Its been one of those weekends. Copious amounts of alcohol, including a Single-Malt tasting session, the assorted pretty girl in a strange backless dress, the waking up in someone else's house thing, wanting to jump off a high-rise thing, meeting people after five years thing and generally stupid stoned/drunk conversation. I mean, things got so silly that one of my friends, whom we shall call 'Famous Film Critic' got a bit too drunk and me who is currently fida over the Nokia N70 I'm trying out (I'm spoiled for choice right now, I have an LG M4410 and a Motorola RAZR L6 in my drawer - its just that the Nokia is sooooooo much better) decided to make a short film. The film is hilarious, and I'm actually contemplating submitting it for one of those new fangled digital film festivals where they like short two minute movies made on cellular phones.
Talking about movies made on cellular phones, I am flabbergasted at the sheer amount of mobile pornography available on the internet. What amazes me is that these are regular people just shooting the women they're having sex with. What is even weirder is that in many cases these 'women' happen to be 'escorts' (massage girls in Indian classified parlance). However, what really surprises me is the amount of people who around searching for pornographic clips of celebrities. For example, there are a lot of visitors to this site who land up here searching for a 'pornogrphic' video of a rising Tennis sensation. Sigh! And if you talk about sexuality in this country the so-called 'moral majority' gets all hyper.
On Saturday, there was a huge rail-roko on the Western line, thousands of commuters who were led by an 'apolitical' NGO (which was headed by the former BJP MP for Mumbai North Ram Naik - 'apolitical' yeah right!) blocked trains on the Virar-Borivali stretch. Tens of thousands of commuters were stranded, but in a weird sort of way I actually supported these folks, and I've never actually supported such protests. Why? Simple, though I've never travelled beyond Goregaon on the Western line, I saw the fact that there is no quadruple line between Virar and Borivali, which means all the long distance trains on the Western Railway which arrive in the morning or depart in the evening occupy the tracks and daily commuters suffer. There has been talk of quadrupuling the lines for over a decade but nothing has happened, while the number of people staying beyond Borivali has shot up three or four times.
What is even more ironic, is that according to official statistics over four people die every day on the Western Line alone. And those are official stats. In my four months here I've been on trains that have run over people twice and I've spoken to friends and colleagues who talk about seeing sliced bodies and god knows what else. The most ironic story I've heard was of a few people who were catching a train to Karjat to go a rave (and at raves you do what ravers do - LSD) and they saw a train run over a guy whose severed head rolled onto the platform. They didn't particularly have a very good party.
However, in the hoopla of Sachin's 35th all news of the protest got buried. While I continue to believe that the Bombay Suburban Rail System is one of the world's greatest enduring engineering marvels - carrying over 6 million (at least) people everyday and trains moving every three minutes, it could desperately do with a massive refurbishment job. For gods sake, the stations and in some cases the rails date back to the British-era. Of course, since our Railway Minister is currently sulking over the trashing voters gave him, I doubt anything will happen soon. There is always too much talk and no action in this country - but incidents like Saturday will continue to happen unless something is done. And soon.
I would also write a short para on the Cobrapost expose of Parliamentarians takling money to ask questions in Parliament. While, I'm not terribly surprised at politicians lining their pockets doing this, lobbyists for years have feted politicians with wine/women and foreign trips, the brazen-ness of the act is quite shocking. Shivam of Mall Road worked on this expose (or sting-op whatever you want to call it), and he is rather pleased with himself. Rightly so. Now, I must add, I am waiting for an expose of India's throughly useless lower judicial system.
EDIT : It seems that Prema Sagar of Genesis PR has sold out to Burson-Marsteller. This means that Genesis PR enters the WPP realm. Whoops. On the other hand if all WPP clients gradually shifted to this new entity, private, niche PR firms might be in a spot of bother. Not that I'm cribbing, given that I want to kill a PR person a day. Where are the hot PR chicks in my life? Where?