The Question of Suffering

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I read this story in an Indian newspaper some years ago. A mentally challenged young girl, who used to beg and live off scraps on the street, had been raped and brutalized, most possibly by many men. She had then been left on a garbage dump. For days, she had lain there, unable to move,  crying out to passers-by in the best way she could, pleading them to help her. No one did.  Not one. Till finally death ended the little girl’s agony.

As a purveyor of the litany of barbarities that pass for news, I have become hardened to what goes on in the world. But this one somehow just broke through. It may sound melodramatic when I say it but I had tears in my eyes. And I did ask myself “Why?”

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Losing My Religion

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Chetan Bhagat, one of Time’s Hundred Most Influential People In the World, needs no introduction.

It is said that in whichever corner of India you go to, you will always find a shop that sells Eveready Batteries, Nirodh condoms and copies of Bhagat’s books (not necessarily in that order).

What Timur did to world history, leaving behind mountains of skulls and altering boundaries of kingdoms, Mr. Bhagat has done to Indian literature revolutionizing it in a way that people never thought possible, breaking the strangle-hold of the ivory-towerist, Humanities-graduate, Proust-reading Illuminati over the domain of English writing with his alphanumeric titles (Five point someone, Two States, One Night, Three Mistakes)  bringing literary enlightenment truly to the “pIpL”.

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The King And I

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[Long Post]

I had gone to see teenage-wet-dream Divya Bharati and hiding-fat-by-wearing-sweater Rishi Kapoor movie “Deewana” the very day it was released, little knowing my life was going to be changed. It was then, just like how Moses saw God behind a burning bush when he least expected Him, that I saw a similarly magnificent vision, sliding on a block of ice, singing “Koi na koi chahiye pyar karne waala”. I had seen him before in “In Which Annie Gives It Those Ones” but there I did not know it was him, his performance being overshadowed by an attractive lady, playing the architecture student in a hat, a lady who would since go on to be a God of Big Size Things in a different domain. After an intense hand-throwing performance with a curious propensity to curl his lip and make his eyes red, something I had never seen before and which at that time made me go “Wow aisi deewangi dekhi naheen kaheen”, this man slowly started vanishing into the woodwork of Bollywood, like Avinash Wadhavan and Ayub Khan, sometimes being seen driving Nagma on bicycle (King Uncle), dancing behind Divya Bharati as she worked it in a delectable black top (Dil Aashna Hai), being whispered about in the men’s room for “that” scene in Maya Memsaheb or playing second fiddle to Nana Patekar as the loveria-afflicted hero in “Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman”, a movie conjectured to have inspired the growth of Satyam under Ramalinga Raju and also the “taali bajao” theme song of those who walk the middle path— “Aaee Raju Chal Aaja Re Baaju” [Video]

And then he rose from the dying. Having gone to see a low-buzz movie called “Baazigar” only to enjoy Anu Malik’s signature “Main milee tu mila duniya jaale to jaale” vocal riff (which I still worship), I was blown away. From that iconic “Madaannnn Chopprraaaaaa” supremely bloody male-male penetration (even today that scene lingers with me, for instance when I saw “Dil Bole Hadippa” the other day I had this urge to shake my lip, yell “Adityaaaa Chopprraaaa” and run into a high-tension wire) to the historic Knight Riders-throws -down-Rajasthan Royals from the top of the building (a scene that totally caught me by surprise, in a way the ending of “Usual Suspects” did) to the naughty “zip up” move on the heroine’s behind to the scene of Shahrukh Khan in a towel playing tennis and jumping into a pool (a scene that electrified, I have been told, more people than Kajol’s towel dance in DDLJ). “Baazigar” was simply history. The launch of something epic.

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Suga Mama

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Subho Bijoya and Happy Dussehra to everybody.

I have often lamented the passing of the old-world charm that characterized Durga Pujos in favor of commercialization and “novelty”. Well it is indeed heartening to see that there are some folk in Delhi who have held on to the traditional Durga Pujo in a way that is truly endearing.

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Rama Rama

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At last ! Good sense has dawned upon the UPA government and they have, like they do every time, bent themselves to what Lalloo calls the “weel of the peepul” by expunging the blasphemous assertion, made by those vapid Godless “reverse grave-diggers” (or as they fancifully call themselves archaeologists), at the Archaeological Survey of India that Lord Rama is not a historical character simply because they didn’t find a fossil of a monkey tail or the remnants of Ravana’s flying chariot buried 50 feet in the earth.

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