One thing I’ve noticed over a couple of years is that Arts grads are more likely to support the idea of India as a “developing” country, and are less appreciative of Indian culture, and are more likely to be apologetic about their heritage.
Actually, I should rephrase that… Engineering grads are more likely to think of India as a country with a lot of potential, and are more back-to-the-roots, and proud of being Indian.
I don’t know too many non-engineers who are not Arts grads, hence the first statement. Sorry if that sounded too prejudiced… it’s empirical evidence. Plus, I’m too zonked at the moment to hit backspace.
I don’t think anyone really thought Bangalore will be the target of serial blasts. Especially of serial blasts that look like they weren’t meant to take many lives.
Who roams around the city at 1:30 PM? The “crowded junctions” are least crowded then. And I won’t elucidate more on the mistakes the “terrorists” or the “mischief mongers” made yesterday, lest they be reading this and take some tips.
Anyway, I feel people just wanted to have some respite from the continuous powercuts Bangalore has to face, and so decided on such an “attack” after seeing that Bescom doesn’t shut off power when events of national interest are happening – the Trust Vote was the first time in many days we didn’t have a power cut in the evening. And sure enough, we didn’t have load shedding yesterday.
PS: Before you ask “how can you take this so lightly!”, or marvel at the spirit of my resilience, let me say the TV channels are reading too much. Times NOW was saying even after such widespread panic was seen in the city, the authorities are reluctant to call this a terrorist attack. Before you too go on an authorities-bashing spree, I’m having you know they know much more than they are letting on. Much more than the media, anyway. For instance, do any of you recollect watching an event unfolding in a pile of garbage near a school? No? Well, it did happen, and there were Kannada television reporters there. But it’s not on any English/Hindi news channel…. I really wonder why. And it’s better to go along with the authorities here… they really do seem to know what they are doing, and the best we can do is take it lightly. I know I had earlier blogged saying “Balls to taking it lightly!”, but now when we know the Government and the Police are really with us, we needn’t worry about meeting our maker before our time, and get on with life as usual, only, be more alert and show more presence of mind. Like someone’s status message goes – “(Gelatine) sticks and stones won’t break my bones….”.
PPS: I thought I’d published this earlier in the day, but as it happened, the power cut just as I hit “Publish”. It came back just in time for me to watch the defusing of a bomb outside The Forum mall on TV9. I don’t know what to feel, considering I had originally planned on catching a movie there, but plans had got shelved. And now Ahmedabad… guess power is not the reason then, coz I’ve heard there are hardly if any power cuts in Ahmedabad. Any alternative conspiracy theories, anyone?
PPPS: I agree this is a terrorist attack now that the Indian Mujahideen has accepted responsiblity for this heinous act… but you can’t blame the authorities for not calling it a terrorist (in the Al Qaeda sense of the word) attack before… there are simply too many disgruntled groups in India who are willing to take up arms for their “cause”, take these urbane naxalites for example.
Me: Open your umbrella, Its raining.
Ms Unopened-Umbrella: NO!! Its not!!! Its because of the branches above!!!
She wasn’t kidding, but oh!! Some one tickle my funny bone!!
I don’t know if I read too much between the lines or what… I felt the beer scene in Rang De Basanti was from Tolstoy’s War and Peace. I also felt Jab We Met was an adaptation of Wodehouse’s Damsel in Distress. Like I’ve said before, I thought Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na was a remake of Niram. Maybe it’s just human nature to understand new things in terms of the old, or maybe I’m like Miss Marple who has a St. Mary’s Mead analogy for every incident and character.
So when I was watching 24X7 last night, the Lok Sabha proceedings seemed hilarious – the Speaker was more like a class monitor, and the noisy MPs reminded me of my classmates at school (we were the most notorious bunch). The Speaker yelling for silence was simply too much to take, and when he said “If you keep talking, I’ll understand you don’t want the Trust Vote… do you want the Trust Vote or not?”, I was reminded of Varalakshmi Miss saying “Chil-raaan, if you make noise, I won’t take you to the AV Room for the movie”. All that was missing was writing bad names on the board.
Oh, and did anyone notice the esteemed Speaker pick his nose on (inter)national television?
And after the results of the Vote were declared, the Speaker hurriedly played Vande Mataram, as if to enforce silence and order in the house, and prevent pandemonium from breaking out immediately.
Anyway, all this behaviour seemed darkly funny, comical even… now that rang a bell… the whole cash-for-votes thing reminded me of an Asterix comic – Asterix At The Olympic Games. As for details:
…the Gauls decide to participate in the Games as well, under the view that – as part of the Roman world – they are legally Romans (only free-born Greek citizens were allowed to compete in the ancient Olympics, but under pressure an exception was made for their Roman occupiers). They later arrive in Greece for the games, and are entered in the list of participants, much to the surprise of the Greeks and the consternation of the Romans.
Eventually the Romans file a protest about the magic potion, which is banned by the Olympic officials; this decision would seem to put an end to the Gauls’ attempts to win a golden palm (the Romans being much fitter and better trained). However, in an ingenious twist, Asterix and the druid Getafix leak the location of the potion to the Romans, who, in their desire to win, all take the banned substance – which is laced with a dye which turns their tongues blue – and are disqualified, leaving Asterix as the winner by default (though the villagers act as if he won by his own efforts). …
Hmm… maybe as Mahesh Bhatt says, there are only seven stories in the world, and so such analogies are the norm rather than the exception.
PS: A year ago, at Landmark, I found a handsomely-bound (in jute), handsomely priced, well-illustrated book (translated to English from the original French) called Nicholas, by René Goscinny, one of the two creators of Asterix. Sadly I already had an armful of books, and thought I’d come back for it. I remembered the book only a couple of months back, and have tried a hazaar bookstores, but no one seems to have it. Anyone come across a copy anywhere? Anyone possess a copy and willing to lend?
Just done with the morning paper where the PM’s security arrangements for his trip to Sri Lanka are discussed. They seem quite extravagant this time, due to the Tiger threat. Reminded me of the other time there was a Tiger threat with the Congress….
It is a known fact that Sonia Gandhi distrusted R&AW, and Indian intelligence in general. When her children were travelling in Europe, it was an Italian security agency that provided the needed security cover for the children of the then PM. When Raul and Bianca (apparently that’s what they were christened… can anyone confirm the (un)truth of this statement? While it sounds probable and not really something you can crucify Sonia on, it sounds suspiciously like the product of a Sonia-is-Italian-to-the-tips-of-her-toes person’s imagination) were crossing from one European country to another, one of the European agents there considered it his duty to inform his Indian opposite number of the same… when he was met with surprise and disbelief – the Indian secret agent had no knowledge of the PM’s kids being in the vicinity. And the European then quipped, “The movement of the Indian PM’s children are known to the Germans, the Italians and the Spaniards, known to all other than the Indians”.
Sonia Gandhi later went on to dismiss Indian security forces and bodyguards of the PM as ineffectual, and went on to embarass them for the same. She rubbed salt in their wounds when she made them train under Italian security personnel – a double snub as not only were Italian agents considered so inferior that their Indian counterparts didn’t even consider them worthy of even exchanging tips with, but our men were forced to train under them, be snubbed and bossed over and abused by them.
All that pales into insignificance when we come to the incident of Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination. After an incident where he was hit over the head with an unloaded rifle by a Sinhalese naval cadet after signing the Indo-Lanka Peace Accord, it was obvious the Tigers brooked no friendly intentions to him. Thus when R&AW warned Rajiv Gandhi against going to Sriperumbudur as no force on earth could protect him against a suicide bomber, Sonia suggested he go on with his plan and have Italian security.
And we all know what happened after that.
A while later, Nalini, the backup bomber got her sentence reduced from Death to Life Imprisonment. And now Priyanka has a private meeting with the same Nalini. She also says she pardons Nalini, and that it is her way of coming to terms with her loss. Only, Priyanka has no right to pardon her… it was a crime not against an individual, but against the country. Now there are talks of releasing Nalini to “better Indo-Lanka ties”.
Sonia also accused the DMK of being hand-in-glove with her husband’s assassins. And now she doesn’t hesitate to have an alliance with them for the polls.
Also, the enquiry commission appointed to probe into Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination which moved fast under the previous government is now moving much slower than before, when intuitively it should be the other way ’round.
This, along with a lot more instances, have caused an increasing number of people to wonder if there is a connection between LTTE and Sonia Gandhi. Or if Rajiv’s assassination was engineered by Sonia Gandhi.
If we choose to give credence to this theory, maybe the imagination wouldn’t have to leap too much to visualize the prediction I put forward here.
So there’s simply no chance of the UPA winning the next election, what with the backlash from both the Left and the Right. Now if Manmohan is mauled by a Tiger, maybe Madam can cash in on the sympathy wave that will result on the brutal assassination of an erudite scholar and statesman?
Or maybe this is simply too fantastic a route to take with no easy explanations to give for the assassiantions, and with too many questions asked with no easy answers… and you can’t foist blame too easily on the LTTE unlike the way you can on Al Qaeda.. the Qaeda has no mailing address, while the LTTE has its own website.
So maybe Madam will simply take the easier, tried-and-tested way out by declaring internal Emergency.
Or maybe all that hype will boil over and they’ll just concede defeat and take their seats as Opposition.
Or what the heck…. they might just return to power on their own “secular” steam.
I’m dying waiting for election season. News channels as well as the Blogosphere are never so alive and interesting and full of emotion as it is then.
PS: This one by Subramaniam Swamy makes for interesting reading – Know Your Sonia.
You never realize what you have until…. sounds too cliched, doesn’t it?
Do unto others as…. nah, this too.
Absence is to love what wind is to fire…. mush-ick-y.
Give ‘im an enema and ‘e’ll fit into a matchbox... there.. that’s a better status message.
For close to eight years now, I have been mistaken for a metalhead, so much that people once dropped by to check if I’m fine when they heard strains of Roxette’s It must have been love from my room. [I am not exaggerating... my friend felt my forehead, peered into my eyes, and gave me the mental third-degree about whether I had fallen in or out of love or what. And no, it was neither.]. I suppose that phase is ending… retro Hindi is taking over my playlist.
Talking of which, I read somewhere that Kishore Kumar once had a “Beware of Kishore” board put up on his gate. And once when a colleague came home and offered to shake hands as he was leaving, the maestro bit his hand, and laughingly asked the visitor whether he had seen the board on the gate.
And another bit of trivia… apparently Nana Patekar is a police artist – the sort to which you describe what your assailant looks like and based on that get a sketch of what (s)he probably looks like.
Watching Kamal Haasan’s Kurudhipunal, which is a remake of Govind Nihalani’s Drohkaal, I wonder what the difference between a “good” person and a “bad” one is… is an good armyman still good when he makes tiny, seemingly careless transgressions that anyone could make by mistake, at the behest of a terrorist organization that’s holding his family hostage? And that, along with a few events I came across at college makes me wonder… is a niceguy still a niceguy overall if he doesn’t remain a niceguy when faced with a nattily-dressed Natalie?
It’s amazing how little things can be such a turn-off. Like the way Sagarika Ghose says “Mmhmm”, and the finality of her tone when she says “Okay” to cut off someone she is speaking to. Or when someone swipes the kitchen counter with a dishcloth in a way which doesn’t ensure gleaming surfaces. Or uses ‘besides’ where they should actually use ‘beside’… as in “She lives besides my house”. Or simply bad grammar, zero punctuation and improper capitalization on blogs.
Talking of Ms. Ghose cutting people off, I’ve begun to watch Lok Sabha TV, and it makes such a refreshing change where you have panel discussions with not more than four panelists, where none of them cut the others off, and best of all, the moderator really moderates, and it does sound like a chat than a charged-up game of one-upmanship with the stress and time constraints showing on the reporter’s face as you so often see on 24-hour news channels. The interviews aren’t designed to provoke, but to gather insight about issues rather than people. And unlike other TRP-oriented channels, the interviewer openly says “I disagree with you on this” rather than let that show in the way he biases the discussion, and very less attempt, if at all, is made at being politically correct.
I wonder what has happened to the concept of gathering around for the purpose of idle chatter. You don’t anymore see people gathered around a park bench talking politics or cricket or national policy, or even plain gossiping… no, not even the ajjas and ajjis in panche or cotton sarees and imported sports shoes… they are too busy looking inward, closing their eyes and meditating, when they are not walking at marathon-ish speeds.
So much hoo-haa is being made about the shortage of teachers… why don’t they simply hype teaching as a career on par with one in the IT field or medicine, like it has been done in Southeast Asia and Finland, with really painful entrance exams and coursework (though I’d say the coursework in a decently good college in India is no joke either), apart from absurdly high pay?
I’m not able to understand the correlation between a good education and being a good leader. It’s the sort of thing that is taught in schools, but it seems absurd to me that Shashi Tharoor writes a column asking why when the US has its presidents from Harvard and Yale that we don’t. More than education it has to be a willingness to learn, and knowledgeability. And education, while it opens up new insights and possibly newer ways to solve problems, is no band-aid remedy for corruption; if anything, it enables you to loot the nation in a more suave way. India doesn’t have any dearth of educated politicians… Narendra Modi is a postgraduate in Political Science, Praveen Togadia is an oncologist, Manohar Parrikar and Jairam Ramesh are from IITB…. and, on the other hand, Madam Sonia didn’t even quite finish a spoken-English course at Cambridge, and after Nehru, the only graduate in the Family has been Varun Gandhi and he is not with the Congress…. well, there you go.. that resolves the doubt I put forward in the first line. But heck, what has a stint at School of Architecture given Arundathi Roy other than one of her husbands, and material for In Which Annie Gives It Those Ones?
I’ve started to see ads for this proposed successor to IPL… it’s called ICL. If you, the cricket fan haven’t yet heard of it, despair not and you can stop looking for more feeds and sites to keep you updated on the latest in the Gentleman’s Game… it’s the Indian Comedy League. It’s on Star Vijay and the humour doesn’t seem much different from the other standup comedy shows… the same imitations of Vinu Chakravarthy, Chinni Jayanth, Janagaraj and Bhagyaraj.. but the team names sound cool this time – Chennai Kings, Trichy Terrors, Kovai Killadies, Pondy DeFulls, Katpadi Cutbodies, Nellai Notties, Salem Siddhars, Madurai Mannars. And for some weird reason, I have the lines in the ad going round and round my head – “Tiruchi da, kokka!”, “Ellam rendu-renda theriyudhu”, “Haiyyo.. vekka-vekkama varudhu”, “Maga, soukyama?”… Going by these, it should be called the TNCL… we didn’t see as much as a Bangalore Bandha-parties or a Kolkata Koothaadies.
After hearing about Love Story 2050, I’m wondering why coloured hair is seen as a sign of rebellion… I’ve always wanted to have my hair colored bubblegum pink or a garish violet, or electric blue streaks like Kylie of Extreme Ghostbusters, and I’m the worst sort of conformist and conservative you can find. Oh, and the reason I haven’t yet done it is the risk of follicular damage, wispiness and split-ends, all of which I can’t take for granted considering the long time it takes to recover from the effects of hard water. Oh and if you want to advise me to try burgundy or hazelnut, please don’t waste time… IMO, if you’re coloring your hair, it should look like you’ve coloured it, not like you’re trying to cover up a few greys.
And… the other debutante flick… Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na… from what I’ve heard of the storyline, it’s a remake of the Prashant-Shalini starrer, Piriyaadha Varam Vendum, Shalini’s last flick before she succumbed to the pressures of matrimony, which itself was a remake of a Malayalam flick called Niram. While it is refreshing to *not* hear the line “But… we’re friends!”, or variations thereof, it gets onto your nerves to hear yet again that Ladka-Ladki kabhi dost nahin ho sakte. I can’t help but give an ironic laugh at that.
Look at the ease with which I declared a movie I hadn’t even seen to be a remake of a Tam flick… for some reason I seem to worship Tamil cinema, atleast more than Bollywood or even Hollywood, as I discovered on a long, long discussion with yet another fanatic.
There’s this old, old friend of mine who I’ve long lost touch with, who I had almost forgotten about. Recently, I was reminded of a story idea suggested by this friend – a murder mystery set in the Indus-Sarasvati Civilization. Of course, he called it the Indus Valley Civilization, and staunch Congressman, secularist and Anglophile that he was, he called the river as Indus, or if we got into specifics, the Ghaggar-Hakra, instead of the Sarasvati. Gives me an indication of how much I seem to have changed in idealogy since then, but still, that’s one heck of a story idea… anyone any more ideas, anyone?
And in case you’re wondering what Minestrone is… here.
Im watching ‘Bobby’ right now.Its almost the end of the movie. The hero and the heroine just jumped in to a river, after Raju’s dialogue about being stuck between the devil and the deep blue sea, Maut and Zindagi as good as maut.
The bus is moving amidst lush green fields. Grey clouds touch the leaves as they allow only diffuse sunlight through them and into the air conditioned bus. I have resigned my attention to the movie after giving up on the book that now lies on my lap. I cannot take pics as my camera is locked in the “dikki” below.
Usual 70s hindi movie. Rishi Kapoor. Dimple Kapadia. Both have acted quite well. Plot moves from one scene to the other bridge by heavy dialogue, whose logic i cannot get. Still, the undying devotion of the hero-heroine pair for each other runs ringingly through out. A plot of of a rich boy falling in love with the daughter of a poor fisherman, with the stereotypical rich father accusing the fisherman that its all a ploy to “steal” his daulat. And how, after much breaking and rejoinder of hearts and artefacts, and after much accusing and assertion of ones duty as parents, nanny and gal’s father etc, alls well. And good songs too.
Pran just called Bobby his beti. Rishi Kapoor, Dimple Kapadia, Pran and Mr. Braganza are walking hand in hand, down a hill with the sun setting in the background, after a motor bike chase, trekking on fancy shoes, swimming in treacherous waters, and being rescued.
Not at all a bad movie. Worth a watch. Especially if you are journeying quite a long journey, in a bus after missing a train owing to the Indian Railway’s use of the 24 hour system.
I didn’t much care about hosting adsense on my blog. I thought the money made was amazingly little, if at all. Another thing was the usual “money is the root of all evil” dictum, alongside ‘fears’ that this blog would become yet another money making machine with no soul. All said, that sort of fear would really just boil down to fear of the unknown, or fear of change. But heck, the money you can make is no small change, it’s wads of cash, especially when converted from American Dollars to Indian Rupees.
But surely some very good blogs use WordPress…. and there’d be a good number of them wanting to convert that to monetary terms? Checking on the wordpress.com forums says there are, but they are constrained by wordpress, and have been clamouring for an Adsense widget since ages, and WP.com doesn’t seem to be doing much about it, though they were thinking of making it a paid upgrade in 2006. Because apparently an overwhelming majority wanted wordpress to be ad-free.
The logic they spout is a bit flawed, but I will get to that in a minute.
There seemed to be no other avenue… the only way to make cool cash would be to start a page on Blogger. But heck, what about the cool features offered on wordpress.com? And I certainly don’t want to shift any of my pages permanently to Blogger.
So I thought I’d maintain a page on Blogger, and crosspost any future posts, along with exporting all my current posts to there. Started a Blogger.com blog. I winced at the cluttered Dashboard, the absence of blog stats (I’d have to fool around with Google Analytics a wee bit before I got that running, and even after I’d've done that, I wouldn’t have it integrated with Blogger, and I’d have to work at making sure my visits weren’t counted…), the colour scheme, the lackluster themes, the lack of a clean-looking interface, the editor which wasn’t even a patch on WP’s WYSIWYG editor. I winced the thought of a popup comments page. But maybe it’s just fear of change.
But haha, I can’t import all my current posts to Blogger the way I can from a WP.com ID. Manual posting is simply not an option, what with 150+ posts on this blog and 100+ on ChuckleAndGuffaw. I mean, how hard is it to make an import import-from-wordpress tool? Think there’s a web app here.
And why can’t wordpress.com, which has all these jingchak features, add a widget so that people can make money from their blogs? Users attribute a variety of reasons.
First is the usual “wordpress.com is for those who love blogging for the soul of it, not for those who want to get rich quick” argument. And next are the “an overwhelming number of users voted for wordpress.com to be ad-free”, and the “Ads are Bad” arguments.These hold no water in the face of Adsense in its current form.
Firstly, it’s Targeted Advertising, which in essence means you’d probably see a “C/C++ programmers wanted” ad on a blog about coding, and not one about hand-painted pillowcases. And gone are the days when no company worth its salt would advertize on the Net that no ad you’d see was worth clicking. Gone too are the days of jang-bang banner and popup advertizing, which we’ve trained ourselves to instinctively avoid. Adsense ads are unobtrusive in themselves, and the only way you’d make them obtrusive was if you place them in the middle of a piece of writing. People also fear blogs being created just for the purpose of advertising… dear ones, how many would visit an ad-blog? How much cash would that blog get, more so when you compare it to a well-written popular blog, which is keyword-rich as well as non-spam that the targeted advertising really achieves its goals more easily? And considering this is valid, wouldn’t you just be depriving someone who writes well and wants to make their hobby pay? And is probably writhing at the thought of lesser blogs generating more than just social capital?
If at all people really hated advertising, wouldn’t they just avoid blogs full of ads, thus making it counterproductive to have ads on your blog?
And wouldn’t people shift to other blogging sites if, for the same effort, they’d get more returns for doing so? I’m not so sure wow features are an issue with most people.
Another reason given by a user is that wordpress.com uses our blogs for ads (can be viewed only for people who hit the blog during searching, and not for regular users), and so you’ll have two adsense scripts running at the same time, and Adsense might terminate either account. This totally negates the “users say no ads on wordpress.com” argument. And so if you need advertising to keep your domain running, shouldn’t you make some leeway for users who are willing to pay to run their own ads on their blogs?
So much for the arguments… I’m not very hopeful of WordPress.com having a sidebar widget for Adsense in the near future. And if I really do want to make blogging pay, I’ll have to look at alternatives, while keeping my other interests within sight. How that is to be done, I don’t know properly yet. Till something turns up, any ideas, any thoughts, anyone?