Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Ze List v3.0

In India, this is the day DJs live for. When clubs and pubs get to charge you outrageous ticket prices for their New Year bash and that time of year when hundreds of thousands of couples will copulate in liquor-fueled stupor. 

When businesses around the world (except in North Korea, Iraq and so on..) salivate at the prospect of making a profit. 

When B-grade (and some A-listers too when the price is right) Bollywood actresses will sashay, gyrate, thrust and jiggle their voluptuous silicon-filled body at C-grade Clubs. 

It's that brief moment in the year when husbands are allowed to drink their silly minds off and wives are allowed to relive their bachelorette days again. 

Its that day of the year when gyms will coax you to make that 'lose weight, get fit' resolution by dangling attractive discounts. And who are we kidding, you'll stop going to the gym in exactly 23 days from now.

Courtesy: Disparition by Bushra Almutawakel

The New Year is here! No matter where you are and what you do, we will all make our resolutions that we will all feign ignorance in a month from now. 

We are back to that time of the year when Lists are in vogue everywhere you see.. And yes, its time for Ze List v3.0.

This year, we again start off with The Master of the Universe..


In the midst of storms, He is still the balm we need. You may know Him as Allah, Shiva, Jesus, The Almighty and a million other names, but if there is one thing that I know it is that, there is someone watching over us while we run amok and it aint NSA. Thank you, Abba Father. We owe it all to you.


No, it isn't about kneeing a jerk, but the way Indians reacted to events around them. 

Case in point: This year it was the Uber cab rape.
Sexual abuse isn't endemic to India. There are only a few nations in the world where women are truly free and safe. Yet, the callous way we dealt with women who were ruthlessly victimized showed us in poor light. From being raped and hung from trees to being branded liars, our women didn't have it easy this year. But if you don't want to be raped, then all you need is this Rape Mantra

Last year our Supreme Court decided it was tinted car windows that caused our women to be raped and decided to ban it. In case you haven't noticed Mr Judge, women are still getting raped in cars with (and without) the sun-tints. 
A few years ago, when Pratibha Murthy was raped and killed, cab drivers were again hung up to dry. Companies that ferried their women to work and back were forced to hire security guards that escorted the women right to their doorstep. 
I don't think we have made a difference because in nearly every rape that happens, our men take advantage of the cracks within the system, yet what happens across India is baffling. Instead of strengthening and enforcing existing rules and ensuring this cannot be repeated, our politicians simply turn off the fire alarm. 

So this the problem - we have idiots, who have absolutely no intellect or the will to change things the way they are, at the helm of affairs. 

Our patience is wearing thin, we didn't mind the millions that were looted up until our women started getting raped with impunity. 
In case you haven't already read this letter, Mr Modi, here it is. Please read and act on it. Don't ban mobiles and taxi cabs. We don't want nincompoops dictating our women not to wear jeans and tee-shirts. Don't tell us not to kiss or hold hands in public. What we want is you to take a break from all those trips abroad, sit down with the best minds in the country and create a road-map that will ensure our women will walk with their heads held high and without fear (the way Rabindranath Tagore wanted) and then create a powerful judiciary and law-enforcement system that will not spare the perpetrators. Make an example out of the rapists, not out of the victims.

Indian Sports

We did remarkably well at the Glasgow CWG, swooping up enough medals to keep us in the 5th position. Considering the paradigm shift in attitudes in the last couple of years, I wouldn't be surprised if we are in the 3rd place in the next CWG.
From Saina to Deepika, Jwala Gutta to Sarita, this year was replete with Indian women coming out of the kitchens and stepping onto podiums and the limelight in style. Bravo!

India rocked the vote. En masse.
Moral of the story: Don't screw with us. We might deliver.


2012: AAP sweeps India
2013: AAP sweeps Delhi
2014: AAP swept away.

Saffron, Ahoy!
The Congress might have seen it coming. C'mon! We all saw it coming
The BJP won. And how! The Congress ran for shelter like roaches when you turn on the light. 
Gently and swiftly, Modi - From being a humble (yet ambitious) tea-seller in a railway station to being the most powerful Indian politician, he became the iPhone of the politicians. From coining interesting catch-phrases like #AccheDin, #SwaccheBharat and #MakeinIndia, the man surely knows how to say what we want to hear. 
Pedal to the metal, Mr Modi, let's walk the talk now.  

Visa On Arrival
Modi went around the world promising first world nations a visa on arrival. Well, Mr Prime Minister, what they need is not a visa on arrival, but security and peace of mind after they've arrived. #RapeCentral.

Congress (aka Sore Loser)
Didn't take it well. Well, what did they expect?! #IndiaShining

Rahul Gandhi

Hit puberty head-on. Was sent back to his Italian 'nanny'. May make guest appearances on an #AccheDin.

Robert Vadra
The richest Son-In-Law in India. The most talented investment manager in the planet - He made millions with just a couple of lakh Rupees. So if you ask me, we need to fete him and not fret him.

'Satyam' Raju
Years after B Ramalinga Raju was caught for massive accounting fraud in the erstwhile Satyam, the Supreme Court got ready to sentence him. In a country where politicians co-habit with businessmen, Raju will be the one that fell between the cracks. 

Sheila Ki Jawani
The former iron lady from Delhi went out of flavor just like that.

#RapeCentral became Crime Capital of India.

Shashi Tharoor
Much married and now widowed, this guy has the uncanny ability to stay relevant. While he is celebrated and feted in Kerala, outside of 'God's own country', its easy to see him for what he is. He has a tendency of letting his mouth run away but make no mistake - He is one foxy politician (albeit a slightly highly educated one) with more clout than you and I can imagine. And chances are, he will find his way out of any mess in no time.

Devyani Khobragade

Popular (non) Fiction
All the Queen's parrots sang like a canary and out tumbled the skeletons from the cupboard.

Religious Conversions
The last quarter of the year saw the lunatics at RSS organize a 'Ghar Wapsi'(Homecoming) for people who 'went' to other faiths. 
My question here is: Examine the reasons why they switch faiths in the first place?
Religious conversions aren't new in India. We've had foreign invaders convert their 'subjects' for centuries now. When social minorities relent to embrace another religion, they do it only because they were marginalized already. 
Churches and overpaid television evangelists across India and the world continue to coerce and convert the 'unfaithful' with many false promises and pipe-dreams. So while involuntary conversions are always a bad thing, politicians should remember that we already have strong legislature banning it in our Constitution. What was missing is the will-power to enforce it.
These are images that you'll never ever see in the Western media
A more pertinent question is : Have we run out of real issues to fix?

From launching cutting-edge space satellites to being the only country in the world to put a martian satellite in orbit in its maiden effort, ISRO put us on the map in style.
Next: A manned space mission.

And oh yeah, bunch of hypocrites complained at how we could have used that money to build toilets and stuff. 
Advice: Please go watch Linga and Chennai Express and have a Happy New Year.

Baba Baba Black Sheep
Our sordid affair with seedy godmen continued. After Nithyanand and Ramdev, its Rampal who was in the news this year.

Yop, you guessed it right. Out of the ashes of Al Qaeda, like a Phoenix rose IS. Makes the Taliban look like kinder-garden copsThe US took it upon themselves to step in.
They killed, mutilated and plundered with disregard. If you're reading this, you are far far away from the areas being sanitized by the 'coalition of the willing'.  

Boko Haram
Reduced the population at Gamboru Ngala. Kidnapped and held 276 girls hostage. People who perpetrate these kind of crimes must be stoned to death.

Khmer Rouge
The Khmer Rouge Tribunal found Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan guilty of crimes against humanity and are sentenced to life imprisonment. While justice delayed is justice denied, I hope this sets a precedent to future cases of war crimes and crimes against humanity

Went overboard. 
Disillusioned citizens took up arms and the law into their hands. Violence spilled over from the last year and we lost thousands of innocent people to overzealous religious goons.
Why does the world erupt in anger when bunch of bastards attack and kill 100s of school children in Peshawar but remain silent when the same happens in AssamFirst come, first served?

Where was Malala when this happened?
Will her Nobel Prize inspire parents to send their children to schools again?

Continued to be the flavor of the year after getting one half of the Nobel Peace Prize. Enroute to being the rich author and future Benazir Bhutto. Epic waste!

Aitzaz Hasan
Didn't write bestsellers. Didn't get the Nobel prize. Didn't get shot in the head. Died a hero.


Billion dollar companies began fighting for the billion dollar pie - India.

Low Cost Airlines 

So talking about low cost airlines, Kingfisher Airlines breathed its last. Malya will live to regret his arrogance. SpiceJet ran out of spices. Temporarily.
Air Asia flew in and muddied the pond a little more. It was a year of tickets that were cheaper than a Happy Meal at McDonald's.


Ouch! That hurt!
Three 'Superstars'. Three words: Terrible Terrible Movies. 
Like love-struck teenagers, we still watched their atrocious movies and then complained about it. 
Advice: Please retire/act in equally crappy television serials.
True everywhere else too..

Sarita Devi
Unlikely entry into Ze List. If she was an American boxer, she would have been the highest-paid celebrity by now and South Korea would have been nuked. 
She isn't, so the Koreans will live to die another day.

Not another fancy schmazy phone from Apple. Just another reminder that we shouldn't mess with Nature.

Supreme Court
Woke up and in a flurry of the pen banned/changed a couple of things this past year. Meh!

20 years later, the court found her guilty of amassing wealth beyond her known means. Duh! 
She was fined Rs100 crores. She would've paid her gang of lawyers more than that to fight her case already. Ram Jethmalani ko jai!

Mamata Di
I hope she's saving up for a rainy day, because with the way she has been running the government in West Bengal, this will be the last time she'll be in power. 

So the Sahara Chief is still stuck in jail like that stubborn piece of grime that refuses to go down the bathroom drain. Out of favor, out of flavor.

Spain Ola!
King Juan Carlos I of Spain abdicated in favor of his son, who was crowned King Felipe VI.


The Pope was busy canonizing and beatifying cardinals and past Popes this year. 

MV Sewol 
The South Korean ferry capsized and sunk killing 304 people (mostly school children).


Wasn't a good year for airlines. The MH370 went missing shortly after take-off, and hasn't been found yet. 
Another Malaysian Airlines MH17 was shot down in Ukraine killing all onboard. 
Air Algérie Flight 5017 crashed in Mali, again, killing all 116 people on board.
An Air Asia flight from Indonesia crashed midway to Singapore. Preliminary investigations revealed the pilots didn't follow standard weather checks pre-flight. 

Irom Sharmila
Was released, and promptly re-arrested. Touche`

Oscar Pistoris

...Got the finger! What a waste of good talent.

Ice Bucket
What a novel way to see people wet themselves! My personal favorite was the way Poonam Pandhey did it.

Hackers Galore!
We all got to see free smut and dirt cheap Hollywood movies. How good are we!


We took more selfies of ourselves than all the pictures ever taken since the beginning of time, made it to the dictionary and even made a song and dance about it... #SelfObsessed #Selfie


The world's favorite ball-game played out in grandeur. 
Germany waltzed out with the cup.

Shiv Sena

From being in power for decades to being routed out of oblivion, life has come full circle.

Times of India

Its not always that a 'leading' newspaper gets an entry into the Ze List, but TOI did it in style this year. From newspapers that weigh half a kilo because of the pages of adverts in them to glorifying cleavage just because a bored photojournalist wanted his daily scoop, TOI did it all this year.

Michael Schumacher
After being in a medically-induced coma for several months, he finally appears to be back. Let's hope the racing legend makes a complete recovery soon.


Continues to be the speck in Uncle Sam's eye.

US-Cuban relationships thawed! The best thing to happen this year.

Was ranked 2nd in The Economist's 2014 Crony-Capitalism index. With the way the Russian economy has been crumbling, this could be the sinkhole that will take the world down

Polio-free India
A symbol of what we can achieve when we make our minds up. 

Ambassador Out!

The iconic Indian car (and the best taxi in the world) rolled into the sunset. 

A year after an organized betting ring was busted, India Cements CEO and CSK owner Srinivasan continued to wield a strangle-hold over BCCI and ICC. 

Elton John
The flamboyant British singer married his long-term partner David Furnish. 
Three Cheers to the couple!

So The Kardashian is back in news this year and how! 
Beginning with a 'leaked' sex-tape, a reality show, a 'made-for-tv' marriage, an inter-racial marriage and now this, Kim is proof that you don't need too many skills to stay relevant. 

Miley Cyrus
From a Disney princess to a Free spirited young lady, she matured real fast. In full glorious view. This year was less about the music too.

It's Black, It's White..
While Uncle Sam is out policing the world, trouble brewed at home. With the killing of an unarmed black teenager and the subsequent acquittal of the white police-officer by the courts, the nation exploded. 
Decades of festering racism rose to the top and suddenly we felt proud of our unity. 

Global Warming
With the IPCC  (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) warning that we are headed to "severe, pervasive and irreversible" damage from global emissions of CO2, maybe it's time for us to sit up and take notice.


The Rosetta spacecraft's Philae probe successfully lands on Comet 67P, the first time in history that a spacecraft has landed on such an object.

People We'll Miss
Sir Richard Attenborough
Khushwant Singh
Robin Williams
Nadine Gordimer 
Zohra Sehgal
Mae Young
Shirley Temple
Joan Rivers
Magda Olivero
Marinho Chagas
Ruby Dee
Ariel Sharon
Sid Caesar
B. K. S. Iyengar

Monday, December 08, 2014

While I was away... November 2014!

Take a seat.. this will take a while.

The other day I was on my way to work and I saw a smart young techie in his mid-sized economy sedan. Now we are all stuck in this kilometer long traffic that was barely moving and every other motorist decides to wait it out. Except for this chap. He is fuming! He starts honking like he's got a coronary valve about to explode. 
The motorist in front of him gets furious and doesn't budge an inch while the rest of us zip past him. 
I couldn't help but laugh at the way his impatience got the better of him. 
This is a scene that gets repeated at every rush hour in every road in Bangalore err. Bengaluru. I so want to buy a bumper sticker that reads - Honk if you know you are an Asshole! But I digress.

Earlier this month, desi etailer and India's answer to the Amazon announced the 'Big Billion Sale'. It was the perfect bait. Indians love a bargain and we actually salivate at the sound of the words - 'Big' and 'Sale'. And we all waited for 8 am on the 6th of October. The rest as they say is history. There was a sucker born every second and we all got 'flipkarted'. The euphoria didn't last. Sachin and Binny Bansal should have known better than to promise us a bargain and deny it. Couch shoppers vent their fury online and the Government decided to look into consumer complaints.

Meanwhile, Amazon India and the Future Group announced a tie-up that will retail Future Group's merchandise on Amazon's etail platform. Checkmate, Flipkart!

But not everyone got jacked. Employees at the Hari Krishna Exports Pvt Ltd, Surat got their Diwali bonuses and how! Its owner Savjibhai Dholakia announced a bonus of Rs 4 lakh each to buy a flat, car or jewelry. 

But that was not all
. Smriti Irani, Union HRD Minister, also gave away saris to each woman in Amethi.  

Gauhar got slapped. Twitter didn't crash. #DoubleStandards #InnerStrength

There is something chronically ill about our sense of entitlement. Some of our bright young entrepreneurs felt we need to protest through a kiss. Now, in theory, I can understand how we should protest against moral policing, but do we really have to kiss to do that? To me, kissing is such an intimate act and something that you'd do to express your love to another person. Maybe it works in socially progressive societies, but in a country like ours,

where we frown upon couples who intertwine their hands in public, how could you expect change when you kiss in front of 100s of other people. So by banning the KOL, we have again proved ourselves right that we are grand hypocrites who will ogle and re-watch the shit out of movies like Murder and Jism where the lead couple make out onscreen but when it comes to mere mortals, suddenly you'll find all kinds of indecency laws coming alive from the woodwork. But that said, we are still not ready for an event like this because the Kiss of Love in India only feeds the voyeurs who will take a picture of these couples for their 'private consumption'.

And if you are looking for more discrimination, all roads lead to Aligarh Muslim University who for decades didn't allow women into its library because that would lead to '4 times the boys'. What a bunch of prudes!

And at the other end of the spectrum, some of our cops did want the women dance to their tunes. Now, this is what I call the long arms of the law!

In between clocking all those frequent flier miles, PM Modi rounded up his motley crew of political allies and told them how their tasks have just begun. Really?! Can we have some accountability too?

After calling Modi a mass murderer for years, its fascinating to see the American volte-face. O called Modi 'The Man of Action'. Our 'onsite PM' even managed a diplomatic coup by inviting Barack Obama to attend the Republic Day parade.
Mr O, one piece of advice: Please don't let the women in your family take the cabs when you are here #NoCountryForWomen.

Union Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley, touched the hearts of the nurses when he gave a hand-written 'Thank You' note to all the nurses who cared for him while he was in the hospital.

Mamata's brother beat up a zoo staffer for not allowing him and his entourage into a zoo. If anything everyone will forget about this and nothing will ever change.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court sentenced 5 men to life in prison for raping a BPO employee back in 2010. Terming the 5 married men as 'beasts who were prowling the streets for a soft target to satiate their sexual thirst', this should be a precedent to how future sexual crimes should be treated.

After promising to probe and bring up billions of dollars in black money stashed in dozens of countries abroad, the Modi government finally submitted a list of 627 people to the Supreme Court. Many of them resident Indians and the rest non-residents. While the government will bask on the glory of having come this far, I'll wait before I celebrate. How much of this will be brought back and put to good use? Your guess is as good as mine.

We broke the impasse over a key WTO pact and all is business as usual with Russia.

The UN owes us over $110 million in unpaid dues for our peacekeeping operations. Now that's some serious moolah!

True to our tradition of being tolerant to nations left behind at the sidewalk, we pledged $4 million to rebuild Gaza. Respect!

But there has been a good lot of decision-making too. The government approved 33 long-pending defense manufacturing projects #MakeInIndia.
The Modi government also identified over 1000 archaic laws that will be axed over the next couple of months. 

In more 'feel-good' news, Tata Group's Land Rover has become the only Indian-owned entity to make it to the 100 most valuable brand in the world. Suck on that, Ambani! Oh and Ambu, your private jet has been acting cranky. Please check.

Indian bureaucracy is like quick sand. You can't sink if you won't struggle. The thing is, this is easier said than done. Australian Terry Walsh, India's hockey coach, threw his hands up in frustration and quit.

In political news from elsewhere, Japanese PM Shinzo Abe accepted responsibility for corruption within his cabinet and replaced 2 ministers who swindled millions of Yen to influence and buy votes for his government. Neither Ministers accepted responsibility for their actions.
Across the border, Benazir's idiot son Bilawal showed signs of puberty. And like any irritated teenager he ranted about Kashmir. But I bet he didn't see how he could be booed and heckled at a party's anti-India rally in London. We woke up the angry young man. Rahul thinks angry people are running the country. Why don't you put your pacifier back and mommy will sing some Italian lullabies for youWe have Rahul, they have Bilawal. Same to Same.

And after several incursions and dozens dead, our defense minister warned Pakistan of the pain if it persists with violations.
Closer home, Mamata is like the puny little uncouth brat with the uncanny ability to survive like a roach after a nuclear strike. With growing dissent, and unless she decides to pull a fast one, her days are numbered too. The last month, PM Modi warned her against inaction on the Burdwan blasts. One of the pitfalls of being such a populous nation is that, our lives are expendable. 

China declared war on HK protesters. No surprises there.
And His Royal Crappiness Kim Jong Un appeared in public for the first time in more than 6 weeks. Hell must have a landfill named after people like him.

The US-led coalition (of the willing!) finally decided to target ISIS targets after a string of beheadings. With a history of not completing the job they set out for, this would not end well for anyone. 

Sarita Devi, who shot to fame after the way she protested the decision that cost her a medal at the CWG, was suspended by the AIBA. Ouch! The price of dissent.
A student in the southern State of Kerala, was jailed after being caught 'disrespecting' the national anthem. While you might be outraged that this could happen in a country which immortalizes the freedom of speech and expression, I am appalled at how we 'unpatriotic' we as a society are.

In more Ebola news, the WHO declared Nigeria ebola-free after 42 days of incubation and the news that there hasn't been any new infections in that country. 

In what can be termed as medical miracle, a paralyzed man started walking after a path-breaking medical procedure that brings hope to millions of paraplegics around the world.

Pope Francis was in the news. A lot. For all the right reasons, he is the Pope that the Vatican needed 50 years ago.
As usual, another Baba Baba Black Sheep, Rampal, was in the news for all the wrong reasons.

Starting this month, we'll have the DILLIGAF section.. 
  • Many of you might have heard about the NY Times cartoon lampooning ISRO after we put Mangalyaan into the Martian orbit. And then in our own distasteful way, we pointed fingers back at NASA when one of their cargo ships exploded shortly after launch. And then we had a dozen other conspiracy theories and hoaxes circulating the web. None the wiser.
  • When there isn't too many real achievements, it is time for us to celebrate the mediocre and unusual. So when the newly appointed Defense Minister (and former Chief Minister of Goa) traveled 'cattle class', that made news. The Congress celebrated Nehru's 125th birth anniversary.
  • PM Modi kickstarted the 'Swache Bharat' movement and did the ice-bucket. Nice effort but look outside your air-conditioned offices and you'll see educated, socially-aware youngsters litter and spit. These are the same people who will forward the 'Swache Bharat' message on Whatsapp and the same glorious idiots who will jump the red light, ride their motorbikes on the pedestrian footpath and the cut the barricades to take a illegal thoroughfare. Hypocrites!
  • The Congress fired its most famous twitterati and MP Shashi Tharoor for 'praising and supporting' Modi's campaign. The first sign of a rot from within is when organisations try to muffle voices of dissent and criticism. 
  • ....and protected its prodigal son (in law) from fire. 
  • Yeddy got fingered, again and Shashi might get the roast.
  • Indian MPs in the grand old tradition of being treated like royalty vent their fury against our National Airline, for being treated like a commoner. Gosh! The torture they go through for us. 
  • Down south, a Bangalore top cop found it disrespectful that he wasn't allowed entry a prestigious Club because he didn't have his membership card. All hell broke lose! 
  • Jayalalitha left her jail in style. All hail Ram Jethmalani !! The pittance that the court ordered her to be paid is a farce.
  • Five Indian fisherman were also pardoned by Sri Lanka. Hero's welcome
  • And back in China, a man who made his millions when the government bought his land drives his BMW to his job as a sanitation worker. If this was an Indian, he would have built his third bungalow on encroached land and bought his second Land Rover by now.
  • So, vegetarian men may live a decade longer than the meat-eaters, but recent studies have shown that they have lower sperm count. 
  • 10 standup comedians vied for the title of the 'World's Funniest Person'. Applause!
  • A Saudi's US wife filed for divorce over email after being denied the right to see her kids.
  • Monica Lewinsky, the most famous Whitehouse intern to date, revealed that her affair with Bill Clinton cost her her integrity and reputation, in her first speech in 13 years when she joined Twitter. Well, atleast it gave us plenty of fodder for jokes since.
  • A US court allowed a human rights group to challenge the American government's 'suggestion of immunity' in a case against PM Modi. More drama. Oh this in the same year that India is re-elected to the UN Human Rights Council
  • And the UN questioned Israel on claims of abuse against Palestinians. Predictably, Israel defended its record. That's right, gentlemen. Let us all believe that.
  • A fraudster, who conned his elderly neighbor out of £40,000, faked being in a coma for two years in a bid to avoid being punished for the crime. 
  • Prince William and his wife Kate is expecting their second child, who will be fourth in line to the British throne, and is due in April 2015. Right On
  • PM Modi 'invoked' Nehru and Gandhi and hit Level 10 on the Indian sycophancy meter. 
  • Like a cockroach trying to get out of a flooding drain, AAP led the 'Swachh Raajneeti' or 'clean politics' in the run up to the polls in Haryana. Oh and not one to be outdone, the BJP used the Modi card and won. Touche` With the wave of anti-Congress rippling across the nation, it appears we will have political stability after decades of turmoil. The only problem is BJP's victory has also become one of its biggest albatrosses. With a motley group of fractured parties in the opposition, Modi will have to deploy all of his political acumen to have any of his bills passed. This is going to be a long session.
  • So while the BJP was on a winning streak in the legislative elections, the Congress, err... not so much. MNS lost its status as a regional party and ate humble papdi chaat.
  • The Shiv Sena cuddled up to the BJP and snuggled like long lost lovers. Oh I missed you so much, honeyAfter stiff lobbying, Haryana and Maharasthra got their first BJP chief ministers. 
  • Next up: Jammu & Kashmir.
  • And the flavor of the month was Priyanka Chopr.. er Gandhi. All hail the Dynasty.
Shweta Basu was released from the remand home and allowed to stay with her family in Mumbai. What surprises me is how we have had no qualms about dragging her reputation through the gutters when her 'high-profile clients' go Scot-free. I wish Shweta well and I hope she has the courage to come out stronger and not become an sad obituary tomorrow.
But if we believed defaming her will kill the world's oldest profession, we are fools. Supply is driven by demand after all. It is time we thought of bringing the millions in the sex trade into a legalized framework where they can be a part of the accounted workforce. The National Women's Commission (NCW) placed a proposal to legalize prostitution before a SC panel but considering how coy we are about this, I wouldn't hold my breath for a verdict anytime soon.

In a fit of misplaced linguistic pride, the central government ordered Kendriya Vidyalayas across the country to replace German with Sanskrit language classes. The SC and the German consulate had to step in and slap
common sense into the government.

Indian army estimates more than 2000 terrorists are waiting to cross into India. Well, give them all an Aadhaar card and let them live the Indian dream.
Oscar Pistorius is 'genuinely remorseful'. Remorse can't bring back the dead and won't heal wounds. This should be a reminder that a violent history has a tendency of catching up.

Hitler was a meth addict. Here's a toast for the 5 minutes that you wasted.

The subcontinent got some worldwide recognition when the Nobel committee awarded the 2014 Peace Prize to the Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousufzai and Indian activist Kailash Satyarthi. Much brouhaha followed and Malala released her book. While I subscribe to her cause, I wonder how she deserved it. Giving her the Peace prize is like giving the Param Veer Chakra for fighting a stray dog. A year ago, when she was shot to be killed, the world adopted her. Since then, I don't see how Malala has improved the welfare of the people she left behind. The villagers are still being hunted down, girls are still living perilous lives in a country that is being run by armed goons and brainless idiots. Ideally, a prize like the Nobel is (and should be) awarded in recognition of efforts past and plans future. As much as we fawn over her, what Malala has done barely meets either. Somehow, I feel the Nobel committee treats the Peace prize as a political brownie point that is given away for good behavior. On the other hand, Kailash has had a proven track record of rescuing and protecting children who would have otherwise lived horrible lives or died trying. 
Past recipients like Obama (who was nominated in the year he became the US Prez) smacks of political favoritism. Besides starting new wars instead of stopping it, I pray how Obama has contributed to world peace then or since.

So we all know how corruption and nepotism is prevalent in the corridors of power. The greater the power, the tougher to resist the fruits of corruption. However, earlier this month, when I read how Hunter Biden, US Vice President's son was thrown out of the navy for using cocaine, I thought to myself 'Gee, this can never happen in India'.

Diwali is also one of those times of the year when the cash registers start ringing. 
We had Farah Khan's Happy New Year, starring Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone.
Need I say more? Their last outing together gave us the terrible terrible Chennai Express. There is nothing happy or new about HNY. This is atrocious and like nearly all of SRK's movies in the past many years is something you watch only if you are sucker for extreme torture and cruelty. The story-line as kitschy as a gypsy's underwear, the premise as fragile as dried dog poop and the acting will make you cringe in embarrassment. SRK looks like a hairless chimp with shriveled face.
SRK: Please retire. 
Deepika: hmmm.. Nevermind. 
My Rating: 0.02

Bang Bang. Another movie that came out this month which went kaput! There isn't any semblance of a story-line and you should be flogged for indecency if you were lured by the posters, which by the way has Katrina Kaif (famous for the way she orgasms at the drop of a particular brand of mango juice) showing her lingerie. 
When scantily-clad Indian actresses intertwine themselves with macho men, that's art. When Aamir Khan stands buff, let's set the lunatics with their pitchforks free. 
My Rating: 0.02

But be sure to catch Haider. May not be a blockbuster but definitely, one of those few Indian movies that has been made well. 
My Rating: 8.0

And this past month, millionaire banker, Tory advisor, member and supporter of Countryside Alliance Sir David Scholey shot himself into infamy when he was photographed with a lion he killed for game. 

Our own 'Srini Saar' acquitted himself and demanded that he be appointed as the head of BCCI. And if you ever wondered why he's being clinging on like a starved leech, here's the math - BCCI being the cash cow that it is, ICC is like the Principal's office (nothing much of value in there) but the BCCI is like the treasure chest. But with the SC dousing any such aspirations, this is going to be a long winter for him.

In this month's 'Let's give a moment of silence' section,
The head of Iran's top Islamic clerical body Ayatollah Mohammad passed away after lying in a coma for several months. Let's wait for the next radical loony toon

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) barred India’s largest real estate developer DLF Ltd and six officials, including chairman K.P. Singh, from accessing the capital markets for three years after finding them guilty of engaging in fraudulent and unfair trade practices. Chances are the convicted will still continue to run these corporations through proxies.
And talking about proxies, Mukesh Ambani appointed his children to the boards of his telecom and retail businesses. Incredible India : The land of the rising children!

Sahara's beleaguered chief Subrata Roy will remain in prison, after his company failed to rustle up funds for his release. The higher they are, the harder they fall.

But if you are wondering where all that money is going, look skyward. Air India has been spending millions every year insuring aircrafts that haven't flown in years. Right stuff!

Bangalore used to be called the City of Lakes and Pensioner's Paradise. I've got a new one for it - 'Delhi of the South'. In the 3rd (unofficially this number could be in the high 3 digits) instance in the past 4 months, a 3 year old girl was raped inside a private school during school hours. And between the time I wrote this and when you've read it, atleast a few hundred more women have been molested, raped or touched inappropriately.

Relatives and loved ones of trekkers who were killed in a Japanese volcano eruption mourned over the loss. Many of them left their last moments on film.

Nirbhay, India's answer to the US Cruise missile was test-fired successfully. As the raging debate of priorities go, I lean towards a nation that should work on economic and social security and can't accept it when we still spend billions of dollars on arms and ammunition. Sure, we share porous borders with neighbors who want to fight us. But so does every other country in the world. Why we can't make all these weapons at home? We have the brains, the brawn and the bitumen.

In this month's 'Interesting News of the month' section, 
  • ...check out interesting graveyards here.
  • One more reason for Indians to have their chest swell up in pride. We finally have a strong scientific presence in the Arctic. Let's get busy!
  • In a sign of the times, a Detroit man has put up an advt where he is willing to sell his house in exchange for an iPhone. Living the American Dream
  • Read about the Chinese farmer who refused to sell his land and ended up living in the middle of the highway.
  • Want a patient ear and shoulder to cry on? Have 7 cups of tea.
  • What do you have that beats the world's most powerful camera? Megapixels, baby. At 576 MP, your eye is more powerful than the Dark Energy Camera (DECam), which can take pictures of Dark Matter. Touche
  • Read about the vanishing sand of our coastlines.. 
  • Paranoid about your internet security? Read this then.. 
  • Read about the man who 'loves' his cars and ...
  • ...the epic response of a police man in court.
And in Ebola news, after bungling up the WHO finally declared it under control in Nigeria. Good for them.

...and this is what happens when you park your car overnight
The government ruled that tobacco vendors will no longer be allowed to sell cigarettes individually. Considering how millions of smokers buy cigarettes in one's and two's for their hourly nicotine fix, this could be the noose around the neck of tobacco companies. ITC and Godfrey Williams' stock plummeted.

Now, in something that will blow your shorts away, read about the wife who secretly recorded her husband's gay encounter and the newspaper article that revealed the identity of the husband. #

Watch out for Ze List v3.0, coming soon!

That's all, folks. 

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