Print Media.

I am in total agreement with that observation on all media. I rarely see television and my main exposure to media is the newspapers.

A news item shared on WhatsApp by a fellow 6 on 1 Friday blogger Padmum, gave me the idea for this week’s topic.

This story as it comes during the time when our state government has banned distribution of printed news papers by hand during the lockdown in our city, almost made me cry. I am addicted to a dose of five newspapers and the seven crossword puzzles that they contain every day for my forenoon occupation and only I know how I have been managing without them since the lockdown.  And, in all fairness my despair is more for the loss of the crossword puzzles than the news in those papers.

Unlike the West, where the print media is losing ground to Television and internet, in India, it is flourishing or should I say was flourishing thanks to a very news hungry populace deeply involved in our politics and sports.  Unfortunately however, while the headlines may contain the news, most content is opinion and the op-ed pages just reflect  the philosophy of the news paper, and for the English press in India, it is left wing and anti just about everything.

One therefore tries to see what the foreign press has to say and sadly, they are no better.  Here is a classic example of what a leading news paper from the land of two of my fellow bloggers here reports and why we are not particularly enamoured with them either.

The Militant Monk shown in the clip is Yogi Adityanath, the democratically elected Chief Minister of our largest state with a population ~25 million. He is an ascetic forced into politics thanks to years of misrule in his state of residence and very highly thought of by his constituency.  Contrast that with Baghdadi about whom I hardly need to explain.

The Washington Post is hardly alone and if I start to list the other news papers, my readers will get bored and leave the rest of the post unread.  I am sure that they know exactly what I mean.

This is my take on this week’s Friday 6 On 1 blog post topic. The other five bloggers who write on the same topic every Friday are Sanjana, PadmumRaju, Shackman and Conrad.  This week’s topic was suggested by Padmum. Please do go over to their respective blogs to see what they have to say on the topic. Thank you.

Dr. Strangelove.


Looney, to the best of my recollection, for the first time since I started to follow his blog, wrote about a film for a change. And despite having seen the film earlier on two occasions, I decided to see it again seeing how suddenly Russia and the West are back at each other’s throat. I am glad I did though not because it threw any new light on the current situation, but to refresh my memory about Peter Sellers and his versatility.

Unlike Looney, I did not appreciate the black comedy, even on the earlier occasions when I had seen the film but liked it for Peter Sellers’ performance. But, on this occasion, it certainly got me thinking about the possibilities of something going wrong  either between the West and Russia or India and Pakistan with a nuclear fall out, and the trend of thought is not pleasant at all.

Apart from the main message of the film, I think that it should be screened again now in the present scenario to get people to think about how horribly things could go wrong.

I would rather not rate this film as a film to see for entertainment but to refresh our memories about the tense days gone by which seem to be reviving now again.

And finally, a message to Looney:  I hope that you enjoyed the review or what I have written in this post.  Thank you for reminding me of this film.

How to Fight Islamist Terror From The Missionary Position.


Two weeks ago, I had not heard about Tabish Khair. His book was recommended to me by a friend who is fanatical about reading fiction by Indian authors, good or bad. Knowing that I am rather choosy, he rarely recommends such books to me, but he was so sure that I would like this one that he took the gamble and did.

I am glad that he did.

The Guardian review starts with “What are the odds that the title of Tabish Khair’s novel was suggested by his publisher, keen to inject a frisson of riskiness into a rather quiet, oblique book? Fairly high, at a guess.”

That fairly sums up the book. There is simply no terror, nor much of what the missionary position would imply, but the story is narrated in such a way that the stereotyped Muslim comes alive only to sock the reader with a powerful punch to the solar plexus in the end.

Three South Asians feature in the story and the character portrayal of each is so realistic that I could slot each to persons I know. That is the most redeeming part of the story.

I intend reading Tabish Khair’s other books as well.

Pune limps backs to normalcy after blast

Pune is where I live. And I have lived here for nearly a quarter century. The main reasons for my late wife and I choosing to move here was its climate and its very laid back attitude to life. Compared to Mumbai where we had spent the maximum time together and Bengaluru where we were living before we moved here, Pune was a paradise.

So, when I caught sight of this headline, I was stumped.

The Pune that I knew does not run or even walk. Its usual pace is a limp. Its next faster pace is to simply saunter along at a leisurely pace. In fact, where I live and quite a few localities of the city, life goes on at a limpy leisurely pace bar the rush hours due to school/office/factory timings. The Punekar is not to be hurried to do anything. He will take his time.

Take my mentee who for the purpose of this post will remain unnamed though will receive a link to it via email. She has just got engaged to be married and wanted to come and give me the invitation card and to personally invite me to attend the marriage function and the reception in the evening. She rang me up at 11.30 am yesterday to announce her arrival and readily accepted my invitation to have lunch with me. She promptly asked if I needed anything from the city where she was shopping and I gave her the task of getting a couple of things that you get only in that part of the city. She said that she would be at my place at 1.00 pm. That is my usual lunch time. At 1.30 I rang her up and she said that she would be reaching in 20 minutes. I said that I won’t wait for lunch for her and she could have lunch whenever she came. She eventually came at 3.00 pm profusely apologising for delaying but insisting that I skip my siesta and spend the afternoon chatting with her. Thankfully, she got what I wanted instead of forgetting that and as a peace offering brought something extra as well. Incidentally forgetting to do chores is another Punekari trait.

That is the typical Punekar’s attitude towards life. Punekars don’t limp back to normalcy. They are already limping around. And look at the nitwit who planted the bomb. He could not even cause sufficient damage because he did not expect the bomb to explode vertically! I would not be surprised if s/he turns out to be a Punekar.

I am an oddball in this beautiful city because I am always on time and the other people involved are stumped by my punctuality. My hosts particularly can usually be expected to be in their house coats when I land up at their place at the announced time.

I would not like to live in any other city.