Thursday, December 25, 2003

America under attack, again?

Yes. If everything toes the line without any glitches, I may be boarding the flight (my first!) to San Fransisco this Friday. The trip (or company sponsored junket, if you prefer) is a short one - spanning 3-4 weeks though the exact return date is not fixed yet. So, I may be out of circulation for a short while, but as the Governator said, I'll be back! Adios Amigos.

Oosa, here I come!

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Kangaroos slam into The Wall

Wow, wow, wow!!! What can I say! I was made to eat my words, uspeed, but I was more than happy to do that, and will do it again and again. I believe being a pessimist bears more rewards than being an over-optimistic enthusiast, especially with respect to our Indian cricket team. With all due respect to our cricketing heroes, the final scoreline of the series will be 2-1 or 1-1 against India. Lets revisit this post at the end of the series.

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Will he make it?

Narain Karthikeyan's tryst with F1 always seems to be a so-near-yet-so-far affair. His test races with the two Js few months back raised so many hopes only to see them come crashing down. And now this call from Minardi for a test race this week-end. God, make something of this. I desperately want to see an Indian in that elite group of racers. But this news item doesn't augur well for our poor Narain!

Somehow we Indians have some sort of jinx when it comes to F1. After much fan-fare and drum-beating, Naidu returned from the Italian GP a totally different, sheepish individual who just had a painful realization. Buddy, it takes much more than idle boasting to host a F1 GP.

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Lanka in Pakistan?

I was reading the Pakistani daily Dawn and was little surprised to see today's Cartoon of the Day:

Isn't that a take off on Hanuman's gatecrashing of Ravana's party? If yes, it'd be intersting to find out how many Pakistanis really know about Ramayana or are fairly acquainted with Hindu mythology. Older ones who saw undivided India might be expected to, but certainly not the ones born after the Partition - what with large scale demonizing and history-tampering on both sides of the border. Anyway that's altogether a different issue .....

Sunday, December 07, 2003

Kal Kal Kal...

Having not seen a Hindi movie since Darna Mana Hai, I was quick to jump on to the tickets of KHNH we managed to get for the second show on Saturday. Entered the theater a good fifteeen minutes late and were relieved to see that we didn't miss much. I asked the lady accompanying us, as she was coming for the second time, if the movie had much senti. She replied - 'not much, but little towards the end'. The movie taught me a lesson - always take the opinions of ladies with a bucket of salt, especially in case of senti or such emotions!

Preity Zinta was, as always, gorgeous! I, as they say, fell in love all over once again. True, true - she wasn't as fresh as she was in Dil Chahta Hai, but that dimpled laugh was as charming as ever. I'll horse-whip that Karan Johar if he ever crosses my path - he made her cry soooo much. The Water's Edge was literally overflowing with her tears. Poor thing, may be she didn't have enough experience in that department in her real life, she just looks terrible in those weeping scenes. She is neither Raakhi nor Jaya Bachhan, she is just not made to cry, you know. Hers was the most perfect smiling face and that duffer Johar couldn't make her do anything but sob and weep. Sigh!

And guess what, SRK hasn't changed a bit! He is there alright, doing what he is best known to do - overacting. Just wringing out emotions out of every scene, tears flew left, right and center. Some people had to be shipped to a hospital due to heavy dehydration! The only sensible performance was given by Saif Ali Khan - decent, controlled with good humour. In some ways he was a restraining force on SRK. While Shah Ruck kept hamming away at the other end (with the confidence that he will not be given out till the end), Saif Ali Khan played a solid, stylishly carved innings at this end. All in all, a pretty good first half with equally appalling second half. But one thing that has to be said in favour of the movie is the ending - while I dreaded Shah Rukh getting miraculously cured and PZ flying into his arms, the directory quite thankfully thought otherwise (sorry for giving the story away!).

And now comes the most interesting bit of the evening. After the movie, we drove to a famous ice cream shop (yes, yes - in the middle of the night with temperature below twenty) near the Old City. Though it was past the closing time, the fellow gave us those scoops for which we drove all the way. All the time we ate, he kept on asking where we lived. We evaded giving the answer, saying that we came to visit a friend in a hospital nearby. But still he persisted and we finally told him the name of our place. He then just sighed and said it was alright. We asked him what the matter was, and he then pointed to a road in one direction and told that currently riots were taking place and people were getting killed!! We gulped the ice-cream at twice the normal speed, though it felt like fire in the mouth, and sneaked out of that place. Pretty chicken-like behaviour, but I didn't have any inclination to find out how a stone hurled at 40mph felt like on the forehead! Read in the newspapers on the morrow that 3 people were killed that night (now the toll is 5) in the Old City. I'd not seen even a single rioter that night, and just couldn't help feel that the night could've been little more exciting!

Thursday, December 04, 2003

Unfrocking Congress

The Great Indian Tamasha™ had come to an end in the four states yesterday with a great finish! BJP romping home with a winning 3-1 margin against the Congress, the lone loss in the miniscule state of Delhi. The fact that it won, with huuuuge margins in MP and Rajasthan the most populous of the four, in three states will give a huge fillip to BJP for the coming LS polls. The fact that Ajit Jogi couldn't properly turn the Judeo tapes to his favour spoke poorly of his leadership. The most startling feature of the poll campaign in these four states, as NDTV rightly pointed out, was that BJP, for once, rid itself of its pet issues of Hindutva, SFO and cow slaughter and concentrated more on the developmental and economic issues in the four states. Whether these pet issues will come to the fore once the power changes hands is anybody's guess. As always Congress was quick to find an excuse for the slap-in-the-face electoral results - anti-incumbency!! The fact that Sheila Dixit won and Diggy Raja lost showed that poor governance, and not anti-incumbency, was the reason for Congress's failure. They must've seen it coming when even the fire-brand sanyasin Uma Bharti focused on 'mundance' issues of road and power! Well, enough of my political commentary!

As Sashi Tharoor rightly noted, Elections along with Cricket, form the nation's popular pastime. I used to enjoy them a lot, especially on Star News when NDTV was its news provider, whose forte was the poll coverage. In those days of manual counting, the ritual was spread over few days, with lots of scope for dramatic twists of fortune. Prannoy Roy always appearing busy, and business-like at the same time, with lots of election analysts expounding their theories, making full user of their few minutes of glory, news reporters sending teasing tidbits from different parts - oh, it was such fun! Now with the advent of EVMs, the bloody shit starts at 8 in the morning and the whole counting process ends at 2 pm!! The turnarounds are too quick and too short-lived! Before the so called expert could reach the last sentence of his interpretation of the results, the lead magically would change hands, and the poor guy would have to turn his theory upside down to explain the latest twist.

Be all that as it may, can some one explain the process to get oneself registered as a voter? :-)

The Great Indian Tamasha™ - Copyright © NDTV

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Miserable Failure

Go to Google, type miserable failure and press "I'm feeling lucky". If you use Google deskbar, then press Ctrl-Alt-G, type miserable failure and Ctrl-L (spoon feeding :-) )!

Need I say that I lifted this straight from WMD?

Blood boiling

An IITian murdered in cold blood for standing up against corruption!
31-year-old IIT grad working on PM’s showpiece highway complained of corruption, contractor mafia.

Dubey, a 1994 civil engineering graduate from IIT Kanpur, was Deputy General Manager in the Centre’s National Highway Authority of India working on the 60-km Aurangabad-Barachatti segment of the Golden Quadrilateral in Bihar with headquarters in Koderma, Jharkhand.

Just 31 years old, with probably a family and whole life ahead of him, and getting killed by some non-descript, ass fucking sobs - makes my blood curdle. For all those who don't lose an oppurtunity to shout at the top of their voices against brain drain, first kick these fucking corrupt bastards out of the country!

And what can you say, but a bizarre coincidence. about this launch of a new "Honest Party" in AP and Karnataka! Ha!

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

Rumsfeld gets an award !?

US Defence Secretary has been awarded the 'Foot in Mouth' award for a comment on US-led war on Iraq.

"Reports that say something hasn't happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know," Rumsfeld told a press briefing.

"We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns - the ones we don't know we don't know."

Governator Arnold came a close second:
"I think that gay marriage is something that should be between a man and a woman"

Shamelessly copied from WMD!

Monday, December 01, 2003

Herr Herriot

I visited the second-hand book sales, which is held every Sunday here, and picked up two books - 'Colour of the Wind' by Terry Pratchett and 'Little Nugget' by P G Wodehouse, each for 50 bucks. A pretty good deal, I must say. Though I used to buy at least one book every week during my initial visits to this Sunday market, of late it had been getting more and more difficult to spot useful ones. And the sellers are turning out to be tough nuts to crack - simply no bargaining for Wodehouses. They must have realized that Plummies will buy for any price they name, albeit with some grumbling. Sheesh! But whatever be said against it, this is one place where I landed some prize catches, which are out of print now.

Btw, I started reading 'The Lord God Made Them All' by James Herriott. This is my second Herriott and that too after a loooong time. This is one author who knows how to narrate stories. They most resemble, for me, the granny stories, where everything ends happily, with the right amount of humour in between. He does not have the literary genius of Wodehouse, but somehow his books are simply 'unputdownable'! Weekends fly by if you have a Herriott in hand. Before you realize you'd have finished 40-50 pages in one sitting.

Btw, who was that new NDTV correspondent in Delhi? She looks cute ;)