Posts Tagged ‘India’

The opening lines on the front page of Mumbai Mirror, 18th August 2011.image courtesy www.releasemyad.com

If you have never bribed a traffic cop…

If you haven’t paid donation for your child’s admission…

If you have never bought a movie ticket in black…

If you have paid the entire sum for your apartment by cheque….

If you have not carried out illegal changes in your house or office….

If you have never bribed a government officer….

….tell us of you’ve never paid a bribe in your life. Mail us your story, five readers selected by us get to meet Anna Hazare.

The first six lines were very appealing, a la Rang de Basanti wave, but it was the last two lines that caught my attention. Get a chance to meet Anna Hazare. It was just like another Scratch karo inaam pao or Kharidiye Pepsi aur paiyyen Men in blue se milne ka mauka gimmick.

It was these lines from the city’s leading tabloid that forced me into getting back to blogging. After experiencing Goa and Lonavala in the same month, there could have been nothing more provoking than this set of six lines that forced me to log onto wordpress again and get rid of my heavenly hangover.

Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption drive sweeping the nation is one of the best times, if you are a newspaper, an advertiser or a news channel because you might never really run out of content nor fail to get visibility. And Mumbai Mirror showed just that, when it printed their dim campaign today. I don’t know what brainstorming these guys must have done before designing something like this. Their initiative has shown that the Indian cricket team is not the only set of people who are getting everything wrong, but there is a chunk like them located in the heart of Mumbai developing such dis-HEARTening content.

On one hand there is man (Anna Hazare), who is not willing to give up on his stance to remove corruption from the nation, a move which closely resembles Rahul Dravid, who showed the world that he was in the form of his life, but that never helped India from maintaining their consistency (just like Dravid’s performance)  in losing all the three tests to England and on the other hand, there is a newspaper who is giving an offer to meet the modern Gandhi amidst all the commotion.

Courtesy Mumbai Mirror, today I strongly felt that a chhota four square was a thousand times better than a copy of the tabloid. At least it killed you with pleasure at Rupees 2.50 rather than the inexplicable and rubbish Mumbai Mirror content that frustratingly killed you by paying an equivalent price.

Mumbai Mirror’s move was as amusing as an INDIA TV campaign which exposed everything that never existed. This reckless idea from a brand under the Times Group puts a serious question mark on the kind of content they develop. This obviously excludes the Superstar Sexpert whose tips can actually be regarded even more revolutionary than Anna Hazare’s anti – corruption campaign, because it not only told those unaware cocks that pregnancy was not caused by kissing and caressing but also cleared the air that having a penis tilted towards the left had nothing to do with the gender of a child.

Just like the Mumbai Mirror, there are many more, cashing in on the Anna-effect to generate more TRP’s or get more readers. You term it insensitive, but it is the truth. The frustrated Arnab Goswami on Times Now, who thinks he is the Anna Hazare of Indian Television, can be seen firing on all cylinders in his studio with the same set of people, who now seem to be employees of the channel hired especially for The Newshour Debate, rather than being guests on the show. There is no method to the madness that is running through the media industry ever since Anna’s campaign kick started.

The first page of Mumbai Mirror that I saw today won’t be the last day that I bought this tabloid, but surely the brand’s credibility in my mind has gone a level below the baffling Speakasia, because the mirror today reflected stupidity instead of reflecting a balance of creativity and sensibility.

R.I.P chaar anna

As I write this blog, the 25 paisa coin must be finally smiling merrily even though its death is just a few hours away. The 30th of June 2011 is considered to be the last day for the use of this coin. Thus the coin with the trademark rhinos will soon be extinct like the dinosaurs from the nation. The decision of doing a CTRL+ALT+DLT job for the coin can be considered as one of the few good decisions that our government has managed to make.

Although the minting of the 25 paisa coin had stopped way back in 2002, but it was only recently that the government took the decision of putting an end to the circulation of the poor chaar anna. The 25 paisa coin must be elated with this because in the last decade, it has faced so much negligence and disownment from the people that those who had to take a 25 paisa coin would be so agitated as if they were asked to take a DVD of the Tusshaar Kapoor starrer  ‘Luv U Mr.Kalaakaar’.

The poor pachchees paisa of India has been so brutally raped by us that it’s value has diminished at the rate of knots in the past few years. With the growing rate of inflation and the absence of the pachchees paisa Parle Chocolates in the market, the coins were always on their way to the Victoria Memorial. The last few years must have been so traumatic for the poor coin that it had to face insults even from beggars who stopped accepting them due to price rise.

Today we are living in an age, where we willingly accept a centre fresh or a mentos when there is shortage of change on the store managers side. Thus in the 21st century India, the chaar anna rarely had any takers.

But there is an interesting news saying that there are very few who want to do away with these coins. All the while that these coins were there for use, people didn’t want to pop out that coin from their pocket and now they don’t want to do away with them. And this must be simply because everyone wants a piece of the history in their wallets to show their children and grandchildren.

The end of the circulation of the 25 paisa doesn’t really bother me nor interest me as much as it would, to any numismatist around the country, but still the fact that I write this blog proves that the death of this abandoned coin has managed to catch my attention amidst all the controversy of Dhoni getting out on a no-ball and the shock of Roger Federer crashing out of Wimbeldon.

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The thought of putting this blog came to my mind just the other day when I read about  a weird desire that Sachin Tendulkar had mentioned in the media. Now my opinion isn’t to pull the legend down on what he said or to criticize the maestro for his decision, but it is just the first thought that shot up in my head when I heard about it.
So what Sachin said was that he wants to make a gold plated statue of the late Satya Sai Baba who passed away a couple of days back. There was a sarcastic smile when I got to know this. That reaction, was due to the reason that, he was the man I idolized till date for the way he has lived life, for the way he has been grounded, for the way he has never let success go to his head. I have always hailed the kind of decisions he has taken in life. But the decision that he took about the gold plated statue, that was a blunder according to me. But I would not say that amongst a billion Sachin is the only one that I blame for getting it wrong. There are several others who are treading this path.
The self obsessed Mayawati is one such person. A woman who is always in the news, more for building her statues and gardens after her name rather than doing some fruitful work for her state. Her crazy birthdays just show the kind of madness that the woman has installed within herself. She has a series of statues in her state and the number is still going up.
Another  example is that of the Shivaji statue that is due to be built in the Arabian sea. I happened to ask a localite, about what he felt about the state’s decision to build the statue and he replied, ‘channgla aahe na…Marathi maansaacha satkar hou de’. That was silly for me.
The reason I gave the three examples is for a simple reason that our country is still developing and in this process, has a hell lot of problems to be dealt with in which people can play a major role. What will the building of statues give the nation? Bullshit. Why can’t the same money be utilized to build a school, hospital or used for the rehabilitation of slums? I don’t mind if a Sachin Tendulkar builds a hospital called Satya Sai Baba. Infact more than me, the Baba would be more happy to look from the skies at the hospital rather than looking at his own gold plated statue. The dumb politicians like Mayawati should atleast think once on how their state can be developed and made better with proper funds and planning rather than wasting money and  putting up their own ugly ridiculous statues which no one is bothered about except their party. Lastly the BMC who has come up with  the outrageous idea of the Shivaji statue in the middle of the Arabian sea should see the various other problems that the city is facing. They can use the same money for the rehabilitation of the slums. They should remember that the reason why a foreign director won an Oscar after shooting a movie in India was not because he showed the Marine Drive but because he showed the slums and the poor and hungry India. That in itself is one big tight slap on our nation. And then when I hear these people obsessed with statues, it just gets more irritating for me.  Isn’t it a shame that the people who have power, who have money fail to identify how they can utilize it to the optimum. I, as a person strongly feel that this trend of making statues and making people demi Gods at various chowks and signals should be replaced by the building up of hospitals, educational institutions, houses for slum dwellers etc. Atleast we won’t be a society that has beggars on one side and then people owning the most expensive homes in the world on the other. Preferences should be listed looking at the condition in which the nation is running.
I feel this statue obsession should be replaced by letting one’s common sense strive for philanthropic activities so that people whom we hail or admire are also proud at what we have done and that in itself would be a great tribute to the great people than building statues.

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Even the 99 virgins are scared of this man
The biggest news that hit the world today was the death of the world’s most wanted terrorist, Osama bin Laden. After almost a decade since he had plotted one of the deadliest attacks in the USA by bombing the Pentagon and the World Trade Centre, his death today, can be marked as one of the most important dates in the modern era.
The Americans  are all gaga over this victory that they are terming is a victory of the American citizens. Listening to the speech given by Mr. Barrack Obama, I was surprised to hear how many times he said that ‘this is the victory of the American citizens’. I agree its a victory but it would have been much better if Mr. President would have termed this operation as a victory of mankind because the crash of the twin towers was not the only terrorist activity that shook the world. There were several more such things and there were several other nations trying their best to fight terrorism.
On one hand where the Americans are celebrating, our country is up with a big worry. And this worry is due to the fact that the Al Qaeda leader was shot dead in the neighbouring  Pakistan. The Pakistani’s since long have been denying their connection with terrorism but now the Osama death clearly shows the country is being a shelter to major terrorist organizations. This death of the polygamy master has not only created a big question mark on Pakistan and its so-called support to fight terrorism but has also given our country first hand proof and reason as to why we were blaming their state for the 26/11 Mumbai attacks.
Meanwhile, as I am writing this blog watching the news flashing on my TV set, I see the most hilarious response that has come in from across the border. As I am typing here that terrorism has a Pakistani connect, the Pakistan government has just said that ‘The death of Laden in Pakistan shows that even Pakistan is supporting terrorism since we allowed the CIA to undertake this operation in our country’. No one was aware of this CIA operation until Obama came up with the press conference to inform the public about it. The response from Pakistan could not have been more dumb. I wish those handling the state of Pakistan soon get some brains to work with.
The end of this husband of a million wives might be termed as just a beginning to the World’s unanimous fight against terrorism.
May God Bless Us and May God Bless……THE WORLDJ Sometimes it fun to be sarcastic.