Archive for June, 2008

June 25, 2008

Three ward boys allegedly molested two girls (16 and 23) who were undergoing treatment. The girls were brought to hospital after an accident with firecrackers outside their home in Bhendi Bazaar in South Mumbai. Their family alleges that the three wardboys molested the girls, while changing their bandages.

And then the media reports should say what the police did, has an FIR been filed, have the boys been arrested, when will the case come to court, the public outrage over the event, etc……
But our media could not help salivating over the ‘event’. So pages are devoted to how ‘it’ happened.

I can imagine the family’s outrage over the whole affair. The boys molested the girls and the media outrages the girls’ modesty. You had an entire minute-by-minute recap of what HAPPENED to the girls..Sick!

The reports read: “The ward boys would keep cotton swaps or tape on their thighs as an excuse to touch them” ……What are they upto? Writing soft porn over a crime?

Headlines scream: Mumbai girl molested by friends for 26 hours, Fourteen men accused of molesting two NRI women at Juhu here, 70-80 Men Molest Two Girls on New Year , Pregnant actress accuses producer of molestation,……And in all these cases the names of the victims (sometimes plus their photographs) made it to the press.

They dish it out to us hot and strong….

But is this what should be going on?

What happened to the ethics of journalism like the name, photos, identity of the victim should not be revealed?
Gone with the wind, I guess.

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Yeah! I could’nt believe it. But there’s proof from the Dinakarans . Now everyone knows nasty Satan is out to lure your kids away from Christ and into drugs, TV, dating, alcohol, cigarettes, etc. So what do you do….

You have many options:

a) You can make the following minimum pledge according to your place of residence: India Rs. 2000 US $ 200 (Now since most of you can’t spend time praying for your own kids, get the staff @ Jesus calls to pray for them. )

b) For parents too poor to cough up 2k for prayers, we have installments!

c)And for those who have wads of dough, the Dinakarans urge you to

“Kindly do not stop your contribution towards the Young Partner Plan after the pledge as 50% of our Young partners do. By contributing regularly every month towards this plan you will receive the new mercies from God every day for the month according to Lamentations 3: 22,23 and also the number of souls saved because of this ministry will be added to your account (not your bank account dumbo). So, your reward on earth and in heaven will be great.
Be assured that you are always surrounded by the effectual prayers of the Dhinakarans and the prayers of our anointed Prayer Warriors who put forth your prayer requests before the throne of God and intercede daily on your behalf in the 24 hours Prayer Tower. “

Yeah, don’t stop sending money, as 50% of the other youngsters with short-term memory loss. Keep sending the notes in so that the Dinakarans don’t forget you in their prayers.

And the point of sale: Since you continue to sin, we will continue to intercede on your behalf, say the dinakarans. Let me get their twisted logic straight: If what the Dinakarans say is right, then they can afford their AC super-deluxe homes, BMWs and Rolex watches only if people keep sinning and calling Jesus calls.

So if everyone gets converted and the whole world becomes Christian, the Dinakarans might not have a penny to call their own. Wow! What a solution to all the world’s problems. Guys stop sinning, stop feeling guilty and we won’t have millionaire preachers like Benny Hinn, Joyce Meyer & Pat Boone ranting on our TV sets.

Prayer Warriors (PW) – The inside scoop from a couple of prayer warriors @ Jesus calls.

Little known facts about prayer warriers:

*The PWs do night shifts just like BPOs, to keep the cash counters ringing, sorry I meant the prayers 24-hours non-stop.
*The PWs have females too. So if you have marital troubles and are female, u’d have female PWs conselling u on the need to be a christian wife and obey and submit to your tryanical, overbearing MCP husband. If you were a man, you’d have a male PWs telling you were the head of the family and you wear the pants at home.
*The PWs get payed Rs 2000 a month. And they handle on an average 60 calls a day. So imagine 60 X Rs 2000 (the amount the hapless parents pay for prayers for their deviant kid) means Jesus calls gets Rs 1.2 lakhs a day from one PW. Say, Jesus calls has 50 workers, then its earnings that day is Rs 60 lakhs. And their earnings per month is Rs 18 crores……Whopee! Running a Christian BPO to handle prayers is serious good business.

Rachel Chitra

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I know many people have this problem. In the four offices, I have worked as a sub-editor I have faced this problem in three. In the other one office, which was the exception, I worked and worked till I had to go home….only to sleep and resume work again.

But coming back to the other three offices…..the reason we had to act like we were working, when there was no work…..was because

1) we had an eight-hour working day, so everyone had to report for duty by 4.00 pm whether we had work or not

2) we had to wait patiently for the reporters to send their copies so that we could start hacking them (since their deadline was 10.30 and our deadline 1.30, we usually worked real hard only in those few hours). So between 4.00 and 6.30 pm we discussed politics (of the real kind) and engaged in politics (of the office kind), we discussed the rottenness of the tea and baji we were having, the failings of editors, reporters and the few sub-editors who were not present.

3) the editors want to see everybody hard at work. Now try figuring this out…you don’t have any work because the reporter hasn’t filed any story. But the reason why the editor likes to see you busy is because he has to be bossing everyone and getting work done. No wonder all the editors in the print media have grey hair.

4) Everyone can drop the pretense, only when the news starts flowing.

On lean days like Sunday and Saturday with no high court, no Assembly, no schools and every other government office working half-a-day or not at all, the poor reporter is hard-pressed to give news. So we have to think, create…There you have it! Create news! So stuff, which the reporter would treat like leprosy would be covered on Sundays and Saturdays. Kindergarten-graduation ceremonies, Rotary club events, Exnora events, school functions, ladies club’ luncheon, kids’ fashion shows get coverage during the weekend. So to fill-up the space, the reporter files such space-fillers. And the newly-joined sub-editor with oodles of enthusiasm proceeds to chop it down to size. When the story makes it to the page, cut down to size, the problem crops up again. We need more stories: cries the desk. The reporter next starts rehashing old stories, printing off everything that comes from the news feed, and files more stories on kindergarten-graduation ceremonies, Rotary club events, Exnora events, school functions, ladies club’ luncheon and kids’ fashion shows.

So, in between all of this, the sub-editor might find himself jobless. An average sub’s day will look like this 4.00 to 6.00 pm – Drink coffee, tea, have bajis, discuss world affairs.

6.00 to 6.30 pm – Hear the outcome of the 6 o’ clock editorial meeting and get a frank, brutal show-down of all the things that he./she did that went wrong.

6.30 pm to 8.30 pm- Slowly, patiently sub copies, giving lots of attention to details, accuracy and checking facts as the news starts filtering in.

9.30 pm to 10.30 pm- Get worried and start panicking as half the stories that were supposed to come have not done so..and the page is only half-done.

10.30 pm to 11.30 pm-Grab dinner like a relay race. Just like how only one person can hold the baton, only one person can have dinner at one particular point of time. So the rest wait for their turn in the relay race.

11.20 pm to 12.30 pm- Bad tempers, hasty words, lots of yelling all round. The sub starts subbing stories by running a spell-check on them and releasing it onto the page, while keeping his/her fingers crossed.

12.30 pm to 1.30 pm – Everyone breaks out into a sweat. Everyone keeps a rein on their temper so that nothing will impede the process of sending the page on time. Everyone is silent so that they can hear the occasional “Pl change this to…that”

1.30 pm- Deadline. Page sent! After all that adrenalin rush, everyone goes down to the local tea shop for the mandatory cup of tea and to sweeten up all the people they yelled at so that they can work with them peaceably and amicably till the next deadline.

So between 4.00 and 6.00 pm,

the smart sub-editor could open http://www.bibliomania.com/, http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/, his friends’ blogs and most importantly the online edition of The Hindu. This is so that if your boss, hovers anywhere near ur desk, u can immediately switch to The Hindu website, to show him that you were not enjoying urself on the net

the smart sub-editor could go to sleep with his hand over his forehead (to hide his drooping eyelids) while leaning over the news stand, so that innocent bystanders can think that he’s absorbed in the latest installment of the Telegraph

the smart sub-editor could also not turn up for the boring first two hours, by thinking up inventive lies like “I had to speak at a meeting of the Reporter’s Guild,” “I had to attend a seminar on the clever use of invectives”

Well, this smart sub-editor has finished writing up one post in the prelude to real work

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Earlier Chennai was famed for its filter coffee, ‘poo pondra’ idlies and malli poo (Heavens! If a blog reader didn’t know Tamil the above sentence would sound too gross for words).

But now filter coffee can be obtained only at overcrowded, dirty hotels if the waiter pities you or in air-conditioned comfort at the Taj (hotel, not palace; though its cheaper getting it at the Mahal). For the other denizens of Chennai, who mostly work on erratic shifts, no filter coffee at home. Filter coffee is a bit hard to get (literally and otherwise); you have to give the roasted beans a hot water bath the night before, and slowly let them take their time coming down the percolator. Since, earlier people to sleep at dusk and got up at the crack of dawn, they got their decocotion (excuse the spelling) all ready at 6.00 in the morning.

Now since both maid and mistress have to use passkeys to enter the house at all odd hours of the day, filter coffee has given way to instant coffee.

And the idlies have more a tar-like consistency than anything flower-like. And the malli poo is slowing dying a natural death in a city, where women used to wear yards and yards of the flower.


Now, what with Saravana stores and other enteprising establishments on Ranganathan Street selling yards and yards of scarves, barettes, clips, pom-poms (I did’nt make that up, I promise. There is really a head gear by that name), simran slides, grasps, hair straighteners, hair lengtheners, chopsticks, etc, the jasmine flower as a hair accessory has fallen out.

So wearing jasmine flowers in your hair, evokes a string of questions longer than the ones in the flowergirl’s basket. Since the comman has become uncommon, the first question usually is “Any special occasion?”

“No, I like jasmine.”

Strange look follows. Your hip and happening friends next ask you “why do you wear flowers?”

Me: “I like it. Its pretty and smells nice.”

A pitying look. “Why don’t you wear a scent then? Or you can perm your hair then you would’nt have to hide it under a mass of flowers that are going to die in four hours (with their withering glances it might take less time)” state the fashion gurus.

Me: “My mother-in-law strung it.”

A deeply sympathetic look. “Too bad..your stuck with a old-fashioned diddy. This is why you should’nt have married young.”

A long meaningful glance at my dusty sandals, ill-fitting chudi and out-dated hairdo and then the fashionable young things in jeans start talking among themselves. (Actually I’m younger than everyone in office, but since Im married Im automatically relegated to the section of aunties).

Thoroughly irritated, I march up to my seat. By the end of the corridor with more people looking strangely at me, I start feeling self-consious.

Feeling a little sorry for myself, I just slide into my seat unobtrusively. Only to have my colleague ask what is that strange smell …..

I feel angry and say its probably his socks, as Im sure he would’nt have washed it (since I know him for seven years, the remark made no impression).

Acthoo! Acthoo! ACCCCCTOCHOOOOO! More loud sneezes follow. “I think I’m allergic to jasmine,” he gasps.

Well, he would be if he acts like he’s never seen women wearing them before. Disgusted, I go to the restroom adjust my dress, pin my dupatta, comb my hair and turn around …….Lo and behold! My salwar was caught inside my kameez (pants).

Saying I was embarrased is an understatement. The fact that I lived through that day and went onto work 10 more months shows I’m not lily-livered.

But even now in the nights, I wonder whether no comments came my way because everyone was too polite to tell me the kurta was not doing its office, because no one noticed it or because everyone was too engrossed by the monstrosity of jasmine flowers in my hair.

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No worrying! Everything is under control! No bank fraud. My money is still with me.

Ok now that I’ve reassured my friends – the vicious credit card circle I meant was not debts, but the running around in circles one has to do to get my credit card.

After a major excavation into the rubbish in our house, I finally managed to locate my ICICI bank statement for June 2008. Spreading it out on my desk and with the help of a magnifying glass I try locating the customer care number. No luck! Its not there.

So I next call our local search engine…….only to be regaled with loud garish music and a woman telling me to be patient and our officers will attend the call. I think all the local search engines are in collusion with the cellphone companies to raise the phonebill, by making all their customers wait….for an indecent amount of time.

Just before you lose all patience and are about to hang up, a cheery voice: “Good morning, How may I help you.”

Me: I’d like the ICICI customer care number.

Cheery voice: Which branch?

Me: I don’t know..like anyplace in Chennai.

Cheery voice: Where are you calling from?

Me: Chennai

Cheery voice: Can I have your mobile no and email ID?

I give them all details like my mobile no, email ID, my horoscope, etc, consoling myself with the thought that all good things come to an end.

But, I find they are not done with me. After a fast metallic statement that “you will receive an sms and email of this information.”

They next ask me if I have a business? Me: No

They: Are you interested in starting a business? Me: No

They: Are you interested in getting a loan to start a business? Me: Of course not

They: Are you interested in getting a credit card for a business loan? I just hang up.

Armed with the ICICI customer care number I call them. Only to meet another recording. The metallic cold voice tells me to Press 1 for English, Press 2 for Hindi, Press 3 for Tamil…In haste I Press 1. MCV: If your calls relates to information on your account Press 1 for knowing account balance, Press 2 for debit card, Press 3 for credit card….( I don’t wait…I think they might have 10 other options)

Bingo! Credit card! I hit three.

Only to meet another voice: “For credit complaints Press 1, for credit card loss Press 2, for new credit card Press 3…Heavens now I’m in a dilemma I badly want to call 1 and yell at someone @ complaints but forbearance wins and I press 3 (keeping my fingers crossed that this is destination credit card). ……The ring goes (I keep hoping). Another metallic cold voice tells me to Press 1 if I want to open an account with a credit card, Press 2 for upgradation of debit card to credit. I press 2 only to get another voice.

I hang up.

I go back to the local search engine. Maybe I can get a credit card, If I express interest in starting a business.

So I take a deep breath and plunge into the circle by dialing 04426444444

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