Monday, April 19, 2010

The Imprudent Generation…

Thinking – such a waste of time! This has become the catch-word that Hero Honda banked on to revive the fortunes of the new CBZ – the CBZ Xtreme.

Kajol: Yeh sochne-wochne ka kaam mujhse nahi hota. Shukar hai is ghar mei koi toh intelligent hai!

Ajay: Thank you Jaanu.

Kajol: Mai tumhari nahi, humaare Whirlpool (AC or Fridge… I forget which) ki baat kar rahi hoon.

Loose translation – K: Can’t seem to get myself to think. Thankfully, there’s someone intelligent at home

A: Thanks babes.

K: Not you. I’m talking about the (random) Whirlpool (thingie) This is the latest advertisement for (random) Whirlpool product-line.

The new and disturbing trend in the ad industry – Moronizing the consumer.

I was a kid when advertisements were more focused on educating the customers (Dabur, Nirma, Melodie, etc.). Then the advertisements moved on to entertaining the customer. It used to be difficult, but I could still see some connect. I was even okay when it was just the old-school ‘demeaning the consumer’ trend. “You there… yeah you, the fugly dark babe/dude… improve your self-esteem with this fairness product” type of advertisements. Or, the “hey assface, get laid with this deo” kind of placement worked too…

But admitting that no carbon-based life form in your household has an IQ more than a random appliance is below the belt. Though the actors definitely look the part and obviously have no qualms admitting the fact, I take offence. As a Homo Sapien, that is. It is strangely, but surely comforting that you command the brown/white appliances at home. After a hard day’s work there is nothing more comforting than coming back home and relaxing, assured in the knowledge that your gadgets, fixtures, and appliances will obey your every command. They cool your room, chill your drink, heat your meal, play your music and all that.

I’d hate to be one of the people who can’t do that. Is that why they dispense all the pent-up aggression at work? Because their IQ is lower than an inanimate household item?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Indian Putrid League…

Q: What happens when a petty dimwit, who leads a hugely successful franchise, faces off with a suave lobbyist?

A: Crap hits the fan!

Welcome dear friends to a side-act that seems to be dominating India’s richest circus – Indian Premier League. IPL, as it is better known, started as an idea by the Indian cricketing legend Kapil Dev, to hone the cricketing talent of the country. At a time when India’s cricketing board considered T20, the shortest format of the game to be just a fad, Kapil Dev created the Indian Cricket League (ICL) with private sponsors. The event was an instant success for the cricket-hungry nation with international players mentoring upcoming Indian cricketers and enthralling crazed fans.

Enter Lalit Modi, who convinces the BCCI (Indian Cricket Board) that with the Indian team winning the 2007 T20 world cup, the fad is here to stay. For a plan to cash-in on the rush, Lalit Modi revisits the ICL plan, Cntrl+A, Cntrl+X, Cntrl+V. Viola! IPL is born. He then resorts to the cheap tactic of banning all Indian players in the ICL from representing the country. Trivializes Kapil Dev’s efforts and gets the ICC (International Cricketing Council) to discredit the ICL. What happens to ICL? Shift+Del!

What followed were two hugely successful seasons that cashed in on two evergreen passions of the Indian Man – Cricket and White Babes. The IPL wants more and invites bids for two new teams. Team Pune and Team Kochi offer whopping amounts of USD 350M and USD 333M for their teams, and win the bid. The Kochi bid is put together by Rendezvous sports, a bunch of unrelated parties brought together by Dr. Shashi Tharoor, an erudite politician from Trivandrum. Suddenly, something.

What follows is a developing story and the plot, sub-plots, characters, locales, and political affiliations will change. Continuously, randomly.

Act 1. The Kochi franchise’s papers are returned, citing lack of paperwork as the reason. As any Indian will know, the next logical thing is to slip a fiver into the babu’s pocket. The franchise, rather than slipping a fiver in the pocket, spends time, money, and energy in compiling paperwork.

Act 2. Modi tweets about irregularities in the partnership and attacks Shashi Tharoor personally, and insinuating his financial interest in the franchise. He also confesses to having received a call from Tharoor asking him to ‘back off’ from the scrutiny of the Kochi team’s papers.

Act 3. Dr Tharoor tweets ‘I’ve had enough” and issues a press release. He refrains from any personal attacks, but his aides and confidants do not. They publish Modi’s past in the US as a cocaine peddler, kidnapper, and assaulter. (?!)

Act 4. The Kochi team challenges Modi to disclose the ownership patterns of all teams. This supposedly caused a minor tremor in Lahore, where the ‘Bhai’ is living off ISI’s money and hospitality. (Any Indian company is only legitimate if the ‘Bhai’ has a stake in it.) Tharoor receives a threat SMS from the ‘Bhai’ (which will be eventually traced to some wannabe dumfuk) and his security is beefed up.

Act 5. Another disclosure linking Modi to a model and a probable casting pitch(?) scandal raises eyebrows. Modi is asked by the BCCI to stop tweeting and not make further comments (till they receive their share?) until the matter is sorted.

Act 6. BJP demands Tharoor’s resignation. (Again, this is the only logical conclusion for any problem.)

Update: April 18, 2010

Tharoor quits his post as a minister in the external affairs ministry.

Update: April 21, 2010

The BCCI and IPL governing council suggest Modi's exit. The defiant Modi refuses to go down

Disclaimer: My being a Mallu doesn’t necessarily mean that I am a fan of Tharoor by default. I honestly think that he should quit politics, since the political scene is not yet ready for a class act like him. IMO, it is his skill as a lobbyist that put a motley crew together to bid for a team. Moreover, even in the unlikely event that he has a financial stake in the outfit, isn’t it better than having underworld connections and other assorted mafia links? I’m really curious to see how Modi will come out of this…

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Ancient, Orthodox, Walker...

I sometimes wonder if I belong to a different time and age… And it’s not just my creaking bones that make me wonder that. There are a lot of things around me that continue to reinforce my belief. Let’s take fashion, for instance…

I identify with a school of thought where women look like women and men look like men. Flip through any fashion channel or magazine now, and all you will find is women with the structure of underfed pre-teen boys and men, like they’ve just been let off a concentration camp. And they both look like they’ve lost the will to live. Seriously! Is that what passes off as sex appeal these days?

And why would any legally sane person EVER want to be a size zero? What does that mean anyways? To the best of my reasoning, it could mean the size of the wearer’s brain! Why would anyone actually pay money to look anorexic? And what kind of demented folks prefer such people? Or has mutation given the new generation some kind of convex vision? Or worse – has age given me concave vision?

Whatever be the reason, there goes my dreams of becoming a supermodel! Not that it will, in anyway, come in the way of my world-domination ambitions by becoming a God-man, but still… We all like a little fan following, don’t we?

But there are still a few things that, in my mind are divided by gender. I hope this table illustrates two categories of what (most people in) my generation identify with the sexes…





All cosmetics


After shave, Cologne, Vaseline, Talcum powder


Lipstick, Foundation, Rouge…

NOT Masculine


Skirts, blouses, tank-tops, things, saris, capris, hot pants, gowns, dresses…

Feminine (Actually women look good in anything)

Pants, shirts, tees, jeans, kurtas

Masculine (refer above too)

Men should realize that UNLIKE women, they WILL look funny wearing anything out of the above table (let’s keep regional preferences like dhotis, loincloths, etc. out of this). And that there is a fine line that divides the metrosexuals from the effeminate. I am not homophobic, but the trend of men doing their eyebrows and stuff unsettles me… And so do men or women with a lack of personal hygiene… I hope I’m making sense to you, because sometimes, I can’t understand myself. Especially in such cases. I try and simplify it to myself by saying that a Man should look like a Man and a Woman should look like a Woman.

And yes, what started this was the sight of a guy in a car, doing make-up in the morning traffic of Mumbai. Honestly, I failed to decide then – which was more pathetic.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Scheduled Role Reversal...

I pride myself on being able to watch movies the wrench the hearts out of the heartless without shedding a single tear. I am so emotionally detached watching TV, that I make fun of my wife/mother/sister/friend if they even as much as sigh during an emotional patch…

As a kid, my Mom’s biggest threat used to be that one day, I will become like those I make fun of. I now realize that the day is fast approaching. Again!

In a strange role-reversal of sorts, I used to be the one who used to stare at the TV, teary-eyed and heartbroken, while my wife used to exact her revenge by making fun of my heroes! And I’m afraid, the time is at hand again…

The 2010 sporting season for me begins on March 12 with the IPL. It carries on till the end of November with the football world cup and Formula 1. And I’m going to be an emotional wreck this year!

It will start with IPL3 where my team, the Deccan Chargers hope to defend their title from last year. Year one saw them at the bottom of the table. At that time, there were only TWO DC fans in the whole world – Pratibha and I. While the whole world mocked us, we held our heads high. When IPL2 started, the same non-believers came back to hound us, and to them I now say- “Who’s your daddy NOW?”.

It was easier last year since any position other than the last was an improvement, and even if they came last, we could claim to be consistent. Not so this year… I’m going to stay off fat and protein.

Same with the Azzuri. My favorite team since I started following the world cup in Mexico ’86. The Italians had the X-factor. I was obviously too young to realize that then, I supported them because their flag was the closest to India’s. But my support never wavered and my love for the Azzuri survived the Maradona, and Ronaldo eras. While my friends dreamed about Bollywood, I used to idolize Toto, Baggio, Maldini, Del Piero, Cannavarro, and the likes. Not that I disliked other teams, I would always have a step team to support. But my heart always beat with the Azzuri…

And then, the most painful of my sporting indulgences – Formula 1. My affair with the sport began in 1998, the Mika Hakkinen era. The battles between Mika and Michael Schumacher kept the season interesting. Despite losing the championship that season, I started favoring Ferrari. I was in awe of the scarlet car and everything associated with it, including Schumi.

1999 was disappointing after Michael’s Silverstone accident and thereafter missing five (or was it six) races… But he came back in Malaysia and how! He virtually held up the entire race for Eddie Irvine, who finished first and Ferrari were the champs that year. They went on to dominate the next six years, which honestly were not as exciting with no one to challenge Schumi.

A lot has happened since then, Force India entered F1 in 2008 and took a bite out of my loyalty to Ferrari. Schumi retired, Ferrari became champs again… But this year, things are not so pleasant for me. Schumacher makes a comeback and races for team Mercedes. Alonso and Massa pilot the Ferrari, Karun Chandok becomes the second Indian F1 driver…

Things are not going to be easy this time either…

Friday, February 19, 2010

Wake Up Walker...

This morning, Ajita walks up to me and asks – How is ‘Rahul Mahajan ka Swayamvar’? That was when I realized that I became the Kannagi Ohlsson of the blog world. Not good! That is not the reality. The reality is this:

My name is Walker, and I am not a Bollywood star!


It seems that these days, if you have to be somebody worth anything in India, you gotta be a Bollywood star. That, my friends, is the new Indian identity. My barf reflexes started building up from the first time I saw PMS – Phir Mile Sur – for the first time on Jan 27. At the grave risk of being labeled a misogynic, insensitive, b@$***d (or MIB), the song induces a PMS in me and I pity myself for choosing a career that mandates competence. I am now a lesser citizen, who will never be appreciated unless I land a role in the movies…

And once that happens, no matter what I do or say, I will always have people to support any nonsense I say… I already have a blog and a twitter ID, so those are checked. All I have to do now is arrange for a lobotomy so that I will not, even by accident, say or do anything intelligible or logical. No one even raises an eyebrow about the stupid things I do.

Case in point – the most prolific star India has known. I have lost count of the political asses he has kissed. Starting from the Congress, Samajwadi Party, Shiv Sena, Bharatiya Janata Party… Even Deve Gowda’ obscure party! Fans pant, bank swells…

Another case – the MC Hammer of Indian cinema. Owns a sport franchise, doesn’t bid for any players who come from the ‘Best Neighbor’. Then cries about it. There is an uproar, and (wink) his upcoming movie gets dragged into it. The ever-faithful Mainstream Media swarms to the story like pigeons to grain. Fans pant, bank swells…

So I am torn between my future as a God-man and that of being a star. Well, I would REALLY like a cult following, but I would also like to be on some edition of the Mile Sur series… Even the upcoming one with Rakhi Sawant, Himesh, Rahul Mahajan, Pritam, KRK and other ‘accomplished’ Indians will do. Till that happens, I would not have ‘arrived’, and I definitely want to ‘arrive’.

I also need to learn the subtle art of practising inanity while not compromising on my conceit...

In the meantime, I plan to watch MNIK and rent Chhahat and Ram Jaane to up my acting skills.

P.S.: I have no issues with the real talents like ARR, Anoushka, Amjad Ali, Zakir Hussain, Yesudas, and the others. I lose when I see Bollywood/Kollywood/Tollywood/Tiger Wood/WTFwood ham. ARR is a great singer and they didn’t let HIM sing… gave hime a fekkin fingerboard. The revulsion I feel about the PMS video could fill volumes…