Sach Ka Saamna: Truth unleashed  

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Truth - 1. Something you speak only inside the star TV studio;
2. An extinct practice, of which no written records remain;
Latest updation to the crebster's dictionary

Mahatma Gandhi, a man who fought the British with his non-violent methods, a man who inspired millions of Indians to follow his path in fighting the mighty empire, a man whose simplicity captivated the whole world and a man who found success in almost all the endeavours in his life. Yet, there was one thing that worried him immensely. Even after writing a whole book on truth or projecting his own life as an epitome of honesty, he couldn't get most of his fellow Indians to speak the truth all the time. Infact, the politicians plunged more and more into a well of lies after independence. And keeping them as model, the layman also had his share of lies. Atlast, after more than 60 long years, Rupert Murdoch has succeeded what Gandhiji failed to do. Mudoch's star TV has come up with 'sach ka saamna', ironically a copied version of 'moment of truth', to make Indians speak the truth.

Murdoch must've realised that the only way to solve any problem in India circa 2009 is through reality TV. The reality madness has reached such heights that there's no point having many of the things outside the tv studio. We have reality romances, reality races, reality fights, reality marriages, reality honeymoons, reality bedroom scenes etc etc. Some people are known to even eat reality food and do reality shit on a reality closet and clean up with a reality tissue to conserve the really scarce reality water. So, in this wild scenario, why leave 'truth' behind? The day the show was announced, Gandhiji's autobiography was sold out from all the bookstores. Many of the tv addicts aspiring to take part in the show were seen studying the book intently on how to tell truth. Some popular page 3 ladies were reportedly searching for the spelling and actual meaning of the word 'truth' in the latest edition of crebster's dictionary.

As expected from the show, we had wives talking about how they cheated on their husbands, husbands talking on how they cheated both their wives and their girlfriends and many more similar episodes. The lie detector had a field day and even after revealing uncomfortable truths, the participants had to go back home empty handed to be received by a wife with slippers in both the hands. And then one fine day, the great Indian politician made a grant appearance in the show. He began to shock the audience with his 'truthful' dialogues. He never has accepted bribes and he calls himself to be a man who's free from corruption. The lie detector was uncharacteristically silent when he spoke. In the end, they came to the final question...

"Have you ever had extra marital affairs?"

The audience gasped. Lie detector didn't make any noise this time too. He won the show. The lie detector stopped working the next day. A lie detector expert was flown in from Papua New Guinea(where lies are still not invented) to fix it up. He said that the lie detector is no more usable because extreme pressure conditions has damaged the lie detecting capabilities of the machine. It shut down itself because it failed to find proof that the politician was lying even after knowing that he was indeed lying. The man was telling lies so confidently that the machine couldn't detect even a single change in pulse or blood flow. So, after 21 big lies, he walked away with the grand prize. That was also the last episode of the show...

PS- I completed 4 years of blogging on July 3rd. My ever failing memory failed me this time too. So am posting this info 26 days late. And, in case I forget to tell, my birthday is on coming monday, August 3rd. And that makes my age, 24!!!!

your crusader Praveen

Jim Morrison Tribute in Trivandrum  

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Benny, Vivek,Nithin, Mithun- Break on through..

Last week, God's own country was in all its glory with the monsoon lashing out in its annual fury. Overflowing rivers, newly sprouting greenery, enchanting backwaters, cloud covered hill was heaven. A perfect atmosphere for the naadanpattu(country song) to add flavour to this already heady mix. But instead, Kerala rocked to the immortal tunes of a man who breathed his last 38 long years back. 'Break on through to the other side', a tribute concert to Jim Morrison, the enigmatic frontman of the legendary band 'Doors', took place at Taj Residency hotel in Trivadrum on Sunday evening.
'Avial' Rex

The idea of a tribute to Morrison in Trivandrum was frowned upon by many, as revealed by the organisers. But those were not enough to deter a bunch of inspired youngsters who soldiered on relenlessly under the name 'Magic bus'. The concert served as a successful debut for this event management company with big dreams. As I walked into the Taj, an unlikely venue for a concert, I could see all those familiar faces there, the leading lights of the Trivandrum rock scene. The concert started by about 8.30 and by that time the hall was almost filled up. That proved the fact that all the apprehensions regarding 'Morrison in Trivandrum' were misplaced.

'Motherjane' Baiju- Roadhouse 'carnatic' blues
Mary- Shaman's blues

The opening band was 'Kali', who did a decent version of 'Light my fire' to start off the proceedings. The words 'Come on baby, light my fire..Try to set the night on fire' were enough to fire up the proceedings. It was time for the main acts to take stage. Guitarist Rex and drummer Mithun from Avial came in alongwith Nithin, the lead guitarist of 'Rage'. 'Avial' bassist Benny and keyboardist Yakzan were the common factors for the whole show. Vivek, the vocalist of 'soulburn' sang the first 5 songs. The blast started with the 'Alabama song' asking for the way to the whiskey bar. Vivek's deep voice fit well to the mood of the doors songs. He also sang that highly energetic classic song 'break on through'. Nithin, who was back on stage after a pretty long time, slipped back into the groove as he revealed many flashes of his old legendary brilliance with 'rage'. Rex, Mithun and Benny, the avial team didn't have any problems in blending together seamlessly as always. Mary singing 'shaman's blues' was a refreshing touch to the evening. Its an irony that the actual song is in the form of plea by the shaman to his lover.
Sujith, Baiju, Mithun and Rex
JK blows the audience away
'Blues' Johny- 'people are strange'
'Avial' Tony- The ghost song

The much awaited entry of 'Motherjane' Baiju happened with 'L.A Woman'. The vocal duties were taken up by Sujith from 'Udaan'. The song which contains the famous anagram of Jim Morrison's name, 'Mr. Mojo Risin' was taken to another level by Baiju's individual brilliance. There were minute length solos amply supplied with his trademark carnatic flavour. The crowd which stayed back for the first few songs were now right in front of the stage. Particularly standing out was one sweet little girl from UK who was dancing around for all the songs. 'Chaos' JK announced his arrival with the most recognised and most played Doors song ever-'Roadhouse blues'. His good grounding in heavy metal meant JK's rendition gave some more raw energy to this great song. Also, appreciable is his ability to take the crowd into his hands from the minute he get on stage. Baiju blazed another killer solo in between this song. JK's 'maggie mcgill' was another notable performance of the evening. Amidst all this, there was Rex unassumingly delivering killer solos and precision rhythms. All through the show, he was the one who peppered it all up from the background. Not to forget, Benny's bass play. And, then there was Yakzan who handled the keyboards, one of the standout elements of Doors songs.
'Soulburn' Vivek- Light my fire

'Avial' Mithun

Trivandrum's own grand old man of Blues, Johny paid his tributes to Morrison with 'People are strange', one of the first doors songs I fell in love with mostly because of its simple lyrics. This short song was followed up with 'Love me two times'. 'Avial' Tony got 2 songs which best matches his usual onstage mannerisms- 'Riders on the storm' and 'The ghost song'. He was doing dance steps reminiscent of the legendary 'shaman's dance'. He also had this small bell like thing which he put to good use. JK was back again alongwith 'motherjane' John to finish off the tribute with 'changeling'. And to top it all, there was a surprise tribute to the one and only Michael Jackson at the end. Naomi took up the keyboard and singing duties joined by all the singers on stage to give a beautiful rendition of 'Heal the world'. It was a perfect end to a beautiful evening with the whole crowd singing along in respect to a true legend.
'chaos' JK- Roadhouse blues

'rage' Nithin n 'avial' Rex

Keyboard wizard Yakzan

Naomi and the whole crowd singing 'heal the world'

It was an one of a kind night in Trivandrum as some of Kerala's best rock artists ever came together to give us all a memorable evening. It was a true team effort wherein the absence of even one of them would've made the show paler for sure. For this day, they just put their busy schedules in the dustbin and dedicated to many days to practise. Special mention must be made of guys like Sabareesh and Rohit from 'magic bus' and 'rage' Nithin who tirelessly worked behind the stage to co-ordinate the whole event and make it a success of this scale. Bringing together such high profile artists, co-ordinating their schedules etc are no mean tasks. And this is just the start. More is in store, like tributes to Pink Floyd, Grateful dead etc already in the pipeline. This indeed is a new beginning in the Kerala rock scene. Best of luck guys!

More pics are uploaded in the picasa link here

your crusader Praveen

The Race  

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*****The Race******
Life's a heady highway, they say
Be in the race, else you pay.
People scramble to get ahead,
Of the nearest familiar head.

I lay there, on the divider
the glory of the open sky all over.
Wondering aloud on the mad fuss,
No one cares, else they miss the bus.

Why so serious?, the joker asked,
Hiding his sorrows behind the paint.
Why so happy?, the human asks,
Dipping his smile in sorrow's palette.

I have smiles to give,
hills to play, dogs to chase.
rains to dance in, grass to roll on,
And a family to share it all with.

They have careers to make,
bills to pay, goals to chase.
They also have the family to ignore,
And smiles thrown outta door.

They call me, a loser in life
They laugh at me from the finish line
I laugh back and say, you left 'life' behind.
Yes, I, life, was having all the fun
while you ran for that extra dollar..

PS- The snap was taken during last week's visit to Palakkad. Yes, I would like to do my life's race in this one. A slow bumpy ride enjoying the simple pleasures of life.. :)
For more snaps from my Palakkad sojourn, head over to my photo blog

Weekend info- If you are a rock fan and if you are in Trivandrum this weekend, Hotel Taj in Vazhuthacaud is the place to be. 'Break on through the other side', a tribute concert for Jim Morrison, the legendary vocalist of 'The Doors' is happening on Sunday evening. The event is being conducted by Magic bus, the event managing company. Prominent rockers of Kerala from bands such as Motherjane, Avial, Rage, Chaos etc will be there to entertain you with Jim Morrison's immortal songs. Yes, If 'Roadhouse blues' rings a bell for you, then head over to Taj... Am heading to TVM morrow evening :) Wish you all a happy weekend..

your crusader Praveen

Goofabhimani:when the media goofs up!  

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Goofabhimani n A newspaper/media house which loses its respect(abhimaan) because of a big goof up or blunder on the reporter's or editor's part.
(Latest word added to Pravster's concise dictionary)

Its not everyday that you get to see an established newspaper goofing up, right on front page. Well, Desabhimani, the malayalam daily's monday morning goof up became so popular that in the last 2 days, I've received atleast 10 forwards carrying this same stuff. Well, for the uninitiated, the report went like this- "Man creates world record by eating 68 dogs in 10 minutes". This rare news happened in one of those rare moments when the 'goofabhimani' editor was so excited with something else that he wouldn't even have noticed if a nude picture was on the front page. The actual incident is that there's a popular 'hot dog' eating competition in US and this man eat 68 'hot dogs' to create the record. Our poor reporter just copied it literally into malayalam. Am wondering, what the hell was the editor doing? Does this guy ever take a look at what is printed in his paper?

Infact, this paper is not new to the art of goofing up. If my memory serves right, this is the same newspaper which gave us that big breaking news last year- "All mobile incoming calls will be free from next week". Yes, this also resulted from another copying excercise gone bad. This time, they copied from a special anniversary issue of a national newspaper. As part of the anniversary, the newspaper had dedicated their first page to all the important news that happened in the last 10 years, one of which was the 'incoming calls free' news. And, our goofies in the newsroom just copied it without even giving a second glance at it. There was another big blunder last week from 'Malayala Manorama', the leading daily in Kerala as well as one of the masters of fake stories. This awesome find was made by blogger scorpiogenius. There was a news report on Planning commission Deputy Chairman M.S.Ahluwalia's comments on the budget. The only problem was the accompanying picture was not Ahluwalia's, but Nithari serial murderer Mohinder Singh.

This couple of ultra blunders set me thinking on some possible goof-up scenarios in the future. Some of those shocking possibilities-

1. You might one day wake up to the shocking news that 'Gandhiji is still alive'. Ofcourse, our newsmen would've confused himself when he saw a 100th anniversary special supplement on the 'salt satyagraha'.

2. New local bank named HSBC opening in Chavakkad junction. Reporter confused by HSBC's tagline 'The world's local bank'.

3. Smaller one wins in the fight of Tata sumos. The oversmart reporter inserted the word 'Tata' and overlooked the fact that it was a news item on Japanese sumo fighters.

4. Orkut stops sale of 'donuts'. A 'net-savvy' reporter misconstructs orkut's trademark server down reply, 'No donuts for you'.

5. Pop music played for the first time in holy vatican. A slight mis-reporting on the honourable pope's latest sermon in Vatican.

6. Maneka Gandhi plays cricket with right handed animals. original headline- Maneka Gandhi 'bats' for animal rights.

Lets brace ourselves for the goof up onslaught, courtesy the newspapers.

Image courtesy-Wikipedia

your crusader Praveen

Naming conventions  

Posted by Praveen in , ,

A page from my diary

Year 2019- My 7 year long world trip ended this year. Am returning to India from my last stop, Timbuktu. I got down at Mumbai airport to catch my connection flight to Trivandrum. The Timbuktu national airline 'boombakakku' gave me a rough ride and so I thought of catching some sleep on our good old Indian airlines. Hey stop, whats that name on the ticket? Na, Its not Indian airlines. Oh, they changed the national airlines name to Bajiv airlines. Whatever, Who cares anyway? Walking with sleepish eyes, I somehow managed to locate my seat. Even after travelling the world, I still love the window seat. And I love it even more when a beautiful lady sits beside me, which happened luckily this time too. She was carrying a cool handbag with 'Bahul bank of India' written on it. I thought it to be some local money lender or worse some new age bank. I started the usual 'sweet talk' without which no lady can escape from near me and thats when she told me that the Govt re-christened the state bank of India as 'Bahul bank of India'.

More sweet talks and then the food arrives. I take a glance at the glam airhostess. She didn't care to look at me and in her eyes, I could read a 'free from section 377' glow directed at my co-passenger. Seems like in 10 years, the law has done a lot of good, bad and bood. I finished the tasteless lunch and was cleaning my hands when the name on the tissue paper caught my eyes-'Driyanka caterers'. Aah! This is getting interesting. The next few days in my native country, I felt as if I was in an alien world ruled by a king obsessed with naming everything after his clan. Wherever I turned, the names of somebody from the clan was there. Travelling on the roads were a confusing excercise as Bajiv cross ended up in Bahul junction from where Bajiv double cross road started. The Driyanka main road was a stone's throw away from Jonia flyover which will get you to Bajiv circle. Its as if someone killed all our imaginative minds in the last 10 years. Did somebody mention thought police?

The old man at the pan shop told me that all this madness started some 20 years back. At first, it was some small roads which were named like this. Then, some big welfare projects also started getting these names. The turning point happened 10 years ago, when this big bridge over the sea in Mumbai ended up with one of these names. It was the work of some shameless sychophant. Our land boasting a big number of the sychophant creed, was not the same from that day. Almost everything in sight was renamed. There was no question on what the name of a new project will be. I felt like in a scary dream world which perhaps George Orwell would've articulated well if he had written '2019' instead of '1984'.

Depressed, I took a walk along that old road near the cemetry. This is the only place which has given me some solace and peace right from my school days. I plucked a rose from the wayside and decided to place it on the tombstone of our friendly old neighbourhood uncle. I walked in past the board of the cemetry, obviously named after the clan. But, I got the biggest shock of my life when I saw all the tombstones with a single name. Yes, one from the clan... Hey wait, did I just hear the clan's name being chanted from the nearby temple, mosque and church? I have to preserve this diary. I think this is the only thing in the whole of the country which doesn't carry the clan name..Oh No, What was I writing till now!!!

PS- Overheard from sychophant's house- "Lets ask Mayawati to name her statues after Bajiv!"


your crusader Praveen

Sakhi ka bhayankar Swayamvar  

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Sakhi Rawant. She's the heartthrob of millions. She has such a brilliant brain that the makers of google once visited her and requested her not to venture into the field of science and technology. Yes, they were scared that she would end their monopoly. She's so well versed in world affairs that she thinks Indiana is the capital of India. Take a look at this scene when she was reading newspaper last week. No, she doesn't subscribe to a newspaper. This bit of paper came to her wrapped around an aloo samosa.

"I ran elections a farce: Bush"
and now lets take a look at her thought process-
"What should I do if you ran the elections? And atleast learn the proper spelling of such a simple word as force."

One of her aunties recently gave an interview to dudlines today, India's No.1 newsentertainment channel. She fondly remembers Sakhi's childhood, when she developed this deep aversion to clothes. She was not always like this. Until she was 5 years old, Sakhi used to cover herself up from head to toe in woollen clothes even in summer. She used to even take bath with her clothes on. It all changed one day when she saw this rousing speech by a senior journalist in good old doordarshan. He was talking about 'press freedom' and poor Sakhi who was intelligent from birth heard it as 'dress freedom'. She threw away all her clothes and appointed herself as the world ambassador for dress freedom.

She had also developed many indigenous ideas to stay in the spotlight. One is obviously to follow the 'spotlight' relentlessly around the globe, until the tired 'spotlight' gives it up and rests upon her. Other ideas are like slapping her boyfriend in public, crying foul over lip locks and unlocks and ofcourse, item numbers. But all that pales in comparison to the latest master stroke from Sakhi Rawant- 'Sakhi ka swayamvar'. The wild lady has atlast decided to marry and being Sakhi, she wants to do it in her own crazy way. She has decided to do a reality tv style swayamvar in the latest entertainment channel, eNDineeTV unIMAGINEable*. Lakhs of intelligent good looking gentlemen from around the country applied to get into the show. In the end, Yamraj decided to give 'hell' to 16 of them. And, thus started the biggest spectacle in Indian television, the fineprint of which is "Will somebody please carry this burden home?"

The swayamvar reportedly started this week and is already topping the 'Tastelessly Rocking Programs(TRP)' charts. I was thinking on the various reasons for so many of India's youngsters taking this drastic step of applying for this show. The most obvious one is that the latest poisons available in the market are duplicate and ineffective. So, people are finding better ways to suicide, one of which is to take part in this show. Another might be a real bad girlfriend who slaps not only the guy but also his Father. Some might be there just for the spotlight. I really hope there's one guy who's there to pull a trick on Sakhi. And, I wish he somehow wins the show and when she runs with the garland towards him, he shows her the finger and walk off triumphantly. Only that will give peace to Vyasa maharshi who introduced the idea of Swayamvara in Mahabharatha. There was actually a report in HNN IBN, the official news channel in heaven, that Yama is planning to send Vyasa back to earth so that he could do a shift+delete of the 'swayamvara' part in Mahabharatha.

*eNDineeTV- literal translation in malayalam means 'what this TV is for?'

PS-eNDineeTV inIMAGINEable has no Relation with NDTV Imagine. The author has never ever heard of a lady named Rakhi Sawant or a show named 'Rakhi ka Swayamvar'.

pic courtesy-flickr

your crusader Praveen

How bad can the press get?  

Posted by Praveen in ,

I was shocked after reading this article by Ajay on how one of Kerala's biggest mediahouses 'Malayala Manorama' played a stellar role in providing another roadblock for the Vizhinjam shipping terminal project. Its a must read article. Am saddened by the fact that the media which is expected to be a corrective influence are themselves playing the spoilsport. To fulfill their own selfish interests, medias like manorama are jeopardising the development of the state and the country. The basic standards in journalism are being broken by cooking up stories, false reporting and many such unhealthy practices. There's also selective reporting when they purposefully stay away from covering events which are not supporting their secret sinister causes. Seems like those ideals like media's commitment to the betterment of society have been sold to some street hawker who came to buy old newspapers. We have to stay away from newspapers like this. Please educate your friends and relatives on this.

Another recommended blog- My friend Rahul jumped into the blogworld recently with some meaningful posts. Do take a look here.

PS-One of my collegemates finished a 21 day trip around India some days back. He has covered places like Kargil, North-east etc. It was a small discovery of India in 3 weeks. I was surprised to hear about this trip since this been one of my dreams and its great to see someone actually ahving fulfilled it. And he did it all alone with awesome planning. Kudos to the guy. He has chronicled his travels day-by-day in this blog - One step closer to freedom

your crusader Praveen