Thursday, March 30, 2006

Aditya - The Telugu (Mu)sick Channel

OK, guys. I can’t take this anymore.

Everything about the channel is gaudy. The sets, the VJs, their wardrobe. The backgrounds are those free aqua screensavers which are offered free by pop-ups. Occasionally the fishes change. Nothing more. R-9000 series of shops or Funtoosh seems to sponsor the wardrobe for the female VJs. Her colours remind me about the walls of my playschool. And her fits are a nihilism to the fashion industry. She has redefined the concept of Anti-fits. Even women naxalites in Adilabad district have better fits. And her voice? It sounds as if her larynx has a permanent coat of sawdust.

The callers would begin speaking only after a half-a-dozen “Hellos” by the VJs, which sound like the Telengana version of “Smells like a teen spirit”. May be Cobain knew this and hence decided to die. And the callers? The lines of Aditya channel are part of a CUG. The same people keep calling at morning, afternoon, evening, night, midnight, yesterday, today, and tomorrow and even in 2020. Infact, the VJs have propounded a new theory that that if you call once, then it is always easy to get connected subsequently.

We can understand family doctors, family attorneys and even family plumbers. But family VJs? That is what they translate into. The callers are so few and so frequent, that the VJs enquire about the engagement of their uncle’s cousin’s father-in-law’s second wife’s fourth’s son. The chatter, banter (if you can find a shittier form of speech, please substitute that) would then continue to enquire whether the potatoes for the dinner were peeled or mashed. After that, every homo sapien in their home would talk to the VJ. If one of them is answering a nature’s call, then the VJ would talk to the dog, till he returns. Probably, the callers and VJs are parallel cousins. Else, who would call those lousy idiots.

And the reasons for dedications are frustratingly silly. A guy calls up and asks the VJ to wish his friend success in the next days’ exam. Where the heck will “success” come if both are hooked to the TV? You should slap the caller twice. Once for thinking that wishes for examinations could be given through songs. And again for choosing Aditya TV. To rise to the IQ levels of the caller, the VJ plays a hot, uncensored, steamy song for the occasion. I am sure both would be fiddling their groins next day. I pity the evaluator who corrects the script.

The program where request letters are read is another trauma. The bloke who reads or tries to read wears a purple shirt, which even a brinjal will puke at. And the letters? Ahh, what a pain they are. The first paragraph reads like “About Us” page on an under-construction matrimonial website and the last one goes on to dedicate the song to every alternate person in the telephone directory.

My unshaken belief is that the letters have just two lines, “Anna, zarrrra Samarasimha Reddy cinema nundi aa Lux Paapa paata veyya radhe. Maa inti kaada maa thammunki, baavaki, akkaki inka maa kukka ki aa paata ante masthu isshhtam. (Brother, play the song “Lux Paapa from the movie “Samarasimha Reddy. My sister, brother and my dog like it). I know that was not the best of telangana, but something similar to that would be there on the letter. The first and the last paragraphs are actually added by the dispatch clerks of the administrative wing. But even that they cant do convincingly. Some of the letters are read for such a long time that you wonder if so many words could be fit on an A4 sheet without becoming microscopic. At least the bloke who is reading could pretend to turn the pages.

The moron then seeks to clarify certain ‘doubts’. A sample: “While writing pet names, please write in Telugu. You have written “Pandu”. I wonder if should pronounce it as ‘Pandu’ or ‘Paandu’”. Mere Baap, It is fine as long as you don’t pronounce it as Gaandu.

You tolerate all this hoping for some nice song. In all probability, the song would be from a dubbed Tamil movie. And even those Urdu speaking Hyderabadis, who never speak Telugu even if their bottoms are burning, would know that the movie was neither dubbed nor released. Kalanidhi Maran, at his stingy best, dubs the songs at Gemini TV studios in Somajiguda. Probably, that is one reason why Aditya TV has the distinction of being the only music channel in the world which does not display song credits.

This channel is sooooooooo sick that you cant even watch the commercials. Till date I thought Jaya TV had the worst sponsors and ads. But, seems (Karuna and Kala)Nidhi wont let any distinction, good or bad, go to Amma. Consider this. The sponsor of Prema Kosamai is Suguna Water Pumps. So when a romantic song ends, you would find a farmer pumping (don’t ask me what) and then suddenly his wife gets an electric pump and they are happy ever after. The others are no better. Bromark Chicken, F***all Iron Rods, Playboy Matrimonial Service……

I hope, as an Ugadi gift, Maran would please take the channel off the air.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

AP Budget 2006-07 - Parliamentary Heist

Over the next 12 months, the Andhra Pradesh government is going to spend Rs. 63,683 crores of public money. And no one is going to ask how, why and where the money is going to go. Agreed that the Assembly was stalled by the Opposition on Gangavaram incident. Agreed that April 1st was nearing and the Government needed money to carry on. But what was the need to pass the whole budget in such a hurried fashion? Why couldn’t the Finance Minister, Rosiah, who fancies wearing honesty on his sleeves, collar and all over his kurta, pass a vote-on-account instead? Even in the event of non-disruption of the house, the budget could in no way be discussed in such a short span of time. It is a convention at the Centre that the Parliament passes a vote-on-account budget to release funds for two months, during which the budget proposals are discussed in greater detail. YSR & Co has taken AP government to the pinnacle financial impropriety. All that I would now pray is that he wouldn’t come up with supplementaries later this year. And let us hope that next year we would have atleast a discussion, if not a debate, on the budget.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Crystal blur: Vyasa's dissertation

Crystal blur: Vyasa's dissertation

Check this out. The epic tale, MegaIndia... err..... Mahabhartha (the neo style of the post seems to have rubbed off on me).

Work Spoiler Warning:

Don't blame if you are going to leave all your work and end up reading those posts.

And if you like those posts, then please keep checking my blog regularly even if I dont make posts. It is optional for you to leave a comment at Crystal Blur.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Rajas and Rani

Couple of nights ago, I switched on the Rascal Box (it has become too unscrupulous to be called idiot anymore), just as I do during my dinners. I began scanning through the news channels for some quality entertainment. Yes. That’s where we find wholesome entertainment these days. Dowry deaths for drama, corporate clashes for conniving plots, rath yatras for religion, and most important of all, sex scandals for, obviously, sex. All replete with live cameras and even more livelier anchors.

But I dint find any of them. All channels were showing just one thing. Rani Mukherji. Her careergraph, filmography, accolades and awards (or rather rewards) won, footages of her life, clips of her movies. Considering none of her movies released this week nor did she win any award, “Good God”, I thought, “Rani Mukherji passed away”. So young and so soon. I was desperately waiting for the information on the cause of death. But, there was none. Only more footage, clippings and trivia. As I frenetically started surfing the channels in a hope of getting more information, I began to wonder how she could have died. It would have been an accident or a suicide. Celebrities have a very limited choice with death. So not many of my grey cells were busy with the kind of death. They were busy figuring out the modus operandi.

Jumping of a high rise building, seemed one good possibility. It has all the ingredients for a celebrity death. Drama (any death has it), melodrama (film stars’ death would ooze out this), action (a performance without the stuntman), adventure (what could be more adventurous than a truly freefall bungee jump). And Mumbai has the required infrastructure, both in quantity and distribution.

Or may be it was simple bottle of poison or a noose. Though that would be a silent exit, yet we have often seen that silence makes the loudest of statements. Infact, the silence gives the sounds of gossip enough maneuverability.

As my mind was racing with these thoughts, the scrollbars at every channel were full of ‘obituary messages’. “We love you Rani…… Your films are evergreen … and Dad, if you are watching this, please get home a bulb. The one in the bathroom has fused out – Rahul”. Wow. Was that an obituary message or an satellite SMS? The next one was even more dramatic. “Rani, you would always stay in our hearts. – Yudi, Bheem, Arzghun, Knoacul, S.Dev, Drone-yo-dhan, and 100 brothers” Well, family planning has long way to go. Then there were some in Urdu, Tamil, Santhali, Dogri and Bahasa Indonesia. Bollywood has truly gone tribal and global, both at the same time. Incredible.

Before my thoughts could race further, the newsreader announced that it was Rani’s birthday.

Incidentally, a man who was instrumental in bringing peace to insurgent Assam, Bhrigu Kumar Phukan, passed away at Delhi the previous night. At Chennai, the fate of hundreds of students became uncertain after their courses were threatened with potential de-recognition. At Hyderabad, parliamentary etiquettes sunk into abyssal depths after Chandrababu Naidu resorted to lying on the floor of the Legislative Assembly. In Bangalore, the Legislative Council was discussing about administrative corruption in the context of recent raids on police officials. Elsewhere, the world was preparing to commemorate the World Water Day (22 March) by planning numerous conferences, meets, rallies and other events to warn the doomsday predictions.

But all our news channels allocate 30 minutes of their primetime to celebrate the birthday of an actress who is yet to complete a decade of her career. Beam news such as this and then blame the voters for criminalization and communalization of politics. Blame society for apathy towards women related crimes, when this is the feminist coverage they give. Raj(a)deep Sardesais, Raja(t) Sharmas, and all of their clan, you don’t seem to have learnt your mistakes. You are still committing the same “Cardinal Sin”.

Update: Seems there are news worse than this. Especially the one on sighting Yama.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Minority Wins

Communal voting of ignorant masses, they say, is the secret of BJP’s electoral success. Then was the success of Congress and Communists a child of intellectual and informed voting? Simple statistics say otherwise. Decline of Congress’ vote share and adult illiteracy has been parallel. While Congress and other parties criticized, BJP is condemned. Even the allies of BJP, some as unscrupulous as DMK, still treat it as ideologically untouchable. It is depressing that in an age that is supposed to be the pinnacle of rational thought, discussions and debates on the rights of the Majority are done not with the mind, but with hearts.

Why is secularism a responsibility of the majority while unlawful, and often violent, demonstration, a right of the minorities? A handful of cartoons have taken the world by storm. But here we have an acclaimed Muslim painter who refuses to cloth Hindu deities. Artistic freedom they say. What prevents his “artistic freedom” from painting a nude Fatima? We don’t have any Fatwas against him. Why? Minority Rights.

Our secularism has reached such heights that while Lal Kishen could be stop Lalu Prasad, no one could stop the provoking speeches by Owaisis at Hyderabad’s Jama Masjid on the eve of Bush visit. This is the same city whose Police Commissioner was pushed around in his own office by burkha-clad women for arresting person linked with LeT. And the women got away with their hooliganism. Why? Minority Rights.

Let me make it plain that I am no pracharak for the Sangh Privar. Get me an EVM now and my finger would, in all probability, would go away from BJP. I have neither forgotten their communal canards nor forgiven their political pogroms. But what appalls me is that except the members of the Sangh Parivar, we don’t find a single soul who would recognize the rights of majority.

Those 7+ million swayamsevaks, of whom 4+ million religiously attend the Shakhas everyday, are neither fools nor mindless rioters. Their discipline and commitment, which is espoused through their work in tribal, rural and disaster-affected areas are never acknowledged. Our “erudite” sociologists never talk about the contribution of RSS. Its Vanvasi Kalyan Kendras in the tribal areas and Ekla Vidyalayas or single-teacher schools in several villages are no objects of fiction like the state-run schools. Yet, their work is reviled as Sankritisation of the tribals, while the work of Christian missionaries in North-east is hailed.

The socio-culture impact of the RSS’ field work and their political motive is the favorite topic for research and desertion for students and academics alike. I appreciate the pains taken by them to reach god forsaken corners of this country and enlighten us about their hidden agenda. But wouldn’t it be great for these to equally enlighten us about the manichaean of the Madrassas in their neightbourhood. Why is that everything that the RSS does is bad, while similar acts when replicated by minorities hailed?

Why does the phrase “Majority Rights” sound as an oxymoron in this country? Does a majority community have no rights? More importantly, should a majority community not have rights? No. Every community, irrespective of its demographic proportions, has a right to preserve and promote its way of life. If numerical preponderance is a symbol of security in itself, then why do Indians have Fundamental Rights. After all, Indians are an absolute majority in India. The reason lies in the fact that despite their numerical strength, the interests of every community, be it religious, regional or national, suffers from an inherent danger of being compromised by vested interests. And this has been precisely happening in subtle forms with the Hindus. Hence there is nothing to ashamed for any majority to assert its rights. There is no need, cultural, ethnical or ethical, for it to sacrifice its rights to favour the propagation of other communities.

The Samajwadi Party rakes up Muslim passions, Congress massacred Sikhs and innumerable other parties indulge in communal politics. But unfortunately, it is conveniently forgotten that rousing the passions of any religious group is as communal as rousing the passions of Hindus. It is time that the self-appointed guardians of all communities should be accorded equal respect and be judged by same yardsticks and the same history.

Update: As I was surfing through various sites in search of pictures, I found this blog. I haven't read it fully nor do I endorse all that it says. But it does give interesting alternative views.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Sania Mirza - Third Round Rubicon

Sania out of Pacific Open. Well no one seems to be bothered as long as her shirt and skirts are open. Did you say that it sounds derogatory? The innumerable unsolicited forwards of her pictures that every guy gets in his mailbox ratifies what I said. And that’s the truth. Please don’t tell me that she created new found craze for tennis among kids and youth. Paes and Bhupathi should have inspired more with their half-a-dozen Grand Slams. And our sweet Sania adamantly refuses to violate the self-imposed fatwa of “Third Round Rubicon”. But thanks to her, we now know about so many exotic opens. Earlier, the only ones we knew were the Australian, French and the US. Our own Hyderabad, where the only knowledge of tennis comes from the usage to tennis balls to play indoor cricket in order to avoid collateral damage, has also had its Open. Such a Open and so open that even those applied for passes got wildcards. Of course, Sania won. The only one which she had won. I guess she too contracted from the fear of foreign lands from our cricket team. Cant blame the little girl for that.

No. I am not into Sania bashing as my knowledge on tennis is as poor are Inzamam’s knowledge of English. And of course she is blessed with the bountiful availability of time on her side to prove her mettle. But the coverage she gets is a trifle irritating. After Indira Gandhi she must be the only Indian female whose loss makes as much news as her victory. And its not just the media, the Government has fallen for it. I am not contesting the Government’s decision to confer upon her Padma Shri. When Kissinger can get a Nobel and MGR a Bharat Ratna, anyone can get anything. But what is appalling is the neglect of other young promising sportsmen. Are the feats of Harikrishna and Humpy in any manner less accomplished? Yet everyone knows the struggle they face for funding their training, leave alone recognition and brand endorsement. Well, guess they need to hone their “attitude” and wear better t-shirts to press meets.

It is time that Government and media stop drooling over glamour in sports, which is incidentally the monopoly of sexually frustrated Indian adolescents, and put their efforts in a manner the ownership and control of the sports resources of the community are so distributed as best to subserve the common good; that the operation of the Ministry of Sports and Youth Development does not result in the concentration of wealth and means of sponsorship to the common detriment. Does it sound constitutional? Well, it is. But that part which isn’t justiciable.

Anyways, lets keep our fingers crossed. Not for those underprivileged sportspersons. Not for Sania to win. But for Sports Illustrated to cover her. They did a good job with Kuronikova and Sharapova. And I am sure the Indian has more talent to showcase. The Opens? Aah.. They can wait and in any case none of us are going to get a pie out of the prize money or any tax benefits.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Soulful Success

To have succeeded

To laugh often and love as much;
To win the respect of intelligent people
And the affection of children;
To earn the approbation of honest critics
And endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty;
To find the best in others;
To give one’s self;
To leave the world a little better,
Whether by a healthy child,
A garden patch,
Or a redeemed social condition;
To have played and laughed with enthusiasm
And sung with exultation;
To know even one life has breathed easier
Because you have lived

This is to have succeeded.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

From Scars to Stigmata.....A journey in solitude

It seems strange that of all movies “Anand” gives Him so much peace. He always knew it was a feel-good movie. But never thought that it would become such an important movie in his course of life. He remembered how much it healed him when he first saw. That day too it helped him to calm down and find peace and empathy. And now, when he required more healing than ever before, it has quietly scaled up its healing powers than ever before. He found himself truly blessing her when he sees this movie.

He can identify with that particular frame when Anand sees Roopa for the first time at her marriage. The smile on his face says it all. Yes, one does find a gleam of attraction for her in his eyes. But before he can fully let the joy of beauty seep into him, he remembers that it is her marriage and that lovingly reassuring smile lets us know how happy he is for her. May be those 15 seconds is the best visual essay on His experience. If someone wanted Him to share his experience with her, then the most succinct, yet the most realistic, description would be those 15 seconds. He met her, got attracted, went ahead, but then suddenly realised that she was not his and now, he is just smiling and truly blessing that she should find happiness in whomever she chooses.

He now feels that he should watch Anand again and again. It helps him to come out from the miasma of hatred in which he is putrefying. The simplicity of Anand teaches him to look for beauty in small things in life – splash of rain, early morning winter sun, chatter of kids, company of friends, joy of music etc. But above all, Anand showcases that immense beauty of life limping back to normalcy from a disaster. Or may be that is what is appealing the most to him in the movie. He now understands. That day, he saw the movie from the perspective of Anand. Now, he feels the movie through the heart of Roopa. How her life slowly begins to get better. It is like the beautiful sunrise, where the sun slowly attains its golden luster. How horrible would it be if the sun rose in five minutes?

Life is always good when it moves slowly. May be, that is one reason why He doesn’t have great inkling for the fast-paced American lifestyle. Life in slow motion helps you catch a glimpse of every subtle gesture, every little expression and every small incident. After all, the bliss of life lies in these momentary nuances, which might be lost into the eternity of time if we bat our eyelids. These are the moments, which rekindle in us humility, love and forgiveness, the divine traits which often get shrouded by human emotions and undue attachments. This slow limping back is a catharsis into itself. A catharsis that washes every corner of his heart. A catharsis that makes him aware of those impurities in him. A catharsis that fills him with sublime joy of life.