Friday, 18 May 2012

How internet is fun on the mobile

There is a contest on, an online forum for Indian bloggers, that ends at midnight. The topic is 'How the internet is fun on the Mobile'.

A topic like this would have me thinking - under normal circumstances. But normal they are not: There is a deadline and it is less than 90 minutes away. So there's no time to tax the grey cells (pun not intended on cells), to come up with ideas (no connection to Idea, the cell phone service provider that you subscribe to when you are dead, in heaven and dressed like Jitendra). Instead, it is the fingers that are now doing the thinking. And since that's the case here's some fingering:

The most important mandatory requirement to take part in this contest is to provide a link to, so here it is: the link.

But why am I, an intermittent blogger who writes for fun, taking part in this contest? The answer lies in the prizes: 

1st Prize: Macbook Pro + 2 Tickets for the IPL Finals with hospitality.
2nd Prize: Sony Playstation 3 + 2 Tickets for the IPL Finals with hospitality.
3rd Prize: Sennheiser Headphones
4th Prize: Zoozoo Bean Bags

Naturally, I am gunning for the first prize. Not particularly because I want to bear the air fare to Chennai to watch the IPL Finals and partake of hospitality (what does that word mean? And why?) But because I am an Indian and I was told in no uncertain words by my parents, siblings, extended family, teachers, neighbours, friends, friends' parents and everyone I ever had a conversation while I was growing up - You have to come first! In school, in tuition classes, in sports, in the queue at the milk centre (yeah, I am that ancient). Break the queue if you have to, jostle, push, shove, trample, bribe - do what it takes, but come first. This 'Coming first' business is so ingrained in our culture that a recent worldwide research conducted by Clayboy Magazine showed that all men surveyed in India suffered from premature ejaculation.

The research results were a major cause of celebration because we were so proud that we came first in 'Coming first.'

But then, as I ran my finger up the list of prizes, a thought struck me. Zoozoo Bean Bags make sense - I can curl up on one and surf the internet on my mobile all day long while causing permanent damage to my spine. Sennheiser Headphones make sense too - I can plug them into my mobile and watch unsuitable films on the internet with the volume on and nobody would be any wiser.

But Sony Playstation 3? Isn't that supposed to be connected to the TV? Are you giving me an option to put away my internet-enabled mobile and engage in something else? And the Macbook Pro dude? Sure I would love that and especially love checking those videos out on its wide screen with kickass resolution instead of on a matchbox sized screen of my cell phone.

2 Tickets for IPL Finals - You guys actually want me to go to a big stadium and watch the real thing, real time instead of the slightly delayed online telecast on my matchbox cell phone screen in my cramped Mumbai apartment?

These prizes are not making sense. Nope, not even to my fingers, as I let another opportunity to win first prize slip through those very fingers by making fun of a serious topic like 'How the internet is fun on the mobile'.

Monday, 5 March 2012

The Big Booming Progress of Indian Infrastructure: In The Least Expected Place.

One of the many things that separates a man from a woman (no, we are not talking about marriage here), is man's inability to resist the blank space on a wall. Yes, graffiti. 

What is it that makes men write on walls of lifts, toilets and monuments? Is it testosterone? I don't know if boys write graffiti before reaching puberty; I guess not. But that's a good topic for research - the connection between puberty and graffiti - I am sure the scientists who study stuff like the connection between length of ring finger and aggression, not having a date as a teenager and becoming a billionaire etc. would love to apply for a grant to study this one too. 

But graffiti is not the topic of this post. Rather, it is graffiti's new improved version. The Indian economy is rocking (or so I hear, though I continue to be broke all the time), infrastructure is rocking - look at the new airport terminals (don't look at the roads because it's the cars that are rocking and rolling and pitching on them), corruption figures are rocking - from a couple of crore to a couple of thousand crore and so on. This 'rocking-ness' has also infected the realm of toilet graffiti (that's a tautology - a word meaning the two words meaning the same thing and not the feeling Mumtaz of yesteryear Bollywood fame got when she wore her salwar suit). 

Here are the pictures I clicked in the men's loo at the New Delhi Airport. To understand the full import of the pictures understand that the man looking at these is standing there, relieving himself, holding... you get the idea.

The Big Picture

Sure dude. Time for introspection, eh?

I do, but a few more inches could help me here.

Yeah, I am willing, but someone taking?

Thanks for the encouragement. Could never make it without your support.

Are you sure this wasn't meant to be put up inside the privacy of the WC?

This one's for those with stones.

Now have a Nike for this too?

And this one's for the shy ones, the short ones...

You bet!

You got me there!

No sir, I won't. Definitely not on the second one.

Never was a truer word said. But is that option available here?

I guess the option is available here!

You mean to say they are hiding around here?

Frankly, I think I prefer the good old graffiti. Except that the phone numbers on the wall never seem to work

Thursday, 1 March 2012

It’s us, only

We, when we speak English, have our own four letter word. No, it doesn’t start with an ‘F’. But we do use it similarly.

Have you heard the audio clip spoken as if it is the now-dead Osho lecturing about the versatile ‘F’ word and its usage as a noun, verb, adjective etc.

We use our four-letter word with equal versatility.

And that word is, Only.

Location - I was there only.

To mean: I was right there.

Confirmation: I was doing that only.

Meaning: I was doing just that.

Emphasis: You didn't tell me only.

Meaning: You didn't tell me at all.

Affirmation: I meant that only.

Meaning: That's what I meant.

We are coming only, going only, eating only, working only.

There is no explanation why we speak like this except:

We are like this only.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

A Guinness Record

Yesterday in suburban Mulund where the local residents had formed a neighbourhood watch to nab thieves, a few kids spread the news that they had seen a robber on top of a tree. Within no time, a crowd, including local cops, gathered at the spot craning their necks to catch a sight of and hopefully catch the robber.

Not surprising. What's surprising is the number of people who turned up - Over 5000. Looks like this city is not just over-populated, it is also under-employed.

And here's the killer - There was no robber in the tree. 

Last week, a day before Republic Day, there was another crowd that gathered in one part of Maharashtra. No, not the hordes that thronged (word that means, 'a wronged thong'), malls to shop till their bags burst. Not the hordes that thronged railway stations and airports to enjoy the (self-created) extended weekend.

This crowd had a purpose: To create the new Guinness World Record for the maximum number of people singing a national anthem together. The event was conceptualised and executed by Lokmat, Maharashtra's leading Marathi newspaper. The numbers added up to over 50,000 and most of them were children. (Ten times more than those involved in the sport of robber-spotting; so there's hope I guess.) Here's the video.

Nice, I say.

But one question: Did you stand up while they sang?