Aug 21, 2011

Now where was I?

There are 3 most important things that Indians are famous (or rather infamous for)

  • Love,
  • Affection,
  • Short term memory loss (STML)

STML, also called Amnesia is a disorder when a person tends to forget what he/she said, did, or saw a few days or months or even minutes ago. Something like Guy Pearce in Memento. Now you might think it sounds cool to be like Guy and that might even get you a chick like Carrie Ann Moss as your girl friend, but tell me, do you really want to watch your girl friend spitting in your mug of beer and you forget it 5 minutes later and drink the same beer? Sounds yucky? It's not romantic, to say the least, so let's leave it at that.

Now where was I? Till a few months ago, we had a string of scams. We had 2G scam, we had CWG scam, then there was the IRCTC scam (I always knew there was something wrong there, how else would a Ticket booking server go down at 8:00 AM sharp and then come back live when all the tickets are sold). Damn, sometimes when I see these scams, I don't feel sad. On the contrary, I feel proud that I am living in a country where people have a lot of money to donate to the tricksters. Cases were filed, culprits, convicts and witnesses were summoned, CBI was made to look like a clown and at the end of it, we saw some high profile people behind high profile bars, having tea and snacks with the Jail superintendent. Now you know why we are famous for loving and sharing our affection, irrespective of the kind of crime they might have committed?

When the tea was brewing and the kettle had just begun to whistle, we got a Samaritan who went on hunger strike in the jail, outside the jail, was caught sprinting towards a podium and people forgot about all these scams and were singing and dancing and making merry. And we forgot about who did what. So there is STML for you folks. A real time case study of how one should forget all the pain inflicted by their loved ones (after all, we are the ones who brought these so called scamsters to power, so they happen to be our brothers, sisters and small mother's son and daughter (chithi paiyyan, ponnu etc.).

And while the whole world struggles in economic storms and turbulence, we forget about all the money we have lost in stock markets, telephone bills, Common wealth games tickets and merchandise; And dance to the Samaritan's tunes and make merry (and more babies ofcourse, that's where Loves comes in)

Aug 19, 2011

What is Lok Pal bill going to achieve?

This week, I have felt how it is, to be in the middle of a volcanic eruption. On one hand, Indian team has been humiliated, wrung dry and hung on the clothesline by the English men. Who would have guessed that a Number 1 test team, fresh after their WC victory, and an aggressive Mr. Cool captain who was having a ball of time with back to back successes to add to his resume, would have been throttled and left short of breath? Embarrassment and shame form the crux of the team's feelings right now.

On the other hand, we have a mini Arab world like revolution boiling inside every common man's heart. What with the protagonist being arrested, then going on strike within the Tihar jail sanctuary and finally showing the world who is the boss. Looked like a page pulled straight out of a Bhojpuri drama. NDTV was playing interviews with A company, M company and God knows how many more companies. Despite the fact that I am a bit slow in understanding and grasping matters of national importance, I did understand a few things:
1. Anna is fighting to eradicate corruption from the system
2. Anna wants to bring in the PM and judiciary inside the purview of Lok Pal Bill
3. Lok Pal will be the next most strong authority after SC
4. The members of Indian Judiciary will also come into the Lok Pal Bill
5. Govt. is against bringing in PM and some members of the Judiciary and Bureaucratic organization into the purview of Lok Pal bill since that would mean they would be reporting to a different LoB

While I appreciate Annaji's efforts to bring in a corruption free society where a person will not have to pay more than the prescribed amount to get his work done, what I am finding hard to digest is the fact that a few members are trying to dictate terms and conditions as to how the Parliament should function.

Remember, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. You can call it as Egotistic attitude or plain Jingoism or whatever on part of the Government to not negotiate on all terms and conditions, but I feel it is right of the Government to dictate certain terms and conditions when it comes to matters of public importance. Take an example. If Lok Pal bill with "all" the conditions layed down by A company is accepted, it would mean 2 things:
1. The Government/Parliament is getting on it's knees in front of a few people "representing" the society.
2. A parallel Government would be the outcome of the Lok Pal bill which can veto the action of Supreme Court or PMO itself, which happen to be the highest level of functioning entities in India.

Do we really need a proxy at this point of time, when we could actually strengthen the existing laws and policies by just taking a subset of Lok Pal recommendations? Rome was not built in a day, and hence, it is impossible to have a "perfect" Pal bill that will remove corruption from the society on the day it is brought in. Even if Lok Pal bill does come up with all the suggestions of Team A, it will take at least 3 years to have any effect in the society as a whole. That's because corruption is not a software bug that can be fixed and closed with a few lines of code. It is imbibed into the mind of a human being. And there is no software that is capable of fixing bugs in human mindset, but the mind itself. It needs every individual to say "I won't pay a penny more" and be ready to wait for getting his work done. The Gen Y today might be ready to support Annaji by going on fast. dancing the whole night around bon fires. But will they be ready to compromise on their children's education by not paying the donation that the school demands? Will they be ready to go without eating, if the gas connection agency does not provide LPG as they said they will not pay for the extra cylinder?

My suggestion. Get some of the items of Lok Pal into the existing one proposed by the Government, even if it does not have PMO and SC into the purview. Get the bill out and show some results. And if things are beginning to change, but the only thing that is standing in the way is the behavior of certain Govt. agents, you can modify the bill since now you have a case that fixing the issues at this agent level will get the system at 10% less corruption stage.

Finally, one person cannot hold the system to ransom. If fasting will get results, every person will start fasting. A software engineer will fast in front of his manager's house to get a hike. A husband will fast in front of his in law's house to get the dowry, and that would be legal. I will fast in front of the saloon since my barber increased hair dressing charges by Rs. 10/=. It is a double edged sword we are treading on now. You could either listen to the heart and fall and get cut, or listen to your mind and get cut. The only difference, you were atleast sane enough to listen to your mind.

Like Col. Trauman tells Rambo in First Blood..."Let go, Let go"

Dec 26, 2010

Ad films are not kid's play

The tile might sound like I am going to talk about how difficult making ad films is...actually yes, it is quite difficult to come up with ideas to suit the product being marketed. But no, that is not what I have in my mind today. I wrote about this in FaceBook notes (yeah, back to FB after I failed in my FB prohibition exercise), and  would also like this topic to be in my personal diary (ahem...!!!).

I have always wondered what Child Labour is? Is only making children work in hazardous or physically strenuous environments counted as child labour? Or any place where children are paid for their labour is included into this too?

I feel the latter too should be added within the purview of child labor. Of late, I have noticed that the ad makers are targetting the younger generations (especially the 6-10 years) age group for various ads. Soaps, detergent powders, apparels, utensils, etc. You name it, kids are there. I do not understand what is the value add here? Besides making children quit schools and earn that extra income, these ad makers and ad films are not doing any other good. OK. Maybe some people would be so naive to watch kids marketing these products and actually purchase these, but that would be the dumbest thing a person could even think about doing. For e.g. I don't understand one ad where a mathematics teacher teaches her student that 3 times 3 is not 9 but 3!!!! She is apparently talking about shampoo brand which is available 3 times extra for the same price and hence it can cater to 3 people. I mean, this is the most sorry assed ad film I have seen in my 30 years of TV viewing experience. Come on guys, at this rate we would be worse than China in mathematics in 10 years from now. The kids there are learning counting through Abacus and we are teaching mathematics through Shampoo ads?

I am also against any commercial cinemas where children are made to act since they would definitely be paid for their acting and made to work for more than 40 hours during the shooting tenure which is clearly a violation of children welfare.

I think there should be clearly defined criteria for child labour. It should be something like:
The following areas of activity would be characterised as Child Labour:
1. If the person is below 18 years of age
2. If the person is forced to work against his/her interest
3. If the person is provided compensation in cash or in kind for his/her services in promoting the brand
4. If the person is denied education for the sake of promoting the brand

And of course, even the kid's parents should not be spared the rod. After all, of what use is 'n' Rs. to a 10 year old child, it would clearly go into their parents' pockets, wouldn't it? Just like Child Marriage is illegal in India and has been abolished (well...almost), making children act in ad films and commercial masala "Running behind the bush and kissing the flowers" movies, should also be legally banned. This is the first place where I am starting my "Stop kids from acting in commercial domains" movement. Hope this gains enough momentum to completely abolish this slow poison from the society.

Oct 17, 2010

TiE ISB Connect: What a joke

There is this video that is doing the rounds on FaceBook. Nice video. Nice lighting effects and the audio was clear. Infact a nice entertainment. Been a longtime since I saw Siddharth speak more than a 100 words since Ayudha Poojai (or was it Ayudha Ezhuthu?)
Dude you need to stop acting in Mani Ratnam's movies. He is an expert in making his actors dumb asses (in the same order)

This is one hip hop "next gen" kid off the block. Likes to roast the media, politicians, eat roast beef at McDonald's, and use the four letter word (I meant DUDE...grow up). Dude, Dude, Dude, I am tired of listening to your Dude Dude.

Why I don't like this guy? He is a big disappointment. When I started watching this video I was really aching for something different from this chap. And he did give a good start but when he came to the AP flood relief "donation" and lamented about it, it really pissed me off.

Complaint 1:
His complaint: He took INR. 500,000 to the CM of AP and the Hon' CM did not even talk with him for 5 minutes but his focus was on the cheque. And after that he got a snap with the CM and was thrown out.
Jackass, what else did you expect when you went to see the CM? Lapdance? Pole dance with some village chics giving you a joint? If you really want to help the people, take the money to one village that is devastated by the floods, and help them rebuild their lives. Get a snap then since you actors cannot live away from a smiling may compromise on food and bath for a month, but you cannot stop seeing your smiling crap face for more than 10 minutes at a stretch.

Siddharth: Remember one thing (if you have a short memory span like you mentioned in your Generation, attention deficit, blah blah blah s***, write it down in your iPad), when you donate money to a fund organization, only 10% of it reaches the affected victims. If you really want to make a difference, go to the place, there are hundreds of NGO working their ass of without bothering about returns or credits or photo snaps. Work with them. Hold that kid in your arms, feed that hungry lady who has lost her family and house. Then donate whatever you can (I think you can), and see the difference it makes in their lives. Why do you think Bill Gates and Steve Waugh go to the orphaned HIV infected kids and not to the Trinamul Congress or CPM office? Because, these are the people who want their hard earned earnings to go directly to the people who are affected by natural calamities. Learn that and then think about doing that social responsibility thing.

Complaint 2:
Really liked the way you said you wish to slap the media's face. Why don't you try that for a change? I am tired of doing that virtually. Do you think you can really do that? You are not Naseer sir from A Wednesday that you can make a reporter dance to your tunes. Why don't you try saying one word about a reporter in a press conference where everyone is congratulating the apparent short success of your films? The next thing, your sorry a** would be on the floor with the same media kicking the hell out of your little rodent sized brain. DUDE, if you don't like the media stop watching those umpteen news channels that show kissing scandals, and money exchange scandals. Stop reading a news paper since it is the MEDIA you don't like. Stop watching Sun TV, K TV, Kalaignar TV and all those southie channels where people talk about how Siddharth  speaks Englipiss...Damn... You read these news everyday sitting on your toilet seat and keep bitching about it. I tell this too all those idiots who keep cursing the media. It is you people who have given rise to this virus. Stop watching Aaj TAK, Star News, NDTV, CNN-IBN, CNBC. Stop reading Outlook, India Today, TOI. Stop reading news on Lehren and rediff. If you do that for a year, those bunch of asses don't have an option but to fall in line when they see their TRP ratings bottoming all the way till the earth's core.

But I bet it is difficult for you isn't it? You like to bitch, but when it comes to you not coming on the front page of a news paper for having donated 500000 you wish to slap the media. Huh...!!!

And stop calling this generation as rodent brained short memory span kids. You don't have any right to say that. Just cos you have acted opposite Trisha does not make you the prince of Mars.

Oh...did you also refer to Photoshopping yourself with Hon' KG Rosaiah? Do you know which company markets this product? is not redtube, no no is not debonairblog either. Go google for it. Costs a fortune. Next time I see you on TiE ISB Connect, you would be bitching about this.

Oct 9, 2010

My dream beauty

Confused. Between Linea and SX4, which one to go for. I did a lot of research. Ground clearance, mileage, performance, safety, comfort, interiors, exteriors. The more I was in favor of SX4, the more I am getting inclined towards Linea. TD Linea today. Good performance, but with amount of lag during lower gears. But once past that, it was like a real beast, eating up all the potholes and bumps Bangalore is famous for like a South Indian gobbling up barota, like a Bengali swallowing a Rosgolla, like a Maharashtrian eating that Dheeng ladoo. In short, never knew when I hit that bump and when I cleared it. The breaking was very good and I feel this is the first sedan that has done justice to ABS + EBD. (When I test drove Manza, the breaking was not great, infact took some time for the ABS to kick in and during that time, my heart was almost near my throat with a truck in front of me :))

AC was OK. Wife complained that when AC was in full blast, the music from the 2DIN integrated music system was not audible enough (infact Santro was better here, that's what she said). But one good thing here was the availability of the rear AC vents ( VW Vento) and would be a rear comfort factor for many old folks who complain about "It's hot in here". Rear seats were very comfortable with hand rests wide enough for both the passengers to place hands on without having to do that touching touching thing.

The model in the showroom had 190/60R16 16 spoke alloys, but sales guy told about Fiat replacing all new models with 185/60R15 16 poke alloys (Alloy standard for emotion and emotion PK Petrol). Now that might take the icing out of the cake since lesser diameter essentially means we are compromising on ground clearance and rear space. As such GC is 165 mm which was OK for all the bumps on Whitefield road which has one of the most enviable bumps in the world (infact I heard people actually come all the way from Hosur road to whitefield to test drive a car). But with 3 people in the car, there was no scrapping of the chassis at all,  so that means I have perfected the art of driving (oh me and my debacle on Honda Jazz)

Presence of a dead pedal makes long drives a pleasure. Tata, Maruthi, listen up. Arm rest for driver is a real boon. 500 lts of boot space makes sure I can carry a lot of stuff to Chennai and Madurai (which I normally don't do). Horn could have been a bit louder. I like the Indian way of thinking....the horn is more important than the brakes. Console was very complicated for a novice like me. Took 10 minutes to understand what each light means, something that my 5 year old nephew would have learnt in a minute and then gone to play with Thomas train for the remaining 4 minutes (the sales guy patiently explained for 5 minutes and then gave a "RTFM" kind of a look). Driver seat is height adjustable so is the wheel (tilt adjustable). And ASS as per the sales chap would be good especially since they are already in Whitefield which is a corporate hub and they cannot afford to screw up again this time. Driving in traffic was good especially since I did not have to shift to second every time to get that needed pickup with the AC on. All in all, Linea gets an 8.5/10 rating. I still need to take my dad out on this Italian stallion to get his feedback (He has 25 years of driving experience right since Fiat Premier Padmini till 2010 Ford Figo and knows every car inside out).

But I still keep thinking about SX4. And the one thing that motivates me in it's favor are the stocks. 205/65R16 and 190 mm GC, and 1.6L engine. When in the driver's seat, I could be looking down at the Toyota Fortuner driver next to me...might give me that ego boost :D. Need to wait till Jan 1, 2011 to finalize on one of these.

Oct 8, 2010

FaceBook, already miss you...

It's been 4 days since I logged out of FaceBook and my fingers are itching to jump back into it and type some stupid nonsensical comments that would be liked and adored by a few equally insane incarnations. But no sir, no no no no no (the Indian way), my mind will conquer over my heart. FaceBook, you still suck. And like SUCK...

Coming back to my thoughts for the day, I was talking with my colleague today and told him I had permanently quit FaceBook and he was surprised, since he felt I did put some really nice posts at times. As a matter of fact, the reason I quit FB was, FaceBook was not serving my purpose of reaching out to the world. With FB I was like a frog in the well: Born there, been there, seen there and die there...With Blogger, I was like, extending my wings outside the circle (and circle, not like in Signs, the crop circle bull crap, I mean, come on, how can some aliens be so dumb to create figures in crops and let people know 'We are here. We are here to whip your ass'. That would be the worst of sorry assed aliens who might have been rejected from the Alien community in Mars and went to MN Shyamalan to give them some chance to prove in real world).

Then we got talking about freedom to post and democracy which is what this post would be (sorry to mislead with the misleading title, could not think of something more catchy, but don't get ideas into your mind....No no no no no no).

What is freedom? If we ask a 4th grade kid he would probably talk about Mahatma Gandhi, Nehru, SVB Patel, and other freedom fighters. If you ask an adolescent, he might say, freedom for him is when his dad is not at home watching over him. A freshly recruited candidate in an IT company would say freedom for him is when his boss has taken a day off. An experienced person would say freedom for him is when his boss has taken a day off (oh we have a match).

According to me, freedom is not something we can see or speak. It is a feeling within. It is something that motivates us to live through the day to see another, all while still speaking truth and facts. Freedom is when I can look at a culprit in the eye and pledge before the law that he had committed the crime without having to worry about the safety of my family. When I can speak up in a press conference hosted by the premieres of our society and say they screwed up the society with their morals and ideals which were way off the mark of the common man. It might sound like more than what we can demand for, but that is what free democracy is all about. The word democracy has been bent and twisted in many places by many people that it has lost it's originality. Democracy is bound neatly with freedom. In democracy, you face every day through the eyes of truth, freely, unhindered by any one person who tries to take control of your life. Mahatma Gandhi once said "True freedom is when a woman can walk freely at midnight without any company". I truly appreciate these words and would like to add on to it. "True free democracy is when every person, man or woman, can walk the streets of the truth and honesty at anytime of their life, without having to worry about ifs and buts till they achieve their goal of a free country where you do not have any corruption, of mind, body or soul, where every child can grow up in the bosom of their father and mother and not orphaned out, where every religion has tolerance for one another, where we don't need a brick work to show God".

For God truly lives in a free democracy within every true person's heart and mind.

Oct 6, 2010

PhD in Slangology...the rediff way

Of all the things created by God, man is the most intelligent and beautiful creation. Of all the useful things created by man, rediff is the best place created to give relief to your frustration. I have been wondering for a long time now how a website could be so mind blowing (mind blasting for us Indians) with posting news and then the comments that follow. You don't need a punching bag or one of those "Punch your boss" flash games. You just need to open any post in rediff news section and post any crap you want, and no one cares. Infact, you will find followers to those comments, who are as less divine and sane as you are. Actually, that is one of the reasons for people to have so many followers in FB and Twitter (I never got the concept behind twitter...they say it is for micro blogging...How can someone ask another to STFU in as many words in Twitter....#user@STFU$GTFO...This looks like a whole new slang in itself).

But coming back to the main topic, I am a big fan of rediff comments section. That's because, this is the only place where we can learn a whole new world of slangs that I can never learn in any, or any other slang advocation websites. And all it takes is to post one comment that is completely different from the topic posted...So if there is any news on CWG scams in the news, all you have to do is talk about Anjaana Anjaani and there you have a fan following right there right then. BTW: If you are 21 years and below, stay away, just to ensure you are not learning anything against your "culture" (as if not saying Oh S*** is going to take you straight away to heaven, come on guys, grow up). Just to make sure the slang is not accidentally removed by the moderator, always remove spaces between your "bad" words and believe me, the moderator will not care to look at it. In fact, the half ass moderator might also think it is some C++ constructor definition and leave it be...(Put those parenthesis before and after and you are a Techie Slang Geek.

 I took the privilege of removing some words that might be "objectionable" to all you parents who think reading this will spoil the kids... all you suckers, why don't you go, get those internet blocking softwares to keep your brats away from reading about reality (net nanny, GetOutKids, etc..., and did you check your browser history 'cos you might be in for some rude shock?).