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OMG! DEEPIKA PADUKONE & THE “DIRTY TIMES”!

When a leading daily decided to “showcase” the cleavage of actress Deepika Padukone ,it had no idea of the furore about to unfold.Spurred by a spirited counter attack by the actress herself,celebrities & netizens tore into the reputation of the Times of India (TOI).

On 14 September 2014, TOI Entertainment tweeted a link to a web photo gallery with the caption: “OMG: Deepika Padukone’s cleavage show.” The clips shows Deepika wearing a low cut dress designed by Anaita Shroff Adajania for the trailer launch of Chennai Express in 2013

Padukone responded by tweeting -“YES! I Am a Woman. I have breasts AND a cleavage! You got a problem!!??”.

Within no time Deepika was hailed as a crusader.Her reaction was re tweeted more than 7,000 times & #IStandWithDeepikaPadukone started trending.

The newspaper has since tried to backtrack telling her the tweet was intended as a “compliment” !

Padukone came up with her Point of View,titled -My issue is objectification of a real person!In this the actress essentially arguing that the media & the society in general should differentiate between the “REEL” world, depicted by the characters she portrays & the “REAL” world wherein she is woman & deserves to be treated with respect & not objectified by showcasing parts of her body for the sake of head lines & leveraging the power of “influence to proliferate recessive thought”.

TOI came up with its defence wherein it accepted the actresses’ “reel versus real argument” but accused her of hypocrisy especially since she has been photographed “flaunting her body off screen” in “real” life.

Not accepting the faux pas & facing the heat from rivals (who have themselves indulged in similar “objectification”), TOI put forth a vacuous argument & justified its actions by disregarding the actresses’ reservations & confirming the notion that they totally ignored the fact that Deepika is a woman first & an actress later & she needs to be respected.

Media houses need to survive & sometimes they adopt reprehensible tactics (News of the World is a case in point) & justifying their scrupulousness by laying the blame on the society, that they present what is likely to be read or watched more!

Bollywood too is under the scanner for constantly raising the bar for indecency & vulgarity & relying on raunchy “item numbers”, in the name of artistic expression & that “the script demanded it”. Though Bollywood as an entity rallied around Deepika but it continues to perpetuate the very actions which are leading to the increasing objectification of women.

Shakespeare never needed a rape or an intimate scene or an “item number” to progress his script, yet he is known as the greatest playwright ever. Food for thought?

The women in Bollywood too need to stand up against being depicted as “Pinky hai paise walon ki”, or as ” Main to tanduri murgi hoon yaar,Gatkale saiyan alcohol se ” or inviting the hero with ” Aabroo ke silaayi khulegi, Sharm ka bhi lifafa phatega ,Kaddu katega to sab mein batega”.And please stop taking pride in being “item girls”..for an item is essentially an object!!!

Sadly, Deepika, you fumbled when Barkha Dutt asked if you would take the issue of objectification of women in films to its logical end? Your answer was the same banal “if the script demands”….

This is getting too serious!

I have realised that there are some who willingly get exposed & dont mind getting ripped of all dignity as well.And remain thick skinned enough to repeat their ridiculous acts.

Some of the “guests”  on Arnab Goswami’s News Hour are the chief culprits.

Peerzada from Pakistan, is a classic. Almost gullitioned each time that he appears on the show, yet in his exposure lies publicity & may be financial interests.After all “muft mein koi itni beizzati kyon karwayega”..okay i am not game for it !

Next – the spokespersons of political parties.

Rahul Gandhi tears an ordnance in public & gets kudos from his media team!!! Sakshi Maharaj rant about Love Jehad & their party spokesperson defends it by invoking everything under the sun & still doesn’t sound convincing! Stout defence can after all get them in the political fray itself!

Ajit Singh shamelessly tries to blackmail the government into letting him be a regularised “squatter” in a bungalow, by unleashing hordes of “distressed farmers” on New Delhi & its water supply. Exposed totally!! But appears next instant as the “lokpriya kisan neta”! And the closest that Ajit Singh has been to the word ” farmer” is when he orders the Farmhouse Pizza from Dominoes!

Kapil Sibal stated that there was zero loss to the exchequer in the 2G scam when the CAG pegged it at Rupees 1lakh 76 thousand crores!You see in a hurry to make brownie points ,Sibal saw 176 on one page & a pageful of zeroes on the other..and showcased his inteligence!!Then he wanted to be re-elected in 2014!!!

The nation & the crocodiles demand an answer for the secret of the thick skin on these stalwarts!!!!

Coming to the Amul ad.It depicts an actress, Deepika Padukone, wearing a similar gown as the one which generated the controversy.A bit of the cleavage too is shown to draw parallels.The Amul girl is the likely assistant while reporters are obscenely vying for odd angles to take sneak pics of the actress.

The Tag Line…Newspaperazzi…is an apt take on newspapers crossing the line & including tabloid & paperazzi content in the name of news.Thus the inglorious correlation of serious reporting with that of the paperazzi kind!

The Punch Line…Star Power…is inspired by the power of a star to stand for a cause & rally massive support.It also draws a parallel with the Amul butter being a star product with the power to pull customers!

Lastly, Deepika..Shah Rukh Khan..Hrithik Roshan..do take up cudgels against excessive violence, vulgarity & obscenity in films because most confuse the “reel for the real”!

And unlike all papers which reported the incident – I am not tagging this as the “Deepika Padukone cleavage row” .I don’t need publicity at the cost of a woman!

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ALL HAIL MARY KOM -THE UNBREAKABLE ‘BHARATIYA NARI’ VER 5.1.1.1

She was just 18 and was going to church on a Sunday. Wearing a traditional wraparound dress she took a rickshaw.Suddenly the rickshaw puller caught her hand and tried to molest her.A kick and a punch later he was lying flat on the ground.The girl had saved herself.And destiny had played its card to give India its future Boxing World Champion – MC Mary Kom aka Magnificent Mary!

Born in a poor tribal family of Manipur, Mangte Chungneijang (MC) took up  boxing after Dingko Singh’s gold at the 1998 Asian Games and adopted the name Mary (her deep faith in God) & Kom (tribal title).Practising punches late into the night, her goal was simple: to lift her family out of poverty and live up to her name.

Women’s boxing had not come off age in India in the 1990s & early 2000 when Mary took up the sport.From fighting poverty,facing her father’s ire for making an unconventional choice to over coming her disadvantage of height and reach she braved it all and eventually came out on top.Mary was a multiple World Champion by 2006.Mary then gave birth to twin boys and took a two year break to raise them.Against all odds she once again won the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in 2008 & 2010 and a Bronze at the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games. 

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Now the five time World Champion set her eyes on an Olympic berth and was the lone Indian woman boxer for the London Olympics 2012 where the sport was making its debut.Mary Kom won the Bronze and was the lone Indian boxer to win a medal.The fact that she was a mother of two only enhanced her reputation and people recognised the sacrifices the “super mom” had had to make to achieve her dreams.

Amul commemorated the feat with a fitting and odious ad depicting Mary Kom’s medal winning feat and her twins shown playing with the medal.

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Taking a break and giving birth to her third child Mary soon went off the boxing map.In 2014 the sport made its debut at the Glasgow Common Wealth Games (CWG) and making a comeback Mary  lost to Pinky Jangra in the trials who went on to win the Bronze at Glasgow.

The daggers were out and the critics had written off Mary and some had even grudged her for promoting the biopic ‘Mary Kom’.In the final round of the 2014 Incheon Asian Games trials “the comeback girl ” once again fought Pinky Jangra.And Won!And the rest is history.

At Incheon Mary won the first ever Gold medal for an Indian women boxer at the Asian Games in a closely fought Fly Weight final. The legend of Mary Kom just got bigger- the Super Mom had now become the Unbreakable Wonder Woman.

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This is where i come in with some hard facts.

A word of caution for the boyfriends of the MC Mary Kom Boxing Academy graduates- while on a date please carry head guard, gum shields, abdominal guard for the family jewels, insurance papers and a slip giving out whom to inform if found knocked out! And yes maintain distance- outside hooking range-when getting too mushy!

Amitabh Bachchan (Big B) will now need to be approached for re-shooting the famous song “Mere Angne Mein Tumhara Kya Kaam Hai” which extols the virtue of various kinds of wives – “Jiski Biwi Lambi,.Patli..Choti…” (tall,slim,short) – to add “Jiski Biwi Boxer…. uska kamre mein kya kaam hai”- obviously its better to sleep in another room than getting punched for snoring or for changing the TV channel without warning!

Infact with a “Boxer” wife most in-laws related issues are also likely to be resolved “amicably”.

I was wondering that its a good way to resolve political rivalries too.Boxing requires same height -weight opponents.So the line up for the marquee fights in the Indian Pollitics Boxing League for Women could be Jayalalita versus Mayawati, Sushma Swaraj versus Mamata Di, Uma Bharti versus Vasundhra Raje & Sonia Gandhi versus Aambika Soni.

Since Jayalalitha is jailed she can be matched up with Om Prakash Chautala as well (Learning of the prospect Mr Chautala immediately sought bail). For same “political corner” opponents, Arvind Kejriwal shall refer the bout , this way the opponents can atleast punch the referee and avoid a no contest!  And to resolve disputes the adjudicator shall be Suresh Kalmadi, for his impeccable record of integrity.

Coming to the Amul ad strip.It depicts the release of the biopic ‘Mary Kom’.The scene is a take on a poster of the movie showing Priyanka Chopra (PC) as Mary Kom, attired in a similar sports gear and throwing a punch.The Amul Girl is shown as a second or a sparring partner holding the punching bag and wearing protective gear .The movie has been critically acclaimed and is aSanjay Leela Bhansali production, directed by Omung Kumar.

The Tag Line…Kombatant ! is a play on the name of MC Mary Kom and is a fitting expression for the boxer who has had to combat many a odd to reach the pinnacle of her sport.It also doubles up for denoting a fighter, which all boxers are.

The Punch Line..Everybody’s Favourite Box..is a subtle hint for the not so discerning that the strip is about a Boxer and ofcourse endorses the primma donna status of the Amul Butter as being the favourite butter box for all!

Before I sign off.A word for the “home minister” Onkohler-Mary Kom’s husband- Keep up the good work and you are as much an inspiration as your wife!!!

Lastly,Alia Bhatt should represent India in boxing to avoid Sarita Devi type judging and refereeing controversies.A walkover is a better option for her opponents – better than being alone with her for four rounds!!!! 

And my title is tribute to the unbreakable spirit of Mary Kom who has recast the image of a “Bharatiya Nari”.

The ver 5.1.1.1 – 5 World Championships, 1 Olympic Bronze Medal & 1 Asian Games Bronze & Gold Medal each!

The movie needs a sequel…2016 Olympics…Mary Kom…Gold! A PERFECT HAPPY ENDING!!!!

 

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MARS ORBITER MISSION – MANGALYAAN; WHEN SNAKE CHARMERS MASTERED THE MOUSE!

Everyone sat anxious and tense, at the Mission Operations Complex-2 (MOX-2), the nerve centre of India’s Mars mission.There was just one question on everybody’s mind: Will it happen?When Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman K. Radhakrishnan nodded calmly,the gesture made it official. At 7.59 a.m. on 24th September 2014, India had accomplished a gigantic feat of putting a spacecraft in orbit around Mars in its first attempt.

The space odyssey of the “Mangalyaan” (Mars Orbiter Mission – MOM) commenced on 5th November 2013 when it set out on its journey to Mars onto an indigenous and improved PSLV-C25. It would travel 78 crore kilometers in a 300 days journey towards the Red Planet for its eventual date with destiny.On the anointed day the LAM engines & the thrusters roared into life and placed Mangalyaan in the Martian Orbit.

The entire project cost USD 74 Million (Rupess 450 crores) (Hollywood flick “Gravity” cost USD 900 Million).This is the cheapest ever inter planetary space mission.The improved PSLV-C25, LAM engines, the AOCS thrusters, Mars Exospheric Neutral Composition Analyser (MENCA),Gyroscopes & Accelerometers are some of the critical components designed & manufactured indigenously in India. ISRO is the fourth space agency after the Russians,NASA & the ESA to reach Mars & the first to do it right in its first attempt.India & the USA are now in an agreement to share the findings of the mission with NASA.

Such a feat will always attract acolytes & detractors alike.Its the latter which keep me in business!

New York Times (NYTimes/ NYT) published a cartoon showing members of the Elite Space Club reading a newspaper with a headline about India’s Mars mission. They appear unhappy with a seemingly impoverished Indian man dressed in a a turban,with a cow,knocking at their door.This is a self goal by NYT. The caricature has nothing to do with contemporary realities & it failed to register the fact that no other country has managed to enter Martian orbit in its first attempt & that NASA is relying upon “Mangalyaan” to improve upon the findings of its ultra expensive “Curiosity” or “Maven”.

In case ISRO is succesful in launching a cow,a certain Lalu Prasad Yadav is already working on the contract to supply fodder on Mars.May God -or Martians- save the cows & the fodder!!!

Incidentally, the Chinese are still looking for their Mars bound “Yinghuo 1″ in the Pacific & the Japanese “Nozomi” is declared lost as it could not place itself in orbit around the planet!

The ruling BJP has gone gung ho with the launch & trumpeted it as the biggest success of the Modi Government.They are  now hopeful of reaching an agreement atleast with the Martians on seat sharing arrangements for any elections taking place on Mars!

Some of the Congressmen are upset at missing out on a Golden opportunity.Realising only now that this was a one way mission they are ruing their chances of not convincing Rahul Gandhi aka Pappu to undertake a Martian tour for championing women empowerment on Mars!

One Arvind Kejriwal has demanded that amongst the many probes in the spacecraft which one is probing corruption on Mars?On being answered in the negative he has claimed this to be a sign that the NDA Government is not serious about tackling corruption (??)! He is demanding that ISRO send him to Mars so he can sit on a Dharna & protest!

The al Qaeda isnt happy with this Indian achievement & they have asked Hafeez Saeed to send suicide bombers after Mangalyaan.Not to be out done, the Islamic State has in a recent interview to some western news channel ordered the beheading of Mars (???) for hosting an infidel spacecraft!

To out do ISRO , Bilawal Bhutto of Pakistan is planning a rocket to the Sun (???) He is now managing Bajaj engines to power the flight.His scientists are presently figuring out how much to tilt the rocket to get it kick started? Any guesses?

Narendra Modi is also being credited by the RBI for smart economics.The timely fine of Rs 100 crore on ex CM, Jayalalitha lowered the effective cost of the MOM to Rupees 350 crore!This has found favour with the credit rating agencies & India has been upgraded from it present status of “negative”!

Coming to the Amul Ad/ Strip.It captures the ISRO feat of putting the Mangalyaan in Martian orbit.It depicts the Amul Girl in a space suit & in a Superman like pose she is guiding the speeding “Mangalyaan” towards Mars, which is seen in the background..

The Tag Line…Mangalkhaana..is a spin on the name of the spacecraft “Mangalyaan (Mars-craft)” . “Mangal” in hindi has two meanings.It means the planet Mars & also means Auspicious.And the word “Khana” has been used to depict the Amul butter as being equally pleasant & auspicious as the ISRO achievement.

The Punch Line..MOMs love it..is a take on the anagram of the Mars Orbiter Mission & is a subtle endorsement of the Amul butter as being the favoured choice of mothers for pampering their children with generous dollops of the yellow delight!

Amul had previously commemorated the start of the mission too.

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In the midst of all the accolades the real significance of the mission lies in the future exploration & eventual attempts to colonise outer space for its resources.Mars is flush with Methane & the leading nations already have their sights on the resource.ISROs success implies that the neighbouring countries will not make a beeline for China to assist in launching satellites & this has massive security & economic implications. ISRO has contributed immensely through remote sensing & now the MOM will further stabilise its credentials for additional financial commitments to explore outer space.It is definitely a feat worth commemorating & has invigorated young minds to take up scientific studies.

And for NYT, this land of snake charmers has now mastered the “mouse” & on the click of the same, scientists can now beam commands to place space crafts around planets.

NYT has since retracted the controversial cartoon & apologised as well.

Reality Bites…or should i say..Moos (like a cow)!

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OSCAR “HOUDINI” PISTORIUS: ON THE BLADES OF INFAMY!

At 3 AM in the wee hours of Valentine’s Day in 2013, Oscar Pistorius,27, – the only double amputee Paralympic and Olympic athlete in the world- had just shot his 29 year old girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at his Pretoria home. Pistorius was subsequently arrested on murder charges.This Amul strip showcases the court trial in this tragic tale of a love gone awry.

Oscar maintains that he shot Reeva mistaking her for an intruder.He says that waking from his sleep he had gone out to move the fan in and the room being pitch dark did not realise that Reeva had ,moved into the lavatory.He heard the washroom window open and challenged the “intruder” and then shot four times through the lavatory door.When he broke open the door he saw Reeva lying in a pool of blood in the brutal aftermath of his actions.

The defence has tried its best to make a fight out of a hopeless situation & even attempting to trumpet Oscar’s willingness to conform to authority-contrary to his earlier run ins with law and his image as a flamboyant playboy who was found obscenely socialising even in the period preceding the trial.         

Pistorius was also presented as having generalised anxiety disorder, which combined with his physical vulnerability – could have affected his actions on the fateful and left him incapable of realising the wrongfulness of his actions. 

Prosecution lawyer , Gerrie Nel is seeking a conviction on premeditated murder.He contends that Pistorius killed Reeva in a fit of rage after a heated argument with her.His irresponsible actions in the past – accidentally discharging a friend’s fire arm in a restaurant and firing on a traffic light after an argument with a cop – lent credence to the notion.Pistorius also lost credibility in court and emerged as a  – “deceitful, appalling and a poor witness” and his show of remorse and grief during the trial was termed staged and fake.

However Thokozile Masipa, the judge, ripped the prosecution claims and said that it had been unable to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Pistorius murdered Reeva with an intent.Instead she found him guilty of Culpable Homicide.Pistorius had already been tried by the media and assumed guilty of murder and seemingly had no case to defend and the “Not Guilty of Murder” verdict came as a shock.

Defence lawyer,Barry Roux had achieved what he set out to and Oscar Pistorius had done a “Houdini” and escaped a life term – for now.Sentencing is due on 12 October 14.

Pistorius is an exceptional athlete who overcame extreme disability and competed with able bodied counterparts in the London Olympics in 2012.For his achievements he had had the honour of being hosted by Nelson Mandela (Madiba).His triumph over adversity was acknowledged globally and in distant India too an Amul ad commemorated his historical participation in the London Olympics.

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Then came the fall.And it was hard and devastating.

Moving on to some bizarre and fascinating facts that i came across while researching on the subject.

Police Investigators were like rampaging pachyderms at the crime scene.One of the “tuskers” even made off with a luxury watch belonging to Pistorius (probably hung around the trunk)! Shockingly enough, the watch was never found!

Fearing a repeat, the chief investigator then ordered removing the door of the lavatory cubicle (a key piece of evidence) to his office (???) as he felt that they “already had the experience of the missing watch, so we decided to take the door,” lest someone walked away with it as well!Who walks away with a blood splattered door???What good would it serve once removed from the crime scene?Interestingly the guy who ordered this,Van Rensberg, has since retired and become a sports coach (??!!!???) in a school.

Chew this now – .Photographs of the crime scene- a 4 m x 4m washroom- were taken by two Police photographers simultaneously.And they had different representations (!!) and the photographers do not even remember seeing each other!!! X Men for sure.!!!!!

Lastly, when tested in court for observation skills they could not spot the difference between two sets of their own Police tape.These dim wit cops have earned the right to be show cased in any future remake of Peter Seller’s “Pink Panther”  movies.

With Policemen of this calibre the prosecution still managed a conviction is a miracle indeed.

Judge Masipa seems to be straight out of comedy nights with Kapil.She believed a sobbing Pistorius when he said he did not think he would kill when he fired! Not her fault- after all when someone fires on a suspected intruder he does it thinking that that the weapon will “shoot” lollipops and not kill anyone!!! For this singular act of stupidity Masipa be rechristened as “Maha – Siyappa” (Grand Fiasco)!

The defence lawyer has done a good job but it could have been better.I am trying to get him to exchange notes with the defence team of a certain Lalu Prasad Yadav – accused of depriving the bovine specie of fodder (no he didnt consume it but simply duplicated receipts)- which managed to delay the verdict for 16 years and in the intervening years convinced prime witnesses and approvers to depart for their heavenly abodes!

Pistorius also lacked in his team a Shayan Munshi type “hostile witness”.Munshi has however coached Lalu’s victims – the cows- and they are soon arriving in South Africa ,as star “hostile witnesses”,in aid of the beleaguered defence team!

Coming to the Amul Ad Strip.It depicts a contrite and remorseful Pistorius receiving the verdict from Masipa.The detailing is excellent as the black suit and Oscar’s body language during the trial has been amazingly captured.The Amul Girl is there ,in all proability,as the defence lawyer.Judge Masipa is depicted in her red gown.

 The Tag line Mysterious Pistorius Verdictis a take on the verdict finding him Not Guilty of murder in the face of compelling evidence as well as seemingly erroneous logic of the Judge.The verdict was much awaited and its anti climatic announcement has been depicted very well indeed.

The Punch lineThe Final Word..is a well crafted aside on the disputed finality of the verdict and endorses the status of the Amul butter and brand as the final word when it comes to dairy products.

The truth of the fateful night is only known to Pistorius. And I am left shaking my head at the sad transformation of the “Blade Runner” in to a “Blade Gunner”.

This fracas had an unintended victim-Nike.The sports gear provider was forced to rethink on its “Just do it” slogan’.Why?Because three of its brand ambassadors -Tiger Woods,Lance Armstrong and Pistorius have stretched it a little too far- “Just do it…to hell with the consequences!” .

And a suggestion for all couples likely to argue- put a signboard outside your washrooms-“Using Toilet-Don’t Shoot” !!!

R.I.P Reeva Steenkamp (19 August 1983 – 14 February 2013).

21 October 14; Oscar Pistorius has been sentenced to 5 years in prison for culpable homicide and to 3 years for negligent discharge of a fire arm.The latter stands suspended.

The prosecution is undecided on an appeal.

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PAPA KEHTE HAIN PAPPU BADA NAAM KAREGA !

Once Rahul Gandhi had been seen as the future of a youthful India & his 129 year old Indian National Congress (INC) Party.Soon,he led his party to disaster at the hustings and mutated from the biggest hope to the biggest dope -aka Pappu! To compound issues, he was found sleeping through (oh so blissfully) a heated debate being led by his Party men on the Railway Budget to corner the Narendra Modi led NDA government.

Wwy would Rahul Gandhi ,the designated “Gladiator” of the Congress Party ,doze off in parliament & expose himself to the daggers & sarcastic barbs of his rivals?How could be he so dumb?Did it happen?

The answer to all of this is a big & hilarious – YES!..and it happened while he was sitting right behind the party colleague making an impassioned case against the government! Rahul probably emulated a certain Arvind Kejriwal, that it pays to be in the news,somehow, for good or bad reasons.So he conjured a controversy! This is sacrifice in the best Indian traditions.He sacrificed himself for the Party as otherwise who would notice the 44 seat rump of the INC in a humongous 544 seat Indian Parliament. Mommy Sonia Gandhi, of Italian ascent, had sacrificed the Prime Ministership in return for a zero accountability position as the Puppeteer in the UPA dispensation headed by a mute puppet named Manmohan Singh!!!

Rahul Gandhi probably slept to escape the misery of his actual life.In his dreams “impossible is nothing”.

He dreamt that his mother had finally allowed him to chase his ambition..of being a gardener in the Parliament lawns…in a dhoti & gamcha and his Venezuelan girlfriend bringing him a spartan meal of chapatis & onion (what else would a gardner eat after the UPA government’s legacy of price rise!). He also found the secret of dealing with his nightmare Arnab Goswami, hidden in jack fruit ! In his dream, uncle Manmohan had a tongue & it was recovered from the deepest vaults of the kingdom of Psycho-fancia, ruled by an evil Queen (any guesses?). Furthermore, uncle Digvijay Singh is seen having a zip lock on his mouth which is configured to open in 9999 AD.

But in his dream he still had his bad moments.He dreamt that he was plucked from his gardening pursuits by a Robert Vadra when the latter bought the garden to develop a Pub!

Where’s sister Priyanka Gandhi?She was still campaigning in Rae Bareilly & Amethi & exhorting the people to vote out (!) her brother & mother!

How did things come to such a pass for the Gandhi scion that from “Shehzada (Crown Prince)” he transformed into “Pappu” – a disrespectful sobriquet used to describe a juvenile & incompetent nincompoop! Even the Amul ad line had earleir captured the euphoria surrounding his elevation to the post of INC Vice President and the possibility of being named as his Party’s Prime Ministerial candidate.

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Rahul turned out to be a “dud” largely on the back of his bizarre actions.In an effort to connect with the people & their distaste for a controversial government ordnance, Rahul tore the document in a press conference which had been promulgated by his lParty’s PM nominee.This immature behaviour was compounded by his inability to articulate a coherent response to his Party’s defeat in the Delhi Assembly and stressed by his confused choice of words.He gradually lost ground when he refused to take on the BJP & NDA Prime Ministerial candidate,Narendra Modi, in the build up to the elections.As the campaign progressed in comparison to a stuttering Rahul, Modi emerged better prepared,organised & focussed.

The final nail in the coffin was the interview with a famous & aggressive TV presenter,Arnab Goswammy,known for unsettling his guests.In the interview Rahul Gandhi failed to present any substantial views and vision for an emerging India.It was as if Rahul knew the questions to be asked…but it seems the interviewer changed the order & Rahul still answered in a prepared sequence! It was an unmitigated disaster and Rahul came out battered & bruised from the his first ever interview in 10 years.(Sometimes it is better to stay quiet and let the world think…we know the rest!!)Whereas Narendra Modi emerged stronger and aggressive from the same bed of burning coal in another interview with Goswamy.

These and many more incidents cemented the opinion in the country that Rahul Gandhi was just a famous name & possessed none of the abilities of his illustrious family members (Jawahar Lal Nehru,Indira Gandhi,Rajiv Gandhi). He was a political novice in the tumultuous cauldron of Indian Politics and brought nothing worthwhile to the table and was’nt coming up to the expectations of his family and party members

For his immaturity,juvenile behaviour & lack of initiation into politics in spite of 10 years in the arena he earned the sobriquet “Pappu” on the social media & his reputation was ripped & tattered mercilessly day in and day out in a net savvy India.

The featured Amul Strip is amazing to the last detail as it depictis Parliament benches and a sleeping Rahul Gandhi falling over to his right and in the spot light (denoting live TV coverage) while the Amul Girl attired in a combination symbolic of Indian politicians is making a sincere effort in a debate replete with a clutch of notes and has a bewildered and aghast expression while attempting to wake up the Party leader!!!

The Tag Line...Duty Sleep?… is a question asked (almost rebuking) and a catchy spin on the concept of sleep working towards enhancing the beauty and complexion of a person as also a pun intended on the fact that the Gandhi scion was sleeping in Parliament when he should be participating in debates and discharging his responsibilities & duties as a political leader.

The Punch Line is simplistic and simply exhorts Rahul Gandhi to wake up literally and figuratively as well as endorses the Amul Butter by exhorting the readers to wake up to its superior taste and quality and to adopt it as brand of choice.

As I sign out,Rahul Gandhi has done it again.While responding to a visual of Narendra Modi playing drums (dhol) during his Japan visit.Visiting a parliamentary constituency bereft of electricity and basic facilities he quipped to the media (as if alluding to a burning Rome & Nero) that while the backward constituency languishes, the Prime Minister is busy playing the “dhol”.It would have been a perfect sound byte by an opposition politician but for the small detail that the constituency in question was Amethi – represented by Rahul himself since 2004 (!!!!Time to wake up Pappu!!!)and which has been represented by his father and uncle since the 1980s!So how is Modi guilty?????

While this goes to print it is reliably learnt that Congressmen have secretly requisitioned the services of Leonardo di Caprio to carry out Inception in the dreamy and drowsy head of “Pappu” – to convince him to take a solo voyage to the Bermuda Triangle!

But has anyone ever made it back from the Bermuda Triangle??????  

 

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FIFA WORLD CUP 2014:GERMANY AND THE 31 DWARFS !

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Germany won the FIFA World Cup 2014 in a masterclass display of control, temperament,strategy and above all TEAMWORK! The Amul ad forming the basis of this post commemorates a famous German win ,which will be remembered for clockwork precision and flawless execution of the plans right up to the last minute of the 120 minute Championship Match!!!

Estadio Maracana, Rio de Janerio, 13th of July 2014.

The referee had just blown the final whistle of the Championship Match of the FIFA World Cup 2014  and celebrations which had been triggered in the 113th minute had now reached a crescendo which reverberated across the globe.

Mario Goetze , the man responsible for the unbridled celebrations, had been introduced as a substitue for the irrepressible Miroslav Klose in the 88th minute of the game.Within 25 minutes he had broken the deadlock between the two teams decisively.He had scored of his left foot,an audacious volley preceded by a wonderfully controlled ball on the chest which happened to find Goetze because Schuerrle conjured up a precise pass out of nowhere!

Schurlle  's magical pass to Goetze
Schuerrle’s magical pass to Goetze
Goetze gets 'the GOAL"!!!
Goetze gets ‘the GOAL”!!!

Germany had beaten Argentina in the finals of the World Cup by the slimmest of the margins;1- 0! But then in football its the number of goals that count; and mostly a single one suffices.And suffice it did!

It was a momentous occasion for more than one reason.History had been scripted against the will of Lionel Messi,arguably the best player of his generation.Fate and ability had combined to anoint the first ever European nation as Champion at a FIFA World Cup in South America.And this win was also the first ever for ‘Unified’ Germany(The previous three WorldChampionships had been won by West Germany)!

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This German team had come together after the first round debacle in the 2004 European Championships when the federation decided to invest in youth.After ten years of labour and some near misses the Germans had finally arrived.They were easily ‘the Best Team’ at the FIFA 2014 World Cup.As it has been said that Brazil had Neymar,Argentina had Messi but Germany had a team! Many feel that the Golden Ball award should have gone to a German rather than the losing finalist, Lionel Messi. But in a perverse sense it could be successfully argued that its a tribute to the team effort of the Germans that none won the Golden Ball .But their goal keeper Neur won the Golden Glove for keeping the German bastion invictus and contributing to the overall aim of the Team.

Germans atop Mt Glory!
Germans atop Mt Glory!

For their effort the Germans got the 38 cm long 24 carat gold trophy named after Jules Rimet.

The highest peak in world football had been scaled.In their pursuit of the ultimate football glory,the Germans easily dwarfed the remaining 31 contenders (or pretenders) masquerading as opposition at the FIFA 2014 World Cup.

Argentina , the losing finalists, played a good match. Raul Gonsalez,former Spain skipper says “(you) dont deserve to win if you miss chances”.Argentina missed three and Germany converted one. Difference between a lifetime of either haunting or pleasing memories.You are spot on Messi when you say “nothing can console me”.And as yet for Argentina there remains only one Diego Maradona or El Diego who could get them. The World Cup single handedly!

Well its not  all “Hail Germany” that i am going to talk about.There are some of these dwarfs who need to be spoken of too..though briefly :)

The Brazilians showcased their unique team work too.Thiago Silva & David Luiz proved they were true buddies in the the third place play off match against Netherlands when they had displayed their own unique brand of team work..

Buddies & Buffaloes!
Buddies & Buffaloes!

Silva had not been part of the mauling at Salvador.Within three minutes in the match he expressed solidarity with his team by handing a penalty to the Dutch in one of the most oafish infringement (of Arjen Robben) at the World Cup.And good buddy and Head Buffalo,David Luiz, (see Brazil!O Brazil! Its still a beautiful game!) took his Captains worries and embarassment by giving the best possible back pass to the Dutch to score (they did too)! Teamwork,right?Unique….absolutely right!!!

Neymar couldnt stay out of the news himself.

Neymar Jr crying at presser
Neymar Jr crying at presser

He snivelled at pressers and worked up emotional frenzy while making childish assertions of supporting arch rivals Argentina to avenge the loss to Germany (???).During his medical break he went on to bleech himself three shades closer to being some colour other than black (read up on the net about his penchant for whitening his skin) and In the process he ended up bleeching his underwear too and obscured the brand tags of his sponsors.This was much to the delight of the rival sponsor company.. Neymar’s underwear sponsors never got to know of this “breach in contract” as Neymar is not supposed to bend over and show the label after his back injury.Our very own Arvind Kejriwal will probably sniff a Colombian drug cartel conspiracy as the genesis of back injury to Neymar with the cartel colluding with the rival underwear to render Neymar incapable of endorsing the rival brand!.

An underwear to remember!!!
An underwear to remember!!!

So did Brazil lose because of underwear? (! )Wouldn’t it have been better that Neymar didn’t wear any at all? Who knows maybe the FIFA 2014 would have had a different end !Did it really come down to underwear..well… Wonder what Garrincha,  Pele, Socrates and Zico have to say about this!!!

There were tremendous protests preceding the hosting of the “Carniball” in Brazil and too many slippages in schedule too.To add to the spice there was an illegal ticket sale scandal to.Reminds us of of our own Common Wealth Games in New Delhi in 2010 (CWG 2010).And then Sheila Dixit, the Chief Minister of Delhi NCR, had taken the fall for the fiasco and now it was the  turn of the Brazilian President , Dilma Rousseff and now her only hope, the Selecao, too had exited unceremoniously. Like Dixit, Dilma too is probably going to lose the elections later this year.So reportedly she got in touch with Sheila Dixit to take rehab tips.

Dilma Rosseff and her Cup of Woes
Dilma Rosseff and her Cup of Woes!

But Sheila wasn’t able to help as she herself is on the run and is being shunted around in India!. Damn you Neymar and damn your underwear! Why would anyone wear them for a football match especially since this means Dilma Rousseff gets to be in the wilderness (no not in the wilderness of an underwear but the political type)because Neymar couldn’t decide what to wear down under!

By the way when does India get to be at the World Cup with its present FIFA ranking of 157 out of189 nations??Probably when we have another Joao Havelange raising the number of teams that can participate in the World Cup to 128 from its present 32.Such is our pathetic state that when Prime Minister Narendra Modi travelled to Brazil he had to issue a public statement that he wasnt there to attend the World Cup Finals but the BRICS summit which was coinciding with the dying moments of the “Carniball”.

Increasing the number of participating teams may be lucky turn for the “Selecao” (Brazilian football team) as I have my doubts whether Brazil will figure in the 32 in 2018 at Russia,with buffaloes representing them instead of footballers!

Coming to the Amul ad.

It depicts the victorious German team celerating the famous win at the WorldCup.The figure holding the trophy aloft is doing it just like,Phillip Lahm,the German skipper did.The bearded man in the front row depicts Mario Goetze and the Amul Girl is lovingly on his shoulders as Goetze shouldered the hopes of the entire German nation during the finals.In the background are the outstretched hands of a goal keeper depicting the imposing figure of Manuel Neur as he has been captured in the photos of that magical night.

The Tag Line..Germania…is a take on the word Alemania used by the Germans to describe their unified nation and also a clever play on the German mania that gripped the World after the imposing performance of the German Team – the Die Mannschaft.

The Punch Line….Bonn To Win…is underscoring the fact that its unified Germany that has won the Wrld Cup and stresses that by bringing to fore Bonn – the capital city of unified Germany.It also conveys that both the German team ad the Amul products are born to win by cleverly playing on the phonetics of the words.

In the end when all the dwarfs have disappeared what stays in memory is the planning excellence of Joachim Loew , the amazing performances by Thomas Mueller & Miroslav Klose as strikers,Bastian Schweinsteiger & Phillip Lahm as medios, Manuel Neur as the unscalable wall and the amazing chemistry between the likes of Sami Kheidira ,Christoph Kramer & Mesut Ozil while blending youth with experience.And above all the beautiful world beating tango by Andreas Schuerrle & Mario Goetze!!!

Germania indeed!!!

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BUDGET 2014; OF ELEPHANTS,LAPTOPS & BACK ACHES

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The maiden annual budget by the newly elected Narendra Modi led National Democratic Alliance dispensation was an obvious choice for the Amul ad.Partly for the significance of the event and partly for the balancing act the Finance Minister (FM) was required to do (as depicted in the caricature above).In the process there were some nuggets of humour embedded for us- Aam Admi -the common people!

The Union Budget for 2014-15 was due two days after the shocker of a semi final –Brazil vs Germany-  at the FIFA 2014 World Cup.Similar expectations were there from the Union Budget being presented by the FM, Arun Jaitely.Not so much for the bitter pill that was promised by the Prime Minister (PM) but for the fact that the previous government of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) had been comatose for so long that nothing other than a jump start can revive the Indian economy.  

But what was going to be in it for me and the common masses?All that I was interested in knowing was how much was the tax slab reduced by and what became expensive and what got cheaper.Somehow by whatever amount the tax gets reduced I have never felt the extra wad of notes in my wallet? Have you?And when cigarettes become expensive and matches become cheaper – well that’s what has happened – I am inclined to think that the black humour iinstincts of the FM are now firmly out in the open – at our expense!!!

You know how the economy functions? I dont either except for the very obvious And thats how it is for most of our politicians.The criticism & the accolades ,by political figures, for the budget are on party lines & not based on an objective assessment & turn out to be an exercise in hilarity. Without going into the merits and demerits of the budget i would like to take on what probaby went on through the minds of the regular opposition.Though most of it is a work of fiction yet the theme is based on the reactions of these leaders to the Budget Proposals of the Narendra Modi government.

Starting with the Indian National Congress (INC/ Cong (I)).

rahul

They have been asleep for a long time, overtaken by a thought paralysis (why else would they project Rahul Gandhi as their choice for PM!!!).They never understood the budget process when in power so the prospects dimmed further, now that they are all but wiped out at the hustings.After the hiding in the General Elections 2014 ,Congressmen have been hoping that the next five years would be like a dream and they would want to continue with their slumber.However, sleeping pills haven’t formed part of the free medicine package being unveiled by the Government and will get more expensive.Now the worst nightmare of  the Congressman will come true – Rahul Gandhi will stay awake and make sure that the INC doesn’t remain a force to reckon with within its own office premises let alone anywhere outside its confies!!!Hence its a bad budget for the INC and they have stated as much.Some of the Congressman have come under the scrutiny of their High Command for pitching for a waste management plant in the Congress Head Quarters!Any guesses why???

Other than the Cong (I) a certain Mr Arvind Kejriwal was expecting a few concessions of his own as well.

kejri

He was expecting that the Government would cap lawyer fees and make them affordable for him to hire for his numerous litigations.That didn’t happen.He was also expecting property rentals to come down so he could rent one now that he is out of the Government alloted residence.That didnt happen either.He was expecting victims of ink splattering , shoe throwing and slapping to be elligible for added tax exemptions.That too didnt happen.By the way, secretly Mr Kejriwal had pitched for an income tax waiver for the top 10 individuals who can make the most vacuous claims and get away with it.He of course bags the first five ranks amongst the ten!!!Overall a poor budget for Kejri dear.

Coming to a very lonely and unusually quiet certain Ms Mayawati.

elephant

In the run up to the Union Budget she had canvassed for a hefty allocation of funds for the conservation of wild life!!!Wait a sec…why his turn around in Ms Mayawati’s portfoilo especially as she authored the infamous Taj Corridor Plan which would have ruined the ecology of the area.It’s likely because the Elephant (the BSP’s electoral symbol) is nearly extinct in the political jungle of Uttar Pradesh! Reports also came in of an elephant being held illegaly at Mayawati’s residence. BJP MP, Maneka Gandhi wasnt too amused about this and ordered confiscation of the tusker. When the inspectors reached Mayawati’s residence they realised that she had none and was now herself wearing a costume to look like one!!!!The extent that people can go to for their political fortunes!!!

Spare a thought for the senior members of the BSP forming the hind legs of the dummy elephant.Wonder if they are expected to produce elephant shit too..same colour,volume and stink as well!!! So a bad budget for her too and a horrific one for her party colleagues.

Akhilesh Yadav of UP is not amused with the budget as well.

sakhilesh

This inspite of heavy allocation by the NDA government in his pet projects such as the Metro Rail & Ganga Action Plan.Though Akhilesh too has been decimated in the General Elections 2014 he is not pitching for a special cycle factory to revive his political fortunes.He had expected massive financial concessions and grants as well for states having inefficient Chief Ministers (CM), lawlessness and Jail Ministers themselves being claimants of life imprisonent! This didnt happen as other states too would have immediately replaced their CMs with inefficient ones and rushed to meet the criterion as well.( Infact the INC was supporting Akhilesh’s demand as in Haryana they already had met the first two conditions).When Yadav saw none of his demands being met, he made a call to the FM,Arun Jaitely to atleast grant him enough funds to buy a lap top so he could play his favourite games since there wasnt anything much he could do while in office!!! I believe even this was turned down.Bad budget indeed.

Similarly other political outfits too have spoken against the budget provisions and if their contentions are anywhere near the ones listed above then we might as well skip them.The Left Parties and the likes of Sita Ram Yechury are in agreement with me as what they had to say they themselves couldnt bear to hear!!!Jayalalitha has come out in support of the Budget as ,though not known to many,there were embedded provisions for research & development of a machine which turns your political adversaries into whatever you want them to turn into (Alagiri into an Ostrich and Stalin into a raven- and Karunanidhi..well thats classifed!!!). 

Coming to the Amul Ad.

It depicts a very portly individual seated on a desk (typically seen in government offices with green velvet cloth stuck on them).The gentleman is balding and is wearing a kurta-pyjama along with a sleevless jacket.He has a briefcase on to his left and is poring over some documents.The brief case is synonymous with FMs as when they enter the Parliament House on budget day they show the brief case to the waiting media as it ios supposed to have the future of the country locked in it.The portly man depicts India’s FM,Arun Jaitely and the Amul Girl is shown depicting a bureaucrat getting some documents signed.The scene is typical of budget days when FMs are shown leaving their offices and signing last minute documents.Its a scene that most of us can relate too.

The Tag Line…Budget utterly bujaitely delicious hoga?..is a spin on the Amul tag line of ‘Utterly Butterly Delicious’ used for years to describe the Amul Butter.The ‘Butterly’ has been replaced by ‘bujaitely’ to factor in the FM’s name.The tag line asks a simple question that will the budget live up to the pre budget expectations & be delicious enough for investors to bite into it??? (Luis Suarez, dont get interested please!!!)

The Punch Line..Bank on it !…pitches the credibility of the Amul product line against the budget and emphatically established the reliable credentials of the brand on which millions of Indians can bank for its quality products.

Not-with-standing-the above,the Union Budget 2014 has been a balanced budget with the Government laying equal focus on growth, fiscal discipline and reigning in inflation.The middle class being encouraged to save as well as spend more by enhancing returns on savings as well raising tax slabs.The manufacturing and infrastructure sectors have been given due concessions and certain policy measures have been put in place to reduce government and increase governance.There was much more that could have been accomplished but then this budget was saddled by the previously presented Interim Budget of the UPA and the state of the economy.

Well the FM was the first ever to take a break on account of a backache while delivering his speech!!!If preparing the budget broke his back then whats going to be the fate of he people carrying its burden?Hope its all just the fault of the speech writer of the FM & not associated with the provisions of the budget.

Some interesting trivia.This was the second longest speech by an FM while presenting the budget.It generated 119000 tweets in a single day, surpassing the 84000 on the day of the results for the General Elections 2014. The FM used the word ‘I’ once in 81 words, up from once in 55 times for his predecessor P Chidambaram (no wonder there wasnt much else in his specches).And the FM ended up allocating the same IIM to two states.To Maharashtra in the English version of the Speech and to Rajasthan in the Hindi version.Smart thinking for sure! Kill two birds with one stone!And this was the first time that a FM finished his speech sitting!!!

Keeping in mind that there were suggestions galore after the Budget the FM should seriously consider allocating funds for a National Institue for Suggestions, where flights of fancy could be turned into reality such as turning Rajnikant into an un-sinkable air craft carrier!

By the way the FM treated himself to a Chicken Curry and Roti lunch after the Budget speech.Well, Mr Jaitely not the right kind of dietary discipline for your health condition (bad back).Hope you are more disciplined when it comes to the finances of the nation!!!And next time don’t forget to provide concessions to the spinal pain relief industry so you can complete the speech standing!!!!

As a young boy I was fortunate to have my father tell me about the history of the world and about the events as they unfolded.This was based on what I would glean out of conversations,news papers and the dear ol' 9pm news on Doordarshan. Today I have a Son, Ayenesh,And I too want to be able to tell him about his queries especially about the times he grew up in. And my endeavour is being aided by the 'Amul Ad Campaign'. The topical issues covered in those innocuous cartoons are precious nuggets of history being created,while I am living through those events today! So,Ayenesh,this is for you my son.I don't want you to miss out on the events while you were busy growing up.I shall narrate to you what the ad portrays as and when it is featured. I have compiled my musings on the ads from 2012 onwards and here I intend to record my observations for the ones being featured now as well as attempt to hive the ones already reflected upon by way of careful jottings on the subject.Eventually when you grow up, you will have this Blog to fall back upon for your own private treasure trove of history, the basis for which would be the ads of a company which has butter as it's marquee product ! Wish you a wonderful life ahead and happy reading too. The views stated in the posts are my own and are based on the various articles posted on the internet and in no way represent the views or official line of the ad company or the Amul product line.

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