Friday, November 29, 2013

A little political story

She went to the polling booth in a dilemma. It was the first time that she was voting. She had relinquished her shopping plans to step out and vote. Even though she was eligible to vote for many years now, she had taken the trouble only this time to get her name added to the voters list, and got her voter ID card made. She was in for a pleasant surprise, as getting the voter ID card was much easier than she thought it would be. There was a purpose to why she went through all this anxiety. A new political frenzy had captured her city's imagination like never before. It was a three sided battle, with two large parties on two flanks and a third smaller party on the side that was making an entry into politics with the assurance of cleaner and more effective governance. She knew that all her friends were going to vote for this new party. And why should they not? It was after many years that somebody had really challenged the two big titans in the electorally vibrant city, and made them believe that it is actually a political institution that could really bring about the transformation. She had no doubt that this party could liberate the country from the crutches of corruption. The novel publicity had also helped in tipping the scales in favour of this party. 

As she waited anxiously in the line for her turn, her thoughts went back to the conversation at the breakfast table this morning. Her entire family had made up their mind to vote for the larger opposition party whose national leader had swept the national in fervour like never before. They had bought into his progressive outlook and the developmental agenda. They believed that it was his party which could bring down the inflation, give  them the much needed respite, and pave the way for a brighter future. While they did reflect on the smaller party, it was a cleverer scheme to vote for the same party locally which had the best chance to form the national government. The rhetoric skills of the national leader had been the theme of discussion at the supper table these last few days. Was she being too brash in misapprehending their years' of experience? Or was it just hip to go against your own family in matters concerning national politics?

She entered the booth nervously and was handed over the ballot paper. The ballot paper had all types of symbols. She swift glanced over and was quick to recognise the lotus, the palm and the broom. Before she could reach a verdict, she gathered her thoughts for one final time. The tune rang in her years. She had been hearing it for a month now on radio. There was no doubt it was melodious, even if it was a song made for an election campaign. It was an ode to the development in the city, and the fact that nobody could halt the development. And yes, the city had developed indeed. There were the flyovers, the wide roads and the metro. How could they not give credit to the sweet elderly lady for doing all this? She was doing a fine job in the contemporary political atmosphere. She could not be part of all those scams. Not all politicians are evil. 

The dilemma and turmoil had reached its peak. She scanned the ballot paper for one last time and her hand drifted from one symbol to another. As she was going through the commotion in her head, she finally did something that she always knew deep her in soul. She wondered why she had taken all this time deliberating about the right choice. She even let out a little grin. The symbol in the bottom right corner was the prettiest. She had always admired this dark shade. 

She made a mark on the trendy looking designer purse, put the paper back in the ballot box and walked out with a feeling of content. It was a day well spent. 

Inspired by Manasi Kothari's true story.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Coach Fletcher agrees Indian team should play more Cricket

Kolkata: Indian cricket coach Duncan Fletcher has jumped in support of BCCI President N Srinivasan in lashing out at critics who complain about 'too much cricket' being played by the Indian team, and the effect it has on Indian team's performance. Coach Fletcher was speaking at a press conference after Indian ODI victory against England at the Eden Gardens, and praised the team after the 5-0 series whitewash. N.Srinivasan had earlier cited India's unassailable 3-0 lead against England to rubbish the complaint a few days ago.

"The team should play more cricket, which gives opportunities to younger players like Ajinkya Rahane and Varun Aaron to display their talent at the highest level. Look at the 10 test playing nations today, they all played cricket today with 5 ongoing cricket series going on simultaneously. The people across the world want entertainment, and it is our duty as entertainers to keep them happy. We have customers to please." - pointed Fletcher. It may be noted that Fletcher had a massage parlor in Zimbabwe before Hyper-Inflation during the Robert Mugabe regime forced him to look for other career options. The massage parlor business also carried the slogan 'We have customers to please'.

He further added that after people do not want Sehwag to sell cement or Harbhajan to sell Royal Stag whiskey, and the crowd would rather want them to perform on field all year long. "Harbhajan has been dropped because he started drinking too much Royal Stag, which would get worse whenever his girlfriend asked - Have you made it large? This is what happens when you focus too much on endorsing the brands, and it starts having a psychological impact. The advice I give to all younger players is to leave the selling to salesgirls, and focus on the game if they really want to make it large. Don't worry about the money. BCCI can introduce more concepts like the IPL."

When probed by media-persons about special plans on Diwali, particularly after the emphatic series win, he wished the country a very happy Diwali and added that they are planning to hold the celebrations till the only T-20 encounter against England on 29th October, which also happens to be the birthday of Varun Aaron, the pacer from Jharkhand whose full name is Varun Raymond Aaron David Weatherall, but has fondly been rechristened as 'Ra.One' in the Indian dressing room. "We are planning to have a party on Saturday, and Harbhajan Singh has graciously agreed to come down and perform on Chammak Challo" - he remarked. When asked whether there are plans to fly some of the massage girls from Zimbabwe for the party, he refused to comment.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Just another day in WC2011

Monday, March 07, 2011

Zaheer and Dhoni

Friday, February 18, 2011

Overcoming the Delhi Winter

Today, the midnight of 17th of February, I announce the end of Delhi Winter. It's going to be a warm and sunny world cup (during the first innings - thanks to flood lights), the perfect weather for the game.

A lot of sacrifices were made during the last three months, my first winter in Delhi. One dark night, 5 mattresses, 4 rajai's, 4 friends sleeping over at home, 1 thin blanket, and my atithi-devo-bhav jazba taught me the lesson of the winter. Never bite more than you can chew.

As the season turns around and mercury rises from the ashes, two lines that sum up my battle with the cold.

Dilli ki thand-ba,
Fir bhi ghamand-ba.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The best Vada Pav

I have spent the best years of my life in the city of Vada Pav eaters, so it comes as no surprise that I became fond of it. Never really considered it an unhygienic unhealthy street food. I have some friends who are very particular about their Vada Pav, and accept no compromise on the way they like theirs. The place, the size, the amount (and state) of chutney, the color of green chilly - it's all important.

At times, people have compared Vada Pav joints across Bombay and Pune. Which ones are better? I find that argument, and the listing of hot Vada Pav joints in each city, silly. The best Vada Pav does not belong to any city. It is really beyond the demographic barriers.

I started for Bombay from Pune Station in a Shivneri Volvo. Had a small bottle of water and followed it up with a small bottle of Nimbooz. It was too bad that the bus took 90 minutes to cross the city. And trust me, the speed of bus has been found to be inversely proportional to the rate at which the kidneys and bladder function. By the time we hit the expressway, the pressure had built up. I really had to go.

As time went by, it became more and more difficult to survive. The road stretched far and wide, and there seemed no end to the agony. After counting till 1357, during which it came to my mind thrice to ask the driver to pull over, during which I contemplated twice about filling up the Nimbooz bottle once again, and during which I thought about a business with innovative products to help people in such situations on the road, the bus finally stopped at a food mall. And I ran.

I emerged out of the washroom after two minutes, content and satisfied, with the biggest smile on my face. It was time to refuel. Went to the nearest food outlet and asked for a Vada Pav.

Like I said, the best Vada Pav does not belong to any city. It is beyond the demographic barriers of Bombay or Pune. It is really served on the Bombay Pune expressway.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

A one night stand

India 136
South Africa 620/4 declared
India 454/8
India trail by 30 runs with 2 wickets remaining at the end of fourth days play.

*Sachin Tendulkar 107
*Sreesanth 3

Can we save it? There is a reason where India follows a multi-God structure. SACHIN God has played HIS part. It's time for RAIN God. Let ths Raveena's and Sridevi's come out and start dancing in low-cut-blouj(with a J)-sarees to please the God.

It rained 12 overs before the scheduled end of fourth days play. SACHIN God forbid, if RAIN God is not with us tomorrow, we must take control in our hands. (pun unintended)

The drainage in India sucks during rains because people eat Manikchand Gutkha, and throw the wrappers all around (not to forget the red stains caused by spitting, but it's not that important tonight).

I urge all Indians in and around Centurian to pack up their bags with Manikchand (or any other gutkha/jarda/khaini) and chew as much tobacco as they can around the stadium. Littering is really bad, and most of us must stand against it. But tonight, let us do it baby!

An old poetry which will be the guiding light to all tobacco warriors:

Aavaa marda, khaava jarda...
thook thook ke college bharda.