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Abhisek Pandey Posts

बरगद के पेड़ो पे शाखें पुरानी…

बरगद के पेड़ो पे शाखें पुरानी,
पत्ते नए थे, हाँ,
वोह दिन तो चलते हुए थे मगर,
फिर थम से गए थे, हाँ.

लाओ वोह बचपन दुबारा,
नदिया का बहता किनारा,
मक्के दी रोटी, गुड की सैवाय्याँ,
अम्मा का चूल्हा, पीपल की छया,
दे दो कसम से पूरी जवानी,
पूरी जवानी, हाँ.

पियूष मिश्रा.

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End of the ‘Age of Voters’

I remember, during one election, my father returned from polling booth. I recently had become politically enthu. My mom & I kept asking him that which party did he vote too. He said this is called ‘gupt matdaan’ which means the vote is kept secret and hence why should he share with us that which party did he vote to. We guessed that perhaps he voted BJP dude but we never became sure where did his vote go. When he was politically active, he had friends in all major parties. Most of the times, 2-3 candidates used to be his friends, even the independent ones. During elections, we always had visit from all of candidates multiple times. His friend candidates would stay at home, even those from major parties. He sometimes accompanied their caravan and when he did, he did for all of them. We always had a big box of election campaign materials at home – flags, docs, banners, pamphlets, etc. Sometimes, in childhood, I would like some of flags and would intend to put the flag in house. He always scolded me and never let me do so. I have been very close to my father and I can tell you most of things about his political, social, religious views BUT I can’t tell you which party did he vote to in which election due to the clout, confusion & secrecy he created. I compare that to now, the people of today, here on twitter and elsewhere. Everything is so widely known that you can bet on your life that which party will 1 vote to. You know it about every1 via themselves In a way, I guess, the ‘age of voters’ is dead, ‘age of supporters’ is fading fast and we are now into the ‘age of political activists’ Everyone is an activist of one political party or politician. Only thing left is, perhaps, a valid membership of the party to verify it And people are not official members due to perhaps – either they don’t know how to become or they are too lazy to do that. Just that.

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India in 2011 – The Top 20 Videos

Best of 2011
(via pastemagazine.com)

You may term 2011 as whichever kind of year you want to, but one thing we shall perhaps unanimously agree that it was an year of news. All kinds of news. News of things which happened, and also, on the other hand, few things which happened only for the sake of news. Paid and deliberately created news and also the organic news which surprisingly topped the chart. Some were pushed to us down our throats, some went viral because they were kept secrets. Some of the videos can be revered for the visuals, most for the audio and the genius in the voices. But, most of these were revelations, not with surprise but with sheer awe. Invaluable for showcasing the gigantic amount of genius with super entertainment values.

With this kind of list, I am not quite sure about the title this post has, a portion of which says ‘top 20’. We could rightfully use dozens of adjectives and their superlatives of these videos. In many cases, each of the videos can attract a separate superlative exclusively for itself. Excellent, WTF, genius, lame, stupid, idiotic, outrageous, entertaining, courageous, sad, anger, pathetic, hilarious, shameful, irritating, mindless, mindful(!), and so on. But, I took the simplest path available. Apologies if you decided otherwise.

So, forget all the lists of 2011 videos you came across by far and check this one out.

 

20. Kolaveri Di
This was the ‘most deliberate’ viral video ever, thus not a viral, and certainly broke all barriers of language and region. This video can be referenced as a marketing excellence in entertainment industry, nevertheless, this was totally lame and stupid. If you feel otherwise, fine, but I’ll still include this video in this list because it turned out to be too “irritating” in the end, even more than 10 Rakhi Saawants put together. Why? Because it became responsible for 100 of other versions of Kolaveri of all shapes and forms. Fuck, even in the Netherlands. And those videos were everywhere, each of them shared via social media by each of our friends.

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My 50 most anticipated movies of 2012

2011, just like all the other things, wasn’t a great year for movies. 2012, on the other hand, promises a much greater year for movies. Here is a list of ‘my’ 50 most anticipated movies of 2012. Chances are that this list doesn’t feature a few movies you expected and the reason behind that could be one of these – a). I haven’t heard about that movie so far, b). I have no interest or have lost interest in that particular genre, c). I have no interest in that movie at all. Still, the suggestions are welcome, kindly leave the comments for the further debate. The details (plot and people) of the movies are taken from IMDb, Wikipedia, and other websites.

So, here goes my list, with my takes, arranged in a bottom-up manner. Cheers!

The 50 most anticipated movies of 2012

50. Wettest County
Why: A crime-drama which stars Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Guy Pearce, and Shia LaBeouf. The movie is set in the Depression-era where a bootlegging gang is threatened by authorities wanting a cut of their profits.

49. The End
Why: Abbas Kiarostami directs one of another most awaited movies for festival circuits which follows the story of “the unusual relationship between a student, who works as prostitute on the side to pay for her studies, and a brilliant, elderly academic who is one of her clients.”

48. Michael
Why: The plot – “A drama focused on five months in the life of pedophile who keeps a 10-year-old boy locked in his basement”. Intriguing, indeed! Hope the execution is not loud and in the face, and we are up for some real good cinema.

47. Total Recall
Why: Based on a Philip K. Dick’s short story (his stories have made many sci-fi movies before), this sci-fi/action movie talks about power struggle between two geographies And a normal guy (Farrell) begins to suspect that he’s a spy, though he is unaware which side of the fight he’s on.

46. Anna Karenina
Why: Movie adaptation of the novel of Leo Tolstoy. This one stars Jude Law and Keira Knightley in lead roles and is directed by Joe Wright, who has much experience in adapting novels into movies, such as, Atonement, Pride & Prejudice, etc.

45. Chaalis Chauraasi (4084)
Why: Watched the trailer recently on TV and it was as hilarious as one can get. One police van, four Cops, one night, one job, one hell of a ride. This stars Naseeuddin Shah, KK Menon, Atul Kulkarni, Ravi Kishen, Zakir Hussain, Rajesh Sharma, and Manoj Pahwa. Being a comedy/crime movie, I am expecting an incredibly fun-filled roller-coaster ride for two hours.

44. Moonrise Kingdom
Why: I find the combination of cast and plot interesting enough to watch this movie. Starring Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, Tilda Swinton, and Bill Murray, it is a story of a pair of lovers who flee their town causing a local search party to fan out and find them.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower
The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Courtesy: IMDb)

43. Agent Vinod
Why: A usual Bollywood star-cast of Saif, Kareena, Gulsan Grover, etc; but the movie is an international action thriller, appearing like a desi Bond movie. This could well be worth watching because it is directed by a very talented Indian thriller-movies director, Sriram Raghavan.

42. Gangster Squad
Why: A crime-drama about a chronicle of the LAPD’s fight to keep East Coast Mafia types out of Los Angeles in the 1940s and 50s. Starring Sean Pean, Ryan Gosling, and Josh Brolin.

41. The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Why: The plot – “An introvert freshman, while coping with first love, the suicide of his best friend and his own mental illness, is taken under the wings of two seniors who welcome him to the real world.”

40. Midnight’s Children
Why: A movie adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s much celebrated novel. Deepa Mehta directs it with a wide ensemble cast of Shabana Azmi, Rajat Kapoor, Shahana Goswami, Ronit Roy, Siddharth, Seema Biswas, Rahul Bose, and many others.

39. Ted
Why: Mark Wahlberg is the guy whose teddy bear comes to life as the result of a childhood wish. Besides, the young director, Seth MacFarlane, has a fine record of writing and directing TV comedies.

38. Coriolanus
Why: Based on Shakespear’s play about rise & fall of power, deceit, vangeance, and tragedy – set in modern day. This is enough to pick this flick.

37. Red Lights
Why: The plot. The story is about a psychologist (Sigourney Weaver) and her assistant who study paranormal activity and that leads them to investigate a world-renowned psychic (Robert DeNiro?).

36. The Raven
Why: Purely due to the plot – A fictionalized account of the last days of Edgar Allan Poe’s life (John Cusack in lead role), in which the poet pursues a serial killer whose murders mirror those in the writer’s stories.

35. Paan Singh Tomar
Why: Much awaited real-life chronicles of a runner-turned-bandit, lead role played by Irrfan Khan and directed by talented Tigmanshu Dhulia. Hopefully, this movie sees the light this year.

34. Savages
Why: Oliver Stone’s crime drama about 2 guys’ face off with the Mexican drug cartel who kidnapped their shared girlfriend. Starring Salma Hayek, Uma Thurman, Benicio Del Toro, and John Travolta. I genuinely believe we can forget his sequel of Wall Street before watching this one.

33. Amour
Why: A drama directed by Michael Haneke which is certainly going to feature, and receive awards too, at several film festivals. The plot revolves around a retired couple which deals with aftermath of the wife suffering from a debilitating stroke.

Haywire
Haywire (Courtesy: IMDb)

32. The Amazing Spider-Man
Why: Not a fan of Spidy franchise, but loved the director Mark Webb’s first and only other movie he directed (500 Days of Summer). Plus, the trailers looks like it deals much with teenager Peter Parker and how he evolves into Spiderman. Plus Plus, Irrfan Khan as the villain and seriously speaking, IK is only Bollywood actor who I believe can get a decent, nice-length Hollywood role.

31. Haywire
Why: A Steven Soderbergh directed action-thriller, which stars Gina Carano, Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender, Michael Douglas, and Antonio Banderas. The plot is about a super soldier’s revenge after she is betrayed and set up during a mission, which very much seems like that of Salt (except the director and the cast ensemble).

30. Men in Black III
Why: Because The Men are back. Leaving K (Tommy Lee Jones), J (Will Smith) time travels to 60s where an alien with its sights on the younger K (Josh Brolin) has gone rouge.

29. Seven Psychopaths
Why: Collin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken, and Woody Harrelson form the cast of this comedy caper which is the second film of Martin McDonagh (In Bruges was the first). And this movie features a screenwriter, a dog, gangsters, and psychopaths!

28. Looper
Why: First, the plot – A sci-fi/action story in which a killer (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) finds out that his next target is his own future self (Bruce Willis). Second, the people at the helms – Rian Johnson (last movie – The Brothers Bloom) and the actors.

27. Life of Pi
Why: Yet another movie adaptation of a novel. This one is based on the awesome adventure-drama novel of Yann Martel and involves a kid and a lot of his animal companions. The story has a huge connection to India and fittingly it stars many Indian actors, Irrfan Khan and Tabu to name a few.

26. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
Why: Well, the title itself sounds interesting. If not, then read the plot – “President Lincoln’s mother is killed by a supernatural creature, which fuels his passion to crush vampires and their slave-owning helpers.” Interesting yet?

25. Being Flynn
Why: I somehow liked the story very much. Based on a true story, it’s about a guy who often intersects with his brilliant but troubled father and then wrestles with the idea of reconnecting with him. The father (Robert DeNiro) has had an erratic lifestyle and a self-proclaimed poet (An excerpt from the trailer -“America has produced only three classic writers – Mark Twain, J D Salinger, and Me.”).

24. The Hunger Games
Why: A futuristic story based on a novel, which feels like a combination of unusual sports (Battle Royale) and reality tv (Truman Show). Coincidentally, the director’s (Gary Ross) two other movies were related to one of these two themes – Seabiscuit involved drama revolving around an unusual sport and Pleasantville involved something like surrealistic sitcom.

23. Cogan’s Trade
Why: Third movie written and directed by talented Andrew Dominik and his second with Brad Pitt (‘The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford’ was the first). This one is a crime thriller where Brad Pitt is a professional enforcer who investigates a heist that went down during a mob-protected poker game.

The Dictator
The Dictator (Courtesy: IMDb)

22. The Great Gatsby
Why: Movie adaptation of one of the most famous novels. Though I am not a fan of Buz Luhrmann (except, I really enjoyed watching Moulin Rouge), this stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, and Carey Mulligan (loved her in Drive) in the lead roles and well…features our very own Amitabh Bachchan (AB’s maiden Hollywood movie).

21. The Dictator
Why: Yet another super satire by Sasha Baron Cohen and Larry Charles (the ‘Borat’ team) about a dictator who risks his life to ensure that democracy would never come to the country he so lovingly oppressed. Watch the trailer!

20. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Why: Peter Jackson is back with the hobbits and the dwarfs – where a hobbit, with thirteen dwarves, begins a journey which will take him into the Wild; through treacherous lands swarming with Goblins and Orcs, deadly Wargs and Giant Spiders, Shapeshifters and Sorcerers…and Gollum.

19. The Grandmasters (Yut doi jung si)
Why: Celebrated Hongkong-based storyteller Kar Wai Wong directs the story of the martial-arts master Ip Man, the man who trained Bruce Lee.

18. John Carter
Why: Watch the trailer. Mars, a man somehow placed there, among 12-foot tall barbarians and several other kinds of creatures, with a lot of fights in the unknown terrain – looks like a Star Wars movie, with toppings of Planet of Apes and Avatar.

17. Gravity
Why: Lone survivor, Sandra Bullock (also starring George Clooney), of a space-mission-gone-wrong desperately looking to return to Earth and her daughter. Sounds like a purist Sci-fi movie with a backdrop of human’s desires and longings for relationship. Proven record of the director, Alfonso Cuaron, in both kind of themes – Children of Men and Y Tu Mama Tambien. And those who have seen CoM know what kind of Sci-fi movies Cuaron makes.

16. Argo
Why: Ben Affleck is one of those few actor-turned-directors whose directed movies are more awaited than the ones they act in. This is only his third movie, after Gone Baby Gone and The Town. Argo is about a political crisis with a pacy screenplay – “As the Iranian revolution reaches a boiling point, a CIA ‘exfiltration’ specialist concocts a risky plan to free six Americans who have found shelter at the home of the Canadian ambassador. ”

15. Talaash
Why: Aamir Khan produces and stars in Rima Kagti’s crime thriller where Aamir plays a cop.

14. The Bourne Legacy
Why: 1. Bourne. 2. Tony Gilroy (the first movie he directed was Michael Clayton). 3. Edward Norton as a villain. Interestingly, Jeremy Renner is enacting the lead role.

13. Gangs of Wasseypur
Why: The film is about the coal mafia in Dhanbad, said to be inspired from the story of Bihar politician Surajbhan Singh, and has turned out to be a two-part marathon, each two hours and 40 minutes in length. Directed by Anurag Kashyap. Manoj Vajpayee is in the lead role. Everyone in India knows what these people are capable of and if you are aware of the real-life stories of the coal mafia in Dhanbad, this is surely one must-watch for 2012.

The Expendables 2
The Expendables 2 (Courtesy: IMDb)

12. Untitled Terrence Malick Project
Why: Terrence Malick and a plot involving intricacies of human relationship. Surely the eyes are upon this, especially when the director has released ‘the tree of life’ last year. The plot says – “A romantic drama centered on a man who reconnects with a woman from his hometown after his marriage to a European woman falls apart.”

11. The Expendables 2
Why: This may not deserve a mention in a top-15 anticipation list, but this probably features on everyone’s watch-list. A perfect guilty pleasure starring – Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Chuck Norris, and others – all in one purely hell of an action movie.

And the drum-rolls for the Top 10.

10. Dark Shadows
Why: Tim Burton, with his regular team members, joins Johny Depp again in a Gothic movie involving perhaps one of the most weird set of characters ever. The tale centers on the life of playboy vampire Barnabas Collins (Depp) and his run-ins with various monsters, witches, werewolves and ghosts.

9. Shanghai
Why: Arguably, one of the most talented Bollywood director of our times, Dibaakar Banerjee’s 4th movie is a political thriller. The movie is the official Hindi adaptation of a political thriller by Greek novelist Vassilis Vassilikos, who wrote about the real-life assassination of a dynamic politician.  As Dibakar said early this year – “Well this film is going to see him go right into the heat and dust of a hellish Indian small town and its deadly politics. No leather jackets, suave bars and foreign locales. Abhay was never seen like this before – in a negative, cold, almost vicious character. Imagine Abhay being the establishment instead of fighting it. He looks at you through his glasses, wearing his stiff shirt and you wonder what’s on his mind”. It also stars Emraan Hashmi (interesting casting!) and Kalki Koechin.

8. The Avengers
Why: Why? I mean, it features Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Hulk, HawkEye, Black Widow, and pirate-eye Nick Furry – it’s like a ‘comic book digest’ (a story involving multiple superheroes) we used to wait for months and buy/rent immediately in our childhood.

7. Cloud Atlas
Why: Wachowski brothers team up with Tom Tykwer to direct a sci-fi epic, a movie adaptation of David Mitchell’s novel. Can be termed as one of the most ambitious movie of the year which is about 6 stories set in a different time and place which become intricately related to each other. Expecting one of the best sci-fi sets of our times. On top of that, it stars Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving, Ben Whishaw, Susan Sarandon, and Hugh Grant

6. Prometheus
Why: Ridley Scott and sci-fi genre. A team of explorers discover a clue to the origins of mankind on Earth, leading them on a journey to the darkest corners of the universe. There, they must fight a terrifying battle to save the future of the human race. Said to be a prequel of his ’79 movie ‘Aliens’ (a long time since then) it brings back the thrill, horror, and action in the other part of universe. Needless to say, this also involves a huge budget (see the trailer) and interesting star cast of Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Idris Elba, and Guy Pearce.

5. The Master
Why: PTA. Paul Thomas Anderson is certainly our generation’s Stanley Kubrick (only 5 feature films over a career spanning more than 2 decades – all masterpieces). Number 2, the plot, which says, as per IMDb – “A 1950s-set drama centered on the relationship between a charismatic intellectual known as ‘the Master’ whose faith-based organization begins to catch on in America, and a young drifter who becomes his right-hand man.” Philip Seymour Hoffman is the Master, Joaquin Phoenix is the right-hand man, and ‘Scientology’ is the religion in question. Beat that!

4. Lincoln
Why: Spielberg directing a biography of one of the most famous American President, Abraham Lincoln, role enacted by Daniel Day-Lewis (Yes!). Need say more?

Skyfall
(Courtesy: IMDb)

3. Skyfall
Why: A ‘lethal’ combination of 007 and Sam Mendes. Starring the blonde Bond, Javier Bardem, and Ralph Fiennes & the cameras at the helms of the legendary cinematographer Roger Deakins.

This is going to be EPIC and will, without any doubt, get the 007 on the top.

2. Django Unchained
Why: Tarantino, Tarantino, and Tarantino. Bonus is the plot with solid star cast – A slave-turned-bounty hunter (Jamie Foxx), with the help of his mentor (Christoph Waltz),  sets out to rescue his wife from a brutal Mississippi plantation owner (Leonardo DiCaprio as the villain!).

Also starring JGL, Samuel L Jackson, and Sacha Baron Cohen.

Django Unchained
Django Unchained (Courtesy: www.federicomancosu.com)

 

1. The Dark Knight Rises
Why: Everybody knows everything about this movie and this probably stays on top of everyone’s most anticipated movie of 2012. This epic grand finale of Nolan’s Batman trilogy will, I reckon, stay on top again in the lists of the best movies compiled at the end of 2012, well, if the world doesn’t end in 2012.

The Dark Night Rises

 

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धर्मकाँटा

 

राजा मेरा गज़ब का, किये थे अद्भुत काम
सागर लंका धाँस दी, पाप मिटाता नाम.

उस दिन तेरे देश भये सुखी सभी सुबः शाम
न्याय, सत्य, और प्रेम ने किये कुशल व्यायाम.

याद बिसारी तुने तब, जब पड़ी तेज है घाम
लेकर तेरा नाम यहाँ मच रखी घोर संग्राम.

नज़र बिराजे रामचन्द्र, अधर निहारे दाम
आयुध तानी फैज़ पे, और किया घोर बदनाम.

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Time magazine on Sachin

“When Sachin Tendulkar travelled to Pakistan to face one of the finest bowling attacks ever assembled in cricket, Michael Schumacher was yet to race a F1 car, Lance Armstrong had never been to the Tour de France, Diego Maradona was still the captain of a world champion Argentina team, Pete Sampras had never won a Grand Slam.When Tendulkar embarked on a glorious career taming Imran and company, Roger Federer was a name unheard of; Lionel Messi was in his nappies, Usain Bolt was an unknown kid in the Jamaican backwaters. The Berlin Wall was still intact, USSR was one big, big country, Dr Manmohan Singh was yet to “open” the Nehruvian economy.It seems while Time was having his toll on every individual on the face of this planet, he excused one man. Time stands frozen in front of Sachin Tendulkar. We have had champions, we have had legends, but we have never had another Sachin Tendulkar and we never will.”

Image source: Google Images

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On Celebrity Social Responsibility

The do’s and dont’s of a citizen’s action list can fall in two categories – what she must do and what she should do. The ‘must’ is largely related to legal duties such as paying taxes, abiding to civil and criminal laws, following traffic rules, respecting the liberty of fellow citizens, and so on. The ’should’ list includes what a citizen does beyond the ‘must’ list.

The ‘must’ list appears very important because we, the Indians, mostly donot understand the difference between freedom and liberty, and also rights vs duties and what others should do vs what we should do. We are very intelligent and rational as individuals but pathetic while collaborating and cooperating. If each of Indians only take care of this ‘must’ list, the country will change and see its pinnacles. The interesting part is that the ‘must’ list doesnt require us to sacrifice much of our resources, money, or time. This is a part of the daily life chores and only ’self regulation’ can make this possible.

The ’should’ list is optional, depending on one’s own choice or discretion – by not doing which one’s not legally or morally wrong/irresponsible. This list is not even required to discussed if everybody is self-regulated and takes care of ‘must’ list for oneself. This list is being discussed only because ‘must’ list is ignored by one part of the inhibitants and the apathy of those who sould have taken care of the ‘must’ list. And thats where the celebrities, corporate, or somehow privilaged section of citizens come into the picture.

A celebrity can be anybody because, according to me, a celebrity is a person who has ‘an area of influence”. A common man can influence herself, however a celebrity can influence a group of people. The larger the area (of influence), the bigger the stature of the celebrity. When a common man starts this mission (in the form of social or political activism), she has to first work towards increasing her reach and the area of influence. A celebrity gets this by default, so, when a celebrity enters in the arena of activism, she starts with the immediate action. And when a bigger celebrity comes in picture, she can immediately make many people acting on that task. So, the celebrity stature gives a person an edge, which is mostly the power to influence and width of her reach.

I think this is the reason people raise their heads towards celebrities. But that doesn’t mean a celebrity must do it, definitely not. In this sense, everybody fall in the same pool, hence it is pretty senseless to criticize a celebrity (or for that matter, anybody) if she doesn’t do it. If she takes care of the ‘must’ list, doesn’t influence others to go against it using her reach, she is already a responsible citizen. What more, she is an excellent professional which is already somehow contributing to the development of the country. If somebody leaves her profession (no matters how lucrative or profitable it is), then it is way too great; if she doesn’t, it is still great. We founded one such organization called ‘Dream India Project’ two years before and during last 2 years, much more people joined DIP and involved in debates and activities. Most of us are excellent professionals and are contributing to our professions very well. I am running my own company and when I spend my time, effort, and money with DIP, it is totally my choice and interest. Same goes with fellow DIPians. Even if we don’t do this, we are responsible citizens and contributing to the development of the country with our works in our professions (and this is already beyond the ‘must’ list). Cribs never help, acts do. And I have found that most of the cribs and complains come from those who don’t act. I feel very great that these kinds of topic are being discussed very widely nowadays.

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Doomsday!

In an effort to make a bridge across fake destinations, this world has become a flock of floating stones. Shallow existence, debased wanderment, going places within and beyond every moment, momentous deeds, symphony of requiems. No height, no depth, no layers. Unquiet, impatient, indoctrinated, titivated, crawling and howling souls. No stomachs, only intestines. No humanities, only humans. No religions, only gods. No earth, only lands. No Is, only YOUs. The world of undefined variables. The shameless variables jumping out of classes and creeds, objects and subjects, functions or processes.

May the dinosaurs laugh soon upon you!

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Mi Vilasrao Deshmukh Boltoye!

Now, this one is really a classic case. Seemingly too much frustrated with the corruption and bribery in government offices, Sanjay Dhotadmal, a man in Pune, applied for ration card and got it issued in the name of Maharashtra’s CM Mr. Vilasrao Deshmukh. After feeding 2000 bucks to the ration officer, it is indeed not a difficult task to get a ration card in the name of whosoever your choice is. IBN Live reports:

Sanjay had actually visited the office to get a copy of his original ration card which was in a poor condition. But when he was asked to pay up for it, he decided to expose the officials. “I wanted to test how sincere the officers were, so I gave Chief Ministers name,” says Sanjay.

And this is what the Divisional Commissioner of Pune Division had to say on this:

“Here something has gone wrong, because we have checked up with the card that has been issued, there has been exploitation of system, money has been paid therefore we have put two people under suspension,”

Such fun and WTFness! But, all the way, this is not something which should surprise us. Corruption is everywhere, at each place and almost everyone in the government offices is corrupt. What matters is the level of work and person who has to be sucked out by the babus. This is known to one and all. However, such cases come to the media only with the occurences of serious or humourous cases. For example, the bribery related with political ghotalas or something like passport of Abu Salem. But, in those cases, the client and moolah both are high and mighty.

Even Rs 2000 isn’t something cheaper bribe of sorts. I have seen policemen and panchayat sewaks asking for Rs 2-10. RPF jawans in Passenger trains or state police on the street markets or traffic police don’t ask for more than 10 Rs or so. This happens everyday, everywhere. And this is something which is very much impossible to curb. The ground-level corruption will always be inevitable.

Another WTF News: NRAI President Digvijay Singh slams shooters Abhinav Bindra and Jaspal Rana for not acknowledging the system’s contribution to their success. He said that the success of Bindra and Rana had been possible due to the system set up by the Indian shooting federation but it seems to have gone to their heads and their statements betray arrogance. (source) (more on Abhinav bindra)

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Okay, I am safe, but 20 of us have already died!

I was about to leave my home to go to Hotel Park, Janpath (behind, Connaught Place) where I was scheduled to have my last dinner with my 3 partners (till yesterday). It was sort of a farewell for me after I ended the four years of collaboration. Just then, I got a call from my senior partner, Rajiv, that we need to cancel the booking at the Park and look for some other place nearby which will be much safer. My another partner, Vijay, was still in Janpath, waiting for us to join him. Rajiv asked me to inform Vijay that 4 bomb blasts have rocked Delhi and he must leave the place asap. Like Rajiv, I tried calling Vijay but couldn’t make it done for next 5 minutes. All telephone lines were jammed. Finally, Vijay got the call and so, I informed him about everything. He started moving from CP but stuck in the way. The traffic was terrific. People were fleeing from entire circle in trauma. Anyways, he reached and we went to PSK to have our dinner. That’s where we sat for the last dinner together. After the end of 4 years of collaboration, I will not be available to attend such official dinners after tonight. Obviously, it was a bit melancholic for me. We had the dinner and we talked about the event. Nevertheless, I was still in shock due to new terror attacks at Delhi. It is 7th year of mine in Delhi and this was the second serial bomb blast in the capital. First time, when it killed almost 80 people in 2005, I was returning to my home from my office and I was only 2 kms away from Paharganj area. I was a survivor. This time, I was 30 minutes late to reach the victim place and I survived again. Many people survived, but not everybody managed to continue living in the city. This feels more horrible when it comes to my mind that I could have been one of them. Yet, the city of DJinns will manage to get the ever-growing speed and I will continue to live my life until the next terror shocks us again. Yet, we will hope for the dawn chorus forever, on the blood-stained streets and ever-laughing ghosts of the terror. Life goes on, isn’t it?

And at 10.45 of night, with a very sad heart, I had to bid farewell to my 3 partners and my 20 fellow citymen who passed away today evening.

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