Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Obama ''screwed up...!"


Obama: “ I screwed up!”

This column appeared in Bombay Times on 9th Feb
Last week Barack Obama stunned the world by declaring, “ I screwed up,” on national television. What an admission! That too coming from the President of the United States of America . Look at his choice of words – ‘screwed up’ is as colloquial as it gets. It is the kind of teen-slang students use when caught by the authorities for drunken driving or some other misdemeanor. It is also a politer version of , “ I f#@*#d up!” Imagine a man in Obama’s position officially using street-speak to tell the nation he had made a mistake. Well, Obama is such a ‘today’ person, this phrase may just be the one that sets the tone for the rest of his term, and his informal style of functioning. He has already broken a couple of golden rules, such as appearing in the Oval office dressed in shirt sleeves and not a formal day suit. He also shows up for work at a respectable hour (9 a.m.), unlike his predecessor, who has been described as an early to bed and early to rise President. The new, relaxed atmosphere seems to be working just fine. But it is the ‘I screwed up’ phrase that his supporters are praying, doesn’t become the anthem that defines his years in the White House.
Closer to home, one wonders what will happen if all our netas start apologizing and confessing! Hey bhagwan, there will be no end to the screw ups…. imagine the long list of those blunders, starting at the top. Which of our chaps hasn’t screwed up at one point or the other? From politicians to corporate honchos, screwing up is a national sport. Maharashtra’s record in this area is spectacular – how many c.m.’s are we going to haul over the coals for screwing up big time? Ramalingam can also borrow Obama’s phrase to defend himself. So can Narendra Modi, and a whole host of others. But will they ever admit they made a single mistake? Naah.We prefer cover ups to acknowledging screw ups. That way, everyone is protected. Perhaps, we need to learn a few valuable lessons from Obama. Conversely, can you imagine the irony of the same confession had Bill Clinton made it??
There’s something awfully tacky about high profile ladies who insist on revealing what their companions\boyfriends\partners\lovers have gifted them on their respective birthdays\anniversaries\Valentine’s Day. The two from Bollywood who issue weekly bulletins via their respective p.r. agents are Ameesha Patel and Shilpa Shetty. By now, we know that Shilpa’s ‘partner’ gifted her 75 crores to buy a stake in a cricket team. She described it as a pricey Valentine’s Day present. Wokayyy! Next came the clarification that it was actually a business deal more than a gift. So much for that. Earlier, we were treated to details of this guy’s other acts of generosity, be it a sprawling flat, a spiffy car, surprise weekends in Dubai,a yoga video,a perfume or a lavish musical featuring his lady love.
Ameesha’s gift list is pretty impressive (and comprehensively catalogued by her). It includes Victorian style diamond jewellery and other limited edition goodies – handbags, watches, haute couture gowns etc etc. I’m sure these high maintainence ladies deserve all this and more from their besotted suitors. But really, girls, it is most déclassé to catalogue every bauble that falls into your kitty. But dearies, do remember, well brought up ladies never but never go public with such intimate revelations. For one, it is considered vulgar and crass to do so, for another, the tax man is monitoring every claim.
There are wedding cards…. and there are wedding cards. These days, it is all about how one packages the big day. Last week I received three impressive invitations for shaadis that are going to be celebrated over the same weekend ( end- February). One was a classic, simple announcement ( Nina and Rajan Kilachand) of their son’s wedding in Dubai. The other was an elaborate effort, put together by the bride herself ( Veranica Reddy), with a Shakespearean sonnet to round it off ( the wedding is in Hyderabad). While the third was an inspired culinary triumph featuring melt-in-the-mouth macaroons perfected in a Mumbai kitchen after painstaking research conducted in Paris. This unique ‘card’ was sent by Swati and Ajay Piramal,for their daughter Nandini’s wedding to Peter in Jaipur ( elephant polo will round off this celebration!). Phew!! Would love to split myself into three and attend all!! Par, kaisey??

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Incase you guys are interested , do check out http: \\www.youtube.com\watch?v=dJADzrRnzw8

18 comments:

Oxy said...

And you say you did not identify with Dev.D.. Pity!!!

Yogendra Rathi said...

Instead of pointing at others, why don't you first admit that you "screwed up" in the Devil's Advocate interview?
For those who missed it, her's the link:
http://ibnlive.in.com/news/devils-advocate-shobhaa-de-on-mumbai-vs-bombay/76806-3.html

Hobo ........ ........ ........ said...

:~#

khush said...

Some how I feel your post is becoming scrutinizing critic than just a blog.

Miss Cynical said...

i feel atlaest he admitted he screwed up!.. its better to be chilled out and responsible rather than being sophisticated and an unreasonable asshole at the end of the day!

hope he doesnt screw up quiet often!

Peace \/

Sidhusaaheb said...

Modi did not make a mistake. All that he did was part of a well-planned 'blood-for-votes' operation. Besides the majority of the electorate in the state of Gujarat was so pleased with the killings of 2000 innocent Muslims that it rewarded him with a thumping election victory, post-violence. So, who does he apologise to? Well, perhaps he could apologise for the number of deaths not having been large enough...

Piper .. said...

Ok, do you seriously believe that an admission of one`s mistake is not acceptable? And if its the language that bothers you(?!!), I`m afraid I have to admit that my assessment of you changes then. Its not a 'big deal' really.
Secondly, there`s been immense criticism from people about the way he dresses. That he doesnt wear a coat/blazer to work. Here`s a quote from Bill Maher :Hello?!! That`s what people do, when they want to work. They take off their coats! Literally!

riksha said...

sonam kapoor called u a porn writer in a interview last month. what is ur opinion on it? also about her dad getting hyper and snatching microphone at all awards?

Anonymous said...

Shobhaji...i am following your write-up from last 10 yrs... u have an amazing personality..my sincere request to u is tht why don't u start a blog in Indian languages..? at least in our own mother tongue...? so it is very easy to you reach the common people..so for them also it is very easy to interact with you in their own mother tongue. they can express well than before..that too in their native language..
when i was searching of the user friendly Indian Language tool and found 'quillpad'..it provides you 10 Indian languages with rich text editor...!! you can go through it and try to open a blog in Indian Language...waiting for the same...
thanks and regards.

Another Kiran In NYC said...

I screwed up... I think these words really should officially replace I love you as the most meaningful words in the Enlish language. How wonderful that will be. People taking responsibility! What a concept!

As for the wedding invitations and being torn about which to attend. I like dilemmas like this... heee heee.

While your personal equation with the hosts will probably finally dictate your decision, for sheer fun and entertainment value, I vote for the Reddy wedding in Hyderabad. As I am sure you know already, Telegu Reddy weddings in Hyderabad are such wonderful overthetop, choreographed but yet completely chaotic acts of drama with motorcades for flashy mustachioed movie stars and insanely splashy displays of money and many elaborate respects paid to "gaarus and ammas" and what not. And thank heavens most Reddy brides still wear traditional wedding saris worn without pallu falling off and thier puppies showing! All this without a touch of self absorbed cynicism. Gotta love em!

As a guest I like my weddings inorganic and not a severe show of restrained, moneyed, choreographed, "tasteful" military excercises with strict orders to guests that Manish Malhotra sari pallus or Tarun Tahiliani Lehnga duppattas will NOT cover the bosoms of female guests.

And yes, I get annoyed when Maharastrian brides wear crotch level Lehngas and bra tops! What happened to wearing a yellow hued paithani sari and green bangles! Humphhhh.

Another Kiran In NYC said...

What was the youtube video link again? I could not get it to work. Can you repost/resend it?

*Aham* said...

screwed up! o it sounds so much better in english... hear teh same transliterated in hindi... it is so ewwww.... then..

Ronak said...

"Screwd up"!!!!! Whats with you guys?
Cant you se that a person of such stature has the guts to admit that he goofed up.How many polticians in our bright nation admit their mistakes.In fact they always take grt pride in making the wrong moves.
Bush must have goofed up a thousand times..a thousand times he must have taken the wrong decision but not once did tht man have the courage to admit it.
And whats with his clothes ...as long as hes not wearing casuals to work I dnt think why ppl shld bother make a hype out of his attire.

sydney said...

"Conversely, can you imagine the irony of the same confession had Bill Clinton made it??"

hahahaha you're funny!!

I completely agree with you on this post. It takes guts to admit an error. It is also a sign of progress.

Attend all three weddings. You will be exhausted at the end, but that is directly related to how much fun you will have had! :)

saurabh said...

Americans are more functional than decorative and Obama is reflecting the same.

Just PK said...

wow looks like this place will become a battle ground for people to debate...for me...i agree..hats off to the person of that stature to have admitted that he screwed up, messed up or #@$#$# up...what ever...he admits it...and all the more reason becomes that much bigger a person...!!!!

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