Jun 152010

Got this mail from Patrix in the wee hours of this morning

We are shutting down DesiPundit effective midnight (CST) June 15th, Tuesday. It has been a fun five years and we have enjoyed every moment. We wish to thank all Community Members for sharing your content with our readers and I hope we managed to win you some readers.

Over at DesiPundit, people have moved on to other things and time & resources haven’t been as plentiful for those who have remained. The Indian blogosphere and presence on other social media networks has expanded greatly and in our experience, it is no longer possible for human-powered aggregators to keep up; at least on a part-time volunteer basis.

We all will be around on our respective blogs and Twitter accounts and will continue to reading your excellent blogs.

Thank you for reading and contributing.


It was a long journey from the blogmelas from almost a decade ago, to Desi Pundit… and now, like all good things, it comes to an end.

i personally, made some good friends. read some interesting blogs – and finally moved away from MSM.

Good luck to all that put Desipundit together. and thank you for all the effort.

btw that (mis) quote is from the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Jun 102010

Not the problem facing a third of Indian districts – but the colour. It is quite fascinating, how much of red pops up when you decide to see India through a view finder.

When i first began working in television, one of the no-no colours was red (the other was white) – both were supposed to cause video noise on telecast. But, later I understood that it was a problem with the way the colours were lit, and the expertise of the cameraman – not the colours in themselves.

when you travel India and neighbouring countries, you see a lot of variants of red – and i love the contrast with the browns and the greens, and click. Here are some of my favourites


This is a Laman woman, somewhere near Ahmednagar – Maharashtra. The Laman’s were traditionally salt selling nomadic. But post independence they were given land and became settled. Their costumes tend to have coins sewn into them, as well as mirrors.

cleaning wheat

a farm worker in Nepal.


A women’s group in Himachal Pradesh that was gathering that day to work out how to get a road to their village.

Mendicant outside the Kizhaperumpallam temple

A sadhu outside the Kizhaperumpallam temple – one of the sacred Navagrahas, plus a temple to the Lord of the Universe Mahadeva.


Tail lights reflected in the rain, Mumbai !


a woman going to work – Mumbai

The Tomato Seller
A tomato seller, Mumbai

The Flower Girl

and the little flower girl – selling roses in the rain, Mumbai

Of course, no post on red will be complete without one of my favorite ads of all times – the Coke ad from the 1996 world cup – the colour of passion is red, with Nusrat on the music track – what more can you ask for ?

May 252010

Cogito Entertainment’s first Marathi feature film Jhing Chik Jhing is releasing on the 11th of June . And, obviously before its release there are a zillion things to be organised and put into place. Distribution is the next phase of the film. and to get audiences to the theaters, a fair amount of thinking and planning has gone into publicity and promotion.

Yesterday, we received the photosets that will go up at various theaters. Have a look. And, tell me what you think !

Bharat Jadhav in his award winning role as Mouli – a good decent man who has nothing left to lose but his sense of honour and self respect.

Chinmay Kambli in his award winning role as Shyam – a boy who won’t let circumstances prevent him from reaching for the stars

Madhavi Juvekar – i her award winning role as Manda.

Dilip Prabhavalkar – plays kavi

Aarti More plays Dipti

May 222010

Every year, at around this time, I trudge down to Mumbai University – Kalina to correct/moderate papers.

I, for my sins, am the chairperson for one of the papers. When asked the first time what does the chairperson do – I was told, quite seriously, ‘woh na, paper submit karta hai, aur reciept leta hai‘ .

As usually, the papers were a mixed bag – some good, some pass mark quality, some that have you chuckling, and some that have you shaking your head in sheer wonderment and asking ‘who taught this’. When you have paper after paper that spouts out the same garbage – you know that it is not student error, but teacher error !!

In any case, here are some of the best responses:

a) Educated people in India live in the cities and speak and read English. We (as in these) watch English channels. The rest of India that is illiterate speak their mother tongue or vernacular languages. They watch regional language channels because they don’t understand English because they are illiterate.

b) Hindi is the mother tongue of India. Over 99% of India understands and speaks Hindi except South India which speaks Dravidian and North East that speaks Chinese.

c) Rajiv Gandhi is the grandfather of Rahul Gandhi and is the farmer prime minister of India

d) Indira Gandhi’s daughter Sonia Gandhi is the chief of the Congress Party

e) The British started the AIR in 1757 and DD a few years later to keep the Indian people subjugated

f) The Gandhi family fought for India’s Independence – Mahatma Gandhi, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi all went to jail when the British wanted to stop them from attaining independence

g) Hindi is the National Language of India.

h) People who don’t understand Hindi are anti National

i) Hindus speak Hindi. the non Hindus speak other languages

j) People in villages are poor and illiterate

h) villagers like to watch music, dance and soaps. City people like to watch news and IPL

k) the BBC was used by the British to keep Africa and India under control. That saved the expense of having a big army

l) People who are poor do not have television sets and hence do not know what is happening

m) poor and illiterate people in villages cannot afford DTH and do not know what is happening in IPL

I can see these nameless, faceless students anchoring news – not very long for now….

May 122010

Two very different instances of religious/caste patriarchs intervening in civil society have come to the fore in the last couple of days. Both are Anti Constitutional. And, its about time the Government and the System said religious oppression in the name of Religious freedom be damned – the Constitution comes first.

The first instance was the Khap Panchayats that has been flexing its muscles for quite some time – excommunicating and killing without consequences. They have got Navin Jindal to tow the line now.

Mr. Jindal has said

“I and my whole family respect the years old traditions and rituals of khap panchayats. My house is their own home and they can come there any time. I am just like their own child and I can never go against them; rather I always need their blessings.”

Navin Jindal, if you remember, is the man who went all the way to the Supreme Court for the right of Indian Citizens to fly the Indian Flag, and won .

Mr.Jindal has forgotten that the Indian flag represents the Indian Republic. And, the Indian Republic is enshrined by the Indian Constitution . The Indian Constitution states:

14. The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India.
15. (1) The State shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them.

If the Khap Panchayat had its way – it is not just same gotra marriages that will be nullified, but there will be penalties to anyone who breaks caste rules . And, as all of us know, these rules – if applied to their logical conclusion – will lead to the Hindus getting their equivalent of the Taliban.

I wonder if a Member of Parliament who is so ready to violate the Constitution has the right to be in Parliament !

The second instance of the Constitution being violated, is the Deobandi’s – who have declared that it is haram for women to work

“It is unlawful (under the Sharia law) for Muslim women to work in the government or private sector where men and women work together and women have to talk with men frankly and without a veil,”

If the fatwa is followed through to its logical conclusion, it would mean that Indian citizens who are Muslim women cannot be the President, Prime Minister, Member of Parliament. They can’t work in a Hospital, a Call Centre, a Hotel. They can’t teach in a co-educational school, they cannot work for a NGO, they can’t work as engineers…. This essentially means that women are barred from most professions except sweat shops where they can sit with other women and sew stuff at cut price rate.

In both cases a bunch of patriarchs want the world to bend to their interpretation of religion, and honour …. I hope that in both cases this is the straw that breaks the back of an communities that have kept quiet — and rise up to delegitimise both the Khap Panchayats and the Deobandi’s. The best way to destroy them is to stop listening to them !!

And finally – i hope everyone remembers that the reason Krishna wasn’t invited to Rukmini’s swayamwar was because he was a Yadav and she was a Kshyatriya princess.

Let us also remember that the Prophet Muhammad’s first wife was Khadijah bint Khuwaylid – a merchant who employed him.

Those who have proclaimed themselves as guardians of religion and tradition seem to have forgotten their own religion and tradition 🙁 –