Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Summer Horror.

I am low. North india is reeling. I cant remember it being this hot ever.
A friend had warned me to never make fun of politicians or journos. They both have very long memory. Longer than baba ramdev’s beard. I didn’t believe him.
But weird things have been happening. I have been having strange nightmares. When I met him , the doctor asked me what my problem was. “ I see ghosts.” I tried my best Haley Osment voice. The doctor whispered back.,” careful. She’s my wife. She has EARS.”
He blames it on the heat. But I am sure there is something deeper; sinister. The empire is striking back.
I saw myself tied to the chair by strings of pasta and madam ( I am even scared to call her name now) approaching menacingly with a ladle of spaghetti sauce and dunking me in it with generous support from her dimpled boy. Now I love spaghetti. I have to eat it at least once a fortnight. Tony Roma on the NW 87 AVE. or the olive garden in Miami will vouch for it. But I wonder if the next time I visit I will have the stomach for it.
After I tried sleeping again, sharad pawar just rolled over me and flattened me like pita bread leaving me for Lalu to fill the stuffings. Then there was vir singhvi throwing bundles of Hindustan times on poor old me and Manu sanghvi assisting him by using his bald pate to glare sun in my eyes. I was sweating . but the torture was not yet over. There was Telecom Raja carrying 20 pages of prose he wrote in honor of the Kalaignar ( DMK president karunanidhi) and I was his sole audience. Didn’t matter which language it was . it all sounded tamil.
The doctor advised relaxation. Indulge in your favourite hobby.
Music!!!!!!!!. What could be soothing than music.
Now American idol was something I swore by. I saw Kelly Clarkson come as a nobody and later pick up a grammy. I saw Clay Aiken lose a final and yet reach the US Top 100.
I enjoyed David Archuleta’s honey dipped ‘ Imagine’ and felt the chill when he sang Dolly Parton’s Smokey mountains , every immigrants anthem.
So I was naturally excited to see that the Indian idol was about to begin. India has some great talent. I had seen some you tube clippings of sa re ga ma pa which I had thoroughly enjoyed. I read that Anu Malik was our answer to Simon Cowell, the delightfully caustic judge . the expectations were mounting.
I am a great fan of Simon. He is a great entertainer. His barbs are wickedly funny.
This was my antidote for insomnia.
Was I disappointed!
What I watched, instead, was a pot smoking monkey , jumping up and down the set . The show is almost farcical. Look likes he has been done by the heat too.

I turned to my savior, the Youtube. This is what I found. For once i was glad that MJ is dead.

The sun is relentless and there is no respite.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Sonia G's Letter to Shashi Tharoor.

( This letter was released to me under the RTI act)

Dear Shashi,

I write this with a lot of disappointment and pasta on my face. Janardhan Deevedi is alarmed. “ Its egg on the face madam”. Stupeed man. He could not teach me hindi in fifteen years and now he tries to correct my engleesh. You can take an Italian from her country but you can never take pasta out of an Italian.

Well. I hand picked you based on your experience in the United Nations. You had experience in the oil for food scam. You had experience in the food for oil scam. I was told that you helped Kojo,The Secretary General Kofi Annan's son to weather that scandal.Then how could you be so stupid.

You write that you do not want to embarrass the party. Ofcourse you did. Our close friend Laloo had this to say “ Sonia ben, 70 cr. Kaa cheez hai? Itna to sasura hamara gopal ganj ka sub-inspector har mahine kha jata hai or dakaar bhi nahi leta. Yeh tharoor eez totally not competent for a minister’s job.”

We were embarrassed even in front of our allies. A .Raja , the DMK minister came to offer his condolence. That pompous bastard. He was gloating about how he managed to swindle millions without being caught. I didn’t concentrate because I thought he was talking in tamil till Chidambaram flapped his mundu and whispered in my ears that he was speaking English. (Must say though. This mundu flappin habit completely fazes me. That’s why I never allow Chidambaram to sit right in front of me. )

As if that was not enough that hippo of a man, sharad pawar trundled in. I wonder why they need rollers in the stadium. All they have to do is to make this man walk. I hate him and his stupeed NCP.

At least you could have done the party a service if you had taught this man to tweet. He doesn’t do any work in the ministry any way and doesn’t have much to say. And whatever he says no one understands.

Talking about understanding, I will never understand this guy Manu Sanghvi. He should understand that you just cannot blame BJP for everything. Stupid man. On Arnab’s show he said that IPL was mismanaged even during BJP rule till someone had to remind him that there was no IPL during BJP rule. He’s an idiot. He doesn’t know the Indians. They even know the number of sixes Sachin scored. He is no good. Veer Singhvi is doing a better job as the party spokesman. And so is Barkha Dutt. Must make this guys Rajya Sabha members. Why even Prannoy Roy has promised to change his channel to HMV ( His mistress’s Voice). Sweet chap. This Prannoy Roy.

And what is it with your girl friend Su. She says that the Indians do not understand the meaning of sweat equity. Of course they don’t. even we Italians don’t. you get money without breaking any sweat. How can that be sweat equity?

Also she’s learning the dirty habit of us politicians in blaming the media for everything. She says that the media has made me into a slut. Darling , the media has no such powers. They have only made you into a popular slut. Now you are in the big league girl! So cheer up. Some day when you meet some powerful sheikh, you will have this media to thank.

But I must certainly have something to thank for. By opening this Pandora box ( Mama mia! I learnt that from that movie Avataar), we have a chance of taking over the BCCI.

Rahul baba can then be a happy man. He needs money and also something to do. Whatever he does ends up silly. Remember the idea of sleeping in the dalits house. And how our congress men went there with mineral water bottles and new crockery. Or this recent rallies that he flagged in UP and how some rallies had nautch girls dancing. How shameful. There was a BJP rally in MP where they had nautch girls. I am sad we copy them everywhere. Cant we think of something original.

Well for this service alone, you will be made the youth president when Rahul baba become the president of BCCI.

Thank you,

Yours truly


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Tharoor, IPL and the shrimps.

Boy ! Real life was never more entertaining. Why do we need movies when the news channels are providing wholesome entertainment.

Even before the Sania Shoaib drama was over and the Channels were left wondering about where their next TRPs were coming from, our gallant minister of state stepped in.

This man has an unusual talent. Whenever our benign PMs overseas visits threaten to take centre stage, Tharoor pulls out something out of his hat. (But this time the Dr. wouldnt grudge.Like all his previous visits to USA, he has only the delectable cuisine to talk about). Now his tussle with Modi proves to be much more entertaining than the IPL itself. It has all the ingredients of a hit bollywood flick. There’s money ( truck loads) , a buxom beauty and now a murder plot.
It doesn’t hurt that Mr. Tharoor has the looks and the gab.

Yesterday I watched his interview on the congress owned TV channel, NDTV. There he was photogenic, suave, articulate and charming trying hard to look credible. Old Barkha Dutt was her usual self too loud, annoying and trying to look credible. Both failed miserably.

It wasn’t Tharoor’s fault though. He did make Barkha Dutt jelly with his boyish charm. But to justify a salary of 75 crores for his girl friend was too much. What was he thinking. People would accept that kind of a salary normal? That too for some one unknown. That too from some owner like Kochi! It was like a Kalari( those poor people’s pubs selling country liquor in some obscure corner of the city) inviting Aishwarya Rai to perform! Good try minister. But I am not buying it. Even your die hard fans would find it hard too.

Speaking of IPL, what’s with Yuvraj Singh. I am not talking about his form. Forms come and go. Its his attitude and arrogance. Hasn’t he heard of some called Sachin.

Digvijay Singh has stirred a hornet’s nest with his article in the Economic Times. He rightly called P Chidambaram as intellectually arrogant. Its fun time folks. The fire engines have been alerted. Mani Shankar Aiyar , the maverick politician from TN, chipped in with a Diggi raja is one lakh percent right!!! A mathematical absurdity? Since when has relevance been a strong point in politics or bollywood.

Manmohan Singh has his hands full. He has a bunch of talented, good looking and TV genic ministers who all suffer with just one disease. Foot in the mouth. They collected expensive degrees abroad where they didn’t teach something called ‘ collective responsibility’. Kapil Sibal, Jairam Ramesh, Kamal Nath. Each quick enough to find faults with the other’s policy. Looks like Dr. Singh may have more friends in the opposition!

The summer is killing me. Feel like a dried apricot. My basest instincts are out. I am jealous. Yeah I hate the shrimps. Did you know that they have their heart in their head. So even if they think with their heart, they are still thinking with their heads.

I am sure all the faux pas happen only when people start thinking with their heart.

Wouldn’t you be happier being a shrimp Mr. Tharoor?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

It's India once again!

After the cold Rochester and wet California, it’s the scorching sun in Hyderabad. The city is a cauldron. There is no greenery. The trees have been the first casualty of development. Trees have been felled indiscriminately to widen roads or build new scrapers without planting any new ones. A hard price to pay indeed! I wonder if its cooler in the Saharas.The water tankers are already a part of the imagery. Soon it will be a harsh reality.

This is just the beginning friends warn. The summer has arrived a moment too soon this year.

This week has been all shoaib sania or the Maoists and the sad death of our brave soldiers. Shashi Tharoor is at it again. He is again in another controversy. This time it’s the IPL Kochi. I have been an ardent supporter of Tharoor. But now he is beginning to look frivolous. He is like a all play and no work boy. Besides , this time it looks like a scandal involving millions. If that unfortunately turns out to be true, Tharoor loses one supporter.

The Shoaib – Sania coverage just shows the banality of the press. They do make a very handsome pair, both are celebrities but does that justify the 24/7 madness? Their wedding has been made the event of the season . But I must say they may win a lot of votes for the dumbest pair too. I doubt if this marriage will last even the ritual ‘love all’ that Sania is used to hearing on the courts and while Shoaib may have bowled a lot of maiden overs or a lot of maidens over, this one clearly is a no ball.

It was fun reading the comments from our brothers and sometimes even sisters from across the border on this wedding on various portals. It was equally fun reading the rejoinders from the Indians . The Pakistanis see this as a poetic justice to all the bollywood movies that show the Indian hero going and eloping with a Pakistani woman. They get the bragging rights now because an Indian girl, a celebrity, has fallen to the looks of a Pakistani hunk thereby implying that they are superior to the Indian males and she is marrying him cos she couldn’t find a single eligible indian. In turn the Indians not to be left behind retaliate in the earthiest of language. Anything that happens between the two countries, sometimes as silly as this wedding, assumes the proportions of a war. Some one has to come out a winner.

The South Asian men are overgrown kids.I am not limiting it to one country. It is completely forgotten that sex is not a wrestling match and no one is a winner. They would do well to remember that BRAIN is something that is between the two ears and not something that is between their two legs. The thing between the two ears is something that is used to think.That between the two legs has a well defined role but thinking isnt one of it.

The Home Minister got away lightly with a resignation drama which fooled no one. It would have been normal had it not been the death of our brave soldiers.But accountability is surely not the most popular word in the lexicon of Indian politics. He would have done well to keep his arrogance aside and listen to all or at least his colleagues like Digvijay Singh and Ajit Jogi. They have been chief ministers in that land and know the problem. It is not a simple law and order problem and the Maoists are not just terrorists as has been depicted. There is a serious development issue involved. The tribal confidence has to be restored in the system. Attack is not the solution. If some one had moved out of his air conditioned office and tried to see the ground reality, perhaps our brave soldiers may have been alive. But this government appears clueless apart from scoring brownie points against the state government and some school boyish wise cracks about where the buck stops.

While returning from USA, I saw one American soldier returning from Iraq. The reception he was accorded was heart warming. Can some one from the government go and look after the dead soldiers’ family, Offer them solace and some compensation. They have lost a bread winner serving our country and we must ensure that the family lives in dignity.

This is my first summer in a decade. Its not at all pleasant. But I am game enough and am sure I will grapple it.After all I have braved it before. Last night i had my favorite mint chutney. Got to look around for a nice swimming pool.what more!!!
Its beer time folks!!!!!!!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Rochester Diary

The sun streams in through the large window. I am in my friend’s cosy apartment in Rochester. It opens into a narrow street. This just doesn’t look America. Its more of Britain. The narrow streets. The parallel parking, the cold and blistering weather. The depressing brown buildings. This isn’t the USA I know!

The British are pretty smart people. But I never understood why didn’t they ever go for bright colors. It would have made the English winter a bit less dreary.

We are in the end of march and yet the weather seems to be unyielding. I can see people clutching to their warm clothing and bending double to protect themselves from the onslaught of the cold breeze. It seems like the Nature is taking an almost perverse pleasure in asserting its superiority over mankind.

Hotel Staybridge is right in front. The Marriot is on the west. A huge Pepsi truck maneuvers its way into the parking lot. I feel a grudging admiration for the driver. It isn’t easy driving in these narrow lanes.

The Mayo Hospital is an imposing structure partially hidden by the hotel. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that Rochester is Mayo. I can see a chopper landing in their premises. I hope the patient recovers soon. Ambulances are a common sight.

The trees look naked, almost vulgar, shorn of the leaves. A huge squirrel is hopping up and down. It’s much larger than its Indian counterpart. The tail is huge and bushy. I am charmed by its photogenic poses and rush to pick up my camera. Alas! The battery is discharged. The squirrel cocks a snook and vanishes only to return again after some time.

My friend is a hungry host. He just doesn’t seem to be satisfied. Every day he plans to go somewhere to eat or drink. We went to a Mongolian restaurant. You can make your own lunch there. There are raw meats in a row. Pick your choice and move to the vegetable section. Add one of the three varieties of noodles. Then are different type of sauces and oils. The variety is mind boggling. Lastly there is a huge round griddle on which the bowl is cooked along with the other foods. The chefs cook right in front as the eager guests circle the griddle and admire the skill and dexterity of the chefs. Its fascinating to see four chefs working in unison and yet not mixing the foods!

But all that eating has its downside.

In two days I can feel the pant tighten on my waist. KC had one day called me Ganeshji in India because of that. Tanmay had immediately retorted, “ Papa I will take uncle to play badminton. Then he will become Shivji.” This time he will have to work a little harder.

Yesterday was his eighth birthday. I gave him a call. He warned me not to forget his gifts. As if I would!

Satish’s room mate is a perfect poster boy for Viagra. Unfortunately he is still very young. I guess it is viagra’s loss. His energy is infectious. I have seldom seen doctors so happy and cheerful. I see him only while coming and going. He’s always that busy. But in that short time, he can keep you in splits.

These guys can really give me a complex. They are all young, smart and confident. Know what they want. And here I am struggling with my mid life crisis; that phase in one’s life when the upper half says I want and the lower half says I can’t.
I can imagine how Gautam Buddha felt. There is no tree under which I had to sit .
But then epiphany can steal its way and come calling even when you least expect.

All good things have to finally come to an end. and soon I have to leave . I wouldn’t want my friend and his room mate, Rahul singing , “ Atithee tum kab jaoge!”

Two days in California and then its India.

The bushy squirrel is opportunistic. It saw there was no traffic and crossed the road.
Its finding its home among the naked trees I guess.

I wouldn’t know if it does. Like him I too am trying to find a home.

Its been one long winter.