The Hangover of Demonetisation

November 29, 2018

Much to my delight, I was able to catch up with my old friend Neha Natalya Pandey last week. To my even greater delight, in this reunion, I was also able to meet Neha Natalya’s brother, Prof. Dr. Dr. Boris Bhartriraj Pandey, who over the course of dinner, explained to me the hidden significance of Yo Yo Honey Singh’s recent song, This Party is Over Now. Prof. Dr. Dr. Pandey insisted that his insight was trivial and not worth putting out to an academic audience. However, in view of the fact that nobody among the lay public has had the same insight, this represents a perhaps excessive level of modesty on his part. I was able to prevail upon him to quickly write up his observations on this song for a popular audience, and he agreed to let me carry it on my blog. I am, of course, indebted to Prof. Dr. Dr. Pandey for so raising the intellectual tone of this blog, and I trust that my readers will also be thrilled and enlightened after reading the below monograph.

Read the rest of this entry »


Mahishamati as Radical Soil: The Maoism of Baahubali

May 29, 2017

My old friend Neha Natalya Pandey, currently engaged in postdoctoral work in the United States, was kind enough to forward me her mother Dr. (Mrs.) Valentina Dimitrieva Pandey (M.A., M. Litt., Ph. D.) ‘s monograph on the Baahubali movies, with a request to share it. The recent turmoil in American – Russian relationships, with both the associated financial sanctions, and, tragically, the vilification of anything Russian among American academe, has made it impossible for Neha Natalya to maintain the Pandey family’s blog; and so she has been forced to forward their works for the popular masses to her friends to ensure that we common people continue to benefit from the erudite family’s research and advocacy. I reproduce Dr. (Mrs.) Pandey’s monograph below, unaltered and unedited. – AK


I have been dismayed at the vilification of Baahubali 2 in the counter-revolutionary press of India. Late capitalist media, sustained like fungi by the rotting advertising dollars of corporate houses, seeks to suppress or mischievously misrepresent truly revolutionary works of art. To serve their corporate masters, media houses have attacked the Baahubali films as racist, casteist, feudal, and antifeminist. As we shall see, nothing could be further from the truth. Baahubali 2, especially, is a pioneering work of cinema that speaks for the proletariat, the downtrodden, and the coming revolution.

That Baahubali 2 is revolutionary could have been anticipated from the creators alone. Like artistic stalwarts David Dhawan and Manmohan Desai, SS Rajamouli has spent his career on cinema that conveys the rage of the forgotten man in an unforgiving system of brutalisation. Yet even I was unprepared for just how far the Baahubali saga was willing to go in its championing of the subaltern. Rajamouli’s earlier body of work – for nobody is perfect – still privileged the individual vengeance over the dismantling of structural inequity. Baahubali goes a step further, and issues a call to arms for revolution.

We see in Baahubali that the land of Mahishamati is ruled by the wise regent Sivagami, and exists as a peasant utopia, untainted by industrialisation. The scholar Dominique Legrand-Metternich, in her work Mutter, Boden, Mensch, has pointed out that in (ab)original societies, the mother (who is not-male by virtue of her role, even though she may be male when observed through the lens of crass empiricism (see: Idle, 1979)) is identified with the land; whereas the father (who is always male, and thus anti-feminine) is identified with the fire. Thus, the preindustrial societies are inherently feminist, while post-industrialist societies are anti-feminist. Sivagami is able to maintain the idyllic conditions of Mahishamati, until Bhallaladeva takes the throne. It is then that industrialisation raises its ugly head.

The senior Baahubali is exiled, and works his revenge by introducing the technology of the gear-drive to Mahishamati. But this is only the spark that lights the fire. Once Sivagami is murdered by Bhallaladeva, the true end of the pastoral Mahishamati is brought about. For the next twenty five years, Bhallaladeva brings about so-called ‘development’ and industrialisation – but all this ‘progress’ is restricted to military technology, like automated chariots; or giant waterworks. Rajamouli’s film is therefore a searing indictment of Greco-capitalism; as the military-industrial complex, created by the American imperialists; and large dam projects, funded by the same imperialists; are both placed in the person of the villainous Bhallaladeva.

Fortunately, the end of ‘development’ is at hand, as Mahendra Baahubali and Avantika lead a peasant guerrilla army. As a Telugu speaker, Rajamouli is well aware of his culture’s glorious history of peasant revolutions. The pairing of the peasant Avantika, and the bourgeois Baahubali; coming together in a glorious synthesis of a proletarian revolution, is an obvious hat-tip to both the Chinese people’s revolution, and the ongoing Naxalite revolution in India. In an atmosphere of increasing suppression of people’s movements, and of their supporters, Rajamouli is as courageous as Baahubali himself in creating a film that so unabashedly propagandises the Naxalite movement.

In conclusion, the Baahubali films represent a pro-people, anti-feudal, anti-Greco-capitalist, and pro-revolutionary message. It remains to be seen, whether the bourgeoisie of India shall recognise the writing on the wall – but the people have awoken. Lal salaam!

– Dr. (Mrs.) Valentina Dimitrieva Pandey
MA (lit.) MPhil (illit.) PhD (corres.) M.A.S. University, Darjeeling

(The writer is the Randal Zakuroff Chair of Gender Studies at the Department of Social Sciences, at the University of St Petersburg, Russia. She lives with her husband Acharya Somuchidononanda Pandey in the Malyeshi suburb of St. Petersburg, where their twenty-two children frequently visit them.)


T-Shirt Idea

August 24, 2011

If you have to support a mostly-socialist, alcohol-forbidding Anna, then why not pick the original one, who also:

  • supported federalism
  • prevented Hindi from getting official status, kept India English-speaking, and so (unintentionally) gave it an economic advantage
  • wrote screenplays
  • actually fought and won elections?
Presenting the I Am Anna (Durai) t-shirt:
I Am Anna
Coming soon: the “Anna is TN and TN is Anna” t-shirt.

More Soviet Russian Advertising

August 7, 2011

image

In soviet Kanchi, job hunts you!


2010 in Preview

January 2, 2010

2009 was so filled with unpredictable stuff that one should learn from it and give up trying to predict the future. In a world that can throw up Nobel Prizes for Barack Obama, YSR telling jai in a helicopter crash, and the Kolkata Knight Riders captaincy policy, trying to predict the future based on the past is futile, right?

Right! But I’m going to do it anyway. If the one constant in life in change, the other constant in life is that it’s WTF. And every year is more WTF than the previous one. And so, for the fourth year in a row, I present my look at the year ahead.

January

The year starts off with a bang when Danish band Legodeath changes its concert concept entirely. They ditch both the horse drawn carriage and the burqas embroidered with satanic symbols and announce that they will be performing in the nude with tattoos of satanic symbols. Band frontsman Nils explains with a Goth poem: ‘Over the years/ so many šuffer/ not free to speak/ not free to drink/ now in solidariťy/ we express everything/ show whatever we can/ to gĩve others ħope/ until we are taken/ until they are taken/ by Sweet Mother Death.’ Rahul Raguram flies to Hjørring to attend the first concert. He emerges later weeping tears of joy and gushing ecstatically about the new genre of Hyperborean Naked Free Speech Metal.
In a surprising turn of events, Barack Obama is awarded a lifetime achievement Golden Globe award for his half-hour long campaign ad.
Deciding that if you can’t beat them, you should join them; NDTV Imagine takes on the popularity of Bigg Boss 3 by hiring Amitabh Bachchan to host Rahul Dulhaniya Le Jaayega too. People all over India give up in life when they start seeing twice as many hoardings with Amitabh Bachchan on them.
Suresh Kalmadi insists that the IOC is handling the Commonwealth Games properly and refuses to let the Commonwealth Games Organisation have any representation in India.
The RSS speaks out against Nitin Gadkari, claiming that he does not represent the ethos of the party. Newspaper columnists everywhere write about the BJP being plunged into a crisis. Anusha Sethuraman wisely points out that this is incorrect because the BJP was already in a crisis and could not plunge further.
The Defence Ministry still refuses to release spectrum  for civilian 3G use. Pranab Mukherjee suggests emergency procurement of equipment that works in a different range but this suggestion does not go anywhere. This doesn’t really matter because the Telecom Ministry has still not released the rules for the auction.
N Ram writes an editorial in the Hindu explaining that it is China’s enlightened leadership which allows it to easily allocate spectrum for civilian and military uses.
Shashi Tharoor gets into trouble for posting this tweet: ‘Respectfully congratulate President Obama on his win. Looking forward to having campaign ads for Congress.’ He is attacked by Congress party leaders who accuse him of going against the ethos of ads only featuring the Gandhi family.

February

As the Thackerays are fighting each other and the BJP is riven with discord, the Shiv Sena, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, and Bajrang Dal do not actually beat up anybody this Valentine’s Day. The slack is picked up by Baba Ramdev, who preaches non-stop on TV about the evils of Valentine’s Day, the danger of coming into contact with women, and the virtues of celibacy. He is roundly criticised by Danish band Legodeath, who surprise their audience with an improvised song during their latest nude concert: ‘Tell me how/ to bræthe/ and I/ shall accept it/ but not how to lïve/ that is for me/ for the one I love/ and tell me not/ how to die/ for that is the province/ of Sweet Møther Death’. Rahul Raguram is in tears at missing Legodeath’s new composition and only Anusha Sethuraman is able to get him to snap out of depression.
In a surprise twist in the series finale of Rahul Dulhaniya Le Jaayega, Rahul Mahajan rejects all the contestants and the swayamvar is actually won by Barack Obama.
Varun Gandhi ignites controversy once more when he makes a speech where he talks about Muslims with scary beards.
There is immense excitement as the IPL returns to India and the teams come back to their home stadiums. However the excitement is dampened slightly when Suresh Kalmadi insists that the IPL venues be constructed by the IOC without oversight by the BCCI.
There is consternation when Kapil Sibal announces that streams in Class XI and XII will be replaced by electives and students can choose subjects from any stream. This is widely protested by the CBSE, the ICSE, principals associations, and everyone except students for a week, until Kapil Sibal claims that there are no such plans.
Kanchan Gupta writes an editorial in The Pioneer explaining that Kapil Sibal’s statement only proves his point about the Congress’s desire to cross the streams.
Shashi Tharoor gets into trouble for posting the following tweet: ‘Pleased to hear about my colleague Kapil Sibal’s plans. He is doing excellent work for students.’ The Congress high command chastises him for tweeting without first consulting the Congress high command.

March

The field of private space exploration gets a boost when MTV realises that after taking the Roadies to Thailand, Australia, and then Africa, it has run out of venues on Earth; and so decides to hold the next edition of Roadies in low earth orbit. SpaceShipOne, FalconX, Virgin Galactic, and other such enterprises line up to build a space vessel that will cause the maximum disorientation and nausea in the Roadies.
The spectrum auction faces further complications, as the finance ministry now wants the Telecom Ministry to sell spectrum that is already occupied. Pranab Mukherjee insists that if the government can do it with land, it can do it with spectrum.
The Delhi Metro stretch from Gurgaon to Saket is finally inaugurated, three months late. It turns out that the reason for the delay was that Suresh Kalmadi had been placed in charge of the inauguration ceremony.
The IPL excitement hots up further when Shah Rukh Khan announces that he is selling a stake in the Kolkata Knight Riders to Bappi Lahiri. Encouraged by the sheer awesomeness of Bappida as well as the fact that the winner of the IPL is the worst team in the previous year’s edition, thousands of people bet on KKR to win the trophy. Meanwhile, SET Max decides to sack Mandira Bedi and replace her with Amitabh Bachchan.
In an interview on rediff.com, Chetan Bhagat insists that he writes for the masses and criticises over-intellectual writers like Paulo Coelho. This leads to a five hundred comment flame war between Chetan Bhagat fans, Paulo Coelho fans, and those who are both Chetan Bhagat and Paulo Coelho fans. Amazingly nobody mentions Porkistanis until the 412th comment. A day later Chetan Bhagat reports all the comments supporting Paulo Coelho for abuse to the Rediff moderators and says that he is hurt that his commitment to literature is being questioned.
In order to ease the crisis in the BJP brought about by the RSS’s criticism, the Reddy brothers, and Rajnath Singh’s continuous whining, Nitin Gadkari calls for a chintanbaithak. At the chintanbaithak he gets so frustrated that he quits and hands control back to LK Advani. The RSS angrily accuses him of abandoning the core tenets of the party.
An editorial in The Hindu by N Ram bemoans the Chetan Bhagat controversy and points out that China’s controlled cultural environment prevents literary spats from occurring.
Shashi Tharoor gets in trouble for tweeting ‘Sad to see @chetanbhagat involved in an ugly controversy. Youth icons should decline this mudslinging.’.  The Congress high command accuses him of undermining friendly relations with Brazil, Paulo Coelho’s native country.

April

The IPL excitement truly hots up, as thousands of spectators turn out to see Shah Rukh Khan, Bappida, Shilpa Shetty, and also the cricket. As predicted, the Kolkata Knight Riders outperform all the other teams and win the final. In view of this, everyone is amazed when at the prize distribution ceremony Lalit Modi awards the championship trophy to Barack Obama.
On his trip back home, Rahul Raguram is aghast when he finds that the Legodeath website does not load in India. He discovers that it has been blocked by the Government of India on grounds of obscenity owing to videos of Legodeath’s nude performances. He immediately decides to mount a legal challenge to the block. Other Legodeath fans are not as temperate and react by throwing shoes at the I&B Minister.
Varun Gandhi makes a speech where he announces that he finds the violent passages in the Quran scary, and immediately draws the ire of news channels and the respect of rediff commentors. Maneka Gandhi immediately rises to his defence.
It is the month in which companies announces their financial results and the Times of India Group declares record profits. It turns out that they have obtained a new income stream, namely Sanjana Jon buying up news space in the Delhi Times, Bombay Times, and all the other supplements in which she gives interviews insisting that Anand Jon is innocent and has been framed. All other newspapers have also done well, thanks to the advertising revenue from all the front page ads Mukesh and Anil Ambani keep taking out.
Students and their parents are shocked and alarmed when they turn up at board exam centres across Delhi only to find Kapil Sibal standing outside insisting that the exam is cancelled.  However the examiner shows up in time and reassures them that Kapil Sibal does not mean what he says.
There is yet another sex scandal involving a temple priest in Tamil Nadu molesting female devotees inside the inner sanctum. Anusha Sethuraman starts a campaign called the Big Sister Campaign to fit temples with CCTV cameras and make the feed publicly viewable. However Suresh Kalmadi opposes this and says that only the IOC should have the authority to oversee the CCTV feeds.
The campaign is also attacked by Kanchan Gupta in a Pioneer editorial for offending the religious sensibilities of Hindus. Later on Kanchan Gupta says that Anusha Sethuraman is only proving his point.
Shashi Tharoor gets into trouble for the following tweet: ‘Passing through the beautiful countryside of Uttar Pradesh. Taken aback at development work.’ Mayawati strongly criticises him for referring to Bundelkhand as Uttar Pradesh.

May

After working like maniacs to develop a low-cost and uncomfortable space vessel in which the passengers will feel as ill and unpleasant as possible; Virgin Galactic, SpaceShipOne, and FalconX are disappointed to lose the contract forRoadies 8: In Space Nobody Can Hear the Roadies Scream to Air India, which has unbeatable expertise in that area. Pleased that their plans for roadies in space are working out, MTV hires Amitabh Bachchan to host this season.
After a year of unsuccessfully trying to develop the abandoned Tata Motors factory as first an auto parts manufacturing estate and then an Indian Railways site, Mamata Banerjee demands separate statehood for Singur and threatens a fast unto death. The CPI(M) Politburo are all very disappointed when she calls it off.
Legodeath finally responds to the news of their website being blocked in India. Band frontsman Nils issues a statement: ‘So now we join/ the sŵelling ranks/ of the silenced/ standing by Sǎlman/ standing by Husśain/ and in awe to be/ standing with the incŏmparable/ Savitā Bhabhĩ/ yet/ who is the Government of Īndia/ to silence us?/ for is not silence/ the province only/ of Sweet Mōther Death?’ Thanatambourine player Hans and backing growler Astrid also add: ‘Fuŗy rises/ in our brėasts/ now we shall not forgive/ any who silence us/ in the land of plųrality/ where so many prơphets spoke/ we will ensure/ no ścream goes unheard.’ Rahul Raguram is ecstatic at Legodeath’s foray into Tropical Censorship Protest Metal. Everyone else is merely overcome that Astrid has mentioned her breasts.
Despite Kapil Sibal’s best attempts to replace the IITJEE All India Ranks with grades, the IITs announce the ranks after all. It turns out that Barack Obama is AIR-1. The very next day all national newspapers carry advertisements from FIITJEE, Vidya Mandir Classes, Aakash Institute, Brilliant Tutorials, and other such coaching institutes, each of which has a personal testimonial from Barack Obama.
People in Bangalore attempt to take out a protest march over the pathetic state of traffic in the city. Unfortunately due to the pathetic state of traffic in the city, they are unable to march and have to resort to weaving their way through stopped autorickshaws.
Varun Gandhi makes a speech where he says that he finds the prospect of terrorism extremely scary. After he is attacked by news channels for his intemperate comments, Maneka Gandhi goes on air to tell everyone that her son did not do anything wrong.
Faced with a return to the nagging question of what to do about its leadership, the BJP considers internal elections. They are attacked by the RSS for abandoning the core tenets of Hindutva in favour of internal democracy.
The Big Sister Campaign picks up speed when Anusha Sethuraman hits upon the brilliant ploy of getting women all over India to send temple bhattars rakhis. In a circumlocutory editorial in the Hindu, N Ram points out that the Chinese approach to security in religious sites has a lot going for it.
Delhi is afflicted by both soaring temperatures and frequent power cuts by the Anil Ambani controlled BSES. Anilbhai immediately takes out front page ads in the Times of India and Hindustan Times claiming that the power cuts are all Mukeshbhai’s fault, and that Reliance Industries is cheating the exchequer of thousands of crores.
Shashi Tharoor tweets ‘Feel that the RSS is going to oppose Big Sister Campaign as they prefer khaki to rakhi’ and is promptly criticised by the Home Minister for insulting the feelings of the police force.

June

At the World Tamil Conference, Karunanidhi reverses his earlier position on splitting Tamil Nadu into separate states and now announces that he will in fact ask for Tamil Nadu to be divided into three parts so that Azhagiri, Stalin, and Kanimozhi can each be chief minister of a state. Reporters from the New Indian Express, the Hindu, and the Deccan Chronicle are so taken aback that they completely forget to use the word ‘quipped’ when describing his statement.
Kokilaben Ambani sends Karunanidhi a fax wishing him good luck with his attempts to resolve his succession issues.
In his latest speech, Varun Gandhi attacks MTV for producing Roadies, as he finds space flight extremely scary.
The Met Office announces that the monsoon will be delayed. At first everyone blames this on global warming. Later on it turns out that the actual reason is that Suresh Kalmadi has been placed in charge of the Met Office.
Justice KT Sankaran of the Kerala High Court asks the Kerala Police to investigate if the Big Sister Campaign is being used to facilitate entry of foreigners to the inner sanctum of temples. The Kerala Police says that it isn’t and KT Sanakaran refuses to accept this answer. In his Pioneer editorial, Kanchan Gupta says that this just proves his point.
A year on, confusion over the Unique ID project remains supreme, due to all the conflicting statements over whether it will be a number linking different IDs, a card by itself, or a biometric identifier. When asked what the hell he has been doing all year, Nandan Nilekani explains that he has been busy trying to revert edits to his Wikipedia entry that identify him as the inspiration behind The World is Flat.
The BJP suffers yet another blow when in Karnataka the Reddy brothers threaten to withdraw support to Yeddiyurappa again. Their demands include separate statehood for Bellary, transfer of all land in Chikmaglur to themselves, and reinstatement of the traffic light on the Richmond Circle flyover. The RSS says that this is because the BJP has lost touch with the core ideology of Hindutva.
Meanwhile, the Sports Ministry, already tired of controversies about the Commonwealth Games, decides not to court further controversy over who is included and excluded from this years Arjuna and Drona awards. Nobody gets either award, except Barack Obama, who gets both. Anusha Sethuraman wisely comments that the Arjuna Awards should be renamed the Eklavya awards, looking at how the various sports federations in India keep fucking over their athletes.
The 3G spectrum auction is now seven months late. However this does not stop Indian Apple fanboys from continuing to buy overpriced iPhones.
Shashi Tharoor tweets ‘Karunanidhi is demanding separate states to ensure his issues don’t have succession issues.’ In retaliation, DMK cadres threaten to burn Kerala buses that come into Tamil Nadu. However no violence actually results as the Mallu bus operators are on strike anyway.

July

In its Summer Deathfest concert, Legodeath unleashes its strongest statement yet in favour of Anusha Sethuraman’s Big Sister Campaign and against its detractors with the following protest song: ‘One stands up/ to protect the rest/ to bring to light/ the misdeeds/ of those who violate/ of those who profane/ for this alone/ she is attacked/ by Ŝankaran/ by Ķanchan/ who demand that none but they/ may decide/ who shall speak/ Embrace me now/ Swěet Motheŕ Đeath.’ The video of the concert is widely shared all over the Internet, thanks mainly to the efforts of Rahul Raguram.
Indira Gandhi International Airport’s Terminal 3 finally opens to the public, to the great joy of frequent fliers who were sick of their aircraft taxiing the length of the runway for forty five minutes after landing. Unfortunately the travelators in the terminal do not work and passengers now have to walk forty-five minutes to get to the exit after getting off the plane. Suresh Kalmadi insists that the IOC can handle the problem by itself.
There are riots in Bangalore when the toll gate on the elevated road to Hosur is opened before the road itself is. However, N Ram insists in a Hindu editorial that the protests were actually quite mild and that the problem has been overexaggerated by the Dalai clique.
As always happens, there is heavy rain in Mumbai and the Milan Subway floods. This is not a big problem, because due to A Raja giving 2G telecom licenses to all and sundry, all telecom operators have put up dinghies there this year. There is also heavy flooding in Bandra (West), but this is not a problem because everyone who lives in Bandra (West) goes to London in July anyway. The only person who is affected is Varun Gandhi, who finds dark clouds very frightening.
Faced with the BJP insisting on elections to resolve its leadership crisis, the RSS reluctantly concedes but insists that it should pick the candidates who stand to ensure that they conform to the core tenets of the party.
Shashi Tharoor gets into trouble after tweeting ‘Upset to see salwar kameezes gaining popularity. Would prefer to see a sari state.’ The Cabinet accuses him of encouraging Varanasi, Kanchipuram, and Pochampalli to demand separate statehood.

August

A terrorist with more ambition than intelligence tries to blow up a plane by carrying sodium stitched inside his shoes but only suffers severe burns. However air security agencies around the world promptly swing into action and ban footwear on all flights.
There is confusion off the coast of Somalia when American and Indian warships both attack a pirate vessel and are unable to agree on who should claim the credit. Brinda Karat appears on NDTV, where she accuses the Americans of not co-operating and sharing intelligence with the Indian Navy. Amazingly nobody from NDTV points out to her that two years ago her party had opposed Naval co-operation between the United States and India. It is left to Legodeath to make a statement. Band frontsman Nils comments: ‘Abandoned by voţers/ into the đepths/ of irreŀevance/ and yet she appears/ on åir to speak/ to contradict ĥerself/ to make a point/ but why the pőint/ of one who matters/ so little/ even when/ what matters most/ is not here/ not there/ not with me/ not with you/ but only with/ Sweət Mǿther Dëath.’
Love Aaj Kal’s TV rights are released this month, and all the Hindi film and general entertainment channels start running it at prime time. TV viewers are alarmed when they realise that it is  no longer possible to find No Entry on at least one channel any more.
A bitter war of words breaks out between Nitin Gadkari, Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj, Rajnath Singh, and the RSS on how the BJP elections should be conducted. At the end of it all, utter confusion reigns. Even the news channels are unable to explain anything, because they have called in Jaswant Singh to comment and nobody can make out what he is saying through his mumbling.
People in Gujrat decide to jump on to the bandwagon and demand separate statehood for Saurashtra, Kutch, or for that matter any region which is willing to do away with prohibition. They are fiercely criticised by Kanchan Gupta for creating problems for Narendra Modi’s government.
Shashi Tharoor gets into trouble when he tweets: ‘Why must innocents remove footwear all because of one terrorist? Airline rule should be reviewed.’ He is attacked by the disgraced Tamil Nadu priest who points out that one always removes footwear when entering temples and says that Tharoor is attacking Indian culture.

September

Fed up with Gujjus threatening to split the state, Narendra Modi drops hints about standing for election to the BJP President’s post. In this he is opposed by the RSS, who say that he has lost touch with the core tenets of the party now that he has started demolishing temples on roads. The RSS in turn is mocked by Legodeath, and band frontsman Nils and backing howler Anders  point out: ‘Their own membership thiñning/yet they dictate/ and leave the BJP/ not dýing/ and not in rebirth/ let them part/ let them give/ the BĴP over/ to Sweet Mother Death.’
Varun Gandhi’s speech this month is a terrified monologue about how frightened he was by the dark scenes in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. By now even NDTV24x7 is treating him with pity rather then censure. Zee News of course starts playing Meri Maa from Taare Zameen Par whenever they run footage of Varun Gandhi.
It is the time at which American college starts and many Indian students set out to start their higher education. Kapil Sibal assures them that within two years he will replace their numerical GPAs with letter grades.
Narendra Modi is not the only BJP Chief Minister to face problems. At a press conference, Yeddiyurappa is asked if the traffic signal on the Richmond Circle flyover will ever be restored. When he hesitates over the answer, the journalist throws a shoe at him in frustration.
The Ambani brothers have now been releasing front page advertisements accusing each other of malfeasance for almost a year and a half with nothing to show for it. Anilbhai decides to break the deadlock by hiring Amitabh Bachchan as the ADAG spokesperson. The public is now fed up at having to see even more of him.
N Ram’s Hindu editorial calls for a resolution of the Ambani dispute along the enlightened Chinese lines of socialism with a market face.
Shashi Tharoor tweets ‘On vacation, climbing mountains near Coonoor. This is a very respectable incline.’ Amazingly, nobody takes offence, though a few Twitter users criticise him for not using the tweetsliketharoor hashtag.

October

The Commonwealth Games finally start, and as everyone was afraid, most of the venues are not ready. Suresh Kalmadi insists that the situation is under control, as at least half the events can take place. For the remaining events, he awards the medals to Barack Obama.
In Bangalore, protests about traffic start gathering momentum. Commuters start demanding separate statehood for the Richmond Circle flyover.
Varun Gandhi makes a bid for the BJP leadership, with the active encouragement of the RSS. However he drops out quickly, explaining that he is scared of having shoes thrown at him.
Everyone is taken aback when Chetan Bhagat attacks Muggesh and Namy Roy, ID and G3, and several other inter-regional couples for stealing the plotline of 2 States and not crediting him or giving him royalties. To Namy Roy’s great disgust, her @replies twitter stream is flooded by tweets of Chetan Bhagat fanboys accusing her of plaigarism, all of which are also retweeted by Chetan Bhagat.
The 3G spectrum auction has still not taken place and A Raja and Pranab Mukherjee are now so furious with each other that MTV attempts to enlist them for Roadies in Space.
After years of anticipation over whether the IPL will expand the number of teams, the suspense ends when Lalit Modi announces that the IPL is taking over Sher-e-Jalandhar and Churchill Brothers and converting them to cricket teams, as nobody watches hockey or football anyway.
Kanchan Gupta expresses bitter disappointment that Varun Gandhi is not standing for internal elections after all, and says that this just proves his point about  how the BJP’s strategists are bastards.
Shashi Tharoor tweets ‘Relieved that FC Kochi not taken over by IPL. Kerala and football go together.’ He is immediately attacked by the Congress High Command for attacking India’s national game. Nobody points out to the Congress high command that the national game is in fact hockey.

November

After endless struggle, the BJP finally succeeds in holding internal elections for party president. There is so much confusion about who is on the ballot and who is not that the news channels are unable to cope and the statisticians from the cricket channels take over.
The Central Government announces an enquiry into why the Commonwealth Games were so disastrous. Suresh Kalmadi is aggrieved at this, pointing out that the Commonwealth Games went perfectly. He is supported by Kapil Sibal, who says that actually conducting the Games would have led to unnecessary stress, and that the athletes could be given letter grades instead.
Kapil Sibal is so distracted with defending Suresh Kalmadi that he completely forgets to cancel the CAT. The IIMs learn from the disastrous experience of 2009, and replace the computer-based test with a mobile phone-based test. Unfortunately, there are just as many problems, most of which are caused by the fact that 3G mobile data service is not actually available.
Varun Gandhi makes a speech, accompanied by Menaka Gandhi, in which he confesses that he is terrified of cockroaches.
Despite months of activism, Rahul Raguram is unable to get the Legodeath website unblocked and Anusha Sethuraman is unable to get CCTV cameras installed in temple sanctums. However they do not give up hope, especially as they have received encouragement from Legodeath themselves.
During the auction for the Goa and Jalandhar IPL franchises, an enraged football fan throws a shoe at Lalit Modi. Lalit Modi immediately orders him eaten by Rottweilers.
N Ram’s Hindu editorial accuses the football fan of launching an illegal and unprovoked attack on innocent CPI(M) cadres.
Shashi Tharoor is sacked from the cabinet after posting the following tweet: ‘Invited by the Congress High Command to stop tweeting. Respectfully declined.’

December

Pranab Mukherjee and A Raja agree to settle their differences on MTV Roadies. With the finance minister and communications minister gone, Manmohan Singh puts Suresh Kalmadi in charge of the 3G spectrum auction. Kalmadi’s first action is to appoint Amitabh Bachchan as brand ambassador for the auction.
In a coup, MTV also gets Anilbhai and Mukeshbhai to sign up for Roadies in Space, and settle their differences there.
The BJP internal elections finally conclude. Due to all the confusion at the time of voting, nobody is at all sure who has actually won, so the RSS gives up, follows the trend, and appoints Barack Obama as the BJP President in the hope that he will lead to change.
With the BJP elections out of the way, Varun Gandhi confesses to being afraid of injections, lions, spiders, women, and the sky falling on his head. Maneka Gandhi takes him away for a rest cure. While reporting this, Zee News breaks with tradition and actually uses an English song as backing music – namely, Pink Floyd’s Mother.
The demand for new states suddenly comes to a screeching halt when the Telangana activists have a brainwave and start demanding not separate statehood but SEZ status for all of Telangana. The brilliance of this is noted by everyone campaigning for new states, and they adopt this demand too. However, Kanchan Gupta condemns it as a conspiracy of anti-Hindu interests, while N Ram claims it is a move inspired by the Dalai clique to bring China’s industrial policy into disrepute.
Chetan Bhagat now picks a fight with Kapil Sibal, as Sibal’s attempts to do away with numbers and replace them with letter grades will force Bhagat to change the way he names his books. People on twitter are utterly disgusted with this latest controversy and pretty much give up in life when Kapil Sibal joins twitter to defend himself.
Shashi Tharoor tweets: ‘Glad to see @kapilsibal on twitter. Respectfully wish him a better twitter experience than mine.’
Legodeath hold an end-of-year concert in which they debut a new song: ‘All of you/ are idiots at large/ the Ħigh Ċommand/ suppresses Ŧharoor/ the RSŜ/ runs the BJP to ground/ Ķanchan and Ram/ have their heads up their arses/ just like/ Aʼnil and Mukesh/ the only awesömeness/ we find/ is in/ Rahül and Anushä/ despite all this/ we wish everybody/ a Fabulous Ŋew Ÿear.’


2009 in Preview

January 18, 2009

After all the horrifying stuff we faced in 2008 – bomb blasts, rampaging inflation, a global financial crisis, and Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, – 2009 can only get better, right?

Ha ha ha. Oh, you crack me up. The rest of next year, we’re going to get further into a global economic downturn, we’re going to have a general election which’ll remind us of how crapulent our political choices are, and Himesh Reshammiya has five new movie releases. 2009 is going to be even worse then 2008 ever was.By the time we get through it, we’ll be wishing for the good old days of 2008. Still, forewarned is forearmed, and in keeping with the grand tradition of this blog, I’m letting you loyal readers know exactly what 2009 has in store for you. Words shall describe the unspeakable horror.

January

The Danish band Legodeath sells their touring van and announces that they will move their gear and members around on horse drawn carriages instead. Band frontsman Nils explains with a Goth poem: ‘Sweet Möther Death/ will take us all/ even these horses/ but not General Motors/ båilout after båilout/ keeps death away/ like a Žombie horde/ time to end now/ this rapacious mônster.’ Rahul Raguram excitedly informs everyone about the promising new musical genre of Scandianvian creative destruction metal.
The Home Ministry announces its firm intention to make cheating on husbands a criminal offence. In this it receives strong support from most people who bother to cast their vote in SMS polls.
A survey reveals that Omar Abdullah has replaced Howard Roark as the foremost crush of teenage girls in English medium public schools. Shobhaa De writes a column about how this represents a new political awakening in Indian youth.
The BCCI asks the Pakistani Cricket Board to ban all Pakistani players who are playing in the Indian Cricket League. Asif Ali Zardari insists that there is no proof that any Pakistani is playing the ICL. He is criticised by Barack Obama who says that Pakistan should take better efforts to co-operate with India.
Barack Obama begins his presidency, and people all over the world are hopeful that this will lead to an improvement in the economy and a ew era of peace and prosperity. However skeptical conservatives point out that Obama is not the messiah.
Anil Ambani changes Reliance Mobile’s name to BIG Phone, to match his existing naming system of BIG TV, BIG Home Video, BIG Movies, and BIG Flix. Questioned why, he replies “I may not be the big brother, but I can have a bunch of BIG companies.” He then smirks.
The economic slowdown continues. Restaurants in Mumbai are so empty, diners can now overhear the conversation of only one other table. Surjit Bhalla writes a series of columns on how this is the fault of the RBI refusing to lower interest rates.
Abu Salem issues supari on Rahul Mahajan for outraging Monica Bedi’s modesty. However nobody kills him.

February

Restaurants and hotels in Indian metros do not see their usual Valentine’s Day spike in revenues. Due to the economic crisis, people in love skip expensive dinners to save money. Instead they take follow the lead of small town India and stand outside girls’ colleges holding flowers. Barkha Dutt reports live from outside these colleges and asks the cameraperson to pan over the whole crowd.
The Home Ministry insists that not criminalising female adultery will open the floodgates of delinquent behaviour and the current situation provides unbridled license for women to cheat on their husbands. Asif Ali Zardari insists that there is no proof that wives are cheating on their husbands and that if proof is found, they can be prosecuted in Pakistan.
With Lok Sabha elections approaching, political observers are keenly watching the regional parties to see which ones will join the NDA, which ones will join the UPA, and which ones will send their leaders to hold their upraised hands with Chandrababu Naidu on the front page of the Hindu.
The Deccan Chargers become the latest Gult company to go under in scandal. It is revealed that they had never actually employed Andrew Symonds.
Campus placements at IIT slow down to such an extent that even more IITians commit suicide than usual. Farmers in Vidarbha angrily criticise them for stealing the limelight.
After having one-upped Mukesh Ambani’s private jet purchase by buying a super luxury yacht, Anilbhai upstages Mukeshbhai’s 60 floor home Antilia by announcing plans to buy Andaman Island and convert the Cellular Jail to a private mansion, which he will rename BIG House.
Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel start spring training with the Pittsburgh Pirates. The BCCI requests the MLB to ban them from playing as only the IPL is official and legitimate.
The fog over Delhi’s airport finally clears and flights can start taking off on time. V Anantha Nageswaran writes a series of columns insisting that the takeoffs are only because of a flood of cheap money and that the worst is yet to come.
The underworld still does not kill Rahul Mahajan.

March

With the Lok Sabha set to dissolve, no substantive legislation is discussed. In this matter, the budget session is no different from the last five years of parliament.
In another continuance of the last five years in Parliament, Rahul Gandhi makes a stirring speech about a woman in the Amethi constituency called Padmawati who leads a miserable life without access to electricity, education, or clean drinking water. The TV channel Colors promptly announces that it will start a new daily soap opera based on her life.
Sheila Dixit announces the extension of the BRT program in Delhi to another road. This is ignored by everyone who actually uses the bus service, supported by a number of urban planners and NGOs, and angrily criticised by Delhi’s motorists. Asif Ali Zardari assures Delhi’s car drivers that there is no evidence that the BRT leads to traffic snarls.
The BCCI requests the CBSE to stop holding board exams, as the time spent by children in studying will distract them from watching the IPL.
Continuing the grand tradition of Gult companies exploding spectacularly,  Country Club founder Y Rajeev Reddy announces that he has been committing massive fraud over the past few years, and that the number of country clubs has been grossly overstated over the past few years. TV viewers are relieved as this suggests that they will no longer have to endure Country Club ads with Rajeev Reddy sticking his thumb up. Barkha Dutt reports live from Hyderabad and interviews random passersby, informing viewers about how traumatised they are.
BP Singhal appears on CNN-IBN’s Face the Nation to explain that adultery cannot be tolerated by Indian society and therefore it is imperative to criminalise it. He angrily accuses the middle class New Delhi audience of being Westernised and unable to appreciate the Indian mindset.
Anil Ambani changes Reliance Energy’s name to BIG Bijli.
Surjit Bhalla writes a series of columns about how Anilbhai would be able to truly grow Reliance Energy instead of just renaming it if interest rates were lower.
Rahul Mahajan nearly kills himself while driving drunk, but the underworld had nothing to do with it.

April

In preparation for the upcoming elections, the government announces a cut in fuel prices to reflect the easing in the price of crude oil. Over the rest of April, the price of crude rises by fifteen dollars a barrel.
The English news channels begin their annual hysterical coverage of the CBSE board exams. Barkha Dutt broadcasts live from outside a CBSE examination centre, and chases Class X students as they leave the centre, asking them how they feel. The students run away in terror at the sight of Barkha Dutt shrieking at them. She then turns towards the camera and informs the viewers that they can see how traumatised the students were.
Due to the slowdown of the economy in general, and the real estate sector in particular, DLF is unable to sponsor the IPL this time around. Lalit Modi asks the Federal Reserve for a bailout. This prompts Legodeath to release a fresh song titled Bowlout Bailout in which they protest the use of taxpayer money to rescue questionable business plans. Rahul Raguram excitedly asks all his Facebook contacts to download it as soon as possible.
Indian corporations begin to release their annual financial statements and there is clear evidence of slowing earnings and ravaged balance sheets. However Asif Ali Zardari insists that there is no proof of a slowdown, and that if any is found it can be tackled internally by Pakistan’s finance ministry.
Anilbhai agrees to take over the naming rights of the controversial New York Mets stadium from Citi, and announces that the stadium will now be known as the BIG Ballpark. However he does not announce how much he is paying for the naming rights. Headline writers across the Indian media go orgasmic when they realise that they can now speculate about the ballpark figure.
After Genelia and Asin, Trisha becomes the next South Indian actress to break out in Bollywood movies. V Anantha Nageswaran writes a series of columns warning that this is an unsustainable trend and that commodities are the only safe refuge.
Rahul Mahajan continues to live unscathed.

May

The bailout funds for Detroit automakers run out and there is now no way to avoid bankruptcy. The auto unions as well as the management criticise Barack Obama for not doing enough. Obama defends himself and points out that he isn’t the messiah.
The Lok Sabha is dissolved and the Election Commission sets dates for elections. Young middle class voters and not so young rich celebrities all declare their intention to register to vote and to vote for the first time on the front page of Bombay Times, Delhi Times, Pune Times, and so forth. However nothing comes of it when they realise that even after taking jaagore.com’s help, they still need to submit the registration form at the local sarkaari office on their own.
The CBSE results are announced and it turns out that the mathematics paper has been extremely low scoring, and thousands of Class XII students have performed badly, putting them at a disadvantage against students who took Physical Education or Psychology instead. This leads to a huge outcry. Arundhati Roy joins the protests by writing an essay in which she questions the justice of infinite algebra.
Anilbhai renames Reliance Mutual Fund and Reliance Money to BIG Profits.
The peak temperature in Delhi hits 52 degrees Celsius. This is initially blamed on global warming but later on it turns out that the cause is actually the hot air being spewed by Rajdeep Sardesai ahead of the elections.
Meanwhile, the BCCI appeals to the Election Commission to postpone the elections as election coverage is distracting viewers from the IPL.
The one saving grace of hot weather all over India is that the mango crop is doing well. Unfortunately mango farmers are not getting good prices. The BJP accuses the government of letting down the aam aadmi.
Surjit Bhalla writes a series of columns explaining that the low prices of mangos are proof that inflation is not a threat and that interest rates should be cut.
Rahul Mahajan is not only alive but is rumoured to be the host for the next season of BIGG BOSS. Abu Salem starts giving up in life.

June

Campaigning for the elections becomes hectic as the last phase of polling begins. All major parties assure voters that they will criminalise female adultery.
The economic slowdown continues and commodity prices hit all time lows. Somali pirates are perturbed when they discover that the ships they hijack have worthless cargoes and the shipping companies can’t be bothered to pay the ransom. Therefore they appeal to the US Treasury for a bailout.
The 24 hour news channels are thrown into a tizzy because elections and Delhi University admissions are occurring simultaneously. To make matters even worse, a boy falls down a well. News channels rapidly switch feeds from outside North Campus to election rallies to the well, while the anchors desperately try to keep up. Barkha Dutt later writes an op-ed describing it as the most traumatic time in her life.
The elections finally end. The Election Commission announces that it has actually held the elections at a profit. This is because the five thousand new parties which decided to ride the wave of middle class outrage and campaigned on a platform of opposing corruption, promoting the national interest and fighting against caste-based reservations have all lost their deposits. Also, Parliament is extremely hung, with no political alliance getting a clear majority. It appears that there will not be a working government for the next five years. So it will be exactly like the previous five years.
Anilbhai announces that Reliance ADA Group will set up sewage treatment plants in Indian metros. This will be done by a company named BIG Shit. This naming and renaming spree finally gets noticed by Shobhaa De, who writes a column wondering if Anilbhai is insecure.
The only good news to come out in the entire month is that the Bandra-Worli Sea Link is finally opened to the public. Unfortunately after two days of operation it is blockaded by Maharashtra Navnirman Sena workers who protest about the toll booths being manned by migrants from UP and Bihar. When it is pointed out to them that the toll plazas are automated and use state-of-the-art smart card readers, they demand that the smart card readers be replaced by the Marathi manoos.
V Anantha Nageswaran writes a series of columns in which he  warns his readers that the Bandra Worli Sea Link only got built because of a flood of cheap money and that this is unsustainable in the long run.
Rahul Mahajan remains unharmed, because everyone in the underworld has realised that it is more profitable to ask for a bailout.

July

Legodeath announces plans to release a concept album on bailouts. Frontsman Nils states that the band wants to challenge the concept of money being spent to rescue businesses that are no longer relevant or viable. He also provides a partial track listing. The tracks include Sçhumpeter Screams for Mercÿ, The Ċreative are Ċhoked While The Zombies Are Fed, and Dřowning Ëquity. Rahul Raguram hails the (unnamed) album as a masterpiece of Danish financial protest metal.

Efforts to form a government continue and both the Congress and the BJP ask the BSP to support the government. However they are both unwilling to give Mayawati the PM’s post, and offer her the Defence Ministry instead. Mayawati insists that she wants the Prime Ministership and nothing else, and laughs in their faces. Headline writers across the Indian media wet themselves when they realise they can now print stuff like ‘Behenji turns down MoD’.
With no government to propose legislation, the number of laws discussed in Parliament falls from already abysmal lows to zero. However the MPs are not completely unoccupied, as three different TV Channels start signing them up for dance shows featuring male MPs paired up with female models. This leads to a furious bidding war between SET Max, Star Plus, and Colors for Omar Abdullah.
Surjit S Bhalla points to the bidding war as evidence that it is impossible to use monetary policy to control Indian inflation, and that interest rates should therefore be lowered.
Anilbhai ignores Shobhaa De’s column and changes Mumbai Metro One’s name to BIG Rapid Transit.
Everyone is so miserable about the economy and the political situation that nobody notices that the monsoon has been on time, normal, and well distributed over India. Everyone, that is, except Barkha Dutt, who broadcasts live from Delhi in the middle of a drizzle, where she explains to the viewers that they can see how traumatised everyone is. Despite there being no real government, the additional solicitor general appears before the Supreme court and testifies that female adultery is evidence of perverted minds.
Asif Ali Zardari realises that he has been away from the public spotlight. Therefore he insists that there is no evidence that he had been inactive.
Rahul Mahajan is in the pink of health. Abu Salem’s lawyer informs the press about the anguish his client faces.

August

All efforts to form a government remain unsuccessful. The MPs who are not appearing on dance shows therefore decide to do fact finding tours of Thailand and Belgium to see how they manage to make do without a government. Mystifyingly they do not include Somalia or Northwest Pakistan on the itinerary.
The English Premiership is about to start. However the BCCI asks the FA not to conduct it as it will distract television viewers from IPL reruns.
Anilbhai announces that he is starting a BPO which will serve the US Treasury and Federal Reserve and process bailout requests, and that it will be named BIG Bheek. Legodeath frontsman Nils condemns Anilbhai’s action and gloomily talks about how the forces of bailouts unleashed earlier are now sucking all entrepreneurial activity towards them instead of into more productive pursuit. Nils explains with a Goth poem: ‘Like carrioŋ they comē/ in search øf funds/ not their moneÿ/ but ÿours/ but mine/ and now comes Ãnil/ to help them feed/ but they feed/ on our blood and marrow/ the living get nothing/ the corpses feed/ take them now/ Sweet Mother Đeath.’ Rahul Raguram is delighted and spreads the news on his blog, on his Facebook posted items, and his Google Reader shared items.
Obama does not share Rahul Raguram’s sentiments and promptly appoints BIG Bheek to streamline the process of demanding bailout money. He is attacked by both trade unions and Lou Dobbs for sending jobs overseas. The Democratic base complains bitterly that Obama has let them down and they no longer think he is the messiah.
In his Independence Day address to the Pakistani nation, Asif Ali Zardari insists that there is no evidence that Pakistan is an independent nation. V Anantha Nageswaran writes a series of columns in which he informs his readers that Asif Ali Zardari will continue to deny everything and that the only way out is to withdraw from the equity markets and use commodities as a safe haven.
Abu Salem accuses Rahul Mahajan of racism after he shows up at Arthur Road jail and makes monkey gestures at Abu Salem through the bars.

September

In a shocking development, it turns out that Genelia D’Souza’s career in movies actually began with Mere Baap Pehle Aap. In a faxed confession, she states that the Telugu films she claimed to have done did not really exist.
Queen Elizabeth becomes the latest member of the British Royal Family to be involved in a racism scandal after she calls someone a Paki. However Asif Ali Zardari comes to her defence and insists that there is no evidence that the person in question was Pakistani.
After a lifetime of screaming hysterically at the camera and informing the audience about how traumatised everyone is, Barkha Dutt develops laryngitis. NDTV instantly appeals to the the US Treasury for a bailout.
Anilbhai now renames Reliance Infrastructure BIG Bridges. By now even Amar Singh thinks he is going too far.
After years of controversy related to equipment, bidding rules, tender procedures, technology, regulation, financing and ownership, 3G services are finally launced in India. Unfortunately they only last for three days after which the BCCI has them suspended when it realises that 3G networks are being used to share videos of Twenty20 matches.
The Government remains unformed. This is because the Communist parties have promised to support any formation from outside without joining the government. As a result of this everyone loses enthu.
Surjit S Bhalla writes a series of columns warning his readers that the absence of a Central government is keeping the rupee at unreasonably high levels, and that firm action is required to push its value lower.
Rahul Mahajan is alive, and confirmed as the host of the new season of BIGG BOSS. Abu Salem is practically in tears.

October

On the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti, Sanjay Dutt goes back to promoting Gandhigiri, as that is the only thing that has worked for him in the past five years. A hysterical Rajdeep Sardesai informs the audience that India is demanding answers on this development.
Legodeath announces that its anti-bailout concept album will be titled Deathśuck. Rahul Raguram is overjoyed and tells everyone that Deathśuck is a milestone in the evolution of Scandinavian capitalist death metal. He is not disheartened by people who tell him that death sucks.
There are riots in West Bengal when Mamata Banerjee  leads a protest against farmers’ land being acquired. Later it is discovered that the land was being acquired in Gujrat and not West Bengal. However Asif Ali Zardari insists that there is no proof of this. He also calls Mamata Banerjee gorgeous. This latest statement is strongly and angrily criticised by Omar Abdullah fangirls all over Orkut.
Anilbhai announces that he will reshuffle his entire portfolio of businesses, reform them under a holding company called BIG Business, and issue grossly overpriced equity in the holding company.
Government formation still does not take place, because the parliamentary debates are stuck on the vexed topic of how fast prospective governments will move to criminalise female adultery.
The Sanand factory finally rolls out Tata Motors’ Nano. Tragically because of the economic situation the target customer group has downgraded from scooters to bicycles. V Anantha Nageswaran writes a series of columns explaining that this will continue as long as interest rates remain artificially low.
Rahul Mahajan continues to live the good life.

November

Due to global warming, the winter in Delhi is unusally mild and temperatures only go down to 18 degrees Celsius, as a result of which Delhi-ites don’t bother taking out their woollens. Meanwhile, also due to global warming, the winter in Bombay is unusually sharp and the temperature falls to 18 degree Celsius. Everyone in Bombay buys sweaters and jackets.
Anilbhai renames Reliance Life Sciences BIG Pharma, ignoring fervent appeals from everyone from Kokilaben to Amar Singh to give it a rest.
The government is still not formed at the centre because nobody can decide whether Rahul Gandhi or Omar Abdullah is better looking. Rajdeep Sardesai goes on air and states that enough is enough. However he does not actually propose solutions.
Due to the continuing economic crisis, summer placements at the IIMs are almost at their worst ever. MBA students are unable to get internships on Wall Street as Wall Street no longer exists. As a result of this they appeal to the US Treasury for a bailout. Expectedly they are criticised by Legodeath and Rahul Raguram.
Also criticising them are farmers in Vidarbha, who accuse them of making a big deal out of nothing while they lead miserable lives plagued by crop failure, unbearable temperatures and Sainath hovering around them like a helicopter parent. However there is relief in store for Vidarbha farmers as Colors announces that it will start a new daily soap based on their tragic lives. Asif Ali Zardari, however, insists that there is no evidence that farmers are dying in Vidarbha and insists that this is just the Indian media flinging allegations.
 The Bangalore Metro construction remains as slow as ever and remains months away from any sort of completion. V Anantha Nageswaran writes a series of columns explaining to readers that this sort of inefficiency is the inevitable fallout of cheap money and that Bangalore’s commuters’ only hope is to seek a safe haven in commodities.
Rahul Mahajan is interviewed by the Hindustan Times and asked how he manages to lead a healthy and spiritual life. Abu Salem is wracked with paroxysms of grief.

December

With the year practically at an end, and no good news in sight, people are utterly depressed. This is commented upon by Barkha Dutt, who tells the viewers that they can see how traumatised everyone is; by Rajdeep Sardesai, who says that enough is enough, and by Arnab Goswami, who says that Arundhati Roy is disgusting.
Capping off a perfectly bad year, Obama’s past as an Illinois politician catches up with him. The press finally gets over their adulation, and starts investigating the shady deals he was involved with in Chicago. Conservative commentators explain that Obama is actually a very naughty boy.
It is revealed that the actual reason government formation has been stalled this while is that the BCCI has been working actively to prevent it, reasoning that a televised vote of confidence will distract viewers from  watching cricket on TV.
Asif Ali Zardari assures everyone that there is no evidence that Gult companies have been falsifying information. He does this even before any new fraud is brought to light, leading everyone to wonder what he knows.
V Anantha Nageswaran writes a series of columns explaining that Surjit Bhalla will keep writing columns as long as there is a flood of cheap money in the financial markets. Surjit Bhalla on his part writes a series of columns explaining that V Anantha Nageswaran’s columns will continue unless Indian interest rates are brought down to global levels and the rupee is devalued. They agree to sort out their differences over coffee. Barkha Dutt, reporting on this, informs the viewers that they can see how traumatised everyone is.
Anilbhai buys Colors, renames it BIG Drama, and announces that for all seasons to come, he will be the voice of BIGG BOSS. He also assures Rahul Mahajan that his job as host is safe. Abu Salem is so disgusted that he appeals to the US Treasury for a bailout.
Legodeath wishes everyone a better 2010.


An Important Announcement

October 3, 2008

Dr. Dr. Mikhail Murugavel Somuchidonandovich Pandey (the son of the eminent Dr. Mr. Acharya Somuchidonanda Pandey and Dr. Mrs. Valentina Dimitrieva Pandey of St. Petersburg) has published extracts of his groundbreaking paper on the shared Tamil past for humanity on the Pandey family blog. These extracts deal with the defeat of Vercingetorix the Gaul – or rather, Veerasinga Thevar the Kallar. Please do read the blogpost as it is about revolutionary and shocking new discoveries.


Pandey on Punjab

August 19, 2008

Last week, as a son of the Punjabi soil claimed a Gold medal at the Olympics, all the credit went to India. Shortly after that, Independence Day was celebrated, cruelly ignoring the fact that there is no Azaadi for Punjab. Our destiny is in the hands of power brokers from UP and Bengal.

Why are we oppressed so much? What is the sinister conspiracy that has kept the inheritors of Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s legacy suppressed? Why is it that when Punjab accomplishes something, India gets the credit; but when India screws up, Punjab bears the brunt?

According to the erudite Dr. (Mrs.) Valentina Dimitrieva Pandey, it is because of Greco-capitalism. Please read her post on how the dominant Gujews are conspiring against us.


The Raja-mandala Re-centred

July 15, 2008

There has recently been a controversy in the Indian blogosphere about what the projection of power means. In the interests of enlightening lay readers, I asked my good friend and international relations expert Dr. Boris Bhartriraj Pandey to prepare a guide to power projection. Boris is currently a post-doctoral fellow at Parma, and his family background is even more impressive – his parents are the distinguished academics Dr. Acharya Somuchidononanda Pandey and Dr. Valentina Dimitrieva Pandey. He has written a short monograph on the subject at the Pandey family blog. It is also reproduced in it’s entirety here, with his permission:

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xkcd and नवरस

March 23, 2008

While Wired magazine has commented on the huge popularity of xkcd, it has not been able to provide a reason for this:

This mix of brains and fun, as well as underlying sweetness helped propel xkcd from a hobby to a full-time job for the 23-year-old former NASA roboticist. Since its 2005 launch, xkcd has grown from doodles in the margins of a graphing notebook to T-shirts, radio talks and lectures on humor at MIT, where students batted inflatable raptors around the auditorium. The website drew between 60 million and 70 million pageviews in October, Munroe says, and xkcd’s growing fan base has taken to re-enacting events that take place in the comic.

However, even I don’t have a clue just why it is that xkcd seems to appeal to people so much. So I asked my good friend Neha Natalya Pandey to put fundaes on this. Since she’s majoring in Algorithm Analysis and Design (and minoring in Sanskrit Poetics) at U. Mich., and she has an amazing intellectual pedigree (her parents are Dr. Acharya Somuchidononanda Pandey and Dr. Valentina Dimitrieva Pandey), she’s ideally suited to explain this. I reproduce her correspondence on this subject below, with her permission.

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