Thursday, January 29, 2009

Imagine-our politicians are trying to teach us moral science-the bloody cheek!

I'm beginning to feel that the partition of India should have been done differently. All the vile fundamentalists on one side, and normal secular people who believe in the equality of sexes on the other! The nasty crackpots who attacked women in a Mangalore pub were shockingly like General Zia. Next they'll have us in purdah. And I do not for a moment believe that the BJP has nothing to do with them. Just saw the Karnataka CM on TV saying that he wants to bring an end to pub culture (he called it 'prub culture', tee hee!)- now is that a pat on the back for that crackpot Sena or is that a pat on the back for that crackpot Sena? The Congress is no better- the Rajasthan CM too said that he's anti-pubs. Now he's backtracking of course, falling back on the same old, 'I've been misquoted' lifeline. All I can say is, if he's been sternly reprimanded by the Congress High Command, good! And then there's dreary old Ramadoss who is shocked because he has seen women drinking (gasp) and smoking (gasp) in Chennai and Bangalore! Only men are allowed to have vices in this country, right? God, I desperately need a drink or seven when I contemplate the regressive jerks who run India! Weasels, all.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Rohan's current favourite riddle had me stymied!

Q: If buttercups are yellow, what colour are hiccups?
A: Burple!

Monday, January 26, 2009

E by Matt Beaumont- luverly!

Read it while on holiday and haven't laughed so much in years! Never thought I'd say this, but almost missed advertising- almost.

Holiday was nice but I prefer cool hills to hot beaches. Pretty beach, though at Kashid. The sea was gloriously blue, not murky grey like in Mumbai and not too much rubbish washed up on shore: some pretty stones, driftwood, and a dangerous piece of wood with rusted nails- eep. Lots of slippers and shoes too- not in pairs but singles. Creepy- wondered if they belonged to people who drowned. After that, could NOT bring self to step in. Best Friend pooh-poohed my pessimistic suggestion and enthusiastically tested the waters (as is her wont) - and after 2 seconds rushed back to dry sand gagging because her toe snagged on what felt like 3 plastic packets and something that felt like a cucumber landed on her foot!

For me, the best way to view beaches is on an armchair in a balcony. Nice spot to watch the tide come in and think lofty thoughts about life, the universe, and everything without dead people's personal belongings brushing past me.

Beloved Husband AKA Health Nazi did his usual- jogged on the beach daily and made me feel like a slob.

Ooh, 'tis lovely to be back home in my own comfortable bed with clean sheets sans gritty sand!

Friday, January 23, 2009

What a drag it is getting old- with due apologies to the Stones

I'm supposed to identify with Obama, right? Same generation and all that. So it's not bloody fair that while I watched a sexy dude from MY generation get sworn in, I felt more like Bush Senior and Cheney- one hobbling on a walking stick, the other being wheeled in! My gosh-darned &%$$# back has packed up again and I HATE, HATE, HATE the way I walk these days.

I look at Madonna and our desi queen of eternal youth Shobhaa De, and I want to weep even more! I walk like their mothers- so not fair!

Am hobbling off to the beach tomorrow- no swimsuit in my suitcase but a bleeding orthopaedic belt. Really, what a drag it is getting old. Have been listening to that song a lot, of late (Mother's Little Helper). Never liked it much before but now it's sort of grown on me.

What else is happening tomorrow? Oh yes, our Prime Minister will be undergoing surgery in Delhi, while in Mumbai, apun ka Raj will be attempting to re-establish his raj again- another rally is slated in Thane. So it seems like it may be a very busy day in Mumbai's hospitals too!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Nice speech, dude!

The 44th President of the USA has just spoken- and spoken very well indeed! While watching the inauguration I caught myself wishing that I could have been an American for just one day-this day- imagine sharing the euphoria of equality! I hope India gives me a moment like this, and I hope it happens while I'm still alive! If Obama's actions match his words, America will be the most envied nation in the world.
Right, the celebrations are over and the hard work begins. I'm curious, very curious to see how this unfolds. And what's the bet our media is going to pick up on the 'Hindu' reference in his speech and crow with delight over it in their usual OTT fashion! Ew- cringe inspiring.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Pigeons vs crows

Today is the day the new President of the US will be sworn in- and also the birthday of an old friend who got so annoyed by a pigeon who repeatedly appeared on his window sill that he wrung its neck and ate it for lunch! I was admittedly startled when he recounted his act, but now, after very many years, I see where he came from. I long to wring pigeon's necks- not personally, but I would love to put a supari on them. They are the bimbos of the bird world- I just don't get them. They insist on flying indoors and crap on everything with fear when you attempt to shoo them away. Two seconds later, the brainless eejits are back. It was Woody Allen, I think, who called them flying rats. Quite right. James Thurber too has made some pretty unflattering remarks about pigeons.

I had to invest in a wire mesh for all the windows in my old house. Didn't bother in my new house, because there are so many trees around. But does that stop them? Naah. Two eggs have been discovered on a cupboard. The cook offered to fry them for me with a smirk- I thanked her kindly but declined. Ew. My friend Ranjona says these days pigeons prefer to live in houses- they've forgotten how to live in trees! Maybe we should talk to philanthropic builders about creating a special room in all buildings for pigeons- wait a minute, there's no such thing as a philanthropic builder- that's an oxymoron!

Crows, though, are bloody intelligent. They only attempt to pop in to the kitchen when a non-vegetarian meal is being cooked. On regular cauliflower, peas and okra days, they deign to pay a visit! Smart- very smart! I have deep respect for them. They have a clear purpose in life, unlike stupid pigeons!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

'Poverty porn' my foot!

I almost never read Aravind Adiga's The White Tiger. Truth is, I'd warily flipped through it several times at bookstores, and then dismissed it. Considering that I'd done the same to Paulo Shudder Coelho, and was justified when I finally had to review one of his books (the things I do for money-sigh), made me smugly believe that Adiga was not my kind of writer. But, never judge a book by a cursory flip-through. Much better to read a couple of chapters (and you can at Crossword- the Kemps Corner outlet- the armchairs there are deliciously comfy) and then decide.

On an impulse, though, I bought White Tiger a couple of days ago and it's fantastic! Well written, a page turner, witty, and disturbing enough to make you wince. This is not, as some critics darkly mutter, 'poverty porn'. It's an honest look at India today. Every Indian should read this book- it should be made compulsory. I say this with the fond hope that sensitivity towards the underpriviliged may replace guilt- and India may finally shine for all. Thank you Adiga- and may your tribe increase!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Guess who may be running in the Mumbai Marathon?

Naah, not me- too lazy for that. But I have a very strong feeling that we may see Amar Singh (the Samajwadi Party's oily wheeler dealer) there chasing his little brother(!) Anil Ambani with a stick. I can see him now, huffing and puffing unbecomingly as he runs as fast as his fat little legs can carry him.

The reason: Just saw Anil Ambani on TV at the Gujarat 'We lurve Modi' bash saying that the BJPs Narendra Modi was his choice for PM - well, words to that effect. Hmm. Interesting, considering that the Samajwadi Party and the BJP don't exactly love each other dearly.

And, after reading HT this morning, am mildly curious about what Amar Singh's other little brother's wife Maanyata has done in the past. Apparently, this babe has many skeletons in her cupboard. What? Was she a gangster's moll? Boring. And considering that eejit Sanjay Dutt's murky past, why should that shock us? Now, if only she had Dawood Ibrahim's skeleton in her cupboard- that would wake me up!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Pop On!

So, thanks to SWBs gentle persuasion, saw Rock On (on my pc too!) - and wonder of wonders, did not regurgitate lunch! Not remotely wonderful but competent, slick and more honest than that Dil Chahata Hai rubbish where vast quantities of popcorn were upchucked post intermission. Farhan Akhtar even looked a bit like Jim Morrison with his curly mop and his performance had restraint- most unusual in Bollywood. Arjun Rampal and the chick who played his wife were this close to brill.
The title of the movie, however, should be 'Pop On'- the music was unadulterated pop music crap and I'm astonished because Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy are pretty good. Have done a couple of jingles with them in the distant past and those really rocked! BTW, someone should tell Farhan Akhtar that he must not sing ever- he has a feeble scratchy voice without the sexy rasping quality of say, Rod Stewart or Bryan Adams. Yes, yes, I'm not a Bryan Adams fan (shudder) but I have to admit that he has a very interesting voice- more suited for rock than that sugary shit he dishes out.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A sense of the ridiculous

Loved Mohammad Hanif's A Case of Exploding Mangoes so much that I had to stingily ration it out- just didn't want it to finish. Like all good things, it's come to an end now, sigh. Don't know why some crtics wittered on disapprovingly about the inclusion of Blind Zainab and the crow- the whole scenario is so charmingly ridiculous, anything goes.
And while on the subject of the ridiculous, entertained 5-year-old nephew Rohan today. He had the sniffles so I read out A.A. Milne's poem about Christopher Robin being down with sneezles and weazels. He enjoyed it so much that I had to read it out hundreds of times- have a sore throat now. But no sneezles, weazels or measles! Rohan discovered a wonderous thing: I read out A.A. Milne's dedication to his son, and he gasped with eyes as round as saucers, 'You mean he's not a fantasy person?' I assured him that Christopher Robin was as real as I was. I could see Rohan the cynic looking very puzzled. There was deep silence for 5 minutes- very rare. I was waiting for the next question: 'So are Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, Rabbit and gang real too?' The question never came, though. I think the clever cat worked it out in his head!
People go on and on about how wonderful it is to be a mother, but I think it's even more fantastic to be an aunt- that way you get to do only fun, irresponsible things with kids- potty duty and punishments are the responsibilty of others!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

What happened to the women & children?

The song playing in my head is Tull's Broadsword. Love the song- always have, but these days I scoff at this bit:
Get up to the roundhouse on the cliff-top standing,
Take women and children and bed them down.
Come on, are women and children safe anywhere anymore with terrorists around? Which brings me to the horrific situation in Gaza: if the Mumbai attacks hadn't happened, by this time I'd have signed zillions of petitions condemning Israel. Petitions that I'm sure no one reads but at least signing them makes me feel a wee bit better. But not this time round, no. I feel sick when I read the newpaper reports and look at the gut-wrenching visuals on TV. But then I remember how ruthless the Mumbai attackers were.

The death math, though, is sickening: A handful of Israeli soldiers versus hundreds of Gaza civilians. That's what makes my sympathy attempt to swing towards Gaza, BUT I have sternly promised myself that I will never ever be on the side of terrorist supporters anywhere in the world. Never ever. The people of Gaza voted for a known terrorist organisation. It's not as though they suddenly woke up one morning and discovered to their horror that Hamas was pure evil. My view may be simplistic, but I'm sticking to it. Like Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, I have zero tolerance towards terrorists- and I say this more forcefully than he ever has.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Yossarian lives- in Pakistan at that!

Reading Mohammad Hanif's A Case of Exploding Mangoes. What a dead sexy writer- he had me at the very first page itself! I was instantly reminded of Joseph Heller's Catch 22, a book I'd read about zillions of times. Hanif's hero Shigri is so much like Heller's Yossarian- which makes me very happy indeed. The world could do with more like him! Back to the deliciously funny book now.