Jul 24, 2014

And that's the way the cookie crumbled, in June Twenty14...

Thirty days into a new era of governance, Narendra Modi is finally showing who is boss. 

Predictably, he has won lot of admirers and a few enemies too. Now, I admit I wasn't too much of an admirer of him either but if he is half as effective as he is serious about the 'acche din' promise, then we are just getting started! 
The availability of affordable food grains has always been an Achilles heel for Indian politicians. The Food law that prohibits hoarding and the new legislation that protects Whistleblowers are steps in the right direction.

With the general budget a month away, the Rail budget came out. For those who can't understand why this is important, the Indian Railways is the world's largest employer. Its infrastructure and manpower is larger than most med-sized countries. It moves more people in a day than the entire population of some European countries. Over the past several years, successive politicians have milked the railways cow for their own benefits. From a corporation that actually made revenue, it is now on the verge of bankruptcy

So this year, fares were hiked, rolled back and then hiked back. Some freebies, lots of promising stuff. Overall, a budget that could turn the sagging fortunes of the milch cow.

The ruling party promised to supply free electricity in 5 years. Now, all this sounds very familiar because whether we get it or not, they are going to use these promises in 4 and a half years again.

Senior BJP Minister and former Chief Minister Gopinath Munde died in a tragic car accident. Union Road and Safety minister Nitin Gadkari promised sweeping changes in road safety. Good for you!

Union Health Minister, Dr Harsh Vardhan, said something that rattled many. 'Wear values instead of condoms'. Makes sense if you understand where its coming from, but is the dear doctor saying it is wrong to experiment? Will he ask his children to not wear condoms when its time to talk about the birds and bees? Now, I don't have anything against abstinence but how about those who are in same-sex relationships? What really gets my goose is when supposedly secular politicians become moral preachers sermonizing religion and culture. Not happening. Hey Doc! Why don't you look into the big city garbage that has been pilling up in towns around India.

In our Monthly National Rape and Abuse against Women section (sic), an Indian teenager killed herself because a guy she met online posted morphed pictures of themselves in a fake profile. What did the guy gain by this? This could have been just an innocent attempt to arm-twist her into a relationship, but now that she is gone, I am wondering how much of a future he has himself.
Elsewhere a 15 year old Mumbaiite was gang-raped by 5 of her friends and a 22 year old was raped in a moving car by a guy she met online. 
A wife in the northern State of Madhya Pradesh was gang raped by her husband and 10 other men and when a mother in Manipur resisted rape, she got her head blown off.
What the fu*k is wrong with these animals?
The silver lining is that we will soon have regular criminal courts for juvies accused in heinous crimes. 

While Modi has asked his ministers to not make a fool of themselves ala the UPA, Mister Digvijay 'Diggy' Singh opened his mouth long enough to say 'Rahul is not a ruler, but just a fighter against injustice'. Yeah right! I can't believe they think we still believe that kind of crap anymore.
And the AAP unraveled like a broom without the handle. Touche!

In yet another instance of corporate muscling, infrastructure conglomerate Jindals were found grabbing land worth millions in the northern State of Chattisgarh. Shame Story!

China pulled its 'Arunchal Pradesh card' again. Chinese maps showed the north-eastern State as its own. Smart! India fumed and made all the right noises. Same Story.
Guess who else we are mad at? Russia. Yup, we are upset Russia is selling MI-35 tanks to Pakistan. That's right! Making friends everywhere we go.

In other news, buildings in Chennai and Delhi came tumbling down. We may not hear a lot of this but with the way the construction industry depends on sand illegally dredged from our dying riverbeds, this shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. Like the mining mafia which has been selling our country piecemeal, the sand mafia is single-handedly responsible for the poor quality of millions of buildings in the country now.

And I watched the latest outing of Optimus Prime & Co.
Transformers: Age of Extinction, is a 6 on my rating for a lot of reasons. While the technical finesse is there for you to see, I found the plot forgetful. I was yawning listening to the one-liners. While previous outings did have a lot of inane one-liners, I still found the storyline believable. I don't miss Shia Labeouf's character, but Megan Fox? Yes, I think she was one of the reasons why the first two installments in this franchise was the runaway success it was. Transformers without Megan is like Pretty Woman without Julia Roberts. 
Mark Wahlberg is endearing and as always he is a delight to watch. The CGI action sequences are top notch. Should you watch it? Yes, if you are a die-hard fan of the franchise and Mark Wahlberg. But don't go expecting meaty performances from any of the human characters in the movie. 

Shortly after winning a monumental task of being recognized, transgenders got the chance to walk with their heads held high again. The prestigious Fergusson college in the western city of Pune officially allowed transgenders to enroll. Let's raise a toast to the Pride!

In sporting news, Brazil was unready, but hosted FIFA anyway. Truly the World's greatest sport, played by over 200 countries, big and small, rich and poor, kept most of the world awake, entertained and on the edge of their seats. Suarez did a Mike Tyson on Italy's Giorgio Chellini and got banned. I guess Girogio isn't going to be too thumped about getting a hickie anytime soon, eh?! But I simply enjoyed the way Suarez sat clutching his canines. Did his shoulder hurt your canines, Suarez?

But it wasn't all serious biting and stuff, Playboy bunny Patricia Jordane promised a Poonam Pandhey. And so did Marlen Doll. Saved you a  google search..
Messi sparkled.


Are you one of those people who have a problem with tobacco and alcohol companies surrogate sponsoring mainstream events? Well, I hate it when companies like ITC (Indian Tobacco Co.) sponsor school and collegiate events and companies like UB (United Breweries), McDowells and Fosters market soda and music CDs. Well, someone seems to have broken the silence and the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), one of India's premier edicational board, ordered that affiliated schools and institutions cannot allow such companies sponsor or support events anymore. About time.

And talking about dawning realization, the US has declared the founder of JuD, Hafiz a terrorist and froze all his assets. 
Guess who else got their assets in trouble. Mrs G and her buffoon son, got a summons from the Delhi HC to laundering money through National Herald. And did I hear someone say - skeletons come tumbling down..

Like the rest of Middle East, Iraq broke out in a boil. But why Iraq? Well, let me break it down for you. No matter how much oil anyone else has, the quality of crude oil is what makes the rest of the world and the great nation of American drool. With ISIS and the Al Qeada controlling much of Iraq and Syria, we are looking at days when we no longer have the reins in our hands. Indian nurses became innocent pawns. The government flexed a muscle and send one of its battleships to the region and managed to get the hostages back. Good Show!


American cruiser manufacturer Harley Davidson announced it would build an electric cruiser. Codenamed Project Livewire, this could one of the most anticipated launches from the iconic brand.

So do you have a drinking problem? Well, so does a 2 year old Chinese infant, nicknamed 'Little Winebibber'. Cute ain't he?

For all those who OCD with cleanliness, here's something that you will begin to love - nanotech spray that will keep your clothes and shoes looking like new. Fresh!

Website to watch out for: Kickstarter. 
I've previously written about how a group of underprivileged girls from Mumbai managed to raise money for a library for other children in their community. 
And if you want to see the world, logon to Travolta, a travel planning site that allows you to travel for free.

Eygpt sentenced 3 journos to 7 years in prison for doing what they are paid to do. Dark day for freedom, as usual.
Talking about freedom, Sudanese Christian Miriam Yahia was detained at the airport when she and her husband were trying to leave after being jailed for her faith.

And for all those who enjoy a careless fling, a study by NYU have revealed that casual sex is a good thing.

Single guys rejoin! Sultry goddess Nargis Fakri is single again. Now, drool

Continuing its tradition of giving back to the world, Tesla released its patented electric car designs and technology to the world. For free. Edison, eat your shorts.

Saina won the Australian Open, in style. Maria Sharapova made critics who wrote her off humblepie at the French Open.

Don't you just love it when you realise you were the unwitting guinea pig in an elaborate experiment! Facebook sure didn't think it was inappropriate to conduct a secretive 'emotional contagion' on thousands of its users. See, now that's why I quit FB, I rather let politicians manipulate and steal my tax Rupees than some random business conglomerate online.
FB went offline for 30 whole minutes, and productivity soared across the world. I know of atleast one person who didn't know what to do with those 30 minutes of no FB! If you ask me, I think we need more of these outages. #facebookdown.

ISRO, an example of how much Indians can do in the face of impossible challenges from the West, made history by launching 5 satellites at once. In your face, Uncle Sam.

Audi won their 13th Le Mans tour this month. Game Over!

Chen Guangbiao, self made millionaire and pompous philanthropist, made another grand announcement of charity. Too bad the Most Charismatic Philanthropist can't buy humility and common-sense.

Five children were rescued in a nationwide campaign against pedophiles running a child porn network. So while Japan has banned child pornography, Manga will stay

An Austrian lady who decided to sun-bathe in clear view of motorists created a mini pile-up. Now, thats something most men wouldn't have any problems with.

Signs that Indians are a bunch of prudes and closet erotica aficionados, online sales of sex products are going through the roof. Even in smaller towns! Rock on the Hard On!

King Juan Carlos of Spain abdicated to make way for his son Fellipe VI. 

Rajat Gupta lost the appeal against the $13.9 million fine for insider trading and will serve his prison term. See, now if he was in India, we would have forgotten about him and he could have walked free by now.

Three decades after building the Indian dream, the last of the founders exited Infosys. Vishaal Sikka took the reins over as the first non-founder CEO in the company's history. Let's hope this turns the fortunes of the IT major around.

When Air Asia kicked off a price war, other domestic players tripped over eachother to get a piece of the pie. In an industry where the profits are slim, I wonder how long airline companies can afford to run when they can barely crawl


Machli, the 18 year old Bengal tigress made famous by Nat Geo and Discovery, will be immortalized when she dies. It was announced that taxidermists will preserve her skin and fur for public display. Considering how we are unable to save our natural resources and existing museum artifacts from vandals and nature, it should be interesting to see how much of the tax-payers money gets to go down the drain this time.

Weather continued to show who's boss flattening towns in Pilger and Nebraska. But in NY, food that would have otherwise ended up in landfills were put to good use.

In other good news, F1 legend Michael Schumacher was revived from his medically-induced coma and was transferred to Switzerland for further recovery. Get well, soon Schumi!

Priety Zinta milked her former beau Ness Wadia in full glorious view. Bollywood, which normally has a lot to say for everything under the sun, stayed mum this time

Snowden, the refugee US can't wait to hate, appealed for an extension to stay in Russia. Seeing as how Putin loves to rub Uncle Sam's nuts in salt, he might just get that extension.

Light Moments of the Month:
All India Bakchod (AIB) spoofed Indians who fly. 
Must watch video: Check out the 'Seatbelt Crew' - Eunuchs giving safety tips at a traffic stop. Epic!

In 'Silly Bans of the Month', Russian politician Oleg Mekheyev banned high heels. Really?!
Football was banned in Nigeria, after Boko Haram declared it to be sport that corrupts. Too bad they cannot kidnap a football and convert it to Islam.

With tragedies and miracles, mindless violence and selfless sacrifices, from sporting heros who stooped to conquer to mindless politicians to struggled to reach, June has truly been a wonderful month of surprises. 

The glass is only half full!
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