12 February, 2011

Crisis in Egypt - The real story

Cairo, Egypt: In an exposé that is bound to have long term impact on bilateral relations between several nations, the crisis in Egypt is revealed to be the result of a conspiracy by the 80s pop act ‘The Bangles’. The band has currently regrouped in Egypt, and is in the process of releasing their hit single 'Walk Like an Egyptian' in Arabic. 

Our correspondent Nemo Barahk reports that the band has carefully engineered the fall of the existing regime so as to capitalize on the ensuing zeitgeist, as Egyptians finally walk with their heads held high, freed from years of tyranny. The resurgence of the song is expected to be a worldwide phenomenon, much like Europe’s ‘The Final Countdown’, which made a comeback at the beginning of the new millennium and generated enough money to allow the band members to relive the life of luxury that they were used to in yesteryears. However, one may safely assume that unlike The Bangles who engineered the downfall of the Egyptian regime, Europe had nothing they needed to alter in the coming of the new millennium.

While it is a well known fact that The Bangles were hard pressed for funds, not many people know that they had tried to make a comeback earlier too, but it went horribly wrong and put them in even greater debt. As the saying goes- Desperate times call for desperate measures- and the result is now there for all to see! The band’s manager, while emphatically denying any such conspiracy theories, was very vociferous in criticism of Mr. Barahk. “Who’s Nemo Barahk, to comment on things beyond his understanding? We are here because of the love and support of our Egyptian fans. This Nemo Barahk is nothing but a kharab (bad) omen.”

Meanwhile, the simple people of Egypt are unaware of any such external factors and vested interests. Millions of Egyptians are expected to download the song ‘Walk like an Egyptian’ on the internet, giving a boost to the flagging American Music Industry. The band has even planned live performances across Egypt, and concert tickets are selling like hot cakes. Tickets are being sold for as high as a month’s worth of bread! Even so, such is the atmosphere in Egypt that people are expected to attend the concerts in thousands.

Hani Salaam, with his donkey Akhmed
Some are beginning to believe the sequence of events to be a prophecy which has now come true. Hani Salaam, a goods transporter in Giza, said, "It is written! The Bangles are indeed messengers of Allah. They have foreseen this day and told us about it. Now we wait to see them live. I am buying the best seats in the house for their concert! It cost me a month of bread made with top quality yeast... But it’s worth it, as I can even bring my donkey cart in the stadium!"

Already, album sales have picked up in the region. People now believe that there are other prophecies hidden in their songs. Hundreds are queuing up to get the lyrics translated in Arabic. Abu ben Adem (may his tribe increase), a local language translator, commenting on the spike in business said, “I cannot believe my sudden fortune. Earlier, I got about only about 100 sestertii a day translating articles mainly from Hustler magazine. But now, there are people queued all day long in front of my house. Allah be praised, The Bangles are definitely divine beings sent to deliver us from our misery."

Some conspiracy theorists are beginning to see this as part of a larger game involving the American record labels, amongst others. Already, one is seeing The Bangles merchandise on the streets. When contacted, representatives of Second Life Records, which The Bangles now work under, expectedly denied all such allegations and in fact went on to blame counterfeiters for ruining what could have been a hitherto untapped market for them. Interestingly, this is the same record company that helped Europe in their comeback effort.

For the moment, no one in Egypt could care less. It is celebration time for them as they take to the streets, let down their hair and head to the nearest bar- Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow you may die...

23 October, 2007

Crazy Little Place Called Pune

Huh? Well, can't say they didn't warn us!

Imagine having that in your address!

04 September, 2006

shine on you...

There comes a time in every sportsman's life, when he must decide for himself... to be or not to be... To listen to the mind which says FIGHT, or listen to the body which says I CAN'T... There comes a time in every sportsman's life, when he decides to call it a day.

But there in no sportsman worth his salt, who would like to step into the oblivion without giving giving himself one last chance. One last chance to re-live those magic moments which will be there no more. One last chance to rewrite history.

See the stone set in your eyes
See the thorn twist in your side
I wait for you

Sleight of hand and twist of fate
On a bed of nails she makes me wait
And I wait without you

Last night, as I watched the US Open, I saw Agassi go for that one last chance. There was not a person in the entire stadium (including the opponent, Benjamin Becker, I'm sure), who, in some small corner of his heart, did not want Agassi to win. The crowd cheered every stroke of his. They cheered every mistake Becker made. What must it feel like to have 23,000 people willing you to go on? What must it feel like to have 23,000 people hoping you lose? What makes a man go through so much pain?

Through the storm we reach the shore
You give it all but I want more
And I'm waiting for you

With or without you
With or without you
I can't live
With or without you

For a man who has played tennis for more than 2 decades, and remained at the top for a larger part of that time, the emotion was understandable. Three match points down, Agassi had tears swelling up even before he faced the final service. Another minute or so while he completed the handshaking formalities, and then the dams burst open. 23,000 people at the stadium gave him a standing ovation. Many more at home must have done the same. I suppose his entire career must have flashed before his eyes, much the same way your life is said to flash before your eyes just before death.

My hands are tied
My body bruised, she's got me with
Nothing to win and
Nothing left to lose

This US Open was not about who won and who lost. It was not about Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. It was not about which player wore what. It was about Andre Agassi. Everyone wanted to know what time his matches were. Everyone wanted to be there for his match. Everyone wanted to give him his swansong. Agassi himself said before the match, "I dont want to go out limping." 3 hrs later, he was still standing, physically and emotionally drained.

And you give yourself away
And you give yourself away
And you give
And you give
And you give yourself away

With or without you
With or without you
I can't live
With or without you
With or without you

From a wild-child that he was to the class act he now is, it has been a memorable journey. Truly, some men go on to become just another statistic. Others go on to become legends...

25 August, 2006

Of rubber ducks...

For lack of anything better to write, here is an excerpt from P.G. Wodehouse's 'Right Ho, Jeeves'
"The discovery of a toy duck in the soap dish, presumably the property of some former juvenile visitor, contributed not a little to my new and happier frame of mind.What with one thing and another, I hadn't played with toy ducks in my bath for years, and I found the novel experience most invigorating. For the benefit of those interested, I may mention that if you shove the thing under the surface with the sponge and then let it go, it shoots out of the water in a manner calculated to divert the most careworn. Ten minutes of this and I was enabled to return to the bed-chamber much more the merry old Bertram".

31 July, 2006

Chuddy Crisis- sometime in 2003

[For those not familiar with the hindi language, your chuddies are your undies]
[The setting:- Akshay Kawale (AK) is sitting on his desk, the lamp is on, its light illuminating the Student Series of DBMS. Saurav Palit (SP) is on the bed, with a toothbrush in his lap. I too am perched on the bed, my antique mobile beside me. For reasons known only to him, SP moves off the bed and squats on the floor 'neath the dining table.]

SP- So are those your 'I'm getting lucky tonight' chuds?

AK- hahahahahahaha

Me- So do you go out to buy your own chuds or when your mom is out on a shopping spree, you tell her to get them for you?

AK- Ya I tell my mom.

Me- So do you ask your mom to pick a specific colour? 'cuz you went from like camouflage green to electric blue!

AK- No actually the plan was that my bro would have white chuds & my dad & me would have a different set of colours. But we never got around to it.

[At this point of time, the duo (SP & Me) start rolling in peals of laughter, him on the floor and me on the bed]
[... some unimportant, unrelated conversation follows. Then...]

Me- So what will happen if one day your bro decides that he has had enough white in 20 years of his life, and he now wants to go technicolour?

AK- Then I guess we will sort by size... [after a brief (pun intented) moments pause]... How does your mom separate the chuds from the washing machine? How are they despatched in your house?

[Needless to say, the duo at this point are pealing again, on the floor and on the bed]

24 July, 2006

blurred vision

I lost my spectacles today. Someone knocked them off my face while I was getting on the train. Is it my fault? I don't know. I am angry with myself.

18 July, 2006


Why is it that we don't give security measures prime importance in our country? Why is it that we take reactive measures, instead of proactive ones? It is only now, after the blasts in the Mumbai trains that the government has decided to install CCTV cameras in some of the major railway stations. Shouldn't this step have been taken years back, especially after the metro blasts in London and Madrid? Why is it that the security in our airports is worse than that given to some politicians (goons?) in the country? The Mumbai airport does not even have a boundry wall, for crying out loud. The slums merge seamlessly with the runway and the grounds surrounding it. Convenient. Have you ever noticed that passengers (especially foreigners) who have just exited from the departure gate can walk right back in the terminal, with their luggage, without anyone questioning them? Can they not bring back something in the premises this way? Can they not switch their bags and get in, jut so easily?

The intelligence tells us that terrorists are now being trained in Bangladesh, and it is from there that they are able to enter the country. Must we not ensure that the Indo-Bangladesh border is unbreachable? Or are we leaving that job to the tigers in the Sunderbans? Bangladeshi immigrants have been entering India since partition. Most of them work as domestic help. There are even legal settlements for them, atleast in Mumbai. Does it not occur to the powers that be to keep a record of who's there? How tough would it be for a terrorist to lie low in one of these settlements, until called upon to do his dastardly act?

Why is it that the different departments of the state find it so difficult to interact with each other? Why is it that there is no one to be held accountable for anything in this city? Why can we not have a single person in charge of co-ordinating the various departments of the state. We all know what Mayor Rudy Giuliani did for New York after 9/11. Must we not try and emulate their model? What is the point of forming committee after committee, year after year, and yet achive NOTHING. 13 years after the Mumbai blasts, we have yet not been able to convict the accused. What does that say about our judicial system? Our itelligence could barely manage to extradict Abu Salem back to India, after numerous gaffes. What does that say about our intelligence?

Why do we (me included) not treat our soldiers as heroes? When a U.S. Marine dies in Iraq, he is given a state funeral and the entire country mourns. Our soldiers are dying every day in Kashmir. Must we not honour them? Must we not honour the people who die everyday in terrorist related activities. Must we not give them the money they are promised each and every time?

Too many questions, too few answers... think about it....


I'm tired of the bombs
I'm tired of the bullets
I'm tired of the crazies on TV
I'm the aviator
A dream's a dream whatever it seems

I'm tired of the news
I'm tired of the weather
I'm tired of the same thing every day
I'm the aviator
A dream's a dream whatever they say