Thursday, March 31, 2011

Curb Your Enthusiasm

Someone called Gandhi "gay and bisexual" or something like that in a book. Needless to say, the book is now being banned in every state in India, even without anyone having read the book.

Every chief minister in India is bending over backwards (backwards, mind you) to defend the honour of the Father of the Nation.

But does it really matter??

If I were Sunil Gavaskar, I probably would have said that Gandhi couldn't have been gay, because only the English are gay and definitely not bisexual as only Aussies are bisexual, but since I am not, all I will say is I really don't care.

Gandhi (Mohandas, not Indira, btw) is the greatest individual to have existed in the 20th century.

He is the greatest because he resisted the temptation to retaliate, instead insisted on changing himself.

He is the greatest because his method of "regime change" cost a few trillion dollars less than George Bush or Barack Obama's methods, for a lot lesser body count.

The reason he is respected has nothing to do with his sexuality. Call him gay, bisexual, heck call him a cross-dresser for all I care.

If Gandhi were alive, he wouldn't have asked for a ban.

Now if someone were to say that he was an MI5 agent (gay, straight or otherwise) I'd be cross if it is proven.

Cross about a cross dressing double crosser.

PS: This is what a cheap shot feels like, Sunny bhai.  

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sunil Gavaskar - Asshole Extraordinaire

Does any single individual make you proud to be an Indian?

If so, who could such an individual be?

Very likely, I would imagine, it would be someone who has scaled the pinnacle of achievement in his/her field and inspires you to achieve more in your chosen field, regardless of whether it is the same.

Vishwanathan Anand, Sachin Tendulkar, Amitabh Bachchan, maybe?? At least judging from people's Facebook updates it seems like this list would be inclusive of such dignitaries.

For me, personally, such individuals don't quite make me proud of being an Indian, but I must admit, I feel happy for them in their successes and share their sorrows like one of my own.

But I do know of individuals who make me ashamed of being an Indian.

Say hello to Sunil Gavaskar, a.k.a Asshole Extraordinaire..

Why do I call him this?

A.   Could it be his completely selfish commentary about how batsmen should slow down when approaching personal landmarks that might mean something in a World Cup Final, but really count for shit if you're in a "Max Mobile" Tri-series with Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka?


B.   Or could it be his blatantly partisan commentary during India games, when as an "expert" he is supposed to be unbiased, though he's not quite the only guilty party of that?


C.   Or is it his acute persecution complex where everything is just a conspiracy of white people with nothing better to do than blame Indians for everything evil under the sun?


D.   Or could it be his ability to say what he wants in the press with absolutely no regard for propriety, decency, or even basic manners, as long as it doesn't affect his remuneration or his various commentary stints?


E.   All of the above.

Money quote from today's TOI – Pune Edition (pg 21)

Replacements are usually allowed for external injuries, yet England was given one for a player who was 'mentally depressed'. How is that 'injury' verifiable? Who verified it? Just imagine if BCCI had asked for replacements for Piyush Chawla and Ashish Nehra, who have every reason to be depressed. There would have been howls of protests at the wealthy BCCI for juggernauting its way through for flimsy reasons.

You sir, Mr. Gavaskar, have fallen way down in my estimation. I may not be qualified enough to give you lessons on a forward defensive stroke, nor can I lobby ESPN to get rid of you, but the least I can do in protest is to call you the one thing that you seem most apt.

Calling you an asshole is an insult to all the other people that I have ever called an asshole, such that I plan to call them up personally and apologise for having ever bunched them up an insensitive, pompous asshole such as yourself.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The more things change....


A game that we all have been waiting for and dreading..

The World Cup Quarter Final..

Defending champions against the hosts (and supposedly the favorites)..

A game where the team we loathe is playing the team that can do no wrong..

A game which (We’d like) would be the last game for one of the most hated characters in this part of the world..

But a character that we know is probably one of the best we’d ever see..

A game between two teams who fight hard, as hard as it can get, on the field, but are pretty chummy when they get off it..

A game, that thousands of Indians would brave the March afternoon sun to watch..

A game that should all goes well, kids would say for years to come “I was there…”

If it doesn’t, a game that we won’t look back with regret..

Instead, just shrug our shoulders and say, “Well.. If you lose, you might as well lose to them!!!”


Naah, 1996 ..

Monday, March 21, 2011

Affirmation... (With due apologies to Savage Garden)

I believe:

- The more time you spend in office, the more sterile your emotions become. The more sterile your emotions become, the more monotonous life seems.

- It is important to remember what happiness feels like.

- It's good once in a while to take stock of your life and just count your blessings, instead of bitching about why traffic sucks..

- Everyone needs a confidante. The lucky ones have their best friends as their confidantes. The really lucky ones have their spouses as their confidantes.. But don't have more than one confidante.

- It's important to share your sorrows and fears with people who care about you. You'll find that the more you hold back, the more miserable you become.

- It's ok to cry.. Could be in public, could be in the bathroom.. But just cry it out, it's just going to make you that much tougher.. and you definitely definitely feel much better.. Kinda like vomitting when heat & acidity strikes.. Gross, I know, but I couldn't put it any more effictively.. Many people I know would rather vomit than cry..

- If someone cries like this in front of you, don't say a word. Just be there for them. Nothing you say will make them feel better, but the fact that you're there for them will help you win their trust. Most people just want to pour out their emotions without interruptions..

- Never, NEVER, NEVER take your confidantes for granted. They're all you have actually..

Everything else, is just a state of mind..

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Dainik Jargon

Jargon, is something you probably encounter every day. Jargon, the Oxford Dictionary tells us, is "special words or expressions used by a profession or group that are difficult for others to understand…" Therefore the use of jargon serves multiple purposes to a user:

-      The user of said jargon can aptly show that (s)he is an integral part of a select group, and is extremely knowledgeable of the norms and expressions to be used by the group, regardless of whether he understands the meaning of what it is (s)he has actually said

-      The listener of said jargon has no option but to nod in agreement at the use of the said jargon. This is because either:

o   The listener fully understands the expressions of the said group and is an equally integral part of the select group


o   The listener has no idea what the jargon means, but if the listener were to ask for further clarification, (s)he would appear ignorant, maybe even stupid, and definitely an outsider to the said group, and no one, but NO ONE, wants to be an outsider to a group.

Thus, the use of jargon automatically ensures you don't have to answer questions. And answering questions is a bloody pain. The other beauty of using jargon is that you come across as especially intelligent, by using terms and expressions which only a select few know. However, wrong usage of jargon can be equally ruinous, since you would come across as ignorant, maybe even stupid, and definitely an outsider to the said group, and no one, but… OK you know where I am going with this, right?

Most people tend to confuse jargon with the other corporate favorite -Bullshit. This association is however an incorrect and unfair one, and is mostly charged on jargon users by those who do not understand the jargon, and are therefore made to feel outsiders to the group. There is a major fundamental difference.

Use of jargon automatically assumes that the listener understands the core argument being made by the speaker, and the understanding of the subject, and the said jargon matters to the person using the jargon. Harry G. Frankfurt, in his book "On Bullshit", terms Bullshit, is that what is spewed when the speaker really does not care whether the listener understands the entire argument. You could even say that willful use of incorrect jargon is the definition of bullshit. Oxford Dictionary though terms bullshit as "talk nonsense to (someone) in an attempt to deceive them". Close enough I say.

To illustrate further, here's a simple example.

You might think on reading this article, that I am using quotes from the OED, and Harry G. Frankfurt, a noted philosopher. That makes me somewhat intellectual and smart and basically using philosophical jargon.

I, for one, think all that is written above is plain bullshit…

Monday, March 07, 2011

Somebody's idea...

Somebody once came up with an idea that could convert salt water into oil, but didn't know how to go about it.


So he approached Everybody asking what he should do.


When Everybody heard that here was something that could convert salt water into oil, Everybody jumped at the idea.


Everybody could plainly see that there was profit to be had. There was wealth and prosperity in the offing for Everybody. So Everybody came up with a plan and told Somebody:


"This is a GREAT Idea.. This will make us gazillions.. We need to be very careful.. Don't you go around telling this to Anybody.. Only you and I ought to get this thing done.."


"Why would I tell Anybody? This is my idea after all!! You know and I both know that if Anybody finds out, you and I will lose"


"That's right" said Everybody. "In this situation, Nobody can be trusted"


"You trust Nobody??"


"Yeah, Nobody knows exactly needs to be done in this situation"


So they approached Nobody to help them out.


Everybody started talking "You see this idea?? Here we can make loads of money.. Just take salt water and make it into oil.. The world runs on oil, The World will run on our oil!!"


Nobody liked their enthusiasm, but Nobody felt that profit was too much of a blinding factor for Everybody.


Nobody asked them, "What's so special about this idea will make you money??"


"Can't you see?? The world needs oil.. And here we have the capability to make oil!!! We'll be rich!!!" Nobody could see the dollars in Everybody's eyes.


"Whose benefit are you looking at, Everybody?" Nobody asked "The general public, or just Everybody's?"


"Everybody's benefit is Everybody's benefit"

"Have you told Anybody about this??"


"No, all Anybody does, is ask questions.. I don't think we should use his help.."


Nobody said, "Well, I'm not as convinced as you are, but if you're convinced, you should go for it. It's none of my business. But I do feel you should tell Somebody about this.."


So Everybody got to work with help from Somebody, without telling Anybody. He got the salt, the water, the apparatus, the works.. The diligence in Everybody's eyes had to be seen to be believed.. After a lot of hard work and months of labor, they finally got oil out of the salt water.. They refined the process such that the oil creation could be done at home by the Average Joe..


You'd think it would have worked but it didn't..


What Everybody thought was a great money making idea, didn't turn out to be so..


Whose fault was it??  


What does it matter??


When Somebody comes up with an idea that Everybody wants a piece of, if Nobody has any doubts, make sure you are ready to answer questions from Anybody!!!

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Bollywood Apologies - Courtesy YouTube

Most generations, have their own styles and sensibilities which when seen out of context 30 years later can be termed as downright crazy. The Germans have a word, (Promptly stolen by Google) called Zeitgeist, which is like the "Ghost of the times".

To give you an example, 2 words should suffice - Bharat Bhushan. How he became such a big star in the 50's is way way beyond me. When my grandparents criticized the movies of my teenage years, all I said was "Bharat Bhushan" and that would make them look away.. or Asha Parekh for my dad.. "Oh Daddyyyy!!!"

But that doesn't mean that the movies I grew up watching and patronizing were not worthy of embarrassment. So in the name of fairness, maturity and "please don't bug me about this anymore when I criticize your favourite movies and movie stars", here are my apologies to my previous and future generations for the following:

- The Punjabization of popular cinema: It was sweet when Kajol and Shahrukh (or should I say Simran and Raj) came from London, with as desi an accent that an "ABCD" (Anglo-Born-Confused-Desi, in this case) can have. But it stopped being fun when Ajay Devgan and Kajol, came from Paris, landed in Mumbai, decided to go to Goa and landed up in "Sarson-ke-khet waala gaon". Things are getting a bit better, but not really.

- Karan Johar and the NRI fascination: I was an NRI for the better part of 5 years. Neither me, nor most of the other NRIs I knew, lived in opulent palaces or broke into shudh Hindustani everytime there was anything worth their time. When Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra decide to jump of the Brooklyn Bridge, and then drive from NYC to SFO, part of the reason no-one watches the movie is coz most people are wondering why not just drive from Delhi to Mumbai???

- Bollywood acronyms: DDLJ, again the culprit here, but it's something that shouldn't have happened.

And now, for some apologies for what we had to bear with on the screen:

- Lyrics of A.R. Rehman songs
: Melbourne machhli and Maya Machhindra anyone??

- I think when I criticize Annika's favourite stars and songs, her two words for me will be Kumar Sanu..

- For all those who call Aamir Khan a perfectionist, I see their perfectionist and raise them a Raja Hindustani..

- A 40 year old Rishi Kapoor romancing a 17 year old Divya Bharati.

- Sunny Deol's dance steps: Kids of today, Watch. Learn. Enjoy.

And last, but definitely not the least. THE Song, which every 1990s Bollywood fan go red in the face.

My apologies for all of this.

If there's anything else you would want me to apologize for, do let me know..