Jul 31, 2013

While you were away: July 2013 [Part 3 of 3]

When politicians provide us much self-deprecating humor, bloggers like me can't ask for more. I had to wipe the drool off.

China, got a little taste of Pakistan. Unfortunately, the Chinese aren't as great with bombs as their trigger-happy neighbors are. Or he just wanted to screw his life up.
Talking about being trigger-happy, our army decided to unload their ammo at some civilians in the God-forsaken country of J&K. All.Hell.Broke.Lose.

Meanwhile, couple of timezones away, O urged resilience and introspection. The verdict just proves how divided the United States of America really is. While I can definitely say the country has a lot of spirituality, what the community lacks is the togetherness that some of the greater civilizations had. They may have great churches that hold a lot of influence but deep down, they are really not that different from the rest of us.

Obama is visibly struggling to hold the fabric together, but back home, we just got a new State- Telangana.
At the wrong end of 60, India looks older than she really is. Politicians have peddled her like a prized prostitute to the highest bidder over and over again, and then used her to cover up their sins. Telangana can best be compared to impregnating the grandma just so that the husband's affair with the maid servant won't be discovered.. We have no excuse, no reason, no logic. We however have millions of illiterate, gullible people following politicians who are really smart about all the wrong things.
But on the brighter side. we will soon have 50 States. And then we will be known as the United States Of India.

If you thought kids said the zaniest things, you're wrong. Our politicians and businessmen hold that title here.


In what can be categorized as incredibly swift, 6 men who raped a Swiss tourist in March this year, were tried and jailed. None of the other desi victims will see justice. 

Moral of the story: It pays to be Swiss.
A few clicks away, Dubai made a mockery of rape. Who won?!

Shashi Tharoor, former UN diplomat and politician known to suffer from verbal diarrhea spoke: "English has been an asset for India. It is perhaps the only worthwhile thing we gained from the colonial experience. And in a country that is as vast and diverse as ours, it is very good to have a language like English to link us together, to link all parts of the country together where no part feels disadvantaged,". I don't think he knew Telangana was going to happen


In one of the biggest bubbles that popped, the Motor City of America - Detroit, went kaput! Indians felt the ripples and seeing as how have been eyebrow-deep shit for quite a while now, Bangalore isn't too far behind.


Someone must ask the Supreme Court to stop creating laws it can't enforce. Another victim succumbed to an acid attack by a man who was smitten by her. I won't ask that he be killed. I rather have him suffer a slow painful life. I'm inviting email suggestions on ideas I can add to how I will lead India.


China showed off her horsepower. India held another meeting. Great!
A bunch of Paki lunatics aka Clerics banned women from shopping alone. Wonderful! I am beginning to think the clerics actually want to punish men who hate shopping.


Bihar has always been the hillbilly of India. But no more. It's raining gold in Bihar!
While jewelry shops are still making hay while the gold shines, RBI tightened its grip. ARGH!
The most over-rated royal family got a new heir to the throne. Epic Yawn!
All hail the royal pain in the arse- future King George. So when are we going to tell him about Jacintha?

And in news that would prompt an exodus of men, Japanese advertisers decided to advertise their brands on the thighs of women who wore mini-skirts. And here's the immigration guidelines

As our 'underweight' economy continues its downward spiral, our government called on its NRIs to bail the rest of us out. No Strings Attached. How noble! But hey, you can still get a full meal for Rs 12/- plus tips. Politicians tripped over eachother and the rest of us ranted about how out of touch with reality Raj Baboon er.. Babbar is, I think he was just talking about paying $12 for a meal. Honest mistake, you see.
But that's okay. Iran stood up.

Yesteryear hottie and former B-grade Bollywood actress, Mamata Kulkarni showed the rest of us how you'll end up if you don't shape those brows and use that age-defying skin creams. Monster mono-brow alert!

Someone once told - 'It's good when people hate you. It shows they are obsessed about you'. O got 65  letters urging him to not let M in. As if!

And for anyone who said Indians don't have a iota of humor, a Mumbai restaurant showed it off in style. More power to satirists, I say.


You have to love Ireland! They hate abortions. But Godless marriages? Sure, mate!
Meanwhile, Modi and Rahul are turning into the Obama and Romney of India. Only worse. While it is almost sure one of the two demons will get to rule us (and probably ban this blog) in the future, that is where the similarities end. Neither of them have credentials worthy of being called a Statesman. They are both corrupt beyond comparison, have the unmistakeable scent of blood on their hands and lack the IQ or the imagination to guide us.

Almost on cue, India saw another disaster - Thousands of impoverished school children died after eating mid-day meals that were poisoned. Politicians pointed fingers at each other and eventually found a scapegoat. A week into the tragedy, everyone's forgotten about the plight of thousands of parents who lost the apple of their eyes.

And we latched on to Amartya Sen. Poor chap bit off more than he could chew. Whats a Nobel Laurette gotta do to be respected in his own country, huh? Our dirty-as-the-sewer-rat politicians flicked their forked tongues and Amartya regretted the day he woke up and decided to say all that he said.

Durga Shakti Nagpal, lifted the skirts of ugly Indian politicians. Hell hath no fury like the scorn of the spurned IAS officer.

Dell didn't get the deal. What bothers me is why Micheal Dell would want to take it private to restructure?

Snowden did a cameo and it looks like it might be a long rough Russian winter for the former NSA hacker. Merry Christmas, Snow(den)!

Poonam Pandhey got her first movie. Finally! Take my advice and spare yourself the torture. There is much better porn online. Don't google for it either or she might even say that she is the most googled actress in the world. Epic Fail!

Jul 21, 2013

[If] I Lead India

If you are a TV Advt junkie like I am, chances are you wouldn't have missed the Times Of India 'I Lead India' campaign. You can say that they spent a heck lot of money conceptualizing that ad.
What with all the furniture, the extras, the fire, the clearance for the stunt, the celebrity endorsements and the special effects. You could either be one of those who got the adrenaline rush for the 10 seconds you saw and sprung out of your couch to do the fist bump when the girl did 'the scream'. Which btw was frightening!
Or you could be one of those who watched the ad silently and thought 'What a sheer waste of money!'
Yet again, you could be one of us (like me) who watched the ad with contempt and the silent angst of how our media houses have trifled the struggle for real freedom.

Freedom is not about burning furniture, however symbolic it could be.


Downloading ringtones or the anthem is not going to do squat about anything.
Having a 'Roadies' style audition is so far from what we need, that the Lead India initiative is a mockery of how far our unemployed, educated youth will go for fame and 15 minutes of facebook/TV glory.

Public anger against corruption is not about lighting a massive heap of furniture on fire. This worked in the good ol' days of Gandhi, when lives were simpler and when every Indian was as oppressed as his/her neighbor. What happens to furniture that is not made of wood?

Today, we are not oppressed. We are comfortable. Our thoughts are not about freedom of speech and freedom to vote or some such ideals. We are preoccupied with our thoughts to buy that multi-million rupee apartment, being able to afford the EMI on that SUV and fuel, sending our children to that high-priced International/Christian school in India or abroad, going on that annual vacation to the US/Europe/Thailand, having split air conditioners / LED TVs / Side by Side refrigerators in our homes and to never age or die.
Copying and pasting solutions that worked then to our situations now can never work. We'd think the Anna debacle would have taught us this but looking at the way this and some other 'patriotic' ads have been playing on TV, I doubt if we'd ever learn.

But something good has come out of this ad. What would I do to change the way India is?
As a person who has lived more than half his life in a westernized society, I have a fairly clear idea of what might work and what wouldn't.

Let me begin by reiterating how unique India is.
Among other major countries, we have a lot of character and resilience.
But that's where the good parts end.

We lack self-respect and have a skewed perception of self worth. We are extremely judgmental and are easily enthralled by illusions of grandeur.
We don't practice nor possess dignity of labor. We are hypocritical and love looking down upon people who are not of the same socioeconomic status as we are.
We are brought up to believe that there are only a handful of professions you must grow up to be and God forbid if you are something else.
We tell our children not to cheat/break the law, yet we will jump that signal or ride without a helmet.
We preach tolerance towards women, yet we will (physically/mentally) abuse our wives, sisters and mothers.
We preach non-violence yet breed racism and intolerance towards those who fall out of grace in our sight.
We raise our children in black and white. There are no greys around. Nothing in between.
And if you have been unfortunate enough to have parents who placed a lot of importance on money, then you will grow up to be an average Indian that worships money.

While the list below is not conclusive, I do believe it is a good way to start.

  • Rewrite the constitution with the inputs from citizens.
  • Establish stronger, swifter courts.
  • Enforce existing laws.
  • Step up punishment. Punishment should be incremental, swift and profound.
  • Abolish paper money. Creates a money trail that can't be erased easily.
  • Enforce Accountability.
  • Establish minimum hourly wage. Removes prejudice and reinforces dignity of labor.
  • Increase fines by 10x. 
  • Enforce the RTI Act.
  • Increase internet connectivity.
  • Detach religion from public life.
  • Improve infrastructure. Which in itself will be a major impetus for growth.
  • Encourage public participation in all forms of governance.
  • Abolish multiple party system and adopt a bi-party system.
  • Abolish reservations and socioeconomic quotas.
  • Ban politicians (for life) who
    • have been convicted or are suspects in (criminal/civil) lawsuits.
    • have not passed a certain level of education.
    • do not have proven leadership skills.
    • have not been a part of local/national community service.
    • have been in power for more than 10 years in their active political life.
  • Revamp the educational sector.
  • Foster and reward corporate community service.
  • Reward agriculturalists who innovate.
  • Reward performance instead of tenure.
  • Reward and encourage mentoring.
  • Calibrate standards.
So there you go.. I have the good feeling that I've missed out on some here, but these are things that are not impossible to do. Many countries around the world have faced the same challenges that we are, yet when they adopted standards that suited them the best - excelled.

This could be the start! Do we really have it in ourselves to change?!

Jul 20, 2013

While you were away: July 2013 (Part 2 of 3)

Confession time!
We, Indians, have a unique way to whitewashing our sins - We simply rename our cities.
Bombay became Mumbai, Calcutta - Kolkata, Madras - Chennai, Bangalore - Bengaluru.
What was wrong with the original names? But when cities change their names, their airports follow suit. The Bengaluru International Airport became .... (drum rolls)... (wait for it)....  Bengaluru Nadaprabhu Kempegowda International Airport. Even its acronym is a mouthful.
So why do we love Indianizing our cities so much? Because 60 odd years after we fought the British off, we still don't have a soul that is truly ours. We copy and paste ideas and solutions from the West (and sometimes from the East) and end up with crap that we didn't sign up for.

BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate Mr Modi compared his situation to how helpless he can be when he is backseat of a car that runs over a 'son of a dog'. Well, Mr Modi, my questions are as follows:

  • As a Chief Minister, what the effing hell were you doing in the backseat? Not taking a nap, I hope
  • Muslims! What the heck are you all doing? He just referred to you as 'sons of dogs'.
If he was anywhere in the Middle East, we would have presided over his public hanging last Friday. But he isn't and we love forgiving just as we love haggling for bargains. So we decided to settle for a lawsuit instead. I am surprised only one person in a billion thought of filing one.
I honestly dread the day when Modi will be in power, or in the backseat of the car (called India). He will drive right over the sons of dogs, cows, and chickens like nothing ever happened. Collateral damage, anyone?


Ottavio Quattrochi died. I am pretty sure he and Rajiv are having a massive chuckle right now. Ahh! the ones that got away.

Infy showed first signs of recovery. That said, the company has lost a lot of ground but better late than never!

The Justice system failed logic and a million Americans as George Zimmerman went scot-free in the murder trial of Trayvon Martin. The fact remains that loss is irreplaceable. Unfortunately, this also opened a pandora's box wide open. While I don't know the intricate details of the incident, I can also say trial by popular uprising can also be fatal. Many previous cases of the innocent being incarcerated often for decades before the actual suspect was charged must be a lesson that we all must learn.

We have our Pakistan/China, the US has Russia, Koreas have each other and Israel has Iran. If Iran is closer to a nuclear bomb, that is because you have one yourself and you have been crapping on their plates for a very long time now. Muslims, Christians and Jews have a lot of common history. We rever the same ancestors, have similar religious practices and yet we are at each other throats.

That brings me to China. Our government, in all its wisdom, decided to add half a lakh soldiers along the Indo-China border. We can't afford to feed our poor millions but 50,000 troops? Great, just what we all needed!
More troops = More of our tax rupees down the drain.


And talking about feeding the poor, we managed to feed couple hundred of our kids insecticides. Suddenly we cried hoarse and demanded that the largest Mid-day meal program in the world be scrapped. Really?!

Nelson Mandela hit 95. Happy for him! I hope he is blissfully unaware of the way people are fighting over his corpse. Happy International Mandela Day, Mr Mandela!
 

Paypal sneezed and made an ordinary Joe the richest man in history. I definitely hope HSBC sneezes in my direction and makes me one too. And no, I won't pay off the national debt, I'll just buy the BCCI.

So, folks. Those were the headlines. The rest of this post is just a boring repeat of what has been happening for a while now.
Putin toyed with Snowden, a little more. The man without a country has several fighting for him.
India is struggling to keep atleast the Rupee well-fed.

Keep those smiles in place. That could be the only thing you have that won't be taxed.
See you all in 10 days.

Jul 13, 2013

While you were away : July 2013 (Part 1 of 3)

The past week saw much chatter.

Uncle Sam grew restless as Vladimir's Russia kept its best poker face.
Neither US nor Russia can afford sparking a conflict that will end the human race. So while Snowden is living out his 'Terminal' life, we can only hope that everyone goes home happy.
The Americans proved just how diplomatically powerful it is when as many as 21 countries said 'No thank you' to his asylum requests. Although he did manage to get proposed !!!


Why he didn't just walk into an Ecuadorian Embassy in the US just baffles me. Maybe, he should have just gone to Pakistan. The only place on earth where the scum of the universe can live undetected. Or maybe he can walk out wearing a cowboy hat and no one will notice ?

Enter Sir Ravindra Jadeja
'Pick someone of your own size, Uncle Sam'.

And talking about picking up fights, I've gotta hand it to Modi. His remark made me think to myself - 'No, it wasn't a car running over a puppy, it was more like a truck running over roadkill.' 

Future Mrs Snowden?
Well, atleast he is consistent; in that he does not want to apologize. How many of you have the feeling of deja-vu?! The many south Indians that I've spoken to are already dreading the way India will do an Asiana Airlines in a few months or when Modi comes to power (whichever is earlier).

Got problems getting an ID card? You can maybe pick a clue from 'Jack and Jane Doe' who had 20.


Eminem came full circle. After rapping lyrics that smacked of violence and sexism during his active singing career, he now faces the prospect of having his daughter date a young man who was brought up listening to his music. Maybe we should send him a framed placard with the 8 simple rules but I still think Eminem is a wonderful person. Having been through all that he did, he still gave a good life to his daughter. Not something many others in showbiz can claim credit to. Full marks for that!

I'm just waiting to see how Kim is going to raise her child. Looking at her glorious track record at the relationship department, it's true when they say Kim and a door knob are alike. They all get a turn. But I'll still finish this post faster than Kim's marriage.

Back home, Congress managed to push the Food Bill. No, it's not the kind of bill you dread paying at that overly exorbitant hotel, but the Food Act. Its obvious Congress is burning the midnight oil before the 12th standard board exams, but its worth a shot, eh?!

The Rupee did the whoopee and started pinching everyone. Well, the good news is you may still be able to buy the Nano.
The SC reached puberty and kicked the politicians where it hurt the most. It ruled that a conviction will disqualify a politician from public office. Next week: IQ.

Nature struck. Again. No surprises. Soon, we'll hear of more disaster relief fund requests, if you know what I mean.
Egypt plunged into crisis. Standing ovation to their persistence.
It will take us several decades to get to where the Egyptians are today.
We are too complacent to fight. Too comfortable to bother. Too numb to move.

Thirteen bombs went off at Mahabodhi. Why do we allow this to repeat? For answer, refer to paragraph above

Our politicians will repeat their rhetoric. We will bring our placards out. In a few weeks, we'll all have new things to worry about.

Andy Murray struck gold. And so did our athletes. With nine medals, we stood sixth! The expression - One in a billion -  is SO true!

Eight months after Jyothi died, the juve who was the most cruel will be sentenced. Now, I don't know what the family is going through but this I know - Whatever verdict the court gives cannot and will not extinguish the torment nor wipe away the stain of his crime. Not in this life, nor in the afterlife.
Our men notched up a few more gang-rapes, as usual. 


eCommerce got a fillip as Flipkart got a $300 million top-up from its investors. Let's hope they were right on the money.

The past week also saw some really thought-provoking movies - The best of which was the intense biopic 'Bhaag Milkha Bhaag'. One movie that I will want to watch and review on my blog soon.


And for those nostalgic about their college days, you have 'Sixteen'. Maybe I could convince myself to watch that too?

And if you think it was not possible, our industrial production shrunk by 1.6% !! I'll let you marinate in that thought.

Malala spoke. The world sat up and listened. How a selfless child like that survived all this while in a God-forsaken country like Pakistan is a miracle in itself. Malala is proof that humanity is not a lost cause.

I've got dibs on the front seat.

Jul 7, 2013

While I was away : June 2013 [Part 2 / 2]

Spoiler Alert: You are being watched!

The world has changed much since my last post, so let's get started on the wonderful times of our lives.

Let's start by saying Obama is the most powerful man on Earth.

Who said Indians are not tech-savvy? We raise our kids, and they have kids who hack into our computer systems. What do I say?! Heaven must be missing some angels.

Paris, Wacko Jackson's beautiful daughter attempted to kill herself. Whoever said money can buy everything should be dunk in puke.

PRISM. Finally, we know Hollywood is not all fiction.
Our protagonist ran like a headless chicken. Right into the unwelcome hands of unwilling nations. What is ironic are the double standards. Uncle Sam, of freedom and equality; The Rest of the World, of the same. If the US didnt have anything to fear (or hide) why would they hunt down the former NSA contractor like he was a common hacker that he is! What is troubling is how the agency that certified Snowden and the company that hired him failed to do the right levels of background verifications and checks and missed the red flags.

Assange, if you thought India was the safest place for you. We think you lost your marbles after being on the run for so long. Ditto with Snowden.
Ladies, gents or any self-respecting individual will stay the hell out of Bengal as we watch Ms Motormouth run the State (which is already in doldrums) right into the drain.

Another 'celebrity' that ran straight into trouble and out of luck was Mush. He came down to rule and ended up with a headlock from hell. One thing's clear- He aint going anywhere, soon.

Amazon reached India. And somewhere down the line, American businesses felt we were not playing fair. Gee! They went crying to papa.
Maruti shut down their factories, in the face of piling inventories. Touche`.

Kalmadi. You gotta give it up to him. Like Poonam Pandhey, he managed to stay relevant too. If only he had a pair of boobs and some cleavage, he would have never ended this way.

The Kundras got thrown out of the IPL. Srini complained in the uniquely Indian way that we are known for. India won the Champions trophy and we all forgave the Sins of BCCI.
Sreeshanth got bail and lost his wicket. Atleast marriage might straighten the boy out.

Ambani promised to pull another rabbit out of his hat.
And we got to read more letters from Jiah. Great! Poor Poor Suraj.

Pharmas swallowed bitter pills

Mr Singh raked up quite the bill traveling cattle class.

While we won't let our childless couples adopt a child, we could let a pedophile adopt one.
Women were raped (again) in a moving car. Ringing any bells here, SC?

Advani put his foot down and threw a spanner into the spokes. BJP got on their knees and he finally relented.

Nature rewrote some of the mistakes we did in Uttarakhand. What's amazing is how our politicians fought for a piece of the pie. It was angelic to see politicians beat each other up with words and (mis)deeds.In all these, they proved that Indian politicians are both gaseous sycophants and rumbling baboons.

Can we learn some lessons from our tragedies and not repeat disasters?
Maybe we can all take a lesson from the outgoing emir of Qatar.

The Indian economy did the tizzy into the bottomless pit of worries and gold jewelry shops are packing 22 to the dozen.
Oh and the government does not want you to watch any more porn either*.
The message is clear - We are screwed.

We really need to learn to take a hint, when immigration rules tighten, it is time to scrap those plans to go West.

In weirdo world, we'll get to taste breast milk-flavored lollipops soon.
Passengers traveling the domestic airline GoAir will have more eye candy in the future.

Kanye got lampooned as he compared himself to Steve Jobs. Well, I am sure Steve is turning in his iGrave.
Gallivanting across Europe after leaving his heavily pregnant wife, Kim took it like a pro. And then gave birth. Good for her.

While Delhi got a sea port, Dubai is all set to become the city of architectural wonders as it added another feather to its cap with the Cayan Tower.

In the end, this is true - Obama is not the most powerful man in the world. It is the anonymous (wo)man.
It is the men and women who dared-
to tell the truth, to do the most unselfish act, to be the change.

For all those who think America is the most powerful country in the world, they are looking at the wrong continent all together.
China is the new America.

*This rule, like many, is not applicable to politicians.
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