Archive for the ‘Tongue In Cheek’ Category

Is ex-PM Deve Gowda guilty of ‘spot-fixing’?

9 July 2013

Photo Caption

S. Sreesanth has only just gotten out of the clutches of Delhi’s hyper-efficient police for using a hand-towel tucked into his pyjama as a sign to his bookmaker friends that he will bowl a few bad ones, and….

And former prime minister H.D. Deve Gowda brazenly flaunts a towel on his shoulder as he takes guard at a cricket match organised by journalists in his home-district, Hassan, on Sunday.

What secret signal could HDD be sending?

Photograph: Karnataka Photo News

Also read: Across the line, feet wide apart, head still high

If only Robin Utthappa had played as straight

Rama Rajya is gone. Siddarama Rajya is here.

22 May 2013


The ascension of K. Siddaramaiah, the agnostic-socialist who visits not temples and mutts upon becoming the chief minister of Karnataka but writers and intellectuals, as seen through the words and eyes of S.R. Ramakrishna and Satish Acharya of Bangalore’s Talk magazine.

Previously: It’s unofficial: our democracy has a bribe future

A Spaghetti Eastern that makes you say ‘Basta!”

When Mr Gandhi sent a message to Ms Gillard?

18 October 2012

The Australian prime minister Jullia Gillard tripped and fell at Mahatma Gandhi‘s memorial, Rajghat, in Delhi on Wednesday after she had placed a wreath and was walking towards the television and newspaper personnel waiting for her.

Gillard, who has a long history of footwear malfunctions, brushed it all off:

“For men who get to wear flat shoes all day every day, if you wear a heel it can get embedded in soft grass and when you pull your foot out the shoes doesn’t come,” she said.

But not everybody is seeing the incident in such a matter-of-fact way. The protestors at the Koodankulam nuclear plant certainly do not; they see it as some sort of an inter-gallactic message being sent by the Mahatma to Gillard of what lies in store if her country co-operates with the Indian government.

In a press release, the protestors say:

“The People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) as well as our sympathizers all over India would like to apologize to Julia Gillard, the honorable Prime Minister of Australia, for the dangerous fall she suffered at the Raj Ghat. If we ask the local authorities in Delhi why they had not taken enough precautions to avoid such a dangerous fall and why none of the security officers could prevent an important international leader from falling on her face or for not coming to her rescue on time, we may attract more sedition charges.

“Madam Prime Minister, this whole Raj Ghat episode reflects the authorities’ utter lack of safety precautions and emergency preparedness. And your government is seriously considering selling Uranium to these folks. Maybe, Madam Prime Minister, Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of Our Nation, is trying to say something to you and please listen to him.”

Designed for humans, inspired by nature?*

11 June 2012

It certainly does not look like the iPhone or Vertu, so which mobile phone brand does N.R. Narayana Murthy (net worth $1.7 billion) secretly swear by? Could it be Samsung Galaxy S III?

After receiving the Pride of Karnataka award from Round Table India in Bangalore on Friday, the Infosys chief mentor delicately punches the screen alongside the actress Ramya known in these parts as Divya Spandana.

* Search engine optimisation techniques shamelessly at work

Photograph: Karnataka Photo News

CHURUMURI POLL: Mandira, Archana or Shibani?*

9 May 2012

Yes, it is the silly season.

First we had Mandira Bedi, the wide-eyed Punjabi girl who gingerly learnt the game with experts while she adjusted her noodle-straps. Then came along Mayanti Langer, the Kashmiri lass whose breakneck diction did not distract conspiracy theorists from wondering if she was a surreptitious product placement for Adidas’ Jabulani ball.

Now, in season five of the Indian premier league, we have been served up Archana Vijaya and Shibani Dandekar as eye-candy to beat the summer heat. Sports television’s admirable quest to make cricket coverage sexy and expand the viewership by empowering women anchors continues relentlessly.

Who gets your vote?

* Please feel free not to take part in this poll should it offend your (soccer and/or gender) sensibilities.

Adolf Hitler reacts to Indian Express ‘C’ report

2 May 2012

Just as the world was consigning the Indian Express ‘C’ report—the full page, three-deck headline, three-byline story of the coup that wasn’t—to the dustbin of history, the Fuhrer steps in.

Also read: Indian Express ‘C’ report: scoop, rehash or spin?

Indian Express stands by its ‘C’ report

How the media viewed the Indian Express ‘C’ report

Aditya Sinha tears into the Indian Express ‘C’ report

Ajji: ‘The only thing to fear in life is fear itself’

27 April 2012

E.R. RAMACHANDRAN writes: Ajji was reading Praja Vani, once owned by Netkalappa, which was a favourite of Bangaloreans along with P.R. Ramiah’s Tayi Nadu, a long time ago.

She was unusually silent. Normally Ajji slices and dices reputations as well as she does vegetables.

“What happened, Ajji? You are quite different this morning,” I teased her.

I was reading about the renovation of Niranjan Mutt in Mysore where Swami Vivekananda stayed there once.”

“Yes. He stayed there before he went to Chicago to address the World Congress on Spirituality.”

“It seems he said there, ‘Be not afraid of anything. It is fearlessness that brings Heaven even in a moment’.”

“That’s right, Ajji.”

“Our Prime Minister also has advised the boorokrats.”

Ajji, adu bureaucrats not boorokrats. What was the advice?”

Yeno sudugaadu.  He has asked them to be fearless in their work.”

“Isn’t that good advice? What’s wrong with it?”

“If you ask somebody not to eat onions, first you must not eat onions yourself. So goes a proverb in Kannada.”

“What have onions got to do with his advice asking them to be fearless?” I demanded.

Alvo! He himself chickens out on every occasion. He refused to confront A. Raja on 2G spectrum; also Kanimozhi. Didn’t want to sack Suresh Kalmadi on CWG. Wasn’t that lack of guts?”

“You have a point there, Ajji. But he attributed his lack of fearlessness partly to coalition compulsions.”

Ajji took no notice of my interruption. She had compiled a dossier on the PM’s lack of action like our home minister on Hafeez  Saeed’s involvement in terrorism.

“Then there was S-band scam in the ministry of space which is directly under him. Then there were the file notings of P. Chidambaram in the 2G scam. The Prime Minister kept quiet in public and in parliament. He chose to answer everything in his customary eloquent silence.”

“What you say is true.”

“He didn’t take Kapil Sibal to task when he declared that the amount of loss to the exchequer from 2G scam was zero, instead of Rs 175,000 crores as calculated by CAG. He should have sacked Sibal if he had worked fearlessly.”


Rahul Gandhi failed utterly in the UP elections. Why is he not acting fearlessly and sacking him?”

“Looks like he has deliberately forgotten how to act fearlessly,” I intervened.

“It’s not that he doesn’t know how to act fearlessly. During Narasimha Rao’s days as finance minister he took bold steps to liberalize the economy. The economy boomed because of that. He was only a finance minister then, not a Prime Minister.”

“That’s true.”

“Though he is the Prime Minister now, I think he is taking orders from somebody. That’s why he can’t act fearlessly.”

“Do you think he is taking orders from his wife as all men do?” I  asked.

“I wish it were like that. Then at least outside he would have acted fearlessly!”

“Then who is he taking orders from?” I challenged Ajji.

“I think he is hemmed in both at home and from outside. That is why he is helpless. When he is asking the borokrats to ‘act fearlessly’ he is expressing his own wish. He remembers he acted fearlessly once. He wants to be like that again but realizes he can’t; that is why he is advising the borecrats to act fearlessly,” Ajji surmised.

Does jail mean ‘guilty’, bail mean ‘innocent’?

23 January 2012

E.R. RAMACHANDRAN writes: Ajji gawked at the TV screen as she watched the news.

“What happened, Ajji? Something wrong?”

“This fellow kammenwelthnalli Englandninda dodda chhatri chhatri tharisda alva?”

“Yes, Ajji. That is Suresh Kalmadi. He was the chairman of the organising committee of the Commonwealth Games (CWG), who organised the import of jumbo-size umbrellas!”

“Wasn’t he sent to jail for wrong doing while organising the games?”

‘Yes. He was in jail for nine months; now he is out on bail. Along with him all his colleagues have also been released.”

Hagandre? They are all innocent or guilty.”

“Nobody knows that yet, Ajji.”

Shiva, Shiva. They also released all company people, fillum people on two gee skyam.”


“They released that girl, Thiru Karunanidhi’s daughter, Kanimozhi also?”

“She was released last month, Ajji.”

“If they released Kalmadi, Kanimozhi et al, who is the kalla/kalli in CWG or 2G?”

“The real thief? Nobody knows, Ajji. They have all got bail now. By the time they decide that, your granddaughter born last month would have become an Ajji!”

“How come these people who are coming out of jail want their positions back. Yediyurappa wants to become CM,  his supporters are disrupting meeting of present CM asking him to  resign and keep up the ‘promise’ given to Yedi. Kalmadi’s supporters already want him as chief of IOA for the extraordinary general meeting, and are talking about the great service rendered by him.”

“Yes, Ajji.”

“Isn’t there any sense of shame left any more? People who were arrested on serious charges, just because they get bail, they are treated like heroes as if they have done something fantastic. Crackers are burst, sweets are distributed. What is this nonsense, kano?”

“They think bail = not guilty, ashte Ajji.”

“Now I hear that the ‘Trichy 29’, the group of robbers who robbed cashiers in a bank have also applied for bail! They will also get bail I am sure.”

“Quite  possible, Ajji.”

Rama, Rama. Then who is left in jail, only petty thieves, pickpockets, chain snatchers who can’t afford  money to get bail, I guess.”

“Yes, Ajii.”

Devare kaapadbeku ee deshana!”

“Even God has given up, Ajji. He seems to have abdicated his responsibility. Now it is taken over by swamigalu, matadhipathis. Some swamijis have petitioned that Yediyurappa should be brought back as CM.”

Ayyo devare! At this rate I am sure the ‘Trichy 29’ will come to power in Tamil Nadu and form a ministry. This has happened before there.”

I agreed with Ajji.

The only reason why Yediyurappa should return

14 January 2012

His chamchas and chelas, his followers and factotums, have dozens of reasons for B.S. Yediyurappa‘s return. But if there is one genuine reason why the newspaper reading world should forgive his sins and welcome him with open arms, it is because the scam-tainted former Karnataka chief minister’s is a news photographer’s dream come true.

Here, he arrives in his usual style for the inauguration of a fete at Karegodi Rangapura in Tumkur district on Saturday. –

Photograph: Karnataka Photo News


Also view: The best Yediyurappa pictures on planet earth

CHURUMURI POLL: Yediyurappa as CM again?

Who gives a shit to Jeremy Clarkson’s crap?

14 January 2012

VIKRAM MUTHANNA writes: Recently Jeremy Clarkson, that giant of a man, the patronising British ‘chap’ who presents Topgear, a show about cars on BBC Entertainment, did a show in India where he drove all over North India in a car fitted with a toilet in the trunk!


As he put it, “Everyone who comes to India gets the trots.”

Later in the show, he stripped down to his underpants at a party he had hosted to demonstrate how to use a trouser press. But no one cared. After all, we have a very efficient and ubiquitous ironing service on every other street corner in India. But then there was no need for a strip-down demonstration.

Thank god, in his imperialistic ignorance, he did not venture down to show us how to use toilet paper.

Anyway, his supposed unsavoury comments Indians living in the UK all worked up.

For some reason, Indians abroad seem more touchy about India jokes. Is it because they love the nation they left behind, or is it really because they fear they will be perceived to be like their poorer cousins as seen on TV by their new, white country cousins?

But the fact is, Jeremy’s jokes were laced with truth.

We still have hygiene issues in tourist places and so most foreigners have tummy upsets when they come to India. Yes, our traffic is bad, in fact on the show Jeremy says as he drives, “It’s terrifying driving on Indian highways” and points out the huge trucks without lights and tractors coming from the opposite direction.

So, why are we upset with a reality check? Jeremy pointed out the same issues we complain about, albeit in a funny and cheeky sarcastic British manner.

So, is it ok when we criticise our own country but not a foreigner? But then no one in India cares, it’s more of a bother for our country cousins living abroad. Instead of getting touchy, why don’t they come back or give solutions to fix the issues Jeremy was joking about?

Speaking of jokes, every North Indian has a Madrasi joke, every South Indian has a North Indian joke and every Indian has a Sardarji joke. It seems, Sikhs are the only people in India who know how to laugh at themselves and thrive on self-deprecating humour, thus making them the quintessential jolly good fellows.

The rest of us are too busy stereotyping others who are unlike us. We cover everything from their colour, culture, food to their hygiene. And we have the arrogance to point fingers at Jeremy.

Because the Indians in the UK were upset, the Indian High Commission sent a letter to BBC “to make amends, especially to assuage the hurt sentiments of a large number of people.”

How many people? 21.

They got only 21 complaints!

Every person who watches Topgear knows not to take the show seriously except for the car reviews. Everyone knows that most of it is staged. They know that Jeremy and his boys are forever indulging in juvenile behaviour. Why then is the Indian High Commission so upset?

We would prefer if they were more concerned with the issue of why so many Indians are getting killed in the UK. And we can assure our brothers abroad it’s definitely not because the British goons think that we have bad roads, bad driving skills and bad public hygiene.

For the time being, we are glad that it has not become an issue that dominates the Indian news screens and BBC news junkies are glad that no one is asking for a ban on BBC in India. A pleasant surprise. Maybe we have moved on from being needy for the West’s approval. But then may be all the trouble makers are too busy performing their dirty tricks in Uttar Pradesh. Other reasons could be that Jeremy makes a fool of himself rather than Indians, with his sarcasm and strip show.

Times have changed. Yes, India still has a lot of poor people but it also has a lot of rich people. Yes, we have a lot of illiterates but we also have a lot of educated people and the world knows that; if not by watching TV news then at least when they lose their jobs.

The media in the West loves to mock brown people and all brown people are put into one basket, the Indian basket — no matter if you are a Pakistani, Bangladeshi or a Sri Lankan. But that is slowly changing. The West now knows most Indians, especially in the US, are educated and are in good standing.

Indians there too have tried very hard to differentiate themselves from their brown but not-so-educated cousins from the Indian sub-continent. There is nothing more insulting for an Indian in the US than being called a “Paki!” On the other hand, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis and Sri Lankans, as much as they would disagree, like to be mistaken for Indians.

When I was studying in New York, a friend of mine in a hurry crossed the road suddenly and a car had to brake hard. The driver screamed, “You stupid Paki.”

My friend was smiling. I asked him, “He just abused you and you are smiling?” To this my friend replied, “I know, but I’m just glad he said ‘stupid Paki’ and not Indian.” So Indians abroad are conscious about their identity, they don’t want to be mistaken for a Pakistani unless of course they are doing something ‘stupid.’

However, it is a fact that whenever we see a brown man being portrayed in an embarrassing manner in any foreign media, we as Indians feel awkward and cringe. That’s because we are still trying to fight off the stereotype that foreign media has portrayed of us over the years — droopy shouldered, overly apologetic and socially inept people with a funny accent. But we are no more like that.

Yet we are so sensitive that in the recent movie Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol where our legendary Bollywood icon Anil Kapoor played the role of a bumbling testosterone-packed mobile tycoon, his silly two-minute appearance made many of us cringe. We felt Anil had lost one good chance to portray that a well-educated rich Indian can be as suave as a Western playboy, but alas!

So, the West will continue to find ways to mock us. But we have to find ways to mock them too. One of the best Indian stand-up comedian named Papa CJ mocks the British in a show in England where he says, “Yours is the only country so insecure that it needs an adjective before its name — ‘Great’ Britain.”

Then he continues, “I came to England because my grandfather said the sun never sets on the British Empire, but I now see that the sun never rises on the British Empire (in reference to the gloomy British weather).”

He also says, “We both are alike, while you’ll think that there is a stupid person at the other end of the customer service telephone line, we think the same.” Papa CJ finally adds, “You may feel offended with the things I’ve said about your country, but I don’t care. After all, I’m from the land of Kamasutra and I can screw you in a 100 different ways.”

Hopefully, this incident of Jeremy Clarkson will continue to be ignored. People like Clarkson are the least of our worries. At best, we must hear his comments and better our systems and as for his humour, what can we say? It’s just like his nation’s food — bland and unpalatable.

Best ignored.

(Vikram Muthanna is managing editor of Star of Mysore, where this piece originally appeared)

Why Vodafone subscribers experience call drops*

7 January 2012

Because the damn pug goes astray every now and then licking its lips in anticipation. Fresh evidence to back churumuri‘s relentless campaign against the commodification of women: actress Pooja Gandhi at the inauguration of a pet care centre in Bangalore on Saturday.

* Beware: search engine optimisation techniques at work

Photograph: Karnataka Photo News


The commodification of women portfolio

RamyaOne more example of commodification of women

RamyaAnother example of commodification of women

Anu PrabhakarAnother example of commodification of examinations

RamyaLike, bombers get scared looking at bombshells?

RamyaNow, what will those fools do with these kids?

Aindrita RaySurely all that glitters is more than just gold

Jennifer KotwalThe best ice-candy melts before nice eye-candy

RamyaWhat it takes to smoothen some rough blades of grass

Nicole FariaDenims, diamonds, Miss India and the Mahatma

Priyanka TrivediSee, a brand ambassador always gets good press

RoopashreeObjects in the mirror are closer than they appear

Gul PanagYou are almost tempted to say ‘Intel Inside’

RamyaDon’t ask us what it is, but it sure costs a bomb

Mandira BediIt ain’t so easy to woo an iPhone4 user, sister

Tejaswini Prakash: As if we didn’t have traffic diversions already

Why nimma Ajji is OK with world ending in 2012

31 December 2011

E.R. RAMACHANDRAN writes: Ajji was doing pooje at the Tulasi katte on the last Saturday of the year.

I was sitting nearby, what with a double attack of seasonsal chill and the Thane cyclone taking Mysore’s temperature down like the famed Indian batting against Aussie pace attack.

Ramoo, ee varsha mugeetha banthallo. Wonder what is in store for us next year.”

Ajji, it will be just like every year. Nothing will change. Each new year only makes us all older by a year.”

Alvo! Namma Software Savithramma was telling me that the world will end  on 21 December 2012. She is planning to see all her relatives before that. She is also planning to visit Benares. I am sure she will sell all her shares before embarking on her trip.”

Ajji! Some 5,000 years ago, the Mayan civilization had predicted that the world would end on 21 December 2012. Nobody knows how far it is true.”

“Well, 50 years ago our astrologers had predicted that the world would end in 1961 because eight major planets were all aligned in one line. They called it Ashta Graha Koota. Also, the year read the same even when it was read upside down.”

“What happened then?”

“Nothing much. It was busines as usual. We had some Chinese kaata after signing the Friendship Treaty which our prime minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru called ‘Hindi- Cheeni Bhai Bhai’. Cheeeni means sugar but it was a bitter experience like bevu. When they attacked us, our soldiers came running back. It seems they didn’t have proper bullets to shoot with. The defence ministry was apparently making lipsticks instead of bullets in its ordnance factories! I don’t know how far it was true but our soldiers did not have shoes to fight a war in ice and snow. But nothing seems to have changed 50 years later. I understand even now our policemen have bulletproof jackets as thick as happala.”

“That’s very true Ajji. By the way, how did it start Ajji, the Chinese war?”

“I don’t exactly remember. Their goats came to eat grass on our side. When our soldiers objected the Chinese shot some of our soldiers. When there was a furore in Parliament, Nehru told members that Akshay Chin was a useless piece of land as not even a blade of grass grows there. It seems Acharya Kripalani asked the PM whether he should cut his head as he had become bald.”

Ha ha ha. Olle saraku ittddiya neenu. Paravagilla!”

“But what is it that I see in Lok Sabha now? In the name of Lokpal Bill, they are conducting a shouting match every day and night. Some MP came and tore a copy of the bill.”

“That was very shameful.”

“I thought he was going to eat the papers. There was one fellow who was shouting at the top of his voice.  First I thought half a dozen members were speaking simultaneously. Then I realized it belonged to the minister, Narayanaswamy! A.R. Rahman can use him for chorus songs in Tamil films and save money.”

Ajji, what do you think will happen in Karnataka?”

“I think they have started Yadavi kalaha. They will all kill each other. Everybody is stabbing one another in the back.”

“What will happen at the Centre, Ajji?”

Saaku nilliso Ramoo, I am not Kodi matada swami to make predictions! Our politics will hit new low. But it does not matter at all.”

“Does not matter? Why Ajji?”

“It is far better if the world ends in December 2012.  We don’t have to read about daily processions of our ministers to Parappana Agrahara jail; dynasty politics in the name of democracy; clerks and officials who become crooks to loot crores of illegal money; illegal money converted into diamond kirita for Tirupati Thimmappa. Isn’t it better the whole thing ends just like that?”

Nija, Ajji. Noorakke nooru nija,” I agreed.

Ask not what your leaders have done for you…

15 December 2011

With the year drawing to a close and Christmas close at hand, E.R. RAMACHANDRAN is in an expansive mood, compiling a list of gifts that he would like to give out to our various performing and non-performing assets.

1. Asif Zardari: A permanent hospital room in Dubai

2. Imran Khan: A Pakistani political pitch to bowl on

3. BJP leaders in Karnataka: Sites in Bangalore + a room in Parappana Agrahara

4. Jayalalitha: A set of 10,000 sample questions for practice

5. Rahul Gandhi:  ‘India is UP, UP is India’ T-shirt

6. Sharad Pawar: Protective cover for the other cheek

7. Team Anna: ‘Scams within’ report

8. Virender Sehwag: Indore pitch

9. Mamata Banerjee: Fireproof hospital (scale model)

10. Anna Hazare: Jantar Mantar for fasting

11. P. Chidambaram: A pocket map of Tihar

12. Manmohan Singh: A mike

13. Sonia Gandhi: Calendar with a red marker

14. Subramanian Swamy: Permanent room in  Supreme Court

15. Kapil Sibal: Facebook without faces

16. Sachin Tendulkar: 100 centuries of 90s

17. L.K. Advani: Hidden agenda

What gifts would you like to give your favourite performing and non-performing assets, for services rendered or denied in the year gone by?

Check out what ERR gave in 2008: Gifts for some one you love and don’t

12 reasons why Ashwin didn’t take a second run

29 November 2011

E.R. RAMACHANDRAN writes: Offspinnner Ravichandran Ashwin’s heroics or lack of it is was hotly discussed all across the cricket-playing parts of India over the weekend, after India drew the third Test match against the West Indies in Bombay, falling short of their target by a mere one run.

While Ashwin’s ‘cool head’, in playing a defensive prod off the penultimate ball that made sure India didn’t lose the Test, came in for appreciation, critics jumped at his unjustifyable delay in galloping to the other end, thus being unable to complete the second run for an Indian victory.

In short, opinions are divided as they usually are and as indeed they were when Ravi Shastri handed back the strike to Maninder Singh in the famous tied Test against Australia 25 years ago.

Should he have? Or shouldn’t he?

Nevertheless, we must understand that too many things were happening too quickly for an youngster playing his first series: a dream debut, lots of wickets, a century, man-of-the-match, man-of-the-series, and a marriage thrown in between the first two Tests.

Too much, I say!

But how was our all-knowing, all-seeing political class viewing Ashwin’s heroics or lack of it?

Arun Jaitley: Ashwin’s miscommunication with Varun Aaron resulted in this. We demand a joint parliamentary committee or a full discussion in the public accounts committee.

Ajay Maken: Had BCCI come under RTI, such confusion wouldn’t have arisen, as I would have put a memo in his pocket on how to run a second run.

Mamata Banerjee: The imminent opening of FDI in retail must have so upset the little boy that he didn’t even bother to take the second run.

B.S. Yediyurappa: If only the Maharashtra chief minister had promised a 80×50 site, he would easily have taken 3 runs, one more than what was needed.

Mayawati: Had Rahul Gandhi not camped here all month in UP, thus diverting the natin’s attention, Ashwin would have definitely taken the second run.

Rahul Gandhi: Ashwin might have been thinking about corruption in UP, hence didn’t even bother about match or even cricket.

Karunanidhi: If Jayalalitha had given at least 50% of her saris to the just-married Ashwin’s wife, he would be running even now!

Jayalalitha: Ashwin already wears dark glasses like DMK chief; that may be one reason why he didn’t run the second run.

Shashi Tharoor: If only he was tweeting, he would have run like a bird!

Krishnamachari Srikkanth: Honestly speaking, I had told what –his- name, to run faster. Don’t forget, he might have forgotten whatever I told him.

Sonia Gandhi: Ashwin soon will get a better pair of shoes from Wal-Mart which will make him run faster.

Manmohan Singh: Yes.

Gandhi’s Dandi march to Yedi’s Danda march

16 October 2011

Power minister Shobha Karandlaje arrives at the Sri Jayadeva institute of cardiovascular sciences & research in Bangalore on Sunday, to visit former chief minister B.S. Yediyurappa, who was rushed there after he complained of chest pain following his arrest and incarceration in the denotification scam on Saturday night. KPN photo.

E.R. RAMACHANDRAN writes: Ajji was watching the TV intently.

Konegoo Yediyurappanna arrest maadidrallo!”


“He went where no chief minister from our State had ever gone before, even if it was for a few hours.  As an inmate of the special VIP cell he himself had okayed in an act of great perspicacity, he is sure to have inspected the quality of work first hand.”

“That’s right, Ajji.”

“Is it putra vyamoha which helped him turn a blind eye while his children were amassing wealth even while he was visiting temples day and night, spouting devara naama and vachana saahitya? I wish he had followed whatever he had said while visiting the mutts and temples. It’s sad.”

“It looks like he didn’t mean whatever he said. He is the first former CM in Karnataka to be sent to jail for alleged corruption.”

“Chief minister ninda thief minister aago haage aaythallo.”


Adirli kano, Ramu. Advani yavara yathra eega advaana aythallo!”

“Yes. Advani’s yatra against corruption has become a joke now, with a BJP leader in the “gateway to the south” now in a jail called hospital. Advaniji should have started his yatra in Karnataka, ajji.”

Ayyo! Had he done that it would have got stuck for days and months in Bellary and Vidhana Soudha. They would have had to do paada pooje every few yards in the name of some jailed minister, MLA or the other.”

Howda, Ajji?”

“What else? The party which came to power saying it would be different, really showed how different it was. Scam after scam whether it is land or kabbinada aduru. Aduru konegoo sarkaarana ‘adursu’ bidthoo  nodu.”

“Yes. It’s the mining which brought his government down and land scam which sent him to jail. It also brought in so much money to buy MLAs and start Operation Kamala and Vimala and all that to distort democracy.”

Naachikkegedu. When he walked to the governor’s office to give his resignation letter, his daughter had said it reminded her of Gandhiji’s Dandi march! The gall.”


“Walking between policemen holding sticks this is a danda march in a way. Adirli, Krishniah Shettru was also sent to jail. Isn’t he the one who brought trainloads of Ganga jala and distributed to all temples in the State during Shivarathri?”



“I also heard that the Lok Ayukta police raided ‘hosa Gowdru’ Balakrishna Gowda?”

“Yes, Ajji. On charges of accumulating more than Rs 500 crore of property and wealth, many many times more than his salary as a KAS officer.”

Ayyo Devre! Isn’t he poor  Gowda’s son, our farmer prime minister?”

“Yes. Farmer former prime minister’s son, Ajji.”

“Karnatakaana devare kaapadbeku. Only God should save Karnataka.”

Devaralla, Ajji. Munche Deve Gowdru kaapadidru. Aa mele Yeddyurappa navaru kaapadtha bandru.”

Saakappa saaku! Because of their rule even God cannot save us from total ruin!”

What the DMK’s muruku did to the PM’s teeth

3 July 2011

E.R. RAMACHANDRAN writes: A number of personalities, and the print and electronic media, have accused the Prime Minister of maintaining a stony silence on important policy matters and using secrecy as a weapon when the administration was falling apart all around him.

This is rather unusual for a former professor of the London school of economics and a former finance minister. There was no other way he could have communicated with his students or his colleagues, least of all delivered the Union budget, without opening his mouth.

I wondered what had really happened to him over the years and here a stroke of luck helped me.

When I was with my dentist friend at Green Park, his uncle dropped in to spend the evening there. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that uncleji was in the panel of doctors who had treated our PM for the last five years.

Here was a chance to find out about our PM from someone who has looked deep into his mouth.

“Why is our PM mostly silent on all issues?”

“He was not silent at all during UPA-I. During the vote of confidence motion moved by the Left parties during the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal, his incisors and premolars had partially decayed. He couldn’t chew on any question that needed his left molar. To reduce his pain, I had hidden some swabs of cotton dipped in dettol on the left side of his mouth with the result nobody could understand what he spoke. He mumbled though his speech amidst thunderous applause by Congress members. In fact I had suggested to the UPA chairperson to issue a whip that every member must clap throughout his speech!”

“Oh, I see.”

“In fact the other day when he went to both Lok Sabha and the Upper House, his teeth on the left canine was colliding directly with the one below causing a guttural sound and to those around PM this would have looked he was gnashing his teeth. Soon enough he was tearing Lal Krishna Advaniji to pieces as he had called him a puppet Prime Minister.”

“You seem to have read the PM’s teeth like a book and so his moods too.”

Shayad. Again during the nuclear bill debate his right molar had grown wild and was directly challenging the teeth around the periphery. You could call this an unhinged and untrammeled growth, the one that comes from supreme power.  I filed and cut his teeth to size, so to say, and I found his speech on the nuclear bill which started with a supreme air of arrogance had come down next day by several notches to one of decency once the sharp edges were filed.”

“What has happened of late?” my friend asked his uncle.

“When he spoke of the compulsions of coalition politics, which he pronounces as collision, he was simply stating the facts.  He had bit hard in to the muruku brought by some DMK members from Saravana Bhavan which tore his gum off the dental arch and hit the roof. Till this day CBI has not cracked this case whether it was an act of culinary negligence or a willful and deliberate attack on his teeth for not helping its corrupt members rotting in jail.”

“You haven’t answered our question. Why is he mostly silent these days,” we asked simultaneously.

“I don’t think it has to do with his teeth. My psychiatrist friend in the panel, who watches the PM all the time, was telling me it may have to do with his job security and some rebellion brewing within the party,” concluded the dentist.

Just one question ‘God’ should ask Yedi & HDK

21 June 2011

Now that two power-drunk, sons of the soil lording over the real estate that is Karnataka have decided to subject the presiding deity at Dharmasthala to His biggest test yet—to adjudicate which of the two is being economical with the truth—now is the time for ordinary mortals to step up to the pulpit and help Lord Manjunatha in this dharmic duel slated for 27 June 2011.

What is the one question that the guardian of the temple, D. Veerendra Heggade, should keep in mind while chief minister B.S. Yediyurappa and JDS president H.D. Kumaraswamy bow reverentially before Him, to find out which of the two is the bigger liar, which of the two is more corrupt, which of the two has more to hide and, indeed, which of the two is the bigger disgrace to the State.

Keep your queries short, civil and suitably deferential.

Photograph: Youth Congress workers play Goli Aata (marbles) on the street to register their protest at the temple-theatrics of chief minister B.S. Yediyurappa and former CM H.D. Kumaraswamy, in Bangalore on Tuesday (Karnataka Photo News)

Also read: Should netas swear before ‘God’ in secular India?

How BJP has raised witchcraft to statecraft

CHURUMURI POLL: Black magic in Silicon Halli?

What the stars foretell for our Avivekanandas

Bharat as seen from the city of baked beans?

2 June 2011

In March 1976, New Yorker magazine ran Saul Steinberg‘s tongue-in-cheek map of the world as seen by New Yorkers, more precisely as seen by New Yorkers on 9th avenue. That idea has since been copied ad nauseam by artistes across the world to show how, in the new globalised, connected world, our vision is very local, sometimes even racial.

Saulberg’s idea seems to have inspired a self-proclaimed “really cool Bangalorean” to come up with a map that drives home all the stereotypes of all the people who walk this land, or intend to, and comes with a health warning for those who can’t stomach it.

What has the really cool Bangalorean left out, ignored, forgotten, missed? Join in.

Source: unknown, will be acknowledged if notified

BANGALORE: ‘A city whose soul has been clinically removed

C.N.R. RAO: If IT takes away Bangalore’s values, burn IT

PAUL THEROUX: Bangalore’s idiots who speak an idiolect at home

CHURUMURI POLL: Who killed Bangalore?

How Mr Bean greeted the Chennai Super Kings

30 May 2011

The deserving winners of the fourth edition of the Indian Premier League get a royal salute from the man married to Sunetra Sastry.

Link via Hariharan Natarajan

Nossa krishns é agora um dos desenhos animados

16 February 2011


Três dias após a leitura de um discurso feito para o ministro dos Negócios Estrangeiros português, o nosso Somanahalli Mallaiah Krishna torna-se um ajuste de caracteres para os desenhos animados. Amul cortesia dos desenhos animados.

The Class Monitor and the High Ranking Bully

31 January 2011

E.R. RAMACHANDRAN writes: Once upon a time there was a Class Monitor. He had been appointed Class Monitor as the school teachers thought he was honest, sincere and hard-working.

His duties were to see that the chalk pieces and dusters were readily available in the class.  He was also supposed to wipe the black board clean and keep the classroom tidy. He was to be a role model for the other students in the class.

To help the Class Monitor in his work, the school had assigned some students to work with him. From time to time he would go to the office clerk to replenish the stocks.

In the beginning the Class Monitor was honest, sincere and hardworking. But after some time, he started taking his job lightly. He procured more chalk pieces than required from the school store and started distributing the extra pieces to his friends and family.

Since he was paying less and less attention in class and studying less and less at home, the Class Monitor donated some red-colored chalk pieces to temples hoping God would make him pass the exams and complete the term.

He was also not keeping the class tidy any more, and began distributing dusters of 2″x3″ and 2″x4″ size, mostly to his family members, brothers and sister. He also started distributing mops of 9″x9″  and 12″x12″ which were basically given to swab the classroom.

Soon, other boys in the school as well as the office clerk noticed that dusters and mops were missing, but since he was the Class Monitor, nobody dared complain against him.

Into this class, in the middle of the term, came a High Ranking Bully. The High Ranking Bully was related to the school governess. Since he had the support of the governess, the High Ranking Bully, started troubling the CM.

He started picking up fights with the Class Monitor on each and every issue. Some students whom he befriended informed the High Ranking Bully about the pilferage of chalk pieces, dusters and mops.

He started openly challenging the authority of the CM in the class. The Class Monitor took on the High Ranking Bully and they had several skirmishes rolling over each other in the classroom itself just before the teachers came to the classroom.

Even the teachers were afraid of the High Ranking Bully as the governess was very powerful. They were all afraid of her.

The High Ranking Bully complained to the office clerk about the missing dusters as well as chalks periodically given to the Class Monitor’s custody. When confronted, the Class Monitor justified his action saying all previous Class Monitors had done the same and he had not done anything different.

Amidst all this fight, the class started stinking as it was ages since the classroom was swept and washed. Cobwebs appeared in the corners. Teachers had to endure the stench that emanated from the classroom.

The Class Monitor’s only objective now was to somehow complete the term. The High Ranking Bully however was determined to have him dismissed bringing all his influence for the fight which looked like going to the finish.

There was, thus a stalemate.

Finally, the class mustered enough strength of its own. They had had enough of the Class Monitor and The High Ranking Bully. They decided their class was more important than both of them.

One day, they came with brooms, washing powder and water. They cleaned the class room thoroughly, removed the cobwebs and it was sparkling clean again. Finally, with their new broom they swept both the Class Monitor and the High Ranking Bully out of the classroom.

In a clean well-swept classroom, without the trouble- makers, the lessons now could start again.

A naataka mandali for the theatre of the absurd

23 January 2011

E.R. RAMACHANDRAN writes: I bumped into yesteryear’s Ace Dramatist (AD) at the Ranga Shankara last night.

AD is an actor, playwright and producer who has seen better days. He even the played the role of a thief—kalla known as chor to Hindi audiences—in Gubbi Veeranna’s classic Sadaarame.

As we ordered coffee in the canteen I asked him how theatre was faring these days.

“Our company could survive talkie cinema, cricket, television, even the internet, but now we are being wiped out by another drama company from our own State.”

AD looked down and out.

“You now face extinction from one of your own? Et tu brute!” I sympathised.

AD continued: “You may say so, Ramanna. Ours is a small group of just 8 to 10 artistes. So we do multiple roles in a play, we squeeze ourselves in a small car and go around playing to small audiences in obscure corners of the State. It is hard life but we were eking out a living somehow. But with the entry of KaraNaama,  nobody will call us to stage plays anymore.”

KaraNaama? What is it? A new drama company?”

“Yes. KaraNaaMa is a short form of Karnataka Naataka Mandali. It’s a government company specialising in ‘theatre of the absurd’.”

“What do they do?”

“They do what their name says, naama haakodu, on the gullible public! They also stage plays.”

“How big is this troupe?”

KaraNaama has 224 members. They have a loudSpeaker and a speedGovernor, making the total 226.”

“This is the age of liberalisation, you must learn to face competition from market forces, kanaiah.”

Ayyo, Ramanna, KaraNaama is a huge company with bottomless resources. They have artistes for any role: drunkard, debaucher, broker, agent, killer. If they fall short of cash, they can create fictitious companies and make banks give them crores of rupees. They can play the role of politicians on a padayatra and dance on the street wearing goggles. They can play devout, religous roles. They can play incurable lovers.”


Some can even cry at the drop of a hand kerchief. Cauvery and Kabini are always ready to start streaming down their cheeks at a moment’s notice. Even Master Hirannaiah says he is nothing compared to these pros.”

“This is a big compliment. How do they travel?”

“They move around in A/C Volvo buses which their sponsors have donated for the cause of theatrics in the State.  Every now and then they go and stay in exotic resorts for days together and depending on the situation, kidnap their own members, threaten them and sometimes even auction themselves.”

“Don’t they fight when they travel? After all, 224 is a big number?”

“Yes, they do. Some of them even tear their shirts on stage. That’s where the loudSpeaker comes into operation. Through the loudSpeaker comes the voice repeating itself hoarse: ‘I say, keep quiet!’ or ‘Dayamaadi,dayamaadi, koothkoli’.

“What about the speedGovernor?”

Avankathe ne bere. The speedGovernor makes sure the bus stays within the prescribed speed limit but sometimes when the bus exceeds the speed limit, passengers and public hear words such as ‘Ulta chhor Kotwal ko daante!’ from the microphone attached to the speedGovernor.”


“The problem is, the troupe members are unable to see who is the Chor and who is the Kotwal. I understand the speedGovernor is gradually getting defective and needs either an overhaul or some tuning.”

“Ha, ha! Where has KaraNaama staged their plays so far?”

“To a wide variety of audiences actually. The bootleggers association of bewdaas. The illegal gold diggers’ association of Bellary. The benaami land holders’ association. When the attention flags, they manage to get the TV stations to simultaneously stage their plays”

“Which are their most famous plays?”

“They have reworked Hiranniah’s Lanchavatara. They have done an English play called The Last Resort. They have a Telugu bilingual called Reddygaaru-Cheddygaaru. They have a medico-criminal play called Nursoo-Purseoo.”

“With so many artistes don’t they fight among themselves.”

“Fight? They call each other loafers, liars, landgrabbers, they come to exchanging blows, they kidnap each other, they stand on their seats and tear their shirts etc. But when money is offered in crores they hug each other and declare their undying loyalty. Even the experts at NIMHANS can’t explain their behaviour.”

“That explains everything. Do the artistes have any personal ambition?”

“It seems they all aspire to become MLAs one day.”

“What about the loudSpeaker and the speedGovernor?”

“They are disposables. As the Speaker gets old  and cranky, they may sell it off and get a new one; when the speedGovernor loses control and goes crazy, her Boss will throw it and replace the same with a new one,” replied AD.

File photograph: Chief minister B.S. Yediyurappa after inaugurating a forest camp project at Sakrebylu in Shimoga district in July 2010 (Karnataka Photo News)

Like charity, cleaning up begins at home & party

7 January 2011

E.R. RAMACHANDRAN writes: Ajji was watching the news and shouted suddenly, “Lo Ramu, avanu Quarter Ki alva?”

Ajji! He is not Quarter Ki. He is Quattrocchi. Ottavio Quattrocchi.”

Yeno sudugadu! I had seen his picture long back in the papers. There were rumours that he had taken money for Baafars gannu or something during Rajiv Gandhi‘s time.”

Ajji! Although you mispronounce names, your memory is as sharp as a kitchen chaaku. You’re right. He was accused of taking a bribe when India bought Bofors guns.”

“Didn’t Quarter Ki get some kicks?”

“Kicks alla Ajji, kickbacks. In a way, you are right. He needs kicks. Lots of them!”

Alvo! Just last week madam Sonia Gandhi sat cross-legged under huge photographs of Gandhiji, Nehru, Patel etc, on loads and loads of pillows and thundered to all, ‘We will not tolerate corruption’.”

“This is normal in all Congress meetings, Ajji. It seems, an angry Jawaharlal Nehru used to throw the cushions on some sleeping Congressman or the other. Now, most of them sleep on them anyway.”

Ajji ignored my interruption.

“She wanted the world to hear about her war on corruption. If she is serious about it, why doesn’t she start eradicating corruption from her house itself. Like they say, ‘Charity begins at home’.”

Ajji, volle Kumble googly haakkde. If that happens, her son, grandson or anybody from her family cannot become India’s Prime Minister. Ever.”

Howdu, Nija. This came out only because of an IT report by Narayana Murthy.”

Ajji, this IT is income tax, not information technology IT. Narayana Murthy has nothing to do with it.”

Sudugaadu, whatever it is, some government body thinks Quatrappa made money with kicks.”

“Quatrappa? Soon you will make him Yediyurappa.”

“Don’t interrupt me. Shouldn’t Sonia Gandhi start the war against corruption by sending our police or CID to arrest him?”

“Not CID, it is the CBI’s job. Our CBI still don’t want to get him even if other countries are willing to hand him over.”

Manehaalaru.  One more thing…”


“North nalli, ‘Ji‘ is used as a suffix for all their names. Manmohanji, Soniaji, Pawarji…”

Ajji, you are also a ‘Ji‘! What are you trying to say?”

“I understand in the GG case the fact that there was corruption was brought out by a government body. I don’t know the name. Income tax inspector hendthi Iravathamma told me it was some CAG  or GAG.”

“Ha, ha. So Iravathamma is your latest source?”

“Software Seethamma interdus maadidru temple nalli. Iravathamma says country is running because of some honest officers. Otherwise this GG galaate would have never come out.”

Galaate alla, ghotala. but your friend Iravathamma is right. Only because of the good work by CAG, IT tribunal and to some extent the media, all the scams are tumbling out one after the other.”

Yenoppa. Poltishans are only busy making illegal money. That is their first love, it seems.”

“Correct, Ajji.”

“First and last love, koodano?”

“Absolutely, Ajji.”

25 films that our 25 news makers must watch

3 January 2011

E.R. RAMACHANDRAN writes: With 2010 now firmly in the past tense, here are 25 movies that have been carefully handpicked for the 25 most famous and notorious personalities of the year gone by:


1. B.S. Yediyurappa: Do bheega zameen

2. Manmohan Singh: Silence of the Lambs

3. A. Raja: Shree 420

4. Suresh Kalmadi: The Great Train Robbery/ Ocean’s XI

5. Sonia Gandhi: Chuppaa Rustum

6. V.V.S. Laxman: Mission Impossible

7. Reddy Brothers: SSLC nanna makkalu

8. Barkha Dutt: Chor machaaye shor

9. Vir Sanghvi: Bawarchi

10. Katta Subramanya Naidu: Makmal topi

11. Ratan Tata: Honour thy Father

12. Shobha Karandlaje: Chickpete Sachagalu

13. M. Karunanidhi: Naan avan illai

14. Rajesh and Nupur Talwar: Oru CBI Diary Kurippu

15. H.R. Bharadwaj: Aaptharakshaka

16. Hartaalu Halappa: Rama Shama Bhama

17. Deve Gowda & Sons: The Sicilian Clan

18. Sharad Pawar: The Onion Field

19. Omar Abdullah: Mujhe jeene do

20. Bal and Aditya Thackeray: Two of a kind

21. Digvijay Singh: Mad Max

22. Shashi Tharoor: Dubai Seenu

23. Niira Radia: Dial M for Murder / The Matrix

24. Ashok Chavan: The Apartment

25. Rahul Gandhi: Waiting for the Moon


Which film will you recommend for your favourite personality?

What you read is what they eat before they vote

27 December 2010

After a week’s break, churumuri returns to recognise the use of its bastardised namesake as an election tool in Reddy country.

From a report in Deccan Herald:

“As usual, the candidates are banking heavily on the Bellarians’ all-time favourite: Oggarane churumuri and Menasinakayi Bajji…. The Oggarane churumuri, now modified to Koli oggarane (chicken mixed with churumuri), is said to have been distributed in full spree.

Koli oggarane is said to have assumed popularity in several villages in the district…. It is learnt that in Kapagallu alone, 150 kilograms of chicken oggarane was prepared and distributed on Friday.”

Image: courtesy Deccan Herald

Also read: What is churumuri?