Dream

Posts Tagged ‘Media Watch

The whole world has gone insane. How else can you explain such vile remarks and attacks on my integrity from all and sundry? They don’t know they are targeting a saint like me. The developments over past few months have pained me a lot to say the least.

Once upon a time the critics called Mrs. Indira Gandhi “gungi gudiya” for her alleged inability to give rousing speeches while addressing public gatherings. I am aware of the whisper campaign currently underway that describes such an honorable man like me as “gunga guda” for my deep and contemplative silence.

After all, what is there to speak? Kapil ji, Chidambaram ji, and Digvijay ji are all the time speaking. Sometimes they bribe my peon to steal the print-outs of my speeches and  replace them with the blank A4 papers. Then they shamelessly learn these speeches by heart only to reproduce them verbatim in the TV studios much to the dismay of my spin doctors who so painfully write my speeches.

All these underhand techniques of my cabinet and party colleagues have forced me into such a remorseful silence that the whole world is heaping scorn on me. I know that my integrity is beyond reproach. The scams have been around even before my premiership. It is not that all the scams have taken place during my tenure contrary to the impression that has gained ground.

I have always made it clear that I have nothing to hide. That I am ready for any debate on the floor of parliament. That I am all for the impartial inquiry of my roles into various scams that have unfortunately tumbled out of closets during the UPA regime.

The opposition has been baying for my blood. My own cabinet colleagues are giving contradictory statements with a view to pushing me out of Madam’s good books. The social media too is trying its best to create social unrest. Whoever is making life difficult for me doesn’t know that I am the best PM the country has seen till date.

To bolster my claim, here are a few achievements. I have put the Tihar Jail on the global map. Various scams with mind numbing zeros have flourished under my premiership. All this has contributed towards many Indians becoming multimillionaires to adore the cover page of the Forbes magazine. The list is endless. I can go on and on.

The media is the direct beneficiary of all the shenanigans that have taken place during my tenure. Thanks to all the scams and communal unrest in the recent past, the media has witnessed a steady growth in its circulation, TRPs and revenues over a period of time. Poor western media – buoyed by recession – cannot see its Indian counterparts doing so well.

This is precisely why they target me thinking it will bring a turn around in their fortunes. The Time cover-page was not only silly but also in a poor taste. Nobody (here or abroad) was impressed with the lousy job Time did. Instead of me losing my (already lost) reputation, it was Time that ended up damaging its own reputation.

This western press or media doesn’t like to learn from its own mistakes. Now as I write this diary, the Washington Post seems to have shot itself in the foot by calling such a man of fine repute like yours truly as a tragic figure who has fallen from grace. Can there be anything more comic than these juvenile observations?

The scribe Mr. Simon Denyer himself is a tragic figure since all those gentlemen he has spoken to before doing this piece on me have royally taken him for a jolly ride. Poor Simon Denyer doesn’t seem to understand that without grasping the local political permutations and combinations and equations if you sit down to write something as serious as that, your sources and facts tend to get all mixed up making you look like a tragic figure in the end.

The learned gentleman has little idea that my government and the party boast of years of experience in blaming on poor “foreign hand” everything that happens in this country. Then how can this foreign hand (scribe) come back to haunt me? I am really having the last laugh now.

Before I slip back into my preferred silence mode, one word of caution for Ambika ji who has been demanding an apology from Mr. Denyer who merely did as he was asked to do. She doesn’t know that my favourite film is Yash Chopra directed super-hit “Deewar”.

To quote the famous line from my all time favourite Deewar, “First go and get the signature of that person who inked on my hand that my father is a thief”, I think in view of the ongoing predicament, it would be more appropriate if first she went and got Madam’s apology for having listened to her inner-voice way back in 2004. While she is at it, she might as well go to the voters who voted UPA to power to get their apologies.

So many apologies are required. Whatever is happening is politically motivated for which as usual a foreign hand is to be blamed. Since I am not to be blamed for anything, please offer your unconditional apologies.

 

 

 

 

 

Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar has achieved everything at such a young age. Many of his achievements are so rare and extraordinary in nature that most of us cannot even think of achieving them in our dreams. He has not only broken all the records on the cricket ground but  also set many new records. In every sense of the word he is the God of cricket.

Then why this outrage against someone upon whom we have bestowed the sobriquet of God so adoringly? Sachin Tendulkar is an extremely smart icon of the contemporary India. He is one of those rare living legends who has never courted any controversies in his career spanning across a couple of decades. His integrity is beyond reproach. His level of commitment speaks for itself. If he wants to become the Rajya Sabha MP, let him become. It is a matter of his personal choice.

 

 

Quite surprisingly those who claim to be the fans of Sachin Tendulkar have gone on a rampage in the cyberspace with a cry of their idol being used as a pawn in the great game of politics. The problem is it is the Congress which has nominated him as the Rajya Sabha MP. In the recent times, the Congress-led UPA government has been at the receiving end for almost everything under the sun. The government has been battling against the corruption charges. The leaders are often seen squabbling in public and to the party’s embarrassment coming out with the contradictory statements.

Many blame this government for muzzling Team Anna’s anti-corruption movement that had the massive popular support and was promising to root out the corruption completely by introducing the Jan Lokapal. The devil lies in these details here. According to those who are protesting the master blaster has committed a grave sin by accepting the nomination as the Rajya Sabha PM from such a corrupt government. And this is why many fans have begun to paint him with the same brush as they paint this corrupt government.

His former colleagues too have expressed concern over such a move the God of cricket seems determined to make. The path that he is contemplating is fraught with many dangers and this may harm his status and popularity adversely. There’s nothing wrong in what they are saying publicly. Even Sachin Tendulkar knows that the politics is a dirty game and the politicians are hated by one and all in our country although we cannot do without them.

Sachin Tendulkar knows what he is doing. He has always known what he has done in the past. When he completed his hundredth hundred, rumours were rife that he was going to hang his boots. But he surprised everyone by saying that there was still a lot of cricket left in him and the retirement was the last thing on his mind. This goes to show how well the world knows Sachin Tendulkar.

All said and done, every cricket lover has followed Sachin’s on and off field heroics closely ever since he made his debut. But nobody can claim to know Sachin Tendulkar fully. He is one person who holds his cards close to his chest. Politics is one field that tends to attract every celebrity in some way after he or she has achieved everything and the popularity is all time high.

Sachin Tendulkar rarely does anything without thinking the matter thoroughly. His decision to join the Rajya Sabha as an MP too must have undergone vigorous thinking before the final call. Who knows he has got some grand vision for the sporting fraternity? Who knows he has some plans up his sleeve that he wants to share with his countrymen as an MP? He has not joined the Congress or any other political party for the sake of becoming a CM or PM. Nor he has vowed to support or campaign for any political outfit in the upcoming elections.

Then what has got his fans’ knickers in a twist? Why are they suddenly turning into foes with the hashtag #UnfollowSachin on twitter and other forms of venomous abuses against him? Instead of wishing him all the best for the new career he has chosen for himself, why subject him to unnecessary character assassination? He is not some retired and out-of-work cricketer who has  nothing else to do and therefore he has decided to  join politics.

He deserves a lot of praise for becoming the MP when he is still playing and looks forward to taking an active part in the next World Cup too. When I think of his desire to serve the people of this country selflessly after entertaining them for so many years, the admiration grows for him by leaps and bounds. He is surely going to do justice to what he has taken up and won’t merely end up as an ornamental MP as some are suggesting.

As far as the controversies go, he has got years of experience behind him and he knows how to steer clear of them. All year round he is busy playing cricket and how he is going to be able to attend the sessions of parliament and take part in the proceedings to share his vision. Well, to this hypothetical theory nobody can give convincing answer until the man is seen in action inside the parliament.

This stint as the Rajya Sabha MP he fully deserves and moreover going by his track record, the God is going to come out smelling of roses in this endeavour as well. All the best, Sachin.

 

 

“The Dirty Picture” – as the title suggests – is not dirty at all. On the other hand, it depicts the harsh realities and certain subtle take home messages on how to strike it big by using the beautiful body if you happen to be a girl from nowhere with big dreams.

The central character played by talented Vidya Balan won the prestigious National Award for her convincing portrayal of a girl who uses her body to get on to the top of male-dominated film industry.

The flick did extremely well at the box office. But The Dirty Picture was slowly fading from the memory when the I&B Ministry decided to throw its weight to make it an even bigger bioepic than it has been being touted by its maker.

The biggest irony of the day is that the government has decided to play the moral police by stalling the telecast of The Dirty Picture during the day time. The Sony channel can telecast this flick when the young children have gone to bed.

The scantily dressed cheerleaders can dance during day time at the cricket stadium. But the children are likely to remain unaffected since their concentration is going to be only on their favourite cricketers. They hardly take their eyes off the middle out there when the game is in progress.

But when it comes to The Dirty Picture, Vidya Balan’s sexy body will induce all sorts of devilish thoughts into the young children’s minds. Therefore it is only apt that the telecast takes place only after the kids are tucked away in the beds and snoring away to glory.

This is a very nice decision on the part of I&B Ministry. The Sony Channel and the makers of The Dirty Picture are peeved at the government’s last minute intervention. But they should realise that this censorship has resulted in a truckload of publicity for their flick. Now more number of people want to watch it and find out for themselves whether what the government did is right or wrong.

It is a win-win scenario for The Dirty Picture, its makers and the Sony channel in the sense that this film is back in the news. In a battle of oneupmanship, the viewers have got plenty to whine about. They will rave and rant about the non-telecast of this steamy hot flick until something else catches their fancy in this age of social media where the attention span is as short as hundred and forty characters.

Nobody will be surprised when few minutes from now the life is back to normal and Sachin Tendulkar’s Mumbai Indians has become the talk of the town instead of some second rate The Dirty Picture. So much for the government’s intervention.

Poor Shah Rukh Khan gets detained in the US airport and back home our publicity hungry politicians get their knickers in a twist. Whenever this happens, there is this huge media uproar that follows. The kind of prime time this story grabs in the media is an eyesore to these media savvy politicians who think it’s their birthright to be “live” on every news channels simultaneously especially during the prime time.

This is why Rahul Gandhi borrowed Shah Rukh Khan’s epic line “My Name Is Khan and I am not a terrorist” to grab some eye balls for himself. This time he didn’t consult his script writer and went hammer and tongue with the line “My name is Rahul Gandhi and I am a Brahmin” daring his detractors to oppose him. Sure enough the main opposition party of India took the bait and added fuel to the fire by trying to take potshots at this Brahmin remark of the young(?) scion of the ruling party. As soon as that happened, Rahul Gandhi began to smile to himself for luring the enemy to fall into the pit dug exclusively for them.

While the Brahmin controversy was brewing, Mamata Banerjee did her bit to take her revenge on the US authorities for having detained the Poschim Bongla Brand Ambassador Shah Rukh Khan. She did so in style. She had a cartoonist arrest for mocking at her. It was surely a case of mistaken identity. She thought the cartoonist was the cousin of the immigrant officer from the US who had detained Shah Rukh Khan. Didi was certainly looking forward to killing two birds with one stone. But the media would have none of it and insisted on reporting the arrest of the cartoonist purely on the basis of poor professor having shown disrespect to Didi in his cartoons.

Right from Shah Rukh Khan to Rahul Gandhi to Mamata Banerjee to the cartoonist received their fair share of publicity. Nobody is complaining at the way these publicity stunts turned out to be. Shah Rukh Khan keeps saying that the police of twelve countries have been on a look-out for him. Therefore, it was natural for him to get detained at the USA Airport. The students of Yale University where he was due to give a speech can certainly wait for the King Khan to appear albeit a few hours late.

Rahul Gandhi’s charisma has gone to Karishma Kapoor for brushing up. It will only come back to him before the general elections of 2014. Till such time poor scion is left with whatever famous lines from legends his mother has written in a note-book and handed him over to learn by heart. He can make a few situational changes in those lines to manufacture a controversy as this is the only way media is going to take note of him.

Mamata Banerjee has  been talking about a change for quite some time. Now the people of her state has realised what change she has been talking about. There’s nobody who can say anything slightly displeasing to Didi and get away. The law will soon catch up. Not only the police will arrest the offenders but Didi’s personal army of supporters will also rough up the offenders before the police whisk away the culprits. Keeping all these things in mind some writers and filmmakers have got busy making an epic that depicts Didi as the empress of Asia so that no harm can come their way in case she were to become the PM or the President.

Shah Rukh Khan doesn’t need any controversy to become the bigger star than he already is. It is quite unfortunate that people manufacture controversies using the King Khan’s name for their own personal gains. Last heard, SRK was contemplating applying for the patent law on controversies that are going to be generated using his own name. He and he alone will have exclusive rights on all those controversies in which the name Shah Rukh Khan appears.

The only solution to avoid publicity hungry film actors and politicians is to stay away from all this by watching IPL5 that lacks any excitement with all geriatric players participating in it. Since people take vicarious pleasure in manufacturing controversies and cracking jokes on the so-called successful people, the most sensible thing to do is forget all these controversies because we can never know which new controversy is going to pop up after every one hour.

 

 

I am glad that I received a hero’s welcome after returning home from abroad. Past few months have been extremely daunting for me in terms of my battle against cancer. I’ve proven that I am the toughest cricketer around. Following the news of me having diagnosed with cancer a kind of strong sympathy wave has swept across the country.

There are times when I cannot help wondering whether I have overtaken Sachin Paaji in terms of popularity. It makes a beautiful story, doesn’t it? A young and dashing cricketer in the prime of his career suffering from a rare germ cancer between his lungs, supported by his single mother with the whole country praying for his well-being when he leaves abroad for the treatment.

Let me reveal one more secret since it is a secret diary and nobody is supposed to read it. The credit for whipping up this incredible sympathy wave goes to my PR machinery that came out with the elaborate strategy of bombarding my fans and the media with the latest updates and details of my recently concluded treatment. The idea to tweet pictures of my shaven head while undergoing chemotherapy struck a right chord and then there was no looking back.

Not only the whole strategy has helped me remain in the news throughout but it has also killed two birds with one stone. All my detractors had to pretend that they were my well-wishers and they began to air get-well-soon messages right, left and centre through media and social networking sites which resulted in massive publicity for my rare condition. Another advantage was by revealing this secret I checkmated BCCI cunningly.

Well, I should never bite the hands that feed but this is my secret diary and nobody has access to it so let me pour my heart out.  I am having a last laugh at BCCI’s expense and here’s how I outsmarted those big boys up there. I learnt a lot from Sachin Paaji’s tennis elbow. When the poor Sachin Paaji took a break to recover from his tennis elbow, he remained incommunicado throughout. That allowed the BCCI to spin the yarn it pleased to fool the public and misguide the media. Sachin Paaji too shy to confront the Big Boss remained oblivious to all those under-hand techniques.

But I am Yuvraj Singh. I believe in taking the fight to the enemy camp. To me the best form of defense is to attack. I was riding high on the massive hysteria that had followed our World Cup Victory in which I had a major role to play. So why not make hay while the sun is shining? When I am fit to play again after a couple of months, my popularity will be all time high. The selectors and the captain won’t have any other option except to include me in the playing eleven.

The fans too will be delighted to see me back in the action. That way I have ensured my place in the playing eleven for next one decade. One more important thing is I have done a great service to cancer by making it the prime time discussion topic on the television channels. Suddenly cancer is in the limelight. What Sachin Paaji couldn’t do for the poor tennis elbow I have done for the deadly cancer. People suffering from cancer will look at my smiling face and say, “If Yuvraj Singh can win the battle against cancer, why can’t we?”

I am a great guy and nobody can beat me. I am sure Deepika Padukone too is ruing her decision to dump me. What a super publicity she would have got! Imagine the pictures of this lass leaning on my shoulders while I’m undergoing the chemotherapy. It would have provided the much-needed boost to her almost defunct career by now. The producers would have chased this tigress big time to cast her opposite any big hero of the day. She would have given Katrina Kaifs and Priyanka Chopras run for their money. What a loser she has turned out to be! I’ve been really feeling sorry for her.

Do you know what else? I am on cloud nine with the big publishers making a beeline outside my house to sign me for a tell-all autobiography for a whopping undisclosed sum of money with which I can buy a house bigger than Mukesh Bhai Ambani’s Antilia. Oh my god, life has never been so good. I never knew cancer would bring me so much luck and adulation.

My countrymen are the real suckers for the motherly love and a hero with some Greek tragedy up his sleeve. I am loving all my fans out there. Without whose love this epic tale of my battle against cancer and the eventual victory would never have been possible.

I must sleep for now. Haven’t the doctors advised early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vijay Mallya must be a relieved man. Employees of Kingfisher Airlines must be more relieved than Mallya. Poor Vijay Mallya has been going through tough times of late following Deepika Padukone’s unceremonious dumping of Sidharth Mallya a few months back. More than the jilted lover his father suffered a blow and poor employees of Kingfisher Airlines had to pay the price.

So many jokes have been doing the round about the beleaguered Mallya and his almost defunct airlines. Sometimes Mallya himself adds fuel to the fire by blaming his woes on the malice of paid news. The king of good times has been at the receiving end. This is why perhaps he chose to settle the issue of pending salaries of the employees of Kingfisher Airlines on the eve of the fifth season of much-awaited IPL.

Perhaps Vijay Mallya is aware that his beer guzzling images with arm candies leaning on his side while he is watching his team play at various venues across the country is bound to provide gist to the rumour mills. All sorts of allegations are sure to fly thick and fast. He will come under increasing media scrutiny and become the butt of ridicule on various social networking sites. To avoid all this he has done the most sensible thing by declaring his plan to pay off the salaries in two phases.

Whether the harried employees receive the promised pending salaries or not remains to be soon. But at the moment guns have fallen silent and the focus is slowly shifting on to the IPL 5 and Vijay Mallya owned Royal Challengers.

We are an entertainment loving nation. We get a kick out of poking fun at famous and successful people. It’s not that we don’t like successful people or we are jealous of their popularity. When someone who is larger than life errs or does something that he or she is not supposed to do, all knives come out baying for his or her blood.

Nobody can replace Suhel Sheth when it comes to taking pot shots at politicians or anything under the sun for that matter on the television. He is a fearless orator who believes in calling a spade a spade. There are very few courageous speakers like him. This is why every channel loves to have him on their show. He brings to the table that power packed punch required to add to the oomph factor in the debates that take place in the television studios.

Suhel Seth is a delight to watch when he is in his elements. There’s no stopping him when he starts speaking. His famous catch phrase includes, “Iss hamam mein sub nange hai” that brings smile to the lips of viewers, anchors and participants alike. But then there are his detractors who want Suhel Seth out of their ear shots. He doesn’t spare anyone when it comes to standing up and taking the stand. Therefore, it is natural for such a person to have enemies.

We may not like what Suhel Seth does or says on television. We may not agree with him all the time. We may not like Vijay Mallya’s flamboyancy and the reports of such a rich man not paying his employees’ salaries on time may be disturbing to us. But why do we have to poke fun at them? They are mortar beings with their flaws. Can’t we take a look at their achievements and give them the benefits of doubts for a while before jumping to the conclusions?

All these big people are made up of different stuff. When the going gets tough, the tough get going is the mantra they believe in. Both Suhel Seth and Vijay Mallya may be in their early fifties. What makes them easy targets of people’s ire is their swashbuckling life styles not withstanding their respective ages. But when you have scaled those high peaks of dizzying heights, do you really care enough?

Whether people shower their adulation on Vijay Mallya and Suhel Seth or make fun of their accents, hair styles and the way they dress up not to mention things they say in public, they will keep bouncing back. Whether we love them or hate them, we cannot ignore them. That’s Vijay Mallya and Suhel Seth for you. The show must go on.

Dear Twitter,

Today everybody is congratulating you for turning a six years old baby. I too want to congratulate you. But I don’t want to do so in 140 characters since I have a lot to say to you. I don’t know whether you will read what I write for you. There’s no harm in trying, is there? Who knows you might sit up and take notice?

You are six years old but my love-affair with you is only two years old. Let me tell you (I know many people have told you before what I’m going to say now) that you are a great place to be. You brought me face to face with countless people I admire and long to be with. I had never imagined in my wildest dream that one day I would meet them. So what if I can’t see their faces? Reading what they share on you is more than enough for me since it gives me a fair idea about their personalities.

I spend time on you to feel good. There are lots of funny people whose tweets lift my mood and make my day. I am sure you know them. In case you don’t know them, they are Gabbar Singh, Ramesh Srivat, Fake IPL Player, Satan Bhagat, Faking News, Namrata Joshi, Ghanta Guy, Joydas, Sarcasan and how can I forget Kamal R Khan? Their perky tweets leave a goofy smile although I envy their fan following on you and always lament the fact that I don’t have as many followers as they have. More on this later.

I enjoy reading the tweets of high profile media personalities like Rajdeep Sardesai, Sachin Kalbag, Nikhil Waghle, Kanchan Gupta, B Dutt, Sagarika Ghose, Bhupendra Chaubey, Dibang, Diptosh Majumdar, Ayaz Memon and supremely talented Pritish Nandy a lot. They always inform their followers on the latest news doing the round and leave them with some or other food for thoughts. The whole nation waits for Rajdeep Sardesai’s good night tweets. It is only after he wishes good night to his followers, the nation heaves a sigh of relief and goes to bed.

Please don’t ask me to comment on the film industry wallahs. They are on you to promote their upcoming flicks without giving much thought about their crazy followers with the sole exceptions of Gul Panag and Anupam Kher who are kind enough to mention their fans in their replies. But they are all big people. Talking about them is like spitting on the sky. The less said abut them, the better it is.

You know what else? You are always teaching me new expressions. One example is “that awkward moment”. I love “that awkward moment”. Thank you for this one expression as it describes the mood or situation aptly if used appropriately. What to say about your list of trending topics! I mean I am speechless. Had there been no list of trending topics on you, this blog would have been dead by now. It’s only thanks to the list of trending topics, I have managed to write sixty plus posts.

Having given you the gist of all the positive qualities you have, let me bring to your notice some of the drawbacks and challenges I encounter on you. Well, it so happens that those who have followers on you indeed have extremely good time. Their TL is always overflowing with the mentions they receive from their followers. But those who don’t have followers begin to feel like in no man’s land after sometime. They heavily rely upon someone with good number of followers to retweet their tweets to spread the information. Not everybody is kind enough to retweet. If you ask someone to follow you or retweet your tweets, you are bound to become a butt of joke.

I would like to suggest that you should come out with a set of guidelines to follow certain twitter etiquette so that tweeple with relatively unknown background don’t feel that lonely. Another thing is when you disagree with some tweets and express your disagreement, you get labeled as troll. Isn’t it unfair? Ultimately who should have the right to decide who is a troll and who is a decent tweeple?

On your sixth birthday I am giving you some food for thought.  Please ponder over the suggestions I have given and see if you can come out with something useful. Meanwhile have a rocking birthday. Once again thanking you for being there for me. Whenever I’ve looked up to you in melancholic times, you’ve brought me smiles within no time.

I wish I can thank you enough.

Love as always,

Yours Truly,

A Twitter Fan From India.

 

Lalit Modi is a very nice man. He has done a big favour to the cricket crazy nation like India by having launched IPL. In the process, he has made the BCCI rich, many cricketers richer and has given the film-stars a golden opportunity to stay in the limelight for all the reasons right or wrong. The name of Lalit Modi will go down in history as someone who tortured the Indian cinema goers with an utterly ridiculous flick like Ra-One. How? Had Shah Rukh Khan not bought KKR, he wouldn’t have got enough money to make Ra-One and we all would have been spared from the traumatic three hours of watching it.

Lalit Modi is the man responsible for Shashi Tharoor’s marriage to Sunanda Pushker. It was he who made things easier for the dapper Mr Tharoor by tweeting about his interest in Sunanda Pushker and setting the couple up nicely for the marital bliss. Had he not done so, Mr. Tharoor would still be pulling his hair out thinking about how to propose to Sunanda Madam. As we all know Mr Vijay Mallya’s passion for sports in general and the cheer leaders in particular, it was Lalit Modi who made it possible for him to import the scantily clad cheer leaders from the USA.

The more one talks about Lalit Modi’s favours to the world cricket and the upper strata of the society, the less it is. One has to write a book of several hundred pages to do justice to the immense contribution this man has made and continues to make even as I write this piece in his honour. Everybody wants to have a friend like Lalit Modi as he is the man of all seasons.

The icing on the cake is when Lalit Modi learnt of his poor countrymen living on a paltry sum of Rs. 28/- per day, his heart went out to those poor people. And as a result, since he is a man of action, he has decided to take a vow of a simple living by abandoning the luxurious and lavish life he has been leading until now. To make things easier for this extraordinary son of the soil, the London Court has come to the rescue by declaring him bankrupt so that he cannot change his mind at the last minute.

The word out there is he failed to pay the Page Group – an international securities and risk assessment company – the fee of Rs 53 lakhs for the services provided in the year 2010. Nobody is ready to believe this news to be true. Lalit Modi is a generous human being who gave away crores of rupees to Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shashtri just to sing the praises of IPL on air. How can such a man of impeccable integrity and sound character refuse to pay the monies for the securities and risk assessment knowing he has plenty of enemies out there?

The world has no idea how simple a person Lalit Modi is. Everybody who supported him for his IPL venture has made millions of dollars. Whereas the brain behind the venture has given it all up for his destitute fellow countrymen. Living on Rs 28 abroad is going to be a tough challenge for this 21st century saint. But he is not the one to shy away from the challenges however tough they may be. Keeping all this in mind, it is going to be really interesting to see how he pulls this-living-on-Rs.-28 per day off successfully.

Bangalore is one of the best cities of our country. Job opportunities are aplenty. Climate is the envy of any other big cities. With all the roads chock a block with traffic almost round the clock there’s hardly any dull moment. Every other day international rock stars grace the city with their presence and the Bangaloreans dance away the night listening to their mesmerising numbers. On Saturday evenings when you observe the fellow commuters on the roads, what stands out is the fact people are here to eat, drink and be merry following the busy week that has just ended.

Due to many reasons Bangalore is on a fast track of growth. But one look at the headlines of newspapers and any Bangalore lover will tell you that all is not well with Namma Bangaluru. Somewhere something is amiss. I am not talking about the rising mercury that has been tormenting hapless Bangaloreans for the past few weeks. But it has got to do something with the strong character of the city that we all boasted of once upon a time.

A young girl’s life went topsy-turvy on the night of Christmas. She was returning home with her boy-friend on a two-wheeler when some miscreants stopped them and made life hell for the young couple.

There was hardly any outcry on the streets of Bangalore. Nobody reacted. Life went on as if nothing had happened. Does this city deserve to be called humane anymore?

Then came the news of some girls from a foreign country attacked in a posh bar and getting critically hurt. Nobody flinched a muscle nor moved an inch. People pretended as if everything was hunky dory. After a few days the story died a natural death.

A few days ago the media itself was under attack from lawyers and advocates. Police did nothing to prevent the attack and allowed the lawyers to take the law into their hands as the whole city came to standstill with the image of Namma Bangaluru taking a severe beating world-wide.

Nobody raised the voice. Where’s the intelligentsia? What’s it scared of? Why such a pin-drop silence? Why on earth nobody is crying foul? How far do we want things further deteriorated?

The aging regional satraps from national political parties hold the city to ransom. Reason? They were knee-deep into corruption. The high-command decided to salvage the image by cleaning up the party. Some heads rolled. But as the luck would have it, the Court has squashed these corruption charges and now the rolled heads are demanding the crown back. And to get it back they are ready to go to any length.

In all this hurly-burly of political one-up-manship the city of Bangalore is the sufferer. Traffic piles up as all the roads either lead to Vidhan Soudha or to the house of that ousted king who ruled his kingdom not so long ago with impunity.

When we are talking about our rulers, let me also add fuel to the fire by mentioning the episode of Porngate that shocked the entire country leave alone Bangalore. How could something as obscene as watching the porn in the House of Assembly have happened in such a well-educated and cultured state is beyond anybody’s guess?

But alas there’s not even a murmur to be heard against all the atrocities being committed in the name of democracy and right in the temple of democracy. What has the city come to? Where are the morals? Where are the values? Who will speak up before it’s too late? Any saner voices?

The icing on the cake is yet to come. As if all this is not enough, a week ago something more sinister and mind numbing took place. An SUV ran over four construction workers sleeping on the pavement in Banasvadi, killing one of them on the spot. A woman was allegedly behind the wheels. She was returning from a party and was allegedly drunk. Nobody is shocked to know that police is yet to nab her. She has been absconding for past one week.

The young man who died in the accident on the spot was a poor migrant. What makes this accident more tragic is the fact he had become father days before he perished.

The story is more or less the same. The city continues to absorb everything quietly. No candle light vigils for this poor victim. No tough questions to the police. It is as if nobody is in charge of this city. The incidences of crime are rising. Police is yet to declare any effective measures to curb this menace. If the custodians of law and order cannot inspire faith and confidence, who else can?

Is Namma Bangaluru really losing its character? Will it bounce back? Will somebody come forward to take the bull by its horns? Or we are witnessing a slow death of the city that the world knows as the IT hub and we call it the garden city of the dreams where “svalpa adjust maadi” is the mantra of survival and where the hot kappi from the neighbourhood Sukh Sagar or Shanthi Sagar waits for every soul who loves this city.

How fickle-minded the cricket fans can be! The latest example is the reaction of fans at the speculation of Rahul Dravid’s impending retirement supposed to take place tomorrow. Until a fortnight ago, following India’s poor performance Down Under there was a talk of dropping seniors from the team and infusing the young blood. No sooner the news of Rahul Dravid’s press-conference tomorrow trickled in than the roumours of him going to announce his retirement began to do the rounds in the cyberspace and some sentimental fans even began to shed tears. Are these crocodile’s tears?

Rahul Dravid has been forming the backbone of the Indian batting line-up ever since his international debut. He is fondly called “The Wall” because he puts a price on his wicket and makes the bowlers toil for his wicket. He came to be known as the most dependable batsman in the world-class Indian batting line-up. He is a true genius whose exploits with the willow are going to be sorely missed when he hangs his boots. Who next after Rahul Dravid? Is Sachin Tendulkar going to take a cue? Is he going to be the next player to announce his retirement? Of late murmurs have begun calling for the maestro’s retirement and with each passing day they are only getting louder. What happens next remains to be seen.

Amidst all this there are many who have not had enough of poor Rahul Gandhi. He has become a butt of ridicule following the poor show at UP polls. Many people want Rahul Gandhi to announce retirement from active politics instead of Rahul Dravid from the international cricket. The irony is not lost on anyone. They both belong to totally different fields. Rahul Dravid has proven himself time and again by winning many games for his country under tight situations. But, unfortunately, he always had to live under Sachin Tendulkar’s shadow. He belongs to the quintessential middle-class family with strict upbringing and special thrust on education and academic achievements. For him, nothing came easily. He worked hard for everything that came his way.

This is the reason why the entire country takes pride in his success story. He always holds a special place in our hearts as the ultimate boy next door who never resorted to controversies to gain publicity and always maintained a low profile. His strong character and his flawless (read technically sound) batting inspired awe and respect even in the members of opposition teams across the world. Therefore, it is only natural when the news of such a highly accomplished living legend’s retirement leaves many a hearts broken. Nobody would mind shedding bucketful of tears at the mere thought of India taking the field without one of her key players.

Moving on to the other Rahul known as Rahul Gandhi, he was born with the silver spoon. From the day one, he is a celebrity,  a son of the ex-prime minister who got assassinated in the worst possible manner when he was barely out of his teens. He also happens to be the son of a mother who declined the post of prime minister after leading her party to a thumping victory in the 2004 general elections much to the dismay of opposition parties. From such a man when he steps into the battlefield expectations are bound to be as high as they can get. For he is someone who belongs to the dynasty with a history of ruling this country for generations.

But Rahul Gandhi is no Rahul Dravid, and politics is no cricket. Indian cricket fans are fickle minded and forgiving. They may hurl stones and burn effigies at the poor show of their idols. Very next day they tend to forget everything and begin to worship the same idols as soon as a convincing victory takes place against any opposition. Unfortunately, one cannot say the same thing about the Indian voters. They may flock to Rahul Gandhi’s election rallies and wait for hours under the sweltering sun to hear him speak. But nobody can influence their decision when it comes to casting their votes. They know what to do and how to do it.

The people of this country may cheer encouragingly when Rahul Baba is taking baby steps expecting him to grow soon and take his own decision instead of surrounding himself with the so-called experts relying heavily on the Gandhi charisma to deliver. But the same people may not hesitate to turn their faces when they realise the baby doesn’t want to grow soon and instead wants to hold her mama’s hand. This is precisely what is happening with Rahul Gandhi. He is neither a wall nor a dependable campaigner. He could never take the fight to the enemy camp to snatch the victory from the jaws of defeat for his party. Instead of carving a niche for himself, he decided to rely on age-old formulas to win the election.

Rahul Dravid never shied away from playing it straight. He rose above the occasion whenever his team demanded although he remained an unsung hero. But the other Rahul is yet to rise above the occasion. Without doing anything significant (except staying overnight in poor farmers’ huts in the presence of media), he has become the toast of this country. Now people have realised the vanity of all his acts and begun to question his credentials as the future prime-minister of India. Does he have any vision for the country he wants to lead? If yes, can he share the same with his countrymen? Whereas Rahul Dravid always had a vision for his team. The vision continued to inspire him right through his long career. One could see the determination to win at any cost in his eyes. Every time he stepped into the field, he gave out his best and made his country proud.

Needless to say it is the other Rahul who must announce his retirement tomorrow and not the Rahul Dravid who always gave tirelessly without asking for anything in return.

 

 


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