Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The legality of illegality

Today I did something illegal. Yes I'm guilty. However I have this weird feeling by the end of this blog post you will appreciate my misdemeanor. It does not relate to the end justifying the means or anti-establishment rhetoric. It's quite hilarious actually. Read on.

The misdemeanor: I paid a bribe to an MSEB (that's our electricity board for those who're not close by) worker to reconnect my electricity which had been cut due to non-payment of bill!

Pathetic! You wouldn't do the same abroad, why do you do so in India. It's people like you who undermine the success of this country.

Excellent points. I agree I'm disgraceful. However consider this fact – I paid my electricity bill three days ahead of the due date. However my mistake was to pay it using a very slow medium – the g**-**mn internet! Yes, in today's world of USB 3.0 which can transfer 42 or so Libraries of Congress in a day (read here), the MSEB takes 10 days for a bill paid over the internet to reflect in their system.

Hence, I pay my bill only 3 days before due date, the MSEB executioners (the guys who walk around to cut people's power) don't get knowledge of my payment, take a nice stroll to my house and THWACK – my electricity is gone when I return home.

So I run down to the neighbourhood electricity office and they've shut shop for the day. After all it's after 3 (That's where I want to work, where we can go home at 3!). There are just a couple of hangers around just closing up. So I tell them my dilemma, and they casually go into a tirade of how unreliable and slow this internet business is. They tell me – give us the pouthi (I always loved that word) and we'll reconnect it for you. I tell them "Perfect. Let's do that". Here's where my luck runs out. Unfortunately the receipt is stored on my desktop and I don't own a UPS. So there's no way I can get to the receipt without power. Did anyone shout "CATCH-22"

Well, let's reason with this man. I'm pretty sure he'll understand the dilemma I'm in, help me out to get the receipt and we can all go home happy. Ha! Maybe if I was Hrithik 'freakin' Roshan. Simple – just start my electricity for 2 mins and I'll get you the receipt – Nahi ho sakta na sir.

What happened? Let's summarize:

I ended up paying a bribe (illegal) to get them to start my electricity for which I paid (legally I may add) 3 days ahead of schedule.

But the real kick-in-the-n*ts answer they gave me was:

"Nahi shuru kar sakte hai na sir.. Illegal hai na!!"

Monday, December 15, 2008


For a long time this question has intrigued me as I'm sure it has numerous others. Shahrukh Khan. Do I really hate him? Why then do I somehow manage to get dragged to everyone of his movies? And to be very honest – I don't feel as if the movie was a total waste. There are always some fond memories of the movie. However with every passing movie, my dislike for that man increases. What is the dynamic at play here?

Initial thought was – Do I dislike him because he's successful? Because everyone else seems to love him? Nope – that's not it. I like others who are successful and lovable. The Big B for example – I'm not a die-hard fan, but I like him – he has definitely done a lot of stuff I love. Sachin Tendulkar – extremely successful and only a greater icon than Shahrukh, I like him too. So it's not the natural urge for humans to dislike people who're more successful than themselves. What else can it be?

Well I finally found out. The reason I dislike him is because he has been proclaimed king (more by himself, and some insipid news channels than by anyone else) of an art-form (rather than industry) at which he totally and absolutely sucks at. Acting – yup that's it. Shahrukh Khan is a terrible actor – yet he is king. I'm sure a lot of you disagree with me – and I'm guessing a majority of those are from the fairer sex. I know a lot of you go weak at the knees when he jhatkao's his hair or does that silly pout of his. But wake up and smell the glycerine. Not only is he a terrible actor, he's a wuss as well.

"Wuss – whaddaya mean wuss – don't you remember how he took all those hits for Ganga in Pardes, or how he waited for 22 years in jail for his love in Veer Zaara. How can you call him a wuss?"

True – those are some very brave exploits of his – though I'm still sticking with my theory. The reason being this. He hasn't done one daring role. The most daring role I think of his whole career has been Asoka – and that was such a mess. I'm afraid Bollywood really needs to do amends to one of the greatest emperors India has ever known. And I don't think he's a wuss because he made it a mess – What do you expect, I have more the look and feel of an emperor than Shahrukh does! I think he's a wuss because after that movie, he hasn't dared to pick up another daring role his whole life. He's comfortable picking up some very safe movies by his closest (some say too close) friends like Karan Johar and on top of that whine if one of his movies doesn't do good (KANK – Sic!!!. And his argument was "The audience isn't mature enough to understand and appreciate such a touchy, emotional topic". That's right, we'll never be mature enough to appreciate crap!).

However that being said – I have a plan for his movies to become better. For the same I shall begin by giving a lifecycle of a standard Shahrukh movie:

First hour of the movie: Starts strong, very likable in some movies might even fool me into thinking he's as good an actor as Emraan Hashmi!

Second hour of the movie: Here is where the ridiculousness of the plot begins to dawn on you, and begin considering – no wonder Shahrukh is acting in this. No intelligent actor would have opted for something like this.

Third hour of the movie: Here is where he really proves himself. He begins to get these delusions that he's a great romantic/emotional actor and tries to throw those pouts, has scenes where it seems his troubles are the biggest in the world (Yeah they solved world hunger last year, and are at a breakthrough for AIDS any moment now).

Simple way to improve your movies. When you're through to the interval, get yourself killed! Jump in front of a bus, off a building, immolation, asphyxiation, poisoning or whatever disease you always seem to have (Lung cancer would be innovative and not too far off from where you are in real life).

But then Shahrukh is a great actor and he has proof! Look at all the awards he's won!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Five states vote!

The numbers are in!


It seems to be a pure progress vote bank. One off stupid statements by Sheila Dixit and the terror strikes in Mumbai doesn't seem to have fazed the Delhi public to overlook her work on progress in the last 10 odd years. A slight dent in their majority may eventually emerge, but will not be enough to worry the congress. I'm guessing the face of smooth Sheila did it for the Congress in the end as compared to where-did-he-fall-out-of V.K. Malhotra. So Delhi's votebanks seem to have voted as if they were voting in a mayor of the city rather than the CM of a state. It seems very local and purely related to a visible developmental performance.

Post-mortem analysis:

V.K. Malhotra should have made more local developmental promises rather than beat the national security and project the centre's inefficacy on Sheila. Delhi seems to be a local public when it comes to state elections. I however doubt whether they'll think the same way when it comes to the LS polls. Delhi being a majority urban centre I'm guessing their public have enough understanding to keep the National issues separate from the regional issues. LS polls will be able to confirm this.

Madhya Pradesh

Looks like this one goes back to the BJP. Old hindutva links and Shivraj Singh Chouhan's developmental plank seems to have worked. BJP will be happy to have retained an incumbent state. MP is also an important state for the LS polls and a strong showing will give them confidence. Not much going for the Congress in 'Hindustan ka dil'

Post-mortem analysis:

Congress needs to really invest in someone special and some really strong issues to dent the BJP here.


It looks like Rajasthan is confused again. Vasundhara Raje's bumbling mess of a government has probably got what it deserved. Central inefficacy wasn't a good enough reason for the people of Rajasthan to think of choosing Raje again. She's got the boot. However, I must say it wasn't as big a boot as everyone expected it to be. It's not crystal clear as I write yet, but suffice to say that Rajasthan chose the anti-incumbent against the royal. But it seems Ashok Gehlot wasn't all but forgotten, else the defeat would've been a rout. Choose the lesser of two weevils!

Post-mortem analysis:

When you get power – do more than buy BMW's and choppers and if you do, ensure that is heard more than the blades of your chopper. Local development factors here too.


Raman Singh's developmental plank seems to have worked. Even though large areas of the state is still widely tribal forest land, it's no simple task to be in the top 5 states in the country to do business in. Add on top of that the stupidity of the Congress with Salwa Julum, I'm not surprised. Overall, well done Raman Singh but your developmental effects aren't reaching all corners of your state, or you would have improved your lead from last time.

Post-mortem analysis:

Local development seems to factor here too in the State elections. Congress can only hope their existing MLAs can do something in terms of development that is big enough to reverberate in the other constituencies.


A whitewash by the Congress. Largest ever majority by any party in this state. I'm beginning to wonder whether Rahul Gandhi was really effective. I always thought he was a waste of food, drink, petrol, newspaper ink and Video camera memory!

Post-mortem analysis:

No Idea.

Strategy to get the men on India's wishlist!

The captured terrorist Kasav mentions that he undertook this mission for:

  1. The brainwashing and the indoctrination he underwent
  2. The money promised to his family (1.5L odd Pakistani Rupees)

The concept is to use these emoluments against these people on the wishlist. The brainwashing we can't provide much of, but money we've got adequate amounts. If the LeT/ISI/Al Qaeda can provide 1.5L PKR I'm sure us being the second fastest economy in the world can offer more. So it's quite a simple strategy.

  • Make a list of the people in Pakistan we want disposed of – Done
  • Make a list of targets in Pakistan/POK we want destroyed.
  • Assign monetary rewards to anyone who hunts them down/destroys these targets and provides proof of their kills.
  • Start with a small fry/easy target and prove that we intend to actually pay.

Why this will work:

  • Pakistan already has a great number of arms and ammunition in open supply. We would not even have to provide weapons
  • Pakistan already has a great number of people with arms training. We would not even have to supply training.
  • The economic condition is so bad, I'm sure there are people willing to take on the Pakistani army for a few rupees. In fact I think we might get some Pak Army deserters itself to do this for us. Supposedly upto 900 desertions are happening every week.
  • Don't have to put our army into harm's way. Let Pakistan reap what it sowed!
  • Ppl like Dawood will begin to distrust everyone. Everyone he meets will be a potential assassin. Even if it doesn't kill him, we'll still have him peeing in his pants