He is a Muslim and he is an Indian. And he does not see any distinction between the two.

As the state of Jammu and Kashmir struggles to come to terms with strife and turmoil, much of the recent violence has been attributed to the mismanagement of young Omar Abdullah. His administration has been criticized by the PDP, the separatists, and the people alike and he has failed to inspire the respect that he was expected to command the moment he took over as the youngest chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir. Continue reading

God loves VIPs and hates my shorts!

Almost a year ago, I tried to enter the Jain temple in Sion wearing shorts. I was stopped at the gate by the watchman who informed me with an air of arrogance that I couldn’t go in as shorts were banned from temple premises. He pointed to a notice on the blackboard just outside the temple. The notice was in Gujarati. And I can’t read Gujarati. Apparently, it said God hated my shorts. And since then, every jaunt to the temple has been in my shorts. I love fighting authority! Continue reading

As Calvin would say – In my opinion, television validates existence…

I was well into my early teens when I realized Swapnil Joshi was not Lord Krishna and Puneet Issar was not the evil Duryodhana from Vyas’s Mahabharat. Growing up when computers were just becoming popular meant that television played an important role as a means of entertainment and information. Indeed, the tube was where I learned the stories of Lord Krishna (1993) and Mahabharat (1988), thanks to Ramanand Sagar and B. R. Chopra. Spending the best part of my summer vacations at my grandfather’s place, and a lot many subsequent Sunday evenings, meant that there was no escaping the beatific Joshi as Krishna or the deep, rough baritone of wicked Issar.  As the 90’s moved on, another serial became a part of the Sunday routine – Akbar-Birbal. With Birbal played by the likeable Anang Desai (Tulsidas from ‘Khichdi’) and the venerated Akbar played by Marathi theatre personality, Vikram Gokhale, it did not take long for the show to capture a young boy’s imagination. Continue reading