FM channel plays for 15 minutes without a break, takes the city by storm

Pune: On its inaugural day today, a Pune based FM radio channel, Radio Revolution, took the city by storm when it played back to back songs for 15 minutes. While the employees of the city’s IT companies, who travel each day by their office cabs, welcomed the move by the channel and vowed to provide all the support it needs, Pune owners of the radio stations (POTRS) threatened to take action against the channel for violating Radio Neutrality.

When we asked Mahesh Garg, an employee of one of City’s renowned IT company, he said, “As usual, I took the office cab today and stuffed my earphones to avoid the irritating radio. At first, I thought people were happy because it’s a Friday, but soon I realized the sensation- the FM channel is not playing any advert for 15 minutes! Can you believe it?! Whole 15 minutes! And the RJs didn’t speak an English-accented Marathi; they in fact spoke in the same language, instead of using 3 languages in one sentence. It is phenomenal. We all are planning to listen to Radio Revolution for the whole day to show our support. We’ll also take the complaint back, which we had submitted to the HR department to remove FM receivers from office cabs.”

Similar euphoria was seen among the cab drivers too. “They (the employees) shout at us to turn off the radio. Today they told us to even make it louder. I’m going to install two more woofers,” said Gangaram Dhotre, popularly known as Dada.

Among all the hysteria about Radio Revolution, Mr. Bhagwan Jain, president of POTRS told us that the association is going to submit a memorandum to the central I&B minister. “This is a violation of Radio Neutrality. They must broadcast at least 30 ads in 15 minutes, and speak 3 languages- Marathi, Hindi, and English- all in the same sentence. They must keep these standards. If they continue this practice, we’ll start a massive protest against this channel. We’ve already started an online petition in change.org to ban this channel. Once we have enough signatures, we’ll submit the same to the central minister of I&B. This is no joke. Nobody can just come and steal our business.”

Radio Revolution has not yet provided any official statement. Going by their punchline- entertainment unlimited- this whole issue is sure to provide some good entertainment in the coming days.

Advertisements

BREAKING: After Bangladesh, Assam to give away its land to Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, and Meghalaya

Guwahati: In a press conference here today, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi congratulated the central government and expressed his gratitude for making the Indo-Bangladesh land deal a reality. “We already have a significant number of Bangladeshi people in Assam. Their contribution to the Assamese society- our culture, population, jobs, economy- is immense. It’s time we acknowledge their contribution, and hand over the land they want. Personally, I do not believe in borders. We should do away with these borders; they create a lot of trouble. Also, the Bangladeshi people are soon expected to become the majority of population in Assam. Hence, the most sensible thing to do in such a situation is to hand over the land to Bangladesh and let them do what they want.” Mr. Gogoi said.

Several political and nationalist organizations carried out rallies to protest the land deal. One organization has already called for Assam bandh, while the others wait for their turn. Commenting on the protests, Mr. Gogoi said, “They are not getting the true meaning of this deal. And no, it was not formulated by the BJP government. It was a dream of the Congress party to hand over Assam to Bangladesh. In the process, we have already invited so many Bangladeshi people to Assam. We provided them all the support they needed, we helped them rehabilitate. It was a process in progress. When the new government came to power in the center, they too initially didn’t realize the big picture. Thankfully, after a lot of coaxing, they finally understood how important it is to handover Assam’s land to Bangladesh. It is the only solution to the “Bangladeshi Problem”, citing which many people did politics in the state. But no party could come up with any solution. The BJP is merely implementing what we had formulated. It’s time for the truth, no more politicization of a non-issue.”Current map of Assam

On asking how he plans to tackle the other border disputes in the state, the Chief Minister said, “This deal has opened new doors to us. We must embrace the changes and proceed in peace and harmony to resolve all the disputes with our neighboring states. Since a long time we are facing violent land disputes at the Jorhat – Nagaland border where the Naga people want to occupy certain areas of Assam. That area is very near to my birthplace, and it pains me to see the people fight and suffer over these unfortunate disputes. In the past, we have also seen land disputes with Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya. Our government is committed to the people of Assam, and it’s painful to see them suffering. Therefore, we have drafted a proposal to the central government that we want to give away the entire land of Assam to the neighboring states in a first come first serve basis. Apart from Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, and Meghalaya, we will also request the West Bengal government to claim the western part of Assam.”

Talking about the strategy for the 2016 elections, Mr. Gogoi said, “There is no need for any strategy. The people of Assam know that we are the only party working to resolve their problems. One of the founding principles of A.G.P was to resolve the Bangladesh problem. Could they do anything? No. Even the BJP did not have any clue about how to resolve the problem. It is only because of the foresightedness and brilliance of the Congress leaders that today we have achieved such an exemplary solution to the long standing problem of Assam. We will come to power again. I’ll not leave until we are done giving away all the lands and dissolve Assam. I’ll be the last Chief Minister of Assam. That is also an important matter.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This is a satirical article, written to present some burning issues of Assam on a lighter note. This is not intended to demean any person, party, or any institution/system in any manner.

Men are not spineless

In a revolutionary revelation, a man from Delhi has been diagnosed to have a spine. Varun Sharma, name changed to protect identity, complained of pain in his back earlier last month, and initial investigation has showed evidence of a spine, reports said.

Varun, a Software Engineer, lives with his wife in the Vasant Kunj area of Delhi. When Varun experienced back pain last month, he started doing Babaji yoga and took medicine from  Babanjali Ayurved, as per his wife’s advice. When the pain worsened and Varun could no longer perform his daily chores at home and was unable to sit in the day-long office meetings, Varun approached a local physician. “Varun is a strong man. He often comes here with his wife. She tends to get cold very easily, and every time she does, she and Varun comes here for treatment. This time, however, Varun complained of back pain. I prescribed him some strong analgesics, but he is already resistant to the medicines and showed no relief. I then referred him to a Hospital, where they scanned each bone and each muscle of Varun’s body, head to toe. The reports were shocking. We think he has a spine.” Dr. Sharma, the local physician, said.

In an exclusive interview with us, Dr. Swami, the famous historian and researcher, spoke regarding this significant incident in the human history. “Back in the days, we men had spines. We could do whatever we wanted to. We had our choices too. We had our sports, we had our drinks, we had our friends. But since the urbanization happened and people went crazy about these vague and Vouge ideas, men were domesticated. Men were seen doing dishes, carrying babies in carriers and strollers, wearing colorful pants, watching dialy soaps, riding gear-less scooterettes, and drinking mocktails in restaurants. Men had no voice, neither at home, nor in office. Then it was just a matter of time and cruelty of evolution that men had to part with their spine. It’s simple, just like how men lost its tail.”, Dr. Swami said.

We tried to contact both Mr. Varun and his wife, but neither of them has answered our calls till now. Our sources say that Varun has already been approached by the debate channel GoswamiNow for a panel discussion titled “Women under attack”. When we contacted Mr. Goswami for a confirmation, Goswami said he is still busy collecting data for each Cricket match that India has ever lost, and he cannot confirm when this debate will be aired. “I’ll first have to teach him the rules of my show. Nobody can just walk in and talk here.” Mr. Goswami said.

After the news spread, Delhi witnessed tussles between two fractions of Aam Arvind party and Saccharine Party of India, both claiming credits for the story. In the meantime, the Prime Minister has appealed to maintain peace and order in the city. “This is a significant news under the able leadership of our Honorable Prime Minister. We congratulate the people of Delhi and the entire India, up to Kolkata, on this occasion. Lord Ram has opened his eyes for us.”, A senior leader of the ruling party said in his Facebook post.

India Inc., Modified?

Thanks to the separatist groups in the region, since my childhood, Independence Day never used to be a day for celebrations, hope, dreams, or any kind of positivity. Freedom was the last thing we used to have that day. We were scared to take a single step out of our home. 15th August used to be a black day in the calendar. But now, after almost 25-30 years, the times are changing. And the best thing about this is- the times are changing not just for the North Eastern region, but for the whole country. For the first time after decades, it seemed like a real man, a human, spoke from the Red Fort. I think many of you would agree with me when I say that I was getting bored and agitated to see a robot like person reading out messages for the countrymen. We do not want a monosyllabic Prime Minister to read out scripts on a TV screen, looking constantly on the teleprompter. We want a leader. We NEED a leader. And before you jump into any conclusion, let me tell you- I am not politically biased to anyone or any party. I am a common Indian who follows the laws, pays his taxes, and follows most of the social norms, trying to be a good citizen of this country. I am a common Indian who despises the current situation that is prevailing at every level of the society and the administration. The apathy, the indifference appalls me. I want to believe that there will be reformations and India will actually see a new dawn. I want to believe that the next generation will see a better India. I want someone who can show me that dream, who can show me that we can, collectively, achieve that. For that day, dear friends, we need a leader in real sense. And a leader cannot motivate anyone without showing dreams of the better days. So, you should not just call anyone off as just a merchant of dreams. Probably he is trying to motivate you to do your part to achieve that common goal. Probably the people of India have seen such a leader in Narendra Modi.

Personally, the pre-election Modi Wave was somewhat reassuring for me; reassuring for the fact that the youth has finally started to take interest in politics, and probably politics will no longer be a “dirty thing” anymore. Instead, the people will take charge of shaping up the country, taking actions for the betterment of the land. I am not blaming only one party or one government, but we, as a nation, had gone to the depth of hopelessness. We were a nation of anarchy, degrading moral sense, corruption, and indiscipline everywhere. A country cannot progress with a bunch of self-proclaimed intellectuals constantly outraging on Twitter. A country cannot progress with a tyrannical TV anchor conducting debates in his studio over all petty issues and offensively cutting off people. Change does not come that way. We need someone to articulate and act on what we want to see in the country. That person inspires us, he triggers our interest and raises our hope that the current state can change. We need that merchant of dreams, not just to show us dreams but to motivate us to work towards it. Will we really see that soon? Only time will tell.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I had written this on 15th August 2014, filled with patriotism, enthusiasm, optimism and all that, but was reluctant to post after the beer waned. Found it in the drafts folder today, after 2.5 months. Thought to break the long lasting Writer’s Block with this. At least, let’s try.

Note to self

We were brainstorming over certain things for most part of the day, and we really are amazed by the relevance of “Murphy’s Law” in everything we do.

Things have their own time and way of happening. Sadly, they happen to me, without exception, at a time that is most inconvenient. I guess, that’s life- a bunch of heart aches here and there and some smiles. Amidst, you figure your shit out. The delirium of a perfect timing keeps making things more difficult though. Still, to reassure myself- I have not and I shall not expect perfection in things, but I shall make things work out in the most perfect manner. Cheers.

[Found this note scribbled in my Google Keep, bearing a last edited date of March’14. Felt like posting, for it sums up a story I keep telling myself every day. Almost every day, I mean.]

Abki baar, ek acchi sarkaar

Our politicians surely have a strong sense of humor. While I was reminiscing about some events that happened in the past 6 month in Indian politics, I realized that the Congress party is actually pretty appreciative of this trait of being witty. What else can you say about a party that appoints Rahul Gandhi as the Vice President? They even made an intelligent man like Dr. Manmohan Singh say things like Rahul Gandhi is the most competent person to be the next Prime Minister of India. He got to be joking, right?! I mean, you have to appreciate their efforts to make everyone of us laugh! Proving to be a good leader, Rahul Gandhi kept this “motto” in mind and showed us his humorous side through some of his funniest statements. Who else than Rahul Gandhi has made a more witty comment than saying that the Congress party does not do dynastical politics? He also said that the Dalits must attain the escape velocity of Jupiter to achieve success. Did you see what he did there? In a philosophical sprout, he again said that poverty is actually a state of mind. I mean, stop it! We can take only this much of humor, intelligence, and philosophy.

Giving a close competition to Mr. Gandhi is the Chief Minister of Assam, Mr. Gogoi. Gogoi is so famous for making witty comments that I sometimes wonder, he might have done more justice to his alternate career option – that of a stand up comedian. From “We’ll get the wizards of Mayong to beat Modi in the 2014 elections” to “Rajiv Gandhi had invented mobile phones”, he, at different times, has given a lot to us to laugh at. The only time I saw him agitated and very rude to the media was when the latter asked him if the high command of the Congress party thinks that Assam is a dumping ground. It was then when the Assam state Congress had welcomed Mr. Sanjay Singh with great zeal to represent Assam in the Rajyasabha. Albeit Mr. Singh didn’t know anything about Assam, was accused of murder, and was denied a similar opportunity from some of the other states of India. So what? The P.M, Dr. Singh, had also represented Assam after all. People can clearly see how much progression Assam has made because of that. Media is really a hindrance in Assam’s growth. During this election, these media people even showed a couple of big faces from certain political parties openly distributing money among the voters. Why do they do that? I mean, these TV guys? Don’t they have any better program to show? These media guys have also made Modi the biggest menace for the Congress party. As rightly stated by Priyanka Gandhi, another great intellect of the Gandhi clan, there was never a “Modi wave” otherwise.

Then there are witty politicians like Mr. Mulayam Singh Yadav, who quite famously said that it’s natural for the youths to rape; that the young, in their youth, do such things and there’s no point in giving them life sentence for such a mistake. It’s a young thing, you know! Thanks to Mr. Yadav, all the other people on Earth now know the difference between a crime and a mistake. On the other hand, his colleague Mr. Abu Azmi said that in case of a rape, not only the rapist, but also the woman should be killed. He also added that any woman who has sex outside marriage, with or without her consent, should be killed. Brilliant!

Coming back to Assam- as we speak, the forest minister of Assam is trying to pass a bill that allows them to dehorn the one-horned rhinos of Assam to “protect” the rhinos from poaching. Noble thought, I must say. The rhinos of Assam anyway have one horn less than their counterparts around the world. So let’s just cut away its horn and nobody will kill a rhino. Makes perfect sense. I just have one small problem while I imagine explaining this mascot of Assam to the next generation. Tomorrow if my kid asks me “What’s that thing on their nose?”  I’ll probably cite “evolution” as the reason. On a similar note, I am eagerly waiting to see what this government suggests to do to a woman to curb rape. By the way, North East reports a huge chunk of rape cases per year.

Considering all these, I just wish that we have an equally entertaining government in the center this May- a sensible, empathetic, effective, aggressive, progressive, and efficient government for all of us. Abki baar, ek acchi sarkaar.

[This post was written for the May 2014 issue of Eastern Panorama, a monthly news magazine published from Shillong.]

Lachit Borphukan: Assam chya Shivaji?!

This friend of mine asked me, sometime last year, if I was interested in accompanying them for a trek to a fort. I think it was Rajgad fort. Though I didn’t go, given the laziness I am (in)famous for, I did look up online about the history of the fort. It’s a very nice, scenic trek, and a fort of immense historic importance.

“This fort was also one of the 12 forts that Shivaji kept when he signed the Treaty of Purandar (1665) with the Rajput king Jai Singh in 1665 who was leading the Mughal forces. 22 other forts were handed over to the Mughals under this treaty.” [Source:Wikipedia]

As soon as I saw “Mughal”, an alarm went off- Lachit Borphukan. I think anyone with a little knowledge of history will know about Lachit; he had defeated the mighty Mughals near Guwahati, forcing them to retreat. Quite a hero! Then I read up more about Lachit’s history (a brush up, actually). And what a coincidence, around the same time, two other incidents surrounding Lachit Borphukan came up:

  1. Somebody shared online a photo of Lachit’s memorial present in National Defence Academy, Pune.

    Memorial of Lachit Borphukan in National Defence Academy, India.

    Memorial of Lachit Borphukan in National Defence Academy, India.

  2. Someone invited me for a book release in Pune. The book was authored in Marathi, titled “Lachit Borphukan: Assam chya Shivaji” (Meaning: Lachit Borphukan: The Shivaji of Assam. Sorry, I couldn’t dig out more information about that book at this moment.).

So, all these three things- The book, the image of the memorial, and the “R&D” about the fort happened around the same time. And once again, the average pseudo intellect in me kicked in. Though I never blurted out anywhere, I was, once again, deeply concerned about us, the Assamese community as a whole. For not respecting ourselves, for not giving proper value and respect to our heroes that they quite rightfully deserved. We’ll soon be a forgotten community otherwise; despite of all the rich heritage. I was high on thoughts, but soon time and beer sobered me up. These were worthless concerns. I even saw some intellects outraging massively on the Internet over calling Lachit as the Shivaji of Assam in that book; on comparing him with Shivaji, basically. But have they done anything for Lachit, compared to what the Maharashtrian people have done for Shivaji? ANYTHING at all? I did not get their point. I did not bother either. Then, in another context, I quoted one of the very famous dialogs of Lachit to an Assamese friend on the net. He very proudly said he didn’t know any of this. I thought, probably yes, I should shut up. I am being “too Assamese” perhaps.

I am not asking to blast people’s ears on every “Lachit Diwas” by playing some rowdy songs in probably a 1000 decibel. No. I am not asking to shout slogans and using him for political exploitation. No. But some basic things? Like, preserving his tomb? Can’t we even do that? Where are we heading to?

By the way, Lachit Borphukan’s tomb is in Jorhat, my home town. I had to Google for it.

You may also read: Lack of nationalism among Assamese decried (An article published in Assam Tribune, an English daily).