Dear readers,

RTDM is contemplating on moving from blogspot to a hosted site (where I shall be able to use WordPress in all its glory). I have been meaning to do this for some time now but the horrible effects this will have on people who are linked to my permalinks has made me dither. But alas I am unable to find a way to device a technological solution for this because redirectors work in (as far as I know and I don’t know much) the header section and there is no way I will be able to have “permalink-specific” redirections. [Each individual entry goes into the body section and the header section is reused from the front page]. So people who have bookmarked to permalinks will have to reset their links—–everyone will be redirected to the new homepage where there will be a nifty search box that will enable you to go to the post of your choice.

But for now don’t change any bookmarks. Please.

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A letter from Andaman Cellular Jail


I have never had a guest blogger here at RTDM. But as of today, I am going to make an exception. I present (fanfare)—-my mother. A little context: My father, a professor at IIM Calcutta is going to retire in February. So on his last LTC, Baba and Ma went to Andaman Islands—both for some peace and quiet (they deserve it for having brought me up) as well as to visit Andaman Cellular Jail—-the place where my grandfather (my father’s father) , Jyotirmoy Ray [his picture in the Cellular Jail museum on the left] spent 4 years of his life [his sentence was for 7 years commutted to 4 as part of an amnesty program] as a political prisoner (He was part of the revolutionary movement in Bengal and transported arms to the revolutionaries). He died in 1991.This post is based on a mail my mother wrote to me after coming back from Andamans—-I have added some things to it based on phone conversations I had with her since then. In all, it’s a joint effort between mother and son—in some places the feelings are Ma’s (as conveyed through the telephone) and the words are mine and in some places both of them are Ma’s (being part of her original letter).

With January 26 here, I thought of sharing it with you.

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Baba Log


Rahul Gandhi at the Congress plenary session mouths a few platitudes and has the whole of the nation (or that’s what the Press wants us to believe) hanging on to every word that emanates from his golden-spoon holding pearl-shaped lips. Congress sycophants beg, plead and cajole Rahul to wield the Anduril Sword and take over from Denethor aka Manmohan Singh, the Queen-appointed Satrap but Rahul, in all humility that supposedly reminds us of his father, refuses to take the offer and instead vows to keep on working as an ordinary Congress worker.

Hell he even sits among the sweaty unwashed Congress cadres as a sign of humility despite repeated entreaties to sit on the throne on the main podium.

I don’t know about you but I am impressed. And jealous. Dammit I wish I had as my family heirloom the undisputed leadership of a national party. And PhDs to keep my seat warm till I “grow up” and a thousand (make it hundred thousand) countrymen prepared to fall at my feet. Not to speak of getting a membership in a club under the “eminent person category” in a snap whereas it takes normal aristrocratic millionaires about 30 years.

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Anon Commenters Beware


So anonymous commenters, those who call me Oxymoron and advise that I drop the “Great” part from my moniker, you think that you can continue heaping abuse on me/Ganguly and get away with it ? Of course you do. Sitting behind your desks at the “Software Technology Parks of India” (this is where most of the abusive comments come from ) or whatever you think you can keep on defecating in my comments section without any repercussions? After all whats a fat, geeky, timid Bong going to do even if he finds out who you are or where you are from?

All I can say is be afraid. Be very afraid. And remember *if* one day a man wearing a trench coat, a helmet, battle fatigues, two guns, body armour, 1000 rounds of ammunition and a pasted wig lands up at your door, drop whatever you are doing and run. Very fast.

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Dev Sahab and the Oscars


The battle to breach the last border—the Oscar Awards continues for living legend Dev Anand with his latest directorial masterpiece–Mister Prime Minister. While the rest of the Indian movie industry continues submerging itself in a lala land of song, dance and romance Dev sahab, at the young age of 82, keeps on directing one realistic movie after another—whether it be the hard-hitting Censor (which laid bare the inner workings of the Censor Board), Love At Times Square (a love story set amidst the collapse of the Twin Towers) and his latest offering Mister Prime Minister ( a story of memory loss, earthquakes, political horsetrading, rap songs and navel-baring Al Qaeda operatives).

Dev Anand is universally acknowledged to be the greatest Hindi movie director alive today. Did I mention he is 82 years old? Yes I think I did. I must be getting senile.

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A Few Phone Calls


Saturday morning. I wake up to see that Shahid Afridi has blasted the Indian attack to smithereens. Younis Khan, another mediocre player whose career India has made, came as close to a double century as possible. As a result, we are now battling to save the Test.

And I had lost the Indibloggies Indiblog of the year to Amit Varma (225 to 159 votes).

Not surprised at either result, I was however taken aback when my phone started ringing.

Me: “Hello”

Voice at other end: ” Aieeeeeeee salaaaaaaaa. Tu haar gaya. Amit Varma ne tujhe lamba kar diya, maachish ki tili ko khamba kar diya.” ( English translation: You lost? …rest is quite untranslatable)

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I cant tell you how depressed this picture made me feel. (from Indiauncut).

So what’s going on in this picture to the left?

Let’s see what Amit who took this picture says.

“At one point, Raj Singh Dungarpur, the team’s manager, got Wasim Jaffer’s attention and pushed his glass towards him. He wanted Jaffer to pour water into it. Jaffer politely obliged.”

Am I depressed on account of Raj Singh Dungarpur’s imperious regal air, the fact that he does not even acknowledge Jaffer’s action with a glance—instead staring straight on like a Sultan watching a mujra while his wine goblet is refilled by an underling?

No I am not.

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