Oct 8, 2014

While I was away... 2014!

Have you ever wondered why seemingly smart people make rules that don't seem to be so smart?
This month our apex bank, Reserve Bank of India, passed a law that said you can only make limited number of free cash withdrawals from ATMs. Defeats the purpose of having such a convenience if you are going to get charged for every withdrawal. This reminds me of the charge fee that Bank of America charged on their credit card holders. Time for an online campaign that could save all of us tons of money.

Talking about banks, cops caught the president of a regional cooperative bank for a Rs100 crore fraud. Beat that!

Modi continued to be the flavor of the season this month. Apparently, vacation's over for the country's highest-paid lazy-bums. Lok Sabha attendance jumped 104%. Finally!

While I still am not his biggest fan and didn't vote for him, I still think he is the smartest and the most promising politician to head the country and it's grossly unfair to question his motives and promises for the Acche Din. We stood by and watched Sonia and her unholy batch of political misfits loot and plunder trillions of dollars of wealth in the last decade. But suddenly we all want instant results. Zapp! Just like thatIf we wanted progress why did we put up with those bunch of nincompoops for the last decade. 

The Gandhi clan are planning a well-deserved vacation after their infamous drubbing. The more I think about the quagmire that is Indian Politics, the more I am convinced we need a limit on the number of political terms a person can occupy the top seat a'la the US.
But not before accusing Modi of stealing their spotlight. I know what you mean. So that was the spotlight? 
And what is with Rahul and his obsession with women's empowerment

Modi on the other hand has been all over the place. Putting out fires at home and building bridges out in his first 100 days as the Prime Servant of India. Pride!

He gave what will be remembered as one of the best Independence Day and the most 'chest-swelling in pride Bharat Mata Ki Jai' speech at the UN.
At the I-Day speech, he scrapped a bunch of redundant laws  and ditched the Planning Commission (which wasn't planning much anyway). He also made quite an impression with his nation-wide televised address to children on Teacher's Day.

Arun Jaitley had a 'foot in mouth' moment as he mocked the now (in)famous December 16 rape. Its a pity and a travesty of justice that we still have politicians that can talk this way

Meanwhile, it was all sour grapes for his political opponents (read Sonia G and Co.). 
Modi made the right noises at Nepal, , Japan and the US. It all summed up pretty well when a Congressman in the US Senate asked an Indian Journalist 'So you had to hold an election to choose this guy over Rahul?!". Take notes, Sonia.
And oh yeah, he also managed to get summons from a little known councilman in the US. Reminds me of a proverb in Malayalam 'No matter how mighty you are, a scorpion sting can still hurt'. But alas, as the Prime Minister, he enjoys immunity. Pray what immunity the Congress has?

The neighbor's house is restless too! It almost appears like Imran Khan can't wait to get married

With local legislative elections in major North Indian States, BJP is back into 'Mode: Election'. Enthused by its recent (and unprecedented) success, BJP appeared confident. Perhaps a little too confident? Because it lost the plot in UP to an old foe. Allegations and accusations flew fast and thick. 

Talking about thick, Amma finally got the 'Go to Jail' card, after 18 long years. The ruffians in Tamil Nadu ran amok. I think she was (quite literally) just the biggest and dumbest fish in the pond. What I am waiting for is Sonia G and her mutant bunch of cronies to be arrested, jailed and forever disqualified from politics. Now that will be epic.

Moving on to World News, threats flew back and forth between Russia and the Rest of the WorldGaza continued to burn Uncle Sam decides to wear the sheriff's badge once again.  The US also determined that it was time to go back in and complete what it should have done decades ago - eliminate terrorism in the Middle East. Why you ask? Well, if there is anything movies like Iron Man has taught you, it is that someone has to buy arms and ammunition from America. Where would the US be if it weren't for all the problems in the Middle East? 

But if you thought the Americans truly wanted peace, you couldn't be more wrong. The US will make all the right noises, do all the posturing and promise us eternal peace but knowing how the Americans have always left things half-done, I doubt if this is the last we've heard about the ISIS. Made up of officers of the former Saddam regime, the ISIS has been on a beheading spree. For the muslim lunatics, everyday is a bakrid.
Like the LTTE and the Al Qaeda, the ISIS is a ruthlessly efficient multi-tiered organisation that is fueled by the same things that makes the Americans drool - Oil. 
Its not that the US can't do the job, but it's just that they don't have the will-power to see through it.  
So in the last fortnight, we've seen how patriot missiles have pounded much of the infrastructure to kingdom com and then there has been expensive gaffes as well. Rookie Iraqi pilots air-dropped arms and supplies meant for the rebels to the militants! Good show. Just what Uncle Sam wanted - More weapons sold! 

India promised the US a larger pie of its multi-billion dollar defence budget. Back home, we have been making huge strides in technology ourselves. We test-fired the Akash and even left one of our live missiles unguarded at a South Korean port for 10 whole months! Pakistan, please note.
And the US 'killed' a secret experimental hypersonic weapon that can reach targets anywhere in the world within 30 minutes. Gulp!

Meanwhile, a commuter plane crashed in an highway in Tehran and an Indigo aircraft caught fire while landing.
In more tidbits of news about the ill-fated Malaysian Airways MH370, recent findings suggests that the aircraft may have turned south-bound earlier than presumed, which now means the search areas will widen. Meanwhile, families of the victims have announced a massive reward for anybody with valuable information on this aircraft and its passengers & crew.
And we had an unidentified plane in Mumbai.
After coaxing and encouraging India's space agency to set higher goals and achieve better, ISRO made us all proud by being the first and only country to put a satellite in Martian orbit in its first attempt. Working on a shoe-string budget (which incidentally cost less than the Hollywood movie Gravity), we did the impossible. Now, the hypocrite among us will complain about the money we had to spend on an interplanetary mission when we still have to sort out the mess back home, here's the answer - a mission like this proves that we have the technology and the engineering capability to achieve excellence. Technology lessons learnt from space missions and Formula One and the 'God Particle' experiments have helped us make huge strides in inventing and improving everyday technology. Besides, to be the only country to be able to do this in its first attempt is simply awe-inspiring. 

In this month's 'Let's give a moment of silence' section, Hollywood lost 3 of its legends. 
Sir Richard Attenborough, who needs no description. 
Robin Williams, lost the his battle to depression and killed himself. And Lauren Bacall
May God give their loved ones the grace to find peace with this loss.

In home news, get ready to be scammed the next time you visit a local mall/grocer in Bangalore, because your wallet is about to get a lot lighter. 
And if you have trouble reaching the cops the old-fashioned way, try tweeting your troubles. It worked for this gentleman.

India's greatest symbol of non-cooperation after Gandhi, Irom Sharmila, was released from prison. The celebration was short-lived because she was arrested again. Decades after we won our freedom through peace non-cooperation in style, I am amazed at how petrified and paranoid we are about letting others practice it.

And much to the joy of Modi and the chagrin of Sonia G, Congress puppet and disgraced former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit resigned as the Governor of Kerala. Saved us a whole lot of drama, if you ask me

With the holiday season upon us, and spurred by the insane discounts of it's deep-pocketed rivals in the last couple of months, Air India announced tickets at
Rs 100. And true to the reputation of most government websites, the AI website crashed soon after Rs100 offer: 

With the way his former colleagues have been writing 'tell-all' books, I doubt if Manmohan Singh is enjoying his quiet sunset years with books. 

Apple's mantra is 'If you can't outsell them, ban them'. Thankfully, the courts didn't agree with this. 

In 'Weird enough to be News' news,
Read about some hard love in Erotic Erosion
UP rapists to walk free.
After famously supporting Indian cricket, Poonam Pandhey cheered for FIFA and did the Ice Bucket challenge. I'd like to b*tchslap the idiot who nominated her in the first place.
Diageo Board appoints Malya as Chairman with one caveat: He must clear the wilful defaulter tag to stay in the position. Checkmate! I bet he didn't see this coming.
Pistoris (aka The Blade Runner) was convicted of culpable homicide and will be sentenced. And that's how the world lost an otherwise gifted athlete. 
Hundreds of coal blocks that were illegally auctioned by the previous Congress-led coalition government were cancelled because of gross violations of rules. And the plot just got thicker here..

The world had no shortage of smut this past month, when a hacker stole 1000s of (nude) selfies of Hollywood actresses from Apple's iCloud. Lessons learnt?
One of India's 'leading' national newspaper, Times of India rehashed a photograph of Deepika Padukone and ran looped video montages of her cleavage to reveal her 'inner strength' on Twitter. To saute insult to injury, TOI even complimented her cleavage.
What followed was pure anarchy. Hell hath no fury like a scorn of a Bollywood actress! 
Poonam Pandhey must be really upset everyone snubbed her ample and overflowing 'inner strength'.

In 'Things you need to watch out for' section, 
Modi put his weight behind the RuPay. Way to Go!
Watch out for ebola. With recent studies showing how the virus has already mutated atleast once, things are suddenly getting out of hand. Thousands have already died in the outbreak and with the way India's (and most of the developing countries') medical infrastructure is grossly under-prepared for a crisis like this, we cannot afford to slip. Do whatever it takes to spread the awareness and stop this epidemic.
We also got a first peep into what could be new traffic rules
Watch out for yet another over-hyped Indian blockbuster starring Rajnikanth. 
Pakistan arrested the gunmen who attacked Malala. Knowing how unstable the country is, I think the prisons are the safest places to be. 

I'd previously posted a video documentary on how young girls are trafficked from the impoverished North East. This news only proves that there are a lot of people who do the utterly thankless job of making sure women have the right to a dignified life. 

One of the greatest irony in India today is how our courts (and society) believes marital rape is okay but pre-marital consensual sex is rape. Today, 1000s of women use this legal sword to make sure the men they are having sex with, will marry them.
Case in point: Union Railway Minister and former Karnataka Chief Minister DV Sadanand's son was served with a lawsuit after his (ex) girlfriend accused him of raping her after promising to marry her. 

What I can't understand is, 
One- why would she wait this long before she files the case, and 
Two - What does she expect to achieve from this? Notoriety? Maybe. Does she expect him to marry her and live the life of the privileged political bahu? I don't think so.

In another instance of our double-standards, we all pounced on Swetha Basu when she was busted in a prostitution ring. While I can't support her for the decisions she's made, I applaud her for the courage she's shown to be honest and come clean. Bravo!

And then we have more brave-hearts than we'd like to admit. Enter Sarita Devi. Indian Boxer. Stung like a bee, yet took the high road. While the International boxing federation AIBA let her off with a slap in the wrist, I hope this doesn't snuff out the flame inside her. I admit I didn't know much about her until this happened, but when this did, I googled for and watched the recording of the match and saw how wrong the referee was. Nepotism in sport (or anything else for that matter) isn't new and as Indians we resign ourselves to this fact of living. We could all argue till we are blue around the gills about the right way to have fought this injustice. But the truth is - she did what she had to do, because it mattered to her. She sacrificed her time away from her new born and her family for her career. She lost the match. To us, she is just another medal statistic. For Sarita, this is the fruit of her toil snatched away. The metal on the medal doesn't matter. The validation does. 

In a few years from now, and in future matches, we will look out for Sarita. Because we know she is passionate about what she does.

Since my last post and now, the Scots have debated and finally decided to stay within the United Kingdom. The Brits let out a huge collective sigh of relief. It was a close call though. 

Saving the best for last, here's an interesting statistic: Between the time you woke up today and the time you drag your tired body (and mind) back to bed, 92 Indian women were raped.
Today it was some random lady/girl/child. You don't know her. You'll probably never cross paths with her. Today this is just a statistic for you. 
Tomorrow it could be your mother/sister/wife/daughter/girlfriend.
I'll let that sink in.

GoodBye.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...