Arrey India sir,yeh cheez durandar

“The Indian voter has spoken and it’s a victory for democracy.” screamed the news reporter in a desperate attempt to sensationalize the election results.I overslept and happened to miss out on my lectures and relied on internet television to humor me for the rest of the day.To be honest,I was looking forward to this day and Uttar Pradesh did not disappoint.

Uttar Pradesh happens to be the ‘ground zero’ of Indian politics,and in retrospect;it always plays a key role.No wonder,Rahul Gandhi has made it his personal agenda to make this state as a Congress strong-hold.But some things are not meant to be and the regional leaders of UP are too cunning to let of go of their state easily.So Samajwadi Party won,maybe for the good(?).This is a party which once brought forward the policies of ‘anti-english’ and non-dependence on computers,SP is also synonymous with ‘goonda raj’.What was their coup de grâce this time around ?They promoted Akhilesh Yadav extensively,the incessant ‘prachaar’ of absurd policies involving muslim quota(which is only possible if the constitution is shredded into pieces) and from what the results show,a lot of people fell for it.Mind you,muslims form around 18% of UP’s population.And,SP’s inclination towards votebank politics paid off.This has been the case in general.Every party over-relied on its loyal bloc of voters.BSP on the back ward casts,BJP on the Brahmins,Congress on whatever it could salvage.This saddens me,for it implies cast-bank politics is the general disposition in this part of India and the average Indian voter has an identity crisis.Polarized opinions have also been a stumbling block for BSP.2007 elections are in ambivalence with 2012.BSP had offered seats to dalits as well as the upper castes back then and their slogan was ‘Haathi nahin, Ganesh hain, Brahma, Vishnu Mahesh Hain’ which captured voters,but the promise of turning Uttar Pradesh to Uttam Pradesh was a bleak one.Did SP ride the anti-incumbency wave?I’d like to think no,contrary to what the track record suggests.You perform,you stay.Don’t trust me?Ask Nitish Kumar.Mayawati was digging her own grave with public display of wealth.For christ’s sake,coming out on birthdays with diamond laden necklaces and constructing statues everywhere is downright stupidity in my book.

Other things I could analyze
1)SP did the right thing by promoting Akhilesh Yadav against Rahul Gandhi.People like to believe new leaders symbolize change.Congress did not promote any regional leader,regional elections are not Lok Sabha elections where one Rahul Gandhi is enough.One needs strong regional leadership,look at Mamta in West Bengal and Modi in Gujrat.SP delivered the suckerpunch and suddenly Akhilesh Yadav is Mr.Sexy.
2)Digvijay is a deluded moron
3)Standing up and taking responsibility of the results was a neat thing done by Rahul Gandhi,he hasn’t done anything to assert Prime ministership credentials yet but Congress would need him to perform in 2014.
4)BJP could have done a lot better.Not that I have an ounce of respect for this person but Modi could have changed their fortunes and the rift with Sanjay Joshi did not help their cause either.

What now?
2014 will be very interesting.The nuance of anti-incumbency is an outdated ethos.2G,Anna and Mamta have left the Manmohan government gasping for air.And BJP?Well,they won’t have it easy.One,too many internal feuds.Could 2014 be a 1996 déjà vu and see the return of Third Front?Will Rahul Gandhi finally stand up for Prime Minsiter?Will Modi be BJP’s prime face?Will TMC and Jayalalitha change loyalties?

India will be the stage of 2014 drama and trust me it will be of tantalizing proportions.Politics in the coming few months will offer better entertainment than cricket and bollywood combined.And more of MTV fed junta will join the voters list,some of them might confuse it with a Roadies vote-out.Quite a few people will vote for money and liquor.In midst of all this,the real cause will be lost upon people who matter.That dhoti clad farmer from Odisha will go cast his vote and afford himself a smoke in the night,sporting a gentle smile on his face.Politics is a funny old game.

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Up above the world so high.

The bottom right corner of my laptop screen reads 5:11 am,I should be asleep now.But in a hostel your sleeping habits take an arrow in the knee.I’m not complaining,John Lennon and Pink Floyd give me company as my roommate snores away to glory.After about 10 minutes on Youtube,I find myself watching an episode of ‘Shaktimaan’.In my defence,I stumbled onto it and as the legend goes “Without purpose,one inevitably ends up in the weird part of youtube.”And after nostalgia grips me and takes me to the 90s and early 2000s.I sit down and document all the things I can remember from my childhood.I might end up using a lot of clichés in this blogpost,but what the hell;those were the days,those were the days.

I start off with the golden generation of television.Having a cable T.V those days was quite a big deal,a luxury at times. 1)Shaktimaan was the superhero of a generation.He was probably your downgraded version of Superman but that dude could kick ass.It was initially aired on a weekday if I’m not wrong and was later shifted to Sunday and was one of the main reasons to get up early from bed and tune into doordarshan.And the moment “Is dharaavahik ke sabhi kirdar kalpanik hai..” was recited I would have an adrenalin rush.And the feeling was one upped when the song ended with ‘kehlaiya woh shaktimaan..’ Remember Tamraj Kilvish,Dr.Jackal and Geeta Vishwas? 2)An assorted list of other shows on Doordarshan Alif-Laila,Captain Vyom(To this date Milind Soman’s finest hour),Flop Show(Jaspal Bhatti has my undying respect),Dekh Bhai Dekh.I can’t remember the rest.
3)Cartoon Network was pure gold back then,it has skirted away to garbage right now.Remember Courage the cowardly dog,Centurions,Captain Planet,Johnny Bravo(FTW!),Swat Kats(Back then my greatest ambition in life was to own one of those planes),Jhonny Quest(the original idea of Matrix,Inception and what not),Droopy,Roadrunner,Looney Tunes,Scooby-Doo(I swear to God,Shaggy and Scooby were both stoners,they were hungry all the time),Flinstones,Bob the builder,Kipper(this dog was a stoner too),Oswald,Pingu,Little lulu,X-Men,Pokemon,Transformers,Richie-Rich,Dexter? *A moment of silence to mark the demise of Cartoon Network*
4)I can’t remember on what channels these shows were on.Timon and Pumba, Tale Spin,Duck Tales,Gummi Bears,Son-Pari,Hum Paanch,Malgudi days(One word.Respect.),Aladdin,Mowgli(“Jungle Jungle Baat Chali Hai..” anthem of a generation),Little Mermaid,Legends of the hidden temple,Global Guts,Cat-Dog,He-man,ChipnDale etc etc

In retrospect,television of the 90s had a profound influence on my train of thought.At times,I question myself.What would Superman do?

I remember all those awesome games.Hide and seek,wall touch,leg touch,lock and key,7 stones and racing paper boats during monsoon.

Remember all those advertisements?
‘Buland Bharat ki buland tasveer,hamara bajaj..’
‘Jab mein chota baccha tha,badi shararat karta tha,meri chori pakdi jati jab roshni deta bajaj..’ ‘
Essel world mein rahunga mein,ghar nahin jaaunga main..’ ‘
Washing powder nirma..’

Then there was Karishma Kapoor and Sonali Bendre.There was Karan Johar and Kuch Kuch Hota hai.Before all of that there was Akshay Kumar dancing to ‘Tu cheez badi hai mast mast..’ Bappi Lahri,Akshay Kumar and Mohra captured the spirit of 90s as much as anything. Remember the food we bought? Uncle Chips,Kismi bar,Eclairs,Maha Lacto,Cadbury Crackle,there was this drink called Gold Spot and Rasna.Boom boom Boomer and big babool.

The cricket team? Vinod Kambli,Ajay Jadeja,Azharuddin,Venkatesh Prasad,Nayan Mongia.Harsha Bhogle had hair on his head.

All those random comics.Tinkle had Suppandi,Ramu and Shamu,Kalia-the crow,Tantri-the mantri,Shikari Shambu.

Those awesome toys.GI Joe,Hot Wheels(Owning one of those tracks was a matter of pride).Gambling with pokemon tazzos and jenga cards.Trading WWF cards.Back then it was WWF.Rock was ranked 1st,HHH was ranked 2nd,Kane was masked and Hulk Hogan was borderline mad.

School time was great as well,we had those fancy double-decker pencil boxes,pokemon erasers,pikachu stickers on notebooks.

Video games!

Daily summer routine from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Those games were invented by men putting their intellect to the best possible use. Mario(This guy was a stoner,he ate colored mushrooms for God’s sake),Mortal Kombat,Street Fight,Contra,Duck Hunt(gameplay was god-like),Excite Bike,Pocket Tanks,Dave,Duke Nukem 3D. 9999 games in 1 cassette.

Probably my generation was the buffer between absence of internet and internet slavery.Back then I was Shaktimaan,Sachin and The Undertaker.Growing up is a bitch.But I’m glad all those things happened.I have to sleep now.My first all nighter this semester.Hope you had fun reading.Good morning/night. Feel free to add your childhood experiences.

“..Platform ek par aa chuki hai..”

“40 hours?WTF dude?” I retorted when a  friend informed me about the duration of the journey we would be undertaking.We were going to Pune from Trivandrum for a football tournament in some fuckall train called Cape Mumbai.I may sound like an elitist ass but this was my first experience travelling in a non-AC coach. The experience wasn’t as bad as I hoped it would be.It was an opportunity to observe the demographics,geography and dialects of our country,for this joke of a train traversed through five different states.But every train compartment symbolizes our country.Bucketloads of people,confined to a space,each communicating in different languages,sharing food and folklores.And suddenly it came as moment of epiphany,I do love my country and almost most of things she can offer.
I start off with my first co-passenger, Mr.Malyali.He is your everyday office going guy,with oiled hair combed with precision which could put Javed Habib to shame,by precision I mean the daily routine of an average middle aged Indian man and his attempt to cover the balding patches on his scalp.He’ll have a copy of a malyali newspaper in one hand and a suitcase in the other,probably an ancestral property used by three generations.He will ask you for your newspaper and gobble up the editorial on communism.I’ve always appreciated the way Keralites go about their politics.Don’t be surprised to see posters of Stalin,Karl Marx and Lennin in Kerala.The whole compartment was filled with such people,getting down at weirdass stations.Say ‘Ootapalam’.You have a better chance at winning the lottery than pronouncing the name of a Kerala station correctly in the first attempt.
The ubiquitous vendors are a colossal pain in the ass.Who the fuck wants to buy a matrimonial paper in a train?I have nothing against coffee vendors though,one could always do with a fix of caffeine.Tea,is not my cup of tea.As for food,the pantry car offers you three options and the guy selling it gleefully shouts “Chicken Biryani,Anda Biryani,Veg Biryani khaana khana” .Food isn’t bad.Nothing is up for comparison when a monopoly is involved.And I didn’t want to complain about food on a moving train.After 10 hours and a good afternoon siesta,I was in Tamil Nadu,sharing the space around me with orthodox tamilians and from the looks of it,they had nothing but contempt for my messy hair and goatee.One foolproof way to know about your location is by checking for intensity of greenery.If you find a noticeable decline in coconut trees,then congratulations,you have left Kerala.If you find weirdly colored houses then you are in Tamil Nadu.We passed through a jungle,I actually spotted deer in their natural habitat.Beautiful,I must say.I gulped down my dinner,played a few games of rummy and forced myself to sleep and woke up in Andhra Pradesh.Breakfast was platform wala bread-omelette.If you are in AP be ready to confront loud mouths,and words like ‘mama’ ‘bava’ .6 hours and a biryani later we were in Karnataka.The areas we were passing through were nomadic and dry.The stretch from Wadi-Shahpur to Gulbarga was a cynosure to the eyes,life moved at its own pace there,laidback people enjoying their evening cuppa and appreciating the onset of dusk.Winter sunset at a nomadic place,need I say more?
We finally made it to Maharashtra and god-bless Sholapur and their food.After gulping down pantry car’s biryani for one and half days,we had enough.Dinner was Pav-Bhaji,Idli-Vada and Vada-Pav with sliced cucumber and salted chillis washed down with Pepsi..Life was good.
We finally reached Pune at 12 30 a.m after 40 god-damn hours.The experience, was(to put it in their lingo) “Ekaj Numbarr.A1”.As for the football match,lost in the first round itself.Spent the rest of the time ogling at girls,eating food,a lot of food to be precise.For the record  I have nothing against objectifying women,anyperson who turns your head just by walking past has my respect.The return journey was better.My first time experiencing the Konkan railway.I don’t want to play a spoilsport by letting you on the details.Screw the English countryside,you’ve got to experience this first.
Maybe I’ll conclude on that note,for I have to review a restaurant for the college newsletter and complete COD:Modern Warfare 3.I’m busy at times,you see.

Beckoning

Filler.

I was surfing through my laptop and stumbled upon this.Ok this is not exactly blog material pe se,this was something I was “supposed” to write for my college newsletter but lethargy got the better of me.

F1 Grand Prix.Slowly but steadily India is announcing her dominance on the stage of entertainment and technology.It brings forth very important questions.Are all the activities a blatant waste of money?Can we put the money used for these activities to solve our immediate problems of poverty and health care?Is urbanization the right way forward for a country with 60% of its population in its villages?How can you justify this expenditure?

We are still a developing nation,41.6% of our population lives below the poverty line(USD 1.25 per day),we are still an economy dependent on annual rainfall.Can we make a judicious investment of time and money in extravagant events like Olympics or the F1?.One way of justifying it is by referring to soft power.Soft power was a word coined Joseph Nye of Harvard University and used by Shashi Tharoor in one of his TED talks.And to quote him “It is essentially the ability of a country to attract other countries or people.”Physical values,foreign policies,geographical location etc constitute soft power.The aesthetic value of soft power lies in its ability to attract power and  materialize it into profit.The US economy has thrived on soft power.It is the world’s largest manufacturer,it is home to 139 of the world’s largest 500 companies.How does soft-power come into the socio-economic scene?A cultural landscape favouring entrepreneurship,investment friendly policies,setting cultural and technological trends(read Silicon valley,Apple inc,Microsoft ,Hollywood,MTV,McDonalds etc)  together have joined forces to contribute and create a brand value for the United States of America.This brand value has attracted the best brains in the world,cheap labour and an unquestionable willingness to work for the biggest and the most flourishing economy of the world.

F1 or the Olympics is still meant for the rich gliteratti.Maybe our country cannot afford to host them.But by hosting them you are making a statement of intent and exercising soft power,regardless of the obscurity associated with profit generating ability of event.Agreed F1 is a cruel joke being played on a billion people,but the long term benefits are worth the effort.We  have come  far away from the days of economic regulation,protectionism  and social democratic policies.After the economic liberalization of 1991,India economy has flourished and to truly establish ourselves as the next global superpower we need to take our economy to the next level by encouraging foreign direct investment(FDI).To put it in a simpler language,the more we make others like our country the better it is for us.

A better way of looking at it is by looking at a hypothetical situation.Say after the F1,Ferrari appreciates the availability of cheap labour and infrastructure in our country and opens a manufacturing plant.Which inturn translates to 20,000 odd jobs in the plant,another 10,000 directly involved in building the plant.It would also mean prevention of brain drain by a small percentage.Engineers would be willing to work for a reputed company in their homeland.On seeing this the government relaxes the non-friendly norms and we see more investment from foreign countries.Entrepreneurs would be inspired by business friendly atmosphere and we could see our very own desi version of Apple or Microsoft.

To finish off,we need our rural areas to flourish as much as we need the urban cities to march forward.China is predicted to become the world’s largest economy by 2016 and it made a huge statement with the 2008 Bejing Olympics.We need to seize every given opportunity to enhance our brand value.For one would always prefer Nike over Paragon because brand value counts and our country is too big a brand to be ignored.

Frankly speaking I had my doubts about India hosting an event of this magnitude successfully,all the internet humor did not help the case either but Jaypee Sports International pulled it off.

Diatribe

Ok,I’ve been accused of portraying too much of hatred on my blog.Despite of the fact that the hatred is right from the heart.Humans.Sigh.
So maybe, I’ll shower some love.Before that I want to get a few things off my mind.Please?
Ok.
Firstly.Russia what the fuck is up with banning the Bhagwad Gita.Uncharacteristically,I’m siding with my country on this one.Atleast,partly.Deficiency of Vodka is it?The extreme winter getting into your citizens heads,Mr.Mendev?Do you realize the irony involved in the process of YOU people branding the Gita extremist?
Tumhare Irodov ne self-confidence ki dhajjiyan uda di IIT-JEE ke time,we didn’t ban him.
At the same time,B –‘nuts for brains’-JP and Sushma ‘totally lost it’ Swaraj,that is no reason to go after the parliament and make absurd requests to make it our national book.I’m sure this may come as a shock to you but we are a secular country.Surprising,right?

Secondly,Mr.Anna Hazare.I have actually made a dozen pejoratives synonymous with your name.Not using it here because your initiation deserves respect.Which is long lost,by the ways.You remind me of a healthy cocktail of Mohammad Bin Tughlaq,Morarji Desai and Ricky Pointing.To put it in a better a way,a cocktail of idiocracies,peculiarity and lost talent,respectively .The semi-facist demands and remarks have tampered what little purpose was left in the agitation.I’m not giving any justifications.If you share my viewpoint,I’m glad.Else,I’m glad too.

Thirdly and fourthly,Kapil Sibal and TRAI.
Kapil Sibal,Alma Mater-Harvard Law School,seriously?One laptop per child,seriously?Akash tablet,seriously?Tampering with IIT-JEE(well no complaints there).
And now you want the internet screened.We ain’t no friggin’ China dude.We ain’t your Nani-amma’s domestic help.How about you screen my middle finger instead?In a country where the Government feels it’s employees are incapabale of carrying on after 60,at 63 your most important problem in life is communal content and derogatory images?Grow a pair dude,grow a pair.
TRAI-Yes,Pranab Mukerjee once got a call about home loan.Which has lead to the limit on SMS.Which does not have an elephantine impact but the idea of oppression sucks.Sucks harder than Paris Hilton on crack.

And finally,2012.Please don’t be a bitch.Please.I have high hopes pinned on you.For all I care,you can end the world but you don’t have to be a colossal bummer.You’re getting Sachin’s 100th ton anyway.
2011,get the fuck out you non-productive piece of shit.Oh,I forgot.Sorry,you gave us our world-cup.
That nullifies your disappointments(to an extent) maybe.

End of rant.

Ya,so getting rid of accusation time.Winter does not seem to be a bad time.Vacations don’t seem to be bad either.I’m trying to salvage,whatever I can from the ruined vacations caused by results.Which works fine for me,because mom will always be there to surprise you with pav-bhaji for breakfast and by getting Oreos and Pringles.Not just food,but you know,all those things moms do.Football too!One can never forget their first love.Very few things in life give more pleasure than cutting through early morning winter fog on the dew covered grass with your football.The dusk comes way too early for my liking,yet football continues with mud smeared shorts and dust filled lungs.Not to forget the liberty offered by urban pleasures.Hyderabad was never so crowded with KFCs and McDs.The divine pleasure of tasting a Mc Spicy Chicken after 4 gruelling months is out of this world.The potpourri of urban chaos,girls(dearth of options in Trivandrum),roadside food is heavenly.This will end in about a week or so.We’ll grow old come 2012,our earth would have completed one more revolution,MTV will indulge in more senseless shows,USA will still have troops in Afghanistan, and Lalu will continue to entertain.After looking forward,I’ve realized,rather alarmingly that this will be my penultimate year in college.Things tend to get serious.I for one,can’t wait.

Facepalm

I haven’t upadated my blog in quite sometime.Blame it on the bucketloads of bullshit involved with the 4 year long joke called ‘engineering’.I hope to update my blog often,atleast for the next few days.Blame it on the month long bliss called end semester vacations.
This blogpost is a random rant,so back off if you are not in the mood to hear some muppet bashing.To be honest,this is one kick-ass way of removing your frustration.
It is about facepalms and the many *facepalm* situations people around you offer oh-so-generously.For those of you having no idea as to what a facepalm is *double facepalm*.

To start off,
Faceplam-To all the people who type like this
It wazz a rockin nite,mah frnds n me had loadz of fun.”

Seriously?


“U were lukin gouguz .”
“Gt my assgn qckly,plzz.”
Seriously,would it kill you to use vowels in your words?There is reason as to why words ending with ‘s’ are not spelt with the last letter as ‘z’.Because they end with a god-damn ‘s’.

Facepalm-If you still listen to Westlife,Backstreet boys,Chammak Challo,Luda Chris and love Megadeth at the same.Develop a taste for Christ’s sake.

Facepalm-If you still think computer gaming is for kids.Applies for comics as well.

Facepalm-If you hate non-vegetarians just because your stomach cannot digest the sight of seeing animals being devoured as delicacies.

Facepalm-If you have porn opened in another tab.

Facepalm-If you’ve ever replied with “Get Idea” whenever the opposite person merely states “No,Idea”

Facepalm-If your status update at any point of time was “Missing my friends 😦 “ or “Feeling low,don’t ask.”
A double facepalm if you have even thought of putting up a status update like “Had a wonderful time with @xyz(tagging the guy/girl) “.
What in the world is wrong with such people?We get it ,you went to some fuckall place and ate some pizza or shit.
Facepalm-For all those girls who go “mwah mwah,miss you”  on the pictures of other girls.Seriously,what is wrong with you people?Go on,give it a try in real life.

Facepalm-If you are reading this in an ‘Internet Explorer’.

And finally,facepalm-For the clusterfuck who think patriotism is eating Indian food,supporting every cause that you come across or changing your display picture on the 15th of August or 26th of January.

The Blue Shack.

I will try and keep this as simple as possible.
What makes good food,great food?The wafer-thin line separating them is invisible at times,but being on the wrong end of the line makes a world of difference at the end of the day.My love towards food is platonic,unbiased and loyal(well,almost).Before I get seduced by the smell of tandoori chicken lingering in my room as I write(thanks to the college canteen),let me get started.

When you study/stay at place,right in the middle of nowhere,you are in constant need of a change in scene.So we left for Kanyakumari(the southern most point of the Indian mainland)  leaving the spiteful wardens and burdening assignments behind.It was about 7:30pm and we were famished plus the authorities expect us to be at the hostel by 8pm(like anybody gives a flying fuck).The place drained us of our resources.There was this thela one friend knew about.Thelas  to be precise,nothing eye-catching about them,hardly a cynosure to the eyes.Each one of them had wooden benches welcoming the customers.All of them selling the same thing.Fried-fish(Meen) with boiled potataoes(Kappa).Considered to be a delicacy of sorts in this area.There was this thela right at the end.For reasons unknown,we chose this thela among the four.I have no idea as to how heaven smells like but if I had to take a guess I would vote for this place.Pungent aromas,bright street-lights,salty sea-breeze.There was something awe-inspiring and magical about this tiny blue shack,contrary to what I felt earlier about the place.People from all forms of life be they rich or poor sat on benches or in their Scorpios and gorged on their fish listening to some old tamil(or malayalam) song playing on the radio.I overheard a British guy(I could make out from his accent) tell some random customer that he visited the place daily ever since he settled in India. There was a guy in white lungi(The Dude) with a swagger which could put Rajnikant to shame(well,almost).We ordered a few plates of haila fish.And sat down to watch perfection being personified.The dude picked up the raw fishes lying in the plate,painted them red with his mixture of spices and chilli powder.He put them in a bucket and tossed them for uniform distribution of spices.Later he fried them till they looked like a benchmark against which all fried fish could be measured.The dude removed them expertly from pan,tossed them in a plate,handed them one by one,it was touch-and –scream-for-a-minute hot.I tried in vain to blow it cold,with water droplets  sliding down my chin and the aroma filling my nostrils,I gave into the temptation and tore up a piece from the craniate.Put it in my mouth and chewed it.

Everything became invisible.It was like summer in my mouth.I personally associate all the good things in life with summer,blame it on the long vacations I guess.It felt right.I could taste Beethoven’s symphonies in my mouth.This is how Lord Buddha must have felt when he gained enlightenment.You could sense the purpose of being.The fish was as fresh as they come.The dude must have bought his fish directly from the fishermen after they returned ashore during dusk.3 or 4 hours prior to floating in simmering oil,it must have been exploring the vast unknowns of the Indian ocean.The realization made the experience all the more poetic.And then I opened my eyes to find my finger red with  an angry blister and my nose watery.This is what great food does to you,all your senses concentrate on the pretentious nature of the food.It came close to anything mom would conjure up when I had a tough day at school.Hell,I could live of that fish till eternity.I finished the fish.I felt enlightened after doing so.Memories fade,moments don’t.Moments like these live on to become legends or blogposts.My dalliance with the blue shack had come to an end.

You don’t need to go around searching for heroes,any random guy can be a hero.This dude was ours.We paid him more than he asked for.I wouldn’t quantify it for the simple reason that one can’t quantify perfection.It is infinite.I walked away from that blue shack satisfied.

Fish

The best fucking fish