On Marks and Board Exams and Life

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agoge

It was called agoge in ancient Sparta, the inhuman education and training regimen that little boys were subject to in order to make them  impervious to hunger, fear and pain, a regimen that included having boys fight boys to death so that the weak may be weeded out.

Or as anyone who went to school in the late 80s and early 90s in Bengal would say, school life.

Suicides were common, and so were heart-attacks and nervous breakdowns. Four successive days of two papers of a hundred each was considered to be perfectly humane because, how else, were children going to handle “the real world”? I came from a school, particularly notorious for what was just known as “The Pressure”, where most of us were made to fail in our maths half-yearly in class eleven, because and this was the stated reason, the class ten scores had given us whippersnappers an inflated idea of our intelligence and we needed to be cut down to size.

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Deconstructing Pictures Posted on Social Media Part 2

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Skydown_Sport_Skydiving_396465

PREVIOUS PART (Part 1)

Adventure Sports: When projecting a rocking image of your life on social media, nothing conveys “dynamic” more than pictures of oneself engaging in adventure sports. Which is why if any desi has skydived, you can be sure that’s his Facebook profile picture. It’s what social scientists call the “Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara” effect, a film that not only defined yuppie-cool as tomato-throwing, adventure sports, expensive bags and first-world problems of commitment and friendship, but also provided a generation a blue-print of what their life should be.

Or more precisely, should appear to be to their friends and peers.

Hence sky-diving.  And white-water-rafting (the poor student’s skydiving), and  bungee-jumping, rope-gliding, para-gliding and snorkeling.

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The Tragedy of the Great Indian Family

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There is nothing much left to be said about the Rizwanur Rehman case that has not already found mention in all the Orkut communities, blogs, email forwards, online petitions, media coverage and government sound-bytes regarding the administrative shakeups (the removal of the Police Commissioner and transferring of concerned police officials) that the tragic case has brought in its wake. [For those of you who do not know what I am talking about, this wikipedia page gives you a brief overview of the case that has rocked West Bengal for the past month or so.]

In this day and age when we claim to have become “modern” (where modernity has sadly been defined as wearing skirts, talking in English and downloading ringtones), the fact that such a positively medieval thing can actually happen in a supposedly progressive city like Calcutta has left many of us in the educated middle-class elite angry and surprised.

Angry at the violence and the futile loss of life. Understandable. Angry at the police openly claiming to be able to bend the Constitution as they pleased. Again understandable.

But should we really be so surprised?

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Cop A Feel

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Paidal chal raha hoon, ek gaari chahiye,
Jeevan ke safaar main ek sawari chahiye,
Akela hain Mr. Khiladi,
Miss Khiladi chahiye. —
Mr and Mrs. Khiladi

All you hot “babes” (as per Hindustan Times lingo)—it’s time that you used your mini-skirts, tank tops, assorted accessories and most-of-all your knowledge of the Page 3 side of the force for the good of the country.

How?

By going on a date with this man. And his other cohorts.

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The Passing Of a Friend —Desibaba

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[Originally published November 13, 2005. Reposted because of technical difficulties experienced by many in accessing the old post]

It is with a heavy heart that I have to announce the death of an old friend.

Desibaba is no more.

Desi Baba Desi Babes
Is closed till further notice.
Copyright © 1998 – 2005 DesiBaba.com

For those who came in late, Desibaba was the original Indian porn site. But it wasnt merely a “porn site”—it was a landmark in desi pop culture.

Let me explain.

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