Friday, February 13, 2009

We all need a Love Day

Reproducing here a quick and hurried response written by yours truly to a mail about Love Day, briefly explaining the history of Love Day. Here you go.

The fin de si├Ęcle ideas of the 19th century were a harbinger of what was to come in the 20th. In the late 1890s, Hallmark decided that after ‘holidays’ like Second Cousin’s Day, Third Ex-Wife’s Day, the ever-popular Secretary’s Day, Celebrate Stepping on Dog Poo Day and other such, they decided they didn’t still have what developers would call ‘a killer app’. The International Consortium of Florists also were thinking along the same lines. And chocolate manufacturers, who wanted to expand beyond their kiddies & sweet tooth market. They decided to join forces and on the suggestion of a certain Mrs.Gaskell - who had read a lot of Geoffrey Chaucer – decided to have a Love Day.

Love Day was promoted hither and thither, helter and skelter. Love Day was everywhere. And soon Love Day was a runaway success, and an established holiday of sorts. It was to hit a slight road block in the second decade of the 20th century when this ‘tradition’ hit Indian shores and it was also during this time that enterprising Indians were spreading across the world, bangalore-ing people even before the term was invented.

It first came to light when Edward Frederick Lindley Wood – more popularly known as Lord Halifax, the then Viceroy Of India – announced to a large gathering of eminent people (the page 3 crowd of that time) from across the country – in a rare exception when Indians and dogs were allowed in.

In his broken hindi, Lord Halifax declared to the assemblage, “Kaal ham log saab milekar Love Day ka Ball karengey. Full India hamara Love Day ka Ball dekhega, sunega.” He of course meant a Ball Dance, as in dancing/gathering. But the remark, understandably created a furore when the Indians objected to such shameless exhibitionism. They had to be calmed down as they were under the (mis)understanding that there would be an orgy – especially since the Viceroy had said that everybody had to karo-fy the grand Love Day ka Ball. Incidents like this were reported from across the Raj. Once the language issues were sorted out and the truth about Love Day the term came to light, people started cogitating on a solution for Love Day (the nomenclature of the ‘tradition’, not the anatomical part).

At the same time on the other end(s) of the world, the diaspora indians also were perplexed by Love Day wondering why somebody would celebrate their privates. A pubic holiday if you will. They were more so horrified when the firangs around them asked them to do the Love Day. ??

So all across the world there was a major confusion. Hallmark realised that the suckers in the Third World would not easily take to it. Luckily for them Times of India had started publication (or should i say pubication?) by that time, and TOI was roped in to repair the damage. Many alternate names were rejected. Those that did not make it included St. Nimmajjiloafer Day and Loose Emotion Day.

At this point there occurred an incident that would change the face of Love Day forever. Al Capone (the world-famous tax evader) and his gang were involved in a shootout that came to be known across America as the St. Valentine’s Day massacre. The date was February 14th – Love Day. Since the name was getting famous already, Hallmark and company decided to rename Love Day as St. Valentines Day (and in ‘social interest’ to spread the message of love, not hate...copulation not killing....making out, not massacring).

And thus with the greeting card companies, florists, page 3 crowds, and other interested parties, love came o exist on that day. The other 364 days (365 on leap years) were not the days to show love, but only on Valentines Day (formerly known as Love Day). The rest of the year you would anyway e busy with Bullock Cart Day, Drink Beer Mixed With Sugar Day, Third Month Anniversary Day and other such. There you go.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Naaviruva taanave gandhada gudi

Art. Architecture. Temples. Wildlife. Hills. Treks & Trails. Rafting. Beaches. Sand (if you count Talakadu). Forests. Rivers and Falls. History. You want it? You got it!Am glad I was born in this particular part of this great land.
Idu yaara tapasina phalavo? Ee kannugalu maadida punyavo?

Monday, February 09, 2009

There is nothing more disappointing than when you make a Grade A pun or a joke, and no one around gets it. Well fine. Ok. There are a few more things more disappointing than when you make a Grade A pun or a joke, and no one around gets it.

That scream you just heard was Sir Arthur’s

Meet Sherlock Holmes. A chaser, shooter and pummeler of criminals. A bare-knuckle boxer, a crack shot and an expert swordsman. Yeah. And a ‘man of action’ like James Bond in 1891. Bah!
“It wasn’t my idea of Sherlock Holmes”, the bugger says. Wasn’t his idea. Bah!
And i always thought Doyle worked alone in creating this immortal character.
Funny how hollywood mandarins think they own something just because they have the rights to make a movie.
So what now? Wigram’s Holmes? How about some underwear outside the pants and a cape? And a big ‘S’ on his exquisitely tailored shirt? Wait. One of the USP’s of this travesty is we see Holmes shirtless. Yippe!!! So how about a big ‘S’ tattoo on his chest? How’s that for ‘imagining’? eh? Wait! How about Madonna as Dr. Watson? That’ll get the people flocking in! Bah.

Friday, February 06, 2009

It must’ve been the soup. They hadn’t progressed to the main course yet. It couldn’t have been the appetisers because she’d personally tasted the appetisers before serving the. Had to be the soup. A room full of dead people can’t be wrong. Damn. That too on a Friday. But looking on the brighter side, she’d watered the lawn in the evening. At least the earth would still be wet. Thank god for small mercies.

Cursing Christian

Christian Bale. Who don’t like the guy?
And if you thought all he does is act awesomely, wait till you hear him curse. Berating some poor DP on the sets of Terminator Salvation. Finally we heard the famous Christian cursing born from the temper he has. But then, that’s old news. It’s been on the net for some time now. What is new though, is that the tirade has been mixed up and mashed up to the sounds of a nice beat. No pun intended. Watch it.

And. Um. Ah. Just in case you haven’t heard the original tirade as it was recorded, here’s the mp3.

The artistic Romantic Lady Killer Man finds the perfect solution

From being just laid to being laid low. Things had changed for him for a while. Irene – The One That Got Away. Almost. Sigh. Such beauty. The kind of immortal beauty that will never fade. The epitome of art. She truly walked in beauty like the night. He had thought that he had found his one true love, only to have his heart broken. She’d accused him of being a philanderer. That cut deep. He’d truly loved her. Bought her gifts, wined, dined and serenaded her. Bought her stuffed toys and pink cards. Helped her baby sit her nephew. Cared for her cat when she was away. He’d put his life on hold for her. No. Not on hold. She had been his entire life when they were together. And he would not have it any other way. Yes, she was demanding. But she had been worth it. It was meant to be – him and her. Together. All was going smoothly till the day she found the keys to the closet where he’d kept all his skeletons, metaphorically speaking of course. The skeletons were all either dissolved in acid and poured down drains or buried in various graves across the city, and if they weren’t skeletons going out, they sure would be skeletons now. But he’d given it all up for Irene. But she wouldn’t understand. She had found his previous relationships too ‘freaked out’ to handle. She’d walked out on him. Like Frank Zappa, he believed that broken hearts are for assholes. He wasn’t one. He’d moved on. It was tough. Her pretty eyes stared at him from the faces of the many women around town. He’d thrown himself into whirlwind affairs just to get over her. But he just couldn’t. He’d gone to sleep only to be awakened by the scent of her perfume wafting in on the first rays of the dawning sun. Her voice kept him awake at night. He’d decided that the only truth was that they should be together. For as long as he was alive. He’d gone back to her. To have her for himself. Things have a way of working out. And now they were together. They would be together. Oh! How he loved her. She was a lot less demanding now. She even didn’t mind the little affairs he would have every so often when that crazy little thing called love got the better of him. She didn’t mind when he brought women over. His perfect woman. Irene. His perfect love. Hers now was truly the beauty that would never fade. The solution was in the solution. Who could now see the physical impossibility of love in the heart of someone obdurate. He could drop in on her whenever he wanted to. Well, I think I will he thought. He could visit her now whenever he wished. And as he started walking to go down and see Irene, he thought he heard the far-off strains of David Byrne’s ‘My fair lady’...
♪♪ But forever you'll remain
And you have time because you will live forever
Never age and never tire
In my sleep and in my dreams at night
Nice song he thought, as he flicked on the switch in the basement and gazed on as the light sparkled off the crystal on and around her and illuminated the radiant beauty of his immortal Irene.
Calls to me a strange attraction
With your beauty and your passion
You are art and art will never change.....
♪♪
He went close to her and through the looking glass said, “You know Irene, Damien Hirst would be proud of me.”

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Bharat ki aakhri Chai ki Dukaan

Make your way to Badrinath. Walk three kilometres to the last inhabited Indian village, Mana. If there are no panchayat elections happening on the day, you might just be lucky enough to hop on a local bus or jeep. I wasn’t.

Beyond this village there is nothing but snow-capped mountains. No habitation, just no-man’s land and then the china border. Walk through the village, up towards Vyas Gufa (the cave where Vyasa is supposed to have dictated the Mahabharata to Ganesha). And there, at the edge of Mana you will see one of the most memorable places I visited – and one of the more interesting people I met – during my month-and-a-half sojourn.

Meet Chandra Singh Barhwal. Proud owner of India’s Last Tea Shop, and a brewer of one mean cup of chai.
Cricket. Films. Serials. Opeth concert. Just a few things have been keeping me nicely occupied. Too lazy to type too much. Or tell too much. So here are a just a few thousand words worth in pictures me has been up to....why tell.