Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Barkha Dutt strips

I’m so afraid of being sued by Ms. Dutt, I can’t stop shivering. Which is why I’m writing a headline that may have several meanings. One of which could be that she reveals her inner self. No legal problems here.

Also, I am NOT accusing Barkha of doing anything unethical. I’m not saying she’s inhuman. I do not intend to say she’s a blot on the name of journalism. And I definitely don’t think she ought to have her head examined.

Now I’m simply pasting the unconditional apology of a blogger, after retracting his post on NDTV and Ms. Dutt. I’m perfectly within my legal rights, I think.

I don’t even want you take the effort of clicking the link.

Unconditional Withdrawal of my post "Shoddy Journalism" dated November 27th 2008

Mon, 26 Jan 2009 at 00:00Chyetanya Kunte • Filed under Uncategorized

  1. I, Chyetanya Kunte, hereby tender an unconditional apology to Ms. Barkha Dutt, Managing Editor, English News, NDTV Limited and to NDTV Limited, for the defamatory statements I made regarding Ms. Barkha Dutt and NDTV Limited, in my post titled "Shoddy Journalism," dated November 27th 2008, on my weblog at
  2. I have come to the conclusion that my post contained untrue and defamatory statements and that I have expressed myself in a disproportional manner. As a result, I have agreed with Ms. Barkha Dutt and NDTV to publish this statement as a means of settlement. I did not have the right nor the factual evidence to accuse Ms. Dutt and NDTV of the acts that I alleged in my weblog.
  3. Consequently, I hereby repudiate and withdraw my post dated November 27, 2008 titled "Shoddy Journalism" and, more specifically, the following allegations / statements made in the post titled "Shoddy Journalism" namely:
    • a lack of ethics, responsibility and professionalism by Ms. Dutt and NDTV Limited;
    • that Ms. Dutt and NDTV's reporting at the scene of the Mumbai attacks during November 2008, resulted in jeopardizing the safety and lives of civilians and / or security personnel caught up in and / or involved in defending against the attacks in Mumbai in November 2008;
    • that Ms. Dutt was responsible for the death of Indian Servicemen during the Kargil Conflict.
  4. In an effort to remedy the damage that my aforementioned weblog post has caused to the reputations of Ms. Dutt and NDTV, I have undertaken to send this apology and withdrawal statement to all the websites that reproduced my post.
  5. I hereby undertake not to repeat the said statements or similar statements against Ms. Dutt or NDTV Limited in the future.


Chyetanya Kunte

Now I’m doing another perfectly legal thing by putting up the link to this apology.

And this link to the original article, thanks to google cache


Friday, January 23, 2009

Reservations fuel untouchability

Reservations are creating a whole new level of untouchability. Remember those pehle waale days na? Where they weren’t allowed to enter villages, temples etc. At least then they had a life in the outskirts. Today is worse. I call it economic untouchablity.

I once worked in a prominent hospital in South Bombay. I was surprised to see patients come and make discreet enquiries about certain doctors. They’d try to figure out from the name whether a particular doctor is Dalit or not. And then I discovered the problem is not their caste. Nobody trusts them. The perception is that they’ve got their degrees through the quota and have no merit. Dalit equals dumb.

I’ve seen the same thing with lawyers. People specifically seek non-dalit lawyers so that they get someone knowledgeable on their case. Which, I think, is why I’ve seen a huge amount of dalit lawyers hanging around those small, insignificant courts.

The worse is with MBAs. I don’t know how companies hire but I’ve seen this issue crop up in discussions.

So far I’m only telling you these few instances that I’ve been witness to. I can’t generalise. And I don’t know how deep-rooted this problem is.

But I often sit and think, and generalisation simply happens. These instances lead me to believe that there’s an untouchability of a far more dangerous kind happening here.

“Quota mein aaya hai. Isko kya knowledge hoga?”

Less work.

Less money.

Lower standard of living.

Can’t afford good schools for kids.

Can’t get big homes or cars.

Is this what Ambedkar wanted? Let’s do the Dalits a favour by getting rid of reservations.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Smoke signals

Over the years I’ve noticed that the smoking culture of a company tells you all you need to know about it. So when you go somewhere for a job interview, I suggest you spend a few minutes in the smoking area even if you ain’t into the habit.

There’s this place I know of that’s very warm and caring, but it’s very hierarchy-led. And so is their smoking zone. The moment a senior management guy walks in, he automatically looks around for someone of the same level and stands there. If the senior is alone and a junior joins, the biggie slowly starts drifting away till he’s at a safe distance. Sometimes a kid would come out and go back seeing a senior. Better wait till a friend joins. In fact, people have ‘smoking friends’ just like train friends. You’ll always see a certain group of people smoke together.

Even the ‘asking for a light’ thing was a great revelation. Picture this. A middle management guy is standing and a same level guy comes to ask for a light. You’ll see the lighter/matchbox exchange hands. But if this same mid-level guy sees a senior even from afar, he’ll go all the way and hold the lighter for the biggie to light up. The kids don’t even ask for a light (matches come at a cost, you see). They simply use the other’s cigarette to light up.

But hierarchy apart, it’s a caring organisation. So the smoking time is used to chill, crack jokes, cry on shoulders. Advice is shared over a smoke. Sometimes work is discussed ‘off the record’. Sometimes two people smoke in absolute silence but you can see there’s a bond, a sense of togetherness in it.

Also, some good soul brings a lighter and keep it for the janta to use. People thus take turns.

There is this other place I know of which is very cold and water-tight. People keep to their own groups and hide what they’re doing from others. The place strictly works on the sucking-up- to-boss attitude. Even their smoking zone is like that.

People won’t even enter the smoking zone without cronies. It’s like they’re too insecure to even stand and smoke alone. Even the smoking zone is used to preen and look around if there’s somebody you can impress. People are full of the desperate need to constantly look cool.

Gadgets come out over a smoke. It’s cool to smoke with the iphone in your hand, or perhaps, a fancy ipod. The smoking area is used to talk about the latest expensive acquisitions, and to drop names.

I also once saw this strange phenomenon here. Once this uncool looking kid came and asked this guy if he had a cigarette. He didn’t. But as soon as this cool dude came and asked for one, a whole pack miraculously appeared from the said guy’s pocket.

Then again, there’s this organisation I know of that’s absolutely fabulous. I won’t even describe it. I’ll straight go to their smoking zone. Everybody sits with everybody else. You can’t make out the levels and designations in the smoking zone for sure. Cigarettes are hard to get in that area. So people just ask around for cigarettes. And people give them freely. You hear the question ‘Ek ciggie milega?’ answered with, “Ek nahin do milega’.

I’ve seen people part with their last cigarette without even thinking about it. Which, even non-smokers know, is the height of altruism.

And I’ll tell you the best part about this place. Somebody has kept an ashtray in the smoking zone. Not really so much out of civic sense. But so that the housekeeping guy doesn’t have too much trouble cleaning the place. Cool na?

Disclaimer: If you’re stupid enough to think this post encourages smoking, I have nothing to say to you.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Find the maker of Ghajini. Kill him.

This film looks like it’s made by a guy with a short-term memory disorder. After some 15 minutes, he forgot the plot and meandered into some stupid love-story which wasn’t even interesting. Then after a long time, he probably saw the clapboard, which reminded him of the film he had started to make. So another quick 15 minutes of the action after which the disorder took over again. He even forgot that the movie was over, and went on adding mindless bizarre scenes till someone got fed up and just slapped the credits.

Look, I ain’t too demanding when it comes to hindi movies. I mean I actually liked Rab ne bana dee jodi. So I’m really cool with a romance-drama-gaana-bajaana film. But Ghajini disappointed even the common hindi film watcher in me. No chemistry between the lead pair. That is unforgivable. At least if they had exotic locales and dancing around trees it would have appealed to somebody. Didn’t even have decent music. And as a saadharan Mumbaikar I wanna know – Which AUTORICKSHAW goes to Chinchpokli?

And it doesn’t take an advertising person to laugh at the stupid story. Does Ratan Tata go out on the streets himself to figure out a hoarding? Do CEOs do media buying? And do they send men in black to inconsequential tenants of dilapidated buildings?

And that dumb mahila police afsar could call up the girl and tell her the bad guys are at waiting at her place, but not call the cops? And the stupid girl could call her beau when she knows she’s gonna be killed but not dial 100?

Oh and I forgot about the idiotic medical student. I wanted the end to continue even further and reach the part where she’s thrown out of medical college. When a short term memory disorder patient has forgotten everything, which medical text book teaches you to remind him that he was out to kill someone? And abet the murder?

Never mind this film, people. The whole action a la Dharmendar reminded me of a film called ‘Hukumat’. And it had better songs.

Rab ne bana dee jodi, on the other hand, was quite charming. I simply loved Shahrukh go, ‘Punjab power, lighting up your life jee.” It was so cool to see him uncool.

Maine kisi ladies se pyar nahin kiya.” Awesome.

And I’m completely willing to accept that she didn’t recognise her own hubby after the makeover. Don’t we fail to recognise our own colleagues after a make-over at times? And it’s not like she spent her days gazing at the hubby. She was so distraught na.

And it’s possible that she changed her mind in the temple scene. Haven’t we seen that beer commercial ‘A moment of clarity’? Maybe it just hit her ki this guy truly loves her and she started loving him back. It’s perfectly alright. And I loved the credits at the end. The photo album was a brilliant idea. And some very good dialogue-writing. Thumbs up.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Kaliyug is cool

2009 begins, thrusting us even deeper into Kaliyug. ‘Ghor kaliyug’ the elders say, ‘sarv naash’. But I think Kaliyug suits me just fine. Aren’t we all glad we’re born now, in the world of planes, laptops and cellphones?

Which woman would want to be born in Satyug where Sita was accused of falling prey to the Stockholm syndrome (did it exist then)? If Ram were here now, he’d be attacked by so many human rights and naari mukti groups it ain’t funny. And that dhobi guy who apparently instigated Ram against his wife would have been the object of public ire. The media would thrust mikes in his face and ask him for an explanation. Orkut would have hate groups. And the Lord would have to reinstate the queen under public pressure.

And you remember that cute li’l mahabharat scene where the five brothers bring Draupadi home and say, ‘look what we brought, ma!’

And Kunti says, ‘whatever it is, just divide it.”

If that were to happen now, Draupadi would simply have walked up to her and say, “Er, excuse me, ma-in-law dear but I don’t think you can do this to me. Refer to section 498 A of the Indian Penal Code if you don’t believe me.”

And as for the rest of the mahabharat, well, gambling is illegal in modern day India!

Sure those were times when people were to closer to god. And then we had gigantic egos in the form of Rishis who’d go around cursing people at any little thing that annoyed them. Turning innocent people into stones and what not.

Coming to the era of the Rajas and Ranis. Don’t we all know how these kings killed even their fathers and siblings for the throne? Thank god we have the Property Act now!

My father-in-law keeps having these discussions with me about how things were ideal during his time. Ladkis were always well-covered. There was no sex in movies. Thankfully I found some pics of a woman called Nadira. And I chanced to see a few Raj Kapoor movies. I had enough substance to argue. :)

“Look at these whisper, kotex-type ads’, he says.

While I agree they aren’t a great idea, I’d still rather live in this era. At least you don’t have to be shut in a room five days a month. Sleeping on a chatai, eating leftovers or whatever. And the whole khandaan knowing it’s that time of the month for you!

Worse still was the ‘Main kahin ki nahin rahi’ type dogma. Anything happens, the girl has to jump in a well. Father dies, husband dies, in-laws send you back – the kalmoohi has to die.

And there was this ridiculous movie I once saw on cable. Do check it out guys. I’ve googled the name for you – Benaam Badshah. Anil Kapoor rapes Juhi on her wedding night, as she's waiting for the baraat. Wedding's called off, Juhi's barbaad. So what does she do? Smoke him out and marry him.

Trying telling a girl today to marry her rapist! Rock on, Kaliyug. M prouda ya!