A Well-Deserved Overkill..

What, in the name of Ma Durga, is WRONG with the Indian media!

After a long time, today I felt very angry at the Indian news channels, nearly all of them, and how they covered the felicitation of the Team Kolkata Knight Riders, CM Mamata Banerjee's antics and the overkill of a joyous celebration here in Kolkata, the most frenzied city on earth.


My day had been busy.. Early in the day, I went to see off my sister at the railway station, as she left for Bangalore, for some internship (read suspected rave partying with her crazy friends). On the way, I met with a tsunami of people swept off their feet, yet somehow moving along with the shifty flow, swooping up towards the Eden Gardens - And here I'd like to declare, off-context, that this cricket ground has to be among the world's top 3 grounds ever, along with Lord's and MCC.

The taxi driver wasn't impressed one bit as a kid in a faded purple jersey climbed on top his bonnet from one side and climbed down the other side, while crossing the road and cheering 'KK-aaaR! KKR!!' in a hoarse voice. However I focused more on the faded jersey - it took 5 years for a downtrodden team to emerge winners of apparently the most frenzied sporting tournament in the country. The jersey was faded, but it wasn't thrown away. It was taken out from some corner of a closet, laundered, ironed and worn again today.

After I came out of Howrah station, I decided Metro would be my best option today as a victory parade for Team KKR with players and film stars through the city, was in order.

When I got topside, at the Jatin Das Park Metro Station, I first met absolute chaos. There were thousands of gatherers of nearly all age. Mostly wearing purple and gold and each one had either of the two emotions - smug smile all over, or a harried, hassled and that I-don't-belong-here look. It so happened that the team parade had just passed Hazra and there was nearly a stampede. Here are some of the things I overheard there:

Firstly, 'Ssala Shahrukh hi nahi aaya!' Shahrukh Khan wasn't there at the parade!
'Gauti ko chhua, sacchi!' I got to touch Gautam Gambhir, I swear!
'Mama, chapa pore giyechilam arektu holey!' Hell, I nearly got trampled!
'Gautam toh Rajarhat'e ekta flat pachhei..' Gambhir is surely getting an apartment flat at Rajarhat..
'Gouri ke dekhlam na toh! Gouri kothaaye?!!' Someone really wanted to see SRK's wife - but I guess she wasn't as excited as she was yesterday - 'What's wrong with Gauri Khan and emotions?'
'Ban*@#%d! Ku%#a'r Ba@#*a Raasta taake dilo toh bondho kore!' That was an auto rickshaw-wallah complaining..

There's nothing wrong in a little celebration, is there? Photo Courtesy: Soumya Sett

I went down the wormhole again, took the Metro, came back home and got on the news. The Bengali news channels were haywire with their live telecast of the ceremony at Eden Gardens, and subsequently showcasing it as the quality news that they broadcast. The English news channels instead, were insane!

The BREAKING NEWS FLASHES and the ticker tapes were all fueled up with some of the following headlines:

'Didi derails KKR felicitation ceremony'
'IPL bigger than World Cup?'
'Didi biased towards club over Bengal'
'The OVER-joyous celebrations - disaster and mismanagement'

Dude, yeah you there Mr Newsreader, firstly, by making such a statement, you proved about having zero idea about Kolkata and Bengal - Zilch. Nada. Zip. You have no idea how frenzied the people here are. And there should be absolutely no harm in being that! You just need a random reason to celebrate in Kolkata, the magnitude of which doesn't matter at all. And this win, of a team representing this beloved city, having some of the city's beloved young promising players, that too after 4 years in the shadows, is a victory deserving a celebration - it is a victory of the human spirit! Last sentence is for those who really love the game, for I know a couple of my friends, who'll laugh at my enthusiastic choice of words.

And secondly, your not understanding Bengali doesn't mean that you got everything right. You claim that Mamata Banerjee derailed the show with a band of her party ministers. I'll say damn right they did! Even though you completely overlooked the Governor there, every politician would make use of such a moment to gain some leverage for the ruling reign, especially when it is facing the flak most of the time. Perhaps our CM bangs her head everyday at the desk in her office over why she used the word 'Paribartan' Change for campaigning. Opposition will twist the word as a rule of thumb. It has become the spearhead of all forms of opposition, from people expecting a rapid change in Bengal. And to fulfill that, maybe what she could do is but either use supernatural powers to summon swarms of locusts from purgatory or another bubonic plague? You'll get your much-deserved rapid change then, alright.

The bengali businessman kaku waking up at 10 am in the day, and asking 'Kothaye paribartan?' should think about paribartan-izing himself first! You can complain about the Mahrwari invasion of Kolkata, and still wake up at 10 am? That way, you deserved to be trampled upon sir..

I believe by now you must've formed an idea over where my political allegiance lies, but you might be very wrong! My political hopes subsided along with Mr. Vajpayee getting old. Though I'd like to comment on our CM - patronizing 'Ma, Maati, Manush' (Mother, Soil, Human) - she's Ma sometimes, of the Maati at times and Manush when she feels like - all in phases. Yesterday we caught a glimpse of her being the first when she announced at the conclusion of the ceremony that the people should find some shade, cool off for a while and THEN drink water unless they want to fall sick. And that, is our CM, ladies and gentleman!

On some news channel, I heard Rohan Gavaskar put out a wonderful statement, something that the newsreaders did not expect. On asked if he thinks that the Bengal CM gave highly undeserved attention to the IPL players instead of felicitating the winners of the Vijay Hazare Trophy, he replied by asking them a single question - what kind of coverage and glam status did the media itself assign to the respective tournaments, the IPL and the VH Trophy? And so, who is ultimately responsible for all the hype surrounding the IPL? The senior sports journalist who raised the issue changed the topic to how IPL has bestowed upon the society with vulgarity, dirty politics and has turned sports to business. I'd say, arrey uncle, first answer the previous question, then raise another issue. Aap toh bas issue hi khada kiye jaare ho!

And lastly, let us see you organizing an event this big in a matter of 1.5 days. Something is bound to go wrong! So what if a kid slipped while running to get inside Eden Gardens? YOU DON'T HAVE TO PUT A RED CIRCLE AROUND THE FOOTAGE AND POINT AT IT WITH A GREEN ARROW!!

Indian media is a huge patron of sensationalism and negativity as many will agree. But what we need is a little bit of positivism - something that the crazy jobless people in Kolkata just exemplified! Please do not be a killjoy, celebrations and enjoyment should NEVER be frowned upon. After being audience to all that the English news channels had to offer, I skipped the Hindi news channels, turned to Junior Masterchef and wondered, who are these 10 year old geniuses!!

Homeward Hassle..

Here I am, on my way to home, updating my blog from the train. Such a dedicated blogger that I am! My journey, yet again, sucks - this time more than anytime. Considering, even the last time, on my way to Mumbai, the one I mentioned in 'This Post!' Dad had given me an option of flying home, which I turned down (much to the disappointment of the hassle-shunning half of my Indian soul) as I hate flying.

I had booked 2 tickets in a Volvo AC Bus, from Vellore to Chennai. And much to my fears for the tragic developments about to unfold, the bus was packed! Already?

‘Anna, I‘ve booked seats 17 and 18 on this bus, it’s the 4 o’ clock Volvo right?’

He seemed to get heavily perturbed by my queries - 2 in tandem - one, asking if it’s the 4 o’ clock Volvo and two, WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO MY BOOKINGS ON SEATS 17 AND 18!! Gave me a look, a killer one at that, then hurled a mouthful of harsh-sounding words in the bent, crooked language of Tamil. (Sorry, 4 years onwards, and I’m being a Racist!)

I waited and when my cup of ‘taking crap’ was finally full, I got on the bus, somehow, much to everyone’s disappointment and premonitions. I shouted and blasted my way across to seats 17 and 18 to find one occupied by a young girl and an elderly lady with white hair - Young girl? NO MERCY! 'Avada kedavra' Old Lady with white hair? Hopes falling, I realized then, my seat is up for a sacrifice, unfortunately..

I made Rupsa sit, the least I could manage as our luggage were all over the bus, at the mercy of a lot of people. Oh and my ticket had been pocketed by the bus conductor, he wasn’t charging us, but also he wasn’t really helping us with seats and stuff either..

After standing for the next 2 and a half hour, we reached Chennai, booked a cab and came straight down to the Chennai Central AC Guest Room where we waited for sometime, spending enormous amounts of money. Possibly, tonight I’m responsible for half the loss incurred upon the value of our currency at the INR foreign exchange value.

Then happened, the only good thing in the entire journey - Rupsa went to Spencer’s and got us KFC fries, fried chicken meals, some diet cokes and cheese croissants from The French Loaf. We ate our way to glory, simultaneously damning the corporate globalization of companies such as KFC, quite ironically.. and then a kid managed to poop in her pants, right in front of us, to revert affairs back to the natural order of craziness and chaos!

The train arrived and then to our horror, we realize our waiting listed ticket has not yet been confirmed, and we were in RAC, which meant sharing seats. Not a big bother that was, Rupsa and me can fit like lock and key, thin and skinny that we are.. our problem was all about keeping the luggage!

And at such moments, Rupsa’s wrath zeroed in on my mighty sized guitar.

Some station named POWERPET Junction passed just now (We’re into Andhra, what do you expect? Don’t mind the Racism.. for like you must’ve noticed earlier, that’s but Being ME! when I'm irritated!), its 8:15am on my watch. Sigh, long way to go.. Christ give me strength! And Kolkata my home, here I come, hurling myself at you, rolling like a bowling ball.



PS. this message is for Sohini, the newest reader to my blog.. I welcome thee, and thank you for the wonderful comments! Keep reading, and no, its not at all weird if you comment random on anything that grabs your attention; in fact its encouraged! And best of luck with your exams!!

In a hurry..

I'm writing this while looking up at the semester end exams, which is by the way, laughing back at me, prowling alongside the guillotine..

Well, what to say, I'm in terrible hurry to write this off (for I cannot help, NOT to update this regularly!) so dear readers, please understand.. Y'all must've undergone this moment sometime in your life, the one I mentioned in the very first line of this post? Exam fever! Yes, its difficult to digest that the days of semester 7 are done being counted. But well, it has had its moments..

So, lately what have I been doing, apart from this bloody Neurobiology thing, that is? I've been playing outdoors, a lot! And following IPL, 2 lots! And socializing with new friends, 3 lots!

Its cricket season in India (and I'd like to find the guy who did that - nominating summer as the cricket season overthrowing the earlier one, winter - and no, name someone apart from the now-bankrupt ex-Man of IPL, he's suffered enough!) anyway, I'm lately addicted to Tennis! Yes, the game, where the last Indian female incarnation started winning a few, then got injured a lot, and was ultimately wedded to one cricketer in the neighboring country.. But of course, we took inspiration from the other 'jodi' - the Paes-Bhupathi duo.. Me and Akhil tried aping their trademarked chest-thumping, but we soon realized that maybe they didn't sweat as much as we did.. It was awkward! Today was perhaps the last day of our tryst with the game, at least for this semester. And of the numerous games that we've played, me and Akhil finish equal, with a drawn match..

MOVING ON.. are you guys following IPL? Don't tell me (unless you're a CSK and DC fan, that is!) that you don't feel this is by far the best season of em all! The weaker teams giving challenges, two top teams on top, a champion lying in the bottom of the table, with every single player contributing! This maybe the fastest anyone is losing and then regaining their form and of course, vice versa - look at Sehwag, Gayle, Ryder, Ganguly, Gambhir (and many others..) What caught my attention in the early part of IPL would be Ganguly's comeback as a captain, his somewhat altered temparament and at times, his 'hair-raising' innings, if you know what I mean! Fun to watch the battle for the 3rd and 4th place.. Lage Raho!

Now, to get back to some emo stuff.. otherwise, what's left for my feminine readers to read, huh? (That wasn't me, but my SEXIST other half, which turns 'on' whenever I'm near to Divya..)

I've recently realized that I've stopped making new friends! Yeah, that's pretty weird of me.. But then I thought, what's stopping me? Initiative, I guess! So one fine day, I turned to my existing 3 best friends - namely Noelle, Divya, and Sanjna - and told em, 'you guys are boring! I need some chill kinda people, you know!' They struck me down till I succumbed to agreeing that I can never replace these 3 terrorists in my life. They are forever, very much like the frown between my questionable roommate's dad's eyebrows.. After the Bong New Year Celebrations, I got to know a number of new people - 54 new friend requests on fb, of which 47 were known, rest were just some fans, you know.. I just let them be subscribed to me, like the celebrity I suddenly was! LOL.

Of the few new faces in my life, who were suddenly not just the crowd anymore, I decided to talk now and then.. One such neo-friendship brought out the adventurous in me as I tried a new pick-up line, NOT to use it the way it is intended to, but guys, I hope you're listening now! After a few days of chat on fb, I left an offline message -

'Now that I've ascertained that you're not a serial killer or a stalker or a psycho, I'll be rather glad to share with you my cellphone number.. 9&*432%$#9 and will definitely be expecting messages soon enough!!'

Use it guys, for it did work.. My motive however, is just to make a new friend! So, regarding yours, I cannot give any guarantees, okay? HOLY MOTHER OF GOD! I forgot my Neurobiology so soon!!

Ciao then, and wish me luck!

P.S. And for all those like my ever-so-bored friend Ijaz here, never stop making new friends, its fun and.. well, FUN!