Thursday, April 27, 2006

Adventure 15

Care for environment

Here is Rocko's Modern Life with a brilliant musical episode, teaching us about environment awareness...

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Adventure 14

Random rants

Let's start with some opening music for once...

Here is my list of great copycats. The names in parentheses are the originals. The order has no particular significance apart from the sequence in which i recalled them.

1. Kaavya Viswanathan (Megan Mcafferty)
2. Ravindra Pushpakumara (Waqar Younis)

Shit! Can't remember any more!!!

This is for all you intellectual souls who love bashing Bongs.

My new motto is "It's now or never". Thanks to TVS Apache...

Who said nutty guys walk around stoned in art galleries and comic book stores wearing expensive khadi kurtas or smash guitars on stage accompanied psychedelic lights? Some of them just patrol the seas...

If I could get one person chucked out of the Indian team, it would definitely be Sreesanth. Here are two reasons why:
Reason 1
Reason 2

I thought I had seen all types of geeks...till I saw this! Incidentally, Adam Logan is the World Scrabble Champion 2005.

Talking of Scrabble, Chinedu Okwelogu (Sidespin) has brilliantly responded to a ridiculous announcement by Yahoo!

Start your day with Yahoo! - make it your home page
Date: Thu, 4 Aug 2005 08:32:51 -0700 (PDT)
From: "Hellen N.M."
Subject: Fwd: Urgent sana
To: monica wanjiku

Dear YAHOO User,

Because of the sudden rush of people signing up to
YAHOO, it has come to our attention that we are vastly
running out of resources. So, within a month's
time,anyone who does not receive this email with the
exact subject heading,will be deleted off our server.
Please forward this email so that we know you are
still using this account.

Since when has it been punishable not to receive an
e-mail? And what if I perfectly legitimately use my
box once in two months?

We want to find out which users are actually using
their YAHOO accounts. So if you are using your
account, please pass this e-mail to every YAHOO user
that you can and IF YOU DO NOT PASS this letter to
anyone we will delete your account.

YAHOO Admin. Dept.

Does this obligation also apply to government
ministries, hospitals, and military establishments?
Not to mention Upper and Lower Houses of Assembly?!!!!
Also, am I correct to infer that 'Hotmail' subscribers
are too cold and frigid to enjoy this joke?

Our YAHOO system is getting to crowded!! We need you
to forward this to at least 20 people. I know this
seems like a large number, but we need to find out who
is really using their account.

Then stop admitting!! And why the interchange of the
1st person singular and plural pronouns? Or have you
forgotten whether you are one or more than one?

If you do not send this to at least 10 YAHOO members,
we will delete your account. Sorry for this

Why do you wield so much stick without carrot? Go and
study the tactics of absolute rulers of time past.
Meanwhile, make up your mind whether your minimum
mailspread requirement is 20 or 10 or 30 or 5.

Sincerely, Director of YAHOO Services

Is it the same you who started this missive that are
signing off? I sign off with as much sincerity, though
with less hermaphroditicalness.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Adventure 13

One More Chance

A star-studded India just got humiliated by a depleted England squad. One hundred runs was all the 'youth' brigade (incidentally it consisted of young veterans like Sachin, Dravid and Sehwag - who have all reached the 200 run mark more than once) could score. Which got me thinking. Should the older, more experienced players, who have given their entire lives to cricket be resurrected? Those forgotten hopefuls; shouldn't they get another chance?

Here is an alternate Team India, sans the 'stars'. Semi-veterans (mostly in their thirties) who may just do the trick. No airs, no inflated egos, no affairs with bollywood starlets - only a passion for the game. Here's my India Sans Glitz (ISG) - XI.
In batting order:

Playing Eleven

1. Sadagoppan Ramesh
2. Vikram Rathour
3. Hrishikesh Kanitkar(VC)
4. Vijay Bharadwaj
5. Vinod Kambli
6. Sairaj Bahutule
7. MSK Prasad (WK)
8. Sunil Joshi (C)
9. Gyanendra Pandey
10. Doddanarasaiah Ganesh
11. Debashis Mohanty

12. WV Raman
13. Laxmi Ratan Shukla
14. Vijay Dahiya (WK)
15. Harvinder Singh
16. Dinesh Mongia
17. Nilesh Kulkarni

Sourav Ganguly

Sunil Joshi has been a consistent performer, and a shrewd and intelligent performer for Karnataka. He is a born fighter, who made it from a small town to the big league by sheer grit. He is a shrewd left arm spinner, superb fielder, and a handy bat. The natural choice for captaincy. The interesting thing to note here is that only Laxmi Ratan Shukla here has the benefit of youth on his side, but he too is a veteran, given that he has been playing first class cricket for over eight years now, and was exposed to the rough and tumble of international cricket at a rather tender age (ok, everyone is not of the caliber of Irfan Pathan!)

Vinod Kambli and Hrishikesh Kanitkar are talented players who lost their way at some point. Kambli in full flow was a joy to watch. The fame got to him, and somehow his off-field antics got the better of him (Zaheer Khan is threatening to go the Kambli way). Kambli was the Brian Lara that never was. An ideal foil to Kambli's aggression is his Mumbai teammate Kanitkar. A cool, composed and thinking cricketer, one can never forget the last ball four he hit off Saqlain Mushtaq to take India to a historic win in Dhaka. Also a useful slow bowler, Hrishikesh Kanitkar deserves another chance.

Nilesh Kulkarni. Bad luck is his middle name. He had to run into Sanath Jayasuriya. The man who destroyed the careers of two of the world's (then) best allrounders - Phil DeFreitas and Manoj Prabhakar in a single series (World Cup 1996). That too on a Colombo Dustbowl. With Roshan Mahanama for company, the butcher for Matara made Nilesh pay for his first-ball wicket (Atapattu) with his career. Debashis Mohanty can swing the ball. He forged a deadly opening partnership with Ganguly in Toronto, to torment Pakistan to no end. Though his chest-on technique cost him several yards of pace, he can swing the ball genuinely, and has surprisingly managed to keep his shoulders intact!

Gyanendra Pandey is the level-headed captain of UP, who led them to the Ranji title this year. Sadagoppan Ramesh is a stylish opener who was discarded unceremoniously. Ditto with Vijay Bharadwaj, touted as the next superstar, but never given a chance. India needs a stylist like Vikram Rathour also, to take the shine off the new ball, before taking on the spinners.

Now for the important part. The coach. Why Ganguly? The coach should be one with whom the boys can identify. One who has undergone the same harrowing experience of being in the wilderness for many, many years, before making a glorious comeback, to be one of the most celebrated Indian captains ever. One, who, though he never contributed too spectacularly with either ball or bat, showed the boys how to fight! To stand up to the opposition and pay the supremacists back with their own coin. One who always stood up for talent, irrespective of the region the player belonged to. One who resurrected a (now celebrated) batsman's failing career by fitting him in a new role till he found his bearings. One who showed us that a team following on can also win. One who overcame his natural temperamental flaws to give a sense of direction to Team India. Even though he is younger than many in the team, his wealth of experience and natural killer instinct can galvanise the ISG-XI to be a parallel India squad, capable of beating the best in the world.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Adventure 12


I was a callow lad of sixteen, when I was first introduced to the magical world of JPNP. ML Khanna (and his famous mentor JN Sharma) introduced me to the sublime world of determinants, trigonometry and coordinate geometry. Slowly and surely I was weaned away from those voluminous tomes written by ancient Englishmen and Russian communists and idiotic Americans. I began to believe in The Great Indian Dream. Soon, AK Agarwal (oh...the delights of physical and organic chemistry) and Gupta & Gupta (clearing concepts in physics) also entered my life.

I was introduced to the world of Indian engineering colleges. I had to only see a 'problem' to identify it as an IITJEE, REE, MLNR, DCE, WBJEE or TS Rajendra type. Sigh...those were the days. Limits lived at my fingertips. My jokes involved complex numbers, and I dreamt of the day free radicals would rule the world. Grignard reagents, concurrent forces and the L'Hospital (sic) rule were my constant companions.

JPNP naturally had many competitors. Krishna publications, the biggest (literally) pretenders to the throne, brought out volumes that my wiry fram could barely support. Tata-McGraw Hill tried to bring out suave and urbane books on glossy newsprint for the urbane South Indian, who liked a challenge without being spoonfed the solutions, but nobody was fooled. JPNP ruled supreme. Others, knowing that they could never match the sheer might of JPNP, simply tried to pirate Prof. Khanna's epic. No use. JPNP promptly introduced a multi-coloured hologram, and also threw in a lucky draw coupon. They needn't have. Those babies did not need cheap gimmicks to sell themselves.

However, like all good things, we had to part ways. I attempted many of the above-mentioned exams (IITJEE, REE, DCE, KCET) and did not taste any success except in the last one. However, I spent the best two years of my life with JPNP, my constant companions. When in college, I spent many a sleepless pre-examination night without a suitable guide. But I knew, my friend, philosopher, guide and guardian angel was watching over me.


Jai Prakash Nath!!!

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Adventure 11

The great escape

Call me DJ - bcause i am cool type guy. I am also dead. I am martyr.

I became graduate, but for five years I was loiter around university campus, with my gang of friendships, enjoying beer, fast motorcycle and good life. My mummy ran dhaba, so I was getting nice food and also not worrying about the livelihood and all. I was just interest in bike, beer, womens and all only.

One day, cute white girl from UK come and told me that I am like Chandrashekhar Azad. To get friendly with her, I agreed to act that part in her picture she was producing and scripting and directing and cinematographing and probably editing too, but we all died before she could get to editing part. To my pleasure, my friends also were looking like Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and etc. Only there was one jerk who was like Ramprasad Bismil, so we had to make friendships with him also for the sake of memsaab. By the by, my friend's boyfriend was MiG flyer - dude from Air Force.

Poor fellow got married, and went off to fly MiG, and died after his plane crashed. Not his fault, the parts were defective. But Mantriji insulted his memory. Then that brute also had his mother and widow lathicharged for peaceful demonstration. We got mad and decided to murder him. Defence minister no, very tough job because of Z+ security.

He went out for morning walk with only one unarmed security guard (very lucky for us). One of us dudes distracted security guard while we shot minister from bike. We got away and nobody even saw wow yaar!

Let me not bug you with more detail vetail...we hijacked AIR station, broadcast our message, and got shot by snipers. We are heroes.

Let me get this straight. Rang De Basanti makes for pretty good watching, but the message it carries is pretty dubious. Atone for your sins by killing someone? Not acceptable any more. The makers do make a good job of resurrecting our forgotten hero; but must it be so jarring? And as for originality, isn't it a clever rehash of Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani, which itself is a rehash of some Hollywood flick I haven't seen?

It does convey one message though - the lives of pilots (for that matter anyone) are not for playing with. When will our politicians learn to exclude innocent lives from their shenanigans?

Another film which resurrects a forgotten hero is Jahnu Barua's Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Maara. Full marks to that one for originality as well as for making the right point. We need more films like that and less of pop-patriotic, escapist eye candy that is Rang De Basanti.

If you want escapism, Karan Johar is the stuff for you.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Adventure 10


I got rejected by The New Yorker Magazine. Yeah. They sent me the rejection roughly four months after I sent them my story. Anyway, I have decided to put it up where I call the shots. The text below is an exact copy of their rejection mail, and my story, complete wth the screwed-up formatting (whenever you see text enclosed by two funny characters like 'Š' it means the text was to be in bold or italics.
We regret that we are unable to use the enclosed material.
Thank you for
giving us the opportunity to consider it.

The Editors

On 6/23/05 1:28 PM, "Prithwiraj Mukherjee" wrote:

> By Prithwiraj Mukherjee
> "You can't do this!" she screamed, but her voice could
> barely be heard over the hum of the chainsaw. However,
> her face was coming just perfectŠmy new camera was
> serving its purpose well. "Hi, this is Michael Das
> reporting for TV 42. We are transmitting live from a
> shed somewhere near New York, where the chainsaw
> murderer who calls himself Manson-II is about to
> perform his third gory actŠ" It was a pity I had to
> blur out his face, but the victim was pretty. A
> small-time model in her mid-twenties, she had no
> future, thanks to those broad shoulders. At least now,
> she would be famous. In the background the chainsaw
> made contact with skin, and a few red droplets
> appeared on the lens too. A small price to pay for
> those TRPs, as the world looked on in horror.
> TV 42 used the catch phrase "making news", and had
> recently grabbed a lot of eyeballs by airing a lot of
> shocking live footage over the past year. The three
> massacres of Manson-II, the bombing of Planet
> Hollywood, and the impassioned pleas of Senator
> Johnson as his captor dissected him limb by limb. What
> nobody knew was that the catch phrase was literally
> true. Seems confusing? Let me explain.
> In the summer of 1995, Albert Karinski, the son of
> Czech immigrants and a controversial reporter with Fox
> News, decided to part ways with his employers and
> start his own news channel. He was apparently
> disgusted with Fox's policy of censoring and editing
> its content for prime time viewing. A veteran of the
> Iraq War, Karinski had to face many a humiliation,
> when his footage, often taken at great personal risk
> was consigned to the dustbin on account of
> 'unsuitability'. Images of US soldiers being branded,
> or Iraqi civilians clutching their entrails had no
> place in Fox's reports of heroic America and those
> magnificent aerial bombings which made the average
> Joe's heart swell with pride.
> To cut a long story short, Albert Karinski, along with
> a few like minded persons - Sarah Callaghan of NBC,
> Peter Schmidt and Alfred Benigni of CNN - started TV
> 42; a channel that would broadcast nothing but the
> truth - the whole shocking unedited truth. A year
> later they realised what the truth was, and it was
> even more shocking than they expected. Nobody cared
> about Channel 42. The terrorist groups still preferred
> CNN for their warnings. CBS reporters were kidnapped
> by anarchists looking for attention. TV 42 was just
> another news channel that people turned to for
> baseball scores or stock market figures that appeared
> as a continuous scroll at the bottom. Karinski had
> almost given up hope, till in walked Michael Das, that
> is I.
> My story is even more interesting than that of TV 42.
> I was born in a small village in the beautiful state
> of Kerala, India. My father was a devout Catholic, and
> determined that his youngest son, that is I, become a
> priest. So, at the age of sixteen, after completing my
> elementary school education, I was bundled off to a
> monastery. They could not keep me for long. In a
> couple of months, I had run away to Bangalore. There,
> I waited tables at a fast food joint, and
> simultaneously pursued a degree in mass communication
> via correspondence. I managed to secure a job with
> Asianet, a leading Malayalam Channel, and was soon
> posted in Saudi Arabia, where the channel's largest
> overseas viewer base was situated. It was there that I
> met Albert Karinski. We shared similar views on a lot
> of things, and I totally agreed with his views on
> censorship. We kept in touch. In 1998, I got a call
> from him, asking me whether I would like to work as
> the Middle East correspondent for TV 42. I readily
> agreed. That was seven years ago. Now I am one of the
> top people in the network, and a star.
> It all started a year ago. Our share prices were rock
> bottom. Advertisers gave us the cold shoulder. We were
> reduced to wannabe status. In short, TV 42 was one
> step away from total bankruptcy. One night, after an
> especially frustrating day - three reporters had
> deserted ship - I lay in bed, thinking of my dream;
> the dream of being that sensational guy who broke the
> story that shook the world. Let alone breaking
> stories, we even had to buy BBC and CNN footage these
> days due to lack of money and contacts. "Making news,"
> our catchphrase went. Somehow those bold flashing
> letters refused to go away from my eyesŠand then it
> hit me! Why not make news? If we were the one to make
> news, we could be the ones to break it. Serial
> Killers, terrorists, bombers, extortionists, spy-cams,
> all we had to do was decide the crime we wanted to
> cover! We would soon be number one!
> "You must be joking" Karinski said, his voice almost
> inaudible.
> Susan was just laughing hysterically.
> Alfred Benigni was the only guy without any expression
> on his face. He looked me in the eye. "You know,
> Mike," he said "what you have said is not only
> extremely far fetched, but also a sign of total moral
> bankruptcy. But having said that, I must admit that it
> could just work our way. But, we need to be extremely
> careful, not only our reputations are at stake, but we
> could even get convicted if these crimes are traced
> back to us."
> Susan wasn't laughing any more. "What do you plan to
> do?" she asked.
> "I don't knowŠI think we should start small, some sort
> of minor felony," I offered.
> And that¹s how it all began.
> The decapitation of Senator Oswald Johnson was our
> first major coup. Oswald had been a classmate of
> Alfred Benigni during the late Sixties. He had
> reportedly been the school bully. Even in those days,
> Oswald had used muscle tactics to upstage Alfred -
> till then the favorite for the post of school
> president. Alfred had never forgiven him. One more
> thing. Alfred was a racist and made fun of a lot of
> ethnic minorities, especially the Italian community.
> Even in his political career, Oswald had not spared
> the Blacks and Hispanics, winning the White Catholic
> vote bank over with his promises of stricter
> immigration laws and the abolition of Evolution in the
> elementary school curriculum.
> Our idea was to get Senator Johnson kidnapped and
> tortured. Not many would shed tears for him, we
> figured. For this purpose, we hired Pablo Mendez, a
> professional kidnapper and hit-man from the Bronx
> area. Pablo would be one of our most reliable men in
> the coming months. Pablo and three others traveled to
> Washington DC by road. My cameraman, Sidney Lawrence
> and I took the flight. They took him as he stepped out
> at night to buy a few beers before the Superbowl game
> began. All very professionally done - not even a
> scream was heard. By the time his wife came to know,
> Pablo was miles away. Not that she cared too much,
> anyway.
> To keep up the charade, Pablo had Lawrence and me
> blindfolded and gagged when we were brought in front
> of Senator Johnson. This was our first time, in the
> later stories we didn't bother. "One finger at a
> time," was what Bengni and Karinski had ordered. And
> so it was. Had I made a mistake? The bile rose up my
> throat as the blade touched his left thumb, but by the
> time his ring finger was taken, I actually enjoyed it.
> Oswald's screams meant only one thing - our fortunes
> had reversed. E were very lucky - the police found the
> hideout three days later, but TV 42 did not suffer.
> Nobody knew that we were actually "making news". The
> Oswald Johnson videos made history - every channel
> paid through its nose for telecast rights. It became
> one of the most searched items on the Internet. We
> made millions in licensing deals. Why, I even had
> offers from Playboy and Time for a no-holds-barred
> account of my adventures!
> TV 42 soon became the channel to watch. We even formed
> a secret team to script the crimes to perfection. We
> decided what crime was the best for the particular
> time of the year, and areas where it would make
> maximum impact. So it was no surprise, when a secret
> 'informant' told us about the bomb planted in Planet
> Hollywood, Los Angeles. The only thing secret about
> her was the number of boyfriends she had had. Wynona
> was the most creative of them all!
> This one was easy. A pizza delivery truck loaded with
> fertilizer would just be parked outside and detonated
> at eight thirty in the night. Around thirty deaths
> would occur. As part of our 'social responsibility',
> we would call 911 just five minutes before the event,
> with news of the bomb scare. We would break the news
> to the world. It cost us less than fifteen thousand
> dollars to set it up.
> As usual, this event catapulted TV 42 to the top of
> the ratings as usual. Nobody even suspected our
> involvement in the damn thing! Planet Hollywood was
> big. A few of the casualties were even high-society
> Bel-Air residents. The tragedy caused a nationwide
> uproar.
> At this juncture, let me confess that I am completely
> morally bankrupt, even as my taxes have doubled over
> the past year. I am a murderer; so are all the others
> in the 'core group' of TV 42. Surprisingly, not a
> single person has ever voiced a concern over our
> perverse strategy to garner eyeballs. Our website is
> today the most visited news site in the world. Not
> surprisingly, we never poach reporters from competing
> networks. Neither can we hire new reporters for the
> fear of being exposed. TV 42 is a dead channel with no
> future. Its staff shall grow old together. Our
> children will never know the crimes we have committed.
> We cannot sleep in peace any more, haunted by the
> countless souls we have killed, in the name of "making
> news". The third massacre of Manson-II is my last
> assignment. But I know I cannot quit until I die.
> Karinski and friends would never let me live. Hadn't
> he had Susan run over when she had mentioned
> retirement. We could not trust even each other with
> our dark secret any more. Most probably I will be
> found hanging from the fan in my apartment a couple of
> days after I quit. Forging my handwriting on a suicide
> not is no big deal. I was the one who had found master
> forger Edward Russel - there was not a signature he
> couldn't forge. He was the one who had written young
> and beautiful banker Dorothy Greer's suicide note
> after she 'jumped' off the Sears Tower at midnight,
> after she had filed for bankruptcy. Conveniently, she
> had called TV 42 before she had done itŠ
> No, I cannot quit. However, I shall quit being on the
> field, breaking news. Instead, I shall confine my self
> to the boardrooms, planning and handling the finances,
> or editing content. I want to live, that¹s allŠmy
> conscience has died a gruesome death long long ago.