24
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.

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29
Jul 09

Modi & Modi United

There’s a politically charged atmosphere in the room. All the leading reporters of India are babbling excitedly. Two of India’s most reputed administrators have called for a press conference. Rumours abound that a new political party is to be launched.

With Congress continuing to have congress with the public, BJP neither helping the Bharatiya Janata nor allowing anybody to Party, and thinking having left all leftist thinkers, the time seems ripe for a new formation.

In walks Narendra Modi in a spotless kurta-pajama and Lalit Modi in a spotted tie and his (only?) grey suit. There’s an eager silence as Lalit Modi unfolds a (thankfully) small piece of paper and reads from it…

I, Lalit Modi & he, Narendra Modi, have realized that we are India’s most capable administrators. We have, therefore, decided to launch a new political party – Modisattva. The party will work for peace, prosperity & high TRPs. I hereby declare the Modisattva party open. Any questions folks?

Reporter : Hi, I’m from the Pioneer, so I’ll ask the first question, heh heh. So, Mr. Modi, why have you decided to leave the BJP? And you Mr. Lalit Modi. Why are you leaving the IPL?

Narendra Modi : Well, for a party that calls itself right-wing, the BJP is getting too many things wrong. Our terrorism plank backfired. We tried Ram and got rammed. In fact, the elections results were such a joke that the party is now in splits. I believe it’s time to move on.

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26
Jul 09

B2B – Back To Blogging

Mein Gita ke upar haath rakh ke… Ouch! Gita tells me that she doesn’t appreciate being pawed by me. Let’s do this in English, shall we…

I place my hand on the Gita and swear…Damn! Gita has a problem with this too. Let’s just leave her out of this.

I solemnly swear that I will stop mucking around with WordPress, CSS, PHP, plugins & themes; stop ducking around with the excuse of being too busy at work & play; and resume er… lucking around with politicians, media-people, and all the other clowns who inhabit our country.

In other words, back to active blogging.

The bar-hopping was fun incidentally, and I’m amazed at the variety of options that this WordPress joint has. I went through thousands of themes before arriving at this one, so I hope you like it. If you don’t, just hold your nose and take a few gulps. It’s an acquired taste. But it took me a month or so to like it, so keep at it, dear reader.

Meanwhile, Manmohan resumed his dithering, his ministers are blithering, Advani continued his withering and Muthalik, I hear, is slithering back. So there’s lots more to put, and put we shall.

Cheers

Short Puts – the collection of my twitter updates can now be found here.


31
May 09

Let’s Hop Da

Dear Reader,

We’ve been ‘putting’ for some time at the Blogger Bar. The ambience is familiar, the waiters are our friends and the management has been tolerant.

But the time has come to hop. To check out another bar. The one called WordPress. I’ve heard they have better decor and a much better variety of drinks. All at the same reasonable rate (zero) as Blogger.

So let’s settle the bill here and stagger on to the next bar. It might take a couple of days to get there. I’ll probably stumble on the way. We might lose each other. But, what the heck. I’m sure we’ll all get there somehow.

I’m writing this post so that if you lose me during this hop, you know where to find me. But then again, if I screw things up, this post too will disappear. Aaaargh. Life is complex. I need a drink.

OK. Let’s go. See you there.

Ramesh


14
May 09

Deconstruction of Election Symbols

The polling action is over. And the appolling auction begins. All parties will now cook the fragile egg of democracy by scrambling for power and poaching rival candidates. Like any sporting contest, all parties have a common goal but distinctive styles. And one can get an inkling of what to expect from them by deconstructing their election symbols. Here is a post-modern attempt…

THE HOPEFULS

CongressHAND – The symbol of the Congress is the Hand. Or more precisely, the palm. Or even more precisely, an open palm. That is waiting to be greased. The five fingers represent the five guiding principles of the party – To keep entrepreneurship under its Thumb. Thus pushing up the consumer price Index after which they can announce sops. To occupy the Middle ground on all issues thereby staying clear of any principles. To Ring up Sonia before making any decision. And to pander to every Little whim of all their coalition partners. The Hand is intended to subliminally indicate that any parliament with too little Congressmen will behave in an underhand manner. Unfortunately, an excess of seats makes them high-handed. The party ran out of partners before the election and thus had no choice but to use its Hand.

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18
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”.

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10
Feb 09

Rationalizing Government – A Leaner, Meaner Council of Ministers

Warning : This is a long post. But then it is an ambitious task.

Manmohan Singh must be having a tough time priming so many ministers. Take a look at this. As of now there are 49 ministries & 2 departments being handled by him & 38 other ministers. Plus 40 Ministers of State (without independent charge). It’s time to trim. Here is a way to ensure that our cabinet bears less resemblance to a walk-in wardrobe…

1. The Ministry for Women & Child Development will be brought under the Home Ministry, which will then be renamed the Home & Hearth Ministry. After all, Indian Culture says that a woman’s place is in her home. The ‘food’ portfolio will also be brought under the Home & Hearth ministry, because within home, a woman’s place is specifically in the kitchen. Pramod Muthalik will run this ministry. And given his concerns about youth, the Ministry of Youth Affairs will also come in here. So will the Ministry of Environment & Forests. After all, Muthalik is well versed in jungle law.

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09
Feb 09

No More Tweets For You

Dear Reader,

We’ve been Putting for some time now. And it has been most enjoyable (at least, hic, for me). Anything to do with spirits & conversation usually is. But writing a blogpost means that I have to hunt high & low and unhealthily scrape the bottom of various barrels to string together a collection of PJs. My fingernails then take some time to grow (before I can start scraping again, I mean).

Enter Twitter. Where a PJ can be sent in solitary splendour, and that too instantaneously, before inconvenient things like scruples & judgment come in the way. But then, a problem with Twitter is the lack of interaction. I send my Tweet, and then can only imagine, the groans of unsuspecting readers. In the past, I’ve posted what in my opinion, are the best of my Tweets. But what about the rest? Don’t they deserve to be condemned, castigated & censured too? If you can’t prick them, how will they bleed?

Which is why I’ve now started a new blog (or technically speaking – a microblog) which I can update many times a day by simply posting my twitter updates. So if this blog attempts to replicate a reasonably long drink, that one is more a series of shots. Hence the name – Short Puts. (Suggested by advertise_meant)

Do check it out at http://www.rameshsrivats.net/shortputs. And the more comments you leave, the more chance it has, of becoming some sort of wikipedia of PJs. And btw, my fingernails have grown quite a bit since the last post in this blog. So I shall be putting a new one soon. Cheers.

Ramesh


22
Jan 09

100-word Election Speeches – Part 3

Link to introduction & Part 1.
Link to Part 2.

The elections are getting closer and closer. Parties have made their guest-lists. They are preparing their manifestoes and their bullet-points. People are talking Ram & stocking rum. Old leaders are trying to make news. While new candidates are making old noises. In all this buzz, here are some more suggestions for quick, snappy, speeches…

Sanjay Dutt - Oy there. Vote for me, ok. I want to be PM. My career started in a Rocky manner. But I soon made a Naam for myself. The Mumbai Blasts were a Kaante in my flesh because people thought I had made our Dushman into my Saajan. So I was called Khalnayak and kept in Kabzaa for possessing Hathyaar. But now I’m back with a Dhamaal. I fail to understand why, just because I’m a movie star, I’ve become the Dutt of all jokes. Believe me, I’m a man of deep conviction – 6 years to be precise. So vote for me and vote for a muscular India. Sanjay ka Haath, Arm Aadmi ke Saath.

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08
Jan 09

Satyam Chairman on Trial

It’s a big day. The courtroom is packed. With journalists, shareholders, programmers & Barkha Dutt. After all, today’s the day when the Satyam Chairman & CEO, B Ramalinga Raju, is in the dock. The judge is looking solemn. The public prosecutor is looking smug. In the background, the national emblem adds gravity to the proceedings. In order to remove any trace of bias, the words “Satyameva Jayate” have been masked so that it reads “eva Jayate”. Ramalinga Raju has taken the oath and the crowd too has been quietly swearing at him. The public prosecutor purposefully walks up to the witness stand.

Public Prosecutor (gravely courteous) : Would you prefer to remain standing or would you rather sit down?

Ramalinga Raju : Oh, I’ll sit down. This might be a witness stand, but I am a chairman. Heehee.

PP : You have been accused of serious corporate fraud. Do you plead guilty or not guilty.

RR : Actually, I am golti. But, to answer your question, not guilty.

A startled gasp runs through the courtroom.

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18
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.

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11
Dec 08

100-word Election Speeches – Part 2

If you haven’t read Part 1, this might make no sense. You may want to click here and read that first.

If you have read Part 1, this will probably still make no sense. But then, when did our leaders ever make any? Read on…

Vijay Mallya – Dear guests, I’m here to promise you Rum Rajya. Eight years back, a friend of mine invited me to join a party. I completely misunderstood him and…well…so here I am. Vote for me and let the good times roll. I’ll fill government with Diplomats to deal with the Romanovs and McDowells. The army will be equipped as per the Officers’ Choice and every terrorist will be quart. The economy will thus get a boozed and you can enjoy it with just-ice. The country will fly, our flag will be high and no bad laws will be passed. Because, whenever a bill is presented in parliament, I’ll just refuse to pay it. I be PM. UB happy.

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05
Dec 08

Let’s Tweet Da

Dear Unsuspecting Reader,

An insomniac from Oracle in California just visited my site. And my sitemeter visitor count crossed 10,000 (yeah, yeah, I do get kicks out of stuff like this). Of course, about 2000 of these visits were those that I had made (to check the count). Nevertheless, now that some of you have been lulled into visiting this blog regularly, let me cunningly slip-in a quick cross-promotion for my twitter updates.

I joined twitter a week back and I’m absolutely hooked on to it. All random thoughts can be instantly SMSed to Twitterland and they join an incredibly rich pool of information, entertainment and nonsense. All in a snack-sized length of less than 140 characters. Here are some of my Tweets of last week…

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03
Dec 08

Shivraj Patil versus Sardar Patel

It’s late evening. Shivraj Patil is walking down a tree-lined street in Lutyens Delhi. He has a confused expression on his usually serene face. Sonia Gandhi had earlier said to him, “Go home.” What did she mean? Was she relieving him of his porfolio? Or was she cheering his ministry? And more importantly, should he wear the dark-blue Bandhgala tomorrow or should it be the black one?

Suddenly there is a flash, and there appears in front of him a bald man with a Ferrous expression. Shivraj notices that the apparition is clad in crude, homespun clothes which are disturbingly crumpled.

Shivraj Patil (raising his eyebrows) : And who might you be oh ill-dressed man?

Vallabhai Patel (sonorously) : I am the spirit of Sardar Patel. The first home minister of independent India. I have come to rebuke you on your terrible performance in the same role.

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01
Dec 08

So what do we do about our government?

Warning : This is a longish post and in contrast to my recent ones, there is no attempt at humour. Wordplay will be back in a day or two.

From apathy, to shock, to rage, to indignance, to disgust, to weariness, to apathy. The cycle continues.

The same words are being said. The same issues are being bickered over. The same solutions are being debated.

“Why can’t we have better intelligence?” “Isn’t it appalling that politicians have cornered the best cops for their own security?” “What do we do to bring Muslims into the mainstream of development & prosperity?” “Why can’t we have harsher laws?” “Why is the Indian state so much about power and so little about governance?”

Every one of us has been asking some of these questions. All of us have answers for some of them. The same old answers. We talk of citizens taking up arms. We drape ourselves in our national flag. We resolve to vote next time. We light candles. We wear white shirts. You know what we’re actually doing? We are just deluding ourselves that our anger, our patriotism and our temporary activism will somehow create a mythical force that would lead to an efficient government. A government that will guarantee security, ensure prosperity, build infrastructure, protect our heritage, preserve our environment, regulate our industry, administer justice and promote harmony & equality.

But what is government? It is not an abstract entity that is filled with good intentions and endless talent.

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