State of the Papad

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It was after many phone calls to assorted PR agencies and  after being given many a run-around (as they say: bahoot papad belna para) that I was ultimately able to get an interview with the famous Lijjat Papad Bunny, the face of the multimillion dollar Papad industry and together with the dancing Nirma girl and the Hippo of washing powder Hippolin, an icon of the 80s Doordarshan days.

Crunching into a spicy papad, Mr. Bunny appeared relaxed and upbeat.

“It’s been a good year for us”, he chortled “with Shilpa Shetty being called Shilpa Poppadum in the British Big Brother, foreign interest in papads or poppadums has never been higher.”

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An Honest Chappie And the Foreign Way

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Aaah. We get it at last. It’s the Indians who are at fault. They do not let Greg Chappell be honest. If this was in Australia, he could accuse the team captain of faking injury and happily insinuate that he clings onto his spot because he needs the money. Noone would ask for proof of his honest attempts at slander. It’s only in this blasted country that people take such things so seriously.

In an exclusive interview to CNN-IBN titled “I can’t be honest in India”, Greg Chappell lets his hair down and tells us his side of the story.

I think that’s mainly the difference. Every word, every nuance is treated so much more un-really in this country. In Australia you would say something and it would make a ripple. Here you say something and it’s a tsunami.

Indeed. Down under, you can get away with smacking a naked man on his bottom with a bat and here you cannot even tend to your injured middle finger, that keeps somehow flipping up like an organ on a Viagra overdose, without offending the natives.

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Sharara Sharara

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It takes an awesome amount of courage and moral conviction to go to another country, kneel at the doorstep of the family that you have hurt with your racial comments and beg for forgiveness. It takes even more courage if there is a whole Channel 4 telly crew recording every moment of your tear-soaked plea for mercy.

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The Eye of the Tiger

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So many times, it happens too fast
You change your passion for glory
Don’t lose your grip on the dreams of the past
You must fight just to keep them alive

—The Eye of the Tiger (OST: Rocky)

As Sourav Ganguly packed one rifle shot after another through the packed off side against the seamers and sashayed down the pitch to loft the spinners into the high heavens turning back the clock many a year, I am sure I was not the only one who had a lump in the throat.

Written off, humiliated, accused of being a mercenary and an injury-faker and haunted by the demon of low scores and by his obvious technical shortcomings, who would have thought he would be back in full cry, playing some of the best cricket of his life in South Africa and now in India?

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Thrills Galore !

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A paragraph from today’s Times of India which I found very informative:

Coach Greg Chappell even showed Uthappa how to it with deft body movements. Ganguly, however, provided thrills galore to the thousand-odd, including a bunch of giggly schoolgirls, who had gathered to watch the Indians practice.

With Guru Greg teaching the juniors some of the finer technical points and Dada getting back his voracious appetite, I think Team India is looking “good to go” after a long time.

In an unrelated article (but equally interesting):

Not many though would have bet on Shilpa surviving so long after watching her debut in Shah Rukh Khan’s Baazigar (1993). Some felt her mouth was too wide it kind of evoked comparisons with the shark in Finding Nemo later. Others said, she badly needed a nose job.

How polite. With friends like these, who needs Big Brother housemates?

Shilporama

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The “Rang De Basanti” effect on the collective consciousness of the nation was evident once again today as Gen X gadget-activists came out in full force SMS-ing, emailing and online-petitioning in support of Shilpa Shetty, the subject of vile racial abuse on UK’s Big Brother.

Neha Hingorani represents this new-age awakened citizen. A far cry from the khadi-clad Gandhi topiwala from yesteryears, we find her sitting in the lounge of a multiplex, working furiously on her Motorola Razr sending SMS-s to all her friends and to public polls on all the TV channels.

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Ash-Shek

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Unless you spend all your time reading books or watching the mating lives of walruses on the Animal Planet (as opposed to those of beautiful people), you surely must know that the “will they won’t they” Aishwarya-Abhishek relationship recently became “Yes they will” much to the joy of a whole nation. Rarely since Rama vanquished Ravana has there been such celebration in the world of monkeys.

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Aaj Ka Gandhigiri

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In Bhubaneswar, a voluntary organisation Kalinga Sena, organised a demonstration and burnt the effigy of Gautam Prasad.

“His (Mahatma Gandhi) disgrace is India’s disgrace, the disgrace of one billion people of India. We are staging a protest against Gautam and we demand capital punishment for him,” said Kalinga Sena President Hemanth Rath.

[Source]

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