Sunday, July 8, 2012

Why Maharashtra is such a bloody mess!





More images!The focus is on Khaana Peena today. I am waiting for Federer to finish off the damn match - don't really care who wins. Both men are like machines. I prefer emotion and drama on Centre Court - a few tantrums, orgasmic grunts and groans. Not two robots playing technically superb but essentially passionless tennis.
Haan... photoo ke baarey.... Cést moi in the top pic shot by one of the daughters in Mykonos, enjoying a mid-morning Illy ( one of my favourite brands of commercial coffee). The bar tender pushing a chilled and sharp Cosmo towards me deserves an award - it was an outstanding Cosmo, which earned her a generous tip. That's Luigi serving truffle oil pasta at one of the most historic restaurants in Florence - Ristorante La Grotta Guelfa - a hot favourite with the local ladies who lunch. The classic aubergine carpaccio is a best-seller here, even though it isn't looking terribly appetising in my pic. But take a look at the humble sandwich we had to satisfy ourselves with in Venice! Even without an ACP Dhoble prowling around, everything pretty much shuts by 11 p.m. including the world famous tourist trap, Harry's Bar.
Gimme reactions, Blogdosts.... I really cherish them!

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This appeared in Sunday Times today....

Fire-fighting took on an entirely new meaning when Mumbai’s Mantralaya went up in flames recently. Timing ki baat hai, boss. There was a fire. A pretty major one. But nobody to fight it! Howcome? Well, what is the point of a well-planned fire if it’s going to be efficiently put out? Of course, that nasty word ‘árson’ was scrupulously avoided by babudom the morning after the night before. ‘Accident’sounded so much better.White washing of the iconic building began hours later.Literal and metaphorical damage control was set into motion phataphat! I live pretty close to the Mantralaya and drive past it nearly every day. Looking at it from the outside, nobody can guess that a massive and mysterious fire recently destroyed such a large portion of the building, or that behind the hastily painted exterior there is a charred shell where floors ( and more importantly, incriminating files) once existed. So accurately executed was the short circuit,even the flames knew exactly what to look for and destroy. What clever flames!

Then came a man with an impressive Chambal Valley style handlebar moustache.Just looking at him should have scared the daylights out of a few ministers. Maybe that’s exactly what happened. CBI Joint Director,RishiRaj Singh, was abruptly shunted out after the charge sheet in the Adarsh Society scandal was filed. Evidently, the devastating fire had not completed its job. There was unfinished business that Rishi Raj Singh had unwisely made his own. One former C.M. ( Ashok Chavan) had been boldly named by him. But two more NCP ministers were about to be exposed.... and that wasn’t fun. Marching orders were promptly issued to the man who had spent the past four years with the Anti-Corruption Wing handling some really hot cases involving mighty names. He wasn’t due for a transfer till May 2013.

While all this was going on, what were the people of the State of Maharashtra doing?Wringing their hands in frustration and grumbling, but nothing more than that. Fat lot of good that does. It’s not just about the disgraceful history of one building, ‘Adarsh’’( which has aptly been labelled The Tower of Corruption).It is about the brazenness which has come to define the running of this once great State. Look at the shambles it is in... Chief Ministers come and go with the frequency of recycled stale samosas, musical chairs are played with top bureaucrats - the ones who are out of favour with current political bosses, go to jail, the others waltz around freely offering pathetic alibis, our cops are ridiculed and mocked for chasing teenagers, the cops armed with hockey sticks, while the really big fish ( terrorists included) roam around the city freely picking their next targets to bomb. Civic officials talk about converting Mumbai into Tokyo, a comment that makes Mumbaikars gag ( when did Tokyo displace Shanghai?).... all this nonsensical talk while India’s premier city rots. Literally. Each year we act like heavy rains are a huge surprise - a rare , freaky weather phenomenon, when for centuries we have suffered monsoon devastation. Confronted by these routine hazards, our successive Chief Ministers either grin fatuously (Vilasrao Deshmukh), or scowl menacingly ( Prithviraj Chavan). Solutions? You must be kidding. Responsibility? Don’t joke.

Meanwhile our precious Prime Minister gives himself a generous character certificate and declares there has been ‘no explosion in corruption’ under his watch. So, what is Manmohan Singh waiting for? A corruption holocaust that wipes us out? But he adds self-righteously, “I have maintained a high standard of integrity in my conduct.” Matlab? It’s okay to look the other way when party colleagues are looting the nation, so long as his own hands are clean? Come on, Mr. Singh. Ever heard of collateral damage? If this is the message filtering down from the very top, it is inevitable that we shall have to live with more fires breaking out in various government departments over the next few months. It is the season for short circuits. Our over worked, under paid firemen are going to be really, really busy as they rush from one inferno to the next. Of course, there will be poor water pressure when they get to the scene of the crime ... sorry... accident. By then, most of the evidence... sorry... files, would have been reduced to ashes. And Mr. Handle Bar Moustache won’t be around to do his job, either. That will leave us. I know what we, as citizens, must do... join the fire brigade.Train as firefighters. Short circuit the system. Water hose the guilty. And get Ram Gopal Verma to make ‘Mumbaikar ki Aag’ and keep our fingers crossed the film is a bigger hit than his earlier turkey.

10 comments:

P V Ariel said...

Hi ShobhaDE
Good to be here after a short gap.
Here comes a sumptuous treat with lot of mouth watering items and then a sad story about our Mumbaikars. Its really sad to note, and question ourselves, Where are we heading?
The politicians and the so called business class join together and loot the nation, What a pathetic stage we are in and we are heading,....
Best Regards
Philip Ariel

Mona said...

I wonder if Manmohan opens his mouth even when he visits his dentist...

That Adarsh sounds like Orwellian Minilove : the ministry of war.

And the firemen and the fire are as ingenious as Ionesco's Bald Soporano...

Hey Shobha Di. I had an argument about you recently with a professor, who said she did not like the 'frankness' of your writing..although she preaches in favor of Helene Cixous Laugh of Medusa & that women should be 'writing with their bodies'...

Sometimes I wonder whether if they are just plain dumb or genuine hypocrites.

SuKupedia ™ :) :) said...

'Corruption is not rampant in my govt' says our PM.. ironically the CBI is directly governed by the PMO..guess he was sleeping when Rishi Raj was transferred....seems to me that the PM is actually saying...what is happening now is not the complete show this is just a trailer of what his colleagues are capable off!!!

Akshaya Borkar said...

Nice pics, wondering how egglpant carpaccio would taste like.. I would prefer a salmon carpaccio anytime :P
Nice write up abt the adarsh fire... wonder if we should do something like stals shrugged in India... and you can write indianised atlas shrugged book :)... seriously I think all good capable brains should just dupe India till it goes down to ashes and then start on new slate ...

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Pooja Rathore said...

first pic- i liked your colorful outfit and you r with your weakness- coffeeeee( i remember reading that coffeee is your weakness).
i liked the smile of the gal in the 2nd pic,I liked the khaana peena pics...to die for..i mean they look so good ..imagine eating them..only you can tell...
I read your column - Sunday times- so true....very well written ,you write serious stuff in your columns but i like the way u put it ,never boring - i really appreciate your style and your inborn creativity!

NAT said...

What a delectable plate...
My mouth is just watering...

About Mumbai (Maharashtra)the less said the better. The 50s, 60s and part of the 70s were good, then the slide from dogs life to the gutters.
Hope more and more people like you and stalwarts(just thinking whom to name?)keep digging at the these rogues and rascals, these misfits who rule us, instead of serving us. They just think of themselves and their families, not the Country. Goes to show...(don't want to mess this blog)
Just hope that we get a Dhoble to tackle these scroungers/scavengers, not with a hockey stick, but a baseball bat or huge k/Tommy.
They are the ones to be dealt with in this crude manner.
Soon we will see a major change.

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Lovely Pics
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