December 02, 2008

Crises Bring Out The Best In Our Politicians

Manmohan Singh

Psychological twin: Vajpayee, towards the end of his tenure. (The same weariness, the same boredom, the same I'm-a-nice-guy-just-don't-expect-too-much-of-me-willya attitude. Give him a break, the man's 76. That's the age when a man should be falling asleep on his veranda while reading The Upanishads
[or Stardust, whatever rocks your boat] with his bifocals slipping down the bridge of his nose.)

When he says: Blah blah blah blah blah

What he really means is:
Blah blah blah (if I'm monotonous enough, no one will know that I'm not saying anything new!) blah blah

Current status: The real MS seems to be drugged and asleep somewhere, and a robot with an irritatingly soft voice has taken over. The robot, too, will continue to be directed by Sonia Gandhi, so as such, robot or MS, what's the difference. Pshaw.


Shivraj Patil


Psychological twin: Celine Jaitley. (The philosophy is, if you suck at what you do, you ought to at least pay attention to your clothes - they'll draw attention away from your work. Unfortunately, thi
s works for Celina, and pretty much backfires for Mr. Patil.)

When he says:
I will resign if that is what the government wants.

What he really means is:
Damn you, Sonia Gandhi, for kicking me out. Manmohan bhaisaab, inko kuch bolte kyun nahi?!

Current status: Unemployed.



RR Patil

Psychological twin: Shah Rukh Khan in DDLJ.
(H-e-e-e-y, senorita... bade bade deshon mein aisi chhoti chhoti baatein hoti rehti hai...)

When he says (yesterday):
There is no question of resignation, that is unnecessary.

What he really means is (today):
I am willingly tendering my resignation.

Current status: Unemployed.


Vilasrao Deshmukh


Psychological twin: Are you kidding me? There's only one VD.

When he says:
Ram Gopal Verma's presence at the Taj was a coincidence...
What he really means is:
He promised to make me his hero! Dammit! Ritu, beta...

Wh
en he says: Development took priority over security.
What he really means is:
C'mon. You pay more than 50% of the nation's taxes, have some sense. Obviously you can't have both.
*Channel [V] Bai voice*
Itne
paise mein b
hi itnaich milenga...

Current status: Unemployed, no movie offers, not much goodwill. Aww.

Raj Thackeray

Psychological twin: Your school bully

When he says: ... *silence*

What he really means is: Damn. There goes my region-politics. What to do now? What to do now? Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

Current status: The object of a few hundred SMSes and jibes on TV, Mr. Thackery was last seen hiding under his bed and sobbing to himself, "But I just wanted everyone to like me! Mommyyyyyy!"

L.K. Advani

Psychological twin: Moody teenager with a drugs problem.

When he says:
Manmohan Singh & I will fly to Bombay together
What he really means is:
I'm hoping you're not there at the airport with your cameras tomorrow. I can't stand that guy.

When he says:
The nation will stand together at a time like this.
What he really means is: The nation will... but, d-uh, we won't. What? You seriously thought I'd be nice to the Congress for a change? * Walks away humming "Aisa mauka phir kahaan milegaaaa..." *

When he says:
Jinnah was secular.
What he really means is: Just like my party.

Current status: Hasn't been this happy since his last
rath-yatra. Breaks into a little dance every once in a while.


Narendra Modi

Psychological twin: What a scary thought.

When he says:
1 crore compensation for Hemant Karkare's widow.

What he really means is:
Make me PM! Please!

Current status: Continues to rule over Gujarat. Will keep up attempts to barge into other states at crisis-time and shamelessly lie and manipulate, till, of course, he becomes PM. Then he will love all humanity. (Just imagine.)


Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi


Psychological twin: The old fogey in your colony with rather strict ideas on what girls should do, at whom everyone laughs.

When he says:
Some women wearing lipstick and powder have taken to streets in Mumbai and are abusing politicians spreading dissatisfaction against democracy. This is what terrorists are doing in Jammu and Kashmir.

What he really means is:
The ladies in lipstick hate the government, the terrorists hate the government. We can't control the ladies in lipstick, we can't control the terrorists. Hence, they are the same. (QED, hahahahaha.)

Current status: Was last seen in some press studio being bashed by the media. Was also heard asking the same media to let him stay there for the night. (Lipsticked ladies were waiting outside, you see.)

"In politics, stupidity is not a handicap."
- Napolean Bonaparte

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Because this blog is crap. And because I don't want to trivialise the blasts (any further) by discussing them on this blog.

PS- Something I've wanted to say for a long time. Facebook is a social networking site. Not a Voice of the Youth. Not a platform for change. Facebook exists to provide you your daily quota of entertainment. Not to Save The Earth, or Save Tibet, or Save Mumbai. Because it doesn't do any of those things. Can we start differentiating between our lives on Facebook and our real lives, please?

(Yes, I know blogs don't save anything either. But at least there's the hope that somewhere, someone
could just write something that forces you to think.)

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Added later (thanks to Peru & NDTV): If there was any doubt in your mind that our politicians our among the most WTF politicians in the world, we present - the Kerala CM. Sometimes words fail me.

November 28, 2008

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I've never really felt that a blog is the right place to write about how terrorist attacks make us feel. My blog, especially, has always been some kind of crap-machine which hardly ever reflects what's really occupying my mind at a given point of time.

Yes, I hate this. I hate knowing that any day, 25 terrorists can just sail into the city with tons of ammunition and enter every landmark and fire at people.

Riots, we're used to. Bandhs, we smile at. Bomb blasts - they've become "usual", recently. Yes, our politicians are spineless. Yes, none of us expected Raj Thackery -so *protective* of Bombay usually- to spring into action or do anything remotely useful. Yes, we knew our security sucks royally, none of us have ever been checked at a station, and we're not surprised that people managed to breach dock/hotel security either.

But bombs in 10 places, a continuing hostage situation in 2 places even after almost 24 hours, and a couple of terrorists who could be on the loose?

It's not about the Congress vs the BJP anymore. It's not about bombs or guns, RDX or grenades. It's not about Indian victims or foreign.

It's really just about terror vs. humanity. The simple fact that you can't keep beating a man over his head without him either hitting back or collapsing. The fact that it's no longer as simple as calling your friends to ask whether they're okay. The fact that the loss of life, even if its not in your immediate circle, is still loss of life for no reason.

And the fact that the tangible damage -people dead and injured, policemen martyred, soldiers in battle, relatives waiting for loved ones- is only a trailer of the real damage this can do - to the psyche of an entire city, and an entire nation.

Because it's our city. Our roads, our hotels, and most importantly - our people.

It's not easy to watch helplessly as fires rage, as blood spatters over roads, as your city crumbles, as people die, as the media speculates and as AN Roy gets emotional and mourns the loss of his men. It's not easy to see the roads deserted, the people scared, the voices hushed, and to hear the sounds of ambulances in the dead of night. All we can hope is that we bounce back. I'm not 16, I can't chant "Spirit of Mumbai" every time something goes wrong. A city is made by its people, and the only thing that holds us together is the fact that we love and need this city and -at some level- each other. If that can override our fears -and I think it just might- we will bounce back still.

This is not something I really wanted to write about. In some way, it feels like a trivialisation of the horrific realities. Do you blog about the loss of a family member? Or have Facebook status messages mourning the person?

Do bloggers, journalists, writers and activists really matter at a time like this? What do they do, except stand at the sidelines and comment? You know how we always believe that the media has the power to influence thought and progress? Does it matter? A bunch of intellectuals analysing situations while people die on the streets? Pardon me for thinking in black and white - but it's difficult not to, at a moment like this.

It pisses me off that the media goes overboard and Barkha Dutt -one of our best- plays manipulative emotional games with relatives of people held hostage. (I've seen her at it before, with a woman who lost her child, prodding and questioning until she got the reaction she wanted. Yes, the media is manipulative. But one would hope that at least some of them would retain some semblance of ethics?) Or when CNN brings in "terror experts" from London (upper-class Brits) to talk about the *trends in terror* while Indians die. Or the obsession of news channels with this being "India's 9/11". Is this what we're reduced to? A nation of spectators, victims, and clowns?

Call me an idealist, but I still believe that this is not who we are - this is not what people are, anywhere in the world. Because after this is over, once the fear and sorrow and shock has faded, hopefully -just hopefully- we won't go back to being cynical.

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Comments are disabled on this post. I just don't feel it's right. Feel free to email me if you have something specific to say.

More (and better) writing, here, here and here.

November 20, 2008

Coming Back Only To Say...

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...that The Gender Analyzer (try it on your blog!) says

"We think http://mudramehta.blogspot.com/ is written by a man (83%)."

52%, I could live with. 64%, I could still convince myself. 75% would strain every nerve but I might just retain my equanimity. But 83%?! Gives me the feeling that I ought to be waking up and writing 6-line posts on beer, football, cricket and Salma Hayek.

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PS 1- This entry was published, deleted and now published again. Apologies to Ani, the sole commenter the first time round - I think your comment is lost in cyberspace. And to the rest of you - my blog and I have hit a rough patch in our relationship. Bear with us while we get some counselling. In the meanwhile, for cheap mindless entertainment, there's always India TV, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Himesh Reshammiya...

PS 2- MS Office 2007 rocks.

PS 3- When we're sleeeeepy... Coffee will keep us alive... (Damn all projects. I'd forgotten what a pain they were. But like so many other painful things, they've been reintroduced to me courtesy the Insti.)

PS 4- My blog layout is kinda screwed up. This is the only template I like, and it allows widgets just on one side.

PS 5-
My PSes just got longer than the post. Also, Ani boy, your comment's still here!

October 23, 2008

Short Post, So What?

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The easiest way to make a guy do something he doesn't want to do -
"Kyu, teri phat rahi hai kya?" (Inadequate translation: You're scared?)

Also note:
- The number of times this question is asked is directly proportional to the number of guys in a group
- The number of times this question is asked is directly proportional to the stupidity of the action being contemplated by said group

And while the phrase is Indian, I'm sure the sentiment is not. Worldwide, men have done, are doing and will do stupid things because they're provoked by, let's say, the English, or the French, or the Mandarin version of "Kyu, teri phat rahi hai kya?"


Half the wars in the world started because one guy went berserk, and the other guy had people who, instead of giving him ideas on peaceful settlements, were asking him, "Kyu, teri phat rahi hai kya?"

A lot of men gambled, smoked, did drugs and got drunk because someone was asking them, "Kyu, teri phat rahi hai kya?"

A lot of men cheated on their wives because they started asking themselves, "Kyu, teri phat rahi hai kya?"

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PS - What are your happy foods?
(Happy food = Food, the sight/smell of which alone is enough to make you happy. It gives you a sense of fulfilment, a sense of peace, and an enormous appetite.)

Mine are... Idli, aloo poha, cornflakes, corn toast and sandwiches. [Discussing what food I like on the World Wide Web. As you see, this blog is finally going the senile way.]

Anyway, coming back, what are your happy foods? Is my generation still crazy about pizza, or am I middle-aged?

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PPS- All posts with the tag "It's a Gender Thing" are nothing more than light fun. I will poke fun at women too. Be good children and behave yourselves.

October 07, 2008

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Why is it always easier to write, than to say? Easier to SMS, email, and IM than to talk face to face or over the phone and say, "I have a problem with you."

Is sarcastic-droll-rude-online me, really me? An image that I can't possibly carry into real life because it's impossible to say some things to a face.

Is emotional-insecure-me-in-person, too much of me? A reality I'd rather not have people figure out.

Is it the fact that some things, said aloud, would sound downright stupid?

Or is it just easier to communicate with a white window than to have to deal with facial expressions?

It's easier to write an email to say you screwed up and you're sorry, right? Maybe because a delayed response means you don't have to deal with emotions in real-time? Or because you know, subconsciously, it will cause more havoc in your mind if your apology is not accepted?

Is the web-interface an easier escape route? To run from difficult situations, hard things, anger, fear, frustration, nostalgia, love and friendship? To pretend nothing, you know, really matters.

Does adding an "lol" at the end of a message make it seem a little less... intense? Is a smiley really the equivalent of an actual smile?

What would make you happier - a heartfelt thank you online, or one in person?

And what would hurt more - a friendship falling apart online, or in person?

What's wrong with it if it is easier to tell someone - family, friends, anyone - how much they mean to you through the written word? As long as it's being expressed in some way.

Are we scared of not being able to express things well enough in person? Or are we scared of expressing them only too well in non-verbal ways?

Is vulnerability really that bad? Is nonchalance overrated?

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Afterthought: What are personal blogs/entries like this? Yet another escape route from emotions? Or simply a medium to express what could be a universal phenomenon, with no solution?

Apologies to the people who came here looking for fun posts. :) Next post will lampoon Yash Raj, SRK, reality TV and anything else you want. :D

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October 01, 2008

How To Buy Bags

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The Guy Way:
Think of the number of things your bag has to hold, then go and buy a bag that would accommodate those with some room left over.

The Girl Way:
Buy a bag of any size. Put all your stuff into it. Usually, 2 things can happen:
a. It's too small
b. It's too big
(Note: If it's just the right size, something has to be wrong - colour, pattern, texture, style, strap - and because of this it will be rejected.)

If it's too small, you can carry around only the things you can't do without. To figure out the things you can't do without is a torturous process so you prefer going back to Step 1 and buying a new bag.

If it's too big, you find enough things to fill it up with. Like an umbrella in October. Or books you don't intend to read. Eventually, your bag is populated with things you don't really need, but now you have some weird psychological dependence on their presence around you. You feel incomplete without them. Simultaneously, you're also getting a major ache in the shoulder. So you steel yourself, and go back to Step 1 and buy a new bag.

In all fairness, I think everyone reading this should agree on one thing:
While the guy way is the sensible way to do it, the girl way gives infinitely greater joy to the bag-possessor.

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Disclaimer: This was supposed to be a light post. And before comment trolls come and say it, yes, I am stereotyping, and it's obviously not necessary that this applies to the universe at large.

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September 24, 2008

Happy (2nd) Birthday to Blog

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Just realised this blog has been around for more than 2 years now. How? Much like your relative, I have this strong urge to say, Arre-dekho-Munnu-kitna-bada-ho-gaya!!

[ I'd assumed I'd give up in a few months out of boredom. But the thing about blogging is, it's such a perfect remedy for all the people with no lives -people who are bored, narcissistic, self-absorbed, and under-performers in their actual field of study/work (yes, I am all of those, and more)- that it's impossible to quit. What to do? Much like a bad relationship, this blog survives solely because it's a habit, and once in a blue moon, it has its good moments. (Deep, no? :P) ]

Yes, I realise this is a dumbass entry and thanks to all the new sidebars which update themselves automatically, this blog will show up for no reason. As a concession, no one will be blackmailed and bribed into commenting this time round.

Spread the joy.

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September 17, 2008

Random Thoughts for the Day

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Only in India: The entire "First Family of Filmdom" (why I hate them is a story we shall leave for the long rainy afternoons) apologises to the Chief Goon of Maharashtra. What for? For Lady B exercising her freedom of speech.

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Observation:
Every couple (and I mean every couple) that has just gone *official* does exactly the same thing:

1. Call confidante [Yes, that'd be me. All the time. No, seriously. I'd kid myself into believing that I'm a *good listener* but I think it's just the fact that I don't get over-interested. It makes people feel safe. Maybe. Humans are strange.]

2. Rave on [No issues here, ab nahi karoge toh kab karoge? :) ]

3. Develop a sudden desire to set up said confidante with various people.

Can't they eliminate Step 3? Maybe it's unconscious. Maybe they want to spread the joy. Very aww individually, but when they all do it unfailingly, it gives you a fascinating insight into human nature - everyone's exactly the same. Single people reading this (there are, what, 2 of you?) does this happen to you too?

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Finally, some gems from our educational system:

It is made clear that an auditor is a watch dog, not a blood hound
- Audit notes
(But either way, he clearly is a dog.)

Internal Control over employees:
...Every member should be encouraged to go on leave at least once a year. Frauds come to light during such a leave period.
- Audit notes again
(So the next time your boss encourages you to take leave - which boss does, by the way? - you will know why.)

A promises B to attend the dinner and fails to attend. This promise certainly does not create a legal obligation on the part of A to enable B to sue A for the price of non-consumed food.
- Law book
(I've always said, Law - the academic portion of it - is the art of stating the blindingly obvious in a mindbogglingly (word?) ridiculous manner. Which host would want to sue a guest for not turning up? I'd be thrilled.)

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Heroooooo... Hero Hondaaaaaaa...
Heroooooo... Hero Hondaaaaaaa...
Dhak, dhak, go!

One word: Eww.

(Disclaimer: The above is not to be construed as a criticism of Tic Tic Roshan. His only fault is bad taste. What do the people at Hero Honda think they are, though? Madhuri Dixit?)


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Yes, this is a fully faltoo blog. What to do, men. Given up the bluddy pretence of creativity also, men. (Fully faltoo se I remember, watch Lost In Translation on MTV. It brings back the MTV we once loved - before Splitsvilla, Teen Drama Queen and other sundry lame shows happened.)

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September 09, 2008

Social Servant? Here's what you can do.

Be Blind, To Serve The Blind.

I really want to meet the person who wrote that. Maybe it actually makes sense in some way.

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We sit at the same table,
Strangers.
They told me you were wonderful,
That I'd love you from the first moment.
And I wonder now, "Do they even know me?"

Something's missing.
You're not exactly hot, but that'd be fine
If you stimulated my mind.
The ones before you did... and how.
You're too mild... almost nondescript.
There's no... what's the word?
There's no character to you.
And I hate to be trivial, but... the way you smell!
Horrifyingly wrong.

I try to be polite.
I can't just walk away.
But I've had a bad day,
And this is really not helping.

I look around furtively,
Suddenly, I realise, there are many like us,
Many like us, sitting right here.
I wonder what's going through their minds.
Do they find this as insipid as I do?

I focus on you again,
And I sigh.
I just can't go through with this.

On an impulse,
I turn around.
I've tried enough to like you
And it's impossible.
I yell out to the waiter,
"Arre boss, coffee mein bilkul dum nahi hai!"

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I know I write terrible poetry. But that doesn't stop me. :) I was forced to write poetry at Malhar recently after a gap of over a year, and I had a lot of fun. So maybe there'll be another section now for Attempts at Poetry.

And people who've read my other blog for very long now (just Peru, I think) will know that this is very very similar to another poem I wrote. Apparently only coffee brings out the bad poetry in my soul.

Also, question open for all - was this one really predictable or is that just my imagination?

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September 01, 2008

Reading and Misc (This is how I label folders in Windows Explorer.)

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Why everyone should read Yes, Prime Minister (or watch the series, really, but the book is wayyy funnier):

I decided it was time to remind Humphrey who was boss.
"Humphrey, who has the last word about the government of Britain? The British Cabinet or the American President?"
He sat back, crossed his legs, and considered the matter for a moment.
"That's a fascinating question, Prime Minister. We often discuss it."
"And what conclusion do you come to?"
"Well, he replied, "I have to admit I'm a bit of a heretic. I think it's the British Cabinet. But I know I'm in a minority."

Why everyone should read Wodehouse:
"What did he say?"
"I cannot recall his exact words, sir, but he drew a comparison between your mentality and that of a cuckoo."
"A cuckoo, eh?"
"Yes, sir. To the bird's advantage."

It was one of the dullest speeches I ever heard. The Agee woman told us for three quarters of an hour how she came to write her beastly book, when a simple apology was all that was required.


Over-generalisation: Is all good humour by British authors? Wodehouse, Douglas Adams, Helen Fielding (okay, chick-lit, but pretty damn funny), Sue Townsend (drags sometimes, but still), even Jeffrey Archer (at times), Gerald Durrell? I can't seem to recall any American writer of humour. Then again, it could be the fact that my reading is very limited and very mainstream.

Grouse #1: While we're on books, will someone explain why Agatha Christie novels are being made into those... graphic novels? Is that the term? Or any novel, for that matter. They look like bad comic books. I sincerely want to know what the point is. Help kids read? Make adults read? Replace Betty & Veronica Double Digest?

Grouse #2: Also, I register my hatred for ladies (or men) in bookstores who yell to someone on their cellphone, let their kids run amok, and look at books, not read the title / author / blurb. Sample these (all overheard in Crossword):
"Haan, Jigna, mane book levi chhe... Discount voucher kaale expire thaaye chhe. Aiya bau badhi chhe... kai saari chhe?" (Translation: Yeah, Jigna, I want a book. My discount voucher expires tomorrow. There are lots here... which one's good?)
*volume equal to that at which Raghu Dixit shouts in that song of his* "Hello? Haan, boss, sau rupya bacha hai... Kaun si loo? Kuch khaas nahi dikh raha yahaan pe..."

The last time I encountered a lady whose kid was running amok, I gave her such a dirty look that when I turned and left, I heard her tell her husband in a whisper, "Kaise dekh rahi thi..."

That
makes me feel good. Though Crossword is kinda losing its charm. Half the store sells shirts now. Major piss-off. Just an armchair or two left. Must switch to Landmark. But I really don't like how Landmark is structured. Hard to explain, but I don't.

Grouse #3: Mothers who ask me what they should make their kids read. How would I know? Just because I sneak a book into every social gathering (I'd die of boredom otherwise) doesn't mean I'm an authority. Let 'em read what they want to. Let 'em not read if they don't want to. We grew up choosing our own books, first Enid Blyton, then Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, then classics, then RK Narayan, then contemporary Indian fiction... some people went crazy over Roald Dahl (I never took to him, somehow), Sweet Valley, some horror series... A lot of the books we read back then seem funny and silly now. I remember picking up a Nancy Drew a few months back, and being shocked that I ever enjoyed it. But the point, the point! Why must parents force books down their kids' throats? Leave them alone. If they want to read, they will.

This is, as you can see, one of the more rambling entries. Sunday effect.

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I have this urge to do a tag about my favourite male fictional characters. No one tagged me, (no one ever does), so I should start taking matters in my own hands and doing whatever tags I feel like. But this particular tag will probably turn into a mush-fest, so I'm leaving it for when I have absolutely nothing to write about.

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Anyone who expects a Rock On!! review is hereby disappointed. I'm too biased. But just as a note, consider this: Akhtar can write, direct, act, sing, dance and look super-hot. And he has a gaze to die for. (Okay, not literally, but quite an awesome one.) AND he beats Ranbir Kapoor hands down in the towel department. Haha. Go, Farhan! (Unabashed groupie-giri. Can't resist. Peru, join in.)



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August 24, 2008

I Refuse To Be Discriminated Against

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I take this opportunity to propose: Our Own Cool Blogging Clique.

clique (plural cliques)
A small, exclusive group of individuals;
Considering that none of us (people who are in "us," know who I mean) are big-shot bloggers, and considering that none of us are likely to ever be more than a bunch of bored, slightly crazy students who blog to embarrass themselves on the the World Wide Web, I suggest we have our own clique.

So, we're not Amit Varma, or Greatbong, or The Compulsive Confessor, or IdeaSmithy, or Falstaff, or any of the Top 20 Indian Bloggers. (Yes, I make arbit rankings. So sue me.) And we're not them, for good reason. But heck, that shouldn't mean we sink into oblivion. I demand my fame in cyberspace now. It's a gross violation of my human rights that I must veer between ecstacy and despair depending on the number of comments each posts gets. I hereby appeal to everyone (Medha Patkar, Rahul Bose, Shabana Azmi, even Maneka Gandhi) to protect my human right to cyber-happiness. Their morchas, however, will take more time than I have (cyberspace has a short memory and an even shorter attention span).

So the quick-fix solution is this: every once in a while, we all link to each other (so everyone gets the impression that lots of people read his blog), we all comment on each others' blogs (Need I explain? Every blogger's self-esteem is linked to comments.) and we all throw in a coupla links to posts of other members of OOCBC. (Please rechristen. I'm fully aware this is a shitty name.) Moreover, we all flatter each other once in a while by asking (on Facebook, or in the comments section, if possible - to guarantee maximum visibility) "Why haven't you been posting recently?" (Don't underestimate this. I got this from a few people recently and it made me very very happy. I love my lukkha readers.)

We are not great bloggers. We are not wonderful writers. We are not enlightened individuals. We are unknown in cyberspace.

But now we have a way to create an illusion. A wonderful illusion that will keep us all happy without making us try to improve the quality of our posts. See? You can write badly and have good stats. (Blog stats, that is. What were you thinking?) To summarise, you can get everything that famous bloggers (deservedly) get, without any of the effort or talent.

In a world where it's duh!-obvious that you can't get something for nothing, I say we have just broken the glass ceiling and proved the economists wrong.

Here's to happy illusions.

People I'm inviting now to the OOCBC: Jhayu (though he's on the way to becoming an actual celeb blogger), Peru (the soul sister who taught me how not having blog stats and assuming a WCS every time can actually make you happy in the long run), Shrey (who blogs madly, then disappears, blogs madly again, then disappears again), Geru (who had a funny blog till he killed it), Kannu (who doesn't like sharing his blog so I won't link it here), Asterix (who blogs brilliant crap, but at horribly dwindling frequency now), Divya (whose blog makes me laugh out loud and wonder how she says the exact things that are in my mind, in almost the exact way I would, except that she's way funnier)... and anyone else who is reading this, feels discriminated against in the blogging world and wants a share of the pie. Bloggers who already get large numbers of comments are welcome too, because then we can get some of their traffic. Celeb bloggers, I'm sure, aren't interested, but this is open to them so that some of the glamour can rub off.

(The pukka bloggers among you, of course, will know why I named so many people and linked to so many blogs. Another desperate attempt to bring in more comments.)

That aside, once the OOCBC is set up (seriously, new name required), I'd like to talk to Arjun Singh. We want special privileges for the chinta bloggers in India. Economic assistance, 11 guaranteed comments per post, 5 seats in every panel discussion about blogs, 3 quotes in every newspaper article about blogs, and last but not the least, 2 book deals at least.

Rejoice. The weak shall inherit the world.


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August 09, 2008

Some Definitions

Absence of hope: The feeling existing in a participant's mind when she realises all the people she ever participated with in any college fest have left college, that now she is the senior, and that she still knows nothing.

Blasé: The adjective used to describe the said participant's state of mind in spite of abovementioned hurdles.

July 30, 2008

I'm An Eminently Sane Young Person.

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I'm not the kind of person who hangs posters of actors in my room.

Or watches their movies over and over again.

Or enqueues their songs on Winamp 20 times.

Or gets jealous of their wives (Seriously! Why would you?)

I don't waste my day at Film City trying to catch a glimpse of someone's toe.

If I see a star in a public place, I don't go to them. Or even take *autographs* (What's the big deal about them? Unless you plan to forge cheques, of course.)

I also don't believe they deserve more blog-space than 3 lines. Or more mind-space than 2 minutes.

But when I hear Farhan Akhtar sing "Tum Ho Toh" I melt into a puddle of mush and turn into the exact thing I thought I'd never be - crazy female fan.

Those who know me will know what it means when I say he's hotter than aapdo Hrithik Roshan. [Hotness = overall package, not just looks.]

And if Rock On! disappoints me (which is likely, considering I'm expecting so much from it) I'm going to be very... umm... disappointed.

Girls, you are allowed to agree and disagree. Gay men, you too.

Guys who have issues with his voice / looks / the prematurity of it all (considering the movie hasn't even released) need not comment.

Have a nice day.

Oh, here you go: Last Sunday's Eye

-------------------

[5th post in a month?! How jobless am I?]

July 26, 2008

Bits Of Hatred - Instalment #2. The ICSE Student's Hatred for the Maharashtra State Board

----------------

(Warning: Longish post. Bits of Hatred always make long posts, I'm too vitriolic to pack my hatred into 1 sentence.)

Read this: Article No. 1

And this: Article No. 2


Or, if you don't have the patience to, here's a summary. Article No. 1 is about the MLAs in Maharashtra wanting to keep ICSE, CBSE and IB students out of its Junior Colleges. Reason? ICSE schools charge excessive fees, and there could be some financial scams going on. Article No. 2 is about the whole percentile nonsense.

The good part is that the Council is fighting hard to stop this nonsense. My favourite part of the article:
"The Council said its syllabus was more rigorous than the SSC syllabus and even attached a copy of an SSC and an ICSE board English paper to illustrate the difference between the two. The affidavit added that the ICSE board regularly updated and upgraded its syllabus to ensure a high quality of education and it was unfair to deny an ICSE student a seat in junior colleges because the state board had failed to upgrade its syllabus. "

Sometimes the Council makes me more proud than I can say.

But the point here is. I. Hate. The. Maharashtra. State. Board.

In spite of all the crap we've faced for being ICSE students, I will never say that I regret being an ICSE student. It's given me more than I can count, and it has been a defining factor for me as well as most of the people I studied with. It's the best education you can ask for (barring IB), with a board that respects application and practicality, and takes the pains to update its syllabus every year. It makes sure you learn enough, and makes sure it's just tough enough for you to not take it for granted.

The SSC board (or HSC) does none of those things. And they have their own constraints and problems, so I don't blame them for the way they are. Okay, maybe some of it is their fault. But then, if something is government-managed, it's a given that it's going to be outdated, inefficient, filled with corruption and of no real use to anyone. I spent 2 years in Junior College, dammit. I was shocked that profs still *dictated* notes (word for word, yes, and spelling out words that were more than 7 letters); and there were concepts we'd studied in the 8th. (This is not to say that the Mumbai University is any better. It's just that the Mumbai University is easier to ignore.)

But the point, the point! The point is simply this: Anyone who says ICSE students are rich brats who have it easy, or that our board throws marks around, or that we think we're too smart - is. bloody. wrong.

What the hell do the Maharashtra ministers (busy in their vote-grubbing exercises) know about education? How many of them are paanchvi pass anyway?!

Yes, ICSE schools are expensive compared to state board schools. But if you're saying there are no state board schools that charge similar fees, you're crazy.

Yes, the Council tends to be a little more lenient with the language papers than yours. But, considering the fact that we had to study Shakespeare (unabridged, un-simplified) and were expected to write essay-type answers about character developments, while you had "Who said to whom?" type stuff, I'd say we deserve some credit.

And about us thinking we're too smart - yes, there is a grain of truth. We kinda do have a chip on our shoulders. After all, when you arrive in 11th standard (state board) to find math you did in 8th grade and English you did in 4th grade, you tend to be a little cocky. Even the most biased of you can't deny this.

And while I'm on all of this, I must bring my personal ego into this. I can't help it. I simply feel like slapping SSC-types who ask me what I got in the 10th (BTW, people, that was 3 years ago. Why are you still asking me this?), and when I say 94.67, I get "Oh, but ICSE, na? Your Board is really lenient." B*****d, would you have got the same score if you'd been in ICSE? What bugs me is that any answer I make to this will simply beget an "Oh-look-at-the-ICSE-girl-be-snobbish" response. Which'll make me homicidal.

And with the whole Marathi-manoos nonsense (Shiv Sena, MNS, take a bow; between the 2 of you, you redefine stupid, immature, irresponsible, disgusting politics) things are only going to get worse. Every person in the state board hates ICSE and CBSE students already. (Don't believe me? Count the number of jibes by profs in a Junior College at ICSE students, or the complex paperwork required to make the transition from school to JC, the list goes on.) Now they will have a legal, professional, institutionalised way to do it. What with the bloody normalisation of marks, and trying to keep only SSC students in HSC, and trying to make Marathi compulsory for ICSE students... the Maharashtra State Board is punishing us, and how.

And the best part is, ICSE students are being punished not for being from a board that is inane and inefficient, but because we must be brought to a level of inanity and inefficiency equal to that of the Maharashtra State Board.

I think we're the only set of students in the world who are, effectively, spat on for having a good education.

----------------

PS - Among other things, *woohoo* to celebrity popats - Peru, take a bow!

PPS - Everyone who thinks that having a job makes you homicidal, say aye.

PPS - I'd blog about the cash-in-parliament if I had something to say. But really, the only part I found funny and ironical was the way they played Vande Mataram at the end of it all. Bunch of idiots.

----------------

Update: Ever had an SSC student tell you "ICSE students don't know grammar" simply because you didn't know the difference between a gerund and an infinitive, or what past participles and injunctives are? I've been told this, on several occasions, and it made my blood boil. But in retrospect, I just feel sorry for them, because this is a thought process that is born out of being educated by a board which is known for placing the emphasis on all the useless things.

----------------

July 25, 2008

You Know You're Losing It When...

------------------


- You look at your cellphone, it reads "12:36 PM" and the first thing you think is, "Hey! That's the Service Tax rate!"

- You press Ctrl + C on one PC, move to another one to work, then press Ctrl + V obsessively 7 times, wondering why it isn't pasting.

- You make fun of people who don't know what TDS is. Irrespective of the fact that it's not something anyone would want to know.

- You now know people who think a book's price should be directly proportional to the number of pages it has. And you don't have the energy to scoff at them.

- All you feel like doing is watching TV. Evenings, weekends, even mornings.

- You think lines like "Meri laundry ka ek bill..." are awesome lyrics.

- You get kicks out of picking fights. And your aggression levels are at an all-time high.

I think I'm becoming brain-dead.


------------------

July 13, 2008

Open Letters

---------------

Dear Ladies on "Splitsvilla",

Just one question. What are you doing this for? Love, money or fame? And once you answer, please think about which is worse. I still can't decide.

---------------

Dear Harman Baweja,

I wouldn't laugh if you'd failed, but now that you've tried being Hrithik Roshan and failed, yes, I am laughing.

---------------

Dear Himesh Reshammiya,

That haircut is meant for women.

---------------

Dear Farhan Akhtar, Hrithik Roshan, Pierce Brosnan, and a few others

Thanks.

---------------

Dear All,

You really will find it difficult to comprehend the extent to which your saying "so fun" instead of "such fun" pisses me off.

---------------

Dear People-Who-Whine-That-I-Don't-Keep-In-Touch,

Here's a newsflash: neither do you. You're just utilising the first mover's advantage by saying it first and thinking you have a moral upper ground.

---------------

Dear Bachchan parivaar,

Stop.

---------------

Among other stuff, I read an article about lyrics in movies now being crap and all that, which is not really the truth but what do you say when you hear a song that goes:
Sadde naal kar le party,
Kudi tu lagti hai naughty,

Freaky freaky raat ho gayi.


Like, hello, party and naughty don't even rhyme. You'd have to say "naati" and that'd give it a whole different meaning. (Update: Or, well, "potty" in the first line. That, actually, makes the next 2 lines ring truer than they do now. But these are exactly the kind of cheap shots and stupid jokes that I try to avoid, so I should shut up now.)

---------------
(Okay, I promise. I will not use any pictures of Himya in future unless extremely integral to the entry. Sorry for having inflicted one on you today.)

---------------

July 01, 2008

Aaaaaaaa!

---------------------

Scene: My room.

I've switched off the PC, shut the book, and am about to go to sleep.

Loud buzzing sound makes itself heard.

Enter flying cockroach from extreme right.

Exit me from extreme left.

It's midnight. Everyone's asleep. My grandmother, who is the family specialist when it comes to catching and throwing out flying cockroaches, is asleep. My father, who's a close second, is asleep too. My mother, who is almost as bad as me at this, is also thankfully asleep. For a moment I toy with the thought of waking them up. But, dammit, I'm 19, am I not? I can deal with this myself. I shut the door and try self-hypnosis.

Okay, relax, it's a stupid bug.
It's HUGE!
No, it's just gross to look at.
JUST?!
Well, it can't harm you.
It could give me a heart attack!
Oh, come on.
Come on what?!
Maybe it'll go out of the window.
The hell it will!
Maybe you should try catching it.
WHAT?!
Well, what can it do?
It can fly into my face. It can crawl up my leg. It can touch my arm. It can...
Okay, stop. Stop. See if you can locate it.

Quick glance into the room proves that it's sitting on the floor and not buzzing around.

See? Maybe it's tired now.
Those things don't get tired!
Hey, maybe you could go to sleep, maybe it'll just scuttle around the floor.
The bugger has WINGS!
Oh. Well... yeah. Try catching it. Go on. Come on. Try it.

So I pick up a jhadoo and a napkin and walk towards the damn thing. I'm 6 inches from it, it hasn't moved, and I'm thinking, "Okay, this is good so far; I'm calm, what can it do to me?"

Then the bloody insect flutters its wings. And I'm out of the room, faster than Vivek Oberoi on sighting Salman Khan.

Another half an hour of self-motivation outside my own room follows. So, then, I do the thing a sane adult would. Run into my room, pick up my pillows and sheets, move some stuff in my parents' room and go to sleep there.

Hey, those things are scary.

---------------------

This was gonna be one of those posts with *ahem* visual aids, but then my better self took over.

---------------------

June 27, 2008

June 18, 2008

The Difference Between Girls and Guys (to me)

-------------------

You know how you drift apart from old friends, and then think about them once in a while, and go, "The magic is all gone..." Then, one day, you bump into them somewhere - at the station, at the bus stop, in class, or even online - and you discover it's all still there. And it's still as crazy and still as much fun.

And there are old friends who you miss a lot, and who you want to talk to all the time. And when you finally DO talk, it's formal, it's perfunctory, it's "So, what's new?" "Oh, nothing much... you?" "Nothing really." Or it's (worse still) "You seeing anyone?" "Nope... you?" "No... *silence* What else?" Zoop. There it goes. It's gone.

And I don't know if anyone else has had this experience, but the first type consists of a lot many more guy friends, and the second type, a lot many more girl friends. Or is it just me? Seriously, am I the only one who is seeing a sudden distinction between girls and guys in the way they've changed (or not changed, for the guys) over the years? There's something blissfully uncomplicated, stupid, immature, fun and just so... straightforward about guy friends. God bless them all.

And God bless the couple of girl friends who more than balance the many, many, many girls who've changed (evolved, or so they think) and with whom there's no connection any more. Oh well, I'm probably biased.

-------------------

PS- If the title misled some people, I'm very sorry to have disappointed you :D

June 12, 2008

Tohre Dil Ka Thaeter Maa, Dil Deewana Boooooking Advance Maange Re...

-------------------


(Copyright of this picture to whoever it belongs to, seriously, I have no idea how these things work. It didn't say (c) Somebody, Year when I found it, though, so hopefully I'm safe.)

In a post that will spark heated debate (or so I wish... hah!) I admit: I liked Tashan. Enjoyed it, in fact. Someone give Vijay Krishna Acharya (what a name, man) an award for trying something so different and playing around with 3 languages so much!

Okay, so it's improbable, it's silly at times. But that, my friend, is what holds true for every Hindi movie. What's important is that this one was fun! Whether it's Anil Kapoor (with his sidekicks) going "Preence Charlieeeeeeeeee!!" or Akshay Kumar blubbering when embarrassed, it's all quite hilarious.

Sample these, after all...
"What doings? Eating rabdi malai?"

"Saving your jhindagi... yours affectionately, bhaiyyaji."

"Aadmi haraami... par Ingleeeeeesh!!"


Also, very nice touches here and there, like Anil Kapoor at the end muttering "Lots happy, you..." It's all quirky and funny, and I found myself wondering why people hated it so much. Go watch it. Oh well, it's almost out of theatres now. Watch it when it's on TV, then.

The next thing from the YashRaj stables is something called Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic (eww) that looks like a rehash of every YRF movie. What I don't get is how their stars and locations manage to look exactly the same in almost every movie. It's as if they're Chinese or something!


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Oh, is it just my imagination, or does Blogspot have some of the ugliest templates on this planet? Why, lord, why is Wordpress so pretty?! :(

May 28, 2008

In a Single Day:

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1. A cab driver in Sion who goes straight down a road, circles a junction, takes another road, then scratches his head, turns behind and asks me, "Arre lekin King's Circle kidhar hai?" Then, he blames me for not knowing.

2. An auto wallah who slows down with a confused look, to ask "Kidhar?" and when I tell him, says, "Arre magar gaadi kharab hai..." and drives off. I find most indecisive auto drivers immensely funny. Most of them slow down but never quite stop, preferring to rattle past at 15 kmph. When you say where you want to go, they first almost nod and almost stop, then have some kind of internal conflict, and start shaking their heads slowly. On a parallel note, what I can't understand is how someone who is driving a three-wheeler little metal thing on the road and falling apart all the time, can still think he is so cool. Because most auto drivers do! But then, I guess, that's not really restricted to them, the principle applies to the entire male species, yesno? (More on auto-drivers later.)

3. An organisation (one of the biggest in the world) that has those distortion mirrors installed at every intersection of corridors in its office, so that you can see who's coming towards the same point from the right turn. Their motto, apparently, is safety of their employees. This motto also includes many, many other hilarious cases, but the one I found the best was this sign stuck to the main doors to the loos: "Please knock before you enter." Really? Why would someone do that? Is it a bedroom, and am I about to stumble upon people changing their clothes in the middle of a normal working day? Or must I respect the sink's privacy?

----------

May 10, 2008

On Why I Am SO Not Made For This Career

-----------------------


44[Explanation 1.In this section, assessed tax means the tax on the total income determined under sub-section (1) of section 143 and where a regular assessment is made, the tax on the total income determined under such regular assessment as reduced by the amount of,
(i)
any tax deducted or collected at source in accordance with the provisions of Chapter XVII on any income which is subject to such deduction or collection and which is taken into account in computing such total income;
(ii)
any relief of tax allowed under section 90 on account of tax paid in a country outside India;
(iii)
any relief of tax allowed under section 90A on account of tax paid in a specified territory outside India referred to in that section;
(iv)
any deduction, from the Indian income-tax payable, allowed under section 91, on account of tax paid in a country outside India; and
(v)
any tax credit allowed to be set off in accordance with the provisions of section 115JAA.]

- From the Income Tax Act


What beats me is that the damn thing is called an explanation.

------------------------

P.S. An apology to all those people who left huge argumentative comments on the last post. I usually enjoy those but this time, I just got bored of replying. :) People who were nice, thank you and... ahem... keep coming? (Yes, blog promotion here also.) To the ones who left nasty comments, hey, I'm glad that fighting over the Internet with someone you don't know, and who doesn't care, made your day. :D


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May 05, 2008

Bits of Hatred: Instalment #1

(Warning: Long post.)

--------


I've figured out that the only way to blow off steam is to vent it publicly. The blog is a good place, because it is public but no one gets harmed in the process. Hoping that people at whom the rant is directed are reading it, would be asking for too much. Nevertheless, this is the first in the line of many, many spewings (?) of hatred against sections of humanity. Yes, I officially declare that I will no longer be nice and kind to people (if I ever was). Enough is enough.

Aaj ka vishay hai... The Various Abuses of English and Writing

Let's start with the basics:

Your-You're-Their-They're-There
I don't know what it is about reading a mix-up of "your" and "you're" that brings out the worst within me. Or, for that matter, "their", "they're" and "there." Yes, I know, these things sound similar. But we were taught English for a reason. And there's a spell-check on MS Word for a reason.

Other gripes:

"Rawk" and "kewl" instead of rock and cool. Dude, you're not even reducing the number of letters you're typing.

"That was so fun!!" - It's either "so much fun" or "such fun". Not "so fun."

"That's how she looked like" - It's "what she looked like" or "how she looked."

"Like.." "As in.." - Okay, I do this too, but not 7 times in a 10-word sentence.

[Will add more if and when I remember.]

And while we're doing the intellectual snobbery thing, we might as well go the whole hog. Most of my grudges are against people my age, because they're the ones I'm most in contact with. I have this feeling that the older generations have better grammar and sense of syntax, at least. But then, who knows?

Anyhow, I also despise, from the bottom of my heart:

- Too many dots. They're meant to be used in ones, or threes. And not in groups of threes.
To make it clearer to the dummy:
. and ... are fine. However, .., ........ or any variants thereof are not.

- Too many exclamations. Do you want to look like you're high on glucose / alcohol / anti-depressants?

- Long sentences. Do you remember how you started, ass? [Okay, I write humongous sentences at times too. But I'm working on it. Promise.]

- People who, in the "Favorite books" section of their networking profiles, list all the books they've read. Please note - it says "favorite". Hence it implies, you pick the ones you liked best. If you liked "One Night at the Call Centre" and "Dan Brown" best, you deserve to die. If your favorite book is "Agatha Christie and Sidney Sheldon," you deserve to be murdered.

- In that same "Favorite books" section, people who list good books (not pulp fiction) and write it in lowercase and/or misspell it. Really, if you're reading good stuff, accord it the respect it deserves.

- Generally, people who pretend to read. No one said you had to. No one minds if you don't. Just. Please. Don't. Pretend. That. You. Do.

- People who type in lowercase all the time, or uppercase all the time. Former, you look illiterate. Latter, you make me feel tired of just reading, somehow. I feel like someone's yelling at a wall in writing, somehow. [Note: This applies to proper written communication, not IM/SMS, where I'm liberal even with wazzaaaa-ssup-dnt-cdnt-gr8-b4 kind of BS.]

- People who write poetry. Don't get me wrong. But when you write poetry that gets to its middle after just around 2 pages - you PISS ME OFF. You're not bloody Homer. (Of Iliad fame, not Simpson.)

- People who write stuff and want me to read it. I'm not talking about the odd blog, or article, or poetry. I'm talking about the people who hand me a bloody file of 40 pieces of prose/poetry they expect me to read.

I still remember the time when a trio from my school submitted a whole bloody file of romantic poetry for the school magazine and expected me to read each one in it. Seriously, are you bloody mad? Reading a page of something that I've myself written is usually enough to make me want to kill people. You expect me to read 50 pages of crap poetry you wrote? Filled with goddam cliches about eyes and mirrors?

Also, people who breathe down my neck while I read what you've written. Or worse still, demand that I read it in front of you. Some actually have the nerve to ask me to read stuff standing in front of them.

Let me make my reasons for reading alone clear: I can't read with people and noise around me; I judge better when I'm alone; If you've written badly, it's quite likely that my disgust will be apparent, and you won't like that; I don't like being forced, so sod off.

- Amateur writers of horror / mystery. Sorry, most of you just can't do it. Either you're rolling in vampires and ghouls, or concocting clues that are forcefully fitted together at the end to pin the blame on the guy you thought would be the most unexpected killer.

- Amateur romance-writers. Please. Please. Please. Either you're in love and on top of the world, or out of it and at the bottom. Case 1: you want the world to know the intimate details of how wonderful your romance is. Case 2: you want the world to know what a *&#@^!@ your object-of-affection-until-recently is. Either way, there isn't a single original thought coming out of your mind, usually, so will you please shut the hell up?

And finally, the type I hate the most:

The MS-Word-Thesaurus people.

These are the guys who write a sentence in simple (correct) English. Then they select each word, press Shift+F7 and find its synonyms. They select the synonym that sounds heaviest, and replace the original (simple and correct) word.

In the process, the meaning is often lost. The emotion is often lost. The context is beautifully screwed around with.

These are also the people who belong to the school of thought that believes that the merit of a piece of prose is measured by the number of words with 8 letters or more it has. And that a "vocab" is there for you to show off. And that the fewer the people who understand it, the cooler the writer is.

Here's a newsflash, dodos: (And I take the liberty of speaking for all of humanity now)
If I don't understand it, I stop reading it. If a word doesn't fit the context, you look like an idiot, no matter how long the word is. And the longer your sentence gets (with added words, adverbs, adjectives, and syllables), the lesser real emotion it conveys.

Here's some free advice also: Go read. Please. You'll see why famous authors (the same ones who wrote your "favorite books") are famous.

-------

I also fully realise that when I'm old and stricken with bad memory, I will commit the same errors. I will, too, someday, write terrible English and use grammar that makes Laloo look like Wodehouse; but until then, as we say in India, we are like this only.


PS - The labels "Rant" and "Bits of Hatred" are different from each other in this manner: Rants cover those things that I hate at a point in time, or that piss me off temporarily. Bits of Hatred are permanent.

-------

April 24, 2008

Shotgun Speaks Up

---

"Yahaan pe cheerleaders hai, ladkiyan hai.. lady commentators hai.. in sab se cricket ka kya lena dena..?"

- Shatrugan Sinha

To be fair to him, I suppose he didn't know what he was saying. But the bit about lady commentators is, really, a little too much... :D

Shahid Afridi makes a lot more sense when he says
"Cheerleaders in skimpy clothes must be removed from the cricket ground because they distract the batsmen."


At least this guy is being frank. :D

In other news, no sex education for Maharashtra. I totally support this. We are Indians, and ignorance is the birthright of our children, yesno?



---

April 05, 2008

-----





In a jeep, he would smile and argue with himself, you can do nothing about your
mind or your future, not until the journey is over. In a moving jeep he was not
vexed by the onus of thought. Later in the year he would like being a BDO for
much the same reason; the job entailed long jeep journeys in which he would be
at rest, watching the miles pass - village boys on a tree, a hut of a post
office, the sky amber at sundown - while his mind roamed, when he would dread
the end of the road because then again he would no longer be free.

- English, August

Yeah, that more or less expresses why I love long drives.

-----

March 16, 2008

Common Myths About Bloggers

-



Before we get to myths, let's establish a few basic things:



Every blogger is self-obsessed.

Every blogger lives for hits. And comments.

Every blogger wants to be part of a cool blogging clique. This is because CBCs come with: cross-linking, tagging, commenting and hits. In short, CBCs are every blogger's dream.

Give a blogger too many compliments, and he'll start churning out utter crap.

If a blogger writes well and says he "doesn't read his posts even once before hitting 'Post'" - he's either amazingly gifted or a liar. He can't be amazingly gifted because if he was, he wouldn't be a blogger. Hence he is a liar. QED.

All bloggers lie, dramatise and exaggerate.

No blogger writes "only for myself." If he wanted to write only for himself, he'd do it in MS Word or a personal diary.

Every blogger has wanted, at one time, to be a journalist, novelist, poet or philosopher.

Every blogger has realised that he'd suck if he did try to become any of those.

Every blogger, thus, sticks to a blog where he can talk absolute crap for free, get appreciated for writing crap and freely delete comments that shoot him down.



Now to come to the myths.

The Good:
1. Successful
2. Funny
3. Smart
4. Interesting
5. Hot
6. Kind / Caring / Compassionate
7. Aware / alert citizen
8. Wants the reader's opinion / wants to start a revolution / wants to "make a difference"
9. Leads an exciting life


G1. Bloggers are not successful people. If they were, they wouldn't waste their time writing 400 words of prose / poetry each day. ("What if they're writers?" you ask. If they're writers, they definitely wouldn't. They'd rather work on their next book, or read something that makes sense.) Bloggers are one or all of the following:

- Unemployed (if employed, they sure as hell are not assets to their organisations.)

- Amateur writers / aspiring writers, but too lazy to follow their... ahem... "dream"

- Unpublished writers / Rejected writers / Failed writers

G2. Bloggers are not funny. They are people who can write humour. There's a vast difference. Meet them in person and they'll be the most boring people you've ever met. Because, face it, writers are boring. Unless they're flamboyant and gay like Oscar Wilde.

G3. It's easy to be smart when you're sitting at a PC with net access. There's Google and Wikipedia. And online editions of the newspaper you never read. So the next time you read a blogger's *amazingly insightful* take on a current affair, look up Wiki and a couple of online newspaper editions, and you'll find it all there.

G4. A blog entry is a one-way conversation or soliloquy. Doing a good soliloquy doesn't make a person interesting. Quite the contrary, in fact. Interesting people are those who have the ability to speak well and listen well. Bloggers write well. About 50% of them speak well. Just about 2% of them listen well. If at all. Also note, every blogger is a closet geekand hence unlikely to be interesting except to fellow-geeks. Even if he pretends to only talk about getting laid.

G5. Hahahaha. They may rave about their hair today, or a new dress tomorrow, or the compliments they got. But let's please note: Bloggers are failed writers / journalists. Statistics show that 1 writer in 5 successive eras worldwide is hot. 2 journalists in 1000 are hot. Also note the fact that success adds to hotness, and failure and rejection takes away from hotness. What do you get? Do the math.

G6. Bloggers care. About themselves.

G7. They're not enlightened, aware citizens who will change this country. They litter, cuss, break, and bribe just as much as you do, even if they repeatedly shoot down these things on their blogs. A lot of them don't vote. A lot of them drink and drive. Some do drugs. Basically, they are no different from the general populace of India.

G8. If a blogger really wanted a revolution, he/she would go out and start one. Just the fact that he is sitting at home (or at work - yeah, they're quite kaamchor too), sipping coffee, eating a brownie and writing an impassioned piece on public neglect for the Tibetan refugees, should tell you one simple thing - he wants you to do it. (Assuming he wants it done. Often he couldn't care less.) It would also be good to note that almost every blogger is: jaded, eccentric, cynical, bored. Those are not the people who start or participate in revolutions.

G9. He may write about the parties he attended, the people he met, blah blah. Point is, when he was doing all of that, he was hardly speaking / dancing / drinking / singing / going wild. Instead, he was making mental notes.


The Bad:
1. Psycho
2. Pervert
3. Weird
4. Self-obsessed
5. Boring
6. Ugly

B1 to B6. No issues here, really. 99% are 4, 5 and 6. A fair few are 1, 2 and 3.


Other things that we'll leave for another day: Blogging Etiquette, Commenting etiquette, Obsessive Persistent Blog-Promotion, Blog Jealousy, Discussion of Love Life on Blog, Blogging Directed At A Single Person But On Display For The World To See, Sneaky Visits to Own Blog to Move Stat Counter Along, Hiding Of Blog From Family, Fake Identity For Blog, Mushy Poetry - The Beginner's Curse, Bad Grammar, Bad Formatting (Covers Hideous Pink Colours, Heart Templates, No Sense Of Paragraphs... Or, Indeed, Too Many Title-Case-Words), Desperation For Approval and Liking, Getting Comments By Pretending To Want Readers' Opinions.


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Oh, and before the Bloggers Wings of MNS or Shiv Sena start breaking my windows (ghar ka windows, boss, not Microsoft ka)... plizz to be remembering thaet I aem a blaady bilaagar too. So, thaenks for not assassinating.

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February 17, 2008

Why Your Facebook Life Is So Much Cooler Than Your Real Life

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Okay, okay, there are about 3 of you whose real lives are cooler. But I'm talking about the majority.

Wherever I go nowadays, I see people busy clicking pictures of themselves to upload on Facebook later. Of course, they won't say that. We're-just-clicking-pics-because-we-felt-like. Hah! I've done it too, I know. You're not fooling anybody. If people smile and humour you, it's because they want to tag themselves in these pictures.

In real life, you speak to people face to face. Or over the phone. You can't act funny because most of the time your conversation goes like this:
A: Haan, so, I was saying.. arre, what was I saying? Kuttey tune bhulva diya!
B: Chup kar, &^$#^&@, heh heh...
A: Abbe ^$#&@#^(, as in, like, dude...!
B: Like, whatever.

In your Facebook life, you can be funny. Because you can change that wall post 23 times before hitting "Post." And no one will know.

In real life, no one wants to know you. No, really. Nobody gives a shit what music you listen to, what books you read, what movies you love, which stars turn you on. What's more, if you tried to "quote" your favourite quotes to your friends, you would be met with any or all of the following:
a. Physical violence.
b. An oh-my-God-is-he-crazy? look.
c. A not-so-subtle attempt to pretend like they don't know you.

On Facebook, because you're talking to yourself more than others, you can lovingly list all your loves and hates. What's more, there are enough people who will read them too (More out of boredom than curiosity, but do you care? No, man, you're a Facebook junkie.).

In real life, no one asks you "What are you doing right now?"

On Facebook, well, Facebook wants to know. Correction: They don't want to know either, but they do know that you want to tell.

Nobody lets you play dumb games and silly quizzes in real life. If you do, you nearly always lose.

On Facebook, you win all the time. If you don't talk, you're "the strong and silent type"; if you do, you're "bubbly and vivacious"; if you're ugly, "you're unconventionally good-looking"; if you're dumb, you're "smarter than 33% of the people who took this test!".

In real life, people take pictures with cameras. Those pictures get developed and stored in physical photo albums. If you look ugly, you look ugly. End of story.

On Facebook, untag, untag, untag.

In real life you can't take back dumb things you say.
E.g. "Oh my God, are you serious?! THAT hairdo?!" *you immediate cringe*

On Facebook, you go, "omg........... tht hair????? wats rong mn...?!!!!" *you immediate delete* - Lot more effective. All that the person with the bad hairdo gets is "X posted on your wall" and no actual wall post.

In real life, if you stalked people, they'd take you to jail.

From a long experience of stalking various people on Facebook, I can tell you, it's immense fun and won't land you in jail. Provided you're stalking people whom you know, and they don't know that you're stalking them. Karo, karo. Find all those ex-crushes, find your bosses, find the people who dumped you, find the people you dumped, find the people who dumped your friends... stalk them all. You may lose interest in a day (I usually do), but then there are others to stalk.

In real life, you have about 8-9 people to whom you talk regularly and whom you would call good friends.

On Facebook, you have 523 friends, 27 Favorite Peeps!, and 78 Top Friends. Yeah, you love 'em all and they love you too. Call any of them at 3 a.m. and they'll be there for you. Hang on, do you have their phone numbers?

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February 09, 2008

Breaking News

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News of the week:


(Found this on India Uncut)

This gets me thinking, really, what the actual story would've been like.


Newsreader with grave look on his face: Aur aaj Big B, urf Amitabh Bachchan bhi Bambayi ki badhti sardi ka shikaar hue. Humein jaankaari mili hai ki aaj Bachchanji ne apne mobile phone *"mobile phone" enunciated as if speaking to 2 year olds* pe kisi se baat karte hue kaha, "Bahut thand ho gayi Bombay mein."


*Screenshot of these words typed out neatly in Hindi, presumably for the deaf*


Newsreader continues: Humare samvaaddata, Manoj Ghai, is samay (aur har samay) Big B ke ghar, Jalsa, ke bahar hai. Haan Manoj.


Manoj Ghai (idiot who looks grave too): Shukriya Amit, jaise ki aap dekh sakte hai, main iss waqt Jalsa ke bahar hoon. Yahaan pe Amitji apni patni, Jayaji, bete, Abhishek, and bahu, Aishwarya ke saath rehte hai.


Random viewer at home: Manoj, tu yeh 57734 baar bata chuka hai national TV pe.


Newsreader: Manoj, yeh bataiye ki wahaan ka vaatavaran kaisa hai?


Manoj: Yahaan ka vaatavaran kaafi sehma hua sa hai, Amit, kaafi log aaye hai Amitji se milne. Unhein thand lag gayi, iss baat se unke chaahak kuch pareshaan se hai.


Newsreader: Jee, jee... *sympathetic smile* Kya Amitji ne koi formal press statement diya hai?


Manoj: Nahi, Amit, magar jaisa ki aap dekh sakte hai *camera wobbles wildly and finally seems to settle on a few curious onlookers* kaafi press waale aaye hain yahaan pe... *Manoj gestures violently, camera wobbles in opposite direction to settle on a few TV cameras* aur sab ko Amitji ka besabri se intezaar hai. Sunne mein aaya hai ki woh khud press se aadhe ghante mein baat karenge.


Newsreader: Achha... aur kya aap hamare darshakon ko bata sakte hai ki baaki parivaar ke iss thand pe kya vichaar hai?


Manoj: Amit, iska toh sirf andaza hi lagaya jaa sakta hai. Jayaji aaj kal itni garam rehti hai ki shayad unhein thand mehsoos nahi hui hogi. Abhishek aur Aishwarya ko pyaar ki garmahat mehfoos rakhti hai.


*Valentine's Day ads flash on bottom of screen*


Newsreader: Er... achha... *looks at cue, then at camera* Jaisa ki aap dekh rahe hai, humare samvaaddata Manoj aap ke liye Bachchanji ka aankhon dekha haal laate rahenge. Shukriya Manoj.


Manoj: *grins, satisfied at having brought breaking news to the masses*


Newsreader: Doosri khabaron mein, Kolkata mein Amitji ke mandir mein unke fans ne mannatein rakhi hai ki Bambayi ki thand chali jaaye...


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February 01, 2008

I'm bored of giving random titles to random-er posts

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Jan 31, 2008: We are pleased to announce that the Official Recommendations of R&H (yes, yes, acronyms, as if we're some big-shot famous blog) - see them (here) - have been officially revised. That classic song of the 80s, "Rukmani Rukmani" has given way to young blood. The No. 2 slot is now officially occupied by none other than "Aye! Hip Hopper." To those unaware, we present: the video. Neutral audiences will agree that it easily outstrips "Rukmani Rukmani" on the Corniness (word?) scale.

No. 3 remains "Roop suhana lagta hai" because it is the opinion of the jury that such a breathtaking combination of visuals and choreography will never again be achieved in Hindi cinema. Needless to say, "Tic tic tic" stands undefeated. Rajkumar, and the makers of "Operation Diamond Racket", we bow to thee. There is, though, another video for hardcore Rajkumar fans (Lowe me or haeyte me, as Rajkumar says).

Among other updates, the world-famous author of R&H turned a year older. A good time was had. No interviews, please.

2 whole days to go for a Sunday! Why, God, WHY?!