Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Thats a good one!

With the hype and glory being showered on Lalu Prasad Yadav for his "turnaround" of the Railways, one ached to read some counter views.

I read one today in the Financial Express which gave details about how the Railways was showing signs of a turnaround from 2002-03 (when the previous incumbent, Nitish Kumar was the Minister). It also gave an account of how the Railways had still a long way to go as far as providing efficient and bare minimum comfort services to its passengers.

But the best (and smallest) piece was in the Economic Times today....
"Home truth LALU Prasad and his aide Sudhir Kumar are on the lecture circuit now, explaining how they changed the fortunes of Indian Railways. Recently, Mr Kumar, an IAS officer from Bihar, was expounding on the strategy adopted by his boss and him for railways at the Indian Institute of Public Administration. However, he was stumped when some one asked him why his boss and him couldn’t first turn around Bihar. "

As they say, you can't fool all the people all the time!!!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Candidate voyeurism!

New election rules require political candidates todeclare their financial assets. The manner in whichthe media splashes these details on front pages leavesa feeling of distaste. Ogling at the private detailsof an individual financial worth, whether out ofcuriosity or otherwise, tends to whet one’s baservoyeuristic instincts. Discussions on someone’sfinancial status are usually kept out of the publicrealm, on account of social propriety (and nowadaysincreasingly due to security concerns).

(The latest media onslaught is on Ms. Supriya Sule's considerable wealth! Not that it makes any difference to her political fortunes)

The said revelations, while perhaps noble in their intention,ought to have been kept under strict confines of theEC records, divulged only to economic watchdogs like IT, IB, ED, etc for their investigations, if any.

Praywhat influence does the EC feel such data ought tohave on the voting public?

Monday, September 11, 2006

LRL Rocks!

Ok, I haven’t been on the inside of a military academy. I haven’t been a scout in my boyhood. So I can safely count myself among the laymen as far as military training circuits are concerned.

Hence the serial on SAB, “Left Right Left” does look quite interesting. Or should I say refreshing. I had given up on Hindi serials after every other venture degenerated into the saas-bahu stuff sooner or later.

I started watching this serial because of the lead actor Rajeev Khandelwal. This man had become famous (particularly with the fairer sex) after his Sujal act in Balaji’s “Kahin to hoga” – which used to be aired at an unearthly hour of 11.00 p.m. on Star Plus. (I think it still goes on – as all saas-bahu offerings of Balaji go). And he had quit the serial after he became dissatisfied with his role. I have never watched Kahin to Hoga. But in Ketan Mehta’s Time Bomb, I found Rajeev’s performance quite engaging. Hence when I learnt that LRL had him as the lead, I became interested.

LRL takes time to get used to. No glossy sets, no rich people around, no vixens in gaudy bindis and noodle straps, - just plain normal looking people.

The cadets are also believable people and an assortment of characters having both black and white shades, which make them look realistic. My favorite character as of now is Alekh - a brooding tapori with a wry sense of humour!

Thankfully, the serial has become quite popular – I was afraid the TRP game would force the channel to pull it down prematurely.

Just hope it is able to maintain the initial euphoria!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Choking over a Song!

The manner in which a ruckus has been created over the Vande Mataram song is quite infuriating. While the mullas have predictably played spoilsport to what would have been an uplifting patriotic event, the media has once again demonstrated its bias very blatantly. The rare exception to this was the RKB Show on Sahara Mumbai. (Surprising, since the Sahara boss is so close to the Samajwadi Party!)

The RKB Show discussion had one mulla (I don’t know his name and don’t care) who went on to say that not only Vande Mataram but even the Jana Gana Mana song was objectionable. And RKB was aghast! Of course, the very next day, he sang a different tune after he got Tushar Gandhi on board who went on ranting about the compulsion factor!

Swati Chaturvedi on Janmat was trying to get a word in between about patriotism “Thopa nahin jaa sakta”! {Patriotism cannot be forced upon!} Swati? Are you saying being patriotic is optional? I can understand somebody saying that merely singing the song does not a patriot make! But surely, one cannot say that patriotism cannot be insisted upon!

Predictably, Vinod Dua disregarded his own SMS survey which showed 70% results showing people voting for Option A – which was completely against his rant! His problem was that BJP was making this a political issue! He got (of all people) Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi (through satellite), who was making a good attempt at explaining the position of the BJP, but was hampered by his own religion! He was being ridiculed by a member of the AIMPLB and Vinod Dua was merrily enjoying the show along with Nilotpal Basu (in his studio) who was trying to sound very intellectual analyzing the "divisive nature" of this song!

The less said about the way it was covered by NDTV, CNN – IBN and Times Now, the better!