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Showing posts from May, 2012

Earthy Rumours Quake Assam!

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Countrywide Bandh today with one more Assam Bandh within the larger Bandh for the cause of protesting petrol price hike. But yesterday in Assam was no less than a Bandh thanks to strong widespread rumours of an impending earthquake! The magnitude and time of disaster very well rumour-graphed too!
Who started the  rumour was an important question, but more important how it was propagated across the state. An earthquake of 5.6 magnitude hit Assam on May 11,2012 and Assam being a quake-prone zone maybe some 'concerned' astrology-oriented soul decided to warn his people (customers?) in advance. He was so philanthropically magnanimous that he gave all technical info--the earthquake would be of 9.2 magnitude in Richter scale and it would hit Assam between 4 to 6pm on May 30! Doomsday just stalked Assam yesterday!
The prominent news channels, most of which were run by 'responsible' state ministers, sensationalised the d-day story and terrorized the hapless citizens most of…

Shahrukh Khan Had The Last Big Laugh!

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Shahrukh Khan, the Bollywood superstar, who was recently banned for five years from entering Mumbai's Wankhede stadium during an IPL match then enjoyed the support of Mamata Bannerji, the Chief Minister of West Bengal. Because, Mamata considered KKR, co-owned by Shahrukh, as a matter of pride for her state. And today, Mamata 'right'fully sought to overpower what is left of the 'left' by dancing with the stars and, of course, with Shahrukh amidst pomp and plenty.

KKR became the deserving Champions of IPL-5 preventing CSK from running with the title for the third time in succession. The nail biting IPL-5 final was played in Chennai and King Khan was very much there tense most of the time. Finally, when the great moment of victory came he was so overwhelmed with joy that he apologised for his 'misbehaviour' in Mumbai! His 'stakes' with the Indian cricket Board now combined with his 'apology' would virtually force Mumbai Cricket Association (M…

Assam: The Bandh Culture A Way Of Life!

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The people of Assam and also of the North East have practically decided that Bandhs (signifies a protest strike that forcibly closes down offices & services, shops & markets and communication--mainly road & rail) are the only solution to their endless problems--standing or long-standing or outstanding or whatever. Duration of Bandhs range from minimum 12 hours to a recorded maximum of 1000 hours!
The Bandh culture got boosted tremendously during the successful Assam Agitation against foreigners (1979-1985) and the culture only spread further since then. Groups, organisations, associations and even the extremists appeal for or impose Bandhs on the common people of the region. Though most major cities remain unaffected largely a few known strife-prone and crucial areas or pockets prevent people coming out of their homes or their cities. Disturbing logistics of consequent economic loss and huge livelihood issues for daily wage earners and retailers never seem to disturb th…

The Rods Of Optimism!

On my annual home trip to Guwahati in Assam--a north eastern state of India, the humid heat was almost unbearable in the first 2-3 days, but today the skies have opened up with a heavy shower. So, while cooling off contentedly I thought of sharing an intresting observation made by a visiting friend.
Our home is in a suburb of the city where vacant plots of land are still available and therefore, construction activities continue to be hectic. As you look around you see many half-constructed private houses apart from newly completed ones.
The friend taking in the scenario one more time made this observation. If iron rods or bars keep jutting out of the completed cemented roof of a concrete block (we call it RCC block), this means the owner is positively optimistic! S/he is sure of adding at least one more floor. If the rods continue to jut out even after the completion of 2-3 floors the owner can be considered as highly optimistic, because in our earthquake-prone zone s/he cannot …

IPL-5 Mega-Show: Co-owner Shahrukh Khan Banned! RCB Player Arrested!

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The murky affairs of the Indian Premiere League-Season Five (IPL-5) Cricket T20 continue abated. Today the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) held a managing committee meeting in Mumbai and unanimously adopted the proposal of banning Bollywood megastar and Co-owner of Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) IPL franchise, Shahrukh Khan (SRK or King Khan), for five years from entering the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai where the movie-star allegedly misbehaved with MCA officials and security personnel. The meeting was chaired by the president of MCA, Vilasrao Deshmukh, who is also a cabinet minister in the Government of India.  The MCA maintained that theirs is an independent body and is empowered to take binding decisions on matters directly relating to them. But as the apex body, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is also empowered to take the final decision in this matter and the expected tussle within the cricket bodies is awaited with tremendous anticipation. Apart from being an IPL …

Cricket T20: Now The King Khan Controversy Dogs IPL-5!

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As the heat and humidity increase the cricket T20 Indian Premiere League-Season Five (IPL-5) is increasingly getting most of the heat from reasons other than nature. It has already earned the distinction of having the most number of nail-biting matches of all IPLs including a record ten last-ball finishes so far. On the flip side there is the spot fixing menace unearthed by a television channel sting operation recently. Now, Hindi movie mega star Shahrukh King Khan adds to it by one more display of alleged rowdy behavior.
It was a crucial match between Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Mumbai Indians (MI) at the latter’s ‘home’ ground, the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai—the venue of the World Cup-2011 final. Shahrukh Khan, the co-owner of KKR, had been very much visible in the crowd waving to the galleries with television cameras catching him every now and then in between the ‘cricket’ action. King Khan, known for his exemplary ‘love’ for cricket, always made it a point to attend matches …

Air India: Annual May-Strike Fest-2012 Still On!

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The pilots of Air India have only problems and more problems. They don't get their salaries for months or not quite regularly, they don't get their promotions in time, they suffer from career regression and they don't get the benefits they are right royally entitled to. Domestic Indian Airlines and international Air India got merged indeed in 2007, but the communal divide between the two erstwhile sets of pilots only accentuated over time. The two communities compete still for the perks and opportunities like for example flying the forthcoming Dreamliner Boeing 787 which figured in the list of strike demands too and baby-cry on missing any. The pilots have been suffering so badly that they are forced to put personal issues first and company or national interests later. How sad!
So they did not approach the Air India management for representing or deliberating on their problems, because they hold the management as the culprit for all their ills. They felt they were the bes…

Cricket T20: Spot Fixing Shadow Over IPL-5!

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When we witness brazen display of dirty money, glamor, sleaze and greed of IPL-5 it seems to be inevitable sometime or the other or maybe it had been happening all the time not exactly coming to light. A sting operation by a television news channel yesterday exposed the evil of spot fixing in Indian domestic cricket, Twenty-20 cricket and the IPL. More specifically, in the T20 format which has been promoted just for commercialism and for making money.
Making money is the basic instinctive characteristic in any modern human being. Some make it the hard way honestly, some make it discreetly and some make it by hook or by crook. In IPL temptations are limitless. The top cricketers who get astronomical amounts to play in a particular franchise concentrate mainly on maintaining their ‘marketability’ or ‘saleability’ for next IPL seasons and therefore they are a bit protected from fixing games unless tremendous greed overpowers them. But the fringe cricketers, who do command a price albei…

Disaster At Lunch!

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Now and then we talk about an eccentric editor in action at the newsroom. Apart from feeling extremely superior and unaccountably staring at others he was also an expert in robbing others of their food in broad daylight and with utter indifference. In the last incident reported here he was magnanimous at least in acknowledging that the robbed food was excellent. As it had been a long while ago another incident needs to be reported urgently.
One day a reporter went down to the restaurant most frequented by the newsroom crowd. He was ravenously hungry and wanted to have a full meal. So he ordered a dish of Dal Khichdi (pulses and rice cooked together deliciously). As he was waiting impatiently for the food the editor joined him all of a sudden. The reporter politely asked if he wanted some food. The editor only stared back expressionlessly with the hint of a smile. The reporter thought the dish was likely to be shared and his stomach pangs became threatening. The appetizingly filled …

Indian Politics: More Cartoons Out Of The Cupboard!

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The cartoon was first published in 1949. It was aesthetically done and genuinely humorous. Therefore, it was included in Indian textbooks meant for eleventh standard school students in 2006 to make education informative as well as enjoyable. After 63 years from first publication and 6 years from inclusion in textbooks the ‘issue’ of the cartoon rocked and disrupted the Indian Parliament on May 11, 2012. The reason or motivation seemed to be obvious—to embarrass the tottering ruling coalition further in light of impending General Elections of 2014.
The cartoon involved two all-time greats in Indian history. Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, popularly known as Babasaheb, donned the role of a real father of the Indian Constitution and fought tirelessly for the Dalitsor the Untouchables or the oppressed all his life. Belonging to a backward caste of Maharashtra he struggled at every stage of his life to rise to eminence as a sociopolitical reformer, scholar-philosopher, writer-editor and a lea…

Uttar Pradesh Top Cop Advice!

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Article first published as India: The Honor Syndrome! on Technorati.
It had to be Uttar Pradesh again. The largest state of India—in northern India, politically strategic and notorious for a continuing feudal mindset. The ruler or the political party in power or the existing state machinery or the society at large hardly matter. In the last Assembly Elections a young and educated politician ousted Mayawati from power and great expectations were perceived across the country. But the feudal values persist, as always.
Most Indian families consider their female members as liabilities, because in a male-dominated repressive society women are always vulnerable and easy targets. The male members are licensed to do any acrobatics ranging from extramarital relationships to kidnappings and even murders. But within their families they strive to ‘protect’ their women from all such possible vagaries as they know that their counterparts in other families are out in the same atrocity mission. This …

The Canine Night Out In Mumbai!

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“Oh…at long last! Such obsessive shoppers…from morning to night…insatiable…persistent! Never care a penny for us! Now they are gone! We can  fill in the atmosphere now and take a nap, possibly!”  “Wish us sweet dreams, guys!”

Cricket Getting The Better Of IPL-5!

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Whatever it is, finally it’s genuine cricket that interests genuine cricket lovers. Let the cheerleaders of all hues and colors with dress or the lack of it dance on! Let the non-cricketing crowd gesticulate to their hearts content just to see themselves in those huge screens on the field! Let the glam-slam-bang lady commentators be a little too careless about their costumes! Let the noise as deafening as it can get! Let the ‘strategic’ breaks break the rhythm! From the comfort of your homes you can just mute it all and enjoy some cricket if any!
Hot and humid conditions at the start of the Indian summer are making the pitches a lot slower with the ball doing things. Therefore, despite all those debilitating restrictions on the bowlers run-making in this IPL-5 is getting very difficult, desperate at times. This version of the IPL has earned the distinction of having the largest number of low-scoring thrillers. With mere targets of just above 100 runs the chases have not been easy at…

Night Neon And Nap!

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It was little late in the night. The lane was quiet though lit up well and stuffed with unauthorized parking. There were the odd strollers used to late suppers. A kind of tranquility was there in the night air that seemed to be infectious!
This fellow was deeply inspired indeed! 

The North East India Resonates!

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Neglect, backwardness, colonial exploitation, discrimination etc are the words we grew up with. As we grew older we began to understand the pathos underlined by these words and began to wonder aloud why and how. The North Eastern Region of India has always been ethnically, culturally and linguistically distinct from India. With a spectacular diversity in ethnicity, culture and languages this region witnessed the formation of new and newer states, districts and communities over the decades. Geographically this region is connected to mainland India only through a narrow corridor known as the chicken’s neck or the Siliguri Corridor with Nepal and Bangladesh lying on either side. This region is also a natural paradise on earth and a treasure house of natural and mineral resources.  A kind of self-sufficiency and almost geographic isolation created the problems related to the ‘words’. Neglect—because we never got adequate attention for making an effective appearance in mainstream India. Bac…

Aamir Khan Set To Create History In Indian Television!

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Article first published as Aamir Khan Set To Create History In Indian Television! on Technorati.
Bollywood megastar Aamir Khan’s television production Satyameva Jayate (Truth Alone Prevails!) is going to be telecast across India from May 6, 2012. With this hugely promoted project Aamir Khan is set to create history in Indian Television on three major counts.
First, Aamir Khan, the perfectionist-idealist among the three famous Khans of Hindi Cinema, is going to make his debut on the small screen. This mega show marks the first ever television serial to have the superstar as the performer-anchor-producer.
Second, SatyamevaJayate will be first Indian television show to be telecast simultaneously by a private entertainment television channel and Doordarshan—the national broadcaster. This concept of simulcast emerged out of Aamir Khan’s insistence on getting the largest possible audience. With its countrywide terrestrial network Doordarshan has a formidable presence including the vast ru…