The Oscar Committee Minutes


Scene: Four men sit around a table. In front is a Orson color TV from 1988 and a DVD/VCD player from Santosh Electronics.

Cast: Harmesh Malhotra (Hammy),
Vinod Pandey (Vindie),
Jagdish Sharma(Juggie),
Vikas Mohan (Vics)

Context: 4 of India’s movie giants are deciding which movie to send to the Oscars.

Hammy: Ok gentlemen please let’s finish this please— I am not feeling particularly well. Frankly, if you ask me none of these movies are worth sending to the Oscars. (Looking wistfully)….My great works of art–Nagina and its sequel Nigahen were path breaking movies——-a buxom lady who turns into a python err cobra …if that’s not an original story idea then tell me what is. Even today snakecharmers play the “Pa pa pa pa pa…. Main teri dushman dushman tu mera, main nagin tu sapera” song on their daily rounds. And not one bastard thought these movies were worth sending to the Oscars….

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Ganguly Hai Hai



Down with Sourav Ganguly !! Down down the Debauch Prince of Calcutta ( a columnist for a leading sports source shows his true colors in the picture on the left).

I was aghast. I used to love this guy once upon a time. I always knew him as an arrogant, petulant yet honorable man who backed his players aggressively, never played politics inside the team and was always first in the line of fire.

This was before Greg Chappell with his bcc mail to aakha India told us exactly the opposite. Ganguly is a wolf in sheep’s clothing—-according to the uncut Chappell email I got, it’s he who got Kim Sharma to leave Yuvraj Singh so that his performance suffers and the Maharaja can stay on in the side. Pathetic.

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Baise Moi


It’s time India launched a formal complaint with the UN and sent the fashion police across the Line of Control to arrest General Musharraf.

The reason? At a conference on woman’s rights in Pakistan, he wore a blue and pink tie to symbolize cooperation between men and women.

An alpha-male of the first order abandoning his battle fatigues for a pink tie ! Really people like Gen Mush should not try to be the sensitive meterosexual type because the facade slips away so fast that it’s positively embarrassing for unabashed admirers like myself.

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Vienna Calling


As I walked the lawns of the Hofburg, the dazzling palace of the Hapsburg emperors, my eyes were drawn to a group of hippie types smoking, quite openly, a few exquisitely colored and shaped Bongs. Being a Bong myself (and a great one at that), I naturally stopped to admire.

A little context. Our conference was being held in Baden (not to be confused with Baden Baden…that’s in Germany), the pleasure retreat of a few of the dudes who habitated the Hofburg and one afternoon, I sneaked away after the bluster and verbiage to do some site-seeing in Vienna or as the locals call it Wien.

Not having a guide book and also not having much time, I just wandered around the Opera House and the lawns on the Hofburg, marveling at its grandeur and its manicured lawns (where the Bong smoking was going on). Only later did I realize that for a long time what I had been enraptured by was only the backside of the palace——feeling quite like a fool I then wended my way to the front side. Boy oh boy –all I can say is that Hofburg is no JLo— the front is much more magnificent than the back.

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Ganguly—End of the Road?


What really happened between Sourav Ganguly and Greg Chappell before the Bulawao test?

Sources close to the Indian team tell me that Chappell told Sourav to take off his shirt ala 2002 Lords and pretend that Greg was actually Nagma. Sourav Ganguly asked Chappell if he was serious. When Greg told him that he was not, Ganguly felt rebuffed, got angry and threatened to resign.

For another version of the events, read this.

Okay accepted that this version of events probably did not happen but why should it be any more authentic than the version from Cricinfo? I dont know about you but when one of the most respectable sources of cricket writing carries a slanderous article based on unauthenticated “sources close to the team” collected by “Cricinfo staff” , I find it somewhat against journalistic ethics of objectivity and balancedness.

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Mithunism—-The Religion


A buxom lady is going to have the shoulder of her blouse torn by a bunch of marauding ruffians. Suddenly, a bottle rolls on the ground and a Man enters the screen. The ruffians ask “Who are you?” In a voice that would make the blood of tigers run cold (old jungle proverb), He says:

Dikhne me bewada, daudne me ghoda, aur maarne me hathoda hoon main

The man. The legend. Mithun Chakraborty. Some call him Mithun-da, most call him Prabhuji.

Mithun-da is one of my idols. I will go even further and say He is my God. I believe in Him. And like any fanatic, I am extremely impatient with some people who laugh at Him, compare Him unfavorably to Amitabh and Shahrukh Khan just because He is supposedly “down market”. I think these people should rot in Hell with 72 virgins. 40 year old male virgins that is.

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Hey Teacher Just Leave the Kids Alone


A few weeks ago, we all heard of a principal, Srinivasa Rao of Vijaywada who took digital photographs of girl students in the nude and posted them on the Internet (link to the Internet posting article I could not find). His punishment was to stand in his underpants in a thana in Vijaywada.

Today I see another incident —Bobby Chachan , the principal of Bethany Boarding School in Kurseong who, in a drunken fit, hugged and tried to kiss a 15 year old girl of the school. Police have picked him up.

The alarming thing is that for every perv outed, there are 100s of more prudent ones who pass muster under the guise of respectability.

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The Dissolution of the Fellowship of Friends


There’s something I have observed in most of my guy friends. As soon as they get married, they sever all links with old college buddies with a vengeance that borders on the obscene. The train of events is almost always the same — a gradual process of successively decreasing phone calls, unreplied voice messages, “inability” to attend reunions until ultimately the increasingly-getting-small group of friends get the message— our old friend is out for good.

A word about our group. It is an exclusively male clan of about 20-30 core members of the 55 odd who went to college together and who have kept in regular touch through email and reunions organized in US and in India.

Lest this be interpreted as a bachelor’s inability to understand the nuances of married life, let me say that I am married myself. I am aware of the constraints of married men— I took my wife to a reunion over a long weekend, ostensibly to “integrate” her with my buddies and my past.

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It's All In The Game


Ajit Agarkar and Irfan Pathan got into a heated verbal duel today during the India-New Zealand cricket match. Ajit Agarkar, the man with a career “economy” rate (aah the irony of using the word economy in the context of Ajit Agarkar) of well over 5 , bowled an over where he gave 15 runs. Nothing new there.

At this point, we presume that Irfan must have said something to Agarkar.

Then Irfan ran into bowl and got blasted for an identical amount. And then Agarkar took a catch off Irfan and that did it.

India’s two spearheads started mouthing off at each other in the full glare of the cameras.

Team India…yeah !

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Watching the effects of Hurricane Katrina on TV, I could not escape being repeatedly struck by the extremely thin line between man and Nature.

Here is New Orleans, one of US’s liveliest cities, built over 250 years, reduced, in a matter of hours, to an extension of the river and the lake.

And as looting takes place on an unprecedented scale, lowlifes patrol downtown Orleans with Ak47s while police, overworked and clueless about an emergency on this scale, put up token resistance, corpses float down thoroughfares, alligators and snakes wade through debris and the threat of an impending epidemic hangs in the air —-one can see that New Orlean’s refined, urban ethos has vaporized in 36 hours bringing the rule of the jungle to its dark, waterlogged streets.

In short, a total meltdown of civilization played out on live TV.

As Sheppard Smith, Fox New’s Dan Rather-wannabe mentioned—the situation in New Orleans is as bad as it is in a third world country. ( a sentiment echoed in multiple places)

Yes it’s that bad.