by them unlike former Ms Woods. They will express their deepest regret publicly. One of them will probably land a fat book deal to spill all the salacious bits (and no prizes for guessing who that will be) and there will also be a Hollywood movie (and even a porno) that will be based on this.

So, you see, all in all it's a win-win situation.

Nov 8, 2012

Every Knee and Every Tongue [313/365]

Spoiler Alert: Spiritual Content Below. Godly guidance advised.

When people ask me how religious I am as a Christian, I tell them that I am not religious, but spiritual.
How could that be different in today's world?
It doesn't matter where you live today, with most 'progressive' governments driving their nations towards a more secular and multicultural society, professing your faith can be a very touchy thing.
In India, minority faiths like Christianity, Islam and Buddhism are drowned by the overwhelming Hindu population. In the US, the names- Jesus or Christ is prohibited as the government has been leaning towards making the country more acceptable to people of all faiths.
While secularism is fine, what I find disturbing is the current trend of people to pick and choose beliefs from many different religions to suit themselves.

A Muslim family keeping the statue of a 'Sleeping Buddha' at their home, because 'it gives them peace'. A Christian family that keeps 'Feng-sheu' plants and idols because they want to have the best karma. An Hindu family that keeps the statue of Mother Mary because they believe she answers their prayers too. Most Christians believe doing good to people around you is enough to reserve your place in heaven. While most religions compel you to do good, I don't think that will be enough.

While we are governed by rules and confused by laws when we are alive, what happens when a person dies?
The Holy Bible says, Every knee shall bow and every tongue (human and beast) confess that the Lord is God (Philippians 2:10). It didn't say many thousand Christians will bow and millions of followers will confess, but every knee and every tongue. Isn't that an humbling and awe-inspiring statement! I know I've always had goosebumps watching hundreds of animals bowing to Simba in the movie 'The Lion King'.
Try picturing every person that you know or have ever heard of, every person and creature who was ever born will stand in the front of the Lord in one great gathering of humanity and will all bow and confess of the one Lord. A gathering that will have the likes of Hitler, Saddam Hussein, Madonna, Pope John Paul and even Kasab. All of their knees will bend and every tongue will confess of the creator of heaven and earth and everything in between.

When people of other faiths read about the promises in the Bible, they scoff. I won't blame them. The path to the top could be different. Some take a meandering path, some a more cobbled path and some a road that is narrow yet less steep. 


In the fleeting transitory life that we live, ask yourself if you the combo meal of a religion is really satisfying your inner spiritual need?

Nov 7, 2012

Encore [312/365]

Okay, I admit. I am really happy and sad at the same time.
I am glad that the Americans chose to think with their heads and not with their emotions to choose a leader not because he had the wrong shade but because he made more sense. And while I am celebrating his win, I am also quietly wondering when our democratic process will reach puberty.

Poised as we are on the cusp of another election, I am anxious to see who will sling the least mud. Not who will fight honestly but who will duck the shots better. I know I won't be able to avoid the political propaganda that is headed our way but I also hope Jesus comes before we have to endure another term of corrupt, dishonest, semi-literate, unscrupulous and unimaginative politicians.

Recently I got an email forward. It sounded like one of those 'forward this mail to 20 people and AOL will pay 20 cents...' kind of mail but I read.
It sounded too good to be true but at the same time, I believe change is possible.
Here goes:




Warren Buffet is asking everyone to forward this email to a minimum of twenty people.
In three days, most people in the U.S. will have the message. 
This is one idea that really should be passed around. We're ALL in this mess together ... it's up to us to fix it ... for our kids!
Read and pass on to 20 of your friends...
image001.jpg@01CD73A6.89E516F0
Warren Buffett, in a recent interview with CNBC, offers one of the best quotes about the debt ceiling ...
"I could end the deficit in 5 minutes," he told CNBC.
"You just pass a law that says that any time there is a deficit of more than 3% of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election."
The 26th amendment (granting the right to vote for 18 year-olds) took only 3 months and 8 days to be ratified! Why?
Simple! The people demanded it.
That was in 1971 - before computers, e-mail, cell phones, etc.
Of the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven (7) took one (1) year or less to become the law of the land all because of public pressure. Warren Buffet is asking each addressee to forward this email to a minimum of twenty people on their address list; in turn ask each of those to do likewise. In three days, most people in The United States of America will have the message.
This is one idea that really should be passed around.
Congressional Reform Act of 2012
1. No Tenure/No Pension
A Congressman/woman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they're out of office.
2. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security.
All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for any other purpose.
3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.
4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise.
Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.
5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.
6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.
7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen/women are void effective 12/1/12.
The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen/women.
Congress made all these contracts for themselves.
Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career.
The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.
If each person contacts a minimum of twenty people then it will only take three days
for most people (in the U.S. ) to receive the message.
Don't you think it's time?
THIS IS HOW YOU FIX CONGRESS!
If you agree, pass it on.


In India, we like to believe that politicians in the West are righteous, and not corrupt.
The difference is they have seemingly limitless creativity and are intelligent enough to cover their tracks. While our politicians use government agencies to get back at their political rivals, politicians in the US use their clout and business networks to do the dirty work.

Reading about American political scandals, I realized we might actually be joined at the hip in more ways than one.

What we need is to learn from the Americans and let our votes count.
We need Change too.

Nov 6, 2012

The Victory Dance [311/365]

O Won!
While I wasn't surprised one bit. Given the competition, he could have slept through the campaigning and still won.

There are many reasons why American voters routed Romney out. Mitt's background was anything but convincing. Having a former businessmen at the helm of affairs would have meant repeating many of the sins that they are now trying to fix.

Which is also why Obama's win in a country that has lost its economic advantage is impressive. He won an astounding 332 of 538 electoral votes which means he won comfortably over the 270 that he needed for the second term. And there are thousands of votes that remain uncounted. O also made history by becoming the first American president to win a second term when the nation has been ravaged by high unemployment, natural disasters and a war-sapped economy.

So as the president puts his well-oiled campaigning machine back in the attic and gets back to running the country, the minorities, the blue-collared and the women voters that put him back in power are looking up at him to deliver on his promises.

We could analyze an election that gave stand-up comedians and late-night shows much fodder until we turn blue around our gills. But I don't think any of that will feed the millions who are still unemployed. But O's victory is a testament that America is still made up people who strive and struggle for that American Dream.

It's now time to deliver on those promises, Mr O. Not just because you are the American president elected for the Americans, but also because you are the commander-in-chief of a fragile world on the brink of collapse.
In case you haven't noticed, this is your last chance.

Nov 5, 2012

The Forever War [310/365]

This picture spoke a thousand words..
When the Arab world erupted in civil activism aimed at toppling corrupt dictators, optimists (including me) across the world thought they were experiencing an Arab version of the French Revolution.
Eighteen months down, Egypt has another radical dictator in place, Libya is best left unsaid, Tunisia is in doldrums, Bahrain is .. well not spoken of anymore at dinner tables and world conferences and Syria is still nowhere.

As if all this fighting wasn't enough, we now have Israel and Palestine fighting with each-other. It looks like our optimists spoke too soon.

After many months of civil unrest, peace has eluded Syria. Thousands have died. Tourism too.
Millions of dollars worth of weapons have changed hands and billions have been destroyed.
What are the rebels fighting for? If it is peace and justice that they are looking for, it would be safe to say that neither is coming.
Global super-cop- Uncle Sam, is cautious about stepping into another cesspool of Arab discontent after the fiasco of the recent years. With tensions spilling over to neighboring countries, this conflict appears to be growing like a pustule out of control.

The Arabs have always been touchy about freedom. Yet, they have been unable to respect their neighbor's boundaries and sovereignty.
As the conflict between Israel and Palestine grows, we know that this is not the Palestine that Israel fought a few decades ago. With an Iran that has been cornered by the West, this could be the one chance that the Iranians could use against a common enemy.

Only time will tell when and how the region would find peace. And the next recipient of the Nobel Peace prize.


In the meanwhile, I think I've understood why the Arabs and Jews are always at each others throat- Circumcision.

Nov 4, 2012

Wait your turn [309/365]

I don't know if you're thinking this, but I was:
What is wrong with Indian writers? Why do they think they deserve the right to defend the rest of us?

A couple of years ago, it was the one-time wonder-girl Arundhati Roy and now - Girish Karnad.
Why can't writers just stick to their novels and leave the activism to our paid activists? Argh!

When you are writer who isn't churning out the bestsellers like you did, faced with competition from young writers cum activists and 'Mr Opinion on every thing Indian' (read Chetan Bhagat), I think it becomes important to do something to grab the headlines by its balls and get trending.

The bad news is our writers often get their foot in their mouths, which is ironic considering how they are imagined to be expert wordsmiths and good with words.
The good news is we don't have as many writers as any other progressive country do. So we have to contend with the likes of Girishs, Chetans and Ms Roy.

Cheers to that!

Nov 3, 2012

Acid Love [308/365]

Many many years ago, one of my girlfriend said something that I never forgot.
'If I can't have you, no one else should'

She may have said that in jest at the time but she meant every syllable of that statement later. When I wanted to break up with her, she did everything she could to cling on.

When was the last time someone tried to destroy you when they couldn't 'have' you all for themselves?
Chances are most of you will nod your heads in agreement.
Today, when I read about acid attacks and honor killings, a little shiver goes up my spine.
My ex knew all the right men and had all the right tact to have quietly taken care of me. I was living alone after all. But she didn't and for that I am thankful to God.

What does a parent achieve when they kill their son or daughter in the name of honor and pride?
I could see how they will react in a fit of anger and misplaced aggression, but do they really experience any remorse?
Where are they getting their ideas to kill from?
What are they gaining by snuffing out one of their own?
Are they trying to set an example for other parents and their children or are we witnessing a silent revolution of murder and revenge?

If you have seen the plight and agony that a burn victim goes through, you'll perhaps understand how life changes in just a few moments. Multiply that agony by a thousand and that is what a victim of an acid attack goes through.
Trapped in a body that does not make sense with a mind that can't fight anymore, most acid victims die a little every single moment until ...

An acid victim won't get much votes or publicity in a country as populous as ours. In the time that it has taken me to write this post, there has already been 1 honor killing, 1 acid attack and 4 rapes.

Time to stop?

Nov 2, 2012

Its Black vs Tan [307/365]

Ah America!
What a glorious land it is!
School text books in most countries call America- the lone Superpower in a tumultuous world, maintaining peace and stability and sanity.
Most Indians (and Asians) aspire to become a citizen there. Green Cards were a groom's or bride's ticket to a grand wedding here in India. Kids want to study there. Proud parents of kids who got married to an American citizen will gloat about the great pot of gold their kids managed to get.

Seven seas away, the Americans are struggling to keep the shine on their rust.
The coveted American Dream is slowly unraveling. Most households live hand to mouth and paycheck to paycheck. Statistics reveal that a vast majority of Americans will file for bankruptcy if they miss two paychecks in a row. And if this does not sober most Indian parents, then a reality check with the number of unemployed will.

At a little over 7.9%, the unemployment rates are perhaps the highest since the Great Depression. With Obama and Mitt battling it out, it could be a close call. However, it isn't a great competition.
Mitt with his guffaws is no match for the suave sophistication that O brings.
While many people are secretly against O, not many will deny that he just inherited a lot of his predecessor's trash. In the 8 years that Bush ruled he took America to the battlefield and left most of it in the gutters. His daddy's connections with the Oil mafia effectively sealed America's fate. If millions of Americans are unemployed, then it is because of the way Bubba spent all their tax dollars fighting ragtag mercenaries with AK47s six timezones away.

I am no Obama supporter but I do believe him when he says he is trying. What Americans need is security. Not security from foreign terrorists, but from bad policies from leaders with vested interests.

I am amazed how a country as great as America does not have affordable healthcare and efficient employment plans, when much smaller countries like Canada, Kuwait, and Sweden are able to provide for their citizens.

O will win. Not because I have strange powers of seeing into the future but because what America needs now is continuity and some semblance of stability.

Nov 1, 2012

Bloody British Coitus (BBC) [306/365]

BBC has been quintessentially British for close to a hundred years now. And like all things British, controversies have dogged them like a shadow with a bad attitude. Indeed!

Two words - Jimmy Savile.
Another two words- Sexual harassment

In a decade that has seen its fortunes go south, the last thing BBC would need is another lawsuit.
So while Jimmy is dead and long gone, I wonder how much this scandal would accomplish. Not much. Can they throw him in jail posthumously? Doubt that.

I wonder what took the authorities and the victims so long to come out into the open.
Why did they wait for a year until after he died to press charges? Talk about grasping the wind with your left fist.

I can definitely understand why BBC would have chosen to play down this scandal but for a news organization that prides itself on telling the truth, this coverup revealed how shallow the company really is.

So what does this investigation aim to achieve besides salacious details of his romps with underage girls?
Perhaps we could admit it that celebrities are ordinary people thrust into the spotlight and have all the frailties and temptations that normal people have.
We know of many young women who throw themselves at movie stars and any one worth a couple of reams. So what is wrong if some of them actually utilize the 'opportunity' and accept the 'invitation'.

Were the young girls who were being molested aware that Jimmy was screwing them up (literally and otherwise)? I think yes. Children have an instinct about themselves to know when adults do things that they are not supposed to do. They do revolt. The only difference is that their voices can be muffled.

Today, as I sit to write this post, I think of the many visuals of women drooling over men and allowing themselves to be taken on TV and I am convinced that we are raising a generation of girls who think it is right to be sexually used by men.
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