Sunday, November 30, 2008

A spirited defence of the TV news coverage of the terrorist attacks

The Government and intelligence agencies can carp and crib till kingdom come about the TV news coverage of the attacks. Admittedly, critical information should not have been leaked, but overall, as a terribly humble citizen, I'm glad it was covered. Or else every explosion or gunshot would have led to panic and widespread rumours.
Better still, this provided transparency. Now we can sleep at night without wondering whether some poor, innocent Muslim vendor was picked off the streets and paraded as a terrorist by the bone-lazy authorities. Sadly, we do not trust our politicians. And till that changes we have only the media and the judiciary to fall back on.

Way to go, Mumbai!

After so many days of darkness, finally we have reason to cheer:
-Hats off to the Muslim Council for categorically refusing to allow the burial of the terrorists in their cemetries! We are cosily united in our hatred for terrorists.
-Hats off to the news channels, particularly Arnab Goswami and Rahul Shivshankar of Times Now, for making scathing remarks about politicians rushing to deliver sound bytes after the attacks were contained. I particularly remember the incident outside Nariman House when the BJPs Gopinath Munde arrived on the scene to claim credit. Just as I was in the act of flinging my shoes at the TV screen, Arnab Goswani hastily intervened: 'Relax, he happens to be in the frame only because it's a long shot- we are not going to focus on him nor air what he says!' He admitted that howls of outrage from the viewers made him take that decision.
-Hats off to the people of India who circulated text messages about the cowardly Raj Thackeray and other slimy politicians.
-And finally, hats off to all of us for putting intense pressure on the UPA to unceremoniously dump the jerks who were in charge of Maharashtra.
Deputy Chief Minister R.R. Patil has finally resigned, yay! All the banned bar dancers must be executing some pretty mean moves in the privacy of their homes with joy too! And, better still, there is speculation that Chief Minister Deshmukh will be forced to resign as well- hooray! Both of them are utterly useless- they couldn't even stop that weasel Raj Thackeray and yet the Congress high command expected them to stop terrorist attacks? What the hell was Sonia Gandhi thinking? Ritesh Deshmukh should be hugely relieved though- no more dirty looks at the gym from a wacko woman (i.e. me). The poor chap always looked puzzled when I glared at him.

Today I also discovered what I'd suspected for a long time: Raj Thackeray's nasty antics were responsible for delivering crippling blows to the state's economy. This man loves Mumbai? Dream on. He loves himself and hates his cousin. Period.

And a big boo to all the cowardly Bollywood stars like Amitabh Bachchan, self-serving socialities/scribes and wily businessmen who prostrate themselves at the feet of the senior Thackeray and/or his dissenting nephew. You think we can't see through your airy public claims of, "Oh we only meet a couple of times a year- their wives/daughters-in-law are very sweet." Get a backbone. Get integrity. Stop associating with people who are intent on dividing this beautiful city. Or shut up!

A Lewis Carroll take on Indo-Pak relations

Well, well. The ISI chief is not coming, after all. My jaw hasn't dropped to the floor- has yours? Ah, screw that. I've been thinking how well Carroll's hypocritical Walrus fits in with Indo-Pak relations. And with due apologies to Lewis Carroll, I've attempted an adaptation of that poem- just changed a few words, not the meaning.
Here goes:
India was shining on the sea,
Shining with all her might:
She did her very best to make
Her global image shiny and bright-
And this was odd, because it was
The middle of a blood-splattered night.

Pakistan was shining sulkily
Because she thought India’s sons
Had no business to accuse her
Of the evil that was done-
"It's very rude of them," she said,
"To try and spoil our fun!"

India’s eyes were wet as wet could be,
Pakistan’s were dry as dry.
You could not see a cloud, because
Smoke had obliterated the sky:
No birds were flying overhead-
They were too scared to fly.

A Mulla and the ISI,
Were walking close at hand;
They wept like anything to see
Such quantities of blood on India’s land:
"If terrorists were only cleared away,"
They said, "it would be grand!"

"If India and Pakistan joined hands and
Pondered over it for half a year.
Do you suppose," the Mulla said,
"That they could get it clear?"
"I hope so," said the ISI,
And shed a crocodile tear.

"O Indians, come and talk to us!"
The ISI did beseech.
"A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,
Along the briny beach:
Come one, come all-and rest assured
We’ll give a helping hand to each."

The wisest Indian looked at him,
But never a word he said:
The wisest Indian winked his eye,
And shook his heavy head-
Meaning to say he did not choose
To leave his cosy Indian-bed.

But four young Indians hurried up,
All eager for the treat:
Their coats were brushed, their faces washed,
Their shoes were clean and neat-
And this was odd, because, you know,
Terrorists had blasted off their feet.

Four other Indians followed them,
And yet another four;
And thick and fast they came at last,
And more, and more, and more-
All hopping through the frothy waves,
And scrambling to the shore.

The ISI and the Mulla
Walked on a mile or so,
And then they rested on a rock
Conveniently low:
And all the eager Indians stood
And waited in a row.

"The time has come," the ISI said,
"To talk of many things:
Of RDX-and terrorist-infected ships-and the LeT-
Of the economy-and Bollywood kings-
And why your rage is boiling hot-
And whether the captured terrorist did sing."

"But wait a bit," the Indians cried,
"Before we have our chat;
For all of us have gaping wounds,
And some of us smell a rat!"
"No hurry!" said the ISI.
They thanked them much for that.

"A couple of naans," the ISI said
,"Is what we chiefly need:
Onions in vinegar besides
Are very good indeed-
Now if you're ready, Indians dear,
We can begin to feed."

"But not on us!" the Indians cried,
Turning a little blue.
"After such reassurances, that would be
A dismal thing to do!"
"The night is fine," the ISI said.
"Do you admire the bloodied view?

It was so kind of you to come!
And you are very nice!"
The Mulla said nothing but
"Pass the salt:
I wish you were not quite so deaf-
I've had to ask you twice!"

"It seems a shame," the ISI said,
"To play them such a trick,
After we've brought them out so far,
And made them trot so quick!"
The Mulla said nothing but
"The ghee is spread too thick!"

"I weep for you," the ISI said:
"I deeply sympathize.
"With sobs and tears he sorted out
Those of the largest size,
Holding his pocket-handkerchief
Before his streaming eyes.

"O Indians," said the ISI,
"You've had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?'
But answer came there none-
And this was scarcely odd, because
They'd eaten every one.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

A united India and Pakistan can defeat terrorists-so there!

Yes, yes I know anti-Pak feelings are raging high right this moment. But it's time we did a spot of introspection. The political scenario has changed dramatically. Who are we dealing with now? A military dictator or a man whose wife was a victim of terrorism? And never ever forget that some of the terrorists responsible for the latest sickening drama could well carry the Made-in-India stamp. Support must have been provided, at the very least. Why should we let our inept politicians off the hook?
Get real. I'm shedding my cynicism on this one. Who knows, I may be proved wrong. But if we don't take that chance, if we let history colour our view of the future, we may be unbelievably screwed.
In the recent past, Pakistani's too have become victims of terrorism. Finally they experienced what their home-grown, state-sponsored terrorists have been doing to us for years. Needless to say, they don't particularly enjoy the experience. I must guiltily confess that, inititally, I did experience fleeting moments of schadenfreude- serves you right, you bleeding Frankensteins, is what I thought. Stupid childish behaviour on my part.
We should, we must accept the olive branch that's currently being extended and let's see if that helps. Can't we do that to save our own skins? Here's hoping that the meeting with Pak's ISI chief leads to a better future. Oooh wouldn't it be luverly if he brought us a little present too? Like say, a pair of shiny silver bangles with Dawood Ibrahim attached? That ought to make us believe that Pakistan is serious about co-operating with India.
Just got a report: my schoolfriend was killed in the attacks. See how difficult it is to be friends with Pakistan? Yet, we must try. Even though I say this with considerably less enthusiasm this time.
Oh, and you must read this article by Mohsin Hamid. "bound by sorrows", about the mumbai terrorist attacks and india-pakistan relations, from: the guardian

Friday, November 28, 2008

The extermination of Lashkar terrorists in Mumbai

Glued to the TV for the third day in a row. Refuse to move. May have forgotten how to walk after this- will discover that only when the terrorists are sent to hell. Meanwhile, Arnab Goswami (Times Now) has become my favourite companion. Really, Times Now is doing a fab job!
A couple of terrorists are still lurking around the Taj. Not so easy to catch them- it's like looking for dirty filthy garbage-encrusted cockroaches in a massive structure. The Oberoi is cockroach free, whew. And work is in progress to make Nariman House cockroach-free too!
So, looks like, we may not need external help to rid our country of pestilential critters. Our men appear to be doing a fine job on their own. Give them the license to go ahead and they deliver!
At the end of it all, I suggest that our politicians observe a few moments of silence in their honour: about 6 months of silence at least? Particularly the two-faced LK Advani and, of course, Raj Thackeray. Just received an interesting SMS that's being forwarded about him. I've copied it below:
"Where is Raj Thackeray and his 'brave' Sena? Tell him that 200 NSG Commandos from Delhi (No Marathi manoos! ALL South & North Indians!) have been sent 2 Mumbai to fight the terrorists so that he can sleep peacefully. pls fwd ths so tht it finally reaches th coward bully!"
Hmm. Not very popular is he?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Mumbai 24 hours after the attack began

Incredulty has given way to anger. Anger that blazed all morning and afternoon. And the evening brought with it nausea and grief. Stories of chefs and trainees massacred in the kitchens of the Taj; of a couple of floors at the Oberoi littered with bodies; of policemen no longer with us, who braved the battle with archaic weapons and without bullet proof vests; of a woman weeping for her husband who could not be traced; of a man waiting for news of his Dad; of a brother desperately seeking his sister; of a couple waiting to receive the wounded daughter of a friend; of hotel guests helplessly signalling to the crowds below; and, of a schoolfriend (my schoolfriend) whose husband is waiting for her outside the Taj, but no news of her-not yet.
Crushed. If any one uses the phrase 'Spirit of Mumbaikars', I swear I'll scream. Right now the only way my spirits will lift is if I storm into the hotels and beat the terrorists to a pulp. With my own fists. Oh, how I wish!

It's war in Mumbai!

The army's out! The navy's in hot pursuit! And everyone (well everyone I know all over the world) is wishing and hoping and praying that we save the hostages and equally important, beat the shit out of those terrorists aka brainwashed idiots aka pious retards. Okay so I said earlier that if there is a God he must be incomptent. I'm taking those words back. What I'm saying now is: if there is a God, maybe he was busy but as soon as he's free could he please look into the matter and save us from evil terrorists/brainwashed idiots/pious retards? I know one thing for sure: if I were God, I would spit on people like that even if they prayed to me every second of the day! I'd be insulted to have my name uttered by them.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I Want The Mossad!

For years and years and years I've been muttering under my breath that India needs to learn from The Mossad but now I'm screaming it at the top of my lungs: INDIA NEEDS THE HELP OF THE MOSSAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We can't seem to handle terrorism. And this is the understatement of the century.
Terrorists have evidently read Who Moved My Cheese along with their religious texts and are inventing new ways to get at us. Why bother to create these new ways, I ask -we're still a million steps behind. As I write this the seige is still on. I've seen paunchy* NSG chaps taking position, while one lithe terrorist does a parkour sort of act, jumping from one building to another and landing on his feet! Photographs of one of the terrorists at VT reveal that he's just a boy- my god, I want to slap the brainwashed idiot real hard and make him stand in a corner!
Reactions from family and friends: shock and horror of course and a few wisecracks too.
One said: It's like watching a movie, and I'm waiting from Katrina Kaif to come dancing into the frame.
Another said: It's like a Rambo movie, only Rambo still hasn't made an appearance.
If there is a God, he's bloody incompetent!
* Correction: Not paunchy! Beloved husband has astutely pointed out that bullet proof vests add bulk!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Terror in the skies

Am not the sort of person who starts praying when I fly. Not even if I fly the day after watching a program on the worst airline crashes ever on Nat Geo. I'm fairly 'sanguine' (fav newspaper word, tee hee) about stuff like that. But this morning my heart skipped several beats when I boarded an early morning flight to Delhi. A copy of the Hindustan Times was neatly folded and laid out on the seats and guess what the screaming headlines were: Pay cuts for Jet staffers. Great, I thought, now the staff will be anxious or angry and spill or throw food on us. But the worst was yet to come: the article went on to say that pilots were the ones who were going to bear the major brunt of the pay slash and that the Indian pilots demanded that expat pilots were axed. Gleeps. And to think that a second earlier all I worried about was getting food stains on my clothes before my meeting! So I prayed real hard that the cockpit wasn't manned by an Indian pilot and an expat co-pilot. Suppose they'd started hitting each other? Ooh that was a scary journey. Fortunately the only mishap was 'dog on runway' ! Well, that's what they said to explain the half hour delay in landing. Maybe the pilots were hitting each other after all while the plane was circling Delhi airport! Man, no more flying for me till the economy improves. Back in Mumbai now (whew), and I hereby solemnly declare that I'm not travelling further than Toto's Garage for a long, long while!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Vincent Nazareth a.k.a. Mumbai's legal mood elevator

There were days when I'd feel mopey and whine and moan about not having a life. Everyone's having a better time than I am, I'd think mournfully, and reach for the Kleenex. But not anymore. Oh no, not since dear old Vincent Nazareth came on the scene. My life seems so much more meaningful compared to his - and that makes me feel so much better.
Get this, this guy spends every waking moment crouching behind bushes, yearning for the moment when he can leap out to catch smokers who are breaking rules. What, was he a tiger in his last life? He does this every darn day, and the days that he doesn't catch anyone flaunting the rules, he goes home a broken man. He's even started whining to the papers that he hasn't caught enough people yet. Perhaps, dear Vincent, smokers are indeed following the rules? Think about that!
So the next time you feel blue, think of Vincent, and trust me, no matter how dull and drab your life may seem, it's not as pathetic as Vincent's - is it? Cheers to that!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Pink Floyd and my cook

I can never forget the very first time Dark Side of the Moon played at home. The cook came rushing out of the kitchen (wielding a sharpened knife at that!) at the screamy bits. It took my mother hours to placate him, and a raise was thrown in as well. Thereafter, we (my sis and I) were frequently treated to scathing remarks about our music. Tull's Aqua Lung was one song in particular that Mum took serious objection to: 'Snot running down his nose! You call those lyrics?!' but we turned her around, we did. She who loved Lulu, Cilla Black, Elvis and The Beatles developed a taste for The Scorpions. She pinched our tape-we heard her playing it during her me-time!
Anyway, Roger Waters is coming down for the Live Earth (I think that's what it's called) concert.
Thought I would go despite the other acts: pretty Bon Jovi and Black Eyed Peas, among others, but hastily changed my mind when the papers gushingly informed us that Bollywood stars would be playing nautch girls & boys at the concert too! Chee!
Now will have to wait for Waters to come on his own show, damn! Wish he'd hurry up! And wish the Stones would come back soon too. Not going for Spyrogyra though, was never a big fan. And, ha ha, the concert venue happens to be a stone's throw away from where I live, so maybe I can listen in gratis!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The re-classification of Pearl Jam

I don't care what genre Pearl Jam is classified as- I've coined my own term for it: Grunt Rock! Was listening to my old fav album Ten today, and I love Eddie Vedder, I really do, but I am not deaf to the fact that he grunts a lot. And dead sexy it is too. I lurve Grunt Rock! Saw the Dido music video on VH1 today (Don't believe in love) and was sorely dissapointed-such a nice song, nice-ish music, fab voice and a dismal video is created to go with it? Low in budget and way, way lower in imagination. Boo!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Wanted: Willing Victims For 5-Year-Old Nephew's Jokes

Rohan's joke of the month (in his words): Someone goes up to a dinosaur and says, 'Hello, you're extinct.' The dinosaur looks vevvy shocked and squeaks, 'What! I stink?!!!'

This, of course, is followed by helpless giggles for about 3 minutes 20 seconds (I timed him). Thereafter he sobers up slowly, only intermittent giggles follow for another 5 minutes. Then he's into his usual bang bang verminator games till another victim arrives on the scene and the joke is enthusiastically trotted out again. (Same timing for his giggles- that never varies!)

Rohan's riddle of the month (in his words):
Q. What goes zzub zzub?
A. A bee buzzing backwards, silly!
SAVE US!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Not So Grim Fairy Tales For Big Bad Girls-Part 1

Right. I'm in a fairytale mood, so I've ressurected a parody I'd written zillions of years ago for a teen mag called Vibes-Namita Gokhale was the editor then. It really was zillions of years ago- I was just a year into my first job in advertising and I felt dreadfully guilty about moonlighting but hey, I had fun writing those fairy tale parodies for Vibes. I also had an agony aunt column called Aunt Grizelda, where I'd make up ridiculous questions and answers-really wacky shit. Heck, you know you're old when you're into nostalgia. Anyway, here's one of the fairy tale parodies:
SO WHITE
Once upon a time there lived a black queen who had a mulatto step daughter called So White. He disliked her with a passion because she was far prettier than him, and all his gay friends became straight the instant they saw her. This made him feel like the odd man out, a terribly uncomfortable feeling if you really think about it.

After a great deal of sleepless nights alone, he hired a punk to lure her into the depths of Harlem, and to do away with her there. Once in Harlem, So White’s womanly intuition took over, and she escaped. The punk didn’t bother to pursue her, because, as the old Harlem maxim goes, 'Why chase girls when you can chase cocaine?’

So White clambered up a rusty drain pipe, pushed open a window, and tumbled into a room belonging to an acid group called ‘The Dwarfs’. The seven men – Junky, Dopey, Stony, Drunky, Hippy, Snorty and Cokey accepted her immediately as they desperately needed someone to play the tamborine because their woman, Moll, had taken off with a New York Philharmonic cellist. And So White took to them instantly because she saw in them the realisation of her favourite fantasy : Seven at one blow.

The Queen happened to see her playing at his favourite gay bar in the Bronx, and immediately made enquiries. Having extorted her address, he injected some more female hormones into his veins, singed his hair, wore white socks with black shoes, dark glasses, and, armed with a syringe containing an overdose of heroin, he rang her doorbell determined to mainstream her. The minute she opened the door, he shot the needle into her arm, and sang ‘Beat it’. On returning home that evening, the Dwarfs found her lying in a stupor. ‘Dipsomaniac broad’, snarled the disgusted Dwarfs (no doubt due to the influence of their strict Mormon upbringing). They dragged her out into the porch, and set out in search of a tamborine replacement for that night’s gig at Brooklyn.

A few days later, America’s chart-buster Prince, happened to stumble over So White on one of his nostalgic walks down Harlem. He fell over and in love with this mulatto vision, and rushed her to hospital. Several hours later she opened her baby blue eyes to find him perched at her bed side. ‘Who are you?’ she whispered weakly, ‘Prince’ was his modest reply. ‘Oh you’re shamming’ she chuckled, ‘and cute’. Upon which he French kissed her, and she passed out again, but for a shorter period this time. After their marriage and subsequent divorce, they lived happily ever after.
The End!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

More on Sarah Appalin'!

Read this piece in seattleweekly.com:http://www.seattleweekly.com/2008-10-22/news/the-education-of-sarah-palin/
Hilarious! I so love the anonymous writer!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

My heart goes out to the Shiv Sena

The poor, poor Shiv Sena. They're dying for the Centre to arrest Bal Thackeray - absolutely yearning for it. Only because they're aching to bring Mumbai to a standstill- in a more violent and dramatic way than the MNS did. That way they can show Raj Thackeray once and for all that he's small fry compared to them. So watch out- provocative statements on supporting the alleged Hindu terrorists are on the rise. The real message however is, "Please please rise to the bait and say you're going to arrest Bal Thackeray, pretty please oh puhleez!!!! Send out an arrest warrant immediately, don't be mean, we beg you!"
Politicians, bah! More transparent than glass.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Why can't I get presents like that? Sigh.

Read in the papers today that a German man bought an orginal E.H. Shepard sketch of Winnie-the-Pooh, Piglet and Tigger for his wife because she was 'a long time Pooh fan'. Hello, so am I!!!!!
Incidentally, he paid mucho dinero for it- Rs. 23.7 lacs! That could have bought her some pretty cool diamonds too, but I assume the clever man thought that this was the more precious gift, much more memorable, and would possibly give him brownie points for the rest of his life. I'm sure she loves him all the more for it- and hey, I don't even know this man, but I love him too!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Obamgod, he won!!!!!!!!

Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Today is World Euphoria Day! Hugged equally exuberant husband who abandoned his customary early morning grouchiness for a brief moment and almost looked human, called equally overjoyed Dad and siblings and friends! We witnessed history! Today's not just the day Obama won- it's the day America won the respect of the world! Waiting for Barack Obama, the next President of the United States of America, (oooh, how lovely that sounds now) to make his speech. Must say though that while McCain lost, his defeat speech was so gracious, he was so big, he's a winner too- of respect. Hope we never see that Sarah Appalin again, though. Gosh, this is the best news I've heard in months!
Right. Just heard The speech. His speech. Not as rabble-rousingly stirring as Mark Anthony's 'Friends, Romans and Countrymen' speech, but emotionally charged in a fetching restrained manner. The crowd at Chicago, wow! It was like a rockshow, and eyes were moist. Sigh, waiting for the day an Indian politician in my lifetime will make my eyes moist too- with joy not sorrow!!!!