Happy Valentine’s Day!!

Bright moonlight is dawning upon the night of 13th February, and shimmering in it are little droplets of rain – looking like pearls. The roads are lonely. Office goers have reached their homes; spending lovely time in company of their beloveds. Valentines’ couples who celebrated the day hiding behind the bushes, have now gone back to their special hotel rooms. College students who were out in the evening, roaming about the streets and “checking out” the couples, are now back in their dorm rooms, cursing their miserable lonely lives.

I decided to enjoy the weather and the occasion by climbing up the rooftop and looking about the beautiful night (I am writing this sitting on the rooftop. And yes, the rain has stopped.) The weather is way too pleasant, and the scenery too beautiful. The dazzling reflection of lampposts coming off the wet roads only adds to the beauty. Ah! It all seems like Paris to me.

Somewhere down the main road is a little shop that’s open. And people in it seem to be working hard. Very hard. There’s a complete team of dedicated people – three women, two children, one man, and one perhaps – someone in between, I can’t call on it’s gender from this far (no offence, please). They are all gearing up to make You feel good – that’s their business; they cash in on your happiness. It’s a small roadside flower shop. And tomorrow is their most profitable day.

Roses, Lillie, Tulips. Red, Violet, Yellow. All stacked up. Ready to be clubbed together in beautiful wrapping papers, sprayed upon by decorative frills, and stamped upon by love letters. Wow!

It seems all so pretty from up here.

“Well, it’s a marvelous night for a moondance
With the stars up above in your eyes
A fantabulous night to make romance
Neath the cover of October skies
And all the leaves on the trees are falling
To the sound of the breezes that blow
And I’m trying to please to the calling
Of your heart-strings that play soft and low
And all the nights magic seems to whisper and hush
And all the soft moonlight seems to shine in your blush”

A Very Happy Valentine’s Day to you and your beloved.  🙂

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All Hail the Minister!

The national ruling party, a prideful bunch of “honorable” men has been enjoying the spoils at the center for the second consecutive time. They have been doing, what they profoundly acclaim as “Bharat Nirman“. 

To these good-men of India – the lot of most “honorable” people in the country, the ones who roam around with red beacons and lead the en masse,  I question.

I question not their authority, not their attitude, but their motif. I question. I question, not as a voter, not as a citizen, but as a human. I question.

Most high! Most mighty! O Dear Minister of mine! Why doth thou lie so low?

I voted for thou, and I am no more a happy man. I showed trust in thou, and I am no more a happy man. I hath faith in thy governance, and I am no more a happy man. But of course, I shall vote for thou again, for thou is an honorable man.

Thou proclaimed, “Give me a second chance, and I’ll do wonders. Show me the crown again, and I’ll not be greedy.”

And so doth thou proclaim again.

And so will my fellow citizens show thou the chair again, for thou ain’t a bandit, but a man of honor.

The poor hath cried, but not a single tear shed from thy eyes. The Commonwealth molested, raped and savaged, but not a single tear shed from thy eyes. But I shall vote for thou, for thou is an honorable man.

Thou hath always been ambitious. Ambitious to bring thy family members into the ruling coalition, ambitious to overlook thy own mistakes. Ambitious!

Ambitious to show arrogance to thy member parties. Ambitious to overlook the national good over thy petty profits. But, don’t thou worry, for thou is a man of honor.

And I’ll vote for thou. For I fear, if I wrong the honorable man, the heavens will blaze forth this incredible country of mine.

O Womania!

[I wrote this article as a part of my ongoing journalism internship. Thought of sharing it with the blogging community. 🙂 ]

Twenty years of existence. I have been immortal for what a mathematician would calculate out to 7370 days; taking into account five leap years, and +2 days which this article will take to get published (assuming the editor doesn’t send me a “go through it again” mail).

That’s quite a time as compared to the long breaths of the short lived multicolored creatures “dazzling” around our rooms in the rainy nights – the moths and their accomplices. For once, that makes me happy. I have outlived a few species of living organisms, including the moth; perhaps the one that distracts the last bit of my concentration required to write an article. Hooray! No more delays Ms. Editor; kidding!

There are a lot of things that get men off the hook, and most of the times its women and cricket; as for me, include the little dazzling party “hanging out” in my room.

A sugared thought of fair skinned clad – the sweet smelling opposite sex (homo-sapiens-sapiens only; no chimps, please!) is enough to get  me laid (back). “Thou lay at ease, O dear master! The article can wait.”, and so it does, and so rings the bell of my editor.

Well, “Women! What can you say? Who made ’em? God must have been a f**kin’ genius. The hair. They say the hair is everything, you know? Have you ever buried your nose in a mountain of curls, just wanting to go to sleep forever? Or lips. And when they touched your’s, were like that first swallow of wine after you just crossed the desert. Tits. Hooaah! Big ones, little ones; nipples staring right out at you, like secret searchlights. Mmm. Legs. I don’t care if they’re Greek columns or secondhand Steinways. What’s between ’em? Passport to heaven.” ( from “Scent of a Woman“)

In India, we worship women (for no one wants to loose their “passport to heaven”, let alone the priests). But dear “single-guy”, dare you worship the young voguish girl of a metro (Yeah! exactly the one whom you aspire to make your girlfriend), and she’ll rip apart that beloved organ of yours (Ouch! that hurts).

“Thou filthy fellow! Bloody fudoo (Punjabi for fucker). How durran (dare) thou stare at me?”. This was the latest addition to my book of “memorable insults” (already two volumes complete).

That’s the “anomaly” about women, they are captivating at imagination – they’ll grab your thoughts, grip your brain, and take you on a “Dear- O-Dear!” ride, but in reality, just try sniffing around one, and she’ll shoo you off.

“Shoo Shoo! Hurr..!”

It’s only a matter of time until every guy gets his due of the bitchy treatment (even the committed ones ).

Yesterday, I happen to sit by a woman, a twenty year old something, in the metro. She wore a stern look on her face, and just when her cell rang, “Don’t you ever call me baby again. I am never ever going to talk to you. Kutte (dog) Kamine (Roman-Hindi for fucking), Dafaa ho jaa (Go to hell!).” And to hell did the poor guy go; he became single – the genre doomed by the society as the bunch of incapable dogs roaming around just to impregnate the bitches; in other words, worthless.  

Perhaps, O Womaniya, Ah! Aa! Womaniya… Jaa Jaa Womaniyaa! No more Womaniya chasing for me now. (And yeah! on time delivery of every article from now on; Cool! isn’t it, Ms. Editor? )

Stop Brushing India: A Political Satire

[The comments made in this satire are entirely fictitious]

The Monday morning headlines on a national news channel read, “The opposition ministers show their dissent to the government; give up on brushing their teeth.” On seeing the full video coverage, it was learned that the BJP ministry, which has been using Colgate brand of toothpaste since the inception of the party, decided to do away with brushing in the wake of the recent coal-gate scam.

“We want to show the citizens of this country that we are sincere against corruption. We don’t support anything that may even sound similar to it. Our party members won’t brush until the Prime Minister resigns.  We will be launching a nationwide campaign against brushing on Wednesday”, said the national spokesperson of NDA to a media gathering, which, for the first time was seen running away from the “stinking” politician.

“He smells foul”, said a journalist, “If the channel forces me to interview him again, I will quit my job.”

On hearing the latest move by the opposition, the Congress supporters across the country organised a brushing rally. “Our motto to brush is not to be termed as a BJP patron”, said a marcher, who added that he was breaking his six month brushing fast for the sake of the party.

The comments made by the BJP aroused varied reactions throughout the country. Where the Colgate brand was worried over a possible decrease in its sales, the dentists were seen celebrating the occasion.

“We are really pleased with the BJP ministry. Our community is eagerly waiting for the start of the national campaign. We hope to see a 70 percent rise in the business this month”, said a dental surgeon.

Supporting the BJP in its “cause” were the comments from its alliance members.

“The party’s ideology promotes conservation of natural resources like water, unlike the UPA government”, said the leader.

The Lok Sabha on the other hand wasn’t able to function throughout the day. The congressmen entered the senate only after lunch time, citing the delay due to extensive brushing sessions, whereas the second half was adjourned due to the foul smell from the shouting NDA ministers.

In the evening it was reported that the Prime Minister of India, who sat in parliament, silently, showcasing his brilliant white teeth, has been approached by various toothpaste manufacturing companies for advertorial contracts.

“We are glad to announce that the PM has a large public following, but until 2014, he has no plans to enter the entertainment industry”, tweeted the original PMOIndia account on the micro blogging website. The comment got retweeted many times and attracted more than a hundred replies, one of which read, “
Mute advertisements to make a comeback in India from 2014″ @AamAdmi

Later in the night, there were reports of certain senior opposition leaders suffering from severe toothache. The situation got worse when one of the ministers was hospitalized for a root canal operation.

“Minister sahab was perfectly alright till the evening, until the Finance Minister made a comment regarding the cattle class and 20 rupees ice-cream cone. Our party members have always considered themselves to be a common man, and so Minister sahab ate the 20 rupees ice cream cone. Since then he has been suffering from severe toothache”, said the personal secretary of the minister.

The anti – brushing move of the opposition came under serious criticism when the government of the United States of America launched an official alert against talking to the Indian politicians, citing it to be injurious to health.

This sparked the debate between the UPA and NDA ministers, cooking a masala recipe for the TRP starved news channels. The night time prime news featured BJP and Congress ministers arguing with each other.

At the end of the show, the news channels were seen decontaminating the debate room, taking the advice of the US Ministry too seriously, perhaps aping the west.

The Mecca of Coffee comes to India

Buried under the pillow on a sleepy Monday morning, I woke up to a cup of hot coffee only to read the most delightful news for any caffeine lover in the country – “Starbucks to venture into the Indian coffee market”. Orgasmic!! The news had all bean lovers across the nation, including me, dancing with joy.

Starbucks, the undisputed heavyweight champion of the coffee industry has finally given up on staying away from India. The company is now in a 50/50 partnership with Tata Global Beverages and has plans to open 50 outlets across India by the end of 2012; provided the doomsday of 21st December doesn’t become a hindrance.

The Seattle based company, although a big player across the globe; treads on a serious footing before investing into the great Indian coffee bazaar (a potential crowd greater than US, Brazil, Great Britain, Australia, South Africa, Mexico, France, Italy, Germany and Indonesia combined). It is believed that while the rest of the coffee makers were busy brewing flavours to suit the Indian taste, Starbucks was waiting for the FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) roads to open. Their announcement to set up a market in India came two months after the scam-struck government fumbled an effort to allow 100 percent foreign investment in the single-brand retail sector.

Ironically, even after the FDI clearance, the company was uncertain enough to partner with Tata Global Beverages before making investments in the doldrums of Indian economy. This also comes as a surprise as Starbucks has never been in a joint venture before, even in the large scale Chinese market, of which it is now a leader.

“When we started the discussions with Tata, we talked about sourcing and roasting of coffee, and as we began to learn more about the company, we saw a company that shared similar values and principles of business. And because of that we decided to open a café chain together”, said John Culver, the President of Starbucks’ International business, in an interview to ETNOW.

The success of Starbucks in the Chinese market has truly been remarkable, but it certainly won’t be that easy to please the chai loving taste buds of India, given that the coffee giant also faces stiff competition from other foreign players – Costa Coffee, Barista and Dunkin’ Donuts.

The company’s target in India would be to attract the educated middle class, which has an Anglo bent and represents the likely Starbucks converts.

To tap into its potential customers, Starbucks would have to innovate and localize its products, a strategy aggressively followed by McDonalds. On the other hand what also remains an interesting watch is the company’s pricing for its cost conscious Indian clients.

“We focus on the experience that we provide to our customers. We will provide the quality that doesn’t exist here in India and this is going to resonate with the India consumers”, said John Culver, when asked about the pricing issue.

Well sir, all we hope for is that along with the delightful experience of a Starbucks coffee, our pockets also have an economically viable time.

Promoting Candlelight Dinners in India: A Political Satire

[This political satire refers to the day of power grid failure in the country. The comments made in the article are fictitious.]

A candlelight dinner on a pleasant summer evening; romantic, isn’t it? Well, that’s exactly what the Government of India thought when it officially enforced such dinners throughout the northern half of the country on the night of 29th July.

Technically termed as electricity blackout, the candlelight dinners,according to the government officials were “improvised” to promote family bonding and cultural values.

“At a time when children spend hours in front of electronic screens and parents are busy with daily chores, it’s our duty to get the family together. And so we intentionally forced the blackout”, said an official.

On being asked why the blackout happened only in North India, the representative answered, “Our party doesn’t discriminate India on regional basis. The blackout area was randomly chosen. Our message to the rest of the citizens is not to worry, the blackouts will be held on a national scale, and on a frequent basis.”

Reacting to the government’s justification, the netizens in India trended hashtags#WeWantElectricity,#blackoutIndia, and #epicfailure on the micro blogging website.

“I hope we have a year-long blackout in the Parliament. Let there be harmony among the senators #blackoutIndia”, tweeted @AamAadmi

Rising to the occasion were parody accounts of Home Ministry and Electricity Department, the most popular being M0HIndia @MinistryOfHomeAffairs. The account had a million subscribers within a few hours, notable among which were the subscriptions of the opposition ministers.

Unable to digest the harsh criticism, the government launched an official complaint with twitter to block the parody accounts.
“We have requested the concerned authority to take down such users as they spread a wrong message in the public. As a precautionary measure, we are requesting our followers to trend #MOHIndiaRocksand #BlackoutForHarmony on twitter”, said a ruling party spokesperson.

The opposition on the other hand was seen bashing the government. “This move is a promotion of the candlelight dining facilities available at ministry owned hotels and restaurants. The government is bluffing the citizens. We need to have a CBI inquiry on this.”

Rubbishing the remarks of the opposition were the comments from ‘teesramorcha’ (the third wing). 
“Government has done the right thing. Such blackouts boost equality among the rich and the poor“, addressed their leader to the media.

Banking on high TRPs generated by the issue, media persons were tirelessly covering the event. ”Aamadmi faces the blackout burden. Electricity shortage rocks North India”, read the headline on a prime time news show.

Various other news channels showed exclusive footage of people trapped in the electricity net. ”Look here!! This man is forced to get a haircut under candlelight”, reported a correspondent.

In certain other parts of the country the situation was even worse. In New Delhi people got stranded in the Metro and were then forced to dine on the train floor by the officials. Special candles were lit for the occasion. As per the government, it was the best display of communal harmony.

At the end of the day, the power ministry released an official statement, “This blackout achieved a large scale success and we plan to organize more such events in near future.”

Raped in the big Bazaars: The grim story of women in India

“A teenage girl at a bar”, hushes someone in the public.
“Yeah!! But this is not correct”, says the guy to his left.
“This is against our morals and rituals”, shouts a voice from behind.

The low whispers slowly grow into an audible cry. People want to show the woman “her place” in society. She dares to sprout her wings, they say. They have reservations with a girl enjoying her freedom.

“A girl can’t just walk into a bar, and that too, at night time”, the general sentiment of the self-acclaimed moral policemen – the perverts, echo unanimously.

As the night grows darker, the Rowdy Rathores on the shady streets of India gather. And what could possibly be a better feast to their eyes than a teenage girl walking out of a pub.

Delighted, they all seem.
“Ah!! There’s something to hunt for today. A teenage beauty”

They approach her in a group, hold her by her arm, drag her, abuse her, and molest her, in public. Their inner demons take charge. Wow! A live porn show right in the middle of a big bazaar.

And how could our esteemed “fourth pillar”, the media, miss the action, for their crucial TRPs are at stake. Someone calls a local news channel, and they rush to the spot even before the police, faster than the 30-minute pizza delivery boy, to capture the live tamasha.

The journalist, like a director, guides the mob to show the pretty face of the girl to the camera, to get her perfectly into the frame. The sexually aroused men act like obedient make-up dadas in a film studio, following the orders of their director, providing him the perfect shot.

The video footage is then relayed on national television. And it so happens that a cop at a nearby police post, looking out for the perfect movie to pass the night, halts his remote control at the local news channel.

Terrified, not by the gruesome situation of the woman, but by the risk of losing his dear job, he rushes to the location with a group of other havaldars (if you don’t get the term, don’t worry; just have a mental picture of a pot-bellied halvai (sweet seller), it best serves the purpose).

The sound of an approaching police van now echoed in the slender streets of the area.

“But what’s there to be afraid of”, thought the gathering, “It’s a free country and we are doing the right thing, teaching a lesson.”

Thump!! The noise sounded as the Singham – the king of halvais, stepped down the gypsy door. The constitutional law officer was now ready to take charge of the situation, with over an hour of the movie already televised.

He guides the crowd with his laathi, beating their backs, mercilessly. The human-faced dogs now ran for their lives, dispersing from the area.

But wait. The camera is still rolling. The director has aspirations to film a complete one-and-a-half hour movie, so when the scene was over, he starts interviewing the police and the victim, like a documentary. The TRP is now settled. And the news channel now possesses the exclusive “footage” of the “prime time” event.

What about the girl??

Oh..! Her!! Well, once the show was over, no one really cared about about what happened to her.

Battlefield Twitter

Governing in silence for the past six years, the Prime Minister Office-India suddenly voiced itself (ironical to term “Prime Minister”, which has, over a period time become synonymous to the phrase “dead silence”) on the popular 140 word social networking website – twitter, only to realize that it’s impact has been way too large, larger than the popularity of the Office itself – thanks to some “#cattle class” networkers running parody accounts of the PM Office.

The Government, fearing misinterpretation of such accounts or more reasonably, unable to digest the harsh criticism, had filed an application with twitter in June this year. Perhaps, justified in its approach, given that the esteemed citizens of this country had failed to interpret the real faces of their parliamentary representatives during the general elections.

Refusing to give in to the illogical demand of the Government of India, the social networking site didn’t respond back, teasing the Supreme to resort to its countless power. And so it did. Hiding behind the exodus of the North-Eastern citizens, the government shut down the six ‘misleading’ accounts by ordering the Internet Service Providers (ISP) to block their profiles URLs.

Although, we all agree to the fact that there are certain websites and some content over the internet that promotes communal disharmony and needs to be dealt with stiffly, but everything else that criticizes the government can’t be made a goat. This is no China, for god sake.

Damning the government for its arrogant attitude, the rest of the netizens are seen taking on the corrupt class (political power-heads) by offensively tweeting against them. The hashtags #goiblocks, #emergency2012 and #indiablocks have been trending over the internet.

To quote, some of the tweets read as:
“The worst hate speech was made not on social media but in Parliament by Owaisi. While he is still on twitter, others gagged” @jitengajaria
“At the stroke of the midnight hour as Indians slept, world awoke to censorship” @MsWeera
“Rabid right-winger PM0India a) gets to become a martyr and b) will re-appear and start hate-tweeting from another account.” @DilliDurAst

Meanwhile, justifying their high-headedness, a PMO official was quoted as saying, “We are fine with parody, even though at times it is in bad taste, and there is criticism of the government. But we can not allow anyone to misrepresent the PM’s office and tweet nonsense from these accounts”.

Well, Sir, all I fear is of the day when the name of every other netizen starts appearing to you as that of PM Manmohan Singh. If only you could bring down the internet on that day.

The public sentiment is pretty evident – people feel disgusted by the brazenness of the government. The officials must try and understand that for running the country, they need to feed the so called cattle class; which these days does not eat the long political speeches, but an uncensored internet.

P.S. – This latest cyber restriction by the government in the wake of social media uprising, has only jeopardized its already deteriorated public image #RIPCensorship.

The Gloomy State of Politics in India, and trapped in it, The Citizens and Their Natural Resources

Going down the memory lanes, I profoundly remember the time spent around playing in the rainy season, basking in the purity of the fresh drops of water, relishing the sweet joy of monsoons. But today, it’s not the same.

Not that I have grown up, but the surroundings that we grow in produce toxic wastes that contaminate the water – both up and below the earth.

Ours is a developing nation, a power to reckon in years to come, but does that give us the right to mar the environment and natural resources? No, perhaps not. And why should it, at the first place? Why must development come at the cost of our planet?

We argue with the developed nations and question if  they can produce certain amounts of carbon emissions, so can we. But somewhere down our approach, in our fight to become rich and developed – to become the West, we forget that richness lies in the virginity of our environment and the abundance of our natural resources, which we are constantly exhausting or more appropriately, devouring.

Cities in India are expanding, exclusive societies are coming up, people are migrating – becoming ‘rich’; but all this at the cost of what –  the contaminated Ganges (the most polluted river in the world – the cause of 80% of health problems and 1/3rd of all deaths in India: holy, isn’t it??),the irresponsibly disposed solid waste (0.1 million tonnes of municipal solid waste generated in India everyday; only 5% disposed properly), the perennial drought conditions (estimating to an economic damage of 2.6 million USD annually) or the persistent deforestation ( the major cause behind subsequent hotter Indian summers and extincting wildlife species)??
We recite the benefits of Sustainable Development, but for what – only to blabber and do nothing? Our government officials go to Environmental Summits, discuss agendas, come back and then sleep; just to awake fresh before the election period.

Non Government Organisations, Non Profit Organisations and certain good-willed institutions and individuals have been working and fighting for better surroundings and climate, only to find themselves screwed at the hands of government; whose grasp, believe me, is bigger than that of an earthquake.

The politicians in India rule everything. As an analogy to this, I would like to speak of the British rule in India –  they came as traders(East India Company) and then became the kings. Our politicians, who constitutionally, are meant to serve the country, but ironically, they rule the country – in none less harsh way than the Britishers. Recently exposed multi-billion dollar scams are a testimony to this.

Second hand earnings – the sweet delicacies after a fulfilling lunch, are a favorite amongst Indian bureaucrats. As if the recent telecom scam (soaring to the tunes of 1.75 trillion rupees) wasn’t enough, the government jet-crashed the country with the coal scam, popularly known as the coalgate (dancing high at 1.86 lakh crore rupees). The most disgraceful thing being, playing with the natural resources of the country – pushing the bruised mother earth into a valley too deep to rise, a valley filled with malice and greed, from where nothing else, but the doom seems near.

The coalgate scam, perhaps, a wholesale destruction of the environment, has shed light on the apathy that the ministry shows towards environmental issues. As a matter of fact, there has been widespread corruption even in the mining area – the state of Karnataka reported illegal mining scam a few months back.

Over the past 30 years, which includes the regimes of both NDA and UPA governments, only 6 percent of the proposed industrial projects have been revoked on environmental basis. Between the years 2007 and 2011, 8000 projects were given clearance. Still, more shocking was approval of 180 mining projects by MoEF, given the situation that most of the projects are designated for critically polluted regions and one-third of the existing mines have been violating the pollution standards.

Adding to the existing foes of environment, the Government of India has tapped the funds allocated for afforestation, citing the increasing green cover in the country.
Hah!! If only our ministers could have been more reasonable.
The reality is that the so termed ‘increasing forest cover’ is mostly plantation of single specie timber trees.

The latest target of the ever-expanding ‘ministry-hit natural resources’ list is Water – chemically H2O, biologically the basis of all life on Earth. The Union Ministry in January this year proposed National Water Policy, encouraging privatization of water, removal of agricultural subsidies on water and electricity, and promoting giving out of incentives to private sector companies for them to recycle and reuse water.

In all this ‘high level‘ policy making, what our ‘extremely intelligent‘ ministers forgot is, water is a common – it can not be owned as a private property or sold as a commodity. The Right to clean water is the most basic Human Right and privatization of water, under this prospective, is a violation of the Constitution of India.

The grim scenario of water and coal highlights the gloomy state of politics in India, and trapped in it, the citizens and their natural resources – brutally vandalized and looted by the government in all facets of life.

Dear Mr. Minister, Country Matters!

Poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, and there “he” is, taking a long peaceful nap on his comfy million dollar couch; unfazed.

Riots, violence, terrorism, and there “he” is, eating voluptuously; relishing the freshly prepared salmon served by his lavishly paid chefs; unperturbed.

Rape, child labor, human trafficking, and there “he” is, enjoying a family vacation at an overseas resort; feeling blissful.

The nerve..!

Dear Mr. Minister, for once realize your duty; realize that you are a servant and not the master. Wake Up! Your slumber has been too long. Serve the country; rise to the expectations of a growing economy. Feel Shameful!! Stop treating the citizens of this country as your mistresses.

For humanity sake, as an experiment, treat a single day at your office as an election day and see the miracles happening. For once, shed off the egoistic apathy of yours and see the country progressing. For once, give up your mean psychology and experience the power of truth – the joy and exuberance of being fair and just, and see the happiness spreading to the slender roads of the forgotten.

For Once, Sir, For Once, give in to the demands of the country. Be a human. Realize. Country Matters!

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