Friday, March 31, 2006

More Media Bashing

A follow-up to the previous post.

Although, I am quoting someone from Cricket/Bollywood, which I hate to do (but I may do it again), here are some excerpts from Amir Khan's interview to Tehelka. It precisely echoes what I tried to say in the previous blog post and I couldn't resist posting some of the contents here. If Tendulkar, Amitabh choose to talk to the media they'd probably say something similar. In my opinion, the media has prostituted itself to earn quick bucks. In a Michael Jackson post, I wrote a year before, I bashed the western media for essentially making up stories on their own. Apparently, my backyard isnt clean. The Times of India & NDTV will do anything, go any distance, tell lies to earn a few bucks.
Strange and unimportant stories are constantly making headlines. Only things which are sensational or cater to very base emotions of people are headline news. I realise TV channels are sprouting every day and there’s a lot of competition to grab viewership. Similarly with newspapers. As a result they are stooping to the lowest levels to try and get readership or viewership which actually translates into money. So at the end of the day because they want more ads they are destroying what is a very important part of society and that is news reporting. The nation and society at large have a right to know what is happening in the country and in the right manner and right perspective. The kind of news making headlines today — earlier they used to be tidbits or one page which was meant to be entertaining, or half a page — not even one page. But now that’s the main news and stories of farmers dying or something equally important that affects our lives or affects the lives of a lot of people are being pushed to small, unimportant sections of the paper. I find this very damaging and alarming.
And he goes on to echo my view that Times of India is a wannabe Penthouse Mag.

Newspapers like The Times of India were printing false news about me during the marriage. This is supposed to be one of the most prestigious newspapers in the country. None of the others are far behind. All the leading newspapers today are only interested in printing photographs of naked women in at least five pages of the publication — that’s what it’s come down to as far as I can see — on a daily basis (laughing) — not a one-off, on a daily basis.

The stupid Breaking news that NDTV provides and other trash it does.

You have background music now in news channels, they have scores to illustrate or emphasise or create the mood or emotion behind a flood or earthquake. They have background music for Chrissakes! It’s shocking. Next you’ll have dialogue writers and special effects! What is left ya. (laughs) At least Doordarshan is calming. In an unemotional way, they tell you the news. People are not shouting da da da — “Breaking News! Guess what’s happening!” No dramatics, no theatrics, no deep sighs, no wiping of tears and no background music!

When NDTV started out, it was certainly a channel I respected, and it was trying to do different work. I have high regard for Prannoy and his team. However, over the years and recent months, I find it is slipping very badly and I’m sorry to say that, but the fact of the matter is that it is slipping

And his 2 instances on media giving out false information makes even that Raj Singh DUrgapur believable. I cant believe the media cashed in on Bombay Floods too. Its like our politicians using earthquake money for their personal use. The Media is no different

There are so many. The Hindustan Times twice printed the completely false news that that I was married to Preity Zinta! There were three or four interviews that I had not given that came out in Asian Age! Channel 7 once telecast an interview with me that was not with me at all. This was around the time that the Salman Khan tapes had been made public. Some channel asked me to react. I gave a live byte on air. Suddenly my sister called from Bangalore saying, are you talking to Channel 7 because they have a picture of you doing a telephonic interview but it’s not your voice. I’m your sister, I know. I had done no telephonic interview so there was an interview going on with someone who claimed he was Aamir Khan!

During the Bombay floods, the first time it was pretty bad. But a few days later there was rain again. Now, I live in Bombay, the second time it rained there wasn’t that kind of floods. I drove my car along the highway and I went to various places and in fact Bombay was not locked on that day. But the national news was propagating that it was. And they were showing footage of the earlier flood and not even calling it file footage.

You can Find the full interview here.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Election Time (Updated with video of Gaptan)

Aha! so its that time again. Noisy speakers that disturb kids studying for exams. Devotional songs altered so that aiyappan is used interchangably with Moo Kaa Stalin. The excitement is in the air and my cynicism is aroused.
My knowledge of politics is negligible. I do not even know if elections are held once every 4 years or 5 years. I am like 2 times worse than my collegues and cousin in Pune who did not know the name of Maharashtra's CM (you read it right. its "worse". Not knowing such stuff is good for the health, the way maltova is good for the health). I have written like 2 blogs on politics. Felt completely out of place in this topic. I detest people who do "thinnai arattai" on GW Bush and Sonia. When they cant remember details about their own life and need their wife to let them know where they misplaced their hearing aid, it is inconceivable that they can know enough about Uncle George to actually develop an opinion. Sometimes I derive sadistic pleasure out of telling them that Bush and Sonia are good people and they deserve to be elected. For some reason people think they know enough about the complex inner working of politics that they can actually disagree with me. I know nothing and I dont see them as any better. In fact people believe in their superficial and extremely ill-informed analysis so much that they can even get angry. If you dont believe me try doing this - keep a serious face and say " come on! how do you know the WMD really wasnt there? It might've been there". You would get a 1 hour lecture which will make you think the person inspected iraq personally.

The most important thing I miss during election season is the Vikatan Magazine jokes. They were really funny. Some of the "katchi thaval" jokes were awesome.

Gaptan (Captain) Vijaykanth's entry into politics has given opportunities for - like a - billion jokes. I loved their family photo that was being forwarded around (Let us say it did not fit in my laptop screen and I need 3Gig disk space to store the photo). Have a couple of jokes on it from my side but lets keep that aside. Lets say he wont win all the 234 seats :-) But if T.Rajendar can stand in elections then we shouldnt be too hard on Gaptan. Anyway see this video and ensooy Gaaptan's arrival into MGRdom! (Credits and Thanks to the person who made this video. I found it in youTube)



I learned that M.Karunanidhi is still alive. Is he 670 years old? Last time he was seen competing against Aurangazeb and Kirumi Cholan III. I think this could be DMK's last big election before MK croaks and they disntegrate.

I am seriously rooting for Dr.J.Amma. No I am not kidding. I looked at her Amazon shopping cart and it has people like PC, Sonia, Subramaniam Swami, Advani, Vajpaye, Vaiko, Rajinikanth, Cho, Veerappan, Sankaracharyar. C'mon we all have been to Amazon and can we boast of this kind of a shopping history. I think she can win over anyone. I have always believed that with her - its just a matter oftime before she quietly prizes out her enemy. Her purchase of T.Rajendar and tossing him away was a classic example of acquire and dispose. With Vaiko she has perfected that art. I am seriously becming her biggest fan.

I have no knowledge of North Indian politics. Having been used to a clean 2 party system in Tamil Nadu, the gzillion people northwards of Arakonam is really confusing. This is how I see the parties in N.India
i=0;
For(;;) {
strcpy (party_name[i], srand( ) x[i] + "janata party");
printf(%s, party_name[i]);
i++;
}
I still know that Manmohan Singh is PM. I also know that the recent Lok sabha elections saw all those parties fielding 300 times more movie actors than Tamil Nadu has fielded in the last 60 years. Some one like Govinda is a MLA or MP.

Lastly the media. I hate Indian media. No other country's media is so openly biased and immature. I think we have the most tabloid'ish (TOI) and sensationalist (NDTV) media in the world. Completely incomptent, extremely boring, totally jingoistic. The diplomatic jingoism of the US pales in comparison with Indian media. And to think that the people mentioned in the first paragraph develop opinions based on this media makes them even more comical. If India becomes a superpower, I am pretty sure we will be the biggest superpower bully the world has ever seen. I think my sense of patriotism (which was non-existent to start with) got completely eroded after I saw India's new generation media. They build caricatures out of Laloo prasad. Would you be interested in a news which says "Laloo solved 3rd degree differential equations in double quick time". No! You want to hear he is a stupid. Whether he is really stupid or not is not any of your concern. You, my dear reader are more superficial than the media. Any funny article about Laloo or Jayalalitha you will gobble it up like a village idiot, without questioning the media. And so you my dear reader deserve this media.

The obsession over Sachin Tendulkar, Amitabh Bachan and Aishwarya Rai. When will this stop? They create sensation when one of them farts. The media does a breaking news that one of them has farted and captures the fart live until it diffuses into the atmosphere. Then there is an analysis on why Amtabh's fart dissimilates in consistent molecular fashion than most other farts. There is a NPV analysis on how much loss producers will suffer because Amitabh stopped to fart. This obsession with stupid bollywood in commonwealth games is just plain nauseating. Can we have a conversation where cricket and bollywood is not involved? And also can this media stop sensationalizing IIM salaries and (falsely) reporting the numbers. Rediff talked about some guy getting some obscene amount. When I contacted my friend who is a second year in IIM-B, he said "dont believe the media they fart a lot". Sachin Tendulkar said Boo-Boo to the media when he said that they exaggerated the boo-ing he got in Whankade. Amitabh basically called NDTV - crap because they hyped his illness. I think the media should shut up and get the point.

Rang De basanti be damned - Dont believe that movie. You can't change the world at all. It is completely futile.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Well if you want Nudity in Chennai

Well if thought you have heard it all - wait till you hear this. The students of Government Arts and Crafts college in Chennai have a curious problem. They want chics to undress for them. If you are thinking "Every guy is trying to use some pick up line to get some chic or the other to undress for him. So whats new here?"
But who would have thought of using the "its for educational purposes" line to get this done. It seems the only model who would pose for them is an old 45 year old. They want a younger nudist so that they can develop their "educational" pursuits.

Unless we get younger models, mastering portraits and
painting becomes difficult for us," complained Saravanan

Now come on! dude! You got to be kidding me.

Now if you are thinking "Where was this college when I was finishing up high school" - just look at the last 2 paras in this article. ( If it takes you to the wrong article - just see the right pane )

P.S: Ofcourse I am not politically correct and am insensitive. What did you expect?


PS2: The article is reproduced here.

CHENNAI, March 27: It’s a bare problem that has not been addressed for long. The students of the Government College of Arts and Crafts, Chennai have been demanding younger female models who would pose in the nude for their art classes.

However, college authorities have not succeeded in replacing a 45-plus year old model who has become a fixture on the campus in Egmore for more than two decades.

"Our problem is this. We are so used to the anatomy of the elderly model that we do not find variety, which is the lifeline of an artist. Unless we get younger models, mastering portraits and painting becomes difficult for us," complained Saravanan, a third year student of painting. Students find it odd that they have to study the same anatomy year after year.

The model is old and her’s is an "out of shape" anatomy, which does not bring out the feminine beauty, said Sargunan, a fellow student adding that it affected creativity in art.

"We need normal anatomy for our study but the college authorities are not able to pay the young models who charge a heavy fee per session. On some occasions, they managed to get amateurs who could not pose in a particular posture for a session. Mid-way through, they would change the posture affecting our concentration," pointed out Saravanan.

Fresh models, who would have the patience for the job are difficult to find. A model has to pose in a particular posture at least for three hours at a stretch. "To that extent, our elderly model has been very cooperative. She knows the job well and even if she takes a tea break during a session, she would come back and sit in the same posture as was directed," said Madan.

There is also so much inhibition about posing in the nude that not many were willing to come forward to present themselves as an living object of study for the arts students.

There is another model related problem at the college. Male models are equally in demand among the students of painting. "In the absence of professional models, we hire rooms and pose in the nude for our classmates to study our skull form," said Saravanan.

Professors acknowledged that the problem with nudity was an old one. Funds crunch and lack of professional models were the stumbling blocks they said.

New Ind Press

Thursday, March 23, 2006

English in Tamil. Tamil in itself (Updated With a Top 10 List)

While I was walking back and forth nervously from my bedroom to kitchen (I have been doing this for some months now), I happened to catch my wife seeing this movie called "Dishum" in DVD. It is a decent enough movie of a stunt guy called 'risk' Bhaskar falling in love with some side-artist dancer (who plays the role of her mom in this movie? Boy is she hot!!).

Anyway back to the point of this blog. I think we should just change the spelling for Love and make it lauve. Just the way Tweleve should be changed to tolve. I mean - there is no point nowadays. People should give up and make an amendment in the thesauras. Nobody says 'love' anymore. Its always lauvu or lauve. Its a simple pronounciation but I never understood the urge to local tamilify it by butchering the pronounciation.

Whats with the noun-ifying ( I know) of words like Youth. "Nalla youth-aana paiyyan sir" - "kaantrila yuth-ellam pongi ezhuvaanga".
Sometimes the way words are phrased in tamil makes me laugh my ass off. "Naan un mela lauve vechirukken" ( I have kept this inanimate object called love on you - please walk carefully - it will fall down). Like love is some sort of pot you can keep it on a karakattakaran's head. I have regretted many time when people say " avalukku avan mela abiprayam vizhinthidichu" . This thing called abiprayam - keeps falling down so many times and nobody really picks it up. Poor abiprayam must be hurt like hell by now. Not to meantion the head on which it keeps falling on.

The two common "vechikarthu" also drives me up the wall. The two are (a) Pathirikai vekkarthu (2) sex vekarthu. I mean do people - like - keep it in a room, come out and say "please go look inside I have kept a "pathirigai" in that room.". "Sex vekkarthu" is more mind boggling. Where do you keep the sex? More importantly What the hell do you keep wherever you keep the sex? Whats the deal with converting a verb into an inanimate object-noun. I wont begin on the "uravu vechirukken". It is just too complicated.

While I have made fun of 'middal' (middle) 'unkaal' (uncle) 'laaaeft'(left) 'koomputer' that I got to hear in pune, or the the irresistable urge of people from Andhra to pronounce the 's' in Island (iceland) and the 'r' in iron (i-run) and southern (satha-run) - I am even more amazed at the "tayathukku (time) madathu (madam) kitta foratha(form) vaangittu poidunga"

Lets not even get into "coolings irukka?" " cooling illa sir" "feeling avathinga" and when there is only one lady in question people say "sir ladies kitta ippadiya pesarthu". Instant death to nouns, verbs and adjectives.

Updates: The top 10:

10) Naaek'a uruvittanda (Knack)
9) Oru limit'oda irunthukko (Limit)
8) sir! underaayar podunga sir! (underwear)
7) enna machi avutta ? (Out)
6) enna sir fleet'u vekkava (Pleats)
5) tensaan paarti machi!
4) aiyoo taarchar thaangalai (Torture)
3) tonti (Twenty)
2) The h, g, t, d, p confeesan: Meha Serial, Bahavaan, Magesh, Arai Drauser Senthil, Bathmini (Padmini)
1) My # 1 Peeve in English Kolai (From Meha Serial) : Aaeeenti (Aunty)

P.S: Bonus: Prate Kampayni (Private Company)

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Stache

Ross School of business is holding a moustache contest (Do see the photos). This is really interesting. 2 weeks before - I suddenly began to see 2nd year MBA men sporting beards. I was thinking - "Is there a razor paucity going on?" Suddenly the beards were gone and the stache was bared. This contest is for a good cause.

There are several categories for this contest.

1) Average Joes
2) Cavemen
3) Far East
4) Pre-Pubescents
5) Stragglers

Given Tamil Nadu's obsession for staches, I imagined how this contest might have gone up a notch - if Head Constable Kandasami, Sub-Inspector Duraisingam, Veerapandi Kattabomman, Kalla Patti Singaram had jumped into the contest. Kamal Hassan in his classic movie Virumaandi here and here sports one of the best staches I have seen in the movies. Ofcourse the crown ought to go to Sivaji Ganesan (see photo) for this.

P.S: I saw Bride and Prejudice today ( Not the Kiera Knightly one - this is the ugly Bollywood movie). This is probably the worst adaptation of the novel ever. My extreme love has changed to complete hatred for Aishwarya Rai. She cannot (cannot) act at all. And my long-held-theory that songs in movies suck is so so true. They suck.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Blank Noise Dedication

So blank noise project is a team of energetic people who want to protest against sexual harrassment. Sometimes they even photograph offenders and put the photos on the web. Good work! Noble idea. Their message is actually different. They feel the word "eve teasing" is actually an euphemism which dignifies what is actually sexual harrasment. The web page was interesting because women all over India have basically poured in incidents from - all over India. Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi Madras - every place seems to try and better each other in hurting its women.

Unfortunately male bloggers have taken upon themselves to play the "i didn't steal his pencil teacher". Men reacting to women complain about eve teasing is funny. They suddenly become the voice of the world females population and say "how dare he? how can anybody do this?". And we'll see them talk and act like they lived through and know what the women's perspective is. Suddenly they'll get all moral and say "It happens like that in Mumbai. No way! I never knew about it" ( He'd say this after he personally laughed at 2 guys making fun of a girl in the morning train journey). The other popular routine is "I didnt know it affected you so much". The point is men do pass obscene comments at women. They is no point in pretending that this never happens. The issue is what should one do about it. What did I personally do about it? If the offending male is old/small or someone whom I can beat up, I'll probably try and do something. But if there are a group of boys who are thugs, I'll cooly walk the other way. I never pretended to be a courageous person and dont want to play that game either. I know that I'll certainly get beaten up if I raise my voice. I have had my share of stupidy standing up for justice (incident narrated below) and I know better than indulging in more of it. The only person who can save the girl from that point onwards is some undercover female police or the bus conductor.

I have some advice for Blank Noise. The point of the blank noise thing is that it should be more focussed on how to systematically internalize values in the society that such things do not happen. How do you knock sense into a boy who is 3rd year mechanical engineering but is so sexually repressed that he has to make comments at a girl who happens like wearing pants? I personally prefer violence to knock some sense into him - but then that is not realistic. If the blank noise team can come up with a clear implementable idea then they can consider themselves to have done a god job. And dont ask men not to ogle. That is not realistic. I ogle. Ogling is known to be the chief cause of love marriages. So that cant be a bad thing. It is the intrusion of personal space that seems to be the offending element there. If a thug passes a comment on a girl or pinches her breast, there is no accountability, no way for the girl to prove it happened. So in effect creating a deterrent for doing this is difficult. So this team needs to mull over what an effective deterrent could be? If punishment 9after the fact) route is ineffective how do you prevent? I am not sure how you can go to a village in Gujarat (which in my opinion is worse than any other place mentioned in blank noise) and teach somebody to behave well with girls. Can somebody contribute a bright idea to this cause? The point is instead of narrating personal incidents (which I am pretty sure some men will read it just for the sexual kick) or useless rhetorical threats (Some men do this - "kabardaar! if you do it I will come and protect my sister and rip your throat off" ) - people should come up with solutions that are realistic.

The other "things to think about in the future" for people like blank noise is - (1) To systematically act against "Vice-Chancellors" of institutions who design taliban like dress code for women (and men). This is the chief cause of many men being the idiots they are. And according to me these dress codes amount to sexual harrassment. (ii) Educating village men on marriage. In situations where the groom and the bride have never seen each other before marriage- having sex on the wedding night is tantamount to rape. Any non-profit group should teach such categories of people to encourage bride & groom to talk to each other before marriage (or) postpone having 'the sex' until they know each other very well. Without touching upon these two topics groups such as blank Noise would leave things half-done. They can start by catering to middle-class, rich girls who can already speak for themselves. But they should complete by helping women who dont even know what their rights are. Thats really stopping sexual harrasment.

I had written old piece on "sex and india". I will provide an excerpt from that as my contribution to blank noise project.

I think 99% of people in India are "pattikaadu" (country bumpkins). For example Madras has its share of pattikaadu but the more south of Madras (and into south TN) you go the more pattikaadus you see. Seriously! While I have appreciated south-of-Madras folks for a lot of things, I have to say that they are pretty shitty when it comes to this topic. Madras isn't much different. Some 3 months before I went to Ooty with my family. In Pykara falls, there was a reasonably good looking girl (who had come with her parents) dressed in western outfit. It was nothing great. She wore a short-sleeve T-Shirt and jeans. Students from Sun College of Engineering & Technology ( Address Sun Nagar, Erachakulam Post Nagercoil, KanyaKumari District, Tamilnadu. Phone: 91-04652-26335 Chairman: C.Thayaparan, M.E. Trust: ACP Educational Trust, 10 Kalaimagal Street, Nagercoil - 629 0001: Call the college and curse the chairman for enrolling shameless students - these were students who visited Ooty in July 2005) had come for their class tour to Ooty. From the way they behaved on seeing this girl made me feel that these people had never seen good looking females before, leave alone females in jeans. They called her "thambi" ( which means 'brother' because in their retarded minds only men wear jeans) etc. They made funny noises until the girl and her family left in embarassment. They literally ganged up and harassed the girl. Even the most impotent tiny balls bastard in that group began to see an opportunity to show his manliness. In my view 99% of males from 15-25 in Tamil Nadu falls in this category. I went looking for a female police station so that they could book these people for "eve teasing". I shouted and called a couple of guys "bastards". I kept calling them that until it diverted the undersexed assoles and made them look at me. Two of those students got offended because I revealed their birth history to the general public and tried to pick a fight with me But alas! my father dragged me out of that place.

Hey! I drool at girls. Every man who walks abviously does. But there is a difference. "Looking" is different but commenting loudly is something else. It is bad, invasion of privacy, abuse, and should never be allowed. I think people down south TN are complete "pattikaadu". And this fact has been largely ignored because we feel some desparate urge to show support for people from villages and small towns. Now I can already see comments like "how can you say such things.. villages are the heart of India etc". Nobody has travelled around TN like I have. This topic is different from engineering entrance exams topic. So I suggest such people keep their patriotism to themselves and shut up their asses. People south of Madras are backward, primitive and barbaric. You disgaree? do this experiment. Send a very good looking girl(dressed in western outfits) out for a walk on the roads of madurai, trichy or thirunelveli. In less than 2 minutes you would notice everybody in the road staring at her, talking and smiling among themselves. In 10 minutes there will be 2 derogatory comments and a whistle. This is 100% true. Go to anywhere in TN you will get a 100 on 100 success. Even better make a boy & girl walk on the road holding hands you will almost see a riot. A girl wearing sleeveless, jeans or slightly western dress is a "sole" (prostitute). A girl who talks too much with guys is named "despo". I hope people from these parts are reading this. I desparately want to insult them