Monthly Archives: August 2005

Ogbl Day

Blog DayMuch link love has come my way today. It’s incredibly touching. Thanks Amit and Neha, you guys are the sweetest. This also got me to look at the calendar before it disappeared into the kitchen as Satish Kaushik elaborates in a song from Mr India (1987), and realize that today is 31st August. Which makes it Blog Day 2005. So happy Blog Day and all that celebratory stuff. Why 31st August? A pretty neat reason actually. The numbers 3108 if you look closely enough, (not that close, thank you) resemble the word blog. Of course we out here, living as we are in the land of we write dates the other way around just cos we can shall celebrate Ogbl Day instead (as Peter puts it.) But the spirit remains the same. Hic!

So what am I supposed to do about it, you ask? Simple — talk about five blogs you read and pass on the link love. Now, I read a lot more blogs than the ones on my blogroll (loud whispers of jobless character echoing in the background that she pretends to not hear), so I thought I’d highlight a few of those today —

Today is a day of self-validation for all bloggers. It’s like saying — Hey, we’re cool enough that they have a day set aside for us; we are no longer a bunch of weirdos pouring our thoughts into this vast cesspool. Yes I said cesspool rather than ocean, cos lets face it, a big part of the blogosphere does fall in the below-average to completely-dismal category.

But that is the beauty of blogging. Good or bad, everyone is just one Publish-button-click away from their moment of cyber-fame. Everyone has a voice, everyone is heard. And today is a celebration of a medium that allows us to indulge in the biggest fetish of them all — the exhibitionism of our mind.

My kinda blogging

I don’t do Bridget Jones-y blogging. The ‘woe is me, why are men like domain names — the good ones are all taken‘ kind of stuff is just not me. Nor am I the Sex and the City writing type. The Carrie Bradshaw-esque ‘I am fabulously single living in my Noo Yawk loft, commitment is for losers‘ sorts. The lameness of my examples for both should have told you by now how terrible I am at that sort of stuff. So I leave that to the experts. If I lament, I cry — ‘Why don’t I find men like Chunkey Pandey in my Bawst’n loft‘. Yup, I look to my good ol’ roots when I write. Bollywood and PJs. And sometimes, when we’re feeling extra generous — Bollywood PJs.

So here we go. A Bollywood PJ with pondy undertones. Friday lunchtime excitement at its finest.

Q: A terminally-ill guy visits New York. His one wish in life is to get laid by a hooker. But will he find one in time? If one were to make a Hindi movie on this uncertainty in his life, what would they call it?
A: Kal Ho Na Ho.

Yep, there are days I should not be allowed to blog. And yesh, I was dropped on the head as a kid.

Sax and violins

There has been way too much mushy love on my blog lately. Gooey Hallmarky stuff. Bleh. And as any self-respecting Bollywood-obsessed person will tell you, where so much love exists, some gratuitous sex and violence have to soon follow. So here’s a story to please the masses. You can leave the pennies and 1 rupee coins at the door as you exit. Thankoo.

Yash Chopra Presents — Parr
(a Bollywood song-and-dance routine, with inspired interruptions from Hitchcock)

(Prologue in Amitabh’s voice)

This ditty has no pity,
This isn’t a story for the itty-bitty.
It tells the story of a fowl most foul,
The kind you want to disembowel.

Ugly birdie flying high,
dropped a message from the sky
“Oh”, said the blogger wiping her eye,
“It’s a good thing that bulls don’t fly!”

Once upon a time, there was a girl. Think of a Chopra/Johar heroine in a white salwar kameez who has nothing to do in life except skip gaily through hills and valleys with a mandatory vibrant dupatta fluttering in the background, be annoyingly chirpy and hum wordless la la laaaa laaa la la songs in Lata’s voice. Yep, Aishwarya in Mohabbatein types. (Please to note her character’s name in the movie. Yikes!)

Now, this girl loved to tell stories. Some real and some make-believe. So she started a li’l corner where she narrated her tales. You modern day techie folks call it a blog or something similar, but this was a long time ago, and we simply called it a story-telling place. Meghalaya, if you insist.

Now, so vain and self-obsessed was she, that she used her own name in a movie title to name her little corner. Even the address of her home was a variation of her initials. And just in case people didn’t get that it was *her* place, she put a bunch of clouds all over her area. Feeling suitably satisfied at the subtleties, she went on to tell her stories. At first nobody came. But slowly they started to arrive. I mean gradually, not in a running-in-slow-motion sort of way. People came, listened and shared better stories of their own. After all, who can resist talking about painful childhood memories of crappy Hindi films and bad PJs? So all the boys and girls bonded, loved each other and lived like one big happy org .. oops, I mean family. *lots of passionate sax playing in the background to set the mood* Lots of love everywhere. The girl sang dream sequence songs about the colors of her bangles and the tinkling of her earrings and how they reminded her of her hero Aryan while the chorus sang le ja le ja, soniye le ja le ja along with customary hand movements.

But one day the dark clouds rolled in. Dark clouds, but no rain — Lagaan style. Accompanied by a flap-flap sound. Thinking it to be her hero Rahul arriving, she hurriedly finished singing the title song and rushed to the window, hoping to spot the all-familiar black helicopter .. alas .. to find a big bird, instead. On further observation it turned out that he wasn’t the cute Maine Pyar Kiya courier bird bringing her a pehle pyaar ki pehli chitthi either. Instead he was a jealous psycho bird. Well, he was also ugly, but we try to not let our bias for pretty people show too much. It seems he wasn’t getting any worthwhile roles so he wanted to try his luck with the Chopra camp. He made enquiries on how to get in. But her happy family wasn’t looking for a pet, so they politely told our feathered friend to find himself another project. But he wouldn’t listen. Five times a day he stalked the studio creating a stink and demanding an audition. Finally they had to explain it to him that the fluffy white doggy had already been cast and he could even play cricket, so the bird didn’t stand a chance.

But birdie didn’t take kindly to rejection. Which, when you think about it, was odd, considering he had a lifetime of it to be used to. Angrily he flapped his wings and tried to poop on the entire scene. Total crapola, I say! Now, I don’t know about you, but Meghalaya is a country located right in the middle of a Chopra movie set, where anything dirty and unpleasant like pooping on people is a crime. Every dried leaf is strategically floated by for effect, and every sunshine-yellow curtain is meant to shimmer just so. Houses are mansions, people take private jets to the mall and wear designer labels when they sleep. They also wear the clothes that come attached to the labels, not to worry. And nothing and nobody is allowed to be ugly and dirty. Things are spotless white and squeaky clean and whatever needs to be done will be done, to keep it that way.

So the plan was made. The bird was sweetly invited inside for an audition, the spot-boys and assistants were called in at the right time, and the super-sized bottle of industrial-strength bleach was pulled out. And the deed was done. *violins playing appropriate shrill notes to create a sense of a bird-like creature scratching and clawing* They say implicit violence has a lot more impact, so I’ll leave it to your imagination to paint the rest of the picture. But if you need help, wacko + bird + violence reminds one of sheer Hitchcock-ian brilliance and I do love it when the dots connecteth.

But violence leaves incriminating evidence, so every now and then you might see a bleached feather float by, or poop stains of a ghost bird. Not to worry, our art director will airbrush those out soon enough. Feathers will turn to flower petals and the stain will become rain. And all will be well in the world once again.

Much celebrations happened throughout the land, the girl once again sang happy songs, this time about the colors of her mehndi and the decorations of her doli while the chorus sang lene tujhe o gori, aayenge tere sajna. Raj stood with his arms outstretched, as she ran towards him in slow motion synchronized with the flap-flap of the real helicopter this time. The scene melted into soft-focus and then became a blur of dupattas as the highly sentimental aaaaaaa and oooooo chorus version of the title song drowned out all signs of screechy psycho birds. On the screen the words flashed — The End.

(Epilogue, again in Amitabh’s voice)

This blog is much like a movie set,
It would make an art director proud.
Not a leaf looks ugly,
Nor a doggy barks too loud.

We keep this page a pleasant place,
With lots of laughing and singing.
But we’re not a bunch of idiots,
If that is what you’re thinking.

So, if you’re looking to join the fun,
“Well sure, do come right in!”
But if you’re looking to crap on us,
There’s a bottle of Clorox waitin’!

Two much

(Potential plot spoilers ahead)

Potter Potter everywhere, but not a kid to shrink
Water water everywhere, but not a drop to drink

I woke up every morning of last week muttering to myself that I would not write a post on Harry Potter ‘cos everyone, their uncle and their uncle’s dog has written about it. And yet here I am. Comments ranging from ‘I am so swept up by Rowling’s world of magic‘ to ‘I don’t know what the big deal was, it was a pretty pedestrian book‘ to ‘I refuse to read anything that is so hyped‘ to ‘woof woof‘ have peppered the blogosphere. But whichever way the wind blows, Potter has found his way into a post on pretty much every blog.

And at the risk of getting publicly lynched by Rowling fans, I still maintain what I said after I finished Book Three — that Rowling’s stories (not necessarily her writing style) are simply put — Lord Of The Rings meets Enid Blyton. A parallel magical world set in a dorm. Tolkien and Blyton fans, please to not kill me. I am oversimplifying just for example’s sake. This is not to say I won’t read Rowling. Yes, the deed has been done. The ubiquitous book has been read, the person who had to die, died, the Half-Blood Prince has been discovered and other such earth-shattering trivialities have been dealt with. And I am also mighty pleased that my guesses about both were on target. And yes, I have a theory about where the seventh Horcrux is. Much joy.

On an unrelated and more serious note — In the aftermath of the Mumbai rains and floods, there are a couple of new collablogs that have sprung into action. Please go visit them and if you can, help. Here’s what one of the blog creators, Peter Griffin (also the person behind the TsunamiHelp blog) has to say —

Almost a thousand people dead in Maharashtra, about half of them from Bombay. Transport screwed, no electricity, no running water, some areas STILL under water a week later.

They haven’t even begun figuring out how many people were injured. Or what the tolls might increase to if the epidemics we all fear do happen. (And that’s likely, if you have sewage mixed with rain water standing thirteen feet deep in some places) They have’t even begun estimating what the losses of property are going to be like. So many have lost everything.

Bombay needs help folks. We can analyse what went wrong later. We can figure out what to do about it later. Right now, Bombay needs help. Bombay’s bloggers (and some friends – the net doesn’t worry about borders) are trying to do their bit, by making sure information is easy to find. Information was one more thing we all didn’t have enough of last week. Not that it’s much better now.

http://mumbaihelp.blogspot.com/ is an effort to put online such critical “for emergencies” information as we can find. We hope to turn this into a permanent site that will act as a Bombay disaster portal.

http://cloudburstmumbai.blogspot.com/ is a collection of news, both from the media as well as stories sent in via email and blog links.

Link to us if you run a site, pass these links around to your friends, send us information, send us stories Cloudburst@googlegroups.com.

Pass the word, people. It’s a small gesture, considering the enormity of what has happened, but we hope it will go a long way.

As they say, too much of anything can be bad — Potter or water.