Monday, 31 December 2012

A Tribute To India's Daughter

As the tragic news of the Delhi gang rape victim hits us with a deafening force, shattering the feeble thread of hope for her survival that we were holding on to, an entire nation is reduced to tears. The same nation which, until a day ago was enveloped in protests and candlelight marches demanding the government to dole out befitting punishments to the perpetrators of this heinous incident, fell silent for a moment. The government, which was busy engaged in trying to ward off the protesters and internally involved in a mudslinging game within itself, was hushed for a moment. An entire nation collectively shed a tear for the girl.
How do we feel so emotionally attached to this one girl, when in reality thousands of girls have and are still suffering the same fate?
Why do we shed a tear for this stranger and mourn her death like the loss of a loved one?
Why is she being heralded as ‘India’s daughter’?
These are the questions running across many a mind in India. Mine too.
 I guess the answer lies within the fact that she managed to awaken the people in the country from a deep slumber by thrusting the callous reality in front of them. She managed to lodge a deep sense of panic and trepidation in every woman’s heart by exposing that things were spiralling out of control and no woman is safe in the country. She succeeded in bringing home the fact that if appropriate action is not taken now, no woman can live a peaceful life anymore. She managed to drive people out into the streets to protest against the brutalities inflicted upon her and the hapless state of womenfolk in general. She silently willed everyone, from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, to stop sitting quietly and launch a much-overdue furore against the pathetic state of the country and its governance. The citizens erased factors like religion, caste, social status and presumably every aspect of discrimination from their minds, and took to the cause of fighting for justice in whatever way they could. Be it via protests on the roads or through social media, they made their point heard to a government which has always sought to ignore such cases before.
Yes, she has achieved the impossible.

Unity in diversity.
 She has managed to unite a nation which was sucked into a vortex of hatred for each other. We have finally started to let go off trivialities and joined hands to focus on the bigger picture. Our nation has awakened.
You managed to instil a new sense of vigour and hope amongst us, Damini. A faith that we still do care for each other and will join forces if need be. Thank you.
Rest In Peace Damini. You will always be remembered as a beacon of hope and justice. You are indeed, India’s daughter.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Advertisements? Or MAD-vertisements?

You’re my pumpkin pumpkin
Hello honey bunny               
Feeling something something
Hello honey bunny

Forgive me, but this song has hijacked my head and is currently playing on a continuous loop. It looks like all the television channels ( and every other form of social media for that matter) have taken it upon themselves to make sure that this jingle becomes the next anthem. Well, it's only a matter of time before the song starts getting on everyone’s nerves and people start to scramble for their remotes in order to switch the channel when they hear it playing. I’m telling you, dear Idea advertisers and TV channels, if you continue to keep splashing this song everywhere in every way possible, then very soon people are going to begin  ‘feeling something something’ different and start throwing pumpkins at your honey bunnies. So stop while the going’s good. :D

Anyway, talking about advertisements, I came across this particular one while flicking through a magazine. It is an ad for Incredible India’s Orissa Tourism wing.

This is officially the creepiest ad I’ve ever seen.  I can picture the crab, sitting on the beach with menacing eyes, rubbing its claws in glee and waiting to ‘receive’ me. With a bite or sting, maybe. I don’t know about others but I, for one, would never set foot in Orissa after seeing this vicious advertisement. On the other hand I would run as far away as I can. To some place where there are no scary reptiles and insects ‘waiting’ to receive me. Maybe they should put up a disclaimer before the ad saying ‘only for scary-red-crab-lovers’. Are you listening, Incredible India advertisers?

Monday, 24 December 2012

The Christmas Wishlist

So it’s that time of the year again!

When the heavenly aroma of freshly baked cakes wafts through the air.

When almost a quarter of the male population dons a red-and-white costume, sticks on a fake beard and cruises the streets shouting HO-HO-HO. Oops, I almost forgot the potbelly.

When the sales of Christmas trees and twinkling lights go overboard.

When half of the Facebook crowd finds another reason to change their display pictures. Really. In case you do not have a calendar at home, or you’ve simply forgotten about Christmas (or ANY festival, for that matter) just log onto Facebook. It’ll probably take only 5-6 seconds for you to figure out that its Christmas time, what with the overdose of people uploading pictures with the Santa cap on.

Anyway, Merry X’mas :)


I can picture all the little kids around the world penning down their cute little wishlist, completely enchanted by the whole concept of wishes-coming-true and fervently hoping that they get whatever they wished for, from Santa Claus. Well, this year I too have a wishlist, Santa. Make them come true will you?

--A huge pool of chocolate sauce. So huge, that I get sick and nauseous at the sight of chocolate after that and my mom heaves a big sigh of relief. That’s like two gifts for the price of one. :P

--Gift me a British accent. Or a guy with a British accent. Anything is fine.

-- Can you please eliminate ALL the cockroaches from the face of the Earth. Thank you.

--Oh yeah, and after eliminating them, if you find time, please attend to the mosquitoes too.

-- A Spongebob Tee-shirt. Preferably pink/white.

-- Dimples. Not the scary Sharmila Tagore ones though. Just normal sweet ones.

-- Throw the perpetrators of the heinous Delhi gang-rape incident from the highest mountain possible. Upside down. Into a sea of boiling oil. Perfect.

-- Gift me some guts so that I can finally get into a roller coaster.

-- The entire collection of FRIENDS on DVD. No, I do not have it yet. Yes, I’m an ardent fan. Don’t snigger, please. Just look at the price and THEN mock me.

-- The answer to 4-across from the crossword in today’s newspaper.

-- A proper winter season in Chennai…What? Are you absolutely sure that there is no chance of that happening? Ok ok I get it Santa, you can stop shaking your head.

I know this list is getting too long and Santa is probably just getting bored and yawning. Nevertheless, what’s the harm in wishing, right? :P
Merry Christmas again, y’all! Have a fun day :)

Sunday, 23 December 2012

The Traveller's Guide To Kerala And Its Quirks.

As my blog’s name suggests, I’ve pretty much led a nomadic life.  Just like every other kid living miles away from their hometown, my trips to Kerala have just been limited to the quintessential once-in-a-year journeys during my summer vacations. Now all you people who have seen Kerala will probably wholeheartedly nod their heads when I say that Kerala’s one of the most beautiful places in India. God’s own country and all that jazz. And for all of you who haven’t seen it, GO. Book a ticket or something.

                                                 courtesy-Google Images
Couldn’t get a ticket right?
Aah well. Don’t worry. You’ll probably get one after a year or so, But here’s something to help you, in case you ever get a ticket.
 Presenting to you, 

     ---->We pride ourselves on being the land of harthals and strikes. The people here have probably gone on strike for EVERY reason(read flimsy excuse) possible. So if you are one of those people who are utterly jobless and are looking to waste your time some more by crying “Zindabaad” until your throat goes drier than the Thar desert, look no further. Kerala is your dreamland.
Seriously, we should go in the Guinness Book of records for the maximum number of silly excuses invented for declaring a strike.
Your demands are not met? Lets go on a strike.
The Chief Minister’s demands are not met? Lets go on a strike.
The Chief Minister’s demands ARE met? Never mind! Lets go on a strike people!
The Chief Minister sneezes? STRRRRIKE.
Aah well you get the point.
So if you are stranded on an empty road , bag and baggage, the day you land assured. Its just a strike.

·     ------>    All you style fashionistas, BEWARE. We take the adage “If you’re in Rome, do as the Romans do” very, very seriously. Now if you are outside Kerala, it doesn’t matter to us even if you put on your Blah-est outfit. But, dear Dorothy, while in Kerala, you need to follow a strict dress code.

  •      Any outfit without a generous splash of blindingly-bright sequins, will not be considered a proper outfit. In fact if your outfit is one of those plain ones without a trace of a single sequin, then get ready. You are going to be subjected to a wide variety of tch-tchs and disapproving stares from every elderly lady you meet on the street. And of course, the seemingly innocent question “Oww, don’t you have any new clothes?” In case you ever get stuck in a situation like this, just smile politely at them while patiently letting the evil criticism sail smoothly from one ear to the other and OUT.
  •      If your outfit is NOT bright yellow, bright orange, bright red..or in other words bright any-colour, take my advice and just throw them off a cliff before you come to Kerala. We can also graciously adjust with non-bright pinks, yellows and oranges. But the people who try to wear blacks and dark blues and dark browns..RIP. You have just committed social suicide.
  •      Stick to salwar kameezes unless you want to get stared at. And do not underestimate the talent of the ‘poovaalan’ genre of guys, at staring. If you boldly attempt to wear jeans and a tee, the amount of staring that you are going to receive will make you want to dig a hole and hide. And then come out and rush to the nearest clothes-store to buy the brightest salwar kameez available.
  •      Wearing a ‘pottu’ or bindi is a MUST. Unless you want people to searchingly scan every bit of your face, discover that you are not wearing a bindi, get a mini-heart attack, and then ask you “molu pottu onnum thodathille?”, while you sheepishly stare at the floor wondering why you ever thought of committing this horrendous crime.
  •      Minimalism is simply not accepted. You should be wearing as much gold as you can possibly be adorned with, while here. Your social status is going to be judged by the amount of gold hanging on you. Worried that you look like one of those models in the jewellery ads? Mission successful.
  •      You must possess atleast knee length hair. Shoulder length hair? Hmm..ok..fine. Short hair? OH-MY-GOD. Shock. Horror. Disaster.
  •        As for all you men, what are you waiting for? Bring on the lungis! B)

·         --->    Want to taste the yummiest food ever? Step into Kerala lands, my friend. Now some of the stuff you should definitely try are:

  •      EVERY type of non-vegetarian dish possible. Fish, duck, beef,crab and so on and so forth. It will be among the best non vegetarian food you have ever tasted. All you vegetarians, well, turn into non-vegetarians or something.
  •     The upperis or chips, made with every possible fruit/vegetable. You are going to throw that packet of Lays you’ve been munching on once you get your hands on these little gems.
  •     The sadya. You might as well go attend a Malayali wedding just for the heck of devouring the sadya. Wait, isn’t that what almost ALL of us Malayalis go to weddings for? :P
  •      The halwas and the jalebis and achappams from any local bakery. I swear they don’t make them like that anyplace else. I finally realized the meaning of ‘melt-in-your-mouth’ :D
  •     The mouthwatering array of pickles.
  •     Avial- Kerala’s answer to ‘how can you possibly make a vegetable salad tasty?’

·       ----->  Once you step into Kerala territory, you must automatically decide which side you support. No I’m not talking about the ruling party and the opposition. What I’m talking about is the Mohanlal-Mammootty fans associations. Very difficult decision. I know. Choose wisely. Your entire future depends on this one life-altering decision.

·      ----->   Get accustomed to seeing tall coconut trees everywhere. Yes its very green and beautiful and pristine everywhere but a coconut may just fall on your head while you are open-mouthedly admiring the greenery.

·       ---->  If you want to make some quick bucks, open a lottery-ticket selling shop. Best business, I tell you.

·       ----->  Yes, we will cook everything in coconut oil. Don’t cringe.

·      ------>   Don’t make fun of our accent. Atleast almost everyone can talk in English. If you make fun of our English we will give you some ‘naadan’ beating. And subsequently go on strike the next day if you complain against us.

Phew.  Hope you guys enjoy your stay. Be sure to take home some bananas and coconuts and pickles.