The Wedding of the Century

Fame is an ambiguous, unpredictable happening in the country named India. It can call you crashing down to the dumps of being infamous or elevate your status to God. I am, of course, talking about the Bachchans and the Rais.

Can you even imagine the state of a nation that covers the wedding of two film actors on it's front pages and has news channels talking 24*7 about it? Can you even imagine the fact thta every detail of a simple bonding between two souls of a very hypocrytic "industry" was covered with such petty details that it felt like the re-union of Lord Rama & Sita? Stop imagining(read this if you are a foreigner), as you can feel it right here in India.

I pity myself. I pity you. I pity everyone around me. The Indian media has become a truly ridiculous representation of fame-gone-wrong. They have absolutely no sense of what is right and wrong for the nation. Journalism is being shreaded to bits and pieces and people are being blinded by the fact that those "souls" are Godly and deserve to be up there while they languish in the dirtiness of the street. Trust me, I prefer the dirt.....

An apology anecdote

I have always believed that it is difficult to have an apology rejected than the whole process of apologizing. It is one of the worst feelings in the world, when you go up to a person to shake hands and make up and you get rejected. Apologies, for whatever they are intended, should always be accepted as they go a long way in healing a human being’s emotional wounds.

The most common observation that I have noticed in this world is that very few people step up to apologize for mistakes. Now there are two kinds of apologies in the world. The first kind is a very dull, soulless one that doesn’t mean anything. It’s like saying sorry for a clear, stupid fault of your own. For example, saying sorry to a teacher who has just caught you chattering with your neighbour in class. The sorry here is a very cheap, unwanted one and it doesn’t merit much forgiveness. This is the sorry for which many faculties reply “Sorry is not in my dictionary. Get out of this class!!”

But there is the other sorry that makes the whole process of apologizing very special. It is a sorry which at the immediate instant of being released from the lips, creates an amazing understanding between the two protagonists and ensures that all acts of the past are forgotten.

This sorry may be modulated in the same frequency as the first one. But there is a gargantuan gap between their effective meanings. It is blended with a deep desire and the craving to make things right.

This is the sorry that one must produce when required. And there is no harm in apologizing if a gut feeling of being wrong exists within you. Make things right at the first instance. Life rarely gives a second chance.....

Sport's idiosyncrasies

Talk of earning in sport and football comes up first to mind. Ok wait. Golf or Formula 1 should actually spring up first, but given the glamour and attention surrounding the beautiful game, it is always football that springs to mind.

Portuguese midfielder Cristiano Ronaldo recently agreed a 5-year contract at Manchester United FC in England. The deal is set to pay him £140,000-a-week! It is an absolutely astronomical amount for a 22-year old, but this should give us Indians an idea of the kind of interest football generates in the world. Of course, given his talent, he is completely deserving of the amount.

The guy is undoubtedly different and special. More special than any of his predecessors. No one before him was that good at a meagre 22 years old. No one before him was such a complete player at a formative age. The Madeira-born youngster is definitely the hottest property in world football today.

Talk of Sachin Tendulkar being the hottest property in cricket. But we don't want him to earn, do we?

We the Individuals

A question that I shall answer in this blog is that why individual Indians succeed but the country as a whole fails to muster up the same success level. Kiran Desai wins the Booker Prize, Lakshmi Mittal is the world’s third richest man and Sachin Tendulkar is one of the greatest cricketers ever despite the team not having won a World Cup since 1983.

The Indian economy despite surpassing the 8% growth mark can still be gawked at for depicting a huge gap between the lifestyles of the rich and the poor. Despite having one of the worlds most sophisticated and state-of-the-art armed forces, the country fails to bring an end to constant cross-border terrorism and we are gifted with regular infringements across the homeland. Despite having a brilliant talent pool of graduates & post-graduates, we have failed to truly establish a MNC that is on par with the Western franchises.

The answer to this question may not be direct; it has to be searched within. The answer lies deep in our minds and the facade of our existence as Indians. It lies in our thinking. And our thinking can be summarized in a few words – “Help only thyself; help only thy relatives at maximum”. Our failure to broaden our thinking and hence reduce the anomalies associated with it has resulted in the overall conceptual failure of India as a nation.

The point that irritates me the most is how the system of “contacts” works. True players in the game don’t get a deserved chance while having just a mere attachment with a person of power can help you come to par with others, despite clearly having lesser ability. Having contacts can truly be considered as one of the untold secrets of success.

The Supreme Court’s stay order on OBC reservations does go some way in eliminating the scenario and motivates people to think that they will get in if they deserve it. Eventually, it is all a mindset. Choose to change it and success may come to us all, not only to thyself…..

A narrow-minded generation


Excuse the offensive expression, but this is what should be told to the Indian layman and his obsession with the fact that advertisements are the major cause of the Indian cricket team’s failure in West Indies. No wait. This is not a crisis analysis report or something. This is more of an analysis of the narrow-minded Indian brain.

We may be scholars, toppers, achievers, successful businessmen and amazing actors (Oh wait! I have my doubts on this one) but the attitude-defining factor inside each and every one of us is a very cheap, narrow-minded and unwarranted affection towards money. In fact, it is so narrow-minded that we don’t even want deserving national icons to get the fruits of their efforts.

The point I am making is that it is high time we bring to an end the ridiculous taunting of the Indian team’s failure at cricket’s most “glamorous” tournament on advertisements. C’mon, the supporting points are baseless. The most ubiquitous one is that cricketers can concentrate on their game if they do lesser advertisements. Wow! So in accordance with this, Sachin Tendulkar “bunks” national team practice sessions for shooting commercials huh? Preposterous! Our national team players don’t miss match practice to shoot ads.

It is high time we understood what accompanies the pressures of fame. Tomorrow, if you or I become national icons, it is certain that many companies will approach us with offers to market their products. English footballer David Beckham endorses products which earn him more than $50m, and he hasn’t even been playing “normal” football, forget the fact about living up to standards. But he isn’t harassed by the media over endorsements.

There can be nothing worse in the world than to not want successful people of your own country to earn and make a healthy living. If it is a failure then blame the strategy, blame the form, blame the ageing and blame the fact that none of us so-called “fans” even appreciate what they have done for us over the last decade. Add to this, the BCCI wants to introduce performance-based pay packages. The divisions in the team are going to worsen with the implementation of this highly “narrow-minded Indian” system.

Remember one thing. India is the only country in the world where people go down to such depths of narrow-minded thoughts, so much so that they want their own icons to “perform or perish”.

I don’t think India deserves sporting icons. The common Indian would rather see Mallika Sherawat juggle around in an item number in a senseless Bollywood movie than watch a sports team produce an emotionally-draining fight back in a match. Go ahead and endorse her for your product. And don’t worry at all; there won’t be a rage in the country if she doesn’t perform.

Feeling the Devil

In all our lives, we experience a certain day which makes us rethink about the existence of God’s antonym – the Devil. This is what happened with me on 1st April. On such days, you feel like you have no one, absolutely no one, beside you. On such days, you’ll see your best friends pop out vicious fangs and grow devilish horns and your worst nightmares turn into a haunting reality.

It started off as an ordinary Sunday. But it would end as a night decorated with “feeling the devil” instances. I had promised a friend that we would visit a certain pizzeria outlet on the day. But due to CAT classes, I failed to adhere to that promise. I call him up and he tells me that he will never again go out with me to have dinner and he asks me to go to hell. Interesting, isn’t it? No wait, it’s only begun. I hence go out to dinner with 4 other friends of mine, who were incidentally at the classes with me and I supposed that joining them would make the evening more fun.

But, it turned out very weirdly. Two of them supposedly erupted on me and I couldn’t understand the actual purpose. The teasing seemed like insults and I sensed that this was not fun. The teasing turned into taunts and went all the way to religion (Refer to my earlier post “Pride and Prejudice” for more on racism in India), before which we departed on bikes. Being a beginner in biking, I asked one of my other friends to drive my bike.

No prizes for guessing what happened next – an accident. Not a major one. But it was serious enough to damage some morale. I had my right-view mirror broken and suffered a few bruises. Clearly, he had lost control. We picked up the bike and continued. The thoughts of the devil being around did creep up into me. But I calmed myself. It can’t get worse than this, I thought.

I dropped off my friend at the hostel and went to the internet café to surf some net. I surfed for 15 minutes and the net guy charges me Rs.15 for that amount of time, when the rates clearly read Rs.6. Interesting, because he is basically a very good, understanding fellow whose café I regularly visit. I passed him a bill of Rs.20 and he returns a meagre Rs.5 with an awkward smile that I had never seen on him. The question is not about the money, but why would a trusted guy all of a sudden do such a thing to you?

So here I am, writing this blog from the same guy’s café and he seems pretty much back to normal. The same good guy he was. So what happened to him the other night, the same night where so many other things went wrong? Why only that night?

I am sure many of us do experience such days where the unthinkable occurs. It feels like the devil is around, hissing and sniffing up all the good in and around you. It feels like the smell of hell is being sprayed from the darkness and polluting the entire essence of goodness. This is no April fool’s day gag. Trust me; this is the textual reincarnation of a nightmare.....