Of scams, shams and spams

Forgive me for my absence. The D-Camp had, over the past few weeks, ensured that I had no time to be up to any good. Most of the constructive hours of my day were spent pretending to work. The rest of them (courtesy Mumbai’s traffic) were fruitlessly invested in dragging my ass back and forth between work and home. Time to sit down and write a blog post was simply out of question. So over the past few weeks, I had to resort to the easy way out – Microblogging (courtesy of which I have lost more than a few followers) Now, in my defence, there are just too many things happening for me to not comment on them.

A pretentious test team in England is making our freedom struggle look like a waste of time. Quite clearly, they wanted to experience a bit of British dominance for themselves, without the unnecessary first-establish-a-trading-company routine. And the best part is, none of them are fazed by the performance. Our captain cool is fast turning into captain ya-whatever. At the post-match conference after the third test he was as perturbed as when he was told that his usual plate of 2idlis-1vada would take “another 5 minutes, saar”. To be calm is one thing, but there is a fine line that separates it from haplessness (anyone in doubt should consult MMS). For a series that began with a ton of hype around the record-machine’s 100th century, has petered out into conversation around whether RP Singh is the next Agarkar. My deepest sympathies are with those who had to witness all of it in HD.

Of course, the people who had subscribed for this ‘Experience like never before’ were instrumental in triggering the London riots. A footage that is raging across the internet clearly shows a hooded character hurling an LCD TV (looks like a Full-HD one) at the window of an electronics store in west London. The police are fairly convinced that it was this act that instigated the nation-wide riots. The man is also clearly brown, but the police won’t admit it for fear of being deemed racist. It is also interesting to note that the event took place when Bhajji had disappeared mysteriously citing a stomach ache during the third test. Now, viewers of Indian Television are fully aware that Bhajji possesses a hooded garment (thanks to adverts of ‘Music CDs’) and regularly raises potentially inflammatory slogans such as “Make it large!”. I wonder if the London police would look at events in a different light if they had access to this information. Anyways, who am I to pass judgements?

Speaking of passing things, India itself has shifted attention away from the misery unfolding in the UK, to passing the LokPal bill. At the forefront of the movement is a self-proclaimed Gandhian, Annaji, and his furious young brigade of demonstrators. (Statistics indicate that the number of demonstators is exactly equal to the number of Star Cricket HD subscribers in India. But then, it’s just a coincidence.) It is being termed as a youth movement because the average age of demonstrators is less than 50 (which makes it younger than the youth-wings of most political parties).

What started off as a one-hero (Annaji) script, swiftly turned into a Karan-Johar-styled orgy. We had a certain Rahul Gandhi gracefully descending into the plot after consultation with his matashree on a hospital-bed someplace in the US. There was the youth-representing (God save us all) Chetan Bhagat who is surely secretly writing his next book as we speak. There is the ever-energetic Kiran Bedi who at times looks younger than Miss Botox on India’s most despicable show. Nandan Nilekani came, commented, and ran holding his arms over his head. Baba Ramdev has made enough guest appearances to consider him for a role in Anees Bazmee’s next endeavour. Shri x2 Ravi Shankar is out there trying to impart lessons of life to all those who might still listen to people other than Annaji. Obviously, if everybody else is busy, someone has to step up and undertake the ‘talk complete sense’ role. Thankfully we have the more-than-capable Diggy Singh to run with that baton (and trip and fall on his face).

In all of this, people seem to have completely forgotten about MMS. He stands at the byline with the look of a scrawny faced, mobile-phone-addicted teenager who has just discovered that ‘lol’ is a palindrome. Mamta Banerjee tried to divert some of the limelight by renaming a state after a percussion instrument. But even that has failed to tear the media’s eyes away from the delicious morsels that Annaji keeps throwing up. First, the government throws him into prison, then he refuses to come out of prison. Honestly, I have heard of less fussy girlfriends. But like any other devoted boyfriend with rose-tinted glasses, the media refuses to leave his side. As we speak, permanent tattoos of ‘Annaji’ are being done free of charge outside the Ram-Lila Maidan. In a way, it is good – Now it will be easier to tell people who you don’t want to be around. If there was ever a bill being passed against stupidity, I would like assure my readers that I would be in the front row for it. Now THAT would be a worthwhile ‘Youth Movement’ (and the first act would have to be to dump Chetan Bhagat into Tihar).

Moving away from the protest and back into the UK, the football season has kicked off again. Early indications are that Arsenal and the Indian Cricket team have the same physio. If the rate at which players are getting injured and suspended on both teams is anything to go by, it would make complete sense for both parties to merge and field a combined playing 11 in their respective games. Anyway, enough with the cynicism, I am only looking forward to great footballing weekends.

Before I forget, my apologies to all those who have had to bear my persistent spam on Facebook. You see, Twitter has a word limit ;).