Sunday, December 21, 2008

Focus Group

Its really unfortunate that US had to choose between two historic firsts - African American President and a woman VeePee.

Sarah Palin swept republican convention but it was a long slide ever since then, media blackout didnt help either. But she did create flutter or two, case in point her admission of being a "Hockey Mom".

That really got moms and wannabe moms to react. One such group was Indian (as in those brown skinned people who got their names from Indus) American Moms. Now they would identify themselves with likes of Sarah. Almost every mom in India is a hockey mom, thats what they use to beat their kids, some ofcourse are cricket bat moms - this number is rising though in recent years, then there is license-to-slap moms who would choose most public of the places to imprint lasting memory in her son's/daughter's mind. There are also chappal moms who are kind enough to select flattest of soles so that her child is not permanently impaired.

Sunday, November 30, 2008


Song below is Rabbi's Bilqis. I watched him perform this live (in a Bangalore music store) when he was promoting his album. I think this is one of the most topical songs ever written, without any metaphoric blankets that other artistes chose to wear. Ofcourse i am leaving out commercial/gen xyz wallet share mongrels out of the equation here.

Jinhe naaz hain hind par woh kaha hain..

Mera naam Bilqis Yakub Rasool
Mujhse hui bas ek hi bhool
Ki jab dhhundhhte thhe vo Ram ko
To maen khadi thhi, rah mein

Pehle ek ne puchha na mujhe kuchh pata thha
Dujey ko bhi mera yehi javab thha
Fir itno ne puchha ki mera ab saval hai ki

Jinhe naaz hai hind par vo kahan the
Jinhe naaz hai vo kahan hain

Mera naam Shriman Satyendra Dubey
Jo kehna thha vo keh chukey
Ab padhey hain rah mein
Dil mein liye ek goli

Bas itna kasoor ki hamne likha thaa
Vo sach jo har kisi ki zuban thaa
Par sach yahan ho jatey hain zehreelay

Jinhe naaz hai hind par vo kahan the
Jinhe naaz hai vo kahan hain

Mujhe kehte hain anna Manjunath
Maine dekhi bhatakti ek laash
Zamir ki beech sarhak Lakhimpur Kherhi

Adarsh phasa jahan naaron mein
Aur chor bharey darbaron mein
Vahan maut akhlaq ki hai ik khabar baasi

Jinhe naaz hai hind par vo kahan the
Jinhe naaz hai vo kahan hain

Mazha nau aahe Navleen Kumar
Unnees june unnees bar
Unnees unnees unnees unnees
Unnees baar

Unnees unnees unnees unnees
Unnees unnees unnees unnees
Unnees unnees unnees unnees
Unnees baar

Looto dehaat kholo bazaar
Nallasopara aur Virar
Chheeno zameen hamse humhe
Bhejo pataal

Jinhe naaz hai hind par vo kahan the
Jinhe naaz hai vo kahan hain

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Lalu for PM

US presedential elections are popularity contests - no this is not an H1B alien sermonizing, I hear it everywhere in this city which by the way is shamelessly democrat to the core. You can hear thi over office coffee machine chats, lunch table talk and even 2 minute break between or before another stupid call. Fox and MSNBC have their own army of partisan shows -one of them Rachel Maddow has a look that could fittingly describe Neena Gupta's angst at never been able to match Smita Patil or for that matter even Shabana Azmi's standards. And she is mad at everything conservative.

With these media dogs (and bitches) barking 24 hours, this election tends to be boring and unidimensional - who needs a truth squads when you have tabloids free on the train platform!

Nevertheless, US being the "oldest" democracy (history before 1776 is a debated topic here in this part of the world) has its nuances that can surprise even a hardore political observer in me.

Case in point is Alfred E Smith Memorial dinner - a tradition which makes both contenders to come on stage and deliver a stand up comedy act with thier object of affection being - themselves!

I caught glimpses of this year's hilarious act - McCain with his Joe the plumber jokes and Obama with this cross dressing Rudy G jokes. Everything said and done - this does make this democracy "great" atleast in relative terms when compared to whats happening around. Only India comes a close second, albeit i am not sure if there is any humour left in our plitical circles at all. There is one beacon of hope - our Railways minister. How i wish we could have television debates - say between Lalu and Advani.  

Friday, October 17, 2008


(Excerpt from Cricinfo)

Tendulkar made his debut in Pakistan. Of his team-mates then, one has become an insufferable television commentator, and two others have become good ones; one was convicted of murder and sent to jail, another banned for life for match-fixing. One eliminated the line between whistle-blower and perpetrator, one ran a banned series of matches, another was chairman of selectors. One has dropped out of the public eye and another has turned television actor. But Tendulkar bats on. Longevity is intrinsic to greatness.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Maan gaye Mughal E Aazam

Easily one of the worst movies that I saw (Oops, Goonda (Prabhuji), Anth (Suniel Shetty dubbed by someone else are other gems in my list).

So why did cast comprising of Kay Kay, Rahul Bose and Paresh Rawal fail?

Consipiracy theory 1 - Rahul Bose sabotaged the movie since he did not want "filmmakers" to believe that he and Mallika Sherawat are a great pair after that freak "Pyar ke side effects".

Consipiracy theory 2 - Kay Kay torpedoed this movie since he wanted Celina J as hottie instead of Mallika (remember bomb called "Silsile"

Consipiracy theory 3- Mallika believed she and Rahul were a great pair and worked hard at it.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Poo Poo

So what are the choices in front of us to avoid total disruption in our industries, cities, households due to energy crisis?

  • Nuke deal - will take 10 years for 1000 MW reactors to build
  • KG Basin - Not sure if critical mass exists
  • Iran-Pakistan NG Pipeline - Pipeline dream

So we ll have to think slightly out of the box or use the box instead!

What about biogas, with so many people and fauna around us, i am sure this merits a case. What we need is to toilet train all the stray cattle, mongrels (bangalore will be top contributor) and people living near railway lines!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Murder she wrote

Bangalore police and MSM are gloating over India' first female serial killer.

But I would suggest them to give it a thought before they bestow this crown.

Certain Ms Kapoor did lot of damage in early part of this century. One of her famous massacres still sends shivers down the spine.

I noticed him for the first time while we were together boarded a dimly lit bus from suburban Tokyo to Narita airport. I had not slept for last 24 hours, largely due to anticipation of going back to India after 8 months. I was looking forward to getting some sleep in plush seats of Keisei line loco and came armed with my new ipod as well. But something about this person made me feel as if i had travelled all 5000 miles in few seconds. Whether it was his 80's suitcase (with S.M written on the handle) or his golden brass buttons on blue blazer, something told me he was much closer to home than anything on that bus. His cap too reminded me of endless middle aged gentlemen in Delhi who would venture out in biting north indian winter for their chartered buses enroute to performing daily chores as North Block clerks/section officers. Matter was finally clinched when conductor engaged him in a small talk - bingo! he had a jhangi/multani accent. I would now call him Mr Makhija (from S.M on his suitcase) from Geeta Colony.

Rest of the bus journey was pretty boring, i kept my ipod on shuffle mode since i was too tired to make any efforts in choosing the songs. Makhija too started snoring much to chagrin of a young looking japanese woman sitting directly behind him. Bus veered past concrete jungle that Tokyo is into green landscape of Narita and surroundings and landed us directly in front of Thai airways gate.

We took our bags and started walking towards yet to be opened economy class counters. As we waited for Thai airways employees to complete their little christmas celebration, Makhija appeared quite interested in starting the conversation. "Going to India?" he asked. "Yeah, and you?" "Bangkok jaa raha hoon" replied Makhija. His bald head shining in lustre from numerous christmas trees that adorned the concourse in that terminal.

We parted soon after he uttered his destination, booking counters were now open and we were soon ushered into security check.

I glanced at him while i waited for my turn, he was standing in "Foreign Passports" queue. Fortunately my work permit status ensured speedy immigration check and soon i was on my way to departure gate.

I had arrived full 3 hours before departure so some airport shopping was always on cards. However 20 odd kimonos, 5 liquour and endless souveneir shops later I was bored and tried to head back to departure gate.

There were 50 odd people already waiting near the gate. It was a usual sight that one comes across on any international flight. Excited first timers, sensible business travellers, hassled mothers of infants, even more hassled mothers of young children who are busy saving their kids from next catastrophe. Makhija looked at ease as well, perhaps this was not his first voyage to Bangkok in recent times. I was sitting few seats away from him, trying to kill minutes before boarding. He was watching TV on his japanese mobile phone - some NHK program, sight didnt amaze me. If you spend few months in Tokyo and commute on metro, you will come across many men and women flexing their eye muscles on mobile TV. Suddenly his phone rang, it was irritating ringtone, one that is associated with old MTNL landline phones. His neighbours were startled to say the least. Then something went wrong, somewhere between his TV app and his call - his phone tanked. Ringing didnt stop and neither did his TV. For a moment Makhija appeared lost. When his countless attempts to revive his phone failed, he went for the jugular.
Took out the battery and heaved a sigh of relief. Somewhere I felt relieved too. Was I embarassed as well?

Makhija turned on his phone and called the moron whose call destroyed decorum of our lounge.
It was a plainspeak - "Behanchod is time pe call kyun kari? .. Accha theek hain, Main dekh lunga, Abhi phone rakh" No Bon Voyage No Good Days. Sometimes I think we are the worst people when it comes to phone conversations, atleast Makhija was no exception to my belief.

Couple of announcements later, boarding started. Ritual of boarding includes standing at the end of a long queue with your passport and boarding ticket firmly tucked in your shirt pocket. Makhija was 4-5 spots ahead of me. Soon he reached the boarding counter and passed on his boarding pass to the Thai airways employee.

And then i saw his passport with "Islamic Republic of Pakistan" embossed on the green cover while he waited for the lady to complete her drill.

Sadiq Mansoor was going to Bangkok and so was I, atleast enroute to my final destination.