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Archive for 2009

Wednesday, November 18, 2009 - 11:12 PM § in

FOUR BOOKS AND A FUNERAL

I used to think becoming a famous and successful writer was a formidable challenge. Reading the works of literary giants does that to you. I was awed by Dickens' mastery of prose, Hemingway's simplistic elegance, Twain's humor and wit and Hesse's depth of thought. Not to forget Tolkien's creative genius and Conan Doyle's rich imagination. Closer to home, even Narayan's deceptively simple yet charming portrayal of life in small town India seemed so difficult to emulate. I had none of the afore mentioned traits, nor was I anywhere near the same league as these greats. I could, at best, string together some coherent phrases free of grammatical errors, bound  loosely by the pretext of a story. And perhaps add some story elements that would cater to the lowest common denominator( read 'gujaals') and ensure the "masses" could relate to the book by exploring contemporary youth issues, in a crass and dumbed down manner, based on personal experience and hearsay. But junk like this couldn't possibly make one a famous and successful writer, right? Or so I thought.Until I chanced upon the works of a certain Chetan Bhagat.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009 - 7:44 AM § in , ,

Dregs of the Earth

The shocking disclosure last week of our weight lifters having failed doping tests, has caused our nation a great deal of embarrassment. Indian weightlifting has been scarred by the bane of doping for quite sometime, and the present situation isn't really a surprise for those who have been following the sport in India for awhile. However, what is really shocking and surprising is the fact that in spite of being on steroids, most Indian weight lifters still performed miserably in international events!!!

These recent events have cast a shadow of doubt on other sports persons as well. In order to put to rest any doubts regarding doping in India's only sport(for most of the country fellows it is), the Lampoon interviewed Shantakumaran Sreeshanth(SS), one of India's best fast bowlers, and a mallu to boot!(Unfortunately!)

ML:Let's get straight to the point. Are you aware of any cricketers using performance enhancing drugs?

SS:*Putting on fake accent*. No maan! I am note much aware of these things. But even if I were aware I can't tell to in frond of the camera. I will get slapped again!*Gives a maniacal laugh*

ML:Ok fine. Have you ever used performance enhancing drugs?

SS:*Gives maniacal laugh*. Never maan!I don't use dregs to enhance my performance. Otherwise I might have still been in the team!

ML:You have a point there! So you've never taken drugs, um, dregs ever?

SS:Oh!I've taken dregs on a few occasions,but that wasn't to enhance performance or anything. Those dregs just made me do crazy stuff like this!

ML:You've just admitted to taking drugs! They say there is a fine line between honesty and stupidity, but I believe you're on the wrong side of it!

SS:Alla da! I know nobody reads this stupid blog, so I can say whatever I want and get away with it!!Hahaha!!
*Starts doing a little jig, with his characteristic pelvic thrust, accompanied by those weird despicable facial expressions!*

SS:How do you like my new dance moves? I've specially choreographed it to signal my return to international cricket!
*Continues with the tribal jig*

ML:Dude control!People are watching!Sheesh!
*Looks around frantically for a shotgun, but in vain*

And we left him there, oblivious to the world, a crazy mallu doing a crazier jig.
Friday, September 4, 2009 - 10:23 AM § in , , , , , , ,

Yenna da rascala?

'Quick Gun Murugan' , based on the tale of a South Indian Cowboy, reaffirms the fact that we Indians are fascinated and obsessed with stereotypes. Be it the ubiquitous mallu(esp in gelf) wid the funny engleesh axe-scent or the equally ubiquitous surd(esp in canada) who is the butt of all our lame jokes, stereotypes provide us with an endless source of amusement and entertainment. Alas, most of the dumb and racist natives are too prejudiced to realize that stereotypes are merely a convenient albeit inaccurate oversimplification of reality.

For example, take the stereotype of the funny engleesh axe-scent mallu. There are a lot of mallus who speak fluent english, with impeccable accents; like Shashi Tharoor, Arundhati Roy,Nirupama Rao, Govind Paliath to name a few. Or take the general stereotype of a South Indian. A lot of North Indians(country fellows) believe that the whole of south India is one single eshtate populated by funny engleesh shpeaking, wierd mannerishms making(a la Rajini ishtyle) 'Madrasis'. Apart from refelcting poorly on their knowledge of geography, such stereotypes also serve as an indicator of how racist and bigoted we are. It's not like all Sardars are dumb, nor are Sindhis dressed up for diwali every single day of the year. And all bongs don't speak like Pornob Mukerji. Nor are all goltis either Naxals or IT professionals.Moving on,consider the stereotype of the Tambrams(Tamil Brahmins), the studious padips's(redundant adjective?), who spend their entire childhood nerding to clear the JEE/get state rank(preferably both!). But not all Tambrams are like that. For example . . . .um . . . lemme see . . .Tambrams who aren't studious . . .there's gotta be someone . . . .Spectrum Raja? Abhachaaram! . . .Hmmm . . . I give up!Maybe some stereotypes aren't inaccurate after all!

Life comes full circle they say, and as far as stereotyes are concerned the saying holds true!Marathis make fun of Biharis (Biharis don't make fun of others, they wonly make the bhojpuri fillims),while this parsi makes fun of the Marathis, and also just about everyone else . North Indians in general make fun of 'madrasis', and in namma chennai the 'Seth pasanga' are kalaichified(Maranai Kalai/Total Damage).The illiterate and ignorant natives(country fellows) make fun of the mallus. The Mallus make fun of the tamilians, the tamilians make fun of the Golti peopleoo. Golti peopleoo make fun of the OZ's and subsequently get beaten up. The surds make fun of the OZ's while the rest of the nation makes fun of the surds!And to top it all we have the audacity to call others racists! What to do?As a brown skinned native once said 'We are like this wonly'!!
Wednesday, August 26, 2009 - 6:43 AM § in , , , , ,

The Old man and the Whisky


What do you do when you are well past retirement age, have nothing interesting to do and desperately need some whisky? You spend a few years writing a book on some bloke who passed away half a century ago, add some provocative statements that will get you expelled from your 'fundamentalist' party and before you know it, your exorbitantly priced book,which would have sunk without a trace otherwise, is a bestseller!

Although I am no admirer of Jaswant, I must admit that it was brilliant strategy on the old geezer's part. Of course his party colleagues who helped engineer his 'expulsion' must be commended for their fine acting. However there was one crucial flaw that gave them away; they stated that they had gone through the entire book (and subsequently found that it went against 'core party idealogy'), although the book was released only on the 17th evening and Jaswant was expelled on the 19th morning.And we're talking about a 650 pages long book written in english!

Moving on, the recent protests by IIT profs have created quite a stir, at least on the news channels. Their greivances are genuine, unfortunately, and this is indeed one of the biggest problems afflicting our education system(or lack of it). If the IIT's have difficulties recruiting competent faculty wing to lack of adequate compensation, then spare a thought for all the lesser colleges out there.

Most people who do their engineering from the tier 2 and 3 colleges don't really have too many options. They can either join an IT company, go abroad for further studies(if they can afford it) or try clearing exams like GATE,CAT,GRE or even the UPSC exams, failing which they will be forced to join similar tier 2 or 3 colleges for their ME. A substancial proportion of the students end up pursuing the last option and are faced with a very bleak scenario, for save the IIT's and a few other decent instis, graduate engg programs in our country are pathetic and woefully inadequate.The best amongst these grad students(merely a handful) take up research or join core companies. The opportunistic ones join the film industry, while the lowest common denominator enters into politics. The ones stuck somewhere in between join colleges like IIPM.The rest become teachers.

Which reminds me of an adage that is especailly relevant given the present scenario, "Those who can do, those who can't teach".

PS: Kaminey seems to be the most talked about movie these days. So much so, that everytime someone yells 'Kaminey!', the first thing that comes to my mind is Shahid Kapoor!
Wednesday, August 12, 2009 - 10:38 AM § in ,

What's in a name??


The bard once said "What's in a name? That which we call a rose. By any other name would smell as sweet." But the sycophants of the Nehru-Gandhi family are evidently not familiar with the bard's works (assuming they are literate). According to the congress bard(or baadu) "That which we call a rose, if called Nehru ji/Indira ji/Sonja ji/rahul baba would definitely smell sweeter".

You should try the Nehru Gandhi tour of India. Arrive at the Indira Gandhi Intl airport, perhaps watch a lousy football match at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium(the delhi one, not to be confused with ones at kochi,chennai,pune,goa,indore and guwahati) then proceed west to catch a glimpse of the Rajiv Gandhi sea link and perhaps spend some time at the Nehru planetarium or else proceed east toward the Rajiv Gandhi Indian Insti of Management(or maybe visit one of the 50 odd instis names after him). A trip north to Mount rajiv is definitely recommended.If you want to proceed south try watching the Nehru trophy boat race in kerala during august-september. If you miss that you can always watch the Indira Gandhi or Rajiv Gandhi boat race, which are held later in the year. Also visit the Rajiv Gandhi and Indira Gandhi wildlife sanctuaries(not to be confused with congress district headquarters).And you can leave the country via the Rajiv Gandhi Intl airport. I know I've missed out on a few hundred Nehru Gandhi places but you get the picture right?

These blithering idiots have named just about everything after some prominent member of the Nehru Gandhi family.I realize that Nehru, Indira and Rajiv were all great leaders(at least by Indian political standards), but one must draw a line somewhere. Lack of creativity coupled with a single digit IQ isn't really an excuse for such a system of nomenclature, although it may be quite close to the truth.But I guess we should just look at the bright side. At least they have limited their system of nomenclature to buildings/stadiums/roads/educational instis/awards/schemes/blah etc. If only these crazy chaps were given the task of alpha taxonomy. They would probably have ended up categorising our species as the Gandhius sapiens(who evolved from the Gandhius erectus(no pun intended)) or something!Sigh! Perhaps I should rename my blog as the "Gandhi Lampoon"?
Sunday, June 28, 2009 - 8:43 AM § in , ,

Mayawati's tryst with Keynesian economics


In Uttar Pradesh, the most populous state in India, one lady is engaged in the remarkable task of applying Keynesian economics to revive her state's economy. That is none other than Mayawati, the most charismatic person in India after sam anderson!

According to John Maynard Keynes, during a recession the government has to stimulate demand by enacting public spending projects that would increase employment and also reduce taxation to encourage people to spend more.

That's where Mayawati comes in. She has embarked on one of UP's largest public spending exercises in recent times: erecting about 40 statues, including 6 of herself(not to be confused with the statues of the party symbol;the elephant). She believes investing about 10000 crores in such projects(including parks and memorials) will help the economy grow by providing employment to thousands of people. Also by merely looking at these statues, the dalits will become inspired and empowered and educate themselves and come out of poverty.

She is believed to have got this radical idea from none other than renowned economist and visionary Arindham Chaudhary.In fact rumor has it that most of the IIPM students who are not placed are working on her statues!

However it seems one just can't please everybody. According to the opposition, erecting statues of oneself is a foolish thing to do since according to Indian tradition, statues are erected only in honour of the dead. Then again one can't really blame her. She is forced to erect statues of herself since no one else will do any such thing after her time!
Saturday, June 20, 2009 - 9:04 AM § in , , ,

The Lampoon Interview:IIT JEE Topper


This is the first edition of the Lampoon Interview(LI). The LI features interviews of famous and not so famous people who, owing to their exceptional words or deeds,have been deemed be worthy of being lampooned. For the first edition of the Lampoon interview, we have with us Mugeshwaran Iyer(MI), who has cracked the IIT-JEE with an AIR of 7. He has also been ranked 23rd(national) in the AIEEE and got 97.5% in his CBSE board exam. Join us for the interview of this ,brilliant lad.

LI: Firstly, let me start by congratulating you on your exceptional performance.

MI:Thanks!

LI: Why don't you introduce yourself to our readers?I'm sure they are anxious to know about the secret of your success!

MI:blushes. My name is Mugeshwaran Iyer, and my friends call me Mugesh. All I can say is that I owe my success to my parents, teachers and most importantly to god.

LI:Humility coupled with brilliance. A rare combination indeed!But could you elucidate on your preparation for the benefit of other aspirants?

MI:Well a lot of credit goes to my father. He inculcated a love for learning in me by sending me to vedic mathematics classes when I was just 4 years old. After attending classes for four years, he enrolled me in an institute that trained students for science olympiads and talent search examinations.When I was 10 years old I started learning computer programming from some books that my father bought for me.

LI:Wow!You sure seem to have had an eventful childhood!

MI:Yes, and in that respect I am fortunate. While my peers wasted time on sports, games, movies etc I spent my vacations attending various summer camps like memory enhancement camps, speed mathematics camps etc.I also completed a couple of courses from NIIT.

LI:Whoa! So you never actually took a break?

MI:Of course I did take breaks! I spent my free time solving puzzles and riddles.I used to read a lot too. I was a voracious reader until about 6th std, when I started focusing on academics.

LI:Phew!So when did you realize IIT was where you wanted to study? And when did your preparation start?

MI:When I was about 9 years old my father told me I have to get into an IIT. At the age of 11 I started going for NTSE(National Talent Search Examination) classes. I attended these classes for a couple of years and it really strengthened my fundamentals. I was selected for NTSE when I was in class 8. That really gave me confidence in myself.

LI:You seem to be quite an achiever!And when did your actual IIT preparation begin?

MI:You could say that. I had always stood first in class right from LKG! When I was in class 8 my dad enrolled me in UNFITJEE's integrated classroom program. That was when my serious preparation first began. I began studying for bout 4 hours every day. I also worked on several science projects during this period. I won the national science project competition a couple of times.

LI:stunned. Continue.

MI:UNFITJEE was really the turning point in my life. From 9th to 12th std, I studied nearly 6 hours every day, except for vacations when I used to spend 16 hours every day. I also concentrated on the school syllabus and thus could maintain very good grades. Also when I was in std 11 I started preparing for International Olympiads.

LI:How could you possibly manage to study so much?

MI:merely shrugs his shoulders. It was a bit difficult in the beginning , but eventually I got used to it. Besides, all that effort has paid off!

LI:It sure has paid off! So what are your future plans? Research? MS abroad?

MI:grins sheepishly. Actually I plan on doing an mba. I have already registered for CAT classes! I also plan on learning some basic economics. I would like to work in the finance or marketing sector. Dad told me that it's an excellent career.

LI:What?!After spending almost your entire childhood learning science you now want to do an MBA? If you wanted to do finance or marketing why didn't you do a B.Com or a B.A (Econ)?

MI looks at me aghast. It was a familiar look, one that I had seen on the faces of people who had just watched a Sam anderson movie!His mother, who was bringing a cup of hot filter coffee for me, retraces her steps back to the kitchen, muttering "Abhishtu abhishtu" under her breath.

I realized the interview was over.

Monday, June 15, 2009 - 8:16 AM § in , , , ,

The Numbers Game

ZERO: The average IQ of the SONY SET MAX Extra Innings team.

1:No of people who read my blog regularly.(Including me, that is!)

3:No of times Dhoni uses the words obviously/of course in a sentence.

13:Total No of people who watched the santosh trophy final.

75:Amount in lakhs spent by VIT management to be ranked 10th best engg college in India, ahead of all the NIT's

364: Duration, in days, of summer in chennai

1000:The ave no of times Ranjith Fernando said 'DLF Maximum'/"City moment of success" per match in the IPL.

10000:Amount in crores, spent by IIPM on ads!(Ponytail man thinks IIPM is better than IIM!)

1 Million:Amount,in $, spent by Harsha Bhogle on his new hairdo!

10 Million: No of golti students pursuing B.E in IIT's, NIT's and US universities
,
1 billion: India's population in the recent past

13 trillion:US national debt, in $

Zillion: TAX FREE PROFIT, IN $, made by 'commissioner' Lalit Modi, thanks to the IPL!

Googol: India's population in the not so distant future.
Friday, June 12, 2009 - 9:27 AM § in ,

My Fair Lady

The Women's reservation bill has been in the news lately, and it has spurred a series of articles, debates and discussions. In principle I am against any sort of reservation, be it for women in parliament or for the backward classes/communities in educational institutions. A reservation is basically a compromise on merit, although I doubt merit has any relevance in the context of politics. Then again women constitute almost 50% of our population (more like 45% thanks to female infanticide and foeticide which has skewed our sex ratio), and their representation in parliament is woefully inadequate. Therefore we must either remove the social prejudices and cultural perceptions about the role of women in politics, and help them overcome their challenges or introduce something like the women's reservation bill. It is not surprising that our politicians have chosen the latter, in accordance with our highest democratic traditions of taking the easy way out.

On a lighter note, the passing of this bill could possibly set a precedent that might pave the way for an efficient and corruption free government.Those in favor of the bill contend that there are too few women in parliament and their numbers ought to be increased. Fair enough. However, applying the same logic, there aren't too many politicians who are well educated. Don't the educated citizens of our country deserve adequate representation? Going by the number of tainted ministers, it is evident that the honest hardworking millions of our nation too are not adequately represented. Shouldn't there be a quota for honest and educated people as well? Considering the fact that the youth constitute nearly 65% of the population, don't they deserve a far greater representation in parliament? In my informed opinion, if we concentrate on providing adequate representation to young, honest and educated people in parliament, that would automatically take care of the gender divide and in all probability skew the ratio in favor of the fairer sex!
8:29 AM

Castigat Ridendo Mores

The raison d'etre of this blog can be explained by the above latin phrase, "Castigat Ridendo Mores", which translates to one who corrects customs by laughing at them, which is a figurative expression for a blunt critic. I believe that if one can't solve the problems of the world, the next best thing is to laugh at them! I also believe that it is futile to laugh at others if one can't laugh at oneself. Therefore without further ado, let the comedy begin!