World of India!: September 2006 e

World of India!

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EditorsEdit: 7/11 Mumbai blasts-it's Pakistan again, or is it?

Saturday, September 30, 2006 Digg! Add to Technorati Favorites

So we are told that the 7/11 Mumbai blasts investigation is concluded and many of the participants have been apprehended. ISI has been accused of planning/instigating the groups which carried out the actual attack. So in essence, we are being told that a state agency of Pakistan is waging a war against us. At the same time, our Prime Minister finds no contradiction in establishing a joint group to tackle terrorism with the same nation! I knew of the saying 'Set a thief to catch a thief', but I had assumed that the first thief would be some one different than the one we wished to catch. The Indian government however, seems to believe in setting a thief to catch itself!

Novel, but hardly amusing.

Or is it that the Govt. knows that not ALL terror attacks are Pak sponsored, but it needs to keep up the propaganda attack anyway? It seems to me that many of the attacks are nowadays being carried out by disgruntled Muslims, who are angry with the Indian Govt.'s handling of the Gujarat riots(no significant punishments of anyone in the state machinery till date and Modi has grown even stronger, after carrying out what amounts to genocide) or with the Babri Masjid episode. Do these people really need the ISI? Common sense tells me that putting together a bomb is no longer a task which requires great expertise (many sites on the web offer free tutorials) and its simply impossible for any state machinery, however strong, to protect against terror attacks, if the perpetrators have the will to carry it out. So who needs the ISI anyway?

Its time for the Govt. to decide which line to take. Either they take a clear stance like Israel, that they wont talk to the backers of terrorists (Pakistan) and take the hard-line against them OR they decide that the Pakistan is not to blame for terror attacks and that we have a home grown militancy, with support from some Pakistani citizens/groups operating from within Pakistan, which the Govt of Pakistan needs to move against, but which is NOT the same as Pakistan sponsoring terror, actively.

The fact is that most of the western world believes Musharraf when he says they don't sponsor terror actively(at least not after 9/11 ,anyway) and he himself wants to curb the extremist elements in Pakistan. Fact is that other than Musharraf there is no alternative who can keep the Banana republic with an Atom bomb, stable. When the Indian Govt., is stupid enough to accuse Pakistan of inciting the train blasts after 7/11 within hours of the blasts, without any investigation taking place, we loose credibility, because govt's abroad are not fools, not to know that we have a significant section of populace which is heavily disgruntled and capable of carrying such attacks themselves. If Pakistan had to be accused, it should have been accused after due investigations, which means TODAY, not on 8/11!

Fighting terror requires a mindset that is different. It needs resolve (which we have). But that’s not enough. We need to develop the technology to tackle and manage terror (closed circuit cameras in public places, tamper proof id cards for citizens, surveillance equipment etc). We need to develop far better intelligence capabilities. We need to identify the fringe which is about to set their foot on the path of terror and incentivize them to abandon that path. We also need to be much more savvy at propaganda and communications.Most important, we need to have a clear strategy on what we need to do to fight terror-fight the thief or collaborate with him.

We can hardly do both without the house being taken to the cleaners.

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EtcEtc : Only in India : )

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I have a feeling this is Delhi...someone please call the people from Guinness.

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EtcEtc : Only in India : )

Friday, September 29, 2006 Digg! Add to Technorati Favorites
Notice the cow in the corner trying to have lunch.

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Travellerr : Ah, Goa...!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006 Digg! Add to Technorati Favorites
I am just back from a three day trip to Goa. We timed it well by going just before the tourist season starts. So while we got offseason rates, we also managed to beat the rains by a whisker, although there were light showers, in spurts, on the first day of our visit. The rains ensured that the evergreen hue that Goa has, had turned into an even more brighter shade. The sight of swaying coconut palms, lush green paddy fields, amidst the hide and seek of sunshine and overcast skies, and of course, the surf and the sand...Ah, Goa!


We weren't in Goa for the sights though. Our sole purpose in traveling 1500 Kms, to & fro, was tracking down Goa's best eateries and checking out the various Goan delicacies. So for 3 days this was our schedule: Get up at 9:00 am and walk/jog along the Baga beach, which was completely deserted of Lamanis (local slang for firang tourists), come back to the hotel for a luxurious breakfast, a small siesta/book reading session/beer and we would be ready to hit for lunch, which meant that we would trudge around on our hired motorbike to wherever the chosen restaurant was located in North Goa. After the fingerlicking lunch we would come back to the hotel for another siesta to get our stomachs in shape for dinner. The whole routine would be interspersed with 3-4 beer pints for me and a couple of Bacardi shots for my wife. The only sight seeing we managed to do was to check out Fort Aguada (Check the lighthouse at Fort Aguada on the left), which was a stones throw from our Hotel and therefore mutually agreed to be visited upon, after much deliberation.

After two such trips we have become minor experts on where to eat in Goa . Here is a list of places you should eat at in Goa - Brittos (Baga), Souza Lobo (Calangute), Martins Corner (A shack in Caranzalem just outside Panjim), Hotel Venite (next to the Court building in Panjim) - housed in a 200 yr old building and has an eccentric kitsch interior with graffiti drawn by visitors and old, old furniture (See pics of interior in Venite on the left), Ronil's (Baga), O' Coqueiro- even Charles Sobharaj couldn't resist the temptation to go there after his escape from prison and the spot where he was handcuffed has been immortalized by his statue (Porvorim) and last but not the least- Mum's Kitchen (on the road to Miramar from Panjim), which is the one place where you can be sure of gettng the most authentic Goan food. Don't order Pomphret/Surmai in fish when in Goa, if you can help it. Try the local varieties- Isvon and Chonak. Make sure you try the stuffed Calamaries (Squid stuffed with Prawn and Goan masala), Prawn curry & rice, Sorpotel, Pork/Chicken Vindaloo.I can go on and on...

And do stay at 'The Cavala' (Pics below) - which is a small hotel in a Goan bungalow. The rooms face the lush paddy fields on one side and they also have pool facing rooms. This is where the swish set of Goa come to party on weekends.The best thing about the place is that it is small enough not to attract noisy big families and that it has character unlike most hotels.

Amidst our culinary orgies, I coudn't but help noticing that Goa is experiencing the same tensions many tourist places, the world over, are experiencing. The tension between the sweet smell of money that tourism brings and the trouble it creates for the local population is hardly unique to Goa and can be seen across the world- be it Bangkok,Amsterdam or Matheran.Tourism attracts the usual paraphernalia of prostitution, gambling, drugs, outsiders setting up businesses whose success creates pangs of jealousy amongst the locals and the worst of them all, pedophilia. I spotted rantings against tourism almost everyday in the local newspapers, but an Irish tourist, staying in Goa for the past 6 months, retorted fittingly in a letter to a local newspaper, when he asked whether the same antagonistic feelings were shared by people who depended on tourism for their survival. He also made an important point that for every bad tourist apple, there were ten good ones and therefore there was little point in generalizing the problem. What worries me most is that the tourist influx is leading to the bastardization of Goan cuisine and in many places the food is being retooled to cater to the taste of the tourists. Which means the unique spice, tang and heat in the food is being tempered. Mum's Kitchen (recommended above) has been set up by its owner to ensure that Goan cuisine is served at its most authentic and these traditional recipes are preserved.

Amen to that.


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EtcEtc : Only in India - II

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Another gem from our 'Only in India' series. Check out the dedication!

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EditorsEdit : Susegad in Goa

Tuesday, September 19, 2006 Digg! Add to Technorati Favorites
I am going to chill out in Goa over the next 3-4 days. It’s going to be one arduous vacation what with the choice of food, alcohol and sport on offer. But I have been building my stamina and I am sure I will be up for the test!

I hope to post some pics from Goa, freshly baked from my camera. So don't forget to check out the action, then.

Cheers to the good life!

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EtcEtc : Only in India : )

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Over the next few days, I will post some pictures, which capture the REAL fun of living in India. I won't say more and let the pictures speak for themselves. Thanks to my friend Amol Abhyankar for sending these gems.

Picture 1

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BizNpersonalfinance : Rediff stock chat bloopers

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I entered the Rediff stock chat today, on a lark, where a broker (Pranav Sanghavi) was answering questions to investor queries. Sample some of the question and answers : )

Amit asked, Hi Rranav
PRANAV SANGHAVI answers, Hi Amit.

Gaurav asked, HI Pranav
PRANAV SANGHAVI answers, Hello Gaurav.

I liked one
Bapi's questions the best: It was to the point and direct- "Sir, which stock to buy Sir"?

Now, isn't
THAT the million dollar question, Bapi?

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BlogToon : Ek Ruppaiye ka daam....

Monday, September 18, 2006 Digg! Add to Technorati Favorites















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EditorsEdit : 'The Telegraph' quotes 'WorldofIndia'

Sunday, September 17, 2006 Digg! Add to Technorati Favorites
My good friend Ekta Ghosh's hubby Gautam, along with Ekta, has ventured full time into Blog & Organizational Consulting. Gautam's archives start from July 2002, so he probably qualifies as one of the early birds in blogging, if I am not mistaken. Have a dekko at his blog here.

Gautam told me, when we met last in Pune, that many mainstream newspapers have now started to keep tabs on what bloggers are saying and are quoting them extensively.

Turns out he was right and the Calcutta edition of The Telegraph, has now quoted your truly here

Best of luck to Gautam in his new venture. It takes a lot of courage to leave a well paying job in a blue chip company and pioneer in blog consulting, which is still in its infancy in India. Way to go!

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Travellerr : Strange things have happened to me at Airports

Friday, September 15, 2006 Digg! Add to Technorati Favorites
Continuing with my 'Strange things have happened to me at Airports' series (Pl check Category:Travellerr for my other posts in the series) , this particular chain of events happened to me across 4-5 airports, in India, France and the U.S. I was on a tour of the East coast of the United States, on Business, and had to cover 4 cities spread across the East coast in 5 working days. At the end of it all, I took 9 connecting flights across 10 cities, in 3 continents, flying a total of 35-40 hours in that week, phew!


Sadly, for such an arduous trip, I planned very little, trusting our business travel agent a bit too much. As usual they screwed up. By the way, a handy travel tip for all of you- NEVER trust your travel agent, at least, the ones in India. Check and double check, badger, follow up - is a mantra you should not forget.

The trip was a disaster right from the word go. We started for the Mumbai Intl airport, after a full day’s work, with barely enough time to make to the airport. Mid way, on the express way, I checked the flight tickets for the first time after the travel agent had dropped them on my desk. Our booked flight had already departed the day before! The agent had booked us on the wrong day than what we had asked for. I called the agent on mobile. I could sense that the girl panicked and that she was new. She told me she would get back to me soon. After a while she called me to say that she had called the airline and we would be boarded with 'priority', if some one didn’t turn up for today's flight. The two sub-ordinates of mine with whom I was traveling, were ashen faced with fear that their first trip abroad might prove to be a non- starter. I felt sorry for them and cursed myself for not checking the tickets earlier.

We prayed for people to miss their flight, that night. Sure enough two passengers did not turn up and two of us got to board. We left our hapless colleague behind, after the travel agency put her up in the Hotel at their cost, and promised to put her up on the next day’s flight. I was worried that being a first time traveler, how she would cope with traveling alone. But their was no choice, as I had to attend the meeting the next day in New York. As it turned out, she made it to the States for the second leg of our itinerary.

I hadn't anticipated though, that since our tickets were rustled up 'off the fly', every connecting flight we took, we were told to get out of line and that we would be required to explain the whole background to each booking counter agent, at each airport. It was literally a nightmare. It was a miracle that we did manage to connect all our flights in time and made it in India, badly bruised, but in one piece.

Three consolations of my trip- the business part went of well and yes, I managed to eat Alligator meat in Charleston. For those of you who are curious how it tastes, it tastes just like chicken. Would I try it again? No. I would rather prefer to move to the Octopus next time around, I am in Charleston : )

The third consolation was a hilarious incident, which happened when I decided to take the cab to Manhattan from NJ and called the cab company. By a twist of fate, the day we landed in New York, the city had experienced one of the worst snow storms in a few decades ! There I was waiting in the freezing cold outside our hotel, when the cabbie pulled up. We got chatting on the way to NY. When I told him the name of my then company, the cabbie said " Oh I used to work for @###@ earlier too, before I started driving the cab". Holy cow! I almost hit the ceiling. I thought he was joking, but it turned out that he actually did work with us a few years earlier and he had been involved in training our North American staff on how to use our corporate email system, when it was first launched globally! He then asked me who I was supposed to meet the next day in the office. I named a very Senior Director, who used to head the I.T Dept for our entire North American operations, as one of the people I would meet. " Oh Ms. So & So? She is my wife, you know. I will tell her you met me today". I almost choked on the Pretzels I was having, in the back seat. I began wondering as to how the husband of a very Sr. Executive of a multi-billion dollar MNC, could end up driving a cab. But I kept these thoughts to myself and spent the rest of my trip discussing the intricacies of rolling out I.T systems of significant scale - with a New York cabbie.

And yes, when he dropped me at Broadway, I did not forget to give a handsome tip to an excellent cabbie who was also an ex-colleague!

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BlogToon : Musharraf meets Manmohan

Thursday, September 14, 2006 Digg! Add to Technorati Favorites

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RandomAbuse : Rants and Raves !!!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006 Digg! Add to Technorati Favorites
I am very happy to announce that I am starting 'RandomAbuse' where we will publish Rants & Raves from me (and you!).

This is my contribution to Indian society, where it often becomes difficult to get through to all the idiots you have to deal with, who irritate and anger you, but being in this wonderful country, you often can do nothing but twiddle your thumbs.

For ex:

1) Can you fight with a waiter who gives you shitty service but still makes his disappointment known for getting a small tip? No you can't. But can you defend yourself on this auspicious portal and abuse him to your hearts content? Yesss Sirrey, you can!

2) Can you fight with your cable operator who insists the problem related to poor reception is at the end of the "satellite", although you prove to him that the next house, served by him, gets the channel clear as sunshine? Yes, you can. Will it be of much use? Not much, especially if he has the monopoly over the area you reside in. But can you then rant & rave over here? Surree!

I can imagine this space akin to the couch of your neighborhood psychologist, where you can open your heart and pay nothing at the end.

Don't hold back against your targets and most important, there are NO sacred goats, which you need to spare. The more the merrier.

Rant and Rave by writing to funwuni@hotmail.com or leave your (thoughtful) rants as comments to my raves.

I am already looking forward to this.

Photocourtesy: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ehershey/14673169/

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BlogToon : Is it true?

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CurrentAffairs : The Indian legal system - Law and Disorder

Tuesday, September 12, 2006 Digg! Add to Technorati Favorites
They say the law is an ass. If this is true, the Indian legal system must be one with an exceptionally long life.


Consider this : Over two million cases are pending in 18 High Courts alone and more than 200,000 cases are pending in the Supreme Court for admission, interim relief or final hearing. And it takes anywhere between 5 to 15 years for a case to be decided in an Indian Court.

(Source)

Because of the extra-ordinary time it takes to get justice in India, people have a tendency to avoid filing cases. Many disputes are sought to be settled through mediators of various kinds, if not goons and local politicians. But this does not stop the judicial system of pointing a finger at the society as litigious, as one of the reasons why justice is so delayed in India. The other frequently cited reason is the lack of the' Executive' filling up judicial positions, to the strength they have been allocated. Experts also attribute the delay due to arcane procedures, irrelevant laws and a long drawn out appeals procedure.

Whatever be the underlying reasons, the fact is that the Judiciary has failed the society, in so much as it does not enjoy the full confidence of the people that they will get speedy justice.

The long drawn out Jessica Lal murder case and the Mumbai blasts (1993) trial case only underscores this weakness. In the '93 blasts case, close to 300 people were killed. Only today, were 4 accused sentenced. On top of it the Judge says that he would need almost a month just to read out the Judgement and sentence the accused! In any other country, there would have been an outcry for this sort of Justice. But that applies for civilized countries where rule of law prevails.

It would be interesting to anticipate what would be the fate of Sanjay Dutt in this trail (accused # 117). Sanjay was caught red handed with the arms used by the accused who carried the blasts. Everyone knows this. But it’s taken since '93 for him to be judged for that offence. His influential father made sure he got bail and apart from the year or two in jail, Sanjay is leading the life of privilege he was used to. Would any other Indian citizen, who was not as privileged be given this kind of a concession, if he was caught red handed with AK47's linked to a case of such magnitude? If it was (say) another Muslim citizen, in Sanjay's position would be have been given the same treatment?

I rest my case.



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BizNpersonalfinance : Update - 9/11 More blood on Dalal street

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Well my prediction on todays sensex level seems to have turned out spot on! Maybe I should get ask CNBC for a place on their panel. I am quite certain I will do at least marginally better than their experts, who seem to be more often wrong, than right.

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BlogToon : All the bloody fish...

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BizNpersonalfinance : 9/11 - More blood on Dalal street

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Photocourtesy: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ccontemplations/139451425/

The Sensex tanked 368 points today. That’s a 3% fall in a day. Indian markets have become very volatile these days and such swings have are becoming more and more common. Even so, the severity of today’s fall seemed to take all and sundry by surprise. More so, because the reason for the sell off is not immediately apparent.

Analysts tried to explain the fall, but frankly not one had a good explanation. Fine, the US economy is slowing down and that might lead to China slowing down, which in turn would affect the commodity prices downwards. But India is still relatively less dependent in the US economy plus the fact that commodity related companies do not constitute a very big part of the sensex . And with Crude coming down from above 70$ levels to below 66$ per barrel, that should be good news for an energy hungry country likes ours. But apparently somebody doesn't share these sentiments and sold the market, anyways. Some analysts argued that since the market had risen form 9000 levels to 12000 on the Sensex, in the last few months after June -July, this fall is only natural, but even then a fall of 3 % in a day? I say that's overdoing it a bit.

Some people speculated that this might be the psychological impact of 9/11's 5th anniversary and also a reaction to the Malegaon bomb blasts on Friday. I am not convinced, but you know what, people need some reason to understand WHY the market fell by such a wide margin, for no apparent reason. So as long as they get some reason to clutch to, they are fine. So who am I to grudge them that?

Luckily I had sold a third of my trading positions on Friday and a bulk of rest of the stocks I own are blue chips and will, hopefully, get through this carnage. But I shudder to think what must have happened to some other short term traders with leveraged positions, who took the bet that the market would continue its rise above 12000.

But that’s how the cookie crumbles in this game. I am reminded of Abba's lyrics from the song 'The winner takes it all...":


".....Ive played all my cards
And thats what youve done too
Nothing more to say
No more ace to play

The winner takes it all
The loser standing small
Beside the victory
Thats her destiny"

P.S: Such huge falls for little rhyme n reason are usually followed by a steep rise the next day. It might just happen that the market rises 100 odd points tomorrow. And yes, buy Infosys if it falls below Rs1700-1720/-

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BlogToon : Bush Bombs London!

Saturday, September 09, 2006 Digg! Add to Technorati Favorites

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EtcEtc : Official confirmation that Men are more intelligent than Women

Friday, September 08, 2006 Digg! Add to Technorati Favorites
AttaBoy! Eat your hearts out women : ) . The proof's here.

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PopularCulture : Rendezvous with Simi Garewal

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Killing millons of Indians through diabetes- Simi 'Goregal' Garewal



Today after watching the trailer of the next episode of Simi Garewal interviewing Lara Dutta, in her talk show, and saying " ...you are verrry goood at giving people names, arrent you? Yesss you aree!", while she smiled her patent sugary smile, I felt so ill, that I was riled into writing the:

Top 5 reasons why Simi Garewal should be put under house arrest:

1) India has approx. 25 million diabetics. Her Super Saccharine rich talk show is a silently killing more Indians everyday, bit by bit, than Aids, Alzheimer’s and Al Qaeda combined!

2) If you don't die of diabetes, there is a good chance of you turning blind because of the brilliantly white clothes she wears, everywhere.

3) Unconfirmed reports have it that she and Ratan Tata used to get along 'nicely' (Her first guest on 'Rendezvous..' was 'naturally' Ratan Tata). Thankfully, better sense prevailed on Tata and Indian industry was saved. This attempt to 'weaken' the mind and attention of the symbol of India's industrial might, is in itself, a Capital offence.

4) She is a perfectionist with a fetish for cleanliness. Such people are invariably fascist with psychopathic tendencies. These tendencies are well camouflaged under their outwardly saccharine appearance. Watch out!

5) Her movie career was forgettable. Simi is now exacting revenge on all Indians for not going to the theatre to watch her releases (read point no 4 again).

Can you think of more reasons? Write to us and we will send your comments to Simi.





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BlogToon: Radical Bird in the Bush !

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CurrentAffairs: Supriya Sule needs to be given Narco-Analysis test?

Thursday, September 07, 2006 Digg! Add to Technorati Favorites
Amul's 1986-87 advt. when Pawar returned as Maharashtra C.M



So after years of dilly dallying and to-ing and fro-ing Supriya Sule (Sharad Pawar's daughter) has jumped into Politics. Cousin Ajit Pawar, we hear, is not amused. Only time will tell how this particular family drama will unfold, but a little bird tells us that Ajit may break away, a la Raj Thackeray, if he feels Supriya is getting away with all the cream.



And cream there is a plenty. Sharad Pawar once famously claimed (after being exasperated with accusations of unimaginable stash of wealth) that his family had always been well off and landed, and that if someone gave him a sum of Rs.400 crore, he would sell him all he had. But no one in Maharashtra quite believes that’s all of Mr.Pawar's net worth. Estimates range from the plausible to the wild, but people have always believed Mr.Pawar is worth at least a few thousand crores and many believe a bulk of it to be illegitimate.

So if Maharashtrians are shocked by the outing of the Telgi CD, its only because they are getting to hear Telgi taking Pawar's and Bhujbal's name on T.V. Not because people were shocked of Mr.Pawar's alleged graft.

It's unfortunate (for Supriya) that the revelations have hit her brightest moment. But many people thought she had not been very bright to claim that "she hadn't discussed her Rajya Sabha nomination with her father" or that she deserved the seat because of "her hard work". Even a kid woudn't believe Ms.Sule's entry is not because of her lineage. Maharashtrians also got to know the same day (when she had to file her income statement to stand for election) that Ms.Sule was worth a staggering 40 crore . Of course, if she is worth that much without pursuing any professional/business activity, the "hard work" she has done (of inheriting the wealth from her father/hubby) must indeed be very hard!

So we propose the matter of how Sule acquired this wealth be settled through another narco analysis test- this time Supriya's own. It would be another round of "hard work" for her, but me thinks it's worth it. What do you think?

BTW, if you are interested to know more about narco-analysis, polygraph and other forensic tests visit this excellent article printed in the Deccan Herald here.

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PopularCulture: Howard Stern:Wrong, but SO funny !

Wednesday, September 06, 2006 Digg! Add to Technorati Favorites
I was watching some of Howard Sterns clips on 'You Tube' (for the first time) and I have never laughed so much in my life before. The man's a certifiable maniac but what the hell- he gives you a wild laugh.

I have been meaning to view the show ever since I have heard of him (which was when he started to be fouled by the FCC, in the States, via fines of millions of dollars for content deemed not fit enough to be aired). But since his show is not aired in India (and knowing the Indian censors and the likes of Pratibha Nathani, will probably never be), it was only courtesy 'You Tube' that I could check out some of his all time famous stuff and his appearances on celebrity talk shows (David Letterman, John Stewart) etc. And? Well, as I said before- the man's a certifiable maniac - lol's !

Where to start? Sample this- in one clip, Stern has Jenna Jameson (porn star and porn business woman and a celebrity in her own right) riding a contraption called 'The Sybian' (which is mankind’s gift to womankind to enjoy- how shall I put this- moments of intimate pleasure, using motorized vibration). Once you are through that, you can view the same device being used by a granny who can barely walk (you read it right), and who warns you " not to get excited if I lift my skirt up", before riding the Sybian to ecstasy. As the person who put up these clips on You Tube has rightly said, its all "So wrong, but sooo funny".Now that you have gotten a taste of the kind of content Stern produces, you can learn more about the man and what drives him, through this feature that NBC did on him. If your guts can still take it, watch Sterns appearances with David Letterman and John Stewart- but only if.

On the other hand, chances are that you will be genuinely offended with this kind of humor. If you enjoy off the wall humor which is of the (extremely) risqué' variety- go ahead. Otherwise, don’t even think of tuning in.

After watching NBC's feature on Stern's private life, I am personally convinced, Stern does what he does for the money of it and he is not the same Stern in private life as the man behind the mike. The host interviewing him, asks many a times, "Who is the REAL Howard Stern"?


(Howard Stern's OUTRAGEOUS autobiogrpahy)


Stern himself has tried repeatedly to answer this question in several other interviews (and this one) saying that the man on the show IS the real Stern and claims that in his 'off the show' life "he feels like he is play acting" and only when he is behind the mike and starts doing the crazy things he does, does he feel genuinely himself. Well, if that's true, Stern is the most extreme case of Split Personality Disorder there is. Because in his personal life, he admits to being quite polite, a dutiful and loving son, father and husband. The same Stern who cracks jokes about "his mother having a thing for him" cause "she asked me a kiss on the lips and which mother asks for that?" or the Stern who goes on air and jokes about his wife's miscarriage, is also remarkably (by his own admission) family oriented.

I got the feeling that Stern's family goes along with this kind of crap, because they have accepted that Stern's antics will keep the money rolling. Stern's wife was asked whether she felt his show was appropriate for kids and she said she "...did not see anything wrong with it", while appearing unconvinced herself!

Stern on the other hand claims that he is "always angry" at something and somebody, and that’s what drives him to do the crazy stuff he pulls off.

I love Stern and his antics. I think he is just the kind of guy who adds color in this world and makes life the wonderful thing it is! And what's the answer to "Will the real Howard Stern please stand up?"? Who cares? As long as he continues to do his own thing, we would like to believe that the man behind the mike is indeed the 'REAL' Stern.

Roll it '#@#^%&" on!

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BlogToon: Good Morning Viagra

Tuesday, September 05, 2006 Digg! Add to Technorati Favorites


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Get Sporty: Sania Mirza- India's tennis sensation is floundering against expectations?

Monday, September 04, 2006 Digg! Add to Technorati Favorites
Nobody needs to tell anybody, in India, how popular Sania Mirza has become. Since the time she shot on the international tennis circuit, she has become almost a household name in India. As her ATP rankings shot up (she jumped from No 206 to 31 in the world rankings, last year) her popularity shot up too(a google search on 'Sania Mirza' threw no fewer than 1,060,000 results and many a fan club site).

But those heady days seem to be petering out.Sania has found the going tough lately, and breaking into the top 15-20 ranks seems to be a distant dream, given her current run. She has crashed out of almost all the tournaments that she's played, in '06, in the first or second round and not won a single tourney.

So would Sania join the ranks of Leander Paes, Mahesh Bhupathi as another 'also ran' on the singles circuit?


While that is not a impossibility, the fact is that Sania has one most important friend on her side- 'Time'. At just 20, she's has at least 10 years of tennis left in her, barring the ever present danger of injury related time/crash outs. This means that Sania has the luxury of time, to correct the flaws in her game. On the other hand, many pros believe, that that in itself, does not mean that Sania can keep improving forever. Every player has a peak beyond which it is difficult to move on- a plateau of aptitude (physical and mental) and attitude, which makes it difficult to move past an unseen barrier. There are some though, like Mahesh bhupathi, who believe that this stage is still a far beyond for Sania, and she stands a sporting chance of breaking in to the top 15 ATP rankings.

Sania's think tank has already made the important decision of hiring Tony Roche (who coaches none other than Tennis's all time great-Roger Federer). Roche's services don't come cheap, but many believe that Roche can help Sania overcome her Achilles heel- her serve (particularly her second serve). To be sure Sania already seems to have made some progress in that direction. Her traveling coach John Farrington, has also helped her improve her other weak point- her back hand.

Sports watchers though, are more worried about Sania's penchant to get into unnecessary controversies, which many believe, have needlessly diverted her attention and concentration. International tennis circuits are notoriously tough on players nerves and many players and their families do everything to ensure, that the player thinks about nothing other than the game itself. Many players actually deem this important enough to carry psychologists, wherever they travel, at a hefty cost. But Sania's haughty temperament has put her into a spot at times, while at others, its an assorted bunch of ulemas, radical elements that have stoked needless controversies- from the length of her hemline to whether a Muslim can play tennis at all! If Sania has managed to let this not affect her temperament, she must be superhuman.

While she fends of the weight of these controversies, Sania must also doubtless be feeling the weight of another equally worrisome baggage- the considerable expectations of her fellow countrymen, although (again predictably) she has always denied that she lets this affect her game. Indians always expect too much from their sports stars, maybe because there are very few genuine players of international calibre,in the first place. So the few that are in contention, find themselves buried neck deep under expectations of hundreds of millions of sports lovers. Many a times, its just the pressure of matching up to these, that gets to many a player.

Its time that we let Sania be and come up to whatever level she is capable of. That- along with Sania's own hard work- is the only way to ensure that she rises up, as far as possible. Otherwise, we might just end of killing the hen that lays the proverbial golden egg, under the weight of our own expectations.

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BlogToon : Desperate Housewives

Sunday, September 03, 2006 Digg! Add to Technorati Favorites

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EtcEtc: Manish Arora's Cock & Bull collection

Saturday, September 02, 2006 Digg! Add to Technorati Favorites
Exhibit a) on the left is the national dress of Planet '&^$^##$*&' and Exhibit b) below is worn on Planet Earth, when some ladies feel especially horny.
Disclaimer: All trauma arising from viewing these pictures is the
sole responsibility of the designer Manish Arora.

Of all the weirdo’s that dot the fashion scene in India, Manish Arora takes the cake. The only good thing about him is that he does not seem to be effeminate like the rest of his tribe. But he more than makes up for that by making his clothes as unwearable as possible by using "... silhouettes of trapeze, bubble, empire line, smock, shift, teamed with breeches, cigarette pants, tights, shorts, skirts in fabrics that are splashed with all the colours of the rainbow and prints...blah blah blah", according to a website covering the event.

Who wears these clothes? Where? And yet, SOMEBODY has to be buying them...or else how could Arora continue to churn these horrors out, year after year?

Is there a dark secret corner of the world, which is still undiscovered by discoverers, from where people buy Arora's collections and then go to parties/ work?

Can anyone please take a picture of REAL people (no aliens please) wearing Arora's clothes, after they have bought them? PLEASEEEE ? The suspense is killing me.

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