Monthly Archives: September 2009

Rahul Gandhi’s Coming-of-Age Movie Finds No Buyers

The Official 'First Look'

The Official 'First Look'

New Delhi/Lucknow 25 September 2009

Perhaps it was not a good idea to start with. Rahul Gandhi’s ambitious coming-of-age movie, ‘PAPPU CAN DANCE SAALA’, under-production for the last 7-years, is close to completion now. But unfortunately, and cynics say expectedly, the Rs. 2000 Crore film has no takers.

Shot entirely on-location primarily in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and India’s Capital New Delhi, and featuring cameos by Kalawati, Milliband, Shahrukh Khan and a bunch of Doon School pass-outs, the closely guarded storyline is rumored to have Rahul zip across the country, especially the dark state of Uttar Pradesh, to find himself. Film’s screenwriter Joyen Coterie admitted this much in a recent interview – “It’s a man’s internal journey – to find his identity away from his family name. Of course, he uses his family name to find this ‘away identity’ easily. That’s the only cinematic liberty we have taken.”

A leaked publicity still

A leaked publicity still

The film, already in news, for the Rs. 1000 Crore item song called ‘NREGA NREGA’, is being directed by Hollywood’s horror specialist John Eyres and Produced by Indian Government’s ‘Progeny Progress Fund’ (PPF).

Among other problems, the unnamed sources add, is the tricky question of film’s climax. “We are still struggling with how the film ends. We have already shot 27 different endings, the latest one being Rahul running through the fields of Lakhimpur Kheri, and hugging a dalit. An earlier one we liked a lot was Rahul pointing to his white kurta and saying ‘Now that’s austerity’ but then, he winked before we could cut the shot.”

Just acting

Just acting

The makers, PPF Pictures (Very Very) Private Limited, are looking for a Diwali release but it all depends on distributors and a suitable climax. Or if, as some experts say, they could add another item song worth another Rs. 1000 Crore – ‘Maiyya Maiyya’.

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Too Many Girls Hugging Too Many Girls For Facebook Profile Pictures

Representation pic only, though the hug is real

Representation pic only, though the hug is real

Berkeley. 21 September 2009

A path-breaking research by UC Berkeley’s Center for Social Studies has concluded what many were fearing for the last few months – too many girls are hugging too many girls to get the “most socially acceptable” profile picture on Facebook and other networking sites.

The study conducted over a period of 4-months scanned around 1 million Facebook profile pictures to deduce that “It’s more than a simple trend like Facebook quizzes. It’s become a compulsion like Farmville.”  Barbara Huxley, the post-doctoral student spearheading this monumental research admitted that – “There have been many incidents of girl-hugging-girl in the last few weeks, and all this points to a very disturbing need to belong.”

A rough estimate puts hugging pictures at around 48 percent of all female profile photos, with ‘abstract imagery or looking in the distance’ photos a far-second at 21 percent. Leira Kenterwock, a marketing executive, confided that she “was made to hug a friend at a party because of peer pressure. In fact, my whole life is a series of peer-pressured events. My hair-style, my deodorant, my boyfriends, even my cellphone’s ringtone is decided by my peer-pressure group.”

“Guys would never do such a hug-your-pal thing to get attention”, emphasized Mark Dillon, a community worker addicted to social media. “We are happy posing with our cars or dogs, things that make us human. Of course, the car has to be better than my friend’s and dog smarter”, Mark added.

Meanwhile, Facebook crashed for a few hours yesterday, giving a billion people worldwide a chance to get up and take a bath after months of networking.

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China Invades ‘Aaj Tak’

Entering the Aaj Tak studios

Entering the Aaj Tak studios

New Delhi. 19 September 2009.

After days of speculating an attack, India’s Best News Channel Aaj Tak was today invaded by Chinese Forces at 0245 hours. A company of Chinese Elite Forces RX-12-HU descended on Aaj Tak headquarters in Central Delhi and mounted a 3-pronged attack on the 10,000 square feet office area comprising of 4 newsrooms, 2 live-snake counters, 4 monkey-counters, 12 taantrik make-up rooms, 1 loudspeaker store room, and the newly renovated war-room incidentally being used as a party-venue at that time.

As per unconfirmed reports, the Aaj Tak studios were full at the time of the invasion, and the very popular late night show ‘Baba Naag Pancham Ke Saath Kal Ka Bhavishya’ was being recorded. Baba Naag Pancham, unfortunately, was killed in the attack. Aaj Tak crew fought valiantly, and even managed to capture a Chinese Soldier for a soundbite.

Reporting ‘Live’ from ground-zero, Aaj Tak’s star-anchor Manoranjan Shukla showed the heart-wrenching visuals in the background and cursed the Indian Government for not giving heed to a possibility the channel had been warning about for days. But since it was late night and not many viewers were in a mood to watch war-reporting (the TRPs dipped), the channel soon switched back to its regular programming of ‘Raju Srivastava Ke Hansod Chutkuley – Seedha Indore Mein Gupta Ji Ki Shaadi Se’.

The regular programming was hurt only for an hour

The regular programming was hurt only for an hour

The invasion lasted 70-minutes and around 168 journalists, jugglers, taantriks, and animals were captured by the Chinese as POWs. Indian commandos are expected to reach the venue later today, and a team of cops will be rushed tomorrow. Indian Defense Ministry, Home Ministry and I & B Ministry refused to comment on the breach as “any comment could be miscontrued to be a joke about Sonia ji’s austerity”, admitted a source.

Meanwhile, India TV claimed the Aaj Tak attacks were helmed by Bahadur Shah Zafar and they have a phone conversation with the Mughal Ruler to prove it.

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CommonWealth 2010 Renamed As CommonPlace 2010

Lower. Slower. Over.

Lower. Slower. Over.

New Delhi. 16 September 2009.

In a strategic move aimed at relieving the Delhi administration off any deadlines and unachievable ambitions related to the upcoming Commonwealth Games 2010, the Government of India stepped in today to rename the sporting event as ‘CommonPlace 2010’. Cabinet Sports Minister MS Gill and IOA President since AD 1726 Mr. Suresh Kalmadi made the announcement at a chilled-out cocktail party thrown to mark the change.

“Why take pressure?”, said Kalmadi while sipping on his cocktail ‘Bloody Fennell’. “End of the day, these idiots will come from all over the world and jump over these stupid rods, or run around in stadiums, throwing and fetching bhaalas. And we bloody lose our sleep for them?’, Kalmadi questioned candidly. Sports Minister MS Gill too was all praise for this ‘logical change’ proposed by the Lowered Expectations Committee of the GOI. “They want us to have one lakh hotel rooms free. Who are we? Vaishno Devi Shrine Board?”, Gill muses.

According to the new road-map, CommonPlace 2010 will need 20 unfinished stadiums, 10 unfinished swimming pools, 25 unfinished open-area pandaals, at least 250 badly kept hotel rooms, and a security cover of at least 500 policemen with or without uniform. “It’s still a lot of work, if you see”, admitted one bureaucrat from the Organizing Committee of CPG2010. “We have 5 unfinished swimming pools, and getting 5 more may need some work. But yes, the new roadmap looks achievable…and then, we can renegotiate always”, the unnamed source winked bureaucratically.

Proposed site for Swimming Events. Not much work left as per the new roadmap.

Proposed site for Swimming Events. Not much work left as per the new roadmap.

Although, some stray voices of dissent still rang through the cocktail party, prominently of Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit. “What will happen to our BRTS? We spent 5-years planning that. It’s a modern enginering marvel…and now they say they don’t want it. It doesn’t go with the ‘vision’?”, Dikshit fumed. Though she is less fazed by Government’s proposal to use Delhi Metro Under-Construction Sites for ‘weightlifting and gymnastics events’. “That is good! We will get live promotions by international athletes. In fact, we had planned the work this way only.”

Meanwhile, Austere Rahul Gandhi, riding a train for the first time in his life, was highly offended by the graffiti inside the train toilet. “People are doing crazy images with our party’s symbol”, he admitted wide-eyed.

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Andhra Farmers Miss ‘Golden-Chance’ of Suicide Because of No Electricity

Why Us Saar?

Why Us Saar?

Hyderabad. 14 September 2009.

With each passing-day, and with every new poignant story coming to light from far-flung villages of Andhra Pradesh almost two weeks after YSR’s death, the scale of the calamity is dawning steadily on the state officials. “Our village has no electricity, no other form of communication…we had no idea YSR was dead”, says a devastated Nagaraju from a remote village in West Godavari district of the state. “It was a golden chance….”, he trails-off with a far-away look, before adding a feverish cry – “Our government sucks!”

Nagaraju is not alone. Statewide officials are recording at least 200 new such cases daily where the villagers, even town-folk staying in areas which ‘get’ 20-hour load-shedding (‘light-cut’ for dummies), are complaining of a lack of communication at the time of YSR’s death, hence robbing them off a chance to commit suicide.”There were, are, so many people who would have loved to die at such a mass-media event, and we understand their anger”, said a source within AP administration on the condition of anonymity.

Traditionally, Andhra Pradesh, much like any other Indian state, is used to no electricity, water or modes of communication but it’s events like these that bring forth the utter failure of state machinery in providing the people with the basest of necessities, like a right to kill themselves. “Part of the blame goes to the news channels too”, says K. Seshadri, District Collector of Cuddapah, “The way they were shrieking “200 suicides!” just 48-hours after-YSR, we didn’t realize that it was just an overstatement. Else we would have tried on our part to get more people involved. YSR, after-all, was the leader of the masses.”

Candles don't give news

Candles don't give news

Though there have been some stray cases where the standard farmer-suicide has been mistaken as a YSR-related suicide, officials say it’s all “a media-hype.” “Why would they kill themselves for rain or crop, when they could die for YSR?”, asks an angry Nellore official logically.

As one more villager appears on the horizon, carrying the angst of a missed-opportunity, if not one-in-a-lifetime chance, there is no denying that Andhra Pradesh is a failed state today. And very sad.

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Austere Indian Minister Quits ‘Paapad’, Drought-Hit Farmers Euphoric

International Austerity Conference at Taj Mansingh, New Delhi

International Austerity Conference at Taj Mansingh, New Delhi

New Delhi. 13 September, 2009.

In a rarest of rare case, an Indian Union Minister gave the much-publicized austerity-drive a huge fillip by quitting the Indian food accompaniment ‘paapad’ to show solidarity with the government’s drought-relief programs. “I can’t bring myself to have that paapad, especially when moong-daal, the basic ingredient of my favorite paapads, has taken the biggest hit this monsoon”, the Minister with Independent Portfolio, Kamal Nath Sharma said in an emotional press-briefing.

The hard-earned appreciation

The hard-earned appreciation

He also displayed the ‘Certificate of Appreciation’ presented to him by AICC President Sonia Gandhi the night before, just after he finished his first meal in 40-years without paapad. “Sonia ji was very happy that I have taken such a huge step on my own,” said Kamal Nath Sharma.

Experts believe that Kamal Sharma’s bold move may have a cascading effect and many more ministers will follow soon with their own, even grander versions of, self-imposed restrictions. It’s worth noting that MOS, MEA Shashi Tharoor has already cut-down on his gymming hours and he doesn’t “do bench-press and leg-curls exercises” anymore.

The news has brought much joy among the farmers in drought-hit districts of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. “We never thought The Government would care for us…but Kamal Sharma has proved us wrong, and how!”, said Bilaas Sarma, the sarpanch of Jilohi village in Chhindwara district. “In fact, we have decided to build his statue to show our gratitude. A location has been finalized, and expert sculptors from Lucknow have been contacted. And of course, he will be holding a ‘paapad’ in one hand and pointing the other towards horizon, indicating more paapads beyond the drought”, Bilaas Sarma added.

Lijjat Family, in happier times

Lijjat Family, in happier times

Meanwhile, Indian Army has confirmed that the guerillas putting red-spray paints on Ladakhi rocks were NOT Chinese Armyperson. “They were Coca Cola advertisers!”, read a classified note doing the rounds.

Le jaao jahaan le jaana hai

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