Friday, December 28, 2007

Hindutva and radical Islam: Where the twain do meet

When you come across an article which says everything you all along wanted to say, which articulates superbly what you yourself had strongly felt, which tries to tell something that's almost a taboo to say in our media, it makes it a delightful experience to read. Dear reader, please read this column by Arun Shourie in Indian Express.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Victory for democracy

Normally, elections are fought between political parties. Media's role is ideally that of an observer. Gujarat 2007 was different. Media's role was that of an active political participant. There was a clear bias that media blatantly displayed against the incumbent. Modi, the incumbentChief-Minister, had to fight not just the Congress but also the partisan. Despite the tremendous development work which he had carried out, despite a terror free, riot free Gujarat he delivered, the media was loathe to acknowledge it. Even when they did, it was grudgingly. They called him names that can be euphemistically described as unparliamentary. Enthused by a complementary media, the Congress breached all levels of decency and called Mr. Modi 'Merchant of death'. Modi said that this would be an election only based on development agenda. But when somebody abuses you the way the Congress and the media did, that too in the midst of an election campaign, one would be forced to respond. And when he did that, he was accused of 'communalising' the agenda. But Modi carried on unperturbed.

Modi, also had to fight the very visible dissidence in his own party. The RSS also, reportedly, was not very enthusiastic about Modi's 'style of governance.' So Modi took it upon himself to carry the BJP to another victory. He placed his hope in the hands of people.

The election day arrived. People came in huge numbers. Exit pollsters theorized that large turnout means bad news for BJP. After two phases of polling, these shameless creatures called psephologists, who pride themselves on getting stupendously wrong every time, predicted that Modi may just scrape through. They said landslide victory for BJP is impossible while a congress victory is not impossible. They attributed this 'hypothetical' loss to such unverifiable reasons like 'authoritarian rule', 'Modi not being a team player' and whatnot.

On counting day, when it became increasingly clear that Modi was heading for a comfortable win, to me, it was the greatest victory for democracy. Here's a leader who goes directly to the people and ask them to vote for him for whatever good he has done to them. People respond to him and how magnificently. They give him another landslide win. It clearly showed, in a democracy, no matter who is with you or against you, you can win if people are with you. People are the power in a democracy. This was just what the Gujarat election exemplified in an unmistakable way. It also showed people will be with you if you deliver them good governance and provide an environment that's terror and violence free.

It also meant, quite significantly, that media should now have to seriously to introspect about its conduct, about its objectivity or the lack of it. Otherwise the media is sure to lose a lot of credibility pretty fast. Men like Yogendra Yadav and Dorab Sopariwala, had they been in any other job, would have been fired for their colossal failure in their job. Never have they got their predictions even remotely near the actual figures. Particularly Yadav, exhibits too much of his political inclinations and that is something that is disturbingly blatant for a viewer to see in a credible political analyst that Yadav claims himself to be.

Finally, congratulations to Mr. Modi. He is certainly the man of the moment.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Tagged

Siri, tagged me. Infact she didn't. She merely asked whether I could take the tag, with which she was tagged, forward.

This 'tagging' business, to be honest, appears very childish. I tag somebody. The said somebody has to write, as a consequence, things like,
5 things I would do if I had born fifty years later OR
5 things I would do to succeed in pet keeping OR
5 things I would avoid eating after lunch on odd numbered days OR
to put it more generally,
'n' things I would/had/should/similar-meaning-word followed by random combination of English words.
Here n is an integer >= 5 and preferably a prime number.

You would also have to write a list of five things that you would not do or would not want to do. GuruWrites is giving a general format for that too. Here it is.
'n' things I would-not/had-not/should-not/similar-meaning-word followed by
random combination of English words
Here n is an integer >= 5 and preferably a prime number.

And the tribulations of the person tagged does not end here. He has to 'tag' someone else. And then the agony shifts to that person.

This being the case, it's hard for me accept the offer of carrying forward the tag. But being the nice person that I am, I shall give it a try.

Here goes the 5 things I think, I would want to do before turning 60

  • Have children
  • Retire
  • Become the nation's Prime Minister atleast twice.
  • Visit Azerbaijan atleast once
  • Bridge the gap between the dialectic and the didactic. Probably make a movie that achieves this task. (Arjun, sorry for shamelessly using your 'idea'.)
5 things I would not do shall not be listed for lack of enthusiasm to list the same.

And nominating the next tag-bearer is also a task I shall refrain from doing. If any of the zillions of readers of this blog want to take it up, they are free to do so.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A Tribute To Competitive Exams

We, frends, were talking, or shall I say reminiscing, our high school days a few days back. Why do we do this as frequently as we do? Because it's absolutely funny. Or so we think. And one of the, now inexplicable, things we did in High school was taking competitive exams. O how competitive we were! If only competitive is defined as taking competitive exams whenever and wherever it's held.

Whether we had it in us to succeed in some of those exams was never an issue. Not because we were geniuses. But because we never cared about it. Maths olympiad preliminary round we took despite cognizance of the fact that Maths, and Maths of the type that's seen in olympiads, was not our forte. And we, i.e, me, him and him took the exam alongwith many others. And took it with an air of confidence that would have put to shame even the eventual national level winners. That we were far from being successful does not require mention.

Then there were talent search exams. Not just the popular NTSE. There were numerous searches of similar hue to find out talents that are hidden, or are lost, somewhere amidst the chaotic great Indian school system. The probability of finding one or all three of us writing these exams intended to search talent, whenever it was held in Bangalore, was 100%. (If we weren't there then it would have only meant that only the organisers and their kids were taking the exam.) Despite that, none of these searches found us. Oh yes, one of them, NTSE, did find Arjun. He, if my memory is correct, won a state level scholarship too. He, again, if my memory is correct, refused to take that scholarship as a mark of protest against the sheer injustice meted out to us in a majority of these talent search exams.

Well, if you thought only Maths and science interested us then that just shows how grossly you have misunderstood us. We, again the previously mentioned trio of me, Arjun and Arvind, took Ramayana and Mahabharatha exams as well. If you thought we took it just because the exam fee was low and we had money at our disposal to afford it, you are again wrong. We took it with all seriousness. We read the prescribed books 'Kishore Ramayana' and a similar one on Mahabharatha for the respective exams. I read both but wrote only one of the exams. Infact, much of the 'critical acclaim' that the Mahabharatha series on this blog received, can be attributed to a thorough understanding of the great epic which inturn was possible only because I studied for the aforementioned exam. Arvind wrote both the exams. It was widely reported in unknown media circles that he passed the examination in 'flying colours'. He, though, flatly denies such allegations.

During the same time, we came to know that ISKCON was conducting exams to ascertain the level of Krishna consciousness in high school students. I, though being a religious person, never had(and neither have now) much faith in ISKCON. But competitive spirit was the overriding factor which made me write the exam. So did the other two. ISKCON had published a book on the life on Krishna, targeted for high school children I believe. This was the prescribed textbook. It had the phrase 'transcendental nature of the supreme Lord' all over it. The exam had a multiple choice question paper. Questions had options which were as far away in context as society and chemicals. Here's a sample:
Krishna consciousness helps you
a. Get more marks in social studies
b. Donate money to ISKCON
c. Play ice hockey
d. Helps you have a healthy heterosexual life
We had quite a good laugh writing it. And thus was added another exam to an already lengthy list of exams we took.

Anyone who studied in Vijaya High School with Samskrutha as the first language would have invariably taken the exams 'Prathama', 'Dwitiya', 'Truthiya'. Atleast the first one. And some like me would have taken all the three and subsequent ones too. This being the case how could we be left behind. Our high school, which gave absurd importance to exams like these, had special coaching classes targeted to train students to achieve excellence in these exams. We attended those classes too. Wrote the exam. And added one more participation certificate to our academic profile. Nothing more.

One more exam for which our school conducted coaching classes was Vedic Maths. By now, I need not tell that the participants of this exams included me. Arvind too. Arvind shamelessly scored a 100. He got a plastic medal for that. He was awarded that medal in front of the school assembly. The embarrassment on his face was way too obvious. I cleverly avoided this embarrassment by getting 99 and thereby getting only, what was in abundance by then, the participation certificate. The reason for getting that one mark less was I answered wrongly the question which asked us to name the exam's organising organisation. This apparently was on the question paper itself. But it did not come to my notice.

This competitive streak and overestimation of our abilities also meant we took the IIT entrance exam a couple of years later. What happened there should be obvious to you by now dear reader. That's it for this post then.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Lesser known truths

While a lot has been said about Gujarat, Modi, Godhra, riots and suchlike in the light of the recent sting operation, but all of them tell the same story or the same side of the story. The secular media doesn't want people to know the other side. But the other perspective too needs to be given the space it deserves. But unfortunately the Indian media doesn't care for such niceties.

Here are a few links that tells the other part of the story, the lesser known truths, the truths that were distorted by 'secular considerations', truths that can render a person, revealing them, 'communal' in the eyes of 'liberals'.

Here , Swapan Dasgupta argues that Gujarat has outgrown the riot. He says,

"The riots -- horrible as they were - are fast becoming history. The people of Gujarat, both Hindus and Muslims, have moved on. No one, and certainly not the Congress, wanted the forthcoming elections to be dominated by sectarian tensions. There are other pressing concerns. By resurrecting the riots, without at the same time being able to nail Modi personally, the sting has raised the communal temperature needlessly and fuelled minority victimhood.
"
Chandan Mitra, here, questions the political motive behind the sting operation. He also points out the "unreliability of oral 'evidence' proferred by alleged activists who are prone to build myths around themselves and love to brag."
"I have narrated this personal experience to point out the unreliability of oral "evidence" proferred by alleged activists who are prone to build myths around themselves and love to brag. This is a tendency common in India, particularly in small towns and villages. This is not to suggest that the entire body of "confessions" gathered by the sting operation is false or exaggerated. It is possible that some of the people captured on hidden camera actually perpetrated those gruesome acts. My limited point, however, stands: Unverified information can be highly misleading and will certainly not stand scrutiny in a court of law. So, the exultant reaction on the part of the multi-million Gujarat Riot industry may be premature and misplaced."
Offstumped, investigates the not-so-obvious motives for the sting. Read on.

"Well the links to ISI real or imaginary have criss-crossed Tejpal’s paths more than once. When one looks at the impact of the latest stink outside of Gujarat one cannot but help view them in light of the recent terrorist attacks and the radicalization of Muslim youth. Offstumped had only recently pointed out that the radicalization of the disenchanted mind is of greater concern. The riots we can detect and control but the radicalization we have no measure of Offstumped had then said."
While these were mainly about the sting operation, it's impact and it's motivation, here, Arvind Lavakare points how the media does not even bother to mention the fact that mearly 30% of those killed in those riots were Hindus. He also asks as to why 40,000 Hindus were rushed to relief camps.
"Since no ‘secularist’ or ‘liberal’ or ‘objective’ person ever challenged the above sets of figures, some questions arise: Who killed 200-odd Hindus so early in those riots? Was it the police or the Hindus themselves? And what made those 40,000 Hindus rush to relief camps? Was it fear of Hindu mob violence, rape, arson and murder?"
Modi says he will seek re-election solely on the development work he has done. Here's a look at some of those development works.
"Earnst and Young, an international consultancy firm, has surveyed the total development that took place during six years of Modi Government. It commented that "Gujarat is a shinning example in India's economic development and self-reliance". This report lists 72 path-breaking initiatives undertaken by the Gujarat Government. Each one of them reflects innovative endeavour of the Government. It has to its credit the double-digit growth rate, placing the State at top in the country."
So what does the man himself, Narendra Modi, have to say about his achievements and controversies surrounding him? For that, here's a link to the interview he gave to Indian Express. Do read it to hear from the man himself.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Movies and music

This time I shall do something that's done rarely on GuruWrites. And that is to post something that's not nonsense.

Here's a link to an interesting article about 'What's wrong with Bollywood this year'. Well it's not really that column, but this one that's linked to there. A lengthy one, the latter, but an excellent analysis. Well, you can judge me for reading that one completely.

I do not know Hindustani music. But this site about Hindustani music was very interesting as they list the raagas and their characteristics alongwith popular hindi film(and non-film) songs based on that raag. This association with music you have heard is quite a fun way of learning.

That's it for this post. If you thought that this post too was nonsense, then go read the editorial page in The Hindu where you can find stories like this and this.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Board Of Control Of Information And Imposing Appropriate Bans On Random News/Entertainment Media

What is breaking news? Don't know the answer? Here it is.

"If the wife doesn't serve her husband morning tea in time, it becomes breaking news.''
Wow! Brilliant! Somebody has finally given a beautiful definition for breaking news. Mr. Ghulam Nabi Azad, you genius.

"If one reads a newspaper or switches on to a news channel, all he gets is news like blasts, murders, family discord and arson as if the entire country is on fire,"

Yes, how much of a problem this is, is known only to fire-fighting agencies. Anyway, that's my trademark bad joke. But still Azad is right. That's why his Congress friend and Union Minister For Broadcasting (this should be renamed as Board Of Control Of Information And Imposing Appropriate Bans On Random News/Entertainment Media - BOCOIAIABORN/EM) Priyaranjan Dasmunshi has drafted a law wherein the Government will tell the media to tell whether the country is on fire or not. Only then the fire story will be approved. This offers interesting possibilities.

Suppose, common-man Rishikesh's house is on fire. Then he will first have to first file an affidavit in the office of BOCOIAIABORN/EM. When they approve it, he will have to produce that approval to a fire-fighting brigade. Then, if his house is still not completely charred, the fire-fighters will douse the fire.

What this law also means is there can be no live telecasts. Why? Because before telecasting, what needs to be telecast has to be approved by BOCOIAIABORN/EM. So in a cricket match it will be ball-by-ball approval. For obvious reasons, this approval can only be given after that ball is bowled. And since this approval would definitely need 48 hours, there can be no live telecasts. Only those parts of the match that are in 'national interest' will be shown. So only matches which India win will be shown. This holds good for all the other sports, or for that matter any live telecast.

And blogs. Random people who have not registered with BOCOIAIABORN/EM cannot write blogs. For getting registered, you need to satisfy the following requirements:
You need to be a member of the Congress Party.
Should be an ardent admirer of the past, present and future members of Gandhi family and will have to write the first hundred posts about the greatness of Congress President.
Should be an ardent admirer of the President of Congress Party and in the next 100 posts you have sing paeans for the President.
Should produce a photograph of you voting for the Congress party in atleast 2 national elections, 3 state elections and 5 City/Town/Village elections.
And after getting registered, you need to submit each of your posts to BOCOIAIABORN/E. After mandatory approvals and deletions and additions, you can publish the post. The idea is to make it difficult for average misinformed citizens from 'creating disturbances in the society by writing inflammatory or nonsensical or non-erudite of fictional or sensational stuff'. The Congress party works in the best interests of the nation. Always.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Welcome To News

Welcome to news. We begin this day's news by expressing deep condolences for those killed in today's terror attack. The Governments at both the state and central level have condemned it. So everything should be fine. We can be rest assured that Government will promptly do it's duty after any terrorist attack anywhere anytime. And that duty is to 'condemn' these attacks.

Apart from the attack, things are bright and cheerful and funny. Mahendra Singh Dhoni's daredevils lost quite convincingly in today's match against Australia. But he has already forgotten it. So no need to be disappointed at all. Before that, he admitted that the only thing that went right for him today was the toss.

And there is 'suspended animation' - the state of legislative assembly in Karnataka. 'Deft political maneuvers' are already underway, according to news reports, to form the next Government. 'Political pundits' feel that the new Government too would be a 'rag-tag coalition'.

Moving towards the west of the country we stop over at Gujarat. Here the 'ultimate battle of secularists against communal Hindutva forces' would be fought over the next two months. Defeat of 'communal forces', we are told by Rajdeep and Co, will also 'end the spell of hard Hindutva politics that had become rampant in the laboratory that Gujarat had become'. Had heard of physics lab, chemistry lab, biology lab and so on. This one's trendy - 'Hard hindutva politics lab'. But, ironically, doesn't suit the zeitgeist.

In New Delhi. Aadaraneeya Advaniji, has predicted that snap polls are now a certainty in the next six-eight months. Our leader of opposition has been saying this every few months since his 'communal' party lost that 2004 elections. Just for his credibility sake, he would be hoping that this time his prophecy comes true.

These days, our finance ministry gives out news hearing which we should feel good. And this feeling good, Mr FM is believed to think, should be made legally binding on citizens. He does not see any merits in objections to his erudite proposals, policies and projections. This week, his ministry comforted us that the inflation had gone down considerably. But, in a conspiracy by the opposition, people feel that prices of basic commodities are only going up. Not down.

We have no other news whatsoever. We do not believe in weather reports also. You need not have to keep watching this blog till I post my next post. You can engage yourself in other activities that might not contribute significantly to the gross domestic product. Good night.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Mahabharatha Revisited - VI

The sun dawned on the horizon on the polling day. Astute readers might criticise that this is a blatant attempt at dramatization. Even if it was not a polling day, the sun would indeed have dawned.(By doing so, he too proves his existence. In these rational times, this act of proving your existence is very important.) Dramatization or not, the fact was that he rose as usual in the east that day to brighten up the skies under which people would exercise their franchise. People did come out and exercise their franchise. So did they on all the eighteen days of polling.
On each polling day, there were exit polls too on news channels. Their results were discussed threadbare. Some tried to be sensible and said both parties had equal chance and it was difficult to predict and hence didn't predict. Some were bizarre. They ruled that people did not vote at all. Others tried to make a virtue out of their madness by sounding politically abstruse. They predicted that a realignment of political forces would cause a midway unification of votes that would swing the result in favour of a third political pole. Remarkable was their ignorance of the absence of any such third formation.

And finally the polling ended. It was time for counting. As the story writer, I feel enormously powerful at this point. Singlehandedly(or atleast using both hands, since I am typing this using both the hands) I can determine the outcome of an election. I can, atleast in this narrative, dictate which direction the country's politics takes. In a matter of a few words, I can play with the fortunes of political parties. Feels like God.

Ok ok. Enough of these distractions in a narrative as important as this. As with many of my writings, this too can be a 'literary magnum opus'. Regular readers of my blog will note the repetitive use of the word 'magnum opus'. You might also, in a very journalistic way, dismiss me as a dreamer out of sync with ground realities. Or you might totally ignore such statements. Whatever! 'These are irrelevant things Harish. Stop this.', would be the angry cry of those who are still reading this narrative in the hope that this might be funny.

Ok ok. This time I am surely coming back to the story. The counting happened at various counting centers across the country. In a matter of few hours the results were as as clear as crystal. Dr. D had won the elections.

PS 1: This story, if you can call it that, has thus come to an unanticipated climax.

PS 2: This was an attempt at imagining how the final stages in the story of Mahabharatha would have played out in our time. And that story of Mahabharatha was Vedavyasa's work(non-fiction-magnum-opus) penned by Lord Ganapati. Since he steadfastly declined my request to write this series, I typed it with my own hands.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Pinnacle of Twenty20 glory

Unheralded they arrived. A new captain with just over a couple of years of cricket under his belt. A team that was refreshingly young. None(including me) gave them a chance. The odds were heavily against them. But they feared not. They played their cricket magnificently and in the most daring of fashions. Won the first ever bowl-out in T20 cricket, decimated England, packed South Africa out of the tournament, denied Australia a place in the final and made a place for them in the hearts of millions of Indians by winning the first ever World Twenty20 Cricket Championships. Congratulations Dhoni and Co.

Well played Pakistan too. What a final it was! After a long time, a major cricket final wasn't decided till the last ball.

Twenty20 cricket too was a winner. Unpredictability was conspicuous by its absence in the last few ODI world cups. But not this one. After a long time, a major cricket tournament unfolded in the most exciting, dramatic and unpredictable of ways. This made it one of the most memorable tournaments in recent times. Cricket, probably, never had it better.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Mahabharatha Revisited - V

The campaigning began. Nakula and Sahdeva hit the road for a door-to-door campaign. They distributed campaign brochures to every household in important constituencies. Where they could not go, mails were dispatched. Being shrewd businessmen, they decided to promote their second-hand-keyboards venture too. They distributed a second-hand-keyboard for free along with the campaign leaflet. This they did despite fervent pleas to the contrary by the people to whom they gave. Those people's minds were filled with memories of keyboards from Nakula-Sahadeva Inc going to flames when the typing speed exceeded a predefined limit. Their kith and kin had been rendered fingerless. But Nakula and Sahadeva didn't recognize the seething anger against them in people's minds.

While Nakula and Sahadeva were thus a liability to PAD, Bhima was their asset. Not exactly Bhima, but the allegations against him. An Olympic medalist boxer facing a ban due to allegations of taking performance enhancement drugs. There was sympathy for him. The allegations against him were a neo-imperialist conspiracy by America, thought a large majority of people. Consequently, countless number of effigies of American President George Bush were burnt. An American President had never been a target in an Indian election before. Also boxing matches were held at campaign locations to fund Bhima's electioneering. Needless to say Bhima was confident of victory.

Arjuna's campaign was more of analysis than anything substantial. He watched videos of successful campaigns of various leaders in the past. He watched it in speeds that varied from ultra-slow-motion to ultra-high-speed. He practiced whatever he saw. He decided, strangely, to campaign only on the last day of campaigning.

DJ was everywhere; On his blog, on the road, on various public fora, on YouTube and many more. He promised tax exemption for blog revenue. He promised to pay more attention to travelogue writers. But he failed to recognize that bloggers and writers alone can't win him even a single seat.

Dr. D - the angry middle aged man of Indian politics - promised toilets for every home. This, he opined, would give some space to think. He also promised to abolish taxes and regularize corruption. The money obtained through corruption, he suggested, would be divided between the person taking it and the Government. This, he said, would overcompensate the money lost due to tax abolition. In this way, he hoped to kill two birds in one stroke.

Karna also campaigned. It was widely reported to be laconic and incomprehensible. Those who did understand, found it very acerbic. And the other grand old men of KAP too campaigned. So did the rest of the KAP fraternal conglomeration.

And Arjuna's grand campaign day arrived. Krish had come to his house to accompany him. With barely couple of hours left for the public rally, Arjuna suddenly developed a fear for public speaking. Krish immediately gave him a copy of the book How to Develop Self-Confidence And Influence People By Public Speaking. Arjuna read it. Developed self-confidence. And speak he did. And influencing people? Results were going to be the only indicator of that.

Preview of final episode: Election results - Will KAP retain power? Or will PAD regain lost power? Watch out for the final installment of this mega series by GuruWrites.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Deadly software PJ

Question: God is everywhere. But why do we get null pointer exception?


Answer: Because God is everywhere, there is no such thing as null. So you can't access something that is not there. So you get exception.

Credits:
The credit for this PJ goes to three immensely insane minds in our team - Sushant, Bharat and ofcourse me.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Hey Ram!

Conferring knighthood to Salman Rushdie hurts minority sentiments. Prophet Mohammad cartoons hurt minority sentiments. Calling Islamic terrorism as Islamic terrorism hurts minority sentiments. Executing a convicted terrorist hurts minority sentiments. Not condemning Saddam Hussein's execution hurts minority sentiments. The list goes on. So also the government's caution to not hurt such sentiments. And one day they tell the supreme court that Lord Ram might not have existed. What about Hindu sentiments? Who cares!

Let us leave aside the sentiments and examine the statement. Even then it amounts to the Government saying that whom Hindus worship as God, does not exist. This is something a truly secular, religion-neutral, government cannot do as it indicates religious bias. But then who is there to question the Government?

Now coming to the issue of Rama-Sethu, which has created this controversy. Ramayana alongwith Mahabharatha and Gita, in many ways, is one of the bedrocks of Indian culture. In this context, Ram Setu has a very important symbolic value. This is irrespective of whether it's is man made or not. Destroying Ram Setu is, therefore, not just a blow to Hindu faith, but to our culture and our heritage as well.

Considering all this, what the Government has uttered, is indeed blasphemy. The UPA Government needs to be strongly condemned not just verbally but electorally as well.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Software movies

It's surprising that movies about software, software engineers and their trials and tribulations have not been made. Well, they(such stories) might not exactly be great material for cinema, but they can be funny. Here are my ideas for software-movies. (It does not require a connoisseur of cinema to realize that these are remixed ideas. So comments to this effect shall not be entertained.)

Mohan - Software Engineer, Godfather
The computer of a software engineer, Mohan, had been infected with virus. His system was completely compromised. This was the grandest failure of the anti-virus system. When the system fails, a new power arises. So Mohan decided to write a highly malicious virus that would consume all data on it's target machine and convert it into a porn film. And the virus was propogated. There was porn everywhere on every single machine on the planet, except Mohan's, which he formatted. Normalcy was restored worldwide although Mohan was acquitted by courts at every level in every country. But the evil corporate houses joined hands to conspire against Mohan. They decided to write the deadliest computer virus to exclusively target Mohan's machine. In a bizarre climax, Mohan dies of common cold much before the conspiracy could come to fruition.
THE END.

Chak De! Mohan
Mohan, a discredited manager at a software firm, resigns. He joins a startup. There he hires fresh software graduates who have failed at-least once in all the subjects in their engineering course. He teaches them the basics of software engineering. He then motivates them to accomplish a tough project in record time. In an unanticipated climax, all of them die.
THE END

End of post.


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Mahabharatha Revisited - IV

Kunti-Karna meeting happened at an undisclosed location. Kunti told Karna about the circumstances that led to his birth. "So you too are my son and thereby the eldest brother among the Pandavas. If DJ knows this, he would be more than willing to accept you as a consensus Prime Ministerial candidate of both the alliances. Thus, we can avoid an avoidable election. What says you?"
"Ï shall not be party to this betrayal of my friend Dr. D. You may leave now", thus spoke Karna.
What did Kunti do?
She left.

The three electorally disinclined brothers were sad to know that the elections were an inevitability. In his immeasurable joy, Bhima didn't know what to do. He simply ordered a large Veg Pizza along with garlic bread and ate it all alone. Draupadi too was delighted but she did not like Pizza and hence didn't eat it. She instead ate Idli. These acts of gourmandise of both Draupadi and Bhima shall in no way affect the course of the story.

Election dates were announced. It was set to be a long drawn out election spread over 18 days. 'Bloggers Collective' came en masse to accompany DJ when he went to file his nomination papers.DJ asked them all to click more times on the ads on his blog so that the ad-revenues in itself could fund his electioneering. "Weightlifter's Association Of India" members carried huge boulders along with Bhima on their shoulders as they barged their way into the election commission's office for Bhima's nomination. Arjuna called her girlfriend. But she didn't turn up. So he went alone. Nakula and Sahadeva filed their digitally signed nominations online. Krish was their non-playing captain being the key strategist.

Dr. D and his hundred member strong fraternal conglomeration filed their nominations too alongwith Karna. Superannuated Bhishma, the reluctant politician Drona and Krupa, being the key Kaurava-electoral-strategists, too entered the fray although unwillingly.

Opinion polls predicted that both alliances would lose. They concluded that it was difficult to predict who else would win in this eventuality. Dr. Yadav, a noted psephologist with a funny beard, blamed this on stray dog menace. But all opinion polls were confident that it would be democracy that would ultimately win.

Back in the Kaurava camp, there was a bitter fight between chief-electoral-strategist Bhishma and Karna who had been annoyed at not having been appointed as the key strategist. He accused Bhishma of caste prejudice but was careful enough to not anger Dr. D. He also blamed Bhishma for stray dog menace and the mysterious death of ants in south India. Bhishma remained silent so that he could get some publicity ahead of the release of his next would-be-award-winning-autobiographical-book, 'How I got may father married'. Provoked by an unresponsive Bhishma, Karna started a 'Hate Bhishma' community on Orkut. DJ's new blog post on this topic, "Why is DJ happy" became a hit. Ad revenues crossed record margins in two days. Meanwhile, Karna removed the Hate Bhishma community so as to not to hurt his friend Dr. D's electoral ambition of getting re-elected as PM. And then there was some peace in the Kaurava camp.

[Rest of this exciting run-up to polls, poll-day drama, and the results - Watch out for the next episode in this Mahabharatha series]

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Reality Comedy Show

After a long, long time, this week I enjoyed watching the news every bit. If you ever wanted to see reality comedy show, then you should not have missed anything about the nuclear deal over the last weekend and this week.

Yes, it's very obvious that I really have no idea as to whether this deal is good or bad. For that matter neither the 'television experts' nor a majority of parliamentarians know it. The simple reason for that is the deal is so far known only to those who are negotiating it. Even if it is a good deal, I don't know how it will make India a superpower. Then, if that is the case, Azerbaijan should also go for it.

And about those who say it's a bad deal. The Left. A few years back nobody would have cared as to where their thought process 'Left' them? But today the government of India's weakest PM depends on their 'thinking'. But that's not my problem. For me it's amusement at its political best. "Honeymoon may be over, marriage can go on", says the left about the future of their ties with the Government propped up by them. What kind of marriages do leftists have? Is it like they have marriage and then honeymoon to be immediately followed by divorce? Those enjoying the honeymoon, woke up to the reality of a possible divorce and started negotiations to save the marriage. Even if there is divorce, this will be one in which the beneficiaries will not be lawyers, instead it will be news channels.

And the opposition. They, as always, have opposed the deal. Their opposition has been termed as ''opportunistic politics''. Tell me the last time when politics was not about opportunism. The only difference about the opposition this time is that they have not compared this deal to the emergency imposed by Indira Gandhi in 1975.

It happens only in India.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Happy Independence Day

वन्दे मातरम्
सुजलां सुफलां मलयजशीतलाम्
शस्यश्यामलां मातरम् |

शुभ्र ज्योत्स्ना पुलकित यामिनीम्
फुल्ल कुसुमित द्रुमदलशोभिनीम्,
सुहासिनीं सुमधुर भाषिणीम्
सुखदां वरदां मातरम् ||

This is the song that inspired the freedom movement, a song that even to this day can awaken the nationalist in us. "Vande Mataram" reflects our culture and ethos so beautifully. My tributes to Bankim Chandra Chatterjee for giving us this superb song.

My tributes to our beautiful nation. Well done India. Whatever be the problems we are facing as a nation, we have come a long way in these sixty years. Let's celebrate the successes and not whine about our troubles and weaknesses now. Wish you all a Happy Independence Day.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Mahabharatha Revisited - III

Yudhishtira, Bhima, Arjuna were born to Kunti. Nakula, Sahadeva to Maduri. Pandu was the joint-husband of Kunti and Maduri. Since Maduri had died, the four electorally disinclined Pandava Brothers had only Kunti to ask for maternal help.
"Mom, do something?", asked the brothers.
"O my dears, what's bothering you?", asked Kunti affectionately.
"Elections", came the reply in chorus.
"Why? Are the opinion polls predicting unfavourable results for our alliance?", asked the politically shrewd Mom.
"No"
"Then?"
"We don't want elections."

Kunti was shocked to hear this. But knowing that her sons would have some genuine reason for that, she patiently listened to their grievance and assured them of whatever help that she could do. The brothers were overjoyed. It was already late in the evening. And it was a Saturday. Weekend. So off they went to a casino, lost money, went to a pub, boozed, got inebriated, then somehow managed their way back home. On seeing Draupadi and Bhima, they laughed boisterously without any reason. And then they slept.

Now a bit of flashback about Kunti. Kunti had premarital sex. With whom? Though vouyeuristc, this question shall be answered. And it was with Soorya, the sales representative of a 'Solar Energy Solutions' company, who had come one dark-power-cut-evening to Kunti's house to sell solar solutions(with increasing power cuts not sparing even the elite and influential too, Kunti's father had called Soorya to negotiate a solar solution for his home) but found only Kunti. After nine months, Kunti gave birth to a boy. Afraid of the social taboo she would have had to face for this evidence of her illegitimate copulation, she covertly went to a "Home For Kids Resulting From Illegitimate Copulation" and left the kid there.

He was then adopted by a couple who named him Karna. Karna, like any other kid, grew up. At the tender age of eight, met Duryodhana online while surfing Orkut. Found in him a friend he always wanted and instantly wrote a testimonial that gushed about him. Duryodhana and Karna went to same school, same college and also became colleagues in the central cabinet of ministers.

That Karna was her son, was known only to Kunti. "He shall be my trump card to solve the woes of my sons", thought Kunti in a sense of triumph. Immediately she opened Outlook on her laptop and sent a meeting request to Karna for the next day.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Mahabharatha Revisited - II

Since Dr. D announced elections, the PAD had no choice but to face it. But only Bhima and Draupadi wanted an election. And there were reasons for that.

While DJ was busy with writing travelogue and ending up a loser at casinos, Arjuna's thoughts were aimed only at winning the archery world championship. Last time around Drona was there with him as the coach. Before taking the shot at the target, each time, Arjuna was asked on the earphone by Drona as to what he was seeing. Only when Arjuna replied that he was seeing only the target and not the hot females amidst the spectators, Drona would ask Arjuna to shoot. This was revealed to be the secret of Arjuna's success at previous world championships. This time, Drona was not accompanying him, as he(Drona) was busy with elections. So he thought he had to be extra careful to win it this time. He had put in months of hard work for that. "Now all that would be waste. To hell with these elections", Arjuna wondered in deep anguish. Somehow or the other he wanted these elections to be put off for some time so that he can accomplish his sporting ambitions.

Nakula and Sahdeva were self-proclaimed cool-software-geeks who had become cynical about elections. "There is too much of corruption", was their never-changing refrain. They, being the co-founders of Nakula Sahadeva Technologies, were also busy 'corporates' with teething corporate concerns. With just one product, sale of second hand keyboards, they wanted to diversify and expand their product portfolio. This had become a must for them to increase both their market share and visibility. All this, they firmly believed, would not just add to their revenues but also help them achieve customer satisfaction. All this meant that they too were not in favour of wasting time on elections, atleast for the moment.

Bhima wanted elections because he was sickeningly free. Bhima, the weight-lifting olympic gold medalist, was disqualified for two years, the previous year, because he had failed the dope test. That he did not require drugs to enhance his performance was something that people believed sincerely. So, he also hoped to cash in on the sympathy that was generated in his favour as a result. Dope test of a weightlifter was poised to become an election issue for the very first time in Independent India. Weightlifting Federation Of India came out in full support of Bhima. All this and absence of any other meaningful work made him pitch for polls.

Draupadi too wanted elections. Simply because, she wanted the powers and luxuries associated with being the PM's wife. She was also believed to have influenced many decisions DJ took when he was PM. Also she liked the kitchen in the PM's official residence.

But the other four, not favourably inclined to face early elections, secretly met to devise a strategy to somehow avoid it. In that meeting, they decided to ask their mother Kunti for help.

[What did Kunti do? Will she oblige? - All this and more in the next episode.]

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Mahbharata Revisited - I

Note: Revisiting a part of Mahabharata here, is just an attempt at humour. Probably, a failed one as you might find. But certainly not one to demean the characters or story of Mahabharata - one of the world's greatest epics.

Not too long ago, there were two alliances jointly ruling the country. One was the Pandava Alliance For Democracy and the other, Kaurava Alliance For Progress. Pandava Alliance - consisting of, mainly, five founder brothers Dharmaraj, Arjun, Bhim, Nakul, Sahadev and their collective spouse Draupadi - were fed up with this everyday business of running the country. They decided to take a break and tour the country. They gave the reins of power to their partner alliance - Kaurava Alliance For Progress - a hundred member fraternal conglomeration. They hired Kingfisher airways for their travel. And travel they did, across the length and breadth of the country, for fourteen months. And then they came back.

After having returned, they demanded that the incumbent Prime Minister Dr. Duryodhana should hand over the Government that was always theirs. But Dr. D, as the Prime Minister was called in media circles, was not ready for such a handover. On the contrary, he would not cede even an inch of power. He dared them to withdraw support and go for fresh elections. But chairman of the Pandava Alliance, Mr. Dharmraj (fashionably called DJ), was not for confrontation. "Come on dude, let's talk it over a glass of beer.", he exhorted the PM Dr. D. But sensing that talks would not get them anywhere, PAD Women's Group President and wife of the five member PAD Smt. Draupadi, was not at all happy with this. Smt. Draupadi, who was believed to be the power behind the throne when DJ was the PM, along with Bhima, was strongly in favour of going for polls.

But DJ was not in a hurry to go for polls. He was too busy writing his travelogue. He was confident of winning the Booker for it. He barely had time for his favourite game of casino as a result. That being the case, he could not afford time for matters like elections, that he considered, were for the not so intellectual individuals like Dr. D. So he decided to buy time for himself through talks. He intended to send a negotiator on their behalf for talks with Dr. D. Who better than DJ's cousin Kris, an eminent legal expert and who was also the Chief Minister of Western India, to act as the interlocutor. The tech savvy DJ, had sent a meeting request over email to Dr D, for the talks between Dr. D and Kris. But there was no reply from D for 2 days. DJ got angry. You would have expected him to call a press conference to blast out at Dr. D. But he blogged extensively about it in his cool new site whyisdjangry.com. It became such a huge hit that he hoped to earn a million dollars by text ads alone on his blog. The adamant Dr. D just denied having received any such meeting request. His technical assistant then talked to DJ's assistant and figured out that the mail had not been sent as Outlook had crashed before sending. Now that everything was resolved, the meeting was scheduled for the next day.

Kris arrived at the meeting with a new Thinkpad in his hand. Powerpoint presentations would power his talks. Dr. D didn't look at him even for a moment. Members of KAP, all Dr D's brothers, started shouting slogans at Kris. Half of them walked out. Dhrutarashtra, father of Dr. D, was silently watching Kris's articulation amidst all the acrimony. With his dark sunglasses on, that he had got over his blindness through eye-surgery was somewhat doubtful to believe. Dart, as Dhrutharashtra had come to be known amongst cartoonists, was flanked by Vidura, who was his personal advisor. Vidura was so impressed by the look and feel of Kris's presentation that he abruptly got up and told Dr. D that he should give the PAD their due share of power. The people in that hall, which included D's grandpa Bhishma-the-never-retiring-politician and author of "How to win elections and form Governments" , Drona - the electoral manager and the chief-mentor for both the alliances, former live commentator turned psephologist Sanjaya, best selling fiction and non-fiction writer Vyasa and other non-members of KAP, who were nodding their heads in admiration of Kris's presentation, were distracted by this interruption. But they concurred with him. This angered Dr. D. But being a person who was not intelligent enough to deal with such an emergent situation, he just went out and to the loo only to return after Kris had left. Nothing tangible was achieved, felt Kris. Disappointed, he left for a movie.

Dr. D was a loo-thinker. So he had the face of a man who knew what to do, when he returned from the loo. He, despite the harangue that Vidura resorted to against him, dissolved the Parliament and called for elections.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Savi savi nenapu

Ee haaDu tumba chennaagide. Antha hosadenalla. But somehow, I am unable to stop listening to it. Listened to it around ten times over the last 2-3 days. SikkaapaTTe chennaagide.

You can listen to the song here, incase you haven't.

The song

Listen to the song along with video here.

Song video

Sweet and bitter. Nice.


PS: Don't start telling me that it's a remake. I know it.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

A tale of two nations

Azerbaijan. If you ask questions like, "What is it? Which language is it?", I would really like to conclude that your IQ is less than that of an ant. Located in central Asia, Azerbaijan is among the top two in the list of "How good is the country name?" - an exclusively researched list prepared by GuruWrites. The capital of this Azerbaijani speaking nation is Baku. Also monikered Baki in Azerbaijani. Azerbaijan is democratic and more importantly secular. Economic growth - An astonishing 41.7% in Q1 of 2007. It's currency Manat - 1 Manat = 1.10 US$. Such impressive facts about this nation should have made it the talking point at meetings of world leaders, be it at G8 or G6 or G4 or G followed by whatever even or odd number. But that is not the case. So world leaders should not just be condemned for this, they should also resign. And more importantly UN should be dissolved as it has failed to prevent world leaders from ignoring Azerbaijan - a situation that can lead to a situation that can be very tension filled and warlike.

Burkina Faso. The other country in the top two in the list of "How good is the country name?" - an exclusively researched list prepared by GuruWrites. In contrast to Azerbaijan, this country is unimaginably poor according to this. The welfare of the people of this nation, who take pride in calling themselves "Burkinabe", has not at all crossed the minds of world leaders. These world leaders are busy preoccupied with absolutely trivial issues that see no resolution. So world leaders should not just be condemned for this, they should also resign. And more importantly UN should be dissolved as it has failed to prevent world leaders from ignoring Burkina Faso - a situation that can lead to a situation that can be very tension filled and warlike.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

In the news...., Then...., Now....,

A few years back, I could not wait to get hold of the day's newspaper as soon as I woke up. There used to be some news that took you by surprise, that made you sit back and take notice, that at times even shook you. There was the element of uncertainty and unpredictability and a healthy dose of freshness in news, be it political, sports or glamour.

One summer morning in '98, the newspapers screamed proudly of India going nuclear. It is a great feeling, atleast for me, to get up in the morning to realize that your country is among the nuclear-armed nations. Today, you only get to hear that, a nuclear-deal that no-one has so far comprehended, is either in a state of deadlock or that there is 'considerable progress in talks'.

And on another morning, the country's defence minister says, "China is our number one enemy". How many times do you hear such courageous statements, such brazen, or shall I say overt, declarations of enmity? Now, despite a very hostile neighborhood where one is witnessing a coup, the other a civil war and another engaged in a 'Who-will-shoot-the-President" contest,we are told that we are having 'normal' ties with all these countries. Such outrageous falsity!

Much before, IT raids brought out news of unaccounted money hidden, reportedly, in toilets of one former Minister. It was something that made us angry in disgust and at the same time laugh at such ingenuity. Discoveries of unaccounted money these days do not evoke such reactions because the hide-black-money techniques that have come out these days lack such novelty. Infact these headlines haardly catch any attention as it would be like, "IT Department conducts raids across the country; Crores of money unearthed". Come on, it's like saying, "Software industry across the country developed software. Some of them had bugs".

And sports. This has become even worse. Its one area today which doesn't need the help of astrologers. Least expected to win World Cups, a team like Sri Lanka overwhelmed everyone in that '96 world cup. Today, even Mandira Bedi or Ruby Bhatia can say that Australia will be the winner and say that with an air of certainty that would have stunned Nostradamus. So cricket news too will not carry with it any freshness or unpredictability except of course when India plays teams like Bangladesh and lose. Or shall we say even that was not an upset?

Well cricket is not the only game. There is tennis too that has started to follow a pattern. The only difference here is you should replace Australian team with a single individual called Roger Federer. Mindblowing tennis he plays, but again, in the process he too is killing the element of uncertainty that forms an important characteristic of any game. India's contribution here is Sania Mirza. She wins first round and loses second of, invariably, every grand slam tournament.

The other major part of a newspaper is glamour news. The story here is probably not as bad as the other two. There was the Shipa Shetty's 'Big Brother' drama, target-Richard-Gere-for-kissing-in-public episode, 'wardrobe-malfunction' at one of the fashion shows, to mention a few. Such variety! But it's the latest one, Abhi-Ash wedding, that's killing the variety here too. From six months before the wedding till this day, that is more than 2 months after they tied the nuptial knot, it seems every newspaper has reserved one reporter for keeping track of them wherever they go.

Well, you can go on and on about this. Then even this post becomes as monotonous as the news assuming this is not the case now. So, dear reader, I shall end this here and bid you good bye for now.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Presidential Comedy

Call it my political bias or my liking to political satire. But for me, the UPA government at the centre is a sort of comedy that unfolds everyday on the national stage. The battle for India's next President is an example of that. The ruling party put up some names on the 'Presidential candidates list'. Based on the loyalty to the Family, one name, that of Shivraj Patil remained, and it was announced by the party 'leadership' that he would be their candidate and all the others who want to vote should vote for him. But their own allies rejected his candidature, (apparently because he was communal since he did not oppose the installation of Veer Savarkar, who according to the secular zeitgeist was a lunatic-right-wing-divisive-sectarian-fanatic, statue at some point in the not too distant past). An embarassed Congress blinked.

In an earlier era, it would have probably passed a terse legislation saying "Shivraj Patil is our President". But now it called all the allies for a meeting. But this too failed to evolve a consensus on a 'strong secular' candidate who can take on the evil empire of communalism. That the President need not have to take up such a challenging albeit sacred job is another matter. Then the Party and its allies resorted to a brainstorming session where everyone called out a random name. Surprise, surprise, surprise. The name of a certain Pratibha Patil's sounded like that of a person with impeccable secular credentials. 'Who is she?' questioned some at the meeting. 'Whoever, but she sounds secular' came the reply. Media-men were waiting outside. Before announcing to the world this new found secular warhorse, one more test was pending. That was the loyalty-to-the-Family test. This too the new secular warrior passed. And a virtue was also made out of this choice that was a result of elimination and chaos. The world was informed that the UPA, in it's commitment to women empowerment, has decided to field an as yet unknown woman loyal to the Family as their Presidential nominee. And everyone was happy for the moment.

But brainstorming doesn't always work. Pratibha Patel, after becoming the person anointed to contest the Presidential race, made a statement, that said, “We had the concept of purdah to protect women from Mughal invaders. So, they stayed indoors and were veiled, ” Such a statement was anathema to secular thought. It was not at all befitting for a person of such unquestionable secular stature. But the Party and its allies would not admit so openly(which they would have surely done had it come from the communal camp) as she was after all their candidate. Now news reports say she is being asked to apologize and once again become purified enough to fight sectarian-communal forces. A Presidential candidate apologizing to please her political masters so that she can enjoy the pleasures of Raisina Hill isn't really a comedy that this nation can afford though.

Monday, June 11, 2007

'Aadipraasa'

Ee ondu adhBhuta aadipraasava odi, aadipraaasada madaveridaaga banda ee aadiprasa.

KarunaaDali kaaliTTu, kapaTaaTTahaasadi kannaDava khanDisuvaru, klaibhyaadhama khooLa kunnigaLu! Kasturi kannaDada kampanriyada kaNNiruva kuruDarivaru! KannaDaambe! keLalaarenee karkasha kahaLe. KaapaaDu!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Me, GuruWrites, India

Today I turned 23. Around a month back this blog turned one. And just over a couple of months from now, this proud nation of ours, celebrates six decades of freedom. kaalachakra heege uruLtirutte. Adakke innen kelsa illade iro kaaraNa. Heege heLta nanna ee eraDu maatugaLanna mugistini. Jai Hind. Jai Karnataka.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Power of committees

The Gujjar-Meena confrontation is off, atleast for the moment. Rajasthan Government and Gujjar leadership have found a solution. It took one week of violence, loss of precious lives, destruction of properties, blocked highways, stranded tourists at railway stations and bus terminals and many many hours of negotiations to arrive at this solution. And what's this solution arrived at such great cost? A 'three-member high-power committee headed by a retired High Court judge to examine the community's demand for ST status'.

When the said committee submits its report, there will be some more 'negotiations'. And then another 'solution will be hammered out'. And that will be the formation of another high-powered committee, most probably a six member committee, involving people from different backgrounds like ex-cricketers, judges, cine stars, environmentalists, maths teachers(as they are strong in numbers) etc 'to look more deeply into this matter'. And that will probably be given six months time frame. By the time that committee submits its report, the whole issue would have been forgotten. And hence the problem solved.

Dear readers, the moral of this story is that, in India, committees are powerful. They can solve any problem, be they social, political, economic or religious. O Committee, in this country, thou art really powerful!


Thursday, May 24, 2007

Absurdity 24X7

[As I said in my previous post, it has been 3 years of secular rule at the centre. In this post I am just reproducing what I had written some time back about media's obsession with this secular rule.]

Not too long ago there was only one channel named Doordarshan that would give us the days top news stories. And that too only once a day or may be twice at the most. All the top stories of the day would get covered in 30 minutes. All this was before the advent of 24X7 news channels. Now these channels tell us the same 30 minute story for 24 hours. In this array of 24x7 news channels, there are various varieties. One claims to provide Truth First (and then bakwaas) while the other avoids convoluted debates by having gay people with weird names to read news. There are so many news channels that it’s difficult to even name them or at least keep a count of them.

To succeed in this ever increasing competition between rival channels, the “intellectuals” in the media have resorted to “breaking news” coverage of the funniest kind. Such “breaking news” will be very annoyingly flashing on your TV screen whenever you tune into any of the 24X7 news channels. The breaking news story will hardly be a news item. Most of them will be like:

Sourav Ganguly has left for meeting (Who cares whether he has left for the meeting or is having an online chat with Nagma).
PM wears blue turban to parliament

As if such pathetic news items aren’t enough, these news-channel-people are outrageous enough to get into the detailed analysis of such stories.
Vishnu (News anchor): The Prime Minister today wore a blue turban to parliament. This was a very very significant gesture by one of India’s best economist Prime Ministers. Our sources wherever they are have confirmed that the intention behind this move is to tell the people that this Government is a more inclusive-secular-liberal government unlike the previous fascist-communal-divisive government that did not allow some people to wear clothes of their choice let alone realizing their lofty desire of wearing blue turbans. To tell you more about it we have with us, Secular TV’s Rahul who has covered Prime Ministers turban affair extensively.
Vishnu: Rahul, Isn’t this a very significant gesture by the PM?
Rahul: Yes Vishnu. Infact, no other PM has worn a blue turban so far to parliament in the history of independent India. Actually the party President Sonia wanted to wear blue turban to display her commitment to the lofty ideals of secularism, but she renounced that opportunity for the sake of the Prime Minister. Vishnu.
Vishnu: Rahul thank you for that really enlightening perspective.

As if this whole entertaining(sorry, “enlightening”) discussion was not enough, viewers are given a terrific opportunity to become more involved in news programs by asking them related questions like,
“Should we on Ridiculous TV 24X7 also wear blue turbans?”
and asking them to SMS their reply. The poor viewers who do so will always have my sympathies with them.

The real sad news is that there exists in our country today not a single sane, sensible news channel. Maybe, hopefully we will have one in the not too distant future.

A paradigm shift

Few days ago, the UPA government celebrated its third anniversary. It was a celebration of 3 years of unbridled secularism. At the same time the opposition too completed 3 years in office. It hasn't been dethroned even from that position. That certainly is worthy of celebration. They have, for the past three years, consistently opposed whatever the government has done. What more can somebody termed as opposition do? Their opposition is so strong that the leader of the opposition is believed to have said, "We oppose the third anniversary of this Government.". But in this unflinching commitment to oppose, they forgot to celebrate their own stay in opposition for three years.
This brings us to the question, why should we have something called as opposition? Their job is to oppose. To do that, why elect so many people? We can instead have officers from offices like the AG's office, post office and such other altruistic organisations in a committee whose job would be to issue statements against the government in a specified time, outside working hours, in Parliament. And they will be paid handsomely to do that.
And in Parliament sessions, instead of opposition, we will have a 'Pro Government Non Ruling' (PRNG) party. PRNG party will neither be part of the Government nor will its numerical strength breathe life into the Government. It basically exists to praise the Government and boost its morale. If the Government says, "We will provide jobs to ants", then the PRNG party shall issue a statement that says, "We praise the Government's decision to give jobs to ants". Not only will the morale of the Government be boosted but also the Parliament will function smoothly. Lack of opposition doesn't matter as they would have just shouted and walked out after which the Government would have anyway passed any legislation it deemed fit to pass. So, in this way, it will be a win-win strategy for the Government.

Monday, May 14, 2007

'Freedom of art'

People taking law into their hands is inexcusable at any cost. That, beating up someone because his creative work was offensive to others, is undemocratic and uncivilized is inarguable. But when this rule is not applied uniformly, then that's what annoys more.

News channels showed a group of angry men, allegedly from the VHP, barging into a student art exhibition in Vadodara and beat up a student there in protest against the obscene paintings, which depicted Hindu Gods nude, that were on display. Now this type of muscle-flexing is indefensible. But why do these 'artists' always find Hindu Gods and Goddesses as the objects of their mischievous artistic endeavours. Its as if it has now become a fashion among the 'artists' to paint Hindu Gods and Godesses nude following in the footsteps of that 'great soul who has suffered immensely for his freedom of expression' M F Hussein. Why don't they use such creativity to paint Gods of other religions nude? Wont those Gods fit into their artistic scheme? Its simply because they do not have the guts to do so. Now, although beaten up, they survived to see another day. If, say, the sentiments of minorities were the victims of their artistic freedom, no God could have saved their lives.

The media, which prefers to put all men belonging to VHP behind bars so that minorities are 'safe' in this country, is making a big issue out of this 'attack on artistic freedom'. A motley group of protestors in Vadodara was sufficient for them to proclaim that the entire nation is enraged at this 'attack on artistic freedom'. Left-leaning 'liberal intellectuals' use whatever soundbites they get to offer to assert how only they and their allied secularists can save the country's art fraternity. They and the media did not have a word to say when there were violent protests everywhere against Prophet Mohammed cartoons that were published in some other country. A state minister of UP, then, had also declared a prize-money for the head of the cartoonist who was not an Indian at all in the first place. The media then did not talk about freedom of art. They instead harped on how minority sentiments should be respected.

Don't we Hindus have sentiments? Should we Hindus not feel hurt when our Gods are painted in whatever ways the depraved minds of these 'artists' can think of? Why doesn't the media, the 'liberals', the 'intellectuals' understand this? If these issues aren't addressed, then it might lead to a feeling amongst the generally peaceful Hindu community, that what happened to the art exhibitors in Vadodara was right. O God!, what's happening in this country?

Friday, May 11, 2007

Issues that are vital for survival of mankind

  • Drug abuse by ants and insects
  • Making of the Indian constitution into a full fledged movie.
  • How to make the Indian snowboarding team a world cup winning team
  • Economic and military ties with Azerbaijan to fight the growing menace of stray dogs in urban India.
  • Secularism and its impact on global warming.
  • Cross breeding. Particularly, cross breeding of ants and elephants(a procees,which Swaroop believes, will produce pigs), cows and crows.

One Year

GuruWrites completed one year yesterday - May 10th, 2007.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Where is the solution?

The ruling 'secular' brigade(consisting of the 'secular' parties to which the English media and the associated loony-'liberal' intellectuals are subservient) is doing what it does best. - catering to its minority vote-bank irrespective of however damaging that might be to the nation and its security. What started with scrapping anti-terror laws at a time when other countries were busy strengthening them and reached a crescendo with the practical subversion of the court's verdict in the case of death penalty to Afzal Guru now continues with the alleged fake encounter case. The killing, in a police encounter in Gujarat, of a man called Sohrabuddin charged with multiple anti-national activities (many of the charges had been filed by the 'secular parties' themselves when in power, as this article tells us), is being declared even before trial by these secular parties, to be a 'cold-blooded murder of an innocent man by trigger friendly police', thus making Sohrabuddin a 'secular' martyr. The shameless, servile English media dances to the tune of these political parties which further puts the nation at risk as there is no check for this anti-national minority-appeasement politics. Is there no counter to this menace? The only hope, as ever, lies in the people of this nation.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Nanna Kathe - College Days - I

This autobiographical narrative of mine moves on to college days. Like a long drawn out boring soap opera, this too is turning out to be too long for a story that really doesn't have a story. Anyway, much like the self-laudatory 'creative' directors of our soap operas, I too continue this narrative( although with a slightly modified title) with a strong belief, albeit a false one, that this story is interesting. Enough said about the length and the quality of this 'literary work'. Let me come back to the story.

As I said, Harish the Guru - that is me, the proud chronicler of this 'could-be award winning non-fiction magnum opus' - enters his college life. This story, not surprisingly, has the same lazy, easy going theme. Guru encounters another Guru, meets a certain Aravinda, who, much like his name, shared a lot in common with the man who named the author of this 'could-be award winning non-fiction magnum opus' as Guru, had a lecturer who shared the second half of my name and came next only to God, had as classmates boys who made their desks their guide to answering questions well in tests and many more. That there is no mention of anyone belonging to the female gender so far in this post, should not be construed as anything against my heterosexual nature. Its just that the girls, just like in PTA and Vijaya High School, didn't match up to the boys in any respect whatsoever to deserve a prominent mention in this story.

After successfully completing tenth standard education in a manner that is worthy of mention in the next generation of textbooks that will be read by the school-goers of 21st century, I enthusiastically joined National College Jayanagar(NCJ) for an education that was promised to prepare me for the challenges of university education ahead of me. So, if you assume this would be something that I am going to tell in graphic detail, you will be as wrong as you are in thinking that I wont attain literary glory from this work of literary marvel. Whatever the last sentence means! Simply put, there is not much to write about from my days in this college with a hyped up reputation. The reasons for that are many. One, the stay too was for a brief two year period. Two the college was too near to my house to attend the classes daily even for that short period of two years. Thirdly, and more importantly, there weren't any who came close to the entertaining and special characters of PTA and VHS - the ones I have introduced to you so far. This might hurt the NCJ classmates of mine if they happen to read this blog(which is a highly improbable event) , but this is the truth. Truth, say men of wisdom, is always bitter. But there were quite a few really good lecturers, whom, I should say, we were really fortunate to have. Rare gems they were, be they K V Ghanshyam, K S Ramprasad or the inimitable K S Kannan. But in the second year most of them didn't handle our classes due to administrative rejig. At the end of two not so fascinating years of my life, I ended up in an engineering college called Bangalore Institute of Technology(BIT). And the four years I spent there were as eventful, as memorable, as comical and as entertaining as my school days. Its those days at BIT that will form the remaining part of this narrative.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Singing National Anthem Might 'Embarrass' Foreigners

According to one of India's greatest 'patriots' (according to some sections of society), singing national anthem in front of foreigners will embarrass them. To avoid such an 'embarrassment' to the foreigners, what the 'patriot' did was to play an instrumental version of the song. But the infinitely wise 'patriot' - whom the Indian media and a certain section of our society exclusively credit for India's progress in the last decade, could not anticipate the 'embarrassment' even this ingenuity of our 'patriot' would cause to foreigners when people start singing the anthem alongwith the instrumental version. How frivolous the "patriot's" argument was!

When such a simple thing was beyond our "patriot Guru's" comprehension, how can one expect him to have some worldly knowledge which would have told him that singing your own national anthen infront of people from other countries isn't an 'embarrassment' even in the lands of those 'foreigners'.

You might say that why observe the protocol of playing the anthem at all if it's so irksome to you . But then our 'patriot' would not do that being a person "who prides himself on being an Indian". "Heights of hypocrisy" says the true Indian.

Well, why blame the 'patriot'? Probably our 'patriot' is blinded by corporate success and badly afflicted by the disease of being the fashionable global citizen at the cost of one's own nation and national identity. I personally feel that this nation is headed for doom and gloom if people like our 'patriot' are the role models for a young nation like ours. God save our nation!

Dr. Raj - A tribute

It has been a year since Dr. Raj left us all on that fateful day last year. But as with great men, he continues to live on, in the hearts and minds of every Kannadiga. He has immortalized himself through the innumerable good films he gave us, through the pure and pristine Kannada that he spoke in those films, through those evergreen melodies that he rendered that continues to enliven us. His humility despite his stardom is something that everyone of us can learn from. He truly was a great Kannadiga. Our salutations to thee, Dr. Raj! May this land be blessed with more souls like you!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Who's responsible?

Cricket, yesterday, became literally a poorer game with India's quick exit from the world cup. A nation that is quite literally running the game world over with its amazing revenue generation abilities, is rendered helpless by two nations whose combined contribution to the 'growth' of the game is not even a fraction of India's. And ICC looks on helplessly. Such overwhelming irresponsibility!

And as always, the blame has fallen on the wrong people. What can the poor Indian team do? Why should some of them resign? They should not. Instead, a committee should be formed to probe why Jayawardene went on to win the match despite knowing the grave fiscal consequences such an action would have on the "gentleman's" game.

And, even more arrogant was the behavior of the Bangladesh team. How can they be allowed to beat a nation that is cricket's lifeline? What will Bangladesh gain by going to next round or even further? On the contrary, India's exit will cause huge losses to the Indian corporate sector. With rising inflation and with fears of an economic slowdown, this is the least India would have wanted. For their reckless attitude, Bangladesh team should be severely punished.

And finally, ICC should take more responsibility and make all teams sign an agreement that will ensure no more early exits for team India. If these precautions are not taken soon, unprecedented disaster is in store for the 'growth' of the game.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Nanna Kathe - VI

Writing a historical narrative is a difficult task. While writing about the past, sometimes, certain characters, the events that they shaped and the parts of history that those events defined, happen to be left out unintentionally. But such omissions, be they unintentional or otherwise, do not do justice to the past that has brought us to the present. That being the case with this narrative, I decide now to go back in this story to the PTA school days to tell you about those, as yet untold, stories and the people around whom it revolved.

In PTA school, we had a prayer assembly everyday before the school-day started. But what made this prayer assembly stand out from the ones the not so privileged non-PTA kids attended was that it was anchored by our music teacher Radhakrishna. Acting as an accompaniment to the singing was the harmonium of Radhakrishna. Instead of a soothing sound that a harmonium generally produces, Radhakrishna’s harmonium sounded more like a broken drum. For these reasons, he was called by us, the students of PTA, as MJ – Michael Jackson. And alongwith MJ we sang songs from the school songs-book that had everything from Cardinal Newman’s Lead Kindly Light to songs like,
“Namma mane idu namma mne
Ee Hindu Desha Namma Mane”,
(This is is our home; This Hindu nation is our home) which many from the secular establishment now believe was the prime reason for this school producing so many people who in their time of exercising franchise voted decisively for the lunatic, communal right. Well this is just hypothesis; more research needs to be done in this regard to be more cautious in the future about selection of songs to be sung in schools.

Coming back to MJ, he had this habit of calling people by names to which those people generally did not answer to. So, for MJ, Kartik became Bappi, Pradeep turned Latin. And another non-Narasimha Raju became Narasimha Raju. Since he used to do this in the school prayer assembly, these names of Bappi, Latin (these two were in our class itself) became popular across the length and breadth of our school.

And Latin - a reticent, bespectacled young Pradeep - became the character of a hugely popular story, albeit an imaginary one and a product of the imaginative minds of seventh standard C section having story-tellers of the likes of Arjun. Latin, according to that story, would go daily in the evenings to a bar; sit there with his hands holding an alcohol bottle and his legs resting on a table. And there, inebriated, he would, according to the story, sing songs about life, lost-love and many more.

Another person who became famous among students with a name that was not his name was CountryFace. Who was he? Was he the face of the nation? Was he the arbiter of national destinies? Or did he have a face that mirrored the geographical silhouette of the nation? Far from being a man connected with national destinies and geographical boundaries, he was a man who kept vigil at a small library that housed, mainly, loads of kids’ magazine called Misha(This was the only relevant result I got when I googled Misha.).Yes, he was the PTA school librarian. But why such a name? As I told you, this was a name that was not his name. It was the result of translation of his actual name – Deshmukh - to English by Ramakanth(of 20 questions fame).And despite being given such a powerful sounding name, he was dejected(as his face suggested), helpless, incapable librarian who could not even properly manage a library that housed such books as Misha (He would give us Misha for reading even in seventh standard. Probably, in doing so, he said to us symbolically, “Nimma mental level-a ishtu”. And we had no choice except for accepting what he gave because there was nothing else in the library that he could issue). This was amply demonstrated by the fact that Arjun and Sai-Sharan – a man with a great sense of humor – getting a few Misha books in their bags without ever being noticed. These books have not been returned as of this day. But why did they have to steal Misha, of all the books? “Just to test how efficient the system is”, one of them told me. Why didn’t they return? “It was not worth returning”, is what another of them said(I shall not take names here.). Despite his incapabilities and inherent inabilities, Deshmukh - The CountryFace - provided great entertainment as did so many others in this school.

In retrospect, its these characters like Meshwar, Deshmukh, Latin, MJ who made our childhood not just strikingly different from that of kids in other schools, but they also made it profoundly memorable.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Nanna Kathe - V

Ninth standard. That year, I can never forget, for many reasons. One of them being our Kannada teacher H S Sriramakrishna. With excellent teaching and speaking skills, he taught us more than Kannada. He amazed us by showing us how each and every alphabet in Kannada can be written by having a circle as the base. He mesmerized us with stories of his idyllic childhood in his native village. His class would never bore us as his lectures were always filled with rip-roaring humour. And it was humour at it’s best.(Incidentally it was he who told us for the first time, about BeeChi-a master of satire that Karnataka produced.). We could never stop laughing in his class. And when it came to laughing, no one could match Swaroop as he could not stop laughing even a few minutes after the class had become silent.

Silence was infact the one of that many facets of my reaction when I was hit by a cricket ball on that part of the body where being hit hurts men most. And it was during a cricket match that we were playing. Behind the wickets to collect the cricket ball thrown from a distance by Arvind, I was hit by the ball when it avoided my hands and hit straight at the centre. Notwithstanding my pain, inhumane people of our class on that field laughed. I suffered in pain, blamed Arvind solely for what happened, wondered what will happen (though I am perfectly alright to this day) to me and also made an impromptu announcement that I was retiring from this cruel game. This was a retirement that did not make headlines outside that cricket field solely because of the inefficacy of our media to have their ears to the ground. A school-cricketer with nearly double-digit batting average was left high and dry on the battlefield. Let alone the media, not even my classmates took my retirement news seriously. Such things happen only to courageous and determined souls was amply demonstrated by me coming out of retirement a few months later and scoring runs as prolifically as ever.

One more unforgettable funny incident in ninth standard was when I took the Vedic Maths exam. It was for hundred marks. It was so easy that almost all those who took the exam scored 99 or 100. I scored 99 because I did not answer the question which asked us to name the organization conducting the exam. Later I came to know that it was there on the question paper itself. How much more an idiot can one be!

Perhaps that was the reason why we played ‘games’ like pen-fight wherein you had to strike out of the table the opponent’s pen using your pen. Pen, as they say, is mightier than the sword. Probably this was the reason why two girls – Chandana G and Chandana P – were apparently irritated (though it was a kind of fear they did not admit) by pens, which were jolted out of the playing arena (table), and falling near them or their bench. But we did not care for such weak-hearted souls. And the game, as they say, went on.

Life too moved on. To where? Only time would tell. But in our journey through ninth standard such mathematical discoveries with world-changing potential like ‘x = half infinity’ were made; This particular discovery by me and Arjun. Being a few centuries ahead of our time, ironically, turned against us. Incomprehension on their part led and is leading ordinary mortals to believe that this discovery was flawed. As I say often, value of great souls is not realized by their contemporaries. But that doesn’t diminish their greatness. Does it?

Then one day, we started our final year in this school. It was a year we took many tests, because our school thought them to be important for us to do well in that year’s SSLC exam. And such was the single minded determination of some students to score marks in all these trivial tests that they begged, pleaded, argued, shed tears and did what all that their cause(of getting marks and more marks) didn’t deserve. To add to that, all test-papers, except exam-papers, were evaluated by students themselves, though not their own paper but of their friends’. And unimaginable and abnormal was the interest, in each of these tests, of many in my class. This single minded focus on tests and exams forgetting that there was a world outside was a kind of disease that afflicted many in our school. Ironically it also affected a boy bearing the same name as the Lord who gave us the Bhagavad Gita. Although this boy did not show symptoms of that disease then, he too was a victim of that then itself was proved by him falling in love with SI units a few years later. What romantic tragedy!

Then came the “Harish became Guru” moment. I stood on one leg on top of a tank and did tapas in a way that would have put Ravana(who also did a similar tapas, although not on a tank) to shame. Did I ? Absolutely not. This was just a story concocted by . . . ., you know whom, and popularized by two equally insane individuals. I, although, have to admit that this made me popular, for good or bad. “At a time when ‘communalism’ had reared its ugly head in the nation, ’Guru’ has arrived”, thought the ‘secularists’. How much more wrong could they have been! God save ‘secularists’.

Well, I am making this story too long. Probably such irrelevant things like secularism and all are making their appearance. I need to end it here. Otherwise God knows what will I start writing. And what a way to end, other than telling you that we all passed out of this school. And everyone lived happily ever after…., until the college began.

Nanna Kathe - IV

"Where do you find knowledge?", asked the English teacher rhetorically.
"In the dictionary", I answered, not knowing the nuances of a rhetorical question.
The teacher, R C Usha, gave out a stare at me. The stare suggested that there was something fundamentally wrong with this boy. Maybe, it was this realisation that didn't invite her wrath on me that day. That, this incident happened on the second or third hour of the first day in Vijaya High School(VHS), pretty much explains why I open this part with it.
On that first day itself we were introduced to our class teacher, B K Nirmala. "I will be your class teacher for the 3 years you will be in this school", she declared. (In hindsight, this appears to be a warning. You will know why, shortly).

To the hallowed portals of Vijaya High School, only those who secured absurdly high percentages in a seventh standard examination would get admission. (If you can't stop laughing at this admission process, I won't mind. Even I can't, as I write about it.) Atleast, those who managed this feat of getting the required percentage were put into one section, like how they put all lunatics together, in prisons. Probably this explains the fact why this school produced people like me, people who fell in love with SI units, self-proclaimed men who use words like "gala" and "nay" even in this age and time, girls afraid of pen-fights and many more.

And, in that lunatic section, there were four boys-Adnan, Arjun, Harish(yes, that is, I am) and Khalid Fiyaz-who had come from a lesser known school called PTA about which you already know. Shrewd observers of social contours would note how we four represented the spirit of secularism - a spirit which would shortly come under the grave threat of communal forces in this country. Maybe irrelevant here, maybe not.

Before going further, let me introduce to you an important character of this part of the story. This person would eventually be responsible for many events, which includes the author becoming popular as Guru, those times in the class when I got into trouble, me going into semi-retirement from class-cricket and many others. This person, as fate would have it, was sitting beside me on that first day of VHS, with the other 3 PTA whiz-kids to my right.
Somehow I assumed that this person doesn’t know Kannada and in funnily accented English, “Excuse me time”, I inquired him.
“11:30”, came the reply.
Nothing further was communicated between us until I asked the same question after some time.
This time though, all five of us laughed. Apart from getting to know that this person answered to the name of Arvind, it was in a way surprising for me to learn that he too was a Kannadiga who knew Kannada. But when you listen to his Kannada or Hindi, sometimes you will feel as if you are listening to an English accentuated Kannada or Hindi. To that extent, I was right.

Similarly I was right on many other occasions. Apart from that I was also loquacious. This got me into troubles with my class-teacher on a few occasions. This impacted my reputation, vis-à-vis the class-teacher to such an extent that I was denied a half-day leave, one day in eighth standard. Never, until then, had I written a half-day or full day leave letter in my life. Never did I write after that in my academic life. For a person brought up in bunk-class-play-cricket-go-home school like PTA, the concept of leave letters and their subsequent approval/rejection was unthinkable, unheard of. Naturally, this shocked me to such an extent that I quietly went home, had lunch (since in anticipation of half-day leave, I had not carried lunch that day) and came back. Such a dejected soul was in for even more shock when I came back to school. A profound moron by the name of Adarsh, had told B K Nirmala(BKN)-our class teacher- that I had gone home despite not being permitted to do so. As a result, I had to the necessary clarification to Smt. B K Nirmala. What tragedy my life has become in this school, I wondered. Is the school system paying me back for all the not so right things I did in PTA, pondered the philosophical mind in me.

In sharp and telling contrast to BKN, was another teacher called Shri Karunakara V Bhat(KVB) who taught Samskrita and many things that were not Samskrita. He used to tell that we should bunk classes then, otherwise there would be no fun. How many will be like this, tell me? It’s another matter that he also impressed us then, with such rubbish as a logic-chain which would prove, apparently, that “We all come to school to die one day”. Do not worry; I am not going to explain this.

What I would rather tell is about another jejune activity we indulged ourselves in, in eighth standard. It’s this game called ‘book-cricket’. If cricket is considered by some as a lazy game, then probably this game would be a dead-man’s game to them. It involved opening a page in a book (any book) randomly; whatever is the page number of the right-side page, the unit-digit of that number would be the runs scored. If that unit-digit happens to be zero, you are out. (Eight was not considered.) Me and Arjun played against Vadiraj(about him later, hopefully) and Suhas(another proficient hand at this game) one day. In what could be considered as out of the box thinking, we decided to bat second (batting is the above described process of opening pages; there was no such thing as bowling). The opposition piled page numbers upon page numbers (rather runs). Under the pressure of chasing a huge total, the book succumbed. It showed us only those pages whose page numbers were a multiple of ten. We lost.

Nanna Kathe - III

As I told you earlier, we used to get out of the classrooms and head straight to the field to play cricket whenever a teacher was absent. This we were not supposed to do according to school rules. But then rules are to be broken. So we didn’t care on most occasions. But after we were caught a couple of times by our PT master, we tried to get the permission from him and then go. Even if he didn’t we would go without being observed by him. It was just a formality. But to succeed even in this formality, MEshwars head, was believed to be a lucky omen. Before that let me tell something more about MEshwar and his head.

MEshwar, joined PTA in fifth standard. (He almost instantly became famous amongst the whole of fifth standard (which consisted of 100 people spread across 3 sections) for his, “We have a ball factory” statement.) In the same year, he offered the hair that adorned his head, to Lord Venkateshwara of Tirupati, probably as a mark of gratitude for helping him to choose such a wonderful school. Consequently, his head, instead of being hirsute, was more like a thin layer of carpet rolled out on his head. From the last bench, “MEshwar tale nodu,olle MG Road tara ide”, came out the side-talk as the teacher was explaining the intricacies of Biology. The resultant laughter, made the teacher to know about what happened. It was more fun when the teacher was told what happened, loudly and clearly, by the person who said it. Such a head, which shared its appearance with MG road, was considered lucky as far as getting permission for games was considered. So, before going to ask permission, it was customary to touch his head in order to bestow upon ourselves whatever fortune his carpet like head was able to bless us with.

Well cricket and our passion for it, created more comedy. One day, thinking that Mrs Jayashree Kadambi, the English teacher, was absent, the boys of seventh standard C section, headed straight to the field in the first hour of a Saturday morning. Jayashree, apparently not absent, came to the class to find only the girls there. The boys, sincerely playing cricket, were summoned back to class. Jayashree was furious at them. “Do you think I am mad”, she thundered? “Yes”, came the reply from the erring boys. But, fortunately for them, it was not well audible for the teacher. Such audacity, you might think. But that was the stuff PTA’s precocious kids were made of.

Well, they were not just precocious, but perverted too. How else can you explain the fact that in seventh standard, a few students used the dictionary daily to search for profane words? And we had also strengthened the existing vocabulary by adding more meanings to every word. “Ball”, “mender”, “gap” and many such seemingly innocuous words, had other meanings, most of which had sexual connotations.

To such perverted kids that we were, Radhakrishna, the music teacher, would ask us to “Close your eyes and pray the almighty” in the weekly music classes we had. What an irony!

As I write this, more and more little stories come to my mind. I fear writing them all would be at the cost of the already plummeting interest level of the reader in this narrative. So, I decide here, to conclude this part of this continuing story (hopefully). Before that, as always, there is the eternal one final word. That year, we took public examinations for the first time, a first for both the examiner and the student at seventh standard level. Through such meticulous guidance from our teachers and parents like having the hall ticket pasted on our writing pads, we managed to overcome in this exam, as they say, in flying colours. What a happy way, for some of us who joined a different high school, to end our stay in PTA school. Goodbye PTA. Welcome Vijaya High School.