Friday, December 19, 2008

Koftey Hard Ho Gaye!

Jugni Chad Di A.C Car

Jugni Rehndi Sheeshe Paar

Jugni Moh Mohni Naaro Di Kothi Sector Chaar

( Jugni Hasdi Ve..Hasdi ) Te Dil Vich Basdi Ve..

Dibakar Banerjee must have spent the better part of his formative years as a fly on the inside wall of a Punjabi family in Rajouri Garden. What else can explain this phenomenon. The guy gets Punjabis the way Shakti Kapoor gets shady.

Khosla ka Ghosla was inventive, mad, funny and uplifting. OLLO is outrageous, dark, witty and depressing (all in a good way). Dibakar Banerjee has created a parallel Punjabi universe that is at once endearing and cringeworthy. And the music. Bat out of Punjab! Superchor has been playing on my mind in a loop ever since I heard the thing.

Badi "varaity" hai ji is ladke mein.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

On Joseph O'Neill's Netherland

A ringing endorsement of Netherland on the cover of the book says, " ...The story is hard to put down, for its characters are so real and their preoccupations so urgently of the now, that the book has the vividness of breaking news." I am not sure if I agree with this analysis. Most characters in Joseph O'Neill's Netherland are so fantastic and their preoccupations so laid back and meandering that its hard to imagine it as any kind of news.

That however is just a rebuttal of the blurb on the cover and not a criticism of the novel itself. For Netherland is a spectacularly written novel stitched together with sentences that at once evoke awe, nostalgia and admiration for their preciseness and lucidity. It is a complicated yarn which dabbles in philosophical musings on the nature of love, marriage, friendships and cricket and paints a vivid picture of the three cities that its protagonist inhabits - New York, The Hague and London.

Netherland is a first person narrative by the excessively brooding and given to digressions, Hans Van Der Broek, a Dutch investment analyst with an English Lawyer wife and a tragic love for the game of cricket.

"...I was once again confronted by the seemingly irresolvable conflict between, on the one hand , my sense of an innings as a chanceless progression of unorthodox shots - impossible under local conditions - and, on the other hand, the indigenous notion of batting as a gamble of hitting out. There are hornier dilemmas a man can face: but there was more to batting than the issue of scoring runs. There was the issue of self measurement. For what was an innings if not a singular opportunity to face down, by dint of effort and skill and self-mastery, the variable world?"

and elsewhere

"...There was nothing, in principle, to stop me from changing my game, from taking up the cow shots and lofted bashes in which many of my team mates specialized... I could not, more accurately I would not change...I would stubbornly continue to bat as I always had, even if it meant the end of making runs"

Cricket in New York is at best an amusing diversion and the sole preserve of a motley bunch of Asians and Caribbeans. Hans is the only "white" cricketer in the entire group and yet finds himself completely at ease in this diverse group. A bunch of ordinary people attracted by the lure of the great game in a foreign land.

Chuck Ramkissoon, a character who looms over the novel's landscape is, to define him in cricketing terms, a genuine all rounder. He speaks with authority on topics eclectic and exotic. He is a charming rogue - go-getting, mysterious and impulsive. A calypso Huckleberry Finn who has managed to age gracefully. His dream is to bring to America, the unalloyed joys of playing and watching cricket. Hans' and Chuck's is a friendship that is rooted in the reality of mutual expectation. Chuck needs Hans' credible exterior and patient audience for his shady dealings and grandiose pronouncements while Hans looks forward to his meetings with Chuck as a means of getting away from the lonesome reality of his post 9/11 New York life and troubled marriage.

The most striking feature of the novel is the freshness of its prose and its aptness. That itself makes the novel a definite must read. It does help though, that the characters and the narrative are first rate too.

"Some people have no difficulty in identifying with their younger incarnations...I, however, seem given to self-estrangement. I find it hard it muster oneness with those former selves whose accidents and endeavours have shaped who I am now...
I still think, and I fear will always think, of myself as the young man who got a hundred runs in Amstelveen with a flurry of cuts, who took that diving catch at second slip in Rotterdam, who lucked into a hat trick at the Haagse Cricket Club. These and other moments of cricket are scorched in my mind like sexual memories, forever available to me and capable, during those long nights alone in the hotel when I sought refuge from the sorriest of feelings, of keeping me awake as I relived them in bed and powerlessly mourned the mysterious promise they held."

Monday, October 20, 2008

In Anticipation of Terry Pratchett's Nation

Terry was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's earlier this year. A condition that he then described in his typical style as an "embuggerance" has now slowly started affecting his brain functions earmarked for day-to-day activities. There seems to be very little medical science can do at this moment to cure or control this disease. Its a highly rare form of dementia and the fact that it should have struck Terry of all people is proof enough that gods do not have a sense of humour. Terry himself is not taking this lying down. He has pledged a million dollars in support of Alzheimer's research and is actively crusading for more government spending on dementia research. Here's a link to an impassioned article he wrote recently in a newspaper talking about the disease and what it does to perfectly normal people.

I spoke to a fellow sufferer recently (or as I prefer to say, ‘a person who is thoroughly annoyed with the fact they have dementia’) who talked in the tones of a university lecturer and in every respect was quite capable of taking part in an animated conversation.

Nevertheless, he could not see the teacup in front of him. His eyes knew that the cup was there; his brain was not passing along the information. This disease slips you away a little bit at a time and lets you watch it happen.

By all standards Terry Pratchett's output has been staggering. Not only in terms of sheer volume, he averages around 1.5 books a year, but the quality of his writing has been first rate throughout. As a humourist Terry is in the same league as Wodehouse and as a humanist he is in a league all by himself. To typecast him as a purveyor of fantasy is akin to labeling the Beatles as just another cute boy band. He is not so much a writer of fantasy as he is a fantastic writer. He writes with equal felicity on topics ranging from the nature of belief, fundamentalism, organized religion, sexism, racism, political strategy, foreign policy, pop-culture, rock music, shallow patriotism, journalism, corporate greed, education to policing while making you laugh and think at the same time. This is a rare gift.

Nation, his latest book, which is incidentally a non-Discworld novel was released last month amidst much fanfare in relative obscurity (as most of his books are). I had to order it online and I receive my copy tomorrow. And it will be with a sense of anticipation and appreciation that I will commence my reading of it because there is a possibility that he might be no longer as prolific as he once was. But then again given the near certainty with which million-to-one chances come good in his books I am sure he will be just fine.

Nil illegitimo carborundum Terry.

PS: A minor rant against Crossword, the book store. I am not sure if it passes muster as a bookstore of any consequence. With the temporary closure of the Landmark store owing to the fire incident at Infiniti Mall, I had to go to crossword to see if I could lay my hands on PTerry's 'Nation' and Joseph O'Neil's 'Netherland'. Crossword did not have either. Buggrem.

No Bylines

Have you noticed, most articles on Cricinfo covering the Australia tour have no bylines. Just a "Cricinfo Staff". Wonder why.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Quality of Sprawl

Nice. Us Likes. From Al-Lude's blog.
The Quality of Sprawl - Les Murray
Sprawl is the quality
of the man who cut down his Rolls-Royce
into a farm utility truck, and sprawl
is what the company lacked when it made repeated efforts
to buy the vehicle back and repair its image.

Sprawl is doing your farm work by aeroplane, roughly,
or driving a hitchhiker that extra hundred miles home.
It is the rococo of being your own still centre.
It is never lighting cigars with ten dollar notes:
that's idiot ostentation and murder of starving people.
Nor can it be bought with the ash of million dollar deeds.

Sprawl lengthens the legs; it trains greyhounds on liver and beer.
Sprawl almost never says, Why not?, with palms comically raised
nor can it be dressed for, not even in running shoes worn
with mink and a nose ring. That is Society. That's Style.
Sprawl is more like the thirteenth banana in a dozen
or anyway the fourteenth.

Sprawl is Hank Stamper in Never Give an Inch
bisecting an obstructive official's desk with a chain saw.
Not harming the official. Sprawl is never brutal,
though it's often intransigent. Sprawl is never Simon de Montfortat
a town-storming: Kill them all! God will know His own.
Knowing the man's name this was said to might be sprawl.

Sprawl occurs in art. The fifteenth to twenty-first
lines in a sonnet, for example. And in certain paintings.
I have sprawl enough to have forgotten which paintings.
Turner's glorious Burning of the Houses of Parliament
comes to mind, a doubling bannered triumph of sprawl -
except he didn't fire them.

Sprawl gets up the noses of many kinds of people
(every kind that comes in kinds) whose futures don't include it.
Some decry it as criminal presumption, silken-robed
Pope Alexander dividing the new world between Spain and Portugal.
If he smiled in petto afterwards, perhaps the thing did have sprawl.

Sprawl is really classless, though. It is
John Christopher Frederick Murray
asleep in his neighbours' best bed in spurs and oilskins,
but not having thrown up:
sprawl is never Calum, who, in the loud hallway of our house
reinvented the Festoon. Rather
it's Beatrice Miles going twelve hundred ditto in a taxi,
No Lewd Advances, no Hitting Animals, no Speeding,
on the proceeds of her two-bob-a-sonnet Shakespeare readings.
An image of my country. And would that
it were more so.

No, sprawl is full gloss murals on a council-house wall.
Sprawl leans on things. It is loose-limbed in its mind.
Reprimanded and dismissed,
it listens with a grin and one boot up on the rail
of possibility. It may have to leave the Earth.
Being roughly Christian, it scratches the other cheek
And thinks it unlikely. Though people have been shot for sprawl.

Friday, September 12, 2008

A thing for Saambaar

I like Sambaar. I like eating it, I like cooking it and there have been times I must confess when I have craved for Saambaar. This is usually when I am travelling and I start resembling a grumpy South Indian man of about forty by day three. A few people have asked me pointed questions if I have any confessions to make regarding my guilty food pleasures- is it chocolate, is it cake, is it chocolate cake? I tend to just give them a crooked smile, a wink and a nod. I am not sure if it is socially acceptable to reply Saambaar. They'd think I was a grumpy old South Indian man of about forty.

And why do I bring this up? I am writing this post sitting in Melbourne's Tullamarine airport waiting for my flight to take me home, and if we were to rewind back to within two hours from t-now you'd have spotted me at Laxmi Vilas Vegetarian Restaurant in Dandenong happily immersing myself in what could well be the most 'dhansooo' Saambaaar in the Southern Hemisphere. With a couple of Vadas to boot. Me content. Me sated. Me back to being a cheerful South Indian man of about twenty nine.

Just the right amount of 'hunnse-hannu' juice, podi like mum makes it, thoda takkali thoda magic. For a few minutes there Melbourne almost equalled Madras.

Monday, September 01, 2008

The Great Ball(s) of China - Jeeban Bhai's Olympic Diary

Wanted to give meself a bit of time to settle down and drown out the effects of the massive games hangover before I did a full length post on mine experiences at the Olymbics.

Summit Chaurasiya (, my esteemed former classmate, purveyor of poetic profanities and philosopher extraordinaire, had he accompanied me to the Games would have summed them up in his typically pithy fashion thus: "Raita Phaila diya chinkion ne." And Raita indeed was phailaoed in unmeasurable quantities in Beijing.

21st August
Minor disappointment upon arrival. Our flight docked itself at Terminal 2. Was really looking forward to checking out the new and 'gajab type' Terminal 3. Ah well, bugger that for a lark! It would take a lot more to put me down. We were picked up by one of the organizing committee reps, put into a fantastic car and shipped to our hotel. All very efficient and well done.

Bhokaal Alert no. 1
En route to the Hotel, I noticed that while our car was zipping along at a reasonable 90kmph on the empty leftmost lane, the other lanes, all three of them were packed with traffic crawling at Abey Kuruvilla like pace. Curiosity was aroused. I asked the driver "Dost, yeh kaisi chaal?"
Aparently one lane on every Beijing road, especially the main highways, had been earmarked for Olympic visitors travelling in specially accredited vehicles. And not one sod had the temerity to even touch this lane with his vehicle. Ah, the joys of unilateral decision making.

The hotel was plush, in the "bahutey mehenga" category with a well endowed Hospitality lounge for Olympics guests - round the clock food, drink, internet, television. I felt like Castro. There was an army of efficient volunteers who handed out our passes, tickets to venues and a list of must do's and absolute dont's. China is a largely unambigious place. There are things that you can do and things which will probably kill you. I had tickets for the Athletics that night. The last bus was leaving at 5pm. Ran into my room, dumped my bags, changed into new T-Shirt especially bought for Olympics, out came the camera and J was ready to go.

Overheard a colleague mention to another colleague, what I think is the understatement of the year. "Theek thaak kiya hai arrangement mere hisaab se."

The bus beat a path down the Olympic lane at a fair rate and within 15 minutes as it snaked up a flyover we spotted the 'Bird's Nest.' There are various theories going around about how the Nest was conceived. Some say that the architect did not have the foggiest as to what he was thinking, some call it a marvel of abstract visualization, some see it not as a nest but a cage symbolizing China's control freakishness. But the fact remains that its an arresting spectacle. The way the bars rise out of the ground in random directions and somehow manage to hold everything together is a fascinating sight. Engineer colleague from REC background immediately remarked, "Abey ismein load bearing column kaun sa hai." To which Engineer colleague from IIT background responded, "Khurmi-Gupta ke students ke bas ka nahin hai yeh sawaal."

Ze Bird's Nest

Athletics Watch Update:
W 1500m Semi, M Decathalon High Jump;
W Javelin Final; M 800m Semi;
W 4X100m relay 1st round; M Triple Jump Final
M 4X100m Relay 1st Round, M 400m final, M Decathlon 400m

The highlight was definitely the 4X100 relays which featured baton drops during the last transfer for both the US men and women's teams. Such hearbreak. Wonderful drama. Tyson looked everything but Gay. The triple jump again was fascinating and made even more so by the fact that we were sitting right in front of the pit (merely 11 rows away). Philip Idowu, he of the gangsta rapper looks, flattered to deceive and ended up winning silver.

Idowu tries hard but doesnt make it

Bhokaal Alert No 2
Celebrities spotted: Usain Bolt

All in all an excellent day, met all expectations and then some.

22nd August
This was the day we were supposed to do the tourist thing by paying a visit to the Great Wall. We entered via the Badaling Section (I wonder if there is a double-meaning Hindi connection here) which is also the most popular one via an outrageously steep and noisy ropeway. First impressions on the wall from Tambram colleague - 'itna bada diwaar banane ka jaroorat nahin tha'. The Ching dynasty emperors must have turned in their graves.

Just the fact the wall covers more than 6000km is enough to boggle the mind. Never mind the fact that they took 2000 years to complete it. Which makes it about 3km per year. Better than BMC even then. Bought a few T-Shirts and a bag as part of mandatory tourist souvenir shopping. The shop owners were a pleasure to chat with:

J: How much for this T-Shirt
Chinese Shopkeeper: 120 RMB
J: How about 15 RMB?
CS: Sold. You want more? I can give discount.

There is something highly unsettling about this kind of a conversation.

The programme for the evening was the big ticket basketball semis featuring Lithuania, Spain, Argentina and the USA. The basketball stadium looks from the outside as if they could not complete it in time so they had to cover it with a large curtain. On closer inspection it emerged that the curtain like thingy was a design element. Overheard colleague from Kanpur say, "Do kaudi ka design hai."

Bhokaal Alert No. 3
Celebrities On View:
Ricky Rubio (the outrageously gifted Spanish point guard), LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Jason Kidd, Pau Gasol, Luis Scola

Major Major Celebrity Spotting: Diego Maradona (bachpan ka sapna poora category)

The games themselves were slightly underwhelming what with the Spain/Lithuania match marred by numerous fouls and the US/Argentina match not living up to expectations as a match-up of the two best sides in basketball. Nevertheless unhealthy amounts of fun was had.

Kobe going for three
23rd August
We were all quite exhausted by the rapid Guy Ritchie style pace of our itinerary so far. Add to that a diet consisting exclusively of Bread, Butter, Biscuits and Salads for a fundamentalist vegetarian like me, things were not quite fulltoo. But we atent seen nothing yet. Day 3 was the baap of all days. Early morning start to the Olympic green where we were supposed to visit the company pavilion and generally hang around until lunch time. Now the Olympic Green can be best described an outrageously large area of land consisting entirely of concrete pavement and chinese volunteers. For every tourist the organizers had 3 volunteers. Even I thought the place was a bit crowded, and I live in Mumbai. But to be fair, the Green was so large that it could have probably accommodated at least two Mumbais (Navi included). I must have walked more than 10kms all day.

Post lunch was the Football finals featuring Argentina and Nigeria. We had the best seats in the stadium and a pair of binoculars each. "Mere paapon ka ghada was bharoing at the rate of knots". The game itself was quite sedate with a few random flashes of brilliance, one of them resulting in a goal for Argentina.

Bhokaal Alert No 4.

Celbrities on view: Leo Messi, Juan Carlos Riquelme

We mucked about after the game visiting sponspors' pavilions, collecting freebies, drinking coke, comparing India and China and pointing out how individual freedom is sometimes highly overrated. Overheard snatch of conversation amongst Indian tourist group at McDonalds, "Banaya to accha hai lekin jo bhi kaho India is India." And I always thought India was Korea.

Evening programme was another Athletics fest.

M Javelin Throw Final, W High Jump Final, M 800m final;
W 1500m final; M 5000m final, W 4X400m relay final;
M 4X400 relay final.

Fascinating round of events with a couple of Olympics records and a superb high jump contest. My camera by this time had started shedding tears. Tambram colleague was visibly overwhelmed by the High jump contest and remarked, "ladki log accha kood-ta hai"

Celebrity Spot: Sergei Bubka, Juan Antonio Samaranch, Raja Randhir Singh (WTF), Suresh Kalmadi (keh do yeh jhoot hai).

We returned to the hotel at 10:30 and a group of like minded hungry desis made a mad dash to a nearby Indian restaurant. The chap was just about to close when he was confronted and forced to reopen. Butter Chicken, Mutter Paneer, Dal et al were ordered in 'anaap shanaap' quantities. The general consensus at the end of it all was, "khana theek hai"

24th August
The last and final day featured only the closing ceremonies. A hundred thousand people were expected in the national stadium so we were advised to be in by 5pm for an 8pm start. Before that we made a trip to the famous Silk Street market. You might have thought that what with the Olympics and all in progress there might be a big crackdown on the Chinese farji goods market. But nothing of this sort was on. The farji Guccis, Pradas, Armanis were out in full strength. I had to buy a suitcase and had an interesting time buying it:

Chinese Salesperson: Where you from?
J: India.
CS: Ohhh..Great Country
J: How much for suitcase
CS: 2000 RMB
J: Too much.
CS: How much you pay?
J: 200 RMB
CS: Ohhhh. You very tough. Final price. 1500 RMB
J: I give you Indian souvenir (10 Re Note). Final Price 300RMB
CS: Sold. You buy more. I give discount.

Had to buy some clothes for the missus and here is another conversation
CS: Where you from?
J: Guatemala
CS: Ohhhh..Great Country.....

Which brings us to the closing ceremony. Spectacular in every sense of the word. Kanpuria colleague remarked, "abey thoda sa crouching tiger type item hai" He was not too far off. It was choreographed by Zhang Yimou of Flying Daggers and Golden Flower fame. One Chandu Bhai that I knew from Hathras had had once sagely remarked, "China ke andauon mein udney ki kalaa ab abhi payi jaati hai". He was speaking the truth. It was all highly breathtaking.

Celebrities Spotted: David Beckham (well!)

On our way back we spotted several armoured vehicles on the streets. Tambram colleague warned us thusly, "Deere deere chalo warna wuda dega"

And thus ended my Beijing experience. Lots of people kept calling it a once in a lifetime thingy. But I dont want to do that yet. I'll see if I can make it to London. Because I seem to have become addicted to the Olympics.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Beijing Ahoy!

Will be heading off for THE games later this month. My itinerary includes a day of athletics, the soccer finals, both basketball semi finals, water polo and the closing ceremony. Lets just say at this point that I am slightly more excited that Navjot Sidhu on one of his off days.

It all feels a bit surreal really. I mean who goes to the Olympics, seriously. But there it is. Me am going. Looking forward to the Triple Jump finals. Had a fair bit of talent at the old hop, skip and jump as a lad I did and my personal best stands at just about 5 metres below the world mark set by Jonathan Edwards (18.29m I believe). Its a pity Edwards has retired though. Also hurray to the fact that soccer teams will feature the very best talent available. Here's praying for a Brazil-Argentina final. Also praying on the side for an Argentina-US matchup in basketball. Only grouse is not being able to catch the aquatics (water polo does not qualify for me). Catching Michael Phelps in action would have made the trip about adequate. Nevertheless one shall not crib.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Dark Knight

Quint and Massawrym from AintitCool have gone apeshit mental over the Dark Knight. While that in itself does not mean much, I for once, want to believe the hype.
Will be catching it over the weekend. Agog all.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Brokers of the world unite and Go to Hell!

If ever there was to be penned an unabridged history of the life and times of Jeeban Ram, the one word that would never be used to describe me would be 'Vindictive'. By all accounts I am a largely forgiving man preferring to forget rather than plot and fret. I don't hold a lot of grudges against fellow men you see. Of course this trait of mine has been severely tested in the past in the form of Arun Lal, Rameez Raja, BMC, Amar Singh and other suchlike creatures of the netherworld. But even when R Raja said "ache-chually" and Arun Lal said "a dot ball is like gold" for the millionth time I kept a lid on my emotions and chose to take the high road.

But the one class of men who consistently bring my blood to a high-pressure-boil and turn me towards dark thoughts involving pickaxes, shovels and free swings are Real Estate Brokers in suburban Mumbai. A clan of men unimaginably vile, with a penchant for being the type of shady that would put even Shakti Kapoor to shame. Why the rant you might ask? And tell you I will.

Landlord pulled the plug on my lease last month citing unavoidable circumstances. And thus began my tale of woe. Now in Mumbai, as a lot of you will no doubt know, the standard specs for a house undergo the equivalent of a Fourier transform and emerge from the other end completely unrecognizable. Missus and self had a fairly modest requirement - "Apartment, reasonably spacious (1000 sq ft or so), 2 Beds, 2 Baths, 1 Kitchen, a smallish balcony and if we were to push it a separate washing area" Now I am sure even the meanest mind amongst you will not consider this as asking for the moon. But as it turns out the moon might have worked out cheaper.

I first logged on to those marvels of modern real estate technology - 99acres, Magic Bricks, Sulekha and even something called Sample a few ads:

Bandra West, Spacious 1RK (150 sqft), in decent locality, near station, close to Sea, a stone's throw from Buckingham Palace (OK that was my addition. concept borrowed from here). Only 29k. Negotiable" - contact Rajesh Broker

Translation: Shanty in an overrated upmarket locality. It will feel like you're in Sex and the City (because you're screwed if you live here.. ha ha). Faces the sea in the same way that the planet Jupiter faces the sun, a stone's throw from B Palace only if the stone is an intercontinental ballistic missile and throwing is being done by a launch vehicle

Thane, Godbunder Road, Spacious (800sqft), 2 BHK, Modern Locality, Reserved parking , 24 hour power backup 18k Rent, Negotiable. Contact Rajesh Broker

Translation: Bugerall Pigeon Hole in the middle of nowhere, Reserved parking for pigeon, 24 hour power backup (for night lamp), Rent depends on whatever number I can think of, negotiable in a vague non committal sort of way. We'll make you pay sucker!!"

Rajesh Broker seems to own 75% market share in most of these websites. The rest are owned by Chandrahas Broker and probably Ali Broker. So there. Websites taken over by brokers. Might as well call one of them. The conversation went thus:

J: Looking for a 2 BHK, 18k tak budget hai.

Broker: Sir budget thoda badhana padega. 18k mein kya aata hai

J: Sony ka flat screen TV, Hero Puch, Handycam, Singapore ka return ticket, 1500 plates of pani puri...

Broker: Arre kya joke karte ho sir aap bhi.

J: 18k majaak nahin hota yaar.

B: Aap aa jao sir..main aapko mast makaan batata hoon.

J: Aur brokerage?

B: Wohi standard sir two months...aur renewal pe one month...

J: Matlab 2 sony ka TV, 2 hero Puch, 2 Handycam...

B: Arre kya sir aap joke karte ho.

J: 36k majaak nahin hota yaar!

B: sir aap ke liye consider kar lenge...paanch sau hajjaar kam kar lenge...

One Week and 15 Houses Later, J and Missus find another place paying through their collective noses and the broker is richer by a few Hero Puchs. Buggr'em.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Iron Man mein Bob Christo

Iron Man is one hell of a film. It was watched over the weekend and liked very much.

Here is another one of Harry Knowles' rabid geek reviews
It’s official, Summer 2008 is here – and it is here to kick our ass with a beautiful iron boot.

By the way doesnt Jeff Bridges bear an uncanny resemblance to our very own Bob Christo in this film?

Monday, March 24, 2008

Personal Author Ratings - UP Style

Terry Pratchett - Total Bakait

P G Wodehouse - Maha Bhokali

Tolkien - Guru Ghantaal

Tom Sharpe - Raita Phaila Diya

Douglas Adams - Baanke Bihari

James Joyce - Jeero Batey Sannata

Award Alert

A few weeks ago during one of my random channel surfing sprees, I happened to chance upon a rare gem.

Some form of Indian Television awards ceremony handed out to Amitabh Bachchan, the prize for "Ultimate Eminence".

Yes, you read that correctly. The category was indeed called the lifetime award for "Ultimate Eminence". This kind of a thing makes one wonder. Here is a list of awards I think are fit to be handed out right now:
Shakti Kapoor - Award for Persistent Malfeasance
Vivek Oberoi - Award for Premature Obsolescence
Rakhi Sawant - Award for Eternal Pestilence
Navjot Sidhu - Award for Misplaced Exuberance
Adnan Sami - Award for Erstwhile Corpulence
Anu Malik - Award for Inducing Flatulence

Additions to this list are welcome.

Sahara Pranam

Agra ke Cheerleader

Lalaa ki chunar munariya

Lalaa ke abba bole

Lalaa ki amma boli

Lala ke tau bole

Lala ke chaccha bole

Lala ki chacchi boli

Ke dadda manna kari thi

phir bhi khelan aaye

o baaki khatiya tooti
o baaki lutiya doobi

Lala tum haar gayayyyy...

Monday, January 21, 2008

Brightly Fade the Dons

The four horsemen are finally riding together, and what a ride its turning out to be. After all the bickering, showing off one day and not turning up at all the next, displaying flashes of their ability to mass destruct without any consistent threat, some general smiting of the meek and a lot of wailing and gnashing of the teeth, I think they have finally decided that their last few rides ought to count.

And made it count they have. Dravid has lost confidence but has reversed that with sheer bloody mindedness, Tendulkar's no longer a genetic algorithm but a linear program, Ganguly's batting has aged like Sean Connery's bond and VVS is still incapable of ugliness on a cricket pitch.

I am not sure when the planets will align themselves next to produce an Indian middle order touched by such genius, so lets savour their presence now and analyze later. A test match side without Tendulkar, Dravid, Ganguly and Laxman will be hard to digest, so lets count our blessings now and criticize later.