News Briefs Will Be Updated Every Week.
New ova emerge from Russia
By a lousy DATE
After the emergence of many ova’s from Russia like Anna Kournikova, Maria Sharapova and others, there was a lull in the appearance of athletes on the world stage.
Suddenly they have made a comeback at the Beijing Olympics.
Antonina Tarasov was a worried mother whose daughter was at the Olympics. She got a desperate call from her daughter, Ekaterina Moneyova who said she was broke. “My bag was stolen and now I don’t have any money. My money is over,” Moneyova told her mother.
Another tennis player who is likely to give Sharapova a run for her money is Valeriya Gameova. However, this time she was one dejected lady having lost in five sets (6-4, 2-6, 4-6, 8-6, 4-6) to Rafael Nadal. “I am depressed. I had a good chance but lost. The game is over,” she said.
Controversies have dogged the Russian athletes ever since they came to Beijing.
Although Galina Talktimeova won the gold in the floor exercises, she could not convey the good news to her family back home. She had forgotten to recharge her mobile.
The Chinese media carried a story about how Monica Devi, who passed a urine test, was found stranded on a lonely road leading to the Olympic village with Eugenia Petrolova. Chinese authorities finally reached her and towed their car to safety.
Finally, the Sunday edition of the People’s Daily carried a feature story about a Russian weightlifter who was not welcomed by anyone. The moment she went up to meet someone, they would walk away.
“I don’t know why this is happening. I go up to meet other athletes to make friends and they just get up and go,” said Zinaida Tissueova.
Methinks Google India thinks Mumbaikars are fools
Google India put in colour advertisements in prominent newspapers asking people to participate in their WordMaster contest. What struck you immediately was that even after re-reading the advertisement slowly, you didn’t have even the foggiest of what it was all about.
Anyway, I applied and got not one but two mail reminders that were followed by an SMS (desperation?).
Come contest day, Saturday 30th September, I pass through a registration process and I am ushered into the auditorium of the National College, Bandra, Bombay.
In retrospect now, what began as abject farce and ended in downright deliration still elicits guffaws.
Google put up such a compelling presentation on how outrageously stupid they were that they had me completely convinced in 15 minutes.
On centrestage was a squeaky voice, stage fright obvious in his tenor, giving us the welcome spiel. He was soon replaced by a baldie who began inane but quickly accelerated to the absurd in his 7-point presentation (of which WordMaster was the last).
He began with childish glee on the humble beginnings of google, the tiny garage where the concept took shape, yeda, yeda. (Which reminds me, I must ask Narayan Murty if his old man gifted him Infosys when he turned 21. Ditto Dhirubhai). “You know how their computers resembled then?” he asked. “They resembled Lego bricks.” “You know what Lego bricks are?” he wanted to know. “They are little plastic bricks children use as building toys,” he explained. Profound wisdom that. But I was there for the WordMaster, remember?
From thence it was but a hop, skip and jump to Larry Page and Sergey’s millions. Nothing to do mind you, of the contest that was to last for all of two hours. Nothing less.
The baldie then went on to tell us how google searched the internet (but the fool completely forgot to mention anything about Page Rank) and then (could anything be more absurd) onto a screen-shot slide in the presentation that showed the Front Page of google itself. LoLoLoL. I hope Bill Gates knows what the Microsoft website looks like.
But no, there was this imbecile showing us what google looks like.
All this took about 15 minutes. Ample time for yours truly to be convinced that he was wasting his time. Mind you, this WordMaster charade was to go on for all of two hours.
Here then is some unsolicited advice to HR personnel:
If you need human capital with penchant for drivel, poach google India. They have amazing talent there.
If you need professional bullshitters who think everyone else in India is an imbecile, poach google India.
Lastly, if you haven’t met targets, still poach google India but be kind enough to give them cycle rickshaws, gratis.
I don’t know if google lost a WordMaster but I certainly learned that absolute fools can be gainfully employed.
Google is probably illegal
New Resignation Ministry Formed
By Gautam Date
New Delhi, March 28: The Congress-led UPA Government has stated they would soon form a Ministry of Resignations (MoR). This move is reportedly being given the final touches and the draft would be tabled soon.
The focus of the MoR would be to identify Offices of Profit and insist, in a rotational order, that Parliamentarians occupy it. Some can avail of two or more posts. However, the core competence of the MoR would be, in the event of objections, to draft quick, tailored resignations.
The formation of the MoR was felt necessary because of the spate of resignations from all over India following Sonia Gandhi’s submission of her letters. Gandhi started this deluge of resignations and soon the Congress was flooded with letters by its politicians giving up their posts. It is rumoured that the post office near 10 Janpath hastily opened a new ‘resignation wing’.
An embarrassed BJP too toed the line. Advani and Rajnath Singh also resigned. When Vajpayee piped up with his offer, the BJP top brass looked sheepish.
When asked why they were resigning, Advani said, “Isn’t everybody doing it? Why shouldn’t we? We’re a responsible Opposition.”
The Left parties, CPI and CPI-M, had a standard answer. They said they received a SMS from Lenin and Marx and forwarded it straightaway to speaker Somnath Chaterjee.
Some industrialists, nominated to the House also quit sending the Sensex down. The bears didn’t allow any bull.
Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar offered a terse statement. “I have resigned. I am going to London.”
Parliament wore an uncanny deserted look. Even the huge statue of Mahatma Gandhi was missing.
TV channels and newspaper reporters didn’t know how to file their daily reports because they had no one to go to. Everywhere they sourced for news, they drew a blank. Most staff of news channels then took the evening off.
Foreseeing a huge potential, the BPO industry will soon train professionals in drafting custom resignations while the finance ministry, led by Chidambram, is contemplating an Income Tax-related Profit of Office.
Dubya Cautions Self, Likely To Look Smart
By Gautam Date
New Delhi, March 2: US president George Dubya Bush arrived in India and among the first things he stated was that this tour would be his toughest ever since he would not only have to really talk sense but do the near impossible - look smart as well. “Even the most researched speeches are initially well appreciated. But as soon as the media knows its by me, they either get apprehensive or laugh,” he said at the airport tarmac. “Heck, even if Condi Rice says it, people believe her. But when she attributes it to me, there is a guffaw. I don’t know why people misunderestimate me,“ he added.
Dubya however, according to an air force one source, admitted to sometimes having a hearty laugh when he looked in the mirror.
Security was extremely tight for the visit. It was reported initially that Dubya didn’t know he had landed in Delhi. But when they found everything in order, the secret service announced the arrival of air force one.
“This is a great opportoouunitie to connect with the people of India. By people of India I specifically mean the Indians. Y’know people you see around you. I hope people of Delhi are as Indian as people of Hyderabad. Otherwise I’ll have to interact with foreigner non-Indians. I think, if you are Indian, I am sure you originate in India,” Bush said as afterthought. He added that although Dr Manmohan Singh looked a little different, he was positively certain he was an Indian from Delhi’s India. “He does look like some of you, I am sure.”
Meanwhile, there were protests in several places against Dubya’s visit. One protestor here said, “I have never seen Manmohan Singh laugh. So why is this joke here?” A lady with a prominent backside wanted to know how a hotel reserved 80 rooms for Dubya’s dogs, a monkey and other animals but did not let her get her ass in.
Advani dials right number wrongly
By the DATE
Bombay, January 18: Advani was complaining to Ram that his telephone too was tapped. He felt he just couldn’t be left out of the national chorus after Jayalitha and of all people, Sakhubai Tukaram Mahashinde too joined the bandwagon.
“No, not by my neighbour’s kid but by the Congress. With so many conflicting reports about my quotes and speeches, I am thoroughly confused.”
“What are you confused about?” asked Ram.
“I don’t know.”
“That’s quintessential Advani. But you’ll have to come up with some bull.”
“I am a pastmaster at that. However, some say I mentioned a Ram mandir. Many, including Uma say I tooted up for a Masjid in Ayodhya when I was in Pakistan.”
“Tell you what. Why don’t you call up the tapper and ask him for the transcripts.”
“Darn good idea. RAM, I believe you have upgraded to 256.”
Phone Tapper: Yes, I have transcripts of over 300 MP’s. Whats your name again?
“Advani. Lal Krishna Advani.”
“The one who was in Pakistan or the erstwhile leader of the BJP?”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Jinnah or Masjid in Ayodhya?”
“OK. Masjid in Ayodhya. I’ll throw in a Church too.”
“Now you are talking my language. So which transcript you want?”
“You know ……..my retort to Uma’s defiant gesture where she showed me her middle finger.”
“She has done that many times. So have many others.”
“No. No. I meant when recently her middle finger got so much publicity.”
“So many middle fingers raised against you have gained notoriety. We don’t have a “middle finger” folder. So finding your particular instance could be difficult.”
“C’mon pal. Just do a Control F and you’ll zero in.”
“OK. Hold on. By the way, this is being tapped too, y’know. And Vajpayee is on the extension.”
“Oops. I’ll risk it anyway.”
“Found it. We have the recent instances where Uma showed you her stiff middle finger ”
“Quick. Lemme have the details.”
“Right or left hand?”
Barber Protests Sonia Gandhi's Decision
By Gautam Date
New Delhi, May 20: A prominent barber from South Delhi has launched a massive protest on Congress president Sonia Gandhi's decision not to stake claim to the Prime Minister's post.
He persists with his insistence that Sonia Gandhi be the PM.
Mohammed Hussain, a celebrity barber who cuts politicians to size, said here yesterday, "Sonia's decision will literally make me bankrupt. Now I won't get to shave Sushma Swaraj or Uma Bharati. Nor will I get to remove the stubble from Venkiah Naidu's dome."
The former two politicians had sworn to tonsure their heads if Sonia became the PM. With this likelihood, Hussain was thoroughly delighted at the prospect of hordes of customers. "Who knows, the entire opposition would have come to me for a bald pate. It would have given "India Shining" a whole new meaning. It would have made me "Feel Good".
So happy was his wife Abida, that she planned on buying a new TV. Now, she sits in a remote corner of their house, desolate, her dreams shattered.
In fact, Hussain was doubly delighted at Swaraj and Uma's widely publicised vow. "You know, I even got a few offers from Italy."
"Doesn't the opposition have any scruples, ethics, pride or even a sense of Feel Bad? I think they should still protest just for the heck of it and then all of them can shave their head off. I will even consider a wholesale price," he added.
Nusta Khallas managed to just about speak to an extremely busy Manmohan Singh and get his reaction to this. "Yes, I heard about the sorry plight of Hussain. But I can't become his customer anyway. As a matter of fact, even if Vajpayee becomes the PM of Italy, I won't be able to help. We're not allowed to cut our hair."
Hussain has resigned to his fate and his monumental loss. However, he takes consolation in one fact and says, "LK Advani has always been a notorious non-customer."
LTTE Irked By Lankan Govt's Moves
By Gautam Date
Colombo, November 15: LTTE chief Vellupillai Prabhakaran has snubbed the recent political moves by Sri Lankan president Chandrika Kumaratunga as a 'gross folly' and said such initiatives were driving its suicide bombers into joblessness. Prabhakaran in fact feared that they may blow themselves up in desperation.
Addressing a gathering of select media persons north of Elephant Pass, the LTTE chief said, "This is a politically motivated move by Kumaratunga. Does she want us out of work? None of my suicide bombers has had any assignments of late. Gosh, they actually return home. This in itself is suicidal for us. We are seriously thinking of targetting a few of those peace-mongering Norwegian guys. That will perhaps trigger us some jobs."
Prabhakaran was also angry with PM Wickremesinghe who he claimed was a traitor having 'sold' the interests of the LTTE to the US. "What has whatshisname Dubya got to do here? The moron can't even mind his own house yet wants to meddle in ours. We are totally against this unholy alliance. Perhaps it's time I got some US visas for my human bombs."
Kumaratunga brushed aside these allegations without batting A eyelid. "I don't know what juice the LTTE feeds its hara-kiri cadre that it incites them so selflessly to have a blast. You know, it creates such a terrible mess. Can't they do it the proper way with tanks, mortars, guns, rockets, soldiers, etc? Just sending one person on a mission to detonate hundreds isn't fair at all. And what is really deplorable is that they don't inform us in advance about the bomber's itinerary."
Charles Gets Lessons On How Not To Act Stupid
By Gautam Date
New Delhi, October 29: Prince Charles who secretly landed in India a day prior to what was publicly known, spent it gleaning important information, tips and other subtle suggestions on correct political speech and to avoid his notorious faux-pas. Recalling that Charles had asked the Aborigines on a trip to Australia if they still "used bows and arrows", the Charge de Affairs at the British Embassy painstakingly explained to the Prince all nuances on correct speech during his trip here.
It is believed that Prince Charles ended up hearing pearls like, "The Empire ruled India for many centuries and looted the country to the hilt. So please avoid anything close to India seems a poor country."
"Also Your Majesty, it would not do for you to inquire if Indians know computers or software. The street urchin would probably guffaw or worse, show you the middle finger. He may not know it but you have to confirm that you know of and understand, the famous gesture."
"May I also suggest, Sir Charles," said the attache, "Never even remotely wonder if the Indian PM was an erstwhile Olympic sprinter."
On the possibility that the Sire could have alimentary canal congestion from eating Indian food, Charles was told to wait till he got to Bombay. "There Sire, you can partake in ragda or pani-puri at Juhu beach. It will immediately undo the clogging." Prince Charles, it is well known, has a valet back home to roll down his toilet paper. He was told that such expertise was not, well, so much in abundance in India.
Charles was also advised by the attache to desist asking the Archaeological Survey of India if it was possible to relocate the Victoria Terminus and the Gateway back to England. "Sir, what will they call the Gateway area once the monument is gone? Can't name it after the hotel there. It is reliably learnt that the Indians already have a Taj Mahal in Agra."
Mother's Take To Innovative Formula
By The Date
New Delhi, October 10: After pesticides were found in colas, worms now have got their way into chocolates as well. This caused panic with mothers in the country but apparently it has ebbed away after the Food and Drug Administration offered some innovative solutions.
The FDA has advised doting mothers to supplement their children's intake of chocolate with colas so that the worms can then be neutralised by pesticides. Most agree to this stratagem but the medical profession is alarmed.
Dr MS Dastoor has cautioned that one or perhaps both by-products of kids' digestive system could turn out to be funny or curious. "I mean it could be a fuzzy liquid or in case of indigestion, some wriggly portions of the solids. We request all mothers to monitor and thoroughly check what their child offers the municipal authorities daily."
Some medical test professionals joined the melee to warn that liquid, bubbly effluents from kids would be difficult for the pathological labs to analyse because pesticides and ammonia have similar pH levels.
Many mums have decided to take the FDA advice literally, with some modifications. One said, "Beta (son) it is much easier to pour cola on the chocolate than to do it the other way around."
While some retailers have banned these products, several others, succumbing to customer pressure, have started marketing the two together.
The FDA however had no explanation on what remedial or preventive measures to take if a consumer had the cola first. A spokesman said, "I don't think the worms would neutralise the pesticide."
Parry Markets High-Tech Cistern
By Gautam Date
New Delhi, September 25: At a massive media event, Parry Sanitaryware Limited announced they have finally produced a product with class - its latest high-end electronic toilet.
Elaborating on the features, Nikhil Khanna, marketing manager said, "It may look like an ordinary ceramic cistern. But that's where the similarity ends. This offers the options of either auto-flush, auto-spray, auto-do both or even auto-what to do now. It is a pleasure to use. The only manual requirement is exertion of pressure by the user."
Detailing on the sound-recognition microphones that did the trick, Khanna told the media, "There are voice-activated sensors installed in the cistern. Every time the user goes Aah, that was good, God what a relief, or even Is that it? the toilet would flush or spray automatically to remove all evidence that you had used it." The local municipality's waste disposal department would also be sent an automatic reminder to look out for additional work.
Nevertheless, the beta version has had its share of controversies. Elizabeth Johnson, an American currently touring India was seriously thinking of suing. "I ate a lot of Indian food and was having problems downloading. So we checked out the twin-design, Indian/western toilet. Apparently, it's easy to fool the system. I remember me not sitting but squatting and after a great effort, managed Is that it? Just then, the nozzle missed its target and instead, sprayed my husband completely. He was, well literally, taken aback."
Of course there were sentiments favouring this amazing gadget. Jayantiben Shah, getting on in age and knees, could not use the Indian position and so preferred the western. She said it was a boon for her that this design now also prevented any retaliatory splashes (by the minimum-water-level) to heavy droppings. "But they should have bi-lingual equivalents of God what a relief. I badly messed up my first try."
Laloo Smirks As Club Says Thunder Stolen
By The Date
Patna, September 2: Taking a serious stand on the award the government and Bihar chief minister bestowed on their own son, the secretary of the Laughter Club of Bombay, Hasiram Hasmukhlal said this was a blatant hijack of the charter of their club by Laloo Yadav.
"Mirth is our preserve. How can he or anyone else provide it and that too, without doing anything? We have expressly banned our members from looking or hearing anything to do with Laloo. People of our club were observed to supplement their mirth by looking up Laloo's caricatures and speeches. I am told just thinking of him sufficed. But this has to stop," Hasmukhlal said.
The subject of their ire however, brushed all these aside, besides the guffaws the award he conferred on his son elicited, with a typical gesture of his hand. On the contrary, he went on to announce nine more commemorating his children.
Misa Bharati Scholarship: For viable suggestions from children of dons, mafia pappa's and wayward politicians on how the entire state of Bihar can be looted so they can marry in style. Complaints by half the population below poverty line and by the other half who didn't have electricity will be ignored.
Chanda Kumari Trophy: For innovative suggestions by veterinarians udder than those from Patna, on how to keep cows in air-conditioned rooms since cow's milk curdles fast. Passionately seconded by father, familiar with many udders.
Rohini Acharya Award: To be given to poor and needy students who are permanent residents, in designer apparel, of the college canteen. Also to remind the ignorant that since it is awarded for attendance to the college canteen, there must be a college attached somewhere to the canteen campus.
Ragini Kumari Consolation:To be given to rich scholars who make parents poor by failing their tenth standard exam consequently for five years. Students whose favourite retort to every question in class is you tell me, would be preferred.
Hema Kumari Endowment: For students who forever fox class-mates, teachers, the principal and even parents by doing well in exams but appear downright dumb.
Rajlaxmi Scholarships: To be bestowed arbitrarily on all those duds who pass medical exams by cheating and manipulating the examiners. Seventy per cent reservations for women who cannot dissect cadavers even by chain saws.
Dhanno Kumari Prize: Policies of this award are mired in controversy since it is reserved for no rhyme or reason for excellence in illogical academics.
Tarun Fund: To be used by Bihar University students for election expenses. This fund will not provide cash directly. Instead it would offer discount coupons to bars, liquor stores, discos, restaurants, red-light areas, illicit breweries and shady watering holes.
Tejaswani Prasad Yadav Fund: (Refer link above) Reserved solely for the utterly frivolous and trivial of all pursuits including representing the Gram Panchayat under-15 cricket team that had to play with itself.
Planetary Position Evokes Mixed Response
By Far-Fetched Astrologer
Bombay, August 29: Indian astronomers and traditional astrologers have alluded to all kinds of hidden nuances into Mars' proximity to Earth. Although both have their own viewpoints, the rationalisations are varied.
Astronomers believe this to be a life-time opportunity to see this planet that's orbiting at its closest to Earth. "It is better to watch Mars now than spend your entire life trying to locate Pluto - a planet that's difficult to see," said Khursheed Bhabha of an amateurs star-watchers club.
Astrologers on the other hand, have always had a significant say in people's life. Ganpat Yadav of Bihar has been jobless and broke for over a year. He rues blindly following what he was advised. "My seer told me a prosperous phase will usher in to my life if I put a lot of cash into the portable box that was in front of him. But contrary to his predictions, my stars moved out of Shani, and I lost all my money."
When countered with Yadav's case, Swami Gyaanchand of the Gyaan Peetham in Ayodhya said, "It's a matter of interpretation. The Mangal Dosha (the evil effects of Mars and not a south-Indian dish) can have strange effects. Thus, Kanya is sometimes believed to be a synonym for a miss-spelt African country or erroneously, has references to young girls. Let me emphasise, Nairobi has nothing to do with it."
GM Rao, another spiritual mentor from Hyderabad said this orbit and sighting of the planet was a rare event, happening once every 200-odd years. "So when Mars moves into Kumbh, it always has destructive effects like causing stampedes."
Fishmongers Learn Astute Lessons
By Gautam Date
Bombay, August 23: The All-India Fishmongers Association (AIFA) has said in a press release here that they have learnt some telling lessons from the No-Confidence motion debated in Parliament.
AIFA local president, Kashiram Shirke stated here that the invaluable tips and tricks they had a visual treat of on TV, will enable them to conduct themselves much better in fish markets. "Let this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity be a beacon for all of us on how to behave in markets where we sell our catch. We thought we were the originals. But what we saw in Parliament was far, far better and extremely educative."
Gajanand Dhamankar, a representative from the coastal belt of Ratnagiri, was also all praise for the conduct of elected representatives. "Frankly, I thought we fishermen were experts in fish markets. This display that I saw live on television was truly amazing. I am taking back some footage on tape to tell people in Ratnagiri how backward and lacking we were. Such illustrious behaviour. The fish market has been the epitome of a status that is perpetual chaos and unruly conduct. Alas, our devout followers will be badly disillusioned about us after seeing this."
While a few said swearing and hurling epithets was not quite correct, majority of them believed that it was quite all right to abuse. Shirke and Dhamankar agreed in unison. "We are just emphasising our point by abusive language. It adds weight to our argument and sounds damn spicy too. Remember, it's such choice terminology that gets heard real good."
The underlying fact was that most people Nusta Khallas spoke to agreed that likening throwing mikes, chairs in Parliament to doing the same with fish for augmenting a diatribe, would do their business no good at all. Besides, it does not require a fish market (or even fish) to raise a stink in the House.
Sachin In An All-New Commercial
By Gautam Date
Bombay, August 19: In a new deal, contrasting his multi-crore promos with cola giants to promote their fizz, India's batsman Sachin Tendulkar, is reported to have recently signed an agreement to be brand ambassador to market potable drinking water. This contrasts with his previous deals with aerated drinks' manufacturers to promote their brands.
What is surprising is that very much like the duty exemption of his extremely controversial Ferrari, he has agreed to do this campaign free. Tendulkar will not charge anything for the promotion, provided he is gifted a few crores.
This project was on the verge of being shelved since producers of the advertisement could not find even a single location in India that provided safe, potable drinking water. Most places they tried, either had residual pesticides or colas in them. Finally, in desperation, they found one in Bihar that had an illegal connection to the same pipeline that provided water to Laloo's loo.
That was not all. Soon after shooting began, the water stopped. It was only after Laloo personally intervened and agreed to curtail his flushing to a large extent, that supply resumed.
It is rumoured that the Central government will promote this advertisement and strongly urge various municipalities to make this their inspirational role model. It would be a miracle, the Centre said, if people in India got some good potable water that did not carry and harmful or dangerous levels of pesticides or colas thus reiterating the famous jingle - ganda matlab, Coca Cola.
Ironically, some disgruntled members of the ruling party itself secretly admit that they are vehemently against this proposed policy of the government since pure, good potable drinking water will henceforth, not bring any affected patients to government hospitals leaving doctors jobless.
Farmers Up In Arms Against Fertilisers
By Gautam Date
New Delhi, August 13: Farmers and agriculturists in most parts of northern India were up in arms after a scientific NGO published a report stating that most fertilisers and pesticides contain a dangerously high level of colas and other aerated drinks.
Pritipal Jassi Singh, a farmer from Punjab agreed that something was distinctly funny with his entire crop this year despite the good monsoon. "It was only after the report that I realised there was too much cola in the fertilisers and pesticides I had used. My rice grain turned brown and now looks like wheat. Frankly, I am confused as to what I had sown. But I am sure the government will buy my crop and black-market it as something original."
The report meanwhile, spread like wildfire in the fertile agri belt and predictably, fertiliser and pesticide producers opposed the report as malicious and baseless. Bandopadhaya Ghosh, the marketing manager of ColaIsticides Limited, a MNC producer, was livid. "The report is totally malicious and not backed by any irrefutable evidence. How can our fertilisers have colas in them? We don't make any fuzzy products. Can you imagine, some have even gone so far as to allege that we bottle our products."
Invariably, opinions seem to be sharply divided. There is no denying the fact that this report has hit sales of fertilisers and pesticides badly. "I now encourage my buffaloes and bulls to produce more dung for the fields instead of these toxic, cola-laden fertilisers. I have renewed my love for bull shit," says Manpreet Kaur from Ludhiana adding "I saw an unusual caramel-coloured fizz oozing out of my crop this year. It has never happened before."
The controversy is not likely to pass away specially after pesticide manufacturers unanimously passed a resolution to ban sales to Parliament altogether.
Laloo Writes To PM, Gives Mush The Jitters
By The Ghost Who Talks
Patna, June 11: Alarmed at the media space Musharraf, Advani and Vajpayee were hogging, Bihar de-facto chief minister Laloo Yadav asked his wife and CM Rabri, to write an open letter to Vajpayee denouncing the media, peace initiatives and wanting to know why there was no news about the pathetic state of affairs in Bihar.
Nusta Khallas got a copy of the original version of Rabri's letter. Excerpts.
Prime Minister Atalji,
I am not liking all like this. Whyfor you doing like these peace talk with Musharraf. I am not at all like, mind it. All this you are doing so I am not getting photo in paper. You knowing, my lathi deeksha (cane) rally getting not much saying in TV or paper. Many peoples laughing for this. Whyfor they is doing like it, I am cannot telling.
But I am saying, many peoples not knowing how much great is my state. You knowing Bihar? I telling you, there is none unemployment in government staff. Even such-much retired officals having good life. I am CM. I am guarantee each government employee getting black money from what peoples in Delhi calling scams. All good corruptors prospering. Bihar prosperous state, I am telling for yourself.
How then, no one say like this in press? Sir-ji, I am also telling my state having good education for learning in past tense. I am likely you is hearing of Nalanda (in past tense, mind it) - wherefrom very good education coming for learning. You reading, no? Now you knowing whyfor it is not coming now? That time, the learning teacher not liking to pay bribe to getting jobs. But I am saying now, come to educate for learning. I making bribing official.
I am turning bullock-cart not wantingly. What I meaning to tell yourself - meaning to Vajpayee his self is: Whyfor you is getting scared to be afraid of telephone call from Washington? Every time Bush dialling wrong number, you is picking up telephone and saying next day on tomorrow that you is wanting peace. Then Musharraf getting right to correct number from there on wrong telephone and he say to you, "I am doing once again like Kargil." Why you using MTNL/BSNL there? Here Bihar, you is dialling any wrong number, it is going right to correct phone, I am telling promise. Now phone not ringing, what I do?
Therefore I am telling for you, please to sir-ji, letting me to go to Islamabad. I am guaranteed to saying to you, myself and lathi deeksha doing to Musharraf something beating. I am telling to yourself sar-ji, he is hearing of my planning. Whyfor then, you to please telling me, he is not dialling any number now but is getting only right to correct phone ringing in Rashtrapati Bhavan?
Bremer Changes Looks, Saddam Confused
By Gautam Date
Baghdad, May 13: Dubya's main point man in Iraq Paul Bremer, who replaces Barbara Bodine, has to ensure US steals Iraq's oil methodically.
He has thus gone in for a facial make-over and taken to a moustache like Saddam's.
In fact some Kurdish locals say he speaks their language quite fluently and also prays five times a day.
"If I have to rule and re-build Iraq, I should blend in. Hence this new look. Actually, I think the Saddam-style moustache looks pretty good," he said yesterday, just before moving into one of the royal palaces.
"These palaces are nice. But there is a problem. I found it very difficult to get up from golden toilet on the first day, a long time after I was done. The bullion feels nice on the backside."
On his maiden visit to Tikrit, nervous US troops opened fire at him. It was only evasive action that saved him. "I hid behind a US soldier."
So now, he is always dressed in trousers and a shirt made from the American flag besides huge dark glasses. However, people still insist Bremer does resemble Saddam and that his fluency in the local language endorses that belief.
In a delayed development, the Man himself, holidaying with Osama and prompted and taken in by the expertise of the latter, sent a video tape to Al Jazeera in which he seemed quite angry at his unique, one-of-a-kind identity being hijacked. "This is preposterous. Is that really me?" he thundered. "They steal my oil. Now they steal my moustache, my identity. These infidels are crazy. I have told Uday here not to call me in Baghdad."
Some Startling But Simple Home Remedies
N K consulted a panel of experts to answer some common medical and health queries.
Q: I know many women but they won't come after me. What to do?
A: Kick a woman on her bum. She'll come running after you.
Q: I want to know more about the birds and the bees. Please help.
A: We suggest you check out the apiary at the bird sanctuary.
Q: I wish to quit smoking but I am unable. Suggest a remedy.
A: Light the filter end. Or better still, light both ends.
Q: I missed my last period. Is it serious?
A: Not at all. Make it up after school.
Q: I am constantly picking my nose. People say it's a bad habit.
A: No, don't stop. Keep nostrils clean because air is free.
Q: Suggest precautions on Sars and travel to Hong Kong.
A: Carry a face mask but prevent others from breathing.
Q: My husband snores at high decibels disturbing my sleep.
A: Punch him hard but pretend you are asleep.
Q: My husband snores at very high decibels disturbing my sleep.
A: Sleep with someone else.
Q: I think I am balding early. What do I do?
A: See a shrink. He'll reduce scalp to make you hairier.
Q: My tummy is getting bigger and it feels very tight.
A: Loosen your belt. Also get bigger pants. Check for pregnancy.
Q: We had two kids in two years. What is the spacing method?
A: Maintaining space between you and her at all times.
Q: I consume five drinks everyday but want to reduce. Please help.
A: You can cut it down to three by using a bigger glass.
Parliament Condemns Attack On Iraq, Bush Panics
By Gautam Date
New Delhi, April 10: After more than a month of war hysteria, the Indian Parliament passed a resolution condemning the invasion of Iraq. This was after it was adjourned over lengthy debates on language problems - should it be in English or Hindi. The latter won probably since members are inept in English.
Such unparliamentary haste in the condemnation has baffled political analysts.
Dubya, already addled with the war, hugged Tony Blair (who was seen making evasive actions) in N. Ireland for comfort but regained composure to call up translators to check out what was in the resolution.
He was particularly interested to know if "oil" was used anywhere. So they searched for the word and its Hindi equivalent Tel. Repeated Cntrl F by Dubya didn't provide anything. He then tried Shift F.
Blair of course concluded that there was more to this than met the eye. "Why should they take over a month when even Pakistan spoke against the war much earlier?" When he whispered this in Dubya's ear, Georgie immediately looked visibly smart in sensing a sinister plot.
Paliamentary affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, when asked about the delay said, "It's a routine delay. You expect a fast condemnation? It is not possible to agree to anything unless we waste time and a lot of public money, adjourn Parliament, create a ruckus, misbehave and debate how best we can be unruly. It is only after such lofty democratic norms are observed in toto that we can have something. Remember, we are honorable members of Parliament. It is befitting our stature."
It was decided to resume the debate in Parliament and issue another strong objection in English within two-three years.
IAF Decides To Crash All MiG's At Once
New Delhi: In a decision that was pending since long, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has decided to crash all their MiG aircraft on one swell go. The decision was taken in consultation with the defence minister and IAF officials here yesterday.
Stating that singular, periodic crashes have got the IAF adverse media coverage, Sqn Ldr Girja Thaddani said, "Yes, it will make a nice bang and also stop all the bad press coverage once and for all. The site is yet to be chosen though."
Those pilots who don't like to fly without their aircraft, will not be provided the option of ejecting.
Bill Passed To Regulate Bashing Airline Staff
By A Byline
New Delhi, April 1: Soon as news reached members of the house that Union labour minister, Sahib Singh Verma misbehaved with airline staff onboard an inland flight, Parliament passed a bill in the House that sets guidelines on, and for, the necessity of politicians to misbehave on flights.
Sahib Verma, a Union labour minister - installed unfortunately in Parliament for the welfare of the working class - pressed that part of a female staff's anatomy that has preceded Pamela Anderson. Besides of course, bashing up some other cabin crew. The new bill will address such very 'pressing' needs of ministers.
"We need to be pressing once in a while," said Shahnawaz Hussain, minister for civil aviation. "Politicians otherwise will lose grip on a couple of things. Also, we won't even qualify as politicians if our behaviour is decent."
Airlines have also modified corporate strategy and will insist a politician consume at least five drinks or smoke pot so that he is sufficiently high to start a scuffle. Along with his complimentary nuts, the cabin crew will also provide knuckle-dusters so that bashing up staff is more effective.
Brownie points will be awarded in Parliament for breaking jaws of cabin crew.
The bill also stipulates that members can only pass wind that genuinely stinks, water the aisle or seats (thus preventing a burden at the rear of the plane) and squat on arm-rests for downloading.
However, keeping in view the safety of stray cattle on the ground, clause 13 (A) together with 18 (E) prohibits politicians from stopping the aircraft during flight.
Bush Discovers Unknown Oily Relatives
By Gautam Date
Washington, March 24: Although the white house tried to stifle rumours that a whole bunch of people had laid claim to the Bush clan, Nusta Khallas has evidence that there are indeed people here who claim to be relatives of George Bush. When news spread that he had access to oil in the Gulf and that massive contracts were being awarded to friends and relatives, these people piled on. All on the list are from Texas:
Trimmed Bush: Goes for hair cuts regularly and refutes allegations that he is bald. Says he can't remember but his father mentioned something about being related to one Georgie. To substantiate claim to oil, offers a view of a wart on his backside "It's identical to Dubya's."
Clean Bush: Prefers it in the Oval office. But has never gone after BehindThe Bush (below). Says she does not like Bushes but when there are so many pipelines on offer, can't let go the opportunity. Plans to open a gas station financed by Dubya.
BehindThe Bush: A very naughty, wayward old man, his reputation precedes him. Is alleged to have gone through so many Bushes that he can't remember. Has emptied his swimming pool to store crude oil in it. Says he will black-market it to dig up another pool to fill it with oil so that he can dig up....his neighbours have run away leaving their pools behind.
Shaven Bush: A contradiction of sorts, this woman persistently insists she has a Bush somewhere despite the absence of heirs.
GrowingA Bush: The youngest of the lot. A gas station drop-out, still can't differentiate between leaded and unleaded since both appear yellow. Dubya has promised him some IQ and lots of stolen oil.
HowsMy Bush: An exhibitionist with a falling fig-leaf, does not forego a chance to flash her Bush. Says she likes to show it to an appreciative and probing audience. Has out-done BehindThe Bush to empty a lake for Gulf oil.
WithoutA Bush: Seems identical to Clean Bush but vacillates between her and Shaven. She says there was a Bush somewhere but can't explain the strange baldness. Once even carried crabs in the Oval office.
Yet Another Lie From Iraq, Says Us
By Gautam Date
Baghdad, March 20: The Iraqi parliament and the Ba'ath party yesterday passed a resolution to officially call Bush a Moron henceforth.
As soon as word reached Pentagon, Donald Rumsfield issued an official communique alleging it to be another lie from Iraq. "That is a lie. Bush is more than just a moron. After being popularly called Pretzel-Choker, Dim-Wit, Arsehole, Jerk, Warmonger, Oil-Thirsty Vampire, Orangutan and other similes, this is so degrading and humiliating," Rumsfield said.
Defending his decision, Saddam Hussein said, "We actually had no choice. The Moron was bestowed since it was the only option we had. All other choice one's were already stuck on him. Besides, this suits him so well. It should be an honour. His photograph now adorns the Ba'ath party headquarters. We do need visual comic relief, you know."
Britain's silence was one of studied evaluation. Before Moron Version II could be bandied about however, Blair was quick to also term this as a lie. No explanation was offered for parroting the US.
In a unilateral decision, France, Germany, Russia, North Korea and Pakistan quickly changed the templates of their fax machines and e-mails to begin with Dear Arsehole and Respected Moron. In fact French President Jacques Chirac said this development was nothing new. "We had suggested this to Mr Hussein when we opposed war. I was told they were debating Bush's eligibility for the honour and title. I think once he began his vocal darrhoea on war, the decision was taken."
Nusta Khallas is yet to get news whether Moron's father has been so knighted as the Pre-Moron Moron or The Father Of All Morons by Saddam. Unconfirmed reports say George W Bush will officially announce, in accordance with his new title, his decision to invert the "W" in his name to appear as "M".
Our Man Nostri Is Back, Bodes Ill
Nostradamus, (popular around here and lovingly known as Nostri) penned these anticipating some of the antics he saw so uncannily. While his foresight is legion, translators at Nusta Khallas try and cope.
In the year two thousand three
Morons demand Ayodhya land for free
With time running out before elections
They blatantly monger for unholy affections
One group calls itself the We H Pee
Its what they do best, can't you see?
Soiling the great eastern land
With a discordant cacophony band
With news of big game on in continent dark
All ye who like sport are on spark
Yet the demented fools demand
That they get the free land
Having no agenda, mission or vision
Won't let others see WC on television
Al-Jazeera To Auction Surplus Video Tapes
By An Ordinary Correspondent
Qatar, March 11: Local television channel Al-Jazeera caused a mad rush for Letters Of Intent when it reported on air yesterday that it planned to auction a huge stock of video tapes from Osama bin Laden.
Haiq Talud, a spokesman for the channel said here they decided to get rid of them since it was proving to be a major logistic problem. "We just don't have the space to store them. In fact our programming director was forced out of his cabin by a space-crunch from the stockpile. He now occupies part of the ladies loo as his new office. We have requested Mr Laden to henceforth send the tapes directly to the US."
Pentagon officials were the first to seek permission to participate in the auction. When a White House aide called up London, a worried Blair is alleged to have asked his political advisor, "Now I'll also have to go along and bid for them, right?"
The tapes are believed to contain footage previously not aired. An Al-Jazeera staff, on condition of anonymity said Osama's postal and e-mail addresses, his mobile, telephone and fax numbers, a detailed map to his present residence, statistical information on his beard, dietician, pathologist and plumber is all there - even a still photograph titled I am Osama bin Laden, you know. Some believe there could also be an old video in the lot showing him being tutored in the Macarena by Los Del Rio.
"We are particularly interested in the plumber and not the Macarena tape," say US officials. "The plumber could give us valuable information on Osama's underground network."
As we go into Press, it is believed bin Laden, fearing everyone will know what he looks like, has threatened to call world media to his residences in Islamabad and Afghanistan for dinner and dance. "He may even go to Washington," an al-Qaieda aide said.
Iraq May Use Unique Nerve Gas
By Gautam Date
Baghdad, March 4: British prime minister Tony Blair feared Saddam Hussein could use a unique kind of nerve gas-cum-repellant should there be a military attack.
Flashing a sheaf of papers outside 10 Downing Street, he said, "This is not the same irrevocable evidence as the last five times. This time it's radically different. I have personally added the last full-stop to the report I received from Washington. This is indigenously British."
Jack Straw further added that "Massive stocks of baked beans are missing from here and Washington. We suspect all those cans may be routed to Iraq through Syria. Maybe even Palestine."
FBI, CIA and Mi5 believe this shipment is directly related to the latest from the Iraqi president after the TV Debate, Arm-Wrestling, Verbal Abuse and other offers. Saddam came up with a totally new Lets Ride In The Elevator suggestion.
"The reason we turned down this final proposal from Saddam was that it was very easy for him or his entourage to win. While in the Lets Ride In The Elevator incident, when it is shut and moving, there comes a moment in time when everybody looks at each other. And immediately repeats the process. It is so infuriating to take a guess. Each thinks the other has had a terrible overdose of baked beans resulting in lethal consequences. But the clear winner by far is the one who is technically correct by looking straight ahead and wearing a smug smile. We didn't want to give even his presidential can-opener that advantage," offered Blair.
Anti-War Rallyists Debate Nukes For Peace
By A Special German Correspondent With French Accent
Paris, February 21: Extremist peace rallyists were engaged in a hot debate on how best to have their anti-war protests heard over the cacophony elsewhere in the world. "We want to be heard," said a student from Germany.
Jacques Chevalier from France was far more vocal as he shouted into a megaphone, "How much clamour is required before we get the message across that enough noise is being made for peace?"
"Come to Paris to demonstrate," requested Chevalier.
"Can we get away with throwing a few stones and damaging stuff?"
"Yeah, I guess so. The French police could be sympathetic."
"I think just breaking a few panes won't be much fun. We need something more than that. How about a French Fashion Show?"
"There won't be much. It's very meager and scantily covered. Let's go to your Germany instead and burn a few random stuff on the streets."
"Good idea. How about some Volkswagen? I know a nice, quiet street where they are parked."
"Do you think it would serve a purpose? They would be insured anyway. How about some Molotov cocktails on a bar or some building?"
"Naah. Limited damage. I think we should look seriously at some hand grenades. Make a nice bang."
"Excellent idea. How many will it kill?"
"Depends. Maybe a few, maybe several."
"Isn't there a guarantee of a few hundred?"
"I am afraid not. Say what. My brother ransacked some volatile stuff from his chemistry lab. He and his pals can make a crude bomb. Let's try that."
"Wow. Now that you mention it, I have a better idea. Get them to Paris. A friend of mine has some uranium. Let's nuke those guys. That should do the trick."
"Heilige ScheiBe, you will make the best noise for No To War. And kill thousands."
"Yeah, I like peace too."
I don't want no peace. I need equal rights and justice. Brilliance from Peter Tosh, the numero duo Rastafarian.
England Refuse To Play In United Kingdom
By Gautam Date
London, February 15: Citing grave security reasons, England captain Nasser Hussain said here that he and his team refuses to play in the UK. This has put the ECB president Tim Lamb in a spot more so since he recently applied for Iraqi citizenship. Lamb seemed a bit confused when he said, "If they cannot play in the UK, at least let them consider playing at Lords."
Hussein was adamant. "We expect reprisals from Blair's war-mongering. It's the perfect time to panic. That's what we are doing. We know a thing or two about panic. We were in Australia for the Ashes, weren't we?"
Australian captain Ricky Pointing who had expressed reservations about playing Down Under, finally gave up the idea when he saw that England was getting nowhere. "We'll play in Sydney or Melbourne even if they are in Australia."
South Africa meanwhile, said it would boycott its forthcoming tour of the UK should England not play in the UK.
With fresh threats being aired, the ICC was wondering who was playing whom and where. Some analysts even wondered if the ICC knew that all this was about the cricket World Cup. Its president Malcolm Speed said the laboriously-drawn schedule now made as much sense as England not willing to play in the UK. "It's only on the day of the match, just before the toss, that we know for sure who is playing whom. Even then, we've heard fears of one team withdrawing after the toss and asking another to take its place. Its so confusing that we don't even know if it's the WC."
England stand to lose four crucial points if they don't play. That does not worry Hussain though when he says, "We will play Turkmenistan, Sweden and Finland in the Maldives or Congo. These matches are bound to give us some realistic points to go into the Super-Sixes. Lets take it from there."
Friendly Airports For Indian Team Soon
By A Correspondent
New Delhi, February 8: The civil aviation minister Shahnawaz Husain and the Airports Authority of India have chalked out a tentative plan to immediately renovate Indian airports solely for the pressing needs of the Indian cricket team.
This was announced here yesterday by Husain who said, "We were inundated with requests from the BCCI and various local cricket boards to have innocuous, covert side exits after the team returns from a regulation disastrous foreign tour. It's becoming a habit. The facility will be extended to various international and domestic airports so that cricketers can flee media and irate fans."
Elaborating further, Husain added that Ganguly himself had requested such an escape route after he returned from the pasting the team got in New Zealand and wanted to run away quietly. "It is obviously becoming a dire necessity now, more so after the team lost to Kwa-Zulu Natal by 32 runs in a warm-up match to the World Cup. Tickets have already been booked for the flight immediately after the first match against The Netherlands where India is expected to lose badly. No point hanging around."
The government is also considering jamming footage of the team drinking and frolicking with semi-nude women on various beaches and hot-spots in South Africa as a bad influence on consumption of alcohol.
Reacting with unusual alacrity, the trio of Manoj Prabhakar, Mohammed Azharuddin and Ajay Jadeja announced at a joint press conference that they would hold a consolatory-cum-I-Told-You-So jam session, together with major bookies. The highlight of this meet will lay emphasis on reasons why it is immensely worthwhile and profitable to endorse consumer goods than play cricket while making some additional money on the side through bookies.
Saddam sends the Dubya a Valentine's card but the latter refuses to remove his skirt for the occasion. "HRH Mr Saddam Hussein may embarrass me by finding a lil' weapon of mass inspection."
Iraq Finds Weapons of Mass Inspectors
By Gautam Date
Baghdad, January 30: In a statement released to the media here yesterday, President Saddam Hussein's top advisor, Amir Al-Saadi said that Iraq has discovered weapons of mass inspectors.
"With so many batches of armed inspectors coming to Baghdad, we were getting worried at just the sheer mass of them. They were posing a threat to the country's security. So we have taken their weapons as a precautionary measure," Al-Saadi said.
Chief inspector Hanx Blix and Mohamed El Baradeis were so embarrassed with the loss of privilege that they didn't mention this in their address to the UN recently.
Blix did admit in private that there were more inspectors than they cared to count and everywhere one saw, there were there in Baghdad. "In fact the inspectors would have outnumbered Iraqi's themselves."
El Baradeis, while endorsing this view said, "Some of our motorcades were so long that the last car didn't have to leave its spot at all since we were all bumper-to-bumper. Commuting was a real problem. It is a long walk you know, from the last car to the first specially without outdoor air-conditioning."
"It gets worse," Al-Saadi said. "After all that walking, they have to stroll around empty grounds and abandoned buildings."
Tariq Aziz was of the opinion that Iraq made the right policy decision by confiscating the weapons of mass inspectors and was contemplating returning them. The men, not the weapons," he clarified.
Meanwhile, the Iraqi president, Saddam Hussein, was advised by a Ba'ath party delegation that he ought to send a tape to Al-Jazeera emphatically stating that Iraq didn't have any oil whatsoever so that they get rid of a global nuisance.
Schumacher's Ferrari Teammate Sighs In Relief
Brazilian Co-Driver Delighted With New Rules
By Gautam Date
Melbourne, January 20: Although Ferrari admitted it would not be affected by the new F-1 rules and regulations of the International Automobile Federation (FIA), their ace driver Michael Schumacher's teammate, who refused to be named, said he was awfully delighted and relieved.
One of the new rules requires a complete ban on team-to-car radio communication.
These will be enforced for the fist time here when the season begins in March.
For obvious reasons, the second Ferrari driver only agreed to reveal that he was Brazilian and drove a car with the same colour. "I can only say that I also drive a red Ferrari."
When shown a photograph of Rubens Barrichello he refused to identify it.
Clarifying further, he added, "Remember those controversial instructions I would get from Ross Brawn, our technical director? Man, they were not only scary but frustrating as well. Till a few micro-seconds before the checkered flag, I didn't know if I would be allowed to take it even if I was leading throughout the race. I have been ordered to test the braking system so many times just before the finish line. This new ruling comes as an immense relief."
Schumacher was unavailable for comment. His spokesman did say that it could perhaps force the driver to win races purely on talent and speed from now on. That could be difficult if he was following the other Ferrari.
The teammate meanwhile, steadfastly continues to abstain from free home education and tutorials offered by Ferrari on sign language.
Unconfirmed reports say he is believed to have ordered the latest state-of-the-art earplugs as additional insurance.
Blix Leaves Iraq In A Huff, Calls UN Names
By A Byline
Baghdad, January 10: Chief weapons inspector Hans Blix was seen leaving Iraq with a prominent upraised middle finger. When asked at the departure lounge about his gesture, he promptly raised the other middle finger, reinforcing the previous finger movement.
In an exclusive interview to Nusta Khallas Blix said, "I was going around in circles inspecting the sites the US asked me to check. It was getting rather giddy. In over a month of checks, all we found were canisters of methane."
Some excerpts from the interview:
"It was a widely recognizable gesture of yours at the airport."
""What did you expect, my little finger?"
"No, we meant it could be taken as offence."
"Well, it was meant to signify my displeasure at being made a scrape-goat for a wild goose chase. And if they have not guessed it already, the middle finger was meant for the US, Britain and the UN who instigated me to partake in free Iraqi hospitality. What I regret that I don't have three fingers to show."
"But you were in Iraq for a purpose."
"Yeah, let me tell you they have good, navigable roads there. I didn't understand why the traffic lights were not for us. Anyway, the food is good too. That was what I found."
"What about the concrete, solid, irrefutable evidence the trio claim to have against Baghdad?"
"I think most of the illusionary, psychotropic and hallucinatory drugs have been consumed by those who sent me there. I got conned by Bush. I just realised you can even get bullshit from an ass."
"So what happens to the report you compiled?"
"I hope they don't ask me to resume in North Korea. I have missed Pac-Man and episodes of Tom and Jerry."
"Won't pictures of Bush and Blair do?"
(Laughs) "Well they are comic relief but naaah. I prefer originals."
IAF Plane Does Not Crash. Bookies Worried
By Gautam Date
New Delhi, December 28: In a shocking revelation, India's defence minister George Fernandes told the media that a MiG 21 fighter of the Indian Air Force (IAF) actually completed a sortie yesterday without crashing.
"Yes, it sounds surreal but is true. The flight took off and indeed landed safely with the pilot not having to bail out or unwittingly be killed," said Fernandes.
This has put defence analysts in a dilemma and has also become cause for worry for bookies. They feel the odds unfavourably favour the IAF if such is indeed the case. One bookie, who didn't wish to be named said, "We accept bets on the MiG crashing. If their record improves, we'll be out of work. I mean, we have to have atleast one crash a month. Anything below that would be terrible for business. Safety standards are our nightmare. They are so unsafe." The bookie recalled with euphoria the windfall from the 55-plus unerring crashes of the plane in the past five years - a record not eclipsed even by Timbuktu Air Force standards.
Meanwhile, the MiG Crash Regional Association of Pilots, or Mi-CRAP, was hard-pressed to find a logical solution to this unusual phenomenon. President of Mi-CRAP, Sqn Ldr Avinash Thaddani of the western command stoutly dismissed claims of out-dated technology. "The MiGs are in pretty good shape even now. The pilots just don't have sufficient training about how and when to crash the plane. That's the reason some flights return to base. It's deplorable. But we are working on it and have told our instructors to tell pilots that there is an ejector option they can use at their discretion. We only hope pilots use it. It would save the government so many peace-time, posthumous gallantry awards."
Review Of Aisaich Hota Hai Piccher Mein
By Gautam Date
Bombay, December 18: Taking a departure from regulation scripts, Aisaich Hota Hai Piccher Mein has set Bollywood in a tizzy with a bold, new and path-breaking story line. A review:
Two fairs get separated by a brother. While one fair retains its objective and flourishes as a place of entertainment, the other slips into a den of gambling, drinking and vice. And does well too. The gunfights seem real and cause a lot of ketchup.
The brother, rightly it may be emphasised, goes on to become a Father. So much so that he is called the Right Reverend Father. This happens because a village belle, smart enough to be dumb, gets mysteriously pregnant while the Father (nee brother) is away for 10 months. The conception is the best there is - better than the IC, almost 2003 years ago.
Meanwhile, a wizened chick appears from nowhere claiming to be the mother of all fairs; and of the Father by coincidence thus stressing on the fact that relatives are relative.
With fuzzy logic and a glazed look, the Father recognises what will eventually end up to be a Mummy. They hug and embrace. The pot-bellied belle is damn delighted.
The seventh song breaks out, taking you in due course, through all the seven continents (two are found on location). This is also a subtle lesson in aerobics on how you can combine pregnancy with jiving dexterity.
Off they go then to the fairs. The first is predictably the one of vice from which they are seen exiting after attempts to reform it fail. The next one is a disappointment since it is too orderly for comfort and yearns a change. The mother discovers a distinct familiarity in the two fairs' DNAs. This is brought to their notice and they realise they are cousins separated by a Father, nee brother.
All embrace yet again, break into the final song and live happily ever after till THE END and the lights appear.
Al-Jazeera Opens Regional Bureau
By Gautam Date
Doha, December 13: The television channel that shot to fame by airing taped speeches of Osama Bin Laden has decided to open a regional bureau in London. It will additionally have Washington under its jurisdiction.
Tony Blair immediately called up his puppeteer to tender a lengthy, explanatory apology that White House officials insisted sounded a lot like 'sorry'.
It was alleged that the channel was under intense diplomatic pressure to provide as much air-time to Osama and al-Qaeda as to Bush.
Al-Jazeera's spokesman Haiq Talud told the media that although its broadcasts would be bi-lingual, it did not play favourites and would beam signals on merit. "However, purely as a precautionary measure, we would run a ticker tape in Arabic and English urging viewers not to change channels or laugh hysterically every time Bush came on the screen."
"I mean we are not a cartoon channel," echoed Ibrahim Hilal of Al-Jazeera. "Although we have a tie-up with Animal Planet, it is our policy not to confuse 'people' with animals by mixing the footage."
Condolezza Rice is reported to have told an insider that Dubya was immensely relieved by these developments. Sources quoting Condi said, "Dubya was happy. At last he overcame fears of a media obliteration by Saddam, Iraq, Osama, al-Qaeda and the johnny-come-lately, North Korea. That was five against one... no, make that one-and-a-half." The correction, analysts believe, was to keep Blair in good cheer.
Meanwhile, hectic activity was evident at the offices of Al-Jazeera in London. Trial runs were already underway and all personnel were under strict orders not to guffaw when footage from Washington was beamed. In fact it is believed, employees went through a rigorous training programme to differentiate between clips from White House and the Animal Planet.
US Accuses Iraq Of Telling The Truth
Blair Nods Head, Does Not Know Why
By A Mid East Correspondent
Baghdad, December 7: Iraqi president Saddam Hussein and members of his Baath Party were perplexed at a recent report from Washington by Ari Fleischer claiming Iraq has unfortunately been stating the truth all along and that this discovery didn't suit or gel with either Bushs' or Washington's rhetoric one bit.
Tony Blair, who didn't seem to know what all this was about, was seen nodding his head as if in a daze. Prompted by Fleischer, he echoed the UN inspectors claim of not having found anything worthwhile in Iraq so far, even in the presidential palace. "Hans Blix just found coupons of mass destruction, traced to a printing press in Texas," Blair mumbled with a heavy heart.
Meanwhile Hussein, in an advanced stage of confusion, had called an emergency meeting in the presidential palace where weapons inspectors had planted the coupons of mass destruction.
Addressing his cabinet, Hussein said, "The inspectors have even replaced the paper in my royal toilet with emery paper. It's so much like the infidel, imposing his ways on others. Bush may prefer the replacement but we find it uncomfortable. Sometimes even ticklish."
The big-wigs including Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfield, Eminem, Jay Leno, Mickey Mouse and the head of programming, Cartoon Network, were huddled in a closed-door conference debating on the frightening likelihood nothing would happen to Iraq or Saddam Hussein.
The immediate option to keep the chimera of terror terrorising, say White House insiders, is to broaden their vision and target North Korea. "That's one way to keep the UN busy besides committing it to look beyond just 1441 resolutions."
Nokia's New Hearing Aid And Mobile
By Gautam Date
Tokyo, December 4: Prior to the festive season, Nokia Corporation announced the launch of its new GSM 2800-compatible mobile phone that is not only lightweight but also lets the user talk to himself endlessly.
That would be particularly appreciated by people who like to hear themselves or the sound of their voice, it was revealed. The design, from years of Nokia's R&D, is basically very simple yet original. There is a hollow tube connecting the ear-piece to the mouthpiece that transmits audio signals as soon as they are generated. Tiny receptors inside can also be used to amplify sound to suit the listener's hearing or deafness levels. There is also a speed dial feature that lets you call any number so that you can talk to yourself quickly.
The Nickel-Cadmium battery will power the various psychedelic lights, extra in-built games and the unique vocabulary accelerator. In addition to all this, there is also a talk generator that plays back some of the previous conversations the talker talked himself into. This was beneficial for users while having food or in places where it is impolite to use the phone.
"These are just some of the benefits of the new handset," offered Nokia's chief spokesman Lauri Kivinen. "The most valuable utility the phone offers is unlimited talk-time. You can talk free as long as you want. No bills to pay. Isn't that really cool?"
The new technology will be appreciated by theatre and film personalities who have to practice dialogue-delivery for maximum impact. They will be able to hear their original voice and not something that is digitally mastered in the studio.
New Study Says There's Too Much Study
By Gautam Date
Amsterdam, November 29: A just-concluded study conducted by the International Brain Research Organisation (IBRO) says too many studies have been undertaken lately, most of which lead to naught, thus giving purpose to fresh studies to be conducted on why the previous ones failed or vice-versa. Or ah-hum, something like that.
This was revealed by IBRO secretary general AJ Aguayo here while addressing delegates at the The Two Big Falsies Of Research: Bull And Its Produce.
Claiming the two-year program that was conducted across various countries, has proven beyond unreasonable doubt that such papers are prepared exclusively by organisations who take off on a hypothetical tangent and arrive at a diametrically opposed thesis, replete with convincing facts and figures. Or in some instances, victims of excessive research.
Earlier in the day, delivering the key-note address at the Royal Tropical Institute, IBRO president TN Wiesel emphasised the need to stay focussed on bullshit. "There are very few genuine topics left today. Most of the juicy ones like Ice Also Found In Refrigerator have already been taken. So we need to startle by announcing something that is non-conformist yet appears original. At least on paper. Something like Dying In The Dead Sea," he said.
Denouncing the recent reports that humans have been successfully cloned, Aguayo strongly opposed such science. "What is the need to have identical idiots? Will two of them be better at spreading stupidity or will it offer people more options with idiocy? This is so very unethical, not to mention really scary. Just imagine the catastrophe of two George W Bushes. What if they cloned the clones to look like the original clone? I emphatically accept there would be more mirth and guffaws in our lives but that is small consolation to an omnipotent threat to the globe. Civilisation will have to re-evolve from Bush-men. Or Tony Blair."
Botox Increasingly Used On Buttocks
By Gautam Date
Indiana, November 26: Dismissing previously-held beliefs that Botulinum Toxin (commonly known as Botox) can reduce the effects of ageing by removing wrinkles, crows feet, etc, researches at Indiana University have now realised that women are instead using it on their bottoms to make them rounder, shapely and far more tempting to grab. In effect, coming forward to reach backward.
This was revealed at a seminar Bottoms Are Tops where surgeons were commenting on a marked increase in women coming to them to bare their buttocks for Botox - in a manner of speaking, coming up front for a behind.
It seems to have a rewarding experience for users, it was found. Marleyne Jones, a grandmother of seven, was so thrilled when her backside was grabbed. "I was walking home from the store when someone grabbed my behind. Its been decades since that happened. I was so delighted. And it was a nice, firm grab too. The guy seemed very good. I still blush with pride at the incident."
The medical fraternity sounded a word of caution saying it still was not clear why it removed wrinkles from the buns but not crows feet from the eyes. Secretly however, many admit it gives them immense and unforeseen opportunities to feel the effects of treatment on a regular basis. "Its nice to grab a couple of them officially," said a doctor who didn't want to be named.
The moral police criticised this new development drawing parallels with silicone. They were of the opinion that as mammaries got bigger, more of them were exposed in public so much so that the first thing that struck you about Pamela Anderson were her, y'know 'things.' Bottoms could go the same route they felt. People would lose focus. Worse, they fear, a woman would first be asked to turn around as she was being introduced to someone.
Michael Jackson Explains Funny Nose
By Gautam Date
California, November 21: There was considerable speculation among the glitterati, socialites, media and Hollywood personalities when Michael Jackson, who appeared in a breach of contract trial, explained the present, curious look of his nose.
The pop star said, "It was some days back while I was busy picking my nostrils. Yeah, I know its difficult since I had it redone the 37th time but anyway... it had to be brought in the open and I was so engrossed that I didn't see the little boy until he accidentally bumped into me and fell." MJ went on to say that he was so concerned for the little kid that he forgot the efforts of his pickings had actually smeared his nose. "It was only much later that it dawned on me the thing had permanently solidified."
People who had not seen MJ for some time, were heard commenting on the way the nose looked with euphemisms ranging from the really hilarious to downright scary, a-la Thriller.
Dr Harvey Zarem, a local medical professional who saw MJ, was of the opinion that the Darwinian theory of man evolving from monkeys was under threat of a complete reversal in process unless plastic surgeons stopped fooling around. "I mean, they can re-do the posterior and all but a face is so distinct."
Dr Richard Fleming, who had treated Jackson previously stated, "Ideally, picking the nose should be done under medical supervision. A doctor has so many precision forceps and other extraction tools at his disposal. He ought to have used our services."
The pop star continues to court controversy specially with children if you consider the recent act where he was seen dangling his son, Prince Michael II from a hotel room window. Child abuse activists were alarmed the kid did not fall.
BCCI Adopts New Regulations
By Gautam Date
Rajkot, November 18: Following the third consecutive One Day International cricket match hold-up with the West Indies from unruly crowd behaviour, the BCCI, fearing a favorite national occupation in the making, have actively considered the following options for all future tournaments:
Stimulated players: Each player, umpire and the third umpire will be provided a laser console he can control from the comforts of the dressing or hotel room. Laser images of players will be generated and captains will be able to set the field according to preferences. The batting side will have a whole range of shots they can play while bowlers will have the perfect run-up and delivery. Umpires can wave their hands to signal a four or six. An option would be stimulated crowds showing mineral water bottle-less empty hands.
Technological water bottles: Scientifically developed water bottles that would either bounce back at the thrower (hereinafter called throwee) to bang him spot-on the head or have the throwee's projectile seat deposit him firmly in the closest gutter to the throwee's stadium.
Disguise cricket: Exciting prospect but heavy on logistics. Cricket would be made to look like hockey. This would have twin advantages. Sparse crowds since India consistently loses hockey tournaments anyway. The other would have people walk off in disbelief on seeing Dhanraj Pillai batting.
Play night-day matches: The board considered this suggestion from watchmen at stadiums who felt it would be immensely worthwhile to advertise the tournament as a day-night but actually play it from pre-dawn till early evening, before the crowds came in. Switching on the floodlights during bright sunshine was however, ruled out for apprehensions about a possibility the public would continue to believe it was not sunset yet.
Change in venues: Advertise one venue but play in a different one altogether. Again, heavy on logistics since it requires block bookings of hotels, airline seats and policemen who don't know where they are. Perhaps they could quietly relocate the stadium itself.
Change dresses: Shot down immediately by the Indian captain Saurav Ganguly for fear that skirts may not seem feminine (or compatible) with beards or moustaches. The alternative of exchanging dresses would give the impression that the home team was indeed the West Indians and so get some water bottles besides other missiles, thrown at them.
Match referee: Selecting a person from either Israel or the US where warmongering had conditioned professionals to such hardcore levels that these preferred incidents seemed trifle and commonplace and so of little import. An empty plastic bottle does not hurt quite as much as a bullet to the head or a series of bombs to eliminate a person.
Firm To Observe World Tobacco Day
Hyderabad, October 31: City-based Vazir Sultan Tobacco Industries has announced a World Tobacco Day which it will sponsor and promote globally. It would also double as an advertising campaign for its Charms brand of cigarettes.
Announcing this here, company chairman Abhijit Basu said the day would be held on February 29 (or on 30th during leap years), irrespective of the date, where youngsters, under-aged and the geriatrics would be encouraged to take up smoking while offering regulars a few complimentary cartons.
Emphasising the benefits of inhaling pure filtered air that was first freed of germs by incineration, Basu said global pollution was rising to dangerous levels and filtered air (with harmful organisms burnt out) was more a necessity than a luxury. "Almost all diseases and illnesses in the world today can be directly traced to medical researchers. They go out of their way to find all kinds of maladies. Just the quantum of their findings has reached terrifying levels. It is sad that millions are spent on research to find a vague strain of a vaguer disorder that has little bearing on the final verdict - death from living too long."
The day, added Basu would be marked by gala protest marches to chest and lung hospitals, doctors and cough syrup companies. Volunteers would then engulf the buildings with cigarette smoke.
The panel meeting held here discussed burning issues on fundamental rights of smokers, banning the government from issuing any further bans, the art of stylishly flipping burning butts, joint ventures with lighter companies and the latest techniques of blowing three or more smoke rings in bad turbulence.
Extraordinary New Resolution Presented
Entire clauses deleted, says US
By A Middle East Correspondent
United Nations, October 26: The new US resolution on Iraq was changed yet again, the UN pressured to look into it forthwith and grant America a tacit nod to bomb Baghdad first and later send weapons inspectors if they aren't mistakenly targeted first.
Briefing the media, Donald Rumsfield said in Washington, "Now that the sniper has been caught, we ventured out in the open to completely re-do the resolution. In fact, we have deleted entire clauses."
He refused to elaborate and scampered indoors when told that the sniper, though caught, was not yet in prison.
One of the changes made required Iraqi's to be in the open, distinctly visible and as still as possible so that they can be satisfactorily aimed at. Past military experience expressly demanded this clause and justifiably so, a Pentagon official said.
Russia was unwilling to accept this. It demanded to know why a little trembling was not permissible when confronted bang on with a bomber.
Predictably, Britain had approved the new resolution even before it was drafted, with Blair repeating, "Yeah, yeah, whatever. We support it. Just make sure it's in English."
America's ambassador to the UN John Negroponte, privately heaved an audible sigh of relief that someone was actually taking notice of the various editions that he had been waving around in desperation for weeks now.
The second clause believed to be crossed out with invisible ink, had been quietly and intentionally withheld from the media. Official documents in possession of Nusta Khallas reveal that a later, panic-induced and hurriedly inserted condition was: Iraq, Baghdad, Kurds or even Saddam will not defend themselves or fire back.
J & K CM: Choices Found
By Gautam Date
Jammu, October 16: In an amicable settlement to the vexed issue of finding a chief minister to the state after the recent elections, the Congress and the People's Democratic Alliance finally narrowed down the candidates to the Bihar de-facto boss Laloo Yadav and the Tamil Nadu CM, Jayalalithaaaaaaaaaaa.
Jayalalithaaaaaaaaaaa, who dramatically changed her name after consulting another set of nine astrologers, will now be known officially as Jayalalithaaaaaaaaaaa.
The astrologers were convinced Laloo would look the same comic self even if he changed his name to Lalooooooooooo.
It thus transpires that Laloo and Jayalalithaaaaaaaaaaa will rule over Jammu and Kashmir in tandem for periods of six months each.
During the swearing ceremony, many epithets were withheld, a dead-pan, official document read out and the secrecy of office administered.
Among the pressing items on the agenda and tenure of the two CMs, are the gradual annexation of PoK, of Pakistan itself and if the two CMs are around for some time, to attach Pervez Musharraf as well.
Political analysts feel this will unify Kashmir like nothing ever before. Musharraf would then be offered a gubernatorial post for Bihar and Tamil Nadu as their joint governor.
Jayalalithaaaaaaaaaaa is rumoured to have been told to behave and was warned not to have her police bash up Musharraf a-la Karunanidhi. She has also been asked to keep her 'bosom' buddy Sashikala (oops, we didn't mean it the way it sounded) firmly in Madras.
Saddam To Kick Off Rock Tour Soon
Will Raise Funds For Bush Cure
By A Mid-East Correspondent
Baghdad, October 9: Iraq's foreign minister, Naji Sabri stunned a congregation of journalists when he told them his leader would begin a combination rock and roll/reggae world tour to raise funds and garner sympathy for the American president.
"Saddam Hussein," Sabri clarified, "Is a sonorous, baritone singer. He has decided to take his singing from the bathroom to an appreciative global audience. You should see people gather outside his bathing palace soon as be begins singing. In a compassionate move, Hussein has decided on the world tour to drum up support and money to have the US president cured of his brain damage before he becomes a total fruitcake and goes terminally batty."
Confirming this later in the day, Hussein stated, "Yes, I will embark on a whirlwind tour. I have given definite dates to nations in the Axis of Evil - in essence - all countries in the world except US and the UK. I am told ticket sales are very brisk in Syria, my first stop."
Extensively promoted through a media blitzkrieg as the Saddam Unplugged tour, it will be a stunner, its publicists say. Banking on the novelty factor and the fact that the world is yet to hear such a charismatic voice (besides a presidential one to boot) many in the showbiz industry are certain of a stampede at most venues.
A glamourous edge will be provided by Britney Spears opening at select concerts. She is reported to have cancelled prior engagements to completely open up for him and has commissioned a special wardrobe. Unlike the exposure of bare flesh in her previous gigs, this time around she will display a miniscule amount of fabric. Critical spectators however, would like to see her parting as Britney turns around to leave.
Unconfirmed rumours say Ricky Martin may chip in with a couple of cover tracks.
Concluding his talk, Hussein said, "I would have achieved two purposes by having Dubya treated. Maybe Blair will get sane too. Remember, a Bush in band is worth two with the Blair."
Sony Revolutionizes Home Audio
By Gautam Date
Tokyo, October 4: Sony Corporation unveiled its latest and revolutionary home audio system at a glittering, well-attended function here yesterday.
Explaining the features of the technology breakthrough, Kenichi Fukunga, a spokesman for Sony told world media, "Sony has always come up with the best. The most outstanding feature of this new player is that it reproduces high fidelity music silently. That's what is so special."
Targeted at the premium high-end buyer and branded simply as Wi Hea, Fukunga elaborated that the five CD changer comes with built-in CDs, a spectrum analyser and graphic equaliser both of which remain static even when the player is turned off, dynamic 4-way speakers that do not emit sound and a twin cassette deck without the play or eject buttons. The full-function remote is powered by lead-acid batteries and has been extensively simplified to have just the On-Off switch.
It would be sold as Sound of Silence outside Japan.
About the presence of the prominent Volume control on the Wi Hea, Fukunga explained, "In keeping with our commitment to ease of operation, we have a large knob. You can increase (or decrease) silence to deafening levels."
Dismissing claims that the high decibels of noiselessness could be harmful to the ears, Fukunga said it was in accordance with studies conducted on the user-profile of Wi Hea. "Scientifically, deafness or hearing impairment is not known to be caused by lack of noise."
A DVD player is also planned, industrial sources reveal, that would play blank discs.
The fully-automatic Single CD Changer variant of Wi Hea is likely to hit the markets later this year. It would require the user to change CDs.
America/Bush, UK/Blair are getting loads of media mileage. Reason:
The probability of someone watching you is directly proportional to the gross stupidity of your actions.
Pakistan Withdraws From Miss Pakistan
By Gautam Date
Tokyo, September 30: Islamabad was making hectic diplomatic efforts to disown Neelam Noorani (initially identified as just a female) when they found out she was participating in the Miss International Beauty pageant in Tokyo.
The 21-year old expatriate is taking part in the contest as a Pakistani national.
Tariq Janjua, Pakistan's Secretary, Culture, Sports and Tourism, on a cue from Musharraf, immediately fired off a letter to organisers saying the sort of thing was not allowed in the country. He didn't elaborate on that when told the event was in Japan.
Janjua however, took exceptionally long to scrutinise the swimsuit glossy photographs of Noorani and mumbled something about the longish, smooth limbs and some awesome cleavage which he obliquely referred to simply as 'uplifting'. Musharraf meanwhile, has demanded a presidential peek.
But it were the photographs from the Evening Dress (or Formal Wear) round that appear to have really irked him. "The designer veil is traditional and fine. Toe nails sometimes get exposed but how can she show her belly button through that? We disown her for the blatant display of navel through the veil and have strongly urged organisers not to look at that. At best, they may overlook it."
Organisers have disagreed and will go ahead with judging Noorani on merit rather than her participation in a head-to-toe veil or her curious belly button. "I would say it's pretty central to the overall picture. Look, the navel is part and parcel of the pageant. I mean, a contestant would look unusual, not to mention really funny without it, specially in the bikini rounds," a spokeswoman for the show told Nusta Khallas. "We will not relocate the spot and let it be where it is."
Google Offers The Don't Search Option
By Gautam Date
California, September 22: The internet's preferred search engine Google, announced a new Don't Search option on its main page yesterday.
Explaining the salient features of the technology breakthrough, Monika Henzinger, director of research said, "The new alternative suggests surfers what not to search. For instance, if you search for Bush, you will get pages displaying links to either Saddam or Osama. These will offer you loads of insight on why Bush became notorious in the first place. That's what you ought to be searching for anyway," she managed to explain.
The new feature is in addition to I'm feeling lucky, advanced, news and image options.
Claiming the new technology to be a first, Henzinger provided further proof of its utility. "See, people try to find all kinds of terms through Google. It is our way of helping narrow it down and get them really focussed."
Cyber analysts differed in more ways than one. Juan Pacheco, a Cuban software professional was all praise for it though. "It's an amazing tool for internet addicts. Just out of curiosity, I typed don't search and it threw up 1,23,40,002 blank pages - all of them even without the Google logo. You just cannot get technically better than that. I didn't know what to do with them."
A Network Associates spokesman was critical. "How can they give you links to programming Nimda when you search for McAfee. We don't program viruses. We are an internet security company."
A full-time hacker and nuisance code generator identified simply as AmIMe, was all appreciative. "My skills have improved to an awesome level. I have got offers from Al-Qaeda to free-lance for them. On my terms," he stated.
Dismissing claims reported recently that China had blocked access to its search services, Henzinger said it was not targeted at the country at all. "We don't have any bias. If you search for how to suppress dissent, you will also get the best anti-Communist web pages. That 's what makes the Don't Search option so good. You will get what you don't need or need what you don't get. It's simple."
India Takes Annual Leave For A Year
By Gautam Date
New Delhi, September 7: In a decision that is unprecedented in the country, the government has declared a year of commemorative holidays in remembrance of days when it was struck by tragedies.
A Rashtrapati Bhavan spokesman defending the decision said days like August 15 and October 2 were getting pretty trivalised and there was no memorial day for the catastrophes that happen round the year. "Hence this resolve to have public holidays."
The Negotiable Instruments Act was invoked in Parliament with the speaker proposing the motion. Politicians from almost all parties seconded it. India will thus take a year's vacation in remembrance of the Bhopal Gas Leak, recurring Orissa Floods, periodic Train Collisions, some Air Crashes, the Bombay Blasts, recurrent Starvation Deaths, Political Murders, Hooch Tragedies, Terrorist Attacks, chronic Famine, Scams/Scandals that happen with unerring regularity and of course the most popular - Communal Riots.
"These are Indian landmarks," a BJP spokesman said. "Actually if you look at our history, it all began much before partition. The Mughals killed many, then the British came and one of their most notorious atrocities, Jalianwalla Baugh happened. Later, during the country's formation, thousands were killed. The US lost just a few thousand but we lost several crore citizens with many dying everyday from explosions, blasts and other natural causes. It's time we had special days for each event."
Political analysts fear this could set a precedent with India being on permanent vacation. Industry watchers however disagreed and believe it was a great idea to attract foreign investment because it portrayed a destination that was on a groovy carnival and always on party mode.
The investment minister was particularly thrilled at the idea. "Imagine cementing business deals on adjacent hammocks on the beach as you sip a martini. People would love it."
The Rajdhani Express plunged into River Dhavi near Rafigang station, about 510 kilometres (316 miles) from Calcutta. Over a 100 are feared dead.
New Union Scandal Ministry Formed
Will Evolve Technically Good Scams
By A Political Correspondent
New Delhi, August 19: Besieged with one disgrace after another, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP. Lately the Petrol Pump Party. Not to be confused with the PPP from across the border) has decided to carve out yet another ministry, to be headed by a cabinet secretary to formulate, foment, oversee and later conveniently leak to the press, technically perfect scandals.
The Sham Minister, distinct from Shram (labour) Minister, would have independent charge of the ministry and report directly to the PM and party president.
The ministerial team had recently returned from the US where it was on a fact-finding mission to check first-hand, the .con website extensions of Enron, Arthur Andersen, WorldCom, American Airlines and other minor firms that lost a few billions.
It will thus ensure a copybook, timed-to-perfection scandal, one that will guarantee Parliament adjourns a dozen times, offers the Opposition something to constantly crow and throw things about in the House besides maintaining newspaper readership. Most importantly, it would also regularly provide the poor, as also the taxpayer, a fresh hot topic for community debates. This was a psychological coup, say insiders, since it would constantly invoke the BJP in the minds of voters.
Stating the budget allocations were adequately handsome but refusing to go beyond a figure of an annual outlay of 420 crores, the official said the funds would be from the Prime Ministers Relief Fund since it provided the ruling party a lot of relief.
"We felt the need for relief some time back. I think it all started much before Kargil and we have had several memorable scams ever since," said a team member who didn't want to be named. "We have maintained impeccable consistency and managed to stay in power but the haphazard way in which the scandals tend to pop up has to be regularised. I mean, we just can't afford any over-lapping," he added.
Some checkered milestones:
The genesis: Motley Judas'.
Tehelka. Pretty good.
Tehelka-II. More names.
Reinduction of defence minister.
Coffins for soldiers.
Communal riots (Gujarat). A terrible blot.
Polls put off in Gujarat.
Shivani murder, the latest. But wait, the Sham Minister just informed us about .....
President Of Turkmenistan Perplexes Self
Does Not Know If He Is Confused
By A Special Correspondent
Ashgabat (Turkmenistan), August 10: The president of Turkmenistan, Saparmurat Niyazov, publicly admitted that he is not sure if he is a thoroughly confused head of state after his recent decree that changed the names of months of the English calendar. January, Niyazov said, should now be called Turkmenbashi, meaning Head of all Turkmen.
He had earlier replaced names of books, colleges, universities, currency, airports and cities.
This being is
87th 88th edict in the series so far, Turkmenians expected many more and have begun carrying regularly updated voluminous notes on everything that has changed in the past month. The president has inadvertently put citizens on their toes, who now must have the latest on renaming or be considered tourists, aliens or simply, not quite Turkmenians.
Niyazov, a spokesman of the presidential palace believes, would soon be asking people to call differently, water, meteorites, aliens, the Ural mountains, parts of the moon, Vladimir Putin, Russian winter, sections of the Trans-Siberian Railway and even Mikhail Gorbachev.
With so many new names to contend with, school children found it difficult to remember where their school was during the week-end neither could the husband convince his wife where he was last night.
The president's security detail was forced to install remote-sensing homing devices on the premier's residence and approach roads to reassure them that it was indeed home despite the unfamiliar name of the palace and road.
Niyazov had earlier declared himself president for life. Later he changed it to Lifetime Premier thence to Permanent President (and briefly in between to Permanently President or Presidentially Permanent). When subtly reminded that there was a remote possibility someone would succeed him after he died, he later rephrased it to Till Turkmenistan Death Do Us Presidentially aPart.
Bush Cross-Eyed By Musharraf's Statement
Makes Him Look Funnier, says Osama
Islamabad, August 7: World media rushed here to get confirmation that the Pakistani President had indeed divested Osama bin Laden and the Taleban of complicity in attacking the US almost a year ago.
Nusta Khallas publishes here excerpts from the candid interview (al-Jazeera got the translated version).
Sir, you recently stated that it could have been impossible for Osama bin Laden to target the WTC nearly a year ago.
"Yes, Khuda kasam that is true."
"But that has now thrown the spanner in the works and put the Bush administration in a no-win situation."
"Theirs was a no-win situation anyway. The only thing that has changed since my statement is that they will have to go through the process of finding someone to blame it on all over again."
"But sir, that would be a huge exercise and a drain on American administration. They will actually have to think."
"Yes, that's a monumental problem, I admit. Look at the positive side though. They can resume bombing some poor country, mistake mountains for civilians and weddings, and wage a global War On Terror by sending British troops."
"Mr President, won't this exercise make your and Pakistan's importance recede .... the grants, headlines, the flowing praise, the eulogies, bouquets, MFN status and McDonald's Gift Vouchers?"
"Oh, I am not greedy. For power or anything else. I just want to be dictator for life. Let others also partake in American beneficence. There are so many poor countries with eligible neighbours. I suggest they look at parts of Africa now. Countries there need food packets and humanitarian aid attached to cluster bombs anyway."
"Would you say America is a funny country, post WTC?"
"Don't quote me on that."
"The west will lose face sir. For a whole year, they have been repeatedly dialling the wrong number only to be told now, after all this while, that it reached a manually dead EPABX in Baghdad. The UN inspector was executed, remember?"
"Oops, I forgot about that completely. Anyway, it's a minor thing. I have managed much for Pakistan from the UN, World Bank, the IMF and western countries. What I am not amused at is that all of them have collectively rephrased these largesse as promises."
"Where does that place you vis-a-vis Osama bin Laden?"
"Oh, he will continue to send video tapes to the TV channel. Also, search engines will now have to cache some additional pages. I can tell you more about him tomorrow. I will be talking to him at length tonight when he comes to dinner."
Saddam Strikes Remove The Bush Drum
Shows Off Excellent Percussion Skills
By Gautam Date
Baghdad, July 30: Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was playing host to high-ranking delegations, among them foreign secretaries, from Cuba, Libya, Syria, Iran, North Korea, The Soviet Union including special invitees from China and Afghanistan to distinguish, identify and form the Pixies of Devil, a grouping of nations to counter the Axis of Evil.
Speaking in ChingMingirillic, a complicated but common language evolved from Arabic, Mandarin and Cyrillic, Saddam, in a dapper tuxedo, echoed the world's concern that they were all getting really fatigued from constant western updates that periodically added nations to the Axis of Evil whenever it took their fancy. The list, agreed the congregation, was getting so alarmingly large, that soon only the US and Britain would be left out - by a monumental mistake at that.
Washington had recently clubbed Cuba, Libya and Syria to the original troika.
The controversial meeting in the central hall of the presidential palace was held amidst reports that America had invited Iraqi opposition groups for talks to topple Saddam.
Cuba's foreign minister, Perez Roque presenting each delegate a box of exclusive Havanas said in chaste ChingMingirillic, "The US is the most dangerous nation in America. Make no mistake. I also have confirmation that when a wedding was bombed in Afghanistan by oversight, Chandrika Bhandarnaike ordered her celestial observatories to also keep a watch for some of those wayward bombs should they overshoot India and come Sri Lanka's way. She was terrified of an embarrassing political void had the LTTE been wiped out."
The Pixies of Devil, the council agreed, would comprise Washington, New York, Britain and France. Under pressure from members of the delegation, Saddam included the United States as well. The Atlantic and Pacific Oceans that had joined the You Are With Us Or With Them brigade, were put on the list after considerable thought for their role in providing use of strategic nautical miles to the seventh fleet.
Member nations endorsed a contingency plan, in the event of a US strike, to secretly camouflage Iraq to look like Israel.
American Companies Doing Great After Scams
How is it done? Playboy presents a view
By Gautam Date
Washington, July 20: The recent corporate scandals to hit America had Bush scampering to make all kinds of laws to check fraud.
White House officials say he stopped mid-stride in the Oval Office when he saw a broader view of the Women of Enron issue of Playboy. Gaping and gulping uncomfortably at the cinemascope, panoramic visuals, Bush was further shocked to know that American workers' fears of being laid off post WTC have vanished because the men's magazine has come to the rescue of the US economy by additionally offering Women of WorldCom, Femme Fatales of Bristol-Myers and Arthur Andersen's Other Gender special issues, opening up and displaying in full view, corporate talent from these companies.
The awesome figures are extremely revealing say business analysts, specially since they offer insights into hidden and covered-up assets many would not know or even visualise otherwise.
With an audible sigh, US firms are looking up, safe in the belief that Playboy would look at (and in some instances, look after) their staff should they make a minor billion dollar fraud by mistake. The Dow-Jones opened steady today but soon rose to a third quarter high.
Playboy Enterprises has been inundated with requests by women from almost all American companies pleading with Hugh Hefner to give their fixed and movable assets a once-over. The women say being employed till their company reports a financial misadventure is actually their most prominent and biggest asset which they could in turn later show Playboy for a consideration and hopefully juggle to bigger windfalls like a (motion) picture.