middle-class millionaire

The Slumdog Millionaire Jamal Malik is on the award-winning spree. But has anyone thought what Harshavardhan Nawathe, the first Kaun Banega Crorepati winner is doing nowadays ?

Nawathe isn’t a slumdog, but in Mumbai, “slumdogs and middle-class Maharashtrian boys do become crorepatis”.

Here is a great reading from mint on India’s first not so slumdog yet a slumdog-like fan of Bachchan.

brahmin convention and purist

Attending All India Brahmin convention for coverage and putting a post on blog wasn’t on my program list two days before. But given that my earlier post on Chitpavan convention drew maximum hits, I thought its better to write once again.

I have always believed Brahmins are second most castiest after Marathas. And within the community, sub-caste identified as Konkanasthas lead the chart. Opinion may vary person to person.

But when around two lakh Brahmins from across the country converged for the community convention, what happened was not so anticipated. Most of the Puneites Brahmins stayed away from the convention. Those very few who joined from the city were mostly Deshasthas.

So what forced Konkanasthas not to participate in the All India Multi Lingual Brahmin Convention, which according to my friend saw participation of around three lakh Brahmins in two days?

“Konkanasthas do not like to be part of herd”, said another friend.

But if that was the case then how come more than one lakh people from the community gathered at one place, December last, I pointed out.

So what forced them stay aloof ?

One reason could be the heterorganic nature of gathering. Konkanasthas are widely considered to be purist and often prefer homogeneity (this is general perception and there are always some exceptions). Another is ruckus and chaos, which is an integral part of such big gathering.

No wonder that some unsavoury moments were witnessed when a lady participant commented that Brahmin do not necessarily has to perform sandhya (daily ritual) and wear Janave (sacred thread). The comments followed ruckus and the session eventually ended without further discussion, a scene akin to two year old convention when Kumar Ketkar’s speech drew similar response. This once again displayed the non-tolerant and criticism-wary tendencies among Brahmins.

But that was it. The convention saw some surprising proceeding. Says my news report appeared in HT:

“It was 'social engineering' message of sorts that came out of a two-day Brahmin community convention near Pune on Saturday. Making for such an impression on the opening day of two-day meet were socio-political resolutions in an effort to build bridges with other castes.

Among the resolutions passed was one condemning US researcher James Laine for his controversial writings on Chhatrapati Shivaji, founder of the Maratha empire. If that could be read as reaching out to politically powerful Maratha caste, there was also a resolution vote, irrespective of political ideology.

It was a move akin to Brahmins working with the pro-dalit Bahujan Samaj Party before the last year Uttar Pradesh Polls, a successful experiment that came to be called social engineering”.

Overall, the convention wasn’t worth to attend for the purpose with which I had gone there. But it provided me a good story and a post to increase my blog-count.


The change has come through. Expectations are now running high. People of US of A now want every hole to be fixed- immediately, impeccably. The world wants new administration convenient to them. India wants support to check terrorism. Osama and ilk wants favour to flourish. I want rise in my salary.

Am I talking too much ?

Things Journalists Like

Messy desk
Drinking Press releases
Throwing shoes
Breaking news
Writing standing up
Free food
Free passes
Readers feedback
Dating other journalists
Professional organizations
Barack Obama
Writing a book

Source- stuffjournalistslike.com

Here’s list of other things journalists like but have not been covered above-

Discussing others’ affairs
Press clubs
Hate PRs’
“I know it…I told you so”
Circulating copies
Going late to Press conferences
Never switch off mobiles

Narisetti at The Washington Post

Today I am envy of Post readers. The Washington Post has got a man no other than Raju Narisetti. It was Narisetti, who served at mint as founder editor and introduced Indian readers with an idea of what the classic newspaper is. But more than the product what I liked most was some superb insights this ‘romantic realist’ offered through his blog linked to livemint. I hope Narisetti soon takes up another assignment of writing blog besides the brief the Post has offered him.

Advani and Blogging


It’s now L K Advani’s turn to switch on to blogging (http://blog.lkadvani.in)

It’s better late than never (for Advani) and sooner than anticipated (for party) as it prepares for defeat.

Defeat ? Why so ?

For BJP and its leaders, the more they are quiet the better. Because the more BJP people talk the more they reveal and the more they reveal the more they get entrapped.

But, surely so, the blog has given Advani a forum to go nostalgic. This is especially when many of his colleagues (and journalists who keep whining when he is at his best) don’t like him always recounting past on public forums.

My best wishes to Advani for successful stint in blogging.

When capitalists exploit proletariat

I don't normally entertain forwarded stuff on email. But the following one did stop me for a while. Its quite hilarious and I thought I should share it here. The english script that follows Marathi is mine.

दररोजचा शीस्तीचा भाग म्हणून पेपर वाचणार्या बंड्याने त्याच्या बाबांना वीचारलं, "बाबा, शासन व्यवस्था म्हणजे काय हो?" "त्याचं असं आहे".... बाबा वीचार करत म्हणाले..."हे बघ, मी घरात पैसे कमावून आणतो. म्हणजे मी भांडवलदार; तुझी आई हा पैसा कुठे-कसा खर्च करायचा हे ठरवते म्हणजे ती सरकार; आपल्या घरातली मोलकरीण काम करते म्हणजे ती झाली कामगार; तू सामन्य नागरीक आणी तुझा लहान भाऊ म्हणजे भावी पीढी. समजलं?" बंडया वीचार करत झोपी गेला. रात्री त्याचा लहान भाऊ रडायला लागल्यावर त्याला जाग आली. अंथरूण ओलं केल्यामुळे तो रडत होता. बंडया आईला उठवायला गेला. ती गाढ झोपलेली असल्याने तो मोलकरणीला उठवायला गेला तर तीच्या खोलीत बंडयाचे बाबा झोपलेले होते. सकाळी बाबांनी बंडयाला वीचारलं..."काय बंडोपंत?...कळली का लोकशाही?" बंडया म्हणाला..."कळलं बाबा. जेव्हा भांडवलदार कामगारांचं शोषण करत असतात तेव्हा सरकार गाढ झोपेत असतं. देशाची भावी पीढी मूलभूत सोयींसाठी रडत असते आणी या सर्वांचा त्रास फक्त सामन्य नागरीकाला सहन करावा लागतो".

To convince his son that the present system ain't that bad, Bundya's father further goes on elaborating "look, capitalists see profits because they bring money, workers do get exploited sometime. But its win-win for them even".

Bundya, appear convinced, adds, "Understood baba. the other day aai was also uttering similar as she entered into house after visiting neighboring Sontakke kaka's house".


Hours before Amit Varma posted on his blogBuy Elections

Hours later we are told IU has been nominated in the 2008 Weblog Awards and, ironically so, Amit write on his blog:

“The category I have great hopes of is Best Asian Blog, so do vote there wholeheartedly. I’m most unlikely to win Best Political Coverage, where giants like Daily Kos, Townhall and Politico have also been nominated, but hell, we’re the world’s largest democracy, we know how to vote, so do vote there as well”.

Amit, we know how to vote, after all you only have taught us this here.

“Well, every election is really an exercise in buying voters. Either you can buy them with promises of good governance, better infrastructure, law & order and so on; or you can buy them with money and material goods. If the promises have no value, and both voters and politicians know that every promise is an empty one, then what’s a pragmatic voter to do? Take the money, of course. A self-perpetuating cycle duly begins, and there you have it, democracy at the grassroots”, says Amit.

Well what can you promise us if we cast our vote in your favour.

I think clarity on some issues.

The most important and imperative among them is: Your take on J & K and secession, especially after your previously stated position and the subsequent elections which saw participation of 62 % Kashmiries.

I hope you are listening..

Disclosure: In one of my post on allowing Kashmir to secede, i too had admitted that argument made by liberals look rather convincing than that of others. But then at the same time I had advocated to be selfish to keep Kashmir. Now I am glad to say that Kashmiries doesn't want us to be selfish. But they want us to be objective; objective enough to judge their aspirations, their problems and their emotions.