Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Why the Onion is so up there

What all I'd do to write stuff like this. Howlarious, in true Onion fashion.

"The 12-person crew was not able to accommodate the president due to strict federal guidelines requiring all passengers to arrive at their departure gate 15 minutes prior to takeoff—guidelines flight officials say are especially important considering heightened security around the president. When Bush inquired into the possibility of being placed on standby for Air Force Two, the exasperated commander in chief was informed that the flight was full and Vice President Dick Cheney was unwilling to give up his seat."

Monday, October 30, 2006

Men - they're not all the same

So, here's my first try at uploading a YouTube clip. This is really hilarious.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

On turning one

A few days back, 19th October to be precise, this blog turned one. So, um, happy - and belated birthday - to me.

It all started here. That post eventually led to this blog (which will also turn one soon), which I've not done the kinda justice I want to. But then, this one's also not quite my masterpiece.

I started blogging with the "who's gonna read this stuff anyways" thing - not like many do now also! - but then it became something else. I guess it's the whole "getting things off my chest" thing. The opportunity to see my words out there. In print, in cyberspace.

Sometimes they've evoked discussion - like the one on Go 92.5FM going Hindi, which generated all of..er..21 comments (excluding my own), which was a pleasant surprise for me. Sometimes they've been good fun, like ranting on the Nokiaind fraud. Sometimes a trip down Chor Bazaar and Bandra Fort.

To me, my most satisfying post would have to be this one on Sailu. Typed on one of those Friday afternoons at work, it was about one of those definitive (and quite personal) experiences that I'm sure everyone's had in this city.

For those who've wondered why "Bombay Addict" do read that classic Bombay v/s Delhi face-off, courtesy the vibrant Dhoomk2. That post eventually prompted me to do the Bombay's diaries series. It was great to see the kinda experiences - again definitive and personal - that bloggers have had in this city.

To sum it up, obviously I love blogging and obviously I want to blog more and obviously work and other commitments cuts down time for blogging. The usual reasons. The kinda stuff I'm sure almost all of us bloggers face, and which also almost closed down Desipundit.

Before I end this completely self-indulgent bilge, here's my THANKS to all those kind bloggers out there who have blogrolled me. It's an honour for me that you give me space on your property. Thank you.

Finally, to all those kind-hearted, patient and tolerant souls who frequent this addict's cyber home - a huge thank you. Your comments and visits mean a lot to me. In your own way, you keep me going.

Ending with this extract from U2's brilliant Walk on.

Walk on, walk on
What you've got they can't deny it
Can’t sell it, can’t buy it
Walk on, walk on
Stay safe tonight

And I know it aches
And your heart it breaks
And you can only take so much
Walk on, walk on

Home… hard to know what it is if you’ve never had one
Home… I can’t say where it is but I know I'm going home
That's where the hurt is

I know it aches
How your heart it breaks
And you can only take so much
Walk on, walk on

Leave it behind
You've got to leave it behind
All that you fashion
All that you make
All that you build
All that you break
All that you measure
All that you steal
All this you can leave behind
All that you reason
All that you sense
All that you speak
All you dress up
All that you scheme…

Two tags done

These two pending tags have been lying gathering dust. My apologies for a late response to those who passed it to me, but here goes..

TAG 1.
Gaurav Mishra, who asked "Which movie characters should have had blogs and in what ways would their blogs have changed the movie plots". Interesting one, although I refuse to understand how blogging would help change movie plots (unless their blogs would be private?). Here's what I think

1. Keyser Soze in Usual Suspects - Perhaps we'd have the next caper of this revered Hollywood baddie ? I doubt his blog would change the plot. He killed them all.

2. John Doe in Se7en - He's uncredited in the movie, but would that be a great blog to read or what. And I would not want to change that plot even one bit.

3. Darth Vader in Return of the Jedi - I though this movie was just too namby-pamby and the least liked among all the six. So if Darth Vader blogged maybe Luke and Hans could have actually killed him in The Empire Strikes Back (the best of all the six). And hey, Hans could've avoided the entire silica freezing thing.

TAG 2.
Kusum Rohra who...oh great...asked some 500 questions, which I'm shortening to these. Sheesh man...you'd think that your blogging saves the world or something. Have a look here..

Q1. Are you happy/satisfied with your blog, with its content and look? Does your family know about your blog?
Answer: No. Yes.

Q2. Do you feel embarrassed to let your friends know about your blog or you just consider it as a private thing?
Answer: No. No.

Q3. Did blogs cause positive changes in your thoughts?
Answer: Yeah right. I now thank the Good Lord above for the skies and the seas. Praise be to the Lord. Hallelujah. I have seen the light.

Q4. Do you only open the blogs of those who comment on your blog or you love to go and discover more by yourself?
Answer: Yes. Yes. What's with the "love to go and discover" - are we talking Alice in Wonderland ? And duh, why do both have to be mutually exclusive. Kuch bhi.

Q5. What does visitors counter mean to you? Do you care about putting it in your blog?
Answer: A lot, but I have to get over it. Look below.

Q6. Did you try to imagine your fellow bloggers and give them real pictures?
Answer: Oh great, now voyeurism. Yes, but only the women.

Q7. Admit. Do you think there is a real benefit for blogging?
Answer: Hang on. How do you define "real" and "benefit" ? Lots of activities give me real benefits, but I wouldn't name them here.

Q8. Do you think that bloggers society is isolated from real world or interacts with events?
Answer: Oh ya right. Houston, we have a problem.

Q9. Does criticism annoy you or do you feel it's a normal thing?
Answer: Yes. No.

Q10. Do you fear some political blogs and avoid them?
Answer: Yes. I avoid the blogs of Darth Vader, Keyser Soze and John Doe (also ref Tag 1).

Q11. Did you get shocked by the arrest of some bloggers?
Answer: No. He asked for it when he started that tag titled "Top 10 fantasies involving Simi Garewal and/or Himesh Reshammiya".

Q12. Did you think about what will happen to your blog after you die?
Answer: You mean you can't blog in heaven ?

Q13. What do you like to hear? What's the song you might like to put a link to in your blog?
Answer: I like to hear that this is the last question. No, there's no "the song" I'd link to on my blog, but do check my profile please.

Needless to say, both tags end here.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Don - review

Bad is the new good. See it.

- Shahrukh
- Piggy Chops
- Pawan Malhotra
- Kareena
- Malaysia
- Bombay skyline
- Morya, morya, morya re
- Music

- Boman Irani
- Length

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Presenting - the Desipundit Blogathon

Update - they're back. Some changes, but they're back. Read this. Kinda makes the below obits redundant, but what the heck..

As promised here, today is the Desipundit Blogathon.

Hey Pat and team over at DP - if you can hear me - it might not be much, but this one's for you. All of you.

Shruthi: Goodbye, Desipundit and thank you: I was introduced to a host of interesting blogs - and after that, there was no stopping me. Endless topics, endless discussions - it was a whole new world out there! I became a serious blog-hopper, and very soon, started my own blog. It was thanks to Desipundit, too, that I got my initial readers. They were kind enough to link to a number of my posts regularly - and readership grew - pretty soon, I had my own blogger community, and I was, and am revelling in it. [Link]

Vijayendra: Exit Desipundit: For nearly two years now, Desipundit has been a daily read. I put my cup of tea on the daily newspaper and scanned Desipundit before starting work everyday. No more. Desipundit is closing down. I could rant and complain but I understand the people in charge will most likely be more pained than I am. I see the bright side. The idea made waves. It will remain. And in time, a new avatar...[Link]

Arzan: Desipundit: Au Revoir: It galvanised a whole bunch of Indian bloggers in India and the diaspora spread around the world into a loose knit community. It did wonders for my blog ratings, and more importantly fostered new friendships, which otherwise would have never existed. That I think is for me the most important thing, I take away from DP. The human link….the cameraderie over email…with people who I have never ever met, is more important than all the blog hits, and the adsense revenue and what not. Thank you DP. [Link]

Dilip D'Souza: DP into the sunset: I can understand that it has become a chore for its founders to keep doing this, especially given the pressures of grad school USA. Maybe it had to come to an end. But as always with such things, the taste will linger. [Link]

From posts earlier by these bloggers -

Shivam Vij: Desipundit no more - "Anyone remember blog melas? Go read some old ones to know how Desipundit changed the blogosphere. I do hope Pat is doing this knowing what Desipundit meant to so many of us, how we logged on every day, how issues like IIPM simply could not have been as big if it were not for Desipundit.[Link]

The girl from ipanema: Desipundit bids farewell - "So I'm sitting here, staring at the the bright yellow sun on the page. Furiously going through the archives...bookmarking each and every post i find interesting, funny, or informative. Lapping it all up, trying to file away as much as I can. Going about, leaving my last comments that say "Came here from desipundit" because, when will I do that again?"[Link]

Nilu: Why people blog: "Why do people read it? No reason. They just do. Sometimes, because they are bored and most other times, for the same reason that they do so many other pointless things. One could also argue, readers read it because it is the one-stop shop for the best of the Indian blogosphere." [Link]

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Desipundit Blogathon

Chances are you first came to this blog via Desipundit. If we've met in person, we probably knew of the meet after we read about it at DP.

There's a lot that Desipundit meant to me. Beyond the obvious benefits of traffic and beyond the comments that those posts attracted after the post got - as it's called - DP'ed.

No, DP meant more than that to me. It meant the perfect start to the day.

It gave me reason to believe that the Indian blogosphere smokes mainstream media. And how. It meant knowing that I'd discover some new blogger somewhere. Or at least a great post. Everday.

And I'm not even talking about how DP got together bloggers on the IIPM issue or reservations or the blog-ban issue. Even simply this hilarious thing.

Call it community, social networking or whatever. The fact is that Desipundit did mean a lot to me. Indeed it was the perfect start to the working day. So perfect I became used to it.

And referring to it in the past tense is really effed up. And like a lot of effed up things, its also true. I mentioned earlier that I've had it with posting obits about stuff I really liked and which just died.

So I won't call this an obit. It's a call for a blogathon. On Thursday 19th October 2006. If you think that DP meant anything to you, and if you think it's worth a post, then blog about it.

I know that many have already commented on desipundit's farewell post. Yet, if you do post about it as well on your blog, leave your link in my comments space or mail me at bombay[dot]addict[at]gmail[dot]com and I will keep updating this with your links and a brief extract from your post.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Farewell Desipundit

Update - also read this.

A few minutes back, Patrix at Despipundit puts this out.

We are shutting down DesiPundit. Although it has been a great experience, it requires time and dedication that I can no longer afford to give. Other personal and professional commitments must take precedence.

I still can't believe it.

I can understand the demands on time and our lives that blogging asks for. And we do it because we love it, even though we put other stuff aside at times to blog. Just like we put aside blogging some times to do other stuff. As bloggers, I think all of us face it at various times. I know how I've fallen back on my posting on both my blogs and it doesn't make me feel good at all.

But these guys are shutting down Desipundit. No!

I wrote an obit when Go 92.5FM died and I certainly do not want to be writing an obit for Desipundit ! I'm getting a bit tired of seeing things I like just randomly..you know..die.

Isn't there another option here ? Can't they hand over to some one else ? Isn't there any justice anywhere in the world ?

Update: It is for real. Here are posts from these Desipundits, which kind of puts things in perspective from their p.o.v.

Ash: [Link here]: But having thought over it, I think it is for the best to shut the blog down. The reasons are not emotional, but purely practical. It has frankly been taking way too much of our time. We’re grad students, and time is our most precious commodity. Personally, the next year in particular is very important. Spending a minimum of two hours a day reading a large number of blogs, every single day, is most certainly not the best use of our time.

Neha V [Link here]: Good things must come to an end. Or they become heavy, drag around and become irrelevant. Thus it must be, that the link loving Desipundit shuts down. Over the weekend, Patrix sent in a mail to the other Desipundit contributors about shutting DP down, and while some of us expressed surprise, it makes sense to close it.

Saket urf. Vulturo [Link here]: Desipundit was not merely a blog, It was a phenomenon. The kind of trust, the kind of devoted readership, and the kind of popularity that DesiPundit enjoyed was nothing short of sensational. It was a great experience for me, to be in the thick of things, especially when Desipundit was driving public opinion and creating awareness about contentious issues, e.g. the IIPM wars, or the recent campaign against Blog censorship.

Founder Patrix [Link here]: The decision to shut down DesiPundit was neither easy nor taken in any haste. To be honest, I had been contemplating it for quite sometime while also thinking of any alternatives that might do justice to the concept of DesiPundit. I may be villified for shutting down one of the desi blogosphere’s favorite destinations but trust me, the decision to do so was one of the hardest I have had to make in recent times and it gives me no joy to do so. I also wanted to gauge the reactions before elaborating on the reasons.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Dance little celeb dance

There’s something about dancing in front of everyone that evokes fear in most of us. And everyone loves an underdog. So we’re bound to root for some goofball fumbling over ten left feet to dance on TV. Even if that goofball’s one of India’s best chefs or a film director or a cricket star or an actress of yore. Even if that goofball is trained by some choreographer who also dances with said goofball on the show.

On the other hand, a bunch of TV serial stars and starlets doing the same thing (sans choreographer on stage) doesn’t quite evoke the same enthu, does it ? Come on, we know they’ve trained. They’re actors, trained professionals. Surely they can dance. They’re paid to do that. And hey, their show's a sequel; sequels tend to..you know like...suck – we all know that.

That's probably why I’m enjoying Jhalak Dikhlaja (JD) on Sony TV more than Nach Baliye 2 (NB2) on Star One.

Both shows are named after hit songs. Both shows have celebrity (or at least vaguely well-known) couples dancing for top slot. Both shows have three judges – one choreographer, one film director and one..well..item girl.

Both shows require you to vote for your participant couple to keep them in the contest. Both shows have one couple eliminated each week. Both shows make such a song-and-dance (er, pun not intended) when a couple is thrown out, you’d almost fling your remote at your TV.

Neither of the shows are masterpieces. Both are benefiting like hell from the continuing ridiculous ban on Star Movies and HBO.

As for the hosts of the shows, I thought Parmeet Sethi and Archana were awful…till I saw the Pilgaonkars, Sachin and Supriya. Dude, forget that remote and hand me that flower vase.

But there’s something to watching an awkward Pooja Bedi/Rati Agnihotri/Sanjeev Kapoor/Ajay Jadeja/Akashdeep/Mahesh Manjrekar/Mona Singh/Shweta Salve on JD. By the way – the first three have already been eliminated and that list is my own guess on who will get eliminated in the coming rounds leaving the graceful (and hot!) Ms. Salve as the winner. Ok, ok she’s got an edge being – as above – a TV serial actress. But I think she also has bit of competition from the other - albeit heavier and hence underdog types - Jassi.

And if ever there was a graceful acceptance speech on exit, it had to be of dear old chef Sanjeev Kapoor who said "I came here just so I could learn to dance. So that I can now dance with my wife". Awww, indeed. Hankies ahoy.

On the other hand, I have no idea who the couples on NB2 are. Hell, you can’t make out a Kusum from a Kum Kum from a Kesariya Vilayati how the hell would I know who's who among those 10 couples ? But I can tell you, that Bhaktyaar and Tanaaz are bound to win the contest just for their histrionics (are they on a caffeine/coke drip?) . Besides I read that they’ve trained under Shiamak Davar – which is a bit unfair on the other contestants. There’s also that earlier hangover of a conspiracy theory on Varun and Rajeshwari Badola’s “faked departure” on NB1.

Both shows also suffer a range of clich├ęs mouthed by all the judges as follows
“Your expressions were wonderful, but hand/feet movements can improve”

“You look great as a couple, but you need to work on your co-ordination”

“You put so much joy in your dance, but you need to choose the right song for the samba/cha-cha/disco”

“You chose the right song for today’s show, but somehow I preferred your last performance”

“You know when I choreographed this song, I never knew it can be done in the manner you did”

“I love you and I really want to see you go into the next round so please work on your steps”

“Your dances are so full of enthusiasm and joy and happiness; but there is room for improvement”

The only exception I can say is Saroj Khan in Nach Baliye. That woman can be lethal and I wonder what she’d have reduced someone like Sanjeev Kapoor to on JD. Aside: I firmly think the role of Iffat Bibi in that utterly fantastic Sacred Games was made solely for her. End of aside.

The other judges on both the shows are pretty much yawn. Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s (on JD), gushes are a bit much and Kunal Kohli (on NB2) – man, who chose him ? how can someone who inflicted Fanaa on an unsuspecting populace be allowed to roam freely ? and that too judge others ? Isn’t there a law somewhere?

Except of course Malaika Arora on NB2 and Shilpa Shetty on JD. But I mean, come on, you’re not really interested in the marks they give, right ? They’d be 10 out of 10 on our scales anyways.

Finally, there’s something about these “reality shows” isn’t it ? Although technically, these could be called reverse reality shows since there are celebs involved, as against stuff like Indian Idol and Sa-re-ga-ma-pa which have our hidden ne talented Heemesh-bhais enjoying their 15 seconds of fame.

Thing is, we like celebs to face the heat sometime. Hell, they better dance well to get my vote, and I don’t care a damn if he scored a ton in that match. But come on, he’s also a chef….she’s really plump but she’s at least making effort na..…saala, ekdum dhinchaak jhakaas nachta hai, tapori-style…

In the end, I guess we’re a kind, forgiving audience. So, even as we’ve forgotten the time they dragged us out of the party when we were inflicting a brilliant (albeit drunk and loutish ?) efforts on “Goli maar bheje mein..dishkao..bheja shor karta hai” , we're forgiving the screw-ups of a bunch of gauche celebs trying to dance.

Probably a case of people like us getting even with people like them.