January 30, 2011

News is always entertaining if you read it after a month!

Don't believe me? Let me illustrate!


If you’re a politician planning to go on an indefinite fast in Andhra Pradesh and wondering what time of the year is good – December it is! The summers are too hot and dehydrating. The monsoons are not conducive for sitting in open grounds in public places. January has Sankranti – the most important festival for Telugu people which leaves December to be the perfect month for fasting.

December continues to be the most entertaining month. Unexpected cyclonic rains damaged the winter crop in coastal regions of the state. The govt. promptly announced a Rs. 400 crore relief package along with interest waivers on loans. But few politicians were of the opinion that 400 crore is not enough! What followed was a three way passive aggressive non-violent battle of the hungry, for the hungry by the power-hungry! Let’s look at the events as they happened.

Chapter 1: Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy

If a person holding a government job dies young while in duty or otherwise, the govt. arranges for his son/daughter/spouse to have the deceased person’s job to ensure financial security for the family. Y. S Jagan thought that the same rule applied for the post of Chief Minister too! So when his father Y. S Rajashekhara Reddy died in a helicopter crash, Jagan felt he deserved to be the CM but Sonia told him it doesn’t work that way.

What ensued was a long, hard and bitter break-up with the congress party which resulted in Jagan starting his own political party. Being the youngest political party craving for attention, Jagan felt that he can best serve the affected farmers by going on a fast for two days (conveniently over a weekend).

Chapter 2: Chandrababu Naidu

People have long been telling him that he had no right to feel sorry for the poor farmers because he neglected them when he was the Chief Minister. But deep inside, Naidu is not the kind of a person who wouldn't help farmers if there is an opportunity to make breaking news.

Being the fiercely competitive person he is, Naidu tried to out-help Jagan by demanding even more than what Jagan is demanding for the farmers! While Jagan demanded only better compensation, Naidu wanted the cyclone to be declared as a National calamity! Jagan went on a two day fast over the weekend. Naidu did an indefinite fast which lasted 8 days (falling one short of KCR’s 9 day fast last December)

Chapter 3: The Congress

Needless to say, the congress didn't give a rat’s ass about their colleagues in the opposition. However, all the fast and the furious business brought back memories of being in the opposition for a few congress MPs and in a fit of nostalgia, they announced that they are going on a fast even though what they wanted was a phone call away!

They demanded that criminal cases against criminal students (who had fun burning buses and damaging public property protesting for a separate Telangana last December) be dropped by the govt. The MPs skipped a meal and the cases were dropped!

Chapter 4: The Media

Three hunger strikes from the three biggest parties in a span of ten days! The breaking news media couldn't have asked for a better Christmas present. Both Jagan’s and Naidu’s fasts were covered exclusively by the media. The usual attractions like media’s hyperactive concern for their health, trying to extract redundant information medical from doctors with poor communication skills, bus burning ceremonies and intravenous force feeding etc. were a huge hit!

Often, the media was confused on who deserved more attention. A lot of celebrities visited Jagan during his fast whereas Naidu’s health was failing. Ordinary folks, these are no ordinary dilemmas for the media to solve!

NTV (Naidu’s friend channel) led from the front by flashing Naidu’s live blood pressure and blood sugar levels setting the standard for covering future hunger strikes! Notable performances from the print media include The Times of India as it rose to the occasion and declared Jagan as the winner in a sort-of-editorial piece titled “Y. S Jagan's fast better than Naidu's?”

Chapter 5: The Farmers

Farmers? What farmers?

January 22, 2011

The Ads must be Crazy

I know I haven’t updated in a month. It is mostly because I was on a 6-week holiday (yes, for 6 weeks!) mostly at home with my brother working on a secret project. The holiday was awesome and the secret project is now scrapped... so happy new year!

The first NRI thing my brother did after coming to India was to get all psyched up about cricket. He made me watch a test match on TV! The cricket was awesome but the broadcast... well let me sum it up for you. Watching cricket on TV in the IPL era (2008 onwards) makes me feel like a loser. Here’s why…

Ads between overs

First of all, we have to watch the same ads over and over and over again! As a kid I used to do it all the time without getting tired or irritated. I wonder how I did it back then. I must be pretty dumb as a kid to not question that practice!

As If watching an ad for 50 times is not annoying enough, Akshay Kumar features in every other ad selling everything from gold loans to cheap mobile phones! It’s the price we all have to pay for being cricket fans I guess!

Have you noticed that soft drinks are not advertised during cricket matches anymore? I wonder why. Have they reached market saturation or are they being outbid by the insurance companies? I really want to know because cola fights were much more fun compared to people asking you to buy insurance, cars, cheap mobiles and paint.

Speaking of paint – why do they have to sell so much paint on TV? Since when is painting your home the most romantic thing in the world? It’s is a horrible activity that involves squeezing the furniture of one room into the rest of the house and then repeat the exercise for each room. Also fresh paint stinks!

In the pre-IPL era ads were shown strictly between overs. In the IPL era, it is the cricket that is strictly between the ads.


The simple joy of watching cricket on TV is now sabotaged by these corporations who are selling the middle class viewers an Indian version of the American dream where everything is for sale and everyone is sold out...

The broadcasters of the gentleman’s game are like gaudy, tasteless pimps and cricket is their bitch!

You Can't Win

The worst thing about this kind of exploitation is that there isn’t much we can do to fight it. We can’t hit the streets to protest. It would look ridiculous! Besides, the editorial columnists will remind us that there are far more important things to worry about.

This is it folks, there is nothing we can do to stop them from insulting us. There is nothing we can do to make them treat us with a little respect. We may blog the hell out of the issue but I am sure the corporations will continue showing the middle finger in the middle of the over and there is nothing we can do! And that is why watching cricket makes me feel like a loser.

P.S: Cartoons courtesy: Satwik... You should totally check out his comic strip on cricket, Taking Guard - @ http://takingguard.wordpress.com/

@Indibloggers: this post on indivine -- http://www.indiblogger.in/indipost.php?post=45535