Thursday, October 20, 2011

Does Islam degrade women? Upgrade women? Downgrade women?

Case in point, the video above.

I wonder what happens if one of the ninjas veiled beauties gets lost in the crowd.

Sister Fatima (to sister Ayesha): Sister, did you see sister Mehnaz?

Sister Ayesha: Yes, here she is (points to lady in mobile tent veiled beauty next to her).

Sister Farah: No, no sister Ayesha. I am sister Farah! Sister Mehnaz went to take a leak.

Sister Ayesha (to sister Fatima): Sister, sister Mehnaz has gone to answer nature's call, this is sister Farah. Sorry about that.

Sister Fatima: That's Sister Farah? I thought you were sister Farah! Which sister are you then, sister?

Phew! I don't understand how these women in dustbin bags veiled beauties manage to work in such a situation. I guess they must be thanking the great Allah for giving humans enough intellect to invent a mobile phone.

Anyway, I wonder what was the point of that question "Does Islam degrade women?"

I mean, Islam is a religion. And unless you are in Saudi, where the religion is the constitution, how can a religion degrade, upgrade, downgrade or for that matter, grade a person?

Secondly, if the questioner has such doubts, then why is she following the religion?

Was the question specifically 'planted' so that the non-Muslims in the crowd (there was at least one sister who did not resemble a female darth vader veiled beauty) could clear their misunderstandings?

Very, very confusing. And very mysterious too, veils and all!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

How to take a Hindu for a ride

 It's easy, really. Hinduism says that God is in everyone and everything and everywhere. So all you need to do is declare that you are... ahem... God.

Steps to follow:

1. Avoid all visits to the barber/hairdresser and develop a morbid hatred for combs, hair gel, mousse and any other grooming product. Let your bushes, thickets and forests grow unabated regardless of what part of the body they are taking root on.

2. Empty your wardrobe of normal clothing. Wear orange/white flowing nightgowns instead. Underwear is optional.

3. Create a spiritual sounding name. The following formula can be used to achieve desired results:

'Sri' * n + 'Swami' + <insert Hindu name>+ 'ananda/dev' + 'baba'


'Sri'*3 + 'Swami' + Mohan +'ananda' + 'baba' = Sri sri sri Swami Mohanananda baba!!

Easy peasy!

4. Memorize a few words like 'mimamsa', 'sankhya', 'dwaita', 'advaita' and spout them out at irregular intervals. It doesn't matter whether you know the meaning of these words or not. Those idiots listening to you won't have any idea either.

5. Learn a few petty magic tricks, like materializing ash from your hands and feet, stones from your mouth etc. If you manage to grow a plant from your nose, you will reach baba super stardom. This has not been achieved yet. The field is still open for the next swami sensation.

6. Take a few common yoga asanas, add to that a few breathing techniques, mix in a few motivational speeches and viola! You have your own 7 day spiritual course costing a few thousand rupees. Now advertise the aforesaid course and watch the bored and the depressed throw their hard earned-moolah at your feet along with their own selves!

7. Get a few dumb white middle-aged women to join the course. Indians always think that if the white people are doing it, it must be the right thing to do.

8. If above steps are followed properly, you can get donations from foolish devotees and open an ashram at a quiet place on a large piece of property. Build your own mini palace. Call it 'oneness centre', ' Shanti dham' or any such name and set yourself up for life!! People will come to visit you and the money keeps rolling in.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

In the end, there were none!

This is a must read.

Seems like it is straight out of an R.K. Narayan story. Oh! the irony of it all. Paris gives a 100$ note to a roadside beggar woman, who gives it to her relatives, who squabble over it and tear it to pieces.
This is perfect story for a television series or a short film.

The question is, how were the media there at the right instant to photograph Paris giving money to the beggar? Funny, no?

The communist reflects!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Aisa kya hai Masala Maggi mein?

Women are very picky nowadays. Gone is the age when they used to look for the thoughtful, kind and importantly, rich man. Nowadays, women are quite rich themselves. As far as thoughtful and kind is concerned; well, when has a man ever been thoughtful or kind towards a woman (other than his wife) unless he wants to sleep with her? All that women seem to look for in a man is a good body. This phenomenon is fueled by visuals of fit Bollywood heroes who strip down as effortlessly for a maa-beta scene as they do for a fight sequence.

Basically, if you aren't fit, you aren't getting any. This is a situation which requires undivided attention and immediate action as far as sexually motivated individuals like yours truly are concerned. In fact, I have become so paranoid that I make sure to read the nutrition information given at the back of each packet of milk, biscuits, cereals and other assorted foods. Coffee has given way to green tea at the office coffee machine, even though I am of the opinion that green tea tastes like warm diluted sewage. My morning starts with a bowl of oats, which look and feel like baby vomit. But I endure the torture of all this plus a grueling fitness regime because I need some. Badly.

It's late, and I am sitting with a bowl of Maggi noodles in my hands. I have no desire to cook for myself after late workdays, and the instant noodles are a savior. Plus they have been a childhood favorite. When I switch on the TV, there is an Ad for Maggi. It goes : 'Aisa kya hai meri masala maggi mein?'

Honestly, I never bothered to check that. But my latest fitness paranoia  made me flip the pack to find out what Masala maggi contains after all? Well, a little bit of high-tech research (read google-ing) gives the following results:

The noodles contain : Maida, oil, salt, wheat gluten , guar gum (thickening agent) and Mineral 170i (calcium)

In short, the noodles have carbs, fat and added calcium.
The flavoring has 13.4% of spices. The rest of it contains:

* Garlic and onion powder
* Hydrolysed groundnut protein
* Sugar
* Vegetable Oil
* Edible starch
* Guar gum
* Mineral (508) - Potassium Chloride
* Acidifying agent (330) - Citric acid
* Flavor enhancer (635) - Disodium 5'-ribonucleotides (click on link to read more)
* Raising agent (500(ii)) - Sodium carbonates 

So aisa kya hai meri masala maggi mein? Well, a whole load of empty calories, that's what!

But what the hell, it is fast, easy and tasty! And it creates an illusion that you have actually cooked something yourself instead of buying stuff from outside.

And healthy? Well, it does seem to contain calcium, potassium and groundnut protein (This is actually added to improve flavor and texture. not for nutrition.). And that's how I brainwash myself into thinking that the stuff is actually good for me as I reach for another pack of meri Masala Maggi!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Indian Institute of Devdas (and other forlorn and depressed creatures)

Yes, I am flogging a dead horse. The collective voice of the nation has gone hoarse discussing the suicides at premier institutes of higher education in India. I shall do the same! I am going to be totally insensitive while I move with the herd- please find below a non-exhaustive table of suicides in IIT's and IIM's this year:

I am aware that nobody would have given a rat's ass if these students were not from IIT's or IIM's. Students from all over India, from large and small institutes alike, take their own lives in alarming numbers. Of course it is always an impulsive reaction. Part of the blame lies on the age of the individual. After all, we are like that when we are in our teens and tweens- Impulsive, naive and vulnerable.

As far as students from the IIT's and IIM's are concerned:  You have been a top student from your school days. You burnt midnight oil to get into a top institution. Your marks are sufficient for every premier institution to open its doors for you. You have probably not faced too many setbacks in life. 

How can such a person handle failure when it comes unexpectedly? When the top student discovers that studying engineering is something totally different from passing that entrance exam; he falters, but naturally.

Your friends idolize you and your family adores you. You are placed on a pedestal by every Indian Pappu. You are the apple of everyone's eyes. Everyone wants to be your friend. How can such a person handle rejection in love?
On top of that, there is the highly competitive atmosphere of the institutes which doesn't help things at all.

Point is, if you can't handle things like these, then I am sorry my friend, you are just not fit for the game that is life. This Pappu is usually not philosophical. But it saddens me to see young people, who have worked so hard to get to places where most of us only dream to reach, taking their own life on being faced with setbacks.

Strange are the ways of the invisible man in the sky. He makes them intelligent. He makes them industrious. But he forgets to give them resilience, which, after all , is more important than anything else.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Fasting Trends

It's the latest fad in India. Follow it, and it is almost guaranteed to make you a celebrity overnight. Well, in most cases if not all. It helps if you are already quite well known because then, it will add to your repertoire. If you are not so well-known then you may garner anything ranging from instant fame to absolute indifference.It's worth a try any which way. Just pick an issue which is irking the public at large (there are a variety of them to choose from) and go and do a dharna/anshan somewhere. Prepare your slogans, clear your voice and if possible, get a few heckled supporters to join you as well. Yes, it's that easy.

If there is a trend, there has to be a top-five. So joining the top-five bikinis/mini-skirts/distressed jeans is a list of top-five fasts. Here goes.

1. Anna Hazare - Fast Fame

This is the one that started it all. The great Indian public, which is troubled to no end with corruption, high-prices, inflation, terror etc. needed a mouthpiece to vent its anger. And lo, Anna appeared as if sent by God himself. The multitudes joined him in the protest for the now famous Lokpal bill. Which seems to be getting somewhere, after all. Or so we'd like to think. After the terror attacks and more fasts by more people, the media seems to have forgotten about the Lokpal. So has our public. But this one deserves the No.1 spot, that's for sure. We got to know that there is somebody called Anna Hazare and there is actually something called the Lokpal bill at least.

 2. Swami Nigamananda - Fast oblivion

When some of the protesters at Anna's rally were asked as to why the Lokpal bill was so important, they responded with confused answers and equally baffled expressions on their faces. Well, who's concerned as to what the bill does? We want to protest and we will, so there!
I am sure most of us will think of sex scandals and visualize petty starlets having a romp in bed with saffron-clad men when we hear of 'Nigamananda'. To the confused, this swami is different from my spiritual guide Nithyananda, of the Ranjitha fame.
This swami (idiot) was on a fast against the pollution in the Ganga (who cares, that river is as clean as a gutter. Holy, my ass!). The best part was that he died fasting! The even better part was that nobody cared. This shows that you have to pick a proper issue when choosing to stage an anshan. Nigamananda does not deserve the number 2 spot, but I am giving it to him because he died. This tribute on this unknown blog is the most he will get after all.

3. Irom Sharmila- Fast FAIL

Who? What? Sharmila Tagore? Where?

Are the few reactions that this name elicits. This is a woman who is demanding the removal of the AFSPA from Manipur. Some of her relatives were killed by the army, and so she has been on a fast since the past eleven-odd years. Yes, you heard right, eleven years. She is being force-fed to keep her alive since so many years. Methinks that's what the funny tube up her nose is for. This is another case of fasting for a cause that the majority does not care about. I mean, most of us from the rest of India can hardly pinpoint Manipur on the map. The whole of the north-East is a geographical confusion and we usually show interest only in the case of earthquakes and such. God only knows why she is still alive. Poor girl.

4. Narendra Modi/Vaghela - Fast Savvy

Why he chose to fast in the first place, nobody knows. But the desired effects have been achieved. The media went ballistic, Modi got the much-needed fillip among the masses and the power of fasting as a trend has been demonstrated to great effect. In the battle of the fasts, Congress leader Shankar Vaghela started a counter-fast against Modi's sadbhavana fast. This one was a five-star fast. There was an air-conditioned hall, celeb visits and media blitzkrieg. This one deserves a position on this list because it demonstrates the power of fasts even when you are fasting for no specific reason.

5. Baba Ramdev - Gender-bender Fast

He tried the fast-for-no-apparent-reason tactic too, albeit with different results than the one by Mr. Sadbhavna. One of the 'reasons' for the fast was the billions of Indian money stashed in Swiss banks. It ended in the swami dressing up in drag and trying to escape the cops. In an apparent case of the 'aa bail mujhe maar' syndrome, there were investigations conducted against the Yoga-man and his ashram. There have been reports of financial-funny business in his organization and the swami has been subdued ever since. He still merits a place in this list because he dared to dress in a salwar kameez.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Pakistan to the rescue!

'Which country can do more for your peace?' Asks an ad by the Pak Government in the American wall street journal. I don't know whether to laugh or cry owing to an overwhelming sense of gratitude towards our brave neighbors. The ad claims that Pakistan has done more for peace than any other country. This, apparently has been achieved by eliminating some of its own populace, an uncomfortable number of whom aspire to become suicide bombers even as I type this.

So basically, the Pakis are tom-tomming about saving the world from... er... themselves.

'More than a dozen assassination plots against the President and the Prime minister foiled!' Claims the ad. 
Pray, tell us, who were the ones who hatched the plots in the first place? And how did that help the rest of the world? If one of your leaders died, another would have replaced him anyway. We wouldn't have given a rat's ass. We are busy protecting our own borders from Pak trained militancy and internal terrorist agencies. Or so we'd like to believe until the next bomb blast.

The only difference is that we don't claim that we are the watchdogs of the world, when we kill our own miscreants!

Basically, the message of the Ad is: Look! If we hadn't killed our own people (who, incidentally, have been trained by us to kill your people) you would have been killed.We saved your asses from ourselves so now show some gratitude!'

I am overwhelmed by emotion at this show of bravery and selflessness by our neighbors. I dedicate this song to them, out of gratitude.