Sunday, May 20, 2007

Parliament Idol ---- Reality Shows ka Baap!!

I am a sucker for reality television. There…I said it out laud finally! Can’t get enough of those reality shows on TV. This is the age of Video Games, Harry Potter and Lords of the Ring; where who you are is defined by which gadgets you have, and we all need to get in touch with the ‘Real World’ at least once in a while. And What better way to do it than watching TV! That is why I am such a reality show freak.
I love them all.... Roadies (where pretty faces make asses of themselves around the country), Big Boss (last desperate attempt for showbiz losers and out of work actors before they slit their wrists like Janhavi Kapoor), Fame Gurukool (yup..'Kool' is the word. No matter how repulsive you are....u can count on these guys to give ur ugly ass a make-over!).
Cant wait for the new one with Suniel Shetty and sum 'dharati pe Bojh' fatsos. Since I am in a 'confession' mode, let me also say that i cried like a little girl when my entry was rejected in this show. How i longed for a chance to lose those love handles in front of millions!! Why Suniel why??? Was I not fat enough for your show??.
Anyway...coming back to the point....I cannot emphasize the need for some 'reality on TV enough.

Some skeptics might say, “How about going out and interacting with people?”
Well….”Up yours suckers!! I’d rather plant my behind in the couch, take the remote and watch ‘Normal people’ in ‘Abnormal situations’.”

However, like a drug addict, I want more and more reality each time I want to get high on it….and right now there is not enough reality all channels combined to satisfy my cravings.

So I introduce to you ‘The Parliament Idol’------- Reality shows ka Baap!!
Here, young wannabes compete to become the best Politician. The prize is a ticket for next elections from party of his choice. And if you lose….backstage passes to the party in the Parliament (like ambani, jaya bachchan etc).


Sharad Pawar (aka ‘the cool customer’)--- He is one character juggling effortlessly between Union Ministry, running the BCCI (& trying to topple the ICC!) and ghost directing the Maharashtra State politics. He will advise the participants the importance of Selfless work.

Uma Bharati (aka ‘the feisty sanyasan’)---- She will talk (rather shout) to the contestants to separate ‘Men’ from ‘Boys’. She will also train them to be loyal to her party seniors and how to ‘get along’ with people.

Laloo Prasad Yadav ( aka ‘the maverick’)---Back from his world tour, performing mostly in management schools…this Rock Star will ask the questions even he doesn’t know answers to!...(What the hell do you do with Bihar for example…)

Narendra Modi (aka ‘the maniac’)---He is surprise packet guys. No one knows what is coming!...So all Hindu contestants….wear sumthing saffron. And non-Hindus….well…don’t forget to wear the bulletproof vests we give you..:)

ANCHOR --- Chocolate Boy, Amar Singh from Uttam Pradesh (formerly known as Uttar Pradesh…..Big B can sell the lousiest product…don’t u think??) will be anchoring the show. So don’t miss the first episode guys……this heartbreaker makes an entry from the Ganga Ghat like Bo Derek in that.

So guys…lets get our reality on!!!....Auditions starting in your city sooooooon.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

New Age Einstein

I got this mail recently..........................

Petrol in Pakistan Rs17 per litr
Malaysia Rs 18 per litr
In India it's 48 per litr
Why this difference in Asia itself ? World Market CRUDE Oil is not the reason for this. It's all Gain for private owners? As we are thegeneral public, or Common Man as R.K.Laxman wud hv said, we have toraise our voice, let's raise thru Emails.We forward so many junk email to many of our friends, now let us do it for some useful cause to cut down the price of the petrol .. ...REMEMBER : MAY 22nd 2007

This is a letter addressed to the Rocket Scientist cum Philanthropist who wrote this:

When I read your mail, I couldn’t help asking……….. why????
What possessed you to write such a mail?
I could think of 3 reasons:

1. This is just a piece of shit thrown on the wall; hoping that it sticks! But I like you already so lets discount that.

2. For the good of the people: Making petrol cheaper means people not thinking as much before burning it! That in turn means more CO2 at a signal as I wait for the green light………..yummy! More means more global warming. Wont that be fun…considering we live directly south of the biggest mountain range the world?...not to mention part of Bengal that’s below sea level. In short, water problem solved!!

3. For the good of the Country: Some of the major problems in front of our country are,
· Border Security (Siachen, Bangladesh, J & K)
· Internal Security ( ULFA, LTTE, NAXALS, JKLF….ring any bell??)
· Population Explosion
· Outbreak of AIDS
· Farmers committing suicide
Are these problems or their possible solution in any way related to price of gasoline? But never mind....I trust you. I am sure problems solved with cheaper petrol are far more important than the ones mentioned above.

I feel grateful to you for bringing to my attention such a pivotal issue. God! I have a lump in my throat….I think I am going to cry. As a token of appreciation, let me suggest an even better solution---- Relocate to Pakistan! Think about it… can drive your ass around the country without a worry in the world! Even shop for guns and heroin while you are at it. I’ve heard those things are cheaper there too…
You are Welcome!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


A middle aged woman, garlands around her neck, is guzzling whisky one bottle after another, supposedly under a spell of 'shamshaan devi', even as her devotees bring more bottles filled with 'prashad'. This goes on for about an hour after which she starts 'solving' their problems. She grabs one by his hair and slaps him a number of times (The only right thing she'll do that evening!) before telling him he is possessed by some evil spirits. She then proceeds to finish another bottle of whisky, declaring that she will take care of those spirits and move on to the next 'client'.
Cut to ---
A small town in Bihar where a 'Baba' is known to imprison an evil spirit in an iron nail which he hammers into the trunk of a nearby tree. There are hundreds of them in that trunk already. You can see a number of trees around, once healthy and green, but now as dead as the people whose spirits they hold captive. "These trees have died because of these evil spirits" the villagers say; ignoring, quite amazingly, that all those nails in the trunk might have anything to do with it.
No, these are not the scenes from Zee Horror Show or a Ramsey Brothers Movie. I have neither had any of that 'prashad' from 'shamshaan devi' nor am I pissed because I don't get all those bottles of whisky for free.
Believe it or not....these are true incidents shown on the so-called News Channels around India. There is very little said in these programs to discourage anyone from resorting to such measures to solve their problems. There is absolutely nothing to suggest that such cheats are a menace to our society. In fact, people who have 'benefited' from them are shown and interviewed (a la those annoying infomercials you see all the time).
It is obvious that media these days is influencing our lives more than ever before. It has become the 'Big Brother', telling people what is good and what is bad. From the most mundane thing like 'what movie you should see this weekend' to 'who you should blame for your rotten life'. You almost sense a moral superiority in their voice as they openly castigate 'that politician who was caught accepting bribe' or 'that cricket star doing too many commercials'. That is, if they get time between programs about 'How to pacify your 'Mangal'' , 'How to worship 'Shani'' or 'Which direction you should be facing while taking a dump according to Vaastu-Shastra'.
News media all around the world are influenced by the powers that be in their respective area. Even the 'Land of the Free' is not immune to it and news channels over there have been questioned frequently. Serious questions have been raised about their political neutrality. It is not unexpected for channels to advocate certain political ideology; as politicians are, many times, the guys running these channels. But promoting such cheap tricks on television cannot possibly be explained or justified.
Only plausible explanation comes from the most unexpected source. A news channel recently showed an Audio release party held in Patna (where else!!!) of a bhojpuri album. The dancers smooched on the stage as they broke into most suggestive and vulgar dance in full view of the audience and TV cameras alike; apparently to give an idea of what to expect from the album. One TV channel, needless to say, pounced on this 'moral outrage' and showed that clipping as many times as it possibly could to generate awareness among people about the prevalent vulgarity in society (yeah RIGHT!!). 'Payal', the girl dancing on the stage was interviewed later and she said, "Sex is shown because it sells!"
Bingo!....that is the only explanation possible for TV channels to air programs about all those 'Babas', Sadhus', 'Tarot Card Readers' and 'Numerrologgists' (sorry I got carried away..). They do it because IT SELLS!!"
Vijay Tendulkar, the noted Marathi Playwright recently mentioned that "It is okay for poor people to practice such blind faith because they have no other way to see light at the end of the tunnel." Dr. Shriram Lagu in reply said, "You can even justify actions of a thief by that logic because, many times he too has no other choice!" I agree with Dr. Lagu. In fact, in my opinion, it is okay for an Ambani or the Big B to do any of these things (as they are shown doing quite often) simply because it doesn't make a difference to them. But, a middle class person who spends his hard earned money for these things at the cost of food or clothes for his family is the one we need to be concerned about.
---It is, therefore, high time we stand up and protest against these ' Sell-Out artists' masquerading as noble journalists.
---It is high time we tell them:
"You are worse than that girl dancing in Patna because; she probably has more compelling reasons for doing what she does than YOU!!"
---It is high time WE give these TV channels a 'NEWS FLASH':

Monday, May 14, 2007

Identity Crisis

‘Oh…do you speak Marathi??”
City – Pune (Of all the places!)
Myself – A Marathi Manus
Person asking me the question – A maharashtrian.

“Yes” I reply trying to hide my confusion; “don’t you?”
“Never! In fact, I find it irritating even if someone else speaks it in front of me.”

A strange mix of anger and sympathy (both for the same person) build up inside me as I write this.
I believe in freedom of thought. If a person is more comfortable in any other language, he/she is most welcome to use it.
One must however, show the minimum courtesy by not disrespecting anyone’s language or culture. By that I mean ANY language or culture; not just Marathi.
To the Opposite end of this spectrum are the politicians who make such hue and cry over protecting our identity. Western culture is criticized a menace, trying to take over our culture. So they end up doing what they are fighting in the first place --- forcing it on the Society.

All of us should remember Mahatma Gandhi’s words
“No culture can live, if it attempts to be exclusive.”

We must understand that, a language or a culture is too big to be insulted by someone. It is too big to be in danger because few individuals choose not to use it.

So, here’s my advice if you find yourself in a similar situation---
1. Keep calm. Take a deep breath and pretend it never happened; because your language is better off without such dimwits!
2. Remeber what will become of your children if you forget to do your job!
3. Make sure you keep speaking in the same language. The constipated look on their faces is priceless!!

Movie Review - Metro

I saw a Marathi Play once (Final Draft) in which the protagonist (a writer) insists on a ‘happy ending’. The makers of Metro have stretched this concept to its limit. A movie which promises to tell us the ‘bitter truth’ about life in a metro unfortunately ends in ‘Golmaal’ like climax.Result – In an attempt to please everyone…..what could have been very good movie ends up being just about average! Remember Page- 3 where the climax took the movie up a notch?What is above average; nay excellent is the standard of acting. It is heartening to see all 7 young leads do a fantastic job. Konkana, Irfaan Khan and Kay Kay are without doubt the standout performers. Shilpa Shetty is pleasant surprise for coming up with a very sensitive performance.Dharam Paaji’s romance with Nafisa Ali, besides being gross, irritates like apple skin stuck in your teeth. Their story has no head or tail; both veterans are found wanting in their dialogue delivery and have absolutely no chemistry.
The music is another highlight of the Movie. 'Hai tujhe bhi Ijhaajat' touches your heart as perfectly written and sung for the situation.
To summarize, Metro is a welcome change; coming close on the heels of Ta Ra Rum Pum (Saif romancing Rani in a hideous wig + 2 irritatingly cute kids ) and that pansy superhero from Hollywood. It stands out as a bold attempt to show the changing mentality of people in the grind of a metro. Not bold enough alas to end on a realistic note!