Monthly Archives: January 2012

Survival of the Shittiest

Among the tripe that Times of India serves under the guise of news, I unearthed a genuine gem of a report last week. A couple from Chennai had placed an advertisement asking for an IITian to donate his sperm, and promised cash of 20,000 in return.

The broad-minded couple wrote, “Ideal candidate(s) should be IIT students, healthy, no bad habits, tall and fair if possible, but will consider the right donor regardless of looks, etc. Compensation is Rs 20,000 cash.

I had mixed feelings about this article. Considering the time that an average IITians spends alone, watching porn, it’s better to sell it than let it, you know, ‘go down the drain’. IITians are anyway going to take over the world in a few years. They are the ones who will write books, they are the ones who will crack CAT, join politics, invent EVMs, test out the Aakash tablet, etc. etc.

It is also a scary thought. I see a Darwinian ‘survival of the fittest’ plot being played out here. What will happen to people like me? Normal B.Com graduates who don’t know 13 multiplication table? Will my lineage die? Vanish into the abyss of history??

The thought of taking the sperm of an IITian might seem innovative for some, but it doesn’t impress me. If only the right sperms were enough to guarantee success in life, Uday Chopra would be the hero, and not Ali bhai in Dhoom-27. And what sort of parents are these? Haven’t they watched the Bhagwad Gita of parenting, Taare Zameen Par? Hasn’t Aamir Khan, who knows everything about everything, clearly said that studies are not the only thing that a child needs to do in life?

I have a humble suggestion for this couple. Instead of gambling with an IITian’s sperm, you should go for more foolproof schemes, which will ensure success at any rate. Here is my list:

IIM Graduate: If you are aiming for an ‘II’ anyway, you should be looking for IIMs, and not IITs. Most IITians go on to study in IIMs anyway. While most people would be baffled how someone could study Mechanical Engineering for four years, and then do a Masters in Management in Sales, and then land up as Marketing head for a Retail company, the IIT-IIMs see the larger plot.

For four years, they are pampered with the best of facilities on the taxpayers’ money, and then enjoy it for two more years, and then safely land a hefty job and fly to the states. If you are looking for sperm, it should be IIM sperm.

Yoga Guru sperm: I know you’re thinking ‘WTF?’. But wait, let me explain how taking a Yoga Guru’s sperm is fool proof. IIT and IIM graduates, great as they might be, are not greater than the dynamics of the market. Which means that their degrees and jobs could go for a toss during a recession.

But a yoga guru is a safe bet. No lay-offs, no taxes. You can start a ‘charitable trust’, earn millions, and feature in scandals with actresses. You can appear on TV through Sanskar channel, or on Bigg Boss. You could invent cures for AIDS, cancer, and even death. Yes, once in a while you might have to flee in a Salwar-Kameez, or have your face blackened, but it’s worth the risk.

The only problem, however, would be to obtain the above-mentioned sperm. You know, ‘coz Yoga gurus don’t do bad things.

IPL player’s sperm: This is another risk free option. Your child plays cricket for a month, and gets to endorse a health drink, or a pain balm, or a ball point pen. The rest of the year is totally free, which means he can be with you, buy vegetables, and help out with the house chores.

Moreover, your child could participate in leagues in Sri Lanka, Australia, England, and Pakistan. Why not the Indian team, then? Risk hai, boss. Now if India tours England and Australia, and plays like the way they did, faaltu mein people will stone your house, burn effigies, and criticise you. Instead, your child could be an IPL player, and chill out.

Politician Sperm: If you have a look at Indian politics, it is blatantly obvious that the right sperm is the most important ingredient for a successful politician. It is an insurance scheme of sorts. Your son will become a politician, and then ensure that your grandson, and great grandson also become successful politicians.

If possible, contact a Communist party member. You don’t have to visit houses of dalits, or attack women in pubs, or break offices of news channels. You can happily stay in power in a state for 30 years, and lead a tension free life.

Sports Administrator’s Sperm: This is another risk-free prospect that should be given serious thought. Whether it is Commonwealth Games, or Asian Games, or a cricket tournament. Sports administration is a career with lots of money in it.

You need not know anything about sport. You need not even play a sport, as that could lead to injuries. Being a Sports Administrator has nothing to do with sports, in fact. Look at Sharad Pawar, who effortlessly juggled a Union Ministry portfolio, along with being the President of the International Cricket Council. Or Vilasrao Deshmukh, who is the President of the Maharashtra Cricket Association.

If you are not the kind that likes to go through the muck of government and bureaucracy, I suggest you start a private league of your own. That way, you hang out with pretty ladies, wear new silk ties everyday, and then chill on some island when corruption charges are booked against you.

Terrorist Sperm: Though procuring it might seem a tad difficult in the beginning, interested couples should try contacting semen, seamen for contacts, as it is a known fact that most terrorists enter our country through boats on the Western coast of the country.

There is a little risk involved in this career, but the dividends are rich and well-paying. Your child has to, in broad daylight, and under the scrutiny of cameras, kill a few people. He should ensure that he doesn’t get killed, only captured.

Bas. After that, your child’s life is set. He can spend years in a high security jail, and the government will spend crores keeping you fit, healthy and happy. You can read books, watch films, take the occasional trip to the court, blabber some bullshit in the witness box, and then safely return to your cell. No tension!

MIX AND MATCH: Couples who absolutely want to ensure their child’s success could try the Mix and Match formula, where you collect not just one of the above-mentioned specimen, but a combination of them.

This way, you can ensure your child has multiple talents, and goes on to roshan your naam in different fields. Some of the career paths you can opt for your child are:

IPL Player >> IIM Graduate >> Sports Manager >> Politician.

Or Yoga Guru >> Terrorist >> Phoolan Devi.

One must exercise absolute diligence while mixing and matching, otherwise your child might end up thinking like a terrorist, acting like a politician, paid like a yoga guru, and looking like an IIT graduate.

But it’s a risk worth taking, so begin the procurement, couples.

Otherwise, you’ll be stuck with people like me. B.Com graduates who look like shit and express their angst through blogs on the internet.

Virender, Say wha?

So the tragedy that was the Australian test series is finally over. I return to my room and open cricinfo to find a shocking comment by Virender Sehwag that says, “Even we won 2-0.”

In one line, that sums up our attitude to cricket. Hanging on to past laurels, past heroes, and past glories.

It also shows a reckless nonchalance.

I am not a fool. I understand cricket is just a game. That a team cannot win all the time. But how can a team lost all the time? And then say that we won in India 2-0??

That Virender Sehwag is the captain of the team, and has the sheer balls to say this speaks highly about how cricket is run in our country.

For years, Sehwag has puzzled fans and cricket analysts. Blessed with impeccable timing and hand-eye coordination, it is a known fact that he can take any attack to the cleaners. There is no method behind the madness, and his batting is based on the principle of ‘See ball-hit ball’. In spite of his faulty technique, he is adored by most Indian cricket fans for  his ‘Devil May Care’ attitude.

Now, I understand he has a faulty technique. That his feet don’t move much.

But I am tired of the commentators saying “But that’s how he plays his game. You can’t do much about it.” Really?

So Rahul Dravid scores thousand runs in the previous year, and failure in one tournament results in people baying for his blood. And one guy has not scored a century in four years overseas, and not only is he a part of the team, he gets to lead it? On the basis of what? A fucking one day double century??

In my not so humble opinion, if you have been playing cricket for eleven years, and if you have an obvious problem with your technique, and you have a coach, technical staff and the world’s richest body behind you, you can very well work on your problem. It is not  something you were born with.

Why not correct the problem? Isn’t that what great sportspersons do? Adapt to situations, grounds, and opponents?

Refusing to alter your technique proves that you are an obstinate idiot.

And it is not his abysmal scores I have a problem with. It is the manner in which he got out. There was a certain arrogance in his dismissals. Stand around for a few overs, drive a few balls into the covers. And then slash hard, hole out to the slips, and walk back to the pavilion.

I’m sure if Rahane, Pujara or Chopra was chosen for the tour, they would have put in at least some effort into their game. That they’d show some balls by seeing off the new ball and applying pressure on the bowling as the ball got older. Isn’t that what opening an innings in a Test match about?

I’m appalled at the BCCI think-tank about their selection in the test series. How can you squander off an entire tournament hoping for one blitzkrieg 70 off 55 balls? Or would you rather choose a player with a sound technique, someone who is willing to learn to adapt to conditions?

Sehwag, of course, can continue playing in the sub-continent. No on is questioning his credentials here. He can pelt bowlers around the globe in Rajkot and Gwalior. Why do we need to take him along to international tours even though he hasn’t performed for four years?

Since it has been five years now, one can safely say that the only person who has benefited from the IPL is Lalit Modi, who is chilling on some island, surrounded by a few laid-off Kingfisher girls. Instead of participating in stupid Delhi Daredevils vs Kochi Tuskers matches, why can’t Indian cricketers be sent to play county cricket abroad? It would pay them a lot less, but it would give them ample time to spend away from the mad frenzy of Indian cricket fans. And a lot of time to improve their technique by playing in conditions without the immense pressure that accompanies Indian matches.

Even though Ravi Shastri would use the word ‘great’ to describe Celina Jaitley’s performance in ‘Jawani Deewani’, greatness does not lie in being blessed with immense talent. Greatness lies in honing it, in learning, and adapting. Greatness stands the test of time.

Unless Sehwag adapts himself and alters his technique, he will remain a one-dimensional player who knew to play only in one gear. Who was the most dangerous batsman in the world when the ball didn’t bounce higher than the knees.

And when the conditions didn’t suit him, he just slashed at the ball, turned, and walked back to the pavilion.

Zoo-zoo

In the Jungle Book, Mowgli is surrounded by a litany of animals, from jackals to tigers to bears to boa constrictors, who talk to him, and play with him, and generally kick ass all over the jungle. The show, along with the superb title song created by Vishal Bharadwaj and Gulzar, made the idea of animals fascinating to me.

I had gone to a zoo only twice in my life. The first was as part of a school trip at school during my Prep, where we sat on a train and shouted ‘Lion, lion’ and ‘Tiger, tiger’ all through the journey. The second was during my graduation at the Nandankanan zoo at Bhubaneswar. This Nandankanan zoo takes interaction with wild animals to a new level, especially when monkeys snatch food from your hands, make faces at you, and run away.

Not funny.

I never liked the concept of zoos too much. The idea that the animals were caged and captivated didn’t appeal to me.

I have always found our attitude to animals funny. In our country, for an animal to be treated with some respect, it has to be associated with some god. Snakes are worshipped on Shivrathri and beaten with sticks on other days. Monkeys are left alone if they hang out near a Ram temple, because that automatically makes them incarnations of Hanuman. If a pig loiters around a temple, it becomes a ‘devoted pig’, but otherwise, it’s just, well, a pig.

So I was not very kicked about going to a zoo again.

The zoo had all the usual customers. The family with annoying kids who wanted to see ‘exciting’ animals, the bored husband, and the couple who had come in to find some quiet time to explore their animalistic tendencies. Then there were the parents who were bullshitting to their kids just to shut them up: “The tiger is growling because he wants to eat food.” The tiger was probably roaring to remind itself of its species, but anyway.

A board at the entrance informed us about the animals in the zoo. Emus, peacocks, pheasants, other owls, and then the big cats. The animals were interesting by themselves, but what was more interesting was the reaction that people had when they saw them.

The more ‘exotic’ the animal was, the more time people spent in front of them. It was like an audition for ‘Jungle’s Got Talent’, and we were all Anu Maliks and Kirron Khers. So while groups of people would stand in front of a peacock and marvel at it, the next cage had a white peacock. And the people would just move on, saying “Abba! Just a white peacock.”

The white tiger got all the attention. People oohed and aahed when it walked, or looked their side, or just farted. Its enclosure was created in such a way that no matter what it did, it was always within eyeshot of the onlookers.

It was a magnificent creature. With deep, blue eyes, and the feline grace of a cat, it walked about majestically, looking at each and every one of us.

Once I got over the sheer beauty of the creature, I felt a tinge of sadness looking at its surroundings. Made to live in an area of about 50 meters radius, it was like kidnapping the Sheik of Dubai and making him live in a 1 BHK.

The white tiger obviously got all the attention. People stood in front of it, and made sounds to get its attention, and took photos with flashes. If only the tiger could talk, it would be abusing them like Captain Haddock after a bottle of Blue Label.

While more and more people accumulated near the tiger, it was funny how we human beings had reduced the space into a supermarket. Those that are attractive to us are given attention, the others are left ignored, while we move on to the next cage.

And then I thought, who was I kidding?

We were human beings. We fucked the whole planet for our needs. The very concept of capturing wild animals and keeping them in an enclosed space so we could watch them from a distance to get our kicks spoke more about us than anything else.

“Screw the pheasants,” I said. “Let’s check out the cheetahs.”

‘Players’ Review: An Italian Blowjob

Hum Paanch: We ham and punch

There are some films that are made to garner awards, some by superstars for their kids, some to revive flagging careers of actors.

And some, that are made purely so that the audience can forget the problems of the country, and laugh their asses off.

Welcome to Players, a heist  waste film that takes a classic like The Italian Job, flips it over, and rapes it repeatedly. All in good, unintended humour, of course.

Not that I was expecting much from a cast that had Abhishek Bachhan, Bobby Deol and Sonam Kapoor. But about five minutes into the film, I knew this was a masterpiece. One that would stand the tests of time and logic.

So, let me introduce you to the Players, a bunch of nincompoops who parade around in designer wear and talk in Hinglish, “’cos it’s cool, yeah?”

Abhishek Bachhan: The leader of the pack. He wears shades, sports a stubble, and has that smug “Get Idea” expression on his face throughout the film. He claims to be a C.A., but if you look closely, there are 5 letters he forgot to mention in between. He creates a team of experts who can loot a train that is carrying gold from Russia to Romania. He is working under the guidance of Victor Dada, who has to be one of the most outstanding characters written in the annals of Hindi cinema.

Victor Dada: Played by Vinod Khanna, the man who gave us ‘Dayavan’ and Rahul Khanna. Victor Dada is in jail, and we’re told he was a master con-man in his days. At the jail, he advices the police on how to catch thieves. He also makes the prisoners sing ‘Ae Malik Tere Bande Hum’, a scene which would make V. Shantaram gouge his two eyes out with twelve hands. He is also a thope in solving criminal cases. In one of the early scenes, he deduces that a burglary was committed by a woman, because a vase was lifted off from its position and placed in a more aesthetically pleasing position. “Sirf ek aurat yeh kar sakti hai”, Victor Dada says. He’s also the mastermind of the robbery being attempted by the Players, because he wants to start the country’s largest orphanage.

Ronnie: Played by Bobby Deol, who has a scowl all through the film. We are told that he is an illusionist, and his tricks are needed for the robbery to succeed. He has to fool the soldiers in the train such that they cannot see a train in the adjacent track, from which the Players are stealing the gold. How does he do it? He records the scenes outside a train window, and then projects the image on all the windows of the train so that the soldiers believe that the train is moving.

“But if he has recorded from one window, all the windows must be seeing the same sight?” you ask.

“And even if something like this is conceivable, it would require the skills of a computer expert and not an illusionist,” you say.

Here, I might gently remind you that Bobby is the younger brother of Sunny Deol. Kindly keep your questions in your mind. You know what happened to Pakistan when they asked questions to Sunny Deol.

Naina: Played by Sonam Kapoor. Undoubtedly the best performance in the film, Naina, we are told has just completed a Masters course in Computers, and written a thesis in Ethical Hacking. So awesome is she, that while in Sydney, she hacks Abhishek’s Bachhan’s Macintosh (Yes, fuck Steve Jobs and the most secure OS in the world). Abhishek Bachhan is watching a video of Aftab Shivdasani and tells her “Naina, I’m NOT watching porn.” I don’t want to get into debates about ‘objectionable content’ here.

So anyway, Naina dresses up in weird clothes and has a penchant for showing her middle finger to strangers on the road. While she lets her father die because she comes to know of Victor Dada’s plans to rob the train, she later on joins the Players to avenge the death of her father.

Bilal: played by Sikander Kher, is a bomb-expert. “Ise videsi gaadiyan aur desi bomb pasand hai. Yeh ek kaan se sun nahi sakta, lekin yeh 32 foreign bhashaon mein baat kar sakta hai,” says Victor Dada in his introduction. To drill in the essence of the statement, we are shown a flashback, where a young Sikander blows off a lock with a huge, green ‘Hydrogen’ bomb, and comes out with a yellow toy car. When his friends call out to him, he just walks past. A brilliant shot establishing that he likes desi bombs, foreign cars, and has gone deaf deaf.

Spyder: Played by Neil Nitin Mukesh, Spyder is the world’s greatest hacker. How they arrived at the rankings, heaven alone knows. But since he is a geek, he absolutely has to wear large, black glasses. Otherwise, how do we know he is a geek, no? So awesome is Spyder, that it takes Naina a few hours, and typing a few keys on her laptop, to find him. When he senses someone near his door, he dresses up in a pizza delivery boy costume and flees.

Abhishek Bachhan, who has been chasing people since Dhoom (2004) sees through the costume, and in a symbolic scene, catches him in a fishing ‘net’. ‘Spyder’ also speaks with a weird accent and says things like “Dress me up, baybay”, and “Open the web, baybay.”

Riya: played by Bipasha Basu. Her expertise is that ‘Duniya mein aisa koi mard nahi hai jo iski adaon se bach paye’. Yes, Baba Ramdev included.

Bipasha seduces a Russian Army General in a pub by singing a Hindi song. She also forces him to strip for her, while singing ‘Mera Joota Hai Japaani’. Apart from these talents, Riya is also good at other stuff that robbers do, like repairing run down trains into superfast bullet trains. How she does that? Simple. She installs two huge ‘nitro boosters’ on top of the trains that give out fire, and hence the train now becomes superfast. Her lines in the film are very original and honest: “Main speed badha rahi hoon”, and “Jaldi karo, humare paas zyada waqt nahi hai.”

The train on the left is the one with the Nitro Booster. You can also see AB in the middle of the two trains, stealing the gold.

There, I have given you a brief introduction to the characters, so even if you miss the first fifteen minutes, you can still watch the film.

I have not revealed the exact sequence of events, so that the fun is not killed.

Very rarely do films like ‘Players’ arrive on our screens.

Don’t miss it!

Change the Game, Bend the Rules

Considering the spectacular way in which India is getting its ass kicked down under, I refuse to talk about the cricket.

Thankfully, our cricketers are engaging in other activities to take our minds off mundane things such as scores and results. Like raising fingers. Now, raising fingers is not a nice thing to do. But its ok to show someone a finger if they abuse your ‘mother and sister’. I mean, how can someone do that?

And why was such a ruckus being made about it? He just showed a finger. At least he didn’t walk into the stands and bludgeon the hell out of the spectator like Inzamam-ul-Haq did in Toronto. And that poor fellow had not even called his family names. He had just said the word ‘aloo’. Innocuous, if you ask me.

But keeping the finger incident aside, another issue that has become a juicy bone of contention is the UDRS rule. The Australian media seems to have problems with the Indian team’s stance on the subject. We are being called selfish bullies. But here’s the sad part, you guys. We have the money.

You can cry and crib about how we are a dominant power that is misusing their power. Sadly, no one will give a fuck. We are the USA of cricket. We enter a nation, bombard it, and step out. Apart from some cribbing, there is nothing much you can do about it.

And what is this UDRS thing? Cricket is a game where one fellow bowls, one bats, and the other appears in Fair and Lovely ads. Why complicate it by bringing in this UDRS-IVRS mumbo-jumbo?

And something or the other has been coming up all the time. A few months back, the ICC looked into the issue of batsmen taking runners out of the batting innings. For many like me, that was shocking.

I mean, what the hell does that have to do with anything? If running between wickets was so important, Mohd. Kaif would have been delivering the Bradman Oration in Australia.

I know there are those who will say that Saeed Anwar had Afridi run 130 of his 194 runs, and that Sachin ran through every single in his 200. Accepted. But when a dude sitting in a bar can predict a no ball, and players are shot by terrorists, there are clearly other important issued that need discussion. Of course, Sunil Gavaskar had an opinion on the issue, and also said that bowlers taking energy drinks from the boundary should be banned. What next? Banning players from having hand towels cos it might encourage them to throw in the towel during a tense match??

In a country where most of the ‘cricket’ is played with ‘tennis’ balls, all this doesn’t make sense. I don’t know about you, but when we played cricket as children, there were some flexible rules. Cricket is a gentlemen’s game, its not unruly like ice hockey.

In keeping with the theme of the sport, we had a lot of rules that made the game more relaxed, and more enjoyable. I have compiled below a few of those rules from the days when the gentleman’s game was still a gentle game.

Late Run: The batsman may not take a run ‘late’. This means that the batsman cannot take a run after the bowler has received the ball.

You see, many things could interrupt a match of cricket. The ball falling into a ditch, a senior throwing the ball away, or the players realising that there is a hole in the ball. Taking advantage of such situations was unethical, and such runs were called ‘Late Runs’. The opposing team could protest against this, and the run is not included in the total score.

Single Batsman: In the case of all the batsmen of the team getting out, the lone batsman can continue batting. He runs all the runs himself. There are special circumstances where the batsman might have to run to the bowler’s end and come back for it to be counted as one run.

The ‘Single Batsman’ rule was used when the team had one star batsman. In our days, if you owned the bat, you could truly “change the game”. This resulted in matches when all the batsmen would get out, but one could bat on till the end of the overs. (The ones who owned the bat never got out, of course)

International Wide: As children, not all of us knew how to bowl overarm. There were a lot of us who had half actions, However, to be recognised as a bowler, you had to show some effort. So the bowlers would run, turn their arm, and fling the ball. You couldn’t just stand, aim and shoot the ball. That was against the spirit of the game.

However, if you bowled a truly disreputable ball, like one that bounces at good length and swings towards fifth slip, it was called an International Wide.

Such a ball could be penalised with one run, or sometimes with two, depending on whose side the bat-owner was on.

Baby Over: With the absence of Cartoon Network and mission games, and the most exciting thing on television being Alif Laila, we were probably the last generation that played in the evenings.

The evening cricket was not just about playing cricket. Excelling in the game could make you famous, and win you lots of friends. However, the worst insult in the game would be the Baby Over.

It basically meant an over that was so bad that it had to be aborted in between. So if a bowler has bowled nine wides in three legal deliveries, the captain could call on another bowler to finish the over. This aborted over would be called ‘Baby Over’

One Tup Out: The batsman can be ruled out if a fielder catches the ball after it has pitched once (one tup), if the catch is claimed cleanly, and with one hand.

Our school had cricket fanatics. Guys who would cut and paste every picture of cricketers they found anywhere – newspapers, magazines, stickers, labels, t-shirts, and save them in a scrap book for years. Whenever we could, we would sneak in a game of cricket. The one tup rule was used when there was a constraint of space in the game. Like in a dormitory,

or the back of a classroom, or in the bathroom, or the corridor, or between the rows of benches in the classroom, or the side of a pitch where seniors would be playing.

Trials: The first ball of the first over. The bowler comes running in. The batsman defends, but the ball goes through the gate and hits the stumps. The fielders celebrate. The batsman, however, looks up, gives a Buddha-like smile and says “I told ‘trials”.

‘Trials’ was the rule that came to the rescue of batsmen who had the tendency of getting out on the first ball. Arvind Mukund should ask Sharad Pawar to ask the ICC to bring this rule into force. So, when a batsman asks for ‘trials’, he is asking the bowler to bowl him one ball, to ‘try’ things out. To see the bowler, his pace, the bounce in the pitch, the hardness of the ball, etc etc. After the batsman has faced the ball, he says ‘Reals’, and then the real game begins. Shopping malls have adapted the system of ‘trials’ as part of their strategy, but the real credit must be given to ‘mundu’ cricket, which magnanimously believes in giving the batsman a test ride before the real match begins.

Needless to say, owning the bat gave the batsman the luxury of having as many ‘trials’ as he wanted. Also, he didnt have to actually say the word ‘trial’. Just thinking it would suffice.

There were many such rules that were flexibly introduced depending on the situation/ground/age of the players involved. You see, winning or losing was not important. What was important was that the bat and ball were available for the next day’s play. The spirit of the game could wait till we were old enough to have beer.

Now, if the ICC is really serious about promoting the game to other parts of the world and making it player and spectator friendly, it should consider bringing in some of the rules.

Why should Australian guys have all the fun??

THE 2011 YEAR END AWARDS

The year-end is field time for bloggers. There isn’t much original to think of, and one just needs to look back into the year passed, and draw general observations.

However, this year I’m going to refrain from making lists. There is no point in them. This year, I shall award the geniuses who, as the cliché goes, shaped the year in some way or the other.

So, my dear brothers, sisters, and hot girls, is the Awards for the Year 2011.

 

THE MOST ORIGINAL LINE AWARD: This one goes to Abhishek Bachan and Idea. In the world’s fastest growing telecom market, while other telecom companies are going out of their way to promote new services like 3G and superfast browsing speed, Idea Cellular’s Unique Selling Point continues to be its name – Idea. All the ads ask us to ‘Get Idea’. But that’s not really the bad part.

The bad part was that it was during a World Cup, a veritable goldmine for advertisers, especially in a domain like telecom, where the game completely changes in a few years. The ads, which could replace conventional IQ tests around the world, made me want to gauge my eyes out. But that’s not the worst part.

The worst part was how the company sought to solve all the problems of the country through its services – afforestation, literacy, communal harmony, and population. And what brilliant solutions they were! For example, to curb population, one needs to buy a 8K 3G enabled phone, invest in a monthly 3G bill of 500 rupees, and hence keep oneself busy in the night. Right! No mention of course, of that harmless pink thing that costs about 5 rupees and is pretty handy at controlling population. What a fucking genius of an idea, sirjee.

 

THE MOST DARING ESCAPE AWARD: This one was a surprise. The country was seething against politicians. Exploiting this resentment and discontent, Baba Ramdev jumped into the scene for his share of ‘fast food’. Unfortunately, the Government was not abused. A few ministers went to meet him to change his mind. He didn’t relent, and then cops were sent in. Baba Ramdev fled the scene, but not before he stunningly qualified himself for the awards.

The Baba was caught escaping wearing a woman’s salwar. While everyone had a laugh at it, some important questions were ignored. What, for example, was Baba Ramdev doing with a spare salwar kameez in his suitcase? What happened to his cures for social ailments like homosexuality? And if that was not Baba’s salwar, whose was it? And what happened to the devout devotee who made the ultimate sacrifice for Baba? Some answers will never be found, I guess, but Baba sure showed us that its not beyond a Baba to pull a fast one. The salwar, I mean, of course.

God discriminates not. Neither do God men.

 

THE BEST DECLARATION OF THE YEAR: This year, millions of fans were shocked when Uday Chopra announced his retirement from films after Dhoom 3. Uday Chopra, often called the Rohan Gavaskar of cricket, had time and again created milestones in the industry. After monkeying around in the Dhoom series, and getting to work with some genuinely hot actresses like Priyanka Chopra, Uday decided it was time to pass the baton to younger people, to continue the glorious work he had set out on.

His announcement faced stiff competition from Shamita Shetty, another superstar in her own right, announcing her retirement from the trade. The two of them together, had created gems like Mohabbatein together. Another contender for the award was Jackie Shroff announcing that he was gay. But this missed out because, according to industry reports, people stopped giving a rat’s ass about Jackie Shroff in 1996.

The industry has been wondering how to cope with the loss of these two stalwarts. What will the rich do when they want to launder some black money? Without Uday Chopra and Shamita Shetty, the industry will have to face the arduous task of making sensible films with appropriate actors.

 

KLPD OF THE YEAR AWARD: The country was on its edges as the cricket team was cruising along, beating Australia, South Africa and Pakistan on the way to the finals. Just when it looked like nothing could get better than this, a certain Poonam Pandey arrived on the scene, announcing that she plans to help the Indian team perfect their Glances to Fine Leg.

Pandey brought out the Chulbul side of Indian cricketers

Now, the Indian team is not comprised totally of gentlemen, as the picture shows, they are humans after all. However, while Poonam announced that she was going to do in the dressing room, the entire nation, enthused by the Right to Information Act, salivated at the prospect. Little did the people know that evil Poonam would never be able to corrupt us of our culture and tradition. Politicians, women’s rights groups and protectors of our culture protested, and Poonam Pandey wasn’t allowed to go ahead.

Since then, Poonam, known to be a person of strong will, has been stripping often on Twitter and Facebook. Analysts say that there is no link between this and the dismal performance in Australia.

 

DOMESTICATED BEAST OF THE YEAR AWARD: This one goes to Shakti Kapoor.

Bigg Boss has always interested me. The show has a standard set of characters – the loud item girl, the failed hero, the starlet, the gay/transsexual contestant, the clown, etc. This year, however, the producers lost a bet in a bar and announced that Shakti Kapoor would be the lone man in the show with 12 beautiful women. Quite like letting a tiger into a pen of sheep, you say? Wrong.

Shakti Kapoor, the man who symbolized male libido for decades on the silver screen, looked doped throughout the show. The Crime Master refused to let it gogo. The flair with which he announced ‘Mera naam hai chutiya’ on Kanti Shah’s Gunda, was missing. Shakti walked around the house cleaning plates and sweeping the floor. The Indian audiences were patient, till he started calling female contestants as ‘beti’. The audiences decided enough is enough. Who needs Shakti Kapoor to do domestic chores? What purpose did he solve if he wasn’t tearing blouses? Evicted in about three weeks, Shakti Kapoor lost his sting in the entire operation.

 

BRIGHTEST MOVE OF THE YEAR AWARD: Remember that Akbar-Birbal story that you read in childhood? Akbar draws a line and asks his ministers to make it shorter without actually touching it. Birbal draws a longer line next to it, thus making it shorter.

Our policy planners, known to draw from out rich past, used something on the same lines. Montek Singh Allz-well-ya announced that if someone announced more than 32 rupees a day, he wasn’t poor. Quite smart, actually. If you can’t reduce poverty levels, just drop the poverty line a few notches below. Now, India has lesser poor people, and all this has not cost the exchequer a penny. True genius.

 

ASLI CHEHRA OF THE YEAR AWARD: For years, I tolerated the snobbishness of Barkha Dutt because she was an inspiration for millions of women across the country to take up the noble profession of journalism. Even though she was sensational and quite irrational in most of her discussions, I thought it was a way to break new barriers, unchartered territories.

Till the Nira Radia scam thing happened. It so happens that our epitome of pathbreaking journalism takes down notes from corporate officials on what to say on the news. Not only that, she acts as a mediator between the corporates and politicians. After a number of miserable attempts at justifying the tapes, Barkha Dutt is back to what she does best – an inspiration for millions. And billionaires.

 

FAILED ATTEMPT OF THE YEAR AWARD: This award is for you. Yes, the educated, socially active Indian. The one who screamed in protest against corrupt politicians. Who took to roads and rallies, went on a fast and a candle walk, and yet did not bother filing a single RTI application to check corruption.

You, for being part of a debate that forced the government to table an important bill. But when the actual bill was being discussed and debated, remaining clueless about the clauses and statutes in the Bill. For hurrying and blackmailing to accept your point of view, and at the crucial time, letting go, leading to a weak, insipid, half-hearted attempt at checking corruption. You deserve the award.

 

Pardon my being so bitter about things, but last year was quite a shitty year, wasn’t it??