Friday, April 28, 2006

Another one bites the dust

Me best friend from college Prashanth Soans gets married today. Fellow Camel Walker Janakiraman is already married. Most Psyched Up is married. King Rattler was married. Thatha still is. So are many of the boys from the gang(s) and almost all the girls. Aravinda and Harsha’s families are on the hunt. Sam Da Man has picked up a scent and is walking straight into the trap. Bum chum GaddaMan could swing either way.

One by one they’re all falling like nine pins. Soon there will be no one left. Because you could be next. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

History is bunk

There is something to be said for the power of commercialism and the purely monetary Profit Motive. It has achieved what years of common history and centuries of a shared culture could not. Bring three neighbours (and a fourth) together to host the 2011 World Cup. It’s been done before, but this time, one neighbour’s new.

And it is these three neighbours – India, Pakistan and Bangladesh – that cannot see eye to eye when celebrating that momentous moment in our history, the First War of Independence. Soon it will be the 150th year of that moment in our history when all of our people came together as one against a common enemy, an outsider. A unity that opened the eyes of the East India Company and the British to the strength that we had when we were as one. At that point all these three countries were India. Have we forgotten that? All the people in all the cities in all these three countries were one family. Yes, we have forgotten.

Sad it is. The emotion that is Greed can bring us together, but not the pride that is in Unity.

Anyway who cares nowadays? Who gives the proverbial flying F? And of what use is it anyway? Thinking of things that cannot be. Things that don’t touch us or affect our daily grind. Thinking things like this does not pay for the beer, neither does it help one score with that hot chick. Why bother when you can instead crawl up with the latest issue of Cosmo? Why waste precious time thinking about history when it’s much better discussing cell phone features and the latest episode of Desperate Housewives?

Who cares? Some do. Even if it yields no material gain. Even if it is only shooting air about ideas and opinions. And for those of you who belong to that minority, here is some more food for better thought.

You wanted Moore, right?

Apparently, youtube's embed code doesn't work as well as iFilm's. So here goes. The Alan Moore Culture Show – the BBC documentary in all its six parts and all its glory.

basic nonsense

Just think. Even a hardcore Sharon Stone fan falling asleep and that too when Basic Instinct 2 is in full swing. And that too after having said “No one gives a hard as Stone does. To see what I mean, watch Basic Instinct 2. Mind blowing stuff!” Poor Cow! Did not know that the best parts of the movie were exhausted in the trailer, and that the “other” best parts are best viewed from ones inbox or at rapidshare if one’s friend had a paid account and he gives you access to view the real basic instinct. Thanks Mall Rat!! (Mall as in Kerala, not Mall as in Forum).

Poor Cow! He deserved better.

The only rush of blood to the head (the one atop the neck) happened with just about 5 minutes of the movie to go, when the Digital Dolby Sound at PVR decided to go silent. And without any fuss, they continued playing the movie and next thing you know the credits were on and the screen started closing. Many grumblings later, the first of the confrontations with the congenitally stupid staff at PVR revealed to us the absurd notion of audio censorship “Sir, that’s been cut out. Only picture you can see, not sound.” Anger happened. More blood to the head. Exhortations to fellow viewers happened. And in jumped yours truly threatening them with dire consequences, not through a hot head, but through smart ass witticisms. Leading from the front, refunds were asked for. Or else we will give into to the baser instinct for dignified violence we said. And finally after many minutes, they played the last 5 minutes again, this time with audio. And it is at this point that I think the Cow woke up.

the new flavour of communism

For those of you who missed or might miss today’s issue of Asian Age, theBekku presents:

And now, my two bits:
“Religion is the opium of the masses” is a famous Marx-ism. Now it seems that Marxism itself has turned into a stimulant. And even God likes it. Gone are the days when it sparked off a struggle. The revolution! Now in a full-bodied flavour! And the next time you stop off at a chai kada in Commie Kerala (God’s own Country?), you might suddenly be asked to take a big invigorating sip of Marxism.

I suppose, when they meant Marxism, they did not mean this.

And in other news, seems like the guy in the old Moods condom ad where he hesitates to ask the shop owner for a condom need not hesitate or feel shy any longer. All he has to do now is stride confidently up to the counter, and ask for a bottle of Pepsi.

Savitri's mantra

Most people know now that the word ‘Hindutva’ was Veer Savarkar’s contribution to the lexicon. But there exists a word, though not often used, which gets geographical when it comes to the Hindus. That word is Hindudom. Though rarely used nowadays, this word means the geographical spread of our land, and beyond just the artificial boundaries that we have to live with today. And the originator of this word was a lady called – Savitri Devi Mukherji nee Maximiani Portas, also nowadays popularly known as Hitler’s priestess.

My association with Savitri Devi, if I may call it that, began in one of the many narrow and busy bylanes of Banaras somewhere by the Ghats, when I chanced upon this small book with the title “A warning to Hindus”. Today I thank my lucky stars I picked it up, because this small 1939 treatise has long been out of print, and the history of the book and the times Savitri Devi was living in, and the people she was in touch with, and her ideas about India all come through, nay shine through in this book. Her reasons for coming to India and her love for the Hindus might be construed as a little misguided, which to a certain extent it is, but no one can deny her love for this land, and especially for its people. “Europe is merely powerful, but India is beautiful” she said. She and her husband, Asit Mukherjee, also played the roles of spies during WWII passing on information about British officers to the Axis, and interestingly enough, played no small role in bringing Subhash Chandra Bose in contact with the Japanese. A polymath, a philosopher, a prolific author, spy, orator – Savitri Devi was all this.
To a large extent, Savitri Devi was also responsible for the origin of yet another interesting term “Hitlerism”, which in short is the metaphysical/ spiritual expression of the F├╝hrer ideas and philosophy or in other words NS mysticism. This being the case, she is also known as The "Mother of Esoteric Hitlerism".

To know more about this intriguing personality, go here.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

down, but not out

mr.Tormentor is down on one knee, saying sorry, waiting for you to come back and give one chance to make up for lost time. please?
This came from the Glumster. "What do you call the calcium growth that is sometimes found in your nose?" Answer: A fingernail. Gihahahahaww...

A painting. By one master painter about another master artist.

in other news...

*click* …aur aap dekh rahe hain Sansani. App ne dekha ek ghar ki kahani jo durghatna mein khatam hui. Ab suniye ek rape ki darnkh kahani. Balaaltkaar!! Ha. Ek masoom ladki jisko... *click* ...and we’re here at Mumbai’s most happening nightspot, the night is still young and all the happening people are here, oh! Here’s this guy, hello sir! You look happy, tell me, how much would you pay to have a model’s clothes fall off on the ramp and… *click* vardaat! Jisme hum aapko dikhayenge k eek insaan apni hawas ki pyaas bujha ne keliye kitna gir sakta hai. Rajesh jisne… *click* and in our continuinf focus on alternate sexuality, we have with us a gay activist who feels that this woman-tuened-man is hotter than some of the women or men he’s met, lets ask him… *click* great offer! to buy the complete set of Tintin comics for less, visit *click* aap dhoni ke hajaam rahe hain aap ko ab kaise lagta hai? Haan ji, mein dhoni ki cutting karta tha, pehlse se, unke ball thode wak hain lekin un zulfonka... *click* *click* *click* *click* *click* jhalak dikhlaaja, jhalak dikhlaaja, ek baar aaja aaja aaja aaja aaaaaja….jhalak dikhlaaaja........

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


According to a CNN-IBN promo, Rajdeep Sardesai is the ‘face’ of Indian TV journalism. Hmmm…thought it was some other body part, like say, a particular orifice of the nether regions.

Rahul Gandhi says that if ‘the party and the senior leaders’ is willing he will take charge of UP. Hmmm…couldn’t he have just said “please mommy, can i?”

The Dalai Lama is out to improve Islam’s image. Hmmm….very commendable, but has responsibilities of being the ‘world leader’ finally started taking precedence over the responsibilities of freeing Tibet?

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

find the truth in screen

What is a restless sole called? What is intuation? What are Manking? Have you ever taken a Fiancy? Find out, and also read about Pooja’s dead bodies in the synopsis of this storeys – The mot shattaring thrill.
In a politically correct world, plagiarism becomes "inappropriate similarities". How bad. So sad.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

V for Validation

Further to the sentiments expressed in this post, which agreed in principle and in fact with Alan Moore who'd washed his hands off the movie V for Vaanthi, here is Alan Moore agreeing in retrospective and in fact about all the other travesties that we have enjoyed in the past. Watch.

where are the answers?

The Narmada is back in the news. Why? Is the NBA against all the dams that will be built across the Narmada? Or are they against the Sardar Sarovar Dam in particular? If the flashpoint was reached when the height of the dam was increased in keeping with the judgement, are they fighting against the raising of the dam height? Would the people of the NBA be happy and pests like Arundhati Roy go away if the height of the dam was not raised? Or do they want the dam work to stop in toto? Why has it suddenly become a Gujarat thing? Aren’t Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra a part of this project as well? Well, all 4 states have been asked to submit status reports on rehabilitation, but why does Nafisa Ali, she who is on the NBA’s side, make it look like a Gujarat thing, or in particular an anti-Modi thing? Or is it a fight for proper rehabilitation? The picture is so hazy that the Supreme Court judge himself asked the NBA lawyer, “Is it a case of inadequate rehabilitation or no rehabilitation?”. Replied the NBA lawyer (who is either ignorant, lazy, or just can’t understand English), and this to the judge, “Read the Ministerial report. It is comprehensive enough.” Thus dodging the questions. So what is about? As concerned citizens, how do we make up our minds if we don’t get to read “ministerial reports”? If the dam is going to benefit millions of people, across 4 states, why has nobody yet raised the issue about the pros being more than the cons? All the focus is on the harmful effects of the dam, so who will take the side of the beneficiaries and speak on their behalf? Why is the beneficial aspect, if any, not highlighted? Why do we only get to hear Aamir Khan, Rahul Bose, Arundhati Roy give great sound bytes? Why is there not a single interview with the people who will actually be affected? And affected by the dam also includes those whose lives will be better right? Why is Medha Patkar going on a fast against whatever, right and why is Modi going on a fast for whatever, wrong? Or is it the other way round? Both sides interpreted yesterday’s judgment as a victory, so who is right? Where does the truth lie? What are the facts? How do we make up our minds? Who do we ask? We being the concerned citizens, yes, but informed citizens? Dammit.

Monday, April 17, 2006

waiting for virgin

The little boy had waited for the new set of Gothams to come. Months later he gave up. Now he waits for the time when he can go his friendly book seller and ask, “Have the Virgins come yet?”

Goodbye, elder brother.

Dr.Rajkumar. That doyen of Kannada cinema. Nata Sarvabhauma. Gaana Gandharva. Kannada cinema’s Dhruva Tare. Kannadigara Kanmani. Annavru. We can go on have a Dr.Raj sahasranama, and it would still be not enough. Respected in life, and insulted in death.

Dr.Raj. Bekadare avaru, karnatakada rajare aagabahudagittu. Aadare, avaru Rajana sthana bedayendu, sadaa Rajakumara aagiye ulidaru. That more or less sums up the man. In English it means, “If he wanted, he could have been the Raja (king) of Karnataka, but he chose to always remain a Rajakumara (prince).” A direct reference to Dr.Raj’s refusal to join politics, much like his contemporaries MGR or NTR had done. His calling was the arts he said. And he was a fine actor. And a fine singer. He also could’ve have gone over to Tamil cinema, but he chose to stay with Kannada, for which he’d said that he would do anything.

1982. The Gokak Movement. Kuvempu, Masti refused to join in. But Rajkumar when informed, joined in with all his heart and soul. “I am ready for any sacrifice for the sake of Kannada land and language,” he declared. And it was only then that this campaign went beyond just an agitation and truly became a ‘people’s movement’. That was the power of Dr.Raj. Till the end, he remained a humble man, epitomising the universal values of humility and peace. And he remained true to Kannada.

Here is another interesting fact. Dr.Raj began his film career in 1954, at a time when Karnataka as a state did not exist. It was only in 1956 that the state of Karnataka was formed, by which time, Dr.Raj had already endeared himself to Kannadigas everywhere. So in effect he was the first cultural icon of Karnataka. And as Karnataka went from strength to strength in the coming decades, so did Dr.Raj. And it was only right that the celebration of his fifty years in Kannada cinema, was fortuitously delayed. Because the grand function that took place to mark 50 years in cinema came at a time when we were celebrating Suvarna Karnataka, or 50 years of Karnataka as a state.

Over the years, he came to embody the finest in Kannada culture and became a role model for all Kannadigas. He went beyond being just an actor. So much so that when he sang “Huttidare Kannadanadalli hutta beku” it became an anthem instantly, and seemed as if he had captured the feelings of millions of Kannadigas into that one song. And it is for this reason that he was Annavru. Translating this word into ‘elder brother’ does not even begin to do justice to the word Annavaru, and the emotions that came with it when we called him that. His charm and the emotions he evokes goes beyond mere acting or singing.

And then age took over, and he died, to the sorrow of millions of us fans and admirers. Death comes to us all, but what happened next in this case is exceptional and shameful. We could go into many theories and detours and the many dimensions about what came to pass. But that is for another day, when the fog lifts.

But Annavre, the people who threw stones and burnt busses were not your fans. And you know that. They are not the abhimanidevaru whom you so respected and loved. But still Annavre, on the behalf of all of us fans and admirers, apologise for the way we behaved and insulted your name and your memory. Your last journey was anything but dignified, and you deserved more than that. And those of us who live on will have to live with that shame for the rest of our lives. As for me, that one last glimpse of you that i got was worth all the lathi-charge and the tear gas that came my way.

But you know who your true fans are. You started your career with Bedara Kannappa, and brought tears to many eyes, when in the film you offered your eyes to Lord Shiva. Even in death, you did good by giving sight to two people by donating your eyes. And inspired by that, many members of your many Abhimani Sanghas have donated their eyes. And these are your true fans, and the ones that will do you and your memory proud. Even in death you were a role model.

One last thing Annavre, you sang in that anthem ‘huttidare kannadanaadalli huttabeku,
“…Mundina nanna januma
Baraditta nanthe Brahma
Illiye, illiye…
Yendigoo naa illiye…”

And I will hold you to your words. And I know you sang true. You will come back. Dr.Raj is dead. Long live Annavru. Yendendigoo neevu illiye. You will remain forever in our hearts and minds.

Monday, April 10, 2006


We begin our slow crawl to death the second we are born. Maybe that’s why we come into the world crying. Some primal instinct that lets us know that the shadow of death follows in our every footstep. We’re Dead On Arrival. Each of us has come into this world with a fixed stock of years to live, or exist, as the case may be. Every year we live, we exhaust it from our supply of time left. And what better way to celebrate this than on one’s birthday. Where we wish each other, splurge on parties…and in some subliminal way living the illusion that we will live forever. Birthdays become a celebration of life. When in fact they are moments for mourning. For our time is fast approaching. Birthdays are reminders that one more year has passed. You’re older. And hopefully, wiser. And that’s a good enough reason, one hopes, to celebrate. If not for anything, for having made it to one more birthday…without dying.

Breathe. Breathe in the air. Don’t be afraid. Breathe. And now you’re shorter of breath, and one breath closer to death. (with due apologies to pink)

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Testosterone art

Art seems to be going the metal way. Or is it the other way round? Testosterone Art? Never knew it existed. But sub-genres are always welcome eh? Like in metal, some of which include (just append the word ‘metal’ to every word)…Heavy, Classic, Thrash, Nu, Death, Black, Christian, Hair, Power, Progressive, Industrial, Melodic Death, Grindcore, Goregrind, Noisecore, Pronogrind, Metalcore, Gore, Doom, Gothic, Folk, Melodic, Epic, Symphonic, Ambient, Brutal, Viking...and still counting. Contributions welcome. Sorry, A Chunk Of Iron does not qualify as metal in this context. And no, Jethro Tull is not a metal band, even if Mister Anderson insists on playing a metal instrument.

And speaking of Testosterone Art, go here for the world’s oldest example of teen graffiti. Just shows, boys will be boys, and always barbarians.

Monday, April 03, 2006

gets into eeks!mode

This guy here. He writes so well, you’d have thought he was a writer. He thinks so well. You'd have thought he was a thinker. But no, he calls himself a graphic designer. George Supreeth. World famous in Bangalore. Well, almost. And he debases himself by saying, he’s into advertising. Technically yes, but not 'advertising' as i see it. George. Nice guy. Trained martial artist. Hellboy fan. Jesus impersonator. Comics freak. Thinks he's funny. Graphic designer. Those of you who may have marvelled at the interiors of the WorldSpace showroom on Brigade Road, know that it was George at work. His blogger profile makes for interesting reading. So while he’s a supreeth, he’s also prolific as you can read. Very modest he is, no? Then drill down to nibtitude and look at his sketches and his comic and finally amble down to Ixmod for some interesting, though-provoking reads. What's Ixmod? Ixmod is George's Bangalore-based design collective. Huh? Ok. In their own words, IXMOD stands for Integrated Experience Modeling, a design process which accounts for all the experiential aspects of your brand. Huh? Figure it out for yourself at Ixmod, the website, and see why these words actually mean something, and why our man here (shown below in an awesome self portrait [taken from nibtitude]) is so good. Or vice versa. Or nothing. eeks!

V for Vattay Vaste

Halfway through the V for Vachowski movie, this not-so-whispered conversation was overheard from the group behind us:
“Dai, do you know who wrote this story?”
“No, Who?”
“Ah! The Tchaikovski Brothers!”
“Oh really?!”

Yes, in as many words. Just sums up the kind of people who think that V for Vacuity is a great movie. And the kind of people that V for Vacuum in their head newspaper reviewers seem to targeting by giving super Star status to V for Vapid. But let’s say you do manage to get it out of your head that V for Vandalised was based on a graphic novel called V for Vendetta, even then, even as a movie, V for Vomitus is a vasted effort and time. And as the credits rolled in after the endless torment that was V for Veak and as as I was V for Vailing, this appeared “Based on the graphic novel illustrated by David Lloyd.” That says it all. No Moore. And yes, the word ‘based’ that is the keyword.

Just goes to show that great books should be left to themselves, and should be read and imagined, not seen. Comics fall through the cracks, but still care must be taken. Great stories should be told, not shown. Unless of course you happen to be Shankar Nag. Which nobody is. So leave them books alone. V for Venting Spleen over. And just in case you thought the movie totally and completely killed V for Vendetta, i leave you with what V (the real V, the one in the book has to say about the movie and his treatment thereof):

V lives. Because ideas (and great stories) are not just bullet-proof, they're also hollywood-proof. V lives. Go. Read the book. And look out for this panel. Read. The truth will set you free.
Ave atque vale

A letter to Rajdeep 'Cosmopolitan' Sardesai

This is a letter that was sent to Rajdeep Sardesai, currently of CNN-IBN today. Of course, he was informed in the letter that it would be posted on theBekku. The only alteration is that Sardesai's blog post in question has been hyperlinked below and not in the letter.
Dear Mr. Sardesai,
Ref: Your blog post and your program State of Bangalore

I read your blog post on ibnlive Southern Discomfort, how you have a way with words, sir!) and I thank you for taking the time out to think of us poor third-class citizens you call South Indians. You say news channels by leaving out cities out in their coverage are “breeding a growing sense of resentment and even anger at being left out of the news hierarchy.” Let me clarify sir.
We neither feel no anger neither resentment at being ‘left out’ as you put it, especially if that channel happens to be CNN-IBN. We have our local channels that speak to us in our own language, thank you. Speaking for myself, I have ETV Kannada News and Udaya News to see what’s happening in Bangalore and Karnataka. And these channels (who you leave out when you say ‘news channels’) also report national news if you did not know it already. Likewise, I’m sure that the people of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, and Kerala have their Sun News, Asianets and ETV to keep them up to date with what’s happening in their backyard, their state, the world and everything in between. In some areas, much better than ‘news channels’ (by which you mean national, English news channels) ever can or hope to. And yes, if your version of news means hours spent discussing fashion weeks, I’m sure we can live without that. We do not, I repeat, we do not, need you to get all righteously guilty and sob over us folks south of the Vindhyas. I appreciate your concern though.

So it was in this context wasn’t it, Sir, as you say in your blog, that you did the Eye on Bangalore series. State of Bangalore programme in front of the Vidhana Soudha. Well, I was one of the viewers of the programme and I do think I will share my thoughts with you.

Bangalore you say is more ‘cosmopolitan’ than Kannadiga. Thank you sir. First insult. Why an insult? Here’s why. Going by your behaviour and your views (stated and implied) during the programme, your idea of cosmopolitan came across or rather your definition of ‘cosmopolitan’ was:
• do not rename Bangalore to Bengalooru
• people need not (or was it should not?) make an attempt to learn Kannada when they relocate to Bangalore
• bars and pubs should be kept open till morning, or even better, should not be closed at all.

Sir, you have perverted the idea of ‘cosmopolitan’ and by saying Bangalore is more ‘cosmopolitan’ than Kannadiga, you have just insulted all us Kannadigas. I took a look at your face when the poll results came out. When 74% of the respondents said that they supported the renaming of Bangalore, you were shocked weren’t you? So what did you do? Tried to say that this couldn’t be right and turned to the eminent panel of Bangaloreans you had assembled and asked them, almost saying, “C’mon this can’t be right?”. When a majority of them also said, yes they did, you played a masterstroke. Turned to the people in the carefully chosen audience and asked, “Is that what YOU want?” and before we could see or hear more, you cut away to something else. Clever editing or cheap manipulation. And here I was thinking that the poll was supposed to reflect what the people felt. I did not know that when you meant ‘people of Bangalore’ you meant those people who were sitting as your audience.

One more thing, it’s not funny when you invite people on stage as part of a panel and muck up their names. Arundhati Raja should be called Arundhati Raja. Not Arundati Roy (or rai or whatever).

By the way Mr. Sardesai, Bengalooru is pronounced Bengalooru, not Bung-galore. But then you wouldn’t know. You are cosmopolitan. Who considers that learning a native tongue is anti-cosmopolitan. That closing bars at 11 is anti-democracy. You wouldn’t understand. You say future lies in ‘localisation’ and even in the context of news, you will always report it in English. How can you even say ‘localisation’ when what you want to say is ‘cosmoplitan’? Please sir spare us.

And yes, you’re lucky our Chief Minister is such a nice man. And you could get away with how you treated him. If it was anybody else, sir, I’d rather not think about it. Ok. So he’s not as conversant as you are in English. You in the role of an arbiter should have taken that into account, and not treated him like you did. He may not have felt bad. But I did. Have you heard him talk in Kannada? He would’ve taken you apart. But then, you wouldn’t have anyone speaking in their native tongue in your ‘cosmopolitan’ channel now would you?

So that’s that for now, Mr. Sardesai. I could go on. But I have better things to do than spend more of my time on a lost cause. Looking forward to hearing from you.

Yours truly,
A proud Kannadiga,
Bengalooru, Karnataka, India.

PS: Again, a copy of this letter has also been posted on my blog at
That was that then. The whole letter. Now, moving on to related news, my friend Jubin is of the opinion (and I agree) that CNN-IBN (and i paraphrase) manages the impossible task of being the worst of CNN and the very worst of NDTV. Couldn't have put it better meself. And by the way CNN could stand for Chicken Noodle News. Check out this blog, read the comments, and follow the links embedded in the main body.