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THE BEST THING ABOUT YOU IS YOU!  – Anupam Kher

Publisher :- Hay House

Price :- Rs. 399/- (Pages 228)

 

The title  “The Best Thing About You Is You!” makes you want to buy the book the moment your eyes fall on it. What makes the decision to buy the book hard to resist is the name of the author. Who doesn’t know Mr. Anupam Kher? He is a well-known face every Indian has seen on the celluloid countless times. The list of his famous roles is endless. When the star of Anupam Kher’s caliber writes a book that has got as catchy a title as “The Best Thing About You Is You!”, there’s no choice for a book lover like me but to buy it and finish reading it within hours of having brought it home.

The book has 228 pages filled with author’s deep philosophical insights on the subjects ranging from success to failure to sadness to the concept of change to the meaning of self-discovery to final destination (death). Those interested in reading books on self-help may have come across the above mentioned subjects in various books. But the most striking quality about “The Best Thing About You Is You!”  is Mr. Kher discusses the most serious things of life and career without being preachy. While reading the book, the reader feels as if the author has put his hand around his arm and taking him through various ups and down of life like a true friend, philosopher and guide.

Throughout the book, the author insists that no human being is inferior and the  solutions to the most complicated problems are available deep within us. There is no need to look outside. All we need to do is spend some time alone and seek answers to the questions that have been rankling us the most. If we practise the magic of solitude regularly by going deep inside us, the answers will reveal themselves one by one. To drive home these points, he quotes many examples either from famous books or plays or from his own experiences. The thread running in each chapter of the book is the best thing about you is you.

What makes “The Best Thing About You Is You!” both readable and recommendable is author’s lucid prose peppered with plenty of anecdotes that sound convincing and straight from the heart. Nowhere in the book Mr. Kher hints that his readers ought to believe what he says because he is such a big actor. In one of the chapters he quotes that famous Gandhian line , “There is enough for the world’s needs, but not enough for the world’s greed”. This is true but as far as this book is concerned, one wishes there is neither enough for the world’s (the readers’) needs nor enough for the world’s (the readers’) greed. In other words, the book could have gone on for another two hundred and odd pages and the readers wouldn’t even have blinked.

 

Virat Kohli – India’s right-handed middle order batsman – is in the news for showing his middle finger to the SCG crowd at Sydney. The reason for this action is while fielding near the boundary line, the cricketer received abuses from the Australian spectators directed at his mother and sister. As a result he lost his temper and ended up showing his middle finger to the crowd. This action has landed him in controversy now.

The Indian Cricket Team has been under tremendous pressure after winning the World-Cup Trophy at home last year in April. At present they are touring Down Under where the hosts are traumatizing our champions by preparing green top wickets. Ricky Ponting aka Punter has played himself back into the form by murdering the Indian bowling attack on the wickets that are undoubtedly helping him. Our Batting Maestro Sachin Tendulkar has got off to a good start. But unfortunately, much to everyone’s dismay his hundredth hundred has been elusive so far on this tour.

Given the mental state of the Indian players who are sweating it out to beat the formidable Aussies at their own backyard, it hardly comes as a surprise for someone as young and as temperamental as Virat Kohli to have responded to the provocation in that manner. He is under duress. The Indian fans can surely understand what he along with the entire team is going through. At the same time one cannot help but admire his courage to show the middle finger to the hostile crowd in a foreign land.

He is really a lion-hearted cricketer who decided to let his middle finger do the talking instead of his exploits with the willow. Out there in the middle he did it with more than a dozen cameras trained on him. Instead of vilifying the poor lad, we should idolize him. For the young cricketers like Virat Kohli represent the face of the young and aggressive India. Gone are the days when an Indian can be bullied on the foreign soil by the natives. He is confident now. He won’t take anything lying down. He will bounce back. The reason? He is successful not only in his own country but anywhere in the world.  And he likes to wear his success on his sleeve for the entire world to see.

Coming back to Virat Kohli and his middle finger, we all must unite in defending  this dare-devilry. The Australian press is likely to milk the incident to show the touring World Champions in poor light. The match-referee too may contemplate some punishment for the stylish and brave right-handed batsman.  This can be demoralizing for him and the entire team.  Here are a few suggestions to fend off the Aussie criticism and to boost the morale of our champions out there in the hostile conditions.

  • Virat Kohli is through gentleman. He was not showing the middle-finger to the unruly crowd. He was checking the finger out since he had injured it badly during the net session earlier in the day.
  • This incident is blown out of proportion. It smacks of some deep-rooted conspiracy to malign the World Champions who have so far not reacted to the Aussie players’s sledging.
  • The crowd was hired to provoke the touring side into abandoning the match since the hosts were finding it too difficult to face their bowling attack.
  • We all must urge Kapil Sibbal to demand the ban on the crowd behaviour after preparing the list of swear words that were hurled at Virat Kohli.
  • The crowd was sent in by Greg Chappell as a ruse to deflect Sachin Tendulkar’s concentration.
  • The crowd was jealous of the success of “Why This Kolaveri Di” and it took it out on the hapless Virat Kohli.
  • The BCCI must dispatch Mr Subramanian Swamy to Australia to defend Virat Kohli because he is the Virat Hindu who finds himself up against the scheming Aussies who are jealous of India’s status as the reigning World Champions.

Support for our champions is the need of the hour. As dedicated fans, this is the least we can do. The enemy is smart and he has smelt blood. We can demoralize him by showing solidarity with the Team India. Then it will be only a matter of time when the Captain Cool bounces back and the Batting Maestro rediscovers his touch to scale the height we all have been waiting for so eagerly.

Chuck De India!!!!

“The Newsroom Mafia” – Oswald Pereira

Published By  GreyOak India/Westland

Price :- Rs 245/-     (Pages 258)

 

What an exciting start to the year 2012! I kicked off the new year by picking up Oswald Pereira’s “The Newsroom Mafia”. Soon after watching Don 2, I think the nicest things to do was to read this debut novel of journalist-turned-novelist. “The Newsroom Mafia” is the story of the Don whose real name is Narayan Swamy. Basically It tells the story of the fight between the good and the evil. The answer to what’s good and what’s evil depends upon whose side you are on.

Donald Fernandez is the Bombay Police Commissioner who has vowed to smoke out the underworld Don Narayan Swamy. Narayan Swamy may be the Don according to the police but to his followers he is no less than a saint with a heart of pure gold. Even the Don is fed up of his life as the underworld Don and he’s been trying hard to go in for an image make-over of that of a quintessential social worker who believes in wiping out the tears of the poor and putting the food on the plates of  the hungry.

The Don is smarter than the police commissioner Donald Fernandez who is waging a war against the Don in cahoots with the powerful daily newspaper ‘The Newsroom’. The Don has many aces up his sleeves with his writ running large in the entire city of Bombay. Donald knows he has a tough battle at hand with half of his Police Force on the Don’s pay-roll.

Will the Don survive the onslaught of the determined cop who won’t settle for anything less than the Don’s head on the silver plate? Will the Don be successful in outsmarting the cops? What will happen? Who will win the battle of nerves? These are the questions that the reader keeps asking himself right from the first page to the last page of “The Newsroom Mafia”.

The novel is supremely crafted with plenty of twists and turns. The suspense keeps the reader on the edge till the last page. The Don has loads of attitude with some smart lines dedicated to him. Sample this, “When the Don desires, the lights go out and the birds stop chirping. Such is his power and glory.” The Don too keeps saying with a smile, “I love my people and my people love me.” He firmly believes in the love and adulation the poor and the needy shower upon him. He is the Don with a difference. He doesn’t lust after money. He knows he can make the money appear out of nowhere with a sleight of his hand. Then what does he want? He wants the control to the entire city. His aim is to rule the city like an Emperor.

“The Newsroom Mafia” is also about how the media colludes with either the underworld or the police to make or break news. The novel is relevant and the reader can instantly relate to it since we live in the era of the 24×7  Breaking News. This gripping novel also tells the story of what goes on behind the scenes before the Breaking News reaches the viewers or the readers. “The Newsroom Mafia” boasts of high octane moments coupled with endless chase, traps and counter traps, bouquets for the loyal and bullets for the traitor. The adrenaline will pump more blood so the warning for weak hearts  is stay away. The green signal for those who love action, emotion and drama.

Kudos to the debutant novelist Oswald Pereira for weaving such a wonderful yarn.

Oh my God! Where is this country headed? The common man is under tremendous pressure. Never in the history of independent India the pressure has been as intense as this. How many things has the common man got to worry about? First and foremost, the common man has been carrying the weight of Sachin Tendulakar’s ninety-nine centuries. Every time Sachin walks out to bat, the common man gets his knicker in a twist. Will he score his hundredth hundred this time? This is the question uppermost on his mind. To top it all, the common man is confused because the PM hardly speaks. Even if he speaks, he cannot speak loudly enough to get over the cacophony around him.  And as if that were not enough, Anna and his team keep coming back with the fast.

Where can the common go? He has hardly any place left to go now.  Ramlila Maidan heralded the dawn of a new era a few months back. The common man was upbeat and enthusiastic. He saw a subtle hint of light at the end of the long dark tunnel. But soon he got disillusioned when the members of Team Anna became arrogant. The supposedly non-political anti-graft movement began to bathe in various political colours. All this made the common man angry. This is a non-violent political movement. Therefore, he cannot take to the streets. He waited and watched. When the opportunity presented itself, he struck. Low turn-out at MMRDA – the venue of Anna’s latest fast – was the indicator of the common man’s growing anger. The resentment at yet another fast was there for all to see. Unfortunately, the Team Anna failed to read the writing on the wall.

Politicians are smarter than the rest of us. This is why they are politicians. This time around they were prepared for the battle. They knew how to beat the Team Anna at its own game. All the elected representatives participated in the Lokpal debate at the Lok Sabha that lasted for twelve hours as Anna observed fast at MMRDA. The public saw their elected leaders at some serious work. The history was in the making. Soon the popular support for Team Anna evaporated. The media too decided to give the latest fast low-key coverage and began to ask some tough questions to Team Anna and its method of protest whose madness knew no method.

Has the time come for Team Anna to pack its bags and leave for home? Has the anti-graft movement run its course? Are the people fed up? Is change still as elusive as ever? Well, change will come, all is not lost.  But in a country as vast as ours it takes some time. Corruption is not at the top alone. Corruption is everywhere. In such a scenario where to begin is the million dollar question. Merely making the laws will not ensure a corruption free nation. The entire system needs a complete over-haul. This can become possible by educating the electorate in a systematic manner. By holding the gun to the government’s head what happens we witnessed just now.

The need of the hour for Team Anna is to cool down the tempers and return to the board room. It is losing credibility as fast as it got it. This time it has miserably failed to feel the pulse of the common man. The political class has outsmarted Team Anna in every move. Too much of preening and posturing has resulted in an alienation from the masses. To top it all, somebody is clearly misguiding Team Anna. It must act now to set its house in order. Targeting one party in the poll bound states too may boomerang.

Amid all this the common man finds himself between the Devil and the Deep Sea. He continues to worry about Sachin’s hundredth hundred while carrying the weight of his ninety-nine centuries. At the moment, the passing of strong Lokpal Bill and Sachin’s hundredth hundred are sailing on the same boat. The nation is going to erupt in celebrations as soon as they both arrive on the Indian shores. Right now they are elusive. To make Lokpal a reality, Team Anna is burning the midnight oil and to make another a reality, the man on whose shoulders the weight of countless expectations is resting is toiling away out there in Down Under.

One wonders whether the common man will be able to sleep a peaceful sleep.

We live in strange times. Nobody would have thought that the Internet was going to change the way we lived as drastically as this. Everything is available in abundance, right from food to clothes to films to music to news channels to swanky shopping malls to various gizmos to cars to bikes to air flights to bank ATMs. Sometimes one wonders isn’t what we have more than enough? Is there really so much of demand?  Perhaps nobody seems to care except the manufacturers. Now since the demand and supply ratio is skewed in terms of more supply and less demand, enter petty marketing gimmicks masquerading as controversies. To spread the words like a wildfire the social networking sites are used with impunity. How? The latest example that comes to mind is that of the hit Tamil number “why this kolaveri di”.

The so-called marketing moghuls have coined a new term for the online marketing which has come to be known as “viral marketing”. The example of “why this kolaveri di” is being given to the students of IIM-A and IIM-B. The concept of viral marketing is the new in thing. Well, all said and done but the fact remains that a mediocre product like “why this kolaveri di” doesn’t become a great product just because the experiment of viral marketing has succeeded in fooling people into believing that they are listening to a masterpiece.

“Why this kolaveri di” has been into the news ever since the video of this number hit the you tube a few weeks ago. First came the famous tweet from none other than the super star Amitabh Bachchan himself  praising the number. If any music lover who understands even a little bit of good music will agree that “why this kolaveri di” doesn’t sound pleasing at all. Neither it has a great tune nor soothing voice nor memorable and sweet words. Then why did Mr. Bachchan go out of his way to praise “why this kolaveri di”. If that was not enough, soon Junior Bachchan followed in his dad’s footsteps by tweeting now listening to “why this kolaveri di”.

As soon as these tweets made their way into the cyberspace, “why this kolaveri di” became a juggernaut that got a life of its own and went on to roll without coming to a halt. It has reportedly broken all the records. The success of “why this kolaveri di” has even prompted the famous singer Sonu Nigam to launch his toddler son as a singer with a funny version of  the number. All sorts of weird things are happening thanks to “why this kolaveri di”. No programme is complete without referring to “why this kolaveri di” on TV. No newspaper article is considered readable if it doesn’t mention “why this kolaveri di” once at least. The wave of “why this kolaveri di” has swept across the country. I’ve heard many people asking those who are angry or complaining about something, “Why this kolaveri di?” It appears as though the expression “Why are you angry?” has been replaced with “Why this kolaveri di?” successfully.

However, the “why this kolaveri di” phenomenon indeed found a fierce critic in the renowned Mr Javed Akhtar who tweeted tarnishing it in no uncertain terms. Sadly his criticism appeared a tad too late. When it came, it did find a few takers. But the number had already gone on to  become a big hit and saying anything against it had become an anathema.

The times we live in are made up of artificial appreciation. To sell a product all sorts of gimmicks are employed. An Amitabh Bachchan has to praise a jarring tune to make it super hit. A Karan Johan has to appreciate a silly flick Ra-One on twitter to keep his buddy in good humour. Somewhere a fake account of Mr Bachchan appears online to trash a big budget sci-fi flick and to drive a wedge between the two super-stars. Most of the things are happening online. If you are not on twitter or on facebook, you have not arrived yet. Having an account on either twitter or on facebook has become as necessary as holding a ration card.

Where is all this leading us? Are we becoming better humans? Is the world becoming a safer and a better place to live in just because twitter is the place where all the action seems to be taking place? The answers are a big no. As in real world, in virtual world too the double standards are rampant. There are a few people with large number of followers of who call the shots. They can say any nasty thing and get away but a lesser mortal (read with no followers) cannot. He gets reported as a spam immediately and twitter too dismisses his account without any delay.

As long as the likes of Mr Bachchans and Mr Johars are around with huge virtual following to boast of, the mediocre numbers and flicks will find many takers. They will even succeed in creating new records too. But few days down the line nobody will remember them. Who cares for “Darling aankho se aankhe chaar karke lo….” or “Bhaag bhaag DK Boss….” now? Just a few months back hadn’t they taken the whole world by storm as thought there was no tomorrow?

A big salute to the marketing jargon like “Viral Marketing”. It has indeed changed the way we look at the world. Selling got a little easier. Long live twitter and the followers of celebs. Let the controversies rule the roost. Who cares for the quality nowadays? More than the quality the product in question ought to make it to the list of trending topics on twitter and stay there for a couple of days. That makes it a hit automatically. So much for the so-called viral marketing.

This is the story of a young boy and a young girl who were in love. They were always busy on twitter and facebook. They wanted their romance to blossom online so that all their friends on facebook and followers on twitter could come to know what had been going on between them. Soon the romance fizzled out and they decided to call it quits. They did so in style on facebook. The boy updated the following status on his wall and the girl shared it on her wall. The break-up was complete and they lived happily ever after.

Dear Ex,

You have hurt my tender feelings so much that I can never bring myself to utter your name. However, I ought to thank you for whatever nice poems you posted on my facebook wall in the past. You knew how to please me with the words and how to make me feel special. You were successful.  I indeed felt right on top of the world. 

Well, like all good things come to an end, our online romance too must come to an end one day. Today is that day. Please forgive me as I don’t know how to break this news to you. I want to inform you that I have fallen out of love with you. No longer you arouse the same intense feelings of love and admiration in me as you once did. There are plenty of reason for that. Let me share them with you so that you can understand my decision of  dumping you so unceremoniously. 

To begin with, of late you’ve stopped retweeting my tweets on twitter. You’ve stopped sending me direct messages on twitter. When I ask you to check your DM, you say your DM is not working. You didn’t show any interest in creating the hashtag #whyiloveyou and making it trend on twitter. Instead you went ahead and created the hashtag #whyihateyou and said so many uncomplimentary things about our platonic virtual love under the guise of this perverse hashtag that had begun to trend on twitter worldwide. I never knew so many hate-mongers lived out there. The icing on the cake was you stopped following me one fine morning and when I brought it to your notice, you feigned ignorance and said by accident you had unfollowed me. That really left a deep scar on my heart. How could you be so cruel? 

What else? Should I also tell you what emotional injustice you did to me on facebook while I am still at it? You might be laughing after reading all this. But who cares? Why have you stopped suggesting friends for me? Why have you been declining to join any groups or events I create? What has made you stop sharing my status update on your wall? Why have you been demanding for an unlike option? Why is your chat status off nowadays? Why am I unable to access some of your profile information? Why don’t you tag me in your photos any longer? And above all, why on earth have you stopped poking me? 

All this indicates sudden loss of interest in me on your part? I am sure someone else has entered your life in the real world and you have decided to abandon your virtual lover. Before you drive the final nail in the coffin of our dead love, let me do it. Not only I unfollow you on twitter but also I block you and report you as a spam. Not only I unfriend you on facebook but also I change my profile status to private and restrict my visibility on search option to those who know me by my real email address. 

You had never seen my real face and now you will never see it too. It’s bye for ever. Be as happy as you can. At the same time, thanks for torturing me and making me go through the hell.

Sincerely Yours

These days everybody seems to be talking about two things. One is Why this kolaveri di and another is disappearance of Veena Malik under mysterious circumstances. Veena Malik shot to fame for all the wrong reasons. She was recently in the news because of an infamous nude photo-shoot adoring the cover-page of FHM. She is in India to participate in a reality show Swayamwar. Now that she has gone missing, people are wondering whether the disappearance is real or some publicity gimmick.

Well, nobody seems interested in Veena Malik. Therefore the disappearance seems stage-managed to garner publicity for the upcoming show Swayamwar. The timing couldn’t have been better than this. The nude photo shoot on the cover-page of FHM got her some publicity both in India and Pakistan. Soon the euphoria subsided and it appeared as though the FHM controversy had died a natural death. Now Veena Malik is back in news again for her alleged disappearance.

Fake celebrities like Veena Malik’s hunger for any kind of publicity never gets satisfied. The more people ignore them, the more they crave for their attention. In India, she is up against the likes of Poonam Pandey and Rakhi Sawant. In the country of her home, mullahs have denounced her and have been baying for her blood. Poor Veena Malik is like a lit bomb that didn’t go off due to some unknown reasons.

The way nobody is surprised at the news of her having gone missing, nobody will be surprised when she surfaces somewhere on the eve of new year. The endless jokes about her will continue unabated. People like Veena Malik come and go. Who cares? If the appearance is stage-managed, chances are it is going to boomerang  badly as people seem to have had enough of Veena Malik and her endless tantrums in the recent past. It is likely to affect the TRPs of her upcoming show Swaymwar adversely provided she is found and the show manages to go on air.

All said and done, the million dollar question is where is she? Why has she ducked herself out of sight without informing her manager? The whole disappearance theme sounds inspired from John Grisham’s best-selling novels. First a nude photo shoot followed by a denial and then the ultimate act of disappearance when the new show is about to go on air. Veena Malik’s act of disappearance has got the people from both sides of the border talking. If her PR agency was looking to get her publicity, there couldn’t have been any better ploy than this.

Let’s hope she surfaces somewhere on the Juhu Chawpaty beach savouring the taste of Vada-Pau and Bhel-Puri. Mumbai is such a big city. Foreigners like her can get lost in the hustle and bustle. We should provide them guides so that they don’t melt into the crowd sending the countries into tizzy only to surface later to claim they had never gone missing in the first place and the whole saga was a result of a silly communication error.


Wow....!!! This Much Love.....!!!!

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