ArpitGarg's Weblog

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Refrigerator Infatuation: What is it about?

with one comment

How many of you have found yourself, opening up the refrigerator door, not looking for anything in particular and shutting the door without taking anything. If you have, don’t worry, you are in good company. According to a survey this refrigerator infatuation seems to be quite common.

When people are tensed, waiting for a phone call, waiting for a result, they tend to run to the refrigerator more. When people are free, with nothing to do, they tend to find solace with their refrigerator. In fact wonder how often have you just entered the house and inadvertently walked up to the refrigerator?

This makes me wonder, “What is it about the refrigerator?”

Is it the cold breeze that hits us as we open the door? Ever felt that sudden rush of cold fresh air that surges out as we open up the baby. Remember those hot days, when we did open up the freezer to cool ourselves off. The refreshing miracle power of the machine!

Is it the enchanting lighting that engulfs us in the dead of the night? One would agree that there is something dull yet attractive about the refrigerator light. Can it be the missing link?

Is it the food that attracts us? It is said, “Our modern skull houses a pre-historic brain”. In the sense whatever our brain reflexes are today, they are borne out by pre-historic experiences. Like we are afraid when we see a snake, but we are barely afraid while crossing a road. When the fact is more people die every year, crossing the road than by a snake bite. It is explained by the fact that pre-historically more people died of snake bite and it was a serious threat to humans. Our reflexes are built on that.

Now, what we store in refrigerator? Food, right? Our basic instinct is to look for food for survival. Refrigerator might be interpreted by our brain as the Provider. We open the door time and again, not looking for food but looking after the food. A filled up refrigerator gives us the secure feeling.

By time and again opening the door, we are trying to safeguard the food and checking if we are okay. Now that’s called protecting the Provider.

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The IPL Team that wasn’t

with 5 comments

IPL auctions, held recently grabbed everyone’s attention. With millions of dollars floating around, it turned out to be a landmark event. Not everyone seemed happy though. Some politicians were enraged by the amount of wealth at display. “It’s pathetic”, said one. Its gross” said another.  “Why were we left out from earning the moolah. It’s wrong”. “Let’s form a team and enter the IPL. Let’s rename it the Indian Political League”, came one suggestion. “Yes, let’s do it”, they gave a Spartan cry. We will show who the real boss is when it comes to earning monies.

“From next time on Mr. A. Raja will be the auctioneer given his huge experience with 2G auctions”, they passed a resolution. “All those who want to bid for someone at a cheaper cost, pay me 20%, I will bring down the hammer. I am the 1st, 2nd and the third umpire”, Raja promised. Point well taken!

The team was called, “Indian Commoners”, given the “aam aadmi” thing is in vogue. The team is as below.

1. Suresh Kalmadi: The way he accumulates money, he can accumulate lots of runs. His tendency to generate money out of nowhere is seen as his ability to get wickets out of nowhere. He is a genuine all rounder. He can even keep the umpires happy, if you know what I mean. He never hogs the limelight. Always owes it to teamwork.

Kalmadi 1 Kalmadi 2

Kalmadi 3 Kalmadi 4

2. Sharad Pawar: The Maratha pride. He is a bit lethargic in field. Takes time to move; needs a little push sometimes. But with him on the side, the team can make records, given his habit to make records of prices of onion and sugar. He does not care much about win or a loss. Cool as a cucumber. After all he is not a jyotishi.

Pawar 1 Pawar 2

Pawar 3 Pawar 4

3. RR Patil: A master planner. Sometimes caught off guard, when the opposite team strikes. To him even a huge loss does not matter. After all such small things happen. He is like a phoenix, rise from the ashes. The only thing that goes against him is his evident dislike for cheer leaders.

Patil 1 Patil 2

Patil 5 Patil 3 Patil 4

4. Mamata Banerjee: Bound to appeal a lot on the ground. Ei No Cholbe, Ei no Cholbe. Will sit on hunger strike if umpire does no give favorable decisions. Batting and Bowling will be on track with her in the team, well almost.

Mamta 1 Mamta 2

Mamta 4 Mamta 3

5. Sheila Dixit: Hell of a worker. Can make 200 in just 2 over’s when time comes. Though old age affects her memory a bit and she keeps forgetting things, considered a long innings player. Is well regarded for her mystic youth.

Sheila 1 Sheila 2 Sheila 3

6. B. S. Yeddyurappa: With him, we will have our grounds to practice and play on. Whatever pitch/land/conditions we want to practice on, he will grab it and will make it available for us. Also he will cry when caught, so umpire will not give him out. He likes to keep himself in shape too. He respects the coach a lot.

Yed 1 Yed 2

Yed 3 Yed 4

7. M. K Alagiri (Karunanidhi’s son): He will hardly be present during the match but during the pre and post ceremonies, he will be there to complain that he is never given a chance to perform. Such spirit!

Ala 1 Ala 2 Ala 3

8. Nitin Gadkari: Will sit on the opposition and kill them. He is dealer and so is easy to deal with. Will keep asking for a wicket from the umpire. He will not let the match go on and may do a walkout, till his request is acceded to. His motto is “Eat and let Eat”, and eats up the wickets of the opposite team.

Gad 1 Gad 2

Gad 3 Gad 4

9. Narendra Modi: Tried his hand at umpiring. Took no decision and the two teams came to blows. Want to enter this time round as the player. The team is bound to win, err…only the home matches perhaps.

Modi 1 Modi 2

Modi 3 Modi 4

10. Rahul Gandhi: Likes to play test matches, slow and in whites. So that might be show-stopper. But has a fan following among elite youths (where the money is), so might be able to bring in sponsors. Also is young. Invest in future.

Rahul 1 Rahul 2

Rahul 3 Rahul 4

11. Manish Tiwari: His team is the reigning champion and he never misses a chance to be smug about it. He will murder anyone who says anything against his team. Such is his loyalty. Don’t need to know the context. All he knows is defense. He is the Wall. He can take on one, two or even three bowlers at the same time.

Manish 1 Manish 2

Manish 3 Manish 4

12. Jagan Reddy (12th man): He is a good fielder and practices a lot. Be it ‘Odarpu Yatra’. He has a lot of female fan following too. Charming! The flip side is that he will not play unless made the Captain. He will make a new team from the breakaway players if he is refused the Captain cap.

Jagan 1 Jagan 2 Jagan 3

13. Sourav Ganguly: Pissed at his exclusion in the IPL, he gave his name for Indian Commoners. Unsold here too. Left has told they will find a role for him and no team in India is possible without him.

Sourav 1 Sourav 2 Sourav 3

Top 10 Examples of Jugaad in India

with 3 comments

“Aapko koi problem nahin hogi, maine jugaad kar rakhi hai”. “Kuch setting ho toh batao”. “Are apni upar tak setting hai”. Every one of us would have come across something similar at one point or the other. What exactly is this much celebrated setting aka jugaad? Well, it can simply be defined as an improvised quick fix to a tricky situation; goes to the extent of bending the rules; wisely attributed to lateral thinking.

Let me list down the top 10 examples of jugaad in India over the years.

  1. The Third Front as Alternative Governance
    Recent elections have shown a new trend. The opportunist, UPA/NDA discards come together to form an alternative famously known as “Third Front”. It’s nothing more than a jugaad with sole purpose to bargain hard with UPA/NDA when time comes to form the Govt. Everyone knows it is not long term, but as to the purpose of holding the Govt to ransom it has worked quiet well.
  2. Third Front 3Third Front 1Third Front 2

  3. Chidambram as Home Minister
    Prithiviraj Patil was busy putting make-up and changing wardrobes amidst the 26/11 attacks. He needed to go and went he did! The big question was “Who would fill the empty chair”? Chidambram, known to be an astute economist, was fitted to run the Home Ministry. Barring a few fiasco (Hindu terror, Shoe sting et al), expected of a jugaad, PC has more or less fulfilled the role of a workable HM.
  4. Chidambram 1Chidambram 2

  5. Ravindra Jadeja as All Rounder
    The lack of all round cricketers in India is well known. One too many players have been tried by the selectors. When all else failed, time was ripe for the jugaad, Ravindra Jadeja. This jugaad failed and failed miserably. It even put a question mark to the very existence of jugaad. This, until he was selected again. You can hate jugaad, you can love jugaad, you can’t ignore jugaad.
  6. Jadeja 1Jadeja 2

  7. Students and College Exams
    Most of us never studied the whole semester and used to bunk the classes. At the verge of exams, we had no notes/no idea. The jugaad used to come into effect. Whole course was divided into 4-5 parts, depending upon the number of friends in the group. Each one read a particular section and then explained it to the rest of the group. I still don’t understand how, but we faired really well, Jugaad rocks!!!
  8. Exams 2Exams 1Exams 3

  9. L K Advani as Leader of Opposition
    The fight for the post of Leader of Opposition was out in the open. Feelers were doing the rounds. When the GenX of the BJP leaders failed to come to a settlement, it was time for jugaad. The age old tested campaigner Advani, who till then had shown inclination to retire from active politics was brought back and he did some serious damage to UPA over price rise and corruption issues.
  10. Advani 1Advani 2Advani 3

  11. Security in India
    Secuity setup in most of the places in India works on jugaad. Overworked/underpaid policemen; lack of proper fighting equipments; lack of transport vehicles; lack of proper police station. When people say, “How the hell do we not see anarchy in such a scenario?” I tell them it is the Indian jugaad of 3rd Degree. If you get caught by frustrated law enforcers, God help you!
  12. Security 1Security 2Security 3

  13. Elections year after year
    If you know someone who has acted as an Electoral Officer, you would know the whole election runs on nothing but jugaad. Govt officers are made poll officers, School/ Colleges are made the poll booths, Long lines at booths with no facility at all. Locals provide the chai/paani/lodging to the booth officers posted in remote areas. In tribal areas, the poll stationary is transported on Elephants. At some places people vote under lantern light. But this jugaad has stood the test of time and hopefully will continue doing so in the future.
  14. Election 1 Election 2 Election 4 Election 3

  15. Manmohan Singh as Prime Minister
    When Sonia Gandhi did not accept the post of PM after 2004 victory, there was a big frenzy as to the appointment of the PM. Dr. Manmohan Singh, a respected, senior member of Congress party, was employed as a jugaad. Never contested an election, not known to be conniving politician, he turned out to be a shining success of Indian jugaad and how! Into his second term, the jugaad continues to rattle iron man Advani at his own game.
  16. PM 1 PM 2

  17. IPL in South Africa
    IPL2 in SA is a shining example in the Indian jugaad armory. At couple of weeks notice, it was decided to shift the event to SA. Frenetic night outs, back room negotiations and “karna hai” attitude paved way to one of the highly successful events in cricketing history. It was a city moment of jugaads.
  18. IPL 1IPL 2IPL 3

  19. Baap of All Jugaads: Sheila Dixit (Common Wealth Games)
    To term CWG, Baap of all Jugaads won’t be a misnomer. Everything was left to the last moment, to the chance. Sports Minister termed it the Fat Punjabi wedding, which turns out well at the end. A quick fix to the impounding problems, CM Shiela Dixit was the jugaad to get the games up and running. And boy did she turn out to be one hell of a jugaad. The opening ceremony was a grand success and the whole world came to know and respect the great Indian Jugaad. Bharat Bhagya Vidhata!
  20. CWG 1CWG 2CWG 3

Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC)?

with one comment

We have been exposed to a new phenomenon during the recent times. I am talking about the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC). Opposition wants to have a JPC, Ruling party does not want to give a JPC and Common man is left wondering what the JPC is?

By JPC, I understand a committee jointly constituted by parliamentarians across the party lines. How is it any different from any other gazillion committees that are formed to probe matters? Why the obsession? Will it prove to be of any help?

JPC is constituted mainly in the cases where people don’t have faith that the Govt. will allow an impartial probe or the Govt. wants to impress that it has nothing to hide. There are no specific rules to it and very few references to generalize from.  JPC does not have any punitive powers. It can only pass resolution and give recommendations.  Let’s delve in a bit of history. In all there have been four investigative JPC’s till now as below:

JPC 1

  • Cause: Bofors scam in ‘87.
  • Days Parliament was stalled before it was constituted: 45.
  • Effect: Recommendations were rejected by the opposition party.
  • Timeline: Aug ‘87- April ‘88.

JPC2

  • Cause: Harshad Mehta scandal in ‘92.
  • Days Parliament was stalled before it was constituted: 17.
  • Effect: Recommendations partially accepted but never implemented.
  • Ministers summoned: Dr Manmohan Singh (then Finance Minister).

JPC3

  • Cause: Ketan Parekh securities scam in ‘01.
  • Days Parliament was stalled before it was constituted: 15.
  • Effect: Recommended a lot of stringent changes to stock market regulations but were diluted later on.
  • Timeline: April ‘01-Dec ‘02.
  • Ministers summoned: Mr Yashwant Sinha (then Finance Minister).

JPC4

  • Cause: Pesticide in Soft dirnks in’ 03.
  • Effect: Recommended guidelines for water usage by Soft drink companies.
  • Timeline: Aug ‘03-Feb ‘04.

So what will the JPC achieve in this case and why is Govt. not allowing it? One thing for sure, it’s going to achieve nothing more than a set of recommendations that too in a year’s time. As to why the Govt. is not allowing it, is a bit tricky.

UPA has 259/545 in Lok Shabha and 91/243 in Rajya Sabha. Given these funny numbers from the coalition era and SP/BSP giving outside support, UPA will be in minority with strength of around 7 in a 15 member JPC. UPA might not be able to dictate terms in the JPC.

In the past the ministers summoned were Finance Ministers but this time the focus is on PM himself. Congress is worried that JPC might summon Dr. Manmohan Singh for questioning. Thus it is ready to sacrifice entire Winter session. If PM is summoned it would be highly embarrassing to the Govt.

Also the opposition will get a potent tool against the Govt. with leaks from investigation sprayed across the media. Govt. can ill afford it.

Verdict: Govt. might not allow a JPC in this matter. Winter session will be sacrificed.

Racism: Reverse and Progressive

with 2 comments

A lot has kept us busy as a nation last couple of weeks. CWG, Mohali win and most recently some serious allegations of racism against a few officials from down under.

If I am right, Ministry of External Affairs, India summoned High Commissioners of respective countries and lodged protests. Last I heard the said individuals either resigned or were ousted and rightly so. Such behavior has no place in civilized societies.

Okay, tell me one thing. Has racism sprung up all of a sudden during recent times? The answer would be a no. Racism is a perception which a society or a race developes about contemporary society or race overtime. It’s just that with the advent of Globalization, these days we get to know of it real time. Earlier Lord Ganesha on Chappals was mere fashion for a society that doesn’t know anything about him, Today it is offensive.

Tell me frankly, how many of us think Bhajji did indeed utter “Maa Ki” and not the racist slur. Why then were we as a nation hell bent on seeing Bhajji free of the allegations? Now come ‘on, it had nothing to do with lack of evidence or anything thereof. If such had been the case then all our politicians were saints.

To be frank it’s about who is leveling the allegations. Had the opposite team been Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, West Indies or for that matter South Africa, we as a nation might not have backed our player to that extent. Why? Coz we have seen long periods of unabashed Aussie sledging as a reminder of the days of the Raj perhaps.

When a society which has perception of being shamelessly racist, throws up allegations of such sort, it seems rubbing salt in the wound. You gotta handle what you dish out. Right?

But what worries me more is a developing phenomenon, Reverse Racism. In our part of world racism is generally related to prejudice that developed white nations have against us about them being superior. The aspect of racism under which emerging societies like us berate, taunt or create a certain perception about developed nations is what I call Reverse Racism.

When white girls are considered nothing but free meat. Whole society is said to lack values. If it’s not racism, what is it? I was shocked to see in a recent episode of Bigg Boss, a dozen white models in skimpy dresses made to dance with the ousted contestant. Just as his inaam. When the whole crowd enjoys it, it’s not just racism, it’s sadness.

Equally frightening is Progressive Racism. Progressive racism is when slightly more developed race is prejudiced against slightly lesser developed race.

When an African student in Delhi University is called Kaalu. A person from the same region is called Habshi on national TV. When CWG teams from African countries are given step motherly treatment. On daily basis do we see jokes being made on color of skin on TV. “Abey door hat, tu rang chodta hai”. Sab log fair and lovely lagate hain, yeh cherry blossom lagata hai. Abe langoor ke bhai.

I am not trying to be apologetic here, I hate that frankly. But if such progressive and reverse racism continues in our society, we too would lose our moral right to complain. We would just be another hypocrite in the bunch. Do we really want that? It’s bit scary to answer, isn’t it?

IPL: Who said what, The truth

with 3 comments

PC: Our Government is too afraid to give go ahead to IPL. Internal security, well it’s a thing of the past. Terrorist attack during IPL can cost us elections. I have been playing this cat and mouse to irritate the organizers. But these guys are too good for that and have been coming up with one schedule after another. Like I care.

Jaitley: Had we been at the Centre, we too would have done the same. But why let this opportunity to nail Congress go away.

Shashank Manohar: We have long been the pawn between the Centre and the State. We know that Govt won’t give the permission. We don’t want to waste any more time. We have a task in hand to make money. Let us concentrate on that.

Lalit Modi: I haven’t slept for over a month now. My hair look scary. My eyes look scary. My only wish was to be the strongest man in Cricket. That I am. Now to sustain that I want IPL to happen. I just wish it happens in India coz here the costs are low and I can make more money.

Security Forces: We don’t have modern equipments. We don’t have necessary man power. We don’t have guns. We don’t have ammunition. We haven’t received any credible intelligence report for long. We know we would be blamed if anything happens. Yet we are ready to give it our best. Last time when we went to save Taj, we were surprised the Durbaan didn’t stop us at the gate. I remember once going there with my family. The Durbaan didn’t let us in, sensing that we don’t have enough money. When would we be paid well, to be able to dine at Taj not die at Taj.

CPI-CPM: Blame govt, blame BJP, blame media, blame USA, blame pakistan, blame blame blame…blam blam blam…bla bla bla.

Rahul Gandhi: IPL should happen in India. It is a matter of national prestige.
Sonia Gandhi: Hush…hush.  When will this child grow up. I am just fed up of him.

Manmohan Singh: I am coming straight from the operation theatre. I haven’t asked Soniyaji what to speak. Soniaji, Soniaji. Where is Soniaji?

Narendra Modi: Make me PM if you want IPL in India. If there would be no Indian Premier League (IPL), I promise you we won’t let Pakistan Premier League (PPL) to take place ever. I have decided to launch my own IPL team, Rama: The Saviours.

Pakistan: Welcome to the family. After such a long time, we stand united.

Common Man: Wow what a month. News channels kept me entertained.

That movie is bad. Why? The reviewer said so.

with 2 comments

A: Which movie did you watch this weekend?
B: Singh is King.

A: Why did you watch such a bad movie?
B: Who told you it was bad? I found it entertaining.

A: Come on. It’s a silly movie. Waste of time and money.
B: And how you know all this. Have you seen this movie?

A: Oh no, I haven’t, but I read the review. The movie is going down.
B: How many reviews have you read?

A: I read a couple of reviews. They say the movie sucks.
B: So you only go see the movie if these 2-3 people like it.

A: Uh huh! These are not just people. These are the reviewers.
B: I was in the theatre. People were laughing all over.

A: Hey, you are just one of the people who like the silly movies which critics pan.
B: Do you know how much money the movie made?

A: Oh it would have been a flop.
B: My friend it was a super hit.

A: There are lot of stupid people like you who like such stupid Masala movies.
B: Tell me one thing. Since the movie was a hit, means a lot of people would have liked it, right?

A: Uh huh, most of the common people are stupid.
B: And the reviewer who has panned the movie is not stupid?

A: Not at all. He doesn’t like masala movies at all. He gives good reviews to off beat movies.
B: So you enjoy the off beat movies.

A: Uh huh, I don’t enjoy them if you be so specific. But they are good movies.
B: And what is a good movie for you, the ones that the reviewer says is good?

A: Oh no, its not so. You make it sound bad.
B: Ok, tell me what do we look for in the movie when we go watch?

A: It must be entertaining, for one.
B: Okay aren’t the so called masala movies entertaining?

A: Oh okay, if you put it that way.
B: So your reviewer gives bad review to the movie which is entertaining?

A: Not exactly. He let me know the good cinema from bad cinema.
B: But he panned the movie which everyone liked. You missed it just coz your reviewer said so.

A: Oh no, the movie would have been bad.
B: Let me put is this way. Your reviewer said movie is bad but most people enjoyed it, right?

A: Okay, yes. But people are stupid.
B: So these reviews are not for the common stupid people, right?

A: Uh huh, yes. Good cinema is understood only by people who know art and cinema.
B: So your reviewer writes for people who knows cinema?

A: Perhaps yes.
B: So common stupid people like me should not read such reviews when I go see the movie?

A: Oh, yes there would be no use. You are stupid.
B: And your reviewer is not?

A: Exactly!
B: But he is useless to most of the movie going junta?

A: Most of the junta is stupid.
B: And your reviewer is not.

A: Exactly!

Written by arpitgarg

March 17, 2009 at 11:52 am

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