The Social Agenda

Do Social networks really work?

Yesterday while talking to my boss (BTW he is the only one I still consider to be my boss, apart from my wife, as he is the only one I listened to at work ;)), he came up with an interesting idea. People have not changed since centuries. They have always been drifting apart. From whole villages living in one cave to rising divorce rates, we have come a long way from social living. People are becoming more and more individualistic.

Now, back to the main topic. Do social networks work? For the past decade, we have seen numerous social networks coming and then fizzling out. MySpace, Friendster, Orkut and now Facebook. All have seen the same story. People get excited when they are launched. Call all their friends to join them. They form groups and communities. They chat all night long. But then after that what? They move on to the next big thing... Twitter.

For the fear of being called a hypocrite, I would like to admit that I have also been a part of all the bandwagons. Be it Orkut, MySpace, Blogs, Facebook or Twitter. You can find my profiles on all of them. But then I become bored like the rest of you and move on.

There are three things and only three things that really sell in this world. Sex, knowledge and food. That is why you see all the Porn sites being so popular and Google making tonnes of money. Online economies around these three will always remain popular and viable. The rest as they say will become history.

BTW with the much hyped IPOs of all the SNSes, I seriously feel there is another dot com burst brewing. So cash in your stocks and come back to the real world!!

Comic Con India 2011

Being a ardent fan of Indian Comic books, I was super excited when I heard about Comic Con India 2011. The venue (Delhi Haat) and day (Saturday and Sunday) were also convenient to fit in my busy schedule (;)). All I needed to do was to convince Biwi to let me go! When I asked her, she was surprisingly supportive and decided to tag along.

As an aside, either she had finally submitted herself to my idiosyncrasies or she was afraid of letting me go alone to Delhi Haat (what with all the hot Dilli ki Kudian roaming around there). I would personally like to believe the second as I feel I am handsome enough but as you know... Naari ke man ko to swyam Vishnu bhi nahi samajh paye.

Anyways, coming back to the Comic Con, I was not-disappointed-but-not-very-happy-either when I reached there. One of my major reasons of going there was to buy some old editions of Raj Comics offerings. However, Raj Comics was only conspicuous by its absence. I am not sure why. Either they didn't consider it a grand enough stage or the newer kids on the block were trying to gang up against the Grand Old Daddy of the Indian Comic book industry.

All I saw there were foreign publishers trying to be Indian enough and selling expensive comic books. The Indian bastion was held only by Amar Chitra Katha and Diamond comics.

I know its a dying industry in India but I would have loved to see the marginal publishers showcasing there wares there. We need more of our indigenous super heroes and not the Supermans and Spidermans. Its high time now someone from the Indian film industry to take up this cause.

2011: Happy New Year!!

As we grow old, New Year becomes just another day.

When I was a kid I used to think... why aren't Maa n' Papa excited about the New Year? Why don't they go out and celebrate? Why do they stay back at home as if it was a no big deal? After all, it used to be such a BIG deal for us kids.

But this year I did the same... stayed back at home. No parties. No outings. And we didn't even know it was a brand new year before we were fifteen minutes into 2011.

Looks like my priorities have changed... and I hope they have changed for good. Ushering in a new year 2011... Three Cheers for the year gone by!!

तू राजा की राजदुलारी मैं सिर्फ लंगोटे वाळा सूं

If someone said "Friends are necessary in life", I could never agree more with him. On a Saturday night binge with some of my oldest friends, in the alcohol induced haze, one of my friends put this song on.

I was like "Damn!! How did I manage to miss this song for so long".

This song is a revelation. This is the story of all the guys like me who somehow have managed to get a great gal in their life.

If you have seen the movie, Oye lucky, Lucky Oye, then you must remember this song. If you do not, then just go and download it from somewhere and listen to it at once. And this is specially meant for all the bloody smokers, dopers and bingers out there.

For the record, this is a ragini, a form of folksong very popular in Haryana. This song describes Lord Shiva warning Parvati about the unpleasant circumstances if She marries Him.

I am posting the approximate meaning of the song for the lazy/unlucky ones who couldn't listen to the song.

तू राजा की राज-दुलारी, मैं सिर्फ लंगोटे वाला सूं
भांग रगड़ के पिया करूं मैं, उंडी - सोटे वाला सूं

Sweetheart you are the darling of a rich Dad, I am a guy without money even for my clothes
To hide from my poverty, I drink loads of cannabis.

तू राजा की छोरी सै, मेरे एक भी दासी दोस्त नहीं
शाल दुशाले ओढ़न वाली, म्हारे कम्बल तक भी पास नहीं...

You are a princess, I have never ever had any servant or friend
Designer labels are what you wear, I don't even have a blanket on me.

तू बागां की कोयल सै अढे बर्फ पड़े, हरी घास नहीं
किस तरयाँ दिल लागेगा तेरा, सतरा चौ प्रकाश नहीं

You have always seen gardens in your life, I have never ever seen grass... it always snows here
Dunno how you will live here, light also is a scarcity here

किसी साहूकार के ब्याह करवाले, मैं खाली सोटे वाला सूं.

Please go and marry some rich i-banking dude, I have nothing on me to give you

मैं धूनी तपा करूँ, तू आग देख के डर जायगी,
रंग घोल के पिया करूं, मेरा राग देख के डर जायगी

I am not that easy to handle, my mood swings are a plenty
You will be scared to death if you start seeing me from close

सौ सौ साल पड़े रहे जल में, तू नाग देख के डर जाएगी.
तांडव नाच करे बन में, रंग राग देख के डर जायगी

I have snakes for pets, I dunno how you will deal with that
Tandava is my passion, and you will be devastated to see me dance.

तने जुल्फां वाला छोरा चाहिए,
मैं लाम्बे चोटे वाला सूं.

You need a Prince Charming, with metro-sexual grooming
I am just a simple guy who thinks twice before even going in for a hair cut.

Hope you liked the translation (I have put in a lot of effort :))!!

What does it mean to be a Bihari?

Few days ago, I watched a special report by a leading news channel : What does it mean to be a Bihari?

I was amazed.

Does being Bihari mean anything different than being a human? Are we any different from people living in Kerala or Delhi? Are we really a different species altogether?

Well in a sense we are. It took us more than 20 years to decide that having food on our plates is much more important than whether we are a Yadav or a Rajput. May be we would have never learnt this fact.

80 million odd people have faced the brunt of the worst governance seen in the recent history for two long decades. The populace was bullied into believing that being a specific caste or religion meant we need to elect a representative who had a one-point agenda : Loot the people and bully them even further. In a sense, we Biharis had become insensitive to the fact that there is something called law and order. All this due to the greed of one man : Laloo Prasad Yadav. Never before in history has so big a populace been fooled for so long by one man.

Most of these have changed now. Nitish Kumar has brought some semblance of law and order in the state. The goondas of Laalooraj are now cooling their heels in jails. Roads and bridges have been built. Employment opportunities have been created. SMB are now encouraged. Industries being welcomed with open hands.

I am still a bit cynical about the fact that Bihar has seen a turn around. But I sincerely hope that the pot-bellied civil engineer Chief Minister champions the cause of Biharis.

All we Biharis dream of the day when we would be able to go back to our homeland and earn two decent meals honestly. I for one would definitely love to go back !!