Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Of cyberspace racism

While checking the stats in Google Analytics I found out one of the keywords used to find my blog in search engines was "i hate mallus"


If you've been reading my blog faithfully you will know what "mallu" means. If you don't here's a rundown: "mallu" is a term used to call a Keralite, IE someone from Kerala. Well in my previous post I blogged about how Keralites were discriminated and racially abused. So it wasn't much of a surprise when I saw that particular keyword.

They probably do hate mallus ... but some thing's odd, don't you think ? They hate us enough to google the hate, but when they come upon a Keralite blog, they spend some time on it and just leave. Just like that. No hate speech, no racist abuse, no nothing.

Heh. Fricking cowards.

Anyhoo, I see this keyword everyday on my stats. Finally yesterday I Google it myself, just to see what's out there. Sure enough my blog is on the front page; sixth link. I check around and see that most of the links are to other blogs which have a lot of "mallu jokes" and the "i hate mallus" come in the comments. I spend some time around reading and smiling at the jokes.

Then I click on this site.

Now, as most people know everyone seems to get offended very easily these days. I have to agree with Chelle on that. People are waaaay too sensitive these days. Something said in jest or something said without understanding the culture should be forgiven. We all make mistakes in our lives. We shouldn't get too riled up on stuff like that.

But then again, there's also the intentional. This site was intentional. The authors do not make a joke about it. In fact they're material is pure hate speech and almost propaganda. And they are all directed at me and my community.

Needless to say I was fuming. I've been through other offensive sites but nothing lit the spark like this did, since they were abusing me personally. You never know how bad and ugly racism is until it touches you.

Now ... fuming as I were, I always look at things with a broad mind. I have always refused to think down a one-way street. I've always believed no one is born into what they are ... life molds them that way. So apparently these people were molded into hating the likes of me ... and I was curious. Angry and pissed, yes, but still curious.

I'll be the first to tell you Keralite's have their problems and believe me we have some mighty big problems. But then, who doesn't ? Before we rebuke a particular community or religion or whatever we really should look at ourselves first.

Anyhoo ... I decided to go through the blog,unthinkable as it might have seemed, to find a root cause. I like that ... behavioural analysis and stuff like that. Kinda cool.

So here we go : lets analyze a racist, shall we ?

1) The Authors:

Apparently it's a team blog. The user names range from normal one's like KK to some high fly one's like Dr.Evil and HellBlogger.

Meh. What's in a name ?

2) The Subject

The subject is the United Indian School (UIS) in Kuwait. I have never heard of this school but it surely must exist. There are a lot of Indian schools in the Middle East.

The blog states that it wants to expose the corruption and incompetence of the UIS.

Wait, wait ... lets backtrack here. United Indian School ?? These are school kids. Teenagers at best. Probably around 15 or 16. Pre-college stuff.


So, it's a couple of kids who don't like their school. Fair enough.

A couple of kids who don't like their faculty and make it known to the world, in their own way. Fair enough.

A couple of kids who think Keralites are an evil cancer. Hmm. Something wrong there.

3)The Readers.

Very little comments on this particular blog. That actually made me feel better until I saw the feedburner. 169 subscribers.

Oh boy.

I was surprised to see no comments favoring the Keralites. I tried sending a comment ... and found out that it was moderated. Well, that would explain the lack of retaliation. Seemed pretty lame to me though ... if you want to say something to the world you have to prepared for debate. It's kinda cowardly when you don't want to accept criticism.

But then again ... all racists are cowards.

4)The Racism.

Pretty harsh language in the random posts I read. Apparently we are fit for nothing but slavery, have a language that should be used for torture and we sleep with our mothers.

Surprised ? Shocked ? That's racism for you. :)

I've also noticed some of the posts that seem to paint a very unflattering picture of the girls in this particular school. Male superority? Maybe. In fact ... very probable.

There are posts written by young ladies and they, of course, attack the Keralite guys. Yawn. That's nothing new.

Actually, hold that thought. Most of the posts written are actually by a young girl (hellblogger). Ahh. Now that's interesting.

5) The design.

It's a normal blogger blog with a three pane template. The title has a picture of the school on it and the panes are filled with anti Keralite badges and widgets. Oddly there's a badge which advocates support for tigers and a badge for Greenpeace. Heh, a weird place to find that!

6) The writing.

Is actually pretty good. I have to admit it. It's really good. These are written by people with a talent for words.

Sorry loss though that they squander they're talent on meaningless hate speech.

7) Random posts.

This is very very interesting.

The first few posts are by the girl named HellBlogger and they target specific boys of the school calling them either gay or really really stupid. The next posts target the faculty .... and then she targets the girls (ugly and whores) in the school.

After all this, she runs into her tirade about Keralite's.

Huh. Interesting.

8) The conclusion.

Here we have a group of kids who feel that they have been discriminated against by a school run pre-dominantly by Keralites. They're kids ... and so they vent their anger that is supposed to be directed towards the faculty at an entire community.

Why ? Because that's what you do when you have a very narrow mind and your thinking space constitutes a 2 x 2 wooden cube.

It is now clear that the girl named HellBlogger is the one who started the blog. Her case is different. From what I can deduce ... it seems like she might actually have had a crush on one of the guys of her school. She gets rejected. The guy falls for another girl. The cycle repeats itself.

So heartbroken and angry she starts a blog and attacks the guys first (along with their pics which is very very immature) and the girls later. Along the way she attacks the faculty which she clearly dislikes.

So why the hatred for Keralites. My best guess ? The guys she liked and the girls who stole them were Keralites.


HellBlogger ... you might read this. If you've been discriminated by a Keralite, I'm sorry. But that does not justify you going up against an entire community. You're attitude is more like a sulking little rejected girl rather than a scarred life. You're inability to see the world for what it is is your biggest drawback. You'd might want to look at that first before you go along with your hate speech.

I wanted to give you a long sarcastic feedback filled with expletives but I decided against it. Why ? Because you're just a kid and maybe you'll grow to be more wiser in the future.

Besides, the best you'd do is call me gay.

**UPDATE 01/06/08**

The guys over at UIS have responded which I expected them to. A note of thanks to the anonymous commentor on this post for giving me the heads up. I had a good laugh out of it.

What ? Did you think I'd get all flushed up and pissed ? No, I expected the retaliation. And yes, the best you did was call me gay and a tuna among others. I'm not going to respond because I've got better things to do and this post was for my readers. You're post is for yours.

And anyways, responding to you would just be a recurring headache.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Of Addiction and rehab

88%How Addicted to Blogging Are You?

Created by OnePlusYou - Free Online Dating

"Why don't you introduce yourself to the rest of us and tell us why you're here?"

My eyes span across the people in the room. There are about a dozen people and I notice a chance few. A ninja, a pin-up girl, a guy who wears a top hat, another guy with a baseball cap on backwards and a guy who I can only describe as Hobbes.

I close my eyes. How did I end up here.

I tell them my name. They greet me. I can't find any words after that. They look so ... so ... devastated. I'm stuck in a shitty basement surrounded by the sort of sad people society would call losers.

And I'm one such loser.

"Tell us. Tell us what happened. From the beginning."



"I started blogging in 2008. New Year's day. It was to be my new hobby. I had resolved to quit smoking and start blogging instead. It seemed like a noble prospect. It gained me praise. Little was I to know. And if any of you are wondering, I started smoking two weeks later."

I say that with a smile. No one smiles back. I look down at my hands.

"It was all right in the beginning. Blogging about anything and everything I wanted to blog about. A couple of my friends encouraged me. They read my blog occasionally and some of them left comments. Comments that were not relevant to the post but comments all the same. I was OK for a while."

"But then it all began. The need for more. I started reading other people's blogs. I saw the sort of readers they attracted. People with like minded mentality. People who objected and started post wars. People who just came in to say the posts made them think. I wanted all that. I wanted to be like those bloggers. I wanted the exposure. Admiration became envy in the bat of an eye and I didn't even notice it."

"I began commenting on their blogs. Some of them paid the compliment by visiting and commenting on my blog. But it still wasn't enough. Then I noticed that one of my visitors was part of a social network. A social network for bloggers. One that had a lot of bloggers. And it looked like he had a major part of his traffic coming from there."

The moderator places a hand over mine. "We are not allowed use the word "traffic" here. It's one of our rules. Its ..." she shakes her head.

I understood.

"Anyway. The site's name was Blog Catalog."

A few wince as if in the memory of pain endured long ago.

"I did what anyone would have done. I signed up. I didn't think about it. If the other's were doing it, why shouldn't I ? I wanted to be like them. I cant be blamed for wishing for the moon."

"No one's blaming you." the moderator says softly.

I nod. No this was not the place for the blame game. This was not that sort of place at all.

"At first it was all about the widgets. That was all I did for the first week. The widgets and surfing through other blogger profiles. No harm. Just some time spent."

"But then ... after the first week ... I ... I ... clicked on the discussions button."

I hear a gasp. I notice a tear somewhere.

"I cant say the rest was history. I have to tell you the horror. The madness. The desperation. I started by replying to a few threads. You know ... lurking around. Laughing at the spammers, stuff like that."

"But then I started to get engrossed in the discussions. Debate's started forming in my head. They carried on to my dreams. I was falling for the whole idea. I agreed with some, I scoffed at the others. My political views changed. My social views changed. My views on human emotion changed. When I look back at it now I realize they were all changing accordingly with the BC mob ... it was slowly changing my life."

The hand on mine again. "We are not allowed to say "BC" either."

I nod.

"Minutes became half hours. Half hours became two hours. Two hours turned to evenings. Evenings turned to midnight. I noticed none of this. I ordered food. I held my pee while pressing F5. I drank coffee to make sure I didn't sleep in the middle of a post war. I prayed for people to start flame wars. I started flirting with the women. I even called myself Casanova."

I dig my face into my hands with a moan. I can sense the feeling of attachment in this place. Everyone knows what I'm talking about. The moderator does not pat me or soothe me. She knows its not needed.

I rise. The story is not over yet.

"I neglected my hygiene. Every time spent in the bathroom or anywhere else would be a minute lost in the discussions thread. A lot can happen in a minute. Food did not fill my hunger anymore. Water did not quench my thirst. I did not stop smoking. But my blogging cut down drastically. I didn't care if I got any tr-- ... visitors on my blog. All I cared was if someone replied to my threads, my replies or my shoutbox."

"My girlfriend left me. She said I seemed to be obsessed with a particular member of the site. And the truth is ... I was. No, I am. My family tried to contact me, but I rarely took their calls. I didn't want to be disturbed. I had more important things to do. They eventually gave up ... and disowned me."

I shake my head as I consider what I just said. The futility of my past.

"People began to realize I had a problem from then on. For one I was rarely seen outside other than in my office. My work lagged as I sat on my workstation logged onto Blog Catalog. When I spoke to workers I spoke only about Digg articles I saw on the discussions thread. It was either that or politics or worse ... religion. And when I started a conversation, I would tag it with labels ... or say "hey this is general discussion" or "this is shameless my work promotion". My boss reported me to the office shrink."

"He ran some sort of mental test on me. He's the one who diagnosed me with ... with addiction. I couldn't believe it. Me ? Addicted ? I laughed in his face. If I remember correctly, I laughed a bit too loudly. I ran home and shut the doors and typed up a new thread and tried to joke it off. I desperately wanted people to tell me I was fine. You see I knew then ... that I truly was addicted. But I just didn't want to believe it."

"Then the Surgeon Generals report came out. It warned the public of the dangers and the fatality. Then the grisly news reports : bloggers found dead at their computers, a guy with his fingers stapled to the keyboard presumably by himself, a woman cackling and screaming at her screen; her fingers withered away with constant typing."

"I woke up. I was going to go crazy just like them. I started seeking help. Some of them were drastic. Doctors forced me away from the Internet. But when I sat at a computer that wasn't connected to the Internet, I hammered it to dust. They forced me away from all computers then. I turned into a hungry animal with that. They said I would go past it. They said it was a phase. What did they know ? What did they know about the craving ?"

I raise my palm for everyone to see. "These fingers. They still twitch for the keys that are no longer there."

A woman among the group burst into tears. The rest try to fight back the tears.

"Last week, the clinic recommended this group. I wandered outside this building for the next six days, unsure and scared. I didn't know how to enter or what to say. But today I just thought : to hell with it. And so I'm here. With people who were there. With people who suffered the same. With people who know what I feel."

I smile.

"With people I can connect to."

There is a short silence. But a comfortable one. Then the applause starts. Everyone stands up and applauds. I feel the tears warm and free flowing on my cheeks. I feel a sunrise inside me.

The applause dies down. Everyone takes their seats. The moderator turns to me.

"Is there a final word you would like to say."

I look at her. I look at the group.

"Actually, yes."

She gestures with her hand. Go ahead.

I take a deep breath.

"Ok, general discussion. Why is McCain in the White House a bad thing ?"


Authors note: Inspired by a delightful blog post on Sogeshirts.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Of Reality TV

When they came out, people were like ooooh and aaaah! I remember the first reality show I saw : Survivor. I never really got the point of it. What did they try to accomplish other than TV ratings and ad money ? A moral statement that said humans dont blend so well under harsh circumstances ? I gotta tell you ... that's nothing new.

Why was everyone so goo goo gaa gaa over reality shows ? The news channel is a true reality show. No one drools over that ? No, people seem to have an affection to shows where people's characters are either ripped apart or showered in gold. Put in a celebrity or two and you've got big dollars in revenue. There isn't a decent sitcom or show that you can honestly sink into. Why ? Because everyone wants be an idol or a superhero or the last person to come out of a house.

A couple of days ago I was watching an Indian reality show. I dont remember the channel, it was either 9x or Sony. Anyhoo, the contestants were children and they were required to dance their way to glory. The anchors were people I have never seen before and the judges included Raveena Tandon (who still looks gorgeous, by the way) and two others who, again, I have no idea. When it came to the elimination, the audience decided to vote out a pair who had been lavishly praised and honestly to me looked talented.

I have no idea why they were voted out, but the audience looked like they were least interested and maybe, just maybe they had voted randomly on the unfortunate pair. The kids were crying like hell and I dont blame them. They're young and they had to cope with failure at a very tender age.

The anchors however were bawling too ! The lady anchor was openly crying and the male anchor sits down on the floor with an obviously fake look of devastation on his face. He wipes his eyes periodically but for the love of me I couldnt see any tears coming out of them. And just when you thought he couldnt make it any worse the guy actually starts to sing a sad song!

Oh, for the love of God !

Suffice to say, I switched channels immediately.

Celebrity shows are another thing I cant stand. I did not watch the Paris Hilton show on principle but I did have the misfortune of watching the Paula Abdul show and the Hogan show. The Paula Abdul show was annoying to the core and I just couldnt stand it anymore when she started crying because her assistant forgot to bring her matching shoes to her dress. Really ... how long can you take it when a watch a woman do this all the time:

Woman, get a grip!

And the Hogan show just made me feel really uncomfortable. There is something seriously wrong with that family.

TV guys, if you're reading, please please ... scout for some great sitcoms like Frasier and Seinfield or even Friends but please cut down on the reality shows. You're basically sending the next generation the wrong idea that future TV lies with no soul reality shows.

Believe me, I would not want to live in such an era.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Of Jodhaa Akbar

Powered by: Chakpak.comJodhaa Akbar

I know, I know it's late to be reviewing this, but I was only able to watch the movie over the weekend and since this was an eagerly awaited movie I just couldn't resist reviewing it.

Jodhaa Akbar (JB) is a 2008 historical epic starring Bollywood heartthrob Hrithik Roshan and former Miss World Aishwarya Rai. The premise of the movie is the romance between the sixteenth century Mughal emperor Akbar and the Rajput princess Hira Kunwari Sahiba who is referred to as Jodhaa in the movie. IMDB clocks this movie at 213 minutes which is pretty long even for a Bollywood movie. Ashutosh Gowariker whose earlier credits include the Academy Award nominated Lagaan and the critically acclaimed Swades directs this movie.

Watching JB is like watching Ridley Scott's Heaven on Earth; a movie that was painfully politically correct in its every stride. While this is not necessarily a bad thing it does make the movie more artificial rather than real. JB is also similar to Santosh Sivan's biopic Asoka. Asoka tried to theorize that it was love that turned a warrior blood thirsty king to a non violent Buddhist. It is the same sort of love, apparently, that turns Akbar into a wise and secular emperor.

Bollywood historical epics, in my opinion, have always been a joke. They never get the facts right and they always end up making a larger than life character out of real people. For instance did you know that Mangal Pandey was hanged in secret by the British because they did not want an uprising over his death ? Yet the movie makes a dramatic public execution that leads to a revolt and subsequently the War of 1857 at the same moment he dies. Rajkumar Santoshi's The Legend of Bhagath Singh with all its 15 years of research made a glaring mistake. Singh shot the wrong man in Lahore. DSP Saunders was not the target; Police chief Scott was. But of course the hero of the movie can't make mistakes.

JB however has a disclaimer right before the credits that state it is based on only one of the versions of historical record and that there are other versions. Gowariker himself has stated that most of the movie was his imagination, so I will forgive some of the inaccuracies I saw in the movie. Yes, I know, I'm weird that way.

This is Hrithik's movie all the way. He truly personifies the glamour, lavishness and fury of the Mughals. His Akbar is a very restrained performance and he is excellent while portraying the young emperor who is lovestruck and vulnerable. Aishwarya does a good job portraying Jodhaa but I just couldn't see her as a Rajput princess. The Rajput's were defiant and fiery and you see none of that in her. She even holds a sword like a clumsy drunk buffoon in one very embarrassing scene.

Cinematography is another strong point in this movie. Before special effects Hollywood was famous for its camera work (Ben Hur for example) and it seems Indian cinema has reached this stage. The camera makes epic the ancient battlefields of India and it also captures the elegance and magnitude of the Mughal and Rajput palaces. The elephant sequence and the climactic scenes are a gem to watch for.

Since it's directed by Ashutosh Gowariker you have to expect a lot which is exactly what I did but I have to say I was disappointed. There are some scenes in the movie which are just stunning like the execution of Akbar's elder brother and then there are some scenes which were unbelievably corny like the death of Jodhaa's brother. The film is long running at over 3 hours and it seems like Gowariker seems to have lost his way on certain days of shooting. If I were to draw the high points and low in chronological order of the movie it would look like this:

Jodhaa Akbar is a good movie and bold according to Bollywood standards but it loses some its pitch at various points. Also it's a bit long and this will take the interest out of any person who's not much into history. Watch it if you liked Lagaan and Swades, but give it a miss if you don't like historical epics and if you don't want to spend 3 hours on a movie.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Of human rights

A cyclone devastates a South Asian country. Thousands are dead and hundreds of thousands are missing, presumed dead. The world pitches in to help but the regime that governs the country holds the supplies and then distributes the supplies to its trauma stricken citizens as propaganda. They then hold a referendum among the people to make sure they stay in power.

An African country is ripped apart by civil war. A refugee crisis of unthinkable magnitude originates. Rape, murder and other acts of genocide take place on a daily basis. The refugee's are starving and wake up every day knowing that they will either die of starvation or will be killed by a state sponsored militia. What does the world do ? The world debates on whether or not it's genocide and whether or not they should interfere.

A man in an Islamic country is harassed because he put up some offensive materials on his website. The website is hacked and a death threat pasted on the front page. The man is told that he will face charges but nothing is done about the death threats.

A woman and her lover are killed in a remote village in India. The killers are her own father and brother. They wanted to restore the honour to their family which the woman lost when she decided to live in with her lover after divorcing her husband. The family drags her and the lover out of their house and beats them to death in broad daylight. The villagers watch and applaud.

March 15th 2008. Human Rights Day. Are you kidding me ?

Have you heard of the Geneva Convention ? It was supposed to make war civilized. We've had a lot of wars since the convention ... has anyone of you witnessed a civilized war ?

Have you heard of the UN ? It was supposed to protect human rights. That was it's basic objective. "Never again" was the catchphrase used during the Armenian genocide. The Jewish Holoucast occured after that but there was no UN to stop that from happening right ? What about after the UN was formed ? Rwanda, Serebrenica, Darfur ... to name a few. And please dont tell me that the perpetrators were caught and put on trial. We're supposed to stop such things before they happen, not swear that we won't allow it to happen ever again.

"Never again" is what everyone says. I say what the f**k were we doing when it happened the first time ?

You know what's ironic ? The cavemen that we thought were dumb and stupid according to our standards are the one's who enjoyed human rights. The advanced and civilized us have none.

So stop kidding yourselves. You have no rights and never will earn it ... until the day you're fellow human has it.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Of becoming an internet phenom

"I always wanted to be a news anchor ... the news they break to shocked people around the world, that's so powerful ! That's why I wanted to be a news anchor."

She smiles. Her makeup on her cheeks actually cracks as she does. Lady, I saw you an hour ago ... and boy I got to admit : being on television breaks a lot of myths.

She looks back at her papers. The executives behind us work as though nothing is happening. I've always wondered how they can just wander around when they know they're live on TV. I guess they just don't have the time for it all.

"You come in highly recommended."

"I know. I was among the best at WNBC."

She nods. She hasn't looked at me yet but she still goes through her papers. I shuffle through mine. I really don't need to go through them, I already have a gist. That's your gift when you're experienced. You have the gist.

"Live in 2 minutes!" someone calls out.

"You OK?" the producer points at me and asks. I give him a thumbs up and smile. What a loser.

"What are you doing tomorrow night ?"

She looks at me and smiles a sarcastic smile. "Oh no, I don't date colleagues."

Not what I heard from the grapevine.

"Oh OK. But the offers still open ... "

She chuckles. "Darling, a lot of offers are still open. I do not date colleagues."

We'll see, I think to myself. I just hope she keeps the darn makeup when she's with me.

"Sixty seconds."

I check the technicals. Mike's OK, wires are OK, balls OK. Good to go.

She pushes her papers in place and sighs. She sits erect and tosses her hair around one final time.

"Here we go ..."


"Welcome to Fox."

I smile. That was touching.

"Five !"

This is it.

"Two !"

The producer gives me his thumbs up. We're live.

I swivel in my chair and face the camera. I look straight at it, gives it
my best smile and manages to say in my best anchor voice:

"Fuck! I just made You Tube history !"

The producer's face literally explodes. "Jesus ! Get off the god damned air !!!!"

I get up as pandemonium breaks loose. She stares at me with her mouth gaping. She looks like a Disney witch.

"Have a lovely day darling."

I smile and walk out.

Authors note: Inspired by a digg article.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Of Pangea Day

Pangea Day was broadcast live all over the world on TVs, internet and mobile on the evening of May 10th which by the way turned out to be 11.30 pm for us, which meant I watched the program on May 11. For those of you who don't know what this was all about Pangea Day was an innovative program featuring short films from all over the world in an attempt to make people understand that emotions, however different they may seem are actually basically the same everywhere. In other words we are not different from the people who we consider our enemies and that we are all the same irrespective of where we come from.

As a movie critic I really liked the show which showcased some brilliant short movies (which are the hardest to make) including two from India. there were three movies that I really liked : J'Attendrai Le Suivant from France; Elevator Music from the UK and More from the US. If you'd like to watch these movies and the others featured on the show; you can do so here.

On the humanitarian side I thought this was a very brave and novel approach to world peace. There were some truly touching scenes in the show but none more touching than the finale where an Israeli woman and a Palestinian man came on stage hand in hand after having lost direct relatives and still believing that peace will come to their troubled lands.

Touching, truly was. But, just being touching is not going to help. The question I asked myself was exactly how effective this show was.

While I sat there watching it, I couldn't help but think of the many people I know personally who would have scoffed at the show. I thought about the people I knew would ridicule the Egyptian group for the music and their language. I thought of the people I knew would consider with contempt the movies made in the Islamic world. These people wouldn't have even watched this show and even if they did they'd probably have just walked out after an hour or so.

It's not just the people in India. I'd bet you the people over at would have screamed treason if they ever saw Operation Homecoming. How do shows like this get to people like them ? Simple answer: they don't.

So, was it an exercise in futility ? No. It was a start and believe me that's better than nothing at all.

When you live in a place where multitudes of culture's meet at crossroads it's easy for you lose hope in humanity. Sadly, India is one such place. The distrust and hatred that exists on so many levels of racism is so thick that you can almost smell it in the air. A colleague of mine once told me he hated Muslims; my neighbor laughed as he watched a news report on how Hindu mobs were slaughtering Muslims in Gujarat. I have listened as five Muslim men ridiculed and laughed at a documentary on Hindu customs and traditions. One went so far as to call Hindus the "damned" people who would never see heaven. This person was fully aware that I was in the room.

How do you reach these people ?

I've tried to change the thoughts of a few people dear to me, but other than them I really don't think people will want to listen. They have been brought up in a society that has told them that they are superior. And these people are not illiterate. They have been taught both sides of the story: the scientific and the spiritual; the humanism and the fundamentalism. And in today's day and age it's frightening to know that many still believe in the spiritualism and the fundamentalism.

How do you reach these people ?

Pangea Day was a noble effort. But did it reach the audience that should have watched it ? It's success cannot be measured by the number of viewers but by the number of people whose thoughts and views it changes. Until then, it will remain as an effort and only that; one among the countless others.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Of saying goodbye (ver 2)

Imagine the prettiest girl you've ever seen. The sort of pretty that's hard to avoid. The more you look at her the more pretty she becomes until she's so gorgeous that it's hard to believe.

That is what she looks like. A dream come true.

Its hard not to stare at her. As she walks towards me all eyes in the cafe are on her. She has that naughty smile on her face, the smile that tells me that she knows I'm going up in smoke as well as all the others.

She sits on the couch facing me, crosses her legs and raises her glass of martini to her lips. God, she's graceful in every move.

"Hi" I say. All those eyes now face me with jealousy and brief hatred. I'm telling you ... she has that kind of hold over people.

"Hey" she replies and smiles.

The song that plays is Silence by Delirium. I can see her sing this song to me in my mind. I look down at my glass and realize it's untouched. I haven't had a drop to drink but the very presence has drowned me under the influence.

I grin and she notices.

"What's so funny ?"

I shake my head. What can I tell her ? That I'm madly in love with her? That sometimes it's driven me to do crazy things ? That I think about her every second of the day from the minute I open my eyes till the minute I close them ?

That sometimes it's so hard, I cry myself to sleep ?

"No, really ... what's so funny ? Is it something at work ?"

I give her a look that implies she's nuts. "Come on, you know nothing funny ever happens at work."

"OK. Private joke then. I just hope it wasn't at my expense."

She smiles and takes another sip. She looks up at the lights inadvertently shaking her head ever so softly but just about enough to make her hair move as though they had a life of their own. The lights play a devilish game with her face and eyes and she looks like a goddess.

I want her. I really do. I just need her. Once ... and then let fate decide. I press my lips as I slowly realize my love life is forever shattered. I cannot love anyone else with the same intensity, the same ferocity, the same turbulence with which I love her.

The lights make her eyes twinkle like small diamonds and I wonder if the heavens really do like cruel jokes.

"Any plans for tonight ?" I ask desperate to make her talk.

She looks at me. "No. I just want this to be one peaceful night." Another sip. And silence again.

What is she thinking about ? My gut wrenches as I realize I have only a few seconds left, at most a minute.

Almost as if on cue, her cell rings. I look back down at my glass. She speaks into the phone for only a couple of seconds but it's enough for me to understand. It's time for her to leave.

I look back at her just as she tosses her head back (again gracefully) and finishes her drink. She collects her bag and rises.

"He's here."

I nod. I stand up and place my glass on the table. She moves closer and gives me a light kiss on my cheek. I smell her perfume, the softness of her lips and the touch of her skin ... it's all enough to make me feel a bit dizzy. I'm vulnerable and I just might tell her; at this last minute I might just tell her ...

My hands find hers ... and my fingers find her ring.

What do I tell her ?

She smiles into my eyes. "Keep in touch. I'll miss you."

I smile my best smile but I don't say anything. I'm scared my voice will betray me.

And then she walks away. The lump in my throat is hard to push down and as she walks out the door the first tear rolls down my cheek.

Sometimes, life just isn't fair.

I look down at my glass. It's still untouched. I sit back down and take my first sip.

Nope, life just isn't fair.

Author's note: This is my first snippet of fiction in over a year. The short story that I blogged about earlier is finished and will be up during the weekend. I havent put in an appropriate title for the above snippet, let me know a few suggestions for a title.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Of Kareena and Size Zero

Know what, there's been a lot of sad emotions going through this blog for quite some time now. I think it really needs a good facelift. And what better way to do that than with a nice healthy rant !

Now, I normally dont do celebrities but I just have to on this particular topic.

The media has been going goo-gaa over the fact that Kareena has become a size zero. For those of you who dont know, Kareena is a top Bollywood actress (images later) who recently acted in a box-office dud called "Tashan". In this movie she wears a lime green bra that seems to have bowled over everyone's mind. If she really is a size zero I DO NOT want to see her in that lime green bra ever again !

Ok, here's prespective because images are way better than words in such a case:

This is Kareena, voluptuous, sexy and absolutely delicious in Don.

This is Kareena, famished, looking like she might just faint and her RIBS showing in Tashan:

This is what the glorious people over at MSN India had to say about the above pic :

She has not looked so hot on screen ever before. She is surely making heads turn with her image makeover and personal life.

Here's something I'd like to say to the MSN India dickheads: a majority of us guys like girls with meat on her bones. We would prefer not feeling her endoskeleton in bed.

Now there are a lot of teenage girls already gaping at what many concieve is going to be the latest fad in women fashion. If you are one of those teenage girls then here's something to ponder about. As freakishly scary Kareena looks in that absolutely wierd picture that is NOT size zero.

This is size zero:

If anyone thinks the above pic is not that bad ... here's some more food for thought. The two girls in the above pic are Uruguayan size zero models. They're names are Eliana and Louisel Ramos. They're sisters. They're also dead ... both from malnutrition.

Dead. Ok ? That's the danger when you try going Size Zero. You can end up DEAD!

Ladies, please keep your curves on. They are way more sexier than ribs ... and they are absolutely cute. So please go ahead, grab a burger and believe me : no one wants to see you as a size zero.