dhinak dhinak din-dainik tamasha!


Hello everyone, and welcome to ‘Dainik Tamasha’. Please welcome Jaan Satwinder!

[Woman of indeterminate age, dressed in a sari, walks in. Namaste to audience while keeping every part of her body and head covered – just in case.]

Hello everyone! Before we begin the show I would like to inform anyone who still watches this show after it has been off-air for 10 weeks that the Dainik Tamasha has nothing whatsoever to do with ‘The Daily Show‘. For one, the name of the show and the host are different, as is the color of the background, and we will definitely not talk about any news broadcasts in a disparaging manner. Well, not any more anyway. After our first episode, we were sued by all the newschannels for using their own footage to appreciate the news. I have to say ‘appreciate’ because I got sued personally when I said ‘made fun of’ the last time. I should not have brought up Barkha Dutt during the Mumbai attacks, Rakhi Sawant’s slap or even pigeons as examples of the fine reporting in India.

A humble request is being made to Comedy Central: please don’t sue us. Or take out ads disclaiming intellectual property on the matter. You should know by now that intellect has little to do with Indian television. Another extended break while the courts put a stay order on the show, have a stay order put on the first one, then have a preliminary hearing in which a stay order is put on putting stay orders… will mean we cannot attract advertisers to sell key catch phrases like the IPL. If you do have to sue (not like Aparna sewing machines, where things once sown must be worn) us anyway, our lawyer is availabe via SMS at any time. Text ‘WLSU 1’ for damages of 1 million, ‘WLSU 2’ for 2 million, and so on to 38434687.

Anyway onto our first segment, ‘Rajneeti Mein Rajya Kam’. Votes have been made by the most important people: all the Khans, their children as well as the Big Bs. We eagerly await results of voting by Feroz Khan and Raj Kapoor.
[muffled yelling on anchor’s headphone]
My apologies, those people are dead or presumed missing. However they probably still exist on voter lists around the country, and probably proxy-voted for by 10 year old Rampyaari. Given such awesome voting mechanisms, it is little wonder that..
[scuffling sounds from outside the studio, yelling on headset]
Hold on, someone appears to have stormed our show…
[yelling as big crowd breaks stuff and rampages in]

[Leader of pack] “Aye, yeh sab band karo! Kya chal raha hai idhar? Mujhe bahar sab sunayi de raha tha, tum desh ki sanskriti ko badnaam kar rahe the. Pata hai desh mein aadmi-aadmi shaadi karne lage hain, lekin aurat toh ghar mein rehni chahiye. Kitna achcha tha apna desh, jab yahan computers bhi nahi the.. ”

[Screen goes blank. Tata Sky poster ad comes on, with voice-over by anchor]

Sorry for the interruption. Please note that with Tata Sky there can be no interruptions. Given the chance of legal/destructive action, I am retracting what I just said, and re-affirming faith in the Indian voting system that needs proof that you are not dead to let you vote, and more importantly needs you to exist in myriad Government ledgers – which is somehow easily done by millions of fake voters. Remember the Indian government needs to ensure that you are not a parallel dimensional being or an alien attempting to take over an Indian’s body.

We will attempt to continue in a few weeks time. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Not as good as I was hoping. To be continued..

changing india


it is now widely accepted that the “resilience” or the “spirit” that we have lauded so much in the past is a myth that most people have stopped believing in. people are angrier this time round, if anything, the attacks supposedly have fewer people asking for mourning, and more people asking ‘when will we make them mourn this day?’

but do we really think this can happen? do we believe india will manage to bring terrorists to justice? do we believe that india can prevent any more terror attacks?

not really. as everyone unanimously tends to agree around their tables, india can never change.

sailesh made a valid point that we need to change before we can expect anything else to change. and given a chance, most people will actually agree with this ideology. however, given the fact that the large majority will not change right now, we too will not change right now. the circular reasoning is perfect. and the state of affairs go on as they always have.

more than one person refuses to discuss the matter. i cannot censure them for this, every discussion that we have ever indulged in has been academic. we talk, and then we go back to living our lives. can anyone really be blamed for doing this? the days of the selfless person – the person who lives for others first, and later himself – are long over. discussions should lead to action, but today – when i sit in the US arguing over dinner as to why india’s foreign policy has always sucked – i know, as does everyone else, that there is very little chance that what we talk about will ever leave the dinner table. on the one hand we know that only we who have experienced the crap that is the indian life, can actually do anything about it. on the other hand, we have way too many other things to involve us: our careers, our significant others, our gadgets, everything else.

Continue reading

do dark times really lie ahead ?


after reading this, a question that has been hovering at the back of my head begs analysis.

i’ve spoken about it before as well, and even if i have been disparaging about the reaction of people to a lot of the mails i have received, some current developments mean second thoughts should be had. if not third.

orkut is, and always has been very open in terms of structure: everyone finds everyone, meets anyone, can read about anyone, can add anyone. the concept was that you would not invite someone you do not know to orkut. however, making gmail – and hence orkut – available to anyone kinda kicks that idea in the teeth. orkut is not the “trusted circle” of friends they call themselves anymore. the effect is already seen – fake profiles are created for every possible misuse – whether slander, paedophilia, or just a misguided sense of fun.
scraps are literally meant to be ‘scraps’: pointless tid-bits. and should be used that way. people misuse them, talk about everyone on them – there will be consequences to acting thoughtlessly. i think orkut scraps were designed to be quick ‘hey-how-are-you’ messages, not personal ads. or long messages about the self. are we still worried about the content being publicly accessible? delete all scraps. i have nearly 2000, would keeping them help me? i think not. deleted.
how restrictive is orkut when it comes to details ? you can choose who can see what, some generic details are open to all. those details, i should think, are pretty common. or obvious. religion, language, books, music.. these are shared by a wide majority. i see now that ‘google talk id’ is common knowledge – i.e. can be seen by everyone – which is stupid. can i change that ? only if i disable google talk+orkut. which is pointless integration i have come to believe. disabled.
i’m not saying that these are the only issues, there are more which i may be skipping over. when they do occur to me, there will be updates. the point is that this source of possible privacy breach can be controlled to some extent.

now, for the question of whether its safe at all. there are two parts to it. the first depends on what level i stop at for restricting privacy. the second is pertaining to how far misuse by a third party affects me.

Continue reading

now, i'm really feeling it


when i heard that reservations are official, the feeling of deja vu; that feeling of doom hit me.

but then i figured that it doesn’t really matter… protests will happen, hunger strikes and everything; and eventually it’ll all die down.time heals; i think. or makes you apathetic and cynical.
thats how it works. all over the bloody planet.


IIT-bombay students, people i know, are on hunger strikes. doctors are still on strike. medical students in delhi are protesting actively, preventing interviews; making themselves heard. rallies. door-to-door canvassing. everything possible.
the country is not giving up.

and even as i type this, goosebumps prickle, spirits rise – i want to be there, i want to strike, to protest; to make myself heard.

a spirit that used to exist in india, that fuelled a revolution 50 years ago has received a shot of adrenalin. i thought indians have become apathetic, given up on a system that has been systematically taken apart; away from its original ideas – that does not work anymore.
apparently not.

inquilab is back.

inquilab zindabad.