Apr 11, 2014

No, don't vote...

Its that time of the decade when politicians make hefty withdrawals from their secret Swiss accounts.
Its that time of the decade when the EC will seize mind-boggling sums of money, liquor and anything else the 'people' might need.
Its that time of the decade when laptop, mixer-grinder manufacturers and other businessmen will court the politicians.
Its that time of the decade (apart from diwali) when cracker manufacturers love. Double Bonanza!
Its that time of the decade when you will hear political fiction and fables.
Its that time of the decade when manifestos will be embellished by underpaid content writers and out of job copywriters.
Its that time of the decade when roads get a fresh coat of asphalt. Feast your eyes on them while they last
Its that time of the decade when you will see your politicians up close and personal. Remember to take their autographs

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, its time for the biggest song and dance routine in the largest democracy of the planet - The Great Indian Circus.

Interestingly, this time there are a lot of things that are different.
Call it the influence of our Arab cousins, we have become disenchanted and disgruntled. 
Corruption is no longer a closet topic and depending on who your daddy is, you'll either support it or defend it.

But like in everything else, we are very hypocritical too.
Ask around and chances are you will hear not many people are willing to vote.
Why? 'Because it won't make a difference'. 

When youngsters say this, I am flummoxed. When older people say this, I am exasperated. I remember that time when I lost my school captaincy elections by just 2 votes, and I begin to tell them how every single vote counts, but I am soon drowned out by their 'voice of reason'.

We all like it when we are handed out favors, when our bosses hear our suggestions (and when they are implemented), when our landlords listen to our complaints and act on them, when our apartment associations value our inputs (and our votes), when the local grocer gives us a little extra rice for that rupee you pay because you are regular, when we are rewarded for our performance at work after having worked for it. 

So when we love all this, why do we hate voting for our country so much?
Which part of the 'Corruption, Quit India' did you not like?

While many are celebrating how 100 million voters will vote for the first time, I ask what is the rest of the billion doing? Surely, we have more than 100 million who have chosen not to participate in the democratic dance this time too. 

Vote for the general elections this year, because this is probably the only ballot that will matter. 
Your apartment association cannot fix the creaking infrastructure. 
Your say in corporate affairs will probably earn you more, but if you don't vote, you're allowing the next batch of political scumbags to loot you of every last paise that you earn.
Your grocer might like you, but unless you choose the right politician, you will end up paying more for less. 

If you are still not convinced that you need to vote, I won't force you.
Cherish these final days where you could still read and write stuff like this.
Remember the days when petrol cost you just Rs25/litre.
When you could live an entire month with just Rs 15,000....
I could go on but you get the drift, right?

Get out and vote.
This is the time of the decade when you decide how your country and everything around you will be for the next 5 years. 
Make it count. 

Apr 6, 2014

And that's the way the cookie crumbled ... until now [2014]

Well, that was some Q1, wasn't it!

Arvind Kejriwal came in with a bang, and left at the same speed he came. He cried hoarse and we all sympathized with him.
So what if he isn't in power, his stock has only gone north since. Armchair campaigners everywhere are sitting up and googling him to their heart's content. They say he will be the best PM India can ever have. Sigh! Thousands said the same thing about our beleaguered Singh a few years ago.

In other familiar news, a 28 year old Mumbai girl was raped and left for dead by Pramod Upadhyaya, the night watchman at her own apartment complex.
A couple of clicks away, a homemaker in Mumbai was raped and filmed. What followed will shock your senses - The rapist's wife saw the video and went back and blackmailed the victim. The victim promptly killed herself.
And finally, a 17 year old girl escaped on the way to her 6th wedding in Hydrabad, to an Arab sheikh. I'll leave you to google the sh*t out of these 3 stories.
And I am pretty sure our government is sipping the good stuff right from the pond, in statistics that will either make you proud, or cringe in pain (depending who you are), India has the lowest non-partner sexual violence in the world.
But if you are a female (of any age) and would like to avoid getting raped, please listen to our beloved Asha Mirge of the National Women's Commission and 'Check your body language...'.
I'll now let you marinate in these nuggets of wisdom.

But not all was lost, the Shakti Mills dual rape set a precedent and the rapists got the noose. No, don't celebrate. Not yet.

In tragedies normal yet avoidable, an overcrowded ferry sunk off the coast of the idyllic islands of Andamans. 21 were killed. Many of them honeymooners. It is a sheer atrocity that we are citizens of a country let tragedies like this repeat.

So what if the government thinks a large percentage of us are dispensable resources, the SC did a second guess and ruled that gay sex is illegal.
But if you think you'll need acid anytime in the future, better buy them in bulk now before the deadline allowing sale of acids over the counter comes into force. News is that acid is literally flowing over the counters these days and the suppliers are laughing all the way to the acid factory.


Our western arch-rival cum estranged twin went to the headmaster and complained that we are getting more golden stars than him. Now, repeat after me - AWWWWWW

Our MPs might have lost the red beacons but they sure are flying in style in the land of maharajas. The Committee of Privileges (they even have a committee for that?!!) decried that all private airlines must allow MPs and their coterie the dignity of a maharaja. You think?!

And Microsoft launched the Chastity bra. Great! I just hope it doesn't hang (no pun intended) and give you the BSOD. 

Talking about Microsoft, Indians' came one step closer to world domination. We got our boy 'elected' as the king and CEO of MS. And we couldn't stop talking about how proud we were that we didn't give him (and thousands like him) the creative and academic nourishment here in India, so that he ended up having to go abroad. Brain drain, anyone?

In another case of brain drain, Americans got fed up with Beiber. Finally! They got 50,000 signatures asking Beiber to be deported. Epic!

Our shy and reticent Defense Minister, AK Antony came back from vacation, answered all his emails and got to work. And how!

The land of a billion, sent 3 athletes and 4 officials to the Winter Olympics at Sochi, Russia. Go figure.

Malya, the king of good times, surely knows how to give the tough run too. It appears that banks won't recover even a third of what they lend to the beleaguered airline. Gee, I so like it when one of my predictions come true.

Srini Saar got ICC but lost the BCCI. So folks of the Western World, this is how we are. We just can't let go!

And if you thought we only discriminate against Pakistanis, you are wrong. We cannibalize our own too. Nido Tania became the latest statistic of our hatred towards people who don't look like the rest of us. Delhi went into 'Kill the Chinky' mode. Chaos!

Li Na, one of the only top seeded Tennis player from Asia who actually wins tournaments and is easy on the eye(pun intended at you, Sania) won another tournament. Saina did us proud too! Girl Power!

Yuvi sold himself for a prince's ransom - at Rs 14 crores, he is Bangalore's newest blue eyed boy in IPL 7. Who said Malya doesn't have money? In your face, Kingfisher staffers, In your face!

Bloodbath at IBM! So was at Thomson Reuters, and a dozen other companies that wanted to shed those extra calories.

Penguin stripped The Hindu. No, not in Gotham. The pen was traded for the greenbacks and the fanatics. Being the pacifist people that we writers are, the most we will do is - take a hike.

Selfies became all the rage. And poor Leonardo Di Caprio didn't even get himself into the most famous selfie. He is as jinxed as Sreeshanth!

So we know that India is a land of glorious opportunities. Who you know is what matters.
Let me present to you the story of 2 princes -
Tarun Tejpal, convicted of rape and packed off to jail.
Shashi Tharoor, thrice married and probably the luckiest widower alive! Wife #3 dies in mysterious circumstances. Autopsy revealed several injuries and a couple that proved fatal. The man has neither been jailed on circumstances nor being investigated. The staffer that discovered the body quit her job and has been unreachable. Is it just me or does this stink of a coverup? Whatever it is, Aarushi's parents would've loved to use the Shashi Tharoor privilege card.

In Europe, Crimea burned. Russia took back its prodigal son and turned the dial back 20 years.
And Facebook got Whatsapp. So now Zuckerberg is responsible for the 50% of the time we waste every day.
Saharashree Subrata ran out of his 'Get out of jail Free' cards and was thrown into jail. He now plans to ask his 'faithful-as-a-dog' employees to raise his bail money. Where do you get people like this?

And its election fever - every political scumbag worth their black money wants to become the next Prime Minister.

Malaysia Air, the airline that boasts of being the finest in Asia, lost one of its planes and all on-board. And if that wasn't bad enough, the Malaysian PM declared that the aircraft crashed with no survivors, offering no proof of the crash. WOW!
But wait, this just gets better. The authorities want the crisis to settle down so that it won't affect the Grand Prix. Malaysia is Truly Asia!
Back home in India, our $133 million C130 crashed. That's coming straight out of our pockets.
And a local bus was lost, and found. Because, we are that amazing?

The chief minister of Karnataka woke up from his slumber and declared that he would commission the world's tallest statue here in Bangalore. Great! The government may not have money to pay its civic agencies but has plenty to pour in a pissing match with Modi.
Both of you, take a page from these slum girls. They raised thousands of dollars to fund a free library of books for underprivileged children from the Dharavi slum. Take a bow, scumbags. Take a bow.

In other news, Blade Runner Pistorius is in sh*t deeper than his prosthetic can hold him up from.
The makers of RayBan will soon manufacture Google Glass.
Sunny Leone did some justice to Bollywood and did what she does best, In Ragini MMS 2. Cheers to Horrex!


Khushwant Singh (99) passed away. His humor will live longer..
Muthalik was in and out of BJP faster than his disciples could say Attack! No regrets, eh Old Man?!
Egypt sentences over 530 to death. There goes another democracy!
And if you are a girl studying in a school in UK, feel free to pick up a condom before you head home and a morning-after pill when you get back in the morning. The story of our times, eh?

Finally, we truly are a nation of people who are always thinking of saving money. Listen to this - an American boy of Indian origin has proposed to the American government to change the fonts on their documents and save $400 million. So this means they can now save more of the money they don't have.

So this is how the cookie crumbled this year. We had a pretty strong start to another glorious year. With the FIFA World Cup and the IPL round the corner, I could continue to keep you entertained.

See you all soon!

Mar 18, 2014

The Colors of Life

Isn't falling in love such a wonderful feeling?
This world has such excellent examples of people falling head over heals in love. 

So what makes two people love eachother so intensely?
Can it be chemistry?
Can it be shared likes and dislikes?
Could it be both?

Whatever it is, Love isn't impatient.
Love can be that gentle tug without your heart when you talk or think about that person.

Love isn't selfish. Because you give all you can and expect little in return. 
Love isn't lust, because when you love that person, you could go an entire lifetime, without lusting. 
Love is that soothing tub of warm water when your body is freezing. 

No other emotion in history can be more powerful than to fall in love, desperately. 
While you are falling in love, you also wonder if you are going to get hurt when you hit the ground. True love can however make you land on the ground like a cat.

So is love a lost cause? 
I don't know.
But this I know. Love is that cognitive elixir that can make everyday life a whole lot easier to bear. 

Can we sell bottled love? 
Maybe never. 
Loving a person can be the most noblest and the most fulfilling act a human being can do.

Can we conjure love out of thin air?
Again, no.
Sometimes, you find it and you will live the rest of your lives, wondering why you didn't meet eachother earlier.
And then sometimes, you don't and you will live with a person who is incompatible and has nothing in common.
To find a person who can reciprocate the love you yearn for, is the single greatest goal humans have. 

So what is love?
Love makes you grin a little longer and blush pinker.
Love makes your walk a little more livelier.
Love is that feeling of security and trust.
Love makes you want to go that extra marathon for her.
Love makes everything around you so much better.
Love can shrink distances and let you hold eachother. 
Love can make your heart skip a beat when you are together yet apart.

Take love out of a person and the world will be a cruel place to exist but love can make life that much more colorful.

Mar 9, 2014

Raped by My Man

Two decades ago, when I was raped by a man while vacationing in Kerala, I didn't know what I'd do.
My family didn't take it seriously and brushed it aside. They thought I was lying. 

I was raped twice after that. 

For many years since then, I lived with the abnormal fear and mistrust of strangers. I suffered at school - was bullied right through high school. I hated and tortured my body and held myself responsible for what some guy did to me. I craved for love, ended up in relationships that had no trust and it affected me in as many ways it would have affected a woman.

While my wounds have healed since then, when I hear about abuses against women, I question how much of that goes unreported.
For every rape outside of a relationship that does get reported, there are 100's of wives who are being raped by their husbands that goes under the radar.

The perpetrator will enjoy his 3 minutes of sexual domination and roll off to his side of the bed, and sleep.
Shocked, in pain and still trying to grasp what just happened, she isn't going to sleep tonight or for the next couple of nights either.
He may see the sadness of what she is going through next morning, and apologize. On his knees, maybe. Until she nods a half smile. Probably a special romantic dinner or a surprise gift hoping that she will have magically forgotten the brutality of his actions the night before.
The wife is now thoroughly confused. She knows that he loves her. He knows it wasn't a mistake. She hopes it won't happen again, and he now knows he can buy her silence. 
He now has a wife who he can play out his rape fantasies.
The wife won't 'snitch' on their otherwise picture-perfect marriage.
To save her husband's integrity? To save herself from ridicule and shame?
She won't snitch not because she refuses to believe the man who she once adored is now her pimp and her unpaying client.

Because she thinks he owns her by virtue of being married.
The husband deserves to ravage her body because she promised herself to be loyal and understanding through sickness and health until death do they part.

 
Because she hopes that this will pass? 'This could be just a 'one-off' '
Sure! Every crime is just a 'one-off' to its victim.
Of all the crimes we have perpetuated, sexual abuse is one that is the most brutal, most cowardly and yet the most invisible.


But then why would a husband want to rape his wife?
She is married to him after all. Isn't she?
He is probably the only man she will ever be intimate to, so why he want to turn something that should remain so sacred and intimate to something that will forever traumatize her?
Could it be a mistake or an error in judgement on the husband's part? I wonder why we don't do equally good things in error too - like pledge to donate your eye, or write your wealth to the truly poor and needy.


But aren't we the culprits?
Our parents, their parents and their parent's parents have always perpetuated the idea of a husband's sexual dominance within a marriage. Girls are supposed to be docile and mute and willing givers of sex anytime he desires. In a case of art imitating real life, there were a lot of South Indian movies in the last Century which would invariably have a scene where the husbands rape their wives, and the wife would put up with it because she is the Bharati Naari.
But then this is not just India. Across Asia and Africa, centuries of gender discrimination has conditioned women to believe they are always a pedestal lower than men.


Why we haven't passed legislation to encourage victims to report and discourage husbands from this, is beyond me.
Sure, homosexual sex can land you in jail but if you are raped by your man, the law looks away.


March 8th. International Women's day.
When we celebrate women so eloquently, we forget the millions who silently endure unspeakable pain and untold guilt.

Thankfully, times are changing and our women are growing up. When I hear of wives who came out of abusive marriages, I do a fist bump and I hope we hear of more women who will learn to stand up against abuse. Everywhere.

Sources: 

Domestic Violence against Women

Feb 15, 2014

Women of My Life!

Many men that I know of see women as objects. 
Objects of Desire, Objects of menial labor, Objects of breeding and the list goes on...


Many months ago, when my Employer decided to have a whiteboard to allow women to make their voice heard, I saw a lot of stupid graffiti on it too. Obviously the handiwork of impish men who could not resist the temptation to scribble (or rant), this also shows how immature we as a gender are.

Having raised in a matriarchal family, I love the influence the various women have made on my  life. Ever grateful of the many ways that 'she' has helped mould my character and who I am today.

Woman's day is nothing new but this article is.
Delayed, not denied. Here's my tribute to the Women in My Life.

My Mom
An ever optimistic and eternally humble person. She was the glue that held all of us together.
Even when my Dad lost his temper or even when she was staring at widowhood, she stood by my Dad through thick and thin. Through sickness and in health. The 30+ years of marriage that they were together continues even though my Dad is no longer here. Having humble beginnings can do wonders to a woman's psyche. She never let religion stand in the way. "God is ONE" used be and still is her mantra. I learned all my lessons of being understanding, loving and home keeping from her. I still remember how she used to account for every fils (Kuwaiti coin denomination) in a small book with a small pencil. 
Her love for my Dad never lessened and post his death only grew. 
Thank you, Mumma. 
For the wonderful mom that you are. For the invaluable lessons you've taught me, in the only effective way; by living them out for me.


My Sister
Sibling rivalry.
I love my Sister inspite of all that we have gone through. Distance and time apart has made my heart grow fonder. Well, it also helps to see how my Sister has blossomed into an Incredible person who is mature and hardworking. We might have had our differences, but what's most important is that we are no longer fighting over petty things now. My Dad must be smiling from up there because I've never loved my sister so much or missed her as much as I do now.
A loving mom herself, her kids help me realise that there is hope in the next generation, after all. A complete Home maker and an Hardworking Career woman, she astounds me and is a role model for me.
Thank you, Chechi.
For forgiving me for all those times that I've been a pain in the sore butt. For understanding me and loving me.
For giving me an adorable Niece and Nephew that I dot on.


My Ex'es
The both of you.
Thank you for all the grief you've given me. You made me pray harder and longer. On my knees.
Thank you for helping me cry out in pain. I am a stronger person now.
Thank for the many ways that you made bankrupt. I owe my budgeting skills and investments to you. 
Thank you for the many ways you ripped my heart up. I've stopped relying on silly people.
Thank you for tripping me in to believing that partying and shopping is what life is all about. I've since found my Master - God.
Thank you for fooling me into believing that you loved me. I am now with the most amazing woman that I can ever ask for.


For the many other women in my life, Thank You!
You've helped glaze this clay pot.

We need strong, caring and determined women now more than ever. When we raise our glasses and toast to a new year, we skim over the one important person in our life. Just a day won't do. Just shopping discounts can't make up for the lack of strong women.


Let this year be the Year of the Strong Women!

Dec 31, 2013

While you were gone: November / December 2013

Vanity of vanities.

Life is futile. Case in point - The last 'real' king of the erstwhile princely State of Mysore, art connoisseur and overall pompous guy, Srikanta Datta Wodeyar, passed away after suffering a massive cardiac arrest. This comes a week after he won a hard-fought election at the all powerful Karnataka Cricket Club. For a guy who had seemingly limitless wealth and power, the irony of his end amuses me.

And then when the time comes, we all have to go. Nelson Mandela, arguably the most loved human being on the planet after Mother Theresa, died . And we all mourned. Some in their unique ways. Obama took selfies and we all sat on our moral high horses and tut tuted. Aw c'mon! How many of us can honestly say we haven't done something similar at an inappropriate time?

As Indians, we are used to politicians who speak with their feet in their mouths. After many weeks of seeing Rahul Gandhi in action, we must now appoint him as the head chieftain of our village politics. You want change? You want progressive change? Rahul G is the man!
Don't make him PM, get Modi in power, and have G at the opposition and that could be the start of something good.

Our SC decided to undo any of the good deeds it did over the last year (maybe Santa didn't make it in time) did a double take and put our 'unwanted' back into the dark ages.
Lalu was freed and thanked all for the 'gross injustice that has been undone'. Rabri can now go back to her kitchen.
In one swipe, we have wiped away any sign that we are a free and progressive nation. Rahul might say otherwise, but I doubt if he has the gumption to take initiatives unless we protest.

In an absolute shocking (in a nice way, ofcourse) turn of events, Arvind Kejriwal won the elections at the national Capital and became its newest Chief Minister. That he ousted a chief minister who stayed in power for decades is not the highlight. That he achieved something that was virtually unimaginable just 365 days ago is what gives us the hope that we are not a nation of pushovers.
Kejriwal may not need a certificate from his blindsided rivals, but he got dumped by his former compatriot and that will hurt him for some time to come.
Voters have fought back after years of apathy and this is just the beginning. The torch has been lit and the bonfire is ready. For the first time in history, we are truly ready to be known as a nation of the young who can't wait to set right the wrongs our past has done to us.
We are ready!

But what we are not ready for is when we get stiffed abroad. Ever since 9/11, when Uncle Sam has been suspicious about our curious brown skin and curiouser names. Our celebrities have been fondled at various US airports and we have cried blue murder.
So when an Indian Diplomat was arrested, hand-cuffed and thrown into a cell with murderers, rapists and other white-skinned ruffians, we took offense. And how!

Quick flashback: Devyani Khobragade, acting Consul General and seriously hot PYT, committed visa fraud by misrepresenting facts while hiring a domestic maid from India. She underpaid the maid too and allegedly changed the terms of contract after hiring her.
Well, taken from an Indian context, this is not out of the ordinary. I can name atleast 5 people I know who treat their maids/man-servants worse.
What followed was diplomatic Armageddon. India retaliated so fast that it spun Uncle Sam's head. It was so rare, swift and profound that even our neighbors would've sat up.
What bothers me is how a diplomat from the land of Gandhi, decided to hire a nanny for her children and then treated her as a lesser mortal and how we take offense. See, what rankled our chains is that we are a nation of people where we cannot perceive our middle class being arrested and tried with impartiality. We are so used to being treated with kid-gloves, even when we know we have have done something wrong. Thus the 'anything goes' attitude we are renown for.

And then the skeletons came tumbling out of the cupboard. Apparently, with the way rules were bent during while she was training as a young IFS officer, Devyani is in the league of incredibly powerful Indian women.
Or perhaps we just wanted Uncle Sam to scratch our backs back.
So inspite of breaking the law of the land, and instead of penalizing her, we just moved her to a notch below God. We promoted her to the UN. Aren't we amazing?!

And while we exult our lawbreakers, Kim Jr executes them.
China asserted itself on international waters. Shouldn't come as a shock or a surprise to Americans who have been doing the same for decades since the last World War.

Hrithik Roshan did the split. Van Damme too.

About a year ago, when India was the epicenter of outrage against violence towards women, we all thought it would be the last time, we hear about heinous crimes. Not much has changed. In the months since, we saw grievous criminals go scot-free and others get the wink.

Singapore burned in slow flame. For a city country that seemed so perfect, the riots only proved that people can and will rise against even the most subtle forms of oppression.

For those who have everything in their lives, let's learn to give.

The past year we did have some advertisements that touched our chords, and some hard truths that we have conveniently glazed over..

If you thought education opened man's horizon of thought, think again.
True love? Here's one man's attempt to recreate the magic of his long lost wife
Have some time to kill? Here's the page to be.

Yo Yo Honey Singh, is clearly the flavor of the season. Good for him. And Beiber retired. What?! I know what you're thinking? When did he ever work? Even a semi-trained parakeet could croon better. 



 

For every blockbuster  Bollywood made, we had two duds (Read Dhoom 3).
For every well dressed celebrity, we had 3 nipple slips and convenient other peeps. 


I hope you all have a responsible New Year eve drinking responsibly, introspecting about your achievements and misses for the year that just passed, ready to accept a new year that is filled with the same hope and promise that every new morning brings.

And while you are at it, here's some food for thought -

Make all you can
Save all you can
Give all you can
Happy New Year, folks!

Dec 9, 2013

While you were gone: November / December 2013

'Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country' - JFK.
RIP Madiba

After years of unabated corruption and an economy that is going south faster than Obama's ratings, our unemployed but immensely talented youngsters are finally taking things into their hands.

ATM heists are passe. We now have our youngsters preying on people using the ATM. Earlier this month, a 'well-built young man..' attacked a bank manager when she was using her bank's ATM. She sustained severe head trauma when he attacked her with a machete. He later robbed her and escaped. Last heard, he is still at large. What surprises me are the following -

  1. How is it that CCTV cameras are not monitored real-time?
  2. How is it that we can't nab the culprit? Are we that incompetent? Or are we that impotent?
At the wake of this atrocity, the cops in Bangalore did what they normally do when they have a situation they have no idea how to grapple - Shut Down. Thousands of ATMs across the city shuttered and if you wanted to withdraw money, you were screwed.
But then, unlike bars and discos, ATMs are not something you can keep shuttered. So they opened. And we are none the wiser. ATMs still don't have guards and the ones that have, are senile old men on the wrong side of 60 and can't wield a gun, let alone fire one.
Happy International Men's day, anyone?

Israel was in the cross-hairs again. When will we all accept the fact that blaming Israel isn't going to change anything?
But what changed was - We cancelled the VIP helicopter deal. Big Effing Deal!
O knew that his healthcare website would crash. So tell me this. Is there ANYTHING that he hasn't been briefed on?

And if you were in the Subcontinent, you wouldn't have missed the All India All Hail Sachin bhajjan. And in the great Indian tradition of sycophancy, we tripped over eachother to award Sachin the Bharat Ratna. Seriously!
Next year, the Nobel prize.
But wait, Vishwanath Anand lost to Carlson in a rather tame match. Maybe we must stone his house and ask him to retire.

In our 'Crime This Month' section, we have Jyothi's parents raised a petition to have the juve tried under harsher laws. The SC appears to relent too. Don't hold your breath, though.
Tehelka honcho Tarun Tejpal did a Phaneesh Murthy. Epic mistake.
And out tumbled the skeletons. Some really old. How can we condone 'victims' who make a complaint years after the incident?
Across the Atlantic, Rajat Gupta challenged his $13.9 million fine.
Back home, the Talwars paid the ultimate prize for being what they were - Persistent and unrelenting. Never mind the fact that the CBI once told them they were not even suspects, the SC sentenced them to life in prison. Read 'em and weep, fellas.
And Oh! In a few years, we can also watch their ordeal in 30 mm. And why not. It has all the ingredients for a potboiler - Murder, mystery, sex, incompetent authorities, determined (stone-faced) protagonists and a trial by the people.

Pratibha Patel, arguably the worst excuse for a President, returned all official gifts that she got during her infamous tenure at the Rastrapathi Bhavan. What took her so long?

CobraPost did another sting and this time, unearthed an ugly network of IT companies willing to cultivate the social network for the right price. So that explains a lot of things now.
Bitcoin prices surged past the $1000 mark. Yay!
An enterprising Chinese thief sent 11 handwritten pages of phone numbers from an iPhone that he stole to its owner. Respect!
Scotland will finally be an independent country.
And talking about scot-free, Assange may not face any charges in America. If you ask me, Snowden looks more attractive now.
Uncle Sam, the international moral cop, flexed its muscles against China.
Everytime I think about America's diplomacy with the Orient, I remember 'Beijing 2008', a provocative painting which has been the subject of much discussion.


And the people of 'by-two coffee' went gaga when Starbucks opened its signature store in Bangalore. Okay, can we all settle down, please? Blah!
Delhi and 3 other States went to the polls and the AAP and the BJP packed off the Congress in a reply fitting a stray dog waiting to be euthanized. No offense, Priyanka.

In Bollywood news, Sanjay Leela Bhansali proved that even he can make puke colorful.
Ram Leela is the most expensive (and the longest) anti-dandruff/soft-porn/anti-gun propaganda that struggles to sell the Romeo Juliet story. That the couple kill eachother in the end is the only semblance to the 'adaptation'.
The 'romance' resembles lust, carnal lust. Surely, SLB wanted to capitalize on the real-life chemistry and he sure did. But knowing how Deepika is a gold-digger, this is one (more) on-screen chemistry she will regret in the future.
And Priyanka? She really needed the cash, I guess.
Ranveer, you've got potential. Take our advice and don't waste it!
So SLB, I'd give your 'magnum opus' a generous 1 out of 10 and that's only because you've obviously spent millions on sets. Read a more detailed review of Ram Leela by our guest blogger and movie buff Suparna here.

And so its December! The month of lists.
Stay tuned for 'Ze List 3.0'
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