Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Here, Take My Religion... I don't Need It

Religion is very confusing – as a word, as an institution and everything else it may represent. So here’s definition I found quite apt – “a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects”. And all such definitions were centered on terms like belief, rituals, faith and devotion. So that’s settled then. Extrapolating the definition a bit, we find that science is a religion too. And so is shopping, sleeping and not giving a shit because a lot of us have faith, belief and devotion for the said practices.

On a more serious note though, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism etc. and Cricket are the real ones we recognize as religion. They have their teachings, religious books, so called Gods and their own dedicated fan following. The set of beliefs that a particular religion represents can be misconstrued and misinterpreted in different ways and this does happen. A lot. And these varied interpretations may gain a following and may lead to the birth of a different sect within a religion. Sooner or later this would create a conflict. There is no international organization like the BCCI to make rules for everyone to follow.

And even if there aren’t sub-divisions to fight with, there are other religions. And guess what, my religion is better than yours. My area’s MLA’s driver saw the movie PK and came back red faced over the disrespecting portrayal of his boss’s religion. Now I didn’t see the movie but fuck that. How dare Aamir Khan, or anyone for that matter, disrespect my religion uh.. like that driver says ?? My religion preaches compassion and forgiveness. But fuck that. Let’s troll Aamir first.

It’s not any religion’s fault but the mindless population blindly following a god-man or freelancing with their own religious opinions. Most likely, no one exactly gets what his religion, that he so ferociously protects, teaches. Not many have read the religious scriptures in their lifetime and if they have they hardly understand what It means. They just go with what that Godman says. And ‘that’ godman may be different from someone else’s. And BAM! We have got ourselves a difference of opinion which sometimes gets magnified to extremely dangerous proportions.

Sometimes with no fault of their own and sometimes with, these godmen enjoy a dangerously powerful position in the society. They have the public, which lacks the magical power of ‘thinking’, into their hands and can be easily manipulated to incite one sect or religion against other. This right here is a politician’s orgasm – the power of manipulation. Religious extremists employ religion as a means to sway the population any which way they prefer. They don’t deter from using violence to point across and then use religion to justify. And this exists across religions.

Religion in India is an extremely sensitive issue. If you do a random activity, like say make a movie, chances are you will upset someone. That little anecdote you so stealthily tried to hide across 10 different scenes spread over 2 hours of runtime will come back to bite you in the ass. In a country of over a billion, there must be someone who will get offended by a dialogue, a character, a distant synonym of a word which referred to some caste millions of years ago and believe me, the media will not let him keep that to himself.

I found it best to keep my distance from religion. Currently I am somewhere in the middle of being an agnostic and a full blown atheist. I have my reasons. I find it very challenging to keep up with countless customs and guidelines a devout follower of a particular religion has to abide by. You are not allowed to eat meat on certain days because you’ll get a straight red card to hell if you as much as smelled meat on the unanimously set days. And you are allowed to commit murder on the rest of the days without being fouled by God.

And I get annoyed by strange restrictions forced on me by my devout parents. I am not allowed to have a haircut on certain days due to different reasons and that leaves me with a window of a couple of days to part with my hair. I am not allowed to buy new or wear new shoes, clothes on some days, not to travel on certain days and to sleep with my head pointed in a particular direction. I don’t remember the specifics because I do not care. Never did. There are numerous other strangely illogical superstitions resulting out of religious beliefs somehow.

I always have had a hard time standing in front of an idol, and praying with closed eyes. That, for me, is laziness and a pessimistic lack of confidence in one’s own abilities. According to some popular beliefs, God helps those who help themselves. Then by asking the almighty for some extra marks, money and blessings defies the very sentiment of the statement. A little faith in oneself, in one’s own power and capabilities more than makes up for the fact that you need someone’s blessings to accomplish a task.

Why are we required, by social convention, to try and please a deity which is nothing more than a rock figure we have surrendered ourselves to?? A religion is nothing more than story developed to answer what science can’t. The universe wasn’t created by a God, nor will it come to end due to one, and he certainly doesn’t control and command the weather and the rains.

This entire web of words is not merely the rant of a soon-to-be atheist. I am in no way suggesting that you let go of your religion and follow me in my own directionless quest of nothingness. I am not asking you to forego your family’s traditions and customs. . I do not use my lack of religious beliefs to mock someone who does have a dedicated faith in his religion. There is faith and then there is blind faith. The least we can do is keep our eyes and mind open and weigh some logic defying customs and avoid being a tool for someone for his/her own selfish gains.

There is no hell, only the obnoxious reality we live in. And heaven is just some optimist's overly creative imagination.

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Technology and What it Means Today

“Today’s kids, technology has spoiled them.” said an elderly man looking at a boy who was immersed in his smartphone oblivious to the outside world.
“Rightly said, bhai sahab.” Another person contributed his views. “Jab dekho mobile mein hi lage rehte hain.
A simple conversation that I came across which pretty much sums up the current generation and probably even the generations to come. Technological innovations have changed our society drastically over the past couple of decade or so, overall, for the better I would say. But in the process, we’ve become over-dependent on the technology that was meant to simply ease up our life.

There was a time when smoke signals, drum beats and pigeons were used for the most trivial communications. The invention of telephone was a breakthrough for that reason. And not so long ago, mobile handsets were extremely bulky – a far cry from the feature packed smartphones of today that can be fit into one’s hand easily. And not just in communication, we’ve had major advancements in the fields of aeronautics, railways, sports etc.

Railways today are exclusively dependent on electricity, replacing the seemingly ancient method of steam engines. The entire complex network of railway lines spread across a vast geographical area is available on a screen one click away with detailed information of every single train within the network. Similar is the case with spaceships which in today’s date are better equipped to explore the mysteries of the galaxy than they were some years ago. And technology has made an impact in fields like sports too. Be it Hawkeye used in tennis or cricket, goal line technology in football etc. Also advancements in nanotechnology have been harnessed to provide safer and more robust protective gear to sportsmen and elsewhere.

The impact of technology at individual level can also not be ignored. Things as trivial as the pen we use to the hair dryers in our bathrooms, almost everything has benefitted from the innovations. And all this has surely made our lives better, more convenient and simple to some extent. We are more connected with the ones we care about than ever before. A lot of devices are at our disposal that simplify otherwise tedious everyday chores. We are grateful.

But as good, convenient and simple our life is today thanks to the technology, it does come packed with it’s share of limitations, although avoidable. Take for instance the mobile handsets. Granted that we are a lot closer to everyone else, one call or just one message away even in the remotest corners of the globe. But in reality, we have created a barrier for ourselves. Social interaction, long hour chats in the comfort of parks have been replaced by Facebook, BBM, WhatsApp, Skype and what not. Come to think of it, we are in fact a lot more spaced out than being closer to people.

The simplified life of ours due to the devices has given way to couch potatoes – too much laziness in the world today. Very few of us would remember the effort required to wash clothes with bare hands. Of course that ‘fun’ has been replaced by washing machines. We do not sit out in the sun desperately praying for dry hair after a bath. For that we have hair dryers. Gone are those days when we had to physically move our bums to the television set in order to change channels. Not we can wirelessly reconfigure the entire TV from the other corner of the house. Also we are a lot more dependent on computers, machines and electronic devices even for some relatively simple chores.

Not to take anything away from the comfortable life we life today thanks to the modern day technology, it should not be allowed to take over our lives. We should try and limit our dependence on technology wherever possible. We should try writing with a pen on paper once in a while instead of a word processor. And I do not mean we should go back to stone-age for that matter. It’s just that a controlled use technology, allowing some physical movement of our limbs would be a nice change. Let us get out of our computer’s influence and interact with our family. They are nice people.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

The Genius of Christopher Nolan

Most of us grew up watching brainless Bollywood movies and their intensity of dumbness has only increased lately. Keeping that in mind, we are probably not the right audience to appreciate the brain challenging movies Christopher Nolan produces on a timely basis. Most of his movies, for instance Memento, Inception and Interstellar recently, are too taxing for an audience that contributes to multi-crore nonsenses like Chennai Express (pardon the judgment). And not to take anything away from some excellent movies within Bollywood too, but they don’t do that well box-office wise. What makes Christopher Nolan the person, the director, the producer that he is ??

Complete article published on Campusghanta.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

5 Types of Texting Personalities

Texting is the shit these days. It is slowly replacing the calls of good old days when the other person’s voice was the most important part of the communication. Today the voice just annoys the shit out of us because it ain’t Eminem. Texting has a lot of benefits too, just like e-mails used to have back in the ancient times. You are attending a boring presentation or a meeting, and you cannot talk on the phone of course to kill the boredom, you have messengers. At least 10 of them. And almost all your friends are using those. And chances are that you will find 4-5 of them as bored as you. Life is sorted even during the most boring time.
Like every good thing, even this comes with certain disadvantages. When there are people involved, annoyance is a part of the package. Every texter has a personality associated with his style of texting. Here are some of them.

Shrtct maniacs

They convert the simple and pretty ‘how are you’ into tasteless ‘hw r u’. The so called sms lingo is anything but sensible and logical. For someone who would swear in court with one hand on Oxford’s Guide to Grammar, this practice is obnoxious beyond limits. The precious nano-seconds saved here are invested in wiping the ass for an added duration. Their whole life is a typo for that matter. For the record, it took me a few days to get the meaning of 'bfn'. I was too ashamed to ask the sender about it. These days, I worship Urban Dictionary as much as Google.
text 1

Pehle jitna ho gaya utna bhejta hoon

You receive their texts as one word per text message.
God save your sanity if your notifications are not on silent. And imagine the sender being a part of sms lingo gang too. The urge to block that person first off the phonebook then off the planet grows stronger with the each such message. But before that, I would message them back saying:

The Alzheimer Texters and Ignorers

One of the most annoying kind. They see a message and ignore it. Like you don't even exist. At times they make a mental note to reply later and forget where they stored that note. Ask them a question and they reply to you in their head thinking the reply will reach you automatically. Are they going to invent a mind reader app for such people? No I don't need it. Also by general convention, never trust a person who doesn’t reply to messages.
text 3

The Heirs of Wren and Martin

They take their time but make sure their messages do not cause any discomfort to any grammar nazi and punctuation nazi in the vicinity. They cross check every word and ensure that every punctuation mark is at its rightful place. When you are talking to them, they interrupt you at least thrice in each statement that you make, correcting your grammar and pronunciation. Once I sent a mail to my senior and marked it urgent. He corrected grammar and punctuation errors in it and sent me back without really replying to it. Talk about OCDs..
text 5

The Shakespeares of Texting

They are some devout worshipers of GRE word glossaries. They have a vocabulary so advanced, even the auto-correct shits itself ‘I got nothing man.’ A conversation between two of this type would be orgasmic to the likes of pseudo Shakespeare. Every night after talking to them I dream of my ex girlfriend reading out English Literature to me to teach me some of those words.
texting 4
And me? I talk to these people to observe how they text so that I can write about them and create cool graphics.

First published here - Campusghanta.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

International Men's Day - As Commissioned by Women

Men, scientifically termed as asshole sapiens by the disgruntled women population have been generously assigned a day to give them an illusion of being special even if for one day. And contrary to popular beliefs, every day is not men’s day. That specially anointed day happens to be 19th November, today. Just an FYI, today also happens to be the International Toilet Day. Well played ladies. Also Men’s day and Women’s day are kept months apart to prevent any harassment, keeping India in mind of course.

Fathers, brothers, husbands, boyfriends, ex-boyfriends and the brutally friend-zoned fraternity generally constitute half the world’s population lovingly called ‘men’. The International Men’s Day is not supposed to be a competition to International Women’s Day. In fact it is an opportunity to highlight gender-specific issues of male health and wellbeing. So that’s that. However, it may be considered as a symbolic day against the inhumane behavior world’s husbands and boyfriends are subjected to throughout the year.

In this patriarchal society of ours, men are expected to be the bread-earners in a family. They are expected to take responsibility of the family. They are expected to be support their family by all means necessary and they do. And this has become a convention so much so that the lack of power in any manner hurts a man’s bubbling ego. However what hurts us men is the constant bashing that comes with being a man. Think about it and you’ll know what I mean.

A fair amount of injustice is directed at men for reasons known to women only. Men are supposed to pay for the dinner every fucking time in the name of chivalry. I mean financially they are almost always broke. Women should notice this when they are eyeing that fancy most expensive thing on the menu no one can pronounce properly and the boy or the grown ass man accompanying them is sitting there content with his glass of water desperately searching for the cheapest edible thing available because he is fucking hungry. Not to mention that this dinner of yours was financed by a joint dating account some handful of single friends came up with for occasions like this. And then instead of some gratitude women stomp on their hopeful hearts uttering thing like ‘I like you as a friend’. So much energy goes into controlling that rage.

Then there is a concept of ‘ladies first’. Regardless of whether it is deciding who gets on the lifeboats first in the Titanic or escaping the concentration camps, men have to abide by the social convention of ‘ladies first’. Women even have their own day before men in the calendar. Granted men have an urge to bring a smile on the ladies’ faces but there’s no acceptable reason for them to get the pizza first.

Also men are expected to please women, to propose marriage, to ask them out, to open gates for them, for husbands to run errands which I guess they brought upon themselves by proposing to begin with. All the name of chivalry - something women complain is dead even though it cannot logically exist in an equal society, which is something women wanted. It's one or the other.

I would gladly put this rant to fire if women show some gratitude for the good things men do. Some of them are dicks, agreed, but the majority of men are pure of heart and soul. So on this pious day blessed by the old gods and the new, I would request women to honor the courage and the bravery and the chivalry of men, pay for dinner at least today, open doors for us even if to bash it on our face for the remaining year, let us have beers, pizzas first and for the sake of God do not crib about toilet seats and towels on the bathroom floor. For once, allow gentlemen first.

So today is the International Men’s Day, where the fuck is my cake ??

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Rohit Sharma – The Man, The Maverick

From once being Maggi’s unofficial ambassador to becoming the badass who has now scored two double centuries in one day cricket, Rohit Sharma has matured as a cricketer. Social media woke up from it’s customary hibernation and the news spread that Rohit Sharma has rocketed past that landmark score of 200 once blessed by Sachin himself. A gentlemen complained that he had gone to take a piss and when he came back Rohit was past the 250 mark – first time it has happened in one day cricket. And for the record, Rohit has scored 264 (173) those who have no idea what we’ll be talking about for the next few minutes.

Rohit Sharma was once hailed as the next big thing in Indian cricket. Cricketing bigwigs identified and acknowledged the promise Rohit showed. But he hardly was able to do justice to those claims at the international stage. He did however display glimpses of his skill, but unfortunately lacked consistency. He found himself out of the team XI and lost his place to other worthy competitors in Suresh Raina and Virat Kohli. The biggest disappointment in his career however was not being a part of World Cup squad which had Nehra and Ishant to boast of, and they eventually turned out to be a world conquering combination.

He became the butt of jokes and found harsh criticism directed right at him. There was once a time when children bought Maggi by saying ‘bhaiyya do Rohit Sharma dena’. But just like Sir Ravindra Jadeja rose from the ashes to prove his worth, Rohit too saw a change in fortune and led his Mumbai Indians side to the IPL crown as well as the Champions League title. He also managed to get into the test squad and has a couple of centuries under his belt.

But it was his amazing achievements in ODI cricket that left everyone flabbergasted and amazed. Once Sachin officially declared the 200-run club open for entry, Rohit has pretty much owned that club. When Sachin scored 200, the world thought this is the record that will stand for decades. When Sehwag shattered the Master’s holy record, the world though “Well this is it. This one will stand for decades for sure.” But then Rohit made a joke out of the record and banged the hapless Sri Lankan side left right and center and scored 264 runs and the mayhem lasted till the final ball of the innings.

Incidentally this was the second time Rohit, or any batsmen for that matter has breached the 200-run mark TWO FUCKING TIMES. So yes he definitely is an experienced player when it comes to this particularly exclusive club. The first time it was the widely respected Australian bowling attack that bore the brunt of this maverick. The second time today, he went one step ahead and practically ripped through every ounce of self-respect a Sri Lankan bowler plays with.

Rohit’s success can be largely attributed to his meeting with PM Modi a few weeks ago. And out of respect Sofia Hayat has already shed her clothes saluting his brave innings. Poonam Pandey probably was fast asleep and missed out but keeping fingers crossed :p. Incidentally India has also scored 400+ runs in a match the most number of times but that hardly matters. And spare a though for another Sharma who lies on other end of the ‘talent’ spectrum – Ishant. Wake up man, subah ho gayi. Sri Lanka was not humiliated like today since Lord Rama.

Take a bow Master. Today was the ‘Holy Shit’ and ‘What the fuck’ day in cricket. Won’t ever be forgotten for the writer shares his surname with the man himself.

Also published at Campusghanta.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

The Different Types of Hostelers Found in Nature

Living in a hostel is an experience completely different from that comfort of homes. It is a life full of adventures free from the restrictions of parent’s permissions. There is no one to scrutinize your every move. And there are different variety of hostelers too. Here are some…

The Laptop-maniac...
These guys are in a symbiotic relationship with their laptops. They eat with the laptop on, check the torrent status first thing in the morning, the hard disks are filled with movies and TV series from all over the globe. You can find them in the same position at any given point of time. You just name what you want. If it exists in electronic format (songs, movies, xxx), they have it.

The Solitary Reapers...
These guys, as the name suggests, are found in single-bedded rooms, all alone. Some of them happen to be the toppers of institute, maligning the entire hostel fraternity. But consider this, with an entire room at your service, lockable from inside; studies are not the only thing worth doing....

For the complete article please visit Campusghanta. Please.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Surviving with a Nokia Handset

Someone using a non-lumia Nokia phone is today’s age of android and iOS domination deserves being pointed at and laughed at. And his phone surely deserves a respectable spot in a decent museum of antique objects. I am not saying they are bad, just that they are a thing of past. And living with and surviving with one such device surely and deservedly asks for a feature spot with Bear Grylls. It’s sad that they will not be a part of humanity’s future.

There once was a glorious past of Nokia. They churned out mobile handsets sturdier than the toughest military arsenals. The handsets of the class of 3315 were transported with utmost care lest one of them fall off the airplane and wipe out the entire humanity as we know it. The standout Nokia ringtones made the Motorolas and Samsungs tremble in fear. To top it all off they had calling facilities as a bonus to the military capabilities. Also they had features unimaginable in today’s pitiful phones – polyphonic ringtones and an option to create one ourselves (that nostalgic music functionality), drawing images and lot more. I dare you android users for a one-on-one in Space Impact.

But as it turned out, some idiot decided to poke phones right on the face and viola – touchscreens. And since that unfortunate Eureka moment, going has been tough for the Nokia fraternity. Non-touchscreen phone are on their way out today, a majority of those branded Nokia. I do not feel sorry for Nokia though. It’s difficult to carry on such high expectations.

Nokia currently are in the middle of a dubious present. Their brand ‘Nokia’ is as good as wiped out after their acquirer Micro-goddamn-soft decided to remove the Nokia tag from the probably the remnants of Nokia – the lumia phones. This is the closest demonstration of ‘naam mitti mein mila dena’. Although fine feature phones, the current generation lacks even a remote resemblance to Nokia’s old toughness. Probably just a bunch of weaklings they are.

The future is very bleak and no surprises there. The current generation of phones is dominated by touchscreens which fall out on slightest hint of impact. We very badly need the resurrection of 3315 and ‘The Return Of The 3315’. The legend of 3315 is next to impossible to replicate. They were the Sachin of cellphones.

Now surviving with a Nokia non-lumia phone in today’s world is an achievement unlocked in itself. A majority of the day is spent toggling between its spineless features and scavenging for that ever eluding patli pin wala charger. The battery dies minutes after complete charging. The entire device dismantles into million pieces after a 1-foot drop reminding me of the crater outside my house my old Nokia 3315 helped create. I search for some good features I might have missed after all these years as I leer at those mouth-watering touchscreen phones.

The Nokia store has dried up as far as old phones are concerned. There is WhatsApp then there are internet browsers and then there is WhatsApp again. This is my life – not enough motivation to continue living. Or maybe it’s just that my life is beyond crap.

People staring at my phone on buses and trains are extra creepy and even more so when they show sympathetic reactions. They do so probably because seeing a Nokia device with someone is amusing as they seem to be extinct by common perception. Every use of my current Nokia phone is cry for help – utha le bhagwan. And I am extremely sorry for my decade long loyalty to Nokia, but I am thinking of ditching the current phone the first chance I get.

Gone are those days when people swore by Nokia phones. They could be slipped into a toolbox in place of a hammer and no one batted an eye. They could have been a part of the survival kit on airplanes. The crew of Oceanic 815 could really use one as they had a battery life of eternity. I still have a 3315 at home and not surprisingly, it still works fine even after a decade of being banged around. I use it for working out whenever I am at home. Nice dumbbells they are.

Those days will be missed sorely.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

इंजिनियर और उनके काम !!!

दीवाली खुशियों का त्योहार है| चारों तरफ रोशनी और खुशहाली का माहॉल होता है| हर कंपनी में कर्मचारी अपने बोनस का इंतज़ार और अपने बॉस की दरियादिली की कामना करते हैं| इन सबसे दूर एक दुनिया है जहाँ इंजिनियर एक अलग ही ज़िंदगी बिताते हैं – खुशहाली से कोसों दूर| इंजिनियरिंग विद्यार्थी दीवाली की छुट्टियों में घर तो जाते ही हैं सिवाए उनके जो GATE या  CAT आदि के लिए अपने पेन पेपर पर रगड़ रहे होते हैं|

घर पहुँचते ही धूल में सनी लाइट की लड़ी घरवाले अपने एलेक्ट्रिकल इंजिनियर बेटे के हाथों में ये कहकर थमा देते हैं की “बेटा अब तू फाइनल इयर में है| ये लाइट ठीक कर दे|” अब लड़का किस मुँह से बताए की जनाब circuits and systems के पेपर में बैक लाए थे जो दो साल से क्लियर ही नही हो रही| घरवाले सीना चौड़ा कर के पड़ोसियों को बोलके आते हैं की बेटा एलेक्ट्रिकल इंजिनियर है बिजली का काम मुफ़्त में कर देगा| कम से कम पड़ोसियों को तो लगेगा की लड़का किसी काम का है|

एक मेकॅनिकल इंजिनियर घर जाकर पिताजी के पैर छूता है तो पिताजी आशीर्वाद देने की जगह बाहर धूप में खड़े प्राचीन-कालीन स्कूटर की और इशारा करके उसे ठीक करने का आदेश दे डालते हैं| लड़का बेबस कभी अपने पिताजी को तो कभी स्कूटर को देखता है और ऑटोमोटिव इंजिनियरिंग का वो लेक्चर याद करता है जब उसे क्लास से बाहर निकाला गया था|

यही हाल है कंप्यूटर इंजिनियर का भी है| एक महीना कंप्यूटर खराब रहता है की बेटा होस्टेल से आके ठीक करेगा अपनी छुट्टी में| दरवाज़े पर ही उसके स्वागत में थपाक से हाथ में मदरबोर्ड थमा दिया जाता है| पड़ोस में रहने वालों को भी भनक लग जाती है की शर्मा जी के घर कंप्यूटर ठीक करने वाला आ गया है| रात को डिन्नर के टाइम पे माँ अगले दिन की आइटिनररी सुनाती हैं, “वर्मा जी, गुप्ता जी का कंप्यूटर फॉर्मॅट कर देना कल और मेहता जी के कंप्यूटर में कोई कार्ड वॉर्ड लगाना है, ग्राफ कार्ड जैसा कुछ शायद|

ना जाने क्यूँ लेकिन हिन्दुस्तान के मिड्ल क्लास में ये जो रूढ़िवादी (stereotypical) सोच बनी हुई है वो हँसी के काबिल तो ज़रूर है| जिस देश में एलेक्ट्रीशियन, मेकॅनिक और साइबर कैफ़े वालों से ज़्यादा इंजिनियर हैं वहाँ ऐसी सोच कुछ ज़्यादा आश्चर्यजनक नही कही जा सकती| फिर भी सभी इंजिनियर की और से *फेसपाम*| उम्मीद है दीवाली कुछ रौनक लेकर आए और इंजिनियर पर हो रहे ऐसे अत्याचार बंद नही तो कम तो अवश्य हो जायें|

Friday, 17 October 2014

IIPM, Arindam Chaudhury and the Ponytail

We’ve all known him for very long. We have all identified his ponytail from miles away. What a sad little life that ponytail must have. And we’ve all saluted his courage. He is the one who dared to think beyond the IIMs by shoving a ‘P’ in the acronym. Arindam Chaudhury ladies and gentlemen – the honorary dean of it all !! Just for your information, he is 3 time national award winner, author of 5 books and a graduate of *drum roll* IIPM. And just somehow, he has also worked with the Planning Commission, GoI. No surprise why the current government is toiling hard to recover from the setback.

For the complete article please visit Campusghanta.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Across the International Border

A 10 year old sluggish boy throws stones at a full grown 25 year old professional wrestler then runs back to a third party requesting to intervene because the wrestler decides to return the favor and throws those stones backthe India-Pakistan’s IB ceasefire issue doesn't get put into simpler words. Pakistan has been known to violate the ceasefire agreement continuously on a regular basis. India hardly retaliated back so it came as a shock to Pakistan when the change in government resulted in a change in India’s stance towards these violations. And Pakistan ran to the UN asking them to intervene. It’s pretty much like poking a giant panda with a sharp knife and running to WWF when the animal has exhausted his patience. Hats off.

The root cause of Pakistan’s Army’s persistent firing across the border is their ego. Pakistani Army and Pakistani government are two sides of different coins. They do not seem to be in communication with one another. When Pakistan’s foreign minister disguises himself/herself as an ambassador of peace and visits India, ironically Pakistan’s army is firing all cylinders back at the border, oblivious to the fact that one of their own is in the country they are firing at. Or maybe they just don’t give a damn. Pakistan’s army and ISI have always tried to overshadow their government’s efforts, possibly honest ones, to setup peace talks with India. But all those efforts are flushed down the toilet by a single bullet fired across the border by the Pak army.

Now why is Indian retaliation in order to safeguard their border such a big deal ?? How is it acceptable to take a beating time and again and not fight back ?? The most patient virtues tumble at some point. As it turns out, India’s answer to Pakistan’s firing is a lot more ferocious and intense then their usual shelling. The Indian army and the BSF have been given complete control by the Indian government to act. And the recent retaliation just seems to be ‘Act I’ of seemingly long play. The previous government, much like the PM, was mum to the firing across the border which Pakistan misleadingly assumed as complete autonomy to do whatever they wanted without the slightest fear of an Indian answer. The government changed and so did the India’s stance at the border.

Pakistan is running for cover and understandably so. To begin with, they ran to the UN and expressed their shock at the heavy firings from the Indian side as Pakistan’s Ranger were just carrying out their ‘usual firing at the border’. They mistook the UN for the US – Pakistan’s usual savior. Times have changed and the government too. The safest way for Pakistan to save their already depleting strength of the army from India’s wrath is, well, to fuck off. India is a peaceful nation. No one argues that notion. But there is only so much pressure even diamond can withstand. Patience is a virtue better left untested, especially when you are up against the 3rd largest army on the globe. 

Friday, 10 October 2014

Presentations and the Soul-Sucking

Some unfortunate soul standing in the middle of a room sheepishly trying to smile and pretending to be confident while a faculty member stares right back at him, determined and with a vendetta to cross-question the shit out of whatever he has to offer – this seems like a fairly accurate definition of any presentation in a college.

The intensity of scrutiny of every word of his slides depends primarily on the honorary title a particular presentation receives. And also directly on the faculty and how much he has suffered in his life up until the particular moment leading to the presentation. A nightmare 5 minutes before the slideshow may bring out the Satan in him and ruin your day, possibly even your life.

There are all kinds of presentation as hinted previously. There are seminars, training viva, project defenses and also the fuck-it-I-won’t-teach-this-topic-YOU-will-make-a-presentation-on-this-topic and depends on the lecturers mood. The latter happens quite often I’ve heard although I never had the opportunity of being on the center-stage myself.

I had a seminar today. It went well I guess. I had a training viva last month which went well, for the examiners as in they had a field day cross-questioning and then laughing their asses off when I couldn’t answer. Even the lab assistant joined in and shared a laugh. I am happy they bonded at my expense. I had a training viva last year as well. The faculty last year happened to take one of my lectures as well. He took out the attendance register and I drew blank. After that is was a downhill experience.

These presentations are mock setup to satisfy some faculties urge to suppress the students or humiliate them. No offence. It’s just another day at the job. The only thing that makes a presentation worth the pain in the ass that it is, is the fact that some of the faces staring back at you are familiar, are your friend’s. You get a feeling they have your backs, that they won’t question you back. Some assholes do though. And I pray they get a special place in hell.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

The Perverted Minds.

Breasts and cleavages have become a part of the news headlines. The obsession of a significant part of the population has made it into national dailies. Women are subjected to heinous rapes every other day. Even innocent girls aged 3 are raped. What did they do to deserve that?? What have we done as a society to deserve such barbaric criminals??

Journalism these days seems to have accepted and surrendered to the pervert-ness prevalent in the society. To garner readership and views and traffic (in case of e-versions of news), the news agencies are providing fodder to the mentality of the perverts and deteriorating in the ethics of journalism in the process. The recent furor over a news headline shared by a leading national daily in which Deepika Padukone’s cleavage was the center of attention is an apt example. There was a widespread protest over such atrocious objectification of a woman that too in a newspaper of nation-wide readership. Deepika herself came out with a prompt and courageous reply. The newspaper however followed up with blatant refusal to accept blame and mentioned they were appreciating the actress’s beauty. Okay. But what about the rest of the zoomed up displays of breast and cleavages which fills up the entertainment pages of most of the news portals.

Is it even justified to try to justify such objectified portrayals of the better half of the population??

But seriously, is the newspaper really to blame?? It just tried to cater to the outrageous mentality of the society of staring at bare legs and breasts all the time. The fact that it happened in the national level news portal is what brought it to attention and attracted the social media’s ire. But what about those sick stares our friends, sisters have to tackle during their daily travel in a bus or a metro?? Who is to check and counter them??

Then there are news reporting rapes one after the other in different parts of the country. Those animals do not spare the innocence of a 3 year old even, scarring her for the rest of her life. But there is hardly any follow up over such incidents unless the social media takes up to protest the atrocious level of the crime. The police, the law enforcers, hardly show any eagerness to catch the criminals.

Like most of the issues faced by the society, this has a solution. The media houses have the power to influence people. And this responsible power is being increase popularity at any cost possible. Instead it would be more beneficial if the media houses come together and enforce a more ethical code of journalism. Appreciate the beauty, not objectify it.

And as part of the society, we seriously need to curb the perversion. Alcohol and a horny man is a dangerous combination. The police needs to invest more in the safety of the women. And the police needs to be more active and eager to fight such heinous criminals.

Also, fellow horny Indians, “Keep your eyes down and dicks in check.”

Sunday, 5 October 2014

A day in hostel. Without porn.

Oye porn padi hai ??” the calmness of my dreamy sleep was disturbed by an eerie humanoid silhouette towering over my bedside. I returned back to the present, booted my brain and noticed the familiar face in that silhouette.
Nahi hai” I replied.
Saale 100 GB ki to thi tune copy LAN se. Kahan gayi ??”
Ghar gaya tha kal. Delete karni padi saari. Papa  ka laptop kharab ho gaya tha. Mera lappy tha unke paas pura time.” I replied, saddened by what I had to do forcibly. “10 GB ke pravachan, bhajan pade hain. Chahiye to bol.” I added.

I was wide awake by then. Stretched my hand and grabbed my phone to check the time. It was 5:59 AM, still a minute to go before the first of my seven set alarms starts on full blast. I was sitting on my bed, all ready to jump out and start the day before deciding against it and hit the pillow instead. Then I held my phone and began the daily routine – Facebook, Gmail, Twitter.

After spending some considerable amount of time, 21 minutes to be precise, refreshing the tabs I finally gave up and found myself standing on my very own feet, outside the comfort of the bed. I stepped out of the room into the open, and the sight was pretty wonderful. Life is good if you wake up at 6 in the morning. I stepped back in, grabbed my toothpaste and toothbrush and headed to the washroom.

The water tanks were empty, this I realized partially when I opened the tap and partially by a voice emanating from a toilet one floor down, “Bhenchod paani khatam ho gaya.” I embarked upon my journey to find greener pastures where they have water in washrooms.

I woke up my roommate when I returned with cleaner teeth and opened my laptop to check the status of the torrents from the previous day. Three torrents with green bars implying 100% completion gave me a sense of accomplishment. I mean how can someone not be ecstatic when downloads are completed. So the previous day’s to-do list got updated to watching 3 movies all day.

The beautiful sight outside had me in the illusion that somehow it was a Sunday. Unfortunately it was the next day. I had lectures scheduled throughout the day and a lab after lunch. After a brief consideration, I decided to, well fuck the schedule. It hasn’t helped my academics one bit. I hopped onto the bed and started the first movie. ‘Schindler’s List’ the folder said. However, it turned out to be a bad print of ‘Housefull 2’. The torrent was disguised as a classic movie. Khola folder nikli tatti. Well played Sajid Khan. I took this as a preview of the disappointments I was to face in the near future.

Now attending the lectures was out of the question because ek baar jo maine commitment kardi… So I picked a different movie, then another. Went 4 floors down for lunch, looked at the food available, inedible. Came back to the room and decided it was Maggi time. Trust me, they are essential for survival after air and water. The mess workers just hump every edible thing to soak out their soul.

As I mentioned before, I had run out of porn so couldn’t really benefit from the roommate’s absence. And I was tired of watching movies all day and reruns of ‘Friends’ for the umpteenth time. I spent the entire day watching videos on YouTube. Cats. Dogs. Idiots. More cats. Babies. Shit. I was so bored that at one point I almost pulled out a book out of the locker. Yeah I know. I am ashamed of that. Sorry. I had an option of actually getting the fuck out and play something. But there were no friends left for brief a counter strike spell. That’s the limitations of staying behind during holiday season when all friends run off to their mommies. So I opened my laptop and wrote this pointless piece of shit.

I booted my laptop and stared at the ni … err… into the eyes of Alexandra Daddario. And I could imagine her feeling sorry for my pitiful state. I clicked on the MyComputer icon and there I stared again… at the desolate hard disks, deserted by the deleted stash of porn. A sudden purge of guilt surrounded me and there I was knocking on every door of every room, “Bhai porn padi hai ??

An understanding soul obliged and showed me his collection. I can now proudly say I’ve seen heaven.  I noticed the size of that folder. It was approximately a 200GB worth of pure pleasure. I hugged him out of pure brotherly love and respect. There was about one week still remaining before my roommate was scheduled to return. Let your imagination run wild. It was undoubtedly the busiest week of my otherwise pathetic college life.

Bhai itna maal kahan se laate ho ??
Girlfriend.” he replied in the most casual manner possible for such an answer. “DU mein hain bandi meri. Wahan download speed sahi aati hai.

I stood up. *roadies salute*. In fact we all should cherish such bilateral ties and these relationships should be declared national heritage. I politely bowed my head and said, “Namaste” and was on my way back to my room. You never shake hands with the owner of a 200 GB stash of porn. Anyway, I now think I found my best friend.

All hail YouPorn. 

Saturday, 6 September 2014

The Interview - Infosys

A professional footballer scoring his first goals of the season, a cricketer capturing his first wickets or scoring first century of an all-important tournament and an engineering student getting on the placement list of two companies in a space of 4 days – all share the same level of excitement, the very same thrill. I am writing this as an experience with the same exhilarating fervor.

I would like to take this opportunity to brag about the fact that I got placed in both Infosys and Accenture on their visit to my humble abode – my college. The week preceding the said companies’ arrival was spent in acute anxiety. Frequent searches on the internet about the guidelines and as many details as possible to make the D-Day survivable. I went through every article even remotely related to the companies – the placement procedure, the work environment, the pros and cons of being employed by them and so on and so forth.

And also there was a hoard of pre-requisites to be followed. Passport size photos which have incessantly been bringing out the creepiness of humans since the invention of the practice, copies of the marksheets, inadvertently freshening up those rusty nostalgic memories of how utterly disappointing my school life was, a well compiled folder of everything I had earned or got in college life. A haircut was also required but “no thanks” I said.

For Infosys we had an aptitude test on the first day and it was totally unexpected and different from their normal procedure of the past year. I jumped over that hurdle though. Then came the dreaded interview that scares the shit out of all introverts, myself being one. I spent a considerable amount of time trying to prepare the most obvious questions that are part of every interview.

I entered the room, the interviewer stood up and shook my hand and offered me a seat. I was expecting an ‘introduce yourself’ question for which I was pretty well prepared. But the interviewer stared in my face and flushed my preparation down the toilet and proceeded to ask, “What motivates you ??” and I was like Whaat ?? I just spit out a philosophical reply to which he replied “Wonderful.” That was motivation right there. The rest of the interview was mostly an impromptu conversation with flavors of technical questions thrown in.

All in all it was a wonderful experience. The way I handled the interview was kind of unexpected as I had to come out of my shell of introvert-ness and step up my game. The important thing, as I recall, was to be confident and ‘being myself’ as one brilliant senior of mine had suggested.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

RIP Robin Williams

I woke up today and looked outside the balcony. It was sparkling sunny with a light breeze. It was beautiful. As is customary, I opened my laptop and the status bar corresponding to Patch Adams’ torrent was green. Forced by habit, I logged in to Facebook next and found the timeline full of condolences for Robin Williams. It seemed like another one of celebrity death hoaxes found on the internet in copious amounts. Sadly, it wasn’t.

Robin Williams was one of the most recognizable faces in every child’s life. Most of the current generation grew up watching the rib-tickling movies like Mrs. Doubtfire , Flubber (1997), Patch Adams and numerous others. He took us on an adventurous fantasy land in Jumanji (1995), made us sit back and notice as a friendly psychologist in Good Will Hunting, and brought Ted Roosevelt to life in Night at the Museum (2006).

He played a playful unorthodox doctor in Patch Adams (1998) and made us fall in love with the character and we hated him as an oppressive caretaker of some homeless orphans in August Rush and as a murderous crime novelist in Insomnia. He also lent his unique voice to universally known characters like Genie in Aladdin (1992).

Parallel to his successful career in Hollywood, he made his mark as a stand-up comic. He was spontaneous and connected with the audience, leaving them is splits with his incomparable humor. His stand-up comedy tour ‘Weapons of Mass Destructions’ was a very successful one too.

For the complete article - Campusghanta.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Of Rapes and Reasons

Why do rapes happen?? What are the factors that makes a person so desperate that he fails to differentiate right from wrong, moral from immoral, humanistic behavior from an animalistic one ?? These are some of the numerous questions that arise following every such barbaric incident in the news. And these are some questions that have been left unanswered for long, for every answer is negated by an even more gruesome incident.

But like always, we can count on our politicians to come up with some possible causes of rape so creative and outright idiotic they make even an engineering student blush. The general electorate chooses these politicians, so-called politicians, to represent them and it takes an extraordinary courage for them to exercise their right to vote again in the next elections after such shameful comments.

Non-vegetarian food of all is a cause of rape, an esteemed politician of ours Vinay Bihari enlightened us. Right, because the chicken we consume to satiate our hunger is someone’s mother or sister and our brain cells are overpowered and commanded to rape our own kind as revenge. *slow claps* Chinese food is the more widened range of food that may cause rape, chowmein specifically according to the khap panchayat, who else. So indirectly and rather subtly, the most populous and a manufacturing powerhouse of the globe has been accused of sheltering rapists as citizens. *slow claps*

Mobile phones too somehow are a reason why rapes happen. The victim’s handset acts as the Kryptonite for the rapists and he turns into the villain, a barbaric one. The rapists have cellphones too. Going by that logic, every politician too is a potential rapist. Provocative clothes are another cause. Most justified one of the lots. The rapists seem to have a very keen eye for efficiency. The less the clothes, the less time consuming the process of removing them would be, isn’t it ?? They thus contribute to the GDP growth of the country.

Outrageously enough, but even lifeless mannequins are accused of causing rapes. These poor souls can’t even defend themselves, so a blatant accusation is stamped on them. Ritu Tawade seemed to be a big fan of Toy Story and mannequins are the rapists of her fantasy land. On hearing this, the toys just jumped out of the window in shame.

Chhattisgarh minister Nanki Ram Kanwar explained in astrological terms how the inauspicious phase at the start of 2013 caused rapes. The incidents of rape are consequences of the bad phase controlled by the stars. This must have been a new benchmark in relation to absurdity.

The above mentioned causes are just a fraction of causes. Rape victims, according to some politicians are the prime cause of rapes. *slow claps**roadies salute* This hold weight if you really think about it. The moment you take rape victims out of the equation, rape as an act ceases to exist for lack of an object. The analytic and deductive abilities of the person who made this statement are at par with that of a Nobel laureate. Mulayam Singh Yadav has the most benevolent views when it comes to rapists. Of course boys make mistakes. They trip and unknowingly rape a woman is what he means. And of course, the woman is at fault.

The following amendment should be passed to reduce the multiple rape incidents all over the country, according to the politicians… “The victims shall not eat, sell or in any manner be associated with the production of non-vegetarian Chinese food, shall not own a mobile phone or be in the vicinity of an owner of such a device. The victims shall be draped in 50 meters of saari at all times and clothing of any other form will be deemed provocative. The victims shall maintain safe distance from mannequins.  Above all, the victim must not be the victim in any case.”

Such statements, such comments, such tweets should give the government a good enough reason to invest a lot more in education and to make sure the investments reach the needy.

Monday, 30 June 2014

Sex and the Education

A new debate has gripped the nation over the past few days. Sex education – should it be banned from schools ?? It’s highly unusual that anything related to sex is the talk of the town in a society as conservative as ours. It all started when our new health minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan, who coincidentally also happens to be an ENT specialist, said in an interview that sex education should be banned from being taught in the schools in the country. He went on to mention that our culture, values and morals are enough contraceptives we need.

Let’s look at this objectively and start from the beginning. What is sex education ?? The bookish definition being – “sex education constitutes instructions on issues relating to human sexuality, including human sexual anatomy, sexual reproduction, sexual activity, health and birth control.” Phew!! That’s a lot of sex for today.

What the conservative Indians fear about sex education is their misconception of it being the theoretical and practical knowledge of what porn sites are made of. No, absolutely not sir. Sex Ed classes do not intend to arouse your sweet innocent child. Instead they intend to educate him/her of the consequences of that arousal, just in case he decides to act on it. Sex Ed also does not mean a vocational degree in the act. It will not come back to haunt the conservative values as the child’s highest educational qualification. S.N. Gupta, Masters in Sex.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan also mentioned that we do not need condoms to prevent AIDS. Maybe we don’t if we belong to a super-human race possessing exceptionally intelligent reproductory organs. He proudly advocated the values, morals and our culture in the same statement. Unfortunately, they hold no value once you turn off the lights and get under the blanket and the canoodling begins. It’s not like saying a prayer before sex will scare away the sperms. Also, the culture that he mentions about, gave the world Kamasutra- the greatest hands-on guide to producing babies. The epic Mahabharata maybe repeated soon because without the safety of the condoms, we may well have bunches of Kauravas running around. Hum do, humare 101.

Probably his statements have been misinterpreted. He could’ve had an underlying argument. His prime minister has a vision for a technologically advanced country. This is an era of internet. Why waste time, money, manpower and patience on sex educations when lots of detailed tutorials are easily available online ??

Let’s consider a former cabinet minister. With his children, he can field a team in basketball, volleyball, organize competitive inter-family championships in chess, badminton, tennis, carom, snooker, sprint races too, write all his children’s name in a 3x3 matrix, and find the inverse, transpose, disjoints etc. and borrow two more players and field his team in cricket, football and hockey.
Before the internet came along, a lot of the above had already happened in the country, propelling us to the second spot on the ‘Most Populated Nations’ list.

The truth remains and that is we need a structure like Sex Ed to educate the youth of the outcomes the lack of knowledge may bring. There are higher cases of teen pregnancies in India than even the U.S. and U.K. It would help the cause if we, as a society, are a little open minded and do not treat contraceptive advertisements as an explosive our children need to be protected from. Family planning and the responsibilities of parenthood need to be on the back of every mind, even the little ones while growing up. The school going children are at their most naïve and vulnerable stage. They are curious and curiosity leads to a lot of things.

A lot has been tried to limit the population explosion. Education should be all round. Huge amount of money is spent on implementing plans to eradicate illiteracy by extending basic educations to the poor. Why not make an attempt to include sex education as a part of that process as well ?? While they learn to play with numbers and alphabets, might as well tell them why they have a dozen siblings. After all, we do not want to have intelligent mathematicians having already reproduced multiple times just because of lack of knowledge.

Sex education is not any less sexy than 36-24-36. It might just help prevent a family from being the biggest in the neighborhood unless of course they want their own squad of newborns at the Olympics. Let’s all be humble and let China be the most populous nation and stop competing with them, for once.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Selfie – The Selfish Phenomenon

The invention of the camera was a cute moment in the technological terms. It was a huge one really, but the cuteness is attributed owing to its current use. Gone were the days when moments were recorded in the memory and were rejoiced the same way even after decades. They rarely faded away. Camera helped us capture those moments and print them on a piece of paper, frame them and rejoice nonetheless.

These bulky devices were then miniaturized and fit into the pocket sized cellphones and their quality improved overtime. We could see people roaming around clicking their friends and random strangers being asked to click a group photo because no one volunteered to be left out of the group photo. All was well and good until one day someone wondered “let me see how I look” when no one else was around and since necessity is the mother of all invention; he pointed the camera at himself. Lo and behold, the selfie was born.

Wikipedia defines selfie as “a self-portrait, typically taken with a handheld digital camera or a camera phone and often shared on social networking platforms”. This invention coupled with Facebook and Instagram has swarmed the social network with self-obsessed teens and self-obsessed narcissist adults behaving like teens posting numerous self-shots passed through the filter-beautifications. Selfies are selfish no denying that, as is obvious.

And the selfies however are not as bad as the criticism they face although, obsessive selfie-taking is said to be a mental disorder. Selfies eliminates the need for a second person to perform the task. This leads to efficient utilization of the human resources available. Also it teaches the youth to be independent, to do the needful single handedly instead of kissing people’s asses begging them to ‘take a pic’. Also you get to be full on narcissistic, as much as you like.

For some who find it embarrassing to pose for photo and smile on cue (remember Chandler ??), this new revelation takes away that embarrassment. Just go find a nice washroom and click away my friend. And please, please for the sake of humanity make sure there are no poop-seats and urinals in the background. 

Also selfies fulfill another purpose. The camera nowadays doubles up as a mirror in the absence of the real thing. Front camera in smartphones is a boon. Girls carry a compact mirror in their resourceful handbag. Guys have their smartphones to thank, because that hairstyle just gobbled up a significant quantity of the expensive gel and needs to be spot-on accurate right down to the last hair.

Selfie, in itself, is an art form. You need patience, perseverance and practice. Only a few have mastered the art. Not being a sexist, but if you need tips on how to take a perfect selfie, ask a girl. They mesmerize us time and again. Such beauty. Guys, on the other hand, take a while to get in the groove. Just because you are ugly is no good reason to give up on your dream of perfect selfie, worthy of being on social network in public viewing.

They , the selfies do not define the art completely. There are subcategories. There is the pout-face, the ever so popular duck-face, the occasional shit-face and the unofficial one, which exists in abundance, the what-the-f***-is-that-face.

Selfies are the norm today. It’s just a start. I just read in the news that selfies may be replaced by a new phenomenon – dronies, that is drones taking aerial pictures on your command.  In words of Catwoman, “There’s a storm coming.” We better be ready with our ‘block’ options. Selfies are here to stay. Make peace with it.

Also published on Campusghanta.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Cricket, Football and Hockey Walked Into a Bar...

Cricket, football and hockey walked into a bar. The gathering cheered heavily for football and free drinks were offered. Cricket sulked and occupied a rather lonesome corner, unusual for it to get treated with such anonymity. Hockey paid for the drink and stared contently at the TV set, which ran Chak De India, coincidently.
A completely new and never seen before football fewer has gripped our country. Well, the whole planet for that matter but it’s particularly unusual for India. For the current generation, it is strange for them to see cricket not being on the front page in commandingly highlighted news reports when there are some pretty decent series going on. To be honest, Indian media does not care about other country’s cricket tours. What’s rather surprising is that they ignored the Bangladesh tour of the INDIAN team. Cricket is being meted out the treatment reserved for other untouchable sports like… well… say Hockey and this may have hurt their ego, the BCCI I mean.
Hockey was once the one sport we Indians knew how to dominate. It was our only chance at glory. We supported it like crazy. The national side repaid the country’s faith in them by decimating the opposition, winning medals by the bulk. “He scores goals like we score runs.” Sir Don said in the honor of Major Dhyanchand. Of all the teams that have dominated a sport – Brazil in soccer, Australia in cricket, India’s complete domination of the pre-1980 era hockey may be a more intimidating story to tell. Tragically, the lack of media fan-frenzy during those days meant those wizards and their wizardry could never be a part of the legend.
Then a group of players collectively termed as underdogs defeated the two-time champions and favorites to lift the Cricket World Cup in 1983. The foundation was laid for a new religion to be born. Hockey, on a slide downwards in terms of performance, was pushed aside completely. The cricket bats and tiny little cricket balls became the default first toys of the newborns. Overtime, the newspaper got a new and exciting sport to fill their sports section with. With the turn of the millennium, cricket in this country had reached an unprecedented following with Sachin being unanimously chosen as the deity to be worshipped.
The overdose of cricket after the advent of IPL did hamper the mass delirium this sport generated. India hosted the Commonwealth Games in 2010, and amidst all the scams, it did help some lesser known sports being recognized. A new interest out of curiosity was developed. But the 2011 Cricket World Cup win brutally butchered the slightest opportunity other sports had of being recognized, and mind you, for some of them it was their best chance.
Football, amongst everything, never had the fortune of being a recognizable sport in the country. First there was hockey, then cricket to overshadow any heroics that the football team achieved, if there were any. We’ll never know because the media never cared a bit, or maybe we didn’t. As a result, our FIFA ranking lingers around the 150 mark, 154 precisely as of this moment. The needs of the handful of football fans are satisfied by the English Premier Leagues, the La Liga, Serie A and so on.
Having said that, the attention to the FIFA World Cup by the media, fans and even some non-football fans is a welcome change. Sunil Chhetri is guaranteed a place in our memories, if not as the captain of the national football side, then at least as the pseudo-expert on the Himmatwala-esque pre-match, mid-match and after-match blood sucking so-called talk show that provides insights and analysis of the matches. Yeah, right. KRK would have been a more interesting and insightful analyst.
News channels are riding on the fact that the matches are telecast in the night and more often than naught, sleep gets the better of the excitement of quality matches and against our wishes, we have to turn to one of these news channels first thing in the morning to know what happened.
To sum up, it feels good to finally see the cricket fans, like me, getting pumped up by the soccer mania and ignoring the recently concluded series in Bangladesh which, incidentally, we won only because Bangladesh played like Bangladesh. I hope Indian national side qualifies for the World Cup finals before humanity is erased off the planet, even if we get to play like England.
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