Monday, November 30, 2009

My Monday Mornings

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Objective: To reach office by 10 am.

Step 1: Set phone alarm for 7:30 am.

Step 2: Wake up at 7:30 am.Yawn.

Step 3: Zo zleepy. Reset alarm for 8:30.

Step 4: It’s only 8:30. Yawn! Let’s wake up at 8:45.

Step 5: Wake up again at 8:45, set snooze to two minutes.

Step 6: Wake up at 8:47. Snooze. Just two more minutes.

Step 7: 8:49. Yawn. Snooze.

Step 8: It’s 8:51. Snooze. Just two more… Zzz.

Step 9: OK, eyes! Open up! Brain! Be alert! We’re getting late for work! No more snoozing! Move, limbs! Rise, body!

Step 10: Zzz…

Step 11: 9:15. Oh crap! We’re late! Spring out of bed!

Step 12: 9:30. Wet your hair! Make it look like you bathed.

Step 14: 9:45. Swallow breakfast. Fast!

Step 15: 10:00. Jump traffic signals.

Step 16: 10:15. Prepare excuse for being late.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Busting the Popular Myths of Gujarat’s Prohibition

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(This is a guest post I wrote for Repeal Prohibition: Life, liberty and beer in Gujarat!, an excellent blog on the subject anchored by Anirudh Singh Bhati, a law student in Gandhinagar, and a friend from high school.)

Myth: Pubs, bars and drinking are against Indian culture.

The consumption of alcohol and other intoxicants is as ancient as Indian culture itself. People of the Indus Valley were known to produce liquor by fermenting grains and fruits. The consumption of Soma by Hindu gods is spoken of in glowing terms in the Vedas. Drinking isn’t against Indian culture. It’s one of the elements constituting our highly nuanced way of life.

Myth: Prohibition saves people from alcoholism.

This is akin to saying that every smoker is a chain smoker, or every chocolate eater is chocoholic. The intemperance of a drinker mixed with other psychological traits lead to addiction. You don’t ban cars because some cause accidents. Most people don’t even own cars. Similarly for drinking, it’s pointless to demonise a harmless activity which some people indulge in.

Myth: Drinking is immoral and leads to crime.

The act of drinking itself is harmless. Millions of people drink billions of glasses of alcohol every day. They do not find the need to murder, steal, rape and arson. A huge majority of Indian states have not banned alcohol, and their citizens carry out the alcohol trade peacefully. So are all these millions of drinkers evil and immoral? Of course not.

Myth: Drinking ruins your health.

So does eating cheeseburgers and pizzas. Or smoking cigarettes. Chips, toast and beans can kill. But onlywhen consumed in all the wrong quantities. Drinking in moderation, it is known, can have health benefits. Moderate drinkers are known to have sturdier cardio-vascular health. They are also known to be better guarded against hypertension, dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Myth: Prohibition in Gujarat works.

It doesn’t. Alcohol is a thriving trade in Gujarat. Rediff.com says the trade was worth Rs 100 million in 2002. Kingshuk Nag, Times of India Ahmedabad’s editor, says the Gujarat government loses Rs 2,500 crores each year in excise duty by sustaining prohibition. Imagine the revenues and employment it can generate by repealing the monstrosity that is the Bombay Prohibition Act 1949.

In Ahmedabad, a phone-call to your local bootlegger would have your fix delivered to your doorstep in 30 minutes flat — only at two or three times the price it sells for in neighbouring states.

None of this money is accounted for. The trade thrives with the complicity of the underworld, police, politicians and bureaucrats, who, no doubt, get their “cut”.

Prohibition requires crores of taxpayer money to be diverted into enforcing a draconian law to keep people from the harmless act of enjoying a harmless drink.

Myth: Drinking ruins poor families.

If true, it’s another case to repeal prohibition. Refer to the hooch tragedy of July 2009, where more than 100 daily wage earners from Ahmedabad’s slums lost their lives. In the absence of watering holes, they’d turned to bootleggers, bought spurious liquor, and paid with their lives.

Myth: This is Gujarati/Gandhian culture, we want it thus.

Prohibition makes decent citizens behave like criminals. Period. We know alcohol is easily available in Gujarat. But why must you cower like criminals to procure it?

Mahatma Gandhi, a great man no doubt, stood by ideas of personal discipline and non-cooperation and non-violence to end British rule in India. But the British have gone home, and so must this silly law. As long as we let a nanny state tell us what to do with our lives, we can’t consider ourselves truly free.

I leave you a clip from the blog by Sauvik Chakraborty, titled Aspects Of Our “Common Loss”, which best sums up the situation:

Since bars are few and unaffordable in Delhi, most of the drinking goes on surreptitiously, in dark street corners, inside cars, in all kinds of shady places. Indeed, visit any sarkaari booze shop in Delhi and you will find, quite close to it, a private shop selling bottled water, soft drinks and plastic glasses. If you stick around the area for a while you will gather what is happening: ordinary people buy a “quarter” (180ml) bottle of some harsh grog, pick up water and a glass next door – and head for the nearest dark corner.

I joined a group of such happy drinkers in a dark corner some weeks ago. We all poured our drinks and I said “cheers” and took a small sip. All the other guys put their glasses to their mouths and did an incredible “bottoms up” – because they were too scared to hang around too long dithering over their drinks. No one wants to fall foul of the cops.

If anything, drinking in this manner is extremely uncivilized. We are expected to enjoy our drinks, sip them slowly, roll the fluid about the mouth and feel the taste. Enjoy! My companions in the dark corner did not enjoy their drinks at all. Their faces, after knocking back stiff harsh grogs in one shot, reflected great suffering rather than enjoyment. I felt sorry for them – and for their livers. And my hatred for the excisewallahs grew a lot stronger.

Comment away, even if you disagree with me, and we shall attempt to debate this like adults. In case you were wondering where I come from: I’ve had about five vodkas all my life and do not consider myself a drinker at all. But all around me are drinkers who’ve never murdered, stolen, raped or set buildings on fire.

Become a fan of Life, liberty and beer in Gujarat! on Facebook.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Tendulkar, Chennai, Hyderabad, 1999, 2009, Times of India, Plagiarism, Bakri and Gadha

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I’ve followed cricket with great interest for most of my life, first as a fan and then as a journalist. Fans tend to get excited about teams, stars and results. But journalists become hardened cynics over a period of time. Sure, hacks love the game dearly, but without getting emotional about results. Win or lose, journalists have a job: to present cold, hard facts, and then perhaps analyse what went wrong or right.

But no matter how thick-skinned they are, a loss like the one at Hyderabad is a kick in the nuts. I’ll speak for myself. It hurts. Really bad.

Many of us have been discussing how Hyderabad 2009 is similar to Chennai 1999, when India lost to Pakistan by a gut-wrenching margin of 12 runs. In both cases, Tendulkar got a big hundred, raised hopes of a jail-breaking win, got out, and then the rest of the batting line-up had the tensile strength of a marie biscuit.

My colleague Arjun Sen first mentioned a possible similarity between 1999 and 2009, when we were discussing the match on my Facebook status.

I later thought it’d be worthwhile comparing the Chennai and Hyderabad scorecards to detect similarities. On top of my mind were 1) a Tendulkar hundred, 2) Nayan Mongia and Raina getting fifties and 3) a partnership of 130-odd runs in both games.

But once I began the analysis, the findings were startling. Eerie. Bizarre. Unbelievable. And mostly too good to be true. We suspected Chennai and Hyderabad were similar, but here was eye-popping data that confirmed our suspicion.

I ran the report on the findings on India Today an hour or so after the Hyderabad match.

Later, I updated the copy twice when I found some more eye-popping data from the two scorecards.

The story was picked up by In.com and later by Cricinfo’s Surfer.

Later this evening, blog buddy Arvind Iyer saw my report. My jaw dropped when he said he’d read something similar in the Bangalore edition of Times of India today.

So I looked up their epaper. And here’s what I find, on Sports Pg 1 .






Fantastic headline, and a five-star rating, too. (Update: Venkat Ananth points me to TOI’s Mumbai edition which carries the same infographic. I’m guessing this originated from Mumbai.)

Now, the connections between Chennai ’99 and Hyderabad ’09 have been talked about by thousands of cricket followers. I’m just one of them. And the stats which establish these connections are also out in public domain.

But what gets my bakri is the sequence of TOI’s points. They are exactly the same as the sequence in which I wrote them.

Without suggesting anything, I’ll just add that TOI & Sons are known offenders in such matters. Ask Twilight Fairy, The Cook’s Cottage, Food For Thought, Jai Arjun, to name a few. They’ve given bloggers a hard time, and now they’ve done it to someone of their own community.

I’ll leave it at that. I hope India kick Australia’s gadha tomorrow. There, I said it. It was an emotional outburst. But only because Hyderabad still hurts.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Striking gold at the Delhi Book Fair 2009

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We were at Pragati Maidaan at the Book Fair last night and struck gold at the Diamond Publications stall.

We now own every Chacha Choudhary vs Raaka comic book — all 15 of them. Are we really cool dorks or what?

No, I’m not lending them to you!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Vacationing In Tirupati, And What I Like & Dislike About Organised Religion

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I’m wary of crowded places, hot weather and long queues.

Add ill-mannered security guards. And priests who’d make Atilla blush. Blend them, and you get Tirupati.

Yet I had to go. Family tradition. It’s something we do after marriage.

I kept pushing it away for two years. And then, the trip materialised and our family headed for the seven hills.

It was my sixth trip to the place. I don’t remember going to another holiday spot – religious or otherwise – as many times.

At first, there’s much to like about the place: the climate’s pleasant, the locales are clean and green, there’s spicy, piping hot, slurpacious Andhra food. And the datacard works too.

Then, the darshans happened.

There are several types of darshans you can make at Tirupati.

The cheapest option will leave you standing in queues several kilometres long. The slow, painful barefooted drag to the lord’s chamber takes many hours, sometimes more than a day.

Then, there’s the VIP queue, where you have to pay a higher-than-usual ticket price. But you are spared the queue and taken straight to the sanctum sanctorum.

Right before they reach the business end of the darshan, all these queues merge. Then, another wave from this sea of skinheads prepares to hit the lord’s chamber.

There, just as the devotees reach the chamber and get a second’s worth of his glimpse, they’re pushed away by the security – swiftly, rudely – to keep the queue moving.

All those hours in the sun.

For one second’s worth of darshan.

Two seconds, if you’re lucky.

Three, if you hold your ground and don’t let them push you.

It doesn’t stop there.

After this, people queue up again to make donations to the ginormous Tirupati hundi.

This queue is much shorter. But one thing doesn’t change: right after you’re done dropping your money in the hundi, the guard – probably fully aware that your donation helps pay his salary – pushes you away. All over again.

After this, you pass a gallery where overweight priests sit behind a glass wall with currency notes strewn around, waiting to be counted, or be pinched.

I’m an atheist. But what I truly like about organised religion is that it’s a fantastic, recession-proof, all-weather business model.

Its consumers fear abandoning it. Its proponents milk it for its dogmatic worth. And the product itself – The God – has irreproachable manners of pleasing or displeasing its followers.

My heated back-and-forth with some priests and guards would mean I’m not going back to any place of religion in a hurry.

However, if I can, I’m definitely going to set up a temple in every corner of the country.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

My First Strand of Gray Hair

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My Xth CBSE Hindi syllabus had this chapter about a middle-aged man expressing his bittersweet feelings after he noticed the first gray strand on his scalp.

His feelings got my goat. I was 15, and had already begun graying.

My first gray strand appeared when I was 14. The second didn’t take too long after that.

At the peak of my hormonal pandemonium, just when I was supposed to experience the highs of youth, I was dealing with my first sign of aging.

I don’t know — it was probably the hard water. Or my diet. Or maybe that I think too much. Way too much.

By 18, it was a full-blown epidemic. The temples, the scalp, the back of the head — the grays were gaining ground.

I might have been 19 when I had my grays coloured black — something I resorted to, once in a while.

What made matters worse that my hairline receded too. From worrying about premature graying, now I was thankful to have hair at all.

After college, I was admitted to a journalism school. Before I joined, I thought it’d be best to get my hair coloured to look my best for the first day.

A month after a joined, when the colour faded away, I realised half the class was gray.

That’s when I knew I was at the right place. And I never worried about my grays since.

Friday, June 26, 2009

What is the difference between Hamas and Hummus?

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Just in case you’ve been confused like I was.

What are they?

Hamas: an acronym for Harakat al-Muqāwamat al-Islāmiyyah, meaning Islamic Resistance Movement.

Hummus: a spread made from minced chickpeas, seasame, lemon juice, salt, garlic and spices.

What is their origin?

Hamas: created in 1987 by a group of Palestinians to kick Jewish ass.

Hummus: has its origins in midieval or even ancient Middle East, though it’s not clear where or when.

What do they go well with?

Hamas: Islamist imperialism, Israel-bombing, Jew-hating, America-hating, terror-mongering, Gaza-capturing.

Hummus: bread, hard-boiled eggs, falafal, chips, crackers, salads and if your name is Zohan, you eat spoonfuls of it for no particular reason.

Who loves them?

Hamas: Arabs back them. Jews hate them. Canada and the US hate them. Even the Norwegians and Japs hate them.

Hummus: Jews love it. Arabs love it. Africans love it. Asians love it.

What do they look like?


Hamas:


Hummus:

No prizes for guessing which one I would prefer.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Regulating the Indian media

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I have just one thing to say to those people who want the government to regulate the media: please throw away your cable connection and promise to watch Doordarshan for the rest of your life.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

And A Word To Pankaj Kumar

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Nitpicking today’s Inner Voice in the Hindustan Times.

When we begin to love God and follow the essential teachings of our religion, we fulfill the purpose for which we came to this planet.

What purpose? Why is it my purpose?

If we follow the core teachings and fulfill our duties, we need not have many worries, for God will take care of the rest.

Aren’t thousands of people doing God’s Work everyday when they get blown to bits by bombs, or get crushed during earthquakes, or get swept away by tsunamis or killed by grave diseases?

Faith and love of God or bhakti go together. Faith is not blind faith.

Faith, among other things, is believing in something you can’t see. That, to me, is very blind. Also, we put too much premium on ‘Enlightened Persons’ for humanity’s own good.

The human faculty of reasoning cannot provide answers to all the questions that life presents us. We have to rely on faith and intuition in such cases.

Exactly. For once, I agree. The question of Life, The Universe and Everything Else is too complicated for the human mind to fathom. But if you use God as the explanation, just how do you explain God?

For cultivating bhakti, we should try to keep our minds free from lust, anger, greed, attachment and pride.

Lust, anger, greed, attachment and pride go hand-in-hand with humanity. Show me a man free of these, and I will show you the elves in my sock drawer.

Reading spiritual books, prayer and japa help us to cultivate bhakti. We may not know the languages in which our scriptures were written or we may find that the modern translations are inaccurate.

This is why I choose not to read them.

Prayer is our effort to commune with the divine.

But if I pray to the elves living in my sock drawer, I’d be called a loon. Why? Because elves don’t exist?

We can tell our hopes and fears to God like a child and ask for guidance and support.

I’d rather consult the elves in my sock drawer. Oh wait. It’s the same thing. There’s an old joke which goes thus: when you talk to God, it is prayer; when God talks back, it is schizophrenia.

However, Buddhism suggests that we rely more on our own efforts and less on prayer. Christianity says that the 10 commandments can be summed up in one sentence: Love God and love your neighbour. Just so, the Hindu concept of bhakti or love of God encompasses the love of his creation.

Sometimes, I have nothing but contempt for creation - or whatever you might want to call it. To quote from the Hitchhiker’s Guide, “In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.”

All religions exhort us to have a friendly attitude towards our fellow humans. Hence, violence and murder are considered grievous sins.

So they are. Still, too many people kill in the name of religion. Why?

What about the possibility of a stage in our lives when we turn atheist? For atheists, the Dalai Lama said: “It does not matter whether you have religious faith or not. All that is required is that you should be a warm-hearted person.

It does not matter if you have faith. It doesn’t matter if you don’t. In the final analysis, it doesn’t matter. Nothing does.

Monday, March 16, 2009

How Oriyas Nickname Their Kids

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Take a consonant. Any consonant.

Take a vowel. Any vowel.

Form a two-letter word using the two.

Say the word twice.

Congrats. Now your kid has a nickname.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Hain?

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हैं?

This word is put to several uses by the people of Delhi.

“Hain?” - sharp, to the point, almost like a jab, with both eyes wide open, eyeballs about to pop out.

Hainnn?” - with eyebrows arched, maxillary central incisors all visible, representing their dislike for what they’ve just heard.

“Haaaiiinnn?” - Long-drawn out, representing their unwillingness to try and understand what you’re saying. Commonly used by babus with paunches at government offices, especially after lunch hour.

The Guide on People

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It is known that there are an infinite number of worlds, simply because there is an infinite amount of space for them to be in. However, not every one of them is inhabited. Therefore, there must be a finite number of inhabited worlds. Any finite number divided by infinity is as near to nothing as makes no odds, so the average population of all the planets in the Universe can be said to be zero. From this it follows that the population of the whole Universe is also zero, and that any people you may meet from time to time are merely the products of a deranged imagination.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

I have moved!

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Friends:

This blog has moved to a self-hosted Wordpress.

The URL: http://hemant.urbanmunky.com.

Other links:
1) Posts feed
2) Comments feed

Thanks for reading, and see you on UrbanMunky.com

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Here's why...

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... I like The Pink Chaddi Campaign.

It's nasty — it will disgrace Pramod Muthalik, and rightly so.

It's non-violent — no underpants were killed in this movement.

It's eye-catching — I think underpants are a scandalous and powerful medium of expression.

It's witty — the protesters also have a smart tagline: "Because Chaddis Are Forever."

It's simple — and simple ideas tend to catch on quickly.

More power to the campaign.

What do I think of Valentines Day? Here's a post on the subject from last year.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Annoucement!

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Folks, I have some news I'd like to share. This blog, along with two others I manage (Jobs Media and Sursuri), are in the process of moving to an independent domain, Urban Munky.

If you like reading this blog, I'd request you to subscribe to the RSS feed to help me out with the blog transfer, so that I do not miss any readers.

If you were already subscribed to my default Blogger feed, I have some bad news: that feed has been broken for a couple of weeks. I'd recommend you switch to the Feedburner feed.

If you don't use an RSS reader, but would still like a way to track this blog, I recommend the email delivery option. Signing up is very simply. There will be no spam. All my blog posts will land in your mail box. Just click here.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire Plot Fail

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This is a screenshot from Slumdog's Wikipedia page, and might be corrected the next time you see it.

Also: my short review of the film.

Slumdog Millionaire Lyrics - Jai ho

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I saw Slumdog Millionaire for the first time a couple of weeks before it hit the Indian theatres. My wife had managed to get a downloaded copy from her office. As we watched it on our laptop, I was blown away by the first 15 minutes. I said, let's watch this on the big screen, it'd be totally worth it. She argued that the India release was still a long way away, so we continued watching.

Last weekend, we saw it on the big screen the day it hit India. Our schedule allowed us to watch the dubbed version, and we settled for it. It still was pretty good since much of the dialogue is in Hindi anyway.

My frank assessment of the film: it's very good. Rich cinematography, beautifully paced, well directed, well acted. Dev Patel and the kids were fantastic and AR Rahman's score is of the rare kind that lifts the overall quality of a picture. Hans Zimmer's score for The Dark Knight is another example. If anybody deserves an award for Slumdog, Rahman does. Anil Kapoor was a bit loud - in the film and at the Golden Globes. Reports also say he has developed a clipped accent overnight.

There was a matter-of-factness in the narration. It was authoritative story telling, the kind that respects a viewer's time and intelligence. I find that missing from Indian movies, where the emphasis is not on story-telling but on star actors.

But is the film worth the hype? I don't think so. Would I put it on my Films To Watch Before You Die list? No.

Another thing I don't understand is why some Indians choose to rubbish the film as a westerner's take on Indian poverty. The last time I checked, the story was a perfectly Indian one. Danny Boyle's team only made a film out of it, and a pretty good one at that. I'd endorse it whole-heartedly.



Jai Ho!

I looked around for the lyrics to Slumdog Millionaire's soundtrack and I was appalled by the search results. So I asked the wife to help me transcribe the lyrics to Jai Ho. We obviously couldn't understand the bits in the foreign languages so we left them out. Here are the lyrics. If you spot mistakes, please leave a comment. I'll update this with a credit line.

Jai ho! [x4]

Aaja aaja jind-e-shamiyaane ke tale
Aaja zari wale nile aasmaan ke tale

Jai ho [x2]

Aaja aaja jind-e-shamiyaane ke tale
Aaja zari wale nile aasmaan ke tale

Jai ho [x2]

Jai ho [x8]

Ratti ratti sacchi maine jaan gawaai hai
Nach nach koylo pe raat bitaai hai

Akhiyo ki neend maine phookho se uda di
Gin gin taare maine ungli jalaayi hai

Aaja aaja jind-e-shamiyaane ke tale
Aaja zari wale nile aasmaan ke tale

Jai ho [x4]

Jai ho [x8]

Chakh le, haan chakh le
Yeh raat shahad hai

Chakh le
Rakh le
Aa dil hai, dil aakhri hadd hai

Rakh le, kaala kaala kaajal tera
Koi kaala jaadu hai na

Kaala kaala kaajal tera
Koi kaala jaadu hai na

Aaja aaja jind-e-shamiyaane ke tale
Aaja zari wale nile aasmaan ke tale

Jai ho [x2]

Jai ho [x5]

Kab se, haan kab se
Jo lab pe ruki hai

Keh de
Keh de
Haan keh de, ab aankh jhuki hai

Keh de, aisi aisi roshan aankhein
Roshan dono heerein hain kya?

Aaja aaja jind-e-shamiyaane ke tale
Aaja zari wale nile aasmaan ke tale

Jai ho [x8]

In Hindi

जय हो! [x ४]

आजा आजा जिंद-ऐ-शामिआने के तले
आजा ज़री वाले नीले आसमां के तले

जय हो! [x २]

आजा आजा जिंद-ऐ-शामिआने के तले
आजा ज़री वाले नीले आसमां के तले

जय हो! [x 8]

रत्ती रत्ती सच्ची मैंने जान गवाईं है
नच नच कोयलों पे रात बिताई है

अंखियों की नींद मैंने फूकों से उड़ा दी
गिन गिन तारे मैंने उंगलियाँ जलायीं हैं

आजा आजा जिंद-ऐ-शामिआने के तले
आजा ज़री वाले नीले आसमां के तले

जय हो! [x 4]

जय हो! [x 8]

चख ले, हाँ चख ले
यह रात शहद है

चख ले, रख ले
आ दिल है, दिल आखरी हद है

रख ले, काला काला काजल तेरा
कोई काला जादू है ना

काला काला काजल तेरा
कोई काला जादू है ना

आजा आजा जिंद-ऐ-शामिआने के तले
आजा ज़री वाले नीले आसमां के तले

जय हो! [x 2]

जय हो! [x 5]

कब से, हाँ कब से
जो लब पे रुकी है

कह दे, कह दे
हाँ कह दे, अब आँख झुकी है

कह दे, ऐसी ऐसी रोशन आँखें
रोशन दोनों हीरें हैं क्या?

आजा आजा जिंद-ऐ-शामिआने के तले
आजा ज़री वाले नीले आसमां के तले

जय हो! [x 8]

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

On censoring India's news media

5 comments
Vinod Mehta, the editor of Outlook, had said sometime back that the reader is a nice hypocrite. And he's right. We criticise our papers and channels for their journalistic standards, but we don’t do the one thing that would stop these media houses from doing what they do: stop subscribing to them.

The operations of media houses, like any other business houses, are largely dictated by subscriber demand. Had the subscriber demanded greater journalistic integrity, he would have got it. He didn’t. He chose to watch the tamasha – the cat stuck on the rooftop, or the man holding a gun to his own head — but insisted, as he watched, that this programming is rubbish.

Hence, it’s dangerous when the same people ask the government to regulate the news media. Regulation won’t solve a thing. It would only feed more power into the hands of the government to keep critical information away from the public. I’d agree that self-regulation is a way forward, but state-endorsed censorship would prove disastrous.

I agree with Vir Sanghvi’s thoughts in the recent edition of his column, Counterpoint.
One of my concerns is that we have lost sight of the distinction between ‘bad’ and ‘unethical’. You may not like my articles. You may think I write badly. You may not think much of the HT as a whole, even.

...

The recourse available to you is not legal; it is commercial. Stop buying the HT. Or at any rate, stop reading me. But you cannot demand a ban on me or the paper because you think my articles are crap, or because if I pontificate too much.

It’s the same with TV. To say — as I do — that the channels did not cover themselves with glory is not to say that therefore, they should be censored or banned.
It is plain commerce. Why is it so hard to understand in a country that's known to be good at trade?

Monday, January 12, 2009

The greatest piece of choreography in the history of Indian cinema

10 comments
No shit.

On Google, I looked up the title of the film, Pyaasi Raat, and found this article on Passionforcinema:
for fuck’s sake this was shot on FILM……it went to the processing lab and they even fucking edited this……..there was a singer….someone wrote it….someone sung it…there was a studio booked for this……someone held a crew at ransom to shoot this….how the hell did anyone pull this off……i soooo want to watch the entire film…….HOW CAN I FIND IT?
The Hitchhiker's Guide to Galaxy says the second worst poetry in the universe is by Azgoths of Kria. It's so bad that:
...during a recitation by their Poet Master Grunthos the Flatulent of his poem Ode To A Small Lump of Green Putty I Found In My Armpit One Midsummer Morning four of his audience died of internal haemmorhaging, and the President of the Mid-Galactic Arts Nobbling Council survived by gnawing one of his own legs off.

Grunthos is reported to have been 'disappointed' by the poem's reception, and was about to embark on a reading of his twelve-book epic entitled My Favourite Bathtime Gurgles when his own major intestine, in a desperate attempt to save life and civilisation, leap straight up through his neck and throttle his brain.
And why am I talking about The Guide? What you're about to see here might just make your intestine make an attempt on your life.



There will be some of you reading this from your offices where Youtube is blocked, so you will see an empty white space above this.

You can see the video on a proxy website. Just paste this link at any of these websites: 1, 2, 3, 4.

Update: A colleague asked me why I was searching Pyaasi Raat on Google. In my defense, I have to say that I decided to search for details of the film after I read its name in one of the comments on the video. I'm innocent. I don't even have two gigabytes of porn on my laptop. God promise!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Shave Your Back

5 comments
I'm bored of the usual "Happy New Year" and "Thank You" and "Same To You".

You can say, "Shave Your Back To You Too."



I downloaded a nice wallpaper for my workstation.



You can get it off Smashing Magazine's January 2009 wallpapers.