The Shayan Munshi in All of Us


Shayan Munshi is a model-turned-failed-actor who thinks that the most pressing issue in front of India is the condition of roads.

The one main problem plaguing India, according to me, is poor roads. There should be a law to level all roads. Due to overpopulation, the traffic seems to increase even more. This is an immediate concern as we use these roads daily. It would make living better.

He is also a murderer—or at the very least an accessory. Unless you have been living under a rock, you know the story— Jessica Lal, a model, was murdered in a restaurant called Tamarind Court where she was the celebrity bartender for refusing to serve drinks to an inebriated son-of-a-minister, Manu Sharma. Despite being shot dead in front of so many people and then fleeing the scene of the crime, Manu Sharma and his associates were set free—-thanks to collusion on the part of the police (who intentionally botched evidence) and because Shayan Munshi, who was present when the murder took place, retracted his evidence—thereby letting a murderer walk away: laughing.

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They Are Back


The India-Pakistan cricket series comes to a close and I, for one, am wallowing in languid satisfaction: a state of mind I desperately failed to attain the last time we toured Pakistan, even though in 2004 (unlike what happened in 2006) we clobbered them then in what really matters– the Test matches.

On the face of it, this seems rather strange. The first two Tests in the 2006 series were insipid, lifeless slogfests and the last one was a humiliating defeat for the Men in Blue (And no I am not rejoicing in that—despite the fact that being a Ganguly fan and so by extension non-patriotic, I am supposed to do so.) The ODI series was also a vapid no-contest with India dominating match-after-match so much so that individually counting each hair in Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s Samsonian mane would perhaps have been more exciting.

So then what’s the “feel good” here about?

Precisely the fact that we were not subject to “the universal brotherhood” bonhomie we had to sit through the last time. Pakistani supporters cheering the Indian team, people with Indian and Pakistani flags painted on their cheeks—the saccharinity of it all made me want to go into a diabetic coma. It seemed so fake—a disturbance of cosmic equilibrium on the scale of a wife saying that her mother-in-law is her best friend or a husband saying he has eyes only for his wife.

Yes it was that unconvincing.

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Shylock Khan


In the trial scene of Shylock in the “Merchant of Venice” , an impassioned audience member once got up and moved by the unfairness of it all, cried out ” That man has been wronged.”

Indeed he was—and today many years later history (or myth) repeated itself with the protagonist being, by a strange quirk of fate, a man whose name has the same first letter as Shylock’s. (but who is neither “shy” with respect to body exposure nor has “locks” of hair).

Salman Khan.

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Migrating From Blogspot to WordPress


This is a post I thought of writing when I took the decision to migrate from Blogspot to my own hosted domain where I am using WordPress as my blogging platform. By doing so, I hope to encapsulate my experiences and wisdom so that generations of Indian bloggers (after all I am a “wannabe” politician and thus am allowed to be a bit presumptuous and grandiloquent) can benefit from my knowledge.

This post is a bit long. But as we all know, brevity is not a virtue here at RTDM.

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Valentine's Day


On this Valentine’s day buy a diamond for the special woman in your life—-it will be something she will remember for ever.

I let out a small imprecation under my breath as I heard this on the radio while driving home from work. Not because I had not bought a diamond for my wife (I am a big miser) but because of the way the media brainwashes us into believing that love is directly proportional to the cash you spend on the object of your affections. And that a diamond is the best way of expressing what’s in your heart.

Why a diamond? Why not bubblegum?

Because it’s the most expensive thing you can think of.

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New Blog URL Inauguration


This is my new blog address. I am now snowed in New York and havent gotten around to answering the comments from my last post. Which I shall do asap (as soon as I figure out how to get back to DC). Do adjust your bookmarks accordingly ( the redirect from my oldsite will be up soon). Kindly put all new comments here.

If anyone is having speed issues with the new site, kindly do tell.

[Comments have been stopped on this post because of spammers]

Death By Humor


“Looking for comedy in the Muslim world” is a movie in which Albert Brooks tries to find out what makes Muslims laugh. It’s another thing that the movie’s protagonist travels to India and Pakistan in order to find out the answer to his question—-reflecting the general cluelessness of Americans in figuring out even the definition of what the “Muslim world” is.

I don’t know if Mr Brooks found the answer to his question mainly because he was in the wrong place, but for the last few days we have been privy to what does not make Muslims laugh.

Caricatures/cartoons of the Prophet to be precise. Of course, we have countless examples of evil long-nosed Jews being used in text books as a focal point of communal hatred across the “real” Muslim world—-but that of course is kosher. Or halal.

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Zinda Buddha Beta (Old Boy Is Alive)


[Okay here is another bit of fiction from the Greatbong. After all of you (well almost all) panned my last post, this is my revenge---another short story. I shall keep on writing such posts till I get positive comments.

This is also my review of the movie "Zinda"]

Sanjay Gupta, director of “Kaante”, “Zinda” and other Bollywood classics, wakes up one morning. His mind is reeling—last memory he had was a drunk evening with Sanjay Dutt, Mahesh Manjrekar groveling in front of Dubai Bhai on the phone and doing screen tests for some actresses.

But where is he now? A small room with one television set, a rack full of DVDs—it is obvious to him he has been kidnapped.

But by whom? He had given the overseas rights to Bhai, sought the “blessings” of the Balasaheb–in all discharged all the duties of a Mumbai director/producer. And yet why is he in this solitary room with just a TV set , DVDs and a plate of pao bhaji inserted through a hole in the door?

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