Dec 8, 2014

While I was away... November 2014!

Take a seat.. this will take a while.

The other day I was on my way to work and I saw a smart young techie in his mid-sized economy sedan. Now we are all stuck in this kilometer long traffic that was barely moving and every other motorist decides to wait it out. Except for this chap. He is fuming! He starts honking like he's got a coronary valve about to explode. 
The motorist in front of him gets furious and doesn't budge an inch while the rest of us zip past him. 
I couldn't help but laugh at the way his impatience got the better of him. 
This is a scene that gets repeated at every rush hour in every road in Bangalore err. Bengaluru. I so want to buy a bumper sticker that reads - Honk if you know you are an Asshole! But I digress.

Earlier this month, desi etailer and India's answer to the Amazon announced the 'Big Billion Sale'. It was the perfect bait. Indians love a bargain and we actually salivate at the sound of the words - 'Big' and 'Sale'. And we all waited for 8 am on the 6th of October. The rest as they say is history. There was a sucker born every second and we all got 'flipkarted'. The euphoria didn't last. Sachin and Binny Bansal should have known better than to promise us a bargain and deny it. Couch shoppers vent their fury online and the Government decided to look into consumer complaints.

Meanwhile, Amazon India and the Future Group announced a tie-up that will retail Future Group's merchandise on Amazon's etail platform. Checkmate, Flipkart!

But not everyone got jacked. Employees at the Hari Krishna Exports Pvt Ltd, Surat got their Diwali bonuses and how! Its owner Savjibhai Dholakia announced a bonus of Rs 4 lakh each to buy a flat, car or jewelry. 

But that was not all
. Smriti Irani, Union HRD Minister, also gave away saris to each woman in Amethi.  

Gauhar got slapped. Twitter didn't crash. #DoubleStandards #InnerStrength

There is something chronically ill about our sense of entitlement. Some of our bright young entrepreneurs felt we need to protest through a kiss. Now, in theory, I can understand how we should protest against moral policing, but do we really have to kiss to do that? To me, kissing is such an intimate act and something that you'd do to express your love to another person. Maybe it works in socially progressive societies, but in a country like ours,

where we frown upon couples who intertwine their hands in public, how could you expect change when you kiss in front of 100s of other people. So by banning the KOL, we have again proved ourselves right that we are grand hypocrites who will ogle and re-watch the shit out of movies like Murder and Jism where the lead couple make out onscreen but when it comes to mere mortals, suddenly you'll find all kinds of indecency laws coming alive from the woodwork. But that said, we are still not ready for an event like this because the Kiss of Love in India only feeds the voyeurs who will take a picture of these couples for their 'private consumption'.

And if you are looking for more discrimination, all roads lead to Aligarh Muslim University who for decades didn't allow women into its library because that would lead to '4 times the boys'. What a bunch of prudes!

And at the other end of the spectrum, some of our cops did want the women dance to their tunes. Now, this is what I call the long arms of the law!

In between clocking all those frequent flier miles, PM Modi rounded up his motley crew of political allies and told them how their tasks have just begun. Really?! Can we have some accountability too?

After calling Modi a mass murderer for years, its fascinating to see the American volte-face. O called Modi 'The Man of Action'. Our 'onsite PM' even managed a diplomatic coup by inviting Barack Obama to attend the Republic Day parade.
Mr O, one piece of advice: Please don't let the women in your family take the cabs when you are here #NoCountryForWomen.

Union Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley, touched the hearts of the nurses when he gave a hand-written 'Thank You' note to all the nurses who cared for him while he was in the hospital.

Mamata's brother beat up a zoo staffer for not allowing him and his entourage into a zoo. If anything everyone will forget about this and nothing will ever change.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court sentenced 5 men to life in prison for raping a BPO employee back in 2010. Terming the 5 married men as 'beasts who were prowling the streets for a soft target to satiate their sexual thirst', this should be a precedent to how future sexual crimes should be treated.

After promising to probe and bring up billions of dollars in black money stashed in dozens of countries abroad, the Modi government finally submitted a list of 627 people to the Supreme Court. Many of them resident Indians and the rest non-residents. While the government will bask on the glory of having come this far, I'll wait before I celebrate. How much of this will be brought back and put to good use? Your guess is as good as mine.

We broke the impasse over a key WTO pact and all is business as usual with Russia.

The UN owes us over $110 million in unpaid dues for our peacekeeping operations. Now that's some serious moolah!

True to our tradition of being tolerant to nations left behind at the sidewalk, we pledged $4 million to rebuild Gaza. Respect!

But there has been a good lot of decision-making too. The government approved 33 long-pending defense manufacturing projects #MakeInIndia.
The Modi government also identified over 1000 archaic laws that will be axed over the next couple of months. 

In more 'feel-good' news, Tata Group's Land Rover has become the only Indian-owned entity to make it to the 100 most valuable brand in the world. Suck on that, Ambani! Oh and Ambu, your private jet has been acting cranky. Please check.

Indian bureaucracy is like quick sand. You can't sink if you won't struggle. The thing is, this is easier said than done. Australian Terry Walsh, India's hockey coach, threw his hands up in frustration and quit.

In political news from elsewhere, Japanese PM Shinzo Abe accepted responsibility for corruption within his cabinet and replaced 2 ministers who swindled millions of Yen to influence and buy votes for his government. Neither Ministers accepted responsibility for their actions.
Across the border, Benazir's idiot son Bilawal showed signs of puberty. And like any irritated teenager he ranted about Kashmir. But I bet he didn't see how he could be booed and heckled at a party's anti-India rally in London. We woke up the angry young man. Rahul thinks angry people are running the country. Why don't you put your pacifier back and mommy will sing some Italian lullabies for youWe have Rahul, they have Bilawal. Same to Same.

And after several incursions and dozens dead, our defense minister warned Pakistan of the pain if it persists with violations.
Closer home, Mamata is like the puny little uncouth brat with the uncanny ability to survive like a roach after a nuclear strike. With growing dissent, and unless she decides to pull a fast one, her days are numbered too. The last month, PM Modi warned her against inaction on the Burdwan blasts. One of the pitfalls of being such a populous nation is that, our lives are expendable. 

China declared war on HK protesters. No surprises there.
And His Royal Crappiness Kim Jong Un appeared in public for the first time in more than 6 weeks. Hell must have a landfill named after people like him.

The US-led coalition (of the willing!) finally decided to target ISIS targets after a string of beheadings. With a history of not completing the job they set out for, this would not end well for anyone. 

Sarita Devi, who shot to fame after the way she protested the decision that cost her a medal at the CWG, was suspended by the AIBA. Ouch! The price of dissent.
A student in the southern State of Kerala, was jailed after being caught 'disrespecting' the national anthem. While you might be outraged that this could happen in a country which immortalizes the freedom of speech and expression, I am appalled at how we 'unpatriotic' we as a society are.

In more Ebola news, the WHO declared Nigeria ebola-free after 42 days of incubation and the news that there hasn't been any new infections in that country. 

In what can be termed as medical miracle, a paralyzed man started walking after a path-breaking medical procedure that brings hope to millions of paraplegics around the world.

Pope Francis was in the news. A lot. For all the right reasons, he is the Pope that the Vatican needed 50 years ago.
As usual, another Baba Baba Black Sheep, Rampal, was in the news for all the wrong reasons.

Starting this month, we'll have the DILLIGAF section.. 
  • Many of you might have heard about the NY Times cartoon lampooning ISRO after we put Mangalyaan into the Martian orbit. And then in our own distasteful way, we pointed fingers back at NASA when one of their cargo ships exploded shortly after launch. And then we had a dozen other conspiracy theories and hoaxes circulating the web. None the wiser.
  • When there isn't too many real achievements, it is time for us to celebrate the mediocre and unusual. So when the newly appointed Defense Minister (and former Chief Minister of Goa) traveled 'cattle class', that made news. The Congress celebrated Nehru's 125th birth anniversary.
  • PM Modi kickstarted the 'Swache Bharat' movement and did the ice-bucket. Nice effort but look outside your air-conditioned offices and you'll see educated, socially-aware youngsters litter and spit. These are the same people who will forward the 'Swache Bharat' message on Whatsapp and the same glorious idiots who will jump the red light, ride their motorbikes on the pedestrian footpath and the cut the barricades to take a illegal thoroughfare. Hypocrites!
  • The Congress fired its most famous twitterati and MP Shashi Tharoor for 'praising and supporting' Modi's campaign. The first sign of a rot from within is when organisations try to muffle voices of dissent and criticism. 
  • ....and protected its prodigal son (in law) from fire. 
  • Yeddy got fingered, again and Shashi might get the roast.
  • Indian MPs in the grand old tradition of being treated like royalty vent their fury against our National Airline, for being treated like a commoner. Gosh! The torture they go through for us. 
  • Down south, a Bangalore top cop found it disrespectful that he wasn't allowed entry a prestigious Club because he didn't have his membership card. All hell broke lose! 
  • Jayalalitha left her jail in style. All hail Ram Jethmalani !! The pittance that the court ordered her to be paid is a farce.
  • Five Indian fisherman were also pardoned by Sri Lanka. Hero's welcome
  • And back in China, a man who made his millions when the government bought his land drives his BMW to his job as a sanitation worker. If this was an Indian, he would have built his third bungalow on encroached land and bought his second Land Rover by now.
  • So, vegetarian men may live a decade longer than the meat-eaters, but recent studies have shown that they have lower sperm count. 
  • 10 standup comedians vied for the title of the 'World's Funniest Person'. Applause!
  • A Saudi's US wife filed for divorce over email after being denied the right to see her kids.
  • Monica Lewinsky, the most famous Whitehouse intern to date, revealed that her affair with Bill Clinton cost her her integrity and reputation, in her first speech in 13 years when she joined Twitter. Well, atleast it gave us plenty of fodder for jokes since.
  • A US court allowed a human rights group to challenge the American government's 'suggestion of immunity' in a case against PM Modi. More drama. Oh this in the same year that India is re-elected to the UN Human Rights Council
  • And the UN questioned Israel on claims of abuse against Palestinians. Predictably, Israel defended its record. That's right, gentlemen. Let us all believe that.
  • A fraudster, who conned his elderly neighbor out of £40,000, faked being in a coma for two years in a bid to avoid being punished for the crime. 
  • Prince William and his wife Kate is expecting their second child, who will be fourth in line to the British throne, and is due in April 2015. Right On
  • PM Modi 'invoked' Nehru and Gandhi and hit Level 10 on the Indian sycophancy meter. 
  • Like a cockroach trying to get out of a flooding drain, AAP led the 'Swachh Raajneeti' or 'clean politics' in the run up to the polls in Haryana. Oh and not one to be outdone, the BJP used the Modi card and won. Touche` With the wave of anti-Congress rippling across the nation, it appears we will have political stability after decades of turmoil. The only problem is BJP's victory has also become one of its biggest albatrosses. With a motley group of fractured parties in the opposition, Modi will have to deploy all of his political acumen to have any of his bills passed. This is going to be a long session.
  • So while the BJP was on a winning streak in the legislative elections, the Congress, err... not so much. MNS lost its status as a regional party and ate humble papdi chaat.
  • The Shiv Sena cuddled up to the BJP and snuggled like long lost lovers. Oh I missed you so much, honeyAfter stiff lobbying, Haryana and Maharasthra got their first BJP chief ministers. 
  • Next up: Jammu & Kashmir.
  • And the flavor of the month was Priyanka Chopr.. er Gandhi. All hail the Dynasty.
Shweta Basu was released from the remand home and allowed to stay with her family in Mumbai. What surprises me is how we have had no qualms about dragging her reputation through the gutters when her 'high-profile clients' go Scot-free. I wish Shweta well and I hope she has the courage to come out stronger and not become an sad obituary tomorrow.
But if we believed defaming her will kill the world's oldest profession, we are fools. Supply is driven by demand after all. It is time we thought of bringing the millions in the sex trade into a legalized framework where they can be a part of the accounted workforce. The National Women's Commission (NCW) placed a proposal to legalize prostitution before a SC panel but considering how coy we are about this, I wouldn't hold my breath for a verdict anytime soon.

In a fit of misplaced linguistic pride, the central government ordered Kendriya Vidyalayas across the country to replace German with Sanskrit language classes. The SC and the German consulate had to step in and slap
common sense into the government.

Indian army estimates more than 2000 terrorists are waiting to cross into India. Well, give them all an Aadhaar card and let them live the Indian dream.
Oscar Pistorius is 'genuinely remorseful'. Remorse can't bring back the dead and won't heal wounds. This should be a reminder that a violent history has a tendency of catching up.

Hitler was a meth addict. Here's a toast for the 5 minutes that you wasted.

The subcontinent got some worldwide recognition when the Nobel committee awarded the 2014 Peace Prize to the Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousufzai and Indian activist Kailash Satyarthi. Much brouhaha followed and Malala released her book. While I subscribe to her cause, I wonder how she deserved it. Giving her the Peace prize is like giving the Param Veer Chakra for fighting a stray dog. A year ago, when she was shot to be killed, the world adopted her. Since then, I don't see how Malala has improved the welfare of the people she left behind. The villagers are still being hunted down, girls are still living perilous lives in a country that is being run by armed goons and brainless idiots. Ideally, a prize like the Nobel is (and should be) awarded in recognition of efforts past and plans future. As much as we fawn over her, what Malala has done barely meets either. Somehow, I feel the Nobel committee treats the Peace prize as a political brownie point that is given away for good behavior. On the other hand, Kailash has had a proven track record of rescuing and protecting children who would have otherwise lived horrible lives or died trying. 
Past recipients like Obama (who was nominated in the year he became the US Prez) smacks of political favoritism. Besides starting new wars instead of stopping it, I pray how Obama has contributed to world peace then or since.

So we all know how corruption and nepotism is prevalent in the corridors of power. The greater the power, the tougher to resist the fruits of corruption. However, earlier this month, when I read how Hunter Biden, US Vice President's son was thrown out of the navy for using cocaine, I thought to myself 'Gee, this can never happen in India'.

Diwali is also one of those times of the year when the cash registers start ringing. 
We had Farah Khan's Happy New Year, starring Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone.
Need I say more? Their last outing together gave us the terrible terrible Chennai Express. There is nothing happy or new about HNY. This is atrocious and like nearly all of SRK's movies in the past many years is something you watch only if you are sucker for extreme torture and cruelty. The story-line as kitschy as a gypsy's underwear, the premise as fragile as dried dog poop and the acting will make you cringe in embarrassment. SRK looks like a hairless chimp with shriveled face.
SRK: Please retire. 
Deepika: hmmm.. Nevermind. 
My Rating: 0.02

Bang Bang. Another movie that came out this month which went kaput! There isn't any semblance of a story-line and you should be flogged for indecency if you were lured by the posters, which by the way has Katrina Kaif (famous for the way she orgasms at the drop of a particular brand of mango juice) showing her lingerie. 
When scantily-clad Indian actresses intertwine themselves with macho men, that's art. When Aamir Khan stands buff, let's set the lunatics with their pitchforks free. 
My Rating: 0.02

But be sure to catch Haider. May not be a blockbuster but definitely, one of those few Indian movies that has been made well. 
My Rating: 8.0

And this past month, millionaire banker, Tory advisor, member and supporter of Countryside Alliance Sir David Scholey shot himself into infamy when he was photographed with a lion he killed for game. 

Our own 'Srini Saar' acquitted himself and demanded that he be appointed as the head of BCCI. And if you ever wondered why he's being clinging on like a starved leech, here's the math - BCCI being the cash cow that it is, ICC is like the Principal's office (nothing much of value in there) but the BCCI is like the treasure chest. But with the SC dousing any such aspirations, this is going to be a long winter for him.

In this month's 'Let's give a moment of silence' section,
The head of Iran's top Islamic clerical body Ayatollah Mohammad passed away after lying in a coma for several months. Let's wait for the next radical loony toon

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) barred India’s largest real estate developer DLF Ltd and six officials, including chairman K.P. Singh, from accessing the capital markets for three years after finding them guilty of engaging in fraudulent and unfair trade practices. Chances are the convicted will still continue to run these corporations through proxies.
And talking about proxies, Mukesh Ambani appointed his children to the boards of his telecom and retail businesses. Incredible India : The land of the rising children!

Sahara's beleaguered chief Subrata Roy will remain in prison, after his company failed to rustle up funds for his release. The higher they are, the harder they fall.

But if you are wondering where all that money is going, look skyward. Air India has been spending millions every year insuring aircrafts that haven't flown in years. Right stuff!

Bangalore used to be called the City of Lakes and Pensioner's Paradise. I've got a new one for it - 'Delhi of the South'. In the 3rd (unofficially this number could be in the high 3 digits) instance in the past 4 months, a 3 year old girl was raped inside a private school during school hours. And between the time I wrote this and when you've read it, atleast a few hundred more women have been molested, raped or touched inappropriately.

Relatives and loved ones of trekkers who were killed in a Japanese volcano eruption mourned over the loss. Many of them left their last moments on film.

Nirbhay, India's answer to the US Cruise missile was test-fired successfully. As the raging debate of priorities go, I lean towards a nation that should work on economic and social security and can't accept it when we still spend billions of dollars on arms and ammunition. Sure, we share porous borders with neighbors who want to fight us. But so does every other country in the world. Why we can't make all these weapons at home? We have the brains, the brawn and the bitumen.

In this month's 'Interesting News of the month' section, 
  • ...check out interesting graveyards here.
  • One more reason for Indians to have their chest swell up in pride. We finally have a strong scientific presence in the Arctic. Let's get busy!
  • In a sign of the times, a Detroit man has put up an advt where he is willing to sell his house in exchange for an iPhone. Living the American Dream
  • Read about the Chinese farmer who refused to sell his land and ended up living in the middle of the highway.
  • Want a patient ear and shoulder to cry on? Have 7 cups of tea.
  • What do you have that beats the world's most powerful camera? Megapixels, baby. At 576 MP, your eye is more powerful than the Dark Energy Camera (DECam), which can take pictures of Dark Matter. Touche
  • Read about the vanishing sand of our coastlines.. 
  • Paranoid about your internet security? Read this then.. 
  • Read about the man who 'loves' his cars and ...
  • ...the epic response of a police man in court.
And in Ebola news, after bungling up the WHO finally declared it under control in Nigeria. Good for them.

...and this is what happens when you park your car overnight
The government ruled that tobacco vendors will no longer be allowed to sell cigarettes individually. Considering how millions of smokers buy cigarettes in one's and two's for their hourly nicotine fix, this could be the noose around the neck of tobacco companies. ITC and Godfrey Williams' stock plummeted.

Now, in something that will blow your shorts away, read about the wife who secretly recorded her husband's gay encounter and the newspaper article that revealed the identity of the husband. #

Watch out for Ze List v3.0, coming soon!

That's all, folks. 

Oct 15, 2014

*Creative Visualization!

Any news is Good News! Atleast when it comes to advertisements. 

An average Indian is bombarded with atleast 5 different fairness cream ads, 2 different two-wheeler advts, 3 different soft-drink advts, 3 instant-food advts, 2 new car advts, and 3 jewelry advts during prime time. 

Many of these advts are mediocre and would've never seen the light of day if we had stricter legislature. B
ut hey! This is India. The land of free speech and suppressed libidos.
Take a dekho at my list of the most atrocious 20 seconds in Indian television here... 

Oct 8, 2014

While I was away... 2014!

Have you ever wondered why seemingly smart people make rules that don't seem to be so smart?
This month our apex bank, Reserve Bank of India, passed a law that said you can only make limited number of free cash withdrawals from ATMs. Defeats the purpose of having such a convenience if you are going to get charged for every withdrawal. This reminds me of the charge fee that Bank of America charged on their credit card holders. Time for an online campaign that could save all of us tons of money.

Talking about banks, cops caught the president of a regional cooperative bank for a Rs100 crore fraud. Beat that!

Modi continued to be the flavor of the season this month. Apparently, vacation's over for the country's highest-paid lazy-bums. Lok Sabha attendance jumped 104%. Finally!

While I still am not his biggest fan and didn't vote for him, I still think he is the smartest and the most promising politician to head the country and it's grossly unfair to question his motives and promises for the Acche Din. We stood by and watched Sonia and her unholy batch of political misfits loot and plunder trillions of dollars of wealth in the last decade. But suddenly we all want instant results. Zapp! Just like thatIf we wanted progress why did we put up with those bunch of nincompoops for the last decade. 

The Gandhi clan are planning a well-deserved vacation after their infamous drubbing. The more I think about the quagmire that is Indian Politics, the more I am convinced we need a limit on the number of political terms a person can occupy the top seat a'la the US.
But not before accusing Modi of stealing their spotlight. I know what you mean. So that was the spotlight? 
And what is with Rahul and his obsession with women's empowerment

Modi on the other hand has been all over the place. Putting out fires at home and building bridges out in his first 100 days as the Prime Servant of India. Pride!

He gave what will be remembered as one of the best Independence Day and the most 'chest-swelling in pride Bharat Mata Ki Jai' speech at the UN.
At the I-Day speech, he scrapped a bunch of redundant laws  and ditched the Planning Commission (which wasn't planning much anyway). He also made quite an impression with his nation-wide televised address to children on Teacher's Day.

Arun Jaitley had a 'foot in mouth' moment as he mocked the now (in)famous December 16 rape. Its a pity and a travesty of justice that we still have politicians that can talk this way

Meanwhile, it was all sour grapes for his political opponents (read Sonia G and Co.). 
Modi made the right noises at Nepal, , Japan and the US. It all summed up pretty well when a Congressman in the US Senate asked an Indian Journalist 'So you had to hold an election to choose this guy over Rahul?!". Take notes, Sonia.
And oh yeah, he also managed to get summons from a little known councilman in the US. Reminds me of a proverb in Malayalam 'No matter how mighty you are, a scorpion sting can still hurt'. But alas, as the Prime Minister, he enjoys immunity. Pray what immunity the Congress has?

The neighbor's house is restless too! It almost appears like Imran Khan can't wait to get married

With local legislative elections in major North Indian States, BJP is back into 'Mode: Election'. Enthused by its recent (and unprecedented) success, BJP appeared confident. Perhaps a little too confident? Because it lost the plot in UP to an old foe. Allegations and accusations flew fast and thick. 

Talking about thick, Amma finally got the 'Go to Jail' card, after 18 long years. The ruffians in Tamil Nadu ran amok. I think she was (quite literally) just the biggest and dumbest fish in the pond. What I am waiting for is Sonia G and her mutant bunch of cronies to be arrested, jailed and forever disqualified from politics. Now that will be epic.

Moving on to World News, threats flew back and forth between Russia and the Rest of the WorldGaza continued to burn Uncle Sam decides to wear the sheriff's badge once again.  The US also determined that it was time to go back in and complete what it should have done decades ago - eliminate terrorism in the Middle East. Why you ask? Well, if there is anything movies like Iron Man has taught you, it is that someone has to buy arms and ammunition from America. Where would the US be if it weren't for all the problems in the Middle East? 

But if you thought the Americans truly wanted peace, you couldn't be more wrong. The US will make all the right noises, do all the posturing and promise us eternal peace but knowing how the Americans have always left things half-done, I doubt if this is the last we've heard about the ISIS. Made up of officers of the former Saddam regime, the ISIS has been on a beheading spree. For the muslim lunatics, everyday is a bakrid.
Like the LTTE and the Al Qaeda, the ISIS is a ruthlessly efficient multi-tiered organisation that is fueled by the same things that makes the Americans drool - Oil. 
Its not that the US can't do the job, but it's just that they don't have the will-power to see through it.  
So in the last fortnight, we've seen how patriot missiles have pounded much of the infrastructure to kingdom com and then there has been expensive gaffes as well. Rookie Iraqi pilots air-dropped arms and supplies meant for the rebels to the militants! Good show. Just what Uncle Sam wanted - More weapons sold! 

India promised the US a larger pie of its multi-billion dollar defence budget. Back home, we have been making huge strides in technology ourselves. We test-fired the Akash and even left one of our live missiles unguarded at a South Korean port for 10 whole months! Pakistan, please note.
And the US 'killed' a secret experimental hypersonic weapon that can reach targets anywhere in the world within 30 minutes. Gulp!

Meanwhile, a commuter plane crashed in an highway in Tehran and an Indigo aircraft caught fire while landing.
In more tidbits of news about the ill-fated Malaysian Airways MH370, recent findings suggests that the aircraft may have turned south-bound earlier than presumed, which now means the search areas will widen. Meanwhile, families of the victims have announced a massive reward for anybody with valuable information on this aircraft and its passengers & crew.
And we had an unidentified plane in Mumbai.
After coaxing and encouraging India's space agency to set higher goals and achieve better, ISRO made us all proud by being the first and only country to put a satellite in Martian orbit in its first attempt. Working on a shoe-string budget (which incidentally cost less than the Hollywood movie Gravity), we did the impossible. Now, the hypocrite among us will complain about the money we had to spend on an interplanetary mission when we still have to sort out the mess back home, here's the answer - a mission like this proves that we have the technology and the engineering capability to achieve excellence. Technology lessons learnt from space missions and Formula One and the 'God Particle' experiments have helped us make huge strides in inventing and improving everyday technology. Besides, to be the only country to be able to do this in its first attempt is simply awe-inspiring. 

In this month's 'Let's give a moment of silence' section, Hollywood lost 3 of its legends. 
Sir Richard Attenborough, who needs no description. 
Robin Williams, lost the his battle to depression and killed himself. And Lauren Bacall
May God give their loved ones the grace to find peace with this loss.

In home news, get ready to be scammed the next time you visit a local mall/grocer in Bangalore, because your wallet is about to get a lot lighter. 
And if you have trouble reaching the cops the old-fashioned way, try tweeting your troubles. It worked for this gentleman.

India's greatest symbol of non-cooperation after Gandhi, Irom Sharmila, was released from prison. The celebration was short-lived because she was arrested again. Decades after we won our freedom through peace non-cooperation in style, I am amazed at how petrified and paranoid we are about letting others practice it.

And much to the joy of Modi and the chagrin of Sonia G, Congress puppet and disgraced former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit resigned as the Governor of Kerala. Saved us a whole lot of drama, if you ask me

With the holiday season upon us, and spurred by the insane discounts of it's deep-pocketed rivals in the last couple of months, Air India announced tickets at
Rs 100. And true to the reputation of most government websites, the AI website crashed soon after Rs100 offer: 

With the way his former colleagues have been writing 'tell-all' books, I doubt if Manmohan Singh is enjoying his quiet sunset years with books. 

Apple's mantra is 'If you can't outsell them, ban them'. Thankfully, the courts didn't agree with this. 

In 'Weird enough to be News' news,
Read about some hard love in Erotic Erosion
UP rapists to walk free.
After famously supporting Indian cricket, Poonam Pandhey cheered for FIFA and did the Ice Bucket challenge. I'd like to b*tchslap the idiot who nominated her in the first place.
Diageo Board appoints Malya as Chairman with one caveat: He must clear the wilful defaulter tag to stay in the position. Checkmate! I bet he didn't see this coming.
Pistoris (aka The Blade Runner) was convicted of culpable homicide and will be sentenced. And that's how the world lost an otherwise gifted athlete. 
Hundreds of coal blocks that were illegally auctioned by the previous Congress-led coalition government were cancelled because of gross violations of rules. And the plot just got thicker here..

The world had no shortage of smut this past month, when a hacker stole 1000s of (nude) selfies of Hollywood actresses from Apple's iCloud. Lessons learnt?
One of India's 'leading' national newspaper, Times of India rehashed a photograph of Deepika Padukone and ran looped video montages of her cleavage to reveal her 'inner strength' on Twitter. To saute insult to injury, TOI even complimented her cleavage.
What followed was pure anarchy. Hell hath no fury like a scorn of a Bollywood actress! 
Poonam Pandhey must be really upset everyone snubbed her ample and overflowing 'inner strength'.

In 'Things you need to watch out for' section, 
Modi put his weight behind the RuPay. Way to Go!
Watch out for ebola. With recent studies showing how the virus has already mutated atleast once, things are suddenly getting out of hand. Thousands have already died in the outbreak and with the way India's (and most of the developing countries') medical infrastructure is grossly under-prepared for a crisis like this, we cannot afford to slip. Do whatever it takes to spread the awareness and stop this epidemic.
We also got a first peep into what could be new traffic rules
Watch out for yet another over-hyped Indian blockbuster starring Rajnikanth. 
Pakistan arrested the gunmen who attacked Malala. Knowing how unstable the country is, I think the prisons are the safest places to be. 

I'd previously posted a video documentary on how young girls are trafficked from the impoverished North East. This news only proves that there are a lot of people who do the utterly thankless job of making sure women have the right to a dignified life. 

One of the greatest irony in India today is how our courts (and society) believes marital rape is okay but pre-marital consensual sex is rape. Today, 1000s of women use this legal sword to make sure the men they are having sex with, will marry them.
Case in point: Union Railway Minister and former Karnataka Chief Minister DV Sadanand's son was served with a lawsuit after his (ex) girlfriend accused him of raping her after promising to marry her. 

What I can't understand is, 
One- why would she wait this long before she files the case, and 
Two - What does she expect to achieve from this? Notoriety? Maybe. Does she expect him to marry her and live the life of the privileged political bahu? I don't think so.

In another instance of our double-standards, we all pounced on Swetha Basu when she was busted in a prostitution ring. While I can't support her for the decisions she's made, I applaud her for the courage she's shown to be honest and come clean. Bravo!

And then we have more brave-hearts than we'd like to admit. Enter Sarita Devi. Indian Boxer. Stung like a bee, yet took the high road. While the International boxing federation AIBA let her off with a slap in the wrist, I hope this doesn't snuff out the flame inside her. I admit I didn't know much about her until this happened, but when this did, I googled for and watched the recording of the match and saw how wrong the referee was. Nepotism in sport (or anything else for that matter) isn't new and as Indians we resign ourselves to this fact of living. We could all argue till we are blue around the gills about the right way to have fought this injustice. But the truth is - she did what she had to do, because it mattered to her. She sacrificed her time away from her new born and her family for her career. She lost the match. To us, she is just another medal statistic. For Sarita, this is the fruit of her toil snatched away. The metal on the medal doesn't matter. The validation does. 

In a few years from now, and in future matches, we will look out for Sarita. Because we know she is passionate about what she does.

Since my last post and now, the Scots have debated and finally decided to stay within the United Kingdom. The Brits let out a huge collective sigh of relief. It was a close call though. 

Saving the best for last, here's an interesting statistic: Between the time you woke up today and the time you drag your tired body (and mind) back to bed, 92 Indian women were raped.
Today it was some random lady/girl/child. You don't know her. You'll probably never cross paths with her. Today this is just a statistic for you. 
Tomorrow it could be your mother/sister/wife/daughter/girlfriend.
I'll let that sink in.


Aug 8, 2014

Spoiler Alert!

New Page in town! 
Holding the Thought.. Thinking while Driving.

Aug 7, 2014

And that's the way the cookie crumbled, in July Twenty14... [Part Two]

Guess who's getting lucky? Thats right, at Rs 8 lakhs a night, estranged wife of Hrithik
Roshan, designer Sussanne Khan demanded Rs 400 crores ($ 654 million) as alimony.
With the way vegetable prices have been soaring, I am pretty sure she needs that kind of money to survive.

iPhone wannabe Chinese smartphone Xioami stormed the Indian marketplace and took a flipkart. Sold Out!
From humble beginnings as a startup in Bangalore, Flipkart has come a long way. Now based out of Singapore, it got $ 1 billion in additional funding. The very next day, Amazon announced it is pumping in $ 2 billion into its etail business in India. Sure, etail is still in its infancy here but have they bitten off more than they can chew?

In more aviation news, there were some more close shaves and near misses. Good year for Nat Geo 'Air Crash Investigation'.
Call it superstition or a lame attempt to reinvent itself, after a spate of high profile disasters Malaysia Airlines will now rechristen itself and seek new investors. 
In other disaster news, a massive landslide buried an entire village and if it wasn't for an alert bus driver, we would have been digging out corpses by now. The culprit? Rampant deforestation and soil erosion. Sadly none of this will shock any of us any more.

Afghanistan accused Pakistan of stoking violence. Who knew?!
ISIS hoisted its flag in Kashmir. Great! Another butt to kick.
Boko Haram tied up with Dawood Ibrahim and made good logistics sense.
A Japanese girl in Tokyo was arrested after she killed and fed on her classmate. Brings more meaning to the term - Peer Bonding.

Jane Goodall, known for her decades long work amongst chimps and great apes, predicted the apes will go extinct if we continue to poach and encroach. 

On the heels of the 'emotional contagion' experiment FB did on its users, OKCupid tweaked it's users data and preferences to test how potential partners would react. There goes my faith in the system.
And cementing my belief in the obvious, a research showed that the longer you remain on FB, the more depressed you get. Finally!!!

'Vijay Malya is an accidental defaulter and not a willful defaulter' Sayeth UCO, one of the bank who lend his now-defunct airline 1000s of crores as loan. 
Air India had an eventful month this month, when it launched flights on the Delhi-Moscow route for the first time in 15 years. 

VR Bhat, a freelance writer and a self-proclaimed RSS worker was sued for slandering a woman on FB. Quote UnQuote 'Women against Sanatana Dharma must be raped', he is the kind of scum that we don't need.
Dozens of factories that dumped their sewage in to the Ganges were ordered to be shut down. The first step towards cleaning up Hinduism's holiest river.

The Costa Concordia was finally towed away for dismantling and further east, children who survived the South Korean ferry crash testified against the captain and crew of the ferry.

In 'Weird enough to be News' news, 
  • An uptown bar in London conducted a pheromone party where participants could find their partner by sniffing 3 day old sweaty tee-shirts. No big deal. Indians in India have the pheromone parties every morning and evening when they use public transportation.
  • A Brazilian artist made dresses out of unused condoms. Thank God he chose the unused condoms!
  • After killing off Archie, the upcoming 26th season of the animation series Simpsons will see a major character being 'killed off'.
  • Bill Clinton got punked! By Indian government officials. The officials masqueraded a student from a better school as a child of the government school in Uttar Pradesh that his foundation supports. 
  • An Austrian priest was furious after he found out his church was used as a location for a porn film. The things pastors have to go through for us!
  • Want to have a threesome? Download 3nder, an app that allows you to locate that eager beaver for your romp. 
  • After kicking out every major business in the last few years, Mamatadi has gone to Singapore to convince industrialists to open shop in Bengal. Ha Ha!
  • Sikh basketball players where thrown out of the FIBA championship in China. Somehow the Chinese still manage to rub us the wrong way every now and then, huh?
  • Locally known as 'End of the World', a giant crater in the middle of nowhere in Siberia baffled scientists. Maybe the Americans could search for oil there but I digress.
Papa Mulayam poured out some ancient wisdom. Rapes are no big deal, until it strikes a lady in your family.

Honda fresh after the box-office hits of its City and Amaze introduced the Mobilio. Considering how slick Honda has always been with their product promotions, this could give Toyota, Maruti and Tata a run for their money. 
On the other end of the price spectrum, Porsche announced the launch of their luxury SUV - the Macan at Rs 1.11 crores. Sussanne, you can buy it.

In this month's 'Let's give a moment of silence' section, 
South African writer and winner of the 1991 Nobel Prize for Literature Nadine Gordimer passed away. 

In truly incredible news of selfless love, a Muslim husband in Uttar Pradesh donated his kidney to his wife. Against the wishes of his parents. 

Guess who is giving the Pride of our Nation, Sunny Leone, sleepless nights? No, not who you thought, but I like the way you think
Its Dana Vana. Like a moth to a flame, phirangis are drawn to Bollywood. 

Watch out for Ebola. Without a vaccine or a cure in sight, this virus has always been the most potent immunodeficient viruses in the world now. With a mortality rate of almost 90%, this is one virus that can become a epidemic really fast. Read more about the virus here.

Ok ladies, have you ever envied how we men can pee standing up? Do you dread using those crusted discolored Indian toilets? Well, worry no more. Introducing Pee-buddy. An unique use  and throw contraption that will help women pee standing up. 
Next Week: How to fart like a man.

Meanwhile, Harley Davidson decided to outsource production of all its bikes to India. The last frontier!

And in good news to those who remember their vehicle's mileage better than their partner's birthdays, Petrol will be less dearer by Rs 1.09/litre.

India's Foreign Minister, Sushma Swaraj, told the US Secretary of State John Kerry that we won't tolerate any more snooping. Maybe we should ask Snowden for more help

Adieus Good People of the World! See you all next month.
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