Friday, October 15, 2010

Common Wealth Games - Power of Media
The CWG juggernaut has come to a halt. The ‘Global Media’ can’t stop singing praises of how India pulled a rabbit out of its hat.

Before the games, all media, Indian and Global, were tearing the games organization to bits. Suresh Kalmadi was a traitor, Sheila Deikshit a witch, Manmohan Singh an impotent Sikh and India a third world nation. Most people in the nation went by what the media said in the papers and showed in the TV. BLINDLY. Am sure none of us took the trouble of catching a train to Delhi to check if all that the media said was true. Fears of security, ceiling collapses, shoddy infrastructure, dengue fever, snake bites, monkey attacks and God knows what else were floating around.

Cut to post games. The opening and closing ceremonies were grand hits and the Indian Athletes’ performance on the field added to the button-bursting pride swelling in every Indian’s chest.

But somehow I can’t help but wonder if there is a deeper conspiracy to the whole set-up. Were the media paid off to look the other side and/or generate positive press about the events? Were the CWG’s central council/committee paid off to keep quiet and not raise an issue. Were the Athletes of other countries brought off to perform below par? I mean there was a few billion dollars as budget to play with. You can buy a whole lot with that kind of money. No?

How come suddenly the Athlete’s village was spick and span? There was not one article post October 3rd of anyone complaining. I mean, beds were breaking, ceilings collapsing. There was no proper infrastructure. It was a shambles. How come suddenly snakes stopped slithering, monkey’s stopped attacking? It’s as if these creatures knew the country’s reputation was at stake.

The media did a complete turnaround. The likes of which I haven’t witnessed! Suddenly everyone is talking of the world-class facilities in the stadium, the fireworks display, the 8000 odd performers who did a perfect synchrony during the opening ceremony. Suddenly A.R.Rahman’s song which sounded like a wail of a widow, sounds like a heavenly hymn.

Now if it was only the world press which was creating negative publicity for CWG, I can put that down to envy and borderline racism. But our Indian media was also like a pack of starved wolves; waiting for a glimpse of the next red-riding hood. They tore into the CWG. And how!

Everyone was goading the media to go for the kill. Me included. Everyone was baying for blood. Suresh Kalmadi’s blood, Sheila Dikshit’s blood. And the blood of the entire organizing committee who had purportedly ‘eaten’ a vulgar amount of money in the name of organizing the CWG.

Like the mutiny of 1857 that sparked a nation-wide movement to secure India’s independence, modern India is a nation of people awaiting an awakening. We thought the awakening had come from our ‘responsible’ media.

What we got in return, was a cock-tease of epic proportions.

And just when we thought we will finally see some justice, there is another ‘investigation committee’ set-up to ‘investigate’ the anomalies. We are all well aware what happens next. Don’t we?

And while the whole world celebrates India’s ‘arrival’ on the world stage and dreams of holding the Olympics are formed, I wonder whom the Indian and World media are targeting next...

Thursday, March 18, 2010

My first pedicure
Ok I know what you are thinking of me, right this very moment after reading the heading. I am NOT gay. I am happily married with a wonderful woman. I am NOT a metrosexual either (I don’t use cosmetics or creams). I am just a normal heterosexual guy who happened to have badly cracked heels. So bad that it started resembling the terrain of the Kalahari. And the pain forced me to take this extreme step. Pedicure.

So I went to my barber shop ( I don’t like to call it hair styling salon) who also happened to give a manicure and pedicure amongst many other things. I choose to go to this joint, not because it has a fancy name; ‘Wild West’, there’s nothing wild or western about it; but because it is run by a Srilankan Tamizh (not LTTE) and the barbers (hair stylists) speak fluent Tamizh (popularly spelt ‘Tamil’), my mother tongue, albeit with a singsong Srilankan accent. In addition they also run good Tamizh programmes on TV, which I hardly get to see at home since my wife is a Sindhi.

So I walk in to the tune of Tamizh songs in the background, and tell him ‘usual’. Half way into the hair slaughter, I tell him in a low desperately-trying-to-sound-nonchalant tone that I want a pedicure, hoping he won’t notice my embarassment. He said “Saar you want manicure also?”, loud enough for the entire shop to hear. Talk about being discreet. I said ‘No’. “Saar, but you have dead skin on your fingers also”. I looked at him pleadingly and said “No only pedicure. That will do”.

He finished with the haircut and said “Saar, go upstairs. James will do the pedicure”. I asked who he is. He said, “Saar, new fellow. Filipino.” I nodded and went upstairs, hoping the 50 minute session turns out fine.

I go up and what do I find? A half man, half woman, called James who had small tits, long straight hair and a womanish lilt to his walk. “Welcome my Priend (friend), what do you want me to do today?”. I simply said “Pedicure”, not wanting him to recognise the first thought that came to my mind on his question.

He quickly got a bucket of hot water running and directed me to a seat, which looked dangerously similar to a Dentist’s chair. I took my seat diffidently and made a feeble effort to look comfortable. He said “put your leg up on my lap my priend. Let me seeeeee.”. I put it up for examination; not so different from when you open your mouth wide open to a dentist. He tut tutted and threw a mock accusing glance at me and said “When was the last time you took a pedicure?”.

Suddenly, I was too ashamed to say ‘never’. So I lied through my teeth hoping he won’t see through it. “Ah, maybe 6 months or 7 months. Have been very busy at work. Just didn’t find time. I heard you do a good job.” That last piece of appreciation must have hit a nerve, because he got all excited and had a wide grin on his face. I was half afraid that he was going to kiss and molest me and cursed myself for what I said. But nothing happened.

He drowned my hairy feet in hotter-than-expected water and generously doused a solution of methyl alcohol (I think) which I was hoping he won’t set fire to later. After about 10-15 minutes of soaking up the legs, he asked me to place one leg on the stool in front of him. By this time, he had neatly arranged all his pedicure equipment (which by the way would give a surgeon a complex), which closely resembled torture equipments which I had seen in one of the recent war movies.

He pushed up my tracks a little, which further exposed my hairy legs and half expected him to suggest a waxing. Thankfully that suggestion never came.

He first took a rough scrubber (that’s what I call it) and scrubbed the ‘dead skin’ off my heel. A steady rythmic scrub with minimal pain. And then he started working his way up to my toes. And that’s where the tickle started. I couldn’t stop myself from jerking my feet. He sensed my ticklishness and said “Ah you have sensitive feet huh priend? Shall I tickle some more?”. I was thinking “Thank God, my wife is not here. She would have accused me of having an extra marital affair”.

After about 10 minutes, he probably sensed the scrubber was doing no good and clogged with too much skin, so he switched equipment. This one looked like a carrot grater. Just smaller in size. And he went about grating my skin and smoothing out the rough edges; occassionaly giving my leg a tickle hoping to elicit a response from me. I maintained my stony expression. I will be damned if my first extra marital affair turns out to be with a eunuch.

Once he was done with the scrubbing and grating, he switched attention to the nails. I had thankfully trimmed my nails just a week back, so it wasn’t really wild. He clipped, filed and plucked my nail and skin on all toes with weird looking equipment, that like I said, reminded me of chinese torture procedures. After about 30 minutes he said “ok priend, we are done with this leg, now show me the other”. The same procedure was repeated with the other. Complete with the tickling and coy looks.

After about approx. 1 hour, just when I was starting to lose sensation in my legs, he said the golden words “We are done my priend… hope you like it. Feel your leg. Touch. Touch and see. It’s just like a baby’s bottom.” I felt it and immediately felt like a pedophile. You don’t compare a freshly pedicured pair of feet to a Baby’s bottom! Especially when you are going to run your hands on it and seek pleasure out of it.

Nevertheless. I finally had my first pedicure. And if you haven’t had one till now, maybe you should consider. It does feel soft as a baby’s bottom!

Sunday, February 28, 2010


Sitting on chairs puts on flab: One more reason to hate your 9-6 job. According to a new research, it seems there is no effect of a 1-2 hour daily work out, if you have a desk job that arrests you to a chair continuously for 8-10 hours. Seems all the calories you burn in a 1 hour gym session is gained right back just by sitting 8 hours on a chair.

Talk about vicious cycle! Go to Gym-Lose calories-feel happy-go to office sit for 8 hours-gain calories-feel sad. Repeat next day… day after, week after week. Feeling depressed? Don’t. Research proves depression and weight gain co-occur. I hate research. Wanna make a million? Who doesn’t? The site belongs to a Srilankan who is on a race to make a million by Jan 2011. And while he is at it, he is gonna help others make a million too, if they are interested. I have been in this race, seriously, since 2005 and I have just about achieved 1/10th of it. Seems a one legged beggar in Mumbai is doing better than me.

Piqued I visited his site. And the bloke is actually doling out advice on avenues to make money. Quite generic stuff actually (not anything you wouldn’t have thought of), but his intentions are genuine. More importantly his desire, passion and his thirst for making it big, is nothing short of a dying man’s thirst for water in a parched desert. Its addictive. In a day and age where everyone wants to make a quick buck with utter or no consideration for fellow humans, here is a person who wants to make a quick buck but in the process also wants to help others make it. Noble? Time will tell.

Unique identity symbol for the Indian Rupee: I say high time! We are the world’s fourth largest economy and we still represent our currency as INR. I wonder how they would go about creating a symbol? Hopefully it will not be left to the babus in the cabinet ministry, who might just take their grandchildren’s infantile scribble and make it the nation’s currency symbol.
Hire an advertising agency perhaps? If they do, I pray fervently the agency selected understands its significance and importance and doesn’t end up coming up with artsy stuff fit only for Cannes and not the common man!

Sania Mirza crashed out in first round: Recently Sania Mirza crashed out of the Dubai tennis tournament in the first round and blamed it on a swollen wrist. Poor thing is under the impression that, that is the only thing swollen in her body. Media? Care to enlighten her? Oh sorry I forgot. She is your creation. She reminds me so much of a famous quote by Shakespeare “Some are born great. Some achieve greatness. And some have greatness thrust upon them”. She probably falls in the third category. Thank you media.

Friday, February 12, 2010


Save our tigers – While I am all for protecting the national animal, I wonder how, many of these farcical buggers would react with empathy when face to face with a Bengal Tiger? 1411 will quickly reduce to 1410 esp. if that person has a 12 bow shotgun in hand.

My name is Khan: I think Shiv Sena has a problem with the name of the movie rather than the fact that SRK wanted Paki players to play in the IPL. I would suggest SRK change the name of the movie to My name is Khanna instead. I mean we are in Hindustan for crying out loud… the least you can do is keep a Hindu name. Do I qualify to join the Sena? Come to think of it, ‘Khanna’ might just be numerologically lucky too! Who knows…

Rahul Dulhaniya le Jayega: A man with a dark past. Wife beater. Son of a politician (almost sounds like an abuse, doesn’t it?), Rahul Mahajan is having his swayamvar or is it swayamvadhu on national television. The guy laughs like Elmer Fudd, is bent like a Neanderthal and generally looks like an overgrown spastic baby. The brides-to-be? The less said the better. Is it better than Rakhi’s Swayamwar? Well let’s just say, they are 2 sides of a fake coin.

T for Toyota or Trouble? – Seems of late, a lot of Toyota’s vehicles have been called back because of unintended accelerations. Don’t u wish the same would be true for the world economy? ‘Unintended acceleration’. I like the term!

What an idea Sirjee: The other day me and my friend Al after a particularly stressful day at work, were discussing as usual about how to get out of this 9-6 rut we had gotten ourselves into. And we thought if we werent lucky enough to get a job we love, we arent going to be lucky enough to win the Mashreq millionniare either. So therefore the alternative is the extreme. Invent a new product, patent it and sell the idea to a big company. As simple as that.

With this in mind, we started brainstorming. And voila! Al had an idea. We men always forget to put the toilet seat up once we are done crapping. This apparently (I didn’t know) irritates the womenfolk no end. The answer? An automatic toilet seat lifter!

Al worked out the mechanics of how it would work. A spring loaded system which recognises the weight of a person when he sits on the toilet seat. And as soon as he is done shitting and gets up, it recognises that the weight is off and therefore pulls itself up. Sounds good doesn’t it? Guess what? A similar system already exists!! I cant believe there are others who didn’t even leave the toilet seats alone… Now we have to start all over again…