Friday, November 22, 2013

Titanic Versions

One day, when I was feeling lazy, I was pondering upon a sms (yes I even do ridiculous stuff like that) that someone sent me regarding Rajinikant (who else!). The SMS ran as follows:

Tamil Version of the Titanic: Rajinikant swims across the Atlantic Ocean, Kate Winslet in one hand and the TITANIC in the other !!!

So I was thinking "If the Titanic were indeed made in varous languages (or by different people), what would it look like? Here are a few thoughts...

Telugu: Balayya orders a meal. Waiter brings wrong dish. Balayya gets angry, slams the table hard. Whole ship vibrates and cracks due to resonance. Titanic sinks (The remaining movie would have consisted of the usual song-and-dance routines and Balayya getting involved in clan fights)

Hindi: SRK charms Kate in his first life. They commit suicide and meet aboard the TITANIC in their rebirth. Rest of the movie follows with a lot of much fanfare.

Pakistan: Same as Hindi version, but released on Pirated DVDs.

Chinese: Titanic hits an iceberg at the start of the film. 2 hours, 30 unpronounceable names & 50 mind-blowing fight sequences later, the TITANIC sinks.

Japanese: Frustrated passengers commit mass suicide initiated by the ship's captain and musicians. Ship never reaches destination, let alone sink.

Nolan's version: The story proceeds like the 1997 version, with more arbitrary dialogue and less romance. At the end of the movie, Jack wakes up from his dream and continues his shitty life of a ship's worker.

French: Jack is a disgruntled, heavily-talented painter. Kate comes to France from England, and Jack is mystified with her beauty. He makes her his inspiration and even follows her back to England aboard the TITANIC (yes a different course for the ship). The ship crashes into huge rocks at the Straits of Gibraltar and sinks, while Jack professes his love for her.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Rupee inspired by dog, to scale new heights

Mumbai: After hearing about the extraordinary feat of Rupee, an abandoned dog who
became the first dog to reach the base camp of Mount Everest, the official Indian currency has decides to scale new heights. "I am impressed with this puppy. Previously, I had received so much attention during my spectacular run to the top, but now I am dying because of neglect by my political masters. But the tale of this puppy uplifted me from my gloom", said the Rupee, feeling abandoned by the Political class.
"Err... Does he even know what he is saying?"

"Rupee came to 10 Janpath last night and collapsed at my feet, a currency on its last legs. It was so weak having no attention for days, if not weeks,” said Rahul Gandhi. However, he refused to comment if his mother cried on seeing the condition of the rupee.

"Rahul Gandhi believes in the holistic development of the masses of the nation, and spares no single entity. The rupee was in despair but under his guidance it will rise again from its ashes, like. Phoenix", said a enthusiastic Manish Tewari on a TV debate last night.

"As the public still divided over our decision to confer Sachin with the Bharat Ratna, our greatest concern is what next after Sachin. We are proud of the Rupee, but we are worried if it could regain its list glory, and make it to the top," said a concerned P Chidambaram, Finance Minister. "With the selection of Raghuram Rajan as the RBI Governor, the Rupee seems to have lost the motivation to make it large. So we have asked him to take an all-paid 4-week trip to the Bahamas, and I would personally take charge of the RBI just in case the Rupee needed to hitch a ride", said the enthusiastic FM.

Meanwhile, reservations have been expressed from various quarters, both in India and abroad. Nitish Kumar has slammed the Rupee for its communal move, although he has refused to comment why he considered it communal in the first place. PETA has accused the Rupee of hurting the sentiments of the dog by stealing its limelight. Meanwhile, the FMs of other rupee-based nations have expressed concern over this announcement, slamming the FM for not being inclusive in his policy. "We are deeply concerned that our own Rupee, which has been a integral part of our financial system since 1947, will get inspired by this move made by the Indian Govt to aid the Indian Rupee", said a apparently- concerned FM of Pakistan. 

However, the Dollar and the Euro have sent the Rupee a congratulatory message with the traditional box of lucky pennies for good luck in its mission to soar as high as Mount Everest once more. 

(Inspired by the article "Rupee, the dog that reached Mt. Everest" published in The Hindu on Nov. 13, 2013)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Birthday Affairs...

Let me be straight here: I never liked the concept of birthdays from the time I could actually understand what birthdays were all about. The way I see it, birthdays are just a reminder that you are 1 year closer to the inevitable fate that all humans, even Methuselah, were doomed to face. But that was never really my choice now, wasn’t it? I was always made to “like” birthdays when I was a kid because each birthday had its significance. My first few birthdays were family affairs, and used to get everyone excited about it! My next few birthdays went by smoothly, till I issued a verbal moratorium on birthdays, asking my parents not to waste time and money on celebrating my birthday.

Celebrations @ D-39, STC Colony :)
My earlier birthdays were quite typical – have a birthday party, call your friends, distribute chocolates to classmates at school etc. Birthdays were always looked at as an occasion for fun and laughter and happiness by everyone involved.

There was a time when I used to get a fair number of calls on my birthday. Right from my engineering days, I recall how getting calls from friends saved me from getting some nasty birthday bumps (which were given to my roommate Ujjal as he did not get calls on my birthday and hence was an easy prey for the hunters!). I recall last year I was struggling to juggle calls on my phone at midnight! In the space of 40 minutes I received more than 10-12 calls J

2012 promised to be a more sombre affair than 2011. Most of the friends who called me last year were either in the US, or not my friends anymore, or were considerate enough not to call me at night Thankfully, I could actually spend some quality time talking to the two friends who called J I was fortunate most friends remembered to call in the day – giving me a perfect excuse to stop working and talk to them J

My room-mates and friends from work gave me an expected surprise in my flat – a birthday cake (chocolate truffle) from a nearby bakery – but it was the gift that I received from a senior from work that surprised me. Honestly, I am not sure if I do deserve such a lovely gift, and if will be able to make use of it ever in the future!

So, I managed to complete 27 years of life on this planet. They were fruitful, and had their own ups and downs… I am optimistically hoping for 40 more fruitful years to come before I finally catch up with fate…

Monday, April 02, 2012

Redress Wrongs Against the Chagossians.... A petition...

Dear Friends

One of my good friends from Mauritius alerted me to this petition. It is a petition to the U.S. Government to redress wrongs done to the Chagossians by the Americans and the British. Yes, you might say "What is this, a season of petitions? First "Stop Kony" and now this? C'mon, give me a break!" But the difference here is simple - in the latter case, the perpetrator was a foreigner, a so-called developed nation, and not someone inside their own country. Find below a reproduction of the petition:

For generations, the Chagossians lived on the Chagos Archipelago in the Indian Ocean. But in the 1960s, the U.S. and U.K. governments expelled the Chagossians from their homes to allow the United States to build a military base on Diego Garcia. Facing social, cultural, and economic despair, the Chagossians now live as a marginalized community in Mauritius and Seychelles and have not been allowed to return home. The recent passing of the oldest member of the exiled population underscores the urgent need to improve the human rights of the Chagossians. We cannot let others die without the opportunity to return home and obtain redress. The United States should provide relief to the Chagossians in the form of resettlement to the outer Chagos islands, employment, and compensation.

You can read more about it at this Wikipedia link.

What can we do?

The Chagossians need 25,000 petitions to put forward their petition to force the US and Britain to leave their native islands and get back what was one rightfully theirs. They need more than 8000 petitions as of now. And time is running short - just a few days are left to sign this petition.

This petition is not about Mauritians pretending to be Americans.  History attests that the US administration has had an important role in preventing the Chagossians from returning to their homeland. This petition provides the people with an opportunity to extract an official response from the US administration about their stance on the Chagos case. Every single person can have his/her say on the US policy, irrespective of whether they are Americans or not, especially on issues of fundamental human rights and international law. These rights are universal and thus the US administration cannot eschew its international obligations. This petition has been launched in good faith and the Chagossians need your support

If you feel this cause is worth it, please do register yourselves at this link and sign the petition. The entire process takes just five minutes in total. May be we cannot stop Kony all by ourselves, but every single petition means a lot to the Chagossians. It's an urgent request from my side.

Varun Reddy.

Friday, March 30, 2012

DD Officer discovers the original Indian version of "The Simpsons" !!!!

In a stunning discovery that could shake the American way of living (and also that of pseudo-westerners in India), a young officer working at Doordarshan discovered that the classic American TV show, “The Simpsons” that recently aired its 500th episode, was a copy of a Indian TV show that never materialised.

Mr. Subodh Gupta, who recently joined the Doordarshan team as an Asstt. Director was given a few of the old files (picked up at random from a cupboard by draw of lots) as a part of his induction and acclimatisation at DD, when he stumbled upon a proposal by Mr. Manav Ganguly, dated 1st April, 1982 conceptualizing a new TV show for Indian Television. As Subodh read the proposal in detail, he realized that the show was very similar to “The Simpsons”.

“The similarities are too strong for this to be just a co-incidence!” quoted Mr. Gupta, on learning that FN was interested in his latest discovery. Apparently FN reporter Varun was the first to know of this incident, as he stumbled on Subodh’s tweet highlighting this profound life-changing discovery after a friend had re-tweeted it without even reading its content.

Based on the contents of the file, our correspondent reported that the show was titled “The Sharmas” and featured an Indian middle class lifestyle epitomized by the family of the same name. The show was set in the future in the very real and lively locality of Delhi–6 and portrayed the slow but steady destruction of the Indian value systems and cultural traditions due to the influx of western culture in India in the form of TV shows, movies, culture and language. The show sought to highlight the travails of the Sharmas as they struggled to cope up with these rapid changes.

"If this show has an Indian original
version, I shall find it!" said a gleaming Subodh (c)
“In keeping with the rich Indian tradition of family values, the Sharmas were a joint family and hence all the individual characters were not named in the pilot episode. However, the nucleus of this family was a sub-family of five, the youngest just an infant! This cannot be just a co-incidence – Matt Groening has copied the entire format in an American setting” said a beaming Subodh, clearly having done his share of Wikipedia research before talking to our correspondent.

It was also noted in the file that the pilot episode of “The Sharmas” was shown to the then PM Indira Gandhi who instructed the Director at Prasar Bharti to cancel this project as it “mirrored a reality that Indians need not know at this point of time”. How this concept, which clearly had its origins in India, came to reach the shores of the US is still a mystery; however Subodh suspects an Italian hand in this.

“The story of Manav was buried by the Congress and its friends in media. Manav went into chronic depression and died penniless after seeing his show die a slow death in the archives of the Govt. office. He was a true patriot and deserves to be felicitated by the Government of India”, expressed Subodh on Facebook, which was reshared by 27 people at last count.

(Concept and primary inputs by Shashikumar)