Thursday, November 27, 2003

Nuthin in particular!

Yesterday was Eid, and since my bro-in-law was(still is!) Muslim, I had a chance to taste Haleem, an Iranian delicacy prepared here during Ramzan, consisting of mutton, wheat et al. Though the outer appearance is not very inviting, and is known to put off staunch non-veggies, the taste is quite ok, but more on the stronger side.

Have just been listening to some of Joe Satriani's guitar renditions, chosen from his various albums. Man, he has mastery over the strings rarely heard or felt. Though most of them are just instrumentals, his guitar more than compensated for vocals. No wonder he was voted among the top 3 guitarists of all time. I think I'll buy some of his albums. If any of you have some specific recommendations, please pour them in.

A leeeetil bit of ego boosting?

Excerpts from an article on Telegraph:

Students from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Chennai defeated the reigning champions of "University Challenge", Britain's popular quiz show. The champion team from Birkbeck College of the University of London was crushed 150 to 85 on Mastermind, the Indian version of the British show.


"We are a more mature team and our rivals were very quick on the draw. We knew the answers to most of the questions but we were just nowhere near as fast as they were. It was a very humbling experience for us and it took a lot of wind out of our sails."

<The full article is here>

Shit, didn't know 'bout this episode! Anyone seen this?

Thursday, November 20, 2003


Am presently listening to Sama Hai Suhana Suhana. Man, what a song! I hardly understand the lyrics, what with my knowledge of Hindi or Urdu at negligible levels, but the song evokes such memories that I feel so nostalgic for I-don't-know-what. And now the song is Musafir Hoon Yaaron, another KK's masterpiece. Wish I were a musafir with nothing to care about, nothing to stop you. Sigh! Here I am, doing some shitty work which, in all probability, will come back to bite my ass!

While still on this songs business, I've one particular ... what to say .... trait. When I like a song(s), I listen to it incessantly for days on end. And then it'd get implanted on my brain with an un-explainable correspondence to whatever I was doing then. So when I hear it later, I suddenly feel transported to those times when I was intoxicated with that song and feel nostalgic all over. When I was reading LoTR, Cymbaline was on a repeat forever loop on my winamp. And now when I hear the bird-chirpings in Cymbaline, I find myself roaming in my imaginary Rivendell or Galadriel's kingdom.

Law Vs Cricket

Er, it was Law, and not Elections, that was compared to Cricket. Here is the extract:

Law, of course, rivals cricket as the major national sport of our urban élite. Both litigation and cricket are slow, complex and costly; both involve far more people than need to be active at any given point in the process; both call for skill, strength and guile in varying combinations at different times; both benefit from more breaks in the action than spectators consider necessary; both occur at the expense of, and often disrupt, more productive economic activity; and both frequently meander to conclusions, punctuated by appeals, that satisfy none of the participants. Yet both are dear to Indian hearts and absorb much of the country's energies.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Pinished It!!!

After almost two months since I opened it, I managed to finish 'Great Indian Novel' by Shashi Tharoor yesterday! It was due to my slightly busy schedule and shoddy reading habits that I took such long time and nothing to do with the quality of the book. If anything, I must rate the book higher than what I had expected it to be. For those of us who missed the 'happening' times of late 19th century to the time of independece and then till 1980s, with its own happening times of Emergency et al, this book gives a tantalizing glimpse of what happened behind the curtains. And the best part of the whole thing is that the characters in the book are named after the legendary characters of Mahabharat, for eg., Gandhiji (named Gangaji) is Bhishma, Nehru is Dritarashtra and Indira Gandhi (named Priya Duryodhani) is Duryodhana! Each person is named after the character after his/her notable characteristics, though not always to your taste. All in all, a good read.

Shashi Tharoor's humour is sarcastic and often on the risque side! Here is an excerpt on Indian diplomacy, attributed to a Russian official (quoting offhand and so may not match verbatim):

It (Indian diplomacy) is like love-making of an Indian elephant. It takes place at a very high level and is often accompanied by much bellowing. And it takes three years to give a result!

There is one more passage comparing Indian Elections to Cricket (both of which are currently in the limelight). It is too long to remember and since I do not have the book with me now, will post it later.

Btw, did you see the way Indians fought yesterday. Wasn't it simply terrific? I just loved it! Just goes to show that the lark's on the wing, snail's on the song, God is in His Heaven and all's right with the world!

Sunday, November 16, 2003

Mostly Political

Didn't have much to write about for the past four days. But suddenly so many things, mostly political, happened over the weekend that warranted some of my useless thoughts on them.

Firstly, just loved the flogging Sachin and Sehwag gave to the Kiwi bowlers. And boy, what happened to Rahul Dravid? Hardly do we see the ball leave the surface of the ground in Dravid's shots. But on Saturday it was flying all round, clearing the boundary line 3 times!! I guess it is his highest number of sixes in a one-day game. But India have a inherent tendency to enter the final of any tournament with memorable performances only to put less than memorable ones in the one that matters! Eternal pessimist that I am, I'll wait eagerly for the thrashing due in the hands of the Aussies.

And then, what is this sting operation on Judeo? BJP is gonna have one helluva time explaining this corruption in their party ranks, when they always show the 'Cleaner Than Thou' attitude towards scam-ridden Congress.

Our very own Narendra Modi has fuelled another round of 'Foreign origin' debate by instituting a commitee to look into the possibility of barring individuals of foreign origin from contesting local elections. And then NDTV picked this occasion up to start it's own debate on 'We the People'. Though I too can't think of why we can't pick a leader to lead the country from one billion people, the timing of this issue is questionable. Just as both India and Pakistan find the Kashmir issue simmering under low heat advantageous in their own devious ways, BJP wants to keep the issue alive without taking any steps to resolve it. One interesting question posed by a man in the audience was - "If Musharraf were to seek political asylum in India and contest the polls, would he be eligible for the top post?" Remember, he was born in India. And another question was - "If Mother Teresa were to contest polls, would they have rejected her too?". Though I'm not comparing Sonia with either Musharraf or Mother Teresa (impossible!), you get the drift, don't you? And Sharad Pawar, who broke away from Congress (surely after realizing that he would never be able to reach the helm as long as Sonia is there) on this same issue, can form coalition government in Maharashtra but finds Sonia's origin too prickly to accept any alliance? Man, that's politics for you!

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Learning To Fly


    Can't keep my eyes from the circling sky
    Tongue-tied and twisted just an earth-bound misfit, I


I don't what you'll call this, but did you ever get the feeling that whatever that wass happening with you was not right? I'm not sure if what I am is reallly what I want to be. I've always followed the exhortations of my parents and friends, not to mention innumerable relatives. Having elder cousins, who are good at studies and always leading the way can be bit painful, especially if you fail to follow their footsteps. I've one cousin who is right now in oosa and everytime I see any of those relatives, one question to be faced, often masked cleverly among others, will be "_______, why are you still here?". Of course, the fact that that guy out there is still jobless and has extended his MS is of no concern to them.

Leaving all that aside, my dad wants me to be a _A_, while I currently am a _B_. And shortly, if everything works out right, I propose to become a _C_! Though all these careers are quite good and lucrative, I can't see myself enjoying these jobs, say 10 years from now. And the most depressing part is that I still don't know what I want! Archealogy, Wild Life Photography or Astronomy - all of them are exotic and exciting, but I don't know even their basics.

God, I wish I know what I want, what I am good at, and importantly have the courage to pursue that!

Monday, November 10, 2003

Lady of Steel

All her follies notwithstanding, one thing I admire in Jayalalithaa is her tenacity. Man, she is one hell of a fighter!

Just when you expect her to curl the tail and go into her den after the unexpected public outcry against the arrests and adverse SC judgement, she has come out with a counter move against her opponents! A new criminal defamation case has been filed in the City Civil Court, for the same article which the Legislative Assembly had taken exception to.

Call it Vendetta politiics or whatever, but I see it as eventual retaliations of the numerous insults and injuries inflicted on her throughout her political career. Can you believe that one minister tried pulling her saree in the midst of a full assembly? Ironically, it is the same Legislative Assembly which has ordered the arrest of the journalists citing 'breach of privilege'. Ha! And do you know that Karunanidhi was put in the same cell, after the much publicised late night arrest, she occupied during her arrest in the corruption cases. With a television channel each to their names, coverage of the political battles between the two stalwarts makes for some wholesome entertainment for family!!

Sunday, November 09, 2003

Romantically Challenged?

I got this link from one blog :

Anyway, who didn't duck under the tables during Rakhi? I certainly did!

People just love to see me rich, don't they?

Here I am! Back with freshly prepared spam to whet your appetites, with an added flavour of 'funds'.


Re: Investment Capital.

Your contact has been gotten from the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Saudi Arabia, and my client has interest to do business relative to investments in your country in areas related to Real Estate, Agriculture, Pharmaceuticals etc. to initiate a proper and structured relationship:

Please let me know what your response will be to an offer to receive investment funds in cash if:

1. The said fund amounts to Twenty Five Million Dollars (US).

2. The said fund is in cash and will be transferred to you in same state.

3.The fund is intended to be invested through your agency in the purchase and of facility and assets, for agricultural purposes within your country.

4. This transaction will result in your being paid a commission of 10% off the investment capital.

5.The fund owners desire absolute confidentiality and professionalism in the handling of this matter.

Please respond urgently.


Maryam Abudu (Mrs).

Who wouldn't mind 2.5 Million Dollars? They said they'll hand over the funds in cash, but did they give a thought to the logistics of packing and carrying 2.5 million USD (remember Harshad Mehta and PVN Rao's tryst)? Btw, I'll be giving a small binge to you all after I stack the stuff away in my attic. You'd come, wouldn't you?

Friday, November 07, 2003

I'm feeling lucky

You may know these already - but try typing the following into Google's search box and click on "I'm feeling lucky" :

  • Weapons of Mass Destruction

  • Pakistani Military Victories

Any others?

G O D F O R B I D ! !

Imagine my reaction when I read this. Lallooooooo says that he is confident of making it to the top most political position in the country! Have I lived all my life to see this??

That reminded me of one C&H strip. Calvin asked the ouija board if he would ever become the President and the answer was 'G' ...... 'O' ...... 'D' ...... ......'F' ...... 'O' ...... 'R' ...... 'B' ...... 'I' ...... 'D' !!!

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Pop Pourrie?

These days, every time I switch on my idiot box to give the exhausted brain some peace, all it receives is a truck-load of crappy songs by kids who look like they have run away from their homes. The recent trend, as far as I can make out, is to take some hummable Hindi song, mix it, mix it and remix it till all the recognizable traces are lost, add some beats, metallic noises at odd-sounding places, bring few fair-looking, skimpily-clad, dumboes to do some item dances most probably copied from a western hit number for the video and dish it out to the general public. Simple and Stupid!

I'm sick of these remixes where, apparently, the 'audience' was assumed to be born deaf. Paris pinching their bottoms, trendy tomboy flaunting her G-String, gyrating hips -- darn them all! The only one who seems to have some sense, when it comes to remixes, is Nitin Bali (I suppose that is his name). Though he too has gone for the fleshy look in his latest output, the tone and flavour of the original song is always kept intact. And I especially love his choice of the songs - melodious old classics.

While on this topic, what's with all the business of immigration racket of Daler? These guys are just so greedy!

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Want Healthy, Gorgeous Lips?

Spam never ceases to amaze me! Why would I want "Healthy Gorgeous Lips"? Their profiler has gone wrong terribly or they assume me to be a transvestite? What ever. Wouldn't it be great to post some of the best spam mails I receive on the blog? Well, here's for a start:

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Did you notice the second point - "CITY LIP'S is used by MEN ...." Gosh!

Years of Waiting ...

Someone commented on my previous post that public memory is short. I believe it is more the case of proceedings taking loooong than public's memory being short. Can you believe that it took the court EIGHT freaking years to find that b*****d guilty in the Tandoor case? And what about the 14 years trial of this Safdar Hashmi case?

And, most often than not, the culprits are sons of Big Babus who walk free without an ounce of punishment - often wearing their crimes as badges of honour. God, I feel so .... I dunno what to say.

Well, never mind. Guess I'm in a bad mood.

Sunday, November 02, 2003

Lacking in spine?

Flashback! Flashback! Remember how Azhar and Jadeja were unceremoniously dropped from the ad-campaigns, when the match-fixing scandal first came to light? I'm not blaming the companies, coz no product would want to be associated with a tainted sportster. But then, shouldn't the same sense of guilt afflict the cricketers/filmstars who now vociferously campaign for some tainted companies? Shouldn't they have quietly cancelled their contracts rather than exhort the people to drink more and more of the soft drinks? They could have simply told the companies that they would not want to advertise for companies which play fast and loose with millions of people's health. Hey, that's expecting little too much. I wouldn't want to cancel a contract, which religiously adds millions of rupees to my purse every year, would I? Besides, with government itself shamelessly doling out waivers to celebrities, it would be harsh to ask the role models to let go of the inconveniently large pay packets.

What sparked this thought (though a little late)? I was having my dinner in the cafetaria on Friday evening, when a foreigner came and sat on a table, few feet away from me. He was sipping from a Pepsi can - no doubt heeding to warnings not to drink sewage disguised as drinking water in India. Little did he know that he was drinking nothing better! I thought of going upto him and asking "Pal, do you think a little more DDT would add to the taste?", but restrained myself. After all, we need to build our immunity and the only way to do that is to drink more of it!

Pearls of Bushdom

Here are some of the choicest quotes attributed to the Guardian of the World, Defender of Freedom, Custodian of Culture -

  • The vast majority of our imports come from outside the country.

  • If we don't succeed, we run the risk of failure

  • I believe we are on an irreversible trend toward more freedom and democracy - but that could change. [5/22/98]

  • Verbosity leads to unclear, inarticulate things. [11/30/96] // Hear! Hear!

  • I have made good judgments in the past. I have made good judgments in the future. // Gosh! I don't want THAT future!

  • People that are really very weird can get into sensitive positions and have a tremendous impact on history. // Admitted like a man !

  • A low voter turnout is an indication of fewer people going to the polls

  • It isn't pollution that's harming the environment. It's the impurities in our air and water that are doing it. // WHO let this man out???

And now the clincher -

  • [It's] time for the human race to enter the solar system. // Where else do you think we were living till now? Up your a*se?

Confidence Restored

Just when I was thinking that all the good work done was being undone, our cricket team had come up once again with a reassuring performance! It proved once again that last week's result was just an aberration and would, if it could help, not repeat again.

First of all, our bowlers stuck to the basics of bowling, giving no room, whatsoever, outside the off-stump and rarely straying down the legside. It was quite obvious by the 5th over, with the scorecard crawling to 50/1, that the Australian batsmen were feeling the heat. At the close of the first session, our world-renowned bowling attack made sure that the Aussies were restricted to a paltry score of 286 on a bowler friendly wicket. The fact that only one batsmen from their camp could reach three figures was a testimony to this. Of course the target was nothing but a cake walk for our batsmen, if the hype around them was to be believed, who were born on Mars and trained in Uranus, and the second-string attack of the Aussies was no match for our tv-smart, multi-millionaire super-heroes!

The match reached the logical ending and me, a logical conclusion - Indians are back to their old glory, form, strengths whatever! I look forward to the coming matches with great zeal and enthusiasm.