Sunday, December 18, 2011

Totally non-corrupt government appoints completely honest minister

Self-proclaimed beacon of democracy and good governance, the UPA government, has added to it’s august ranks another great patriot who puts country first.

Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) chief Ajit Singh was today sworn in as a Union Cabinet minister.


Is this the same Ajit Singh who has made deals with more politicians than Bhanwari Devi and been in more parties than Suhel Seth during New Year’s eve?

This will be the fourth time that Mr Singh will be sworn in as a member of the Union Cabinet. The 72-year-old Mr Singh has had one earlier association with the Congress at the Centre, as the Union Food Minister in 1995-96 when P V Narasimha Rao was the Prime Minister. He was part of the United Front government headed by VP Singh and was the Union Industries Minister in 1991-1992. He was the Union Agriculture Minister between 2001 and 2004 after he joined the National Democratic Alliance government headed by Atal Behari Vajpayee.

Not to forget his ‘alliances’ with both the SP and BSP.

One would say that it’s another dick move from the incompetent cesspool of stupidity that is the UPA government and trying to assuage  allegations of corruption by hiring the man who is the human representation of all that is wrong with politics in this country is one of the dumbest things in the history of mankind, but, one shouldn’t say these things because national nanny and adult class monitor Kapil Sibal is listening. (Those eyebrows are like antennas!)

Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt for a second. Maybe they’ve hired Ajit Singh for his expertise?

Stop laughing.

He is an IIT graduate after all! Some of them are good at things other than writing crappy campus novels.

Mr Singh's inclusion in the UPA is significant in that it comes ahead of the crucial Uttar Pradesh elections due in a few months. His party, the RLD, has a significant base in the western part of the state. He is likely to get the Civil Aviation portfolio.

Uh-oh. Right. Okay. Nothing to see here.

As they say, if you want something to go away you should severely indulge in it. The UPA is going to fight corruption with . . . more corruption!
Strategery ftw!

Now excuse me while I go back to drinking profusely so that I can quit one day.


[via NDTV & NDTV]

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Memo to the people in the office who use the common printer


Thanks to our office renovation, I have been unfortunate enough to sit near the office printer for the past week. I have been told that the renovations are going to go for a few more weeks, which means that I’ll have to be at this seat for longer than expected. So to keep myself sane, and to prevent office violence, I have drawn up a few helpful guidelines:-

Here are few things which I don’t know:

  • The reason why the paper is jammed
  • The reason why the printer used blue ink instead of red
  • The person who cancelled your print job when it was halfway through
  • The person who took away your son’s class project
  • Your colleague’s phone extension
  • The phone extension for the IT team
  • Whether IT or ADMIN are responsible for the upkeep of the printer
  • What the score is or who won the match or any other variation thereof

Here are a few things which I will not do:

  • Vacate my workstation so that you can login to yours no matter how many successive hours you have been in the office and might miss your cab back home if you don’t hurry
  • Call your extension when your thousand page document has been printed
  • Give you a missed call when the IT guy “finally shows up” even if you haven’t had anything to eat since morning and all you want to do is grab a bite because you are feeling a little faint and/or suffer from hypoglycaemia

Here are a few things which do not fall under my job description:

  • To tell you that you need to use blue paper if you want to take your printed document out of the office premises
  • Send IT an email when the printer runs out of paper
  • Arbitrate between both the IT and ADMIN teams to determine who holds responsibility for the printer
  • Arbitrate between two people to determine who gets to use the printer first
  • To judge whether your wedding card looks better in black & white or colour
  • Lending you my seat in absentia while you wait for your print job. This transgression will force me to change my chair with yours.

Here are a few topics of conversation which do not interest me:

  • Any office gossip even if it so juicy that you cannot keep it a secret
  • To educate you about what I am “currently working on”
  • The fact that your previous employer had state-of-the-art laser printers and the management of your current employer is made up of “cheap bastards” 
  • Any complaint regarding other people using the printer to print frivolous documents hence monopolizing and wasting the company’s resources
  • The fact that you crashed the print server by continuously hitting the print button. Also, I do not find the said action amusing.

Please follow these guidelines to ensure a peaceful working environment, failing which I cannot be held responsible for missing sheets or the appearance of extra pages in your handout to the CEO containing pictures that suspiciously resemble buttocks or other non-business ends.

Thanks in advance. 




(Disclaimer: No printers were hurt during the writing of this memo.)

(with inputs from Daddy San)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Adventures in Real India: Visiting the Wagah Border

Ever since Dear Leader Rahul Gandhi said something about there being two India’s, I’ve always been wondered about the second India. Was he talking metaphysically? Was he going all Philip K Dick on us and talking about an India which exists in a parallel universe, where the grass is green and even the boys are pretty? Nobody had answers to these questions. So, to solve this huge mystery, I put on my cap, stuffed a few clothes into a backpack, got into the car and started driving to an unknown destination. (Not really. I don’t wear caps, my trip was pre-planned and I took a plane. And had to pay for extra luggage. But, hey, the truth doesn’t always sound romantic).

So there I was, in the heart of Real India, (I don’t really know what is really the heart of Real India. Only Generalissimo Gandhi knows that. But this is usually how one begins such pieces, so bear with me.), Amritsar. I hadn’t been to Punjab before. but coming from Delhi, I thought I could handle Punjab. I thought I knew everything there was to know about Punjab. Butter chicken, bhangra music and Harbhajan Singh. What else is there to know? But no, there is so much more to Punjab. There is also Butter Nan, Meethi Lassi and Harbhajan Mann. I was accompanied on the trip by a Mallu friend from Bangalore. Who, for the record, couldn’t stop complaining. You know how those Madrasis are. (Yes, yes, we get it. Everyone in North India is rude and doesn’t understand rules and regulations. Pfft! Rules and regulations are for people who cannot beat other people up and buy their way out of jail!). I guess this is why the Aryans must have driven all the Madrasis down South in ancient times. Because of the constant whining! Sheesh!

Anyway, what’s with the food in Amritsar? I had lunch one day and wasn’t hungry for the next whole week. I thought Italian food was heavy, but it’s got nothing on Amritsari food. Seriously, if there is a solution to world hunger, I’m pretty sure it lies in Amritsar.

While I was in Amritsar, I was also scheduled to go to the Wagah Border. I wasn’t particularly interested in going there because patriotism bores me. If I wanted to hear people lose their shit over a worthless cause, I’d watch a match featuring the Indian cricket team. I said I would go, but only if we could get the good seats. Not the nosebleed seats with the rest of them. I was ready to embrace real India and everything, provided I didn’t have to come into contact with it’s inhabitants. I didn’t want to try too many things at the same time, like a small town resident visiting a mall in a big city for the first time.

However, my socialist Madrasi friend was feeling let down. Since he is a unpretentious prick man of the people, he wanted to sit among the nosebleed seats. (Abeyaar, what do they feed you down South? Do they grate the communist manifesto into your dosas? Leave the communism to the Bengalis. That’s all they’ve got anyway. The thing is, if we can’t use money to decide the importance of people, the whole world will be thrown into chaos!)

So we get ready and head towards the border. The drive is a good one. The scenery was decent, but I was expecting something more Yash Rajesque. The government should look into that. Well, even though it could not hold up to the production values of a Yash Raj movie, I was quite enjoying the scenery. Until my driver/handler (Oh yes! I had a handler. SUCK ON THAT, POOR PEOPLE!) told me that some of it was Pakistan. Now I am as tolerant as the next person, but suddenly the grass on the Pakistani side started looking evil and gave off bad vibes. Like it wanted to assassinate me or something. Typical!

When we reached our destination, we were allowed to take our car a kilometre or two closer to the border than the riffraff general public (Obligatory #LikeABoss). But I had to still make the supreme patriotic sacrifice and had to walk a little. Whilst we entered through the VVIP entrance, we found out that our seats had already been taken up. Apparently, some asshole minister showed up with extra members of his asshole contingent. Can you believe how entitled these people are? They think they can just waltz in with their power and government contacts and expect to be given special treatment. What kind of a sociopath does that?

I'm a rich Delhi-ite, get me out of here!

To the delight of my pinko commie friend, we were then led to the semi-nosebleed section. I tried to protest, but the loud music drowned out  everything I said, just like when the sage old family senior at a Punjabi wedding tries to convince all the dancing members of the groom’s party to stop dancing and come inside the wedding hall and is drowned out by the sound of the band. Finally, the Yash Raj fantasy was coming true! People were dancing, without any reason whatsoever! However, the dancing was like an episode of Glee, if Glee were choreographed by a blind guy with no legs who is also mute and cannot move his hands.

 This is what happens when you tell people to 'JUST DANCE'. Look what you've done, Lady Gaga!

For a moment, I was lost in the fanfare. About three hundred people who didn’t know each other were “dancing” next to each other, while another ten thousand other were singing along. We sat there looking at people doing what can only be described as moving their bodies in a weird fashion, while they played every bollywood song even remotely related to patriotism. I think they use the same set of songs at concerts for NRI’s. It seemed strange for someone like me to see all these people, most of whom don’t know each other (I’m assuming. Unless of course, they were all part of a small punjabi wedding party), enjoying the moment together. It was like their differences didn’t exist and just being at the same place at the same time was enough reason to bond. This usually only happens during college fests in Delhi or at an Osho commune.

Suddenly, they played Jai Ho and my bubble burst. Of course this song got the most applause. Of course even the white people jumped in to dance with the natives. Apparently, along with the cellular network, even irony did not exist here because nobody else seemed bothered that the song of a British movie got the biggest pop at the India-Pakistan border. I could imagine the G4 freedom fighters, Gandhi, Nehru, Patel & Bose looking down from freedom fighter heaven, shaking their head and going “We did all that for these assholes?”

Anyway, unbeknownst to me, the ceremony was about to get even more ridiculous. The dancing was followed by shouting. The MC of the event made it clear that we could only shout positive slogans, as part of the new confidence building measures. But that didn’t stop him from pointing us to VIOLENTLY VOMIT OUR SLOGANS in the general direction of Pakistan.

I only briefly looked at the Pakistani side, but it had a look of sadness and despair. Kind of like a metaphor for the whole country. The men and women were sitting separately. When their MC was encouraging them to VIOLENTLY VOMIT SLOGANS in the general direction of India, he didn’t sound like he believed those slogans himself.  It was really transparent that they were written by a quixotic Pakistani government bureaucrat who was serving in the army during the 1971 war. And really, those slogans were even sadder than the whole atmosphere in that place. That’s because during partition, all the best slogans representing the independence movement were taken by India. Wow, whoever our lawyer was during that time, he was one crafty sumbitch! Not only did we get the best of everything, we stuck them with Balochistan! I bet the hardest part must have been trying to make them believe that we actually wanted to keep the Frontier provinces. Jinnah was such a n00b! Governor General Smoking Skull got pwned by Prime Minister Horny McEdwinaPants!

Before all the shouting commences, they play the battle cry theme song from the Mahabharatha teevee program (I’m guessing Daft Punk wasn’t available?), because nothing signifies futile battles like the Mahabharatha. So first, the crowd shouts, then some of the soldiers pull a Shankar Mahadevan and shout the word “OH” for a really long time without taking a breather. Then the crowd applauds them and shouts some more slogans. Then some of the soldiers march towards the gate, while making their feet walk like an Egyptian. Which the crowd applauds and this continues for a while.

All the shouting and applauding presents us with really strange moments.. Like there was this group berating those of us who were mute spectators to the festivities for our lack of patriotism. They were obviously from Bombay. Then there was this group which kept shouting Inquialab Zindabad. Because, really why the fuck not? It’s been sixty three years since the British left, but, whatever, JUST IN CASE THEY LEFT SOMEONE BEHIND! Better safe than sorry!

Then, after what it seems like forever, they take down the flag, and fold it in the prim and propah gay military technique and take it to for safekeeping in the flag(?) house until it’s put back up on the flag pole again at daybreak.

And then everybody gets up to go. But first, only the white people are allowed to leave. That rule must be there to remind everybody how it must have been like before the country got independence. I almost shouted “SIMON GO BACK!”.

Damn, patriotism can be so infectious!

Friday, February 18, 2011

What’s Hot: Your guide to a festive weekend!

Did you miss valentines day because you were working and your asshole boss would not let you take the day off and even made you work late? Or is that what you told your partner even though you could have easily taken the day off and when you said “late” you meant you were canoodling with you office sexytime partner? Well, in case you want to make it up or even if you didn’t screw up a made up hallmark holiday and want a weekend out on the town, we are here to help you! We go everywhere and taste everything so that you don’t have to! So here are the most happening events taking place this weekend. Enjoy!


Talk about intellectual stimulation! On Friday, in preparation for World Cup 2011, Roli Books presents a special coffee table book,1983: A I can haz world cup! Circle Jerk, a pictorial essay of the most glorious day of Indian cricket which did not involve either Sachin Tendulkar or beating Pakistan. The book is the brainchild of India’s only world cup winning captain, Kapil Dev. He has also chosen the title, written the foreword and selected the pictures that were included in this historic book! The MC for the event is another member of the historic team, Kirti Azad. We are glad that both of them took time out from their busy schedule appearing on various news channels to attend this event. Unfortunately, no other members of the historic team will be at the release ceremony as they had something better to do and/or are dead. After the book release, a few select guests will be taken to a small concert hall where international superstar Bryan Adams will perform along with world famous music composer, Biddu.


This week is all about politics!

Whose speech is it anyway?

Mistaken Identity! International Espionage! People who have no idea how to do their job! From the makers of 27 Dresses: The Shivraj Patil Story comes the most awaited comedy of the year, Whose speech is it anyway? The movie opens with a minister of the Indian government reading a wrong speech at an international conference. He then catches the wrong flight and is then kidnapped by pirates, who think he is someone else! Hijinks ensues, and one hilarious misstep after another almost starts world war 3. Starring Paresh Rawal as the minister, Tom Alter as generic white guy who talks in accented hindi and Rajpal Yadav in blackface as an incompetent Somali pirate.

Prime Minister Slow Motion

This political thriller set in contemporary times is about a geriatric politician who is prime minister in name only. He stands by and watches What? We're still younger than Afridi! chaos reign all around him. He is happy to rest on his past laurels and all he wants to do is hold on to power long enough so that his rival, the leader of the opposition, is never able to fulfil his ambition of holding the second most powerful office in the country, (the first being the host of Times Newshour).  All this ends when a young, dynamic leader, a scion of the most powerful political family in the country uses his influence to challenge the status quo and then becomes Prime Minister. He then starts solving problems from overpopulation to climate change. He falls in love with a village belle after eating a meal at her house. She is then kidnapped by his political foes, who are aided in this mission by foreign powers. Will the leader be forced to choose between his country and his lover? Will the foreign powers succeed in dividing the country? Starring thespian Dilip Kumar as Prime Minister Major Slow Motion, AK Hangal as the leader of the opposition and the evergreen Dev Anand as the young, dynamic and charismatic leader who saves the day. Katrina Kaif plays his mother. Anushka Sharma plays the village belle he falls in love with. The movie also contains a sultry item number performed by the demure Dolly Bindra.(The makers of this movie insist that none of the characters in this movie are based on anyone in real life. In fact, the story of the movie is a modern interpretation of the err…umm…. Mahabharatha. Yeah, that sounds about right.)


This week, an exhibition of the photographs of budding photographerStare like an intellectual! Sunanda Pushkar, is being held at Lalit Kala Academy. The model for all the pictures is the photographers muse and husband, former Union minister, Shashi Tharoor. The exhibition includes many haunting images like “Shashi Tharoor staring thoughtfully into the future” and “Shashi Tharoor standing next to the parliament building and staring thoughtfully into the future”. There is also a humour section which displays playful images like the one in which Shashi Tharoor pretends blowing a trumpet which is also called Shashi Tharoor. Unfortunately, the controversial image “Shashi Tharoor riding a holy cow” was removed after lawful protest by members of the Hindu Janajaguriti Samiti. Light music and entertainment will be provided by visiting international superstar, Bryan Adams who will be accompanied by the Prince dance group, winners of the first season of India’s Got Talent.


The India Habitat Centre has a special treat for all it’s members this weekend. A special performance of the one man show “My Struggle forThy may take my pants, but they'll never take my FREEDOM! India”, written & directed by noted playwright and part-time politician Amar Singh. It is a touching story about a man who just wants to do right by his country and is betrayed at every stage of his life by the people closest to him. He loses everything, including his pants, but still keeps carrying on, refusing to ride into the sunset. Starring award winning Hollywood actor Danny DeVito, this touching story will have you crying harder than a small child who just found out that his dad killed Santa Claus!



Opening this weekend, in the heart of the capital, is a new fusion restaurant, The Berlusconi Plaza. That’s right! Placed right between the CWG games construction site and Palika Bazar, this new “concept” restaurant is just what the city needed!  You thought Chicken Manchurian was a big fucking deal? Wait till you let your tastebuds satiate on such signature delicacies like Mutter Meatballs and Sag Spaghetti! Come for the great food, stay for the awesome dessert! You can choose between “The Italian Senator”, in which a leggy Italian blonde hooker blows you while you eat your favourite ice cream or “The ND Tiwari”, in which an underage girl-child from Bangladesh feeds you crushed strawberries and cream while another rubs ben-gay all over your aching limbs! On the opening night, dance to appetizing tunes from the 90s, courtesy of guest DJ and international superstar, Bryan Adams.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

India & America to continue to make love to each other, despite having insignificant others

While all of you were busy trying to drink away the cold weather (or was that just me), something important was brewing in a land, far, far away.

The White House is to throw a lavish reception for the Chinese leader, Hu Jintao, on Wednesday in an effort to patch up relations after a difficult year dominated by tensions over currency rates, jobs, North Korea and other international issues. President Hu is due in Washington tomorrow for the start of a four-day visit, the highlight of which is to be a state dinner at the White House on Wednesday evening.


Isn’t that cheating?

How can America make relations with China, behind our backs? Wasn’t it just last November when President Barry America swept us off our feet by uttering those magic words “Permanent Member of the Security Council”. Whenever our other diplomatic initiatives were rebuked by other countries, we took solace in the fact that maybe one day, we would take our rightful place, right next to America, and both of us together would heal the world and make it a better place for you and for me and the entire human race!

Is this why we gave you billions of dollars of our hard earned money, Barry? Is this how you repay us? How can you do that to us, Barry? What about all the nice things you said to us in the backseat of your plush limo? Were those a lie too? Did you think we would never find out? This is a slap in the face of the awesome future we had planned together. How can you do that to us, Barry? HOW CAN YOU SLAP?

Tell us that it’s not true, Barry. Tell us you’re only doing it because you owe China some money.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh got a state dinner when he came here in 2009 as President Barack Obama's first state guest. Chinese President Hu Jintao is getting one too, but commentators are discussing it as if it was completely unexpected.

This and other comparisons are being drawn between India and China in a triangular relationship with the US, going right up to the White House itself, unsolicited and unprompted. Shortly before Hu arrived on Tuesday, Obama's press secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters not to expect deliverables to match those of the India visit.

See? Barry could never do that to us. His mouth may say Kung Pao Chicken, but in his heart there is only place for Chicken Malai Tikka.

It’s okay with us, Barry. We understand your relationship with China is just fiscal! We can’t always be together. We’re not jealous. In fact, we have a confession to make. It seems like we might have had a short fling with France (it’s how you say “hello” in France), a one night stand with the poor man’s Canada Britain (but that was basically pity sex. We feel bad for the fella. Nobody even asks him out anymore. Even his neighbours ignore him all the time), and we even fondly remember the time when Russia date raped us (Bygones. Can’t blame him, though. He was in Delhi). What we want you to know Barry is that we were thinking about you all the time!

Both of us may stray, Barry, but we know that each of us will come back home! At the end of the day, our relationship is the winner!

That’s what everybody else seems to be thinking too:

Even the think tanks seem a little under-enthused. Though papers are being presented and talks are being hosted, the buzz is missing. "The bottom line is that no one expects dramatic breakthroughs with the Hu visit," said Richard Fontaine of the Centre for New American Security. Though corporate deals worth billions are expected to be announced over the next two days, the high-voltage success of Obama's visit to India in November might have raised the bar for visits of this kind.

"This is a little different from our trip to India. The economic relationship that we have with the Chinese is different on a scale with what we do with India," Gibbs told reporters.

ZOMG! In this relationship, we are the Betty Cooper to America’s Archie Andrews. And China is mean ol’ Veronica Lodge, with all her money and charm and her scandalous short skirts. Archie may take Veronica dancing every Saturday night, but he always spends Sunday afternoon making cookies with Betty. Betty might have to do all the work while Archie just sits there watching teevee, but, still, Betty loves to make cookies. In fact, Betty lives for all those Sundays she can make cookies for Archie. If Betty could spend the rest of her life making cookies for Archie, she would consider it a life well spent.

In fact, we have so much trust in Barry’s love that we even wrote a song* for him:

Barry, can you hear me?
Barry, can you see me?
Barry can you find me in the night?
Barry are you near me?
Barry, can you hear me?
Barry, can you help me not be frightened?
Looking at the skies I seem to see
A million eyes which ones are yours?
Where are you now that yesterday
Has waved goodbye
And closed its doors?
The night is so much darker;
The wind is so much colder;
The world I see is so much bigger
Now that I'm alone.
Barry, please forgive me.
Try to understand me;
Barry, don’t you know I had no choice?
Anything I'm saying
Even though the night is filled with voices?
I remember everything you taught me
Every book I've ever read...
Can all the words in all the books
Help me to face what lies ahead?
The trees are so much taller
And I feel so much smaller;
The moon is twice as lonely
And the stars are half as bright...
Barry, how I love you...
Barry, how I need you.
Barry, how I miss you
Kissing me good night...

No 'Hu' and cry over Chinese Prez visit, US prefers India [HT]
* Original song by Barbra Streisand from the film Yenti [Wikipedia]