Note Vote Hai Rabba

Amidst the smog-bound Delhi, and poll-bound America, Modi played a trump card that for sure has given a smog-like experience to all, even if not in Delhi – and don’t even ask me about the visibility status in Delhi. Forget visibility status, it has even fogged out the “status” in Delhi from Tu-jaanta-nahi-mera-baap-kaun-hai to Bhaisaab-ek-khoke-ka-chutta-milega. You can judge that from the very beloved and honest CM of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal’s tweet – “BJP will lynch everyone who speaks against their wrong doings.” – As a response to the fate of Rs.500 and Rs.1000 notes. The smog, for one, has definitely blurred Arvind Kejriwal’s vision. When the centre has taken a strong step in the direction of the only thing on their party’s mandate, Arvind Kejriwal is as if running to his mom and saying with welled up eyes – “But he cheaaaaated! That was my thing!!” I am not saying Arvind Kejriwal is dishonest, but every time he fights corruption, Mamata Banerjee’s nose grows an inch.

untitledWith a plethora of memes and messages on social media, the past couple of days have felt like a self-declared holiday! To me, it felt like a mass India’s Got Talent with the number of “hidden” jewels I didn’t even know existed around me. I mean kudos to all the people supporting the India-Against-Corruption movement against themselves! The great thing out of this whole fiasco, I mean of course other than the obvious ones, is that when padoswali Gupta Aunty tells you – “I know how much you had last night”, you can reply with a “So do I!” *wink*

On this note let’s observe one minute silence for all the aunties with huge kitty piggy banks in a constant state of poverty for their husbands. While we are at it, let’s also give a big shout-out to all teenagers, who are hooting for Modi. What do these innocent jackasses, living in their snapchat bubble, know about their fathers sweating over a bag full of money-turned-paper in the next room?  I won’t blame these children actually. I mean if an entire country could live in so much of a social media bubble that their president elect bewilders and shocks them all at the same time, then these tiny pouting creatures still haven’t grown brain-cells.

To my brain, the American election still feels like some kind of a social experiment – and it is just not gotten over! I mean I am still waiting for Cyrus Broacha to pop out from somewhere and say – Bakra!

Because this election has proved that no matter who is on top, the pervert parade is still larger in numbers, if not in IQ points. But I don’t blame the Americans. It’s like you are on a mission to lose weight – and you have to choose between not having fried food and not having sweets. I mean both are harmful, and have different ways of messing your goal up. The bottom line on choosing any one is – you are still heavy and now even a moron!

Well, anyway. I know that post the announcement by our PM, life is a struggle for quite a lot of us, but it is a short-term discomfort for a greater good in a long run. Just like not having that sweet AND that deep-fried potato!

Trump(et) Vs. (Clin)tons Of Email

branco-trump-and-hillaryI have no idea why the never-ending America’s election is so big even here in India. Or is it because I am watching too many late night shows from America. Hey hey hey! Hold your horses’ guys. The late night shows there are more about making jokes, and not a joke itself! So anyway everyone is talking about the big day this week when America elects the first female president, or the first person, as Deepak Chopra puts it, whose consciousness is stuck in his first Chakra. (I suggest- go find out where it is located).

The possibility of a Donald Trump presidency is now listed as one of the ten top global “risks” by The Economist, somewhere between a Chinese economic meltdown and an oil price shock, and right next to the rising threat of terrorism. How can you not judge an entire nation when you read something like this? Firstly, how does one manage to be a global “risk” when your name is Donald. I mean don’t ruin my childhood for me, you!

The problem with most Americans is that they don’t love any of the two choices. How do you choose between someone who is under Federal Investigation for using a private email server and someone who has proposed about banning a religion, said women should be punished for having abortions, called immigrants rapists, lost a billion dollars in one year, had a fake foundation, was accused of committing sexual assault, caused violence in his rallies, bragged about not paying income tax, and not to mention about the “locker room” talks. I mean how should one choose when evidently none seems worse? I agree with you America, it is rather difficult!

The guy who seemed to have been the only one blowing his own trumpet about a year and half back seems like a legit winner today! Who would have thought? Imagine Donald Trump as the president though! I can totally see him do all diplomatic communication via his Twitter account- @CEOUSA. And just like his companies, he may invest big. If it works, its big returns as well. But if it doesn’t, then it’s going to be a completely different story.

The more I think about both the campaigns – Trump in the US of A and Modi here in India, I can draw a lot of parallels between them. If Trump comes in power, for one thing, they’d have a lot in common — both would be conservative, both suspicious of Muslims, both elected to power promising to work a miracle cure on unemployment and the economy, both banking on their leader’s charisma and fondness for showmanship and rhetoric to sell the seductive idea of “making America great again” or ushering in “achche din”. He even went ahead and used those golden words – Abki Baar Trump Sarkaar. Whoa, did we just elect a Trump back home, and are laughing at them? DID I VOTE FOR THE INDIAN DONALD TRUMP?! *faints*

Funny Side Up

Stand-up Comedy is a fairly new format of entertainment in India. Till now, I used to think everyone’s stint with stand-up comedy ended with their studies. The difference being that the comedy then is more tragic for the students, and now for the comedians.

All these comedians, who work day in and day out to make people laugh must learn something from a natural, my personal favourite – Arvind Kejriwal. No one is so consistent in making the distressed and troubled Aam Aadmi of this country laugh, by coming up with creative joke formats every other day!

For a man who received a great support from the people – educated middle class to be precise – and broke all political stereotypes to become the Chief Minister of the capital of the country, he could have shown a little more confidence, and self-assurance! But, he has been constantly wailing about how everyone, especially our “coward” and “psychopath” Prime Minister, is trying to get to him and his Aam Aadmi Party.

And this week’s video takes the cake.

It was just another attempt by Kejriwal to take potshots at the Modi government, in the typical Kejriwal style – by being both, the victim, and the hero! Victim because, just like Aam Aadmi, he is constantly on the receiving end of conspiracy created by the “centre”, and hero because probably he is the only one even capable, in whatever trivial ways, to take a stand against the tyrannical Modi government.caartoon02
In this video address, Kejriwal had accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of being “so frustrated that he can get me killed”. Woah, now that escalated quickly! Sometimes I wonder- Is Kejriwal just another insecure politician, or is there some method to his madness in launching tirades against Modi almost on a weekly basis?

I happened to see Madaari, the movie that had all the ingredients by be amazing but was still average, this week. Though I could hardly sit through the long, drab righteous lecture that it was turning out to be, one dialogue struck me. In essence what it meant was, when a normal person a.k.a. Aam Aadmi loses his son, he blames his destiny, but when an important politician loses his son, Aam aadmi loses his sense of security. Well, by this logic, Mr. Kejriwal ain’t playing his cards right. When someone you depend on to realise your demands himself doesn’t seem to have any power…well!

Talking about stand-up comedy and Madaari, we live in a time when professions that weren’t primarily meant for entertainment have all become national jokes, and films that were for entertainment are in serious troubles for serious issues, so that we become serious about the issues. For instance the legal system. Acquittal of Salman Khan by the Rajasthan High Court is funnier than the funniest joke cracked by the very funny Kejriwal. But alas, the joke is on us, when lots of bucks in the pocket can devalue the death of one black buck.

PS – Will someone please save Mr. Kejriwal from the very dangerous ‘Arhar Modi! Arhar Modi!’

Smart Idea?

sprawl cartoonAfter all the debate, various meetings, a lot of input and work, Nashik hasn’t been selected in the list of 20 Smart cities. Just to put things in perspective for a few oh-we-are-so-swag-youngsters, it is as bad as your 8th prospective girlfriend turning down your proposal on your 64th attempt. Yeah! While some are quite openly disheartened, some are relieved, some mocking the whole thing (like they mock everything anyway), others are just wondering what they should talk about in awkward social meetings here on!

What is a smart city?

Wikipedia describes smart city as -“A city equipped with basic infrastructure to give a decent quality of life, a clean and sustainable environment through application of some smart solutions. There should not be any difficulties for the general public or things that they find hard to get in the smart cities.”

profiling_participatory_budgeting_cartoon_large.previewBasically, the aim is to provide great sanitation, transportation facilities, and adequate water supply, build an ecosystem, manage waste, etc. Well, isn’t that what any city, smart or not, supposed to grow into? Or have we elected a government, just so that they can throw a mega birthday party with our money?

Smart city uses information and communication technologies to enhance the quality of performance, increase interaction between the people and government, digitize the entire planning and development process. Well, in our country, literacy is an issue, let alone digital knowledge. So, one has to be very very very lucky – you know, born under the perfect planetary positions (consult your jyotish)- to be in the cream 5% population who understand what it is, and will be able to use the facilities the way they are intended to be! Oh, by the way, if you are reading this on some device, congratulations and be grateful.

Basically, each town/city/state is allocated with some funds for development, expansion and growth. Then, the government comes up with some schemes under which, a few cities get extra funds for development. As the trend has been, we know who all have developed and prospered. And now with more money flowing in, oops, I mean funds being allocated, we can sort of foresee who all are going to flourish!

Oh this topic reminds me, the funniest thing that happened this week was rumours of a certain “Mr. Power” being no more. Hang in there guys, what’s the rush? Well…

Anyway!

Amidst all this economic hoo-ha and political jargon to the smart city concept, I hope a few things are taken care of during the implementation of these plans –

  1. Reservation quota for developing tribal areas, inhabited by SC/ST/OBC. (Here it is important, just for your information, government)
  2. Addressing local needs, culture and architecture, and not just block-printing the same idea across the nation. One shoe doesn’t fit all. Never.
  3. No cheating, or we will…umm, forget it, we are busy vacation-ing!

Well, as for me, I am just awaiting Mr. Kejriwal to announce his own rule of “over-smart city”, since Delhi isn’t on the list. Oh, you get the pun!

Pehle AAP

It is odd that people complain about the living conditions in India, even though they don’t want to really participate in the betterment and growth.

It is odd that half our nation wastes so much food, even though the other half doesn’t have enough of it.

It is odd that kids watch cartoon network, even though it doesn’t play Tom and Jerry anymore!

It is odd that I am trying to use odd and even just to make a point, even though these sentences don’t make any sense! Erm..moving on!

Delhi has been called the most polluted city in the world. So, Mr Kejriwal, the chief minister of Delhi and snazzy muffler man (when he is not going around coughing or calling the prime minister a psyc(h)opath), is unwilling to sit just fidgeting with his pen. He has introduced a road rationing policy based on odd and even license plate restrictions that went into effect in Delhi from January 1, 2016 – the day when Dilliwalas can hardly remember their name, let alone mathematics!

It has been a week since a trial run of this rule has been in effect, and amidst all the hoo-ha, Kejriwal single-handedly, so easily and quickly has managed to teach an entire city to count! Isn’t it amazing!  So simple, and yet so effective.

“Do you want to drive that second-hand “expensive” car of yours that speaks – Tu jaanta hai mera baap kaun hai? – Just by its mere presence?” Well then, know your numbers! Genius I say!cartoonI asked a lot of people for their opinion about this rule. Well, indistinctly it is a widely laughed at idea, with a common outlook of an assured failure. But a little optimistic sound from within me believes and hopes that this does help in reducing the pollution level of the capital, simply so that the deep-breathing Ramdev baba followers get their share of abundant oxygen!All said and done, it is a very serious issue! Just when man thought, what are the odds that nature will get even with us (see I did that again!), we are constantly hearing of natural disasters in some or other part of the country! It is time that we start understanding these signs, co-operate with our government (even if it is AAP), and together fight to avoid another Chennai floods!

This odd-even experiment has been tested before, and has proved to be successful in many other cities in the world. What falls flat in Delhi is its lack of public transport. This led to an old image of the crowd at Rajiv Gandhi metro station suddenly becoming viral, leading to a series of hilarious tweets about the way Delhites are coping with this new rule! The only thing funnier than these tweets was Mr. Kejriwal tweeting John Lennon’s line. Yes that’s right, John Lennon. #swag

It is critical that we pay close attention to the wise words of Enrique Penalosa, the former Mayor of Bogotá, Colombia, “A developed country is not a place where the poor have cars. It’s where the rich use public transport”.

“Bhaiya, Antilia chaloge?”

50 shades of Ban

No one told me when the Make in India was replaced by Ban in India. It is not even funny the number of things we have banned in the last one week.

The only thing that is common in all these bans is our inability to tackle sensitive issues. Banning is running away from the scenario. It is a reflection of our hypocrisy, narrow-mindedness, bias, and cowardice. It shows that we have no faith in our thousands of year old culture and value system, that we are questioning its sustenance.

Having said that banning does not deter the fact that we are what we ban.

I mean if we have to ban anything, implies that it exists, that it is our value-system, a trend now. And banning a video doesn’t change that! Whom are we kidding? Do the policy makers really believe that banning products, actions, videos, and words really curbs their use?  In fact, all it does is people looking for more illegal ways to do “it”, eat “it”, watch “it”, and all this while saying “it”.

Seriously, don’t we all know where to find alcohol in Gujarat? And by now, beef in Maharashtra? Don’t we all use cuss words? Haven’t we seen the AIB Roast or the documentary? In fact, banning the video gave it more popularity, and all the people who did not even know AIB exists, have access to the aforesaid video. And don’t even make me question banning 50 shades of grey.

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I think this simply shows the power of the words don’t, no, ban has. We just have to do it. Cannot explain the psychology more simply. That exactly is how it works, government! “Ban” is not the solution.

There are 50 shades of our mentality to be tackled, and putting even a fraction of our energy in that direction will get a lot more achieved than banning these things.

PS – Let me know when we Ban Janata Party!

The ‘Raj’ in ‘Rajkaran’

 

Did you manage to see this rather frankly spoken interview of Mr. Raj Thackeray?

While an all-in-one solution for Kejriwal is to remove corruption, for Thackeray it is to remove the “Bhaiyas”. I think, if it was in his stride, he would remove them from Bihar even.

Q: What is you opinion about the increasing number of rape cases?

RT: We need to control the migration from north.

Q: What about water crisis?

RT: We need to control the migration from north.

Q: What about infrastructure development?

RT: We need to control the migration from north.

Q: What about tourism?

RT: We need to control the migration from ..err.

I like the way he is so clear in his thoughts, and so confident about the fear-is-the-only-way-to-govern funda – doesn’t mean I agree. I think, as against Arnab Goswami’s image, this episode proved the presence and command of the interviewee over the interviewer. This episode was terrific in a lot of ways.

Having said that, it is actually scary to think of a stubborn, stagnant if I may add, “ruler”. Avoid the context, and specifications generalize and keep repeating the generalization, seems to be his Mantra. It is a very divisive kind of politics. It has definitely worked in his favour, to create a space and standing for MNS in such a short while, after having separated from Shiv Sena. But in the long run, in my opinion, such kind of politics will do much more harm than good.

Migration and population are important issues, yes, but they certainly cannot be the reasons for fewer resources, increasing crime rates, no development, poor governance, diminishing safety and security and so on and on and on…and so forth. These problems have been used as a shield way too many times- to cover unpromising, disinterested and helpless politicians.

PS – Awaiting to hear what Mr. Sharad “Power” has to say about this.