NaMo’s NaSha. And their NaNa. Na… Na…, that is.

After all the frenzy of India elections, the dust will finally settle in a couple of days – on Wednesday 28 May 2014, when NaMo will have taken charge of the PMO, after bidding goodbye to NaSha, after they have shook hands to a new dawn in the region – NaNa.

The buildup for NaSha’s visit matched that of NaMo’s taking the PMO and the runup for that, that began over a year ago. Which itself had all the ingredients of a standard Bollywood masala, RaGa’s elevation as V-P, NaMo’s naming of campaign head and, thus, PM-designate, Advani’s grouse, et al. And this one also matched the earlier franchise (a la Dhoom1, 2, 3, . . .) in chaos, frenzy and wit.

The biggest contributor to all that is the media – specially the electronic media. It looked like that these channels had nothing else to report other than NaSha’s impending decision. It actually drowned a similar frenzy from Tamil Nadu, what with all opposing the invite to the Sri Lankan Prez, and his visit for the event.

What is wonderful is that NaMo’s, and the party’s, saintly silence to all this media mêlée. And rightly so. It should be like that. Macro scenario has to be seen, and given importance to, first, than the micro issues. Specially at this juncture. There will be time and personnel to address all the micro issues of the country and will be duly considered to be taken care of. Having a cordial relationship with neighbours and setting the ball to roll at this point in time speaks volumes of the thought to invite the leaders.

No wonder if the same media sets the agenda for the NaNa bilateral talks. Perhaps, it has only masked the circus that might be going on to wrest plum portfolios by the partymen. And partywoman.

AAP’s story is long written. Gopinath’s exit was expected. Rather not shocking. But Ilmi’s? She seemed to belong there with the Kejriwals, Sisodias, Bhartis, etc. She didn’t seem to be like Medhas, Yogendras, Ashutoshs, who will all come out soon. When is Delhi again going for the polls? And supporters like Balas need not even toil to send in a resignation – they’re wiped out already. Both from AAP and public memory (Bala. Bangalore Central’s AAP candidate in the latest LS polls. He was in Infy. Remember?).

The drama continued with the Gandhis offering to resign, and the partymen rejecting the offer. Why? Ma’am G was also elected CPP head!

It was disgusting to see Abhishek Sighvi and Manish Tiwari continue appearing as spokesmen, when their party’s washout was thought to have flushed them out from TV screens. They’re hoped to start work on rebuilding the party. Behind the scenes, that is.

Wonder what would be IPL’s TRP this year! It’d be worth learning of that, and the advertisers’ opinion on their investment.

The viewer is at the wit’s end, after all this.


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It’s the God thing, stupid . . .

What’s in a loss? Everything. Or nothing.

India’s at the WT20 2014 finals has given seriously inedible food for the thoughts of the cricket-crazy nation, leaving a bad taste of the memories of the 2003, and later in 2007, World Cup. Only, this time it was the lone crusader Yuvraj who had to bear the brunt of the irate fans.

Irate? But why stone his house?

Yuvraj has to learn from Dhoni – he collected all those stones, for memorabilia, pledging to outnumber them with mementoes, trophies, cups – and he succeeded. And he has bikes, for good measure. And he has Zoya, too.

It wasn’t a meek surrender, though. Only a little mind block. Read the newspapers reports of the India-Australia match of the same tournament. Or read “”. The nation is adept at eulogizing and booing the same person at a close interval.

Remember 2003? The team that took all those stones on itself with a saintly calm, waded its way to the dream final against Australia, only to lose by 125 runs – and no one complained. The tournament happened in, of all the places, in SA!

After a “dream” run, losing to Sri Lanka in a T20 final, was unacceptable. What a contrast!

Wonder what would have happened had it been against Pakistan!

Poor Hafeez had to resign, though he did not assign any reason for the WT20 2014 ouster, the reason is evident. No. It’s not for losing to India. It’s for losing the way.

Why can’t the fans, and administrators because of the fans, take victories and losses in equal measure? Why can’t a few leaves from Sammy’s book be borrowed to learn a few things of cricket? Of winning and losing? Of life?

After his team’s loss to SL in the same tournament, he had this to say: “I took it like ‘you know what, we have won a World Cup’. We are a praying team, we know God normally answers our prayers but today, I guess two gentlemen who have played for Sri Lanka, given a lot not only to Sri Lanka cricket but cricket on the whole, I guess the Almighty wants them to leave on a high, so I guess they have one more game to try and win a World Cup and leave on a high. Probably that’s the reason why God put a hand in this match. I am sure I will have another shot at playing the T20 World Cup and we are looking forward to winning it again in the near future.”. What an acknowledgement. Acknowledgement of dream. Of humility. Of better opponents. Of cricket being just a game. Of determination. And, of course, of God.

By the way, Zoya is the dog MSD brought home from Bangalore. Ha . . .

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What a champion . . . ! ! !

In the far land of the USA, a young boy of India-origin made us proud – winning a marathon spelling competition. The 13-year old lad out -spelt his 11-year old American competitor to win the championship. It was reported that the runner-up girl was the first to applaud her competitor’s victory, after revisiting the penultimate round that confirmed her misspelling.

Kush Sharma did his tribe proud, but for the new-age generation, Sophia Hoffman’s gesture should lead it to feel victorious even in loss, and her applause to Sharma should get her more fans. She should be feeling like a champion. What a competitor!

When an eleven-year old has such maturity, should there be no soberer exhibition of emotions in other aspects of life? Like the arrogant pumping of the fist accompanied by expletive-laden display on hitting a century during a cricket match? It may be recalled that the great yester-year pacer Kapil Dev once commented why there was no such kind of display during his playing days – he says the current crop is so overwhelmed by the situation that such exhibition of emotion is actually because of the surprise for having achieved a feat – a wicket or a century. Seems so true.

The lesson is for everyone in the public domain – the corporate honchos, the politicians and bureaucrats, the teachers in schools and colleges, the celebrities, etc.

But it is not any game that is going on here in India – it is a war that is being fought. And it is the Indian electorate that has to learn lessons – it is given option of choosing from among the crooks by all the parties – take coal, CWG, riots, mining, etc. Again. Just crooks. The bad, the worse and the worst. Elect. Learn now. There is going to be a new button – NOTA.

In the excerpts of the interview in a TV channel, it is pitying to see Nandan’s innocence or ignorance –certainly not arrogance – to repeatedly announce “I am going to win the election”, attributing it to his experience as an entrepreneur, co-founder of Infosys, having worked with NRN, Aadhaar initiative, authoring a book, etc. Assuming his vision and ideas are from the bottom of his heart, and he wins, will he be able to bring them to reality amidst all the crooks that are there in his party? How much of MPLAD fund can he utilize to realize the promises? He may ultimately be seen as a square peg in a round hole.

By the way, can someone oppose a person contesting from more than one constituency? And also a sitting MLA contesting the Lok Sabha elections, and a sitting MP contesting Assembly elections? Also, how come one can contest from two, or more, constituencies? Does he or she not have to be enlisted in the electoral rolls in the said constituencies? And one cannot be enlisted in more than one constituency . . .

It is worth advocating sports professionals, and not politicians, manage sports bodies for better administration; what is one to say of sports professionals joining political parties? And film celebrities? Of course, there have been instances like NTR, MGR, Jayaprada, Sidhu, etc. None in administrative roles, though. But Bhutia, Mahesh Manjrekar? Chak De, India . . .

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On fish’s trail

Social media has traversed in a decade what mankind has in an age – its reach and influence on users is undoubted, but the value it commands in the marketplace is seemingly unrealistic.

The stories like that of WhatsApp’s founder’s rejection by Facebook in the earlier years add spice to the episode, but the social media giant’s buying of the mobile chatter demonstrated despondency than shrewdness – rather more emotional and less analytical business step.

On the contrary, it displayed a more analytical business stride by the younger one to have baited its older peer.

With all the noise that the buyout made in the market, the half-billion users seem to have silently approved the deal that shows the power of networking. The profile of users matters, too, which Facebook must have pondered over.

The onset of spring brings nostalgic memories of academic and fiscal year-end – a truly “testing” time either way; recently IPL overlapping the mood, added by the impendent polls this year.

The polls have already brought the polls before the polls – on the trail of the fish – the big ones at that – tracking their progress to the finish line. Or progress to finish. Either way. The sullied vie with the clean, notwithstanding their past records. And like fish, these big fish don’t leave a trail of them, however smutty. The just-concluded Lok Sabha had the distinction of being the worst in business, besides being the usual corrupt.

Nilekani is splashing Bangalore all over – his promises are yet to come of splashing Bangalore all over, and splashing Bangalore with all the hues. Recently RaGa met with the street vendors – wonder how it would seem when these vendors occupy the street before our homes. Legally permitted, licensed vendors, leaving you with no option.

Aiyer may be ruing his tea-jibe – now Lalu’s followers are having tea, too, following the brigade selling Rahul milk and Priyanka khichdi, taunting Modi’s tea to be of foreign origin. How staler could it become? Where’s the comparison heading? Does it tally (sounds familiar?)? Modi’s rivals are awaiting seeing stars, for they can join them akin to dots to see the emerging picture.

One of the twitters who’s followed wrote – beer pe baatcheet to complement chai pe charcha.

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Jago Re, Jago Re, Jago Re, Jago . . .

Pity Gopi, Bala, et al, who made a beeline after AAP swept Delhi. Now they feel hit by the wrong side of the broom. Sisodia and Ashutosh wanted change – now they’re in the other side of the media camera. For now. Bedi has already distanced herself, but only if she could put brakes on her motormouth.

Corporate honchos, technocrats, bureaucrats, mediamen – misguided intellect?

One such motormouth now has foot in it – Vishwas – after tickling the religious and racist sentiments. Being in the company of Delhi’s newest rulers, he should’ve withheld his remarks about religion and the Kerala nurses – it will hurt his own party. He didn’t seem to be a threat to anyone, in the first place; now he has put himself under his rivals’ feet. Someone said he’s a poet, too.

But, who’s that that is suggesting things to AAP? Bharti’s raids, dharna, free water, subsidized electricity – all popularist, none practical. The party is not showing the way, but has been paving a way to its own grave. There was debate on TV what AK would do with Bharti – if he would be retained, sacked or asked to go on leave. The best is the third option – ask him to go on leave, paid leave at that, and suggest him to visit Uganda.

What do the so called “intellectual” aam aadmis think of holding the city hosting the Republic Day celebrations to ransom? If AK is not bothered about his security, he should think about others’. IM may be squirming about the lost opportunity of kidnapping him.

Poor Nirupam – he’s put himself in an awkward position – that to fast, a la Anna – to get subsidized electricity to Mumbai. AAP’s initiatives have become pain in the wrong place to other states like Maharashtra. And politicians like Nirupam, while thinking they just hit a masterstroke, are yet to realize where it’s paining while they sit on dharna.

Just heard – AAP’s online donations are dwindling.

Juhi was replaced by Parineeti. Now Shinde will replace Parineeti. With a twist, that is. Yeda hai. Par mer hai.

Duckworth and Lewis will be laughing at Indians’ plight at the end of the second ODI in NZ – for having lost the game despite scoring more than NZ! Cricket must be the only game with such weird rules.

Rafa and Fedex’s match in the neighbouring country should bring cheer to sports enthusiasts, only that it’s the semifinal.

What would’ve happened had the tournament been played in India when the mercury hovered around 45C?

The Jago Re, Jago Re, Jago Re, Jago ad for a tea brand must have a new ambassador – NaMo.

There’s a proposal to shift Tipu’s armoury in Karnataka to make way for railways’ line doubling – let historical monuments be preserved, what if it’s Tipu’s? History is history. With Kharge being the incumbent Railways Minister, BJP should fight for the cause, of preserving the monument, in history’s name – the fight would be genuine, and beneficial.

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What a Friday it is!

RaGa was all over the place. TV, that is. And #AICCMeet was evidence enough that the Congress has just phrased its epitaph, and RaGa’s able followers are scrambling to find a suitable stone.

It is notable that only his partymen have praised – gone overboard, rather – his speech – some pointing on the coverage, some the tone, some the style. For them, there was nothing amiss.

All wasn’t gas, though – they’ve just added three more cylinders to the quota!

But, for all his supposed re-ignition efforts for a rejuvenated approach for the 2014 LS polls, there were his own partymen pulling the rug from under his feet – Aiyar chiding NaMo with his, unrepentant-on-TV, chaiwala comment.

Well, Aiyar was thought to be one of those, very few, good men, intellectuals, to have been in the wrong party. His comments show either he has been corrupted because of the party he is in, or he is in the right party.

He doesn’t have to bother – he has company – Tiwari and Singhvi. He has to bother because he is not unique!

RaGa seems to have forgotten to send a few more partymen to dig the grave. Anyway, AICC’s Delhi office may be big enough to keep the tombstone.

Talking of RaGa, he pointed out that it’s not the party’s tradition to name the PM before the poll. But, shouldn’t someone tell him that democracy itself doesn’t exist in his own party?

Has the Rs.500 crore deal been signed? Wonder who wrote his speech! Did anyone notice if it was a pizza-wiped tissue paper he was reading from?

The difference is very apparent. And appalling! Kejriwal might have realized the importance of a solid family backup and background to run a state, even as small as Delhi. At least, a solid name. Surname, that is. Poor fellow had thought a lawyer makes for a good Law Minister. Remember Munna Bhai’s “health minister”?

And it didn’t start with Binny. Neither will it end with Delhi Police. The CM has taken his colleagues to the big home minister Shinde. He might be thinking of outsourcing the Delhi state’s administration to the Centre.

Can’t wait for tomorrow’s newspaper. Yeah – only newspapers give crispy news. Will Pranabda be feeling similarly?

The Aussies aren’t done yet – they’re all over the Poms, all over again. Looks like the cook isn’t feeding his mates well. There isn’t any place left in them to paint any more white. Go, grab a grub. Cricket will happen anyway.

Gulzar might be feeling lonely today. A storm may be brewing up there with Sanjiv, Suchitra, RD, Kishore readapting his story and rededicating the lyrics. Can’t there be Aandhi 2, 3, . . .?

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2014 Poll-IT merge for a new polity?

With Nilekani candidly disclosing his intentions to contest the Lok Sabha elections, following his former colleague at Infy Bala, who recently joined AAP, it looks like IT has put its arm over Indian polity’s shoulder. Looks “straight”? For that matter, there was Gopi landing in AAP’s lap recently. AAP looks lips lapping it all up.

Wonder why these “intelligent” politicians get it wrong! Congress’ bid to revamp and revive RaGa’s image, spending Rs.500 crore, is a confirmation, and its admission itself, of the leader’s waning charisma. Announcing it makes for immature beginning to the exercise! Or is it the brand managers’ smart moves that won them a jackpot? Rs.500 crore in 3-4 months! Or is it 3-4 months plus 5 years?

Congress isn’t stopping with that. It’s thinking of Priyanka now – isn’t it a wee bit late? There wasn’t any doubt about her appeal vis-à-vis RaGa’s – only, her appeal has to be backed up by the party with work worthy of showing.

With all that said, will the grandpas and uncles and aunts (one grandma has just announce retirement, and there aren’t many others) in the party let the kids wield the wand? Specially, with the mother in the sidelines due to more than one reason. Looks like this time the party will take a break. Rs.500 crore will go down the drain. Whose money is it, anyway?

Bedi has just shown her love towards BJP. Has she ever had a firm standing? Or was she leaning towards “right”? Wonder who’d follow! Patle wale daayen taraf. Mote wale baayen taraf. Fit waale mere peeche . . . Will an army follow? Former Army Chief?

By the way, how’s the sky coloured in Ralegaon Siddhi, now-a-days?

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