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