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With My Father, To Where Eagles Dare

(Swans – March 23, 2009)   In the grim gray days following my father’s passing, I languidly dredged up remote corners of my memory for some special moments with him. I drifted one afternoon, apathetically enduring a dull headache and playing mnemonic games with myself. When we were young, one of the things my father did religiously was to take us to the movies. And take he did, to the best ones. As I think more about those times, it clarifies the reality and forces acceptance of a bitter antipodean fact, that memory of the past bliss always becomes the anguish of present. India is the land of fervid movie fans, despite all the monomaniacal spurious Hindi films. Besides the entertainment, irascible thousands poured into the huge theaters on the weekends to … Read entire article »

Filed under: America, Economy, Feature, Featured, General, India, Media, World

Narendra Modi, Godhra & Gujarat riots: IBN-Live ‘Disregards’ Truth!

Years ago, I have come across a book of the “Learn English in 30 days” variety. I am unable recollect its title, but one of the exercises in it was to ‘rewrite a given passage to give it an opposite meaning’. The book indeed advises the reader to assume that he is “editing a rival newspaper” and that “the idea is to strip the passage of its context and meaning.” It helpfully adds, “Never mind the ethics. It is purely a technical exercise.” I am reminded of the book and the exercise, after reading an IBN-Live report following some tweets posted on it. This is stuff that makes an essential case study for students of journalism. Firstly, it teaches students, what one tweeter, Narayanan (@visaraj) put as “Secular School of Grammar … Read entire article »

Filed under: Hinduism, India, Islam, Media

Lalu Prasad and Narendra Modi: A tale of two chief ministers

It was during Lalu Prasad Yadav’s heyday as Chief Minister of Bihar, that a colleague in Patna told us these stories, the first as one of those Lalu jokes and the second as a real life incident: “A famous surgeon in Patna was kidnapped. His kidnappers demanded a ransom of two lakh rupees for his release. He informed his kidnappers that they had better release him as he was one of Lalu Prasad Yadav’s personal physicians. The kidnappers laughed and told him that if he was so confident that Lalu would come to his rescue he could call him. The surgeon called Lalu and requested him to get him released. Lalu simply asked him to tell him how much they were asking to release him. When the surgeon told him the … Read entire article »

Filed under: India, Politics