It is height of summer in north India. With schools shutting for annual vacations, everybody is headed to the hills. Traffic jams for Shimla begin at Delhi; one has to walk from Dehradun for any reasonable chance to make it to Mussoorie
Meanwhile auto air conditioners are being re-checked and replaced to prepare for the likely event of converting vehicles into mobile bedrooms for the family, given the inevitable long power cuts.
Like every year, power ministry officials have said there will be no outrages this time. Unlike weather forecasts, electricity supply projections have been incorrect since many years before I was born and I am not that young any more. Last year the power grid collapsed in whole of India.
Given such contexts, over the years, during summer I prefer to briefly move into top-end five star resorts that have proliferated around Delhi and Gurgaon where I live. These cater to the rich, overseas tourists and corporate clients.
The idea of the break is to beat the heat, dust, pollution, fumes, power cuts, traffic, no water supply, monotony and routine at Trident, Taj, Leela, Marriott and Westin among others to enjoy the facilities by paying minimum, staying maximum duration, while availing all discounts assuming that the reader, like me, seeks to make each spent penny count.
It can be rejuvenating – pool, spa, gym, sauna, food, drinks, movies, tennis, ping pong, badminton, reading or working on the laptop, all located within a full power backed up centrally air conditioned ambience, lounge, in house library, butlers, smiling hostesses and more. It is best to check travel portals, credit card offers and hotel websites before booking. This is non-tourist season.
There can be healthy cash backs, if one is alert. Check in early, check out late. Put in the request up front to the reservation desk when your negotiating position is strong. If the room is not ready, deposit the luggage at the locker and hit the pool.
I prefer to opt for packages that exclude food and drinks that can cut costs by half. Buffets are psychologically debilitating. If one has paid for it, one is obliged to gorge. My idea of a holiday is not to over eat, rest between meals, listening to the tummy gurgle instead of music while popping antacids. Most resorts, in any case, have ongoing corporate conferences due to which restaurants resemble packed metro coaches during meal times.
If at all go for breakfast buffet but make sure to load the bigger plates with items you may like to consume when hungry again later in the day. I, for example, assemble two big platters of uncut fruit and bakery items cover them with napkins while heading back to the room after a hearty breakfast.
Unlike booze, most hotels don’t mind resident guests carting out the buffet fare. There could be an odd overzealous manager who may object. The solution is to appear irritated, pretend to be on the verge of screaming, while walking away.
The matter is too minor for the hotel staff to risk a scene or raised voices in the presence of other guests. Too much food is wasted at star hotels for the management to bother about a few extra apples or muffins consumed.
I prefer to carry my own groceries for other meals, while asking for as many free fruit platters, tea and coffee bags. The mini bar and electric kettle can serve as an effective kitchen. Request housekeeping to empty out the mini bar containing Rs 20 chocolate bars priced at Rs 200 or Rs 50 beer pint bottles at Rs 400. The fridge can be used to store milk, bread, butter, ham, juice, cheese, curd, mangoes, booze and more. Use the kettle to boil eggs, Maggie or pasta. I have made rice too. Check out the pastry shop late in the evening. They usually offer half price happy hours.
Some hotels can be squeamish about bottled water for no particular reason. They can charge Rs 100 for a bottle that costs Rs 15 a step outside. Water can easily be boiled in the kettle and stored in the mini bar. Gyms usually have little bottles for patrons. I carry away 3-4 at a time. You could also keep a look out for trolleys parked along corridors, while the staff is inside the room, cleaning.
Pick up a couple of sealed bottles. In case somebody happens to notice, ask very politely whether you can take one. If they spot you on CCTV cameras, they will not bother you for picking a couple of bottles of water.
I was reading recently that Indians are big filchers of hotel items. Steal, but smartly, without going overboard or getting caught or embarrassing yourself.
Those who have moral concerns about such behavior are requested not to read beyond here. Most big hotels in India today are owned directly or indirectly by those connected to power, government, politics and bureaucracy. These folks have made their money by embezzling hard earned tax payers’ money.
So, there are many who don’t mind secretly screwing a little those who are already unlawful. Breakable items such as crockery, soap dishes, coffee mugs, wine glasses, breakfast buffet plates are easy pickings.
Most hotels allow for handling losses due to breakage and don’t bother about such missing articles. Hangers, bottle openers, bathing gowns, hand towels are never tracked. Be careful about the bigger linen, though.
This is unsafe zone. They are carefully counted. I know a few who walked away with curtains, bed sheets, bed covers and pillows. The hotel called to clarify the missing items. This is unnecessary. A weekend at a resort during summer is not a bad deal, if one can get it right, along with a few wrongs.
We have yet another instance of a VVIP, this time Uttar Pradesh minister Azam Khan being questioned by security officials at an American airport.
Apparently Khan was gently quizzed by a lady official for ten minutes, the time normally taken by disembarking passengers to visit the loo, if there is a bit of rush.
Usually, when they take you aside in USA, they strip you to the very minimum and beyond, without peeing, that can be uncomfortable after a long journey.
But, Khan suffered no such indignity, though he should be happy he now belongs to a long list of more distinguished Indians who have been double checked at American airports many times. They include Aamir Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Shahrukh Khan, Abdul Kalam, among others. Most have quietly carried on with their itineraries, except SRK, who once timed his very public airing of grievance to the release of a movie, which was good marketing strategy.
Azam Khan could have easily headed to Harvard along with Akhilesh Yadav, the chief minister of UP, India’s most populous state, whose hand is full managing ego centric uncles, relatives and father Mulayam Singh’s rabble rousing pals like Khan.
Harvard University invited Akhilesh and Khan, to speak about handling the Kumbh Mela, a logistical nightmare involving millions of God fearing devotees who believe that a dip in the heavily polluted Ganga and Yamuna will cleanse them of sins for eternity even if they have to deal with sores and skin disease in the immediate future.
The students of Harvard instead got to witness a firsthand case study of a pure breed narrow minded vote bank seeking middle level Indian politician at his rabid best. This will be helpful to anybody wanting do business with India. They will need to know how to deal with law makers such as Khan. They abound.
Indian politicians, as we know and probably Harvard found out the hard way, thrive on any opportunity for free political mileage. Khan sensed a global audience from Boston, an occasion to be on CNN, BBC and Times Now at the same time.
He went ballistic linking the security episode to America’s imperialistic designs, specific anti-Muslim profiling at airports, a weak Manmohan Singh as Prime Minister due to which he was targeted. Khan’s equally demented supporters joined the chorus deriding US authorities and Singh.
Manmohan, for once, reacted rightly by keeping silent. President Obama, already caught up handling deranged kids in America, probably thought Khan was a supporter of former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf seeking asylum.
Narendra Modi probably thought it was a stupid idea to fly all the way to America when 3-D video conferencing could have worked better. Rahul Gandhi probably feels Khan should undertake a train journey to know the real America.
Though there is some truth about Muslims being targeted at US airports, Khan clearly went overboard in trying to kill 10 political birds with one stone, including cancelling the Harvard lecture. Ideally he should have lodged a formal complaint, used the toilet and carried on with his program.
Instead, the students of Harvard, luckily or unluckily, also got a glimpse of India’s overbearing VVIP culture that is very touchy about having their way, including walking in and out of Indian airports and aircrafts unchecked and unhindered as if they are visiting a restaurant in a mall or a movie hall.
Common Indian citizens, of course, have to submit themselves to a physical rub down at these locations by semi-literate, ill-trained, lowly paid security guards derived from impoverished areas such as Bihar, who spend most of their day scratching private parts, smoking and chewing tobacco. It is not hygienic.
The Indian VVIP culture reflects an attitude of superiority, invincibility and treating common citizens like dirt. It thrives on trampling rule of law, abuse of power and treating of tax payers’ money as a personal savings account with free unlimited withdrawals. The VVIP could be ministers, bureaucrats, police officials, Mukesh Ambani, goons protected by the state due to connections or money.
One manifestation of high handedness is witnessed on Indian roads everyday wherein any traveling VVIP is accompanied by an entourage of SUV’s stuffed with heavily armed security personnel who menacingly weave their way through heavy traffic at high speeds.
They jump red lights, don’t line up at the toll and expect everybody else to quickly move aside or else abuse and assault with impunity. In India, ambulances get caught in traffic, never a VVIP convoy and Domino’s pizza home delivery.
India’s Supreme Court is deliberating banning Internet pornography. The trigger has been the brutal sexual and physical assault on a 5-year old girl in Delhi by two perverts, allegedly after drinking alcohol and watching porn.
Interestingly there is no call to ban sale of alcohol, which is a much greater social evil due to direct linkages with domestic violence, attacks on women, road accidents, brawls and more.
Will perverts, psychopaths, abnormal creatures stop raping and killing girls once access to porn is snapped, if that is technically possible?
The connection, in my view, is simplistic. For the mentally deranged, violent triggers can be anything – billboards, short skirts, TV ads, jeans, movies. Do we stop living due to the perverts in our midst?
Assault on fairer sex is a deeper social problem linked to education, upbringing, unchecked consumerism, objectification of women, patriarchal mindsets and scant respect of laws.
It is not going to disappear in a hurry and needs to be tackled the right way at multiple levels. If there has to be a shutdown, then ban sale of alcohol and cigarettes, castrate policemen who don’t register a rape case or hang politicians who loot tax payers’ money. What about violence in movies?
The impact of porn on the human mind has been blown out of proportion. Perfectly normal people can watch porn with no side effects, while completely abnormal people can have no access to porn and be a nuisance to society. At the same time, perfectly normal people could get drunk, crash their cars and cost lives. Perfectly normal people can smoke and die of lung cancer.
An absolute ban on online porn does not sound all right, as consensual sex is not unnatural human behavior to begin with. Curbing individual spirit and natural feelings does not work in India, elsewhere or any sphere of life.
We saw it with the erstwhile license permit raj that created India’s black and hawala economy. Will it work if Chris Gayle is asked to score a century off singles or Virendra Sehwag is told to cut out the lofted square cut.
Banning porn will simply drive the industry underground, as it used to be earlier, to seedy parlors and illegal DVD’s that nobody can control. The desperate online search for Sunny Leone will translate into brisk sale of offline hard copies.
A healthy interest in sex is not bad. Watching porn for entertainment is not bad, even if it involves two or more people steroid or silicon induced to turn private portions to resemble enlarged genetically modified vegetable or poultry.
Porn can be therapeutic, especially during a lonely spell in the day or night, if one can ignore the steroid bit and focus on the silicon bit, assuming that it is men who are the largest consumer of porn as multiple studies prove.
The bigger question is about regulation of porn. That is required, like censorship in movies. Access of porn by children needs to be strictly monitored by parents and schools. There are aspects about child porn, bestiality and subjugation that cannot be tolerated and must be weeded out, the perpetrators caught and severely punished. The Taliban have got everything wrong except summary treatment of those accused of sexual crimes on women and children.
It is necessary to form a group of independently appointed evolved people to decide what is right, wrong, permitted or should be banned online, like the Censor Board for movies. Obsolete characters that link misbehavior with women to consuming noodles and suggestive looks need to be strictly kept out of such a panel.
Ideally they should be doomed to a life of abstinence from here on, with no access to even porn. Decisions on publicly consumed content also cannot be left to the whims of over stretched, desensitized, easily corruptible beat constables, as demonstrated by the case of the arrest of two girls in Mumbai for innocuous comments on Facebook.
Statues to deter rape can always be strengthened further. While there are those who seek hanging and public flogging, I suggest that parents be culpable for such crimes committed by those under 25. They need to be responsible for the demons that have created. Make the parents also accountable for related crimes linked to alcohol abuse and driving crashes due to over speeding.
Delhi’s police commissioner said he would resign a thousand times if rapes don’t happen by his quitting. I say he should be made to resign a million times for having personnel under him who tried to shoo away the poor 5-year olds parents when they went to report the crime. Only when the chief is directly responsible for the behavior of his staff, will the working of our security forces improve.
This should apply to other departments and private sector. There should be a culture of accountability, not hiding behind Z plus security, bodyguards and red beacon cars.
There are many problems in India, including drought. Ajit Pawar’s crass pee remark to fill up empty dams in Maharashtra is unacceptable.
The state faces large scale farmer suicides due to crop failure brought about by drought and lack of irrigation facilities. Pawar probably thought he did a Jaspal Bhatti or a Navjot Singh Sidhu that would make everybody laugh.
Bhatti was good at what he did. There are varied opinions about Sidhu. But, politicians in India, apart from doing a bad job with the country, generally have a bad sense of humor. As a matter of fact, so seeped are they in making illegal money and playing narrow electoral politics, that they don’t know a bad joke from a very bad joke.
We are assuming here that politicians in India cannot crack a joke, so it’s the choice between a bad and a very bad one. Some politicians, of course, don’t even crack those – can anybody recall a bad gag by Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi, Mayawati, Mamata Banerjee, Jayalalitha, Mulayam Singh. Do they even smile at others jokes?
There seems to be something about power that makes many devoid of wit and humor, at least in India. Politicians, of course are the biggest butt of gibes after Sir Ravindra Jadeja on social networking sites. Presently, Pawar jokes seem to have overtaken the perennial favorites, Rahul Gandhi’s intelligence levels, Manmohan Singh’s unspoken lines and the unassailable Rajnikant. Musharraf’s antics in Pakistan have also caught attention. It is not often that a former Pakistani general, the self-confessed architect of the Kargil war, is on the run from civilian authorities within his country.
Pawar’s gibe was a very very bad one. You don’t gag about an issue that is so serious and cost so many lives, like you don’t say that a girl was raped as she was asking for the horrible crime to happen as she was wearing jeans and lipstick and was out in the evening, as many politicians have insinuated.
And, this is when Pawar, himself, as minister in Maharashtra is responsible for irrigation projects to ensure water supply to farmers. Worse, the water is unavailable as it is pilfered to industry, construction, hospitality, farm houses with swimming pools that are venues of lavish parties hosted by the rich.
Such large scale organized diversion of water is not possible without the blessing of people at the top such as Pawar, who then try and sidetrack their failures by cracking cruel jokes that makes nobody laugh, except their own silly selves and cronies that guffaw at anecdotes that most normal humans would consider shitty.
Pawar has since regretted his remark and went on a one day fast as penance. This is nothing for such a well fed man. I suggest he should not pee for one day, while eating and drinking as much as he wants.
No cheating. That would be some atonement. This way he will probably feel some of the pain and pressure that the poor farmer has to endure. Still, it will not repair the inner, deeper self-serving Indian political class today.
Or maybe, Pawar should use his large family wealth to feed impoverished farmers ensuring there is no suicide this summer. That too could be an acceptable apology.
Or maybe, he should be fired from his current job and designated as Minister for Pee with independent charge. His job would be to study why Indians like to pee in the open, even when there is a toilet in the vicinity? Where does this habit originate? Is it historical or ancestral? Its a whodunit.
Given political ingenuity, there will probably be ways to make money here too. Maybe, a BPL biometric card pee card will be instituted that will entitle the poor to continue to do susu anywhere they wish, given their tough lavatory less living conditions. The card will, of course, never be made, while the huge budgetary allocation will fatten more political pockets via some bogus contractor.
Pawar, in a way, is symptomatic of the low standards of large sections of India’s opportunistic politicians that think nothing of turning power into a thriving personal business, whether by controlling the education sector, real estate, natural resources such as land, water, coal or telecom spectrum.
Large government contracts are handed to crony capitalists and benami companies that are secretly owned by political dynasties. In India today, no business is bigger than running the government as a self-owned enterprise involving the nefarious art of transferring of taxpayers’ money into ones’ own pocket, by hook or crook.
The solution ultimately lies with the voter who needs to exorcise those leaders who mean nothing to him or her. They should be peed out.
Some relationships seem to be forever under scrutiny. In politics, there is the one between Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh.
Despite the analysis and speculation, Manmohan-Sonia plane of operation is clear – do as she says or don’t do anything at all. Given such sound understanding that has stood the test of two uneventful tenures Singh has hinted he may not be averse to be PM again, for the third time, unless Narendra Modi has his way.
In the Congress, as everybody knows, it is the Gandhi’s who play, umpire and third umpire at the same time. The rest need to periodically prove themselves as inconsequential or like Digvijay Singh talk absolute gibberish to underline their total intellectual inferiority to the Gandhis.
Given such benchmarks and to keep Sonia in good humor, Singh has repeatedly said he is ready to abdicate the hot seat for Rahul Gandhi, who has ruled himself out as PM for reasons that are as abstract as his speeches.
Beyond politics, the liaison that regularly pops up in any media is Amitabh Bachchan and Rekha. They attend every Bollywood do, are allotted the front row due to their larger than life stature and achievements, but make it a point to avoid each other. A man and a woman can evolve to a stage of effortlessly avoiding each other in public only after knowing each other intimately which Rekha and Bachchan obviously did.
There is certainly deeper understanding that can never be captured on camera. Still, every year during Holi, India serenades to Rang Barse, the sizzling Bachchan-Rekha Silsila number. Such chemistry is not possible with the wife, girlfriend or partner. It is reserved for the other woman.
Beyond Bachchan, there can only be Salman Khan, the only Rs 2 billion Bollywood superstar while others struggle to scale the Rs 1 billion level. Salman is the most eligible middle-aged bachelor in India, along with Rahul Gandhi.
Unlike Rahul who has also ruled out marriage for reasons that again seem very abstract and other worldly, Salman has been involved with two top contemporary Bollywood beauties, Aishwarya Rai and Katrina Kaif.
Kaif and Salman have never admitted to a relationship though they are known to have stayed, traveled, gone out and acted together.
Nobody believes them as such platonic physical proximity is possible only between married couples. Going by media reports Khan, whose movies ride on his machismo image, has been dumped by Kaif for a younger actor, which goes to show that bedding the babe does not guarantee exclusivity with the babe.
It is said real life Salman is a little different than on-screen Salman, as the girls probably find out the hard way. He is supposed to be brash, possessive, hot-tempered, drinks to get drunk not be happily numb and apparently unleashes a slap or two on his lovers that must sting given those bulging biceps and big forearms.
Beyond Salman, there are other lesser Bollywood stars who periodically like to analyze their associations in public garbed as serious intellectual exercise, but actually a marketing gimmick.
For example, Saif Ali Khan is known to say he is a regular guy who has achieved his deepest desire to lead a normal life now that he has a young second wife Kareena Kapoor, an ex-wife, two grown up kids and two sets of in-laws.
Then there are Bipasha Basu and John Abraham who habitually divulge, even when not queried, why they really broke up and have moved on with their lives.
Perhaps taking a cue from brother Saif, Soha Ali Khan often speaks about the possibility of her marriage with her boyfriend, who I believe is an actor, without being provoked to talk about the subject.
Ajay Devgn is happily married to Kajol, but for some strange reason, feels the need to frequently state that he and Shahrukh Khan, Kajol’s co-star in many movies, are not friends and they do not know each other well. Who wants to know whether Devgn and Khan know each other well, apart from Karan Johar?
The present generation of cricketers, meanwhile, is strangely scandal free, unlike earlier. Everybody, like Sachin Tendulkar, seems keen to play with a straight bat in their personal lives. Only a long retired Azharuddin looks to be briskly scoring off the field. There was Yuvraj Singh who unfortunately had to battle cancer.
Virat Kohli has potential should he get the focus right and stops brawling with seniors like Gautam Gambir. In the absence of any solid tittle-tattle, attention has thus been on the Sreesanth-Harbhajan slap gate that happened five years back. Who cares whether Sreesanth was kicked or kissed by Harbhajan.
It is T20 IPL cricket season in India again. Able bodied young, old, superannuated, dropped, playing cricketers from across the world have converged to try and hit the ball like Chris Gayle, the Don Bradman of capsule cricket, with added ability to do the Gangnam dance. T20 cricket has subsumed evening prime time at the cost of others that usually draw attention.
Thus, interest in Arvind Kejriwal’s fast unto death has been as much as the recent test match in Mohali. The activist turned politician did not eat for many days, lost lot of weight, but had to pack up his few diehard followers to go home as his health deteriorated. Perhaps, Kejriwal should have stuck to being an activist. Indians in general don’t like politicians.
Meanwhile, there has hardly been any analysis of one more speech by Rahul Gandhi that again underlined his ability to speak like a very intelligent undergraduate student. The guy is improving but needs to graduate to the next level.
Due to cricket, nobody has had the time to read between the lines of another Narendra Modi loud and aggressive speech that is supposed to subtly convey to his detractors in the BJP that he deserves to be Prime Minister of India because of his Gujarat performance.
If Sanjay Dutt were to be pardoned, the media play would probably be after Stuart Binny’s blistering knock. I did not know who Binny was till yesterday. Now everybody knows he is the son of Roger Binny, a gutsy yesteryears cricketer. Dutt must be wondering in relief where the omnipresent TV cameras outside his house have disappeared.
Even Justice Katju has been uncharacteristically quiet. With his superior acumen he has probably figured that that he will be unheard in the din of cricket balls smashed around and sexy girls dancing and hip shaking between overs and sixes.
Given the new anti-rape laws one is unsure whether it is legal to ogle at the girls anymore. Or to stare at Katrina Kaif’s flat tummy during her IPL inauguration aerobics routine in an exercise bra, that was passed off as a dance performance.
Could that be a non-bail-able offence? Could the cops suddenly appear at your house and say, “sir, we have seen footage of an IPL match where you have been caught looking at young girls dancing in little shorts, which is illegal. You are under arrest and have to go to jail.’’
Better to wear very large dark goggles or else follow Shahrukh Khan cheering, dancing, hooting and hugging his kids as if he has personally dismissed Gayle for naught. Going by past behavior, SRK should soon pick up a fight to add to the already large number of post-match IPL party brawls.
The IPL-T20 marketing strategy has been worked out. The assumption is like porn anywhere and masala Bollywood films in India, Indians can never have too much of cricket. There will always be enough watching the game anytime for everybody, management, promoters, cricketers, sponsors and TV channels to make profits.
In order to garner local support and fervor, players have been advised to speak emotionally about their attachment to the city they represent.
For example, Rahul Dravid has spoken about his love for Jaipur as his wife shopped there some years back. Anil Kumble has spoken about the night he walked on Marine Drive when he realized he was a Mumbaite. MS Dhoni loves Chennai as he rode a bike there once. I love Timbuktu because the sky there is blue.
The cricketers are happy. It is very good money for a few weeks in office. Youngsters, pestered by parents to study, take up a job and stop playing cricket, are national heroes. Players in their rickety 40s such as Dravid, Ricky Ponting and Adam Gilchrist, who could be brushing up their English to write cricket columns for leading newspapers, find their playing careers extended.
Only Sachin Tendulkar is doing what he is supposed to do in his 40’s, enjoying the game, without scoring runs. Meanwhile, the commentators alternatively speak Hindi and English to address the equally important India and Bharat viewers.
This can be a little uncomfortable for some. The usually suave Harsha Bhogle has been trying to stick to rehearsed Hindi clichés like, anything can happen in cricket or cricket is a game of uncertainties.
For other parts of his Hindi analysis he smiles assuming that the viewer will be able to read his thoughts in English. Mohinder Amarnath has no such problems. Both his Hindi and English sound like Hindi.
Still, there is talk that IPL may be losing steam and the money making may not be sustainable. Like Tendulkar’s retirement, maybe it will happen, maybe it will not.
There has been another MMS sex scandal in India to add to numerous others involving usual suspects actors, actresses, models, school kids, god men and politicians, not necessarily in that order. This could be a sociological study of people in this country having some fun, a few on the side.
The one’s I can recall include Swami Nityananda, who claimed he did not know what he was doing as he was in some kind of trance. Nobody, of course believed him. Another allegedly involved octogenarian ND Tiwari, proving that no Viagra is greater than being a politician in this country, given their enormous clout.
There was one involving actress Kareena Kapoor with her then beau Shahid Kapur that could have passed off as a tutorial on how couples should not kiss each other. The clip was vehemently denied.
Surprisingly, no cricketer has ever been caught in the act. At least I don’t recall any, which highlights the excessive cricket being played by India. The poor rich boys have no time beyond wielding the willow. Or, maybe everybody idealizes too much Sachin Tendulkar who combines perfect professional and personal ethics.
Predictably, the latest sex video has gone viral online, again highlighting that scandalous porn by far elicits top rating in the virtual world beating hard work by PSY for Gangnam, Justin Bieber for Baby and Amitabh Bachchan Facebook updates, periodically endorsing his son Abhishek as a great actor.
The MMS sex clip involves an unfortunate actress called Mona Singh whose pictures have allegedly been morphed. I had not heard about Mona until news about her splashed on national news. Apparently she is a TV celebrity.
I have stopped watching Indian TV channels as they don’t excite any of my faculties, including the dumb and unintelligent part. I have desperately tried to don an exponentially silly side, but have still failed to appreciate Indian TV programming. That’s the reason I had no idea that a TV star called Mona existed, until the MMS scandal happened.
For a moment I did think, why Mona, why not anybody else. I feel cheated, it should have been me, did I hear Poonam Pandey, the queen of self-generated scandalous MMS videos in India. Thankfully, there is no need to morph Sunny Leone, unless one seeks to make a clip in which she is not having sex. The creator of the Mona MMS clip probably loved Mona a lot to hate her so much now or may be just did not realize that the video would become such an online hit.
The cops I believe are trying to get to the bottom of the episode after Mona filed a complaint. The police is getting better at handling cybercrime. For long used to instant solutions by the wielding of the baton (lathi, danda in colloquial) the cops did not quite get it right, when cybercrime emerged.
They went about arresting anybody confused that downloading an illegal MMS clip is not the same thing as uploading or creating a MMS video. While the cops figured out such simple nuances owning a computer with a net connection almost became a security risk in India.
The police men could probably arrest almost all rickshaw wallahs as the poor are the most creative users of cell phones in India, including MMS downloading. The poor may not have enough to eat, but do make sure there is enough balance on their pre-paid cards and constantly change ring tones. Such is the addiction.
All MMS scandals have not actually been for the bad. Please don’t get me wrong here. But, if one were to apply Sociologist Ashish Nandy’s argument that some corruption is good, all MMS’s have not turned out as bad as initially envisaged.
As a matter of fact some suspect some MMS clips to be deliberate acts for publicity. Globally MMS sex queens have included Pamela Anderson, Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian performing sexual acts with current or ex-boyfriends.
After being initially distraught, pretending or otherwise, these ladies have en-cashed their instant global e-fame into multi-million dollar businesses as fashion divas, brand ambassadors, singers, actresses, reality TV stars, intellectuals, animal rights activists and more. This does not mean that MMS scandals are for the good.
It is a gross invasion of privacy. But, as Nandy might put it, they may not be entirely for the bad for some. Mona, of course, should get justice. The perpetrator of the crime should be behind bars, even if Justice Katju wants him pardoned.