The New Entrant

The wait is over - we have a new entrant in the family. Sister-in-law Archana delivered a baby girl. It’s a double joy – first, the baby is sweeter than the whole family and another: she is ‘she’.

I wish her a good life

OBC To OBC Calls Free

I don’t know if I should treat the content of this story appeared in marathi daily sakal more funnier than the BSNL’s sheer stupidity (assuming for a moment the story is indisputable). But for sure, the story has potential to either leave you in rage or roll you in laughter.

For English readers, the story is under the headline: “OBC to OBC calls free on BSNL”

It talks about BSNL (with no version from BSNL official) planning to launch a group of clients from other backward class. “OBCs can talk to each other free of cost,” the story reads.

(Serious) doubts can be raised about the genuineness of the story considering that why will BSNL alienate other castes by offering discount only to OBCs. Sakal, it seems, did not reach BSNL for any explanation.

Either way, it isn’t just the story; more hilarious part comes through a comment appeared below the article on esakal.

The commentator writes: BSNL to launch another free calls scheme – inane to inane – with first SIM will be given to BSNL official.

Ajit Pawar Vs Bal Thackeray

Why is Ajit Pawar suddenly talking against Bal Thackeray. That too, too harsh ?

Is it just that Ajit wants to distract attention from rivals’ campaign against his alleged corruption cases ?

Or Ajit perceives offensive is the only option to weaken saffron-RPI alliance ?

Many are misreading the situation.

Ajit Pawar’s aggressiveness against Thackeray has more to do with internal party conflict than external challenge.

Targeting Thackeray, a real power center of Sena, can be construed as Pawar’s attempt to assert his position in the party.

This will consolidate his base. That mean, weakening of Supriya Sule, whose father and a party president Sharad Pawar always had a soft corner for Sena.

Sena’s relevance in the politics, Pawar thinks, can help Sule reaching to Power should the leadership issue arises in the NCP after him.

As we know, power struggle isn’t far away in the NCP. And Sharad Pawar is no exception in Indian politics, which stands witness to the fact that fathers have always preferred son or daughter over cousins.

And Ajit, being Sharad Pawar’s nephew, knows that to avoid ending up like Raj – a Thackeray cousin who ended up with nothing left in his hand while in Sena – he has no option but to assert.

Season Of Fast

An ICU unit with 60 doctors, 1300 toilets, an exclusive media center, large screens, a water filtration plant - all this for Ramdev’s fast to bring back the money stashed abroad. (From the report appeared in Mint)

There is a competitive politics ongoing among Anna Hazare, Medha Patkar and Baba Ramdev. The crusade against the system, the adamancy and the pretentious morality are the elements across the three.

But do they know: The cure they prescribe will kill the patient before it ends the disease.

Do We Really Bribe God ?

So Aakar Patel sees alms to god a form of bribe. He writes in mint:

“We give God cash and anticipate an out-of-turn reward. Our plea acknowledges we aren’t really deserving. The cash compensates for our lack of merit.
In the world outside the temple walls, such a transaction has a name: “bribe”.
In India God accepts cash from us, not good work, for which there is no reward. We don’t expect something from God in return for sweeping our neighbourhood streets. We go with money.
Observe this in another way.
Why does the wealthy Indian give not cash to temples, but gold crowns and such baubles?
To ensure his gift isn’t squandered on feeding the poor. Our pay-off is for God. It’s wasted if it goes to man. See what this has produced.”

I think the ‘sleeping partnership’ conjecture plays a grater role when rich make offerings to god. It is an assured way to success, rich perceive.

It works this way: Suppose I am a businessman. I make Sai baba a stake-holder in my venture. The entire investment is mine; but I maintain 10 per cent on Sai’s name anticipating that god's share would bring luck. When Sai baba is my business partner, what’s the worry ? As venture flourishes and profit levels increase, I give proportionate earnings back to Sai.


Finished BEHIND the TIMES. Bits from the book through which Bachi Karkaria tells Times’ inside stories:

Despite the pruning of designation, this was the man (Dileep Padgaonkar) who famously told interviewer that he held ‘the second most challenging job in the country’. The interviewer being Shobhaa De, and the magazine being society, the preen was emblazoned across the cover. Embarrassed, ‘Paddy’ said he had actually quoted his imperious boss, Girilal Jain, but it was wrongly (mischievously?) attributed to him.

Gautam Adhikari confirmed that Giri did often boast that he was the ‘secondmost important person in the country’. “We would joke behind his back, "So Sheshan (his secretary) is the 10th most important person, and Bhagwati (his peon) is the 17th most important”


T N Ninan was extremely possessive about his editorial domain. Samir Jain was raring to bring many innovations into ET, but Ninan, more as a matter of principle, was less than enthusiastic. One of these was ear panels, but Ninan resisted on the belief that the masthead should not be devalued by small ads on either side. Irritated, the VC called the Banglore Branch head, Sunil Rajshekhar, and said, “This is what I want, and it has to be in ET there tomorrow.”

Sunil passed on VC’s instructions to RE, Nageswaran, who mentioned this in a routine mail to his boss. Ninan blasted him, “Do you report to me or Sunil Rajashekhar?” The hapless guy spluttered, “But, Mr Ninan, the VC asked for it to be done.” Ninan thundered. “I don’t care who asked. I am the Editor.”

Yes he was. But not for long.

“Faith is reason grown courageous”

In religious context, faith drives myth market to thrive. If myth kaput, faith moves in to undo the effect.
This week, I visited Shani Shingnapur, an otherwise nondescript town of 4,000 from western Maharashtra. The obsession to belief among locals provided me a good story.

Last week, as reported
here, Shingnapur registered a robbery of Rs 73,000. Previous years too, Shingnapur saw theft cases. These developments were otherwise enough to shatter Shingnapur’s faith in Shani, a hindu god that derives its name from planet Saturn.

But locals prefer to live with the myth.

The allegory is Shingnapur stands as world-wonder. It has no crime record even as homes have no doors, doors sans lock. Locals recite fairy-tales underlining that Shani keeps the evils away from Shingnapur.

In denial, locals strive hard to preserve Shingnapur’s brand image of zero crime town. Such branding fetch them livelihood.

Villagers don’t make it explicit but their minds loudly read: if Shingnapur’s image dents, number of devotees thronging to Shingnapur with an overwhelming feeling of reverence, may take a hit.
Fewer devotees mean fewer business to locals.
So for locals, to live with the myth, unconsciously so, is to continue add value into village brand. It brings more money to them, keeps the Shani happy and makes the thief think twice.
Related Report (Photo: A.B.)

Pt Bhimsen Joshi And His Voice

A lot has already appeared on Pt Bhimsen Joshi and most sound cliché.
Yet, like listening him again and again…and again, is a rich experience, writing on him the isn’t anything different.

So what really was special about Joshi’s voice ?

Joshi had acquired versatility after modulating his voice for years of efforts. The audience listening to Joshi often used to be mesmerized by the timbre and resonance in his voice.

If Gangubai Hangal - Joshi’s gurubhagini and doyenne of kirana gharana - had unique androgynous voice, Joshi was no different – - a sonorous masculine voice with which Joshi could traverse the three octaves easily amidst unique style taking taan. This often had a special visual effect, taking the audience at an abyssmal escatsy.

Ramya hee swargahuni lanka, a song Joshi sung for movie Swayamvar Zale Siteche, was a classic when his voice depicted the stoutness. The boom was attained after years of excessive labour. Having brought two large vessels of water from far off distance, Joshi, still gasping, used to sit for riyaz. It had desired impact on voice. Like his alcohol consuming habit, riyaz after exertion, enhanced Joshi’s singing capacity, bringing robustness in his voice.

Joshi on his part consciously, laced that robustness with asceticism.

As we know, Joshi enthralled Maharashtrian audience for more than five decades through his Abhangwani. The same voice reciting Jo Bhaje Hari ko Sada or Bhavani Dayani, sounded as if the singing legend was stirring God/dess to descend on earth.

Here’s a classic video: Joshi reciting puriya Dhanashree