An Open Apology Letter from Ramu…

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My Dear Fellow Citizens,

I know that an apology has been due from my side ever since Ram Bhopal Burma Ki Aag. Mummy-Promise, I had all intentions to write an apology letter but khallas…I mean alas, I never got the time to do so because of the busy shooting schedule of RBB ki Aag – The Sequel (Coming to a theater near you in Dec.2009). Before you get me wrong again, I am not here to promote my movie, I am here for something almost as important, I’m here to apologize for tagging along with our CM Alasrao Deshmukh to the Taj and the Oberoi.

Now doubt me if you may, but I am not writing this under pressure from anybody. It’s something I felt I needed to do as a responsible human being who is answerable to his own conscience. That, as far as I’m concerned is the Satya! None the less, I still need to answer all of you as well. I’m sure all of you must be wondering why the hell was I there at Terror Tour of the Taj and the Oberoi, which, quite frankly, was none of my business.

Well, let me tell you how it all began. A couple of days ago, I received a call on my cellphone. After quickly ensuring that it wasn’t a distributor calling to ask for his money or one of the usual wise-asses who keep hurling abuses at me ever since Aag came out (Yes I have list of your numbers you bastards!), I picked the call up. The nice, friendly, sweet talking girl on the other end asked me “Sarkar ke ban ne mein aap involved the?“. I immediately replied “Of course of course, I was the mind behind Sarkar! Not once, but twice, and if I get support again, I’ll make it once more.” The girl seemed to be pretty happy when she heard this and told me that she would like to meet at the Taj. Now usually, I don’t entertain requests like these, but these days I’m on a creative hiatus (read ‘jobless’), you can say its some well-earned time off for myself (read ‘totally jobless’), also I haven’t had the time to go to the Taj in a while you know (read ‘broke’). So I agreed to meet the girl.

Only when I reached there did I realize that she was not a female fan who had invited me for a date. She in fact was the CM’s Head PR person. Apparently, the CM told her, “Jisne bhi Sarkar banane mein help kiya, usko Taj bulao!”, and she thought he was referring to my movie, Sarkar. Poor girl, I won’t blame her. That was a very hit movie after all!

So you see it was all just a delightful misunderstanding! Now I know what you’re thinking, “Why didn’t Ramuji know about the terror attacks in Mumbai?” Well, folks, do you really think I’ve read the papers, or watched TV or even made any contact with the outer world after my last two movies? I know, all of this could have been avoided with a bit of common sense on my part, but hey, I’m the guy who has made movies like Darna Mana Hai, Naach and Darling! I mean seriously, do you still think I have any sense left in my head?

I guess I have to just admit it now. There’s no where I can Rann! So here goes, *ahem * Ladies and Gentlemen, I’m sorry, I totally Phoonked up! I mean I don’t know what else to say here, I’m like totally Nishabd! Just yesterday, everything was Mast, but all thanks to one silly little mistake, the people are hunting me down as if its a Jungle out there. But as Kaun, I mean Akon sang, “You Can Put The Blame on Me”. Sorry once again folks, I’ll try and be more cautious about the Company I keep next time.

Yours Apologetically,

Ram Bhopal Burma.

P.S. Sorry for shamelessly inserting all my movie-titles in this letter. It’s a part of my Contract! There, that’s all of them!

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Who’s The Bigger Threat?

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Anyone who knows me or  has followed this blog, definitely knows that I’m a connoisseur of bad Bollywood cinema. To be honest with you, I’m the kind of guy who enjoys The Dark Knight and Purani Haveli in pretty much the same vein. Naturally then, I had more than enough reasons to be excited last month . For starters, Himess Bhai was about release his second movie Karz (with extra Zs free), which was destined to deliver a truckload of laughter for ‘fans’ like me before it went straight to hell on a haath gaadi. Sadly I didn’t manage to catch that awesome movie. Himess Bhai crashed out of the theaters before I could say ‘Ooooo Huzoooor!’ But all hope was not gone, because over the last month or so, a strange little man had emerged out of nowhere and suddenly taken over all the bus-stops and TV screens at Shoppers Stop, McDonalds and even the new digital signage at the railway stations. That man of course was KRK, producer and lead actor of Desh Drohi a man who we’ve already exalted earlier this week.

7th November was to be the D-day when KRK and his motley crew of 2 item girls and 15 villains would roll into town with their drama, emotion, action, comedy and social messegwa! What made the day even more exciting was that Dasvidaniya a bonafide, well made film was to be released on the same day. The Thursday before D-day however, both movies were nowhere to be seen in the movie listings though the TV promos proudly declared Coming November 7th. As it turned out later, Bollywood had gone into a frenzy and for some reason, every Raj, Rahul and Prem wanted their movie to be launched on November 7th. As a result, our two diametrically opposite, small budget movies couldn’t afford the theaters that week and both pushed back their release dates to the coming week.

While Dasvidaniya managed to stay controversy free after that, Desh Drohi faced a different fate. A B-grade, shoe-string budget movie, that until recently few (like me) cared about (mostly for a quick laugh) was now the talk of the town with everyone from the Delhi Tribunal to the Maharashtra CM giving their opinion on it. Unfazed, the great KRK pooled in all his remaining financial resources (remember he financed his own damn movie!) and went on an all out rampage to campaign the crap out of Desh Drohi. If earlier one saw Desh Drohi posters at Bus-stops, one could now see them on the buses too. Heck my harmless KRK blog-post started receiving hits by the hundreds after some alert Manoos linked it to the Orkut community of a party which seemed very concerned by the movie.

Amidst all the hullabaloo no one really seemed to notice that Desh Drohi, if it managed to make it to the theaters, would now get a decent amount of curious spectators who’d want to see what exactly was so ‘inflammatory’ about it. If all went as planned, KRK would even make a buck or two in profits. That, however was not meant to be. After screening after special screening, the Maharashtra government finally decided to tadipaar Desh Drohi from Maharashtra for 2 whole months, a time frameafter which, let’s face it, most movies are completely erased from the juntas memory. This probably is the end of the road for Desh Drohi, but it is also the start of a discussion.

We need to ask: Was it Desh Drohi that was a threat to the decorum in Maharashtra? or was it the people who threatened that the city would burn once again if it were released? Who really deserves to be kicked out of the state, the movie or these mindless vandals who kill in the name of cultural pride? Let’s face it people, if Desh Drohi was even a tenth as influential as the government that banned it built it up to be, KRK would be a millionaire by now. Desh Drohi was at best, a B-Grade movie filled with has-beens and never-will-be’s. The only ‘negative impact’ it could have caused would be the mild-headache that one is left with after watching movies of the Himesh kind. Yet we’re made to believe that Desh Drohi is the problem here.

Sadly, the ones who have both the power to influence minds in Maharashtra and spoil the decorum are the ones the state has catered to. Today, it’s an obscure B-grade movie that has fallen at their hands. If something isn’t done soon enough, soon the state will too.

I mean seriously, does this look like a man who can convince you to come out on the streets and break stuff?

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The Great Indian Democrazy.

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Disclaimer: The above interview was a work of fiction. Any resemblances to any politicians dead/ alive are purely co-incidental. Even if not, we don’t claim responsibility.

In November 2008, Americans voted in record numbers in a landmark election which gave America it’s first African-American President, Barack Obama. With his message of ‘Change’, the young Obama has managed to unite a divided America. Closer home though, we didn’t really have a leader to match Obama, until recently that is. Last year, a young, fiery politician, won the TV reality show Bleed India and since then has taken the politics in India by storm. I present to you ladies and gentlemen, the chairman of the SMS (Super Maniacs Sena), Mr. PK Kulkarni. Here are some excerpts from a free-wheeling JAM interview that covered everything from his views on President-elect Obama, to his plans for the forthcoming elections.

JAM: Both you and Barack Obama have risen meteorically in politics. Do you think it’s fair to say that the two of you are similar politicians?

PK: Of course of course, I totally agree that Barack and I are very much like each other. In fact, I can name so many similarities between us right now: He is the first Black President in the history of America. I am the first leader in the history of India who blackens the faces of other leaders! He supports the minorities in America, my supporters are a minority in India. He is in favour of change, my party workers will kill for loose change. Arrey, in fact, our slogans are similar too! He says ‘Yes, We Can!’, my party says “No, You Cannot!”

JAM: Your party has been at the receiving end of a lot of flak because you said that non-natives should leave Maharashtra and go back to their home states. Are you really against all immigrants?

PK: This is entirely false, I have always welcomed immigrants to the state. In fact, I’ve always maintained that people from all over India can come to Maharashtra and stay as long as they want…provided they leave the next month.

JAM: The Supreme Court has recently said that Maharashtra is becoming increasingly unsafe for Non-natives because of your party. What are your comments?

PK: Once again, these allegations are absolutely false. My party does not believe in discrimination against anyone. Yes, I admit Maharashtra is unsafe, but then it is unsafe for everyone no? Tomorrow if the Supreme Court orders that I should be arrested again, my party workers will attack everyone: native or non-native.

JAM: As a matter of fact my next question, was about your arrest. When the Police took you into custody last time, your supporters went on a rampage, destroying several PEST buses and auto rickshaws in protest. Isn’t this ‘Jungle-Raj’? (no pun intended)

PK: No no, you are unnecessarily tying up two unrelated issues. The destroying of those buses and rickshaws had nothing to do with my arrest. If you remember, my party had given an ultimatum to PEST and the Rickshaw Union to replace their old vehicles with a new fleet as a part of the MM-Mar-Diya Infrastructure Development Project which expired on that same day. As both PEST and the Rickshaw Union failed to replace their vehicles with new ones, we destroyed their old ones. So you see, we were doing a great service to the citizens!

JAM: Recently, an angry young man hijacked a PEST bus and even threatened to kill you. Is this a matter of concern for you now that the Police has lowered your security to B-Grade?

PK: (Laughs) Arrey these people are amateurs. Everyone knows that you hijack planes and destroy buses and not the other way around! As far as my security goes, my party workers are enough, I don’t need the Police. As you have seen before, they can destroy a bus (hijackers included) before you can even say, “Cha Mailaa!”

JAM: On a lighter note, rumor has it that you were asked to participate in the TV-reality show Bigg Dogg. Considering that you’ve already won a reality show, why didn’t you participate in Bigg Dogg?

PK: Let me tell you the inside story on this Bigg Dogg fellow. Three years ago, he came from another state for the Railway exams and was hired as a Railway Announcer. Back then he had no issues making announcements in Marathi, Hindi and English, but now since he has a high paying job, he makes announcements only in Hindi. I refuse to take orders from a Railway Announcer, especially if does not speak the state language! And who is he to tell me what to do and what not to do? That coward doesn’t even show his face!

JAM: Thank you so much for your time, Sir. All the best for the upcoming elections.

PK: Thank you very much…wait what did you say your name was? Paras SHARMA? Cha Mailaa, that is a North Indian surname!

JAM: Er…something wrong Sir?

PK: No no, nothing, just turn the camera off, my party workers just want to have ‘a brief talk with you’. Thank you for coming.

P.S. No Animals were harmed in the making of this interview, not even this writer. Now if you will excuse me, I need to go get my stitches removed.

– Paras Sharma. With Camera-person Satish S.

Barack Obama and The Winds of Change

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Now I’m the kind of guy who checks the ‘Apathetic’ box under ‘Political Views’ almost by reflex. The fact that the politics in India sets new lows in dirtiness and underhandedness has only strengthened this stance of mine over the years. All of that however, gradually changed over the past one year. As a democracy loving Indian, I have been gravely disturbed by the seemingly unstoppable terror attacks that have rocked our nation on numerous occassions since the 11/7 Mumbai Local train blasts. The absolute inability of the state governments and the centre to both check these attacks and bring those responsible to justice have only irritated me further. Add the emergence of divisive radicals such as Raj Thackeray to that and I’m sure most people wouldn’t blame me if I said I no longer had any faith in what has now become a mockery of a democracy.

Despite my disappointment in my very own country’s political state of affairs, I stayed awake until the early hours of the morning to watch the outcome of an election that we had absolutely no say in. It would be unfair to say that I was merely curious to see whether Obama or McCain would eventually cross the finish line and take the White House. I was in fact just as anxious and hopeful for a Barack Obama victory as any of the half-a-million people present at Grant Park, Chicago last night. The fact that this election would have a great impact on the economic conditions all over the world was obvious, but that wasn’t the reason I was concerned about these elections. The reason was Barack Hussein Obama.

This man, who today has become the first African-American President in the history of America, is certainly special. His meteoric rise in the last eight years, from the time he unsuccessfully ran for Congress to becoming the winner of the longest and the most expensive election in American history ushers in a feeling of hope in a time where hopes aren’t too high the world over. His charisma and his ability to capture the imagination of the public every time he addresses them has certainly earned my respect. The way he has beaten the odds of having neither the experience nor the conventional lineage of a US President gives hope that maybe some day the world will look beyond race and religion and consider the ability and the character of political candidates.

While Obama’s victory is a proud moment for me and possibly many other Indians, it is also a stark reminder of the fact that  there isn’t a single leader in India today who excites us quite the way Obama does. While I felt privileged to have witnessed a piece of history being made last night, I couldn’t help but wonder whether the day would ever come when I would feel even half as excited for an Indian general election.

Change may have arrived in the USA, but how long will it take before we see one here in India?

The Financial Crisis Poem: Hickory-Dickory-Stocks

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Hickory-Dickory-Dock,
Inflation’s going up,
The Bear has killed the Bull,
And Lehmann Bros. are gul.
Soon the banks will be locked,
Hickory-Dickory-Dock.

Hickory-Dickory-Duck,
Stock market’s run out of luck,
The US announced ‘Bail-Out’,
But we still have our doubts
We know they’ve got no bucks
Hickory-Dickory-Duck.

Hickory-Dickory-Doke,
Now Iceland’s going broke,
And Argentina too,
And so are me and you.
And that’s the story folks,
Hickory-Dickory-Doke.

Hickory-Dickory-Dock,
It’s time to act, not talk.
So folks, pull up your socks,
And go sell all your stocks,
Before they fetch you rocks,
Hickory-Dickory-Dock.

Bleed India

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In this time of political turmoil, the need of the hour is a new leader, one who will show the way to a whole new generation of Indians. The time is now. Let us not point fingers at one another, let us not point that very finger at ourselves either (no one wants to the responsibility). Let us find the person we can collectively point fingers at and who in turn can conveniently point to others. I hope the point has been made clear through all the pointing mentioned so far.Just like that other lesser known show on TV, we went all across the country in search of the best thing to have happened to Indian politics in recent times. After a long, tedious process, the winner was selected by a very complicated procedure- a SMS poll. Here we bring to you our winner, Mr. PK Kulkarni in his first ever interview to the world right here!

Pazz: Mr.Kulkarni, it’s a pleasure having you here. Thanks for giving us your precious time. I am sure you have a very busy schedule and many media commitments. We are truly honored that you chose this ordinary reporter to conduct your first ever interview.

PK: You mean you are not a popular fellow?

Pazz: Well my blog is featured on the first page of Google if you search my name. That apart I wrote an essay for my college magazine a year and a half ago. It was half a page long!

PK: So if I say something controversial…I mean…important here…will it get publicity?

Pazz: Oh sure it will, the hits on our website will go through the roof, we may get as many as 50 hits. Also my professor told me there was space for a 3/4th page article in this year’s college magazine. You see sir, you are in very safe hands.

PK: Great to hear that. Chalo start the interview.

Pazz: Yes sir! First question. How do you feel after winning the all India politician hunt ‘Bleed India’?

PK: I cannot answer that here, I’m sorry. That question has already been reserved by Aaj Tak. Next please.

Pazz: My kindest apologies, Sir. I have a fantastic original question for you right here (shuffles through sheets). Ahh yes, Sir, what in your opinion gave you the edge over your opponents?

PK: Well you see, firstly, I have exceptional educational qualifications compared to my competitors. Yes, its true, I scored 43% in my SSC, my closest rival got 37% on his second attempt, so that was a clear advantage.

Pazz: Impressive indeed, but we have reason to believe you had political Godfathers who helped you out?

PK: Well it is true that I am the youngest son of the ex-Chief Minister’s wife’s cousin sister’s neighbour’s daughter, but I can assure you that Uncle Ji (as I respectfully call him) gave me nothing but blessings and Rs.101/- cash (taxes deducted of course! You see I am a regular tax payer also).

Pazz: Bravo Sir, great answer. Here is a question from the audience. Shall I proceed with it?

PK: Oh you have an audience, that means publicity..hmm of course…go ahead!

Pazz: Very kind of you, Sir. Mr. Varma from Dadar has just completed his graduation in Commerce and is on the look out for a job. But so far he has had no luck. He wishes to know what you will do to generate employment for the unemployed all across the country, starting with at the micro level of course, Mumbai?

PK: I will take some time to answer this question because I need to explain my theory of why there is unemployment in our city to begin with. You see, Mumbai has lots of jobs already, and new ones are being generated everyday, but something somewhere is going wrong. Our dear brothers from the other states, who are equally capable of course, many a time, take these jobs up before people like Mr. Varma can. I have a brilliant plan in place for this. India as we know is a richly diverse country, so that means there are a lot of other communities apart from the locals like Mr. Varma. My party itself on an average requires about 100 candidates to riot and protest in the streets each time we wish to beat up people from a particular state. Now multiply that by the number of communities and states in India and the figure is….well quite a big number. Now you may ask, what will these youths who have been fighting and beating up their fellow Indians from other states do after all the immigrants are driven away? I have an answer to that as well, we will give them all the jobs left vacant by the ones who moved back to their home states to these very youths.

Pazz: I can’t help but notice that your agenda sounds a lot like your rival parties’, Sir.

PK: What rubbish! My plan is original and unique. Did any of my so called rivals make a provision for a fixed percentage of seats to be reserved for our local youths in every organization?

Pazz: Yes sir ,they did. In fact all of them.

PK: Well that’s where I differ from them. They asked for a 70% reservation, I personally am quite okay with 65%.

Pazz: Brilliant sir! Absolutely revolutionary. But don’t you think it’s a little harsh if your party workers decide to beat up anyone who is not a local. I believe there is a constitutional law against it.

PK: Did I say beat up? Of course not, I didn’t say that. I meant ‘assist to the nearest airport or railway station’.

Pazz: Oh I’m sure we could edit that in. Please continue, Sir.

PK: Yes yes, as I was saying. The social fabric in our nation is in tatters today because of two very important reasons. Firstly, joint families are disintegrating. In our bid to restore the institution of joint families, we plan to send back everyone who comes to city for a job or whatever reason to their hometown. This would also fix the second main reason for social degeneration in our society, ignorance of traditional values. If everyone stays in their own states, they will automatically learn their native culture. Thus we will achieve diversity, unity can always be achieved in the next 5 year plan.

Pazz: A lot of your critics have accused you of being a supporter of moral policing and regionalism. Some even call you an enemy of democracy. What is your answer to these critics?

PK: I will firstly sue each and everyone of these so called critics as soon as I have a political post of any consequence. All I can say to these naysayers is something my teachers in school always told me, “Do your homework well.” They have conveniently ignored the fact that I have been a staunch supporter of democracy. I have exercised my right to vote on every possible occasion and actively encouraged the others to do the same as well. Indian Idol, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa, Voice of India, Jhoom India, Mission Ustaad, Nach Baliye, Jhalak Dikhlaja, K for Kishore and even Bathroom Singer, I voted for the candidates on each of these shows. So you see, I am a champion for the cause of democracy.

Pazz: What will you do for the safety of women in the city? Is there any way to assure that they will not be troubled by perverts and lecherous eve teasers?

PK: Of course, I have already taken steps regarding the same. I have strictly instructed all my party workers that if I get any complaints, they will lose their jobs right there.

Pazz: Amazing, Sir. There seems to be no stone which you have left unturned. Anything revolutionary that you have in mind for the education system?

PK: Why yes! The education business is booming you see. But in my opinion there are more avenues besides MBA, MBBS and Engineering. We must look at other lucrative fields closely. I have already made suggestions to the University to introduce degree courses in numerology, astrology, K-serial script writing and award show management. The courses are expected to be implemented by next year.

Pazz: And what about the touchy issue of sex education in schools, Sir?

PK: I have approached a famous Bollywood director, whom I cannot name right now of course. But I can tell you he has made on the most expensive blue films in the history of Indian cinema. He plans to launch my nephew’s acting career in a movie based on sex education which the state will fund. Please note that this movie will be tax free from the first show itself. We are currently finalizing the cast for the same, as soon as we find the right actor to play the pivotal role of the stork, things will get rolling. Please note that Rakhi Sawant performs a very informative, cultural dance item in this movie.

Pazz: Sir I hate to cut you short, but I think we are going a little beyond 3/4th of a page. I am afraid we have to end this interview right here. But it was a great honor as I said earlier. We wish you the best for your future.

PK: Thank you very much. I pray to God as well, so that he may save you, from me!