Jan 15

2014. In 10 tweets.

1. The year began with some good, wholesome, fun-filled family entertainment – The General Election. It was an intense 3-cornered fight between Modi, Anyone-other than Modi and None-of-the-above.  The Congress however, sportingly added to the fun…

2. Attempts like the above resulted in the Congress getting wiped out. Mahatma Gandhi once said, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” From 2009, Congress did this in the reverse order.

3. Modi became PM amidst much celebration by the people who voted for him, SAARC leaders and Tamil fishermen. While Congress sharpened its claws and prepared to play its role as a responsible, destructive opposition. But the BJP completely stymied Congress’ aspirations by presenting their own budget back to them with some cosmetic changes.

4. This was followed by the traditional honeymoon period for the new PM. And like most honeymooners these days, Modi spent most of his time abroad.

5. While, at home, religion trumped development, conversions trumped the economy, scriptures trumped science, and Smriti Irani trumped herself.

6. But while politics provided unprecedented entertainment, entertainment became caught up in politics. The IPL provided solid employment for cricketers, cheerleaders, actors, police, lawyers & judges.

7. India went to outer-space and caused much joy…

8. … while outer space came to India and caused much anger.

9. The year ended finally, and so did Dhoni’s test career.

10. And throughout, we ignored the grim reality around us with an outpouring of happiness, empathy, care, trust, sympathy, advice and goodness, all in the virtual world.

Here’s to an equally fun-filled 2015. Happy New Year.

Jan 12

2011 : A Twitrospective

Yes, yes. As we all know, that’s how we do it on Twitter. People become tweeple, meet-ups become tweet-ups, and twins become er… you get what I mean. So as we twug along in 2012, twondering tworriedly if the twayans were twight, maybe it’s twime to do a twitrospective of 2011. Through my tweets, as you no doubt twigured out. So here goes. Twenjoy…


John Lennon once told us to imagine a world without boundaries. Dravid & Gambhir just gave us a brief glimpse of it.

Any chance of Rahul Gandhi entering the cabinet? Isn’t it time Sonia did some beta testing?

Maybe Yeddy could be sent to Kashmir. In a few years, all the land will belong to his family, and all problems will be solved.

The Republic Day parade should have a CBI tableau. Perhaps, a truck filled with clean chits.

Government of Egypt blocks all internet access. The country can now be renamed gypt.


Dec 10

2010 : Tweet by Tweet – Part 2

Hello again. And here’s Part 2 of MMXredux, which incidentally, has a high probability of being the Latin term for “2010 Revisited”. Which goes to show that there is, in turn, a high probability that I am a classical scholar, who’d be at home in Rome. A persona grata indeed.

Part 1 was a selection of tweets that pertained to actual events that happened in 2010. While this post is a selection (with no real standards) of my general views on things, neatly segregated into topics. So you could say that Part 1 comprised my topical tweets organized by time. While Part 2 has my er… timely tweets organized by topic.

Here they are. And as we say in Rome – Caveat Lector.

On media : Who are supposed to be the watchdogs of democracy, but have unfortunately misplaced the watch.

Now that they’ve launched the Crest Edition, the rest of TOI can focus on the trough.

Newspapers have columns, while TV channels have rows.

Every issue has a poll from Barkha, a debate from Arnab, a theory from Rajdeep and of course, a solution from C-Bag.

TV news is weighed down by its anchors.

When entertainment channels start showing reality shows, news channels have to move to fiction, no?

Barkha Dutt came out so strongly against raw news that I’ve started wondering if all NDTV news is cooked-up.


Dec 10

2010 : Tweet by Tweet – Part 1

What a nice time we’ve had in 2010 (Or MMX according to Romans). It’s been a great year with much to jeer. 12 months of strikes & bandhs. 52 weeks of scams and leaks.

This was the year in which Kalmadi made a killing, Assange did some spilling, CBI kept grilling, while Manmohan was just chilling.

The year in which Sachin kept scoring, and er.., so did Nityananda.

Many things happened. Lalit Modi was deposed, Yana Gupta was exposed, Rahman composed, while as usual, Deve Gowda reposed.

So here’s the year the way I saw it. On Twitter.


Jyoti basu dies at 11.47 a.m., yet again almost making it to P.M.

UPSC increases civil services intake from 580 to 965. Ouch. 385 more bureaucrats each year. A real Babulation Explosion.

Kerala gets 3G services. Now they can call themselves “GGGods own country”.


Jun 10

India’s got Talent

If you follow me on Twitter or are connected with me on Facebook, you have no doubt been subjected to repeated plugs for this article of mine that appeared as “Mum, I Shrunk The Workplace” on Outlook. For the others, I’m sorry, there’s no escape. Here it is…

The nice folks at Outlook wanted me to write an article on how the landscape of “professions” has been changing in India. And they said they would pay me per word. You might notice that I’ve already ripped them off with this 48-word introduction. So let’s quickly start.

I passed my tenth standard in 1984. So my impressions about the career options that people had earlier is derived mostly from movies.

From what I can gather, the 60s and 70s were simple times.

Professions were broadly divided into two categories. Industrialists, businessmen, smugglers & black-marketers formed one group. Honest, upright, poor, virtuous, government employees formed the other. Members of the first group acquired buildings, property, bank-balances, bungalows and cars. Members of the second group had mother.


Oct 09

The Nobel Peace Prize – Behind the Scenes

The announcement of Obama as the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize has raised a few eyebrows, shaken a few heads, and drawn a lot of ridicule. After all the committee had 205 nominations to choose from. So why pick a man whose formula for success is supposed to be 99% aspiration & 1% inspiration?

The internet is filled with imaginative theories on why he won. Some people feel it’s because his name is easier to pronounce than that of Ahmadinejad. Others postulate that he won it in a contest by virtue of being the tenth caller to the committee. All these theories may have merit, but one can never know for sure until 2059, which is when the deliberations of the Norwegian Nobel Committee will be released to the public.

However, painful persistence, dogged determination and a dose of hallucinogenic substances have allowed Let’s Put Da to lay its hands on the minutes of the committee meeting. So, dear reader, here they are…

(Note : In order to provide insight into the proceedings, the editor has randomly retained a few caricatured European accents derived by watching Peter Sellers movies and other such credible sources)



Venue : Oslo
Date : October 2009
Chaired by : Thorbjorn Jagland
Also present : Kaci Kullman Five, Sissel Marie Ronbeck, Inger-Marie Ytterhorn, Agot Vlle
Agenda : To decide the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize 2009

TJ : I call zis meeting to order.

KK5 : Ja, Ja. It ees time we start.

TJ : Ladees & me, we are gathered here to choose ze Nobel Peez Prize. As you all know it ees very prestigious and carries a heck-of-a-lot-of money. So let us choose carefully and wisely.

IMY : Yess. Yess. I agree. Peace is precious. War is bad. I have been reading a book by Tolstoy on thees subject for the last 4 years. It really helps me sleep peacefully.

TJ : Ok, Ingel. Let us get ze started. Sissel, could you read out the first finalist plees…

SMR : Thees is a man from India. Called Morarji Desai. It seems he was so fond of pees that he used to drink it everyday.


Sep 09

A Sarkari Formula 1

Dear Dr. Mallya,

I hope this missive finds you in the pink of health and the black of wealth.

I notice that you have been making attempts to help JPSK Sports get government funding for F1. But you must be aware that the sports ministry has firmly declared that anything expensive & entertaining cannot be called a sport. They prefer investing our tax money into activities that are cheap & boring (Kho Kho & Malkhamb to name a couple). In any case, hasn’t the Olympic telecast on DD conclusively proved to you, that in India, sport & entertainment do not mix.

I saw that you tried to take on the minister, MS Gill, on this issue, but you seem to have been sternly rebuffed. In other words you got a danda from gilli.*

But seriously, why on earth do the organisers want money from our government? I know that petrol prices have gone up, but still, isn’t F1 a rather prosperous pursuit? They say it has a global TV audience of 600 million. Surely such a venture would attract some capital. It’s like “Who wants to be a millionaire?” asking the government for a small subsidy.

And think of the perils you invite if you allow our government to get into the event. I can imagine a cabinet meeting where every ministry imposes its agenda on the race. Here is a partial list of possible policy decisions…


Aug 09

New Indian Nursery Rhymes – 2

Arun Shourie’s “Humpty Dumpty” outburst reminded me of some stuff I had written many months back and had completely forgotten to post – The second installment of new Indian nursery rhymes. You can check out the first part here.

So I dug them out and here they are. I know they are a bit dated (they pertain to stuff that happened 6-8 months back), but what the heck, it’s still better to have nursery rhymes that are drawn from India circa 2008 than Europe circa 16th century. Sing along for best results :-)…

Based on “Little Miss Muffet”.

Little Miss Jaya,
Eats some papaya,
Along with some curd and rice.
If you want a favour,
Some money you gave her,
For Miss Jaya comes at a price.

Based on “Pussy Cat Pussy Cat”.

Prakash Karat, Prakash Karat, where have you been?
I’ve been to Beijing to visit the Cheen.
Prakash Karat, Prakash Karat, what did you there?
I promised my bosses, that I’d do my share.


Aug 09

Happenings in Pigland

There is unrest in Pigland. Fat pigs are quivering. Small pigs are squeaking. Medium pigs are grunting. This has been a bad month for them.

pig-swine-with-mask-043009Firstly, there is this new epidemic – human flu – which has been scything through Pigland. As of date, no less than 17 pigs have been exterminated by this dreaded disease. The health ministry of Pigland is declaring emergency measures to combat this scourge. When it was pointed out that 17 is no big deal, that over 100 million pigs are slaughtered in the USA alone every year, he indignantly retorted, “Please do not cast these pearls of wisdom before a swine like me. This is a big health issue. We live in unhygenic surroundings. In gutters and like. No wonder we are referred to as ‘Sewer Ke Bacche’. So we have to do something. But don’t worry, there is a bacon of hope. A new drug can save you. One pork and you’ll be fine.” Meanwhile, the worried denizens of Pigland are roaming around the streets wearing masks. Which they only remove to dig their snout into some tasty garbage.


Mar 09

The Bharatiya Oscar Awards – Bhaskars

I wonder why we folks are so happy about Slumdog Millionaire winning so many awards. Of course, I love the fact that Rahman finally got some recognition. And Resul Pookutty got a foreign trip. But why are we so ecstatic about the other awards? Isn’t it a bit like Germany celebrating the fact that Schindler’s List swept the Oscars.

Instead, in true swadeshi style, let’s institute our own Bharatiya Oscars – The Bhaskars. After all, in India, drama, action & comedy aren’t confined to the movies. They are played out in glorious 3-D in all aspects of our life. So here is my list for the 2008 Bhaskars…

Best Story – A Deputy CM demonstrates his adherence to the law by falling in love with a former assistant advocate general. Unfortunately he already has a wife. The Hindu lovers become a Muslim couple – Chand Mohammed & Fiza. Once he has got into her Nikaahs, he decides to go back to his first wife. Fiza attempts suicide, accuses him of rape, and his family of occult practices but Chand is unmoved. He divorces her through SMS and she gets a role in a Bollywood movie. For this fascinating saga involving politics, law, love, religion, crime, horror, glamour & technology, the Bhaskar Award for Best Story goes to Chander Mohan a.k.a. Chand Mohammed for “Fiza Ke Liye”.


Dec 08

New Indian Nursery Rhymes – 1

Nursery rhymes, they say, are old legends and stories passed down orally. Well, with all that’s happening around us, shouldn’t we be modifying them so that they reflect today’s stories instead of old irrelevant European stuff? Here are a few of my submissions…

Based on “Jack & Jill.”

Lalu & Rabri could pay any bill,
As they’d made a pile on fodder.
But Lalu fell down and lost his crown,
And Rabri ruled Bihar thereafter.

Based on “Rain, Rain Go Away.”

Rane, Rane go away.
Come again another day.
Ashok Chavan wants to play,
Rane, Rane go away.


Nov 08

It would be funny if it weren’t so scary

1. Someone has started a group in facebook called “Say NO to terrorism.” Its membership is swelling by the minute. Are its members promising to not indulge in terrorism (“say no to drugs” types)? Or is the group meant to inform terrorists (at least the ones who are on facebook) that there are people out there who don’t like getting bombed. Thereby clearing their misconception that their victims enjoy their attacks. I’m scanning the list of members to see if Osama has joined.

2. Pratibha Patil has put our minds at ease by “strongly condemning” the terror attacks. She probably thought that we were sick with apprehension that she might applaud it. The Deccan Mujaheddin are now expected to be completely demoralized by this presidential rebuke.