Archive for the ‘Media’ category

When do you restart a blog?

September 1, 2011

When one reader consistently keeps asking you about new content in your blog. It’s the persistence from that one reader which makes you start writing again. The zeal and the enthusiasm rushes back because now you have an answer to that reader. You suddenly realize that “Life in timelessness” is a farce and if there is will, there is certainly a way.

I have always believed that most of the poems I have written are because of my mother. Every time I call her, she would ask me if I wrote something new. She never got tired of asking and I couldn’t postpone writing forever.
This reader reminds me so much of my mother’s attitude towards writing and life in general. I am probably not the greatest blogger. I know I am not. Nowhere close, actually. But, this reader makes me feel like I am. And for that, I can’t thank him enough.

For all the good people from Singapore to Brussels, and New Delhi to San Francisco- good to see you peeking around, The blog is now officially re-opened 🙂

And to somebody out there, here’s your ode. Thank you.


A ‘Noble’ Story

October 21, 2008


The break was great!!! I didn’t want to close the blog because I knew I would want to come back and write more. There were several instances when I wanted to start blogging again – Sarah Palin, Economic mess, Listening to ‘Jolene’ the other night, and of course Sachin Tendulkar‘s (aka GOD) world record. But, nothing triggered me as much as this news item did. Now, I know what my passion is 🙂

Kuvempu is undoubtedly one of the greatest writers in Kannada. He is in the elite group with such greats as Bendre and Dr. Shivaram Karanth. Around 20 years ago there was a lot of talk about Kuvempu’s name being considered by the Nobel committee for an award in literature. If he had won the Nobel, it would have certainly been great for India. He didn’t and it’s history now. Not winning Nobel in no way diminishes the greatness of Kuvempu as a writer.

Fast forward to 2008. Kuvempu is dead. There is a symposium about Kuvempu’s work ‘Sri Ramayana Darshanam‘ in Mysore and Kuvempu’s self-proclaimed disciple Dr. S. Prabhushankar comes up with a brilliant story. Apparently, he was carrying Kuvempu’s works to New Delhi to the Indian Nobel committee. When he reached the railway station, there was no seat reserved for him. Finally, some ‘North Indian’ (that’s the key) threw Kuvempu’s books into a corner and treated it like trash. And thus, because of some North Indian conspiracy, Kuvempu didn’t win Nobel. Dr S. Prabhushankar came out with this colorful story in 2008, long after Kuvempu’s death.

The media has carried the story with all the color and prominence. These self-proclaimed disciples of Kuvempu always had problems. De. Ja. Gow for one, I have absolutely no respect for. Now, Dr. Prabhushankar joins the same bandwagon?

A few innocent questions for Dr. Prabhushankar:

  • Why did you keep quite for so long? If the story were true and if you had made this public at that time, maybe Kuvempu would have won the Nobel. So, I guess you are really responsible for Kuvempu not winning Nobel.
  • The Nobel committee in Delhi wanted you to carry all of Kuvempu’s works in a train from Mysore? Really, they didn’t know who Kuvempu was, huh?
  • It must have been quite hard to travel in an unreserved compartment. Did you get good sleep?
  • Sorry, but I have to ask you this, when the ‘North Indian’ threw Kuvempu’s works away, did you cry? If so, how much? Did you make sure someone took a photograph? That will come in handy very soon, I am sure.
  • Did you happen to ask the name of that ‘North Indian’ idiot?

Well, I have way too many questions, I will just stop here. Isn’t it sad that everyone wants to do politics and somehow want to see their name in the newspapers?

In this case Dr. Prabhushankar is the first culprit and media (as usual) is the second culprit. With all due respects, it’s time people start completely ignoring anything and everything which comes out of the likes of De. Ja. Gow and Prabhushankar.

Well, at least Karnad and URA are intelligent…….

Chak De India

March 10, 2008

Now that the Indian media has branded this as the worst ever day for Indian hockey, for once something other than cricket is on every Indian’s mind. Pargat Singh and Dhanraj Pillai have been calling for a management overhaul at IHF since the news broke out that we will not be going to Beijing for the Olympics.

For a second, let’s stop reading the headlines which are so colorful and appealing from “National Game or National Shame” to “Black Day!!!” Let’s forget for a minute that KPS Gill is a “Good Cop Gone Bad” or that Mani Shankar Aiyer has expressed his inability to interfere in the affairs of IHF. Can the players and the public breathe and relax for a few dyas, please?

My wife summed it up well. Indian media does not care when we do well in Indian hockey, but that’s all the news is when the Indian hockey team sucks. The media suddenly realizes the importance of our “National Game”. Oh well, what happened today is almost like singing National Anthem backwards…please!!!

I am very sad too. I always knew “Chak De” was just a movie. We are an emotional bunch and sometimes we go too far and assume that reel life is almost the same as real life.

Sure, bring in the bricks and let there be a top level overhaul in Indian hockey. But, do it with some sense, respect and decency. More than the Indian Hockey Federation, the Indian media should be ashamed at the way in which the whole episode has turned out. Whatever happened to responsible journalism?


June 18, 2007

They were all celebrities in their own right. We all watched them on Doordarshan at 9:30 every night. It was fun to predict who would be reading the news that day. Yes, they were part of a generation, they were part of tragedies, they were part of the Indian voice and above all, they were the messengers.

Minu certainly had her share of admirers. Grapevine was full of colorful stories which included her and a certain Ramakrishna Hegde. Apparently, one of my friends’ friend who happens to be an electrician, saw her at Hegde’s house in Delhi, when he went to do some electrical repairs.

The stoic Neethi Ravindran was supposed to be from Bengalooru. Don’t ask me why or how I heard that news. You could see her aging gracefully as the years rolled over.

And, the charming Geethanjali Aiyer. The story was that she was not a Tamilian, but a Maharashtrian from Mumbai and was working for a 5-star (Taj ?) hotel as a receptionist. The Aiyer tag apparently came in after the marriage. Whatever the truth is, I certainly know that my father had a soft corner for her. I liked her too. My wife seems to think that she was ugly. Well, what does a girl know about another girl’s beauty anyway!!!

Komal GB Singh was popular even outside the Doordarshan circles. She was the choice MC for any international event, be it a SAARC summit or the International Film Festival of India. She had that twinkle in her eyes which made her so popular. There was a sitar player in Mysooru who was a replica of Komal.

As far as news reading is concerned, the best of them all was undoubtedly Rini Khanna nee Simon. The voice modulation, grace, and punch in the delivery was unmatched. She had the English pronunciation for the word “issue”, at a time when most of us in India had the American pronunciation. I do remember that the last page in Star of Mysore carried a news item on Rini Simon marrying Deepak Khanna, who was employed by Indian Airforce.

Later years saw too much of Usha Albuquerque. She was a decent news reader, nothing special about her. But for some odd reason, Doordarshan seemed to like her a lot.

Sheila Kaul, Mrinalini, and Nita Thomas dropped in once in a while.

As for the men, Uday Bir Saran Das was my mother’s favorite. She always wished that she had a daughter so that she could marry her off to this guy. Das was so regular in late 80’s, but suddenly disappered from the screen one day. I saw him come back after several years, but the charm was lost and he looked very old and ill. I just hope he was fine.

Shashi Kumar became popular through Doordarshan, but quickly shifted allegiance. He was in PTI for some time and even hosted ‘Tana-Bana’ (the cheap remake of ‘Surabhi’). He used to host a lot of live events too. He had a very good style and manner.

Tajeshwar Singh was so boring. His likes for theatre apart, I thought his news reading skills lacked enthusiasm and good demeanor. He was quite banal (with a ‘b’).

Fo some magical reason Suneet Tandon always paired up with Komal in a variety of international events. He was a good news reader. But as some said, he looked like a person suffering from TB (I hope that isn’t true!). He was so thin and he certainly did not carry the weight (literally!). But he did deliver quite well. His pronunciation and accent was just right to be appreciated.

We also had Najeeb Jung, Raman and a host others who passed by.

I did not watch Hindi news all that often. But, I did have a good handle on who’s who in Hindi news. Avinash Kaur Sareen was undoubtedly the prettiest among them. Shobhana Jagadeesh, Manjari Joshi, and Sarla Maheshwari were certainly good readers. The oil faced Salma Sultana was undoubtedly the worst of the lot. She could easily win the worst news reader award any day. I was told that she was Zia-ul-Haq’s grand daughter (or somehow related to him) and thus Doordarshan promoted her big time. Well, there goes yet another rumor. Shammi Narang was perhaps the best among the guys. Raman was quite lousy. I do have to agree that Shobhana and Shammi were both excellent singers. Avinash wasn’t bad either.

It has been more than a decade since I saw any of these faces on the small screen. I wonder where they are today and what they are doing. As long as my generation lives, they will be remembered.

Full Circle

June 12, 2007

Last Monday, one of the more famous Kannada web portals published a humorous article written by me. The editor of that Kannada web portal has been very kind to me. He has published several of my poems, articles and reviews.

What was different about this article was that it was humorous. I have consistently participated and appreciated spoken humor. But, my writings are romantic or philosophical for the most part. The day after the article was published, I had tons of emails in my inbox. A lot of people had enjoyed it and they wanted me to write even more. That wasn’t it. I opened my yahoo messenegr and people had added me to their “Friends” list.

I was chatting with a good friend of mine today (he happens to visit this blog quite regularly, I am sure most of you know him). He mentioned that several people had left comments on my article. I had not noticed that until today. I went back to the Kannada web portal and read through all the comments. Very nice ones indeed. One smart gentleman even addressed me as “DS” there 🙂

Talk of coincidences. I finished reading through all those comments and decided to get back to work. I saw a forwarded message in my office mailbox. I usually don’t read all the forwards. But for some odd reason, I decided to spend some time and enjoy the forward. The person who had forwarded the mail had a “Very funny (with a smiley)” as her comment for the forward. I started paging down the email which had gone through several yahoogroups and mailboxes in different software companies. At the bottom of the mail, I saw a photograph of yours truly smiling, article included. Yes sir, someone had copied that article from the web and it had gone all over the world to finally reach my mailbox.

Now, THAT made my day!!!

Pseudo Intellectuals

February 18, 2007

I have always wondered why most of the pseudo intellectuals are invariably writers. They are either novelists, dramatists, poets, journalists – someone who can hold a broken pen quite well.

Why not the musicians, painters, athletes, politicians or actors ? Every rule has an exception, I am sure. So, do not try and point that out to me. But, it’s usually the writers who always have two faces.

Why on Earth did Girish Karnad make the statements that he did regarding Cauvery water dispute ? I mean, it was so fresh. I bet he won’t even have had the copy of the tribunal order when he made those statements. And, what about emotions ? For a second, let’s just assume that Cauvery tribunal gave a very fair judgement. Doesn’t Mr. Karnad have any social responsibility ? Doesn’t he know that emotional issues need to be tackled with finesse ?

Recently, University of Mysore Vice-chancellor Shashidhar Prasad made a comment saying that both UR Ananthamurthy and Girish Karnad want to be in the limelight all the time because they are eyeing the Nobel. Well, our VC is no saint, so let’s not delve too much into that. But, I always wonder. Why is it that both URA, and lately Karnad jump in to make all the controversial statements ?

Does it boost their ego ? Does it give them a sense of satisfaction that tons of useless people including me write a thousand lines about them ? I don’t want to talk about URA here. He is a very intelligent man and as far as Cauvery issue is concerned, he hasn’t opened his mouth too much. So, let me concentrate on the other intelligent man.

For one, the discussions about Tippu Sultan on Vijaya Karnataka, several months ago, truly showed us how intelligent Mr. Karnad is. Dr. SL Bhyrappa is undoubtedly one of the most well read and knowledgeable person around. Mr. Karnad cannot match him in any way. Entire Karnataka read through Mr. Karnad’s inadequacies.

We all know how Mr. Girish Karnad won the Jnanpeeth. Did he deserve it ? No sir, absolutely not. There are tons others in Kannada literature who deserved it more than Karnad. It just goes on to prove my point that this man is very political. I dislike the gimmicks.

Trying to argue with a million voices, walking to the left when the entire nation walks to the right, trying to be different – all typical traits of a pseudo intellectual. And, Mr. Girish Karnad is a brilliant example. He probably does not realize that people have started losing all the respect for him.

If Mr. Karnad’s aim is to make sure that tons and tons of people talk about him, then he has truly succeded. I am one more feather in your cap, Mr. Karnad.


December 7, 2006

The first headline on rediff says:

“Space shuttle Discovery’s launch scrapped”

When you click on the link and go into the actual story, the headline reads:

“Space shuttle Discovery’s launch put off”

What do they think ? Are we idiots ? Don’t they realize that a catchy headline at the expense of truth is just wrong ? (Obviosuly, they don’t). I have to admit that I am a huge fan of rediff. But, it’s going down the gutter.