Showing posts with label Orkut. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Orkut. Show all posts

Friday, August 01, 2014

And that's the way the cookie crumbled, in July Twenty14... [Part One]

It feels like December 2012 all over again. 
Bangalore - formerly Pensioner's Paradise, Garden City and the City where violent sexual crime used to be rare is now anything but a Paradise, has more over-flowing gutters than gardens and where young children and women are being raped almost everyday. 

And this has riled up the armchair activists like sharks on a feeding frenzy. Enough is Enough! Stop talking! 
Recently on Quora, I read a question which wondered why men in Bangalore are better towards women than the men in the North. You must be kidding me!
Will one-stop Crisis centers for rape victims help? Tough to say. Even as I write this, more than 50 women would have been raped and chances are none of the perpetrators will be punished. 

Them geniuses at the Women and Child's welfare committee decided that banning mobile phones in colleges will be enough to stop rapes. My advice to them: Don't breed, please!
But if you are breeding, please produce some girls. We are running short of girls and the dwindling numbers have now reached 'emergency proportions'. On the flip side, it isn't looking good for the survivors either

Moving on to matters that won't ruffle the manicured feathers of placard-holding pseudo activists, the Met. dept announced that Monsoons will be the lowest in 52 years and a private agency declared drought. No shit!! With the way we have been chopping down those trees, I'd be surprised if we didn't face the consequences. 
Our civic authorities helpfully pointed out that we have been wasting 42% of our drinking water. 

Remember the gigantic oath-taking ceremony that our honorable new PM took in May? Well, the government spent 17.60 lakhs for it. A small price to pay for the 'acche din'.

Talking about prices, Modi came out with his maiden 'pro-reform' budget and the industry swooned, politicians had a case of sour grapes and ordinary non-smokers cheered! Biggest gainers: ITC! 
For starters, you get to save more of the peanuts you'll earn under 80c and PPF (Public Provident Fund). and Indira Vikas Patrika makes a return now. 
Good News: Unlike the previous governments, there won't be any more loan waivers for farmers who can't and won't pay and a renewed focus on infrastructure. YAY!

Every other politician cried blue murder and the Congress said it was just a copy-paste job. Well, Mr Congressman, if it was an exact replica of your budget, then why are you complaining? Arvind Kejriwal managed to get his 10 seconds of glory too. 

The US has been cozying up to Modi under the blankets and by the time you read this, Obama has sent the Welcome wagon

But petrochemical major Reliance seems to be squirming with discomfort after the government refused to revise and hike prices of gas from the Krishna Godavari basin and when GAIL was told to not pay RIL Much gas was passed.

BJP seems to be cracking the whip and in this month's 'I'm the Boss' news, Modi has warned his MPs that they are not supposed to bunk parliament

While we have an extremely fickle-minded bunch of politicians, they sure do know how to unite when it's payback time

Politicians Beware!
Amit Shah - a close confidante of Modi and a guy who doesn't really get along with politicians on the other side of the fence got elevated to become Modi's right hand, and whistle-blower IAS officer Ashok Khemka is set to have a PMO role. Did someone say 'sweet revenge'?

Our favorite 'foot-in-mouth' former Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju stirred the hornet's nest by saying that politicians interfered with judicial appointments during the UPA regime. Now Mr Katju, tell us something we didn't know. 


And that's why Mr Natwar Singh, a former Sonia Gandhi confidante and 'chuddy-dost' wrote a book on Mrs G. This is what is called 'skeletons springing out of a cupboard'. Considering how the sales of these books are through the roof, I think this is just the tip of the ice-berg. 

Look out for more juice as Mrs G has announced that she will write a book too. Good year for Indian fiction.

A hop, skip and a jump away, Trinamool Congress MP Tapas Pal had a case of verbal diarrhea.  Well, see this is precisely the reason why I think everyone in the party has lost their marbles. They are on their way out a'la the UPA.

Meanwhile, the Scum of Maharasthra Shiv Shena got some reel-time this month when they were caught on camera force-feeding a Muslim caterer. Denial followed by an apology

In yet another aviation disaster, a Malaysian Airlines passenger jet MH-17 was shot down by Ukrainian rebels using Russian SAM. All hell broke loose
Putin flipped flopped and finally flapped.
Across the world, a small passenger plane making a second landing attempt in stormy weather crashed at an airport on a small Taiwanese island late Wednesday, killing 51 people and injuring seven

But in slightly more cheerful aviation news, Air India crash-landed safely in Newark, after it developed technical issues shortly after take-off. And it won't matter to us that he saved 100s of lives and he will be forgotten soon.
Meanwhile, a Chinese airline tested in-flight WiFi. They may be the butt of cheap jokes, but they are still way ahead in innovation. 

Hollywood may like to portray otherwise but after fighting marathon battles that they don't seem to be winning, the Americans are now frustrated and fatigued

In FIFA, Neymar got kicked out. Literally. And Germany trashed the bejesus out of Brazil.
Ultimately, Germany faced Argentina and walked away with the World Cup. Not because the better team won (clearly Messi can only do so much) but because the Germans never blinked. The lonely goal that gave the Cup away couldn't have been possible if the Argentinian goalkeeper wasn't distracted for that exact second. 

Facebook announced the launch of 'Mentions', an exclusive app for people in public spotlight. I can actually see how this is going to feed on the ego and flagging self-esteem of our many celebrities, but who cares. 

Maria Sharapova didn't know who the short curly-haired former cricketer was and Indians were shocked. This from a nation of idiots who let their kabbadi, hockey and football stars fend for themselves. Bastards!

Talking about Cricket, Dhoni was lampooned by the stiff-upper lipped British press after he stood by the allegations against James Anderson in the ongoing series in Britain. Gee!
So while we were getting our butts handed to us on a platter in England, across the border in Glasgow, with 15 Gold medals, we stood a proud 5th. Bolt stole the show with a gold at
4x100 mtr relay race. He could have raked up quite a controversy but his sportsmanship is something we could all learn from.

In this month's 'I wonder why?!' section
Having lobbied for more rights up until the last year, India awed and shocked everyone when she vetoed a landmark WTO agreement which could spell disaster for the regulatory organization.

The Americans saw another round of a mass shootout in Houston. Sometimes, I wonder why the Arabs spend billions of dollars training to kill Americans. Maybe they should just let them buy more guns and kill themselves. Why the government won't rein in the powerful gun industry is a simple question of economics and will-power.
Nuclear talks with the Iranians failed. AgainWe all know the Iranians have the nukes, why can't we just leave it that way?
Eventually, I have a feeling that it won't be humans who will kill us. Nature can do the Shift+DEL even better.
Until then, we'll have unscrupulous businesses sell expired meat to fast-food conglomerates like McDonalds and KFC in China and kill thousands. 

In more Beiber trouble, neighbors in the upscale Beverly Hills complained of excessive noise from the Canadian pop star. If only he remained the cute and adorable brat that was. Sigh!

IIT- Mumbai had a feline visitor who refused to leave. The students, ofcourse took to twitter for comic relief. Well, let's hope the big cat gets a 7 point something.
And a Rhino poacher in South Africa got 77 years in prison, in what could be the harshest sentence against a poacher anywhere. If you ask me, he needs to do 77 years of community service and not prison time.

Srilanka apologized for an embarrassing article that created an uproar in Tamil Nadu. 

Reliance India made its footprint count when it bought Network18, a media conglomerate that spans news and entertainment. With a history of suppressing or being biased, this could spell doom in a nation where freedom or speech is still a myth and channels sell endless montages about the mundane and mindless entertainment 24 hours a day.

For want of a better cause to fight, PETA launched another attack on Mrs Kardashian for swimming with the dolphins in Mexico. 

Israel has been pounding the falafel out of Gaza. Now, we all know whose side the US is on, but do we really know the truth behind this conflict? Israel has been following a rule of intentional disinformation and government-sponsored propaganda to stifle and throttle the Palestinians and control the way everyone outside of the Arabian peninsula see their conflict. Now, Israel is no saint and neither is Palestine. 
But to a question - Can it be so hard for a nation to live peaceably with their neighbors? The answer lies in the will of the its politicians to be peaceful. Historically Israel has portrayed itself as the wounded nation surrounded by enemies and as a Christian, I know how the scriptures are replete with God's promise to protect a nation that is hounded. But Israel's strategy of wounding the enemy but not killing them is what keeps the world (read US) entertained and sympathetic with the Israeli 'cause'. With over a 1000 killed in a fortnight, this is a travesty of justice no matter who is on your side. The Palestinians captured an Israeli soldier and knowing how capture of its soldier affects them, this is both an Israeli weakness and the Palestinian strength. 

In 'Interesting News of the month' section, a 17 year old turkish girl was declared as the 'World's tallest female' by the Guinness Records committee.
The NY Museum of Natural History, made famous by the Ben Stiller 'A Night at the Museum' movies will host an adult sleepover on the 1st of August. 

Outraged over ongoing allegations of unauthorized snooping, Germany expelled top US diplomats. See, now this is something that Indians and rest of the world will never have the balls to do. 

In this month's 'We have money to burn' section, 
India paid up her dues to Iran and decided to wean herself off the sweet stuff. 
Air India got a very expensive shot in the arm - Rs 6500 crore expensive and tied up with Star Alliance . Much brouhaha followed.

VIP Samadhis (glorified tombs) costs us Rs 8 crores/year to maintain. Much ado about nothing!

Mamata Di gave away Rs 8 lakhs as festival bonus to its civil servants and Telangana (the wealthier twin of Andhra) roped in Sania Mirza as its brand ambassador and we all took to the streets! It looks like we are still hurt that she went and married the neighbor's son when we had 10 eligible bachelors in the family. The fact that she still chooses to play for us is patriotic enough. I can name 50 politicians who aren't 1% as patriotic as this lady who plays every match even if she knows she will lose it. 


Dubai launched the world's largest shopping mall which will also have an indoor theme park.
Looks like Dubai is getting to be the place to be if you have the money to burn..

But if you have kids or a strange fetish for Harry Potter, be sure to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter which opened at Universal Studios, Osaka, Japan.

In a relief to millions of husbands who are harassed by unscrupulous wives, the Supreme Court ruled that the police cannot arrest husbands when a dowry case is filed. Seeing as how women would file the 498a and other frivolous cases at the drop of their marital tiara, this judgement rankled the Women's organizations but the men let out a collective sigh of relief. The apex court went one step ahead and declared that women who file a frivolous case against the husband will be criminally punished if found untrue. Now, that's called justice!

At times when we are trying to rein in runaway inflation and when tomatoes cost Rs 50/kilo, the government declared hoarding of essential food will be considered a non-bailable offense. This should strike the right amount of fear in the hearts of those unscrupulous businessmen. 

Bad guys, watch out! SEBI is on a prowl.
Byrraju Ramalinga Raju (aka The man who did the Enron to Satyam) and 4 others were fined Rs 1849 crores and banned from doing any business for terms ranging from 4 to 14 years by the market regulator.
The SEBI cracked the whip with Subrata Roy and told him to do business while in custody. Screwed!

Across the pond, Pistorious was diagnosed with split personality in the trial where he is accused of intentionally murdering his paralegal girlfriend in their tony villa last year. If convicted, the 'Blade-runner' could spent a substantial amount of his life behind bars. Whatever it is, this is the end of his running days. 

In similar news, the forensic pathologist who examined Sunanda Pushkar, wife of high-flying twitterati Shashi Tharoor, testified that her death was highly suspicious and that he has been coerced to fudge her death certificate. If you ask me, I'll always known it is Shashi. If we can pass judge Aarushi's parents the way we have because of the way they are, I think we can do the same to Shashi too. I think I've seen food stay fresh longer than Shashi's remorse at his 'dear' wife's death.

In this month's 'Let's give a moment of silence' section, 
Almost 10 years after it made a splash, Orkut will be given a quiet burial in September. 
Zohra Sehgal, the grand old lady of Bollywood, changed her earthly address. Respect!
21 people died in one of the worst metro accidents in Russian history. 
And Archie is dead too. RIP!


We Indians (me included) often complain at how inefficiently slow we are when it comes to developing a military equipment. And while we bask in the glory of the shame we heap on ourselves, Uncle Sam tells us how they are just as bad. The F35 Joint Strike fighter has been under development for over 20 years and will start limited trial flights soon. 
Projected to cost over $1 billion dollars a pop, I think they may have bitten off a little more than they can chew this time. 

In this month's 'Watch Out!' section, 
Be sure to watch Hercules, Dwyane The Rock Johnson sparkles and Irina Shayk strips.
... and for Part Two of And that's the cookie crumbled in July Twenty14.


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Stalk 'em

Recently when a close friend of mine was relating to me how her ex was keeping a close tab on her. I was hardly surprised.

That's what most ex'es do.
Atleast the bitter ones.

Orkut was a wonderful thing. Sneaking a peek at the photo albums to see who's been dating who and hoping that they are having a miserable time, even if you are secretly envious about the good time they are really having. Browsing through the scraps to find out who he/she has been writing to and hearing from.

Then came Facebook. Darn those privacy levels. Now, he/she can't see those photo albums and or read those wall posts. So, now you have a stalker who is despicable enough to be rummaging through information (mostly pictures of you) on the internet. However, despite all the privacy online, and with the kind of footprint that we leave online, it is only a matter of time, that you can find some information. Even if it is as mundane as a note about a doctor's visit. "Finally, some new information!"
Well, congratulations, Shortie!

Statistics reveal cyber stalking is prevalent in developing countries like India, where there isn't strict enforcement of rules that protect privacy of an individual online. I know a person who left a malicious yet anonymous comment on google maps against me in the hope that I would toe his line. But being anonymous online is misnomer. A little digging yielded his computer's IP Address, name and postal address. But this is the cost we pay for freedom and free speech.

Relationships are tricky.
The first times are always so beautiful. The first date, the first look, the first shy smile, the first kiss and even the first fight (aka lover's spat). All immortalized. Or until you break up, whichever comes first.

Breakups are a tight rope walk. Long after you unceremoniously dumped him/her, you burn with the innate desire to still be a part of that one person you should have never hurt and cheated upon.
It could be infidelity or simply boredom. Love turns sour faster than you can say 'Sufferin' succotash'. And it's all downhill after this. If you are married, you're headed towards many painful months of counseling (if you are lucky) or a divorce (if you are unlucky). If you are just a couple, you'd still go through all the pangs of a 'divorce'. Mutual friends stop being that. Gifts get returned/donated/burned. The memories of all the places where the both of you went to and 'did' it and all the things you did together suddenly begin to trap you in a vicious cycle of denial, hate, depression and anger. For the lucky few, the transition is nice and easy and the wounds heal.

For as long as humans crave love and value lust, we'll always have partners who cheat and all the trauma that comes along with it. And lecherous men and unrepentant women would want to spy on their former better halves and secretly want them to suffer but I've got three words for you-  
Get a life!


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Socializing the Net

Social media should improve your life, not become your life!
Patrick Driessen
Of all the different roles that the Internet played, Social Networking gripped popular imagination in a vice.
A term that has entered the lexicon of many boardroom debates and pantry gossips, social networking is an equalizer. It enabled people who were shy in real life, become virtual extroverts.
Tracing its evolution, the earliest entrant; Orkut used to be my kind of networking, because it was simple, no fuss and very uncluttered. Privacy and rampant misuse was a major concern, but it has cleaned itself up pretty nice.
Its much younger cousin Facebook, was in comparison much more cluttered and confusing. It took a very long time for me to get it round my head.

But I soon realized that like in any thing else, Facebook picked up from where Orkut left.
They had improved security, privacy levels that could be customized and the newer avatar of the site is a lot less cluttered than its predecessor. 
Orkut sparked the fire, but FB (as Facebook is popularly known) fanned it into a phenomena. 

Twitter, Linkedin, MySpace and the such have only cashed into a concept that makes you believe that social networking is as essential as the air you breathe.
I could testify on how profoundly Social Networking has changed my life, but what is more disconcerting is how people are spending more time socializing online than before.
Scrapping, twittering and tagging has become acceptable ways of showing recognition amongst the young and not so young. 
Why don't we just visit our friends or, take the moment to visit people who are less fortunate more often?
Social nuances and etiquette can never be substituted for that 'gift' you give online.

Fights go online too!
I've seen people change their relationship status from 'committed' to 'single' to prove a point and maybe wash the proverbial dirty laundry in full view of your 'buddies'.
Technology has certainly made a lot of lives easier and world is only a wall post, scrap or a tweet away, but where does that leave the good ol' days of letter writing.

Social Networking thrives on our collective love of watching other people live their lives. 
We love Voyeurism. We love to know what is happening, and unconsciously we are constantly vying for more attention. 
We want our 15 posts of fame and we are ready to do anything for it.
But is all this Networking really helping us?
Personally, I believe it does not foster ties with the same warmth and cordiality as when we meet a person face to face. I would prefer talking with a person sans the avatar.
Social Networking has its dark underbelly too, where employers are increasingly turning to popular sites likes Facebook while screening prospective employees. 
Insignificant requests and inundating news feeds end up eating up quality time that could have otherwise helped solidify personal contacts.

Unabated use of technology leads to it's misuse and unless we learn to restrain ourselves and understand that Social Networking is just an aid and not the purpose to live we will continue to see our friends addicted to farming melons, tweeting sweet nothings and scraping their love out.
When the Television was invented, it was said, it will kill the Radio star. I don't think it did. 
Over time, I think it just made the Radio more creative.


Sure, Social Networking has come a long way from the baby steps it took and does allow ties that are weak to strengthen over time besides enabling hitherto hidden opportunities to come our way, however unless we exercise discretion and practice common sense in using this wonderful tool of modern interaction, the day is not too far when we choose Social Networking instead of social living.

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