#Dangal: #ReelVsReal


Post independence, India has witnessed mushrooming of political dynasties of all hues. With each passing decade, democracy has been incessantly victimized by the shameless quest to further political dynasties. Save the occasional murmur across civil society corridors, rise and rise of political dynasties has come to be accepted as the new normal in our polity. The ongoing UP #MahaDangal is a tragic result of dynasty politics plot having horribly gone wrong. It is a classic case of what a joint family doesn’t stand for in the traditional sense. The UP power cauldron is bound to shame the ethos of relationships that bind the society at large. Reel life #Dangal though holds the mirror to the society: Family success is important; but there is neither any reservation nor any short cut to success. But will politicians ever pay heed?


Picture Courtesy: Indian Express

#Dangal #AamirKhan #MulayamSinghYadav #AkhileshSinghYadav #SamajwadiParty

Sachin-Kohli: Brothers In Class Act


Sachin – Kohli comparison is obvious. Both are united by their quest for records that make their bios look outstanding. Study of their respective statistics shows how lucky India is to have yet another batting genius on its rolls. Sachin grew on us all like a phenomenon and endured the class almost until the end. Kohli’s innings has been no less than a  blockbuster. His rise has been unprecedented. Captaining India in the five day format for about a year or more now, ICC decision to anoint him as World T20 XI leader has demonstrated his all round capability in the highly competitive world of cricket. Now Kohli is set to overtake his idol off field as well. With 10.2m Twitter followers today, he follows Tendular closely at 10.3m. ‘God of cricket’ would only be happy so long as Kohli performs.

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140 Wordz blog took birth this day a year ago recalling the tragic story of massacre of Kashmiri Pandits at Nadimarg in 2003. Titled ‘Nadimarg Haunts’ the blog captured the abject failure of not only the state but also the civil society to address the Kashmiri Pandit tragedy brought about by Pakistan sponsored terror. As always Pakistan’s envoy has invited Hurriyat leaders to attend the ‘Pakistan Day’ function here on March 23. Hurriyat, that claims to champion the cause of people of Kashmir, has remained woefully silent on issue of forced KP exodus. PDP, whose CM ruled the state in 2003, is as usual silent. Barring Congress’s Salman Soz no one has cared to remember the unrivaled tragedy. Omar Abdullah is busy shadowing Mehbooba as J&K again awaits a government. In the capital, both BJP & Congress have better things to do than remember Nadimarg!




The nation is one in paying tribute to the valiant soldier who died in service of the country. His heart beat, amidst a mountain of snow, gave rise to a billion plus hopes. It reinforced the Supreme Power syndrome. In his passing away, the inevitability of death has been underscored. The tragedy has witnessed a grateful nation value the spirit of sacrifice of our forces. Hanumanthappa Koppad has rightly become a household name. But he was not alone. Koppad was among 10 soldiers who were swept away by an ice wall while guarding the Sonam post in Siachen area. Each and every soldier, out there to defend the nation, deserves equal attention in life and in death. Indian defence personnel are second to none when it comes to their commitment. No difference should be observed in the way the nation treats them in their martyrdom.

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Musical duos have dominated the Bollywood journey ringing mega hits to endure the magic of music. In an  industry where there is cut throat competition, duos have redefined not only art of music but also the essence of human relationships. In tragic death of Nida Fazli, we have lost a poet par excellence. His death on a day India observed 75th birth anniversary of Ghazal king Jagjit Singh is a positive reminder of the superlative work they did together. Singh and Fazli created enduring magic in the hugely popular ‘Ínsight’ album. If Singh made Ghazals a household favorite, credit for it would equally go to the lyricist who belted timeless numbers like ‘Kabhie Kisi Ko Mukamil Jahan Na Milta’. Good thing is that the tradition of musical duos sustains itself in Bollywood. From Shankar-Jaikishen, Kalyanji-Anandji, Anand-Milind, Vishal-Shekhar, and Sajid -Wajid the duo story endures.

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Pic Courtesy: LinkedIn.com

A Unicorn means a mythical animal typically represented as a horse with a single straight horn projecting from its forehead. The animal is yet a myth. But ‘Unicorn’ suddenly rings a bell in India.  Unicorns are private companies valued at $1 billion plus. The mythical rise of billion dollar start-ups has caught the imagination of one and all. Last month the Prime Minister unleashed his Start-up campaign.  This has put Unicorns under spot light. Obviously they have become a subject of envy. To their credit, Unicorns have made the top grade without any pedigree and are deserving of the attention. There is brewing excitement over talk of Unicorns scaling up to be Decacorns (10 billion plus valuation). Good so long as it lasts. Endurance is the key challenge. Also, valuations too need evaluation. Simply because business isn’t always a zero sum game.

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Pic Courtesy: India Today

Listed companies by habit embrace silence ahead of their quarterly results. The silence period is enforced by practice rather than by any explicit regulation. The key is fear. But in politics silence (selective) is an intrinsic part of strategy. Former Prime Minister P V Narasimaha Rao made a virtue of silence. Even his close confidants could not read his lips. All in all his silence did more good than harm. Strategic silence has though another virulent hue. Remember the stony but strategic silence over KP exodus from the Valley. Silence here is a tool to draw political dividend; stay intelligent and stay ‘secular’. Today Anupam Kher (of late speaking for the plight of homeless Pandits) has been denied a Pak visa. There is general silence (save Shashi Tharoor who is his own man). Strategy isn’t about what to do but what not to do?




India is changing, albeit slowly but surely. The E-Tourist Visa regime is showing early results. During January- December, 2015 a total of 4,45,300 tourist arrived on e-Tourist Visa as compared to 39,046 during January – December, 2014 registering a growth of 1040.4% . Beginning late 2014 E-Tourist Visa facility is presently available to citizens of 113 countries arriving at 16 Airports in India. A total of 1,03,617 tourists arrived in India on e-Tourist Visa in December, 2015 as compared to 14,083 during the month of December, 2014 registering a growth of 635.8%. UK continues to occupy top slot followed by USA among the countries availing e-tourist visa facility. But despite the e-surge, the overall foreign tourist arrivals rose only 4.4% during January-December 2015. Apart from marketing brand India better to world travelers, ease of travel has to be a key focus. The government must quickly extend the E-Visa regime to many more countries in view of its initial success.




They bowled India to an outstanding Test win against formidable S.Africa at home. The last match at Delhi early December produced splendid spin bowling performance pitchforking R Ashwin and R Jadeja to the top ICC Cricketers Club of performers for 2015. What has changed in a month? Home pitch advantage no longer wrests with India as it engages Australia as a visitor. Now look what that means to bowling averages of our match winning spin wizards in India. Ashwin’s Delhi Test record was indeed impressive. 62.4 overs, 31 maidens, 87 runs and seven wickets.  Look at the contrast in Perth. The spin master bowled 9 overs and gave away 61 runs for two wickets at the first India-Australia ODI. Jadeja fared no better and went wicket less. Between the two of them they bowled 18 overs and gave away 129 runs. Thereby hangs a tale. Pitch makes all the difference.




There is a wide gap yet between the digital and the physical world. On ground, the inequities that separate have’s and have-not’s  stare you in your face. Yes, the mobile revolution has made access to communication even but the odds of managing a day-to-day life go well beyond merely having the luxury of owning a mobile phone. Twenty-five years  of economic reforms have made an obvious differences but the intended last mile connectivity on development yet eludes the nation. The rising sky-scrappers across metros present a stark contrast with mud slums surrounding the world of concrete. One notable exception that ushered in enduring equality is the Delhi Metro. In one ride it successfully broke all class barriers. Setting a unique and rare democratic tradition, Delhi Metro deserves to be left alone. Let ‘premium’ passengers take premium transport.

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