Friday, February 15, 2008

AurKuchh(Orkut) nahi chahiye mujhe

Now communication is a basic human necessity apart from roti, kapda aur makan (and zeenat aman). Researchers say humans can handle prolonged thirst and hunger but would go mad if left with no one to share their thoughts. From smoke signals to pigeons, from teligrams to emails, from Alex Bell to Anil Ambani, communications have come a long way.

Now social networking is empowering people to reach across boundaries and share their life with others. Any internet user worth his clicks has to have an orkut account (more so if you are Portugese, Brazilian or of Indian sub continent). Owned by Google and named at its creator: Orkut Büyükkökten (Please do not try to memorize the spelling or pronounce it and worst make dirty puns of the name. Move ahead with the post) it has captured imagination of a sizable number of users (To sound informed and kool visit the wiki page).

The users range from college/school friends who meet daily and go home to scrap to an old acquaintance in your alma mater to some random guy who saw you activity in an orkut community and lo behold half of humanity wants to be friends with you especially if you are hot looking female with a profile pic as your own.

Now Orkut has got two great features. Scrapbook and Message Inbox. Like a true engineer (I have a piece of paper that says so) I would explain you communication mechanism with diagrams and professional looking ones at that.

Scrapbook: It is like the wall in front of your house where friends can park their car in whatever manner they can and whenever they can and rest of the neighborhood knows who has payed you the visit. That is fine but it also allows:

  • Stangers to relieve themselves of nature's call even if you put obnoxious warnings ("Yahaan peshab karna mana hai", "Dekho gadha m&$# raha hai")
  • Promote their business ("Ek moje pe do joote free free, bhayankar chhoot, aaj hi aye.....")
  • Protesters to put messages and slogans ("Dilli chalo", "XYZ ko apna mat daan karen")
  • Cheesy advertisements ("___ rogi mile ya likhe Dr. Ashok/Hakeem Usmani ko")
Well the last ones are found on walls near railway tracks just outside city limits. Forget the stranges here is a sample scrapbook conversation with parenthesized thoughts of the scrap writer.
Fig 1
Message Inbox: Now in an innovative streak orkut people have extended the basic tenets of 'right to speech' to 'right to shout at the top of your voice in some one's ear and then give a loud burp too'. Fig 2

The barrage of mails pouring hard at your inbox satiates all your desires for communication and even if you are naive enough to start deleting the messages one after another, clicking as furiously as you can you know it is an attempt in vain, you will end up in Sisyphus' infinite loop.

Wait I just got pinged for some hot (scathing) profile pic, ttly dude (and dudettes)

Note: In Fig 2. The un-parenthesized parts are actual messages and parenthesized one's are the readers reaction. Do share your interesting experiences with orkut

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Valentino Diwas

The problem with Valentino Diwas is that even if you are against it you have to profess it profusely

  • It is just a fad
  • It is a marketing pogrom
  • Every day is a Valentino Diwas
  • I do not believe in such days
  • It is blatant westernization
Lauv is in the air or is it pollution

Monday, February 11, 2008

To sting and not bite

Now the English speaking media might deride it as kitsch but it is pure wholesome entertainment. Just like New 'Atta Maggi Rice' gives taste bhi health bhi. Go no further I am talking of common man's news cum entertainment channel 'Aaj Tak'. Now people who think they are too intellectual smirk at it being crass and carrying nothing informative and at the most gossip or flimsy stories. Complains range from the kind of language used to barrage of images and sounds thrown at audience to lower their intellect. What the critics miss is excellent product placement aimed at Indian market.

Let me elaborate. Visit a barber's shop if you are a male, a visit to shopping mall (any other chance to get a high from spending spree) if you are a lady or a nice social get together if you are either of the afore mentioned categories. A common thread amongst these would be banter. Indians have the habit of gossip and its modus operandi is different in different sections of society but it exists. There are some hidden connections between gossip, powers of brain and intolerance, unravel them here. Gossip is not only a networking mechanism but a stress buster. Is some one from the English media taking notes on this! I want this published tomorrow in your page-3 column titled 'Gossip a Stress Buster. Researchers have shown...'. a lot better than itch free pajamas and pain can alter brain.

Now that you my readers are convinced about +ve parts of gossip let us come to the +ve aspects of the new channel. Unlike DD who use unadulterated Hindi, Aaj Tak uses Hindustaniglish (Yes Hindustani = Hindi + Urdu and Hindustaniglish = Hindustani + English).

As wholesome entertainment is promised each aspect of people involved is covered. e.g. there rumor mills worked overtime on Hindi film actress Kareena Kapoor (aka Bebo) and Saif Ali Khan.

  • Bebo never came on screen in a bikini, but she will do some exposure in an upcoming flick
  • Saif is a rock star with this stint with rock band
  • Saif has Bebo's name tattooed on his forearm
  • Astrological charts gave a green signal
  • Saif's kid was also shown fiddling with guitar with rock star like expressions.
Now the readers have to take a note these bullets are only a summary of 1 hour program. People are treated visually with clips to show Bebo and Chhote Nawab's histrionic skills, glam-amorous photos and Hindi movie songs relevant to the issue at hand (Mera Band bajwao song in this case where the protagonist talks of bachelorhood and a woman with red scarf).

To enrich the audience with scientific breakthroughs and latest findings Aaj Tak covered how dinosaurs became extinct because of mosquitos 'ate' them. For visual aid they even made an animated dinosaur getting devoured by a bunch of mosquitoes. How we learned laughter from Monkeys was also a humbling piece of research shared by your channel. Do they show Aaj Tak in Australia? I doubt.

Interviews with movers and shakers of the world like Rakhi Sawant (Video not available), Nisha Kothari by big daddy Prabhu Chawla. His incisive questions about 'Jhumroo' in 'Ram Gopal Varma ki Aag' her mannerisms gave new light to the discussion so I recommend whole heartedly to watch that video. For other celebs check youtube.

Now as guardians of the society it is a duty of a news channel to report any funny business going on. Two executives anal-yze the situation with incisive comments and an adrenaline (Or testoterones?) rush to set the mood('A:Darshak bahut betaab ho rahe honge Bebo ke baare main jaanane ke liye. B: Haan aap to apni seat se uchhal ke baahar hi aa gaye Mr. A').

Like an artists master stroke Aaj tak stung who sting. They exposed a racket of women being used for so called sting operations and even black mail. Aaj Tak dare devils met these girls and posed as industrialists, politicians etc. who wanted to carry out sting oeprations. Now if you know about 'Six Degrees of Freedom' and a claim that world is a small place because every one is connected to rest of the world by at most six links you would not be amazed at what Aaj Tak did. They found a hidden link between these industrialists and your own starlet Babe-O
(noticed the big O ;)). After a lot many breaks they finally revealed the truth. One of the girls of foreign origin named Kareena was caught on camera and then they showed:

Exhibit A: Parde ki Kareena (who was a spy in remake of Don, if you didn't get the connection)
Exhibit B: Asal zindagi ki Kareena (the foreigner in question)

Like answer to good old 'diff' questions in Indian schools subtle difference between the two exhibits where highlighted.

But the sting couple nights back was mother of all exposés. All the hidden links between Hindi cinema and Mafiosi were unraveled. McMohan explained clockworks of financial dealings, Monica Bedi gave her choice of leading man in her biopic: Salman and Sunny.
Aditya Puns-choli talking of SRK's masculinity, Lawrence D'Souza discussing about an attack made on him in 'Satya' style and music director Anwar discussing musical predilections of 'D' and in between would break into one his own songs. Manjrekar's conspiracy theory of Sanzu Baba's conversation with Bhai. All this gave a heady feeling that Ethen Hunt, Jason Bourne, James Bond can't give let alone Da Vinci Code or Sherlock Holmes.

To ye thhe SomeAchaar Aaj Tak, chatkare (aur khatti dakare) lete rahiye kal tak

Update: As I am typing this update at my home Aaj Tak is covering Sanjay Dutt's marriage with Manyata. The channel is all gaga with happiness. Shehnai in the background, pyrotechnics overlapped over the newly weds' photo-op. In true investigative spirit no stone is left unturned:
  • Where should they visit for honeymoon.
  • It is basant panchami today, an auspicious event for nuptials hence expert comments from a pundit ji is taken
  • The logistic details of proceedings
  • Her dance skills in Gangajal's item number: "Alhad Mast Jawani"
  • Paste muses of Sanjay and their body of work
Some sound bytes
  • Saj gaye Sanju
  • Manyata Munna bhai ki
  • Kaun hai manyata? Dilwanaz ya Dilnasheen?

Memetic Mutations

The young upwardly mobile junta in India has renewed old traditions especially a large class of youngsters who are:

* Graduates (or about to be)
* Can spout English
* Are Mathematically Able(If 3rd side of a triangle is 4th power of the factorial of 1st two, then How many legs does an average cow has?)
* Can Dream (Suits, Salary and Job to kill for)

If the 1st criterion is not yet resolved they are seen in dingy hostel rooms else in swanky clothes serving time in an organization which is committed to collaboratively enhance corporate opportunities to exceed customer expectations (Link).

The reader by now must have guessed it is the annual pilgrimage of MBA aspirants - The CAT yatra. Like a secret cult they have secret code words: GD, PI, Vocab, Quant, LR which people of the inner chambers know. When a member meets another one the password is "Tayyari kaisi chal rahi hai" or "Kaisa hua" replied by an encoded rant which only their ilk can decode.

"Lag gayi yaar"
"XYZ to phod raha hai"
"Uske itne aye, tere kitne aye"
"Is baar kitna solve kiya"
"Ye speed wala thha"
"Isme accuracy chahiye thhee"

Obviously how can the pilgrimage be without brief sojourns like T.I.M.E. or P.T. and numerous other coaching centers which assure the darshan. Through rigorous mediation and regular players held weekly en mass they cleanse their souls. Those who have faith and determination, the purest of the pure get moksha, nirvana, bliss and those who don't well "Baba bade dayalu hain"