Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Tanu mails Manu

Congana : Make yourself comfortable. This is going to take a while
Interviewer : (Not again) Oh? I thought scoops were fast.
Congana : I did promise a scoop but I will tell it as a leettil story. I'll use third person so no one knows I'm talking about myself. There was leettil girl in the forest.
Interviewer : (This was a scoop 2 years back. God, please let it be a different story) Do go on
C : And she fell in love. Isneet a great feeling, this love? She used to imagine a knight in shining armour on a horse. And then one day, she got an email.
I : In the forest.
C : from a fakerithik@hotmail.com and he had signed off as jadoo. Her heart fluttered, she knew who this person was! He would be her knight!
I : What were the contents of the mail?
C : The mail asked the girl to download a .exe file and click and run it. Her comp crashed. But lo and behold! Jadoo's next mail was a wonder. About donating a large sum of money to a Nigerian family in need of support. The girl was overwhelmed. She also went on to win a 50000GBP award from Pepsi, forward a pic to 12 people so she did not die immediately, and when she had won over Jadoo with her commitment to his emails, upload pictures on request.
I : Sounds creepy
C : When she asked to meet him, the mails stopped abruptly and broke her heart. And then one day, she saw him in the forest.
I : How did she know what he looked like?
C : Profile pic. And I can't describe what happened then. Cut to 2 months later. The girl finds her emails in the media. She is hurt. Society was shaming her for her comp's security vulnerabilities. As a feminist icon and the sole inspiration to millions of...er...other girls in forests all over the world, the girl stood up for her rights
I : The forest girl was a feminist icon?
C : Yes. As they say, adversity always brings out the icon-ness of people. Heartbroken but still a picture of dignity and courage, the girl started speaking up for herself, and for women across the globe. Society tried to suppress the truth but she would have none of it, she suppressed it herself. Society labelled her but she changed the labels. From the filth of secrets, she emerged pure and iconic and feministic.
I : Are we done here?
C : And yet, somewhere deep inside her, is a lost little girl from the hills...
I : Forest
C : ...who believes in love, though in a more courageous, exemplary and feministic kinda way. Maybe she is naive, but her naivete also has a certain iconicness to it. If there's one thing the girl learnt from the whole thing, it was...
I : spam filters
C : ...to be her own person. Because other persons were clearly not helping.
I : This has been wonderful, am sure 2 or 3 women reading this will still find a way to be inspired.

Friday, December 16, 2016

5 life lessons I learned from world travel...

I left home last week and have been on the road ever since. Travelling the world has opened my eyes to new realities and realisations. I list here some of them for the benefit of the explorers among you.
1. Income spike
When you decide to quit your job and travel the world, not many people realise that you suddenly start making money out of the blue. Every place you visit, a salary account gets mysteriously opened locally and money starts pouring into it, in local currency. Go on, try it if you don't believe me.
2. Cultural assimilation
You'll be amazed how much of local culture anywhere in the world just consists of taking photos near tourist spots. Selfie with statue of Liberty - you're already half American. Selfie next to Eiffel Tower, you can pass for a French person for a day. I stayed in a hotel in Agra once and the locals started addressing me as Jahan panah the next day. And what better way to learn a new language? I did a succession of daytrips in 2010 which now means I know how to say 'Hi' in 20 languages (15 of which are the same as 'Hi').
3. Perspective change
Ever notice how when you travel and get back home, you are a changed person and don't even realise it? I went to Nagpur once and got a bad stomach bug, as a result of which I went from being a middle-size peaceful bloke to being a thin, cranky person now.
4. Learning who you are
It is ironic that we need to travel out to truly understand who we are. I know now that I'm allergic to stale pudina chutney, for instance, something that even my closest friends wouldn't tell me directly to my face.
5. It's about the people you meet
And finally, travel, like everything else in life, is about the meaningful relationships you strike with interesting people you meet on the way. Like the pilot you never see, who tells you the altitude and temperature, mid-flight. Like the housekeeping lady at the hotel who says 'housekeeping' twice outside your door and then leaves. Like the pilot on the way back who...and so on.
So what are you waiting for? Pack your bag and be on your way. Here's to more world-travel induced life lessons!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Open letter to Hon' PM

Sir
We might have many differences of opinion but I admire your courage in carrying out these surgical strikes.
These have struck fear into Pagistan's heart and their reaction, as expected, is to deny that these attacks ever happened. They are taking journalists from CCB and NNC to the LOC to the exact same spots where you 'say' the attacks have happened and then demonstrating that no such damage is visible. Though I agree with them whole-heartedly, I think it's time for you to take these propagandists head-on.
My suggestion is that for the next round of attacks, you send me a confidential map of the spots where strikes are planned and the expected times of the attacks. I will ratify these and send to the Pag army chief, at least one week in advance.
If we give them adequate time to prepare their army as well as the Loshkar Tauba and Jash Mohammed so that they are able to martyr all our brave soldiers, they will really have no chance to crib later on. This would be a real slap in the face for Pagistan.
If you do not follow this and continue to carry out surprise strikes across the LoC and that too in dim light, I can only say, as a friend, that India will be isolated globally for attacking innocent terrorists and stopping them from doing things they really enjoy.

Yours Truly
Arbind Kejrawal

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Ameer Khan proposes solution to Cashmere issue, irks everyone

On the eve of the release of his new film Daangal, superstar Ameer Khan called a press conference to read out from a neatly typed out essay titled 'If I were Prime Minister', probably borrowed from his kids' homework assignment. He went on to propose a unique solution to the Cashmere issue, involving physically breaking the state and transporting it to South India where it would be safer. 'I'm sure my friends Donaald Tramp, S.Ar.K, Salmaan, Rakhi Savant, Husain Bolt, Moe Pharah, Sunni Leon will all agree', he said, in an attempt to move up on Google Search results.
The news media reacted fast and he's slated to appear on 15 talk shows this evening to discuss his new idea. 'This has nothing to do with Daangal. Just thought of sharing my views as a citizen two days before the movie's release' he added. Meanwhile, Irfan Khaan, who had previously raised a storm over his comments on animal sacrifice in the run-up to Madari's release, is on the look out for an Islam related topic he can speak on, to promote his next movie - he invites topic suggestions at khantroversy@hotmail.com

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Chaos reigns as !amil Nad and pauseBihar spar over first slot at Inter State Council Meet

Deedi would not have seen this coming. Fully expecting to be in the first 5 speaking slots the Bongal CM made her way to the Inter State Council only to discover that Bongal was relegated to last place in the list once again.
In a flurry of announcements that came in last evening that she clearly missed, 25 states proposed changes in their names - only Assam, Arunachal, Andhra abstained from seeking a change. Aajasthan was pipped to be the clear winner before two states pulled out a rabbit from the proverbial hat, getting an approval to using special characters.
The Chair of the Interstate council has called for a special meeting at midnight to decide which of !amil Nad and 'spacebar' Bihar, nicknamed pauseBihar, will begin proceedings.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Insight

"Our survey indicates that there is no demand for xyz services in this region. Only 12% indicated interest in accessing...er...you are smiling because?"
Here it comes, what would probably be the poorest quality evidence ever offered in any situation - 100% anecdotal, and possibly an imaginary anecdote at that.
"Boss, let me tell you a story..."
Data, take five. You aren't needed for now.
"...I was travelling through a village near Bombay..."
Which one? Pune? Lavassa?
"...We stopped for chai. And you know me, I'm always learning, looking to learn. I caught some youngster near the tapri"
Representative sample.
"and you know what happened next? Boss, I'm telling you, we think we know everything because we have all these surveys and all this data. But reality is different. We have no idea."
Let me guess, you asked him "Pune, how far?"
"...I asked him a simple question. Deceptively simple. 'Who do you like?' Simple, that is it, that was my question"
The unexpected and revelatory answer that is somehow worth more than a statistically valid survey is...drum roll...
"He looked me in the eye. He didn't flinch"
Arghh, out with it already
"Honey Singh. Not Shahrukh, Not Salman. Honey Singh, boss. Simple and straight."
Now, invalid extrapolation to all villages and then to all demographic groups...
"Indian village youth know Honey Singh, boss! Ten years back, imagine something like this happening. Villagers wouldn't even be able to reply. You know what that means?"
Followed by invalid generalised trend...
"Indian villages are changing. They are aware, more aware than you and me. Your surveys don't mean anything, they aren't capturing the ground reality"
Yes, clearly, being conducted as they were by un-aware or less aware non-fans of Honey Singh.
And finally invalid drill-down from general trend to specific point in question...
"They have aspiration, boss, they want xyz services"
Turns to the one dumb nodding person in the room who is convinced by the Honey Singh episode
"Honey Singh" and a shake of the head, "Imagine that"
Imagine, indeed.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Tonie D Souza reverses Sarapova's two year ban

D Souza, director of tainted ex-cricketer Azhaar's biopic, today released a short 3 hour film 'Marie' he's made on Marie Sarapova, starring Prachie Desai in the titular role. The film has 2 thrilling minutes of tennis action out of the 180, and covers Marie's love life in all its lurid detail and then some. Marie is seen singing Hindi songs in Switzerland and Ooty with two of her beaus Robert and Peter (Imran Hashmi in a double role) and Prachie's fancy footwork is reminiscent of the real Sarapova at Wimbledon.
It is at the fateful final of Ooty Open, however, that Gulshan Grover, playing the role of her coach, gives her an 'energy drink' with an evil laugh. Now that Director Souza has clarified the real sequence of events through this hardhitting film, WTA is expected to release a formal apology and reverse the ban on the real Sarapova by tomorrow morning.
This is the second coup that D Souza would have pulled off, the earlier one being an apology from BCCI to Azhaar when D Souza's biopic was submitted as crucial evidence in a re-opened 1996 matchfixing case.