Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for December, 2018

My Views On Bollywood

By

Sharada Iyer

To encompass the greatness of a singer of Mohammed Rafi’s stature into one blog-post is not only impossible but will also not do justice to this incomparable jewel of Hindi film music. On the occasion of his 94th birth anniversary, this blog-post attempts to trace his early steps in the forties which eventually set him on the path to become the emperor of Hindi film music.

Right from childhood he had the rare gift of picking up any song he heard and singing it exactly like the original much to the surprise of the people around him. As a little boy he was drawn to the songs sung by a wandering ‘fakir’ (minstrel) in his village. Enchanted by the fakir’s song little Rafi would follow him everywhere and was able to reproduce it to perfection. The fakir was so impressed by the little boy that he…

View original post 1,747 more words

Read Full Post »

Dear All,

As an Executive Secretary of the Animal Division of the International League of Happiness, I hereby appeal to all of you, especially sociologists, linguists, litterateurs, politicos and legal luminaries amongst you, to quickly evolve a purely vegan code of conduct for the usage of English and also to push through some judicial reforms, thereby facilitating happiness in the animal world.

Several species of animals are miffed at direct as well as indirect references to the members of their respective tribes, often in a derogatory manner. They believe that the tendency of Homo sapiens to use references to animals of any kind is to be curbed. They also plead for some legal reforms to be pushed through.

Some of the species which have already registered a protest with us are as follows:

  • Potato Chip, the famous race horse, takes a jaundiced view of the fact that politicians in several countries indulge in what is euphemistically referred to as ‘horse trading.’ He says he has no rights to demand a stoppage of such behaviour on part of our politicos, but would like the allusion to his breed in the said term avoided.
  • Wilfred, the alligator, is unhappy that the simple act of expressing pseudo-sadness is often referred to as someone ‘shedding crocodile tears.’
  • Bartholomew, the well-known canine in the service of Stiffy Byng, is not amused that top honchos in management are often referred to as ‘top dogs.’ What makes him even sadder is the use of the phrase ‘barking up the wrong tree’, which, he feels, makes light of the kind of sterling service his species renders to human beings, alerting them of imminent dangers and even saving their lives at times.
  • Augustus, the cat, takes a strong exception to the fact that junior employees across companies often use an expression which refers to her species as a tough and terrorizing boss in our democratic times. To say that ‘when the cat is away, the mice will play’ reflects a Theory X mindset, whereas human beings should be worrying about popularizing the Theory Y mindset instead.

  • The Empress of Blandings threatens to refuse her daily feed till the time the expression ‘bringing home the bacon’ gets obliterated from everyday use. Lord Emsworth is deeply disturbed about this unforeseen development, especially because the next local Shropshire Agricultural Show is not too far off. Queen of Matchingham, the prize sow of Sir Gregory Parsloe-Parsloe, heartily seconds the notion of adopting such a non-violent protest, following in the footsteps of Mahatma Gandhi.
  • Aunt Elizabeth, the hen with a much dreaded foul temper, has registered a strong protest against the use of the phrase ‘don’t put all your eggs in the same basket.’ If finance experts continue with this practice, she demands a share of the returns earned thus. Use of the term ‘hen pecked’ is also improper.She is of the view that meek and submissive husbands are more to be pitied than to be censured in such a manner.
  • Bovines point out several aberrations in the language used by human beings. (a) ‘A man’s meat could be another’s poison’ is a phrase which is objected to by all bovines. (b) Members of this species take a jaundiced view of the concept of ‘the milk of human kindness.’ They feel that the time is now ripe for human beings to openly acknowledge the benevolent kindness they, the bovines, show towards them, the humans. Keeping their calves starved while providing copious supplies of milk for human consumption is not their idea of fun in life. (c) Nor is it pleasant to know that one is being reared only to be slaughtered one of these days, when their Guardian Angels happen to be on a vacation. (d) Business magnates who label some of their verticals as ‘cash cows’ could soon find bovine herds protesting at their doorsteps with loud moos and a substantial deposit of excreta on their otherwise sparkling premises.
  • Bill the Parrot takes a satirical view of the expression ‘birds of a feather flock together.’ He is also consulting legal experts to find out what steps he can initiate against Twitter which clearly infringes on the rights of all avian tribes.
  • Members of the piscine species are upset about the usage of the term ‘fishy business.’ They also feel that they have not been given due credit for the supreme sacrifice made by one of their own in getting a matrimonial alliance between Bertie Wooster and Honoria Glossop scratched. After all, getting gobbled up by as many as 23 cats is not their idea of fun in life. Rupert Psmith, the Secretary General of the International League of Happiness, who despises anything related to fish, strongly urges all of you to cease and desist from using this term.

  • Bears and bulls look askance at being used as motifs for collective human behaviour in the stock markets.
  • Peter the snake is surely not enamoured of ladders but is surprised that a popular game of humans uses its name without prior authorization. If prompt steps are not taken through the right channels, a suit of infringement of copyrights could soon be on its way. A win in such litigation might leave the reptile hissing gleefully all the way to its bank.
  • Percy and Edgar, representing the tribe of swans of all sizes and shapes, whether angry or otherwise, are upset with the expression ‘cooking each others’ goose’, which, they feel, projects their brethren in a poor light. Right Honourable A B Filmer and many others could soon face another backlash. All of them are hereby advised to plan their boating trips accordingly. Moreover, they are of the considered opinion that the use of the term ‘duck’ in some sporting activity lowers their dignity, since it signifies a nil score.
  • Newts are none too pleased at the prospect of humans with negligible intelligence being addresses thus. Their pride is hurt. ‘Pissed like a newt’ is another rude expression which hurts them deeply. They are not clear as to why they should take the rap for persons losing control over their own gulping down of tissue restoratives in bulk.
  • Eustace the monkey is of the considered view that what his genetic successors refer to as ‘monkey business’ is a perfectly legitimate activity not to be sneered at. A delegation of his tribe is soon planning to get a legal notice issued to Homo sapiens, asking them to stop using such derogatory references to a species which ranks pretty high up in its IQ rankings.
  • The tribe of worms and caterpillars, adept at popping up in salad bowls and thereby meriting a sullen and reproachful look from the person on the table, is up in arms at one of their bluish limbless amphibian members being recently christened as Dermophis Donaldtrumpi. Most of these distant cousins happen to be blind to subtle shades of life and can merely make out the difference between light and dark. Also, they prefer to remain underground. But for them to be labelled after a President who downplays climate change and its ecological impact is a cause of serious concern. They believe that a reference of this kind is against their public relations policy. Moreover, anything that threatens the availability of green leafy vegetables and lettuce which they love nibbling in the company of their loved ones does not meet with their approval. They also detest crawling out of their dens early in the day, only to be devoured by an early bird.
  • Lions happen to be somewhat depressed these days. They feel that they are never allowed to tell their side of the story whereas hunters, who have not ended up garnering an obituary column, often keep walking away with all the glory. As advised by Wadswordth Hemmingway, the lawyer turned golfer, they have already filed a petition in the International Court of Justice, requesting that Principles of Natural Justice be followed.

Your kind support to quickly evolve a vegan variety of English is earnestly solicited. Linguists of other tongues may also follow suit and rid their respective languages of all idioms which have a link to the animal kingdom. It would be highly appreciated by all animal rights organizations across our planet. Appropriate legal reforms also need to be pushed through.

Such verbal and judicial weeding out would contribute towards our cause of ensuring a greater level of happiness in the animal kingdom.

With a cheery pip pip!

Madeline Bassett

Deputy Secretary – Environment

International League of Happiness

 

Note:

Iconic former French film star and the Brand Ambassador of our Animal Division, Brigitte Bardot, has already asked President Emmanuel Macron for a Christmas “miracle”, with closed circuit TV in abattoirs and a curb to hunting.

(Another post in the same vein: 

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2017/03/08/an-ass-ass-erts-itself)

Read Full Post »

Whether in literature or in fine arts, we relate to characters when we find an inner connection. There could either be a similarity in personality traits, or in the challenges faced. When this happens, we laugh with the person. We cry with the person. We willingly suspend our own beliefs and virtually start living the life of the character.

As a member of the tribe of the so-called sterner sex, I confess I have shades of quite a few characters etched out by P G Wodehouse. These could be males, or even females.

Amongst males, when it comes to notions of chivalry and a chin up attitude towards the harsh slings and arrows of Fate, Bertie Wooster becomes my role model. When the summons arrive from someone higher up in the hierarchy, and the prospects of a severe dressing down cloud the horizon, I meekly surrender and follow the messenger, trooping down to face the firing squad. Even if one is being led to the gallows, the chin should invariably be up. Also, when a pal in need has to be bailed out, no effort can be spared to bring solace to the tormented soul.

Jeeves is obviously a role model when it comes to advising others on solving the intricate problems of their own lives. The pleasure I get thus is readily explained. One, I am not obliged to follow the advice myself, so there is a comfort and a sense of objectivity to the whole act of dishing out advice. Two, it proves to be a short-term interaction. Pretty soon, the party of the other part realizes that my grey cells are but a fraction of those of Jeeves. They then do a vanishing trick the speed of which would embarrass an Indian fakir of yore doing a rope trick. They start avoiding me like the plague. Whenever they run into me next, they start checking if my head indeed bulges at the back, or if my eyes shine with the legendary keenness of his intelligence.

Rupert Psmith is another role model. Unlike him, I confess I could not woo females by lying without batting my eyelids while spending time with them on a boat adrift in a lake. But I could surely thwart an attempt by gang lords to skin a close pal alive. I could also persuade a young lass wanting to commit suicide to give up her homicidal thoughts and instead walk out of my office with a song on her lips, eyes sparkling with renewed hope. Her reasons could be as whacky as her boy friend having not ‘liked’ her social media post about the sharks she encountered while splashing about in the waters near Cannes. A dash of the occasional gift of the gab, you see.

When it comes to uplifting the intellectual level of some dim wits whom I happen to know, I take after the likes of Florence Craye and Vanessa Cook. I advise them either to read a Peter Drucker tome or devour some scholarly articles in reputed management journals which get unleashed on hapless managers at regular intervals. If they desist, I recommend to them one of my own books, so they might become sharper at managing their careers.

In matters of physical fitness, Ashe Marson and Honoria Glossop happen to secure my adulation.

When churning out a dreamy whodunit, Madeline Bassett and Rosie M Banks don the mantle of being my muse.

I cannot afford to have an Empress of Blandings on my humble premises. But as to forgetfulness, you could be forgiven to believe that I happen to be a cousin of Lord Emsworth.

At home, I have always tried to maintain matrimonial harmony by simply walking in the footsteps of Bingo Little. Before my bitter half decided to hand in her dinner pail, I tried to ensure that she never missed a steaming hot cup of tea first thing in the morning. When there was a spiritual event she wanted to attend, I normally rallied around by ferrying her to the same. Whenever a friend like Laura Pyke passed by, I retained my sangfroid and tolerated all the dietary restrictions imposed on me. To deliver satisfaction to her had invariably been my motto.

The mood of my Guardian Angels has seen some swings of late. Quite a few bouquets have come my way. Some brickbats – deserved as well as undeserved – have also got hurled at me. Fate has been busy targeting me with some harsh slings and arrows. But by doing so, it has ensured a spiritual awakening of sorts. Quite a few scales have fallen from my eyes.

Be that as it may, the chin remains up. The brow is not furrowed. The upper lip is not stiffened. The protective shield provided by the Wodehouse canon does not fail me.

Read Full Post »

 

As the next pit stop in time looms ahead, yours truly is feeling a wee bit chuffed up. Wodehousitis appears to be spreading far and wide. Conventions are taking place. Exhibitions are getting organised. Meetings of Wodehouse fans are happening all over. Scholarly articles are popping up. Books containing some juicy narratives are getting dished out. Blue-blooded royals are peeping out of their cocoons and confessing their love for the Master Wordsmith of our times. Fans are travelling to different continents and engaging with all things Wodehousean.  Flowers are in bloom, birds are chirping, God is in heaven and Homo sapiens appear to be headed in the right direction.

Here is a delightful post from a fan Down Under. He sauntered across to UK recently, and caught up with the kind of goofy and not-so-goofy things happening there.

The Traveller

Anyone who has an affinity with the English language and happens to be in London would be well rewarded by braving the crowds and paying the moneylenders at Westminster Abbey just to visit Poets’ Corner.

You’ll be able to sit there for a while, among the slabs of stone and the pompous statues commemorating many of the greatest exponents of our tongue, and ponder why it is that in a place given over to tombs and memorials for kings and queens, heroes and saints – in, as many believe, the presence of God – mere dreamers and story-tellers should be elevated to holiness in a place of their own.

Maybe you’ll find the experience as strange and wonderful as I did . . . because this was the morning after the announcement that Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse was to have a memorial stone placed in the Abbey. It transformed a…

View original post 3,051 more words

Read Full Post »

All of us have our role models in life – people who not only leave behind a deep impression on our psyche, but also make us who we are.

Here is a touching tribute to one such role model from a professional doctor and an upcoming writer Dr Shivani Salil, who has an ample supply of creative juices coursing through her veins. She has already won many accolades in her budding career.

Shivani Salil

She was lovingly named ‘Raj Kumari’ (princess) by her parents. Their first born, she was born with the proverbial silver spoon, and was pampered silly by all. Growing up in the pre partition era, she must have known what abundance meant. But when random lines were drawn, her entire family, immediate and extended was advised to make the move. Comply, they did, but in return had to give up everything they had…to find themselves cooped up in refugee camps in what we call India now.

For a nine year old girl, life as she had known, vanished into thin air. What they must have taken for granted back home, was now a luxury. Making ends meet was an uphill task but the family managed. They were relocated to a small town where her studies couldn’t be continued so she was packed off to a relative’s place where it was possible.

View original post 765 more words

Read Full Post »

ashokbhatia

Mahabharat Krishna ArjunaHad Lord Krishna been around, this is how he might have advised a clueless and gloomy blogger Arjuna:

What you have already blogged, you have blogged well,

What you are blogging, you are doing fine, you can tell,

What you will blog, will also get blogged well,

Live in the present, your heart-felt ideas would eventually sell.

Never beseech someone for a ‘like’, a ‘reblog’ or for a ‘comment’,

Let your soul never be in torment,

For writing what you are passionate about alone you are meant,

Read more, get inspired, get cracking, never get bent.

At times, you may get upset for not having been ‘Freshly Pressed’,

Well, it is not the end of the world, do not feel unduly stressed,

Escaping a deluge of ‘likes’ and ‘comments’ instead leaves you feeling blessed,

You are not in a short sprint but in a marathon, you have already guessed.

Be…

View original post 611 more words

Read Full Post »

The International League of Happiness (ILH) plans to host a two-day Workshop for the benefit of those fans of P G Wodehouse who might be twiddling their thumbs trying to understand such emerging technologies as Blockchain, AIMLA (Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Algorithm Analytics), Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, 3D Printing, and the like.

Some details of the program are as follows:

Day 1

 

Inaugural Address

Lord Emsworth, Chief Patron of ILH 

The Role of Emerging Technologies in keeping the Empress in the pink of health, in floriculture, in ducking guests and in managing obdurate sisters

 

Key Note Address

Ms Roberta Wickham, Founder Director, Royal Academy of Goofy Technologies (RAGT)

Use of technologies to ensure happier and safer courtships for the delicately nurtured

 

Technical Session 1

Sir Watkyn Bassett, CBE, magistrate and Justice of Peace

My Experiments with Truth – Uncovering the mysteries of Blockchain Technologies

The speaker is likely to share his experiential wisdom and explain some aspects of Blockchain:

– A highly secured system which ensures that there is only one Truth, thereby curbing such social aberrations drunken revelries and umbrella;

– Supports transactions which are secured, thereby encouraging the emergence of a single Truth, which becomes the only truth. If you fake it up, you pay a penalty, leading to a drastic improvement in transparency levels;

– Tracking: One can track what happened. It is a decentralized, distributed, mass, general ledger which preserves the Truth in any given situation. This helps ardent collectors of all sizes, hues and shapes to protect their precious possessions better;

– Current technology is slated to become super-efficient and will eventually bring about a humbling equality among all human beings, thereby reducing a tendency on part of some to mock such striking dresses as prismatic checked suits and purple dressing gowns with yellow frogs.

 

Technical Session 2

Mr Reginald Jeeves, Deputy Secretary General, ILH

Improving the delight of Customers and Bosses by leveraging the Internet of Things

  • Using smart grids to alleviate poverty, eradicate diseases and reduce income inequalities
  • How machine to machine data exchange can be used to deliver better satisfaction to customers and employers
  • Improving the efficiency and effectiveness of valeting operations
  • Leveraging technology to ensure that one’s employer forever remains a bachelor, thereby ensuring stability in one’s valeting career

Day 2

 

Technical Session 3

Mr Rupert Psmith, Director General, ILH

Deploying Artificial Intelligence to improve Corporate Governance

Based on his exceptional career in banking, journalism and allied services, the speaker would demonstrate how:

– Pattern recognition in Big Data can lead to drastic improvements in corporate governance levels across all kinds of institutions, whether in the private or the public sector; even amongst central banks, judiciary, intelligence and investigation, and the legislative arms of a country;

– If one takes Yesterday as an experience, Today as an experiment, and Tomorrow as an expectation, one can forecast loan defaults by fugitive billionaires, non-performing assets of lending institutions and dramatic terror attacks;

– Using Hindsight and Oversight to improve Insight and Foresight could help in curbing gang wars, vigilante attacks and cyber crimes.

 

Technical Session 4

Sir Roderick Glossop, Director General, Royal Academy of Goofy Technologies

Deploying Emerging Technologies to improve mental well-being of those who struggle to maintain Work Life Balance  

Using practical examples from his illustrious career involving loony bins, anti-gambling leagues, and anti-smoking and anti-alcohol tirades, the speaker would touch upon the following facets:

  • Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality: Potent tools to avoid landing in a loony bin
  • How revenue authorities can use Algorithm Analytics to squeeze more out of gambling dens
  • Leveraging 3D printing to improve upon the mesmerizing effect of a voodoo performance; also, to minimize the impact of a bunch of cats on one’s digestive system.

 

Technical Session 5

Ms Stephanie Byng, Director, RAGT

Nipping #MeToo in the bud: Promoting new standards of Chivalry  

  • Countering amorous advances of lecherous members of the so-called sterner sex by use of Artificial Intelligence and other technologies on the horizon;
  • Using Virtual Reality to educate kids and aspiring grooms about the new norms of Chivalry, such as baby sitting, diaper changing, cooking, mopping, dusting and in general assisting a housewife;
  • Promoting active use of the Bartholomew technique of motivating the law enforcers to take a serious note of any offences being reported to them.
  • Using Virtual Reality to sensitize prospective offenders to the living conditions of our prisons.

 

Technical Session 6: The flip side of technologies – Some notes of dissent

 

Mr Roderick Spode, Chairman, Eulalie Enterprises

The right to privacy in a technology driven age

 

Ms Joan Valentine, Chairperson, Global Association of Start Ups

The need to lower tariff and other barriers to facilitate international trade

 

Ms Madeline Bassett, Deputy Secretary – Environment, ILH

The stark failure of Emerging Technologies to counter the threat of Climate Change

 

Ms Honoria Glossop, Deputy Secretary – Sports, ILH

The risks of increasing screen times; Getting back to what is Factual, Real and True

 

 

Valedictory Address

Right Hon’ble A B Filmer, Cabinet Minister

The speaker is expected to touch upon the future of modern technologies which would help politicos to:

  • Stick to power for longer durations by (i) Keeping their public image always spick and span, (ii) Using social media platforms to brow beat the opponents and sway public opinion in their favour, and (iii) Engaging with voters by using Virtual Reality;
  • Ensure hassle free vacations, with safer boat rides, sans angry swans.

 

Details

 

Venue: Blandings Castle

Dates: February 14-15, 2019

Registration: www.ilh.org

Catering: Anatole and team

 

The Empress of Blandings shall be in attendance. A LED display will showcase the use of algorithms to monitor her health and diet.

 

Note:

 

The International League of Happiness is a not-for-profit organization where:

-Destructive propaganda of any kind is sneered at

-Global interests are accorded higher priority than narrow national/regional interests

-Healthy discussion is encouraged but indifference to, or defiance of, its collective resolutions is discouraged

 

(Related Posts:

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2015/07/30/the-epidemic-of-wodehousitis

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2017/10/12/an-invitation-from-the-international-league-of-happiness

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2016/09/23/bertie-jeeves-and-the-internet-of-things)

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »