That's Vulgar

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By now all of you must have heard of the vibrating condom ring scandal that rocked Madhya Pradesh. For those who did not : Hindustan Latex had created a battery-operated vibrating condom (Crezendo) which offended the moral police in Madhya Pradesh because they felt it was a “sex toy” and since adults should never play with toys, they wanted it , predictably banned. What particularly piqued my demented mind was how this problem was brought to the attention of the minister who campaigned passionately against Crezendo. From his words on CNN-IBN

yeh prasn is liye utha hain kyon ki ek vidyarthi mere paas aaaya aur kaha ki yeh vibrating ring lekar hostel ke andar vidyarthi iske upayog kar rahe hain aur iske marketing ho rahee hain. vidyarthi agar parne ke samay main is prakar ki vibrating ring ka upyog karta hain to main samajhta hoon ki yeh kisi ke liye chinta ki vishaaye ho sakti hain.

Which means that one day, our honourable minister, in the course of his peregrinations, was accosted by a student whose complaint was not the unavailability of books in the library, or of placement opportunities or the need to upgrade campus facilities. No. His complaint was that some students had vibrating condoms on their walking sticks. Displaying sagacity of the highest form, the minister realized that if “vidyarthis” are racked with repeated eruptions from battery-operated enhancements while studying (parne ke samay), a generation of young men will be created solely dependent on automation for even the simplest of tasks, unable to use their hands.

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My President

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Do not go by SMS polls and popularity ratings, Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee told the United Progressive Alliance’s presidential candidate Pratibha Patil when she called on the Union Cabinet on Thursday. The people of India don’t elect the President, it is the elected representatives who elect him, Mukherjee is reported to have told her.The comment was obviously directed at President APJ Abdul Kalam who is clearly the people’s choice to continue in Rashtrapati Bhavan. On rediff.com’s poll, for instance, he enjoys almost 90 percent popularity rating.

Yes Mr. Mukherjee. Right on. Don’t worry about what the people want. And don’t worry about the small matter that as elected representative, you are kind of obligated to listen to people. Or at the very least, pretend to. And at the leastest, not to publicly announce (yes I know it is “reported” that he said it) that it doesn’t matter what the people want.

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Gunda—the Legend

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[This very long blogpost is a transcript of an interview with the great director Kanti Shah, director of the legendary Mithun-da movie “Gunda”. And yes this interview is a work of fiction: it has no resemblance to any person—living or dead or seriously sick. I also have no connection with Kanti Shah or the production house of Gunda. ]

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Mahaprabhu Mistanna Bhandar

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Growing up in Calcutta, one of the primary loci of my life was the neighbourhood sweet shop, Mahaprabhu Mistanna Bhandar (Mahaprabhu’s Cornucopia of Sweets). Lunch or dinner was always terminated by one of its products and whenever a guest came, that was the place I had to go to buy the chomchom and the chanar jilipi. My favourite Mahaprabhu sweet used to be the extremely saccharine gujiya (25 paise a piece) from which I graduated to what I called Mahaprabhu’s Ek takar mishti (the one rupee sweet) , the jewel in their crown whose quality was distinguished by virtue of it being priced at Re 1 whereas everything else was 50 paise or below.

As time went by, the prices went up, the size of the sweets went down and the people at the front counter became less generous in giving out extra rubber bands. But virtually everything else stayed the same: the peeling plaster on the walls, the slightly broken statue of Laxmi and Ganesh, the rickety sink on which was perched a plastic jug that contained potable water, the huge vats of rosogolla and pantooya floating about in a sea of syrup, the flies buzzing about, the bare-torsoed/baniyaned assistants with their exposed pot bellies and abundant nostril-and-cochlear hair taking your order, handing out change and packing the sweets

Till now.

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The Coach-Man

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You have an abusive, self-obsessed boyfriend (let’s call him Greg Chappell). Ultimately after years of abuse, a disastrous emotional meltdown (let’s call it the World Cup) occurs after which you dump him. Then comes along this other guy, (let’s call him Dave Whatmore) who really wants you with all his heart. You don’t quite feel any passion despite the fact that there is not much wrong with him. In the absence of someone better, you string him along . And then when man 2 (Ford), the guy who really rocks your boat came along, you publicly kick the first suitor in the ass, call him “over eager” and hence by extension a despo. You surrender yourself to the new guy, while your parents present you with man 3 (John Em “Burey” nazar walen tera mooh kala), a two-time divorcee with kids. Not much of a choice. You propose to man2 who then turns around, says he finds you over-eager and spurns your overtures. Taking advantage of all this, man3 panders to his own ego by also rejecting you—-as if you ever asked him.

The Indian cricket coaching tamasha has now officially become a farce. Which is why I desist from analyzing the situation (Shan does it here) but instead propose a solution to the impasse.

Let Maninder Singh (man4) be the next Indian coach.

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