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.