Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Indian Idol is back!

Its that time of the year again. My mom will constantly check her watch to ensure that we reach home just in time. Manna will abandon facebook and sit in front of the tv (I cannot emphasize enough on what a rare occurrence that is!) and I will keep rolling my eyes heavenwards in great exasperation while I can picture my Dad closing his eyes and covering his ears to escape the agony. Indian Idol is here! 

To be very honest, I don't care much for reality singing contests. I mean dance, give me dance any day. And while we're at it, specifically, So You Think You Can Dance, the dance competition on AXN. Indian reality shows are full of people crying for some or the other stupid reason. While Ishant "ke sapne chur chur ho gaye", Mallika "ko apni maa yaad aa gayee". When any contestant is eliminated, Indian shows will pan over to the whole bloody studio crying. It is so annoying and fake! In contrast, I don't remember a single tear being shed in SYTYCD. In fact when anyone is eliminated, there is a huge round of applause and a celebration. They're just happy that they came so far. Whatever emotions they have are thankfully relegated to behind the scenes or off camera.

Taking Indian reality shows to the next level of melodrama is our very own Indian Idol in its 5th installment. One thing that bothers me is, when people don't get selected, they come out and say that Anu Malik steals tunes, he doesn't know how to sing. I say, then why do you go to get yourself judged by a person like that! Moreover, the judges leave no stone unturned to make fun of people who can't sing properly. The whole exercise just seems very cruel. Apart from that, there are some jokers who come just to get publicity. From dancing in front of the judges, lighting themselves on fire, tearing up clothes, crying and begging while lying prostrate on the floor, asking their parents to vouch for them!, the list is endless. Each new episode showcases some new level of stupidity. I simple can't stand it! Dad, I am just like you, closing my eyes and covering my ears. It is embarrassing to even watch it!

The worst part is, I think Indian Idol is going to be aired every day. When will this misery end? *Sigh*

Sunday, April 25, 2010


From the comfort of her home,
She spied a shiny object,
Curious and excited,
She stepped out to discover,

On reaching the spot,
To her dismay,
It wasn't a shiny pearl,
But a pebble reflecting the moon,

As she looked up,
She saw another shiny object,
That one must be a diamond!
She set forth to discover again,

Just as before,
It wasn't a pearl,
But a pretty sea shell,
Reflecting the moon,

At another distance,
She spied a colorful sparkling object,
Thus she took another step,
Towards another discovery,

Not realizing with every step she took,
Her perspective changed,
She walked farther away from home,
Chasing glittering worthless gold,

And so far she reached,
In her pursuit of shiny objects,
She could not find her way back,
To the comfort of her home,

Now she wanders alone,
Shiny things no longer bedazzle her,
Her biggest loss is,
Home and comfort do not befall her...

Saturday, April 24, 2010

How to train your dragon - movie review

FR: Sooo cute! I want a pet dragon too!! :D

We have cockroaches and mice for pests. The Vikings however, have fire-breathing dragons! They come in all shapes and sizes, steal food, tear down buildings and generally wreak havoc. Ordinary people like us would quail in terror and hide till the dragons pass by but not the brave Vikings! Brute force is their forte and they find great satisfaction in beating and killing dragons. Enter Hiccup, a puny little boy who is the son of the strong and brave Viking leader. Desperately in love with the fierce dragon fighter Astrid, Hiccup wants to kill just one dragon to make her aware of his existence. Every time Hiccup tries to kill a dragon though, something goes wrong and as a result, he is forbidden from even trying.

Relegated to the background amidst the worst dragon attack, Hiccup builds a machine which will help him capture a dragon. As the whole town is busy fighting and killing dragons, Hiccup races atop a hill and puts his contraption to use. He astonishingly manages to strike down the most dangerous dragon, Nightfury, which can never be seen but only heard by its whistling sound. Finding the dragon tied down by the ropes thrown up from his contraption, Hiccup raises his dagger to kill the dragon and finally make an impression on Astrid and the whole village. However, he does something better. 

After the mad scientist hero in Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs, I've fallen in love with the super-sarcastic Hiccup who never fails to make fun of either himself or the situation. The animation is superb and watching it in 3D was an added treat. Especially endearing are the scenes where the dragon is "trained" by Hiccup. Go watch this one for fiesty dialogue, super fast action and ultimately the cute dragon! 

p.s. If I still haven't been able to convince you, do watch this trailer and see if you've changed your mind :D

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Where does the buck stop?

I had a good laugh reading today's newspaper. Reason being, the gross misuse of the phrase "the buck stops here". This phrase indicates that the responsibility for any mistake or wrong doing, is being accepted by the person who is stating this phrase. Hence, when Union Home Minister P Chidambaram used the phrase to criticize W. Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee about his inability to deal with the Naxal attack, he said the buck stops at the Chief Minister's desk. At this time Buddhadeb had strongly condemned P Chidambaram about the type of language he used saying "the word buck is used in gambling, I say mind your language". Talk about focusing on the wrong issue! Later when the terrible Dantewada massacre took place in which 75 CRPF personnel were killed by Maoists, P Chidambaram accepted full responsibility saying the buck stops at my desk and offered to resign.

I guess the phrase has caught on because Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar's daughter Supriya Sule said the following sentence in this article with regards to her role in the IPL controversy:

"I say with full conviction that my husband (Sadanand Sule) or family has nothing to do with any of these issues. We always stay miles away from it. Yes, we are avid cricket watchers, my husband, my kids, my family all and that's where the buck stops," Sule, a Member of Parliament, told reporters here.

I mean, does she even understand the meaning of the phrase? People like Buddhadeb and her should at least look up the meaning and the context of the phrase before lambasting the speaker or using it arbitrarily as they please. Murder of the English language, I say! 

Update: This pest control site has the caption "the bug stops here!" Hilarious!


Monday, April 12, 2010

The big fat Indian Premier League

Cricket haters, don't stop reading. Cricket lovers, don't start praising. During the course of my study towards a successful entry and stay in the world of mass communication, I have been reading up a lot on Indian politics and sundry other topics that make news every day. As a result, at times I have to read up on something as loathsome as cricket. I mean, I really hate cricket. I really really do. This is not emotional. It has nothing to do with disappointment or heartbreak. Well maybe a little.

When I was around 10 years old, our family friends used to get together to watch India Pakistan matches in Dubai. Once I was very involved in a match and all our hopes were pinned on Sachin. And we lost! Since then I abhor cricket. Anyway, so considering that the entire 3-page sports section of a few newspapers is dedicated to IPL, I thought I should take a dekko at what it's all about. Apparently, the business model of IPL has deserved a lot of attention as Page 3 is filled with after-match party photos.

Let's start with the cricketer's uniforms. Have you seen the number of logos on them? The cricketers  look like walking-talking billboards. Frankly speaking, I find it a bit offending. I mean one brand is fine, but the cricketers look silly with some or the other logo stitched on to any bare patch on the uniform. Talk about not letting an inch go waste! As I remember, Lalit Modi wanted to auction off the space on a cap for ads! Somebody stopped him from doing so, thank God! 

The next ridiculous money-earning trick is to show an ad between overs in the stadium as well as on tv. I mean my brain just doesn't switch that fast! One second you'll be waiting for a guy to start bowling and in the next split second you'll be seeing some stupid ad. Overload of multi-tasking I must say! Even when a player gets out, ads are pushed in till the next player emerges from the pavilion. Not letting a second go waste, our talented Mr. Modi. 

I was not surprised to find out that MRF was charged a handsome amount just to let a blimp with its logo to be allowed to float above the stadium. What I find hard to believe is, other companies didn't jump into the fray for the balloon-race. The after-match parties are another addition to "glamorous" cricket with cricketers and stars forced to make an entrance, even if they come back from the matches at 12:00 am. People pay to come and see you, the organizers tell the cricketers, its your duty to at least show them your faces. Its no wonder cricketers keep snoozing or passing out in the middle of the parties. 

The luxury packages offered by IPL had me gawking with my mouth wide open. Since we aren't privy to the deals that are made, we can only guess what packages are being offered. Pay 25 lakhs, get the best seats for the entire IPL, a luxury hotel stay, limo pick up, free access to IPL post-match parties and some such. I mean, where is cricket in all this! Sounds like a made-to-order vacation! The IPL industry has been valued at 4 billion dollars right now. With 2 new teams coming in, it is about to get bigger. Looking at merchandising and hospitality as 2 main sources of increasing income, I think IPL 4 is going to go crazy lucratively on both fronts. I'm sure they'll find a way of merchandising a needle too.

All this sounds crazy, but I guess due credit must be given to Lalit Modi. I mean, that guy really knows how to make use of time and space to make money! Let's see how he sells ice to an eskimo in IPL 4.

p.s. I wonder how come nobody thought of using the cheerleaders' uniforms for brand advertisement. I mean, the clothes just got bigger, you got so much space! No worries Mr Modi, IPL 4 is coming...

Update: I got a closer look at IPL cheerleaders today, courtesy Times of India (couldn't find the damn photo on the net!) and I stand corrected. IPL cheerleaders' uniforms are ALREADY sporting brand logos. So, I pretty much can't race against Modi's "lucrative" mindset. The recent Tharoor Modi controversy is interesting. I don't know how Tharoor manages to get stuck in these situations all the time. I think he suffers from foot-in-the-mouth disease. Just like me!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Aquaguard service guy's blog

Today, I saw yet another proof of the fact that pretty girls are dumb. As I was on my usual Aquaguard maintenance round, I realized I was running late. Hoping to finish off the next few assignments quickly, I rang the doorbell of the pretty dumb, dumb pretty girl. As she opened the door, I briskly stepped in and said "Patela dya" (Gimme a vessel). I walked into the kitchen and the dumb pretty girl went and sat on her couch. Now, just because I figured out where the Aquaguard is located in her kitchen, doesn't mean I know where all the vessels are kept! I looked at her again and said "Patela dya". She looked at me blankly, got up from her couch, giggled like a fool and said "Oh mala watla tumhi mhanla paach minta dya" (I thought you said gimme 5 mins).This was not going to be an easy day. 

I quickly finished the maintenance work and then asked her if I could have a dish rag to clean up the Aquaguard machine. She looked at me and asked "dish rag?" Concealing my impatience as far as possible, I looked at her and made a cleaning action with my hands. Realization finally dawned on her and she did the needful. While leaving, I showed her the exact space where her signature, ph no and mob number was required. The pretty dumb girl stared as if I had spoken in Greek. She had seemingly forgotten her own signature and her phone numbers! Finally she completed the formalities and I was free to go. Half an hour in 1 home! Good lord! Pretty girls are really dumb! 

p.s. Since this is the pretty dumb girl's blog let's just agree with her when she says "I had just woken up from my sleep!!!"

Saturday, April 3, 2010


is something I truly lack. My mom, on the other hand, has oodles of it. Whenever I try to tease some shop owner into giving me some discount or attempt to sweet talk to get my way with some teacher, I always get an angry expression as if I've really insulted that person. As opposed to that, when my mom uses that sweet lilting tone of hers and says playfully "Kya bhaiyya, hum kitni der ruke hain", the shopkeeper/waiter/any-person-at-receiving-end-of-charm will give a shy smile and say "Ha Madam, bas do minut." And it's really done in two minutes! I, apparently, have received none of the charm. I think instead I've inherited my Dad's sharp tongue and even while meaning to sound polite and teasing, I end up saying some crap which usually makes the person in front of me bristle with indignation and declare that they will never do my work!

I present some (purely hypothetical) situations to you:

Me:  (using my sweetest smile and most charming tone) "Oh madam! Chalo now teach us aerobics! It's 7:22!!!"

Aerobics Teacher: "Let more girls come".

Me: "I'm here na! And this other girl too! How many more girls do you want!?? "

She: (bristling with anger, there we go) "I do NOT teach aerobics when there are only 2 students in class. I need at least 3 students to teach. You should be happy I haven't called off the class yet and I'm still waiting for more students to come. In other gyms where I teach, this rule applies. %^%&##$#^"

If another student hadn't turned up just then, I would have heard a full lecture on the International Laws of Aerobics. I mean sheesh, my charm just didn't work on her! I was just trying to be playful and friendly and instead this is what happens. I really don't know what I do wrong.

Thankfully, I do have some friends who understand my sense of humour and who haven't slapped me till date. One of my friends had a weird skin abnormality (dark patches) around her eyes and I said to her "Wow! You look just like Catwoman!" From the striken look on her face, I thought "Oh crap! I've done it again!" Mercifully, she didn't beat me up or throw me out of her house and she actually got rid of those marks!

In another instance, a friend had worn a brand new shirt which was white in color and had vertical thin black stripes. As soon as I saw him, I was going to blurt out "Which jail did you escape from?" but I just about managed to hold my tongue as I choked on my soup and got some time to think. Good thing I choked, this one has a really bad temper and the slap was sure to come. 

So, my idea of humour is very twisted and not everybody gets it. It's under control now, thank God, but the whole playful-teasing-charsima thing is still not working. I'll never get my work done at this rate!