Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Confused Encounters of the Worst Kind

Why is my country in such a state of confused mess these days? No, honestly! I’ve often been called confused and lost by more enlightened amongst my friends, but I pale in comparison to the venerable men and women who are in charge of running the mammoth (and the metaphor is for size, not extinct value) that is Indian democracy.

Let’s take a look at the events that have been making headlines in the past month.

Kaun Banega Rashtrapathi
(oh I love lame lines)

All segments in the political streets must be collectively berating the day they came up with the brilliant idea of pushing Kalam for the President. The man who showed the promise of being the poster boy for the secular happy family of Indian politics, turned out to the Prodigal son who never returned. He made himself shamelessly popular as the People’s President, won everyone’s heart (except for the politicians, who dragged him to The Big Bhavan in the first place) with his ready smile and wannabe curly locks. He poked his nose in their decisions, brought the much forgotten, and “eminently avoidable” (that’s what some news paper called it) issue of the Office of Profit debacle to the forefront, generally cared to be a little more than the proverbial “rubberstamp”, while forcing them to pull their acts together.

So when the talk can of re-election started, the political brotherhood forgot their differences and said a unanimous “Nought!”. That did in a common bee in their collective bonnets, but it posed the next problem—choosing the next candidate. Everybody who was somebody had his name being thrown in for the race—from The Big Bee Bachchan to Big Mentor Murthy. Bachchan mercifully saw the ridiculousness in the situation and refused even before they could offer. The county turned to Mr. Narayan Murthy to be Bharath’s First Bacha. But just as things were looking promising, he went and proclaimed in full media view that he found singing the national anthem embarrassing. (this of course is the classic example of media misquoting the innocent celebrity—what he actually said that they played the instrumental version of the anthem, instead of singing it in Infy in a ceremony that welcomed President Kalam because they “had a number of foreign delegates in the gathering, and it might have embarrassed them while we sing the anthem”. Of course this statement makes no sense whatsoever, so I guess the media’s twist at least made for juicy news watch).

Anyways, just about a week after the current Mr. President proclaimed that Mr. Murthy would make a wonderful Next Mr. President, the “corporate leader with a good heart and a golden vision” had his fall from grace, as the media gleefully pumped holes into his hitherto impeccable image. Suddenly he became the man who “shows his ignorance of India's caste struggle and its background” for his views on reservation, his views on Indian languages “lacked self-respect and pride” and “his corporate philosophy allowed no space for healthy cultural pride”. Having burnt their fingers once with a non-politician, the county’s elected rulers decided to play it safe—they could hardly go after a man who had such prideless views, when all we Indians collectively puff up our chest at the sound of the national anthem. So after some star struck followers of Murthy indignantly proclaimed that the whole “national anthem” issue was blown out of proportion, we just decided to put that chapter behind us, and move on.

It was then the mad race to choose the Next Indian Political Idol (to be sure, the President is really just expected to stay put and be worshipped as the democratic God). And all parties left no stoned unturned to look at all the ageing candidates who were in the trishakhu stage of pretty much not doing anything (okay, so if we agree to make you the President, will you please get off our face?) Karan Singh? AB Vajpayee? Bhairon Singh Shekhawat? Sushil Kumar Shinde? Or can we just quickly check if Pranab Mukherjee will like being the President better than being External Affaires Man? Or if Somnath Chatterjee got bored of being the Speaker? The Left considered name dropping to be beneath themselves so they came up with “job requirements” for the profile: the candidate should have “secular credentials, experience in public life and Parliament and one who could ensure balance between the judiciary, Parliament and the executive.” Just add water, and your President is now ready to be served!

The Presidential elections are less than a week away, and it seems it’s our very own Home Minister, who has agreed to be disposed off. It has been a tough battle folks. The super intelligent posh IT guy from Bangalore wanted His Mentor to be P, and Paaji from Patiyala and Munnu from Mumbai along with Amar Singh and Anil Ambani, wanted Bachchansaahab to be P, BJP wanted the VP to be P, Congress wanted EFM or HM to be P, Left wanted a miracle to be P, and my friendly neighbourhood doodhwala wanted his angreji speaking son-in-law to be P. If you have a candidate to be the first servant of India, don’t be disheartened, one week is seven days. As Udhay Chopra famously proclaimed in a very forgettable movie, “Saath din mein yeh duniya saath baar ghoom jati hai”, you never know.

The Indian Idol, Part 2, Meets The Great Indian Comedy Show

I’m referring, of course to the long drawn, nail biting, extra large bucket of butter popcorn demanding selection of the great Indian Scapegoat, a.k.a, The Indian Cricket Coach. The BCCI had decided that it had enough with the players getting so much attention for being Gods, and they feeling all left out like the 12th player. It also had enough with coaches who made presentation on their laptops on how BCCI sucked and decided that the next coach should be the epitome of cricketing brilliance, someone who can handle tantrums of players, and politics of selectors, and be the darling of the media, drop charmingly funny, and brilliantly lickass soundbites about how the boys tried real hard, and how it was just bad weather and lack of addidas shoes that lost the match, and how the BCCI was the best thing that happened to him. Of course he should be able to handle the occasional slap that came hurtling out of the bubbling blue billion.

After going around the world in little more than eighty days, the BCCI cracked the difficult task of finding Bharath ka Cricketing Dronacharya, who would make the Aussies cut their little finger and present him as Gurudakshina, so that his Indian Arjuns face no real competition. Ladies and Gentlemen, please make way fooooorrrrrr…Graham Ford. And in walks the suave and soft-spoken Ford to replace the nasty Chap.

But what do we hear now? Soft spoken Ford, turns sneaky little Ford, and delivers one tight slap right across the BCCI’s face, and says, he’s really happy with his cosy little job with the Kent, thank you very much. Ladies and Gentlemen, at this juncture, we pause for the shocked silence reaction…………………………………….

And the pandemonium breaks loose again! How will be the next? Ford said no. Embury said no. Ravi Shastri said no. Sunil Gavaskar said no. Er…can we just pretend to throw out Dada again, and then offer him a comeback as Coach? Or now that Sehwag is not playing, he can step in?

Our cricket team has been getting more than its due of flak after the dismal performance since the World Cup (the 1983 one I mean). Yeah so they didn’t do all that well in the World Cup (again), in fact they were quite bad, in fact they lost to Bangladesh (haawwwww!), but then they did beat Bangladesh in their own soil you know (serves them right too! I mean, that will teach them not to mess with the bestesht Westside clothed, Pepsi drinking, Sahara flying, Videocon watching, Nike sporting team in the whoooo-oo-ool world, ha!). Does not mean that they be treated like kids who were denied TV because they flunked in their high school exam! Good that bad bad BCCI got its due of tight slaps to. But question still remains, who will be the next slapgoat?

So there. The next person who calls me confused in life will get a sixer hit right on his/her face. Hrrrummmpph!


Anonymous said...

thanks you reminded me of the pending "paper bill"

unforgiven said...

It's been a while since I read a blog post that kept me interested till the end without any effort.

Hope it's not like one of Tendulkar's sixers ;)

Good post but one small thing. The people you talked about? They aren't confused. They know exactly what they want. It's just that they have to contend with people who want something quite different.

You? I am guessing are just plain confused ;)

[before you go postal at me for it, its not that I know you at all, hence the word 'guessing']

pRicky said...

the great indian comedy it is...
BUt you know what o seemed to missed out on it...
even though IBN made me rethink if and how the choice of profession is correct or not...

mathew said...

very well put up..cant agree more with you..seriously our politicans are real lame ducks..and it helps no better that the media too dance to their tunes!!

and for the coach story..i have lost all interest in cricket these days..cant bother to care for it..

really the great indian tamasha in place!!

Id it is said...

Democracy by definition is imperfect because it is susceptible to the vagaries of a collective human mass, the electorate. However, it is still the preferred model because it allows us ownership (in whatever little way) in who or what governs us.

Why just India, every democracy in the world has these 'encounters'; in fact, right now you can't even think of competing with us on being 'confused' since we 'elected' our leader a second time over! and have yet to figure out why ??!!

Interesting read!

crumbs said...

@ lash
right...and the water bill, and the electricity bill, and the rent too...oh while u re at it, u may wanna repay all the "bills" that u borrowed from ur gullible friends too

(pssttt...the ibn website is free to read)

@ unforgiven

a sixer coming right thru for u :P
when i said confused, I did not mean these people individually, I meant the govt., and the country as the larger entity

@ Prickster

again, dude, I cannot make head or tail outta ur comment. IBM made you rethink the choice of profession?

@ mathew

well at least it's entertainment, might as well grab some pop corn and enjoy the show :D
oh btw, u had beed tagged

@ id

tee hee...I guess at some respects, we can feel better about our Presidential least he does not get to make any significant decisions in our country ;)

"Democracy by definition is imperfect" aren't all organised political systems for that matter? I guess the flaw with any system is that it needs a certain number of parameters to work democracy expects the electorate to be capable of intelligent and uninfluenced thought, if these parameters are not met, you end up with a system where a minority takes the majority for a royal ride

pRicky said...

get an upgrade then for your system...

Resist Normal said...

ey goondi chooth :-), stop this bullshit rubbish writing and get on with your life.

Tsu said...

hmmm when has our Indian politics ever been less drama, tears and sentiments and actually governing of a massive country???
this whole thing about N. Murthy was a piss off man!!! tis like create a story wich is not there and sell it like hot cakes!!1 when the economy goes down then they ll know!!! :(
Indian cricket I know is being given undue importance but players are fter all people and like any of us have their ups and downs. well nw they are between rock bottom and hard place but they will rise. Soon! :)

pRicky said...

@ Unforgiven: Saali rand! Apni aukat pe agaya na Chootiya saale.
Bhoosdi ke Gand sambhal aur pooch daba ke khisak le...
Thodi to sharam kar Phate hue bin...
Apni kooti harkatoon se baaz aaja...
Saale samjh kuch aata nahin hai Chaal a saala bakwas karne...
Saale badbodar kide...
You fucking get on with your lousy life...
And stuff ur head in ur ass...
you Fucking castrated molested shit head...
NOw fucking dont go peeing inside ur already soiled pants if you are wearing them. And shut the fuck up and pack yourself to where you got the idea of being able to fit in civilization...

crumbs said...

@ unforgiven and pricky

can you both please act like grown ups or is even that civility too much to expect from the two of you? and please, if cusswords and dirty language is all that you have to offer here, please leave right away, and DO NOT bother to comment ever again.
unforgiven, i saw the fight that you and prick had no MT's blog and if your idea is that you can continue that here, ah well you are very wrong. that comment was completly unwarrented and if i think i need you to help me decide who should comment what on my blog, i will let you know. if this is some cheap attempt at grabbing attention, then you have a very sorry life indeed. if it is that u have serious issues with prick, carry that over e-mail or your blog.or his. NOT here.

and prick, u could use some serious soap for u mouth, and u dare use such language towards ANYONE in my blog again and u will really be sorry u ever met me."where you got the idea of being able to fit in civilization" it seems. the language that preceeded this sentence goes a long way to show how much fit for civilization YOU are.

the two of you may darn well realise that because blogs are public space, and i have not enabled comment moderation does NOT mean that you can resign to mud sliging and filth throwing at each other in a space that I call mine.
The reason why I dont have comment moderation is simply because I respect the idea of freedom of speech and expect that everyone who reads this blog us mature enough to act like a responsible adult. so if you two have nothing INTELLIGENT to contribute, leave. RIGHT NOW.

@ tsu
:) the whole thing about Murthy was a piss off...but I think that he made a careless statement to begin with. What he does in a company that he started is his business really, and he should have just told the media that much. but he chose to make a statement that really makes no sense but managed to irk our very volatile country. I guess that was in a way for the best, coz I not too convinced with the idea of having a Head of State who allows himself such flippant statements.
but u re right about the drama and tears we have a canditate who half of the country didnt even know existed, and who covers her head and says that the purda system was invented to protect women from the mugals being hailed as the new face of women empowerment. sigh!
and about Indian cricket, well the players never once complained when they were being given all the attention and god like priviledge, not to mention all the endorsement money, so well. I guess higer you go, that much more hurts when you land on your ass. when it comes to cricket I really think that we have more experts that we need really ;D

vidi said...

Bullcrap. Polticans are not confused and @Mathew: they are NOT lame ducks.
They know exactly what they are doing- playing dirty politics to get a real "nominal head" and nothing more this time. Getting the best person back to the job would have been the easiest pick, but don't you see their tactic at getting someone who would agree to them and not the opposition and blah.. blah. A very well played game of chess. Only if they used so much after thought in their actual"development" of the nation. tch tch.. and we so called literates and 'educated' ones sit and comment about their shortcomings.
And the Murthy incident, you missed the main point that the media was mainly responsible for making it what it was. Remember the 'underlying opinion' that a paper was allowed to present to its reader after giving a very unbiased report of the happenings that Naresh Rao used to talk about, well looks like that was more than some minds could handle.

unforgiven said...

This is amazing, someone is such a big fan of me that he's trying to post as me?

Sad though, can't quite get it right. Instead of placing my profile URL, the idiot placed my blog URL directly.


unforgiven said...

@Crumbs: For the record, if *I* make a post, my picture will appear by the side of the post.

Notice something Crumbs, the roman script transliteration used on that comment by "resist normal" is exactly the same as the transliteration that our dear old "pricky" is using?

If you wish to see what form of transliteration I use, you can look at my blog and see the posts "Kuchh khayaal". I assure you, it's rather different from this.

Next time before you go off on a tirade, please think?

crumbs said...

@ vids
woah! someone's angry! :)
dude u missed the point here, what i was trying to do here is NOT give a comment on what should be and should not be, the whole thing was just to look at the funny side-that these two incidents where "eminantly avoidable" ;)
see the President of our country is at the end of the day a nominal head, Kalam understood the meaning of the platform and used it for the country-ignite minds and inspire the rest. But to expect the next candidate(even if it was Narayan Murthy) to step into his size 11 shoes would have been a tall order. They did the same with K.R.Narayanan-he took a small steps that irked the govt. Kalam went two steps more, maybe the next candidate may do better...u never know. Ms. Patil may just surprise us
and about the Murthy issue, er...did i not mention that the media completely blew it up??

@ unforgiven

I'm a blogger not a sleuth, so forgive me for being rather naive and assuming that you made the comment that had your blog's url on it, neither do I know you to differentiate when you comment and when someone uses your url to post profanities in this space, based on the transliteration that he/she uses.

if it was not you, then I do apologise for my "tirade". but if you are implying that its prickster who is behind it, then again I cannot accept that allegation. What he was doing there was trying to defend a friend, and while I did not appreciate the language he used, neither did I feel that it was required, I do respect the intent behind it. So I'm not going to let you make those allegations either. Since you are so stung on being misunderstood, you should perhaps refrain from making the same allegtions at others without solid reason either.

@ everyone,
All I am asking of you is that if something that a person said annoys you, refute the arguement, without throwing dirt at the person. a verbal mud wrestling is not gonna prove anyone's point, and no I do not think bad language is cool either.

unforgiven said...

@crumbs: I did not make the allegation because of being 'stung'. I saw your post 'after' I saw his post.

No, he wasn't trying to defend his 'friend', he wrote that comment. Other than the amazing co-incidence that someone is trying to make me look bad on a blog that I know only 'three' of the people commenting, and "one" of them happens to be someone who has crossed blades with me once, the translitteration style gives it away.

Of course if you don't want to believe it, I am not going to prove it to you nor can I be bothered.

I also am not a blog slueth so I can understand how someone would be decieved by that. I myself had to think how someone could have gotten my blog page in there.

I also would appreciate it if you were to 'read' my comments before making your analysis of them. I *did* have a solid reason behind making the allegation, as I have clarified above.

I apologise for all the drama that happened here because of me. I'll refrain from coming here again if it makes you feel better.


crumbs said...

Oh god, suddenly I feel so unqualified to blame the media for often blowing things out of proportion :)

dear unforgiven, I had no intention of accusing you of making that allegation because you were stung...what I meant to say is that because you have been in the situation, you should understand how it feels.

Maybe I am being naive, but I don't see what Prick would achieve in trying to make you look you said, I hardly know you. And I did read your comment before I be honest, I had to Google out the meaning of transliteration to actually understand what you were trying to say.

And no, I still refuse to believe that Prick would take so much trouble to actually post using your url just coz you guys were at loggerheads with each other on another blog, just because I know him for much longer than that. And since you don't it is perfectly justifiable that you should distrust him.

I don't know who made that comment. You said you did not, and I am taking your word for it. But no, I can't take your allegation on Prick. Period.

You are welcome to comment here...I have never banned anyone from objecting to what I wrote or what anyone commented in this space-as long as it is not a personal attack at the writer. And of course if you choose not too, that is also completely your decision.

abhilash b said...

yeah , I am forever on askance dear and life till now has been on rent. I would certainly convince myself to pay off those bills and inevitabily laugh the futility of that thought. ... I am sure you understood nothing and is frowning. Neither did I. I am just plain bored here and came back to read your reply... Now thats when, THAT IS WHEN , I came across a couple of comments and counter-comments here. They made my day:) Please breed more of these sorts

Anonymous said...

ikzyeah , I am forever on askance dear and life till now has been on rent. I would certainly convince myself to pay off those bills and inevitabily laugh the futility of that thought. ... I am sure you understood nothing and is frowning. Neither did I. I am just plain bored here and came back to read your reply... Now thats when, THAT IS WHEN , I came across a couple of comments and counter-comments here. They made my day:) Please breed more of these sorts

vidya said...

OH MY GOD!!! does anybody care who is going to be the next President of India? Now we know how the media blows things outta proportion.. welcome to the breeding ground!

D said...

Great topics and good rendition. But all that bugs me is, you're confused at things which are the most inconsequential (am sry for saying this, bt I hold to my view). The President is a ceremonial post and except being the face of country at some world conferences and 'great leaders' meet, he doesn't do much except advising people on Republic Day and Independence Day. For me, more importance goes to a state minister, who shoves a widow..... B. Coach, No coach, same team or no doesn't interests me anymore.

My confusion is similar as yours but more important for me is - How will I buy my smoke tomorrow! And, for some the question is how will they buy their food tomorrow. Anyhow, as I said a good read. But some questions can change your life, rest are mere trivia.

crumbs said...

@ lash

yes your highness, i do regularly "breed" these sorts


;0 good question. i am not even sure the congress cares, really

@ d

thanks! :)
The President is a ceremonial post yes, but still don't you being the face of the country is a pretty big job? he/she at many levels is a representative of what the country stands for...of course, it is rather inconsequential for me to worry the sense at, in my current position my worry or not worrying does little.

but she if the Presidential post was such a non-issue then all the politicians would not spend so much of their time to choose a "harmless candidate" now would they?

but I agree that either of these questions (the president or the coach) is going to change your life or mine. but it is entertainmentferocks

ToOothlEss WOndeR! said...

boy, what on earth is going on in here!!
first, the only news i read is about the elephant which fell into the little well.
and fo nce, i second lash's first comment.

unforgiven said...

You are a very smart girl. You are unfortunately still a girl.

I am being stupid if I ever expect you to see 'logic'. I apologise for that.

crumbs said...

@ toothless,
yep its a free for all here :-/

@ unforgiven

oh how very grown up of you. That comment was so mature and reeking of superior male logic. no really, i'm quite serious.