Thursday, April 24, 2008

We are Indians, we don't have sex.

I was horrified when I read the front page headline of Hindustan Times on April 24th, 'Sex education class stayed again after MLAs protest'.

"Do you want sex guru or love guru in the classroom?" asked Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) legislator Nawab Malik.

What? How the hell does providing sex education correlate to having sex? When will these moronic politicians understand that sex education leads to safe sex. Since when is sex education equated by a sex or a love guru, are we forgetting the 'education' part of it? Sex ed doesn't teach you how to screw in 101 positions, rather they debunk your myths about sex, what's safe, what's not and what are the consequences if you do not practice safe sex.

Then there were 4 other quotes from our elected legislators who all shuddered at the thought of their kids learning about 'it' from professionals in school. Thye'd like their kids to learn the same way as they did, from blue films, smutty magazines and off course the internet now.

If you think, that one comment horrified you, listen to some more:

"In Europe the fertility is low, hence (the need for) sex education. Here, we have complaints of sexual harassment daily. What will this sex education lead to among our youngsters? Do you want a sex guru or a love guru in the classrooms?"

Sam's comment: Dude, have you met those Swedish girls? Or have you read those Durex surveys? Europeans are high up on s-e-x, the only difference is they are educated and know what a pain raising too many kids is, not to mention expensive.

"We need to first examine the education minister's brain. He always comes up with the most ridiculous suggestions. We will close all schools if this subject is made compulsory. It hits at the very roots of our culture."
RAMDAS KADAM, (Shiv Sena), the Leader of Opposition, represents Khed constituency in Konkan

Sam's comment: There there, sir, Mr. Leader of Opposition, let's not get personal and talk about brain. Let's restrict it to the other brain, shall we? How is any education that reduces the incidence of Aids, pregnancy and promotes safe sex ridiculous?

"It goes against all our religions. We don't want to spoil our children. There is a lobby that wants to push Westernised concepts and take us away from our traditions. Sex education is a part of this conspiracy."

Sam's comment: Uhh, Sir, which religion do you follow? The last time I read, not too many religions spoke about sex, let alone sex education. Also, it takes a lot of people having a lot of unprotected sex to produce 1.1 billion beings. It ain't chance that got us to be the second most populous nation on Earth no? Shucks, if sex is a westernized concept, I guess we're all doing it to set that 1.1 billion record no?

"Last time when I spoke against sex education, I got calls from America and was pressurised from people there. But, the fact is this subject does not fit our society. There are so many complaints of girls being sexually abused by teachers. What will happen if we allow sex education? "
SHOBHA PHADNAVIS, BJP MLA from Savli constituency in Chandrapur

Sam's comment: Seriously, who wants to listen to those smart-alecky Americans. They said there were WMD's in USA, and look how wrong they were no? Also, since politicos rarely listen to people in their own constituency, why should you listen to Americans, again? Imagine, if more girls know what sex is, what's abuse, and start opening their mouth? Gosh, that would lead to more culprits being booked? Now we don't want that, do we? *wink*

Final analysis: Geezus HWDK Christ! What in the world is wrong with these people? It's lack of sex education which leads to teachers abusing students? And Indian culture? Heck, aren't we the land that taught the world how to screw in 108 positions (Kamasutra), and visualized that in a monument (Khajurao). How in the name of any god, did we become the second most populous nation, it'll always amaze me *naive look*?

What horrifies me is that ignorant attitudes prevail across the political spectrum. Who do I vote for if all parties are equally obnoxious and primitive?
I do hope the foreign educated, sons of ministers, a la Rahul Gandhi, tell these guys about the birds and bees.

The discussion should not be about 'we don't need sex ed, it will make our kids have sex', but rather 'when is the right age to tell our kids about sex', and how we want to ensure our population remains under control.

Once again, I get the feeling, we are a very primitive people. I wonder what our founding fathers would be thinking? Sigh!

Pepsi's Junkistan

There are 5 reasons why I think the new Pepsi 'Youngistan' commercial is absolutely 'lamus maximus':

1) The extent to which these morons would do anything for a Pepsi is ridiculously ridiculous? Why the hell would that moron pretend to be an alien from Youngistan, all that for a Rs. 8 bottle of Pepsi? Got to a bloody store and buy one. Or ask me, I will buy you one. Its not a big deal. It's so cheap, even Ebay doesnt stock it.

2) Since when is Pepsi an aspirational brand that you would stake your life for it? It's not like thumbs-up, now that's a man's drink, where an old 50+ actor totals his car, breaks all his bones for a bottle of another Rs. 8 drink.
The last time I checked, even our local paanwala was gulping down mouthfuls of both Peepsee and Thumbs-down, thinking he would kill all the worms in his tummy with the rotten acidified colored soda water.

3) In the second Pepsi ad, where the moron gives a sermon on how 'Youngistan' started out as a joke, and then he gets in trouble when he drinks that fat bikers pepsi. First of all, what is a fat, hair biker doing in a college canteen? Also, A pepsi is not a bloody Jaguar, if he drank a scary dude's pepsi, goddamnit, buy another one? Sheesh, for 8 bucks you don't need to look like you committed a mortal sin. Noone ever died for a Peepsee, but several thousand have died after drinking it.

4) Did I mention, it's a goddamn Pepsi guys, colored/ flavored acidified soda water, not a frickin' Jaguar. There is a monumental difference between an aspirational product for which you would kill your own mother, and a Pepsi, for which you would fool a moronic Shahrukh Khan into believing you are an alien, just because you have a Dish TV aerial stuck on your head from Shahrukh's other ad.

5) Youngistan? Isn't that risky? What if Bush misunderstands and sends out his minions to find those weapons of mass distraction? I wouldn't want to be Indra Nooyi when that happens. The last time I checked, we were Indians, and aliens were restricted to ex-files and in small green huts on Mars.

6) I know I promised 5, but I can't resist a 6th lament. If you drink Peepsee boys and girls, you will become mush like Shahrukh Khan, and allow a moron to 'protect' your sister, since you trust aliens to outsource your job too. Why not a pug? Also, if you drink some more Peepsee, you would become a youngistani, you'd lose all interest in 'that', and only long for a Peepsee. So if you want to lose your mojo, drink up that Peepsi and become Youngistani *at your own risk*

Dr. Vodaphony Pug-lovers or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Bomb Their Ad Campaign

There are 10 reasons why I 'hate' the new Vodaphone ad & as the brits say, it's absolutely rubbish *pronounced as 'robbish':

1) Since when are 5 year old kids left unsupervised, that too with a dog.

2) Where the hell are the nannies or au-pairs?

3) Why is a dog parenting the child? Getting her ready for school, licking her stamps (which is incidentally dangerous for the pug), essentially why is he/ or she her dog father or dog mother? I have inside information the pug is a he.

4) Didn't her mommy ever tell her not to write to strangers, not when you don't know how to write at age 5? Then why the hell is she writing a letter to someone, when she cannot even stick a stamp on straight?

5) Who lets their kid 'fish' at age 5? That too unsupervised by the lake.

6) Animal cruelty? The poor pug runs with the dumb kids tie.

7) In some print ads, the kid is hurt, and the dog gets her a medical bag. I have heard of illiterate Munnabhai's becoming para-medicals, but a dog who is a medic? Where the hell are the real medics? What sort of cheap ass school allows dogs to take over as medics? Someone call the school board. For all we know, the principle is a large Alsatian named 'Tommy'.

8) A very lazy creative agency ad team, an even stupider client. Why the hell would they take 1 year to get the goddamn pug back? Apparently, their market research suggested, none of the other Vodaphony ads were working, they had no central theme, and they need a pug to convey their proposition. Their competitor Airtel has a dad who is drawing pictures in the sky with his daughter, so Vodaphony decides to get the cutesy back in their ad.

9) What the hell does this ad mean? That their goddamn network remains in range, I can hear several million Vodaphony users snicker and say 'Haha, as if'. All this ad makes me do is think about adopting a pug, not buy a cell phone, or produce a kid and then buy a cell phone (not necessarily in that order).

10) Most of all, 6 year old kids SHOULD NOT BE GIVEN A GODDAMN CELL PHONE. Though I agree with this being an ad for SPCA, where dogs are a kids/ man's best friend and should be respected, as they are one of the familia.

Next up, is another moronic ad, 'Youngistan'.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Slum Tours Anyone?

Often the weirdest occurrences occur, especially ones you would not think possible.

Who would have imagined some day Dharavi, Asia's largest slum would be a tourist attraction?

I doubt inhabitants in Dharavi would be able to afford what Bill Clinton and Prince Charles experienced.

Visit this link to book your private tour:

I wonder what they would retail as merchandise after the slum tour? Garbage pellets? Leather works residue? Recycled Sewage memorabilia.

Experience it before Dharavi becomes extinct, a la eco-tourism. Dharavi is slated to be 're-developed' to create urban squalor for the have's. I doubt UNESCO would jump to declare it a heritage site.

As per the slum tour website, 80% of the profits are shared with NGO's who work to better this soon-to-be-extinct community.

Next time you are in Mumbai, don't forget to slum it out.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

In media we trust, or in government?

This critique of reel vs. real media was thought provoking.

I have been on the other side of media, so I do know the argument that is used to sideline 'real' news.

Media patrons cover and publish what sells, not what is right or should be reported.

News reports have given way to 'features'. With 18 news channels competing for eye-balls, the most popular story sells.

In a sense it reflects the attitude and preference of society. More people care about Sanjay Dutt than about an unknown soldier dying for his country.

BBC can afford to cover it, they are a serious channel, funded by the UK tax payers money. Their primary goal is not eyeballs (TRP's) but a mission to deliver the truth.

Tehelka in recent times has tried to do that with limited success.

I can understand if news channels make a conscious discussion to go with the popular story, what I do not comprehend, is how our government pretends to care more about our cricket team. National security and welfare of those providing us with that security should be a primary concern of our government. What business does our government have to debate over cricket, when they should be consoling the family of the deceased and in no small measure at least issue an award of valor.

Alas, media reflects the trend and demand of society and the government of the people does in some way reflect the mandate of the populace.

It's a sad sad day indeed. But there is hope, that a few avenues of media (Internet) has set a course of natural justice by emphasizing on what is right. A trickle at a time.

Shame on media?

I received a forward which was a social critique on reel vs. real media. The article in question is marked below, I will share my analysis via the next post.

On Tuesday, this news swept across all the news channels 'Sanjay Dutt relieved by court'. 'Sirf Munna not a bhai' '13 saal ka vanvaas khatam' 'although found guilty for possession of armory, Sanjay can breath sigh of relief as all the TADA charges against him are withdrawn' Then many personalities like Salman Khan said 'He is a good person. We knew he will come out clean'. Mr Big B said "Dutt's family and our family have relations for years he's a good kid. He is like elder brother to Abhishek".. His sister Priya Dutt said "we can sleep well tonight. It's a great relief"

Sanjay Dutt
In other news, Parliament was mad at Indian team for performing bad; Greg Chappell said something; Shah Rukh Khan replaces Amitabh in KBC and other such stuff. But most of the emphasis was given on Sanjay Dutt's "phoenix like" comeback from the ashes of terrorist charges. Surfing through th channels, one news on BBC startled me. It read "Hisbul Mujahidin's most wanted terrorist 'Sohel Faisal' killed in Anantnag , India . Indian Major leading the operation lost his life in the process. Four others are

It was past midnight , I started visiting the stupid Indian channels, but Sanjay Dutt was still ruling. They were telling how Sanjay pleaded to the court saying 'I'm the sole bread earner for my family', 'I have daughter who is studying in US' and so on. Then they showed how Sanjay was not wearing his lucky blue shirt while he was hearing the verdict and also how he went to every temple and prayed for the last few months. A suspect in Mumbai bomb blasts, convicted under armory act...was being transformed into a hero.

Sure Sanjay Dutt has a daughter; Sure he did not do any terrorist activity. Possessing an AK47 is considered too elementary in terrorist community and also one who possesses an AK47 has a right to possess a pistol so that again is not such a big crime; Sure Sanjay Dutt went to all the temples;
Sure he did a lot of Gandhigiri but then......... ....

 Major Manish Pitambare
Major Manish H Pitambare got the information from his sources about the terrorists' whereabouts. Wasting no time he attacked the camp, killed Hisbul Mujahidin's supremo and in the process lost his life to the bullets fired from an AK47.

Just like Sunjay Dutt he
is survived by a wife and daughter who's only 18 months old.

Major Manish never said 'I have a daughter' before he took the decision to attack the terrorists in the darkest of nights. He never thought about having a family and he being the bread earner. No news channel covered this since they were too busy hyping a former drug addict, a suspect who's linked to bomb blasts which killed hundreds. Their aim was to show how he defied the TADA charges and they were so successful that his conviction in possession of armory had no meaning. They also concluded that his parents in heaven must be happy and proud of him.

Parents of Major Manish are still living and they have to live rest of their lives without their beloved son. His daughter won't ever see her daddy again

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Lost in translation: Chennai travel

This weekend I had breakfast in a land, far far away. Around 1200 km's, precisely 1 hour 45 minutes of travel with a large metallic bird with several powerful motors.

My first sense of this mega polis down south was a waft of lukewarm breeze, followed by a waft of even more warm breeze, the same temperature as piping hot coffee, minus the pipe. This was followed by a smattering of alien guttural sounds that were harsh from male origins and sing-song melodious from female lips.

This is Chennai, home of the proud Tamil people, south of the mighty Dravidan mountains which pierce India's soul. This is also the place affectionately called 'Madras' until politics played its poli-trick. I am not sure what may be thrown at me if I were to refer to these people as 'madrasi's', affectionately coined by north Indian's for all beings south Indian. I dared not find out, I made enough social gaffes to be made into an idli, or maybe a dosa.

Chennai is warm, and I cannot emphasize that enough through beads of crystal clear, porcelain, shiny sweat. These folks are brave, wearing the thickest silk sarees in equatorial soleil. For a white skinned delicacy, pink is the new white.

If the sun posed one challenge mightier than Mao's war cry, communication with a people who speak an alien language, was akin to Musharraf sharing mutter paneer with Shareef.

Unlike north Indian languages of yore, which are linguistically similar, where you can get a meal and a half, without any fries, in Chennai, you get hard boiled eggs when you inquire about a delayed order of egg biryani. The poor sod, all of 13 and a half, who got the eggs was extremely crestfallen, displaying abject deject, followed by a trance-like state, transitioned to a sizzling hot red, and uttered something which sounded like 'anda punda inge pinge singe dinge, cuckoo clock, mother, father, sister, cuckoo clock, inge pinge pinge.' I could imagine the amount of saliva that would drip when the hard boiled egg was replaced with the egg biryani. I felt for the boy, who could not understand English or Hindi. We were strangers in his domain, guests in Chennai who mistakenly inquired about an egg biryani which was 10 minutes late.

We did get our egg biryani, with a pregnant chicken, minus the young hot-blooded waiters saliva. We checked the egg, to inspect for signs of origin. Its a bird, its a plane, a bird flew over another plane. If you think it's absurd, you haven't heard what the waiter suggested we order instead of egg biryani: bird biryani. 'Vaary tiny bird, saar. Vee make baard saar.'


Saturday, June 23, 2007

The art of the invisible

Humans are a blip in the history of our universe. The same way we think of a bacteria in our breakfast cereal. What bacteria? Exactly, invisible.

However, we continue to flex our muscles and battle nature, instead of living in harmony, like other creatures. What other inhabitants? Precisely, its an overdose of vitamin I.

Nature has her own art form, a kind of magic realism. Can you spot the flounder fish? Interesting, you take notice, big deal. However if you were told, this invisible fish was made in a laboratory, somewhere west of the Atlantic, you would be amazed. You may even think, what will they think of inventing next. Hmm, why do we underplay nature and her wonders? I don't know, but I will make it a point to be conscious and be more aware, will you?

In the battle of stealth, where have human's reached, a few million years after nature's invention, here goes:

9 of 10 people are more amazed watching a fellow man invent an invisibility cloak than the wonders of the natural world. Wonder why? Could it be the selfish gene? What's in it for me?

Friday, June 22, 2007

I say Democacy, you say Shamocracy

If there ever was a 'Politics 101' class in civil service school, it would most certainly involve watching and imbibing every show of 'Yes Minister'.

Yes, you heard it right, 'Yes Minister', the venerable British comedy about the tennis match between her majesty's civil service and the wily ministers.

James Hacker: This is a democracy, and the people don't like it.
Sir Humphrey Appleby: The people are ignorant and misguided.
James Hacker: Humphrey, it was the people who elected me!
[Humphrey nods]

This conversation between James Hacker (Minister of Administrative Services) and Sir Humphrey Appleby (his civil service counterpart) sums up the essence of modern Demo'n'ocracy.

And if you wonder that 'integrity' is but a word in our government's dictionary on a page that's gathering dust since 1963, the day the dictionary was printed, here is an affirmation:

James Hacker: Elbows: the most important weapon in a politician's army.
Annie Hacker: Other than integrity!
James Hacker: Integrity?
[bursts out laughing]

Apparently in the same dictionary, the example for 'humor' and 'joke' inadvertently refer to integrity, followed by muffled loud guffaws.

Is all lost? Is there a brotherhood of thugs who can hold these custodians of public accountable? Yes yes yes, in theory:

Sir Humphrey Appleby: Bernard, Ministers should never know more than they need to know. Then they can't tell anyone. Like secret agents, they could be captured and tortured.
Bernard Woolley: You mean by terrorists?
Sir Humphrey Appleby: By the BBC, Bernard.

Unfortunately, we do not have a BBC, however we did try to create a Prasar Bharati (custodians of Door Darshan, a dinosaur waiting to be privatised if the commies let it).

If some of you think private news channels are the watchdogs of democracy, think again. They are after TRP's, and TRP's reside in sensational 'breaking news' broadcasts (as per their definition).

This just in: The state of MP is considering banning a new condom claiming it is a 'sex toy'. This is one of India's most backward states, where women are slaves to men, and lesser men are slaves to upper caste men. From the forgotten land of the kama sutra, another cloudy day in India's democracy.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Google AdSense - Lost in Translation

At times, the best of technology falters to the humble word.

The word here is 'Devil' the topic of my previous post.

Google Adsense matches ad themes to content and blam, it's a cookie-clutter marriage where advertisers pay for a click.

However, at times, this marriage is acrimonious and unbelievable.

Guess which ad showed up for the 'Devil' post?

Devil without a Star

A single choice can mean a world of difference. Of the 11 questions, if I change the result in 1, I can get a personality transplant.

A star or a dreamer if I pick moon as my favorite 'heavenly' body, however I will stick to saturn and live with the consequences. My tarot describes me as a half-goat half-greek god. All for picking saturn, my ruling planet, since I don't really have a preference in 'heavenly bodies'?

I think I'll stick to material hedonism for the image, it's a little bit of gothic meets grunge in a shady motel in hell.

You are The Devil

Materiality. Material Force. Material temptation; sometimes obsession

The Devil is often a great card for business success; hard work and ambition.

Perhaps the most misunderstood of all the major arcana, the Devil is not really "Satan" at all, but Pan the half-goat nature god and/or Dionysius. These are gods of pleasure and abandon, of wild behavior and unbridled desires. This is a card about ambitions; it is also synonymous with temptation and addiction. On the flip side, however, the card can be a warning to someone who is too restrained, someone who never allows themselves to get passionate or messy or wild - or ambitious. This, too, is a form of enslavement. As a person, the Devil can stand for a man of money or erotic power, aggressive, controlling, or just persuasive. This is not to say a bad man, but certainly a powerful man who is hard to resist. The important thing is to remember that any chain is freely worn. In most cases, you are enslaved only because you allow it.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.