Showing posts with label Indian General Elections. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Indian General Elections. Show all posts

Saturday, April 20, 2019


The last 5 years swept by pretty fast. 
It feels fresh. It seems like I wrote about Modi just a few days ago. 

It seems like it was just yesterday we couldn't tolerate a PM who wouldn't speak and wouldn't be able to act decisively. We lamented about his puppet master and the scams of the Grand Old Party.

We just wanted to get him out. 
We thought it was the worst thing to happen to an economist. 
And we thought we had enough of scams and we deserved better.

And then we voted

We kicked out the Congress and brought in the butchers. er.. the BJP. The Hand gave way to the Lotus. Green turned Saffron. 

We cheered. Well, albeit cautiously. We weren't used to politicians who spoke with such gusto. 
Modi swept the quasi-literate off their feet by sheer technological brilliance and digital blitzkrieg. 

I personally know of bloggers who were offered close to 1 lakh per month (tax-free) to write up to 4 favorable posts a month about the BJP. 
I know bloggers who refused and then I know many who took the cash. I won't name them here for obvious reasons, but the lure of easy money was hard to resist. 

BJP mastered the art of PR and paid the Piper. 

Congress retreated to lick their wounds and for a while, it looked like the Saffron wave was all-powerful when it won one State after another across the country.

As Modi became the flavor of the nation, countries that avoided him like the Bubonic plague began to roll out of the red carpet and set the fine china. After a decade of seeing countries treat us and our PM with disdain, we were chuffed when we saw packed stadiums and world leaders fete our real First Citizen.
We couldn't thump our chest hard enough. Any prouder, and we would have wanted to adopt Modi as our son. 
We finally thought we got the leader we deserve. We finally thought we were the greatest nation on earth (Sorry Uncle Sam).

Sure, Modi is an amazing orator. By that token, every toastmaster should be a great politician. But not.
Sure, he did turn Gujarat around and we all wished, hoped and believed he would turn us around as well.
And like a diligent salesman going door-to-door, Modi spent a good number of his first year at office traveling, begging, cajoling, hugging, and fist-pumping for support. Mostly, he was still celebrating his party's 'hard-won' victory and rubbing salt into Congress's wounds. When he wasn't traveling on his on-site assignments, he was on 'Poll-mode' because his party was still fighting elections across the country and he was their star performer and pack leader. 

His penchant for erasing Congress would lead him to rename pan-Indian projects and schemes, repackaging welfare programmes, and clandestine dissemination of misinformation against his opposition. 

His campaign promised a lot. Not entirely his fault because like resumes, we've come to believe that manifestos are loaded with exaggerations, false claims, and dubious promises. Repeating them here again would be blasphemous and entirely inappropriate and unpalatable for my readers. 

Cut to the present.

Our economy is barely breathing.
More millionaires have fled our country in the last 5 years than any other country in the world.
We have millions of semi-literate graduates unemployed. 
Our farmers are distressed. And don't even get me started on our manufacturing sector.
Our Rupee has been sliding.
Every governmental institution has been rendered untenable.
Every citizen who dares utter anything against Modi or the BJP will be called 'Anti-national'.
Religious intolerance is all-pervasive.
And amidst all of this, our country has been split down in the middle. 

Yet, 'Bhakts' (the common botanical name given to Modi-maniacs) think Modi is the best and can't do anything wrong. 
They proudly ask and answer the question: "Has there been a single scam?"
Right after they answer this, they suddenly become expert political analysts who will tell you, in technicolor detail, about all the scams the Congress engineered. 
True. The Congress did loot and plunder for a very long time. But then, who elected them to power the second, the third, and the fourth time? Why didn't you challenge and change the government then?
Why didn't you revolt then?
Because you were too comfortable in your cushy lives.

Starting from when they won the General Elections in 2014, they antagonized the opposition so much that it was embarrassing to hear Modi thump his chest and proclaim victory. Fine Modi, we get it you won. Now get working for us. 
It is now apparent that the single-handed act of demonetization and unscientific implementation of GST shrunk the economy. I challenge Bhakts to prove me otherwise. What Modi did was the financial equivalent of an emergency. 

And scams?
Sure, how about the Rafale deal?
While there is no doubt that Rafale is a better aircraft for our skies, there is much more to the deal than meets the eye, and the desperation of our government to malign people who'd merely ask for more transparency is suspect. If I'd done no crime, I'd have nothing to hide and no need to malign anyone who accuses me of the crime. The truth will triumph. As we hear more of how the PMO circumvent protocol and intervened in the deal, Modi has realized we have cornered him and desperately wants to divert our uncomfortable gaze off him.
He and his cronies have polarized our society and allowed Hindus and Muslims to kill each other. Radicalized Hindus have found protection behind powerful Hindu politicians. Muslims have been left to defend themselves. 
The corrupt have been allowed to get more powerful under his rule. 
And terror? For someone who talks tough on terror, Modi didn't flinch when his party fielded the Malegaon blast accused Sadhvi Pragya (among other equally colorful convicts) in the current elections. 

Modi has perfected the art of etching the right memories into our minds. Like a trained parrot, he knows what he needs to repeat so that fiction becomes fact. After all, a lie often repeated becomes reality. 
Modi has conveniently glossed over unemployment statistics. 
His government has fudged inflation reports, among other reports about shrinking GDP. 
Modi has forgotten how he had promised to bring back black money from Swiss banks. The irony is not lost on how he has not only failed to bring back ill-gotten money but how billionaires have fled with more of our money.
Obviously, Modi can't remember OROP anymore, because nothing has really happened on that front.
Surely, Modi won't remember too many of his campaign promises because, hey, when you have been traveling and fighting elections non-stop for the last 5 years, you aren't going to remember every lie you've told, right?

Modi is, like most politicians, a very eloquent and accomplished Pakistan-basher. If you haven't heard of the term 'surgical strikes' before Modi made it a catch-phrase, I wouldn't blame you. He made it fashionable to taunt Pakistan. Something that only the BCCI did every 4 years.
Since the second airstrike, Modi has been doing the rounds trumpeting and proclaiming how he nipped terrorism in the bud. How 'his sena' has taught Pakistan a lesson. 
Can I ask you something, Mr. PM?
How is it that an ordinary citizen living in a 'proclaimed' war zone acquire the amount of RDX that killed 40 soldiers in Pulwama? Are you telling us that our Intelligence Agencies failed to flag such a purchase? Do you not know the suicide bomber was a radicalized Kashmiri and not a Pakistani? Do you know what that Kashmiri's family went through in the months and years until the bombing? Do you not know there are thousands of Kashmiri youngsters that our high-handed policies have systematically radicalized? If we really wanted to resolve the problem with Kashmir, we could in a matter of years. Starting with defining the International Border, we must begin to treat Kashmiris with the respect they deserve. But no. War-mongering is good business. Keeping us in a perennial state of fear makes great political sense.
Surely, none of our politicians will send their sons and daughters to the armed forces. Modi, like most politicians, have perfected the art of arm-chair activism and puppetry.

Modi, you are the elected representative of our democracy, but you aren't everyone's choice. In fact, you aren't even our first choice. You were but the lesser of the demons. The best amongst the worst. Unfortunately, you still are the lesser of the evil. 
But trumpeting yourself to be the voice of a billion people isn't fitting the stature of a true statesman.  By calling the armed forces 'yours' and belittling their sacrifices and taking credit for their prowess, you show the world how phony you are. How trivial you are!
By trashing your political opponents, and by claiming how insignificant your lapses and misses are compared to theirs, you are fooling no one but yourself.

Well, dear Bhakts,
Here are some facts for you:

  • India under 5 years of Modi has lost more jobs than in the past 30 years. Worse still, your Modi has scrambled to hide statistics that show this fact.
  • Demonetization and GST did nothing to curb black money. Instead, it helped the corrupt launder billions.
  • Universal Health Insurance is still a pipe dream. 
  • Farm Crisis. Enough said.
  • Aadhaar. Once the favorite pinata (when the BJP were on the other side of the fence), BJP not only expanded it but created unnecessary intrusions into privacy. 
  • Make In India. Again, a pipe dream.
  • The RBI and the CBI. Handmaidens of the [insert name of the ruling party here].
  • Lokpal, anyone?
  • Financial markets have been on a free fall for over 2 years now and billions in wealth have been wiped off. 
I could talk about unsustainable Mudra loans, poorly built free housing for the poor, (expensive) subsidized cylinders for the poor, artificially inflated fuel prices (even when global oil prices are at their lowest), countless cesses, non-existent electoral reforms, banking reforms (that gave away money for poor policies) etc. but you get the drift, right?

I've spoken to countless 'Bhakts', of all age groups and sizes, and realized one thing - They love to thump their chest and proclaim 'Namo Again'. However, not one of them can stand to debate based on unbiased facts and figures. They take refuge at how Congress looted our country. Yes, they satisfy themselves with the firm yet lop-sided belief that whatever happened in the last 5 years was way better than whatever happened for 40 years. A crime is a crime.

Our democracy! 
We are now having to choose between the devil and the deep blue sea. 
Many cherish the memory of Manmohan Singh. Those were simpler times. When our sons and daughters had a job, and our communities were truly cohesive and loved to co-exist. 
With the variety of politicians forming alliances to defeat BJP this year, in 10 years from now, we will remember Modi kindly as well. 

Most importantly, Modi has revealed the chink in our armor. 
He has revealed the blueprint to manipulate large sections of the country. 
His party has used the most basal instincts of fear, hatred, and ethnic divisibility to divide and rule us. 
Today, Modi and his bunch of cronies have shown how they want to win at any cost. They've tasted blood and boy, they love it!
Today, as Modi does the rounds dissing other politicians and selectively talking about how little India has gained, I want to remind him this - India isn't you, Modi. India has grown despite everything you have done to us.

The BJP realizes this - if they lose this round, they are going to be banished. Modi has created powerful enemies who are a lot more ruthless and less polished than him. 

So as we settle down and decide - 'Should I vote or not, because whether I vote or not, it won't matter, things don't appear to change.' 
Let me tell you this - There are people who didn't vote the last time and they thought it wouldn't get worse. But it did. And unless you've lived under a rock, it would have affected you adversely. 
So, please vote. Because we have the responsibility of saving whatever is left of India. 
But if you still believe you don't want to vote, I won't force you. Because in 10 years, when your lives have become truly miserable by the people you didn't vote for, then you will revolt. 

Because unless we put the fear of God in our politicians, what's happening in Paris and Spain will happen in India. The people will rise. 

Should we really wait until then?

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

And that's the way the cookie crumbled, in May 2014...

Yes, my children. India changed! 
After the euphoria the cookie crumbled for the Grand Ol' Party. And how!

Modi came, he saw and he conquered. Having been out of power long enough, the hunger is visible. Against tradition, the RSS asked LK Advani to stop grumbling and retire. 
As if to rub it in the face of Mrs G, he even invited all the biggies from SAARC to his party. 

In the last fortnight, at the helm of the most powerful chair in India Modi has been on a predictable roll. Rolling back some of the Dynasty's pet projects and shedding much of the dead-weight. And if you are a Congress Governor, you better start packing. 

So like a whiff of fresh air and evening showers, the Modi Sarkar (government) made sure it started with all the right tones and the right foot forward. Let's hope the momentum stays.

In related news, Kannada loud-mouth and literary flash in the pan UR Ananthamurthy did a Poonam Pandey and vowed to get out of India if Modi came into power. Fast forward to May 17 and the poor man had to station a platoon of overworked, underpaid cops to guard him since he has been getting prank calls asking him if he isn't left already. The good people at NaMo brigade even sent him a travel itinerary
After trash-talking the BJP, the Shiv Sena now wants to copulate with them.
Snoopgate? Who said that? 
Whoever said Indians didn't have a sense of humor?

And talking about comebacks, another Modi came back home. Lalit got his turf back at the Rajastan Cricket Board and got banned by BCCI. Real mature, guys. Real mature.

The Aam Aadmi Party has been fighting like common thieves, and Kejriwal was packed off to jail for not posting bail. Ok, let me give you a little bit of background here: Mr Kejriwal filed a lawsuit against Nitin Gadkari. Apparently the pizza base of this lawsuit is that Gadkari is corrupt. Really?! Kejriwal apparently doesn't think Mrs G and her bunch of cronies are corrupt because he needs to partner them. 
Say it slow with me - Exactly!

With the way AAP was knocked off the zipcode in these elections, Kejriwal now wants the Delhi chief minister's chair back. Not going to happen. See, this is why corporate wisdom tells you not to quit a job before you get another. And talking about transitions, Anandiben Patel succeeded Gujarat's longest serving Chief Minister. 

Back at Mrs G's lair, the party has been unraveling faster than Mr Singh's turban. So what if really important files went missing from the government, history will still be kinder to Manmohan. Predictably, after a flurry of resignations and retractions, the Congress blamed the Mossad, the ISI, advertisement agencies and aliens. Yes, like a deer caught in the headlights!
The former first Son-in-Law of the land - Robert Vadra (aka Money Multiplier and Corporate David Copperfield) will now be frisked at airports and as if to soften the blow, his famous wife told the security agencies to remove the cloak of security over her family. Gee thanks, Priyanka.
Can someone please explain why we have 22 ex-Ministers still occupying their palatial, rent-free official accommodations? 

So what if Kingfisher had its wings clipped 2 years ago. Fortunes have reversed and Modi being the kind of businessman-friendly guy that he is, don't be surprised if Kingfisher starts flying again, soon.
Talking about flying, Air Asia launched their operations - with a bang!

Across the border, militants attacked the Indian consulate in Afghanistan. One of the worst bomb attacks in Nigeria, killed 118 people. Courtesy Boko Haram
A coal mine in Turkey killed 238 people and there are 120 missing. This doesn't mean much to us
If you are a fan of the franchise, prepare to see American soldiers wearing ironman in combat. The United States of America, Bringing Democracy to the world, since 1980

Hate War? Make Love. 
If you are looking for some cheap Asian sex, you can still head to Thailand, where the army overthrew the government in a bloodless coup. 

Elsewhere, Indian shuttlers Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponappa have been quietly shining at the Uber Cup. 
And we'll now have the Kabbadi Premier League. 

In Prison News, Tejpal got bail and Subrata and Asaram got ball. Looks like they'll have to sell their crown jewels after all. 

Now, if I was in Russia, I could have been jailed by now, because Putin has outlawed all swear words. Yeah, cucking frazy isn't it?

And guess who verified Twitter? Yeah, Rajinikanth did. Masterstroke.
His magnum opus Kochadaiyaan not so much. I've always wondered why we can't make animation movies that can compete with Hollywood even when we do exceptional work when outsourced. This is neither a Shrek nor a Bal Ganesha and as you walk out of the theater, you realize that some advertisements have much better animation than this movie. 
Why you must watch this movie
Watch it if you want to be see how we idol-worship an aging super-actor. 
Watch it if you want to hear some incredible music and really good dance sequences by some of the biggest names in India. 
Watch it if you want to see how this movie could be the start of motion capture animation in Indian movies. 
My Rating: 5, and here's why- 
This movie is a poor first draft and an amateurish attempt at creating an epic movie. 
There are plenty of times throughout the movie when you can see how kitschy animation and motion capture is. The lines are quite clearly defined. There are obvious misses like when the army advances only the horse's movement kicks up little dust and the thousands of men marching and running appears like they are doing it on polished marble. 
The makers of this movie have obviously put Rajini on a pedestal and the quality is there to see, for instance if I were to compare how Rajini and other characters have been rendered, you'll see the difference is like night and day. The faces are terribly rendered, the eyes are plasticy and display almost no emotion and appear to stare. The lighting on the faces are terrible in many scenes. The characters appear to be standing bend at the knees. Rukmini's character appears to have hair that defies gravity. And what's with Deepika's outfit? In some of the scenes, her face looks contorted and unrecognizable. 
In some of the fight sequences, like the one between Deepika's and Rajini's character, appear so amateurish I've seen better rendering in computer games.
The plot isn't thick either. It has shades of a lot of other movies. 
Now, I know this is a Rajini movie, out and out and I am a huge fan of his earlier movies. Like a SRK movie, this movie will rake in the moolah for its makers. And I know I will get a lot of flak for this review but I've always called a spade a spade in my posts. 

But guess what! We do have some good news too - India has been polio-free for the last 3 years. Yay us!
A 3D printer landed a man in Tokyo in jail. And here we still struggle with toner prices.

In news that you won't ever hear in India, a former Israeli PM was sent to 6 years for accepting bribes while in office. 

And if you ever wondered why marital rape is still not recognized as a punishable crime in India, here's why - an Indian court ruled that forced intercourse in a marriage cannot be rape. The tragedy of our times.

And you want to know what else the Indian courts did? They allowed pre-launch promos of Rahasya, a movie based on Aarushi while staying its launch on June 13. Did anyone say any news is good news? If we have learned anything from banning something, it should be - Banning it will only make the forbidden fruit sweeter. 

And o yeah, exiled authoress Taslima Khan was diagnosed with breast cancer. 
Down south, Jaya madam pulled off a coup-de-grace and the courts ordered that the levels at Mullaperiyar dam be raised. Damn!

A WHO study revealed that Delhi is the most polluted city in the world. You think?
The trusty Amby began its drive into the sunset, as demand for the most comfortable taxi in the world declined. 

Kimye went on their honeymoon. Is it just me or do you think they do everything backwards? Well, good for them. Does this mean Offspring # 2 is on the way?

Back in India, in the State that advertises itself as the pride of India, shot into the international Do-Not-Travel list when 2 teenage Dalit (lower caste) girls were raped and hung from a tree. The cops apparently made fun of the parents when they wanted to lodge a complaint. So as we limp from one high-profile rape to another, we seem intent on raping the few women that we have left. 

Save for the rapes, and the bombs, the humiliating defeat of the Congress and the thousand other ways that we screwed up, everything else was wonderful. 

I'm off to watch my favorite sport - FootballSee you all next month.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

24 hours!

In less than 24 hours from now, India will pass her leash over to her new master. 
Expect an anti-climax because we already know who our new master will be. But let's pretend we didn't know and examine the usual suspects.

Candidate Number 1 - Rahul Gandhi (aka RaGa, The Dim Wit, Women's Empowerment, Scion of the Dynasty) 

Surely, he was the late bloomer but hey, don't pile all the muck on him. He's not as stupid as he puts himself out to be. He's just inherited none of the political sauciness of his dead relatives or his mom. How many of you remember how we showered Sonia G with eloquent praises when she turned down the top seat about 10 years ago? She was the epitome of Sati Savitri.
While we have lost much of that emotion towards her in the decade because of the way she dragged her lame Italian feet, RaGa should have won our hearts with his dimples and village idiot speeches. 

So where did it all go wrong for the C Company?
I think we all know the answers. What excites and worries me is how the Dynasty knew this was coming but chose to live in denial. The government sleepwalked through much of the last 3 years. Our PM was the mute spectator in the back seat of a taxi where the drunk driver is fumbling for the keys. For lack of a better word, let's just say Manmohan was the scapegoat of nearly every frustrated insult and anguished complaint we had toward Sonia and her unique brand of divide and rule. 
RaGa doesn't stand a chance and only a sympathetic wave (if you know what I mean) can bring the Congress back to the seat of power anytime in the foreseeable future. And Rahul, please shave the beard off. It's concealing those cute dimples.

Candidate Number 2 - Arvind Kejriwal (aka The Giant Slayer, The Muffler Man)

Now, be honest and tell me - How many of you thought he would become the Delhi Chief Minister (even if it was for a brief period)? Exactly. 
He came, He Slayed, He Left.
No other party in the history of modern India has captured the imagination of a billion people the way his party of 18 months has. Ofcourse, he must give all credit to Anna Hazare who came like a whirlwind and vanished like a breeze. He struck oil by planting the impossible. The impossible thought that some day we can rout out corruption if only we have a new set of leaders. 
So while we are all celebrating the dawn of a new India, I think its wise to say Arvind has a lot to learn and governing a country is far easier than just writing an essay. 
Will he win any seats? He will. 
Not enough to make a government at the center but enough to nip at the heels of the Dynasty. 
We may be disgruntled enough to throw Sonia G and her bunch of cronies out, but not disillusioned enough to vote for the right ideals.

Candidate Number 3 - The Third Front (made up of the Fat Lady from Tamil Nadu, Fat Man from UP and other assorted misfits)

So these are the folks who didn't get called to play in either of the teams during recess and decided to create their own team. Just to humor ourselves, I would like to see them win. Because the gameplan is interesting - If elected to power, they want to rotate the PM's chair between themselves. I can't think of a bigger nightmare than this. 
But the truth is, and if you'd like to believe the exit polls, they might get enough seats to nip at the other heel of the Dynasty. 

Candidate Number 4 - Saving the best for last, Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present the Knight in Shining Armor, former Mass Murderer of Muslims and the only Indian Politician the US and the UK loved to hate until recently - Narendra Modi (aka NaMo, Former Tea Shop owner).

Reluctant as he was until a year ago, we all knew he always had the top post in the cross-hairs. So yes, like it or not, he is going to be our next Prime Minister and we are hoping he will do to India what he did with Gujarat. No, not the killing part hopefully but make us all prosperous and wealthy and happy and shining. 
Oh, like make India Shining like the Congress promised to do long back, but this time we are hoping he actually does it. 

Lessons the Congress can learn (wishful thinking)
  • Communicate. Honestly.
  • You screw us. We will screw you back.
  • Policy Paralysis. Google it. It will have a picture of the UPA.
  • Be consistent. Don't burn the midnight oil 3 months before the polls.
  • Go solo. Your alliances with regional parties with absolutely no vision was the last nail in your coffin.
  • Don't effing loot and plunder us. We will eventually kick your corrupt ass out so fast so far, your head will spin. 
  • Spare no expense in hiring the best spin doctors because you will need them.
Finally, now that the grand exercise of electing our next master is almost over, let's take stock of all the schit that flew, the bullets we dodged, selfies we shot and give ourselves a massive pat on the back. 

This is after all one of the rare instances when we show we can do something as massive and organised as this was with minimal bloodshed or embarrassment (no pun intended) in a peaceful way. I can't think of another democracy that can boast of this.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

While you were gone, that's how the cookie crumbled in April 2014 [Part 1]

Pause Life. The biggest political event in the planet is taking place.

Our politicians had their regular bout of verbal diarrhea. Mulayam Singh helpfully pointed out that rapists should not be hung because boys will be boys. Gee! I wish they'd just buy a car or something and not rape women, but whatever.

This was the season, many of our leaders got slapped, slippered and painted. 

Azam Khan forgot his insanity pills and determined that Kargil martyrs were Muslims. Next year, we'll pack him off to Biggg Brother. Let's see how he will handle all the racism there.

Bad news for those hard working Bangladeshis doing jobs that you and I won't touch with a barge pole - If Modi comes to the throne, they better start packing up. 

Manmohanji was in the news for all the wrong reasons. AgainThis time a former Media Adviser released a book 'The Accidental Prime Minister' that told us pretty much all that I've been telling you all along. 
His half brother (sounds like Harry Potter) joined the BJP. Can someone please tell me how effective an 'half-brother' will be? Will he be only half as silent? 

Finally, Vadra is the flavor of the season. My Advice, Vadraji: Get out of India, pronto.

AAP conveniently missed LGBT reforms in its manifesto. What gives Kejriwal?

With more stardust than before, this election was the perfect time to watch your favorite out of job movie stars in person. Loyal constituents decided to press themselves and Nagma got the touch.

As we make headlines and break records, let's choose the lesser evil and hope to God that we survive the next 10 years. 

But if you are one of the millions who didn't vote, then STFU and watch IPL. The only sports event where you'll see Russian and Croatian cheerleaders wearing leggings underneath gaudy skirts waving the shit out of pom poms. 

And while we are still talking about them, can someone please pay the Royal Challengers Bangalore cheerleaders a little extra? The way they have to do their odd pelvic gyrations every time Chris Gayle hits the ball into the next zipcode, they deserve the extra pay.

But the season didn't start as cheerfully. India lost the ICC Twenty20 championship to Srilanka rather meekly. 

The way Chennai SuperKings have been playing the league matches, it looks like Srini Saar has not been paying the players enough. What's up, Srini?
If you ask me, I'd say - legalize betting. All this hullabaloo about betting is like asking children not to copy in an open-book test. Not.Gonna.Happen.

Across the pond, studies showed 1700 American teens are becoming mothers every week. Durex clearly isn't doing its job. Maybe they need to conduct free hysterectomy procedures?

A bomb killed 23 in Islamabad and a knife wielding student stabbed 20 students in the US. Didn't even make it to the headlines here.
One dirty bomb kills 1 in Chennai. Suddenly everyone loses their mind.

The SC handed down the death penalty to the 3 bastards who partook of the rapes in Shakthi Mills, Mumbai last year. You want to know who else the SC doesn't want to live? The Rajiv Gandhi assassins. The Fat Lady proposed, SC disposed

Oh but there was a fair bit of sunshine too. Apparently, with the added incentive of polls round the corner, the SC ruled that the government must recognize the 'third gender'. Bobby Darling, I hear, is very happy.

The business conglomerate Sahara was asked to deposit Rs 10,000 cr as bail if they want their rags-to-riches boss out of prison. Last we heard, they have about Rs 5000 cr ready cash money and wanted time for the rest. Blah! The SC behaved like a truant warlord and said: 'No part payment. Get the 10k now or stay in prison'. 

Mush seems to be really lucky nowadays. What, after losing the elections, surviving a major heart attack, he seemed to have lived through yet another assassination attempt. Charmed Life, I say!

Talking about penny-wise, pound foolish, American car major GM decided to save $1 per car instead of changing the design of a critical car component that resulted in 13 deaths. See, this is why the Indians will always remain the kings (and queens) of thrift.

Heading to Brazil? Want to cheap place to stay? Try the 'Tower of David'.

Right on the heels of namma Microsoft CEO, we now have another local boy from Manipal become the Nokia CEO. So after Jaguar Land Rover, Microsoft and now Nokia, we are all set to take over the world.

Need ideas on home-improvement? Take cues from a local BJP minister who just spent Rs2 crore of our money decorating his ministerial bungalow with 15 split air conditioners, porcelain for the shit-pot and various other gadgets that will make Bill Gate's home look like a low cost garage.

Meanwhile, the Pakistani Electricity Board cracked the whips and even the Pakistani PM is sweating bullets. Moral: Pay your bills on time.

The IOC put up their hands in exasperation and declared how the Olympic preparations in Rio are the worst in history. Surely, they haven't seen Kalmadiji at work.

In other news, remember to change your passwords. A computer genius inadvertently released a bug (appropriately named #Heartburn) that created a trapdoor that made countless secure webpages vulnerable giving a hacker the chance to steal invaluable data. See, that's why you should tattoo all your passwords.

Ramesh Agrawal. Green Nobel prize winner and true Hero. No selfies. No one knows.

After what seemed like an eternity, the Indian LCA went supersonic. Bah!
Toyota made history by recalling 6.4 million vehicles globally. So much for Japanese quality

IT workers in France can not refuse to answer their boss's phone call and emails after 6 pm. Now, that's one rule I wish we had here in India

Literary epic 'To Kill a Mockingbird' went online and viral. 'Nuff said.

The legendary Sherpas boycotted Everest after several of their colleagues died in a mishap that could have been prevented. 
In similar news, Srilanka deported a Brit just because she had a tattoo of Buddha. 

The Google Car logged 1000 miles of safe driving. But give it to Salman Khan and he will still kill pedestrians. Its all about BeingHuman, after all.

If you thought its only Indian politicians who can't keep their mouths shut and their penises in place, take heart. Vladimir Zhironovsky, a Kremlin stooge and first-rate buffoon has been caught ordering his aides to violently rape a pregnant scribe. Mulayamji, please take note.

We all switched off the lights and made more babies on the World Earth Day on the 22nd April.
Talking about earth, if you have been hoping for a good monsoon this season, give it up. El Nino hereo

2 States, a movie based on a novel by the same name by Chetan Bhagat, hit the theaters and captured the hearts and the imagination of our young intercontinental lovers. Whilst the book has oodles of sex and sleaze, I think the movie was subtle, but can someone please tell me how we can launch into a well choreographed group dance in the middle of a geeky college? My Rating: 7. 

The US has its presidential libraries, we have the dilapidated MPLAD bus stops, Pakistan has the Lal Masjid's Osama Bin Laden library. Isn't our world perfect?

Meanwhile in Iran, a grief-stricken mother chose to slap his son's killer, forgive him and spare him the noose. RESPECT!
And it was revealed that the CIA uses excessive and unnecessary force on its prisoners. Who knew?

Over 200 Nigerian girls were kidnapped and later converted to Islam. OBL must be running out of virgins in paradise.

In other tragic news, a South Korean ferry that sunk while carrying school-children on a picnic. With over 284 missing and 4 dead, this tragedy of epic proportions could have been prevented. Shame!

In 'Google The Shit out of ..' section, Google the shit out of  *drum rolls, please* Vijay Seshadri. Pulitzer winning poet and namma boy. Fully Pride
In 'Folks you have to watch out for...!' section, look out for Jia Ruhan. Talented, young and QC'ed by Beijing, she is set to rock your world.

No, this was not all. I just ran out of time
Stay tuned for Part Duo. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

No, don't vote...

Its that time of the decade when politicians make hefty withdrawals from their secret Swiss accounts.
Its that time of the decade when the EC will seize mind-boggling sums of money, liquor and anything else the 'people' might need.
Its that time of the decade when laptop, mixer-grinder manufacturers and other businessmen will court the politicians.
Its that time of the decade (apart from diwali) when cracker manufacturers love. Double Bonanza!
Its that time of the decade when you will hear political fiction and fables.
Its that time of the decade when manifestos will be embellished by underpaid content writers and out of job copywriters.
Its that time of the decade when roads get a fresh coat of asphalt. Feast your eyes on them while they last
Its that time of the decade when you will see your politicians up close and personal. Remember to take their autographs

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, its time for the biggest song and dance routine in the largest democracy of the planet - The Great Indian Circus.

Interestingly, this time there are a lot of things that are different.
Call it the influence of our Arab cousins, we have become disenchanted and disgruntled. 
Corruption is no longer a closet topic and depending on who your daddy is, you'll either support it or defend it.

But like in everything else, we are very hypocritical too.
Ask around and chances are you will hear not many people are willing to vote.
Why? 'Because it won't make a difference'. 

When youngsters say this, I am flummoxed. When older people say this, I am exasperated. I remember that time when I lost my school captaincy elections by just 2 votes, and I begin to tell them how every single vote counts, but I am soon drowned out by their 'voice of reason'.

We all like it when we are handed out favors, when our bosses hear our suggestions (and when they are implemented), when our landlords listen to our complaints and act on them, when our apartment associations value our inputs (and our votes), when the local grocer gives us a little extra rice for that rupee you pay because you are regular, when we are rewarded for our performance at work after having worked for it. 

So when we love all this, why do we hate voting for our country so much?
Which part of the 'Corruption, Quit India' did you not like?

While many are celebrating how 100 million voters will vote for the first time, I ask what is the rest of the billion doing? Surely, we have more than 100 million who have chosen not to participate in the democratic dance this time too. 

Vote for the general elections this year, because this is probably the only ballot that will matter. 
Your apartment association cannot fix the creaking infrastructure. 
Your say in corporate affairs will probably earn you more, but if you don't vote, you're allowing the next batch of political scumbags to loot you of every last paise that you earn.
Your grocer might like you, but unless you choose the right politician, you will end up paying more for less. 

If you are still not convinced that you need to vote, I won't force you.
Cherish these final days where you could still read and write stuff like this.
Remember the days when petrol cost you just Rs25/litre.
When you could live an entire month with just Rs 15,000....
I could go on but you get the drift, right?

Get out and vote.
This is the time of the decade when you decide how your country and everything around you will be for the next 5 years. 
Make it count. 

Monday, December 09, 2013

While you were gone: November / December 2013

'Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country' - JFK.
RIP Madiba

After years of unabated corruption and an economy that is going south faster than Obama's ratings, our unemployed but immensely talented youngsters are finally taking things into their hands.

ATM heists are passe. We now have our youngsters preying on people using the ATM. Earlier this month, a 'well-built young man..' attacked a bank manager when she was using her bank's ATM. She sustained severe head trauma when he attacked her with a machete. He later robbed her and escaped. Last heard, he is still at large. What surprises me are the following -

  1. How is it that CCTV cameras are not monitored real-time?
  2. How is it that we can't nab the culprit? Are we that incompetent? Or are we that impotent?
At the wake of this atrocity, the cops in Bangalore did what they normally do when they have a situation they have no idea how to grapple - Shut Down. Thousands of ATMs across the city shuttered and if you wanted to withdraw money, you were screwed.
But then, unlike bars and discos, ATMs are not something you can keep shuttered. So they opened. And we are none the wiser. ATMs still don't have guards and the ones that have, are senile old men on the wrong side of 60 and can't wield a gun, let alone fire one.
Happy International Men's day, anyone?

Israel was in the cross-hairs again. When will we all accept the fact that blaming Israel isn't going to change anything?
But what changed was - We cancelled the VIP helicopter deal. Big Effing Deal!
O knew that his healthcare website would crash. So tell me this. Is there ANYTHING that he hasn't been briefed on?

And if you were in the Subcontinent, you wouldn't have missed the All India All Hail Sachin bhajjan. And in the great Indian tradition of sycophancy, we tripped over eachother to award Sachin the Bharat Ratna. Seriously!
Next year, the Nobel prize.
But wait, Vishwanath Anand lost to Carlson in a rather tame match. Maybe we must stone his house and ask him to retire.

In our 'Crime This Month' section, we have Jyothi's parents raised a petition to have the juve tried under harsher laws. The SC appears to relent too. Don't hold your breath, though.
Tehelka honcho Tarun Tejpal did a Phaneesh Murthy. Epic mistake.
And out tumbled the skeletons. Some really old. How can we condone 'victims' who make a complaint years after the incident?
Across the Atlantic, Rajat Gupta challenged his $13.9 million fine.
Back home, the Talwars paid the ultimate prize for being what they were - Persistent and unrelenting. Never mind the fact that the CBI once told them they were not even suspects, the SC sentenced them to life in prison. Read 'em and weep, fellas.
And Oh! In a few years, we can also watch their ordeal in 30 mm. And why not. It has all the ingredients for a potboiler - Murder, mystery, sex, incompetent authorities, determined (stone-faced) protagonists and a trial by the people.

Pratibha Patel, arguably the worst excuse for a President, returned all official gifts that she got during her infamous tenure at the Rastrapathi Bhavan. What took her so long?

CobraPost did another sting and this time, unearthed an ugly network of IT companies willing to cultivate the social network for the right price. So that explains a lot of things now.
Bitcoin prices surged past the $1000 mark. Yay!
An enterprising Chinese thief sent 11 handwritten pages of phone numbers from an iPhone that he stole to its owner. Respect!
Scotland will finally be an independent country.
And talking about scot-free, Assange may not face any charges in America. If you ask me, Snowden looks more attractive now.
Uncle Sam, the international moral cop, flexed its muscles against China.
Everytime I think about America's diplomacy with the Orient, I remember 'Beijing 2008', a provocative painting which has been the subject of much discussion.

And the people of 'by-two coffee' went gaga when Starbucks opened its signature store in Bangalore. Okay, can we all settle down, please? Blah!
Delhi and 3 other States went to the polls and the AAP and the BJP packed off the Congress in a reply fitting a stray dog waiting to be euthanized. No offense, Priyanka.

In Bollywood news, Sanjay Leela Bhansali proved that even he can make puke colorful.
Ram Leela is the most expensive (and the longest) anti-dandruff/soft-porn/anti-gun propaganda that struggles to sell the Romeo Juliet story. That the couple kill eachother in the end is the only semblance to the 'adaptation'.
The 'romance' resembles lust, carnal lust. Surely, SLB wanted to capitalize on the real-life chemistry and he sure did. But knowing how Deepika is a gold-digger, this is one (more) on-screen chemistry she will regret in the future.
And Priyanka? She really needed the cash, I guess.
Ranveer, you've got potential. Take our advice and don't waste it!
So SLB, I'd give your 'magnum opus' a generous 1 out of 10 and that's only because you've obviously spent millions on sets. Read a more detailed review of Ram Leela by our guest blogger and movie buff Suparna here.

And so its December! The month of lists.
Stay tuned for 'Ze List 3.0'

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Better Evil [293/365]

On the other side of the planet, Obama is battling like a war-worn veteran against Mitt Romney. Sure, he came out of the first debate looking like a lame duck and many fondly remembered the most previous lame duck Prez that the US had. Going into the first of three debates, Romney had little to loose and much to gain. He was after all down in almost all the battleground States and trailing behind in the rest. O was perhaps being too complacent. He looked like a weary soldier who forgot his boot camp training.

O arrived with his wife and children in tow looked every bit suave as any other day. Its a pity they won't allow the family pooch too or it would have been a family circus. Four years and I am beginning to hate how American presidents like to parade their families. If we did that here, I am sure we'd have Ekta Kapoor choreographing.

Closer home, we have the BJP and Congress readying themselves for Battle Royale. They've got the money ready, now they'll need to start distributing much of that to bribe us and the league of incredible businessmen so that they can get to power and recover all that money back. Patriotism is still number 1 which is why BJP today said they will seal our borders if they are elected back to power. They also illustrated the colorful example of how Israel is able to protect themselves even when surrounded by enemies. And I thought WOW! Such rhethoric sure sells with hot-blooded unemployed youth who are made to believe illegal immigrants working in your city is the reason they are not getting jobs. I'd hate to burst the bubble, chaps. But the reason why you aren't getting a job is because:

  • You don't know how to attend an interview wearing proper formal attire. And no, Jeans and full sleaved shirt tucked in and sandals is NOT proper formal attire.
  • Your graduation/diploma is not your passport to success. Your communication and interpersonal skills are.
  • You don't know how to frame and speak a grammatically correct English sentence. 'As you know my name is ...' is not acceptable introductory statement when asked to describe yourself.
  • You do not realize that when coming for an interview, you need to shave and for women- remove unwanted hair on your body. I've seen far too many male candidates who come with a 3 day old beard and bleary eyes and women who come in frumpy clothes and dirty slippers.
  • Two words: Breath-mints. Please.
So now why would we want to close our borders? Isn't that like shutting yourselves within your homes just because there are a few stray dogs outside? Gosh! Our neighbors are mad at us because we are like the big brother who loves to visit their homes when it is dinner time, stay until dessert, listen to the juicy gossip and then leave abruptly when they needed our advice or help. We have had really embarrassing instances where we have not come to the aid of our neighbors when they were in crisis- like Srilanka, Nepal and Bangladesh. If Pakistan is nipping at our tails, it is only because we have cornered them. If China is uncomfortably close to our neighbors, it is only because we allowed them to. What we really need is not arms and a squadrons of armed forces and barbed wire on our borders, but bridges. We need to get our neighbors on our side and they are not too fussy too. We still have a chance of being what we are supposed to be. Imagine how powerful we could be if we had Pakistan, China, Srilanka, Nepal, Burma and Bangladesh on our side? Forget the G8, the G20 and the BRIC, together we could monopolize over 98% of every manufactured product, 70% of the world's outsourced jobs, over 70% of the world's English-speaking graduate and post-graduate workforce and be the world's biggest consumer and king. I may not have the statistics but I definitely think if our politicians knew how entrepreneurial Israelis are, they would realize that we don't deserve to even be in the same field as them. With absolutely no natural resource of their own but a large barren piece of land, they now grow everything and manufacture every necessity themselves. They have the most intelligent scientists and the most influential policy makers in the planet. The Superpowers know better than to antagonize the Jews and they have won every single war they've fought. Which is more than what we can claim.

Hundreds of years ago, the British ruled over us. And the simplest rule in their book was to keep us divided and poor. With the way they ruled, I think that rule worked quite brilliantly. As they left, they made sure they estranged our twin and cut off our thumbs so that we would never ever unite and grow together. Our politicians have done the rest. Today, we have sewer-scum like Thackeray and Didi who are both certified nut-jobs and the best part is they think they are being patriotic and right. Unfortunately they don't see how powerful they could get if our country united with our neighbors and how they could have a shot at global policy-making just the way the US Prez has.

Call me an evergreen optimist having a good day but I definitely think we could use some bonding because we have let the nasty after-stink of the British stay for too long and its time we cleaned up our act.

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