Monday, August 27, 2012

Lies and Statistics...

"What makes me a blogger is the physical discomfort I get from knowing a terrible idea sits out there needing to be destroyed so badly" - Modeled Behavior

Or so it says on top of this page.

And I think there sits a terrible idea out there, which is waiting for me to destroy it “with great vengeance and furious anger

However for the last month or so, I have been unable to articulate it enough. I briefly indicated what I wanted to post, as a follow-up to a previous post, but never really got the angst or the burden of the proof.

But something I saw this morning as I was surfing the net while sipping my morning coffee made me sit up and try to make another attempt at culling the sort of nonsense that gets peddled these days.

And that something was this FDI by state chart on the Financial Times “Beyond Brics” blog.

What’s so weird you ask?

Despite the annual road show that highlights the “Vibrant” nature of the state, despite the standard Google Ad Sense Advert that comes on my blog bestowing the strong leadership presence in the state, it looks like “industry friendly, dynamic, business minded (and whatever other nonsense you want to scope out)” Gujarat lies 6th in FDI invested over the last two years.

Surely something was wrong. I distinctly recall doing some research for my MBA Macroeconomics assignment, where there was an official site which said the state gets 22% of all investment in India. Heck, I even put it in my paper!!!

Sure enough, here it was..

In any case, a single chart does not signify reality, so I decided to do some more research, and landed on this analysis from Business World on India’s most competitive cities.

Published last week.

The most competitive city in Gujarat is Ahmedabad (not surprising) but ranked only 10th in all of India, behind at least 6 cities currently being misgoverned by UPA coalition partners. 10th is not bad, definitely, but somewhat like the disappointment you get when Indian Olympians end 10th in their events.

But then these are numbers which are only showing one element of the entire dynamic. What about the people of Gujarat? How are they performing? Surely they must be doing very well, given the dynamic leadership of their state government?

Voila!!! Google Zindabad.

There is a fabulous report released on Human Development Factors released last year. That can provide some guidance. . You can read it if you have some spare time. All 261 pages of it

Again, not bad, somewhat good, mostly distinctly average.

So what’s the point, here?

Seriously?? You still don’t get it???

Simply put, Is Narendra Modi - who my Facebook wall tells me is our saviour if there is a God above, and is the only one who truly deserves to rule  lead us come 2014 - all fart and no shit???

Thursday, August 23, 2012


A few days ago, this month, this blog completed 8 years. Statistically that’s not a long time. It’s no jubilee year, no ruby, diamond, paper, golden, platinum, whatever anniversary. But it is 8 years, and it hasn’t been easy. If you think it’s sustaining a blog for 8 years is easy, you could do one of two things –

There’s a button to the top left of the screen – NEXT BLOG. Clicking it will take you to a randomly generated blog site. Click it, and chances are you will see a blog which has not been updated for at least 6 months. Click the NEXT BLOG button on that blog. Same thing. Rinse. Repeat. You’ll see what I mean.


Start one of your own. We’ll speak in 8 years. We can share notes. Hopefully by then, this blog will be in its 17th year of updating.

That said, I think over the last 8 years, a lot of changes have happened. In me, in my writing, in my likes, dislikes. It’s like I am a different person altogether. It’s not only the blog which has contributed to this change – family, parenthood, relocation, maturity (I hope) and many other things I am sure have definitely played a part – but through these 8 years, this blog with its 445 published posts (and infinite unpublished ones circling in my head), has given me company.

Or you could argue, has kept me (mostly) sane.

(In case you haven’t yet figured out, there is no purpose, moral, angst, emotion hiding behind this post. Once in a while, it’s good to reflect on where we are and what we’ve achieved, without the burden of a specific milestone celebration)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Standing on the shoulders of giants...

As a kid, I was an average sportsman. Not exceptional, but probably average enough to make the team if I really tried, and that’s about it. I was never the athletic type. I could play decent enough but I don’t think anyone from my school days, would swear that they remember a special talent called Chirag Panjikar. I don’t think even my mom would say that.

But I was a sports fan. A fanatic, is more like it. I knew the games, the rules, and downright anything that was related, the championship records, the scores, patterns, you name it. Forget Maradona, Becker or Gavaskar, I knew my Greg Louganis from my Greg LeMonds, and my Daley Thompsons from my Morten Frosts. I was that kind of a sports fan.

But that’s not the point.

Sports were serious business in my school. And boys who represented the school in sports were the closest thing we had to rock stars. The kind, who were the heroes of boys from the younger classes. (Riklin Cup, 1990-91: Vincents 4 – Loyola’s 1, I remember it like it was yesterday..) And there were boys, who were real good. The kind of caliber, that opposition school coaches planned about. We had the best coaching in town, the best facilities, (definitely the best school ground in Pune, even today), the best talent. Talent that won our school the Inter School championships, 50 years in a row (That record is still going on). Hockey, Football, Athletics, Tennis, Basketball, (everything but cricket), was something that we prided our wins. Kids from other schools were in such awe of the kind of facilities we had, that I’m sure every year, we had at least 2-3 wins out of the opposition giving up just because they were playing us. We would take newspaper clippings of the inter-school events, and put it on the notice boards.

I could name these kids, but the list would always be smaller than the actual set of heroes from my school. I don’t want my failing memories, of 20 years ago, being the reason for missing out on not naming the sports stars from my school days. Some I am in touch with, some I am not. They’re all well settled now. Some are doctors, Ph. Ds, software engineers, one is a lawyer in Singapore. One, I think is a stock broker. Couple of them are in the army, quite high up now.

Pretty much the gamut of professional achievement has been achieved by these guys

Everything except sports.

Not one.



The best facilities, the best talent, the best possible set up for a school setting, and zero professional sportsmen.

That’s the reality of our 6 medals, and that's why it’s going to be a slow, painful climb to the top of the Olympic medal tally.

Forget 2016, I’d say 2024 or maybe 2032.

Because sports, like art, is not a chemical formula that can be achieved overnight (unless you’re the Chinese, but even there, there are some suspicions of chemical formulae being involved). Making a living out of sports is a lot of toil. It’s about living in the insecurity that you may never be able to provide for your family if you’re not good enough, and still thinking that it’s worth the risk.

And you cannot do it without heroes.

Heroes, role models, guiding lights, whatever. The kind, who have been in your shoes before, and who can guide you that everything will be all right in the end. For every Saina and Sushil Kumar, there is a Gopichand and a Satpal Maharaj, who briefly tasted success, but couldn’t sustain it. Who, knowing your insecurities, can convince you that they have seen the light, and that you have what it takes to touch that light.

Someone who knows, what it was that kept them from reaching the top, and who will guide you to that one missing ingredient.

Someone that a generation of Indians never had – a generation that is today spending their lives in air-conditioned offices as engineers, doctors, army men, lawyers, because that was easier than hitting their collective heads against a brick wall.

Someone that generations of Indians going forward will have for the rest of their lives.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Critique us.. Pity us.. Stupid us..

Has been a while since I wrote anything.. Anything worth reading actually.. the last few posts have been for want of a better word, pretty much crap.. the angry, frustrated tenor of the posts is not really me.. But I write for want of a better hobby, so you have to live with it, till I come up with something better… This post is just a general rambling of whatever is coming to my mind. I am writing just my thoughts. No guarantees whether this would come up anyway close to what I am capable of.
In that regard, I think I am pretty much like this country, and the people of this country. Capable of much more, but strangely producing drivel, just because we need to do something, so that people don’t think we’re dead. Scream so that people know we’re alive. Without screaming, everyone thinks you’re dead, and really we have enough dead around here. The situation is ripe for a satire of the most blistering kind, but I am afraid no one will quite understand the satire underneath it all.
It’s not like I am very frustrated with life. If anything, it’s quite the opposite. There is so much to be optimistic about, that my frustrations are directed generally towards the pessimists of the world. This apparent need to get worked up about everything is beyond my modest level of understanding of this world. I like my life leisurely, laidback if you will. It is quite beyond me to cry outrage at the drop of a hat. You could say that my parents taught me to trust people, and look at the brighter side of things. This conspiracy theory about everything and everyone is way beyond my league.
Take for example, this constant meme going on about how India is having a disappointing Olympic games, and how our system is to blame. How cricket rules everything, leading to disproportionate attitudes towards the rest of the sportsmen and women in this country. Maybe we are having a disappointing Olympic Games. Maybe we’re not. I really don’t know. What I do know is the same bunch of people who wrote/said that we’re going to win every bloody medal in sight and each of the 87 (or whatever) sports persons is going to come back with at least a bronze, are now saying that the team is having a disappointing Games. Truly, I didn’t know who the hell Deepika Kumari was, till I was told that she is the world’s best archer and is going to win and obliterate every known record in sight. No one told me that she is 17 years old. I know how I was when I was 17. If someone is ranked world number 1 at the age of 17, that’s a mighty fine achievement. Better than pretty much anyone in my family (before or after me) would achieve. Even if she doesn’t win the damn medal. For myself, I find it a very creditable achievement that I can change a diaper on a baby that is attempting wiggle away and turn towards the multi colored beach ball right behind, and I am TWICE her age!!!
It’s sports. A game. At the end of the day it nothing to do with winning and losing. All that nonsense about winning is everything is beyond me. Some win, some lose. Terming those who have lost as “losers” is stupid, especially when I am sitting on my couch watching an idiot box. It is very difficult for me to get worked up only because ESPN paid a billion dollars to broadcast the games. In that sense, the old days of DD National were so much better. Free to broadcast, with the most boring hosts and sets, and no advertisers, and zero incentive to attract the last set of eyeballs on the planet to eke out a profit.
What about patriotism, you say? What about all the pride and joy you get out of hearing the national anthem and the national flag? What about the chance to show what progress India has made in the field of sports? They are representing me and you and why on earth would you want the world to think that we suck at sports.
Hold that thought. Think about that for a second. They represent you and me. Now imagine yourself on a sports field. Imagine how things are going to turn out. Suddenly things seem crystal clear.
It is because they represent you and me that they never win at the Olympics!!!!

Friday, July 13, 2012

... Like a rolling stone...

I need somebody, HELP!!
Not just anybody, HELP!!
You know I ....

Aww crap!!!!

That’s not what I wanted to write.. Or started to write about anyway..

I just wanted to write about how easily I get distracted and I need to get some help, keeping all the distractions at bay..

When I was younger, so much younger than today,
Never needed anybody’s help in any way..
Stop, Stop, STOP!!!

It’s just one thought after the other… If I ever could populate my thought bubbles in real time, like a comic book, I would be on a never ending loop.

I just started the post as HELP!!!, and then I hear John Lennon going all Help!!! in my head..

And then I go down that path, just following that trail..

I think I should be down with some kind of Adult ADHD or something..

Only, it is attention deficit for sure, definitely no hyperactivity, and I am certain some kind of disorder.

I think ADD is definitely a possibility.

Constant badgering makes me going after the biggest bling of information at the first opportunity..

Like a bloody Powerpoint presentation, that goes over everything in bullet points, and I keep going to the next slide wondering what fabulous tidbit of useless information am I going to be attracted to next..

Like a kid in a candy store or an addict desperate for his next high.

Too much information, very little application.

Everything force fed to me in packets that I am told are customized to give me everything I need to know,

You know it is ironic, that what I need to know is also told to me by the person providing me that information.

Like NDTV giving me a stupid cheat sheet for every random bit of faux outrage that it keeps trying to manufacture.


Give me data, don’t give me your analysis. I really don’t care about your analysis or your opinions.

And I don’t care what others think about it either.

FYI, Data is plural for datum, not for anecdotes.

Just give me the friggin’ data, let me decide, and no one gets hurt.

Don’t tell me that by having 8% conviction rate, the state of Maharashtra is more lawless than Bihar or UP, or that having a 90+% conviction rate in the North East is something to be proud of.

Don’t tell me that every person charged, is automatically a convict.

Don’t tell me that just because you think a politician is involved, he is guilty...

Don't tell me everything going on is basically a gigantic conspiracy theory out to screw your happiness..

Don’t tell me that it’s not your fault, but someone else is responsible for the mess you’re in..

I'll need some information first
Just the basic facts
Can you show me where it hurts?

There is no pain you are receding
A distant ship's smoke on the horizon
You are only coming through in waves
Your lips move
But I can't hear what you're saying

Friday, July 06, 2012

Mental Masturbation - Or Khayali Pulao for a family audience..

A month and two days from today, this blog completes 8 years. By the count listed on the blogger dashboard, I have 442 posts completed, this being 443. 443 posts in 95 months is roughly 4 posts a month. I have strived to keep posting once a week, though for the last 8 weeks or so, have been ridiculously lazy. I wish I can blame someone, or something, but as always the fault lies not in my stars but in myself.

But that is not the point of this post. Since Blogger has started keeping track of the pageviews, this blog has also been viewed 14,650 times, which comes to about 150 (or so) times a month. Not bad since I could never have thought that people would want to read what I write. 150 a month, is not quite Andrew Sullivan category, but not bad I say.

Over the last 8 years, I have come to the realization that irrespective of whether you like to read this or not, I truly enjoy writing. But it takes testicular fortitude of an exceptional kind to write for a living – the kind that I only dream of right now. I tried briefly to have a Google Adsense account to track whether I could make a living out of this thing, but in 8 years, my total account accrual was $7.30 and even that I was not eligible for, since I don’t have a US address any more. But if I ever I start seeing more pageviews for this blog, (say maybe 100,000 a month), well you never know..

That said, the pageviews frequency has correlated closely with the frequency of writing. I have had months where I have reached about a thousand or so viewers. Even random people from Russia, Sweden and Argentina have viewed this blog. So there’s probably a lesson there. And (perfect) practice makes perfect. I could really do with some more writing practice.

But then, this is the age of instant gratification. An age of shortcuts. An age where the phrase “minor details” has gained prominence, and people (myself included) take the lift instead of the stairs. Teachers go through Google to set exam papers and students go through the same Google search to get answer keys. Given that I have the responsibilities of an employee, a dutiful husband, a doting father, a responsible son and brother, an MBA student, and a citizen of this world, I really don’t have the time to keep writing random crap that someone may or may not read in order to fulfill my dream of becoming a published author & minor celebrity with 1000 twitter followers. I need a tried and tested method for improving the pageview count so that this blog becomes popular enough to be listed in the celebrity pages. And what’s more, I don’t have time or money to enlist a management consultant, or a branding consultant or a PR representative, or an image management consultant, or whatever the hell people these days do to become popular.

So I am going to do something which I have anecdotal evidence that it works like a charm. This is something I have seen based on whatever websites I visit on the topic, and the PR machine is stupendous. Details are skipped when it comes to this tactic, and reading my Facebook wall is what is the one stop shop to remedying all that ails this country. I am using you, dear reader, as a guinea pig in my experiment to increase the viewership of this blog, that will help me in my selfish motive to become a celebrity. So here goes:

This country needs a strong, dynamic, vibrant, visionary leader like Narendra Modi, even if he is an egotistical, manipulative, insecure maniac.

….. to be continued..


Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Letting the Truth prevail...

Dear Mr. Khan,

You don't know me, but I do know you. I mean, who doesn't? But, turns out we're related. Related in a weirdass way, that only Indians would consider each other related in such way. Your wife's grandmother was my grandfather's first cousin. Or something like that. In other words, I believe I have relatives, who are also related to your wife.

But that's obviously not why I am writing this open letter.

Let me first start with congratulating you on your wonderful new show. It is a great concept, and the right topics seem to be selected. Also, the show has the right amount of gravitas, and needless to say, an anchor with the exact amount of credibility needed to bring out the seriousness of the issue. As you said in the promos, “Dil pe lagegi, tabhi baat banegi”.

Consider “baat dil pe lagi

So much so, that I am going to come out with the truth, since the truth always prevails:

I didn’t watch the show.

Not that I didn’t want to, or had no interest in watching it. I did, trust me. But I had other things to do.

Not outside, but in and around the house. Minding the kids, while the wife was out. Paying the cheques for the bills that came, this week being the first week of the month, you see. Putting the clothes out to dry.

That kind of stuff.

But anyway, I’m not going to bore you with details of why I didn’t watch the show. I don’t think you missed me.

Airtel, Reliance, Star Plus probably did, but that’s beside the point.

What I am more concerned with, is that whatever I heard of the show, somewhat disappointed me.

Not that it’s not a great show. It may be. But if you truly want me to watch your show, you need to bring out a show, where not only do you promote a cause; you come up with actionable solutions. Not SMS to 575757 (or whatever) where Airtel provides special Re. 1. charge to petition the government to do something.

Do you truly, truly believe that my SMS will ensure that other people don’t kill a girl child? Pandering to the lowest common denominator with such gimmicks suggest to me that all this somewhere is a marketing brainwave for Star Plus, Airtel, Reliance, etc.. Tugging at our heart strings, making an emotional connection, and then making a profit.

Plus I am more of an ESPN, Idea, ICICI Prudential kind of guy

But I will still send that SMS, like how I go to a temple. Not sure of whether it would help, but it will sure make someone happy. And if that someone is happy, then I am happy. I may be the holier-than-thou, cynical, so-and-so that my wife says I am, or even worse, but I am a practical holier-than-thou cynical so-and-so.

But here’s what you need to do for me:

Forget going to Ashok Gehlot asking for help. Instead, help that poor lady who came to your show and held us to emotional ransom on national television, lodge a police complaint against her mother-in-law knowingly and willing pushed her baby girl down the flight of stairs, for attempted murder. Lodge a complaint against her husband and father-in-law for aiding and abetting the murder. Surely if what she says is true, a crime was committed, and the criminals should be punished.

Similarly, help mothers register cases against their family members who are killing the girl child. A hotline, an NGO, something that will provide them the emotional support. They need our support for showing courage, that what they’re doing is right. That, going against the family, is what is needed to get rid of this cruel practice.

Encourage people to register births and deaths. Lobby the governments to make it easier to register these. You see, the mother-in-law in the above case, would very likely get off scot free, because most likely the birth of those twins was never registered in the first place. How do you prove a murder in the court of law, of someone who there is no record of being born in the first place? There is a law signed in 1969 making it mandatory to register births and deaths. And as of 2001, only 61% of all births were registered.

And if you want to meet Gehlot for something, ask him to lift the ban on the sex determination tests. Instead, lobby him make them mandatory. You see, by banning the test, we’re killing the messenger. The tests, are to date, the only way of knowing whether there is a girl or a boy in the womb. If someone is killing the girls, the tests are pretty much the only piece of solid non-refutable evidence, admissible in the court of law, which can then be used to prove culpable guilt. Keeping the prohibition will only encourage people to approach quacks and practice unsafe practices.

Let’s encourage the use the technology we have, to eradicate a menace. Use the forum of your show to encourage people to do all those things which will help the government catch wrongdoers.

Help people bring the truth out in the open.

Because as you rightly put it, the truth always prevails.

See you Sunday, at 11am to rediscover my television viewing experience.

Best regards,

(PS: I spent more time writing this letter, than I would otherwise have spent watching your show. As I said previously, “Baat dil pe lagi”)

Ten Commandments - from Bertrand Russell..

Felt like sharing. And hope to have more of this, as we go along..
1.Do not feel absolutely certain of anything.

2.Do not think it worth while to proceed by concealing evidence, for the evidence is sure to come to light.

3.Never try to discourage thinking for you are sure to succeed.

4.When you meet with opposition, even if it should be from your husband or your children, endeavour to overcome it by argument and not by authority, for a victory dependent upon authority is unreal and illusory.

5.Have no respect for the authority of others, for there are always contrary authorities to be found.

6.Do not use power to suppress opinions you think pernicious, for if you do the opinions will suppress you.

7.Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.

8.Find more pleasure in intelligent dissent that in passive agreement, for, if you value intelligence as you should, the former implies a deeper agreement than the latter.

9.Be scrupulously truthful, even if the truth is inconvenient, for it is more inconvenient when you try to conceal it.

10.Do not feel envious of the happiness of those who live in a fool’s paradise, for only a fool will think that it is happiness.

Hat tip: Brainpickings via Marginal Revolution.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

An angry post... A frustrated post..

Let’s do a small role play:

Imagine you’re driving on an open city road, when you approach a traffic light. About 50 yards or so from the light, the green light turns amber. You’re at that point where it is a split second decision whether you accelerate or take your foot off the pedal. You know for a fact that you may be able to cross the threshold but you will not clear the square before the light turns red.

Do you step on it, or do you follow the rules?

Let’s say now, you decide, using some miraculous sense of right and wrong, to stay within the limits of the rules and stop before the line. You’re waiting for the light to turn green, so you can proceed. And along comes a speeding vehicle, which seeing the road ahead open, decides to not bother with the rules, and just go ahead.

What do you do now?

You know no one is going to catch you. You are almost guaranteed to not be punished for not following the rules.

Do you still wait?
Exactly why do we follow rules, laws, processes, or guidelines?

Or more to the point, why do we need to follow these?

Or even more to the point, why do we follow some rules, laws, processes or guidelines and not some others?

Why, for example, do we have prashad with our right hand, and right hand only, after wiping the hand on the trouser, but not follow traffic laws?

Even when the prashad rule is an unwritten convention, barely mandatory, and hardly matters in the larger scheme of things, whereas the traffic law is written in our legal system, agreed to by representatives of our society, and implemented / enforced (at least superficially) by the protectors of law and order and an error could literally cost lives?

Are rules and processes the crutch we use only when we don’t want to do something?

Why do we say “Satyameva Jayate” when the reality is that it’s more a case of “Jayatyameva Satya”?

Why am I bothering to teach my kids to always do the right thing, when right and wrong are becoming increasingly subjective?

What, exactly, is the point of all this hypocrisy?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Raging Bull*#&@

Sometime in the recent past, in the name of political correctness, targeted marketing, and never offending a potential customer, we stopped calling stupid idiots stupid, and started referring to them as bored thrill-seekers.

Right then, and right there, the world stopped becoming a better place.

Every day I see incidents which wouldn’t have happened 15 years ago, and after a lot of soul searching, the only reason I can think of, is that people stopped ridiculing idiots in public.

I mean, what do you say to the thousands who flocked to Marina Beach, Chennai to witness a “live tsunami”???

Here’s what I would say if someone told me to come see a tsunami in Chennai:


And then I would have politely declined the invitation.

But, that’s beside the point.

The point is, when “Idiot does as Idiot is” (to paraphrase Forrest Gump), it is our moral duty to call them that.

And then do to them exactly what their act deserves

In public.

So the next time someone is running a red light or driving on the wrong side of the road, I say mow the bastard down

After you call him / her an idiot, of course!!!

And if you hear Aaj Tak or Times Now faking enthusiasm for something that really doesn’t matter like Bilawal Bhutto’s tweets, swear at Arnab, call him an idiot and then switch off the TV.

It's what they deserve!!!!

Monday, March 12, 2012


The Korps landelijke politiediensten (KLPD; National Police Services Agency) is the national police force in the Netherlands, responsible for specialist missions that benefit from a centralized approach. It is independent from the regional police forces; but like them, it is subordinate to the Dutch Ministry of the Interior and has a staff of approximately 4,500. The KLPD operates both at national and international level from its HQ in Driebergen near Utrecht.

Source: Wikipedia

Friday, March 09, 2012

What are "Friends" for????

A couple of days ago, I was scrolling my Facebook wall, when I came across a random comment made by someone as a status update, on the state of the country and how every one currently in power was to blame for it, or something like that. The contents don't matter, but the statement was devoid of any use of factual data, and seemed like it was made purely with the intention of getting a few "likes" from the writer's friends.

Since such statements bring out the debater in me, I couldn't resist. I commented something on the lines of how the entire argument didn't make sense to me, since the data which I was seeing was completely different from what my friend seemed to be implying. He commented, then I commented, then he commented again, and then he commented again..

At which point I lost it..

But I could not bring myself to write that my "friend" was being a blistering idiot..

Which is when it struck me as to why Facebook is so popular, and yet seems so shallow..

That's because everyone is so fucking nice with each other!!!

(Sorry, no other way to put it.. )

No matter what you do, you cannot bring yourself to write something bad about someone who is your "friend" on his "wall" because that will make you look like mean. If it were in person, you would have told the guy whatever was on your mind, and settled your differences. But here, everyone is just so nice. More importantly, it's my theory that it's this requirement of being nice to your friends, that makes you mean to people who are never going to be your friends (Rahul Gandhi, Sachin Tendulkar, Shah Rukh Khan, to name a few). And your friends will never tell you that you're being stupid, they'll find your comment funny, and so they'll like it for some weird reason.

Look around you.. There are people you like, and there are people you don't like. And then there will be people you like, who will do things that you don't like, and when they do things you don't like, you will make sure that you tell them so. When your friend is being an oaf, it is your moral duty to tell him / her, in no uncertain terms that he/she is being an oaf..

That's what makes you a true friend..

Tongue Tied and Twisted...

It is with great sorrow that I have to report, that I believe I am gradually turning into a cynic.

Growing up, I was brought up to believe in the goodness of other people. We are all God's children, we were told. Don't do something that you would be ashamed of when you have to face the maker..

I truly believed in this, and I truly believed that other people truly believed in this.

But I don't believe in this facade any more. I still like to take it as a guiding principle, but no longer a fundamental belief. Or as someone said in our HR class recently, "I believe in people until I have a reason not to". 

You see, fundamental beliefs are a problem these days. It just doesn't help to have fundamental beliefs.

That's what I have become.

And so I felt sad, when I read about the poor IPS officer, who was mowed down by a tractor by the illegal mining mafia in Madhya Pradesh. I wanted to feel for him. I was told he was an honest man. His wife, an IAS officer, on maternity leave. He took on the mining mafia, and had to pay with his life.

I could so relate to him.

But I didn't feel a thing. Just shrugged and moved on..

Maybe it's because of having seen enough police officers. Maybe it's because my Facebook friends, Twitter tweeps and Arvind Kejriwal, kept telling me as to how there is no protection for honest people in this country now that it is being governed by the Congress, and Digvijay Singh telling me that it's all the BJP's fault, without actually knowing what happened. Maybe there's some part of me, which thinks that he was bumped off, not because he was a thorn in someone's side, but because he now knew too much. Maybe because I feel most of the times that when the Times of India gives me some information these days, it has some agenda behind it.

So I don't know what is true, I don't know what to believe, who to believe.

So the only belief I have is a cynical one.

Anyone else notice the irony?

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Dogs and Indians

My late grandfather, hated the British. He hated the British more than he hated Pakistan.

Which to me seemed weird, everyone I knew hated Pakistan. Especially on a Friday when there was a game at Sharjah. Nobody hated the British. Everyone actually wanted to be British, and here was an old man who hated them more than the arch enemy itself.

But his logic was sound, or at least in his mind.

"When I was growing up" he would say "the British wouldn't allow dogs and Indians in to their private clubs".

However as the world changed, our exposure changed, and our world view changed. Pakistan and Pakistanis, looked no different from us. They had the same issues in their lives and they looked just as miserable as the rest of us. So did Americans, British, Chinese, Japanese, and pretty much everyone.

No one seemed different as a race, but definitely differed from person to person. I met Indians in the US who lived like they never left their mohalla from 1989, and Indians in India who lived in a first world country.

People are different, people are the same.

Why am I ranting all this, and what does this have to do with you?

That's because I got an email in my inbox today, which went something like this.

This is to bring to your notice that over the last few years it has been observed that Foreigners (of all origins) and Bachelors (including Indians), who have been residing on rent, have over-run the peace and tranquility of the esteemed XXXXXX Society. They have been a regular cause of nuisance and insecurity by means of vandalism, arson, violence, misdemeanor towards ladies, creating late night ruckus and disturbing the ambience of the society by performing illegal acts (Including drugs).

They are posing a serious threat to the families of flat owners residing here. It is to the extent that there have been some recent incidents whereby some flat owners and their family members have received beatings and physical harm and injury from these foreigner resident goons/ bachelors, when they requested the foreigners to refrain from performing acts of vandalism or misbehavior.

Owing to such serious threats to life and property and based on considerations above, we hereby request you "By Order of the XXXXXX Residents Co-operative Housing Society Ad Hoc Committee", invoking the legal powers and authority vested vide Letter from XXXXXX Builders Corporation (Memo Dated: 25th January 2012), to evict Foreigner/ Bachelor rental occupants from your Flat by 28th February 2012

XXXXX - Society name redacted on purpose to protect identity and confidentiality

It's wrong at so many levels, that I'll not bore you with everything. Just that a fatwa against foreigners and bachelors renting flats is pretty common all over Pune.

But not every foreigner is unwelcome here. Americans, British, Australians, and pretty much everyone who is Caucasian is ok. Foreigners are only Irani (not Iranian, Bahraini, Syrian, Palestinian, Iraqi, Kuwaiti… just Irani. Another way to be Irani, is to be not white, brown or black) or African (he of black skin). What's more, this is acceptable.

Which makes me wonder, whether the gripe my grandpa's generation had, was not that they were being disqualified simply for being brown skinned or Indian, rather that Indians were being compared to dogs.

Maybe if the British had placards which went like "Lions and Indians not allowed" we'd probably still be happily under British rule J

Friday, February 24, 2012

Caught and Bowled...

Now hang on a second..

Someone please tell me, why exactly Sachin Tendulkar should retire?

If your point is that he has achieved all that he could possibly achieve, my answer to that would be that he has achieved all that you wanted him to achieve. If he has different goals, he has never said so. In fact he has never said that he has specific goals, not 20,000 ODI runs, not 25,000 test runs, nothing.

If you think he’s made enough money that his 15 future generations will live comfortably, I’m reading the Forbes list of richest sportsmen (let alone individuals), and he’s nowhere near.

If you say he’s 39, and so should retire, well, I’m 34, and do you want me to retire in 5 years? I would LIKE to, but I don’t think I will be able to (that’s for another day though)

I say he’s enjoying himself, he thinks he can still play at this level, and hey, if he doesn’t want to retire, no one can force him to.

Not because he’s done so much for the Indian team, or anything like that, but because regardless of whether you’re Sachin Tendulkar or Sujith Somasunder*, you should be the one deciding whether you want to play on or become a software programmer (which is what Sujith Somasunder is doing now, btw).

Are we asking Mr. Tendulkar to retire in the middle of an away series? And then what, do we do? Send him home? Play with 13 available players for the remainder of the series? So can we stop this nonsensical meme till the team comes back?

Now, if you say that he shouldn’t be in the Indian national team, well that’s another matter altogether. But then, I don’t think he (Tendulkar, not Somasunder - I don’t think even Sujith’s mother wants him in the national team anymore) decides whether he’s in the team or not.

There are 5 gentlemen who pick the team also known as the Selection Panel. They pick 14 players for a tour. If a person is on the 14, and is fit, he is ready for selection.

Which brings me to the next question:

Can someone tell me why Sachin Tendulkar was selected to play this tournament?

*If you don’t know who Sujith Somasunder is, man you need to stop watching Aaj Tak, and be a true cricket fanatic..

Friday, February 17, 2012

Overdraft at the Vote Bank..

So I voted yesterday.

Not that it will make much of a difference to my life. At least not right away.

You see, I live about 15 wards away from where my name is registered.

Because I find it easier to vote in my parents ward once every 5 years, rather than go through the procedural requirements of changing my address.

I don't do that, also because if I go through the entire process of registering a new address, I fear I'll find our dream home suddenly available another 15 wards away, and then everything is moot again. 

So, I voted yesterday, for the person who my mom said would benefit her ward the most in her opinion.
Not really any different from any of the people who vote for whoever their sarpanch, community head, mukhiya or maulana tells them to.

But then, this level of ignorance hit me hard somewhat.

So I made a promise to myself,

The next time I vote, I will vote for the person I know the best.

I'd like to say that person would be me.

But I need to get the pulse of the population
So to paraphrase Paul McCartney...

What would you do, if I ask for your vote..
Would you stand up and vote for me???
Lend me your ear, and I'll make you think,
And I promise not to let things be...
So let me know if I should contest the 2014 Lok Sabha elections from Pune.

You may "like" it or "+1" it to show your support.  
Especially if you're a sarpanch, community head, mukhiya or maulana :)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Cult Classic - Finding My Religion..

Considering Wikipedia calls it a “pejorative term for a group whose beliefs or practices are considered abnormal or bizarre”, I think I should start a cult.

Because, I have realized that most of my beliefs are what normal people would call bizarre, and therefore one could argue that they are also abnormal.

Here’s what followers of my cult would believe

• God exists. That much we know. In what form, shape and quantity, that we don’t know.

• We don’t plan on knowing either.

• We just need someone to put the blame on, when we don’t know the cause for something that we know happened.

• Almost everything we know about God till now, we suspect we are wrong.

• We don’t believe that humans are children of this God. We have strong reasons to believe that humans are children of other humans.

• However, we do believe all humans are equal. Not in the eyes of God, but in our eyes.

• We don’t believe in any laws which prevent humans from doing what they would like to do, as long as they don’t harm other humans. For instance, laws and processes that prevent humans from freely moving from one place to another are work of the Devil.

• In fact, we hate Visas so much, we prefer MasterCard

• That was just a figure of speech. We don’t know if there is a Devil. We’ve never seen any Devil, plus in our model, we blame God for everything good or bad, so the Devil is somewhat inconsequential.

• We believe that there are only three aspects in life which are true. Art, Science and Emotions. The rest is just noise.

• Our definition of these goes something like this:

Science: Anything we experience that can be replicated

Art: Anything that we experience that cannot be replicated

Emotions: the human response we experience when faced with an instance of Art or Science
• Things like success, failure, fame, fortune, etc. don’t matter much. We’re still not sure if these are a part of science or art. We do know these affect our emotions, so we know that these are either art or science, probably both.

• Since we are a cult, we’re bound to believe that the World will come to an end. But what sets us apart, is that it doesn’t matter to us when the world comes to an end.

• We don’t know if there is a heaven or a hell. That’s a can we prefer to kick down the road. We’ll find out when the world comes to an end, or we come to an end, whichever is first.

• Based on our experience, humans really have no clue about anything. We believe we are human. Therefore, what you read above, are actually our best guesses about what we believe in.

• Whether you agree or disagree, it’s your choice. We don’t have the enthusiasm or outrage to prove to you anything.

Actually the cult is already formed.

But my problem is what to call it??

Monday, February 06, 2012

The Lord is one Mean S.O.B.

So the 3-year old performs like a pro at her annual Day concert. Comes out with a heartfelt rendition of the School Anthem, and the Welcome song. Then she rocks the party with a fabulous dance in a flower costume to the tune of Aaware Bhaware. So the parents do what any normal parent will do and treat her to a McDonald's Happy Meal, Doremon toy, Sprite et. al.
And she gets a throat infection and a temperature.
I mean, what sort of a just, fair and merciful Lord does this?
Where is Karma when you need it?

Monday, January 30, 2012

Of Gods and Men...

As the older one wakes up, the younger one falls asleep...

And so passes yet another Sunday.. 

One where you spend the entire day running after chores, cleaning house, putting kids to bed, waking them up. If there were 30 hours to the day, you'd still be running on empty by 9.30 pm. 

One where "work-life balance" means going to office!!! 

Which makes me wonder, "How the hell did our parents manage all those years ago??"

There was no TV to distract the kids, there was no microwave to quickly heat the food, no washing machine to wash and "spin-dry" the clothes, and (hell) no Pizza delivery!!! To add to that, there were shortages of everything. Money, supplies, toys, you name it. New clothes were stitched 2 sizes larger by the neighborhood tailor because ready-mades were out of our budget, and "hand-me-downs" were probably all that we wore through the day. Eating out was, at best, once a month.

It was a time, when moms worked not for a career, but because without the second income, the family faced penury. I could bore you with details of my parents slogging their backsides off, just to get us everything we wanted, but I am sure you have more details of your own.

It always makes me wonder why folks list the Ambanis and the Tendulkars and the SRKs as their role models, when there are more inspiring (and relevant) idols in their own homes.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Looking London, Talking Tokyo...

So by now we all know that Salman Rushdie will be addressing the Jaipur Lit Fest through a video uplink which will be thoroughly vetted by censors for inappropriate mentions of banned utterances. He was going to attend in person, but he now has some threat to his life, true or otherwise, and so our man is forced to present like he is giving a job interview in a neighborhood Reliance Web World.

Death of Free Speech, I hear you say?

Well, Free Speech was never alive in the first place, but anyway, that's not the point of this post.  

The organizers could very well have saved the entire embarrassment to everyone concerned, if only they had organized the festival after March 3, 2012.


Nothing to do with any astrological misalignment, of any kind.

You see, the entire brouhaha about Salman Rushdie, has nothing to do with him, his book, his speech, or anything like that, and has everything to do with the elections in our great state of Uttar Pradesh.

You do know that the Congress is in tough battle with the Samajwadi Party (at least in their minds) for the so-called "Muslim" vote there, don't you? Outlook tells me from a few weeks ago, that most of the population would vote for whomever the village imam sahib would tell them to vote for. The Muslim vote would define the power brokers in Uttar Pradesh, a crowning moment for Rahul Gandhi to gain ascendancy into an eventual prime ministerial berth.

Put it another way, not a single participant, author, reader, fan, organizer, journalist, or Reliance Web World operator is going to vote in Uttar Pradesh come February. Do you seriously believe that, with so much at stake, by inviting the one man in this world who is associated with blasphemy against the Prophet (PBUH), a Congress chief minister would risk giving the SP so much of an advantage?

So I ask you again,

Death of Free Speech??


A Vibrant Democracy??

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Eternal Sunshine of a Curious Mind..

I mean, do you really really care whether they figured out the Higgs Boson the other day?? Here's some research I would rather have someone do:


-          How many traffic accidents are caused by idiots on the road with earplugs in both ears blaring music?

-          How much water is used, when having a shower when compared with a bucket bath?

-          On the same lines, what are the efficiency losses of a shower versus a bucket bath,(temperature and volume)?

-          If my phone can have a radio, and the internet, why can't my car stereo, so that I can play live internet radio instead of Radio Mirchi and the like? With a 3G enabled SIM, that should be possible, yeah?

-          If mosquitoes breed in still water, then why don't we introduce genetically modified, sterilized mosquitoes in our taps?

-          Why is it that I am in the same trouble if I run over a sober pedestrian when I am drunk, and a drunk pedestrian when I am sober?

-          If Teflon is non-stick, then why don't they coat toilet bowls with some, instead of peddling Harpic?

-          Why is Christmas the same day of the year, but Easter date is floating? If they knew the day Jesus was born, couldn't they also record his passing?

-          If you can have battery operated inverters, why can't you have battery operated microwaves so that we can use them even when the power is out?

-          Who defines what constitutes the middle class? Surely, everyone I know CANNOT be the "middle class" that they say they are, can they?
-     If so, more to the point, where do I stand?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

No offence, but why you so angry???

Someone I know, and respect a lot, sent me this article 

I read this article, and also some of the others that have been forwarded to me from the same blog in the past. And the one recurring theme in these articles has been how the media are crooks. This is related to stuff I have been writing in the past, though with a slight difference. And I just wanted to make the situation and distinction clear.

Unfortunately, for modern India, it is the Congress that is the standard ruler. Like it or not, all political parties in modern India, are born out of an opposition to the Congress. The Jan Sangh, probably for some time defied that rule and went more on principle, but the BJP of today, is more an anti-Congress party rather than a pro-principle party. The principle that the Congress was built on - independence from the British - is so antiquated, that in a few years from now, the youngest freedom fighter for India's independence should logically be about 75 years old, and most likely has defected from the Congress already. None of the core values that any of the parties were set up for, in any case, has anything to do with the development of the country.

But they're still in power, and have been so for all except a few occasions. Let's face it, if the country really didn't want the Congress to rule, it had 15 chances in the Lok Sabha to ensure that. By my count, only on 5 occasions has it done so (Morarji '78, VP Singh '89, Deve Gowda/Gujral, Vajpayee '98, Vajpayee '99). A score of 10-5 is a score I would take that the country really likes the democratic monarchy concept. Even on the 5 times we kicked them out, 4 times out they got the largest vote percentage as a single party.

What does that tell someone?

In most of the cases, my challenge has been to sift through the media and identify articles without a hidden motive behind them. Yet, it's one thing to call media as "puppets in the hands of unseen masters", it's quite another to term them as crooks. That Rahul Gandhi is following a template set by his grandmother, (and subsequently followed by his father) is obvious. However, it's not worth getting so angry on Rahul Gandhi or even the media. They are doing what (in their opinion) is in their best interests. What hurts me more, is that the phoneyness in the entire exercise that seems so obvious to me, doesn't seem that obvious to others.

Which could also mean that it is my interpretation that is wrong. If I am the only one seeing this facade, then maybe it isn't a facade, and what Rahul Gandhi (and his caravan) are doing is really what people like. The king, the benevolent ruler, showers goodies on the "praja" and they are happy with their lives, and the king is free to do as he pleases..  He is the King, after all!!!

Maybe people do like this kind of mollycoddling, after all.. Could it be that people expect Government to be
like a benevolent king? Their mental image of the leader of a country, seems more like a "kind" ruler, rather than one of us. Stories of leadership told to us are Lord Rama, Vikramaditya, Shivaji, Tipu Sultan, Akbar etc. - all kings with no known oppostion, or even a known history of tolerating dissent (probably Akbar, but even then there is no history of anyone surviving a dissenting opinion with him). We don't have a history of the knowing the truth. What we have had, consistently through history has been a set of smoke and mirrors which we assume as "Rajdharma".. You look at Anna Hazare's movement for example, and all you will see are cases where the expectation from his group has been following this Rajdharma.. He has no qualms thrashing drunks, and forced sterilization if you have more than 2 kids, where the final word is that of a one man prosecutor, judge and jury.
On other fronts, I would be very interested to see how the "Maryada Purushottam" would have responded to breaking news that he sent his wife into exile.

Which begs the question, why is it that they do this? Are they evil people, who have pure evil on their minds?

Or could it be that they're doing this, for no other reason, than it is bloody effective..

Fool me once, shame on you..
Fool me twice, shame on me..

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The story thus far...

12,145 days into the journey, realization dawns that my only possible entry to Masterchef would be a glass of Bournvita for my daughter. And hence the need for some stock taking, divided into four major categories.

Things I should do, and could do, but don't
 - Invest my money (let alone wisely). I like it in my bank. Helps me stay honest.
 - Keep in touch more with people. I think I am better than many, but that's no consolation. The blame goes in equal parts to ego and laziness.
 - Learn how to cook for my kids and wife.The first statement pretty much sums up my culinary abilities. Part of it is because I need to...
 - Learn how to stay focused. Most of the time I have a plethora of thoughts running through my head. Very tough to think straight. Which is one of the reason, I have not been able to...
 - Write a book. I have a story, in my head. It's not in your hands yet, and the only one to blame is me.
 -  Listen to my wife a bit more. Especially when it comes to anything that can save me a few rupees (like haggling with fruit vendors). Even otherwise, I think I should listen to the wife a bit more. Make that quite a lot more.
 - Lose weight. Big Time.. Know pain, no gain!!!
 - Be a little bit more bothered about stuff. Patriotism, Cricket, Art, Movies, Politics, Corruption. I feel like Teflon at times. In some quarters, you would say, I need to show more "passion", but since I don't quite know what it means, I don't know how to show it more.

Things I do, that I (probably) shouldn't
- Secretly wish that the jerk who cut me off and is zipping through traffic on his bike like a slalom skier, falls off the bike. Same goes for the hypocrite who wears religious attire and runs his bike through a no-entry on M.G. Road, simply because there's no cop to catch him.
- Dig my nose. It's embarrassing, I know. But compared to some of the other addictions around, I say it's rather harmless.
- Think that most people are not out to screw me. Which is why I cannot fathom why my morning newspaper seems to go out of its way to suggest that people are out to screw me.
- Consider spelling mistakes a personal affront to a reader on part of the writer. Don't know why, but I do. Sue me!!!
- Feel jealous when someone does well. Sucks to be me at the time. But, I think it is for a reason.

Things I like to do, and could do 24/7, especially if given some encouragement
- Surf the internet. Not for Facebook or Twitter or anything like that. But mostly for interesting stuff happening all over the world, trying to increase my knowledge.
- Read. I read the old paper wrapping from the bhel puri parcel, if it is in a language I can read.
- Write this blog. If you want me to write 24/7, you guys need to follow this more frequently, and click like crazy on all the ads that you see on this blog. That way, Google pays me, and then I don't need to work for dinner.
- Watch people smile. It just gives me a kick.
- Have music playing in the background. Reminds me of my childhood, when the radio played during all waking hours.

Things I don't like to do, and wouldn't touch with a light pole if I had an option, but have to do. 
 - Fake enthusiasm. Biggest problem with me, I can only market stuff I am truly enthusiastic about.
 - Performance reviews. Most of you know why.
 - Have an opinion. I hate opinions, more than I hate faking enthusiasm..
 - Talk about myself, especially to impress other people.

I'm quite sure there's more stuff, but I'm starting to listen more to my wife, and therefore stopping all this non-sense, and doing something more worthwhile and putting the kids to sleep :)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Que Sera Sera..

If I am playing the percentages, I think neither of my kids would be an engineer or a doctor. This is not a reflection on their aptitude in school. Just a reflection of the percentages.

Neither is in school right now, so all I have is statistics, and there are more people who are neither engineers nor doctors, than there are. So, probabilistically speaking, my kids would not be in these professions.

But there's a series of ads floating the rounds on TV these days that says that my kids could become peons (who save employees in office through timely use of the Heimlich maneuver) or master crooks (who can crack digital locks on those gigantic bank safes) who wanted to be (respectively) doctors or engineers but couldn't because their father didn't have the money to invest in their education fund (IDBI or something).

I wonder why they didn't pick lawyers, architects or chartered accountants. On watching this series, if a father feels guilty enough to invest in this fund, I can guarantee that this father is neither an engineer nor a doctor.

I can also guarantee that not a single soul involved with this ad series, has ever got an engineering or a medical degree.

But that's not the point of the rant here.

I would like to boldly predict on this post here that over the next few years, the engineering degree will be redundant.

Engineering knowledge is no longer centered in a school, college or university.

It is now out there. In real time with streaming live video. With the click of a button. Or a search engine.

If my daughter wants to be an engineer, she can just look it up on the internet, while Fourier turns in his grave.

The funny thing is, this democratization of engineering knowledge was made possible by engineers themselves.

As for medicine, it'll probably become more specialized so the probability of getting in, are even more remote. But the payoffs won't be as great.

Because there are options outside of medicine which can give you a comfortable living anyway.  Without the 24/7 on call lifestyle or the gory details.

In other words, keep your money somewhere other than this IDBI Future Save or whatever.

Your kids will thank you for it, when you buy their entire school class that ice cream sundae.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Maybe it's just me..


.. Corruption is not the biggest issue concerning India. We have been corrupt for years together. Kings and princes gave the country to the British, in order to retain their riches. Judas did it for 30 pieces of silver. Corruption has been going on for so friggin' long that we know how to deal with it. The numbers are higher today, because the payoffs are higher. The Bofors scam cost the government 160 crore extra, with 21 crore kickbacks. Bloody rounding error compared to the 2G scam.

.. Forget policy paralysis, forget election fervor, forget democracy or the lack of it.. The biggest issue concerning India today, is the inability of people (myself included) to think for themselves. Outsourcing of responsibility has reached such levels that even responsibility of thought has been outsourced to news channels.. Time has always been 24 hours in a day. Ever since the Big Bang exploded. Don't tell me you don't have time to think.

.. Speaking of democracy, and how everyone keeps harping about why we're no longer a democracy because we are not free to write anything on Facebook. Well, young man, we never were a democracy in the first place. I don't like Sibal telling me what to post, just as much as I don't like Advani telling me to have beef without cow slaughter. But hey, republican democracy is a collective agreement that we will follow the rules we set for ourselves, which by the way includes holding elections for our representatives. Democracy is not equal to freedom to do anything you wish. That, by my memory, is anarchy. I don't like anarchy. You are free to like it if you wish. Just don't do it here.

.. Which is also why, much as I hate Rahul Gandhi getting prime position to take this country to its doom just because his mom was lucky enough to wait at his dad's table in University, it really doesn't do me any good by ranting at him (Rahul, not Rajiv, who is dead, bless his soul). If we were a true democracy, let alone Rahul Gandhi, but his dad, uncle, aunt, and grandmother would never have come to prominence. But they did. Just as Uddhav Thakeray, Ajit Pawar, Supriya Sule, Chandra Babu Naidu, the entire Scindia parivar, M.K. Stalin, heck, even Jayalalitha did. Some have some merit, some don't, but they did come to prominence because their relatives. And it's not that they wanted to be in that prominence. We've never really moved on from monarchial patronage. If you keep the King happy, you can do whatever you want. So, if the King dies, it makes sense to have someone from his family take his place, so that you can continue your shenanigans. If you get someone new in his place, he will find out your deeds. In return the King has to ensure that his subjects are happy, and leading a prosperous life. Patronage flows at the lowest common denominator. Mahadev Babar's son is going to be the next candidate from Kondhwa PMC ward. I know that, not for any other reason, but that he has a son. Three of them. His seat is vacant, so he's going to get one for his son. If he dies (God forbid, he's a good person), his son will contest the MLA elections. Simple as that. So that's what we are. A democratic monarchy.

.. But why freak out at politicians alone? We have a Jackky Bhagnani and a Hrithik Roshan. Take out Shah Rukh Khan and Akshay Kumar, and every single Bollywood hero that I know of, is there because of his contacts. We have Arjun Tendulkar getting a chance to bowl to Rohit Sharma in the nets. Parents name their kids Mukesh, for Ambani and not the singer, simply because Dhirubhai was a visionary.. It happens, it happens every where.. Live with it.

..  And I hope he never gets his 100th 100. I don't give a damn. What I DO give a damn about, is that we keep losing Test matches. AND FOR GOD'S SAKES, STOP CALLING HIM GOD!!!! You're pretty much associating Sachin with someone who will send you to eternal Hell, because you didn't do as He told you.. God subjects his subjects to tough love like malnutrition and female infanticide. Coming back to SRT, 99 centuries has a good enough ring to it and a conversation piece for a lifetime. If he gets to 100, all we'll say is he was a great player. But we do that already..

.. I don't give a shit when Saif marries Kareena. All I curious about, is if she takes up the "Khan" surname, and whether she converts to Islam. Truly, it's none of my business, but the highest paid Hindu actress in a Hindu majority country converting to Islam for love of someone 15 years her senior, would be a big story, no? Would do wonders for communal harmony. Especially if she takes to the hijaab and wears those fashionable plastic red and white bangles inside. One thing I know for sure, she would have some hot shot designer design her veils..

.. Speaking of which, given the age gap, and the fact that he's a Nawab, would Kareena be a trophy wife??

.. I wonder why we don't make more out of the Bollywood personal lives. I mean, 4 top actors (Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir (twice), Saif (one and a half) and Hrithik Roshan) have married outside their religion. Which is good. It's funny how we enjoy their lives vicariously, having them as role models for what they do on a cinema screen, and not follow their real life good deeds. I also don't understand why these people don't come out in public and say that to them, all this doesn't matter.

.. We're so reluctant to speak about the things that actually bite us in the bum. We keep clinging on to our world view, with no thoughts for how things keep changing.. We're nothing that we say we are, we're everything we say we're not..

That's not just India, everyone..

There, I said it.

Happy New Year, everyone