If marriages are really made in heaven…

why the hell is there such a huge fuss about the Sania-Shoaib deal?

Yes, I am going to devote precious blog space to this little drama that has been talked about so much for the past few weeks.

Personally, I don’t even like Sania, so couldn’t care less who she married. I could never really say if she is really talented or made it to the top 40 through a combination of some luck and a bit of talent. Or if she is really talented, she just let it all go waste due to fame. She definitely did have the potential to be one of the top players… but that is a different story.

But why was there such a fuss about the guy she chose to marry? True, he is from Pakistan but such marriages occur routinely. A mere line between two countries cannot separate the bloodlines that flow through the lands.

I read this article on The Guardian which says the Shiv Sena *rolling my eyes* called her various names which meant unpatriotic. Apparently, if she had chosen a guy from India, she would really belong to India. Which brings me to a comment someone made on one of my earlier posts. He said “No matter how much you love them (Muslims), they will always love Paks).”

If she had chosen to marry a Muslim from the US, would there have been the same fuss? Isn’t a Muslim a Muslim, regardless of the land? Or do the Pakistanis have something special we did not know about? Madhuri Dixit married a guy from the US… various Bollywood people routinely date and marry Westerners but nobody comments. So why is this little girl being parodied for choosing a guy from the neighbouring country?

The thing that struck me most from the article I mentioned is this graph about “male chauvenism” – And in a culture where male chauvinism is practically compulsory, that is precisely what has happened in the case of the Malik-Mirza marriage. The Pakistani boy is perceived to have won the Indian girl, and Indian male pride is hurt.

SERIOUSLY?!?!? Did the woman have no choice in the matter? And he won her… like what? In a game of cards? In a game of cricket?

And the other ridiculous line – Apparently they expect this couple to start of more peace talks and create a common platform for peace between the two countries.

How? If they were someone like… say Sachin, I could perhaps believe they had influence. But Sania? Really? The one match wonder? And Shoaib? Maybe Imran Khan, Waseem Akram who are legends…

Seriously… let the media get out and let that couple try their hands at marriage.

***
The iPad

I cannot believe I have not mentioned the iPad yet!! I must be slipping. The first thing that came to my mind when I saw it was – “I WANT THAT”. Seriously!! Apple’s products always look fabulous. And this was something out of sci-fi movie.

But then I realised… how useful is it really considering that you can’t use Adobe Flash on it? And about half the things in cyber space use flash. Least all the stuff I look for.

That is one special thing about Apple – that exclusive control they have about the gadgets allowed in their world. Add that with their current tiff with Google and you wonder what risks you would be taking by buying an Apple product, particularly something like an iPhone or iPad.

I want to buy an iPhone. Seriously… I tried to talk myself out of it for quite a while and my current phone is an absolute beauty + it is sturdy. But I want an iphone. But I wonder… what if Apple one day decides you can’t use google on it? Yes, in the land of US of A, antitrust laws will kick in. What happens in India? In fact, how useful is a phone like iPhone in India… particularly in these pre-3G days.

But my point was the iPad and Apple (and I shall not digress like Shobha De)… The only space where I can really think of using it is to read books and magazines and for that you’ve a much cheaper version of Kindle and its relatives. If you can’t use Flash on this, what is the point of having the iPad?

Now if only Apple makes these allowances, I would be the first in the checkout queue for one.

Of course, when i heard about my friend with an ipad, sitting in Starbucks, I couldn’t help but feel a twinge of jealousy *sigh*

***
As I mentioned Shobha De and digressing… the reason why I thought of it was this column I read of hers in BT today morning. Of course, BT aka Bangalore Times is quite a tabloid supplement to a paper which is quite tabloidish itself. Except BT proudly mentions only entertainment news – meaning movies and gossipy cricket news.

And now they squeezed in a “column” by Ms. De.

Today’s column was supposed to be about how Goa is losing its brand as a tourist destination. Except, after the first graph (of 3 lines), there was no mention of the topic till the last line. The rest of the article was filled with mentions of how other movie stars have lost their Brand value – including Sania who was dropped by Cadbury.

Shobha De can write well. She also has a sharp brain but then she uses her brand value to write nonsense. And when she cannot come up with nonsense opinions, she just takes a topic, writes one line about it and fills the rest with, well, nonsense.

It is true that Goa’s image has been tarnished by the rise in drug-related deaths and rapes and such. It is a pity… because Goa was one place where I could go and face no policing and the one place where you could light up a joint and feel at home. The one place where you wear a short dress without raised eyebrows. And it is getting fucked up… as all things do I guess. But either you write about that or you write about your buddy movie stars. Why mix both? Unless one of them was caught doing something in Goa and was responsible for this problem.

And the last bit of the news considering brand images – why did Cadbury really drop Sania?

Let’s speculate:
A) The whole marriage drama, as Shobha De and other says

B) Sania hasn’t really won a match or played in any decent tournament since… who knows when. So they really woke up to the fact that they had a ‘brand ambassador’ who made more news via her ads than the stuff onfield. And they played it safe and dropped her.

C) They figured that age-old backlash in India that married women face – the loss of a sex symbol status (if she ever was one). And they figured they didn’t want a plain jane/married woman as their brand ambassador because Indian men are weird that way (though they would ogle at every other thing in a skirt/sari walking on the street)

D) They just got bored of her, realised she wasn’t really gaining them anything and used this as an excuse to drop her

Pick one. Or come up with another option.

Song of the day: Aaj hai sagaai: Pyaar toh hona hi tha

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Monday

A few more hours before I head to work… it is a little good and a little bad that my week starts when everyone else’s first day has ended. The good news is there are clouds hovering and I hope for a thunderstorm. It wouldn’t be the first rain of the season, it would hopefully be the first storm of the season.

Much needed relief from the heat in the city. 38 degrees today, apparently. One degree more than yesterday and 2 more than day before. And I can never remember Bangalore being this hot. It is the result of chopping down more than half the trees in the city and adding more vehicles I guess.

When I do look at the city now, I wonder if we really needed the metro. Least without more planning. Though we build it to make the traffic bit easy, considering the metro takes up half the space on the roads, how on earth will it really help traffic? People need to be educated about how owning a big car isn’t the only way you can show off your money. This is India, after all.

And while we are at it, why couldn’t we have had an underground metro? The Brits did the drainage which we still use, so i’m sure it is fairly efficient. And with all the time it has taken, not to mention the money, I’m sure people wouldn’t mind waiting another 6 months if the work had been going on for an underground metro.

My full week seems to be pushed a little ahead because of red tape. Plus the heat made me lethargic and didn’t want to do anything. Now with the rain, Yay!! I don’t know why but the rain just makes me all hyper and energetic. And Bangalore looks beautiful in the rain. Yes I know – the roads get flooded, the drains get clogged and there is sometimes rubbish floating down the road as well. But with the sheen of rain, I tend to overlook all of that. All I see is the people huddled under whatever cover, standing at road side tea stalls, sipping on hot chai and waiting for the rain to stop. Or kids skipping in the rain…

Of course the days of paper boats and hide n seek in the rain is long gone.

But perhaps the charm of the memories still remains.

Song of the day: Rain on Me – Ashanti

Call for Help

She is 6  months old.

She was abandoned by her mother, then adopted by the Forest Department officials who then ran out of space and money and is now living in a room in a kind family’s home. The room is smaller than those places we lived in during our college days…

The family is loving and caring and they manage to feed her decently as well.

But that is not where she should be. She should be in the wild, running free. But it might be too late… she is like a house cat. So she would need help to be rehabilitated into the wild. A zoo would be a good option except no zoo in India has the space to take her.

There are people who are willing to “adopt” her and even work with rehabilitating her into the wild, except that needs government approval – which we are not getting. Who knows why!

Would really appreciate anyone putting me in touch with anyone who could help. Or pass on the message till it reaches someone who can help. Let’s get her home.

Thots in My Head

…which all suddenly seems to have disappeared.

* There was an absolute moment of silence at the traffic light today. Anyone who’s been stuck at any traffic light in India knows it is generally chaotic. Horns, noisy vehicles etc. And I was at a major junction today when I was returning home and despite all the traffic around, there was this one moment of quiet. No one honking, no noisy vehicles. I wondered if i’d gone deaf suddenly. But nope, everyone waited patiently for the light to turn green, so the person in front to move at their own speed, for people to cross the road easily. Damn weird. There is some sanity in the world maybe. Or this was the exception to the rule.

* Had the most awful sheesha at Mocha today. Second time in a row… the coals keep going off… the flavor is barely there and today, i could taste the coal. Nearly choked. What on earth is happening? With increased competition, isn’t the service supposed to get better? Actually, the service is better… for once, they are all smiling and chatty and really quick. I just love the smell of sheesha… it is so… ethereal. And when done right, it is almost a ritual.

* And talking about weird stuff… yesterday was an abnormally busy day. We had more stories, stuff to do etc. And in between I got a call from an ex-colleague. One I consider a friend as well. Except he called to ask me to send him some documents which we were using for a story. They were public documents and he could access them, with the right passwords etc, which any news organization would have. But it was still rather shocking that he would call me, when we are competitors and actually think that I would send it to him. I love my friends but work’s work. And I’d never ever send any such breaking news to anyone. Everyone knows we journos are super competitive. I know that ‘share and care’ system exists in more places. It is natural… my boss would yell at me if you got a scoop and I didn’t. And so would your boss if the position were reversed. So a lot of people tip off their competitors after we’ve secured the lead. So he could’ve called his direct people… why me? When things aren’t so rosy for me here anyway?!?!

And I make the mistake of telling a coworker this… forgetting that the coworker has the biggest mouth in the newsroom. Ugh!

* This whole morning stint proved one thing – mornings aren’t for me. No matter how early I sleep, it is still difficult to pull myself out of bed every morning. It is still horrible to drive myself all the way to work so far… and i hate the traffic. And I feel so much awake in the night and filled with energy and creativity 😦 I prefer something starting by noon and ending late evening. This bit about catching up with friends wud perhaps plain stop if i were working this shift really everyday. This is just a celebration of the deviation.

* I went shopping in a part of town I had long discarded. I had to wait for friend so figured I could make use of the time. Except every shop I went to pulled out the most horrible stuff they had. I want loose tops, but with some shape cuz i’m skinny and short. Except, they pulled out saggy tops in horrible colors… and when I pointed out that they were all too big for me, they shrugged and said “this is all we have”. If that is all they had, then why show me?!? Do they expect me to  buy those extra large sizes? So then I said I want a plain white t shirt or singlet. And they pulled out stuff which was in bad stretchy cotton and long. Really long. When you wear a singlet, you usually wear it inside something or just plain. So in circumstance would you wear a LONG one. Least not something that comes up to your butt and makes you look weird and fat!
So I skip that as well and look for skirts. There was a fairly decent cotton skirt on display… white, knee-length. Except, that is ALL they had. In that one size on a mannequin of a size no Indian woman is. The rest of the skirts were the flowy cotton ones that are copies of the gorgeous ones you see on tv but no where the same class or style. Cheap sequins and cheaper material sewn together badly.
I am not a brand person. I discarded so called ‘peasant blouses’ at Pepe cuz they were just badly sewn, thin cotton, shapeless piece of… cloth. But why do they make it so bad? It costs the same to buy the material and stitch it. The same tailors sew everything. So what is the problem?
I figured I’d head to Show Off, which used to have some decent clothes. I badly wanted a top by then, as I was sweaty and dirty… I was meeting friends and wanted to look fresh and nice. Show Off – glittery, satiny, sequinny, ripped, saggy. They look like discards or left over from the 60s movies. In a bad way. And to top that off, there was a ‘make-over show’ being recorded there. The host was passable attractive, though she was wearing tights that made her thighs look fat. But the model who was ‘made over’ was even worse. Skinner than me and she was wearing – beat this – a red satin clingy dress, with a black synthetic singlet inside as the ‘summer’ wear. I was tempted to walk over and ask them if they were out of their goddamn minds! They advertised tights, half-sleeved velvety stuff for summer. Tights? Seriously? I walked out… I could not take the glitter anymore. Needless to say, I still haven’t found anything I have fallen in love with.

This is the problem when I go shopping. I have an image in mind and that apparently never suits any trend in vogue. Skirts are too flashy or disgusting, jeans have sequins all over them. Tops have fluffy, frilly stuff and shoes are all flats. What happened to simple and elegant?

* One more earthquake in Turkey. Maybe this is the end of the world.

* The news – The kid who was found dead in Australia. Something comes along every now and then that manages to pierce the shell that is built around your heart and make your stomach twist. Honestly, when I first read the article, I thought it would just lead to more furore about racism and all that shit. Strangely, there was none of it. And the Australian government really did their bit in finding the culprit. And he turned out to be a roommate… How could someone you know do something like that to your child?
And then I saw the picture of the child… In a long time, I felt like crying. There was such joy, such mischief in his eyes. The kind of kid who would play pranks and smile innocently that you could do nothing but laugh at it. What kind of a monster even think of extinguishing that joy?

And there has been silence on the media end. No speculation, no story about why an Indian did this to another Indian. All the racist comments… all the drama that was there about someone beating up adults and we remain silent about the death of this child? WHY?

* The travel bug is creeping up again.

Song of the day: Fawn – You Make Me Smile


Entourage. Of all sorts.

Nearly 7 AM. I should’ve been asleep 4 hours ago. I’ve a full day. I’ve a full weekend actually.

But I came home and wanted to finish up a few chores. And those chores required multitasking so I started playing Entourage Season 4. And though I meant to watch it only as long as I was working, I watched the entire 12 episodes. Why? What hooks me to this?

It is fluff. When I’m done, if you ask me to explain the whole plot in an interesting way, I really can’t. But it still gets me… perhaps it is the friendship of the 4 guys, the loyalty, mixed with a few moments of lightheartedness. It is funny… though I simply cannot bear Johny Drama. I pretty much fast forward most of the scenes that has only Drama and Turtle. Eric is the one that gets me.. the shy guy who has some surprises hidden in him. Vince is the guy I’d date but never more. And Ari…he’s exactly the kind of guy I’d fall for. Lol. He’s the hottest… and the arrogance… gotta love it.

The show I hear wasn’t really that  much of a hit. Not surprising… how many people would wanna watch the glitter of Hollywood, big boobs and naked asses on a weekly basis on television, with ad breaks if it was not with other purposes? And if I didn’t watch it at a go, it would probably be a little slow. But there is something interesting… not about the working of Hollywood because despite having various appearances of familiar names, this thing doesn’t show shit about the way Hollywood really works (mostly) but this is about a group of friends and living it big.

It helps it has a few good looking men… but I’m not sure what audience it was aimed at. Sex n the City was aimed at all the women out there… True Blood is from the teens to the vamp fans who love a good love story or some such thing. This one… not sure. But for late nights, it fits me.

***

On the side, I pretty much froze my ass off at work today cuz the AC was finally working after 2 fucking years and it was jammed. So the temperature couldn’t be regulated nor could I really shift the blast of air, so it was on my hair and my fingers were frozen. I was so glad to get out of it that when it was time to go home, I got into the cab, loved the warmth and said to no one in particular “I bloody froze my ass off. They just didn’t turn the fuckin ac off!”

The guy in the cab heard it and for some reason he felt compelled to play back this speech he had downloaded from some Osho ripoff called Osho Rajneesh or something… and this was about the use of the word ‘fuck’. It went on about how ‘fuck’ was the most used word in english and could be used in so many ways and went on with some examples and about how the word simply was… the most pitifully used. Perhaps the intention of making the speech was funny, but the intention with which this guy played it was a little annoying. The speech was interspersed with people laughing in the background and while K went on about how brilliant this was, I said I found it a little annoying. He did get the hint and switch it off but i wondered what gets peoples back up when women swear? I know I mentioned this a little while ago but seriously… I wasn’t referring to a person or swearing at him.

I would’ve perhaps let it ago if I’d frozen my ass off earlier and was a little cranky and for the little fact that yesterday the cab was a little like being in the locker room. By some strange coincidence, a bunch of guys who hadn’t met each other in a while got into the same cab. And I was the only girl. So I plugged in my music and would’ve spaced out except their conversation was louder than the music my earbuds could bear. They spoke about people getting married, women in their departments and some weird jokes about people they knew.

Nope, I do not understand what gets their back up but I think K got the point when i made it a point to use the f-word in a couple of other sentences where I really didn’t need to use it to make a point.

Song of the day: Superhero – Jane Addiction (Entourage theme song for the unenlightened)

The Day…

5 bucks in pocket. A  mountain of bills to pay. A brain that’s not exactly functioning up to par.

That was pretty much me yesterday. How does a day that start so normal end up being surreal? I started out to meet a friend, had a nice lunch, ended up at work 15 minutes late, worked on a nice story.

That was where the puzzle started… I couldn’t get a grip on the story. There were conflicting things throughout. When I called someone for an interview, I was pretty much reading out lines of a script. I could feel myself being semi-incoherent. I could tell the guy was a little puzzled because I’ve been speaking to him for over two years now and they get sense of how good or bad you are and your style of speaking. I finished the story, I started reading an article about Toyota and mid way I realised that I should also be on the wire. For the first time ever, I completely had forgotten about it. 5 minutes but still… So I got  back on the line…

On my way i realised I’d misplaced 250 dollars and nearly panicked. It was in my pocket when I last checked and now it wasn’t. Bloody hell! I searched and searched, called up people to check at work and made them also panic when I finally found it on the floor of my car.

I get home and I realise I have replied to several messages people had sent me during the day and i don’t exactly remember sending some of the messages.

That probably explained the psychotic headache where I could barely walk or keep my eyes open.

When I finally managed to fall asleep, I was woken up by some steady tapping noise. Like someone was bouncing a ball but it wasn’t so steady. Unable to open my eyes and go out and check, I called my brother sleeping in the next room. “chill! It is just the dog! Go to bed” he said.

The headache’s not gone. But the feeling on surrealness has. Amen.

Musings of the day…

Facebook is trying to make it like Twitter – public sharing. But doesn’t anyone remember that Facebook was not formed like Twitter? Facebook was formed to share personal information. For personal networking. Twitter meanwhile was supposed to  be about work. Twitter doesn’t include pictures, private videos and conversations between people. Twitter is about ONE. Facebook is about a community. Which is the whole reason people are screaming about the invasion of privacy on Facebook. It is like you told me that I can build a house and then started turning the walls into glass. Not Acceptable!

3D television – really? We want that? As much as a tech buff as I am, 3D is supposed to be for special occasions. Unless you figure out a way to bring it into my living room without putting those weird looking glasses on my face. When i’m sprawled on my couch with a bowl of popcorn, i’m not sure if i want even those glasses to come between me and tv… unless i’m watching Avatar yet again on my super big home theater system.
Watching a movie in a theater – 350 bucks per head for a movie. Really? Are we back to the post-recession prices? So if that’s me having a ‘group’ day out… it’d be 350*4. And then popcorn for all of us plus a couple of pepsis or whatever. Which would be about 150 bucks per head. So we go for a 3-hour show and we spend about 500 bucks at one shot. And this for some weird, 3-hour nonsense which isn’t funny or anything. For something that is funny and worth watching, they hike it by another 100 bucks anyway.
Wasn’ the whole point of multiplexes supposed be cheaper, smaller halls which were easier to fill therefore giving space for small-budget movies to run as well. But now it is back to the era of bigger stars ruling the roost.
Song of the day: Californication. Just Really Appealing today.