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A SLIVER OF PEACE, SOME SMILES & A FEW CHUNKS OF CONTROVERSY !

Amidst a recent conflagration at the Line of Control (LOC) between India & Pakistan, Kailash Satyarthi (India) & Malala Yusufzai (Pakistan) were declared the joint recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize for 2014.Coincidence?Agenda Based? There’s enough intrigue associated with the Nobel Prize & surprisingly & there’s enough to make us smile too!

In 2012, Malala was shot in the head for championing the cause of education for girls & for defying the Taliban in Pakistan’s restive Swat region. She miraculously recovered in a hospital in Birmingham. Embodying strength & belief she went back to school & once again fearlessly stood up for her espoused cause.She has since addressed the UN, met Barak Obama & gained access to those who can make a difference. The Peace Prize was awarded to her in recognition of her work & the indomitable spirit of the 17 year old.

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An erstwhile electrical engineer, Kailash Satyarthi was chosen for the award for his work in securing child rights & fight against child labour. He has rehabilitated thousands through his NGO,Bachpan Bachao Andolan (Save the Childhood Movement) & has received numerous awards from various countries. Interestingly,for the Peace Prize he was nominated by the European Parliament & is yet to receive any official recognition for his work by the Government of India.Instead it has been reported that he is a “persona non grata” for some sections of the Indian officialdom-  as his stance supposedly hurts Indian industry.Narendra Modi has felicitated him after the announcement of the Peace Prize.

Controversially,incidents relating to children being tutored to falsely speak about their alleged bondage have been cited to disprove the Mr Satyarthi’s credentials as a genuine choice for the Peace Prize & the the Nobel Committee has been accused of bias & favouring NGOs affiliated to western countries.

Even the Nobel Committee’s statement that “It is an important point for a Hindu and a Muslim, an Indian and a Pakistani, to join in a common struggle for education and against extremism,” was criticised for hyphenating two unrelated issues & painting it in a religious hue. This was seen as “Christian Missionary Mischief” by Madhu Kishwar (as reported in the Global Post).

The timing of the announcement itself was interesting as it coincided with heightened confrontations between India & Pakistan.

Even earlier,the Nobel Peace Prize has occasionally raked up controversies. Henry Kissinger’s selection for his role in bringing an end to the Vietnam conflict was roundly criticised & his credentials as a war monger forced some Noble Committee members to resign.Then in 1994 Yasser Arafat shared the honours along with Israel’s Shimon Peres & Yitzhak Rabin & it was denounced globally for his terrorist credentials.

Mahatma Gandhi was nominated thrice for the Peace Prize but never received it. Quoting Wikipedia Gandhi could do without the Nobel Peace prize. Whether Nobel committee can do without Gandhi is the question?”. And this cannot be undone as posthumous nominations are not made.

Another controversial rule stipulate that a Nobel Prize can only be shared by three individuals; sometimes only three in a team have been chosen thus raising heckles all around.

I need a comic relief now.

Did you know there are “Ig Nobel” awards as well to “honor achievements that first make people laugh, and then make them think.”(Improbable Research).Some of the top winners are covered here on.All of these have later proven to have significant scientific utility beyond the obvious.

2000- The British Royal Navy “for ordering its sailors to stop using live cannon shells, and to instead just shout “Bang!” (After the government drastically cut military budgets.)

2003- W. Moeliker’s 2003 inquiry into the existence of homosexual necrophiliac ducks.

2007- USAF researchers at Wright Laboratory in Dayton, were working on : the “gay bomb.” ! To compel enemy soldiers to make mad, passionate love to each other instead of fighting a battle .(USAF reps did not attend the award ceremony & mercifully did not bomb the venue with the deadly aphrodisiac!!!).

2008 – study determining that lap dancers ear­n higher tips while ovulation.

2009-for inventing “a brassiere that is converted into a pair of protective face masks”!

Coming to the Amul Ad strip.It depicts the two joint winners of the Nobel Peace Prize, seated side by side with the Amul girl holding the medals.The caricatures are seen in the attire associated with Mr Satyarthi & Ms Malala.The rostrum, the arch way & the “peace” dove with the olive branch rounds up the ad in a subtle manner.

The Tag Line..Satyartea aur Maskala …is a take on the names of the two winners & otherwise alluding to having a toast with Amul butter as a tea time snack.

The Punch Line…Noble Piece Prize..is a spin on the award conferred on Mr Satyarthi & Ms Malala as well as endorsing the Amul butter as the claimant for the noblest piece amongst all butter brands.

Malala’s struggles have been celebrated previously in an Amul ad in October 2013 while also marking the occasion of the release of her autobiography “I am Malala”.

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The Nobel Prize signifies the highest honour that can be bestowed on an individual in the designated fields.Since there are so many claimants for the honours, the Nobel Committee does have an onerous task in remaining totally objective.And its creditable that it has remained above board mostly.To say that the Nobel is spiked with vested interest is to denigrate the legacy of the extraordinary men already feted by its awards.Also it is undeniable that at times the Peace Prize has been awarded or not awarded out of overbearing political interests.

The bottom line is that the legacy of these awards is ever enduring & most importantly it brings the spotlight on issues which merit attention & spurs others to follow & make efforts to make this a better & more knowledgeable place for us all.For us Indians however ,its a matter of pride that beginning with Rabindra Nath Tagore , eight other Indians (including Mother Teresa) have been honoured by the Nobel Committee & cover all categories of the Nobel!

In the end-I wonder if the following will find a place in the list of “Ig Noble” awards

Effect of knuckle cracking on the mental balance of Pervez Musharraf (for his recent ballyhoo on India-Pakistan dynamics).

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MAHACHAOS: EXIT CUPID;ENTER AFZAL KHAN !

To be allies for twenty five years in Politics is a ‘Nirmal Baba’ miracle of “kripa” proportions.So,“breaking up” is not only unthinkable but also spells certain doom. But in Maharashtra, its not doom ,but “Dhoom Macha Le” time as the four principal groups seem to be enjoying their new found status –“Single Again”!But only on the face of it, for there’s more to it than meets the eye!

The Indian National Congress (INC) – Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) combine had been thrashed in the general elections & Narendra Modi’s ascendancy had thrown up a tremendous opportunity for the BJP-Shiv Sena combine – to assume leadership in the upcoming State elections.

However in a classic example of putting the cart before the ox, the BJP-Shiv Sena combine hurtled towards a shocking & quarrelsome split! Elections were barely announced & the protagonists were already squabbling over installing their own Chief Minister!

Shiv Sena had mentored the BJP in the state & were a larger state party with a broader appeal & thus felt they had rights over not only the larger portion of the electoral cake but also the cherry on top of it. Whereas an ascendant BJP was unwilling to play second fiddle to its longtime ally & also staked claim to greater number of seats than before & also to the Chief Minister’s position. The recent by election results had not gone in favour of the BJP & this too had strengthened the Sena’s case.

Many rounds of tea, bhel puris & bondas & 25 years later the two partners, BJP & Shiv Sena decided to go it alone in the elections.

Certain of losing power in Maharashtra after a 15 year rule.Sharad Pawar, party chief, NCP, was desirous of ditching the sinking INC Titanic to save his outfit.For the INC – NCP grouping there best bet lay in imitating the actions of their rivals & the very first thing they did to follow in their rivals’ shoes was- to part ways – after a 15 year rule during which they presided over Maharashtra’s collective deterioration.

With no coalition in the fray the stage was set for an humdinger of a four cornered contest.And also for some bizarre storytelling..with some modicum of truth as well.

Its rumoured that to better his electoral prospects, Udhav Thackeray,the Shiv Sena Chief sought the blessings of Nirmal Baba.The God man has purportedly advised Udhav to act childish & immature if he wants “kripa” descending on his electoral ambitions. Udhav has since been steadfastly following the advise.

The BJP has been reveling in its single status & is riding high on the popularity of the Prime Minister.Such is their confidence, they have now demanded that the Democrats & the Republicans in the US get into a seat sharing arrangement with them in the upcoming US senate elections.

Raj Thackeray has been having a whale of a time.Maharashtra Nav Nirman Sena (MNS) is unlikely to win anything substantial & so he has a lot of time on hand. He has bought the full set of Amar Chitra Katha & Indrajal comics.He is sharing his joy & the plots of the comics with brother Udhav,just as they did in their childhood. And Udhav is then selecting the most bizarre ones & attributing them to the BJP, like it was the BJP that Shivaji fought against in the battle of Singhgarh! Also that BJP was on the side of the Mughals in the Battle of Haldi Ghati & that Afzal Khan, a turncoat Mughal chieftain from the 17th century was responsible for the BJP – Shiv Sena split.

The INC has been busy doing nothing to further its prospects. To rid themselves of the agony of campaigning & losing, Congress leaders have requested Rahul Gandhi (aka-Pappu) to campaign for them. The “Shehzada” obliged & in his first speech forgot the name of the candidates he was endorsing. The audience have not come to know of the candidate thus sealing an emphatic defeat at the hustings!

The NCP for its part is working so discreetly that even its supporters don’t know whether the party is in the fray or not! They are waiting for Ajit Pawar to utter some “utter non sense” so finally the party can have some hope of gaining visibility.!

The Amul Ad strip has been well timed & conceptualized.It shows two gransdiose looking chairs depicting the chair of the Chief Minister which is being vied for by the political parties.On to the right of the Amul Girls are erstwhile allies Prithvi Raj Chauhan & Ajit Pawar (INC-NCP) & onto her left are Narendra Modi & Udhav Thackeray (BJP-Shiv Sena).Each of the individual is carrying their respective electoral symbol as well.

The Tag Line….Can’t share seats?Share eats…is taking a swipe at the inability of the political groupings to arrive at a satisfactory seat sharing arrangement. It exhorts the readers to “share eats”, an obvious reference to Amul butter & the numerous dishes this butter supports!

The Punch Line…Allied with Bread..is a take on the fickle mindedness of the political parties to not be allied to their long standing allies. It also streses upon the loyalty aspect of the butter to the bread & hints at the fact that its consumed best with bread!

These elections are a watershed event in Maharashtra & for the nation. If the BJP forms the government then Modi shall be firmly seated in power. For the Shiv Sena too these are a make or break elections as a defeat will marginalize it further in the state politics. As for the NCP , it can hope to retain some strongholds & luckily is not seen allied to the INC, who in these elections are going to be DECImated!!!

None of the rivals have ruled out coming together after the elections.So..i guess…Picture abhi baki hai mere dost!!!I predict an outright BJP victory.What say?

19 October 14; the results are out & the BJP is the single largest party with 124 seats but short of the 145 majority mark.The gamble has paid for them but the intrigue & suspense persists.

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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 (in self defence).

The defence has tried its best to make a fight out of a hopeless situation.They dressed up Oscar in a black suit and tie with a white shirt with a clean shaven visage – demonstrating his 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.

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Pistorius was also presented as having generalised anxiety disorder, which combined with his physical vulnerability – could have affected his actions on the fateful night and was not fully capable of realising the wrongfulness of his actions. 

Prosecution lawyer Gerrie Nel is seeking a sentence 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 taffic light after an argument with a cop – lends weight to the charges.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.She found him guilty for Culpable Homicide.Pistorius had already been tried by the media and assumed guilty of murder fit and 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.The prosecution is almost certain to appeal after the sentencing on 12 October 14.

Prior to the trial, Pistorius was 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.

But humour exists in the most improbable places and the bungling South African Police, Judge Masipa and the defence team have saved the day for me.

Police Investigators were like rampaging pachyderms at the crime scene.One of the “tuskers” 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 “We 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 othe!!! 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 supposedly remorseful Pistorius receiving the verdict from Masipa.The detailing is excellent as the black suit and Oscar’s body language during the trial have been amazingly captured.The Amul Girl is there ,in all proability,as the defence lawyer.Judge Masipa is depicted well 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 ambassdors -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).

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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- did mommy Sonia Gandhi approve?) a heated debate being led by his Partymen 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 & sarcarstic barbs of his rivals??How could be he so dumb???Is he for real???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 and got noticed!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 jackfruit!In his dream, uncle Manmohan had a tongue & it was recovered from the deepest vaults of the kingdom of Pscho-fancia, ruled by an evil Queen (any guesses?).Furthermore, uncle Digvijay Singh is seen having a ziplock 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??????  

 

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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