Wednesday, March 26, 2014

That itch on your back that cannot be scratched



"Arvind Kejriwal..." he began the sentence. Since this election has come up many of my friends are bitten by this new fever. All of the sudden, without any warning, without any notice they will begin the sentence taking name of their favorite politician (earlier the words were reserved for Sachin Tendulkar and Sehwag)
"... Arvind Kejriwal was part of the system and has finally vowed to change it," my friend said proudly driving the unserviced vehicle on M.G. Road.
"When was the last time you did a P.U.C.," I asked matter of factly because we were painting the town black.

"I don't remember," he said, "My father must have done it before he gave me this car."
"As I remember your father gave you this car almost seven years ago when we were in college, right?" I asked.
"Yeah man," he said changing the topic, "But think what Arvind Kejriwal can do when we make him the Prime Minister of the country."
"I don't think he will be able to do anything unless you control the pollution emission of this vehicle," I replied, "I think once you choose him to do his duty, you should do yours."
"Oh man," he said, "You are such a wuss. We get these P.U.C. certificates for as cheap as 1000 bucks. Relax."
"You can afford those 1000 bucks buddy, humanity cannot," I replied getting down from the car and refusing to pollute the environment anymore.
Indians have this uncanny habit of hero worshipping. First it was freedom fighters, then it was crickets for a brief moment it was also Tushar Kapoor. Every few years Indians change their heroes and keep faith in their hero. "Why tendulkar, why," my friend used to scream as he sat on the sofa with his legs above the rest and head down below (this was his ritualistic position for tendulkar to score a century), "Why did you leave the offside open!!!!"
The day Sachin Tendulkar retired, my friend deannounced living. We were hoping he would go to some himalaya to medidate and never come back but the thing about hero worship is, no one wants to do anything. After cribbing for two days completely he had a new hero, Anna Hazare.
"Rahul Gandhi is not capable of handling this country," he said to no one in particular as he entered the room.

"Did you bring milk and eggs?" his wife asked dilligently.

"No," he said, "I forgot. You go down and bring."

"You are not capable of handling this house," she said, "Don't crib about Rahul Gandhi."
We are a nation of cribbers. For almost two weeks a member in our society was complaining about not enough diesel in generator. "The prize of diesel have increased so much," he used to begin, "It is such a pain, only Narendra Modi can reduce the prize of diesel."
"Did you call the maintainence guy who was going to fine tune our generator so it can consume less diesel," asked the chairman.

"No, I forgot to do that," he said shrugging.
Even the leaders are no different, all the so-called leaders of the country are busy cribbing about each other. Every one fights for the 'issues' in the country but no one talks about solutions for them. The Aam Aadmi Party is a newly formed political party in this country. If nothing else they have adopted one quality of the mango people of the country, and that is cribbing.

Said one commuter at the traffic signal, "Don't block my way."
"It is a red light," I informed him pointing to the red light at the traffic signal.
"There is no cop around," he said, "If you want to be a wuss be a wuss, let me go."
He sped past bearing the insignia of his favorite youth leader bearing the sign, 'I support him'.

How is he going to support his leader by breaking the traffic signal is beyond me. Everyone is waiting for their next leader to come with a magic wand and transform India but no one wants to pick up the wand themself.

The battle lines are drawn on who will become the next PM. Whoever wins the elections has a big task to rescue this country from the mess. While the next PM candidate is preparing his plan to improve the country, let us sit back and think what we can change to foster this development. Stop cribbing and start acting.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Lets talk about Elephant in the room


Since the Election Commissioners Code of Conduct talking about the elephant in the room is a very painful activity, specially since Elephants are hidden from public view before the elections. But this post is not about a political party but is about the political will.

Or for that matter, the lack of it. Whenever a new political ideology grips the nation, a series of similar looking but going nowhere statements come into picture. We need to empower woman, we need to take care of the poor, the farmers are to be supported and the list goes on. Every political party goes on and on how they will 'listen' to a particular sector and help them. Here is the elephant in the room which we all conviniently ignore, corruption is not the only problem gripping this giant Union of India. Populism is.

One of the biggest rot to our system since independence is the concept of reservation. The idea of reservation started as a means to 'empower' the backward classes but turned into a means of reducing the quality of education and exploitation of the educaton system by a selected few. Populism is not a good idea for anyone.

Government is not a charity organization, you give a package to one sector, someone else has to pay for it. We all are paying prize for the reservation. Give a sect of people freebie and others will pay for it. Give free electricity to farmers and others will pay for it. Any government that offers freebie to one sect, be it caste, religion, profession or gender is not governing properly.

Election season is upon us and we are trying to realign the system of our country. We all can and should go out to vote for that one person who can make a difference. Any new government that is formed in this country is attempting to form in the most active era. Any new government that gives freebies to someone or the other will not be here to stay, they will be at the max allowed to rule only for 49 days. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Comedy Nights are not so comedy after all!!!


On a Sunday morning as I left the humble hug of my cosy 'rajai' (a cruel form of blanket that hypnotizes you to procrastinate) to engage in the oldest profession of humans, hunt for something to eat, every door along the way was tuned into some famous show.  By the time I reached my parking, I had listened to the complete title song in bits and pieces. To their credit, one house was watching Chota Bheem but thats not the topic of this post.
Over the period of time the condition of Indian Television has deteriorated much worse than the concept of auto meter on streets of Delhi.  I had this crazy idea a couple of months back that I am going to turn into a perfect Indian. I replaced my toothpaste with Vicco Vajradanti, got a Chandrika soap and even used Chik Shampoo. During this phase I decided to abandon American television on and switch to Indian tele-serials only. Yes, that means no... wait for it... Star world HD, no HBO (gasp) and definitely no Star Movies HD (Suicidal!!!)
A week later my D2H provider was glad that I spend a lot more money in subscribing to premium channels like Star World Premiere HD, HBO Hits and HBO Defined. It was needed or the other option was to get admitted in a mental asylum which was more costly (I checked).
Here is the thing I discovered, the entire legion of writers and creative heads come up with more and more creative ideas of how to connect any Godamm story in the world to some Saas Bahu show. Every story starts with something unique, something different. One serial started with doctors in the lead and while the set was of a substandard quality (the hospital looked like a waiting room for bus stop with beds), the story proceeded at the snails pace for a month and the lead got... wait for it... married.
Another show jumped timeline faster than the Government in Delhi could survive. In a month they jumped 7 years, in another four they jumped 20 years. Before we would figure out what happened when the small kid in the show got... wait for it... married. Here is the damm thing, every sort of the show has to have a SaaS and a Bahu. Along with them comes a third person who will drive a rift between the wife and a side actor for a husband. All stories sooner or later jump the ships to the same story line. Its as if, before dinner, every writer sits down to watch what his competing show is doing and pick up stuff and try to connect it to his show.
Such is the insignificance of these writers that nowadays networks and production houses do not even bother to hire them. They will throw in a bunch of out of work celebrities or gather people that can create controversies and write a show around it. The reality shows are draining out whatever brain is left from the indian audiences. Making crappy shows may not be a big deal, but the trend becomes disturbing when families sit together and watch a Holi Special or Diwali special episode of their favorite serial and forget the festival in their own house (Marketing plug: Wanna know how they make a reality show? Transcript of what we overheard at the Double Shots inn). Celebrities endorse flat screen televisions with some advance technologies that would put alien spaceships to shame. But I don't see the point is buying a very powerful television unless you are doing a research on the clarity and lividity of the tears rolling down the cheeks.

Because I don't dare to touch the concept of 24x7 news channels, I dare to make serious comments on comedy. Or I don't. But the term comedy is misused so ballantly on the television show that even it has lost its meaning. Any show that has comedy in its name has either a laughing guest who is paid to laugh or some cross dressing actors that will make some slapstick comments and physical comedy that is not helping anyone other that the guest (who is paid to laugh remember). This person can laugh even on those poor jokes that are forwarded on whatsapp that no one likes but are forwarded anyways.

Indian television boasted at some of the classic hits, how can anyone forget Nukkad, Yeh Jo Hai Jindagi, Chandrakanta, Shanti, Hum Panch and many more that entertained us for years. These shows had situations, had grandeur, they had entertainment quality and were not merely written in hurry for making quick bucks.

Indian television is dead, sadly the oldest family member in the biggest joint family potrayed on the daily soap is still alive after 200 episodes and a million years. Till she dies, foreign televisions shows it is.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Studying Humans

"Humans are the most curious creatures," said one alien investigator to another, "They carry super computers powerful enough to launch missile systems halfway across the globe and yet they choose to use them in forwarding funny jokes about other humans that sometimes makes no sense"
"Indeed, internet is one of the most sophisticated network grid of computers we have ever seen," said the other.
"And yet the power of 30 billion connected computers is used to find pictures of other naked humans and dreams of copulation"
"That's indeed curious, pray tell me then," said the commander, "What are the most important issues that humans are researching on?"
"There is a difference of opinion on almost all issues on Earth. Humans doubt everything that is said by other humans. They even doubt our existence, in our front."
"Thats even more funny, can we attack them?" asked the commander.
"We can but it will be a fruitless effort plus we risk introducing their internet and Facebook to our teens. Oh how our kids will grow up if they keep on Whatsapping and Instagramming instead of learning to fight."
"But if we do not attack them, they might attack us."
"Only if they are not distracted from their internet." said the second.
"We need not fear them now, do we?"
"Not until their Facebook shuts down. Till then we should relax" shrugged the first.

Have you read my book yet?

Have you read my book yet?
An epic adventure across space and time