Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Dear Agony Aunt

Co-worker calls me "sunshine" and "babe". It's beginning to bother me.

P.S.: Did I mention the said co-worker is male?

Monday, October 22, 2007

If You Can Say Something Nice, Just Shut The Hell Up

I could tell the old lady seated next to me on the flight was excited about the cruise that she had just been on.

"The boat was really big!"

I should have held my book (Anatole France's "Penguin Island" - a book everyone should read) in front of my face and blocked eye-contact with her. But when I felt her poke my arm to tell me about the amazing ice-skating show on the cruise, I calmly accepted my fate.

"The skaters had such pretty costumes!"

Images of bloodied ice-picks, fatal avalanches and devastating snowstorms filled my head.

"How was the food on the boat?"

"It was wonderful", she said. "So many different types of cuisines!"

All FOCs ("fresh off the cruise") seem to always talk about the food on the ship. "It's just like being in a city!" (OK, so why go on a cruise? Just go to a city. I know - it must be the ice-skating show.)

Then the lady changed topics and asked me where I was originally from. I gave her the coordinates and braced myself for questions on outsourcing and call centers. Thankfully, she did not touch upon those topics. Instead, she told me something else.

"Oooh, India! Boy, that's a long way from here! We had waiters and waitresses from 54 nations but the Indians were the best! They spoke good English, they were efficient and got our food on time."

What can I say, that's my people.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Urf For President

I have it from inside sources* that "Urf" is going to be filled with time-wasty goodness very soon.

I totally dig that name "Urf". Tremendous merchandising possibilities, don't you think? "Urf" barf-bags on planes. "Urf" bird-cage liners. "Urf" anti-flatulence medicine. "Urf" skin rash cream.

*Not the same inside sources who, back in May 2000, strongly advised me to double my position in my dot-com portfolio.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Er...Hail To The Chief?


That sound we are hearing right now is the sound of a million, even gazillion, liberals scratching their heads at this piece of news. Suddenly, they no longer feel so sure about their likes and dislikes.

Past Indian governments have always been sympathetic to the Tibetan cause. So why do they not show some support for the pro-democracy movement in Burma?

And finally:

"Dear China,

Please go fuck yourself.

Yours lovingly".

Sunday, October 14, 2007

To My Fellow Indians Who Are About To Fall

The headline tempts us thus: "Come Enjoy Indian Fall Festivals in New York And New Jersey".

And if you remember your primary school civics textbook, the ninth day of the Indian Fall Festival is the Indian Rise Festival, which is when all the fallen Indians rise and walk back home.

I've made it clear to the wife. If she wants me to dance at Navratri, they better play Fujiya & Miyagi. (link has "Collarbone" and other F&M mp3s. You are welcome.)

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

"You Are Black And I Am White"

Of the many musical atrocities committed by bands in the nineteen-eighties, there is none more abominable than "Ebony and Ivory". Just about everything about the song is wrong. The poorly executed metaphor, the depressingly bad lyrics*, the bouncy outro - oh lord, that bouncy outro.

So gadies and lentlemen, a big round of applause for the "world's worst duet ever".

Rather than link to the original video, here's Eddie Murphy (playing Stevie Wonder) and Joe Piscopo (playing Sinatra) on SNL, re-writing the song.

Mom, Dad, I am sorry for making you spend 30 rupees (or was it 10?) and buying me the "Tug of War" cassette. I played it only 3 times and the last time I played it, someone had taped The John Peel Show over it. So the album was good for something.

*I had a mondegreen moment when I first heard the song and I still refuse to correct it. I used to hear the line "we all know that people are the same where ever you go" as "we all know bad people are the same where ever you go", I thought it lent the song another layer of equanimity. You know, Osama, Hitler, SUV drivers - bad people are the same where ever you go. Banality of evil etc.

Saturday, October 06, 2007


A very moving post by Dilip D'Souza on a subject that, ironically, is almost always shrouded in denial the world over.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007


"Blade Runner" is back and finally, Ridley Scott likes it.

Oh yeah, 2019 is just 12 years away.

Would "Blade Runner" be dubbed and released in India? Would they re-title it "Nai"? Ha, ha, the hefeweizen is kicking in.


I’ve reached a point where I no longer feel the urge to defend the Mahatma when people blame him for everything; from dividing the nation to establishing a weak, subservient Hindu character that is forever bowing to Muslims.

I also do not feel the need to lionize him for this iron will or his “organization” skills (and by god, he had some.)

I especially have no interest in his brand of spirituality. I am not saying it is wrong; it’s just not my way.

But never will I stop admiring the man for his tremendous passion.

(The Atlantic has reprinted an article on Gandhi from 1922.)


If I have some free time this weekend, I will ask a friend to let me go through her personal collection of pictures of Bapu (given to her by her grandparents.) The pictures may be small (or, sadly, in some cases, fading and torn), Gandhiji seems lost in a sea of freedom fighters, but damn those are thrilling pictures. (There are also letters and postcards signed by the great man; some sent from Sabarmati, some from Bombay. Each one is a glowing testimonial to that passion.)