Saving Terrorist Afzal


Nothing much makes an old news-warrior like me sit up and say “Holy Smokes, are you effing serious?” nowadays—-except perhaps “little people” break-dancing in front of Rajanikant.

Which is when I heard that Kashmiris had taken to the streets in support of a terrorist, I was like “Tell me something I don’t know already”. Also expected was Mehbooba Mufti asking that Mohammed Afzal, Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist mastermind, not be put to death—-after all she is one of the biggest supporter of Kashmiri extremists…sorry misguided youth. The “spare the terrorist” crowd is also blessed by the august presence of Ghulam Nabi Azad—again no surprise there.

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Liar Liar


Kindly vote for in the category “Best India Blog” at Asia Blog Awards.

“Aha I knew this would happen all along. Praise be to Allah. Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston are going to divorce. Whitney is all mine now. Bobby Brown is lucky—I don’t have to kill him any longer with a rusty drug syringe as I had planned.”

Osama Bin Laden was ecstatic. Throwing his head back carelessly, he started crooning: “Though each time I try, I break down and cry, Cause I rather be home feeling blue, So I am saving all my love for youuuuuuuuuu….”

“What the f are you talking about?” snapped Mullah Omar “Can’t I hear my favorite Eric Clapton song Virgins in Heaven without having to be disturbed by your bleatings? By the way, what does Whitney Houston have to do with you?”

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Durga Pujo Away From Home


Whenever I am away from Kolkata, I impose a total media ban on anything related to the Pujo, taking a leaf out of the Government of India’s Ostrichian principle that if I bury my head in the sand and censor the flow of information about a certain thing, then that thing ceases to exist any more. [Picture to the left: Ballygunge Cultural Durga Pujo, Kolkata, 2005]

Which is why I refuse to do Protima Dorshon online (i.e. surf websites with pictures of pandals and images on them), do not appreciate being wished “Subho Mahalaya” and stay away from Probasi Pujos—–by blotting them out, I try to convince myself that Pujo does not exist and this illusion helps me to get over these few days. After all, as Durkheim demonstrated in Suicide, you feel miserable when everyone else is having fun, and you are not.

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Who's That Girl !


Repent all ye sinners ! The end of the world is nigh.

Is that a genetically altered mutant? Is that one of the designs God rejected when he made Eve? Is that the result of prolonged exposure to nuclear radiation ? Muscle-building steroids stimulating growth in the wrong places?

No it’s pavement dweller’s worst nightmare, deer-hunter, bed-hopper, uber-sensitive-man Salman Khan come to mete out divine justice and retribution to a sinful world in his latest incarnation as a muscular woman—a female embodiment of the mythical “Kalki” avatar. [Picture:]

And since something about this picture is making me strangely aroused (maybe the possibility that Salma sorry Salman Khan may be taking off his/her top any second now), I need to take my medication pronto.

The Third World Groove


Shailaja Neelakantan of GigaOm (one of the world’s top blogs with an international audience) writes in the context of the recently concluded blog-camp.

And some of them were, thanks to Sify providing WiFi and the organizers Kiruba Shankar et al ensuring plug points for everyone to connect their laptops to—a rarity in electricity-starved India’s buildings. Getting into the first world groove, the first thing most did on entering the large auditorium was to whip out their laptops and check their mail

Am I the only person here who finds this more than a little patronizing? I wonder why in a report on a conference on blogging, does Ms. Nilkantan need to suggest, not so subtly, that the so-called first world ambience of WiFi and electric plugpoints (Duh!) is something that poor Third World, electricity-starved Indians are unaccustomed to.

It’s something you can never escape in the West. Despite our status as a fast-growing, economic superpower, whenever we get mention in the media it is almost always as a weird, desperately poor nation of magicians, snakes, elephants, strange gods, venerated cows and boys who have flies coming out of their urine— condescension being the underlying theme of most of India-centric coverage. [And the other times we are mentioned is as cheap labour, speaking in pidgin English, who have taken American jobs because so poor are we that we don’t mind working on a slave’s salary—-what’s almost always forgotten is our competence.]

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Dance Dance


[This post has some video clips (each less than 2 minutes) I uploaded to Youtube. You need to keep “sound on” to appreciate them to the fullest extent]

Agar tujhe halwa khana hain, to tujhe dance karna parega. Dance dance.

–Dance Dance

I love dance. Indian movie dance specifically, not the ta-thaiiya classical stuff. I am way too much of a Philistine to understand the subtle interplay between Abhinaya, Laya and Ang. Accepted.

But of late I have become jaded by the endless stream of remixes, item numbers and special appearances all of which feature girls who are virtually indistinguishable from each other, possessing unrealistic curves, wearing little more than lingerie dancing under flashing lights or pouring rain.

Jaded yes. By the mind-numbing predictability. And by the sheer disconnect the moves of the dancers have with those of real-life folk —you, me, Sujata auntie and Probir uncle.

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Vande Mataram


So I get an email which asks me my opinion on the “Vande Mataram” controversy.

Simple. Making it mandatory to sing “Vande Mataram” is a gross infringement on individual freedom. No government has the authority to force a word out of my larynx. Or block me from reading a blog. Or prevent me from reading a book (like say for instance “Satanic Verses”) . End of story.

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