Deconstructing Modi Part 3


[First part]

[Second part]

A few moons ago, there was this incident. A Muslim cleric decided to ambush Narendra Modi by offering a skullcap at a public political event. [Video] While Modi did not wear the skull-cap, he did wear the green Islamic shawl the cleric offered (this was not reported). This immediately set in motion the gears of nightly-news-outrage and morning-paper-editorializing.


“Modi has shown, as if it needed further showing, his communal and non-secular core.”

[Ominous music]

Nitish Kumar, who has of late discovered the dark side of Modi and whose absolute dreaminess has of late been discovered by sections of the Indian intelligentsia, said most famously:

To govern a country like India, you have to take everyone along; sometimes you will have to wear topi and sometimes tilak (kabhi topi bhi pehenni padhegi, kabhi tilak bhi lagana padega).

No discussion of Modi or of Indian politics can be complete without an ogle at the concept of “secularism”.

In India, politicians are expected to be “secular”, at least as far as demonstrations go, in the Nitish Kumar way of things, much more than they are expected to efficient or to be honest.

And the thing about Modi, he is not secular. After all, if he was, he would have worn that skullcap.

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Guide To Writing A “Farewell To Sachin” Article


Now that Sachin has, and some may say finally, retired (somewhere Afridi whispers “Never say never…never say never again”), it’s time for a deluge. Of  tribute-reminiscences in newspapers, blogs, and websites. Having written a few of these tribute-hybrids, for Sachin (when he retired from one-days) and for Dada (several times) and for Dravid (once), I think it would be better if, instead of writing yet another of these posts, I wrote a little guide-thingey for the mandatory Sachin post, that you know and I know that you know you are going to write, as a full-fledged blogpost or just a lengthy status message or note in Facebook.

First of all, let’s start off with the contrarian, critical tribute. Like painting a mustache on the garlanded picture of a recently-deceased or loudly screaming  “Shuru karo Antkashari, leke Prabhu ka naam” at someone’s funeral, this is guaranteed to get you attention, some of which might be unwelcome, but hey it’s all in good fun. It’s tough to best the masters like Kesavan and Aakar Patel in this regard, but just because Sachin is a batsman does not mean that Amay Khurasiya can’t be (factoid: he replaced Sachin in 2001 when he got injured). Since Mukul Kesavan has already done the “He didn’t retire early enough” angle, you are advised to take some other route. Like Sachin never having won games for India (an hour at Statsguru and voila this one is done), like being selfish and records-focussed (take the same stats as the previous one, but this time extrapolate to a motive,) or if you want to be truly original, how Sachin’s career reflects the typical Marathi manoos’s journey through life (but write this quickly, because Aakar Patel will beat you to it if he already hasn’t by the time you have finished reading this sentence).

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Deconstructing Modi Part 2


[Part 1 here]

Human beings love stereotypes. They simplify the complexity of the world by reducing complex problems, like understanding a human being and what makes him what he is, into a series of comparatively easy generalizations from which so-called logical conclusions can then be chained together .(“He is Bengali. Hence he must support Sourav Ganguly”) All of us do it, present company included, though we do not often fess up to them, because some types of stereotyping, if they fall within the set of politically incorrect no-no-s (sexist being the flavor of the season), bring about firm raps on knuckles or eternal hell-fire and damnation, whichever is quicker.

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Deconstructing Modi Part 1


“Hospitality. Logicality. Technicality. Practicality. Sociality. Physicality. Legality. Regality. Geniality. Vitality. Totality. Originality. Punctuality. Spirituality. Immortality… WHO’S THE MAN? HE’s THE MAN. NaMo Namo “

                                                                         –The Namo Youth Anthem [Video]

As a purveyor of popular culture and the general state of things, one of my abiding interests lies in deconstructing extreme popularity.

What is “extremely popular?”

Here is how I look at it. When armies of strangers, with no direct stake in your well-being (your relatives , paid PR and those in it for quid pro quo do not count), spend countless hours of their mortal lives, risking Carpal Tunnel syndrome, ruptured arteries and the very sanity of their souls, verbally or virtually garroting anyone who doubts your absolute awesomeness, or make youth anthems with the words “Last Air Bender” delivered in an accent that makes Mallika Sherawat sound as authentically American as Clint Eastwood, that’s when you have made the cut of extremeness.

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On the News Hour Tonight



[Parody. No vocal chords were harmed in the making of this post.]

Arnab G:  Ladies and gentlemen, we have broken many stories here on the News Hour over the years. But nothing, ladies and gentlemen, nothing will have prepared you for the story we will be breaking here today, exclusively on Times Now, something that will dwarf the 2G scandal, Gujarat 2002, Coalgate, Coffingate, Commonwealthgate, Bill Gate, Seagate and Stargate.

I have, in my hand, (brandishing papers in front of the camera), conclusive, CONCLUSIVE, proof that I have been impersonated on Twitter. I have this impersonator today with me here in the studio, now, at the top of the hour, a man who goes by the name of Arnab and runs a blog called “Random Thoughts of a Demented Mind”. I will be asking him a simple question. A simple question, because I am a simple person.

And that question today, is

“Will you apologize to the nation now or will you apologize later?”


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The Entrance

If pure love is that which sets your heart on fire, which makes you sit up late at night sleepless and panting, then I can say that what I feel for Bedouin Sher e Bengal is that only.

Pure heart-burning passion.

Over the years, I have had the privilege of visiting many places and sampling a wide variety of cuisines. But nothing, and I mean nothing, packs the emotional impact of a mouthful of food cooked in the kitchens of Bedouin. I don’t care if people say that the biriyani of Arsalan is better or that Shiraz is the best for Mughlai food. Maybe they are right. Who knows? It’s like all the sensuous writhings of a Sunny Leone count for nought, explicit as they are, on an emotional scale, in front of Raveena Tandon’s “Tip Tip Barsa Pani” just because the latter touches me in a more personal way.

So don’t even argue.

Because you see, when I put a morsel from Bedouin into my mouth, I am not just having “food”. I am connecting via a gustatory bridge to times and tastes gone by.

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