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.

Aug 1, 2014

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

It feels like December 2012 all over again. 
Bangalore - formerly Pensioner's Paradise, Garden City and the City where violent sexual crime used to be rare is now anything but a Paradise, has more over-flowing gutters than gardens and where young children and women are being raped almost everyday. 

And this has riled up the armchair activists like sharks on a feeding frenzy. Enough is Enough! Stop talking! 
Recently on Quora, I read a question which wondered why men in Bangalore are better towards women than the men in the North. You must be kidding me!
Will one-stop Crisis centers for rape victims help? Tough to say. Even as I write this, more than 50 women would have been raped and chances are none of the perpetrators will be punished. 

Them geniuses at the Women and Child's welfare committee decided that banning mobile phones in colleges will be enough to stop rapes. My advice to them: Don't breed, please!
But if you are breeding, please produce some girls. We are running short of girls and the dwindling numbers have now reached 'emergency proportions'. On the flip side, it isn't looking good for the survivors either

Moving on to matters that won't ruffle the manicured feathers of placard-holding pseudo activists, the Met. dept announced that Monsoons will be the lowest in 52 years and a private agency declared drought. No shit!! With the way we have been chopping down those trees, I'd be surprised if we didn't face the consequences. 
Our civic authorities helpfully pointed out that we have been wasting 42% of our drinking water. 

Remember the gigantic oath-taking ceremony that our honorable new PM took in May? Well, the government spent 17.60 lakhs for it. A small price to pay for the 'acche din'.

Talking about prices, Modi came out with his maiden 'pro-reform' budget and the industry swooned, politicians had a case of sour grapes and ordinary non-smokers cheered! Biggest gainers: ITC! 
For starters, you get to save more of the peanuts you'll earn under 80c and PPF (Public Provident Fund). and Indira Vikas Patrika makes a return now. 
Good News: Unlike the previous governments, there won't be any more loan waivers for farmers who can't and won't pay and a renewed focus on infrastructure. YAY!

Every other politician cried blue murder and the Congress said it was just a copy-paste job. Well, Mr Congressman, if it was an exact replica of your budget, then why are you complaining? Arvind Kejriwal managed to get his 10 seconds of glory too. 

The US has been cozying up to Modi under the blankets and by the time you read this, Obama has sent the Welcome wagon

But petrochemical major Reliance seems to be squirming with discomfort after the government refused to revise and hike prices of gas from the Krishna Godavari basin and when GAIL was told to not pay RIL Much gas was passed.

BJP seems to be cracking the whip and in this month's 'I'm the Boss' news, Modi has warned his MPs that they are not supposed to bunk parliament

While we have an extremely fickle-minded bunch of politicians, they sure do know how to unite when it's payback time

Politicians Beware!
Amit Shah - a close confidante of Modi and a guy who doesn't really get along with politicians on the other side of the fence got elevated to become Modi's right hand, and whistle-blower IAS officer Ashok Khemka is set to have a PMO role. Did someone say 'sweet revenge'?

Our favorite 'foot-in-mouth' former Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju stirred the hornet's nest by saying that politicians interfered with judicial appointments during the UPA regime. Now Mr Katju, tell us something we didn't know. 


And that's why Mr Natwar Singh, a former Sonia Gandhi confidante and 'chuddy-dost' wrote a book on Mrs G. This is what is called 'skeletons springing out of a cupboard'. Considering how the sales of these books are through the roof, I think this is just the tip of the ice-berg. 

Look out for more juice as Mrs G has announced that she will write a book too. Good year for Indian fiction.

A hop, skip and a jump away, Trinamool Congress MP Tapas Pal had a case of verbal diarrhea.  Well, see this is precisely the reason why I think everyone in the party has lost their marbles. They are on their way out a'la the UPA.

Meanwhile, the Scum of Maharasthra Shiv Shena got some reel-time this month when they were caught on camera force-feeding a Muslim caterer. Denial followed by an apology

In yet another aviation disaster, a Malaysian Airlines passenger jet MH-17 was shot down by Ukrainian rebels using Russian SAM. All hell broke loose
Putin flipped flopped and finally flapped.
Across the world, a small passenger plane making a second landing attempt in stormy weather crashed at an airport on a small Taiwanese island late Wednesday, killing 51 people and injuring seven

But in slightly more cheerful aviation news, Air India crash-landed safely in Newark, after it developed technical issues shortly after take-off. And it won't matter to us that he saved 100s of lives and he will be forgotten soon.
Meanwhile, a Chinese airline tested in-flight WiFi. They may be the butt of cheap jokes, but they are still way ahead in innovation. 

Hollywood may like to portray otherwise but after fighting marathon battles that they don't seem to be winning, the Americans are now frustrated and fatigued

In FIFA, Neymar got kicked out. Literally. And Germany trashed the bejesus out of Brazil.
Ultimately, Germany faced Argentina and walked away with the World Cup. Not because the better team won (clearly Messi can only do so much) but because the Germans never blinked. The lonely goal that gave the Cup away couldn't have been possible if the Argentinian goalkeeper wasn't distracted for that exact second. 

Facebook announced the launch of 'Mentions', an exclusive app for people in public spotlight. I can actually see how this is going to feed on the ego and flagging self-esteem of our many celebrities, but who cares. 

Maria Sharapova didn't know who the short curly-haired former cricketer was and Indians were shocked. This from a nation of idiots who let their kabbadi, hockey and football stars fend for themselves. Bastards!

Talking about Cricket, Dhoni was lampooned by the stiff-upper lipped British press after he stood by the allegations against James Anderson in the ongoing series in Britain. Gee!
So while we were getting our butts handed to us on a platter in England, across the border in Glasgow, with 15 Gold medals, we stood a proud 5th. Bolt stole the show with a gold at
4x100 mtr relay race. He could have raked up quite a controversy but his sportsmanship is something we could all learn from.

In this month's 'I wonder why?!' section
Having lobbied for more rights up until the last year, India awed and shocked everyone when she vetoed a landmark WTO agreement which could spell disaster for the regulatory organization.

The Americans saw another round of a mass shootout in Houston. Sometimes, I wonder why the Arabs spend billions of dollars training to kill Americans. Maybe they should just let them buy more guns and kill themselves. Why the government won't rein in the powerful gun industry is a simple question of economics and will-power.
Nuclear talks with the Iranians failed. AgainWe all know the Iranians have the nukes, why can't we just leave it that way?
Eventually, I have a feeling that it won't be humans who will kill us. Nature can do the Shift+DEL even better.
Until then, we'll have unscrupulous businesses sell expired meat to fast-food conglomerates like McDonalds and KFC in China and kill thousands. 

In more Beiber trouble, neighbors in the upscale Beverly Hills complained of excessive noise from the Canadian pop star. If only he remained the cute and adorable brat that was. Sigh!

IIT- Mumbai had a feline visitor who refused to leave. The students, ofcourse took to twitter for comic relief. Well, let's hope the big cat gets a 7 point something.
And a Rhino poacher in South Africa got 77 years in prison, in what could be the harshest sentence against a poacher anywhere. If you ask me, he needs to do 77 years of community service and not prison time.

Srilanka apologized for an embarrassing article that created an uproar in Tamil Nadu. 

Reliance India made its footprint count when it bought Network18, a media conglomerate that spans news and entertainment. With a history of suppressing or being biased, this could spell doom in a nation where freedom or speech is still a myth and channels sell endless montages about the mundane and mindless entertainment 24 hours a day.

For want of a better cause to fight, PETA launched another attack on Mrs Kardashian for swimming with the dolphins in Mexico. 

Israel has been pounding the falafel out of Gaza. Now, we all know whose side the US is on, but do we really know the truth behind this conflict? Israel has been following a rule of intentional disinformation and government-sponsored propaganda to stifle and throttle the Palestinians and control the way everyone outside of the Arabian peninsula see their conflict. Now, Israel is no saint and neither is Palestine. 
But to a question - Can it be so hard for a nation to live peaceably with their neighbors? The answer lies in the will of the its politicians to be peaceful. Historically Israel has portrayed itself as the wounded nation surrounded by enemies and as a Christian, I know how the scriptures are replete with God's promise to protect a nation that is hounded. But Israel's strategy of wounding the enemy but not killing them is what keeps the world (read US) entertained and sympathetic with the Israeli 'cause'. With over a 1000 killed in a fortnight, this is a travesty of justice no matter who is on your side. The Palestinians captured an Israeli soldier and knowing how capture of its soldier affects them, this is both an Israeli weakness and the Palestinian strength. 

In 'Interesting News of the month' section, a 17 year old turkish girl was declared as the 'World's tallest female' by the Guinness Records committee.
The NY Museum of Natural History, made famous by the Ben Stiller 'A Night at the Museum' movies will host an adult sleepover on the 1st of August. 

Outraged over ongoing allegations of unauthorized snooping, Germany expelled top US diplomats. See, now this is something that Indians and rest of the world will never have the balls to do. 

In this month's 'We have money to burn' section, 
India paid up her dues to Iran and decided to wean herself off the sweet stuff. 
Air India got a very expensive shot in the arm - Rs 6500 crore expensive and tied up with Star Alliance . Much brouhaha followed.

VIP Samadhis (glorified tombs) costs us Rs 8 crores/year to maintain. Much ado about nothing!

Mamata Di gave away Rs 8 lakhs as festival bonus to its civil servants and Telangana (the wealthier twin of Andhra) roped in Sania Mirza as its brand ambassador and we all took to the streets! It looks like we are still hurt that she went and married the neighbor's son when we had 10 eligible bachelors in the family. The fact that she still chooses to play for us is patriotic enough. I can name 50 politicians who aren't 1% as patriotic as this lady who plays every match even if she knows she will lose it. 


Dubai launched the world's largest shopping mall which will also have an indoor theme park.
Looks like Dubai is getting to be the place to be if you have the money to burn..

But if you have kids or a strange fetish for Harry Potter, be sure to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter which opened at Universal Studios, Osaka, Japan.

In a relief to millions of husbands who are harassed by unscrupulous wives, the Supreme Court ruled that the police cannot arrest husbands when a dowry case is filed. Seeing as how women would file the 498a and other frivolous cases at the drop of their marital tiara, this judgement rankled the Women's organizations but the men let out a collective sigh of relief. The apex court went one step ahead and declared that women who file a frivolous case against the husband will be criminally punished if found untrue. Now, that's called justice!

At times when we are trying to rein in runaway inflation and when tomatoes cost Rs 50/kilo, the government declared hoarding of essential food will be considered a non-bailable offense. This should strike the right amount of fear in the hearts of those unscrupulous businessmen. 

Bad guys, watch out! SEBI is on a prowl.
Byrraju Ramalinga Raju (aka The man who did the Enron to Satyam) and 4 others were fined Rs 1849 crores and banned from doing any business for terms ranging from 4 to 14 years by the market regulator.
The SEBI cracked the whip with Subrata Roy and told him to do business while in custody. Screwed!

Across the pond, Pistorious was diagnosed with split personality in the trial where he is accused of intentionally murdering his paralegal girlfriend in their tony villa last year. If convicted, the 'Blade-runner' could spent a substantial amount of his life behind bars. Whatever it is, this is the end of his running days. 

In similar news, the forensic pathologist who examined Sunanda Pushkar, wife of high-flying twitterati Shashi Tharoor, testified that her death was highly suspicious and that he has been coerced to fudge her death certificate. If you ask me, I'll always known it is Shashi. If we can pass judge Aarushi's parents the way we have because of the way they are, I think we can do the same to Shashi too. I think I've seen food stay fresh longer than Shashi's remorse at his 'dear' wife's death.

In this month's 'Let's give a moment of silence' section, 
Almost 10 years after it made a splash, Orkut will be given a quiet burial in September. 
Zohra Sehgal, the grand old lady of Bollywood, changed her earthly address. Respect!
21 people died in one of the worst metro accidents in Russian history. 
And Archie is dead too. RIP!


We Indians (me included) often complain at how inefficiently slow we are when it comes to developing a military equipment. And while we bask in the glory of the shame we heap on ourselves, Uncle Sam tells us how they are just as bad. The F35 Joint Strike fighter has been under development for over 20 years and will start limited trial flights soon. 
Projected to cost over $1 billion dollars a pop, I think they may have bitten off a little more than they can chew this time. 

In this month's 'Watch Out!' section, 
Be sure to watch Hercules, Dwyane The Rock Johnson sparkles and Irina Shayk strips.
... and for Part Two of And that's the cookie crumbled in July Twenty14.

Jul 24, 2014

And that's the way the cookie crumbled, in June Twenty14...

Thirty days into a new era of governance, Narendra Modi is finally showing who is boss. 

Predictably, he has won lot of admirers and a few enemies too. Now, I admit I wasn't too much of an admirer of him either but if he is half as effective as he is serious about the 'acche din' promise, then we are just getting started! 
The availability of affordable food grains has always been an Achilles heel for Indian politicians. The Food law that prohibits hoarding and the new legislation that protects Whistleblowers are steps in the right direction.

With the general budget a month away, the Rail budget came out. For those who can't understand why this is important, the Indian Railways is the world's largest employer. Its infrastructure and manpower is larger than most med-sized countries. It moves more people in a day than the entire population of some European countries. Over the past several years, successive politicians have milked the railways cow for their own benefits. From a corporation that actually made revenue, it is now on the verge of bankruptcy

So this year, fares were hiked, rolled back and then hiked back. Some freebies, lots of promising stuff. Overall, a budget that could turn the sagging fortunes of the milch cow.

The ruling party promised to supply free electricity in 5 years. Now, all this sounds very familiar because whether we get it or not, they are going to use these promises in 4 and a half years again.

Senior BJP Minister and former Chief Minister Gopinath Munde died in a tragic car accident. Union Road and Safety minister Nitin Gadkari promised sweeping changes in road safety. Good for you!

Union Health Minister, Dr Harsh Vardhan, said something that rattled many. 'Wear values instead of condoms'. Makes sense if you understand where its coming from, but is the dear doctor saying it is wrong to experiment? Will he ask his children to not wear condoms when its time to talk about the birds and bees? Now, I don't have anything against abstinence but how about those who are in same-sex relationships? What really gets my goose is when supposedly secular politicians become moral preachers sermonizing religion and culture. Not happening. Hey Doc! Why don't you look into the big city garbage that has been pilling up in towns around India.

In our Monthly National Rape and Abuse against Women section (sic), an Indian teenager killed herself because a guy she met online posted morphed pictures of themselves in a fake profile. What did the guy gain by this? This could have been just an innocent attempt to arm-twist her into a relationship, but now that she is gone, I am wondering how much of a future he has himself.
Elsewhere a 15 year old Mumbaiite was gang-raped by 5 of her friends and a 22 year old was raped in a moving car by a guy she met online. 
A wife in the northern State of Madhya Pradesh was gang raped by her husband and 10 other men and when a mother in Manipur resisted rape, she got her head blown off.
What the fu*k is wrong with these animals?
The silver lining is that we will soon have regular criminal courts for juvies accused in heinous crimes. 

While Modi has asked his ministers to not make a fool of themselves ala the UPA, Mister Digvijay 'Diggy' Singh opened his mouth long enough to say 'Rahul is not a ruler, but just a fighter against injustice'. Yeah right! I can't believe they think we still believe that kind of crap anymore.
And the AAP unraveled like a broom without the handle. Touche!

In yet another instance of corporate muscling, infrastructure conglomerate Jindals were found grabbing land worth millions in the northern State of Chattisgarh. Shame Story!

China pulled its 'Arunchal Pradesh card' again. Chinese maps showed the north-eastern State as its own. Smart! India fumed and made all the right noises. Same Story.
Guess who else we are mad at? Russia. Yup, we are upset Russia is selling MI-35 tanks to Pakistan. That's right! Making friends everywhere we go.

In other news, buildings in Chennai and Delhi came tumbling down. We may not hear a lot of this but with the way the construction industry depends on sand illegally dredged from our dying riverbeds, this shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. Like the mining mafia which has been selling our country piecemeal, the sand mafia is single-handedly responsible for the poor quality of millions of buildings in the country now.

And I watched the latest outing of Optimus Prime & Co.
Transformers: Age of Extinction, is a 6 on my rating for a lot of reasons. While the technical finesse is there for you to see, I found the plot forgetful. I was yawning listening to the one-liners. While previous outings did have a lot of inane one-liners, I still found the storyline believable. I don't miss Shia Labeouf's character, but Megan Fox? Yes, I think she was one of the reasons why the first two installments in this franchise was the runaway success it was. Transformers without Megan is like Pretty Woman without Julia Roberts. 
Mark Wahlberg is endearing and as always he is a delight to watch. The CGI action sequences are top notch. Should you watch it? Yes, if you are a die-hard fan of the franchise and Mark Wahlberg. But don't go expecting meaty performances from any of the human characters in the movie. 

Shortly after winning a monumental task of being recognized, transgenders got the chance to walk with their heads held high again. The prestigious Fergusson college in the western city of Pune officially allowed transgenders to enroll. Let's raise a toast to the Pride!

In sporting news, Brazil was unready, but hosted FIFA anyway. Truly the World's greatest sport, played by over 200 countries, big and small, rich and poor, kept most of the world awake, entertained and on the edge of their seats. Suarez did a Mike Tyson on Italy's Giorgio Chellini and got banned. I guess Girogio isn't going to be too thumped about getting a hickie anytime soon, eh?! But I simply enjoyed the way Suarez sat clutching his canines. Did his shoulder hurt your canines, Suarez?

But it wasn't all serious biting and stuff, Playboy bunny Patricia Jordane promised a Poonam Pandhey. And so did Marlen Doll. Saved you a  google search..
Messi sparkled.


Are you one of those people who have a problem with tobacco and alcohol companies surrogate sponsoring mainstream events? Well, I hate it when companies like ITC (Indian Tobacco Co.) sponsor school and collegiate events and companies like UB (United Breweries), McDowells and Fosters market soda and music CDs. Well, someone seems to have broken the silence and the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), one of India's premier edicational board, ordered that affiliated schools and institutions cannot allow such companies sponsor or support events anymore. About time.

And talking about dawning realization, the US has declared the founder of JuD, Hafiz a terrorist and froze all his assets. 
Guess who else got their assets in trouble. Mrs G and her buffoon son, got a summons from the Delhi HC to laundering money through National Herald. And did I hear someone say - skeletons come tumbling down..

Like the rest of Middle East, Iraq broke out in a boil. But why Iraq? Well, let me break it down for you. No matter how much oil anyone else has, the quality of crude oil is what makes the rest of the world and the great nation of American drool. With ISIS and the Al Qeada controlling much of Iraq and Syria, we are looking at days when we no longer have the reins in our hands. Indian nurses became innocent pawns. The government flexed a muscle and send one of its battleships to the region and managed to get the hostages back. Good Show!


American cruiser manufacturer Harley Davidson announced it would build an electric cruiser. Codenamed Project Livewire, this could one of the most anticipated launches from the iconic brand.

So do you have a drinking problem? Well, so does a 2 year old Chinese infant, nicknamed 'Little Winebibber'. Cute ain't he?

For all those who OCD with cleanliness, here's something that you will begin to love - nanotech spray that will keep your clothes and shoes looking like new. Fresh!

Website to watch out for: Kickstarter. 
I've previously written about how a group of underprivileged girls from Mumbai managed to raise money for a library for other children in their community. 
And if you want to see the world, logon to Travolta, a travel planning site that allows you to travel for free.

Eygpt sentenced 3 journos to 7 years in prison for doing what they are paid to do. Dark day for freedom, as usual.
Talking about freedom, Sudanese Christian Miriam Yahia was detained at the airport when she and her husband were trying to leave after being jailed for her faith.

And for all those who enjoy a careless fling, a study by NYU have revealed that casual sex is a good thing.

Single guys rejoin! Sultry goddess Nargis Fakri is single again. Now, drool

Continuing its tradition of giving back to the world, Tesla released its patented electric car designs and technology to the world. For free. Edison, eat your shorts.

Saina won the Australian Open, in style. Maria Sharapova made critics who wrote her off humblepie at the French Open.

Don't you just love it when you realise you were the unwitting guinea pig in an elaborate experiment! Facebook sure didn't think it was inappropriate to conduct a secretive 'emotional contagion' on thousands of its users. See, now that's why I quit FB, I rather let politicians manipulate and steal my tax Rupees than some random business conglomerate online.
FB went offline for 30 whole minutes, and productivity soared across the world. I know of atleast one person who didn't know what to do with those 30 minutes of no FB! If you ask me, I think we need more of these outages. #facebookdown.

ISRO, an example of how much Indians can do in the face of impossible challenges from the West, made history by launching 5 satellites at once. In your face, Uncle Sam.

Audi won their 13th Le Mans tour this month. Game Over!

Chen Guangbiao, self made millionaire and pompous philanthropist, made another grand announcement of charity. Too bad the Most Charismatic Philanthropist can't buy humility and common-sense.

Five children were rescued in a nationwide campaign against pedophiles running a child porn network. So while Japan has banned child pornography, Manga will stay

An Austrian lady who decided to sun-bathe in clear view of motorists created a mini pile-up. Now, thats something most men wouldn't have any problems with.

Signs that Indians are a bunch of prudes and closet erotica aficionados, online sales of sex products are going through the roof. Even in smaller towns! Rock on the Hard On!

King Juan Carlos of Spain abdicated to make way for his son Fellipe VI. 

Rajat Gupta lost the appeal against the $13.9 million fine for insider trading and will serve his prison term. See, now if he was in India, we would have forgotten about him and he could have walked free by now.

Three decades after building the Indian dream, the last of the founders exited Infosys. Vishaal Sikka took the reins over as the first non-founder CEO in the company's history. Let's hope this turns the fortunes of the IT major around.

When Air Asia kicked off a price war, other domestic players tripped over eachother to get a piece of the pie. In an industry where the profits are slim, I wonder how long airline companies can afford to run when they can barely crawl


Machli, the 18 year old Bengal tigress made famous by Nat Geo and Discovery, will be immortalized when she dies. It was announced that taxidermists will preserve her skin and fur for public display. Considering how we are unable to save our natural resources and existing museum artifacts from vandals and nature, it should be interesting to see how much of the tax-payers money gets to go down the drain this time.

Weather continued to show who's boss flattening towns in Pilger and Nebraska. But in NY, food that would have otherwise ended up in landfills were put to good use.

In other good news, F1 legend Michael Schumacher was revived from his medically-induced coma and was transferred to Switzerland for further recovery. Get well, soon Schumi!

Priety Zinta milked her former beau Ness Wadia in full glorious view. Bollywood, which normally has a lot to say for everything under the sun, stayed mum this time

Snowden, the refugee US can't wait to hate, appealed for an extension to stay in Russia. Seeing as how Putin loves to rub Uncle Sam's nuts in salt, he might just get that extension.

Light Moments of the Month:
All India Bakchod (AIB) spoofed Indians who fly. 
Must watch video: Check out the 'Seatbelt Crew' - Eunuchs giving safety tips at a traffic stop. Epic!

In 'Silly Bans of the Month', Russian politician Oleg Mekheyev banned high heels. Really?!
Football was banned in Nigeria, after Boko Haram declared it to be sport that corrupts. Too bad they cannot kidnap a football and convert it to Islam.

With tragedies and miracles, mindless violence and selfless sacrifices, from sporting heros who stooped to conquer to mindless politicians to struggled to reach, June has truly been a wonderful month of surprises. 

The glass is only half full!

Jun 11, 2014

And that's the way the cookie crumbled, in May 2014...

Yes, my children. India changed! 
After the euphoria the cookie crumbled for the Grand Ol' Party. And how!

Modi came, he saw and he conquered. Having been out of power long enough, the hunger is visible. Against tradition, the RSS asked LK Advani to stop grumbling and retire. 
As if to rub it in the face of Mrs G, he even invited all the biggies from SAARC to his party. 

In the last fortnight, at the helm of the most powerful chair in India Modi has been on a predictable roll. Rolling back some of the Dynasty's pet projects and shedding much of the dead-weight. And if you are a Congress Governor, you better start packing. 

So like a whiff of fresh air and evening showers, the Modi Sarkar (government) made sure it started with all the right tones and the right foot forward. Let's hope the momentum stays.

In related news, Kannada loud-mouth and literary flash in the pan UR Ananthamurthy did a Poonam Pandey and vowed to get out of India if Modi came into power. Fast forward to May 17 and the poor man had to station a platoon of overworked, underpaid cops to guard him since he has been getting prank calls asking him if he isn't left already. The good people at NaMo brigade even sent him a travel itinerary
After trash-talking the BJP, the Shiv Sena now wants to copulate with them.
Snoopgate? Who said that? 
Whoever said Indians didn't have a sense of humor?

And talking about comebacks, another Modi came back home. Lalit got his turf back at the Rajastan Cricket Board and got banned by BCCI. Real mature, guys. Real mature.

The Aam Aadmi Party has been fighting like common thieves, and Kejriwal was packed off to jail for not posting bail. Ok, let me give you a little bit of background here: Mr Kejriwal filed a lawsuit against Nitin Gadkari. Apparently the pizza base of this lawsuit is that Gadkari is corrupt. Really?! Kejriwal apparently doesn't think Mrs G and her bunch of cronies are corrupt because he needs to partner them. 
Say it slow with me - Exactly!

With the way AAP was knocked off the zipcode in these elections, Kejriwal now wants the Delhi chief minister's chair back. Not going to happen. See, this is why corporate wisdom tells you not to quit a job before you get another. And talking about transitions, Anandiben Patel succeeded Gujarat's longest serving Chief Minister. 

Back at Mrs G's lair, the party has been unraveling faster than Mr Singh's turban. So what if really important files went missing from the government, history will still be kinder to Manmohan. Predictably, after a flurry of resignations and retractions, the Congress blamed the Mossad, the ISI, advertisement agencies and aliens. Yes, like a deer caught in the headlights!
The former first Son-in-Law of the land - Robert Vadra (aka Money Multiplier and Corporate David Copperfield) will now be frisked at airports and as if to soften the blow, his famous wife told the security agencies to remove the cloak of security over her family. Gee thanks, Priyanka.
Can someone please explain why we have 22 ex-Ministers still occupying their palatial, rent-free official accommodations? 

So what if Kingfisher had its wings clipped 2 years ago. Fortunes have reversed and Modi being the kind of businessman-friendly guy that he is, don't be surprised if Kingfisher starts flying again, soon.
Talking about flying, Air Asia launched their operations - with a bang!

Across the border, militants attacked the Indian consulate in Afghanistan. One of the worst bomb attacks in Nigeria, killed 118 people. Courtesy Boko Haram
A coal mine in Turkey killed 238 people and there are 120 missing. This doesn't mean much to us
If you are a fan of the franchise, prepare to see American soldiers wearing ironman in combat. The United States of America, Bringing Democracy to the world, since 1980

Hate War? Make Love. 
If you are looking for some cheap Asian sex, you can still head to Thailand, where the army overthrew the government in a bloodless coup. 

Elsewhere, Indian shuttlers Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponappa have been quietly shining at the Uber Cup. 
And we'll now have the Kabbadi Premier League. 

In Prison News, Tejpal got bail and Subrata and Asaram got ball. Looks like they'll have to sell their crown jewels after all. 

Now, if I was in Russia, I could have been jailed by now, because Putin has outlawed all swear words. Yeah, cucking frazy isn't it?

And guess who verified Twitter? Yeah, Rajinikanth did. Masterstroke.
His magnum opus Kochadaiyaan not so much. I've always wondered why we can't make animation movies that can compete with Hollywood even when we do exceptional work when outsourced. This is neither a Shrek nor a Bal Ganesha and as you walk out of the theater, you realize that some advertisements have much better animation than this movie. 
Why you must watch this movie
Watch it if you want to be see how we idol-worship an aging super-actor. 
Watch it if you want to hear some incredible music and really good dance sequences by some of the biggest names in India. 
Watch it if you want to see how this movie could be the start of motion capture animation in Indian movies. 
My Rating: 5, and here's why- 
This movie is a poor first draft and an amateurish attempt at creating an epic movie. 
There are plenty of times throughout the movie when you can see how kitschy animation and motion capture is. The lines are quite clearly defined. There are obvious misses like when the army advances only the horse's movement kicks up little dust and the thousands of men marching and running appears like they are doing it on polished marble. 
The makers of this movie have obviously put Rajini on a pedestal and the quality is there to see, for instance if I were to compare how Rajini and other characters have been rendered, you'll see the difference is like night and day. The faces are terribly rendered, the eyes are plasticy and display almost no emotion and appear to stare. The lighting on the faces are terrible in many scenes. The characters appear to be standing bend at the knees. Rukmini's character appears to have hair that defies gravity. And what's with Deepika's outfit? In some of the scenes, her face looks contorted and unrecognizable. 
In some of the fight sequences, like the one between Deepika's and Rajini's character, appear so amateurish I've seen better rendering in computer games.
The plot isn't thick either. It has shades of a lot of other movies. 
Now, I know this is a Rajini movie, out and out and I am a huge fan of his earlier movies. Like a SRK movie, this movie will rake in the moolah for its makers. And I know I will get a lot of flak for this review but I've always called a spade a spade in my posts. 

But guess what! We do have some good news too - India has been polio-free for the last 3 years. Yay us!
A 3D printer landed a man in Tokyo in jail. And here we still struggle with toner prices.

In news that you won't ever hear in India, a former Israeli PM was sent to 6 years for accepting bribes while in office. 


And if you ever wondered why marital rape is still not recognized as a punishable crime in India, here's why - an Indian court ruled that forced intercourse in a marriage cannot be rape. The tragedy of our times.

And you want to know what else the Indian courts did? They allowed pre-launch promos of Rahasya, a movie based on Aarushi while staying its launch on June 13. Did anyone say any news is good news? If we have learned anything from banning something, it should be - Banning it will only make the forbidden fruit sweeter. 

And o yeah, exiled authoress Taslima Khan was diagnosed with breast cancer. 
Down south, Jaya madam pulled off a coup-de-grace and the courts ordered that the levels at Mullaperiyar dam be raised. Damn!

A WHO study revealed that Delhi is the most polluted city in the world. You think?
The trusty Amby began its drive into the sunset, as demand for the most comfortable taxi in the world declined. 

Kimye went on their honeymoon. Is it just me or do you think they do everything backwards? Well, good for them. Does this mean Offspring # 2 is on the way?

Back in India, in the State that advertises itself as the pride of India, shot into the international Do-Not-Travel list when 2 teenage Dalit (lower caste) girls were raped and hung from a tree. The cops apparently made fun of the parents when they wanted to lodge a complaint. So as we limp from one high-profile rape to another, we seem intent on raping the few women that we have left. 

Save for the rapes, and the bombs, the humiliating defeat of the Congress and the thousand other ways that we screwed up, everything else was wonderful. 

I'm off to watch my favorite sport - FootballSee you all next month.

May 15, 2014

24 hours!

In less than 24 hours from now, India will pass her leash over to her new master. 
Expect an anti-climax because we already know who our new master will be. But let's pretend we didn't know and examine the usual suspects.

Candidate Number 1 - Rahul Gandhi (aka RaGa, The Dim Wit, Women's Empowerment, Scion of the Dynasty) 

Surely, he was the late bloomer but hey, don't pile all the muck on him. He's not as stupid as he puts himself out to be. He's just inherited none of the political sauciness of his dead relatives or his mom. How many of you remember how we showered Sonia G with eloquent praises when she turned down the top seat about 10 years ago? She was the epitome of Sati Savitri.
While we have lost much of that emotion towards her in the decade because of the way she dragged her lame Italian feet, RaGa should have won our hearts with his dimples and village idiot speeches. 

So where did it all go wrong for the C Company?
I think we all know the answers. What excites and worries me is how the Dynasty knew this was coming but chose to live in denial. The government sleepwalked through much of the last 3 years. Our PM was the mute spectator in the back seat of a taxi where the drunk driver is fumbling for the keys. For lack of a better word, let's just say Manmohan was the scapegoat of nearly every frustrated insult and anguished complaint we had toward Sonia and her unique brand of divide and rule. 
RaGa doesn't stand a chance and only a sympathetic wave (if you know what I mean) can bring the Congress back to the seat of power anytime in the foreseeable future. And Rahul, please shave the beard off. It's concealing those cute dimples.

Candidate Number 2 - Arvind Kejriwal (aka The Giant Slayer, The Muffler Man)

Now, be honest and tell me - How many of you thought he would become the Delhi Chief Minister (even if it was for a brief period)? Exactly. 
He came, He Slayed, He Left.
No other party in the history of modern India has captured the imagination of a billion people the way his party of 18 months has. Ofcourse, he must give all credit to Anna Hazare who came like a whirlwind and vanished like a breeze. He struck oil by planting the impossible. The impossible thought that some day we can rout out corruption if only we have a new set of leaders. 
So while we are all celebrating the dawn of a new India, I think its wise to say Arvind has a lot to learn and governing a country is far easier than just writing an essay. 
Will he win any seats? He will. 
Not enough to make a government at the center but enough to nip at the heels of the Dynasty. 
We may be disgruntled enough to throw Sonia G and her bunch of cronies out, but not disillusioned enough to vote for the right ideals.

Candidate Number 3 - The Third Front (made up of the Fat Lady from Tamil Nadu, Fat Man from UP and other assorted misfits)

So these are the folks who didn't get called to play in either of the teams during recess and decided to create their own team. Just to humor ourselves, I would like to see them win. Because the gameplan is interesting - If elected to power, they want to rotate the PM's chair between themselves. I can't think of a bigger nightmare than this. 
But the truth is, and if you'd like to believe the exit polls, they might get enough seats to nip at the other heel of the Dynasty. 

Candidate Number 4 - Saving the best for last, Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present the Knight in Shining Armor, former Mass Murderer of Muslims and the only Indian Politician the US and the UK loved to hate until recently - Narendra Modi (aka NaMo, Former Tea Shop owner).

Reluctant as he was until a year ago, we all knew he always had the top post in the cross-hairs. So yes, like it or not, he is going to be our next Prime Minister and we are hoping he will do to India what he did with Gujarat. No, not the killing part hopefully but make us all prosperous and wealthy and happy and shining. 
Oh, like make India Shining like the Congress promised to do long back, but this time we are hoping he actually does it. 

Lessons the Congress can learn (wishful thinking)
  • Communicate. Honestly.
  • You screw us. We will screw you back.
  • Policy Paralysis. Google it. It will have a picture of the UPA.
  • Be consistent. Don't burn the midnight oil 3 months before the polls.
  • Go solo. Your alliances with regional parties with absolutely no vision was the last nail in your coffin.
  • Don't effing loot and plunder us. We will eventually kick your corrupt ass out so fast so far, your head will spin. 
  • Spare no expense in hiring the best spin doctors because you will need them.
Finally, now that the grand exercise of electing our next master is almost over, let's take stock of all the schit that flew, the bullets we dodged, selfies we shot and give ourselves a massive pat on the back. 

This is after all one of the rare instances when we show we can do something as massive and organised as this was with minimal bloodshed or embarrassment (no pun intended) in a peaceful way. I can't think of another democracy that can boast of this.
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