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yeh ILU ILU kya hai

So while it snows outside and I drink my espresso at Cup of Joe in Pennington, while my friend has some sort of meeting with other farm moms (don't ask).. this is just the sort of news from home you want. "Just a fortnight ahead of Valentine’s Day, guess, who among the top Indian politicians went romantic. Well, it is railway minister Lalu Prasad, who in his inimitable style, said “I love you” in public. No, it was not his wife Rabri Devi, but one of his innumerable female fan’s who recently expressed her ‘true love’ for the railway minister in the latter’s blog." Of course Laluji hastens to clarify - although he manages to do it without sounding too moralistic. " spirited man that he is, Lalu took the gesture of his fan quite jestfully. “She loves me, I love her,” Lalu conveyed to his fan in English, in front of the TV camera. The spontaneous comment from Lalu left newsmen in peels of laughter, but the railway minister was quick to admonish them saying “that his

in the Mood for Macbeth anyone?

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Manyata Dutt fascinates me. I'm bummed I'll be missing her on that totally, hilariously camp Abu Jani show First Ladies, next week. But I'd love to be a fly on the wall for a couple days in this household. Now that'd be material for another Maqbool..

I GET TO SEE SOME DISSIPATION IN MY PLACE: HITTING 40

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So I finally turned the corner away from possibly young to definitely not and turned 40 on Jan 11. I'd decided long ago that I was going to have a party that lasted all day - and I had all that and more. My friends Samina, Swati and Reshma came from Delhi. My friend Ruchir happened to be here. My mum's in town. My friend Rahul who lives in Goa came for an hour as a surprise. My friend Jabeen whose husband Girish and I share the birthday came too for the first time, since there was lunch and so she had time away from the other commemoration. My uncle who was an avid photographer in his youth and took endless pictures of me as a kid and then lost them, found an old photo, photoshopped it till it looked good as new and gave it to me. My friend Ajay mixed up the dates and so decided to enjoy himself with a weekend in Goa, after promising to make one dish for the party, so we made goa sausages to honour his absence. My friend Madhusree had been claiming that she'd bought one

I want to see some dissipation in my face: Eartha Kitt, R.I.P.

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I first heard Eartha Kitt on All India Radio. Or rather, I only ever heard Eartha Kitt on AIR - on Yuva Vani to be precise, most often her biggest hit Santa Baby (slip a sable under the tree for me). The pre-globalisation nerd's window to western music (before you showed some enterprise of your own)was a handful of programs: in the mornings Play it Cool. In the evenings there was In the Groove. In the nights there was Saturday Date (well A Date with You to be precise) and Forces Requests. Although In the Groove for instance was presented by young people - the cool kids in college had often done some dabbling in this arena - very little of the music was actually contemporary. I imagine it's because the programing was limited by AIR's archive which wasn't exactly up to date. So it is that for structural reasons, our parents' nostalgia had to be our present - isn't that all of India's engagement with popular music for the most? So mostly the music we heard

the continent of incontinence

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A suggestion no doubt specifically made for those of my friends (M and S you know who you are) who stop frequently to pee by the road You will have to click on the picture to see what it says on the truck's ass.

therein lies the rab

I am very concerned - and I say this without facetiousness - about Aditya Chopra's mental health. I know that a lot of people will think Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi is a crap movie. But frankly, I thought it was quite lovely to start with - uptil the scene where she tells him she'll never be able to love him. And it had a pretty good ending sequence or two. But of course in between it was like - as hapless as Suri's character. In the part where the female protagonist has her completely ridiculous epiphany I started yelling Bachao Bachao quite loudly much to my friend's horror. This sort of tapori-pan is much tolerated in Bombay but in Bangalore there was only a horrified silence. People acted as if they hadn't heard. Or perhaps they had been stupefied by the sheer gone-to-lunch-ness of the script. But to return to AC's mental health. Now, I genuinely feel this could have been a beautiful film. The ideas at the heart of it are eternal questions about love and romance:

Bishakha's 10-pointer on 24 hour news reporting

While I (and others) have been flailing with incoherent rage at TV news coverage, my friend Bishakha has put together this excellent, coherent point-form critique below. Fan mail can be sent to bishakhadatta@gmail.com 10 problems with the 24-hour TV news reporting of the recent attacks on Mumbai:by Bishakha Datta 1)Speculative, not fact-based. The numbers of gunmen entering Bombay dropped from 20-25 to 10 across three days and from 5-7 at Taj to 4; 7-10 at Oberoi/Trident to 2. This causes needless panic; many of us still think there are gunmen out there. Ditto vis-a-vis boat routes to enter Bombay (one day Badhwar Park, next day Gateway of India). Don't report what is just said can't be verified - or atleast question statements from politicians! Otherwise, it's like reporting rumour: which is what happened Fri aft when channels reported non-existent gunfire at several places. 2)Unquestioning. How many gunmen were there actually? How many people actually died? How many bo