Thursday, April 10, 2014

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Introducing Song Singh

Song Singh, India's first fictional music artist, will put out his first single soon. Actor and stand up comedian Aswin Rao will don the role of Song Singh. Artist Donan Murray will score the music. Anantha Narayan, the lyrics and Rajesh Bajaj will be shooting the music video as DOP. Remy Francois Sabah has designed the logo for Song Singh.

Friday, October 11, 2013


A few weeks later 
Would you care 
To remember 
That bloke you pissed
The deadlines you missed

A few years later 
Would anyone bother 
To remember 
That heart you broke
The words you spoke

A few decades later 
Would it matter 
To remember 
That thing you did
The secrets you hid

A few centuries later 
Would the world choose
To remember
The success you tasted
The life you wasted

A few millennia later 
Would the Earth deign
To remember
The chances you got
The havoc you wrought?

Friday, September 27, 2013

The Vegetable

Nothing moves him 
Not mute shrieks of fear 
Not thunderous cries of pain 
Not the scalds of affront 
Not the avalanche of injustice 

Nothing melts him 
Not the boiling rage of the meek 
Not the open massacre of truth 
Not a gang rape of innocence 
Not a deluge of misfortune 

Nothing shakes him 
Not the striptease of poverty 
Not the seismic shocks of mortality 
Not gale storms of depravity 
Not bloody riots of brutality 

Nothing wakes him 
Not an explosion of discontent 
Not an implosion of taboos 
Not clarion calls for an uprising 
Not the death knell of his world

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Basque Telugu Connection

The Basque language (also known as Euskara) has fascinated linguists for centuries. It's considered the sole surviving non-Indo-European language in Western Europe. The phrase 'language isolate' always surfaces in any discussion on Basque. That's because no one has been able to authoritatively explain the origins of Euskara.

Experts opine that it bears no resemblance to Russian, Ukranian, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Serbo- Croatian, Bulgarian, German, Dutch, English, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Icelandic, Celtic, Irish, French,Italian, Catalan, Spanish, Portugese, Iranian, Persian, Hindi and even Sanskrit.

Anthropologist Nicolae Lahovary was the first to speculate about the Dravidian origins of Basque in 1963. For reasons best known to them, the mainstream researchers have continued to ignore the pioneering work of Lahovary.

As this blogger has pinpointed with his earlier posts, Indo-Dravidians have clearly left footprints right through Europe before migrating to Canada and the rest of America sometime around the last glacial maximum.

A part of that race could have moved Eastward via Basque Country into Africa and then headed to later day South India. I have a little evidence to connect Basque to an unlikely Indo-Dravidian language: Telugu.

Yes, of all the Dravidian languages that Lahovary talked about, Telugu seems to be the one with the strongest connect. With my rather limited knowledge of Telugu, I have culled out some words that mean the same in Telugu and Basque. Study the words, and you'll wonder why no one's taken Lahovary serious yet.

LegHankaJanga (calf of leg)
WoodEguraAgaru (fragrant wood)

Saturday, January 5, 2013

The Ancient Eskimo Tamil Connection

Who would have thought that the icy man in the igloo will have any link whatsoever with the heat loving Tamilian? Well, I have linguistic evidence now to link the Eskimo and the Tamilian. Somewhere in the distant past, some brave hearts from the Indo-Tamil race must have wandered all the way to Alaska and created their own tribe there. My guess is the same tribe walked down to the Americas to create the Red Indian race. More of that later. Meanwhile, see the Dravidian link for yourself. It's too much of a coincidence to ignore.

EnglishInupiaq Eskimo LanguageTamil
Father's sisterAtchagaAthai
Elder SisterAakaruabaAkka

Monday, December 3, 2012

Introducing Inthree

Introducing Inthree Access, a for-profit social impact venture that I had the pleasure of working with. Inthree makes available transformative products and services to the deepest rural markets by using some ingenious alternative channels. If the power starved districts in Tamil Nadu have an ample supply of solar lamps to light up their darkness, Inthree deserves the full credit for it. They do a lot more than Solar Lamps to improve the lives of the not-so-well-off. To know more about Inthree and their contribution to solving last mile connectivity in Rural India, visit their soon-to-be-launched website.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

"Is there a word for Twenty First Century?"

It all began when a trivial question popped into my head: is there a word in the English dictionary for 'twenty first century'? I looked around. Found no single word that summed up the meaning elegantly. There were no equivalent words for twentieth, nineteenth or any other century. I wondered why.

Then I discovered that man has always made up words only when there's a real need for conjuring up something. In the Roman times, AUC or Ab urbe condita (Latin for 'from the founding of the city') was invented for keeping track of time. As the power of Rome declined, AD or Anno Domini was mooted as the new dating system. Ever since, we've unquestioningly embraced the template that divides history into Before and After the advent of Christ. We refer to every hundred years as a century. A thousand years as a millennium. And left it at that.

If one follows this logic, the years 2301 to 2400 will be called the Twenty Fourth Century or the fourth century in the third millennium. Things look fine so far?

Now let's complicate things a bit. What will we call the years between 12401 to 12500? By our current convention, it should be Twelve Thousand Four Hundred and First Century. Seven words to describe just hundred years! If that sounded inelegant, imagine how many words we'll need to describe the period 112401 to 112500? Clearly our system of measuring time wasn't built to handle such complexities.

At some point in time in the future, someone will come along and scrap the system. And replace it with a more efficient one. Why wait till then? Why not start the debate right now?

To set the ball rolling, I've created a new dating system  by minting neologisms. Here are the key features of the system:

1) Human Time will be measure in cycles of Ten Thousand Years.
2) Every Ten Thousand Year cycle will comprise Hundred Centuries.
3) Each century will be denoted by one neologism.
4) The new word should capture the essence of the century without being too verbose.
5) To achieve economy of word length, one has to invent a new suffix to connote 'century'.
6) Centum is the Latin word for 'hundred'. The suffix of centum is '-tum'. So this could be our suffix.
7) The century suffix can be really handy as it can reduce 'First Century' to 'Firstum'.
8) The tabulation below will demonstrate how we can invent neologisms to cue each century using '-tum'.
9) None of the neologisms are abstruse. They've been derived by contracting current terminology.
10) When we finish the cycle of Ten Thousand Years, we will start a new dating system called ATN.
11) AT in ATN stands for After Ten Thousand Years. And N is a numeral from 1 to whatever.
12) So AD Eleven Thousand And Four Hundredth Century will be AT1 Fortum. And AD Forty Five Thousand and Seven Hundredth Century can be shrunk to AT4 Fiftysevtum!
13) The neologisms might seem complicated when seen for the first time. As you get familiar with the system, you'll realise that it can solve many potential problems in the distant future.

14) If you can better this new system, feel free to do so.


Existing Years Neologism
First Century 1-100 Firstum
Second Century 101-200 Sectum
Third Century 201-300 Thirtum
Fourth Century 301-400 Fortum
Fifth Century 401-500 Fiftum
Sixth Century 501-600 Sixtum
Seventh Century 601-700 Sevtum
Eighth Century 701-800 Eitum
Ninth Century 801-900 Nintum
Tenth Century 901-1000 Tentum
Eleventh Century 1001-1100 Eleventum
Twelfth Century 1101-1200 Tweltum
Thirteenth Century 1201-1300 Thirteentum
Fourteenth Century 1301-1400 Fourteentum
Fiftheenth Century 1401-1500 Fifteentum
Sixteenth Century 1501-1600 Sixteentum
Seventeenth Century 1601-1700 Seventeentum
Eighteenth Century 1701-1800 Eighteentum
Nineteenth Century 1801-1900 Nineteentum
Twentieth Century 1901-2000 Twentytum
Twenty First Century 2001-2100 Twenfirstum
Twenty Second Century 2101-2200 Twensectum
Twenty Third Century 2201-2300 Twenthirtum
Twenty Fourth Century 2301-2400 Twenfourtum
Twenty Fifth Century 2401-2500 Twenfiftum
Twenty Sixth Century 2501-2600 Twensixtum
Twenty Seventh Century 2601-2700 Twensevtum
Twenty Eighth Century 2701-2800 Tweneitum
Twenty Ninth Century 2801-2900 Twenintum
Thirtieth Century 2901-3000 Thirtytum
Thirty First Century 3001-3100 Thirtyfirstum
Thirty Second Century 3101-3200 Thirtysectum
Thirty Third Century 3201-3300 Thirtythirtum
Thirty Fourth Century 3301-3400 Thirtyfortum
Thirty Fifth Century 3401-3500 Thirtyfiftum
Thirty Sixth Century 3501-3600 Thirtysixtum
Thirty Seventh Century 3601-3700 Thirtysevtum
Thirty Eighth Century 3701-3800 Thirtyeitum
Thirty Ninth Century 3801-3900 Thirtynintum
Fortieth Century 3901-4000 Fortytum
Forty First Century 4001-4100 Fortyfirstum
Forty Second Century 4101-4200 Fortysectum
Forty Third Century 4201-4300 Fortythirtum
Forty Fourth Century 4301-4400 Fortyfortum
Forty Fifth Century 4401-4500 Fortyfiftum
Forty Sixth Century 4501-4600 Fortysixtum
Forty Seventh Century 4601-4700 Fortysevtum
Forty Eighth Century 4701-4800 Fortyeitum
Forty Ninth Century 4801-4900 Fortynintum
Fifteth Century 4901-5000 Fiftytum
Fifty First Century 5001-5100 Fiftyfirstum
Fifty Second Century 5101-5200 Fiftysectum
Fifty Third Century 5201-5300 Fiftythirtum
Fifty Fourth Century 5301-5400 Fiftyfortum
Fifty Fifth Century 5401-5500 Fiftyfiftum
Fifty Sixth Century 5501-5600 Fiftysixtum
Fifty Seventh Century 5601-5700 Fiftysevtum
Fifty Eighth Century 5701-5800 Fiftyeitum
Fifty Ninth Century 5801-5900 Fiftynintum
Sixtieth Century 5901-6000 Sixtytum
Sixty First Century 6001-6100 Sixtyfirstum
Sixty Second Century 6101-6200 Sixtysectum
Sixty Third Century 6201-6300 Sixtythirtum
Sixty Fourth Century 6301-6400 Sixtyfortum
Sixty Fifth Century 6401-6500 Sixtyfiftum
Sixty Sixth Century 6501-6600 Sixtysixtum
Sixty Seventh Century 6601-6700 Sixtysevtum
Sixty Eighth Century 6701-6800 Sixtyeitum
Sixty Ninth Century 6801-6900 Sixtynintum
Seventieth Century 6901-7000 Seventytum
Seventy First Century 7001-7100 Seventyfirstum
Seventy Second Century 7101-7200 Seventysectum
Seventy Third Century 7201-7300 Sevenetythirtum
Seventy Fourth Century 7301-7400 Seventyfortum
Seventy Fifth Century 7401-7500 Seventyfiftum
Seventy Sixth Century 7501-7600 Seventysixtum
Seventy Seventh Century 7601-7700 Seventysevtum
Seventy Eighth Century 7701-7800 Seventyeitum
Seventy Ninth Century 7801-7900 Seventynintum
Eightieth Century 7901-8000 Eightytum
Eighty First Century 8001-8100 Eightyfirstum
Eighy Second Century 8101-8200 Eightysectum
Eighty Third Century 8201-8300 Eightythirtum
Eighty Fourth Century 8301-8400 Eightyfortum
Eighty Fifth Century 8401-8500 Eightyfiftum
Eighty Sixth Century 8501-8600 Eightysixtum
Eighty Seventh Century 8601-8700 Eightysevtum
Eighty Eighth Century 8701-8800 Eightyeitum
Eighty Ninth Century 8801-8900 Eightynintum
Ninetieth Century 8901-9000 Ninetytum
Ninety First Century 9001-9100 Ninetyfirstum
Ninety Secnod Century 9101-9200 Ninetysectum
Ninety Third Century 9201-9300 Ninetythirtum
Ninety Fourth Century 9301-9400 Ninetyfortum
Ninety Fifth Century 9401-9500 Ninetyfiftum
Ninety Sixth Century 9501-9600 Ninetysixtum
Ninety Seventh Century 9601-9700 Ninetysevtum
Ninety Eighth Century 9701-9800 Ninetyeitum
Ninety Ninth Century 9801-9900 Ninetynintum
Hundredth Century  9901-10000 Hundtum

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

How to save the BJP from the BJP.

Well, it's not all that difficult. All it takes is one deft move to revive the sagging fortunes of the BJP. For more details, go here.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Why Team Anna should start a political party.

"A social movement without a political front is like a fertile land sans the crops. For it to be productive the movement needs to be harnessed and the cause harvested. Else, frustration will bloom like a thousand cacti and the Jan Lok Pal Bill will remain a barren document."

For more of my thoughts, check out my piece in Indiatimes.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

How Rahul Can Still Turn It Around.

In a few days, Rahul G will face a seminal moment. He will have to face the media heat for the immodest defeat in Uttar Pradesh. The fawning press will want the princeling to say a few words. Instead of issuing yet another bland statement, it will be wonderful if the Real Rahul stands up without the crutches of preordained power and bares his soul to the nation with his very own voice. It’ll indeed raise eyebrows, turn heads, stop the traffic and win him new friends if he delivers the quintessence of the fantasy speech that follows…

“I know a lot of you are watching me, hearing me and judging me, only because I am Rahul Gandhi. I am not sure how many of you will ever grant me even a split second of your precious time, if I were just another Rahul. And not a Gandhi. Such is the power of the surname that I bear.

For four decades, my family members have generously benefited from the Gandhi legacy. We’ve had 8 Members of Parliament, 2 Prime Ministers and have been blessed with unconditional love, respect, adulation and the creamiest of posts from the Congress Party.

Our critics see us as a self-perpetuating dynasty that lords over this magnificent country by virtue of the borrowed glory that comes with the halo of a Gandhi.

While I beg to disagree with this harsh view, it is blindingly clear to all who can see that a goofy guy like me who made it to St. Stephen’s on sports quota, a political novice who was offered Amethi on a silver platter, and a Member of Parliament with zero administrative experience is literally being handed over the keys to drive India in a new direction.

The point I am making is: if you really look at it honestly, I am where I am not out of merit. But due to a genetic accident. The accident of being born as a Gandhi.

So I have three questions for myself: Do I really deserve your respect? Am I worthy of leading a democracy without ever proving my skills? Is it okay for a man to be the captain of India without ever playing a single test match?

I think the answer is a resounding NO. Because I don’t know enough about the intricacies of foreign policy, national security and fiscal management. I don’t know enough about the devastating pain of poverty. I don’t know enough about the simmering rage of the unemployed. I don’t know enough about the angst of the farmer who has nothing but mountains of debt to look forward to. I don’t know enough about the cultural alienation of our brothers and sisters in the North East. I don’t know enough about governing a state, city or for that matter, even a municipal ward.

Yes, my friends, the bitter truth is: I don’t know enough. The more I think about it, the only thing I seem to know is: I am a Gandhi. So I am entitled to rule.

I think, THIS SOCH IS WRONG. I don’t think its right for me to aspire for the highest seat of governance, just because I happen to be a Gandhi.

If at all I head a government, it should be on my own merit and track record. So for all of you who’ve been kind enough to listen to my words, I have a few announcements to make.

From today, I, on my own volition, renounce the GANDHI name. From today, I wish to be called just: ‘Rahul’.

Before this is labelled as ‘Rahul’s latest drama’, let me affirm that I am pretty serious. I repeat: NO MORE RAHUL GANDHI. JUST CALL ME RAHUL.

I am willingly letting go of the crown of thorns that my dear family has been saddled with, for years. I am willingly setting myself free from the burden of expectations placed on me by my dear supporters. I am willingly resigning as the Member of Parliament of Amethi. I am willingly stepping down as the General Secretary of the Indian National Congress.

I know my actions will cause tremendous political turmoil. But let me nip the crisis in the bud by stating unequivocally that I am not running away from politics. I am going to be very much a soldier of the Congress army. I am going to work my way up just like every good old party worker.

And how am I planning to do this? I am going to start all over again from scratch. Just like I spent a year or more in Uttar Pradesh, I am going to give it my all to revive Congress in states that need us badly. I am going to contest the next election as an MLA from one of the toughest states to govern - Chhattisgarh. My aim will be to win the Chhattisgarh elections and help my party form a government there. If they happen to elect me as Chief Minister, I would push the limits of my limitations to turn one of the most backward states of India into a state of happiness in 5 years.

If I deliver, I would not hesitate to get back to national politics. If I deliver, I can look you in the eye and say these very words, and you would believe me. If I deliver, I hope my critics will have the grace to concede that I am not that bad after all. If I deliver, many more young people will be encouraged and emboldened to give up the comfort of their family name and make a name for themselves.

That I think will be my sweetest victory. A victory far greater than winning a family lottery and bagging the prime ministership as the jackpot. That’s all I wish to say. Thanks for everything. See you in 5 years."

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Introducing Name Theories Blog

A name is a cryptic cultural clue with the potential to solve many civilizational puzzles. A lot of work has been done by linguists and etymologists in this field. Considerable ground has been covered. I am of the view that most of the decoding that has been done is fairly literal. Which is perhaps why the same old 'where did we come from?' question has remained unanswered to this date. I intend to contribute my two cents to this discussion through my new blog NAME THEORIES. The findings of the blog may seem like quackery to the cynic. To the open minded, it's one small step in the journey to unravel the truth.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Mayan Tamil/Sanskrit Connection

I am pretty much surprised that no one seems to be seriously researching the connection between Ancient India and the Mayan/Inca Civilization. The evidence seems pretty clear to anyone who knows a bit of Tamil & Sanskrit. Here are the similarities that I have compiled...

GUATEMALA = Could have been derived from GAUTAM MALAI. Malai is hill in Tamil. And Gautam means the finest cows in Sanskrit.

PAMPAS = The PAMBA river in Kerala. Is this related to Pampas considering tamilians mix up 'pa' for 'ba'.

AZTECS = Derived from AZTECATL. Does it owe its origins to ASHTA KADAL (Tamil for 8 seas) or 8 sea tribes?

CHONTAL TRIBE = Is Chontal the same as the SANTHAL tribe in India?

CHOL MAYA = Are they related to the CHOLAS of Tamil Nadu?

MEXICO = Derived from Meshika (mesha lagnam in tamil is aries) or the ram country?

XOLOITZCUINTLI = Is it derived from the tamil term Solai Chundeli (Garden tiny rat)?

I'll be adding more etymologies, in the coming weeks...

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Friday, September 24, 2010

What the sublime pedestrian knows...

In the hands of an artist, every tool is a brush.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Introducing Ga, Ba, Dha & Da in Tamil

Haven't you noticed? Tamilians often refer to Padma as Bathma, Gadkari as Kathkari and Damodran as Thamotharan. That's because there is no G, B or D equivalent in the language. At least to the best of my knowledge. Ka, Pa, Tha are often used to represent Ga, Ba & Dha. There's no overt phonetic aid to clearly cue when Pa should be read as Ba, so on and so forth. I thought it's about time, we had one. The trick with introducing a new phonetic symbol is it should not upset the typography of the existing language. Keeping this in mind, I have introduced what I call, the Azhuthi Kodu or Naduazhuthi (accent line of the middle accent). Hopefully this is an elegant way of solving the problem. Or at least a starting point for tamil experts to take this to another level.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010 - India's first Public Finance Portal

After 53 years of existence, India still has bad roads, electricity problems, water shortage and innumerable other civic ailments. The reason for this is sheer lack of vigilance from all of us. We just don't care enough to see how the money was spent at the municipal, state and central level. Our media just skims the surface by reporting what the government wants us to hear. This is where can be of great help. It's a noble attempt to make public, documents related to government spending. And even analyze what the normal eye wouldn't care to notice. The result of such analysis can be of immense use to the aam aadmi. One can know where every rupee is going, which municipality is functioning well, which state government is living beyond its means, which are the areas where money is being underspent...I can go on and on. The fact of the matter is, this is damn useful stuff. For journos, financial analysts and people who care. The question is: do you care enough about India? If you do, please visit the site. And learn.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Chain Therapy is a brand new portal that uses the power of the internet to deliver hope to those who are battling for their lives in hospitals. Learn more about this site now!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Meet Albert Dali...

You'll hear a lot about him from January 26th...Meanwhile go figure the logo. Lucifer Labs thanks Gopi Prasannaa of 1pointsize for designing this beautiful logo.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

How we fill our lives...

We fill our lives by thinking about how to fill our lives.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Fact of Life

Who you are depends on where you sit.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Lucifer Labs Rising Soon...

That time has arrived, people. Lucifer Labs is finally ready to roll. Art Director Raijith Ravi has given us a headstart with a neat logo. Check it out...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

It's not about...

It's not about how far you went. It's about how much you saw.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

When you let...

When you let sleeping dogs lie, one fine day, life turn's a bitch.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Life without a philosophy...

Life without a philosophy will feel like a philosophy without life.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Creativity's younger sibling

Creativity has a younger sibling. He goes by the name Frustration.

Friday, July 31, 2009

A global cement

The world was built on belief.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sucesss is a magical solvent...

Success is a magical solvent. It makes sleazeballs look like saints.

The Divine Dimension of Advertising

Advertising is like god. It works in mysterious ways.

An honest question

How long will we fill our lives with Groundhog Days?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Mr. Two Clever By The Half

You hike the price, offer a discount and flash that smug smile.

But can you sleep well at night?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

To Mr. Man at the Top

You can beat the system, but you can't beat your destiny.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Play my new game Codi5

Codi5 is one of the simplest games, I've created. Basically I'll give you the cryptic version of a famous statement, quote or slogan. You have to decode it and tell me how. For sample puzzle, go here. To play the game, go here.

Pay heed Mr. Struggler

Remember, you're bigger than your worries.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Elections 2009: The final tally & how I fared

The election results really took me by surprise. Especially Tamil Nadu and North India. Never expected Congress to do well in the UP belt. Anyways, here's the final tally - partywise & statewise. In the brackets, is the number I had forecast.


NORTH - 53/126 (18/126)
Uttar Pradesh - 21/80 (4/80)
Uttar Khand - 5/5 (0/5)
Punjab - 8/13 (5/13)
Chandigarh - 1/1 (0/1)
Himachal - 1/4 (1/4)
Haryana - 9/10 (3/10)
Delhi - 7/7 (3/7)
J&K - 1/6 (2/6)

WEST - 63/143 (48/143)
Maharashtra - 17/48 (8/48)
Goa - 1/2 (1/2)
Daman - 0/1 (0/1)
Dadra Nagar - 0/1 (0/1)
Madhya Pradesh - 12/29 (12/29)
Chattisgarh - 1/11 (4/11)
Rajasthan - 20/25 (15/25)
Gujarat - 11/26 (8/26)

SOUTH - 62/131 (46/131)
Kerala - 13/20 (10/20)
Karnataka - 6/28 (9/28)
Tamil Nadu - 8/39 (3/39)
Pondichery - 1/1 (1/1)
Andhra - 33/42 (22/42)
Lakshadweep - 1/1 (1/1)

EAST - 27/143 (31/143)
Bihar - 2/40 (0/40)
Jharkand - 1/14 (4/14)
West Bengal - 7/42 (7/42)
Orissa - 6/21 (12/21)
Assam - 7/14 (4/14)
Arunachal - 1/2 (2/2)
Tripura - 0/2 (1/2)
Mizoram - 0/1 (1/1)
Manipur - 2/2 (1/2)
Meghalaya - 1/2 (1/2)
Nagaland - 0/1 (0/1)
Andamans - 0/1 (0/1)
Sikkim - 0/1 (0/1)

TOTAL - - 205/543 (143/543)

Conclusion: Forecast way off mark.


NORTH - 14/126 (26/126)
Uttar Pradesh - 10/80 (6/80)
Uttar Khand - 0/5 (4/5)
Punjab - 1/13 (3/13)
Chandigarh - 0/1 (1/1)
Himachal - 3/4 (3/4)
Haryana - 0/10 (3/10)
Delhi - 0/7 (4/7)
J&K - 0/6 (2/6)

WEST - 57/143 (48/143)
Maharashtra - 9/48 (18/48)
Goa - 1/2 (1/2)
Daman - 1/1 (1/1)
Dadra Nagar - 1/1 (1/1)
Madhya Pradesh - 16/29 (17/29)
Chattisgarh - 10/11 (7/11)
Rajasthan - 4/25 (9/25)
Gujarat - 15/26 (18/26)

SOUTH - 19/131 (14/131)
Kerala - 0/20 (0/20)
Karnataka - 19/28 (14/28)
Tamil Nadu - 0/39 (0/39)
Pondichery - 0/1 (0/1)
Andhra - 0/42 (0/42)
Lakshadweep - 0/1 (0/1)

EAST - 26/143 (26/143)
Bihar - 12/40 (10/40)
Jharkand - 8/14 (8/14)
West Bengal - 1/42 (0/42)
Orissa - 0/21 (6/21)
Assam - 4/14 (3/14)
Arunachal - 0/2 (1/2)
Tripura - 0/2 (0/2)
Mizoram - 0/1 (0/1)
Manipur - 0/2 (0/2)
Meghalaya - 1/2 (1/2)
Nagaland - 0/1 (0/1)
Andamans - 1/1 (1/1)
Sikkim - 0/1 (0/1)

TOTAL - - 116/543 (130/543)

Conclusion: A little off the mark.

Third Front

NORTH - 19/126 (44/126)
Uttar Pradesh - 19/80 (44/80)
Uttar Khand - 0/5 (0/5)
Punjab - 0/13 (0/13)
Chandigarh - 0/1 (0/1)
Himachal - 0/4 (0/4)
Haryana - 0/10 (0/10)
Delhi - 0/7 (0/7)
J&K - 0/6 (0/6)

WEST - 1/143 (0/143)
Maharashtra - 0/48 (18/48)
Goa - 0/2 (0/2)
Daman - 0/1 (0/1)
Dadra Nagar - 0/1 (0/1)
Madhya Pradesh - 1/29 (0/29)
Chattisgarh - 0/11 (0/11)
Rajasthan - 0/25 (0/25)
Gujarat - 0/26 (0/26)

SOUTH - 42/131 (51/131)
Kerala - 6/20 (4/20)
Karnataka - 3/28 (5/28)
Tamil Nadu - 25/39 (9/39)
Pondichery - 0/1 (0/1)
Andhra - 8/42 (14/42)
Lakshadweep - 0/1 (0/1)

EAST - 32/143 (35/143)
Bihar - 0/40 (0/40)
Jharkand - 0/14 (0/14)
West Bengal - 16/42 (28/42)
Orissa - 14/21 (6/21)
Assam - 0/14 (0/14)
Arunachal - 0/2 (0/2)
Tripura - 2/2 (1/2)
Mizoram - 0/1 (0/1)
Manipur - 0/2 (0/2)
Meghalaya - 0/2 (0/2)
Nagaland - 0/1 (0/1)
Andamans - 0/1 (0/1)
Sikkim - 0/1 (0/1)

TOTAL - - 94/543 (130/543)

Conclusion: Off mark by a distance.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

How to become the Prime Minister of India.

1. If you were not fortunate enough to have been born a Gandhi, don't fret. You can always marry one. The trick is to acquire the surname. And pretend you're related to Mahatmaji, Indiraji and Rajivji. Even if you don't pretend, the rural masses of India will assume you have Mohandas Karamchand's blood in your veins.

2. Once you acquire the Gandhi surname, go and buy yourself the whitest of white kurtas/pyjamas and a large Tide detergent pack to make you look spotlessly white.

3. Learn the art of walking briskly if you want to acquire the 'dynamic' tag from the fawning media.

4. Master the technique of waving your hand like a car wiper. This technique will come in handy when you greet the masses who've assembled to see You the Gandhi.

5. Whenever there is a riot/flood/drought/disaster airdash to the affected area and make sure you get photographed while you commiserate with the victims. The photo will find its way into almost all newspapers in India, as everybody loves to see the rare sight of a Gandhi in rolled-up-sleeves mode.

6. Adopt a rural constituency six months before any election. And announce your candidature right before the election. Don't make the mistake of contesting from a seat with middle class audience. Focus on one with the most number of poverty stricken families (preferably illiterate).

7. Hire a helicopter during campaigning. Even if you're unable to attract crowds with your charm, wit and speech, a helicopter might just do the trick. This crowd magnet might even lull the newspapers into thinking you are hugely popular. More such uninformed/planted articles, the more you become a household name.

8. If this doesn't get you publicity and you're not a 'real' Gandhi, then issue a provocative / controversial statement like Varun's. If the statement is suitably controversial you might become a star overnight within your target audience.

9. The entertainment starved rural India loves a star. So why not play to the gallery? More publicity also means more votes.

10. If you win the election from your rural seat, being a Gandhi, the Indian press will automatically anoint you as a prime ministerial contender. And if you're in the Congress, all the egoless leaders will unabashedly name you as their pick, to keep each other out.

So that's it. All you have to do is to become a Gandhi and wait for your turn.

One line for the restless mind...

Life is all about settling for the second best.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

2009 Elections: PM Forecast

OK, it's now very clear that we have at least 10 potential candidates for the Prime Ministership. Not all of them are worthy or deserving. But that's the charm of democracy. Ain't it? We only get what we deserve. If you want to know who stands the best chance, read on...

Unfortunately for this man, the Congress can only form a stable government, if the commies are part of the coalition jingbang. And the Karat clones share a healthy dislike for him, thanks to the nuclear deal. So chances of living in Race Course Road is quite low. But what can swing in his favour is: he is the most erudite, decent and experienced man around to steer the nation during a recession. If the Leftists suffer a loss in Kerala and do just-about-ok in West Bengal, then Manmohan might just make it as the most acceptable compromise candidate.

Pratibha Patil holds the key to Advani's fate. If she invites the UPA first, then they'll make sure, Advani will be denied his date with destiny. But if the Congress fails to massage egos, then Sindhi bhai will come into play. Everyone's aware of his deep desire to become PM. He's likely to strike deals with Mayawati, Jayalalitha and Chandrababu. Even if it means naming Mayawati as Deputy PM.

The lady who 'sacrificed' the post last time around has a new pliant president who won't ask searching questions, if she decides to stake a claim now. The way Sonia will play the game is to present Manmohan as her PM candidate. He will be unacceptable to the Left. Clamour will start for Pranab or Rahul as PM. Rahul will publicly decline the post (Sacrifice Episode 2). Congressman won't want Sharad Pawar as PM. Laloo, Paswan & all and sundry congressman will issue an appeal to the Sonia to bail out India in her hour of crisis. The battle-bruised leftists might agree to her name. The pro-congress press in India will urge her to take over the mantle. Priyanka will publicly announce her misgivings saying 'she worries for her mom's life'. After a lot of drama, Sonia might just give in to her secret desire to rule India. The only thing that might act as a disincentive is hard bargaining by Jayalalitha & Mayawati. Jaya will want Sonia to dismiss Karunanidhi and Maya will want all cases dropped against her. Will Ms. Maino bite the bullet?

Once Manmohan gets politely declined by the left, a whisper campaign will start for annointing Young Rahul as PM. But Young Rahul will rule himself out of the equation by making a stirring 'I am not yet ready' speech. And he will milk this 'sacrifice' card during the next election.

He's the Narasimha Rao in waiting. He's a proven administrator. And is wilier than Sharad Pawar. Mamata will be for him. West Bengal will root for him. Leftists may not veto his name. Laloo won't mind him. Maya too, may not. But one person might fear him. That's Sonia. She will spike his name, somehow.

Genial, honest, loyal and goes by the book. When Pranab's name starts doing the rounds, 10 Janpath will float AK Antony's. Who knows, our man might just get lucky.

If Sharad Pawar throws his hat in the ring, he will have 300 supporters in the new Lok Sabha. The only thing that might be a hurdle is the election results. Congress-NCP may not sweep Maharashtra. And NCP might just end up with 15 seats. No self-respecting congressman will allow Pawar to rule India with 15 seats. Especially Sonia. As a countermove, she might suggest her own name :-) When faced with such a deadlock, our man might be tempted to take the NDA support and form a government. But Pawar is never known for the daring. He will prefer to beat the system while staying in the system. So Pawar's chances are minimal.

Nitish will become a media darling after the elections. They will consciously project him as the new secular-development face of India. Nitish has friends across the board. The leftists are for him. Naveen Patnaik will back him. The BJP will reluctantly play second fiddle to him (if it means keeping congress out). Even Chandrababu will be okay with him. One man who might not relish this is Sharad Yadav (the NDA convenor) who might just suggest that Nitish should continue the good work in Bihar. If NDA pips UPA with more seats and if BJP emerges as the single largest party, then this scenario will come into play. Else, be prepared for Nitish as PM, 2 or 3 years from now.

Leftists may not do well in Kerala. They might just suffer a few losses in West Bengal. Their overall tally is likely to be lesser this time. Given this background, even the leftists may not moot Karat for the big post.

She might do well in Tamil Nadu. But the media may not celebrate her as much as, say a Nitish Kumar. 25 seats is what she might end up with. Will this be enough to catapult her to the gaddi? I don't think so.

Reports say, that Maya may not fare that well. Mainstream newspapers always get BSP's tally wrong. So I won't give these 'reports' much credence. If Maya bags 35 seats, she's in a good position to negotiate with the NDA & UPA. I don't see the Congress bidding goodbye to Mulayam if he gets 30 seats. Because a Mulayam is more dependable than a Maya. But LK Advani might. So you may still see her as India's second Dalit Deputy Prime Minister (Jagjivan Ram was the first).

If Mulayam Singh maxes the UP election, Congress will kiss and make up with him. And the Deputy Prime Minster's post will be his.

I am not taking into account Chandrababu Naidu as he might just decide to focus on sticking to Andhra Pradesh for now.

My overall take is it might be Sonia, Manmohan, Nitish or Pawar. My gutfeel tells me it's gonna be Manmohan again.