Thursday, July 29, 2010

CWG: Come on Wealth Games

Personally, I will be unhappy if the Commonwealth Games are successful,” is what Mani Shanker Aiyar, a nominated Rajya Sabha member told a reporter. Sounds funny coming from a member of the ruling UPA and a congressman specially with a congress Govt ruling in Delhi. Its quite natural if you start thinking if Mani is insane.

Having served IFS for 26 years, Mani is quite experienced and knowledgeable. He is a respected politician and one of the very few learned ones. What makes Mani say such a thing about Commonwealth games which for the last 3-4 years is being projected as the jewel in Delhi’s crown?

There are reports that the CWG venues were incomplete and faulty.  While this is not surprising, Sports Minister M S Gill has other views. Gill said that all the venues are architectural and engineering marvels and no leakage or fault has been found at any of the Games venues. Gill is not wrong considering that stadiums are architectural & engineering marvels compared to old Govt buildings and leakage was tested in peak summer when there was no sign of rain. 

My good friend and a resident in nearby areas of Delhi Dr Kapil begs to disagree with the sports ministers. “To hell with him yaar, the games would be scrapped as the infrastructure is not enough. The stadiums are just not ready. The dude is out of his mind”. Clearly, Aam Aadmi like Dr Kapil (just generalizing Kapil, you are surely special) who get to see the preparation are vouching for inadequate preparation. Imagine a few drops of water on the running track when a 100 mts dash is happening. 

On a cloudy day with rain showers in many parts of Delhi, Aiyar offered, "I am delighted in a way because rains are causing difficulties for the Commonwealth Games. Basically, I will be very unhappy, if the Games are successful because then they will start bringing Asian Games, Olympic Games." Mani rain is not causing difficulties to CWG only, its causing problems to Delhi-ites too. The construction work was a bane on Aam Aadmi’s life (Kapil, you are special again) and now rain has compounded it even more. Kapil got emotional on life due to all the construction and other burdens CWG has brought on Aam Delhi-ite “its miserable yaar.. A famous poet has said: ..yahan khuda hai, wahan khuda hai. aur jahan nahi khuda hai, wahan kal khod denge..”

Deadline’ is not a familiar word to the government and organizers which reflects in the amount of work that has been completed. The all too familiar finger pointing is on as CPWD, the project executing agency, has blamed the organizing committee and its consultants for delaying the projects by constantly revising and re-revising designs for every venue. This is far from the earnest search for real answers and efforts to get things right! I wonder if construction would go on when the games are going on. Painting and badminton match happening simultaneously or a plastering and shot put at the same venue.  We can get the shot put throwers to throw a few bricks. 

A whopping 35,000 crore has been spent towards preparation of CWG. This is reported to be the most expensive Commonwealth Games ever. The cost is not a surprising part as there have been complaints alleging discrepancies in the contracts issued by civic agencies like Municipal Corporation of Delhi, New Delhi Municipal Council, Delhi Development Authority and Central Public Works Department among others. There have been reports of large-scale corruption and the Central Vigilance Commission is examining all contracts issued by civic agencies following complaints of alleged large-scale corruption. I hope the discrepancy is only issuing contract and not in construction work. Imagine what a weak roof could do to the head of an unsuspecting athlete.  

Mani feels it’s a matter of shame. "Just imagine if we would have spent the Rs. 35,000 crore in providing training to the children, we would have won medals in every international sporting event," Aiyar added.
Mani, if all politicians in India could be as sensible as you India would not be housing the number of billionaires as it does, at the same time India would not have as many poor as we have. It’s a pity that your sensibility is being dubbed as anti-nationalism. With the number of top level players dropping out of CWG, this would end up becoming a ‘Come on Wealth Games’ for politicians, civic agencies and contractors. Aam Aadmi like Kapil continues to bear the brunt as usual. 

Sunday, July 25, 2010

POT-BREAKING performance

“He who lives in our mind is near though he may actually be far away; but he who is not in our heart is far though he may really be nearby.”…. Chanakya

Chankya is the personification of statesmanship and political craft. With the above line, he highlights a very important aspect of politics, VISIBILITY. This is all the more relevant in today’s politics. You are near people if you are in their minds. The best way to be in their minds it to be in their TV sets. Electronic media is on a rampage for sensational news and politicians are on the lookout for visibility. It’s a win-win for both. Politicians get visibility and media gets sensational news.  

When, Jagan Reddy was walking away with all the TV space, Chandrababu Naidu played the Babli trump card and spaced out Jagan, thereby hogging the precious minutes of coverage. But the Queen of TV space, undoubtedly was Dr Jyoti.

Dr Jyoti, one of the 14 MLCs suspended from the House for unruly behaviour on Tuesday, went on a rampage, smashing flowerpots outside the building. It was not 1 , not 2 but a total of 15 flowerpots came down crashing but raised the ‘Visibility’ rating of Jyoti for a lifetime. Another thing that almost came crashing down was her saree. No words needed to say, what would have happened to the ‘Visibility’ quotient.

For all those who missed this spectacle, you can catch it at It was indeed a POT-BREAKING performance. 

Dr Jyoti, the Congress MLC, is a postgraduate in political science with a doctoral degree to boot. She has an abiding interest in music and literature.
Jyoti, who was an MLA for two terms from 1985 to 1995 and later became an MLC in 2002, was a minister who held important portfolios of education, cooperative and transport in different governments.

While the men enjoyed the destruction and liberal show of skin, women marshals had a tough time controlling the legislator. It looked like she was possessed by some ghost of a forest dweller, who was doing some a pre-mating ritual to attract her mate with all the skin show. From a slightly different angle, it appeared like a Hippo doing a Helen number with a slight Johnny Walker & Dharmendra tone to it.

There was some moron on TV the other day, who said Jyoti is being targeted because she is a Dalit. Dude, nobody is targeting her, she targeted all of us with her daredevilry. Till about a week ago, I never know a soul called Dr Jyoti existed in this world. Today, its impossible to forget the ‘Striptease’ and ‘Mating dance’. 

Friday, July 23, 2010

Nmachi Ihegboro: God of Purity

Sidcup is a small suburban development in South East London. Located 11.3 miles (18.2 km) south east of Charing Cross, Sidcup is bordered by both the London Borough of Bromley and Kent County Council and whilst now part of Greater London, was once referred to as the gateway to Kent.
Sidcup has only one major hospital, Queen Mary’s hospital. A black couple, Ben & Angela have baffled medical fraternity in this hospital and worldwide.
The new born baby of this black couple is a white, blue-eyed blonde. Doctors at the Hospital told the parents that Nmachi Ihegboro is definitely not an albino. However, the child has baffled the genetics experts because neither Ben nor wife Angela has any mixed-race family history.
Crazy as it sounds, I am just wondering if the same would happen in India it would be quite a rave in the G-town. Raised eye brows, quick whispers, pointing at neighbors, probably even a divorce would be the events to follow.
But what actually happened is such a dull shadow. This led to genetic studies. I am trying to make it interesting with a little comparison of the Indian situation.
Bryan Sykes, the head of Human Genetics at Oxford University and Britain’s leading expert, called the birth ‘extraordinary’. “In mixed race humans, the lighter variant of skin tone may come out in a child — and this can sometimes be startlingly different to the skin of the parents,” the Sun quoted Sykes as saying. “This might be the case where there is a lot of genetic mixing, as in Afro-Caribbean populations. But in Nigeria there is little mixing,” Sykes added. (Try telling this to the aunties, maamis and grannys, Mr Skyes. They wouldn’t be fooled by your theory. To put it in a pervert language, its mixing of a different kind)

Sykes said both parents would have needed “some form of white ancestry” for a pale version of their genes to be passed on. (In native language, we call it black magic back here in India)
“The rules of genetics are complex and we still don’t understand what happens in many cases,” he added. (The fact that stuff like this keeps people busy explains the fact that unemployment levels are so slow in advanced countries. I remember seeing something like this in the climax of Ace Ventura. Local tea shop discussion would surely be brewing with multiple theories)
But the researcher added, “The hair is extremely unusual. Even many blonde children don’t have blonde hair like this at birth.” Sykes expert said some unknown mutation was the most likely explanation. (They probably should consider building a temple for the baby, it definitely is an incarnation of some God. They can name Nmachi Ihegboro as the God of Purity. A glimpse of this god is enough to wipe out a year’s quota of sin. A touch from this God would wipe out a life time’s quota of sin. A slap from this God would clear you of all sin from previous births)
Nmachi Ihegboro, the miracle God, your key to heaven. Imagine the uproar, this would create, devotees, curious people, media, not to forget the money that would flow in.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

New age Super Heroes

History has shown us that with each passing age a new super hero was born who destroyed evil and let to peace in the world. These super heroes possess "extraordinary or superhuman powers" and dedicated to protecting the public.
We have global heroes like Bat-man, Spider-man, Super-man, Wolverine etc. We also have our local heroes like Hanu-man (he is gradually becoming an international too)

One thing common among all these super heroes is the fact that they were a hybrid entity. Spider+man, Bat+ man, alien+man (superman), wolf+man (wolverine), these interspecies combination has produced superheroes with unprecedented powers. (Please note that I am refraining from speaking anything further on Hanu-man here, as I do not want to hurt the religious sentiments of our cultural policemen. So nobody can come destroy my house or office or even my blogs)
There is a constant effort across the globe to create many new super heroes. We keep hearing in movies that US is working on projects which give immense powers to individuals (for ex incredible hulk). There are many other countries which are in the same endeavor. One such country is our neighbour Pakistan.
According to a Fox News report, Pakistan (the country of the pure) is "top dog in searches for 'horse sex', since 2004, 'donkey sex' since 2007, 'child sex' between 2004 and 2007 and since 2009, 'animal sex' since 2004 and 'dog sex' since 2005".
The country also tops or has topped in searches under the categories of sex, camel sex, and some other unprintables. The Pakistani embassy did not reply to a request for an interview, the report said.
We always talk of Pakistan as poverty struck country, which is dependant on the money given by US to strengthen their military capability. This is a thing of the past now. They are indigenously equipping themselves with superheroes having unprecedented powers.

Spiderman’s uncle once said, ‘with great power comes, great responsibility’. Pakistan’s sense of responsibility is only towardsKashmir.
So be prepared to hear that in the coming days, India will be attacked by these new age superheroes. Headlines will read ‘horseman does a 9/11 on Mumbai, resulting in a property loss amounting to millions.’, ‘there has been another act of destruction by Camel-man in the heart of New Delhi, killing many lakhs of innocent civilians’, ‘Donkey-man launches the biggest attack yet and destroys Bangalore’.
Please note that this is not a religious article. (I am providing the links to the original articles, so that none of you issues a fatwa against me for defaming Pakistan and thereby the religion) Any consideration of physical damage should be directed against the below organizations who initially printed these

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Yuss Yumm Yess

Twitter may be the ‘in’ thing among every celebrity today. But on a more realistic front, SMS is the market leader and beats everyone black and blue. Young, not so young are hooked on to appearing in as many inboxes as possible. With many service providers offering free SMSes or charging 1ps per SMS, there is chaotic messaging by everyone.
Somebody sent me an SMS; ‘I knew no beauty, until you appeared. I knew no sweetness until you came. I knew no joy, until you cared. I knew no sorrow, until you left. I know you will come back, and make me love again’… (@#$% &*% $#&# dude, for you kind information I am guy not gay. Sorry to say this but I am not making you love again at least not to me. No way.
There is a total lack of sensibility among many while sending out messages. No wonder I got an SMS which said “Sun glows for a day, Candle for an hour, Matchstick for a minute, But a good day can glow forever, So start ur day with a SMILE… Good night”. It’s always good to start my day with a good night. I sleep walk through most part of my day.

There is a galore of Sardarji jokes (they were already a battered lot but 1 in every 5 SMS has to be a Sardarji special), dirty SMS (age no barrier, sex no barrier) and not to miss the morality SMS (these make me feel like a pig each time). They make a good companion in the loo (I admit shamelessly that I SMS from the loo, deodorized of course.)
Being such a powerful communication tool, SMS has recently helped in solving a murder mystery. Seven years ago Girish, a software engineer with Intel was murdered in front of his fiancĂ©e Shubha. This incident took place 4 days after their engagement (I am pausing for a min for you to imagine the ‘Haath ki mehandi’ dialogue from Bollywood)

They were on their way for dinner, when Shubha asked him to stop for a while to look at flights take off and land. Somebody clubbed him with a shock absorber on his head. The shock absorber did not absorb the shock but left Girish in a shock and he died on his way to the hospital. (This is a real story guys, I am not quoting any movie story)

A fast track court has found his fiancee, Shubha, and three others guilty of the act. (Its taken a fast track court 7 years to complete this case. I guess if it was in the regular court, Girish would have re-born again and avenged his death!! Bollywood again.. Yuck Haseena theee, Yuck dewaana thaa.. uska yeh KARZ thaa!!)
She was forced into this marriage and hatched a plan with her love interest Arun (triangular love story.. a la Sangam except that the love interest did not kill himself) Her call records prior to the incident and her SMSes to Arun helped solve this case. This is the first time that such technological evidence has formed the basis for a court verdict.
All I can say is SMS has moved way beyond the loo and found a place in the history books.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The new age Mahatma

Mahatma Gandhi, the most iconic figure in Indian history, dressed to be accepted by the poorest person in India, advocating the use of homespun cloth (khadi). He and his followers adopted the practice of weaving their own clothes from thread they themselves spun on a charkha, and encouraged others to do so.
He also advocated and practiced simple clothing enough to cover the body. That was the story of the past. We now have another iconic figure advocating similar ideologies.

I am talking about our own Bipasha Basu (now if you want to replace iconic figure with enviable figure, that’s up to you.) Being in a country where a majority of the population is under the poverty line, she is encouraging the rich (which also includes a huge percentage of the middle class) to wear minimal clothes. By doing this, the rest of the cloth would be available for the poor to cover their poverty struck bodies (which by the by has 6-8 abdominal packs with a lean mean fit body). This is a very noble intention.

In her fitness DVD, ‘BB - Love Yourself’ she can be seen practicing what she is preaching. She has worn the skimpiest of clothes (which makes many young and not so young men love themselves!!!) People focused so much on her clothes (or the lack of it) that the exercise part of it was overlooked.

Keeping this in mind, Bipasha has launched a clothing line – also called ‘BB - Love Yourself’ (I hope she doesn’t launch a lubricant brand next.) She has not weaved them herself but the weaving has been done by Reebok. Being a national craze already, this clothing line has increased her fan following (even Captain Kool Dhoni was recently seen running behind her on the streets of some unknown city. No wonder his parents decided to get him married).
Keeping in line with her philosophy of save clothes for the poor, we can expect meager/sparse use of fabric. This may also help in reducing the gap between rich (of course, major percentage of middle class) and poor. Price tag on this cloth line would reduce the wealth of the rich and bring them closer to the poor.
Bipasha is heading towards becoming a new age Mahatma.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Good Morning Minister Saar

This is a piece of news that triggered my thoughts recently. I am writing my commentary together with the news piece.

Expressing serious concern over reports about the continuation of illegal mining in the forests of Sandur near the iron ore-rich Bellary district, union environment and forests minister Jairam Ramesh has given a week’s time to Karnataka’s BJP-ruled government to clamp down on the menace. (Good morning Minister Saar! I am very happy that you decided to wake up on this issue. This has been a concern since 2005 and has been a raging issue since 2008 and you decide to wake up today. Its been a long time coming considering that you have been given independent charge of Environment and Forests as Minister of State since May 28, 2009.)

In a letter to state chief minister B S Yediyurappa, Ramesh expressed concern over reports by the media and other stakeholders that mining was continuing in the forests of Sandur in complete violation of the Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) resolution issued last month. (Minister Saar, if you are not already aware then I would like to bring to your notice that the whole mining activity that is happening in Karnataka and bordering Andhra Pradesh is a violation. Even Supreme Court has expressed this in very strong words. Yeddy Saar is not even concerned or bothered about media reports or Supreme Court’s concern. You are being very optimistic that your letter would even get the courtesy of Yeddy’s glance. But you surely informed the media and people that you are concerned. Thank you)

The resolution clearly and explicitly directed that such mining be stopped. “This is a complete and blatant contravention of the FAC directive. As you know that the FAC is a statutory body of the government, I am sure you will agree that violation of its order is a matter of serious concern,” Ramesh said in his letter. (Minister Saar is very poor in his current affairs. Mining barons of Karnataka are Yeddy’s Reddys. They are a part of the Government and they run the show. If Yeddy even looks towards them then they will threaten fall of Government. Poor Yeddy would not want that to happen considering his love for the CM’s seat. Stop bothering Yeddy or he will cry)

“The state forest department will ensure that during the period no transportation of the minerals is allowed,” Ramesh said. (Minister Saar, state forest department cannot even ensure that trees are not cut right outside of their office, how will they ensure no transportation of minerals? If you are not already aware, 5 lakh tones of iron ore under the watchful eyes of forest department went missing from Belekeri port quite recently. That’s 500 crores of national property filling up somebody’s overflowing piggy bank.)
The minister demanded a thorough investigation of the forest offence cases in respect of these mines and to take them to their logical conclusion. “Taking suo moto cognizance of the media report and FAC resolution, I am requesting you to take action to ensure that this is stopped with immediate effect and provide us with an ATR on this by July 10, 2010,” Ramesh said. (Ha.. Ha.. Ha.. Minister Saar, Please stop, you are killing me with your jokes……….)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

BANDH: Beer And New Dvds @ Home

The 12-hour Bharat Bandh called by the Opposition parties to protest the fuel price hike and rising inflation disrupted economic activities with commodity markets and the transport sector taking a hit in many parts of the country. The industry pegged losses at up to Rs 13,000 crore. This gets us to wonder if we do that kind of profit everyday. If so, where does it go?
Senior BJP leader L K Advani on Tuesday hoped that the strike called against price rise would put an end to criticism that the opposition was not doing enough on the issue.
"Through you (the media) I would like to thank the people of the country for making Bharat Bandh an unprecedented success. I would also like to thank the people of
Delhi and our supporters here for this success," he said.
The question that lingers in my mind is whom did the Bandh actually benefit and in what way? How do we categorize a Bandh as success?
Corporate companies, to whom a 12-hour Bandh would mean loss in millions of dollars, got employees to stay back overnight and continued work beneath closed doors.
Urban educated enjoyed extended weekend (with plenty of beer and DVDs). Students had their day off and spent time on Facebook and videogames. Elderly spent time in family get together.
There were a few who actually did not know the reason for which the Bandh had been called.
We heard of incidents of stray violence, which I am sure was organized to ensure some impact of the Bandh. Throughout the 12 hour period there was a casual calm among every one. Many were glued to the TV curious to see if there are any signs of violence and get updates on Dhoni’s wedding.
Industry leaders including Rahul Bajaj and Adi Godrej have coined the right terms for this Bandh by calling it "odd and absurd". The middle class who are affected by the price rise did not care about the Bandh or about the reason behind the Bandh. The upper classes are not affected, so they did not care. The ones who were affected were the lower classes especially the daily wagers, who are not only burdened by price rise but also by loss of a day’s wages. Ruling Congress/UPA did not care because they want to burden Aam Aadmi for India’s growth. Opposition parties did not care because there is nothing much to gain right now, considering that elections are far far away. Today, these Bandhs and strikes are a pantomime, caricatures of a protest.
Right up to the turn of the century, there were successful movements for bringing down prices, both among farmers and the middle classes. In the ’60s, Bombay housewives came out onto the streets banging their utensils against price rise; a decade earlier, Calcuttans successfully protested against a one-paisa increase in tram fares. The trams are still there but the Communists and trade unionists who led great hartals on economic issues are in danger of being phased out. And in this century we don’t have farmer protests but farmer suicides. D. Raja, the CPI leader who was recently described as the “poorest member” of the Rajya Sabha with zero assets, admits “there is a problem in getting people out on bread-and-butter issues as the middle class that once led the protests no longer does so”.
The public is inconvenienced for a day as a scraggly band of political workers disrupts life but you will not find the commoner joining in spontaneously. There is no expectation from netas across the political spectrum, no hope of relief. Instead, there is a weary cynicism and a tight squeeze on household budgets of the middle class while the unorganized poor continue to fall off the map with their already inferior diet getting even more diminished.
Its more than co-incidence that JP Narayan is not alive today!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Whose crocodile is it anyway?

I read a hilarious news piece and it would be injustice if I did not put it here.
A crocodile carcass has been floating in the Powai lake for more than three days, allegedly because municipal and forest authorities expected each other to remove it.
Powai Lake (named after Framaji Kavasji Powai Estate) is an artificial lake, situated in the northern suburb of Mumbai, in the Powai valley, where a Powai village with cluster of huts existed. (Doesn’t this sound like a tongue twister with plenty of Powais. Powai lake named after Powai estate in the Powai valley where a Powai village existed inhabited by Powai people who made wonderful Powai dosas on special Powai tavas using Powai dosa batter eaten with Powai chutney which goes well with Powai lemonade in special Powai mugs followed by a Powai pan…….)
Coming back to senses, the forest department has now said it would have the carcass removed.
Visitors complained of the stench from the carcass, floating amid the hyacinth since at least Sunday. (Seriously, did we expect a Ralph Lauren special fragrance from a 3 day old crocodile carcass? This lake had a crocodile which is dead but there can be many more. Run for your life instead of enjoying the stench.)
The hydraulic engineering department, which is in charge of the lake, and the forest department, responsible for wildlife in the city, kept shifting the responsibility on each other. (Can any one of you please help me understand, why the hell is hydraulic engineering department is in charge of a lake? What hydraulics can be involved unless you could convert the lake into a cricket stadium by temporarily draining out the water on push of a button and visa versa).

The chief conservator of forest in charge of the city’s wildlife confirmed that he had asked his officials to remove the carcass. “I have also advised our doctors to visit the spot and conduct a post-mortem immediately. The post mortem will prove if the animal’s death was natural and also the approximate day of the death,” he said. (This is where I fell off the chair and rolled all over the ground. In a country where human bodies end up on a dissection table without undergoing any checks for identity or cause of death, here’s a department which is getting a postmortem done for a dead crocodile. How do these people get a job? )

BMC hydraulic engineer said, “Since this morning, we have been running from pillar to post to contact the right forest department persons to pick up the carcass. Now that they have been informed, we will do the follow-up needed after the carcass is removed.” (Engineer sir, if you had not wasted time and paid up a few guys, they would have cleared it for you and saved the visitors from the stench)
Activists were concerned that beautification work could have changed the composition of the lake, suffocating the animals. They feared that the rotting carcass may have poisoned the water. (Beautification must have changed the composition from H2O to H3O. Science has shown us that H3O can be quite suffocating to the animals. Ladies, do you now understand how dangerous beautification can be. By beautifying yourself you could be suffocating an endangered species called men)
Ground reality is, this is the state of affairs in government departments today. A simple case of a dead crocodile has jurisdictional complications. No wonder, they seem clueless on other important issues plaguing the country now.