Saturday, January 31, 2009

Lipstick Mata

Saturday afternoons are one of the more boring ones in the week. The five days of the week, better known as work days, needless to say, are filled with work.. Sundays, are generally the one we all look forward to since God made Sunday afternoons for humans to sleep... But Saturday afternoons are the most boring ones, since there is nothing really to look forward to.. Annika sleeps, Devika works, and I am not used to sleeping in the afternoons.. So, I watch what Maushi watches..

Mata ki Chowki

The story thus far..

Vaishnavi's husband was killed.. So, believe it or not, she goes to purgatory to speak with Yamraj to get her back.. Since she's a huge devotee of the Mata (not sure which Mata as of now), Yamraj is having her take a test, after Bramha scolds him.. The test has her crossing a major bridge with 3 matkas of water stacked on top of each other, with man-eating creepers (yes, boss.. man-eating creepers). As I type this, she's praying to her Mata (the goddess or her mother, not sure)

Oh and I forgot.. She's hidden her husband's dead body, since he died of unnatural causes, if he has to undergo a post-mortem, then Yamraj also will not be able to revive her..

And that's it.. That was 30 minutes of entertainment.. For more, watch Sahara One daily 10pm

As I typed that itself, I was feeling weird.. The Mata looks like a Revlon commercial, while Lord Bramha has teeth stained with tobacco.. The Yamraj dude, is given the role not for any other thespian capability, but because of his skin colour and size.. Vaishnavi the widow has a spotless white sari, which based on her mannerisms, looks as if it has been draped over her top and jeans.. A geek might mistake the bridge she's crossing for Stage 6 of the Prince of Persia..

We have someone in this country who has decided that this story makes such compelling viewing that this is running every day at 10 pm. If this is really what the public wants today, we are in trouble.. The thought of someone sitting at home and eagerly looking forward to this, is troubling.. I think men are working too much, that women are sitting up at 10 pm waiting for their husbands and this is better than the wait.. And mind you, I am not acting sexist or anything.. Vaishnavi comes at the end, and addresses her sisters and asks them to follow her travels (or travails) every day at 10 pm.. SOOOOO.. someone does think that the only people watch are women..

As I said, Saturday afternoons are really boring..

Friday, January 30, 2009

Credit Crunch in 12 Easy panels

As always.. Nostradamus Calvin had predicted this long ago..
Hat Tip: To my Father-in-law..

Monday, January 26, 2009

Finally on Facebook

The Times of India recently had an article on the lack of an Indian Obama..

So I volunteer..

As a first step, I now have a Facebook profile

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Dear Economist: Would more politicians mean less corruption?

Here in India (as in most other parts of the world), we have an unwritten rule that all politicians are corrupt. Therefore, politics is not the first choice of occupation for most individuals. However, if all politicians are indeed corrupt, wouldn't that mean that all politicians benefit more than the rest. Shouldn't the rational choice therefore be that more people join politics? Also, if more people get into politics, should the "competition" reduce the amount of corruption?

Friday, January 23, 2009

They can't stop me....

The Election Commission of India says they cannot stop me from contesting the elections.

So, I think I ought to give it a bit more of a serious thought...

Ping me or comment back, if you can be one of the 10 people who can agree to endorse my nomination..

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Thought from the pot

Perception is the only difference between greenish blue and blueish green..

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A funny thought happened on the way to work..

Like most parking spaces in building basements, our cars are parked in parallel.. Just like planes at an airport gate.. You reverse out of the gate making sure no planes are exiting the gate, make a 3 point turn to get line with the stream of planes waiting to leave the airport. The Air Traffic Controller opens the gate and says you're all OK to depart... And the planes leave one by one to their destination..

I don't know why, but that was the first thought which came to me as I saw two cars reverse in parallel in my rear-view mirror..

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Sandgroper's Movie Minutes - Slumdog Millionaire

I could write on and on about the movie, but it's kinda pointless.. Critics paid to write by the word, and knowing more about the movie world than me, have heaped praise on it.. Golden Globe winner, Sure-fire Oscar nominee, etc..

So, is it any good?

Can't say.. If this can win a Golden Globe, surely Om Shanti Om can too..

It's a Bollywood movie..


The only difference is it shows Mumbai different from what our guys would have.. Simply because the slums of Mumbai, the tourist scams of the Taj Mahal, the seedy underbelly as the smart asses call it..

It depicts Mumbai like the book Shantaram did.. It does so, because it's so novel to the director.. The grime and the crime.. You can only be from the outside to show such things..

Because if you're from the inside, you're inert to all this..

Monday, January 12, 2009

That last post reminded me of a graffitti sign I had read somewhere…
Bad Spellers of the World … UNTIE …

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Bhanaps of the world unite

From time to time, the Bhanap in me arises in pride, when I see an article about one us..

Presenting the thoughts of one of the more renowned ones.. Shyam Benegal..

Like everyone else, I have many identities. But there is one that I love to flaunt. Of being a Chitrapur Saraswat. I cannot advance a single convincing reason why, except that it gives me the somewhat harmless and na├»ve pleasure of seeming exclusive. The census of the community taken in 2001 says that we are all of 22,000 in the whole wide world, i.e. much less than the Parsis. We are, I have been assured, not quite as endangered as the Veddas, Jarawas or the Todas. Nevertheless, a micro minority in a country of considerably more than a billion. The very idea of being part of such a tiny and exclusive community gives me a great high. They have their own home language; one of the many dialects of Konkani. To make the Konkani we speak specially exclusive, we dispense with the term Konkani and call it ‘our language’ or ‘our tongue’. Nothing could be more exclusive than that.Try as I might, I have not yet found any historical records that tell me where the community originated from. One thing is clear. They are not originally from where they settled; be it the two (now three) coastal districts of Karnataka or even from Goa. A community that has foregrounded the value of education for several centuries has a home language without a script. There are some people of the older generation (older than me, that is) who believe that the community is part of the great diaspora from Kashmir, having started more than a millennium ago; families travelling down the riverine plains and valleys into the heartland of India and then across peninsular to the west coast before finally settling in Goa. The Portuguese invasion and colonisation of Goa brought with it the threat of conversion that made them migrate once again down the coast into North and South Kanara districts where they finally settled. This latter part is historically known. The earlier part is largely apocryphal. Like all communities, the Chitrapur Saraswats have given themselves mythic backstories of migrations full of divine miracles and serendipitous discoveries. Much of the community has now moved out of the villages whose names they carry. Dotted on the countryside in the three districts are villages that are familiar Chitrapur surnames; Padukone, Kumta, Basrur, Mulki, Honavar, Hattiangadi, Nagarkatti, Karnad and of course Benegal.My parents were born and educated in South Kanara; my father from Udupi and mother from Basrur. After their marriage they settled in the then princely state of Hyderabad where they raised their family. At that time there were not more than three other families belonging to their community in all of the Nizam’s State of Hyderabad. For all practical purposes they became Hyderabadis. They learnt the two locally used languages for everyday communication outside the home, while within the family they spoke in Konkani. Since both of them had learnt to write in Kannada they used the script to write Konkani as well, particularly to different members of the extended family. I never knew them to feel a longing for the place they had migrated from. If there was any kind of nostalgia or an emotional tug of the place they had removed themselves from was to be seen in my maternal grandmother who had been widowed at a very young age, and had since moved in with us. The songs she sang and the stories she told us when we were children suddenly made us aware that we were from somewhere other than where we were born. This sense of being part of, yet out of it, has in some unexplained sense remained with me.The world outside my home had given me an identity of a Hyderabadi. The Telangana Telugu and the Dakkni Urdu spoken there along with ‘Convent English’ helped to integrate one into the several layers of Hyderabad society. Even now 50 years after having left Hyderabad, visiting it brings a sudden rush of emotion. Mumbai actually has been my home for 50 years. When I came here it had pretensions to being a world city. In recent years, a reductionist vision has been working hard to make it a provincial town. Having lived here for most part of my life, I have never felt a stranger here. Yet there are so many people here who like me carry within themselves, hidden from general view, identities that are special to themselves with their dialects and languages, much like ‘our language’ with a mythic mindscape of its own, full of real and imagined migrations, carrying narratives of somewhere else. To be urban is perhaps to be in a state of perpetual exile.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Thank you JD....

...I can't do this all on my own,
No, I know..

I'm no Superman..

Those who know me really, really well, know what I am talking about..

I'm sitting here today, desperate to write something.. Have been meaning to write something, anything.. For a long time.. For the longest time, have been trying say something, but feeling gagged.. Want to write something profound, and something soul searching, and something funny and something interesting and something poignant, and something touching..

Because I am in a bad mood actually for all these days..

Someone took me for a ride, and I fell for it..

Hook, line and bloody sinker..

But, alas, I have nothing.. These pages, where I wish to write, are but blank.. Not blank with words, but with ideas..

So I watch Scrubs instead.

And life is good for those 30 mindless minutes again..

Corporate Chicken and Egg Theory

Do you get a salary because you go to work, or do you go to work because you get a salary?