Sunday, August 24, 2008

"I always knew he could do it"

"Just before he was boarding the plane, I met him and by the look in his eyes, I knew he would do it"...these would be the words of "experts" when on TV commenting on the performance of our Olympics heroes. When anyone succeeds on a global stage, everybody wants a piece of the cake.

Numerous IOA officials will now jump to the occasion and talk about how they had hand-picked Abhinav Bindra when he was young or saw the fire in Vijender Kumar's eyes and recommended him to some sports authority. News channels and websites will go even a step further and talk about what they had for breakfast before the medal-winning effort, talk about the first girl they kissed and whether they used their tongue, pick out photos from their family albums in which our beloved medallists would be wearing shorts and sporting half-grown moustaches, and even go to the Great Khali for his opinion on the same. Little known or outgrown celebs like Priyanka Kothari and Manisha Koirala (pardon me if any of them got their spellings changed after going to numerologists and realizing that their names add up to 9 which is an unlucky number) will try to cash in by saying: "I have a crush on Viju". Just formed bands like "The Street Rockers" (its a fictitious name - please do not try googling it) will come up with songs like "Olympics Conquered". Their school principals will talk about how they instill discipline in school from a young age and teach their students the value of sports and of all-round growth when in fact, they might not even be having a proper cricket cum football cum kho kho cum kabaddi cum "Stand outside in the sun for the whole day" field.

State governments will announce cash awards one after the other - "Madhya Pradesh government announces a cash prize of 5 lakhs for Sushil Kumar", stadiums will be renamed after them - "Patna Indoor Stadium to be renamed after Abhinav Bindra", free lifetime railway and air passes will be given to them, PhDs will be conferred on them (it might happen you never know), their coaches will be felicitated, their parents will be made members of some really prestigious societies, their uncles, aunts, grandparents, girlfriends, first cousins, dhobis, milkmen, pet dogs everyone will be honoured in one way or the other. Endless endorsements will follow: Insurance companies - "Having insurance made me forget all my worries and focus on my aim", soft drinks - "I had a drink just before the match which kept me refreshed throughout", biscuits - "It has all the necessary vitamins and minerals needed to become a true champion", mosquito coils - "It allowed me to have a good night's sleep before the big day", condoms - "I always play safe" etc etc.

I have nothing against the Olympics heroes - I respect them from the bottom of my heart for their glorious achievements. They make me feel really patriotic. They have brought honour and glory to the country and they should be given their dues for it. But my question is - why all of this only after they became heroes? Why did none of the state goverments put in so much money to build any kind of infrastructure for the sport which they so swear by now? Why did none of the IOA officials talk about Bindra's golden eye or Vijender's speed or Sushil Kumar's tiger prowess when they were embarking on their Olympic journey? A word of encouragement then would have meant a lot more than all the "I knew he could do it" lines now. All that said and done, the Olympic heroes with all the money and power in their hands now should try and build their sport - ask for better infrastructure, support budding youngsters and spread the sport. All in all, they should let the sport bask in their glory, not the state governments or IOA officials.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Unsung Heroes

We all remember Edison for inventing the bulb, Babbage for the computer, Baird for the TV and so on and so forth but does anyone really care for who invented the refrigerator or liquid soap or birth control pills for that matter? Listed below are what I think some of the most important unsung inventions (I might be misusing the word invention in some places but you get what the basic idea is, don't you?):
  • Air conditioner: The reason why I place the air conditioner at the top of the list is I am from Kolkata. For those of you who haven't really heard the name and find it hilarious with the 27 different ways you can pronounce it, Kolkata is the closest you can get to hell...40 degree temperatues with 97% humidity is not something you would be talking about on the phone to your second cousin from Agra - it's way too common. Sir Willis Haviland Carrier - you to me are GOD and I want to make sure that the Kolkata mayor confers on you a posthumous award in Victoria Memorial.

  • Contact lenses: From the bespectacled nerdy over-winking (P.S. it's not over-wanking) kid to the dark, tall, handsome(?) guy - yup contact lenses made it possible. I could pretty much add one of those before-after picture comparisons showing how much my life has changed. Okay, that's a bit too much of exaggeration. Alright here's the truth - waking up every morning and putting in the lenses is sure a pain but I don't have to deal with glasses slipping down my nose in the sticky Kolkata heat or having disfigured frames when taking basketball rebounds. Sir Otto Wichterle...I owe you one.

  • Deodorant: Imagine standing in an over-crowded Kolkata bus on a humid summer day with people reaching out to the handle for dear life. Now add to that Mount Fujiyama sized sweat patches forming under their arm-pits. And finally add to that the 99% humidity powered sweat stink (I told you it's the closest you can get to hell). In comes the life saver ... deodorant. If you are a regular bus commuter, you can't thank Helen Barnett Diserens enough for it.

  • TV Remote Control: Post 1956, waist sizes have been shown to be larger, eyes more watery and legs heavier. Post 1956, laziness has a new name - the TV remote control. All of that said and done, can you really watch TV without the remote control? Imagine watching TB6 Mockba at 11.32 in the night and your Mom walks in. Can you switch to Discovery Channel and fake interest in the cheetahs when you are thinking of other wild things, without the remote control? The remote control has made TV watching an absolute delight.

  • Condoms: The first thing that comes to my mind when I think of condoms is the Indian-Pakistani condom-chewing gum joke. The next thing that comes to my mind is India is a country of 1 billion and counting. Laugh about the first thing, think about the second one and you would agree - condoms do deserve a mention here.

  • Lunch buffets: Soups, salads, pastas, pizzas, biryanis, chaats, curries, naan, pastries, mousse, ice cream and more. One helping, two helpings, three helpings, twenty three and a half helpings. Lunch buffets are awesome - they take care of half the world's hunger problem, Brangelina adopt the rest.

  • Bum washer: Sometimes you have to get your hands dirty with the work, and sometimes even after the work. But the bum washer comes in as a fine jet of water that doesn't require you to get your hands dirty, atleast not after the work.

P.S. The inventor names that I have put up are the ones returned by Google in the first 4-5 search results. I did not really burn midnight oil searching half the world's libraries for dust-laden books on the same. So I might be wrong with some of them - in case I am, please do correct me.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Singh is Kinng - Review

Horrible...For those of you who were not too keen on watching Singh is Kinng but gave it a floating thought anyway, drown the floating thoughts. But for those of you who might still want to go for it, continue reading the rest of the review to know why.

The movie aims to do what Bollywood has been doing for ages - those "humorous" moments which have to be loud and clear enough to be understood by the truck-driving movie-going audience, romance with the hero taking it all (sorry for the spoiler but 10 minutes into the movie and you can guess it anyway), and those emotional scenes between Ma and Beti etc etc.

Akshay Kumar plays Happy Singh who is sent to Australia by the village panchayat to get back the King(Sonu Sood) who is the biggest underworld Don. The King is being highly notorious and and his parents back in the Indian village want him to come back as they haven't seen him for ages. Akshay Kumar is accompanied by Om Puri on"Sardar's day out" but he looks really wasted in the role. The typical Bollywood sequence with a slight hint of Sardar masala follows which leaves you highly disappointed after the big Singh is Kinng talks. The movie also throws in Ranvir Shorey into the fray later but he too is I over-using the word? (If you have seen the movie already you wouldn't really blame me for it).

And now the reason why people might still want to go for it...Katrina Kaif. She plays the Beti I talked about earlier to Kirron Kher. She is to marry Ranvir Shorey but then other predictable things happen. She again as predictable, looks absolutely stunning in the movie - she might have been the only reason that kept me from walking out at half-time. Oh yeah, the other reason was that it was raining heavily during half-time and I had no rain gear. Also, Javed Jafrrey who plays King's blind younger brother also gives us a few funny moments with his hilarious Punjabi accent.

At the end, I would like you to know that I am not one of those guys who goes for every other movie that comes out every other Friday. I am just a regular college goer with my small fixed sum of money for movie-watching and hence I might not be doing justice to the movie (it could be worse though!!) - you are free to go watch the movie, come back, review my review and the movie. And yeah, I had slept off for some 20-30 mins during the first half and the storyline I talked about was what I could make out (which was evident) from my pre and post nap sessions. So if you are gonna go watch the movie, do it for Katrina Kaif and the empty theatres...mark my words, all you "out on first-date" guys!!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Untitled (I titled it 'Untitled')

You wanna write but you can't think of what to write about. So what do you do? Well, here's what I did when trying to come up with this article:
  • Kept staring at the trees outside my window - now I know the entire wind patterns of South Bangalore.
  • Winked at the fire alarm indicator which kept winking at me all the time. It might have got so pissed off by now that it won't wink when there is actually a fire
  • Kept selecting random words on the screen and appreciated what a wonderful invention the mouse is (yeah, what a name too!) and to add to it, the middle scroll button
  • Chewed on a piece of gum for 7 hours till the protons and neutrons got separated and weird electrostatic forces started taking control of my mouth - anything within a radius of 1m from my mouth went into my mouth.
  • Formed an entire dandruff shedding camp on the keyboard. I need to have a bath more often, and buy some shampoo too.
  • Munched on an entire packet of banana chips - God they're disgusting.
  • Reminded myself of how long my nails are and how much dirt has accumulated underneath them and wondered whether "my" dirt has a different more toxic chemical composition
  • Rolled from end to end of the room on my chair. I managed to topple a table and my laundry bag in the process and also kicked my dog. I need a rolling chair with a steering wheel for better control.
  • Came up with the one liner "Hot girls are made in dogs in ovens".
  • Thought about whether the one-liner makes any sense.
  • Decided it does and I will add it to "My best one-liners ever" list if people actually find it funny. And celebrate it with a hot dog. Make it a hot dog and beer
  • Wondered if The Eagles would be as popular if they were called, let's say The Pigeons or The Hens or worse, The Cocks.
  • Checked out other blogs to make this list more comprehensive. Unfortunately, the topic turned out to be just too original.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Starting off

Well, why on Earth would you be reading this?
  1. You are as jobless as I was when I wrote this.
  2. You are someone I know and sent you an email requesting you to read it in your free time. So now you are free or you doing it just as a gesture of goodwill.
  3. You are someone I don't know but someone I know passed you the link asking you to read the blog of someone he knew.
  4. You googled for mahatma+baba and found me on results page 189.

No matter which of the above reason(s) is/are true, here you are, having put in quite a few mouse clicks reading my blog. I would try my best not to disappoint you...yeah thats why I haven't put up my photograph.

Well, so how exactly do I start off with my first blog entry? I will go ahead tell you some random facts about myself (inspired from MintChutney)

  1. I used to hate blogs till 3 months back. I thought they were a waste of time both for the reader and the writer. I still think the same - its just that joblessness is a bigger waste.
  2. Well, if you haven't been pissed off enough by fact #1 and continue to read this, here's fact #2 - All my online profiles say that I "play" basketball, football, squash and table tennis. But the only sport that I am good at is underarm cricket.
  3. I have been wearing glasses ever since I was in Class 2 which would be at 7 years of age. Its only 3 years back that I moved to contact lenses which makes me "think" that I am a lot cooler now.
  4. Okay I picked this one up from here- I sound a lot more interesting on blog than I actually am.
  5. I hate making people wait for me.
  6. I can get dressed and ready in 3.55 seconds. Then I have to wait for others to get ready.
  7. When I am hungry, I eat. When I am bored, I eat. When I am lonely, I eat. When I am confused, I eat. When there is nothing more left to eat, I go buy some more.
  8. I am an avid book reader but I still haven't been able to get past Atlas Shrugged pg 249.
  9. I never watch a British movie in theatres - I need the subtitles.
  10. I love beer - that's the second best thing God ever created. The best is unlimited beer.
  11. Just like people thought Atlas Shrugged is the way the world is supposed to function, I thought Five Point Someone is how my college life is supposed to function.
  12. I am really bad with directions - I have to call up friends to ask how to reach my home.
  13. It took me 1 and a half days to compile this list.

Keep coming back for more...