Some Presidential Candidates I Would Like To See


[With new updates]

1. Rajanikanth: Eternal favorite. Here is one person who everyone in India, North or South, can agree is awesome. With Rajani, we won’t need Inter continental Ballistic Missiles. He will point his finger and Helsinki will be obliterated in a second. Why just Helsinki? If he twirls his goggles, the shock waves of that act will travel light-years and rip off the testicles  of the Klingon commander in Argelius V. Only he can tell China “I will do what I say. I will also do what I don’t say”, which is guaranteed to put  the fear of God in those Godless Commies. The fear of Rajani more precisely.

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IPL High Five


I love IPL. Of course, just like most self-appointed cricket pundits, I blame it for everything—from Sehwag’s creaky shoulders  to the declining moral standards of today’s kids (so much so that women are now being provided official “male escorts” in an IIT ). But that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy it, at least as much as I enjoy national treasure and  my choice for the next President of India  T Rajendar showing how…well…you decide [Video]

Correction. I used to love the IPL. A long time ago. This was when Lalit Modi, the second most controversial Modi in the country, a visionary like the Ringling brothers and Heff, used to be the impresario. He realized that people don’t as much love the game as they do the excitement. And so he manufactured it. Four-play. Fore-play. Fashion shows.  Passion shows. Hyperventilating anchors. Hitting the sweet spot while being DLF-ed. Quick strategic time outs with just enough time for an out-and-out strategic quickie. Citi moments of success on the ground. Many more off it.

Sure it was not cricket. But why should it have to be? As a matter of fact, when I close my eyes, the most pleasant recollections of IPL are almost never truly cricketing. All the games have simply become in my mind, a continuum of vaguely formed images, set to Ravi Shastri  saying “Nomoksar Kolkota are you ready?” , Arun Lal exclaiming “The excitement at the ground is just so exciting”,  and Sunny’s contented “Mmm…mishti doi”.  All a mess in my mind, a flicker of randomly moving  bats and bouncing balls, jumbled up like the sequence of events or the faces of the actors in a porn video, sought to be recalled, years later.

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Hitting Vegas


[A much shorter version of this piece appeared in HT Brunch, Mumbai, April 8, 2012.]

Suave as Danny Ocean. Wild as the boys of Hangover. Seductively heartless as Ace Rothstein in Casino.

There may be better gambling holes around the world. Debauchery may be more debauched elsewhere. But, make no mistake there is only one “Sin City”.

And sin sells.

No matter what your opinions about Vegas, there is one thing you just have to admire—–the way it has used popular culture, from Elvis and Sinatra to Clooney and Copperfield, to create a mystique around itself.

Brand managers, watch and learn.

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Lord of The Twits: 100 Followers in 10 Days


[Crossposted from my Outlook article here on strategies for increasing Twitter followers]

Start off by tweets that contain words like “Justin Beiber”, “IPod” and you will find an army of bots (automated spam followers) attaching like ants over a lump of sugar. Bots are some of the best followers—they swell your numbers, do not snap back and put the faces of celebrities as profile pictures so that you can delude yourself into thinking, even if for a split second, that Megan Fox is following you.

On the topic of profile pictures, here is an important tip. If you are a woman, please include a “hot” picture of yourself. It does not have to be revealing (although some tasteful cleavage can sometimes go a long way) but something that is both seductive as well as mysterious, like an eye or a glistening red lip, framed in shadows. A bare ankle (with anklet) or the back of the neck can do wonders.

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