Sunday, March 11, 2007


The big fat Indian wedding:

With the famous Liz and Arun’s marriage, India itseems now has become a favorite destination for weddings. Welcome all you colorless (read white) people. Welcome to the world of something more than elephants and snake charmers. Welcome to the land of Palaces.

Though I want to appreciate the tourism industry’s effort in promoting India as a wedding destination, I can’t help but laugh at them! Ok first step is achieved. We have had enough publicity with this one marriage and hello! He was a billionaire (or whatever super duper rich is called) and he could afford such a grand affair. But can everybody afford this kind of grandeur? What if a normal white (with little more money than us of course) wants to marry in India? The situation will be something like this:
  • Welcome at the airport: Stinking bathrooms. Customs officials trying ooze every possible dime out of you in the process of “checking”. Every other person starting from the airport luggage help to the domestic help in the bathroom expecting some “tip” from you.
  • Taxi: If you are not forewarned about these rouges and you end up taking a non-pre paid taxi. God bless you!
  • Hotel: Odd stares from anybody and everybody. Hotel staff, other visitors or simply just someone passing by. After all you are “white thing” ;-). Even the supposedly 5 star hotels have horrible tubs. You see maintenance of these hotels depends on people like you. You should visit more often and give generous tips and we will do everything we can to tidy up the place (not to mention people!).
  • Local travel: It does not matter if you have a travel agent or not. Everybody will churn out as much money from you as possible. Let God be with you when you specially travel in the famous Autos. Take care of your backs… you might not see them again!
  • Tourist places: Less said the better. Just carry lots of money that’s all!
  • Portraying our culture and tradition: Confusion is the word. Let’s accept it. We ourselves hardly know anything about our tradition, why teach somebody else who can hardly relate to it. From my own personal experience I can say, 10 people say 10 different things about something that has to be done traditionally!

I am NOT trying to be un-patriotic here. Neither am I trying to defame our beautiful country, but there is something called as “accepting-the-facts”. Why simply paint an overdone beautiful picture of “Incredible-India” when all we are cable of giving is cheating and run for their money? Nothing much can be done about the attitude of the locals but atleast the tourism dept can put some processes in place which will reduce this day-light cheating to some extent. That’s all I am asking. Enough of making incredible-videos please do some ground work also. For heaven’s sake clean up Agra the land of THE TAJ-MAHAL!

The now famous Dog-Menace in Bangalore:

Some dogs are no longer man’s best friends. They are now man-eaters or more specifically children eaters! It’s disheartening to see daily reports of young children being torn to pieces alive by these ferocious dogs. So, the municipal corporation has finally woken up and has started taking “measures” to curb this menace. Solution: KILL THEM ALL!I agree the dog houses are full and have no space to accommodate more dogs. But kill them all? Why, just because we are the “superior” species? Is killing solution at all? Common sense tells no! Today you kill 100 and tomorrow 200 of them will be born again. Instead put some long term solutions in place.

  • Undeniably the first step: Clean up the city! Have regular garbage collection in place and proper garbage dumping mechanisms in place
  • Close all those illegal meat shops. And “educate” the legal ones about proper waste disposal.
  • Have “regular” sterilization camps for the dogs in the city.
  • Catch the stray ones “regularly” and send them to dog shelters and put them up for adoption after proper treatments.

But does anybody want to even look in this direction? Kill a few 1000 of them now and silence the residents for the time being and their job is done. Maybe after a year or so when such killings happen again, they will do the same thing again! After all, this entire world is only ours right? We have every right to kill every other living species if we can’t find a way to live with them! (The last sentence is true even with humans, just murder or rape them if you can’t live with them. Simple!)

Silence Please:

What is all this undue-attention and some 100s of reviews for this movie called “Nishabd”? I am tired of reading endless debates on whether such a relationship is ethical or un-ethical? Why should AB (of all people) do such kind of roles when the whole nation will blindly follow him (even if he falls into a well) ;-)? For heaven’s sake leave the old man alone. He is bored of doing some stereo type roles (that’s bound to happen if you are doing the same thing for 50 odd years!). So he is happy being sexy-Sam (KANK) or Vijay (Nishabd). Atleast now there is no Rekha type’s character with whom he can be linked to and his (perfect) wife will walk out on him ;-) (He is too old for any woman that’s another matter).
First, let’s accept it. What Ramu has shown in Nishabd is nothing new. Nothing new at all. All these still happen in the name of “arranged” marriages in villages where a 40 year old man marries a 12 year old girl. I am not joking; our househelp in Mysore got her daughter married like this only, though we tried our best to stop it! And that girl is the 3rd wife to that obsessed old man! So are we talking something called “bold” in this movie? Sorry Ramu, we have done this all before you and are bored of it too!

P.S: Will be back with some more “exciting” stories of my married-life. Yes! Finally I am seeing some changes. Lots of it infact! Will be back tomorrow (hopefully). Till then ciao!

P.P.S: I am in love with this song “Anisuthide Yaake Indu” from the movie “Mungaaru Male”. I listen to this song every single day atleast 25 times!


GuNs said...

Point by point analysis

Issue 1]
1) Foreigners are ALWAYS robbed in all countries. I earn a lot less than the locals here in the UK but I pay more tax. They rob me here...only, its official.
2) I pay 10 pounds to get from the bus station to my home which is 3 miles away. They rob me here...only, its official. Just for the info - for 10 pounds, you can get a flight to Scotland or Ireland.
3) Cleaning up Agra is NOT the government's job as much as it is OUR job. If people didnt throw litter on the streets, Agra and the rest of India would be cleaner. Time we stopped blaming the goverment while mundanely tossing a chocolate wrapper out of the bus window.
4) People from other countries come here and encounter the filth but OBVIOUSLY they encounter a lot of other stronger things which makes most of them come back.
5) Tradition - there are thousands of castes and traditional practices in India hence there will be differing opinions about traditional things.
6) Incredible India is doing a great job by highlighting the positives of our country to prospective tourists. It helps remove the image of an impoverished, backward, third-world country from their minds when they think of India.

Issue 2]
1] Sterelization is carried out by municipal corporations in ALL cities in India. Doesnt take a rocket scientist to figure out that it is a gand failure.
2] I have seen HUGE packs of dogs roaming about in our football ground and on the streets after the traffic thinned making it near impossible for people to walk or sit down to have a quiet time.
3] Time we understood that the urban concrete jungles ARE NOT natural habitat for dogs hence their breeding is often unnatural aided by the lack of apex predators like the big cats which exist in their natural habitat. Killing the wild dogs in their natural habitats would thus be a crime but I dont see any problems in regulating (note I dont say DECIMATING) their population in the cities.
4] As a taxpayer, I absolutely do not want my money to go into protection, vaccination, treatment and rearing of stray dogs which will roam around the streets and make life a nuisance for the general public. I would rather see the money being used to house people who are living a worse life than the stray dogs.
5] The "Animal Rights Protection Groups" are just a bunch of publicity hogs in my opinion who get donations worth crores of rupees from animal lovers and they either fill their own pockets or they campaign for stupid causes like this instead of probably concentrating on preservation of the hundreds of endangered species of animals in our country.

Issue 3] yet another example of publicity hogs like local political parties and other religios/cultural groups and such trying to get into the news by opposing a film. Its a FILM - a fictionalised account. If you dont like it, dont watch it. If you watch it, criticize it, write a bad review and dissuade others from watching it. Finished.

All of the above are my opinions. Maybe you wont agree with them but thats just what they are - opinions.


Kavi said...

Hey Shark ! Hope married life is treating you fine ! I am glad that you are noticing the differences !!

Most of the problems that you mention are universal dont you think. Only the forms get to change !

pavan kumar said...

offtopic: I was about to do a point by point analysis/dissection, but didnt want to lose any points in your good books ;) werent you about to give me some tips on scoring in "the competition"..?

just that we are equally prone to get cheated or mugged as much as any foreigner would, but maybe we could deal with the situation better as we (tend to) know the local dialect and the prevailing rates/attitude/intentions..

also, I have noticed one small thing: the urge to trust.. a white guy tends to trust a fellow white guy or a local Indian (till he gets cheated) whereas a desi would always take a defensive stand (be it in US or in India), be it with rgds. to a fellow desi or with a foreigner.. maybe it is in the genes?

lastly, I am a huge fan of Varma but lately his decisions are solely commercial-driven, from Nishabd to Sholay to Pokiri-remake-rights, sad..

shark said...

@guns: Aw! Aw! Aw! Please cool is the down! I know you are out of India and miss being here... :)

First things first, why do you think that you are "robbed officially" in that country just because you are paying more tax. It is the rule of any country, even NRIs pay more tax if they make any investment in India. Simple, you are a foriegner there. And my context was not a person who has come here on work permit. I was concentrating on "tourists"!
I have roamed all around europe, beleive me and I never felt scared even in one of the trips,. whereas if I have to go someplace in India, I always make sure I find some friend/relative in that place with whom I can go around. That should answer it :)

Why do people come back to India? There can be many reasons, we have amazing food to offer and it's "cheap"... so anybody and everybody can afford to come here if they are earning in dollars/pounds/euros. But the same will think twice before going on a europe trip, even though it's fantastic.. why? It's expensive.

I DO NOT deny that Incredible India is doing a good job. I really appreciate it. But at the same time the job does not end there is what I am trying to say.

AGRA... I agree it's people's responsibility too. But that does not lessen the municipality's responsibility in any sense.

Dogs, Maybe I was not clear, but I never said that dogs should be allowed to move in the streets after sterilization.. I said they should be put in shelter holmes and given for adoption. AM I clear now?

WOW! you sure seem to be in one hot mood.... feeling homesick ?

@kavi: universal? I have not heard of this kind of dog menace stories in any other country :(
Yes! I have to agree that tourist problems are there everywhere only the degree varies.

@pavan: You will NEVER loose points in my good books da..:) Don't you worry.. so go ahead and shoot.. whatever you wanted to say!

Can't agree with you more about we not trusting our own desis specially on foreign land! My personal experience proves it also :)

GuNs said...

Lol, I am not angry/mad. I just hate my father's hard earned money being spent on sheltering and rearing street dogs. I think our priorities are totally messed up. We cant concentrate on rearing street dogs and sending people to the moon when thousands die everyday of malnutrition and tuberculosis. If we find apt solutions to these things, maybe we can spend time and money for the wellbeing of these menace-to-the-society mongrels.

Issue about Agra/cleanliness - I see the municipality people sweep the streets twice a day. The people keep junking it faster than the authorities can clean it. Thankfully where I live in India, the citizens follow rules and do not throw garbage around so out locality is always clean. Just when we have a few newcomers who like to toss their trash out of their balconies, the society authorities have to knock and their doors and TEACH them to manage their trash. All this for educated, grown-up and supposedly mature people !!

-PeAcE :) (really)

P.S.: My views would exactly be the same if I never came to the UK (or any other country).

GuNs said...

Oh and NOONE comes back to India just because its cheap. They'd all go to
Bangladesh then.

GuNs said...

LOL sorry again.

Desis in foreign countries CANNOT be trusted even if you want to.

Every suddenly seems to be a back-stabber and everyone suddenly seems to be bitten by the "live like a beggar and save a million" rule. They seem to fight and cry for every penny somehow (Guns's Gyaan no. 144:Penny is the official curreny of the UK besides the Pound)

There are exceptions of course but very few (which is more than apparent by the meagre number of mates I've made here).


Sanjay M said...

Apart from all the points mentioned, dogs have also been used in dhabhas and been sold as chicken/goat meat to unsuspecting customers. Dogs are sensitive creatures (remember their response at the time of the tsunami) and some dogs may have been adversely affected at their own kind being killed.

I wanted to write a post on menace to dogs... we're being the menace to the dogs! ;) :( But my blog site is offline for time being. But you can see comments and posts at blog for stray dogs of bangalore

A horse misused upon the road
Calls to heaven for human blood.
Each outcry of the hunted hare
A fibre from the brain does tear.

- William Blake

By culling we're only aggravating the mess and its definitely not a solution.

@Silence Please:

Actually the review i heard of was that its more than about an old man romancing a young woman. Its about the trauma and loneliness of a man goes through at old age. Its about a man who finally discovers love (genuine affection, unpretended concern) and reflects upon his mediocre life and society-based-succesful-but-deeply-personally-not-so-succesful marriage and very painful reflections that he might've "missed life". So I heard, yet to watch it.

Sanjay M said...

Btw somewhat off topic - being an ex-meat eater myself, I did wonder how cheap (free) easily available dog meat could possibly have passed off as other meat in dhabhas... was reminded of an old article from the Scott Adam's DNRC...

That's Why They Call It a DIEt

I'm a vegetarian, which, as you know, means that I can't lift heavy
objects without snapping my spine. I'm secure enough to admit that I'm
pale, frail, and I love e-mail. (Hey, I think I just designed a
t-shirt!) But there's a plus side to my eating habits: I'll live to the
age of 200 unless I get trapped under something heavy, like a quilt. And
unlike my mammal-eating friends, I don't have to decide what sort of
hideous death I want every time I look at a menu.

For carnivores, there are two popular diet plans. The first one involves
eating anything that can't outrun you, whether said object is capable of
traversing your entire intestines or not. It's the most popular diet
plan in America and it's catching on around the world. This group of
eaters prefers as their method of demise the traditional, no-nonsense
heart attack.

Then you have the low-carb dieters. This involves the active avoidance
of life-giving antioxidants while scarfing massive amounts of known
carcinogens until someone punches you to death for bragging about how
much weight you lost.

Some fast-trackers shed their mortal coil using such flashy methods as
Mad Cow, e.Coli and whatnot, but I consider that grandstanding.

Evidently, what we need is a DNRC Diet Plan designed especially for
Induhviduals. We need a volunteer to write a bestselling diet book that
benefits everyone except the people who use the diet. For example, I
think the diet plan should encourage the eating of whatever we think
there's too much of: lawyers, pigeons, cigarette butts, and that sort of

Your first reaction might be that no one will eat horrible things just
because a diet book says you should. But I have a one-word response to
your short-sighted thinking: sauce.

That's right, sauce. Most people think that cows are delicious, but they
don't stop to think how much work went into changing the taste from its
original cow flavor. Realistically, you wouldn't order any kind of food
that was labeled "cow flavored." Fortunately, great cooks can disguise
the flavor of anything. If you try to tell me that Emeril Lagasse can't
make delicious chowder out of cigarette butts, then I say you haven't
seen his show. The man is a miracle worker.

Then there is the issue of health and nutrition. Ha ha! Just kidding.
But seriously, the sauce will make everything taste great.