Friday, September 23, 2005

Love is a four letter word

It hurts to see the pain in a friend’s eyes. But as much as I wished it were otherwise, all love is doomed. All love always ends in one just way – pain. Be it through death, loss or unrequited-ness. As a friend once told me, love is a four letter word. Take heart, don’t pain. If there’s one thing that you can be sure of now, it is that you’ll fall in love again. And cry once more.

Plagued by rats

When there was a plague in Surat, did you catch all the rats and test them? Did you study them for the virus that carried the plague and killed those who had it? And let go those rats who, as impossible as it may seem, did not carry the disease. No! You just went ahead killed all the rats. Even if there was a rat which did play host to the virus, it got killed – just because it was a rat. That’s how things work.

Many thanks to Mr. Promod Mutalik for providing the germ of the analogy. (no pun intended)

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

An Insult - remixed

I see that you are fluent in Gibbering Moronese. Unfortunately, I'm not. You generate more waffle than the waffle making machine in a waffle factory. Rumor has it that you are almost incomprehensible in person (as revealed by your desperate urge to babble on nonsensically). No doubt, this rumor is true.
Clearly, you have lost your fingertip grip on reality and have descended into an abyss of irreversible lunacy. You're just another Internet-addicted idiot suffering from diarrhea of the mouth and constipation of the mind. You prime Logorrhean!
If brains were gasoline, you wouldn't have enough to run an ant's go-kart around the inside of a donut. Clearly, the full area of your ignorance is not yet mapped. We are presently only exploring the fringes of that vast expanse. Reading your post makes blindness a wonderful thing to look forward to.
When god was handing out personalities, you must have been holding the door. You're so boring, even a boomerang wouldn't come back to you. You are like watching amputee hockey: pathetic, and very quickly disgusting. Maybe you wouldn't sound like such a pathetic loser if you didn't eat all those paint chips and lead pencils when you were a kid; or if you didn't have a face like a bulldog chewing a stinging nettle while taking a constipated dump in a heat wave. Nah, of course you would.
In future, wake up the dozy peglegged hamster operating that wheel-powered brain of yours before you start talking. You outrageously promiscuous miscreant and a feculent, gossip-mongering cause of wailing and gnashing of teeth. You precociously appalling derelict and a disgusting, armpit-licking tasteless amalgam of dross, drivel and malarkey.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

The case of the politician’s daughter-in-law and the bar-girl (or The chronicles of an over-hyped Investigation)

She’s a beauty ain’t she? But who is she? This was the subject of my investigation brought on by factors beyond my control. This is how it all happened…
The first contact….
As usually happens with men of my age, one of the many things that my friend and me touched upon (figuratively of course) was women. “Hey Shenoy”, he said, “Our Chief Minister’s son is damn lucky man!” Curious, I asked why? “Hey I got these neat pictures of Dharam Singh’s daughter-in-law. She’s beautiful. Gorgeous!” I asked him to forward the mail tome which I promptly checked on Saturday. Whew! She was beautiful. And I had to agree – Dharam Singh’s son was really lucky.
Sita aur Gita?
Bright and sunny black Monday. I walk into office, do my usual stuff and sometime in the afternoon, I get a forward from another friend of mine with the subject “Watch out!” Mails are meant to be opened and the inevitable happened. And it was the same beautiful woman! But this time the mail said that it was (believe it or not!) Tarannum Khan, the notorious Mumbai bar-girl who has been in the news for all the wrong reasons – bookies, fixing and the like. And it grandly declared under the last photograph “Now do you understand why so much [sic] cricketers and film-stars have gone mad behind her?” This got me really confused…and curious? One woman, two identities? Hmmm…
Time to probe deeper into the Lady
Apparently I was not the only one who got the mail saying that this lady was Tarannum Khan. A few guys at my usual adda on MG Road rationalised Aditya Panscholi’s and Muralitharan’s involvement by saying that with a bar-girl that looks like that who wouldn’t? That was when I decided that I would get to the eart of this matter and settle it once and for all. There were too many reasons for this:
a) If she our Chief Minister’s daughter in law, then I should clear her name
b) She couldn’t be a bar girl (don’t ask me how I know:)
c) If it was neither of the above, I couldn’t just sit back and let her name be mud
d) Was the new desibaba?
e) I like cheap thrills
Nimmajji yaaro idu?
Over some stolen time, I did the first logical thing. I visited, the site that was so prominently mentioned on the pictures. It turned out to be a site devoted to Telugu cinema. I could find nothing that would reveal the answer. Although I did learn a lot about Telugu film mahurats, Allu Arjun’s inauguration of K-Lounge, the marriage of Jayanthi and other such earth-shattering and interesting things. They do have an interesting photo gallery though. Next I tried Google. Having used up all my permutations/combinations (dharam+singh+daughter+in+law, ajay+singh+wife, chief+minister+wedding, tarannum+khan ….bar+girl, etc). I was no closer to the truth, although the last search threw up a lot of interesting pictures, if you know what I mean.
Finally Shenoy thinks straight
Damn! How could I not have thought about it? I went to the resident Telugu movie expert in my office, showed him the pictures and…even he could not tell me who she was. Damn! How could I not have thought about it? I went back to idlebrain and a little searching later, I got hold of an e-mail id. So I promptly mailed Jeevi of idlebain, attaching the photographs of the lady in question. By the way, if you want new and nice pictures of heroines and heroes, he’s The Man to get in touch with.
The lady stands revealed
Jeevi, having received my mail very promptly replied back and the answer lay revealed. She was Tamanna, an actress in Telugu movies who is also acting in Manoj’s new movie. Jeevi also sent me this link, and this one too. So for those who want to see the photographs in their original context (and where they should have remained) just follow the links. So there goes! Not Dharam Singh’s daughter-in-law (according to a friend of mine who claims to have seen her photograph, she is not even half as beautiful as this), not The bar-girl, but just another actress. But a gorgeous one nonetheless. And smoulderingly hot..and…forget it! So there it is people. The end of this chronicle.
But if you were one of the people who got the mail(s) I got, or one of those who sent it out, do me a favour, mail this post to whoever sent it to you/ whoever you sent it to.
Hopefully the next time, someone sends us pictures of a bar girl, it will be.

Monday, September 19, 2005

digging deeper

"Lucky that my breasts are small and humble
So you don't confuse them with mountains...."

"I love you for free and I'm not your mother
But you don't even bother..."

"Use your mouth, only to kiss my lips
We are branches of the same old tree..."

oh yes. while her hips were gyrating (how does she do that?), and that bottom going bongo, and your eyes were fixed on the screen, it's natural that your ears might have missed something. yup, this is what shakira was actually singing; achieving the heights of lyrical perfection. look out for the song where she sings about shaving her legs in the morning. by the way the quoted couplets are from 'Whenever, Wherever', 'Objection' and 'Rules' repectively.

what is a putu?

Putu is a watchcat. Power Putu is a Purple People-Eating Moon Monkey. Putu like cat. Putu is bong who refers to himself (very existentially) in the third person. Putu want to be aristo-cat. Putu like comic. And! Putu write nice poem. Shenoy put putu poem on blog. Shenoy ask you to read putu poem and visit putu blog, and check out putunomics and other sundry and very interesting putu. shenoy also ask shenoy isn't putu a malayali dish?
Putu writing classic book,
Gentle reader, come take look
Putu’s magic pen on thaba
Putu will be Rushdie’s baba

Putu finish classic novel
Agent publisher all grovel
Banging door of Putu’s house
Running like the three blind mouse

Putu is craze song and dance
Has mosto foreign advance
Putu is sure shot for Booker
All say Putu sexy looker

All reviewer, one by one
Saying Putu son of gun
Mixing Dan Brown mass appeal
With G. Marquez magic real

NDTV girl with paunch
Asking quote at Putu launch,
Asking Putu, tell the nation
What is Putu’s inspiration?

Putu says, dear girl, as such
None is fix but ilish maach
Sometimes little mangsho bhaat
Quicking beat of Putu’s heart

That is all Putu is needing
Thank you for coming to reading.
NDTV lady smile
Charmed is all by Putu style

Vikram, Zadie, VS, Hari
All sitting in Putu’s bari
Putu curling lengthy whisker
Drinking Pepsi with Talisker

All say Putu what is next?
What will be next epic text?
Putu saying, fiddlesticks
No more verbal gymnastics

Mira Nair came on phone
Would not leave Putu alone
Book shook writing jolly good
But now time for Bollywood

Putu book will now be movie
All will be disco and groovy
Besides writer Putu’ll be
Idol, Bombay matinee

With Putu as leading star
Music mix by Bappi da
With ShahRukh as villain plumber
Yana Gupta item number

So when you see Putu Cat
Become great aristocrat
Wearing coat with skin of dog,
Remember this Putu blog.

Learning from Mahatma

More important than Comrade Mitrokhin going over to the west in 1992 was the fact that he carried with him 6 trunkloads of highly classified KGB material.

As of right now, I’m not getting into the issue of the KGB funding the congress or the CPI, and how they supported the sycophantic Nehru’s sycophantic defence minister VK Krishna Menon to counter Morarji and the Janata Party. All of you must’ve read the papers.

But here’s something interesting. In The Mitrokhin Archive II: The KGB and the World the following is contained. In 1947, the book says, the Great Soviet Encyclopedia ‘‘dismissed’’ Gandhi as ‘‘a reactionary, who betrayed the people and helped the imperialists against them; aped the ascetics; pretended in a demagogic way to be a ‘supporter’ of Indian independence’’.

That said, though I’ve always liked foreigners who like India and Indians, I have my reservations against outsiders making judgements about and criticising India and, or Indians, even if it is Gandhi or even worse, Nehru. I have defended them in the past. Analysis is welcome. And since wise men always learn from their (or others’) mistakes, here’s something about learning from Mahatma.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

words through the ages...

Just finished reading The Ring of Thoth by Conan Doyle, a collection of stories about the supernormal. So-so. But the writer that most fascinated me about the book was not Sir Arthur, but the previous owner of the book, one M. Rajamani.
It’s a really old, moth-eaten book and I’ll not be surprised if (s)he is long gone, but the words remain, albeit a little faded. On the top margin of one of the pages midway through the book, there are a couple of lines scrawled (for apparently no reason whatever). It is written with a blue fountain pen and all in lower case “you are the mother, i am thy child, o divine mother.”
What was (s)he thinking? Which set me thinking. The first step would be to check out Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. Elementary, my dear Watson.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

A musical interlude

This incident happened a long time ago. Suddenly today, a sense of déjà vu happened and i remembered the incident and the little piece i'd written about it. so here goes...

It was just another day at the office. Till I decided to go out to the balcony for a smoke, where I saw Ganesh a.k.a Jack, a friend and fellow copywriter engaged in a conversation with Lady K, a young girl who had recently finished he MBA and joined our office, in the client servicing department. Figures. I sat down on the steps and.…

Lady K: So Ganesh, what band are you in?
Jack: Kryptos
K: What kind of music do you play?
J: Heavy metal
K: So, why don’t you play in Mars 2211?
J: Hey c’mon, they only play pop trash.
K: See, I don’t understand pop. I don’t understand metal. So I guess it’s ok for you to play in Mars 2211 (now egos).
J: (stunned) WHATTHE!!!... (looks for a way out of this tricky business of a conversation with Lady K)
J: (composes himself, regains dignified look) So what music do you listen to?
K: Lots of stuff. But the only heavy metal I’ve listened to is Nirvana
J: (chokes on coffee)
Me: (thinking) oh no! not another wannabe nirvana fan…
J: (looking for a way out of the conversation sees me, the perfect bakra)
Nirvana eh? Cool, ask Shenoy, he likes nirvana too (and conveniently escapes, exiting stage left)
K: So Shenoy, like I was telling him, I’ve listened to heavy metal. But only nirvana.
Me: What album? What song have you listened to?
K: It was sometime in 98-99 when their new album came out.
Me: (sagely, in a patronising voice) You see, the band disbanded in 94 when Kurt
Cobain died.
K: So what did I listen to?
Me: Hmmm….could be Muddy Banks of the Wishkah, a live album that was released, though I’m not sure of the exact release date.
K: No it was not that one. This album had a song called [author’s note: I’ve forgotten what it was]
Me: (running through the nirvana catalogue in my head) I remember no such song by nirvana
K: Maybe, but it was there. Now that’s what I call metal!!
Me: Yes, I’m here!...coming!.... (runs away from balcony into office answering to nonexistent call)

Monday, September 12, 2005

ashes to england, dust to australia

After 17 years, the Ashes go back to England. A lot will be written about this monumental series in the days to come. I for one will not forget it for a long, long time, if I ever do. My favourite cricketer's last test test match in England and it ends this way. But in my heart i hope the Wizard of Oz has it in him to come back. Wonder how he's feeling, since he dropped a regulation catch off Pieterson on 15?

For a fan of the aussies like i am it kinda feels wierd to be on the losing side. Hopefully their hunger will be back soon.

“Thank you Asimov” – Bin Laden

Ok. So what connects al-qaeda, Asimov, Frank Herbert and Aum Shinrikyo? Simple “Foundation”, the classic series of sci-fi. ‘Foundation’ when translated into Arabic becomes the title "al-Qaida". Japan's Aum Shinrikyo sect’s bible was the Foundation series by Asimov. Get the connection? For more, go here. But before you do, here’s something else: Charles Manson's favourite book is said to have been Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein. Hmmm…science fiction and fantasy books, ideologies for the new age?

a quotable quote and a question

“Better be a communal cow than a secular swine” says Veeru, a good friend of mine. I agree and can’t wait till his communal cow blog is inflicted upon the unsuspecting world. Watch this space. And yes, it’s quite a nice fantasy to imagine yourself as a subscriber to Combat, edited by a certain Albert Camus, a contemporary of yours whose philosophy you agree with. How would you react if you woke up one morning and heard he just died in a car accident?

Friday, September 09, 2005

Praise and blame

If a war proves unsuccessful one asks who was to 'blame' for the war; if it ends in victory one praises the instigator. Guilt is always sought whenever there is failure; for failure brings with it a depression of spirits against which the sole remedy is instinctively applied: a new excitation of the feeling of power - and this is to be discovered in the condemnation of the 'guilty'. This guilty person is not to be thought of as a scapegoat for the guilt of others: he is a sacrifice to the weak, humiliated and depressed, who want to demonstrate on something that they still have some strength left. To condemn oneself can also be a means of restoring the feeling of strength after a defeat.

On the other hand, the glorification of the instigator is often the equally blind result of another drive which wants its sacrifice - and this time the sacrifice smells sweet and inviting to the sacrificial beast itself - for when the feeling of power in a people or a society is surfeited by a great and glittering success and a weariness with victory sets in, one relinquishes some of one's pride; the feeling of devotion rises up and seeks an object.

Whether we are praised or blamed, what we usually constitute is opportunities, and arbitrarily seized opportunities, for our neighbours to discharge the drive to praise or blame which has become distended in them: in both cases we do them a favour for which we deserve no credit and they display no gratitude.
Friedrich Nietzsche, Daybreak, 1881

I picked this up from The Hitler Museum Go there and you'll see the context.

somebody find me a hajaam

There are no more barbers. They're all stylists. Tailors have turned into fashion desginers. And i'm proud to say i'm a typist.

amangal ho

A nation needs its heroes. It needs its legends. When it comes to our paladins and men of myth, they need to be larger than life. From them it is that we draw our inspiration. Humanise them if you will, but reduce them not to cut-and-dry personalities. Too much rationalisation will leave these legends shorn of their legendary-ness (if I may use that word) and leave behind a totally factual kernel, which in itself is sometimes enough to build a legend on. Back to square one.

This land we live in is not short of heroes and legends. But I detect a trend whereby each and every one of them is successively put under the scanner, and the legend left demolished. That’s the new intellectuals for you. Who systematically are eroding away at our sense of collective self. I’m scared a day will come when my grandchildren will grow up thinking this country of theirs only breeds cowards, sissies, eunuchs and opium addicts.

Case in point Mangal Pandey. I’m not even getting into the fact that for years now we’ll never be able of think of that name again without the picture of Aamir Khan’s moustache taking shape in our head. Exhibit A for those of you who would like to know, the picture alongside the last extant portrait of the original Mangal Pandey.
For starters, there was not much documentary evidence about Mangal Pandey. All we were brought up on was the fact that he revolted against the cartridges given to his regiment, killed a couple of British officers, sparked off a revolution and became the first martyr in the cause of freedom. Sepoy Mutiny is what the British called it, the First War of Independence what we should call it, in the larger scheme of things. For what happened later went beyond the confines of Barrackpore.

Mangal Pandey – The Rising I feel has done more harm than good. With such a lack of actual facts, the filmmakers had to invent character such as Officer Gordon. You have Mangal Pandey drunk on bhang, cavorting with women, what not? All to stretch the film to the regulation 21/2 hours. The film leaves you cold, not even the cleavage-song makes you want to sit up. Even their extrapolations are not interesting hypotheses or valid theories of speculation, but insipid b-grade bollywood plotlines. And I wonder what Tantya Tope was doing in that movie. As far as I know they never met. And a 13 second cameo by Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi did not help. (help! It’s Archana Joglekar. I thought se was dead)
Mangal Pandey belongs to India. To you, to me, to all of us. But in true Indian fashion, here we have the most frivolous of all objections to the movie – it makes no reference to the Mangal Pandey’s village of Balia.

And what the film did more was bring the focus on Mangal Pandey. And in our country we are not in a shortage of people who, at the drop of a topi, are ready to abnegate our culture and our heroes (which reminds me of what is being done to Prithviraj Chauhan, but more on that in a later post). The book ‘Mangal Pandey : Brave Martyr or Accidental Hero? by Rudrangshu Mukherjee is one such example. The contents of the book are not as objective as the title would suggest. At least he uses the word hero. And then there are others who would say that Mangal Pandey was the product of 1857 and not the other way round. Every fire needs a spark mate! And remember, there were others in the war if you have your history right.
Then there’s the school of thought that swears that Mangal Pandey admitted to his superiors that he was under the influence of opium when he did the deed. Sadly enough (good for me) there is not hard evidence to support this fact. “If Mangal Pandey was a true patriot, why was he in the army in the first place?” say some of our countrymen. I’ll not even answer that.
Like I said, we need our heroes. If Mangal Pandey was an Indian, then I am glad I am one too.

And on an interesting side note, I leave you with this. 2007 is the 150th Anniversary of the First War of Independence. A proposal was mooted that India, Pakistan and Bangladesh should celebrate it together. Vajpayee said at the 12th SAARC Summit, “Our forefathers fought side by side, transcending religious, regional and linguistic differences against a common colonial oppressor in our First War of Independence in 1857. It reminds us that many of us have a shared history which pre-dates our more recent divisions.” “Perhaps Pakistan, India and Bangladesh can together celebrate that anniversary in remembrance of our joint struggle against a common adversary,” he suggested.

If it happens, it would be great. But I’m not holding my breath.

Monday, September 05, 2005

terror or anarchy?

During a conversation I was having yesterday, a friend of mine (in a tongue of the slip) referred to the main protagonist in Alan Moore’s V for Vendetta as terrorist. Ears were perked up, I felt that he should be referred to as an anarchist, not a terrorist. Calling him a terrorist would be glorifying all the ****head jihadis. C’mon let’s not insult V by calling him a terrorist; anarchists deserve that much at least. And what do terrorists deserve? That’s a question for another day.

the iceman and his luck

The Italian Grand Prix has come and gone. And brought to the fore yet again the McLaren’s fallibity. How many times will this happen to kimi? Last lap breakdowns, engine failures, starting 10 places down when you were the fastest..if I was ron dennis that would be ample reason for me to be avoiding the iceman. Looks like Alonso is most definitely the champion this year, and he’ll be the youngest champion in the history of this sport. And the news is that Kimi might be replacing Schumacher in 2007. Funny how the cookie crumbles…the biggest thorn in Ferrari’s side is being hailed! You should see how happy, nay ecstatic, the reds fans were after hearing this news. Hmmm…I wonder what I’ll do if that actually happens. A long term McLaren fan am I. A long-term Schumacher disliker am I and that has rubbed on to Ferrari. So kimi in a red car?!? but by then schumi could've driven off into the sunset i hope. anyway, let’s cross the bridge when we get to the river.

the write stuff

For reliable, scalable and flexible copy, try this tool called WordWeb, a dictionary/ thesaurus, quick reference guide all rolled into one. And It’s FREE! Sits in the system stray, and works well with any word processing software you use and kicks the everything out of word’s in-built thesaurus.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

are you a leftist or a right-winger?

If your chioce was any one of the above, then you've just followed the one-dimensional categories of right and left, which by the way was just the seating arrangement of the French National Assembly of 1789. Quite inadequate for the complex political landscape of today.
While the old ones just took economic leanings, a need was felt to add to this the social angle also. All political ideology i feel has to have an economic perspective and a social viewpoint as well. While this becomes a little difficult in this land of ours as social viewpoints usually overlap with religious opinions. So that said, where do you stand? Take the POLITICAL COMPASS TEST. It just takes about 3-5 minutes and rates you on two axes – economic and social. You could end up as one of these four: Libertarian Left, Libertarian Right, Authoritarian Left or Authoritarian Right. And once you see where you stand they also have a reading list applicable to your quadrant. Make sure you take a peek into the Ichonochasms section. It'll not just raise a few eyebrows but as they say "lead you to adjust the pedestals on which you placed some of your favourite icons".

Friday, September 02, 2005

the politics of justice

I've always been fascinated by Bhagat Singh. Just 23 when he died. A true revolutionary if there ever was one. So when i got a chance i picked upo this book The Trial of Bhagat Singh by AG Noorani. A sham of a trial if i may say so. An advocate of the Supreme court of India and a versatile journalist, Noorani makes plain the facts of this case and how the courts of time were used as political weapons by the colonial rulers. He also castigates the leadership of the Congress led Independence movement for their indifference towards Bhagat Singh.

The Lahore Conspiracy case as it was called ended with the execution of Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru. Young revolutionaries all. And while this was happening, what was Gandhi up to? Actually nothing. Which is the point. For some time now, Bhagat's popularity was rivalling that of gandhi, which i'm sure did not sit well with the 'great soul'. Gandhi's role is discussed at length and it is concluded that had he wanted Gandhi could have gotten Lord Irwin to commute Singh's sentence. If you've seen the movie about Bhagat Singh (i highly recommend the Ajay Devgan one) then you'll see a gandhi who could've made Bhagat's pardon a condition to the signging of the Gandhi-Irwin Pact, but did not. This book shows that incident and its goings on in all its glory. And Nehru? The less said the better. Always vacillating, never really emerged from under the thumb of gandhi. But one man stood above them all, and defended Bhagat Singh. That man was Mohammed Ali Jinnah. He made a truly impressive speech that played a pivotal role in defeating the Hunger Strike Bill.

The book also chronicles the famous hunger srtike that Bhagat Singh and his comrades undertook to improve the lot of the political prisoners of that time. The hunger strike really struck at the very heart of the British. They tried everything from forceful feeding to replacing all the water in the cells with milk. The story that Jatindranath Das swallowed a whole lot of chili powder to infame his throat so that the British could not force feed him is not a legend. It is fact. This however became fatal. But he'd made his point.

This book really opens up sides of Bhagat Singh we never really knew about. Go ahead and pick it up, but for starters go here It's a pretty comprehensive site about Bhagat Singh and even includes the full text of Jinnah in the Central Legislative Assembly. INQUILAB ZINDABAD!

i'm back

Ahem! the blog is back...the usual rambles in the park so to speak. yup, i'm back and you make sure you do keep coming back.