Saturday, April 26, 2008


It's all coming together. The three great obsessions of Indians - cricket, politics and films. Add a dash of eye-candy and music, and you have the perfect masala mix that can keep a nation enthralled for a month and more.

We have Shah Rukh Khan, that matchless actor. We have Vijay, the younger chieftain. We have Preity Zinta and Akshay Kumar. There's Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi, Prime Ministers in waiting, along with current and past Chief Ministers. We have businessmen. Beer and cheerleaders. Not to mention the scandals and the spice. Inconsequential cricket matches get higher TRP ratings than saas-bahu serials? Of course. You have slap-happy characters on the cricket field too. You have tears. You have what it takes to keep everyone's eyes glued to the telly. Ads galore, buy more, spend more.

Everything is condensed into a tiny capsule, fit for mass consumption. The Times of India-fication of our nation is now complete.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


When I was reading books and growing up, both at the same time, I used to come across words and phrases that weren't used in regular conversation. Not in Thiruvananthapuram, at least. No, not the words you think, but stuff like "chuckle", "what the", "darn it to heck" and the like. Me and my cousin found out that "chuckle" meant smile or laugh. After that, we often chuckled at each other. Literally. For example, he'd say something funny and I'd say "Chuckle, chuckle".

"What the" came out of comic books, mainly the superhero variety. On a side note, it wasn't until I met the illustrious that I realized there could be other varieties. Anyway. I used to read a lot of Superman those days, which usually had characters like Jimmy Olsen or Clark Kent who, when confronted with a super villain, went "What the..!". I used to wonder, this time without my cousin, what this expression meant. I didn't really think I was missing a word, it seemed to be complete in itself. I finally figured it was an exclamation of surprise, but nothing much more. As a result, while playing cricket with the neighbourhood kids, I used to often cry out "What the!" when the ball I thought was a perfect yorker was launched right out of the park.

We now come to "Darn" and "Heck". I confess I went twenty seven years without knowing that these words were substitutes used by God-fearing folks when they wanted to curse. I realized this when I was on a chat site long back and I said "Heck" in conversation. One fellow chatter, from Canada if I remember right, immediately said "Oh, we have a devout Christian boy in our midst!". It was then that enlightenment dawned. Since then, I've always been fucking explicit when I chat.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Vuja-de and a compulsive confession

I experienced the opposite of deja-vu yesterday night. Rachu brought her toy phone to the dinner table and was carrying on an animated conversation with her best friend, Malavika. I had to yell at her to stop using her phone at dinner. I can clearly see myself repeating this in a few years.

I have a confession to make. You've read the Rediff message boards, haven't you? Well, that's all me. Yup. The folks who commented on reservations yesterday, the Amitabh controversy, even the Valentine's day comments. All mine. Yeah, you knew those were too good to be true, right? Right.