28.5.07

Lords of the Dance

For all those of you worried about the degenerative effects of the BPO boom on our precious cultural heritage, a few words to warm the cockles of your hearts. The economic renaissance notwithstanding, the idiosyncracies of our heritage are being well preserved by none other than our nimble netas.

It's true. Take my word for it. Or, if you're part of that world-wide conspiracy that doesn't ajudge me the authority on just about anything, just drop by the morgue of your local news rag. Flip through the back issues of the past couple of months, and you'll soon see what I mean.

With dubious dexterity and reprehensible rhythm, our geriatric gents in parliament continue, day after day, to uphold that most ancient of Indian traditions - dance.

Except, of course, in keeping with the zeitgeist of "India Poised", they've adapted their routines to include some of the more popular dances from around the world.

For example, the Bengaluru Boogie:
A hip-swivelling Vidhana Soudha step, that sashays wildly between appeasing the increasingly Americanised technocrats, and renaming the city bangalore.com, and appeasing the increasingly important voters in Karnataka's heartland, by renaming the city Bengaluru.

Again, from Bangalore, but without the violent gyrations of the Boogie, we have the Bangalore Backstep:
More classical in nature, this genteel form is largely a solo performance. Shuffling out of the shadowed corridors for a brief stint under the spots, one of our perspiring politicos gently inserts his foot in his mouth. This is usually accompanied by some garbled incantation, for instance a chant about banning women from working the night shift. The taste of shoe leather being largely unpleasant, thanks to bovine blessings on our roads, the politico then retreats completely from his assumed position, with little grace and veiled face.

Casting our eyes to the North, we have the Singh Shimmy:
This little number has the distinction of having none other than our Prime Hypocrite for a choreographer. Deeply inspired by the waltz form, it requires the performer to grab hold of Uncle Sam's coat tails, and twirl all the way to the far end of the room. Here are exchanged promises of nuclear technology and radiation poisoning for us all. The next step, is to slide all the way back to position one, on a thick layer of phantom crude and LPG, from Iran. Where one is refreshed with vows of asphyxiation through fossil fuel, for all.

Gaining popularity these days, is the Mumbai Mamba:
After decades of being the playground of a curmudgeonly caricaturist and a dastardly don, Mumbai has shaken off its slumber. Snaking its way through the pitfalls and pratfalls of its politicos, this dance is a celebration of the fact that the biggest threat to our nation has been disposed off, with the ban on beer bars. It is accompanied by the sweet sounds of scams, conducted with great elan, by the denizens of Dalal Street.

And last, but not least, we have the Chennai Cha Cha:
Essentially a variant of an ancient, almost forgotten tribal ritual, this is conducted with complete impunity around the burning embers and charred remains of what was once a newspaper.

So rest easy. And let the sound of the shuffling slippers of our flexible, fleet-footed friends in Parliament lull you into a soothing trance.

21.5.07

A Summer's Moon

For those of you who don't know Bangalore as anything other than the city on the other end of your phone when you call for customer support on just about anything, allow me to introduce you to Blossoms.

Blossoms, is a used book store. It is, to the bibliophile, what miniskirts are to an all boys' school.

Instant, absolute loss of control.

I, was there yesterday.
I, instantly, absolutely, lost control.
(For the second time, this month.)

That, is not the crux of the story.
(But it does provide a prologue.)

Shift, to today.
A hot summer evening.

Deeply engrossed in one of my new acquisitions, I decide to beat the heat. I decide, to change into my ratty old gym shorts.

Years of reading religiously (not the other way around) have ensured that I can now do most non-essential tasks - changing, eating, mixing the perfect rum-n-coke, etc. - one-handed.

I gathered the requisite materials. I applied the skills.

Feeling 200 degrees cooler, and having not missed a fraction of a sub-plot, I was about to crawl back into bed, when I realised... the balcony door was wide open.

I, had mooned the neighbours.

About 8 floors worth of neighbours.

I, shall avoid Blossoms.
For at least another week.

3.5.07

Eaves-Droppings

The recent exchange of pre-nuptial agreements between gliteratti having dislodged from Pg 1. the latest edition of the debate on reservation, I felt it my duty to bring you the most recent developments on the matter.

To get the inside info, I got in touch with my source at the Supreme Court, Dharam Sankat, the-man-with-the-fan. From his vantage point, a-posterori the Chief Justice, to your screens, here's the scoop.

Proceedings have (expectedly) ground to a screeching halt, due not to jurisprudential jousting, but rather to acronymical awkwardness.

It appears that the legal eagles of our nation are rather embarassed by the collective pronounciation of the dimunitive forms of the two most vocal opposing lobbies.

Many of those vehemently against further reservation, have recently banded together under the umbrella of Anti Reservation and Scheduled-caste Exemptions, while the strongest faction of their opponents, have now elected to be known as Hopeful OBC Litigants (East).

The font of justice is in a supreme quandary, and considering the use of sub judice.

Why? Well, it is felt that the combined acronyms, will be used by the media, and citizenry at large, in derogatory (albeit accurate) fashion to describe the legislature, for dragging out this (clearly) vote-bank related issue.

And as those who truly need help, lie by the wayside, and those who have attained merit, ponder the futility of effort, the show, goes on, and on, and on.

Dharam Sankat, in the meantime, is angling for a post as Head Coffee Boiler at the Ministry of Info. Tech, because he is proud, he says, that India is being outsourced.

2.5.07

Ivanhoe

Perhaps the only known instance in English literature, where the name 'Wilfred' is applied to a man who is not bespectacled/geeky/white-collar-wimp/all of the above.

I make it a point, every year, to interrupt my regularly scheduled consumption of contemporary literature, and re-read a select few books from the days of yore. And having just finished my annual pilgrimage to medieval England, let me confess, unashamedly, to having enjoyed it as much as when I was an impressionable youngster.

As an impressionable 30 year old, I read Gore Vidal's 'A search for the King' a few months ago. While absolutely different in literary style from Sir Walter Scott's tale, and in fact, taking quite a few digs at the genre, it is chronologiacally just prior to the events portrayed in Ivanhoe.

So, some day, when I've nothing else to do, I'm going to read them one after the other, while liberally offering suitable libation to the memory of the immortal, dipsomaniacal Friar Tuck.