- 6 tigers and 1 leopard: It goes to show you what parks like Kanha are capable of. 1 tiger and the leopard were actually witnessed making a kill, which is like a one-in-a-million thing. I expected to see tigers at Kanha, and hoped to see a leopard. This went beyond all hopes and dreams
- Fields of plastic: The most disturbing thing about the new market economy is that rural India gets products without the means to safely dispose of them. Jabalpur was horrific in this respect, with plastic bags clogging and filling the city's drains. Equally disturbing was the sight of plastic filling every pit and basti by the rails on the train back to Delhi - there was a pool saturated with polythene which looked deceptively stable till you noticed an embankment and the water plants by it. Most disturbing of all: Plastic waste lining the highway towards Kanha, and slowly but surely entering the farmers' fields on either ends. If Kanha was the stuff of dreams, the trip back was the stuff of nightmares.
- Baichung Bhutia on Jhalak Dikhla Ja: A man who was once regarded a crusader amidst the fatcats, a footballer in a cricket-frenzied nation, a man whom you never saw on TV and had to know from quizzes, is now in the news more than ever because of his dancing skills. What has reality TV done to our kalaacharam?
- Nymphets on a Krishna devotional: I dunno who came up with the music to this video I saw on B4U. I can't find the video itself, [Update: here it is. Artist is named Tulsi Kumar] to show you. But the thing goes thus: Three schoolgirls (one of whom has an I-card saying she's sixteen) modify their I-cards to sneak into an adults only concert featuring the artist (if one may use the term). They then land up on stage as well with said artist and a dozen topless men. The ensemble then pull off the usual thumkas and jhatkas from "Kaanta laga" to "Mirchi", breaking ever so often to chant "Radhe Shyam" which is also the song title. I wish I could meet the artist. I could tell her Lolita Sahasranamam was a better title for her tripe.
- Mahesh Bhatt making a documentary on GM foods: Yes. Tired of repeatedly discussing his marital difficulties and DVD-itis, the great man has now made "Poison on the Platter" a documentary on GM foods, taking input from such fellow biotech luminaries as Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Baba Ramdev. That this is scientific is clear from the fact that a whole scientist - the director of CCMB - also had 2 cents to put in. The discussion that followed the screening of this effort was remarkable for inputs from two people. One said, why progress? What's progress? Why live in the city? What great advantage has any technology brought? The other spoke somewhat like Gautam Emani on speed (no offense intened if you're reading this my friend), trashing science, economics, media and the fact that I, as a graduate student with some technical qualification was so mired in it. He did not, amazingly offer me a red pill.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Musings of the Machaan from the Midwest
In the vein of all US-returned types from the movies, I have seen things that I didn't expect to see. Here are a few that particularly stick out in the memory: