Sad? Dam, No!

So, it has been decided that Saddam Hussein will hang. No nucular weapons around yet, but one more monster down. The verdict brought back memories of another hanging, carried out more than sixteen years ago, which did take place and was carried out under the instructions of the very man sentenced today. The name of the man was Farzad Bazoft. Yes, I remember his name to this day, with the correct spelling. Here’s the link to the wikipedia entry.

I was around 10 years old then. I saw the photo of this man in newspapers and on TV ( I think it was on the World this Week, but am not sure)…and hearing the story, I was convinced that he was innocent. To see a grown up man, talking on TV, and being told that he would be killed when his crime was in question was something that disturbed me. A lot. I remember spending one night, very disturbed, not able to sleep. It disturbed me to get a ringside view of this man’s fate hanging in balance. And then, some time later, I read the news: his fate had ceased to hang in balance, it was he who had hung. The shock was huge. But what made the knife turn in the wound was a statement by the Iraqi information Minister ‘Thatcher wanted him alive. We sent him home in a box’.

It became clearer much later that Saddam had taken a personal interest in his hanging, but for a 10 year old boy, no more proof was ever needed about the cruelty of Iraq and Saddam Hussein, who attacked Kuwait just a few months later.

Today, the ashen face of Saddam Hussein, visibly shaken, trying to shout down the judge as he read the sentence by saying, of all things, “allah hu akbar” (Allah is great), all seemed like what they really were: nothing but the cries of a man, who made millions fear for their lives, in mortal fear of his own, and probably, crying out to the Lord for help.

Some ghosts have been laid to rest.


One Ring to find them all and in Stupidity, bind them

‘Zodiac Power Rings, made of Pacnhadatu (sic) are creating waves the world over with their unique ability to change the course of people’s destiny by making them extra confident, focused, self-willed & more in Touch with themselves.’ (Other sic’s might have been missed)

This is an ad on the front page of the Mumbai Mirror, dated Monday, October 23 2006.

As you can see, the attractive ad is flanked by attractive models, who claim things like “My Zodiac Power Ring makes me a winner everytime(sic again)”

Sustained follow up to access the web site given in the ad, did not lead to too much success.

If those TV channels peddling special rudrakshas, crystal ‘yantras’, candles and what not were not enough, now we have newspapers carrying these ads as well.

(Am sure that newspapers allowed people who peddled these things to advertise before, simply because print is a much older medium, and gullibility and intense desire to make a quick buck are even older)

Needless to say, not a single reason is given why these rings make you winners or help you find long lost confidence. Claim upon grandiose claim is made in bombastic, arbit, general purpose pfaff. (Trust me, as an HR guy, I can recognize globe language pretty easily.)

Two other very interesting points:

1. The ad says: If not satisfied within 15 days. (sic) 80% refund on bill amount Rs.1500/- only. I am not very sure what that means, but if we assume that these guys would pay back Rs.1200 for purchases worth Rs.1500 after 15 days of non-satisfaction (they are not making a no questions asked return, mind you!), they still pocket Rs.300. That’s an interest of 480% p.a. What a business!!

2. They also warn people to check the ‘zpr’ logo for ‘original’. So, it seems that there are actually some me-too entrepreneurs who have realized the extent of the Blind Faith and Stupidity Market and are smart enough to piggy back on the success of these guys by simply plagiarizing their products.

Don’t know if this thing works for the buyers, but if I were the seller, “My Zodiac Power Ring makes me a Winner everytime”

A Very Happy Deepavali to all!

To my kind readers (all five of them, including those who land up here by mistake), here’s wishing you a Very Happy Deepavali!

The Millennium of Miracles – a review without watching the movie

This is the millennium of MIRACLES…

Sea water has turned sweet…

Idols have sipped on milk…

Statues have shed tears of blood…


Come… Seek Her blessings…

(Sic everywhere)

This is the print ad for ‘Jai Santoshi Maa’ (Hail Mother Santoshi)..more (probably accurate) information about Santoshi Maa here.

When there is enough evidence to prove that all the above mentioned miracles are not miracles…( here, here and here, for example, and for the third one, some more information here)

And pray(heh) , why do miracles happen in such ways? If I were an all powerful entity, I would try to get some, err, result orientation in my miracles, so that my simple (note the sarcasm) folk can get the message without having to make long winded logical connections. I mean, I make my statues weep blood. Or, I make sea water arund a shrine of mine turn sweet. What’s the point? Whay would I, as a Supreme Being do that? Might as well give my people some Majestic ‘darshan’ (Vision) of myself, complete with flying angels/assorted Gods/ multiple hands/Assorted Gods with multiple hands/ all of the above or as per your specific religious inclination.

Coming back to the ad, it is clearly meant to bring down the IQ of people to make more money for the producers and the gang involved in it.
How is this movie related to the miracles? Will we have Santoshi Ma, the latest entrant in the Hindu pantheon of Gods, turning sea water sweet, cry bloody tears or have her idol drink milk?

I have seen these type of movies before, so let me attempt to review this movie, in what is probably the first review of some work by a person who has not seen it.
Here goes : pretty, pious girl gets married into a rich family, where she is treated to various indignities for various reasons such as not bringing in enough dowry, not bearing a child or son, or just because she shows blind devotion to her favourite goddess, whom the film is named after (or the in laws feel like being the nasty sadists that they are)… pretty heroine starts/continues to pray piously, while she is being kicked, beaten, given unbelievable amount of household work, refused food, refused intimacy by her husband, and so on.
Suddenly, the goddess wakes up, solves the problem by doing something sufficiently nasty to her in laws, giving the husband a nice little attack of paralysis and doing other minor miracles along the way( Gods/ Godesses, as a rule, seem to make up for lack of result orientation in their real life ‘miracles’ in the movies). Pious heroine prays for forgiveness (notice the pious prayer recurring theme with the heroine?) and the in laws, shitting bricks by now in mortal fear of the immortal, have a heart ( and pants) change…husband, after being carried by the pious wife to pray (yes, again) at the HQ of the Goddess, suddenly turns out OK, and then, pious husband and wife pray and live happily ever after, having the requisite number of sons and probably a daughter (to keep it politically correct), thus demonstrating that the target of marital bliss is also hit along the way.

Go on, watch the movie if you want, and tell me if it is significantly different. You’ll probably get an ice cream from me ( or a word of encouragement regarding your inspiring, effective utilization of free time)

The Old blog’s dead….

They Killed it…my old blog no longer exists.

Ah, well…so what?  It’s just three years of writing gone.

The name, the name

The word India, it turns out, came from the wrong pronunciation of the word Hindu, the old Persian word for Sindhu. It was later further wrongly pronounced as Indos by the Greeks, who had similar speech problems and then the Romans started calling the whole region India to save the bother.

The Sanskrit word “sindhu” means ‘sea’.(Please read the link given earlier completely for clarification) Apparently, some bright ancestors of ours (who, to be fair to them, had probably never seen the sea), mistook the big and broad Indus river for the sea.

So, the name of our country is a triple mispronunciation of a wrongly identified water body.

Somehow, in a weird sort of way, it explains a lot.

Batata Vada

Eating a Batata Vada: Fun

Eating a Batata Vada using Fork and knife: Funny.

Eating a Batata Vada using fork and knife while hrutling through the sky at a height of 30,000 feet and a speed of 650 odd km/hr, seated in a cramped seat: Priceless.